Desdemona Wren’s Top 10 Books of 2019 (Let’s face it, 99% of these are gay)

Most of the books I read are either about queer life or by queer authors. So if they do include a romance, which I do generally like to see in stories because I love romantic subplots, the romance is usually queer or they’ve got a queer side romance.

From this list you’ll learn that I’m obsessed with coming of age stories and I read probably way too much YA, but since YA and NA are the genres I usually write for, that makes a lot of sense.

Below my ratings include both stars and rainbows. The stars are my general overall rating of the book (these will all be 5+ stars) and the rainbows are the overall queerness rating (rainbow ratings with a 3 and below only contain queer side romances and not a main romance ALSO rainbow ratings that include a purple heart have canon bisexual characters).

I also include one of my favorite quotes from the book and in lieu of a review, I’m just going to speak briefly about what each book meant to me. That way this blog doesn’t get too long. And if I’m being honest most of these books I never even reviewed because I’m about 40 book reviews behind.

So, without further ado, here is my top 10 reads of 2019 (they’re not all from 2019, I know, but shh).

10. This Time Will be Different by Mia Sugiura

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🌈🌈🌈

People talk about starting over after they’ve made a big mistake or a bad choice in life. But you can never really start over. You can’t fully reset. And I don’t think you should. There’s no point in dwelling on the past, but you can acknowledge it and try to make things better. Or try a new way, and know that this time will be different.

Description: Katsuyamas never quit—but seventeen-year-old CJ doesn’t even know where to start. She’s never lived up to her mom’s type A ambition, and she’s perfectly happy just helping her aunt, Hannah, at their family’s flower shop.

She doesn’t buy into Hannah’s romantic ideas about flowers and their hidden meanings, but when it comes to arranging the perfect bouquet, CJ discovers a knack she never knew she had. A skill she might even be proud of.

Then her mom decides to sell the shop—to the family who swindled CJ’s grandparents when thousands of Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during WWII. Soon a rift threatens to splinter CJ’s family, friends, and their entire Northern California community; and for the first time, CJ has found something she wants to fight for.

Get your copy here, on Amazon.

What this book meant to me: The reason this book made it onto my list despite only have a queer side character is because the main character, CJ, struggles so much emotionally throughout the book and all of her mistakes and anger really made me identify with her. Also it’s set in San Jose and I’m a sucker for anything set in California.

9. Sadie by Courtney Summers

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🌈🌈🌈💜

“I can’t take another dead girl.”

Description: A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial―like podcast following the clues she’s left behind. And an ending you won’t be able to stop talking about.

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray―a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America―overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

Courtney Summers has written the breakout book of her career. Sadie is propulsive and harrowing and will keep you riveted until the last page.

Get your copy here, on Amazon.

What this book meant to me: While there is bisexual representation in this book, the point of Sadie is not romance. The entire point of this book is that it’s literally just from start to finish incredible. It’s told from two differing points of view, one being a podcast, the other being the story Sadie herself tells. This resonated with me because I was a victim of childhood abuse and also sexual trauma. I spent most of this book openly weeping and every time they kept saying “I can’t take another dead girl” I got so scared and the ending literally just ripped my whole heart out.

8. With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

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🌈🌈

“And so at the age of four, I learned someone could cry from a happy memory.”

Description: With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.

Get your copy here, on Amazon.

What this book meant to me: The reason I picked this up was in part, because of the gorgeous cover and also because it is so hard to find books with Black Puerto Rican rep. This story was so beautifully written and Emoni’s passion for cooking and for her daughter was so incredible to me. I just…I wanted a mom who would love me that much.

7. Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian

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🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈

“The most important four-letter word in our history will always be LOVE. That’s what we are fighting for. That’s who we are. Love is our legacy.”

Description: It’s 1989 in New York City, and for three teens, the world is changing.

Reza is an Iranian boy who has just moved to the city with his mother to live with his stepfather and stepbrother. He’s terrified that someone will guess the truth he can barely acknowledge about himself. Reza knows he’s gay, but all he knows of gay life are the media’s images of men dying of AIDS.

Judy is an aspiring fashion designer who worships her uncle Stephen, a gay man with AIDS who devotes his time to activism as a member of ACT UP. Judy has never imagined finding romance…until she falls for Reza and they start dating.

Art is Judy’s best friend, their school’s only out and proud teen. He’ll never be who his conservative parents want him to be, so he rebels by documenting the AIDS crisis through his photographs.

As Reza and Art grow closer, Reza struggles to find a way out of his deception that won’t break Judy’s heart–and destroy the most meaningful friendship he’s ever known.

Get your copy here, on Amazon.

What this book meant to me: How do I even begin to explain how much this book means to queer culture in America? I wept so openly while reading this book. There was so much about the AIDs crisis and the fear the queer community experienced during that time. Honestly this book was just heart-wrenching and so unbelievably important.

6. Reverie by Ryan La Sala

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⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈💜💜

“Just because something is imagined doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous.”

“It’s just gay enough to work.”

Description: Inception meets The Magicians in the most imaginative YA debut of the year!

All Kane Montgomery knows for certain is that the police found him half-dead in the river. He can’t remember how he got there, what happened after, and why his life seems so different now. And it’s not just Kane who’s different, the world feels off, reality itself seems different.

As Kane pieces together clues, three almost-strangers claim to be his friends and the only people who can truly tell him what’s going on. But as he and the others are dragged into unimaginable worlds that materialize out of nowhere—the gym warps into a subterranean temple, a historical home nearby blooms into a Victorian romance rife with scandal and sorcery—Kane realizes that nothing in his life is an accident. And when a sinister force threatens to alter reality for good, they will have to do everything they can to stop it before it unravels everything they know.

This wildly imaginative debut explores what happens when the secret worlds that people hide within themselves come to light.

Get your copy here, on Amazon

What this book meant to me: Ryan La Sala basically owns my soul now. Everything about this book was poignant and just full of rich description. Honestly, this has got to be one of my favorite books I’ve ever read in my life. Which is why it’s on my list of top 10 from 2019. Hell, if I had to pick my top 10 of the decade, I’m pretty sure Reverie would make the cut. It is so rare I come across so richly woven queer-centric stories. I recommend this to everyone who loves good writing and questionable villains.

5. Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

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“I can’t help it. I’m a Slytherin.”

And I’m the worst kind of Slytherin. I’m the kind who’s so stupidly in love with a Gryffindor, she can’t even function. I’m the Draco from some shitty Drarry fic that the author abandoned after four chapters.”

Description: Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

Get your copy here, on Amazon.

What this book meant to me: Leah’s experiences are so close to mine as a fat queer growing up in the deep south that this book has a special place in my heart. I love everything Becky Albertalli has ever written, honestly. Her stories are the kind of gay adventures I wish I’d been able to have growing up and Leah is my soulmate.

4. Slay by Brittney Morris

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⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌈🌈🌈

“Je viens de la putain de toundra”

Description: By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, and one of the only Black kids at Jefferson Academy. But at home, she joins hundreds of thousands of Black gamers who duel worldwide as Nubian personas in the secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY. No one knows Kiera is the game developer, not her friends, her family, not even her boyfriend, Malcolm, who believes video games are partially responsible for the “downfall of the Black man.”

But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, news of the game reaches mainstream media, and SLAY is labeled a racist, exclusionist, violent hub for thugs and criminals. Even worse, an anonymous troll infiltrates the game, threatening to sue Kiera for “anti-white discrimination.”

Driven to save the only world in which she can be herself, Kiera must preserve her secret identity and harness what it means to be unapologetically Black in a world intimidated by Blackness. But can she protect her game without losing herself in the process?

Get your copy here, on Amazon.

What this book meant to me: This book takes place in my hometown of Bellevue, WA and everything about it is incredible. I love the story of how Kiera is portrayed and how her creation of Slay gave people of color a place to be who they are in games. This book was very educational for me and it also spoke to a lot of what growing up in Bellevue is like. This book is so important, funny, and has a great story. I’m so glad I picked this up.

3. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody.”

Description: Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Get your copy here, on Amazon.

What this book meant to me: As soon as I finished reading this book I immediately went home and made my (now ex) boyfriend watch the movie with me. I cried from the very beginning of this book to the very end. It’s not technically a 2019 title, but since I didn’t read it until 2019, I’m putting it on this list. The struggles Starr and her family face throughout this novel completely gutted me and this book is just incredible. The way Angie Thomas tells this story through Starr’s eyes is breathtaking and the writing style stuck with me. It felt less like a book and more like living life through someone else’s eyes.

2. We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

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⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈💜

“If we’re not all free, none of us are free.”

Description: At the Medio School for Girls, distinguished young women are trained for one of two roles in their polarized society. Depending on her specialization, a graduate will one day run a husband’s household or raise his children, but both are promised a life of comfort and luxury, far from the frequent political uprisings of the lower class. Daniela Vargas is the school’s top student, but her bright future depends upon no one discovering her darkest secret—that her pedigree is a lie. Her parents sacrificed everything to obtain forged identification papers so Dani could rise above her station. Now that her marriage to an important politico’s son is fast approaching, she must keep the truth hidden or be sent back to the fringes of society, where famine and poverty rule supreme.

On her graduation night, Dani seems to be in the clear, despite the surprises that unfold. But nothing prepares her for all the difficult choices she must make, especially when she is asked to spy for a resistance group desperately fighting to bring equality to Medio. Will Dani cling to the privilege her parents fought to win for her, or to give up everything she’s strived for in pursuit of a free Medio—and a chance at a forbidden love?

Get your copy here, on Amazon.

What this book meant to me: This book was basically everything I wanted out of 2019. Women helping women and falling in love. The enemies/rivals to lovers thing that happened between Carmen and Dani really spoke to my soul and Tehlor Kay Mejia blew me out of the water with her storytelling and world-building. This is honestly one of my favorite books I’ve read in a long time. I cannot wait for the sequel to come out next month!

Honorable Mention: All the Things We Do in the Dark by Saundra Mitchell

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⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈

“Everybody else gets to leave a mark on me. Why can’t I leave my own?”

Description: There’s no such thing as a secret.

SOMETHING happened to Ava. The curving scar on her face is proof. But Ava would rather keep that something hidden—buried deep in her heart and her soul.

She has her best friend Syd, and she has her tattoos—a colorful quilt, like a security blanket, over her whole body—and now, suddenly, she has Hailey. Beautiful, sweet Hailey, who seems to like Ava as much as she likes her. And Ava isn’t letting anything get in the way of finally, finally seeking peace. But in the woods on the outskirts of town, the traces of someone else’s secrets lie frozen, awaiting Ava’s discovery—and what Ava finds threatens to topple the carefully-constructed wall of normalcy that she’s spent years building. Secrets leave scars. But when the secret in question is not your own—do you ignore the truth and walk away? Or do you uncover it from its shallow grave, and let it reopen old wounds—wounds that have finally begun to heal?

