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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Hubris - 34. I Keep You Safe

The next morning Barghast opened his eyes to find his twin o'rre had not moved from his embrace. His head rested in the crook of the Okanavian's arm, pillowed by a thick patch of fur. His nose was inflamed and constantly drained with a thick greenish slime that Barghast wiped away with the handkerchief. No matter how much he wiped away, there was always more. His beloved’s breaths were labored hitches that had Barghast listening constantly, fearing each exhale would be the practitioner’s last.

“Why does his nose look so red?” Barghast asked the seer, for she had appeared beside the bed. He stroked Crowe’s hair. Hair matted to his skull.

“The same force that give practitioners their strength is also their greatest weakness,” the seer answered, looking the sorcerer over. “You’ve seen it yourself. How he weakens when he uses his mana. The lethargy. The nosebleeds. All which come from the brain.”

“His brain bleeds when he uses his mana?”

Before Barghast could shake Crowe awake, the seer gnashed her teeth disapprovingly. “Do not wake him. Right now, he wages war with his very own body and mind. You better than anyone should know what that's like.”

Her words cut into the Okanavian like white-hot daggers. He looked away, his ears flattening. He did know what that was like. He only needed to look into a surface of reflecting water or a mirror to remind himself of what the torchcoats had done to him. “I do know what it's like,” he said after a moment. He raised a head, casting a glare in the seer’s direction. “But it scares me, not knowing what's going on inside him.” Taking great care not to wake him, the barbarian lifted Crowe’s injured hand to his lips. “I keep thinking about what that birdman did to him…what he would have done had I not gotten there when I did. Help me,” he whined at the seer. “How do I help him get better? He feels so hot to the touch yet no matter how much I cover him up, he shivers as if he's cold.”

The seer’s voice softened fractionally. “You must tend to him. You must keep him nourished. It's not just the fever. He's lost blood and he's been up for days. It's a wonder his mind is still intact.”

“Aye,” Barghast agreed. He eyed the morsel resting against him. His heart swelled like a blooming flower. Every day we are together I fall in love with him all over again. “He is resilient, isn't he? He puts even the most fierce warrior to shame. I do not deserve him.”

“Enough fawning over him!” the sneer snapped. “Keeping him warm will help fight off the fire. Right now, he is in no state to eat or feed himself. You must do that for him! Make him tea…”

“But that means I have to put him down and I don’t want to,” the Okanavian whined.

“He'll die if you don't.”

The barbarian bit back a growl. He knew she was right. He lowered Crowe's slumbering form on the mattress as if he were made of glass. He supported his head long enough to fluff the pillows up. He'd noticed noticed the practitioner’s breathing improved when his head was elevated. He drew the blankets up to his chin.

“He'll be fine on his own for a short time,” the seer reassured the lycan. “You'll only be downstairs.”

Barghast backed reluctantly out of the room. He found the jar of herbs and bag of eggs on the table where he’d left them the night before. A peek out the door showed the shire horse was still tied to the post, unmolested. Later he would go out and hunt for prey. It was time to make the tea.

He marveled at all the things the previous inhabitants had left behind. Objects he had no name for. Most of it was covered in a thin layer of dust, eluding to how long the house had been unoccupied. He found a pot in a cabinet beneath a round basin made of porcelain. He marched past the field to the stream. Filling the pot with water, he paused long enough to admire the sky and sniff the air. Air that did not smell of blood. Air that smelled of the mountains and pine. Crowe’s smell.

Once he got the fire going the pot hung from an iron hook over the flames. Within moments the water started to boil. He tipped garlic, honey, ginger, and mint into the bottom of the mug. By this time the kitchen was filled with steam. While the tea steeped, the eggs he'd gathered went into the boiling water. He found a flat rectangular object and round dishes in a cabinet mounted into the wall. Not for the first time Barghast marveled at the ingenuity of the people in this region. In the desert such discoveries would have been disputed over in a way that tore flesh and spilled blood. Here in the North war was a beast with a different gait. Treasured items were abandoned in favor of survival.

