Short stories and serials by Alexandra Herakai

Kiss and Make Up

Raek’s day had been good so far. Not just good, but great. Being able to get close to his boyfriend was still new enough, novel enough, to give him an almost heady sense of empowerment, and then having the opportunity to tell his therapist about it certainly didn’t diminish his accomplishment. Having taken this step, normalcry, something more resembling who he had been before Jake, might actually be in reach. And once he was back to something closer to his old self, maybe his life could be turned right-side-up as well.

His life and Kerin’s.

He jogged up the last set of stairs, dug his key out of his pocket, and stuck it in the lock. It turned willingly, and the door whispered on its hinges as he opened it. Closing and locking it behind him was automatic, and once that was done he walked inwards the apartment, unbuttoning his shirt as he went. He passed Shavi in the kitchen, the maned wolf pointedly pretending she didn’t notice him as he stepped over her tail to get to the bedroom where his boyfriend had slept when he left earlier that morning. Business as usual; he was too accustomed to her attitude to let it get him down.

Her soulbrother was moving around on the other side of the door, he could hear that much. His blunt claws danced against the wood for a few moments, then he started to push the door open.

“Don’t bother.”

Raek jerked back, struck, his red-black ears folding, rust-colored eyes going wide. “Kerin?”

“You’ve your own bedroom, and your own bed, don’t you?” It didn’t take a mind-mage to notice the hurt in the beastkin’s voice. “Last night you preferred them, so it’s no use pretending now.”

“Kerin, that’s not…” He had to swallow to keep a whine out of his voice. “That’s not what I meant.”

“That’s what it sounded like.” Like shards of ice, Kerin’s hurt cut deep. “You’ll sleep with me, but you won’t sleep beside me. What am I supposed to think about that?”

Slowly, Raek eased the door open, his ears still flat back and his fur slicked down. Kerin had either not bothered getting up yet, or had returned to bed since; he was lying with his back towards the door, his shoulders visibly tense. The sight was enough to make a lump form in Raek’s throat, and a doubt whisper in the back of his mind: he’d been the one to cause his boyfriend such pain.

He walked slowly and deliberately across the floor, taking care to keep his claws from clicking against the linoleum. It would have been a lie to say that Kerin didn’t move, but he certainly didn’t do so in any manner that suggested he’d noticed Raek’s proximity yet. The bed shifted as he slid in behind the significantly taller human male, wrapping one arm around him and scooching up his body. “I’m sorry.” The side of his muzzle rubbed against his partner’s cheek. The youth’s skin tasted of salt. “I didn’t mean it that way.”

The response he got was some kind of inarticulate mumble, not as sharp as the words he’d been met with earlier, but neither were they as warm as he was accustomed to.

Accustomed. Damn.

“I took you for granted, didn’t I?”

A nod.

“I was trying to be considerate.” Squeeze. “I’m sorry it came off as rejecting you.”

A bronze-skinned hand closed around his, warm and strong, and pressed his palm against the human boy’s naked chest. “You know, ever since we started seeing each other, I’ve wanted this more than I’ve wanted sex.” His voice was thick. “I thought you knew.”

“I didn’t.” He licked Kerin’s cheek again, not sloppily like a dog, but tenderly, kissing the last traces of tears away. :I love you.:

A hand reached back, ruffling his ears and the fur on his head. “And I love you. You home for the day, now?”

Both of Raek’s tails wagged slowly, swishing against the sheets. “Mmhmm.”

“Good.” Without further ceremony, Kerin rolled over onto his back, somehow pulling his smaller lover along as he did so, leaving the fox lying mostly on top of him. It was the work of moments for those strong arms to wrap around Raek, pressing him against the beastkin’s chest. “I feel like keeping you for a while.”

Raek smiled, nudging his cool nose against his boyfriend’s chin. “I’m all yours.”

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