Get your copy here, on Amazon.

What this book meant to me: This book hurt me. The experiences of the main character, Ava, are so similar to my own that I experienced a lot of flashbacks to my life as a child and a victim of pedophilia and sexual assault. I understood her so well and the way these things make you feel and shape you into the person you become. This book resonated with me so much I still think about it even though it’s been almost a whole year since I read it. Remembering Jane still tugs at my heartstrings.

*Also this is a special case. I believe the MC, Ava is canonically bisexual, but I think Mitchell preferred not to “label her” which I think is a cop-out so I didn’t mark the MC as canon bi.

1. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

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🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈 🌈🌈🌈 💜💜💜

“History, huh? Bet we could make some.”

And way too many others to name, but there’s a twitter account that tweets quotes from this book and I’m obsessed with it.

Description: What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?

When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius—his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.

Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through? Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue proves: true love isn’t always diplomatic.

Get your copy here, on Amazon.

What this book meant to me: I know this might be a little cliche to all of you, but this book was so unbelievably important to me that nothing else could’ve been number one. I don’t usually read and enjoy M/M books, but I picked this one up on a whim after seeing it advertised everywhere. And honestly? I’m glad I did. Reading a book about someone figuring out they’re bisexual after years of thinking they were straight and then launching into a wholly forbidden relationship with a prince? Yes, please. I loved everything about this book. I loved the sarcastic writing style, the characters, Henry and Alex’s complete inability to process their feelings because they’re both total idiots, and all the girls being like “Wow you’re all idiots.” 2019 and 2020 is going to be the year of all the queer books and Red, White, & Royal Blue is driving the ship.

Book Reviews: Death of a Bachelor by M.A Hinkle

Oh my gosh! I loved this book. I loved every second of it.

I am obsessed with Cathal. Like he and I are pretty much the same person. And Felix! I loved him so much.

Literally, this book is like a breath of fresh air! There is so much LGBTQIA+ representation in here that I really felt seen. There is acespec representation, bisexual representation, gay representation, lesbian representation, and I think there were even some straight people?

The romance is a juicy, juicy slowburn that took just enough time to woo me as a reader and convince me that Damon and Cathal belonged together. I was rooting for them for the whole book because these two broken men need each other to survive.

Cathal especially since he can’t cook and spends all of his “alone time” eating instant ramen and not knowing what half of the stuff Damon cooks is. I love how clueless and adorable he was about cooking, but how smart he was about space.

At the end of the book, I’m pretty sure even Era shipped them from beyond the grave. She had a hand in getting them together, after all. I like to imagine her ghost chatting with Felix casually about it over a box of Lucky Charms. Her two broken boys finding comfort in one another after her loss.

Great, now I’m crying again.

Seriously, though. This book was incredible. It was a little slow in the beginning, but once it picks up it picks up FAST and I read the bulk of it in just a few days. I cannot wait to see more from M.A Hinkle!

Overall rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
(5/5 Stars. )

Rating breakdown:

Prose: 👍👍👍👍👍
Plot: 😄😄😄😄😄
Characterization: 🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰
Boredom meter: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

I cannot wait for the next book in the series that focuses on Felix and the twins. I know it is going to be as incredible, if not moreso than this one. I love M.A Hinkle and I’m willing to bet I’m going to be a life-long fan.

Unfaithfully Yours

CW: Cheating, branding, rough sex, NSFW

i. oh no, he’s hot.

Elrick Bhuvanesh was seventeen-years-old the first time he sat on his father’s throne. 

Today he would be tested on his ability to command. He was also to grant Emmanuel Maravalle, the middle high-born Maravalle child, the ability to induct others into the magical realm. 

This would be the first bout of magic not related to self-transformation he’d be allowed to complete on his own. The Key Keeper ceremony was a simple one, but the job was so important to the magical realm he was practically vibrating with excitement at the idea of performing it.

He had, of course, seen his father do it hundreds of times, but this time he was allowed to do it alone

“Your highness,” his single guard addressed him, pulling him from his thoughts. 

“Yes?” Elrick asked, eyeing the man. 

He was short and buff with dark skin and glittering emerald eyes, a tell-tale family trait of the low-blood Maravalles. 

“Emmanuel Maravalle has arrived, shall I bring him in?” The guard asked.

Elrick nodded curtly.

“As you wish, my prince,” the Maravalle said, retreating from the throne.

When the guard entered again, Emmanuel in tow, Elrick had to bite his tongue to curb his very real reaction to the high-born Maravalle. 

He was incredibly tall and waifishly thin with a broad chest and long dreadlocked hair that spilled over his shoulders. He was probably the most gorgeous man Elrick had ever seen. 

The lower-caste Maravalle walked Emmanuel to the center of the room, standing aside as Emmanuel lowered himself to his knees, head bowed with one arm crossed over his chest. 

“My prince,” Emmanuel said in a voice so deep and melodic, it gave Elrick chills. 

“Maravalle,” Elrick said, voice wavering. 

The edges of Emmanuel’s lips quirked upward into a little smirk at the sound. 

Something that did not go unnoticed by Elrick. This one was going to be trouble , he could tell. 

“Shall I rise, my prince?” Emmanuel asked, interrupting his thoughts.

Elrick narrowed his eyes. “You’ll rise when you are commanded to rise,” he snapped, trying to sound authoritative. 

Emmanuel’s infuriating little smirk grew larger. 

“As you command, my prince,” Emmanuel said, his tone teasing. 

On the throne, Elrick shifted, a strange, but not altogether unpleasant feeling coming over him. He should not be attracted to the disrespect this Maravalle was showing him. And yet.

“But I cannot kneel before you all day,” Emmanuel teased, licking his lips. “Unless that is what you desire.” He raised his gaze, to look at Elrick, eyes dancing with amusement. 

Elrick’s mouth opened in surprise, his stomach doing somersaults. No one, not even his betrothed, had ever spoken to him like this. He knew he should punish Emmanuel for his insolence and for embarrassing him in front of a low-born Maravalle guard, but…

He liked being spoken to like that. 

“Rise then, Maravalle,” Elrick commanded, irritated. “Let’s get this over with.”

“You want to be rid of me already?” Emmanuel asked, rising to his full height. “I’m hurt.”

Elrick chose not to respond, rising slowly from the throne and walking toward Emmanuel with purpose. “Give me your hand,” he commanded. 

Emmanuel did as he was bid, offering him his hand, palm up.

Elrick tried not to stare at the length of his fingers or the sheer size of Emmanuel’s hand compared to his own. He also definitely did not stop breathing, nor was his heart racing wildly in his chest. He was the picture of grace and ease as he reached forward, pressing a single razor sharp fingernail into Emmanuel’s palm until the older man’s blood bubbled forth. 

“Say your oath,” Elrick said, “bind yourself to the magical realm as its servant for all the rest of your days.” He released Emmanuel’s palm, waving his hand in the space between them to produce the Key Keeper alter. “Bind your blood to the keepers before you.”

Emmanuel lowered his hand to the altar, pressing his palm flat against it. 

“I bind myself to the magical realm, to magic itself, as a keeper of secrets and the keys to the kingdom. I give myself as a servant, willing magic to use me as it pleases for the good of the realm,” Emmanuel recited. 

The altar glowed beneath his touch, accepting his bloodied handprint into the catalogue of Key Keepers that was kept by the realm. 

“And so you are bound,” Elrick said. 

Emmanuel raised his eyes from the altar, lifting his hand and turning it over. “Consano,” he said, healing the wound Elrick had given him. The skin of his palm smooth again.

“Great job,” Emmanuel smiled, reaching out to pat Elrick on the shoulder. “I would never have known this was your first time.”

Elrick glanced at where Emmanuel’s hand was on his arm, literally touching him. Other than family members, touching like this was now allowed. Even something so innocent as this. 

Emmanuel had to have known that, but he did it anyway

“Emmanuel,” Elrick said, his voice a low rumble of warning. 

“Elrick,” Emmanuel responded in kind. 

A soft, breathy gasp escaped his lips. No one outside of his parents and Adorara had ever called him by his first name. 

Emmanuel chuckled. “Are you surprised by my disrespect, my prince?” he teased.

Elrick’s mouth went dry. He had no idea how to respond. Etiquette dictated that he should punish Emmanuel for this, but…

“Why hasn’t the low-born reprimanded you?” Elrick demanded, eyeing the low-born Maravalle curiously. 

“Is that what you want?” Emmanuel questioned. “For Adrien to reprimand me?” 

Elrick turned his gaze back up to Emmanuel. 

“Have I offended you so greatly that you would have someone of my own blood remove me from your presence?” Emmanuel pressed.

Elrick watched him, in silence for a long moment. 

“No,” he admitted. 

“Then what do you want, your highness?” 

“For you to answer my question,” Elrick snapped. “Why has the low born not…put a stop to this?” He wasn’t comfortable in engaging in this type of behavior with a supervisor present. 

“I bribed him,” Emmanuel said, shifting nervously. “Is that okay?”

“Why?” Elrick asked, surprised. 

“Have you seen yourself?” Emmanuel asked, gesturing to Elrick’s body. 

Elrick narrowed his eyes in confusion. “What were you expecting to…get out of this? Bribing our supervisor?” 

Emmanuel shrugged. “ You . I wanted to see you.”

“Why me?” Elrick asked. “Of everyone else you could’ve—”

“Do you remember when we first met?” Emmanuel interrupted. 

Elrick blinked up at him in surprise. “No,” he answered honestly. He honestly thought this was the first time they had ever met each other. 

“It was when you and Lucian met formally for the first time,” Emmanuel said. “You probably don’t remember it because we were all so young. I think you and Lucian were seven at the time, but I remember.”

“What does this have to do with—” Emmanuel pressed one of his long, slender fingers to Elrick’s lips to quiet him. 

“Lucian had been so nervous about meeting you. Meeting the royal you’re supposed to be bound to for eternity or until one of you dies is not an easy thing to do,” Emmanuel continued. “We’d heard things about you and your family all our lives. How dangerous and calculating you all were, but…you were different.”

Elrick shifted in front of him, still silenced by Emmanuel’s finger pressed to his lips. Normally, this slight would be punishable by death, but Elrick had never been as uptight as his family tried to raise him to be. 