Once he had everything placed on the tray the way he wanted it, he climbed eagerly up the stairs, ready to return to his twin o'rre. The seer had vanished, Returning to whatever pocket of existence She hid in when she wasn't berating him. Crowe slept heavily. His mouth hung open. Each breath was a wet rattle Barghast didn’t like one bit. Setting the tray On a small table beside the bed, he leaned over. He kissed Crowe’s cheeks, his eyelids. He would have covered him in kisses were it not for the fact he needed to eat. “Twin o'rre,” he rumbled. He nosed and looked and kissed his beloved until he stirred with a sleepy mumble.

In spite of his ashen appearance, Crowe smiled at the barbarian in a way that got Barghast’s tail wagging. Such a sweet smile. Barghast wished there was a way he could paste on there forever. “Hey,” his beloved croaked, drawing the Okanavian’s attention from his thoughts. A shy look entered Crowe’s eyes. “Sorry I’ve been asleep for so long.”

Barghast’s ears twitched at the concern he heard in the ⁰ voice. Here he was deathly sick, two of his fingers missing and Crowe was still trying to protect him. “I'm well,” he told the practitioner in Okanavian. Placing a hand on top of Crowe’s, he rubbed a thumb over his pale, furless hands, communicating with touch what he could not words. “Do not worry your pretty little head about me. You are the one who’s not well. I'm going to take care of you the way you've taken care of me.”

Pulling Crowe into his lap - he felt lighter than ever; he was practically starving, wasting to bone before Barghast’s eyes - he reached for the mug of tea. It still felt hot to the touch, releasing curls of steam into the air. He blew on it for several seconds, until he could be sure the liquid would not scald his beloved’s lips. Resting a paw on the back of the practitioner’s head, he slowly raised the mug to his lips. Crowe sipped at the liquid without making a fuss. Before he would have jerked away or hesitated at the very least. We're making progress. Getting to know each other.

Crowe struggled to swallow the tea at first but seemed determined to ingest it on his own. He coughed, covering his mouth with his damaged hand. Barghast picked up a hard-boiled egg; he’d already peeled the shells in the kitchen.

The sorcerer looked taken aback when Barghast offered him a piece of the egg. The slackened jaw of surprise turned into another shy but happy smile. “Breakfast in bed? No one's ever done that for me before? I used to feed Petras his breakfast every morning. There were times when all we had was broth to live off of.” A frown of worry twisted momentarily at his mouth.

Barghast listened to his voice. Even while crackling and wet with sick, his twin o’rre's voice - the fact he deigned to talk to Barghast, smile at Barghast, touch Barghast, rub Barghast, kiss Barghast, comfort Barghast after after the lycan had failed him, left him to perish at the hands of the birdman - was the Okanavian’s favorite sound. He tried not to stare at the quarter of egg that sat in the palm of Crowe’s hand, but there was no hiding the growl in Barghast’s belly.

“Here.” Crowe used his bad hand to offer the morsel to Barghast. His wrist shook, unsteady.

With great effort Barghast turned his head away. Strings of slobber dangled from his muzzle.

“It's okay,” his beloved insisted in a reassuring tone. “What's mine is yours. You act as if we haven't shared food before.”

At his prodding, Barghast relented. Leaning over, he tried to take Crowe’s offer as gently as he could. He reached for the second egg, tore it in half, and held it out. “Open,” he said in Okanavian.

Crowe opened his mouth obediently, a playful glint in his eye Barghast had never seen before. When the practitioner rose up long enough to plant a kiss on the Okanavian’s cheek, he thought his heart would explode with happiness and love. When he reached for the third egg, Crowe shook his head. He pouted miserably. “I don't think I can eat anymore. I'm sorry.”

It was Barghast’s turn to kiss him. To comfort him. There is nothing you could do that would stop me from loving you. We are inextricably bound.

Crowe gave him one last loving smile. He patted Barghast on the shoulder before settling back under the blankets. “Don’t let me sleep too long, okay? If you get lonely, wake me up.”




For Crowe the next two days were a blur of fever dreams followed by brief waking intervals when Barghast fed him a concoction of herbs and food. Where the Okanavian had gotten the food from, the practitioner did not know and did not have the energy or the will to ask. On the third day he opened his eyes. It hurt to swallow. The corners of his eyes were crusty from half dried tears. Before he could call the lycan’s name, Barghast appeared at his bedside. He panted, his tail waving excitedly high above his head. “Crowe!” He bathed the herald in shadow when he leaned forward to kiss him affectionately on the lips.

