Something wasn’t right. Yohji knew that the moment he woke up, arms sweeping out over the bed for a presence that wasn’t there. The bed wasn’t even warm. Dragging his arms back and then pushing up on them, he glanced around the curtained bed as he began to worry. Aya was gone.

"Cat?" He shoved aside the curtains as he called out Aya’s nickname, looking toward the window seat in case his mate had woken up from a bad dream and decided to go sit there to recover. Worry deepened when he realized that the window seat was empty. Stumbling out of the bed, he continued searching the room until his worst fears were confirmed. Aya wasn’t here. His lover usually didn’t just disappear on a rare morning off, especially not when as tired as he’d been from the mission and traveling back home.

"Fuck." He began hunting for his robe so he could go downstairs. Dammit, had Aya suffered from another nightmare, one bad enough to goad him into leaving the room? Why didn’t Yohji feel anything while he was sleeping? Any nightmare that bad had to be truly terrible, and he should have sensed something. And why hadn’t his lover woken him up, he wondered, anger mixing with growing panic. His hands shook as he picked up his robe and he almost ripped a sleeve’s seam when he violently thrust his arm into it.

Concern washed through him, the emotion feeling so much like his own until he picked up on a sense of curiosity as well. That odd emotional note made him pause for a moment as he put newly honed skills to use. From what he could tell, Aya was awake and, instead of feeling upset and scared, seemed to be wondering what was bothering him. Panic began to fade as his hand gripped his silk robe tightly. The growl in his throat morphed into a loud bark of laughter as he realized he’d almost gone charging out of the room like a raving lunatic. The staff would really have appreciated that. Then his amusement lessened when he felt Aya grow more concerned. Oh, Aya better have a very good reason for scaring him like this and almost making him do something that would probably have ended with him being strangled if he hadn’t just calmed down. The sense he had of his mate slowly grew stronger and nearer, indicating that Aya was on his way back to the room.

Tossing aside his robe, Yohji crawled back into bed, idly noting that the room was a bit chilly. The weather seemed to have taken a sharp turn into late autumn the last week or two, and summer had only just ended. When they’d left the capital it had been hot and muggy, now it was cool enough he needed to consider bringing up some wood for the bedroom’s fireplace. Stretching out beneath the sheets, he couldn’t help but smile at the thought of snuggling in a nice, warm bed with his mate on cold winter nights. If the man stayed in bed and didn’t wander off on him again like this morning, he thought with a sudden frown.

As if summoned by that dark thought, Aya finally returned to the bedroom, muttering a curse beneath his breath as he closed the door. Even before pulling back the curtains Yohji could smell something very good. Coffee and cinnamon and bacon, the scents flooding his mouth with saliva as his belly loudly protested its empty state. He looked out just in time to see Aya place a huge tray covered with dishes, pots and mugs onto their nightstand. Biting his lip, Aya watched the tray a moment or two after he set it down as if making sure that it wouldn’t fall over.

"You left for some breakfast?"

Yohji’s plaintive question had Aya looking away from the tray and at him. His frown returned as he noticed the dark circles around his lover’s eyes. Not waiting for an answer, he reached out and pulled Aya onto the bed. "Why the hell did you do that?" he asked, more than a little upset that his lover hadn’t taken the opportunity to rest while he could. Birman had warned them that she’d have to cut into their vacation a little once she returned to the capital.

Hissing slightly at being manhandled, Aya shoved Yohji’s hands aside and sat up, hair disheveled and crimson robe sliding off his shoulder – the sight awakening an entirely different hunger in Yohji. "Because I was hungry and thought I should go get something to eat," he snapped.

Drawn to the exposed pale skin bearing marks he’d left there last night, Yohji sat up as well, right hand reaching to touch Aya’s shoulder. "Jo said she’d bring us up a tray. Couldn’t you have waited…." Just feeling Aya’s warm, silky skin made him shiver and lose his train of thought. He could still smell their passion from last night; it clung to the bedding, the curtains and even to Aya and his skin.

Anger fading as he sighed in exasperation, Aya caught Yohji’s hand in his and squeezed. "But I’m hungry now and didn’t think I could wait much longer." He lifted Yohji’s hand to his mouth and nibbled lightly on the fingers. "I figured once you woke up I wouldn’t get a chance to eat until much later."