“Lucian couldn’t see it then,” Emmanuel said. “I’m not sure she can even see it now, but I noticed. You’re not at all like your family. And I wanted the chance to see… you .” He lowered his hand from Elrick’s lips, indicating that the other man could speak again if he wanted to. 

“And?” Elrick asked. “Did I surprise you?”

“Yes,” Emmanuel admitted. 

Elrick wanted to ask how, he wanted to know what Emmanuel had expected him to react to the things he’d said to him, but the giant door to the throne room opened with a loud creaking noise and the two of them jumped apart. 

ii. here we go again

Elrick Bhuvanesh was nineteen and in his second year of university when he saw Emmanuel again. 

After their brief encounter a few years ago, Elrick had tried to put Emmanuel out of his mind, but there was no denying the raw attraction between them. He’d never have someone pay him so much attention. 

So, seeing him there in the lobby of his apartment building had been a surprise to say the least. 

“Emmanuel,” Elrick said, approaching him. 

The days of adult supervision were behind them now, since he’d turned eighteen and moved to Manhattan. Now he and Emmanuel could be completely alone without anyone to bribe. The idea of that thrilled him more than it should have.

“Elrick,” Emmanuel said, surprised. “What are you doing here?” 

“I…live here,” Elrick responded, as if it should have been obvious. This was the best magic friendly building on the Upper East Side. Plus, his family owned it.

“Oh, uh,” Emmanuel glanced around the building nervously. “I guess I should’ve expected that.”

Emmanuel seemed so different than the last time they’d met. He was more anxious and twitchy, his eyes scanning the lobby around them. 

“Who are you looking for?” Elrick asked. 

“My sister. And her roommate. I’m helping them move in today,” Emmanuel answered, distracted. 

“Luciana is moving here?” Elrick questioned, scanning the lobby as well. 

Emmanuel stilled for a moment, his gaze finally settling on Elrick’s face. He raised his eyebrow as if to ask ‘you expected her to live somewhere else’?

Elrick was annoyed at himself for even asking. Of course Lucian would be living here. “Who is her roommate?” he asked, changing the subject. “Another Maravalle?”

Emmanuel looked uncomfortable and he chewed the inside of his cheek nervously. “Do you remember the last time we saw each other?” he asked. “When I became a Key Keeper? Officially.”

“I…” Elrick went still. Of course he remembered, their conversation had been so strange and sexually charged, but he didn’t know if he should just…tell Emmanuel that or if he should play coy. 

Emmanuel didn’t wait for his answer. Instead, he stepped into Elrick’s space, his hand coming up to grip his chin forcefully. “Take me upstairs,” Emmanuel whispered. 

Elrick made a pitiful, needy sound. He’d been thinking about this moment since Emmanuel left the palace that day. What could have happened between them if they’d had more time alone. 

Emmanuel chuckled down at him. “Could you at least try to act like a high blood? I know I’m hot, but damn. I’m nothing compared to you or your betrothed.” 

“Don’t command me to take you upstairs and mention Adorara in the same breath,” Elrick snapped.

“I’m not commanding anything of you, my prince. I wouldn’t dream of giving a high blood orders. Not me, a lowly Maravalle,” Emmanuel purred.

“Don’t act so innocent,” Elrick snorted. “Not when you’ve already disrespected me so openly.”

“Oh, but you like it when I disrespect you, Elrick ,” Emmanuel teased. “Or you wouldn’t let me do it so much.”

“Don’t tell me what I like,” Elrick said softly, a little thrill going through his body at the sound of his name on Emmanuel’s lips. 

Emmanuel hummed thoughtfully. “How about you don’t act like you’re the one in control here, Bhuvanesh.” 

Elrick swallowed hard, biting back a low, needy groan. He shouldn’t be acting like this, especially not in public. There were royals and low-class magical creatures alike lounging around the lobby. Any of them could see them, standing there so close together, Emmanuel gripping his chin and smirking down at him. 

He could have Emmanuel killed for this. For treating him so familiarly. For even uttering his common name. He was supposed to address him by his title. Always . Unless it was impossible to do so without giving them away to the mortal realm. Even then, he should only use his first name. To debase him so completely was dangerous.

“See?” Emmanuel smirked. “Told you, you liked it.”

Elrick huffed, pushing Emmanuel’s hand away and taking a step back. “You’re playing with fire, Maravalle.” 

Emmanuel honest-to-God chuckled at him, crossing his long, spindly arms over his broad chest. “Then walk away, your highness,” he shrugged. “Makes no difference to me.”

Elrick clenched his fists by his side, closing his eyes tight for a for moments and taking several deep breaths to calm down. It wasn’t every day he was so…bothered by a middle blood. Emmanuel had been under his skin for several years now, though. And he didn’t think that was going to change anytime soon. 

He fished his keys out of his pocket and removed his spare, stepping forward and back into Emmanuel’s space. He pressed the spare key into Emmanuel’s palm. “Tell Luciana I say hello,” he said, glaring up at Emmanuel, daring him to disobey. 

Instead, the older man smirked, his hand closing around the key. “I am going to eat you alive,” he purred. 

Elrick took a deep, shaky breath, eyelids fluttering. “I look forward to it.” 

iii. a midnight visitor

Emmanuel made him wait for hours

Elrick shouldn’t be annoyed by that, considering he said he was helping Luciana move…but he was. If Emmanuel had all that time to waste teasing him in the lobby, surely he had time to come up here and make good on his promises. 

When Emmanuel did finally decide to grace Elrick with his presence, it was well past midnight and Elrick had given up on him showing up altogether. He assumed at that point, Emmanuel had just been fucking with him and he’d get his spare key back in the mail. 

Then he would proceed to pretend nothing had ever happened between them to save himself the embarrassment of having to explain to his mother the reason he wanted to have Emmanuel Maravalle murdered. 

Emmanuel did not knock. He used the spare key and entered Elrick’s apartment like he belonged there. He was newly showered, smelling of grapefruit and rose infused soap. The scent was so strong, Elrick could smell him from across the room. 

He wrinkled his nose. 

Emmanuel eyed him with an amused expression, closing his front door behind him and stepping into Elrick’s enormous living room. “Have you been waiting for me all this time?” he asked. 

Elrick narrowed his eyes, leaning back against his overstuffed couch. “No,” he said, petulant as ever. “I have other things to worry about than whether or not you were going to grace me with your presence this evening.”

“Somehow I doubt that,” Emmanuel smirked, making his way over to the couch. He was dressed in a loose-fitting green v-neck and what appeared to be his sister Luciana’s sweatpants considering how tight and short they were on his legs. 

“Are you wearing your sister’s sweatpants?” Elrick asked, changing the subject. 

“I am,” Emmanuel said, doing a little spin before he plopped down on the couch right next to Elrick. “Do you like them?” 

“Why?” Elrick questioned, preferring not to answer Emmanuel’s question. Of course he liked them. They fit him well despite being a little too short. They also left…very little to the imagination. 

“I literally helped my sister move into her new apartment today. Which means I was carrying boxes from the street to the elevator and into her apartment. Sooo…” he trailed off, smirking. “I didn’t think you’d want me to come up here all covered in sweat.” He leaned a little closer to Elrick. “I thought you’d want us to get all sweaty together.”

“What exactly do you think is going to happen here?” Elrick asked, backing away from Emmanuel and studying his face. 

“Are you really asking me that right now, Elrick?” Emmanuel sighed, reaching out to stroke his hand over Elrick’s cheek. “Haven’t we played enough games?” 

Elrick leaned into his touch, eyes fluttering closed. “Can’t you let me at least…pretend to resist you?” 

“No,” Emmanuel whispered, so close Elrick could feel his breath on his lips. “We’re done with that. I’ve been waiting almost two whole years to do this. I don’t want to wait anymore.”

Elrick scoffed, eyes opening again. “Like you made me wait for hou —”

“Shut up , Elrick,” Emmanuel groaned, grabbing his face and crashing their mouths together.

Elrick immediately panicked, pushing Emmanuel away. 

Emmanuel looked surprised. “Oh my god,” he said, holding up his hands apologetically. “I’m sorry. I thought…did I misread this entire situation? I didn’t mean to…you invited me up here…I…”

“No! I want this…you just…” Elrick stammered. “My teeth , Emmanuel. I could hurt you!” 

“Is that all?” Emmanuel deadpanned.

“I don’t…I don’t want to make you bleed,” Elrick gasped. It was something he worried about constantly. Considering his first few kisses hadn’t exactly gone…according to plan. 

Emmanuel sighed with relief, smirking mischievously. “What if I want you to hurt me?” He closed the space between them again, peppering Elrick’s face with kisses. “Your teeth don’t scare me. I fully expect you to use them.” 

“I could kill you,” Elrick argued. 

“I’m a Maravalle,” Emmanuel said. “I’m impossible to kill.” 

“But…” 

Emmanuel put his finger over Elrick’s lips to silence him. “Do you want to keep making excuses, or do you want to have some fun?” 

Elrick didn’t respond, instead he pulled Emmanuel back toward him, kissing him roughly.

Emmanuel hummed happily into his mouth, pushing the younger man back on the couch until he lay on top of him.  

Elrick readjusted himself beneath him, trying to get into a more comfortable position so he wasn’t bent at an odd angle. When he couldn’t quite lay like he wanted, he whined pitifully. 

“God,” Emmanuel breathed, pulling away and grabbing Elrick by his hips, adjusting him so Emmanuel knelt between his legs. “You’re such a needy little slut.” 

Elrick’s mouth fell open in surprise. No one had ever called him something like that.

“Don’t act so surprised,” Emmanuel smirked, pinning Elrick’s arms over his head as he leaned down to kiss him again. “I told you I was going to demolish you,” he said between kisses. “I’m going to fuck you so good you’re ruined for everyone else.” 

He bucked his hips against Elrick abruptly, making the younger man gasp into his mouth. 

“I’m going to make you mine, Elrick Bhuvanesh,” Emmanuel growled, pulling away from his lips to nip at his throat. “I am going to be all you think about.” 

“You already are ,” Elrick admitted, moaning as Emmanuel sucked on his throat hard , rolling the flesh between his teeth. “If you’re trying to mark me, you’ll have to bite harder than that.” 

“Do you want me to mark you?” Emmanuel asked, peppering kisses along Elrick’s jaw. “I have an iron brand I could burn into your skin if that’s what you’re into.”

Elrick shivered violently beneath him and curled his toes. 

Emmanuel chuckled. “Do you want me to hurt you?” he whispered, nipping at his pointed ear. 

Please ,” Elrick begged. 

“I knew I was going to enjoy this,” Emmanuel responded, hastily pulling Elrick’s shirt over his head and using it to loosely bind his hands above his head. Then, he pulled an iron brand of the Maravalle’s family crest out of his pocket.

