The Altar of Shinigami (cont)

"You have earned such blessings, Trowa," Shinigami replied, again gracing his priest with that smile. "I have need of you but a little longer this night; then you may rejoice with your people." He turned to pick up the dagger, moving gracefully to where the silver goblet stood as Trowa followed. He took firm hold of Trowa's arm with his free hand.

"Be still, my servant," he murmured; and made a swift cut down across the inner surface of his priest's forearm.

Trowa's eyes widened and he hissed softly in pain; but he remained motionless as instructed, allowing our god to do as he pleased. His blood flowed freely into the goblet as Shinigami held his arm; when it was nearly full, Master Death released him and laid the dagger at my side.

"Thank you," he said quietly to Trowa, and shrugged out of his robe.

I could tell by the sudden soft heat in my face that my cheeks had colored; I had not realized he was unclothed beneath that black garment. He was beautiful, perfect, in every respect...my eyes flitted of their own accord to the flesh between his thighs and the heat in my face flared warmer. My own body was responding to the sight; and the raiment I currently wore would do nothing to hide that fact should he choose to look at me.

But it could not be helped. Despite my new fears that he did not desire me, I wanted him badly still; the sultry dreams I had so guiltily treasured these last years fell woefully short of his true magnificence.

He wrapped his robe about Trowa's bleeding arm, murmuring something in that sibilant language to heal the wound. He then leaned forward to place a soft kiss to Trowa's forehead.

"Go now, my servant," he said gently. "Take my gift and tend to your flock..."

Trowa bowed slightly, gathered his staff and the jar and returned to the temple, the arm that had been cut not appearing to bother him in the least.

Shinigami turned back to me, his strange, beautiful violet eyes full of promise.

"Now, precious child, my Dragon beloved...now, it is time for us."

My pulse quickened slightly; and my manhood, already stirred by the sight of his disrobed body, rose fully to life in anticipation.

His eyes took careful, lingering note of that fact, prompting the return of my faint blush; his smile grew wider.

"I would not have taken you for such a shy virgin, Wufei," he said, his tone teasingly conversational.

"No one has ever looked at me as you do now, Master," I answered, my flush deepening. "And though there is no desire in your gaze, still, it...arouses me." I hesitated. "You arouse me," I admitted, feeling the heat in my face deepen. "I only...I am ashamed that I do not the same for you..." I bit my lower lip and averted my gaze, sure I had overstepped my bounds, said too much. Whatever his want of me entailed, it was not my place to ask.

He touched my face lightly, the soft brush of his fingertips sending tiny, helpless shivers down my spine. "Look at me, Wufei," he commanded gently; and I obeyed. "Do you truly believe that I have no desire for you, beautiful dragon?" His eyes fixed on me, his age and power weighing behind them; I was compelled to answer despite my discomfort.

"Your...your body, Master," I managed, my voice little more than a whisper. "It...belies your words..." I faltered, lost in the power of his lilac gaze; and suddenly apologies were tumbling from my lips in a rush.

"Forgive me--love and desire need not be mutually inclusive, I know this; and it is presumptuous of me to assume you should want me in that fashion...for I am but a mortal child, plain, unremarkable, unworthy--whatever need you have of me is my honor to fulfill--"

His fingers pressed gently to my lips, stilling my words as he frowned. "Never think yourself so lowly, Wufei; for you are mine, and I do not choose carelessly." His eyes held my own an instant more; then, in a warm swirl of wind, he was abruptly kneeling above me, straddling my hips, smiling gently again. "All will be clear shortly," he said; and I felt his flesh touching me, still disappointingly soft against my own hardness, and I realized that my clothing was gone.

Soft or not, the touch of his body to mine sent a pulse of sweet sensation singing through me; I shivered ever so slightly as he leaned forward to take up the goblet filled with Trowa's blood.

"The blood of my most faithful, to guide my power, to open the bond between us," he intoned softly, raising the cup. He lifted the end of his braid with his other hand and smiled down at me. "Lie still, my child, and I shall make you truly mine before the sun rises..."