The herald resisted the urge to draw back. He could only imagine how his breath - his body - must smell to the Okanavian. How long have I been out? he thought guiltily. The last thing he remembered was the barbarian feeding him eggs. He smiled to himself. That had been nice.

The smell of meat cooked on the flame pulled at Crowe’s stomach, disrupting his thoughts. Barghast waved a paw for him to scoot over while the other balanced a tray. Feeling an overwhelming emotion he couldn't name, the sorcerer almost burst into tears. Perhaps it was embarrassment. Perhaps it was shame. Perhaps he was simply grateful. While I slept he went out and hunted for game. He's watched over me, he's fed me, and I can barely remember any of it.

Barghast tore off a back leg of the rabbit. Juice dripped onto the tray.

Barghast paused. He smiled, then turning grave, he growled as if he were lecturing a child, “Ymg ahnythor lllln’gha. He waved the paw that held the meat, holding it out with a more urgent growl - a sign he would not take no for an answer.

“If it makes you happy.” Crowe swatted playfully at the lycan’s paw. Merely tapping it was like hitting a brick wall. He noted that he felt stronger. Lifting his arms no longer felt like trying to lift bricks.

He watched the barbarian tear off a large hunk of meat for himself. The Okanavian’s muzzle yawned open so that Crowe could see every glittering fang and the pink lining of his mouth. The lycan tossed the whole thing in as if he were tossing a stone into a pond of water. He didn't even chew. He merely swallowed the whole thing with an audible gulp.

Crowe had no choice but to swallow slowly. His throat was raw from constant coughing and he couldn’t stop his hands from shaking. Barghast watched him intently for a moment before tearing off the third rabbit bone. He imitated Crowe’s hold on the rabbit leg, holding it with both hands. The rabbit leg looked ridiculously small in his massive paws.

In but a few short moments the rabbit was little more than bone and marrow. After days of not eating, the sudden consumption of food left the practitioner feeling bloated and lethargic. I've slept enough. I've slept and I’ve been fed. It's time to start getting my strength back…Monad knows I hate being sick.

He tossed the blankets back. He sucked back a breath; the chill in the room made him break out in goosebumps. Barghast was on his feet in moments, guiding Crowe towards the washing room attached to the bedroom where a washing basin full of still-hot water waited. Barghast climbed in before helping Crowe do the same.

“Uh,” the herald croaked. “I don't think this tub is big enough to fit the both of us.”

Barghast’s determination for them to both fit in the tub outweighed his inhibitions whether or not they both could. His inhibitions died when Barghast pulled him down into his lap, down into the water that made him suck in a breath…it feels so good. Barghast’s arms closing around him even now, pressing the moist tip of his snout to Crowe’s cheek. His voice rumbled softly in the practitioner’s ears, words mixed with whines, lips, and growls that could have meant anything. The herald didn’t care. I'm exactly where I want to be.

With one shaggy arm covering the lower half of his torso and the other resting beneath his skull, Barghast turned Crowe’s to face his; the sorcerer’s heart sped up with excitement. The Okanavian’s amber eyes loomed large, cooling to bronze as their lips collided. His paw drifted up to the practitioner's throat as if to strangle him, but Crowe knew not to fear his touch. Time and time again Barghast had proven himself worthy of Crowe’s trust; Crowe would not repay it with doubt.

The barbarian’s tongue pushed into his mouth. Far wider and longer than his own, the sorcerer was more than happy to let him set the pace. After Bennett it was nice to find a lover who gave him his all.

Barghast’s other paw snaked down between Crowe’s leg. The pads of his fingers closed around the sorcerer’s aching cock, eliciting a groan of pleasure from him. The lycan stroked him slowly. Methodically. All while exploring the inside of his mouth as if it were his domain and his alone. He would break off long enough to whisper a few soothing words in Okanavian and then dive back into the sorcerer’s mouth as if he'd never stopped.