“I didn’t know you lot had those,” Elrick admitted. “Aren’t iron brands outlawed?” 

“I’m the magical realm, sure,” Emmanuel said, “But humans have no idea the fae even exist. So they aren’t bound by your laws.”

He lowered the brand to Elrick’s stomach, the iron hovering just barely above his skin. 

Elrick could already feel the heat of the metal against his skin. The muscles in his stomach jerked involuntarily. 

“Tell me to knock it the fuck off if I actually hurt you, yeah?” Emmanuel instructed. 

“Yeah,” Elrick nodded, watching as Emmanuel pressed the brand hard against his skin. 

Elrick wasn’t sure what he expected to feel. He’d been burned by iron before, sometimes it was unavoidable and the pain was almost always excruciating. And it took nearly an entire day for it to heal completely, but this was different. 

The pain was still there, biting into his skin. He could literally smell his flesh cooking beneath it, but it was somehow less severe than the last time he’d unwittingly burned himself on an iron sword. 

“Was that okay?” Emmanuel asked, moving the brand away from his skin. 

“Do it again,” Elrick pleaded immediately. 

Emmanuel branded his chest this time and Elrick didn’t think he’d ever been more turned on than he was in that moment. 

“Are you okay, Elrick?” Emmanuel asked. 

Elrick was more than okay. He was…euphoric. His head was clouded with lust and endorphins and Emmanuel goddamn Maravalle was marking him with his family crest. 

“I’ve imagined this so much,” Elrick said, opening his eyes to look at Emmanuel. “Ever since that day two years ago.”

“And what do I do to you when you imagine this?” Emmanuel asked, pocketing the brand and leaning down to press soft kisses to Elrick’s chest. 

“You’ve already surpassed my imagination,” Elrick admitted.

Emmanuel hummed softly, nipping at Elrick’s belly. “Surely there’s something you want me to do that I haven’t already done.” 

Elrick took a shaky breath, his face flushing with embarrassment. “Having you here…” he began, voice shaky. “Is more than enough for me.”

“God, you’re such sappy little shit, aren’t you?” Emmanuel growled, biting his stomach harder, right next to the brand he’d burned into his skin. 

Elrick whined and rolled his hips.

“Tell me what you want, or I’m going to roll you over right now and fuck you so hard you’ll be sobbing when I’m done,” Emmanuel growled.

Elrick smirked down at him. “What if that’s exactly what I want?” 

Emmanuel moaned. “You’re such a little shit, you know that?” he asked. 

“But you like it,” Elrick retorted. 

“Don’t tell me what I like,” Emmanuel smirked, grabbing his hips and flipping him over to lay on his stomach as if he weighed nothing at all. 

Elrick gasped in surprise. “Are all you Maravalle’s this strong or just you?” 

Emmanuel laughed, loud and full-bellied. “ Please , Elrick. You weigh 90 pounds. My grandmother could throw you across the room and she has a bad back.”

Elrick glared back at him. “I weigh well over that and you know it. I’m not scrawny , Emmanuel.”

Emmanuel raked his eyes over Elrick’s body. “Coulda fooled me,” he said.

Elrick rolled his eyes. “Shut up and fuck me ,” he barked. 

Emmanuel sat back on his haunches. “I think you’re forgetting who is in charge here,” he smirked. “Lest you forget, I’m the one on top of you .”

“Only because I’ve allowed it,” Elrick growled in response. “Don’t act like I couldn’t kill you if I wanted.” 

Emmanuel laughed again. “You wouldn’t dare. None of you Bhuvanesh do any of your own dirty work. That’s why you have the Maravalle. To do all your killing for you.”

Elrick was up in an instant, unbound with his hand on Emmanuel’s throat. “I am so much stronger than you are, Maravalle,” he said, darkly, tossing Emmanuel down on the couch and mounting him. “You think you could hold me down if I didn’t want you to?” 

He could feel Emmanuel’s cock jerk against his belly through the thin sweatpants the older man wore. 

“You wouldn’t even be alive if I didn’t will it,” Elrick growled. “I could kill you right here, right now with a flick of my wrist. It would mean nothing to me.”

Emmanuel shuddered and groaned. 

“You’re my play thing,” Elrick continued, enjoying the effect he was having on Emmanuel. He reached down between them, palming Emmanuel’s cock. It twitched against his hand and Emmanuel sighed, tilting his head back. 

Elrick’s mouth watered at the sight of Emmanuel’s long slender neck exposed to him. God, this man was going to be the death of him. 

Anyone else would be scared shitless right now, but Emmanuel? He was turned on . Elrick was literally threatening to kill him and he was practically leaking pre-cum into his boxers. 

“It should be illegal for someone to have a throat so…” he gestured vaguely. 

“Just wait until I use it to swallow your cock,” Emmanuel responded, shit eating grin on his face. 

The mouth on him. 

Emmanuel pushed Elrick back down onto the couch, and unbuttoned his jeans, yanking both his jeans and pants off in one go. 

Elrick swallowed hard as Emmanuel drank him in, eyes lingering on his cock as he licked his lips. 

“Is this okay?” Elrick asked, suddenly self-conscious beneath his gaze. “I can…change it if you want.” 

“It’s perfect,” Emmanuel said. “You’re perfect.” He leaned down and kissed him again, soft and slow this time. 

Elrick leaned up into the kiss, sighing into Emmanuel’s mouth. 

Emmanuel rolled beside him on the couch, gripping his length in his hand and using his thumb to spread pre-cum over the tip slowly. 

Elrick sighed and rolled his hips. “Haven’t I had enough teasing for a lifetime?” he asked. 

“Not nearly,” Emmanuel responded, pressing a kiss to the tip of his nose. 

“God, I hate you,” Elrick complained. 

“You won’t when I finally make you cum all over this nice couch,” Emmanuel responded in kind.

Elrick moaned in response, bucking up into Emmanuel’s hand. “If you don’t hurry up and fuck me I might just cum all over your hand,” he hissed. 

“Do it and I’ll never fuck you again,” Emmanuel threatened. 

A little thrill went through Elrick. So this wasn’t just a one time thing? 

Emmanuel released his length and Elrick groaned, cracking his eyes open to watch him. He was rummaging in the pocket of Lucian’s sweatpants again, pulling out a key, the brand, and another set of keys and tossing them on the table. 

“What are you looking for?” Elrick asked.

“Lube and a condom,” Emmanuel responded, pulling a small tube of it out of his pocket and presenting both it and a condom to Elrick triumphantly. 

“I also have lube, you know,” Elrick responded. “You didn’t have to bring you own.”

“Why would you need lube?” Emmanuel teased. “Aren’t you a virgin or something?”

Elrick snorted. “Hardly.”

Emmanuel smirked, kissing him sweetly. “See? I knew you were a little slut.”

Elrick laughed.

“But I’m about to ruin you for everyone else,” Emmanuel purred, reaching down between his legs and circling his anus with his newly lubed fingers. 

Elrick swallowed, his eyes slipping closed as he concentrated on the feeling of Emmanuel teasing him there . His finger circling and spreading lube between his thighs, massaging him open. 

“You’re so good,” Emmanuel breathed into his ear, leaning up to kiss and nip at his throat. He pressed the tip of his finger inside of him.

Elrick tensed at the unfamiliar sensation, taking a shaky breath. Relax , he willed himself, letting the tension fade from his body. 

Emmanuel kissed his forehead, his cheek, his mouth. He pressed his finger further inside. 

“Am I your first guy?” Emmanuel asked, moving a second lube soaked finger to press against Elrick’s opening. 

“No,” Elrick answered honestly. 

Emmanuel made a contemplative noise, rephrasing his question, “Am I your first guy like this?” He wiggled his finger pointedly.

Elick swallowed, his cheeks flushing red. “Yes,” he answered. 

Emmanuel buried his face in his neck and sighed happily. “I knew you’d wait for me,” he teased. 

“Shut up,” Elrick blushed. “I was—”

“Just let me have this,” Emmanuel said. 

No ,” Elrick responded, but he stopped arguing all the same. 

Emmanuel pressed a second finger inside of him and he gasped, his breath coming faster as he willed himself not to tense up.

The sensation was so foreign to him. He’d never had someone inside of him like this. It was almost overwhelming considering how long he had waited for whatever this flirtation between them was to come to fruition. 

When Emmanuel got the second finger inside of him fully, he spread his two fingers apart, opening Elrick up more. 

The sensation had him bucking his hips and clenching his eyes shut tight. His teeth were set on edge, a thrill of pleasure rushing over him. He hadn’t expected this to be so intense

“Easy there, your highness,” Emmanuel said, “don’t get too excited yet.”

“Don’t call me that when you have your fingers inside of me,” Elrick complained. “Or it’s all I’ll think about the next time someone addresses me like they supposed to.”

“Oh I’m counting on it, highness,” Emmanuel chuckled. 

“I hate you,” Elrick sighed. 

Emmanuel pressed a third finger into him. 

“Jesus,” Elrick shuddered. He hadn’t expected that. It took all of his willpower not to cum right then and there. 

Emmanuel curled his fingers inside of him, spreading him nice and wide. “You like that, my prince?” He asked. “You like feeling me inside you?”

Yes, ” Elrick said without hesitation. 

He had never been with someone so vocal during sex. Most of his partners had been quiet, but Emmanuel talked so much . Elrick was embarrassed by how much he liked it. 

“I think you’re ready so I’m gonna slide my fingers out now, okay?” Emmanuel said, voice low and filled with lust. 

Yes ,” Elrick answered. He’d been waiting for Emmanuel to fuck him for hours. It felt like it took a literal lifetime for them to get to this point. 

Emmanuel slid his fingers out slowly, standing up from the couch to shimmy out of his sister’s sweatpants and pull his shirt over his head, tossing them both to the floor. 

He was bigger than Elrick expected, thicker too. 

“Is there a problem, my prince?” Emmanuel asked playfully. 

“Of course not,” Elrick answered. “I’m just surprised is all. Sit down so I can fuck you.”

Emmanuel chuckled softly. “You won’t be fucking anyone,” he teased. “I’ll be fucking you.” He lowered himself back down onto the couch, unwrapping the condom sliding it down over his length. 

“Come on, then.” he said, helping Elrick into his lap. 

“Finally,” Elrick sighed, gripping the base of Emmanuel’s cock as he lowered himself down onto it slowly. He pressed his forehead into the older man’s throat as he took in his length. 

“You can bite if you need to,” Emmanuel whispered against his ear. “I know how overwhelming this can be the first time. I’ve bottomed before.” 