I did as he bade me, curiosity fascinated by his actions. He soaked the tip of his braid with Trowa's blood, then began painting strange symbols upon my chest.

"Death has forever been the Keeper of Mortal Souls," he said softly, brushing warm blood over my skin as he spoke. "Yet Death has no soul of his own, and thus exists beneath a pall of solitary darkness..." His mesmerizing eyes lifted from his work and caught mine. "I have long grown weary of my lonely vigil," he whispered; and my heart nearly broke at the ache I could hear in his voice.

He lowered his gaze then, taking his braid and painting himself with a mirrored image of the symbols with which he had marked me, continuing his speech.

"The gods mate not among their own kind; for such is not the way of things. We would become too distant from our followers, growing cold, heartless, uncaring. In bonding with a mortal companion, we maintain the necessary closeness to our people, the better to watch over and guide them."

Finished with his work, he set the goblet aside and dropped his lovely braid behind him again. Leaning forward, he once more caught my gaze.

"I am the youngest of the gods, and the last among my kind to take a mate, Wufei," he said, his voice soft yet intense. "I have waited centuries, millennia, for the right soul to be born..." His eyes held mine, brimming with eons of love; and I began to grasp the import of what he was saying.

"My soul," I murmured in understanding, a shiver washing through me.

"Your soul," he confirmed, a brief smile wisping over his face before solemnity returned. "Do you willingly share it with me, Child? Do you give me everything that you are, forever?"

His words had the sound of a wedding vow; I trembled as I answered him. "Everything, Master Death. All that I am, all that I would be--yours, for eternity..."

His smile reappeared; he touched my face again, fingers trailing down through my hair. "So beautiful you are," he murmured, leaning closer. "So perfect..." He stopped with his upper body hovering just above mine. "There will be pain, my child," he said solemnly, my gaze locked to his. "But bear with me, my brave one, and I shall give you all the pleasures you so desire..." And with those words, he lowered himself fully atop me, the blood markings on our chests aligning perfectly as he began speaking once more in that soft, unknown language.

So lost was I in his hypnotic lilac eyes that I scarcely took note when the blood began to burn. My attention was quickly turned, however; it soon felt as though those symbols had been poured over my skin in molten metal that was slowly burning down to my very bones. The pain mounted steadily 'til I could bear it no longer and I cried out, my voice drowning his as he chanted his spell.

The painted blood continued to boil heedlessly against my skin; I writhed futilely beneath him, held fast in my bonds and pinned by his strength.

"Master, it burns!" I sobbed, unable to help myself. All thought of my desire for him had fled my mind; I wished only for this torment to end.

"Be brave but a little longer, Child," came his voice in my ear. "I swear it will be finished soon..." He gently kissed the corner of my jaw and softly resumed his chant.

To my amazement, through the haze of my pain, I found that I could now understand him. //Let the bond come forth,// he was saying. //Flesh to flesh, come blood to blood...as the Lady Moon presides, I invoke the Sealing...// He lifted his head and met my desperate gaze; tears leaked from the corners of my eyes and spilled down the sides of my face as the heat of his magic broiled through me all the worse. But I did not cry out again; for him, I would be strong. I would endure any torture if it would seal me to the god I loved.

"I claim you as mine, forever my Light in the Darkness," he intoned softly; and there was a sudden flare of brilliant white light. It flooded from between our bodies and exploded around us; the searing pain increased tenfold and I screamed, helpless, lost, determined to bear it but not certain that I could.

The brightness bled slowly from the air about us; the pain faded with it at an agonizingly casual rate. My scream gave out at last and I gasped, able to breathe again, choking on the sobs that rose unbidden in my throat. Dimly I was aware of his voice by my ear, murmuring soft words to soothe, to comfort.

"Shh," he whispered, his lips trailing over the dampness of tears on my face. "Hush, my little one; the worst is over..."

