Cries in the Night

Cries in the Night
by Morgana

Story Notes

Author’s Email: morganalebeau@yahoo.com

Web page: http://www.paranoid.nl/avalon

Pairing: Vaysh/Ashmael

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Vaysh finds out some nightly secrets.

Disclaimer: Not mine. No copyright infringement is intended.

Warning: AU of course.

Beta read by Patricia and DA, thanks sweeties!!

All remaining mistakes are mine.

Cries in the Night

Oooh, I’m sitting down thinking about losing my mind
Cause I keep telling myself I’m only one of a kind
My life is broke because my dreams were shattered
For so very long nothing else mattered

I’m hearing Cries in the Night
I can’t wait another day
No, no, no, tell me no lies
I’m standing cold in the light
I lose the dream and I go crazy
I’m hearing Cries in the Night

Yeah, they pull at my hair, and call out my name
They think I’m cool and got worries with fame
But I’m living to lose and dying to win
With those people around here my patience wears thin

I’m hearing Cries in the Night I can’t wait another day
No, no, no, tell me no lies
I’m standing cold in the light I lose the dream and I go crazy
I’m hearing Cries in the Night

Yeah, I’m trying to get away, get away from it all
I stand and scream, I’m not gonna crawl
The dream never dies
That’s why I sing the song
Like my maddening world, it turns on and on
I’m hearing Cries in the Night
I can’t wait another day
No, no, no, tell me no lies
I’m standing cold in the light
I lose the dream and I go crazy
I’m hearing Cries in the Night

Lyrics and music by WASP

/Ash, where are you? Why can’t I find you? I know you’re near, but I can’t see you!/

Vaysh’s frantic thoughts invaded Ashmael’s mind with frightening ease, and a moment later, the blond har sat upright in bed, shaking and trying to calm down his breathing.

“This must stop!” Ashmael punched a pillow as he panted softly, recovering from the intense dream he’d just had. It had started shortly after he had run into Vaysh by accident. He had wanted to check out Pellaz, but had found Vaysh hovering in the Tigron’s rooms instead. He had been shocked and his first reaction had been to deny what had happened. Later on, when he had finally accepted that his former chesnari was alive, he had sought out Pellaz, who had advised him to keep his distance where the redhead was concerned. Ashmael, having Vaysh’s best interest in mind, had obeyed, but now he was beginning to question his decision.

Night after night, Vaysh suffered from nightmares and, although Ashmael hadn’t believed it possible, the bond between them still existed, causing him to suffer along with his former chesnari. Tormented by nightmares at night, Vaysh reached out to him and dragged him along into his horrid dreams. By now, Ashmael knew exactly what Vaysh had gone through after the redhead had died and Ashmael hated Thiede with a vengeance for what the powerful har had done to Vaysh. But Ashmael hated himself more for being such a coward. Vaysh was reaching out to him for a reason and Ashmael knew what his former chesnari needed from him, but he lacked the courage to offer it.

At least, he had thought so…until now. The nightmares were growing more intense each night and Ashmael wasn’t sure how much more of the nightly torture he could take. There was a solution to his problem, but that implied that he seek out Vaysh, take him in his arms and guard his sleep. But that was an awfully big step as far as Ashmael was concerned.

“But I can’t continue like this either.” The lack of decent sleep was catching up with him and he felt more drained each morning. How much longer could he endure? How much longer could Vaysh? Ashmael had seen Vaysh grow paler, thinner, and more withdrawn with each passing month. Ashmael sighed. It was up to him to take the first step, but was he really ready to do so?

/Ash? Where are you? Please, I need you! I need you so much!/

Ashmael closed his eyes and massaged his temples. His head throbbed and some of the last remnants of Vaysh’s nightmare drifted through his mind. One look outside showed that the night was still young and there would be many more hours until dawn would come. “I can’t do this anymore,” he whispered in fatigue. There was only one way to solve the problem and that was to comfort Vaysh.

~~~~

Hearing some strange noise, Cal opened on eye to check on the source. He sort of expected Pell or Rue to be sneaking around the bedroom, indulging in a midnight snack or some hot milk like they often did, but this time it was a different har moving about in the rooms. The har was merely passing them by as he headed for the door of the adjourning suite which Vaysh occupied. The blond Tigron watched Ashmael tiptoe over to the door. But once he had reached it, the blond har froze with his hand resting on the door handle.

Cal felt deeply sympathetic where Ashmael was concerned. He knew his history and realized only too well how much Ashmael’s past mirrored his. A part of him had rooted all along for Ashmael to finally seek out Vaysh and now that it was happening, Cal grew excited. He hoped they would be able to sort matters out.