Elrick moaned wantonly against his throat. “I hope you’ll bottom for me sometime.” 

Emmanuel chuckled warmly. “Not a chance, your highness.” 

Elrick groaned and sank down on him completely, pressing his face into Emmanuel’s shoulder, sucking gently at his skin. 

Emmanuel gripped his hips and moaned loud into his ear, fucking up into him in short, tight strokes. 

Elrick made a sobbing noise, digging his nails into the couch behind Emmanuel’s back. 

“Bite me,” Emmanuel said. 

“I’m not supposed to,” Elrick responded, pulling away to study Emmanuel’s face. 

“You’re also not supposed to be fucking someone you’re not betrothed to,” Emmanuel said, smirking. “And yet here we are.” He thrust up into him again, gripping his hips harder and building a rhythm. 

“I…” Elrick blushed, “Do you really want me to bite you?” 

“Yes,” Emmanuel said. “The idea of you sinking your sharp ass teeth into my throat is fucking hot , dude.”

Elrick shivered. “You might pass out from blood loss,” he said.

“I’m a necromancer, Elrick,” Emmanuel deadpanned. “And a Maravalle at that. I think I’ll be fine .” 

“You can’t raise yourself from the dead, idiot,” Elrick responded. 

“Yeah, well. My sister is right downstairs,” Emmanuel chuckled. 

“I do not want to have to explain to your sister why you passed out naked in my apartment from blood loss,” Elrick groaned. 

“She’s bonded to you,” Emmanuel responded. “It’s not like she could tell anyone.”

“Yes, but she would know. And I don’t know if you’ve met your sister, but I would never hear the end of it,” Elrick complained. 

“Alright,” Emmanuel said, grabbing Elrick by the back of the neck and flinking him face down onto the couch. “If you’re not gonna bite me…” he trailed off, pushing Elrick’s face down into the couch cushions. “I’m gonna fuck you until you beg me to stop.”

He pushed himself back inside of Elrick, not bothering to let the younger man adjust this time. He snapped his hips quickly, fucking him hard and fast. 

Elrick bit the couch cushion to keep himself from screaming. He wouldn’t dare give Emmanuel the satisfaction of seeing him so undone by his cock. 

“Is this better, Your highness?” Emmanuel hissed, his long body draped over him as he fucked him into the couch. “Is this what you wanted?” Emmanuel’s hands were on either side of Elrick’s head as he fucked into him hard

The feeling was indescribable. Emmanuel’s cock filled him so completely that every thrust sent waves of immeasurable pleasure through his entire body. 

He was half out of his mind, head turned as he gasped for breath. Broken, needy moans escaped his lips and he gripped the couch for dear life. The way he was bent beneath Emmanuel was starting to hurt , but he didn’t dare try to readjust. He could take a little pain in exchange for all the pleasure. 

Emmanuel pressed down on his lower back, bending him further down into the couch cushions, his cock hitting exactly where Elrick needed him. 

Elrick whined, his toes curling. “Yes, yes, yes ,” he panted. “ Yes .” He arched up into Emmanuel, pressing needly little kisses to the older man’s wrist. 

“You feel so good,” Emmanuel groaned, his thrusts falling out of rhythm as he got close. 

Elrick smirked into the couch. “I thought you said you were going to fuck me until I begged you to stop,” he teased. “And you’re already close.” 

“Shut up you little shit,” Emmanuel panted, grabbing a fistful of Elrick’s hair and pulling him up off the couch. “I can finish whenever I want.”

“Yes, but I thought you wanted to pleasure me,” Elrick goaded. 

“You’re such an insufferable little asshole,” Emmanuel moaned, gripping Elrick’s thigh and stilling his hips. He was breathing heavily, his whole body trembling. 

“Are you tired already?” Elrick smirked, “I’m so disappointed .” 

Emmanuel growled and reached around him, pulling him back so he was almost flush against Emmanuel’s chest. He wrapped his hand around Elrick’s cock, jerking him off as he fucked up into him slow and shallow. 

The angle was awkward, but Elrick was hardly paying much attention to that. He bucked up into Emmanuel’s hand. He’d been close before he started teasing Emmanuel about not lasting, but now he was—

His hips jerked violently as he came over Emmanuel’s hand after barely even a handful of strokes. 

Emmanuel groaned into his ear. “You were close this whole time making me feel bad for not being able to keep up with you. God you’re such a little shit.” He moved his hand from Elrick’s cock wiped his cum on his belly. Then, he reached up and gripped Elrick’s throat, squeezing just enough to make his head spin as he began to move his hips again.

Elrick made a noise of protest, still overstimulated from his orgasm. 

“No,” Emmanuel said. “You don’t get to protest. You’re the one who came first.”

Elrick whined pitifully, rolling his hips lazily against Emmanuel’s cock. 

“God you’re so hot like this. All sleepy and spent,” Emmanuel gasped, pressing sloppy open-mouthed kisses against Elrick’s back and shoulders. 

Elrick made a soft keening noise in reply. His head was still spinning from his orgasm, stars floating behind his eyelids. He’d never come so hard before in his life

Emmanuel wrapped his arm around his waist, his thrusts picking up again as Elrick started to come down from his high. 

“You’re such a mess,” Emmanuel moaned, fucking him harder. His thrusts became erratic and out of sync again. “God, I’m close.”

“Then finish,” Elrick said. 

“What? No more teasing?” Emmanuel gasped, hips jerking. He finished with a long, low grown against Elrick’s back. 

“No teasing necessary, it seems,” Elrick answered, smirking at him over his shoulder. 

“Shut up and get off of me,” Emmanuel laughed. 

Elrick complied, standing up from the couch. His stomach was covered in cum from where Emmanuel has used it as his own personal cum rag. Not to mention his ass was dripping with lube. He also still had Maravalle brands burned into his stomach and chest. He’d almost forgotten about those. 

How long had they been doing this? He didn’t even want to know. 

“I need to shower immediately,” Elrick said, gathering his long hair up into a messy high bun. “You can…stay if you want. I have a guest room or…”

Emmanuel stood up from the couch, joints cracking as he stretched. “Of course I’m staying, you idiot,” he leaned down to press a quick, chaste kiss to Elrick’s lips. “And I’ll be sleeping in your bed. I don’t know what you thought this was, but I actually like you, Bhuvanesh.”

Elrick stared up at him. “Okay,” he said. 

“Is that all you have to say?” Emmanuel asked. 

“If you wanted me to tell you, I like you too, I’m not going to,” Elrick smirked, grabbing a hair tie from his coffee table and using it to hold his hair in place. 

“Then I don’t have to stay here,” Emmanuel threatened. 

“You’re right, you don’t,” Elrick said, turning and sort of walking, sort of waddling to the bathroom. 

Emmanuel followed after him. “Come on, man,” he said. “I told you I liked you. And you can’t return the favor?”

“No,” Elrick responded, disappearing into his bathroom and turning his shower on. 

“Because it’s not true?” Emmanuel asked, voice quiet. 

“No,” Elrick said, smiling sadly at him.. “Because it is .” He left the ‘and I’m supposed to marry someone else’ unsaid.

Unfaithfully Yours

CW: Cheating, branding, rough sex, NSFW

i. oh no, he’s hot.

Elrick Bhuvanesh was seventeen-years-old the first time he sat on his father’s throne. 

Today he would be tested on his ability to command. He was also to grant Emmanuel Maravalle, the middle high-born Maravalle child, the ability to induct others into the magical realm. 

This would be the first bout of magic not related to self-transformation he’d be allowed to complete on his own. The Key Keeper ceremony was a simple one, but the job was so important to the magical realm he was practically vibrating with excitement at the idea of performing it.

He had, of course, seen his father do it hundreds of times, but this time he was allowed to do it alone

“Your highness,” his single guard addressed him, pulling him from his thoughts. 

“Yes?” Elrick asked, eyeing the man. 

He was short and buff with dark skin and glittering emerald eyes, a tell-tale family trait of the low-blood Maravalles. 

“Emmanuel Maravalle has arrived, shall I bring him in?” The guard asked.

Elrick nodded curtly.

“As you wish, my prince,” the Maravalle said, retreating from the throne.

When the guard entered again, Emmanuel in tow, Elrick had to bite his tongue to curb his very real reaction to the high-born Maravalle. 

He was incredibly tall and waifishly thin with a broad chest and long dreadlocked hair that spilled over his shoulders. He was probably the most gorgeous man Elrick had ever seen. 

The lower-caste Maravalle walked Emmanuel to the center of the room, standing aside as Emmanuel lowered himself to his knees, head bowed with one arm crossed over his chest. 

“My prince,” Emmanuel said in a voice so deep and melodic, it gave Elrick chills. 

“Maravalle,” Elrick said, voice wavering. 

The edges of Emmanuel’s lips quirked upward into a little smirk at the sound. 

Something that did not go unnoticed by Elrick. This one was going to be trouble , he could tell. 

“Shall I rise, my prince?” Emmanuel asked, interrupting his thoughts.

Elrick narrowed his eyes. “You’ll rise when you are commanded to rise,” he snapped, trying to sound authoritative. 

Emmanuel’s infuriating little smirk grew larger. 

“As you command, my prince,” Emmanuel said, his tone teasing. 

On the throne, Elrick shifted, a strange, but not altogether unpleasant feeling coming over him. He should not be attracted to the disrespect this Maravalle was showing him. And yet.

“But I cannot kneel before you all day,” Emmanuel teased, licking his lips. “Unless that is what you desire.” He raised his gaze, to look at Elrick, eyes dancing with amusement. 

Elrick’s mouth opened in surprise, his stomach doing somersaults. No one, not even his betrothed, had ever spoken to him like this. He knew he should punish Emmanuel for his insolence and for embarrassing him in front of a low-born Maravalle guard, but…

He liked being spoken to like that. 

“Rise then, Maravalle,” Elrick commanded, irritated. “Let’s get this over with.”

“You want to be rid of me already?” Emmanuel asked, rising to his full height. “I’m hurt.”

Elrick chose not to respond, rising slowly from the throne and walking toward Emmanuel with purpose. “Give me your hand,” he commanded. 

Emmanuel did as he was bid, offering him his hand, palm up.

Elrick tried not to stare at the length of his fingers or the sheer size of Emmanuel’s hand compared to his own. He also definitely did not stop breathing, nor was his heart racing wildly in his chest. He was the picture of grace and ease as he reached forward, pressing a single razor sharp fingernail into Emmanuel’s palm until the older man’s blood bubbled forth. 