I wanted nothing more than to curl up and die, to crawl into his arms and simply disappear; I could do naught but lie there chained beneath him and pray that whatever else lay in store for me at his hand would prove far less excruciating than the bond he had just opened.

He raised his head; and from the corner of my eye I saw him take up the forgotten dagger. He brought it gently to my throat and I stiffened, eyes widening in disbelief.

He missed nothing; his free hand moved to stroke my face lightly in reassurance. "Fear not, my Dragon," he said softly. "This will be as nothing compared to the first step..."

I drew in a deep breath that shuddered only a little and nodded, the movement small. Scared I was; but I trusted him still.

I scarcely felt the wound he opened. It was low on my throat and off to one side; I could tell that it was short and deep, yet it pained me hardly at all. Perhaps it was because the memory of the agony I had just endured still burned so freshly in my mind; perhaps it was because the link he had opened between us lent me a measure of his strength. But whatever the reason, I felt very little until he put his mouth to the wound.

What happened then is rather difficult to put into words. It felt...it felt as though my soul were being siphoned from my body and poured into his. He was drinking my blood, I knew; but I could feel my very essence, my very self, flowing into him with each draught. I felt life and vitality streaming through him, racing to the tips of his fingers, the soles of his feet, seeping into his muscles, his bones; the sensation was extraordinary. It was as though I became him, and he became me, and we became one being of heat and life and flesh and blood. His consciousness brushed against mine; I focused on that touch and suddenly his mind was open to me.

I reeled from the flood of sheer knowledge and existence that inundated me then; I was washed away on the tide of his emotions. And I understood.

I understood everything.

Whatever entity or force had brought the gods into existence had done so with great wisdom. They were meant to take mortals as their mates; therefore, as gods, they were absolutely incapable of partaking in physical pleasures until bonded to their chosen mortal. Thus no half-breed bastard demi-god children would be born to unbalance creation with their misbegotten powers; thusly also was it ensured that no passions of the flesh would lead to foolish, rash decisions among the gods. Mates would be chosen carefully, with much consideration, so that the most worthy and deserving of souls would find their true place.

Mine, apparently, was one of those souls.

I had been mistaken to conclude that my Master had no physical want of me when his body did not behave as mine did.

Shinigami harbored a passion for me to equal his love, both vastly deeper than I had ever dared to dream; until my soul was shared between our two bodies, he was incapable of expressing that desire to me. It slumbered within him, powerful, unforgettable, but able to be overlooked in consideration of things more important, building and waiting until the time came for it to awaken. And now, unleashed at last by the magic of the Sealing, it flared within him, undeniable and exhilarating, held in check only by a great effort from him.

I knew this in the blink of an eye; I found myself trembling at the intensity of it, overwhelmed and overjoyed at what I felt in him. On top of everything else, the continued suckling of his mouth at my throat was somehow erotic; a shiver ran through me and life began to swell my manhood against him once more.

He raised his head with a soft groan, sitting back and meeting my eyes as his own glowed violet with power. A smear of blood adorned his lower lip; it glistened in the moonlight as he reached down and touched his fingers to the wound that still bled at my neck. //Skin knit skin; blood within--heal,// he murmured; and I was pleased to find that I could still understand him, could still feel him. I realized as well that he could feel me. He felt my desire, felt also the physical evidence of it; it pleased him, excited him.

That knowledge merely served to increase my arousal.

My wound had closed; Master Death removed his fingers and leaned closer. The blood that had marked his chest was gone; the patterns that had been painted showed faintly, a mere shade paler than his skin. I knew somehow that I would see the same thing should I look at my own chest; we were now bonded. Bound by magic, bound by blood, bound most strongly by love, there remained little else to complete the Sealing.