The feel of Aya’s mouth on him made Yohji moan, the sound low and deep. Any and all annoyance he felt at waking up alone disappeared, replaced by hunger and love. "You got that right, Cat," he murmured, voice thick with desire. He pulled his hand back to bring his lover closer. "Now that you mention it, I’m rather hungry myself."

The rare sound of laughter startled him, coming as it did from a smiling Aya who straddled his lap while reaching for something on the tray. He hadn’t heard Aya laugh since before they left for Timbergrey. Still stunned by the amusement that radiated from his lover, he blinked as a piece of toast was shoved past his partially opened lips.

The warm, cheerful emotion continued to pour into him as Aya told him to close his mouth and chew. "Try eating this right now," Aya said, eyes shining with joy and a smile still curving his lips. "Because if you feed from me before I have some breakfast, I’m going to spend the rest of the day sleeping."

Chewing on the lightly buttered toast, Yohji swallowed as he leaned back against the pillows, arms wrapped around Aya’s waist. "I don’t know, I think you could really use the rest." He brushed back the hair falling onto his lover’s face, wanting to fully enjoy the sight of Aya so obviously happy. "You worked hard those last few days." He felt a little guilty about draining Aya so much last night but hadn’t been able to control himself, not after finally reaching home and being able to put Timbergrey behind them.

"So did you." Aya finished off the toast before reaching for a cup of tea. His smile weakened as he thought about something as he held the cup, his bright emotions slightly dampened with pain and exhaustion. Then suddenly shaking his head, he sighed again and sipped his tea. "Are you telling me that you really wouldn’t mind if I slept the whole day? I thought you and the awesome dick had big plans," he said, hips rocking forward the slightest bit.

Yohji’s left hand tightened on Aya’s hips to stop his lover before he lost control of his hunger while his left fumbled for the cup of coffee Aya had brought. "I told you I’d be perfectly happy with you curled up beside me, sleeping or reading or devouring an entire tin of cookies." He waggled his eyebrows before taking a nice long gulp of coffee. Ah, that tasted so good. Quickly draining the cup, he urged Aya to lift up a little so he could scoot back against the pillows. Then he reached for the plate of bacon so he could return the favor and feed Aya himself. "Open up," he told his lover as he held up a piece of bacon. "And don’t even think of biting my fingers. Bad kitty."

Aya glared at him for that comment but didn’t do anything but nip at his fingers. The glare was just for show, anyway, as he still felt amusement and happiness – along with a touch of doubt. Once finished with the bacon, Aya leaned forward until his face was mere centimeters from Yohji’s. "You’d really let me sleep the entire day?" The doubt could be heard in his voice and his hand hovered over Yohji’s chest.

Growling softly, Yohji tugged on one of the eartails dangling right before him while hugging his lover closer. "Aya, you know I’m not gonna ravish you while you’re sleeping or try anything when you’re obviously so tired." He smiled as he pulled his hand back before it was swatted. "Do I want to spend the day making love? Hell yes. But I’m just happy we’re finally home and have the time to spend together. I’m not going to complain too much if we use it to get some much needed rest." Besides, they had a few days before they really had to start working again. He and the awesome dick could play then.

However, right now a certain stubborn cat didn’t seem convinced that Yohji wanted him but was trying to keep his best interests in heart. Aya went still as he slid his hand through his lover’s ragged hair until it cupped the back of Aya’s head. Pulling his lover closer, Yohji closed his eyes and kissed Aya, briefly smiling at the taste of bacon and tea before he grew serious. If Aya thought that he really didn’t desire him right now, he was gravely mistaken. He’d wanted this so much the last three weeks, Aya and him in their bed with nothing better to do all day but sleep and have sex. His hunger flared back to life at the caress, at the way Aya’s hands rested on his shoulders, fingers flexing against his skin as Aya moaned in pleasure. Maybe his lover wasn’t as tired as he’d feared, he thought rather hopefully.