“Say your oath,” Elrick said, “bind yourself to the magical realm as its servant for all the rest of your days.” He released Emmanuel’s palm, waving his hand in the space between them to produce the Key Keeper alter. “Bind your blood to the keepers before you.”

Emmanuel lowered his hand to the altar, pressing his palm flat against it. 

“I bind myself to the magical realm, to magic itself, as a keeper of secrets and the keys to the kingdom. I give myself as a servant, willing magic to use me as it pleases for the good of the realm,” Emmanuel recited. 

The altar glowed beneath his touch, accepting his bloodied handprint into the catalogue of Key Keepers that was kept by the realm. 

“And so you are bound,” Elrick said. 

Emmanuel raised his eyes from the altar, lifting his hand and turning it over. “Consano,” he said, healing the wound Elrick had given him. The skin of his palm smooth again.

“Great job,” Emmanuel smiled, reaching out to pat Elrick on the shoulder. “I would never have known this was your first time.”

Elrick glanced at where Emmanuel’s hand was on his arm, literally touching him. Other than family members, touching like this was now allowed. Even something so innocent as this. 

Emmanuel had to have known that, but he did it anyway

“Emmanuel,” Elrick said, his voice a low rumble of warning. 

“Elrick,” Emmanuel responded in kind. 

A soft, breathy gasp escaped his lips. No one outside of his parents and Adorara had ever called him by his first name. 

Emmanuel chuckled. “Are you surprised by my disrespect, my prince?” he teased.

Elrick’s mouth went dry. He had no idea how to respond. Etiquette dictated that he should punish Emmanuel for this, but…

“Why hasn’t the low-born reprimanded you?” Elrick demanded, eyeing the low-born Maravalle curiously. 

“Is that what you want?” Emmanuel questioned. “For Adrien to reprimand me?” 

Elrick turned his gaze back up to Emmanuel. 

“Have I offended you so greatly that you would have someone of my own blood remove me from your presence?” Emmanuel pressed.

Elrick watched him, in silence for a long moment. 

“No,” he admitted. 

“Then what do you want, your highness?” 

“For you to answer my question,” Elrick snapped. “Why has the low born not…put a stop to this?” He wasn’t comfortable in engaging in this type of behavior with a supervisor present. 

“I bribed him,” Emmanuel said, shifting nervously. “Is that okay?”

“Why?” Elrick asked, surprised. 

“Have you seen yourself?” Emmanuel asked, gesturing to Elrick’s body. 

Elrick narrowed his eyes in confusion. “What were you expecting to…get out of this? Bribing our supervisor?” 

Emmanuel shrugged. “ You . I wanted to see you.”

“Why me?” Elrick asked. “Of everyone else you could’ve—”

“Do you remember when we first met?” Emmanuel interrupted. 

Elrick blinked up at him in surprise. “No,” he answered honestly. He honestly thought this was the first time they had ever met each other. 

“It was when you and Lucian met formally for the first time,” Emmanuel said. “You probably don’t remember it because we were all so young. I think you and Lucian were seven at the time, but I remember.”

“What does this have to do with—” Emmanuel pressed one of his long, slender fingers to Elrick’s lips to quiet him. 

“Lucian had been so nervous about meeting you. Meeting the royal you’re supposed to be bound to for eternity or until one of you dies is not an easy thing to do,” Emmanuel continued. “We’d heard things about you and your family all our lives. How dangerous and calculating you all were, but…you were different.”

Elrick shifted in front of him, still silenced by Emmanuel’s finger pressed to his lips. Normally, this slight would be punishable by death, but Elrick had never been as uptight as his family tried to raise him to be. 

“Lucian couldn’t see it then,” Emmanuel said. “I’m not sure she can even see it now, but I noticed. You’re not at all like your family. And I wanted the chance to see… you .” He lowered his hand from Elrick’s lips, indicating that the other man could speak again if he wanted to. 

“And?” Elrick asked. “Did I surprise you?”

“Yes,” Emmanuel admitted. 

Elrick wanted to ask how, he wanted to know what Emmanuel had expected him to react to the things he’d said to him, but the giant door to the throne room opened with a loud creaking noise and the two of them jumped apart. 

ii. here we go again

Elrick Bhuvanesh was nineteen and in his second year of university when he saw Emmanuel again. 

After their brief encounter a few years ago, Elrick had tried to put Emmanuel out of his mind, but there was no denying the raw attraction between them. He’d never have someone pay him so much attention. 

So, seeing him there in the lobby of his apartment building had been a surprise to say the least. 

“Emmanuel,” Elrick said, approaching him. 

The days of adult supervision were behind them now, since he’d turned eighteen and moved to Manhattan. Now he and Emmanuel could be completely alone without anyone to bribe. The idea of that thrilled him more than it should have.

“Elrick,” Emmanuel said, surprised. “What are you doing here?” 

“I…live here,” Elrick responded, as if it should have been obvious. This was the best magic friendly building on the Upper East Side. Plus, his family owned it.

“Oh, uh,” Emmanuel glanced around the building nervously. “I guess I should’ve expected that.”

Emmanuel seemed so different than the last time they’d met. He was more anxious and twitchy, his eyes scanning the lobby around them. 

“Who are you looking for?” Elrick asked. 

“My sister. And her roommate. I’m helping them move in today,” Emmanuel answered, distracted. 

“Luciana is moving here?” Elrick questioned, scanning the lobby as well. 

Emmanuel stilled for a moment, his gaze finally settling on Elrick’s face. He raised his eyebrow as if to ask ‘you expected her to live somewhere else’?

Elrick was annoyed at himself for even asking. Of course Lucian would be living here. “Who is her roommate?” he asked, changing the subject. “Another Maravalle?”

Emmanuel looked uncomfortable and he chewed the inside of his cheek nervously. “Do you remember the last time we saw each other?” he asked. “When I became a Key Keeper? Officially.”

“I…” Elrick went still. Of course he remembered, their conversation had been so strange and sexually charged, but he didn’t know if he should just…tell Emmanuel that or if he should play coy. 

Emmanuel didn’t wait for his answer. Instead, he stepped into Elrick’s space, his hand coming up to grip his chin forcefully. “Take me upstairs,” Emmanuel whispered. 

Elrick made a pitiful, needy sound. He’d been thinking about this moment since Emmanuel left the palace that day. What could have happened between them if they’d had more time alone. 

Emmanuel chuckled down at him. “Could you at least try to act like a high blood? I know I’m hot, but damn. I’m nothing compared to you or your betrothed.” 

“Don’t command me to take you upstairs and mention Adorara in the same breath,” Elrick snapped.

“I’m not commanding anything of you, my prince. I wouldn’t dream of giving a high blood orders. Not me, a lowly Maravalle,” Emmanuel purred.

“Don’t act so innocent,” Elrick snorted. “Not when you’ve already disrespected me so openly.”

“Oh, but you like it when I disrespect you, Elrick ,” Emmanuel teased. “Or you wouldn’t let me do it so much.”

“Don’t tell me what I like,” Elrick said softly, a little thrill going through his body at the sound of his name on Emmanuel’s lips. 

Emmanuel hummed thoughtfully. “How about you don’t act like you’re the one in control here, Bhuvanesh.” 

Elrick swallowed hard, biting back a low, needy groan. He shouldn’t be acting like this, especially not in public. There were royals and low-class magical creatures alike lounging around the lobby. Any of them could see them, standing there so close together, Emmanuel gripping his chin and smirking down at him. 

He could have Emmanuel killed for this. For treating him so familiarly. For even uttering his common name. He was supposed to address him by his title. Always . Unless it was impossible to do so without giving them away to the mortal realm. Even then, he should only use his first name. To debase him so completely was dangerous.

“See?” Emmanuel smirked. “Told you, you liked it.”

Elrick huffed, pushing Emmanuel’s hand away and taking a step back. “You’re playing with fire, Maravalle.” 

Emmanuel honest-to-God chuckled at him, crossing his long, spindly arms over his broad chest. “Then walk away, your highness,” he shrugged. “Makes no difference to me.”

Elrick clenched his fists by his side, closing his eyes tight for a for moments and taking several deep breaths to calm down. It wasn’t every day he was so…bothered by a middle blood. Emmanuel had been under his skin for several years now, though. And he didn’t think that was going to change anytime soon. 

He fished his keys out of his pocket and removed his spare, stepping forward and back into Emmanuel’s space. He pressed the spare key into Emmanuel’s palm. “Tell Luciana I say hello,” he said, glaring up at Emmanuel, daring him to disobey. 

Instead, the older man smirked, his hand closing around the key. “I am going to eat you alive,” he purred. 

Elrick took a deep, shaky breath, eyelids fluttering. “I look forward to it.” 

iii. a midnight visitor

Emmanuel made him wait for hours

Elrick shouldn’t be annoyed by that, considering he said he was helping Luciana move…but he was. If Emmanuel had all that time to waste teasing him in the lobby, surely he had time to come up here and make good on his promises. 

When Emmanuel did finally decide to grace Elrick with his presence, it was well past midnight and Elrick had given up on him showing up altogether. He assumed at that point, Emmanuel had just been fucking with him and he’d get his spare key back in the mail. 

Then he would proceed to pretend nothing had ever happened between them to save himself the embarrassment of having to explain to his mother the reason he wanted to have Emmanuel Maravalle murdered. 

Emmanuel did not knock. He used the spare key and entered Elrick’s apartment like he belonged there. He was newly showered, smelling of grapefruit and rose infused soap. The scent was so strong, Elrick could smell him from across the room. 

He wrinkled his nose. 

Emmanuel eyed him with an amused expression, closing his front door behind him and stepping into Elrick’s enormous living room. “Have you been waiting for me all this time?” he asked. 

Elrick narrowed his eyes, leaning back against his overstuffed couch. “No,” he said, petulant as ever. “I have other things to worry about than whether or not you were going to grace me with your presence this evening.”

“Somehow I doubt that,” Emmanuel smirked, making his way over to the couch. He was dressed in a loose-fitting green v-neck and what appeared to be his sister Luciana’s sweatpants considering how tight and short they were on his legs. 

“Are you wearing your sister’s sweatpants?” Elrick asked, changing the subject. 

“I am,” Emmanuel said, doing a little spin before he plopped down on the couch right next to Elrick. “Do you like them?” 

“Why?” Elrick questioned, preferring not to answer Emmanuel’s question. Of course he liked them. They fit him well despite being a little too short. They also left…very little to the imagination. 

“I literally helped my sister move into her new apartment today. Which means I was carrying boxes from the street to the elevator and into her apartment. Sooo…” he trailed off, smirking. “I didn’t think you’d want me to come up here all covered in sweat.” He leaned a little closer to Elrick. “I thought you’d want us to get all sweaty together.”