~~~

His fingers already curled around the door handle and froze. Ashmael knew he had reached a crossroad in his life. He could go inside and face his former lover or he could turn around and walk out on Vaysh forever. Searching his heart, he found that number two wasn’t an option. He had loved Vaysh from the bottom of his heart and loved him still and found that he couldn’t turn his back on Vaysh any longer. He pressed down the door handle and pushed the door ajar.

Ashmael’s first look was for Vaysh, who was tossing and turning on the bed. The redhead had gotten entangled in the sheets and was fighting to get free. Ashmael’s mouth went dry and he swallowed convulsively as Vaysh’s nightmare crashed into his mind forcefully. Vaysh was reliving Thiede forcing himself on him and a high-pitched cry left the redhead’s lips. Urged into action, Ashmael marched over to the bed and pulled a struggling Vaysh into his arms after sitting. He started to rock him and mumble soothing words. Vaysh stilled in his arms, but it still took Ashmael several minutes to comfort Vaysh to the point that the redhead’s dreams became peaceful.

“It’s alright,” Ashmael crooned soothingly. “I’m here now.” He continued to rock Vaysh, whose head lolled against his chest. His former chesnari’s familiar scent invaded his nostrils, reminding him of other nights when he’d had Vaysh in that manner. “I’m sorry I didn’t come sooner.” He rubbed his cheek against the crown of Vaysh’s head and hugged him close. “I’ll guard your sleep from now on. You can rest.” Vaysh seemed to have heard his words even in his sleep since the redhead relaxed and his breathing evened out. Vaysh’s sleep was peaceful again.

Ashmael had never thought that he would be holding Vaysh in this life time again. Although he had tried to make his peace with the fact that they couldn’t be together again, he had never stopped loving Vaysh. Vaysh had always been the one for him. He might invite a har into his bed for the sake of rooning, but Ashmael never felt deeply for them. Even during aruna he thought of Vaysh and effectively blocked out their faces. It was hardly fair, but Ashmael loved Vaysh too much to enjoy their caresses.

The General stayed until dawn was almost upon them. Upon feeling the first warm rays of the sun, he lowered Vaysh back onto the mattress and covered the redhead with the sheets, which had come loose during the night. Acting on impulse, Ashmael leaned in closer and pressed a chaste kiss onto Vaysh’s brow, which looked relaxed as he slept soundly.

“I love you,” Ashmael whispered as he left the bed. “Try to sleep as long as you can.” He made his way over to the doorway soundlessly and, after gazing upon Vaysh’s form for a last time, slipped out of the room and closed the door behind him.

The other night when it had been dark, he hadn’t realized that he had passed by the four-poster bed that housed the two Tigrons and the Tigrina. He was relieved to find that the three of them were still asleep. Should he return to Vaysh sometime, he had better use another way to get into his former chesnari’s suite. Ashmael tiptoed toward the doorway and quickly stepped into the corridor, feeling grateful that they hadn’t noticed him paying Vaysh a nightly visit.

~~~

Cal grinned upon hearing the door close. Caeru and Pellaz were oblivious to what had happened just now, but Cal knew just how important the step was which Ashmael had taken. He was looking forward to finding out where this was going to take the former lovers.

~~~

The next morning, Vaysh woke feeling strangely at ease and rested. It was an odd occurrence since he couldn’t remember the last time that had happened. With new energy, he left the bed, bathed, and got dressed so he could attend to his duties, which most of the time entailed keeping Pellaz out of trouble and Immanion running smoothly.

He joined the Tigrina and Tigrons in the breakfast room and set about eating breakfast and drinking his favorite tea. First Pellaz and then Caeru excused themselves to start their work routine, which left Cal behind. Vaysh was suddenly eager to excuse himself as well since Cal was the one har he didn’t really get along with. He was about to rise from his seat when he noticed the way Cal was watching him. His eyes narrowed in suspicion and he wondered what was wrong that Cal was focusing his attention on him. In the end, his curiosity got the better of him. “What?” he demanded sharply.

Cal grinned and leaned back into the comfort of his chair. “Stay another moment.” He refilled Vaysh’s cup and gestured for the redhead to sit down again. “There is something I would like to discuss with you.”