He moaned himself a minute later when he ended the kiss, gently pushing Aya away even as his instincts screamed at him to hold his mate close, to do a hell of a lot more than just kiss him. "It’s up to you, love, what we do today." There was pain as he gave Aya the choice but he’d survive if all his lover wanted to do was read and sleep today. There had been too many years when Aya had no choice at all.

Aya stared at him for a moment, emotions a roiling mix of confusion and desire, but they slowly calmed down into love and gratitude as Yohji focused on his hunger and need. "I told you, breakfast first," Aya said in a purring voice. "I wasn’t planning on sleeping all day." The look he gave Yohji made it perfectly clear that he wasn’t going to spend the day reading, either.

Yohji’s willpower was sorely tested just then, his body and hunger wanting nothing more than to pull Aya close again, to resume the kiss and more. But he somehow managed to grab a cinnamon roll instead. "Cat, do me a favor and eat quick, all right?"

There was another smile from his mate just then, and what might have been a very quiet chuckle. They made quick work of all the food Aya had brought up, until not a scrap of eggs, bacon or pastry remained.

As soon as the last empty plate was stacked onto the tray, Yohji finally did what he’d wanted to do ever since seeing Aya that morning. His eager hands made quick work of the belt holding his lover’s robe closed. In just a few seconds he had the damned thing off of Aya and drifting toward the floor, all that lovely skin now exposed for him to stroke and taste. He slowly pulled his lover back onto his lap, arms tight around Aya’s waist but not tight enough that Aya couldn’t pull away if he wanted. "Still hungry?" he asked, voice husky with desire.

Aya’s fingers tangled in his hair, making him shiver. "No. How about you?" Aya leaned back the slightest bit, head tilted to the side in a manner that showed off the curve of his neck. The marks from last night were beginning to fade, something that Yohji found he didn’t like very much.

He didn’t answer at first, instead he pulled Aya close so he could fasten his lips to that enticing stretch of skin. As he did, he let his hunger wash through their link, its intensity making Aya tremble against him. Then he began to suck, teeth pressed firmly against skin as he marked his mate. One hand still wrapped around Aya’s waist, the other scrambled to tug back the blankets enough so his lover could feel how hard he was just then, how much he wanted him. Once the bedding was down far enough and skin came into contact with heated skin, his teeth pressed harder against Aya’s neck.

"Yotan!" Aya’s throaty cry made his cock twitch, made the hunger burn brighter and his tentative control shatter. Spurred on by his nature, he bit until he tasted blood, needing a deeper, darker mark than normal, desperately needing to leave something for the world to see that Aya was his, that Aya was not to be touched or ever harmed. Emotions and instincts he’d fought with the last several days crashed through him, had him surging up from the bed until he had his mate sprawled beneath him, shuddering against him and crying out his name again.

His hands stroked up and down Aya’s body, desperate to flame his lover’s desire and pleasure as high as possible. All the spots that made those emotions pour into him as brilliant sunlight, all the places that made Aya moan and gasp in ecstasy were caressed and pinched and teased – and all the while he left another mark on his lover’s neck, another brand that should take days to fade away.

Sharp nails raked down his back, a sudden spike of pleasure/pain that made him finally pull away from Aya’s neck as he hissed in surprise. He looked down at his mate as the nails scratched their way back up, a little more gently this time. Aya stared up at him, eyes a mix of silver and amethyst and a tiny, pleased smile on his lips.

As much as he adored the sight of a smiling Aya, he couldn’t resist leaning forward until he was kissing those curved lips with the same amount of fervor that had gone into marking his mate. He wanted all of Aya, wanted everything his lover would give him and more. The feel of Aya’s nails once more pressing against his back, their hard cocks rubbing together as their hips rocked back and forth, the way Aya shivered as he played with his lover’s nipples, pinching and tugging gently on the hardened nubs…. And all the time sunlight burned into him, hot and potent as the pleasure he felt.

But as wonderful as all this was, he needed something more. He forced his right hand away from Aya’s nipples, allowed it the barest skim down his lover’s sweat-slick body before searching out the jar of lubricant tucked between the headboard and mattress. Aya moaned and grinded his hips against Yohji’s as he managed to unscrew the jar’s lid, the air inside the bed scented by a faint, herbal smell. "Yo-yotan," Aya stuttered, eyes closing in pleasure when his legs were nudged farther apart.