“What exactly do you think is going to happen here?” Elrick asked, backing away from Emmanuel and studying his face. 

“Are you really asking me that right now, Elrick?” Emmanuel sighed, reaching out to stroke his hand over Elrick’s cheek. “Haven’t we played enough games?” 

Elrick leaned into his touch, eyes fluttering closed. “Can’t you let me at least…pretend to resist you?” 

“No,” Emmanuel whispered, so close Elrick could feel his breath on his lips. “We’re done with that. I’ve been waiting almost two whole years to do this. I don’t want to wait anymore.”

Elrick scoffed, eyes opening again. “Like you made me wait for hou —”

“Shut up , Elrick,” Emmanuel groaned, grabbing his face and crashing their mouths together.

Elrick immediately panicked, pushing Emmanuel away. 

Emmanuel looked surprised. “Oh my god,” he said, holding up his hands apologetically. “I’m sorry. I thought…did I misread this entire situation? I didn’t mean to…you invited me up here…I…”

“No! I want this…you just…” Elrick stammered. “My teeth , Emmanuel. I could hurt you!” 

“Is that all?” Emmanuel deadpanned.

“I don’t…I don’t want to make you bleed,” Elrick gasped. It was something he worried about constantly. Considering his first few kisses hadn’t exactly gone…according to plan. 

Emmanuel sighed with relief, smirking mischievously. “What if I want you to hurt me?” He closed the space between them again, peppering Elrick’s face with kisses. “Your teeth don’t scare me. I fully expect you to use them.” 

“I could kill you,” Elrick argued. 

“I’m a Maravalle,” Emmanuel said. “I’m impossible to kill.” 

“But…” 

Emmanuel put his finger over Elrick’s lips to silence him. “Do you want to keep making excuses, or do you want to have some fun?” 

Elrick didn’t respond, instead he pulled Emmanuel back toward him, kissing him roughly.

Emmanuel hummed happily into his mouth, pushing the younger man back on the couch until he lay on top of him.  

Elrick readjusted himself beneath him, trying to get into a more comfortable position so he wasn’t bent at an odd angle. When he couldn’t quite lay like he wanted, he whined pitifully. 

“God,” Emmanuel breathed, pulling away and grabbing Elrick by his hips, adjusting him so Emmanuel knelt between his legs. “You’re such a needy little slut.” 

Elrick’s mouth fell open in surprise. No one had ever called him something like that.

“Don’t act so surprised,” Emmanuel smirked, pinning Elrick’s arms over his head as he leaned down to kiss him again. “I told you I was going to demolish you,” he said between kisses. “I’m going to fuck you so good you’re ruined for everyone else.” 

He bucked his hips against Elrick abruptly, making the younger man gasp into his mouth. 

“I’m going to make you mine, Elrick Bhuvanesh,” Emmanuel growled, pulling away from his lips to nip at his throat. “I am going to be all you think about.” 

“You already are ,” Elrick admitted, moaning as Emmanuel sucked on his throat hard , rolling the flesh between his teeth. “If you’re trying to mark me, you’ll have to bite harder than that.” 

“Do you want me to mark you?” Emmanuel asked, peppering kisses along Elrick’s jaw. “I have an iron brand I could burn into your skin if that’s what you’re into.”

Elrick shivered violently beneath him and curled his toes. 

Emmanuel chuckled. “Do you want me to hurt you?” he whispered, nipping at his pointed ear. 

Please ,” Elrick begged. 

“I knew I was going to enjoy this,” Emmanuel responded, hastily pulling Elrick’s shirt over his head and using it to loosely bind his hands above his head. Then, he pulled an iron brand of the Maravalle’s family crest out of his pocket.

“I didn’t know you lot had those,” Elrick admitted. “Aren’t iron brands outlawed?” 

“I’m the magical realm, sure,” Emmanuel said, “But humans have no idea the fae even exist. So they aren’t bound by your laws.”

He lowered the brand to Elrick’s stomach, the iron hovering just barely above his skin. 

Elrick could already feel the heat of the metal against his skin. The muscles in his stomach jerked involuntarily. 

“Tell me to knock it the fuck off if I actually hurt you, yeah?” Emmanuel instructed. 

“Yeah,” Elrick nodded, watching as Emmanuel pressed the brand hard against his skin. 

Elrick wasn’t sure what he expected to feel. He’d been burned by iron before, sometimes it was unavoidable and the pain was almost always excruciating. And it took nearly an entire day for it to heal completely, but this was different. 

The pain was still there, biting into his skin. He could literally smell his flesh cooking beneath it, but it was somehow less severe than the last time he’d unwittingly burned himself on an iron sword. 

“Was that okay?” Emmanuel asked, moving the brand away from his skin. 

“Do it again,” Elrick pleaded immediately. 

Emmanuel branded his chest this time and Elrick didn’t think he’d ever been more turned on than he was in that moment. 

“Are you okay, Elrick?” Emmanuel asked. 

Elrick was more than okay. He was…euphoric. His head was clouded with lust and endorphins and Emmanuel goddamn Maravalle was marking him with his family crest. 

“I’ve imagined this so much,” Elrick said, opening his eyes to look at Emmanuel. “Ever since that day two years ago.”

“And what do I do to you when you imagine this?” Emmanuel asked, pocketing the brand and leaning down to press soft kisses to Elrick’s chest. 

“You’ve already surpassed my imagination,” Elrick admitted.

Emmanuel hummed softly, nipping at Elrick’s belly. “Surely there’s something you want me to do that I haven’t already done.” 

Elrick took a shaky breath, his face flushing with embarrassment. “Having you here…” he began, voice shaky. “Is more than enough for me.”

“God, you’re such sappy little shit, aren’t you?” Emmanuel growled, biting his stomach harder, right next to the brand he’d burned into his skin. 

Elrick whined and rolled his hips.

“Tell me what you want, or I’m going to roll you over right now and fuck you so hard you’ll be sobbing when I’m done,” Emmanuel growled.

Elrick smirked down at him. “What if that’s exactly what I want?” 

Emmanuel moaned. “You’re such a little shit, you know that?” he asked. 

“But you like it,” Elrick retorted. 

“Don’t tell me what I like,” Emmanuel smirked, grabbing his hips and flipping him over to lay on his stomach as if he weighed nothing at all. 

Elrick gasped in surprise. “Are all you Maravalle’s this strong or just you?” 

Emmanuel laughed, loud and full-bellied. “ Please , Elrick. You weigh 90 pounds. My grandmother could throw you across the room and she has a bad back.”

Elrick glared back at him. “I weigh well over that and you know it. I’m not scrawny , Emmanuel.”

Emmanuel raked his eyes over Elrick’s body. “Coulda fooled me,” he said.

Elrick rolled his eyes. “Shut up and fuck me ,” he barked. 

Emmanuel sat back on his haunches. “I think you’re forgetting who is in charge here,” he smirked. “Lest you forget, I’m the one on top of you .”

“Only because I’ve allowed it,” Elrick growled in response. “Don’t act like I couldn’t kill you if I wanted.” 

Emmanuel laughed again. “You wouldn’t dare. None of you Bhuvanesh do any of your own dirty work. That’s why you have the Maravalle. To do all your killing for you.”

Elrick was up in an instant, unbound with his hand on Emmanuel’s throat. “I am so much stronger than you are, Maravalle,” he said, darkly, tossing Emmanuel down on the couch and mounting him. “You think you could hold me down if I didn’t want you to?” 

He could feel Emmanuel’s cock jerk against his belly through the thin sweatpants the older man wore. 

“You wouldn’t even be alive if I didn’t will it,” Elrick growled. “I could kill you right here, right now with a flick of my wrist. It would mean nothing to me.”

Emmanuel shuddered and groaned. 

“You’re my play thing,” Elrick continued, enjoying the effect he was having on Emmanuel. He reached down between them, palming Emmanuel’s cock. It twitched against his hand and Emmanuel sighed, tilting his head back. 

Elrick’s mouth watered at the sight of Emmanuel’s long slender neck exposed to him. God, this man was going to be the death of him. 

Anyone else would be scared shitless right now, but Emmanuel? He was turned on . Elrick was literally threatening to kill him and he was practically leaking pre-cum into his boxers. 

“It should be illegal for someone to have a throat so…” he gestured vaguely. 

“Just wait until I use it to swallow your cock,” Emmanuel responded, shit eating grin on his face. 

The mouth on him. 

Emmanuel pushed Elrick back down onto the couch, and unbuttoned his jeans, yanking both his jeans and pants off in one go. 

Elrick swallowed hard as Emmanuel drank him in, eyes lingering on his cock as he licked his lips. 

“Is this okay?” Elrick asked, suddenly self-conscious beneath his gaze. “I can…change it if you want.” 

“It’s perfect,” Emmanuel said. “You’re perfect.” He leaned down and kissed him again, soft and slow this time. 

Elrick leaned up into the kiss, sighing into Emmanuel’s mouth. 

Emmanuel rolled beside him on the couch, gripping his length in his hand and using his thumb to spread pre-cum over the tip slowly. 

Elrick sighed and rolled his hips. “Haven’t I had enough teasing for a lifetime?” he asked. 

“Not nearly,” Emmanuel responded, pressing a kiss to the tip of his nose. 

“God, I hate you,” Elrick complained. 

“You won’t when I finally make you cum all over this nice couch,” Emmanuel responded in kind.

Elrick moaned in response, bucking up into Emmanuel’s hand. “If you don’t hurry up and fuck me I might just cum all over your hand,” he hissed. 

“Do it and I’ll never fuck you again,” Emmanuel threatened. 

A little thrill went through Elrick. So this wasn’t just a one time thing? 

Emmanuel released his length and Elrick groaned, cracking his eyes open to watch him. He was rummaging in the pocket of Lucian’s sweatpants again, pulling out a key, the brand, and another set of keys and tossing them on the table. 

“What are you looking for?” Elrick asked.

“Lube and a condom,” Emmanuel responded, pulling a small tube of it out of his pocket and presenting both it and a condom to Elrick triumphantly. 

“I also have lube, you know,” Elrick responded. “You didn’t have to bring you own.”

“Why would you need lube?” Emmanuel teased. “Aren’t you a virgin or something?”

Elrick snorted. “Hardly.”

Emmanuel smirked, kissing him sweetly. “See? I knew you were a little slut.”

Elrick laughed.

“But I’m about to ruin you for everyone else,” Emmanuel purred, reaching down between his legs and circling his anus with his newly lubed fingers. 

Elrick swallowed, his eyes slipping closed as he concentrated on the feeling of Emmanuel teasing him there . His finger circling and spreading lube between his thighs, massaging him open. 

