— The Start
They were huddled in the back room as they waited for the crowd and those aware of their thievery to clear out. The church had strict rules on tithing, and if the rich didn't want to pay their share, Daniel and Lance were more than happy to help out.
Daniel's focus was on the door, making sure only silence had followed them this way. Lance's was elsewhere. His feet wanted to sway forward before he realized this was not the place, or time. Hell, likely wasn't several other things too. While Lance controlled his actions, his attention was still drawn to Daniel's lips.
"I think we are alone," Daniel reported, and turned his head to Lance. Daniel missed what was going on, but ended up smiling at Lance's expression. It lit up in silent acknowledgment before flushing slightly from fear of being caught. "What?" Daniel asked, with a smile.
That Daniel caught. There was a slight tilt of the head before he gave up trying to guess what. "Menteur," Daniel said.
"Very good, your French is getting better," Lance said, completely ignoring the fact that Daniel had just called him a liar.
"You're a good teacher."
Lance tried to hold his gaze, but couldn't. It was still long enough for Daniel to notice the same look he'd seen there before, an admiration Lance gave another. There had been shameless buster the first time Daniel caught it. But Lance's joke asking if he was jealous changed the tone, shifted their dynamic to an uneasy one, and the subject was dropped quickly. That had been weeks ago...
"You could kiss me," Daniel whispered. That pulled Lance's eyes back up. The words had been so soft he thought he had imagined them. Daniel held still resisting any nervous ticks. "Please."
Lance breathed out roughly, knowing that this was a first of many things. He leaned in, giving into that draw he felt any time they stood "too close" and granted Daniel's request. It was such a small sweet thing that washed his thoughts blissfully away.
When Lance pulled back a moment later, he found Daniel unable to open his eyes for a moment longer. "My god," Daniel grinned, as he got his nerve back.
"You should be careful using God's name in vain," Lance teased. He leaned forward again, this time resting his forehead against Daniel's. A move that was actually a disappointment for a split second before the tenderness of it won out.
"I believe that meaning is up for interpretation," Daniel countered.
"And what about thou shall not steal?" Any discussion seemed a secondary focus as Lance's hand made it along Daniel's jaw.
"Well," Daniel grinned. "I won't tell if you don't."
— The Middle
Being a thief meant getting in, doing the job, and then vanishing into thin air. The first two were easy but that last one was tricky. And far, far too much running most times. Daniel ran down the Spanish streets, heart pounding as fast as his feet moved. Quick on his heels was his fellow thief, Lance, and back further still was a pack of guards chasing after them.
Daniel made a tight turn, breaking the line of sight as he turned down an alley and a wound demanded he stop for a moment. He stepped into the limited darkness provided by the building's overhanging roof. Lance almost missed the turn, but caught it just in time. There wasn't a lot of room, forcing Daniel to be flush against the wall in order to share any of the shadow.
Even though Lance was inches away, his head was turned toward the alley's mouth watching guards as they ran past. The whole time, Daniel had his eyes on the man in front of him. His sight was completely filled by Lance, his strong jaw and sharp eyes that could be barely seen under his hood.
Daniel's heart continued to pound against his ribs even though he had stopped running. As the coast cleared, Lance turned to look at Daniel studying his face before recognizing a familiar wanting look. He took half a step closer so their hips, and lips, were flush against each other.
A noise rumbled low in Daniel's throat as both pleasure and pain rocked him. Lance's body had put pressure on the laceration low on his stomach, but the kiss relaxed him like morphine, causing his brain to jumble up the sensations.
Lance lifted his mouth from Daniel's, moving to whisper in his ear causing Daniel to blush at the words. "But first," Lance said, switching to Daniel's native tongue of Spanish. "Let's see how bad you are injured."
"I'm fine," Daniel insisted, but Lance ignored him, moving back enough to get a look at the injury. Daniel's tunic was cut, but his gear made it hard to see all of the damage. Lance pulled the tunic up to reveal a bit of Daniel's hip and stomach, deciding that wasn't good enough he pulled down on Daniel's pants line with his thumb.
The actual cut was about four inches long, but wasn't that deep. A simple bandage would fix him up, but for now, he'd have to go without. "Looks like you'll live to fight another day," Lance said, without pulling his hand away.
"Oh good," Daniel said sarcastically. "I was worr—" He felt a kiss on his hip, tensing up as his brain blurred these two lines again. Daniel swallowed trying to finish what he was saying. "—worried."
Lance stood back up, but his fingers gently trailed around Daniel's waist.
"You're being unfair, amant," Daniel said, and snaked his fingers up into Lance's hood.
"I love when you call me that," Lance said, with a near purr. "Admit you love every minute." He grinned, and grabbed the brim of Daniel's hood, playfully pulling it over his eyes. Before Daniel objected, Lance kissed him roughly, letting out a small moan as Daniel pulled on his short hair.
— The End
Action gets the spotlight. Pain can get the loudest voice. But when your action is to simply endure, pain is silent. Daniel witnessed this sort the most in Lance.
"I know the guild looks to me to lead, but we don't have to act like that here," Daniel said softly. Lance's hand was pressed to his lips in thought, or maybe even lack thereof, as they sat in a private hall. He seemed to consider it, but didn't show much change. "We might not be an us," Daniel continued, "but there will always be a we."
"Won't my family be proud," Lance said bitterly, his hands dropping in annoyance.
Daniel stayed silent. Lance was generally the most cheerful person in the room, but needing to crack didn't make him less of himself. "Did they write?" He asked, after a moment.
Lance looked up, as if the light could help him control the emotions he wanted to shed. The non-answer said everything that actual words could. Daniel gestured like he would take that very letter out of Lance's hand. Instead, he placed a hand on top. "They don't define you. You can have a legacy, an heir, without becoming what they think you are."
The encouragement should have helped, but in the moment seemed to do little good as he closed his eyes. Daniel wished he could hold him in the way he used to. When everything was new, and not so serious. Instead, Daniel's hand rose to Lance's cheek guiding their eyes to meet. "Even if you marry some fine French woman for love, or for children like the nobles do, it doesn't mean you filled the mold they tried to stick you in."
When Lance blinked a tear streaked down his face. "What does it mean then?"
"That you decided what you wanted in your life, and stuck to it. That is brave, and true. You've always been a role model for me because of that. And I suspect you'll guide me in many more ways over the years."
"Th-Thank you." It was a soft, unsure sound, but it made Daniel smile anyways. He leaned in, and gave him a kiss on the tip of his nose. It was a silliness that made Lance crack a smile himself. "You are ridiculous."
"Well, someone has to give you a run for your money."
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Bone Diggers (Paperback out now!)Science Fiction
When everyone IRL lies, the only person you can trust is an NPC. Dirty little secrets can't be hidden behind player avatars, because Bone Diggers like Owen expose the lives behind the code. When his two worlds blur, he must decide which is more impo...