"Aya," Yohji purred, unable to resist moving his mouth back to Aya’s neck, right below Aya’s left ear. He wanted to hear every one of his lover’s moans and gasps as he slowly pressed his slick fingers against him, wanted to hear each time his name was spoken. Aya could be so damned quiet during sex, especially when he lost himself to his true nature, that he wanted to savor this.

He was rather pleased with his decision when Aya gasped as he gently pushed a finger inside his lover. He’d have chuckled just then if he wasn’t already moaning, both at the flood of sunlight that filled him and at how tight and hot Aya was, body resisting only a moment as another finger was added and then worked their way in deeper. Once again he felt Aya mark him, felt nails bite into his shoulders and cool shadows caress his back as one long, lean leg wrapped around his lower body. Just then he wanted so damn much to be buried inside his lover, to feel Aya’s arms and legs tighten around him and hold him close as he thrust deep. His hips were moving already, his cock rubbing against Aya’s thigh as he fought with himself to not start fucking his lover right now. The way Aya moved against him, in time with him, made that battle all the more difficult. He could win against his desire but not Aya’s as well.

His fingers twisted and scissored inside of his mate, careful all the while not to brush against that special spot. No, he wouldn’t be able to hold back any longer if there was a spark of pleasure that strong, not when he was already on the edge of his control. As much as he shared Aya’s frustration and longing, he took the time to do things right, unable to bear the thought of causing his lover any pain. But gods, Aya sure as hell didn’t make it easy, especially when he began to nibble on Yohji’s shoulder like that. No, Aya seemed very determined to break that control as he rocked his hips to take Yohji’s fingers deeper inside him, as his fingers dug into Yohji’s ass and urged him forward, as the shadows wrapped around their bodies as if to prevent him from pulling away.

There was a strong flash of annoyance just then, and as Yohji paused in what he was going, Aya began to purr. Damn well knowing the effect it would have, he pulled away from Yohji, hands falling to rest on either side of his head as he stretched his body, hips grinding against Yohji’s, eyes heavy-lidded with passion and neck oh so slightly arched. The sight of his mate offering up himself like that was the last straw for Yohji. His body trembled as he pulled his fingers free, only to go perfectly still moments later as slick hands wrapped around his cock. When Aya had grabbed the lubricant he didn’t know, all he cared about just then was feeling Aya stroke him like that, up and down while squeezing gently. All the while cool shadows pressed against his back, urged him to shift forward. Regaining control of his body, he fell onto his mate, a growl building in his throat as he roughly hooked one knee onto his arm, pressed Aya’s other leg to the side as he sank down. There was an incredibly tormenting moment as the head of his cock rubbed against Aya’s ass, then a snap of his hips and sheer heaven.

He needed a few seconds to get back his breath at the sudden surge of sunlight just then, his hunger drinking it in eagerly while he froze above Aya, cock half buried in tight, glorious heat. His lover, eyes closed and lips parted slightly, mewled ever so faintly as slick hands tried frantically to clutch his ass and urge him forward. That was all he needed to set him into motion, to bury himself completely with a loud groan of pleasure.

His right hand wrapped around Aya’s cock, startling a cry from his lover as he stroked down, gripped its base tightly for a few seconds before sliding up and then back down again. His other hand reached out and tangled in Aya’s bright hair, tilted his head back so he could take a long sweep of his tongue along the bruised neck. Hips moving frantically, he hunched over Aya, lifted his lover’s hips up higher so he thrust as deeply as possible, face pressed against the side of Aya’s neck. Words spilled past his lips as sunlight burned through him, filled him up with intense heat and ecstasy; he couldn’t stop telling Aya how damned gorgeous he was, how good he made him feel, how much Yohji wanted him… until the words became nonsense, just inarticulate moans interspersed with Aya’s name. While this went on Aya clung to him, lay there almost folded in half with his body trembling from pleasure, nails digging into Yohji’s ass, heel bumping against his back in time to the forceful thrusts.