“You’re so good,” Emmanuel breathed into his ear, leaning up to kiss and nip at his throat. He pressed the tip of his finger inside of him.

Elrick tensed at the unfamiliar sensation, taking a shaky breath. Relax , he willed himself, letting the tension fade from his body. 

Emmanuel kissed his forehead, his cheek, his mouth. He pressed his finger further inside. 

“Am I your first guy?” Emmanuel asked, moving a second lube soaked finger to press against Elrick’s opening. 

“No,” Elrick answered honestly. 

Emmanuel made a contemplative noise, rephrasing his question, “Am I your first guy like this?” He wiggled his finger pointedly.

Elick swallowed, his cheeks flushing red. “Yes,” he answered. 

Emmanuel buried his face in his neck and sighed happily. “I knew you’d wait for me,” he teased. 

“Shut up,” Elrick blushed. “I was—”

“Just let me have this,” Emmanuel said. 

No ,” Elrick responded, but he stopped arguing all the same. 

Emmanuel pressed a second finger inside of him and he gasped, his breath coming faster as he willed himself not to tense up.

The sensation was so foreign to him. He’d never had someone inside of him like this. It was almost overwhelming considering how long he had waited for whatever this flirtation between them was to come to fruition. 

When Emmanuel got the second finger inside of him fully, he spread his two fingers apart, opening Elrick up more. 

The sensation had him bucking his hips and clenching his eyes shut tight. His teeth were set on edge, a thrill of pleasure rushing over him. He hadn’t expected this to be so intense

“Easy there, your highness,” Emmanuel said, “don’t get too excited yet.”

“Don’t call me that when you have your fingers inside of me,” Elrick complained. “Or it’s all I’ll think about the next time someone addresses me like they supposed to.”

“Oh I’m counting on it, highness,” Emmanuel chuckled. 

“I hate you,” Elrick sighed. 

Emmanuel pressed a third finger into him. 

“Jesus,” Elrick shuddered. He hadn’t expected that. It took all of his willpower not to cum right then and there. 

Emmanuel curled his fingers inside of him, spreading him nice and wide. “You like that, my prince?” He asked. “You like feeling me inside you?”

Yes, ” Elrick said without hesitation. 

He had never been with someone so vocal during sex. Most of his partners had been quiet, but Emmanuel talked so much . Elrick was embarrassed by how much he liked it. 

“I think you’re ready so I’m gonna slide my fingers out now, okay?” Emmanuel said, voice low and filled with lust. 

Yes ,” Elrick answered. He’d been waiting for Emmanuel to fuck him for hours. It felt like it took a literal lifetime for them to get to this point. 

Emmanuel slid his fingers out slowly, standing up from the couch to shimmy out of his sister’s sweatpants and pull his shirt over his head, tossing them both to the floor. 

He was bigger than Elrick expected, thicker too. 

“Is there a problem, my prince?” Emmanuel asked playfully. 

“Of course not,” Elrick answered. “I’m just surprised is all. Sit down so I can fuck you.”

Emmanuel chuckled softly. “You won’t be fucking anyone,” he teased. “I’ll be fucking you.” He lowered himself back down onto the couch, unwrapping the condom sliding it down over his length. 

“Come on, then.” he said, helping Elrick into his lap. 

“Finally,” Elrick sighed, gripping the base of Emmanuel’s cock as he lowered himself down onto it slowly. He pressed his forehead into the older man’s throat as he took in his length. 

“You can bite if you need to,” Emmanuel whispered against his ear. “I know how overwhelming this can be the first time. I’ve bottomed before.” 

Elrick moaned wantonly against his throat. “I hope you’ll bottom for me sometime.” 

Emmanuel chuckled warmly. “Not a chance, your highness.” 

Elrick groaned and sank down on him completely, pressing his face into Emmanuel’s shoulder, sucking gently at his skin. 

Emmanuel gripped his hips and moaned loud into his ear, fucking up into him in short, tight strokes. 

Elrick made a sobbing noise, digging his nails into the couch behind Emmanuel’s back. 

“Bite me,” Emmanuel said. 

“I’m not supposed to,” Elrick responded, pulling away to study Emmanuel’s face. 

“You’re also not supposed to be fucking someone you’re not betrothed to,” Emmanuel said, smirking. “And yet here we are.” He thrust up into him again, gripping his hips harder and building a rhythm. 

“I…” Elrick blushed, “Do you really want me to bite you?” 

“Yes,” Emmanuel said. “The idea of you sinking your sharp ass teeth into my throat is fucking hot , dude.”

Elrick shivered. “You might pass out from blood loss,” he said.

“I’m a necromancer, Elrick,” Emmanuel deadpanned. “And a Maravalle at that. I think I’ll be fine .” 

“You can’t raise yourself from the dead, idiot,” Elrick responded. 

“Yeah, well. My sister is right downstairs,” Emmanuel chuckled. 

“I do not want to have to explain to your sister why you passed out naked in my apartment from blood loss,” Elrick groaned. 

“She’s bonded to you,” Emmanuel responded. “It’s not like she could tell anyone.”

“Yes, but she would know. And I don’t know if you’ve met your sister, but I would never hear the end of it,” Elrick complained. 

“Alright,” Emmanuel said, grabbing Elrick by the back of the neck and flinking him face down onto the couch. “If you’re not gonna bite me…” he trailed off, pushing Elrick’s face down into the couch cushions. “I’m gonna fuck you until you beg me to stop.”

He pushed himself back inside of Elrick, not bothering to let the younger man adjust this time. He snapped his hips quickly, fucking him hard and fast. 

Elrick bit the couch cushion to keep himself from screaming. He wouldn’t dare give Emmanuel the satisfaction of seeing him so undone by his cock. 

“Is this better, Your highness?” Emmanuel hissed, his long body draped over him as he fucked him into the couch. “Is this what you wanted?” Emmanuel’s hands were on either side of Elrick’s head as he fucked into him hard

The feeling was indescribable. Emmanuel’s cock filled him so completely that every thrust sent waves of immeasurable pleasure through his entire body. 

He was half out of his mind, head turned as he gasped for breath. Broken, needy moans escaped his lips and he gripped the couch for dear life. The way he was bent beneath Emmanuel was starting to hurt , but he didn’t dare try to readjust. He could take a little pain in exchange for all the pleasure. 

Emmanuel pressed down on his lower back, bending him further down into the couch cushions, his cock hitting exactly where Elrick needed him. 

Elrick whined, his toes curling. “Yes, yes, yes ,” he panted. “ Yes .” He arched up into Emmanuel, pressing needly little kisses to the older man’s wrist. 

“You feel so good,” Emmanuel groaned, his thrusts falling out of rhythm as he got close. 

Elrick smirked into the couch. “I thought you said you were going to fuck me until I begged you to stop,” he teased. “And you’re already close.” 

“Shut up you little shit,” Emmanuel panted, grabbing a fistful of Elrick’s hair and pulling him up off the couch. “I can finish whenever I want.”

“Yes, but I thought you wanted to pleasure me,” Elrick goaded. 

“You’re such an insufferable little asshole,” Emmanuel moaned, gripping Elrick’s thigh and stilling his hips. He was breathing heavily, his whole body trembling. 

“Are you tired already?” Elrick smirked, “I’m so disappointed .” 

Emmanuel growled and reached around him, pulling him back so he was almost flush against Emmanuel’s chest. He wrapped his hand around Elrick’s cock, jerking him off as he fucked up into him slow and shallow. 

The angle was awkward, but Elrick was hardly paying much attention to that. He bucked up into Emmanuel’s hand. He’d been close before he started teasing Emmanuel about not lasting, but now he was—

His hips jerked violently as he came over Emmanuel’s hand after barely even a handful of strokes. 

Emmanuel groaned into his ear. “You were close this whole time making me feel bad for not being able to keep up with you. God you’re such a little shit.” He moved his hand from Elrick’s cock wiped his cum on his belly. Then, he reached up and gripped Elrick’s throat, squeezing just enough to make his head spin as he began to move his hips again.

Elrick made a noise of protest, still overstimulated from his orgasm. 

“No,” Emmanuel said. “You don’t get to protest. You’re the one who came first.”

Elrick whined pitifully, rolling his hips lazily against Emmanuel’s cock. 

“God you’re so hot like this. All sleepy and spent,” Emmanuel gasped, pressing sloppy open-mouthed kisses against Elrick’s back and shoulders. 

Elrick made a soft keening noise in reply. His head was still spinning from his orgasm, stars floating behind his eyelids. He’d never come so hard before in his life

Emmanuel wrapped his arm around his waist, his thrusts picking up again as Elrick started to come down from his high. 

“You’re such a mess,” Emmanuel moaned, fucking him harder. His thrusts became erratic and out of sync again. “God, I’m close.”

“Then finish,” Elrick said. 

“What? No more teasing?” Emmanuel gasped, hips jerking. He finished with a long, low grown against Elrick’s back. 

“No teasing necessary, it seems,” Elrick answered, smirking at him over his shoulder. 

“Shut up and get off of me,” Emmanuel laughed. 

Elrick complied, standing up from the couch. His stomach was covered in cum from where Emmanuel has used it as his own personal cum rag. Not to mention his ass was dripping with lube. He also still had Maravalle brands burned into his stomach and chest. He’d almost forgotten about those. 

How long had they been doing this? He didn’t even want to know. 

“I need to shower immediately,” Elrick said, gathering his long hair up into a messy high bun. “You can…stay if you want. I have a guest room or…”

Emmanuel stood up from the couch, joints cracking as he stretched. “Of course I’m staying, you idiot,” he leaned down to press a quick, chaste kiss to Elrick’s lips. “And I’ll be sleeping in your bed. I don’t know what you thought this was, but I actually like you, Bhuvanesh.”

Elrick stared up at him. “Okay,” he said. 

“Is that all you have to say?” Emmanuel asked. 

“If you wanted me to tell you, I like you too, I’m not going to,” Elrick smirked, grabbing a hair tie from his coffee table and using it to hold his hair in place. 

“Then I don’t have to stay here,” Emmanuel threatened. 

“You’re right, you don’t,” Elrick said, turning and sort of walking, sort of waddling to the bathroom. 

Emmanuel followed after him. “Come on, man,” he said. “I told you I liked you. And you can’t return the favor?”

“No,” Elrick responded, disappearing into his bathroom and turning his shower on. 

“Because it’s not true?” Emmanuel asked, voice quiet. 

“No,” Elrick said, smiling sadly at him.. “Because it is .” He left the ‘and I’m supposed to marry someone else’ unsaid.