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"No," Bell replied. "If anything, let's move as soon as you feel better. I can do some poking around like this, since no one will recognize me." And besides, he was done with this place and badly wanted to move on. He never liked staying in one place too long, and there were too many bad memories in this place.
Food came. It was good, which was nice, though Landon only picked at his. Bell wanted to urge him on to eat more, but remembered the threat of vomit at the last second. Best to let Landon move at his own pace.
He sat back and stretched. "So. The hospital. What's our plan? We can sneak in by getting you admitted," he joked. He wasn't serious. Records were bad, and the chance of that guy they were avoiding showing up was too great. "Mmm...probably they won't pay too much attention if we slip in during visiting hours. Or you could go in the back with the deliveries," he suggested. Probably planning to get in was unnecessary. Hospitals weren't exactly Fort Knox.
"If you see Robert, run. Let me deal with him," Bell asserted. He did not want to see Landon get stabbed again. "Look for the women. See if you can figure out what he's done with them. If we can set them loose like we did with the men, it'll probably prove distraction enough to get the guards away from Robert." Not that he was overly concerned with humans when Robert was in the picture, but if he was going to kill the guy, it was better to not have an audience. Or anyone interfering.
Little feet hurried up to him, and then a little girl climbed into his lap suddenly, pulling herself up on his clothes. Bell froze completely. What the hell was he supposed to do with this?
"Hi, daddy," she said, waving at Landon. "I wanted to see you."
Bell looked down at the kid, then up at Landon. Landon was a dad? He'd--well, of course Bell had known that he'd slept with Lily, but somehow he hadn't thought Landon would actually have a kid. Wait. No. How the hell had his kid found them? Was Lily in the area? He looked around, but there was no sign of her. What the hell? He looked back at Landon, brows furrowed as deeply as he'd ever furrowed them.
The little girl ignored Bell as completely as though he were the furniture she was treating him as and smiled at Landon.
Going was slow, but refreshing in the end. Like the cold wind robbed Landon not just of his body-heat but also of the stuffy and messed up thoughts running rampant in the tight confines of his overly worked brain. That didn't mean that Landon wasn't grateful for the restaurant's warmth when Bell finally did decide on a place. Landon was even more grateful for just being able to sit down. Ordering some red meat to go with their water -how reserved- Landon wiggled out of his coat and felt the restaurant's heat float to his head.
Good choice. Not that his little sister would ever, but Bellwether didn't have to know that.
"I'm not that old," Landon countered Bell's suggestion of Bellwether being his kid. Alice would've been barely five, if she'd lived.
And if Bell suggested Landon be a parental figure in the emotionally and hormonal chaotic times of a teen, he had another thing coming. Propping his head up on a hand, Landon's eyes glazed over and stared at nothing.
Some focus returned when their appetizer and drinks came around, but Landon felt drained regardless. Focussing was an effort, not being able to drink anything more exciting than water was a drag and being too weak -and too young- to go out was depressing. Not that they should, probably. Almost four months was what they had wasted in this retarded city because of Robert. It was about time they made that chapter come to a violent end.
"You want to wait until you're..." Landon gestured faintly, sighing, "all grown up before we explore the hospital further?" They should make a plan. What if Bellwether-goat's new form wasn't strong enough yet? Still, the goat had located them closer to the source by picking this hotel, so it seemed to think they were good to go. Landon wasn't sure yet what role he'd play in all of this -as if it wasn't clear yet he was a mortal in the face of gods.
Maybe he could find out where the hybrids were and dispatch them. Those were easy enough to kill, if they didn't look like his dead daughter.
Picking at the bread, Landon waited for his stomach to give the green light, which it did in the end, albeit reluctantly. Would goat-blood change him? If it wasn't expelled?
Nothing they could do about that. Heaving a sigh, Landon rubbed at his face in a poor attempt to remain alert and glanced around the restaurant. Paranoid? Maybe, but it'd been Bell's pick, so there was no telling what they'd get into.
He got up and yanked his boots on--awkwardly large now--then slipped into his coat. So long as they were going somewhere, might as well not layer up; it'd be hard to get served if they looked like they were homeless.
In the end he'd ruined things anyways, hadn't he? Now it was just 'getting dinner' not 'going out.' Stupid goat always interfering.