It didn't take long before the pressure started to build up in Crowe’s lower region; it had been days since that sweet moment between them in the church stables. His feet kicked beneath the water, splashing small waves over the side of the tub. He pulled away, wriggling, moaning. All he could do was moan, high keening sounds that made Barghast pant and whine and growl with excitement. His hold tightened around Crowe, keeping him close, making it so he couldn’t escape.

His climax was so intense his vision went porous, stars exploding behind his eyes. By now the floor was soaked with water. He sagged against the lycan, spent. Happy. When Barghast lifted him up so he could climb out of the tub, Crowe grabbed his paw, stopping him. “Where are you going? What about you?”

Barghast’s arousal could not be plainer. His cock tapered out of its sheath, dripping fluid. Crowe could see the start of his knot. His eyes traveled up Barghast’s torso, taking in every scar, every vein, every muscle. In spite of his fever, his bruised and abused body, the sorcerer felt an even greater need to explore the Okanavian’s.

Barghast held up a single finger, giving the practitioner a crafty wink. One moment.

Crowe waited until he'd left the washing room before he hauled himself out of the tub; it took effort but he was tired of feeling weak. He wanted to share his body with the barbarian. I want to give him everything I have to give.

Crowe’s eyes flashed with excitement when the lycan returned with a familiar looking satchel: the gift Rake had given him before leaving Timberford. He'd also brought a book of matches. Grinning, Crowe restrained himself, resisting the urge to snatch the satchel. For whatever reason Barghast liked to do things for him…dress him, feed him, open doors for him, kiss him, and jerk him off. He doesn't do it because he thinks I can't. I don't think he does it to dominate me. I think it's one of the ways he knows how to show me he cares. I'm just going to have to get used to it. And I would be lying to myself if I thought I didn't like it.

Barghast held out an aether joint. Crowe leaned forward, looking the lycan intently in the eye. The perfumey taste of the paper made a current of excitement travel up his spine. The familiar scratching sound of the match striking the box - TANNHAUS INDUSTRIES printed in a bold black font on the side - was music to his ears. The moment the tip of the joint ignited, Crowe pinched the end between his fingers with his good hand and took a long drag. The result was a coughing fit that doubled him over, tears streaming from his eyes. He struggled to catch a breath, leaning over the sink. Before Barghast could cross the room, he waved him off.

“I’m fine,” he said once he could breathe. “I just got a little overzealous. Thank you for grabbing these. The aether will help with the fever.”

He went to the lycan, running his good hand over his chest. He took him by the paw and tugged lightly at his arm, leading him in the direction of the bed. The Okanavian needed further coaxing. He tagged along behind him. His tail swayed from side to side eagerly.

They sat shoulder to shoulder on the bed. Crowe looked out the window, noting the clear sky. The daylight. A brief reprieve from the hell they would have to return to once he was well enough to confront the necromancers. He pushed the thought away. We’ve more than deserve a break. I want to enjoy it while we can.

Barghast leaned forward, sniffing at the joint.

“You want a hit?”

The lycan wagged his tail, whining in answer.

“Just take it easy. You saw what happened to me when I hit it too hard.”

They passed the joint back and forth. By the time the joint had been smoked down to the last inch, all the tension had drained Crowe’s body. It helped that he was with the only person he wanted to be with right now. Once more his eyes traveled down the muscular length of the Okanavian’s body. His cock had receded back into its sheath. Lurid images passed through Crowe’s mind. That simply will not do.

“Hey.” He stood up, sliding towards the lycan.

As if able to read his every thought (or perhaps he smelled the change in Crowe’s body chemistry), Barghast lifted him into his lap all too eagerly. “Twin o’rre,” he growled. He fell back so that the practitioner was straddled across the solid muscle of his belly, softened by thick tufts of dark gray fur.

Crowe leaned forward to kiss him, his hands rubbing every bit of the barbarian he could reach. Hungry with a need he’d never felt before - not even with Bennett - he trailed kisses down Barghast’s throat, only stopping when he got fur in his mouth. It didn’t bother him and he didn’t want to stop. When his tongue lapped at the lycan’s nipple, the Okanavian let out a high-pitched yip Crowe had never heard before unless he was in pain.