Vaysh felt ill at ease and was tempted to decline and simply leave the room, but the fact that Cal was notorious for doing whatever it took to get his way stopped him. It would be easier to give in now, so Vaysh sat down and sipped his tea. “What’s this about?” Cal and he had never shared a personal conversation so the Tigron’s request made him suspicious.

“I want to ask you about Ashmael.” Cal carefully wiped the grin from his face and a concerned look appeared. “Pell told me bits and pieces, but I never heard you confirm it.”

Vaysh froze on the spot and glared frostily. “Pell had no business telling you about Ashmael.” Although he managed to speak the name calmly, he still felt upset. “This is personal.”

Cal tilted his head and asked, “Is it true? Were the two of you chesna in the past?”

The advisor swallowed hard as he glared icy daggers at Cal. If looks could kill, Cal would have been dead at that point. “That’s none of your business!”

“I’ll take that as a yes then.” Cal sipped his coffee and continued to study the redhead. “Why aren’t you chesna right now?”

Vaysh forced himself to swallow the sip of tea in his mouth or else he might have spat it at Cal. “I’m leaving now.” He placed his cup aside and started to rise from his chair, but Cal suddenly reached out and curled his long fingers around his thin wrist. “Let me go.”

“No, first I want to know why Ashmael and you are avoiding each other.” Cal was determined to get to the bottom of it.

The redhead glared dangerously at Cal. He had never before been tempted to find out if he could fight off Cal and lock him out, but he was considering doing so at that very moment. “Why don’t you ask Ashmael that? I have no idea why he avoids me.”

Cal nodded. “That’s fair enough. I’ll ask him later, but right now I want to know why *you* avoid him.”

Suddenly Vaysh felt old, tired, and beaten. What was the use in trying to tell Cal off? The Tigron already knew most of his history. If he got this over with now, his privacy would be restored to him. “I’m no longer the har Ashmael was chesna with. I’ve changed drastically. There’s not much left of the har he wanted to share his life with. It’s best for us to go our separate ways.”

Cal released Vaysh’s wrist, but continued to eye him closely. “Do you still have feelings for him?” He thought he knew the answer, but he wanted to hear the words.

“Of course I do.” Vaysh averted his gaze and got to his feet. “I’ll always love him. You love Pell, don’t you? Regardless of what you two went through, you’ll never stop loving him. It’s the same for me.” With a sad look, Vaysh fled the room.

Cal nodded as his thoughts were confirmed. “And if you still love Ashmael, I’ll be damned if Ashmael doesn’t still love you in turn.” He wasn’t sure yet what he was going to do about the situation, but that someone had to interfere was clear.

~~~

During the day, Cal found little excuses to check on Vaysh and Ashmael’s whereabouts and discovered that they were avoiding each other’s company. Vaysh would leave the moment Ashmael entered a room and Ashmael wouldn’t look at Vaysh during the one second that they were in the same room together. Cal was considering locking them up together when he realized that Ashmael might need time to gather his courage to take the next step. After all, it was an encouraging thought that the blond har had gone to Vaysh’s rooms to comfort him.

Cal decided to give them a few more days and if nothing had changed by then, he *was* going to lock them up together and hide the key!

~~~

Vaysh repressed the longing that had almost showed in his eyes when Ashmael entered Pellaz’ office and immediately made up some excuse that took him to another section of the palace. He practically fled his former chesnari’s presence though he wanted nothing more than to run up to him and be held close. But Thiede had made sure that would never happen again. Vaysh was convinced that a damaged har like him had nothing left to offer Ashmael.