Outside was no less freezing cold than it had been the last time he'd gone out, and he quickly closed his coat up all the way. Should've layered up anyways, and who cared what they thought!
He looked around. The sandwich shop was still open, but he didn't like the idea of frequenting some place. He'd get recognized, and that was no good. Well, or maybe [i he] wouldn't get recognized, but Landon was entirely different. He led the way down a block or two, slipping once where the snow had melted to black ice, and found a little diner. Good enough, since they weren't going for drinks anyways.
Inside, it was almost stiflingly hot; the waitress gave them a funny look when they walked in. "Right this way," she said, a little hesitantly.
"Thanks for takin' me out, uncle Lenny," Bell said, figuring it was the best excuse. Landon was too young to be his dad, too old to be his brother, but uncle could work. Maybe cousin would've been better...but whatever. At least the waitress relaxed a hair afterwards, and stopped looking at them funny.
It was too late for coffee. He chose something off the menu at random, not paying too much attention to what he ordered, and got a glass of water. He wasn't quite young enough to order off the kid's menu, which was a shame. And much less humiliating than ordering off the kid's menu would have been, he realized after a beat. What the hell, he didn't want to be younger! Though then he could maybe have passed as Landon's son.
"A few more years between us and I could be your kid," he commented with a yawn. "Wouldn't that be a hoot." If the goat had done this a couple of years later, and Landon were just a little older, it would've been more than possible.
Only for a night? Because of him? Landon's hands almost slowed to a stop at that realization, but then Landon steeled himself and continued further into the room. Dragging his boots towards the bed, Landon sat down and began to tie them; half a man already. They'd get somewhere yet. Looking at Bell, Landon realized they'd have a problem. Their age-gap was too awkward.
Sure, Landon could be a dad by now, but not of a kid that age and it would be awkward to state they were brothers. Especially considering they shared few similar features -then again, people could be made to believe anything. So that only left the slightly less than legal option of them being romantically involved.
Even if they fudged their age by two years each, there was nearly a decade in between.
"I guess you'll just have to wait it out," Landon reasoned, wiping at his wet hair, pushing it back. Didn't have a comb -hadn't needed one, until his hair had grown this long and Daniel had had different things on his mind than personal care.
Little brother would be the most likely scenario; and doable if Bell did age a little overnight each night. Of course, getting Bellwether to be patient was a different things altogether.
"Let's just go get something to eat," Landon posed. Drinking after losing a hefty amount of blood was probably not the best idea either, though part of Landon felt defeated. No alcohol, no fun, no sex; but also no danger -probably. Jail-bait Bell was even more likely to get abducted and raped.
Landon pointedly ignored where Bellwether asked him whether he was feeling well enough. Maybe not, but the novelty of staying in the hotel-room for days on end had worn off long ago. Taking a deep breath, Landon stood and looked down at Bell. Weird perspective.
"We can go out for drinks after you've turned legal," he joked.
At least then there wouldn't be any way Landon could be swayed into actually having sex with an under-aged Bell.
Still feeling a little like he was floating rather than walking, Landon grabbed his things and scraped the coins from the night-stand to get rid of them. Coins and metals were no good things to keep around when magnetism was their foremost weapon against goats. Not that Landon kept a magnet in his pocket either, but it felt better to be prepared.
The notion was ridiculous. Landon recognized it as such and still couldn't help it.
Without anything else to say about the current situation, Landon merely led their progression out into town. The lobby was enough to get Landon to close his coat against the cold and being outside got him shivering. Whose idea was this again? Should've just ordered in.
Bell flipped him off. Cute, huh? Just what every man wanted to hear. "I don't know," he said, frustrated. "The goat made me like this. I fought it to turn back, but...didn't stick. Didn't...It said only for the night, so...I got lucky, I guess."
A moment later, he clued in to what Landon was actually asking. "I started aging up faster than natural last time, before I had to bring out the goat," he mentioned. "Made it to fifteen and a half, sixteen maybe in a night last time. But I can't...actually turn back. I can force it, but then the goat steps in and...well. I don't like the way it feels. I don't want to be little, either. Feels...ick." He shuddered. He hadn't been much older when...ah. Better not to think about that. "But it's better than feeling the goat peering over my shoulder all the time."