He carefully wiped my blood from his lip as the glow faded from his eyes. "Wufei," he murmured; and the tone of his voice was laced with dark, delightful promise. His fingers played through my hair again; he leaned closer still, his body laying warmly over my own. He nipped softly at my chin. "Beautiful boy," he whispered, his words trailing down my jaw. "My precious Dragon Child..." He lifted his head and met my eyes, lilac fire burning in the depths of his gaze; then, with no further warning, he crushed my mouth beneath his own.

The coolness of his lips was in stark contrast to the heat of his kiss; my whole body flared in response. I felt that flare echoed in him; a shiver ran through him and he groaned, softly, the sound swallowed up in the joining of our mouths. His organ pulsed to life against me, swelling to a wonderful hardness as he shifted over me.

This kiss was everything that I had found lacking before; he tasted me, feasted on me, made as though he would devour me with his passion. His hand wove through my hair, slipped beneath my head to tilt it back as he sweetly plundered my mouth; I whimpered my desire, arching against him, straining at my bonds, desperate to touch him and helpless to act on that need.

He lifted from me at last, eyes blazing darkly as he abandoned my swollen lips. "Wufei," he groaned, his head dipping to taste my throat. "I have waited a thousand lifetimes to feel this, to feel you..." He shuddered, and his mouth grazed over my healed wound, over the pulse that throbbed wildly there.

I shuddered in kind, experiencing echoes of his pleasure through our bond, emboldened by his words. "Then feel, Master Death," I spoke. "Feel what you do to me, the pleasure you give..." His hips flexed into mine, and I let out a moan. "Feel how I want you--my blood burns within me for need of you--"

He raised his head; his magnificent eyes closed and he drew in a shivering breath. "I feel it, my child," he breathed. "You scatter my senses and test my control...I want you, my precious, I want to feel all of you..." He twisted above me, his hardness pushing into my thigh as he bent to kiss my chest. "Wufei...my Wufei..." he murmured, over and over, his lips feathering sweetly over my skin between words. He lapped softly at the peak of one nipple, and I moaned at the damp brush of his tongue. He returned again, teeth pulling gently at my flesh this time, bringing a gasp from my lips as little shocks of pleasure sang through me.

The sounds I made and the things I felt caused a shiver to run the length of his spine; I could feel his desire building steadily. He shifted, sliding further down, his movements slow and deliberate, the hard contours of his stomach and his chest dragging over my erect manhood while his hands caressed my body and his mouth drew a moist, hot path down to my navel. I squirmed beneath that mouth, half from arousal, half from the ticklish sensations, wanting more, aching to touch him in return, threads of guilt twisting through me that I should be so wanton while giving nothing to him in return.

"Wufei," he breathed, raising his head; and the sound of my name on that breath caused my organ to twitch. The movement drew his eye; he gazed at it admiringly for a long instant. "So beautiful," he murmured at last, smiling softly as a modest blush washed over my face; then, before I could think to react, he had seized my hips and his mouth took me whole.

I threw my head back, gasping, breath caught in my throat--I had never dared hope that he might do such a thing; and the hot thrills of ecstasy coursing through me were nearly unbearable. I jerked uselessly at the chains that bound me, crazy with some primal need I could hardly name, my voice escaping me as something between a sob and a groan. The sweet, throbbing tension in my loins wound inexorably tighter, and my hips arced mindlessly against the restraint of his hands, seeking more even as I found myself torn. I did not wish him to stop, not ever; at the same time I felt I could not allow him to continue. It was not right--I should be the one to worship him in this fashion; for it was he who was truly the god, he who was Master. I tried to find the words to speak, to protest, but my voice would not obey me--I seemed capable only of the helpless sounds of pleasure that spilled from my throat as his mouth moved insistently over me, my head spinning at the artful caress of his tongue underneath.

"Master, please!" I managed at last, dismayed that my words could just as easily be taken as a cry for more as a plea to stop. But the link between us and the sharing of my soul allowed him to discern my distress and he drew back; I felt a strange rush of relief even as my body screamed its bereavement at the loss of his mouth.