The cat and mouse game continued until that evening before Ashmael took his leave from the Tigron and retired to his suite. Vaysh felt relieved and disappointed that his former lover was out of reach now. He quickly convinced himself that it was for the best though. Ashmael was no longer interested in him, he was sure of that.

~~~

That night, Vaysh startled in his sleep and sat up with a jolt. His breathing was out of control as he fought to calm down. What had woken him?

/Vaysh? You’re in my arms and your body feels cold… Please, Vaysh! Show me that you’re still alive!/

Ashmael’s cry shot through his mind like an arrow and rocked his world. It had never happened before and Vaysh didn’t know how to handle it. Ashmael’s mental defenses had always been tightly in place and he had never managed to probe the blond’s thoughts before.

/Vaysh, please! I need you close! Don’t do this to me! Don’t die!/

A film of sweat appeared on Vaysh’s brow as his hands nervously clawed at the sheet. Ashmael’s plea tore at his very soul and there was no way he could ignore his former lover calling out to him. He would probably regret it later, but he had to act! Vaysh reached for a morning robe, shrugged into it, and placed his feet on the floor.

/Vaysh!/

Ashmael calling out his name in such distress caused Vaysh to reach out to the wall to steady himself. His head hurt as he supported it with a hand. “Ash, please…stop it…I’m on my way.” He should have probably sent that to Ashmael’s mind instead of whispering it to himself, but Vaysh wasn’t sure what would happen the moment Ashmael realized that they were locked mentally.

Vaysh pushed locks of red hair behind an ear and made his way over to the door unsteadily. Ashmael’s distress was still present in his mind, but it no longer overwhelmed him. Vaysh covered the distance to the door and opened it. One look into Pellaz’ bedroom showed that Rue and Pell weren’t present. The Tigrina and the Tigron had decided to go out and hadn’t returned yet. Oddly enough, Cal had declined on accompanying them and the blond har was asleep on the bed by himself.

Making sure that he wasn’t creating any noise, Vaysh crossed the room and slipped into the corridor. He knew where Ashmael’s suite was located and started in that direction. All the time though, he wondered if he wasn’t making a huge mistake. What if Ashmael woke up and chased him off? Just how much more rejection could his already brittle heart take? Well, there was only way to find out.

~~~

Vaysh felt nervous when he pushed the door to Ashmael’s suite ajar. He peeked inside and found Ashmael kneeling on the bed with his head bowed and holding onto something. He was rocking back and forth as fat tears glided down his face. Vaysh was scared of what might happen, but he advanced on the bed all the same.

“Vaysh, you can’t be dead! You can’t be!” Ashmael released a wailing scream and rocked harder.

For one instant, Vaysh had been afraid that his former lover was awake since the blue eyes were open, but then remembered that he had seen Ashmael have a waking dream before. In a way, Ashmael was sleepwalking and reliving their horrible past. Vaysh sat down on the bed and his hands trembled when they reached for Ashmael’s form. “I’m here,” he whispered soothingly and wrapped his arms around the trembling har. “I’m here.”

Ashmael froze and, for one moment it looked as if he was going to fight Vaysh off, but then he seemed to collapse into himself as he rested his weary head on Vaysh’s shoulder. The redhead tightened his embrace and rocked Ashmael back and forth while keeping up the soft murmuring. “I’m here. Everything’s fine. I’m here now.” Holding Ashmael in his arms again caused a number of reactions in his brain and body. He remembered what it had been like to hold Ashmael close…to feel his former lover’s caress and kiss him before sharing breath.

“Vaysh?” Still locked in his nightmare, Ashmael reacted and wrapped his arms around the redhead possessively. “You’re here…” He buried his nose in the crook of Vaysh’s shoulder and rocked along with the other har. “I knew you’d come.” Calming down due to Vaysh’s familiar presence, the nightmare dimmed and peace came over him. His fingertips moved over the fabric of Vaysh’s morning robe and clawed at the silk. “Stay. Whatever you do, don’t leave me again.”

Vaysh’s throat went dry at Ashmael’s plea. “I’ll stay for a while,” he whispered, but he would be gone before the morning came. Ashmael was still asleep, which explained the mellow reaction on the blond’s part, and Vaysh didn’t want to be there when his former lover realized what had truly transpired that night.

“You should rest now.” He rested his back against the headboard and Ashmael cuddled up to him. The blond head rested against his shoulder and Ashmael’s hands had found a way inside his robe so that they could warm against his hot skin. “It’s alright, Ash.” Vaysh brushed Ashmael’s brow with his lips and then closed his eyes. He concentrated on taking in Ashmael’s familiar scent and the way the other har felt against him. “I still love you, Ash.”

Ashmael remained asleep, clinging to Vaysh and dreaming peacefully.

~~~

Vaysh detangled his form from Ashmael’s just before the sun started to rise, judging it safer to leave at that moment before Ashmael woke up. The other night had been wonderful. Holding Ashmael in his sleep was a dream come true and he would savor the experience for the rest of his life, especially since he knew that it would probably never happen again.

Carefully, he pressed a last kiss onto Ashmael’s brow and then rose from the bed. He covered Ashmael with the comforter and sighed. He wanted nothing more than for Ashmael to wake up and look at him with eyes full of love, but he knew that wasn’t going to happen since the other har despised him. “Sleep tight, darling,” Vaysh murmured, using an old endearment from their past. “I’ll always watch over you.”

After closing the door behind him, he made his way down the corridor. It was time for him to return to his suite. Vaysh was convinced that his nightly visit had gone unnoticed, but one har had seen him slip out of Ashmael’s rooms.