He reached out and took Landon's hand. "But we can still go out?" he asked. If anything, he'd be extra good while he was little. Less incentive to act out and start a fight when he wasn't sure he could win it. And Robert wouldn't recognize him like this either, though he'd still recognize Landon--but maybe seeing Landon without Bell would give him pause enough for them to escape, or at least set up a counter attack. "I don't want to ruin everything. I'm still the same inside."
Mostly the same inside. It was a little harder to focus than it had been. Some of his thoughts were more confused, harder to straighten out. He still loved Landon, but it was...different. And she was closer. Too close.
But Landon didn't need to know any of that. "Yeah? Are you feeling well enough?" he asked, peering up at Landon. Landon was way taller than him now...It was disconcerting. Landon looked a little pale, but no worse than he had before. And they'd gone out fighting with Landon injured more grievously. Seemed like the guy was perpetually hurt; he'd have to be used to going out lightheaded by now. But Bell didn't want to push him.
Then again, neither did he want to stay in the hotel room until the end of the world. If Landon could go out, they should go out. "Ah, fuck. No drinking," Bell complained, making a face. He'd only just realized it.
Furrowing his brow at Bell's outcry -shrill, he noted, and too high- Landon carefully put down the clothes he'd been carrying and glanced at himself in the mirror. Okay, so a shave was due. Finding some soap and another disposable razor stuck in one of his pockets since his old ones had probably been tossed, Landon started to shave, catching sight of a rather short and towel-clad Bellwether in the mirror's reflection. Ah, so that was frustrating for Bell, huh?
Wait, if Bell was fifteen...
Landon lowered the blade and leaned on the sink, head hung. Two months he'd waited and now there would be more frustrated waiting. But Bellwether wasn't technically fifteen -well, in body maybe, but who cared? Wasn't like he'd scar Bell's tender soul, right? Or maybe he would.
"Fuck me," Landon muttered under his breath before focussing on the task at hand. His arms felt like they were drained of all energy. Pushing through, Landon finished shaving and ran the shower, hoping there was some hot water left. Well, it was a decent hotel, it was bound to produce more hot water than a shoddy one.
There was still blood underneath his nails. Landon scrubbed at the red furiously, until all trace of that temporary weakness was completely erased. Shouldn't it bother him more than the goat appeared to think Bell was better off being a fifteen-year old?
Bell had been raped on the streets...as a kid?
Looking in the general direction of the room, Landon shook his head. Getting Bellwether to talk about the girl he possibly murdered for fear of her being a goat was hard enough, asking his god-damn name had warranted more choking; who knew what bringing up the rape would do? Landon recalled a frightened Bell, curled in an impossibly small space underneath a desk, a knife held close for protection. It was a miracle Bellwether hadn't lashed out back then, especially since their relationship was...on less stable ground back then.
Leaning against the tiles, Landon let himself sink down into the tub. Flashes of red made his head ache. Blood, dripping down his wrists. Not just this once, but several times before Bell had been around to stop him. Where had his mind been those times?
Landon sat like that for a while, until his headache lessened and then gathered the will to actually get up and get dressed. His body needed convincing it was fine, that's all. Nice way to down-play the symptoms. They'd get lucky if their little trip to the hospital didn't get him admitted for anaemia or whatever.
"You're cute as a kid," Landon remarked as he exited the bathroom, still half-heartedly drying his hair, but dressed at least.
"Jail-bait, huh?" so why had Bell changed back?
"Is this...a permanent thing?"
Hot water beat down on his shoulders, nice and comforting. About the only thing that'd have made it better was Landon in this shower with him, but he was trying to get clean, not fool around. Landon having gone two months without, he kind of doubted they'd have gotten much clean if they went in together.
Just as he finished washing, his heart lurched. Bell leaned against the wall, hand to his chest, breath suddenly catching. Ah, fuck. Now?
When else? It wasn't in public, and he wasn't in Landon. When would be better? He panted and fought it, but it was no use. He couldn't refuse the goat after all. He was only human. His body shrunk slowly, limbs receding, flesh squirming over his bones. It hurt--it hurt like it hadn't before, and he clenched his hand against the wall, bit his lip and turned his head away, trying to block it out. His legs trembled, but he stayed upright; and then it was done, and he was restored to factory default, for the goat: fifteen. The bit he'd aged last time had disappeared. So maybe only if he stayed in this form would he return to his older form as default?