He sat up with such a speed, the practitioner almost fell off the bed onto the floor. Just as began his world began to tilt back, Barghast’s paws closed around his rump, hauling him back up so that the sorcerer’s legs were wrapped around his muscular thighs missionary style. He growled possessively, showing his teeth. It was hard to discern what he was feeling - the rapid wagging of his tail suggested happiness or excitement, not anger.

“I’m sorry,” Crowe whispered. He pressed his nose to the lycan’s. “I didn’t mean to frighten you or hurt you…”

Barghast fell back against the mattress again before the sorcerer could finish his apology. His paw closed around the back of Crowe’s head, bringing his mouth level with his pec. A very large pec shriveled and hard with arousal. He barked something sharp in Okanavian that could only mean one thing: Don’t stop.

Crowe didn’t stop. Wouldn't stop. Couldn't stop. He was in the thick of it now and there was no pulling away. He teased Barghast’s nipple, flicking the flesh with his tongue. When he was done with that one, he switched to the other. Barghast growled his name, a growl that turned into a whine. His digits twisted through his black locks, lightly grazing his scalp. The sensation made the practitioner shiver, but he didn't dare stop.

He continued his passage down Barghast’s torso, tasting every inch of his flesh. When his fingers found the engorged sheath of the lycan’s cock, the barbarian let out another snarl. “Twin o'rre,” he whined.

The sorcerer nibbled at the muscled meat of his thighs, breathing in his musk, a smell not unlike rain and wet soil. His palm slid up and down Barghast's shaft, squeezing a filmy fluid from the pointed tip. His sole focus was to pleasure the man who had not only won his trust, but was now beginning to win his heart. Soon he would have an absolute claim over it. Perhaps he had it already.

Now below the pelvis area, Crowe pressed his lips to Barghast’s ballsack. His skin tasted salty and primal. Cautiously, experimentally, he licked at the tip of the barbarian’s cock.

Barghast snapped up into a sitting position with a yelp.

“Are you good?” Crowe asked.

The Okanavian swiped his tongue across Crowe’s forehead. “Good,” he rumbled.

The practitioner resumed his ministrations. He took the first inch of the barbarian’s cock into his mouth, his lips forming a wet seal. He bobbed his head, pushing his tongue into the sheath every few seconds while the fingers played with the weighty testicle dangling beneath his chin. He could feel those balls shifting in his hands, pumping out an endless supply of fluid. Already his jaw ached. Like the rest of his body, the Okanavian’s organ was larger than that of any man. Luckily Barghast did not rush him. In spite of the tortured sounds he made, he seemed perfectly content with letting the sorcerer take his time. When the herald stopped out of concern, Barghast growled, prodding insistently at the back of his head with a paw.

Crowe had managed to work half the length of Barghast’s cock into his mouth with another six inches to go when the lycan let out a bellow unlike anything the practitioner had heard before. Before he could prepare himself, before he could pull away, Barghast’s paw closed around his head, restraining him. He howled, seed flooding out of cock, warm and thick and salty and earthy. It was all Crowe could do to keep up with the neverending torrent that hit the back of his throat; thick white fluid broke past the seal of his lips, flowing down Barghast’s shaft, marking the sheets. When his vision started to darken, the sorcerer tapped his thighs. Barghast released him immediately, his cock still spurting out copious amounts of cum.

Exhausted but happy, Crowe slid into the spot beside Barghast, wiggling into his embrace, his heart racing. All too soon it would end and their pilgrimage would end, but for now he was content to enjoy this temporary reprieve.



As of publishing this I have wrapped up the last chapter of Arc 2. I will start Arc 3 soon. Arc 1 was about getting Crowe and Barghast out in the world. Arc 2 introduces you to Hamon and his followers. Now that I've established the world, I think it's time to get to the central conflict with Drajen and the Theocracy. Thanks for reading.
Copyright © 2024 ValentineDavis21; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Thank you for the story and you have certainly created a hunger for more! Thanks for leaving our heroes bonding, while Crowe recovers. A temporary peace before the next Arc.

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I should clarify: Arc 2 is not finished yet in terms of publishing. There are still 6-7 chapters left. Next chapter is a shorter one, but after that they get longer. Arc 2 ends on Chapter 42.

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