~~~

Cal smiled as he caught sight of Vaysh tiptoeing down the corridor. As far as he was concerned everything was going satisfactorily. The other night Vaysh had comforted Ashmael in his sleep. Cal nodded. He would be patient, but not for too long. He wanted for this charade to stop and for Vaysh and Ashmael to accept the truth: that they were still chesna.

~~~

Ashmael felt miserable when he woke that morning. He still could remember the horrible vision that had tormented him that night. Vaysh had died in his arms again and he had been unable to save his chesnari. His thoughts drifted back to that fateful day when Vaysh had been taken away from him.

They had entered a part of the city they had thought deserted and hadn’t been on their guard when a mad human had sprung from the dark. In his hands had been a butcher’s knife and the steel had slashed open Vaysh’s back within seconds. Vaysh had turned around and stared at the attacker, but the next moment he had gone down, trying to reach for Ashmael who was walking only two steps in front of him.

The madman had dropped the knife and had looked at them in shock before turning and fleeing. Ashmael had wanted to pursue him, but one look at Vaysh’s injury had showed how serious the situation was and he had gathered his chesnari in his arms.

Just remembering that moment in time caused Ashmael to start shaking and he wept brokenly, once more feeling the weight of his dying chesnari in his arms. Vaysh had been dead within a minute and although the injured har had tried to speak, all that had left his lips had been blood.

Ashmael curled up on his side and sobbed. The other night, that nightmare had almost caused him to lose his mind, but then something had happened. A soothing presence had managed to calm him down. In his dreams, Vaysh had been there, holding and comforting him. The second part of his dreams had been pleasant and he had slept in Vaysh’s arms, clinging to his chesnari, but now that morning was upon him he was alone again and the wonderful figment of his imagination was gone.

Once the sobs abated, he pushed himself into a sitting position. Sitting cross-legged, he hung his head and stared blankly ahead. Having Vaysh close had felt so real. Even his former chesnari’s scent still seemed to drift about in the room. He sighed and covered his face with his hands before closing his eyes as he tried to hold onto that fading sense of safety. Vaysh had made him feel whole again.

But it had only been a dream – a hallucination fed by his nightmares. Vaysh hadn’t really been there!

He drew in a deep breath to balance himself and then something tickled his nose. It was a hair. Annoyed, Ashmael tried to wipe it away, but then his eyes widened as he saw its color. It wasn’t blond like his…it was red. A fiery red like…Vaysh’s.

Staring at the hair for a long moment, Ashmael tried to draw some conclusions, but the ones he reached were too unbelievable to accept as the truth. Vaysh hadn’t been there the previous night! It was impossible! Ashmael sucked in his breath as he recalled that night when he had gone to Vaysh’s suite in order to comfort him. Could it be that in his distress he had attracted Vaysh’s attention and that the redhead had comforted him during the night in turn?

Shocked, but growing hopeful as well, Ashmael calmed down and smiled as he discovered several more red hairs on the pillow. There was no denying it anymore: Vaysh *had* been there during the night and *had* held him. That could only mean one thing: Vaysh still loved him! A plan began to take shape in Ashmael’s mind. He would wait until nightfall and then would find out once and for all just where they stood.

~~~

That day Ashmael watched Vaysh at every opportunity he got. Contrary to his past actions, he didn’t leave the room when his former chesnari would enter it and tried to follow Vaysh around. He looked at his love with eyes unclouded and no longer allowed the red hair and aloof mannerisms to fool him. Looking closely, he saw that a lot of his old Vaysh was still there and was determined to appeal to his former chesnari that night.

~~~

Vaysh disrobed and slipped in between the covers, feeling a chill that had nothing to do with the temperature in his room, which was pleasant. The fireplace was ablaze with flame and warmed his suite nicely, but Vaysh shivered nonetheless as he tucked the blankets around his form. He made the mistake of closing his eyes before opening them again when he was reminded of how he had gazed upon a sleeping Ashmael’s form the night before.

Turning onto his side, he pulled his knees close to his chest and stared into the flames, feeling cold, alone, and miserable.

~~~

Ashmael finally found one window to Vaysh’s rooms that wasn’t locked and opened it so he could get inside. Once his feet were back on the floor, he walked into the redhead’s bedroom. Vaysh was already in bed, but the other har’s back was toward him and Ashmael couldn’t see if Vaysh was still awake or already asleep. He hoped that somehow Vaysh would give himself away.