But it was frustrating. Why couldn't the goat just leave him alone? He slammed his fist against the wall hard enough that the tiles broke beneath it. "Damn it!" he growled, just as Landon walked in.
He immediately froze, almost guilty, but there was a curtain between them. Landon couldn't see. He didn't want to ruin tonight, their date--the foreseeable future, really. Could he turn back? He tried doing the same thing that had worked before, focusing on how he ought to look, but...nothing. Maybe he could still pull it off, though. If he moved fast enough. Damn goat! Always making things difficult.
He turned off the water and snaked an arm out to grab a nearby towel. They'd abused the hell out of every hotel's towel service, but there were still towels left on the rack here that weren't blood stained or otherwise coated in bodily fluids. "Shower's all yours," he said, working to speak in his lower register, then glanced out. Landon looked preoccupied; the coast was clear. Clutching the towel high around his chest like a woman, he dashed out into the room, slamming the door to the bathroom shut behind him. Okay. Phase one had succeeded.
Clothes were strewn everywhere, as usual. He picked out a set that didn't quite scream hobo and yanked them on, tightening all the drawstrings and such as tight as they'd go. Fifteen. Why couldn't it have been seventeen? He'd have been able to pull off seventeen as twenty-one with a little effort. Fifteen was still tiny. Still a child. He tried changing again, but gave up just on the cusp of success. Even if he changed, then what? Then the goat poisoned his mind and he couldn't eat, anyways. He'd just face Landon as he was. Wait out aging up the way the goat wanted him to. At least that had been accelerated, last time.
"No," Landon said matter-of-factly. Daniel had only presented after the inexplicable 'black-outs', which proved to be when Daniel took over his life entirely. It'd been frightening at first, reassuring after and commonplace in the end. Landon actually felt slightly hollow without Daniel to fall back on.
"Won't know till I try," Landon said, making to face Bell when suddenly the man's arms were wrapped around him. Okay-? Was this...sympathy? But the grip Bell had was maybe a little too tight -an apology for throttling Landon again? And then Bellwether let go, the sudden flight of emotion erased under a mask of pretend.
Shaking his head with a smirk, Landon licked his lips and sighed out. 'First' didn't sit well. Rather Landon have they shower together, but something felt off. Like their happiness was already lasting far too long.
Noticing goose-bumps on his arms, Landon figured Bell had the right idea with the shower and ran his eyes across the room. Clothes were pretty much strewn everywhere. Picking up a few that seemed as if they might fit him rather than Bellwether, Landon tossed them on a growing pile on the bed and then sat next to it to catch his breath.
Okay, so maybe the whole going-out thing was overly ambitious, but Landon knew it'd bore Bell to tears, never mind what the goat wanted. That drive would see them out of the hotel room and back at the hospital before long. There really was no time Landon could waste sleeping.
At least the headache had died down to something tolerable.
Daniel had kept so much inside.
Landon hadn't even acknowledged Lily had been pregnant at some point; that he'd been a father at some point to a little girl. That he'd beaten his alcoholic father into a coma, and ran with the excuse of 'wanting to stand on his own two feet', abandoning his mother -who had apparently known and forgiven him, bless her. Landon looked at his left hand and flexed the muscles. Nothing. No pain.
Even the spot at his stomach where the goat had pierced him was smooth now. Nothing to see. Like they were all bad dreams and it was up to Landon to decide which were real and which were just...dreams. Nightmares.
Looking up, Landon took a deep sigh and gathered his clothes, carefully shuffling to the bathroom.
He listened quietly to Landon's story, not sure what the point was until he finished. So he'd always been delusional, then. Well, not a surprise, really. It didn't seem like the kind of thing that had happened recently. "Must've been tough," he said vaguely. What was he supposed to say? What did you say to something like that? Oh, wait, was this the part where he confessed, too? He made a face and cast his eyes away. Ha, no. He had worse things than an imaginary friend in his past. "Was that Daniel? The delusion," Bell asked.