"Let go of this needless guilt, Wufei," he said softly. "Let me worship you, child--I have waited so long--"

"But it is I who should be pleasing you," I insisted, raising my head the better to see his face.

He caught my gaze, holding it while he kissed his way warmly up the inside of my thigh. "Every pleasure you feel is reflected in me, Wufei, just as mine is reflected in you..." He drew the whole of his tongue slowly up the underside of my shaft; a sharp flare of erotic sensation washed over me and I saw the shiver that raced through him in response. He smiled, still holding my eyes. "You see, Child, that you please me simply by feeling pleasure yourself..." His mouth moved to the soft, heavy sac of my testicles, gently drawing in first one and then the other before returning to the head of my organ. He descended slowly upon me once more; and I broke from his gaze at last, my head falling back as the ecstasy took me again and my misgivings vanished, forgotten.

He was unhurried and deliberate in his admittedly pleasant torment of me; it was not long before I was squirming beneath his skill again, mad with desire and pulling at my bonds in vain, breathless mewls of pleasure escaping me over and over. He brought me to the edge only to hold me there and let me fall back time and again; I was nearly sobbing in my frenzied, helpless desperation when he finally ceased.

He moved up swiftly over my body, his manhood delightfully stiff and commanding as it pressed against my own. He kissed me, fiercely, his hips making shallow thrusting motions, his mouth swallowing every delirious sound I made. I whimpered, suckling at his tongue, arching into him, aching for more.

"Master Death," I breathed, breaking away at last only to feel his mouth trailing down to suck at the lobe of one ear. I moaned, coming undone; that particular sensation was far more intense than I had ever imagined it could be, and my hips rose against him more urgently in response.

"My sweet little Wufei," he sighed, lifting his head and pinning me with the fire that glowed in his eyes. "How I want you, Child..."

His words completely melted me, melted any reserve I had left, and I fell to begging shamelessly.

"Master, I implore you--take me now, claim my body as you have claimed my soul--I exist for no purpose but to please you; for I am yours, yours completely, as you are mine...forgive my boldness; but I want you--I need you--"

"There is nothing to forgive; for I am yours, Child, as much as you are mine--" He fell to kissing me again, bathing my face, my neck with the affectionate touches before lifting away once more. "I adore your boldness, my beautiful dragon, and I want nothing more than to love you for the rest of eternity..."

I saw myself then through his eyes--his long-awaited dream, chained to his altar, my hair tousled beneath me, a faint blush of shy passion dusting my cheeks--a beautiful child, too entrenched in my imagined unworthiness to simply accept the gift he wholeheartedly offered...

I drew in a deep breath, the realization sinking in that yes, he was my god; but my complete and utter obeisance was not what he wanted. He wanted me, as I was, as I had always been, and all of the impertinence and impetuosity and individuality that came with it.

I smiled slowly up at him. "Then love me, Master," I offered, my confidence rising at the earnest devotion in his face. "And take in return my love; take my soul, my body, my life, take me--I give you all that I am and more..." I arched my hips against his, holding his gaze willfully. "I want you, Master...I want you inside me..."

His eyes flared, and he rocked gently against me. "And I shall grant your desires, Wufei, as I promised you those years ago..." He descended upon my mouth again, somewhat less forcefully this time, tenderly crushing my lips beneath his own; I responded in kind, certain that I could never possibly grow weary of the taste of his kiss.

It was long moments later before he withdrew; by then my need of him was so acute that I could hardly bear it. "Master, please," I breathed, drunk on his pleasure as well as my own. "I need you...what you do to me, I never dreamed..." I shivered, giving myself over to him completely. "Do with me what you will, Master Death--I am yours for the taking..."

"Soon, Child," he murmured, the heat in his voice irresistible as he reached aside and took up the goblet that held what remained of Trowa's blood. "I would not cause you pain..."

I shifted beneath him, gratified by the shudder I earned in response. "I would have you in me now, pain or no," I returned, surging into him again, unable to hold back a soft moan.

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