Vaysh had heard the strange sounds coming from his study and had been tempted to find out what was causing them, but in the end, he had decided against leaving his warm bed. He realized he had made a mistake when soft footfalls approached the bed. Some har had entered through one of the windows and was now advancing on him. Vaysh reached out telepathically and startled when he realized just who had sought him out that night. It was Ashmael. What was his former chesnari doing there and how was he supposed to react to his presence? Vaysh was still contemplating ways of addressing Ashmael when the mattress suddenly moved and the blankets were lifted. Vaysh sucked in his breath and grew impossibly still.

Ashmael had felt Vaysh probe his mind and knew that his former chesnari was awake. Therefore, he remained on guard when he wrapped an arm around Vaysh’s waist. His other hand found its way into Vaysh’s hair and Ashmael pressed his front against Vaysh’s back. He was taking a great risk by simply assuming that Vaysh would allow this.

Vaysh was in emotional turmoil. He had hoped that Ashmael would one day seek him out and bridge the emotional distance between them, but he had never really believed it would happen. His emotions were going haywire and he didn’t know what to make of the fact that Ashmael had taken this step at long last. “I have been waiting for you,” he said eventually. “I’d always hoped you would come to me.”

Ashmael moistened his dry lips and rolled Vaysh onto his back. “Please look at me.”

Vaysh turned onto his side until they were face to face. The expression in Ashmael’s blue eyes was a familiar one, but also one he hadn’t seen in many years. “What made you change your mind?”

Ashmael raised a hand and caressed Vaysh’s face reverently. “Something finally registered with me.”

“And what’s that?” Vaysh couldn’t help but lean into the caress while closing his eyes and sighing blissfully.

“I still love you.” Ashmael grew quiet momentarily and, as he had hoped, Vaysh’s eyes opened and sought out his. “I didn’t understand until this morning. You came to me last night, didn’t you? You held and comforted me. You love me still.”

Vaysh failed to stop the tears from forming in his eyes and gliding down his face. “Of course I still love you. I never stopped loving you. When your distress reached me last night I had to seek you out. I couldn’t allow for that sort of emotional pain to continue. Holding you close was…” His words failed him and he rubbed his cheek against Ashmael’s shoulder. A few blond hairs teased his skin and he managed a smile. “Is that the reason why you’re here now? Because you love me still?” Although he suspected he knew what Ashmael was going to say, he was still reluctant to look into those blue eyes.

“Yes, I love you still, sweetheart.” An immense burden was lifted from Ashmael’s shoulder upon speaking those words. “I don’t want us to be apart. You love me and I love you. We ought to be together – chesna again.”

“Even when I’m like this? Changed, damaged, and barren?” Vaysh kept his eyes tightly shut. He didn’t want to see the shock in Ashmael’s eyes when the other har realized the truth about him. “Thiede made me barren.”

Ashmael swallowed convulsively. “I always wondered about the reason why you kept your distance.” Now he knew, but it did little to comfort him. “I hate what Thiede did to you.” His passionate declaration made Vaysh lift his gaze and Ashmael stroked his chesnari’s hair to reassure him. “I want you, Vaysh. I want our love back. I know we can never have our old lives back, but we can shape our future the way we like it.”

Vaysh raised a hand and wiped away his tears. “You accept this?”

“I love you, Vaysh… I never took another chesnari. That should tell you how much I still love you.” Ashmael averted his gaze briefly. “It would have helped if I had told you that I still loved you, but… I was waiting for something and I’m afraid I missed my cue.”

Vaysh enfolded Ashmael in an embrace, pulling the blond close. “I should have made an effort to talk to you too. We were both at fault.”

Ashmael raised his gaze again and smiled at his chesnari. “I love you, sweetheart.”

“And I love you,” Vaysh replied emotionally. “Always, Ash.”

Ashmael inched closer until his lips finally pressed against Vaysh’s in their first kiss in this life time, which they would spend together as chesnari. Nothing and nohar was going to stop them. Ashmael promised himself that.

~~~

Cal closed the door soundlessly. He didn’t feel bad for looking in on them. After all, he had only wanted to make sure that Vaysh was agreeable to these nightly visits…at least that was the way he saw it. Cal grinned and wished them both happiness. The Dehara knew Ashmael and Vaysh deserved it!

The End

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