Yohji could tell as soon as he pounded against Aya’s sweet spot that his mate wouldn’t last much longer, not with the way Aya’s panting breaths became even more ragged, with the scorching energy rushing into him. His thrusts became even more frantic, he became desperate for the ecstasy to last just a little longer, to savor the feel of Aya beneath him, around him and taking him in even deeper as they both began to tremble.

Then the bliss crashed down on them, seared through Yohji until he thought it burned him completely, reducing his world to brilliant light that slowly faded into darkness. He lay there with his eyes closed, face pressed against Aya’s neck and enjoyed the last few moments of being connected like this, the blissful aftershocks that sent shivers through his body. Reality gradually intruded as the dull ache of pain all along his back, the twitching cramps in his arms and legs. With a sigh of regret he shifted off of his lover, allowed Aya’s body to straighten out on the bed. He curled up beside Aya, arm draped over Aya’s chest as he couldn’t quite stop himself from touching the man.

"Well?" he croaked, a little worried about Aya in spite of the love and contentment he felt.

Aya finally opened his eyes, a blissful smile curving his lips. More than anything, Yohji wished he could capture the image of his lover looking just like that, so obviously happy. Then Aya rolled over to face him, not saying a word but still smiling.

"I take it that the awesome dick did its job well, then," Yohji couldn’t help but tease, delighted when Aya merely smiled even more at the joke. "Now isn’t that better than reading or sleeping?"

"Hmmm." Shadows skittered over to Aya, dragging along a napkin from their breakfast tray. "But now I don’t have the energy to do anything else but those things," Aya pointed out, voice a little hoarse as well. He used the napkin to wipe himself clean before handing it to Yohji, who had to suppress the longing to be able to push Aya onto his back and lick him clean. One day he’d be able to do that again but he wouldn’t press for it any time soon. Aya had faced enough pain from his past lately. "You all right?" Aya asked with concern.

"Yeah." Yohji smiled and, once his hand was clean, brushed aside the sweat-soaked hair falling onto his lover’s face. "Just wondering if you left any skin on my back, that’s all." Luckily, Aya hadn’t scratched him too deeply - in fact the pain was already fading. "Maybe we should look into getting you declawed, Cat."

"Very funny." Aya glared as he batted Yohji’s hand aside. "Do I get to pull your fangs in return?" he asked as he stroked his spectacularly bruised and bitten neck.

Yohji couldn’t help touching the marks he’d left. "I’ll just have to do my best gumming you then." He shifted his hand up to Aya’s face, and as he caressed his lover’s cheek, set about returning as much of the energy he’d taken as he could. "Do I complain when you do the same to me?"

"No." Aya’s annoyance melted away as he titled his face into the caress. "Not unless I really scratch up your back."

Yohji had to laugh at that comment as he shifted closer to his lover. "I think you mistook it for a scratching post this time, but I’ll stop complaining." Unable to resist, he kissed Aya on the nose and laughed some more when the glare made a come-back. "Why don’t you take a nap so I’ve some time to grow back all that skin, hmmm?"

"Sleep is too boring," Aya replied as he pulled away from Yohji, moaning softly as he slowly sat up. Pausing for a moment to stretch his back once he left the bed, Aya made a beeline for the stack of books he’d unpacked last night. After choosing two – and a slight detour to pick up the tin of almond cookies - he slid under the covers, a soft purr building in his throat.

Not one to break what was basically a promise, Yohji left the bed long enough to quickly wash off his back and place the empty tray outside their door for one of the staff to pick up. Then he hurried to join his mate, sighing happily as he curled up beneath the warm covers. He spooned against Aya’s back, his arm immediately taken over as a headrest as Aya settled against him. His lover in his arms, delicious cookies right in reach and all day to enjoy this, he was feeling extremely content right now. Sooner or later Aya would drift off to sleep, and after a quick nap he’d go downstairs to return the favor from breakfast. But he’d at least leave a note in case Aya woke up missing him while he was off foraging for lunch.

"Glad to be home, love?" he asked, voice soft so he didn’t disturb Aya too much.

"Yes." Just the one word filled with a wealth of emotion. For once Yohji kept any comments about Aya’s obvious dislike for chatting to himself and instead just hugged him a little closer. Besides, he had the feeling he’d have ended kicked out of bed if he had said anything.


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