Bell passed Landon the water carefully, and the other man took it and drank evenly. He was doing a lot better already. Maybe Bell should've fucked him every time; seemed to get him back on his feet more quickly than not. "Think you can handle it?" he asked, raising an eyebrow at him. Landon was usually bedridden for a day after taking in the blood; he didn't want to take him out only for him to puke up the dinner. Of course, on the other hand, it was Landon's money and not really his problem. If the guy wanted to go out and puke up dinner, why not?
He hugged Landon tight, suddenly overcome with fear that between himself and Landon, one of them would succeed at killing Landon. And then he let him go and stood, stretching tall. "I stink, so I'm gonna take a shower first," he declared. "Can't go out all stinky, what'll they think?" The last bit he trilled in a mocking falsetto, one hand flopping out into the stereotypical gay wrist flip.
How the times had changed. Used to be he was happy to get a shower once a month, once a year, even. Now he was like some diva, needing a shower every other day. But then again, he'd always tried to shower after sex; was it really his fault he was getting more of it nowadays?
He headed into the shower, stretching again at the doorway, and flipped the water on. Something felt off, though he couldn't quite put his finger on what. The heat was right, the shower was right...but something felt off. He scratched his chest absent-mindedly, then yawned and stepped into the hot water. It'd work itself out.
Coughing meekly, Landon blinked at white sheets, heard scrambling and through bleary eyes recognized Bellwether. Wait -had? What-? Sorry? Why was Bell sorry...oh. One hand went to Landon's throat experimentally and the skin felt sensitive. No surprise there then. Sighing out, Landon deflated back onto the bed, the nightmare still fresh in his mind. Actually, he could use water.
Clearing his throat, Landon pushed up on his elbows, giving Bell a long look.
"When I was young, we moved," Landon confessed -not really a stunning fact of life, that one. "My parents urged me to find friends and it was kind of a...white-picket-fence sort of neighbourhood anyway," he told Bell, hanging his head a little to scratch at his hair. Their little nap had done something at least, because Landon did feel stronger.
"So I find this kid, and his little brother, yeah? We play," Landon waved away the details, because they just did what kids do.
"We become best buddies in under an hour, me and that kid," he expressed. "So I ask them over to stay for dinner, right?"
And that'd been when everything started off.
Why was he telling Bell this anyway?
"So I told my mom about the kid and his little brother and she goes white as a sheet," Landon expressed. "There's no other kid, just the little brother, who was actually an only child," he continued, eyes lifting at Bell.
"Sometimes I wish they'd never found out," Landon said wistfully. "But it was also kind of a relief?" Landon's eyes lowered, staring at the wall for a short while before waking from his daze and moving to slowly sit up.
The dizziness wasn't too bad.
There was still the water Bell got before he basically passed out and Landon reached for it, taking tentative sips. His stomach still hadn't really gotten over the whole digesting blood thing, but it was getting there, remarkably. What did that say about him though? That he'd been drinking goat's blood often enough to actually adjust to digesting it?
"You want to go and try going out for dinner?" Landon suggested, not sure whether he could make it, but if they took things slow and didn't aim for a restaurant twenty miles down the street, everything should work out. Unless the aged Bell couldn't be bothered with food. That had happened last time -hadn't it? Daniel had played the sandwich thing off as a joke, but Bellwether the kid had taken money and gotten food afterwards.
Running his hair back, Landon heaved a deep sigh and put the water on the stand. Sure, he needed to eat, but he found himself lacking the energy to go about business as usual.
Anyone could be one of them. Anyone.
His hands tightened on her neck, cutting off air. She stared back at him, confused, betrayed. It hurt, it hurt for her to look at him like that, but--but he had to know. He couldn't trust her until he knew. Was she one of them? Was she one of the monsters?
She struggled hard against him. She as stronger than he'd expected, and she kicked and threw her weight and bucked, bludgeoning every inch of him she could reach, but his arms were strong, his hands white-knuckled, strength fueled by fear. She went limp, slowly, slowly, eyes rolling back, jaw falling open--
What if she wasn't? There had to be another way. There had to be. He couldn't kill her. He couldn't. His only friend. He couldn't kill her. He released his hold on her neck and scooped her up, ran off into the woods carrying her over his shoulder. Her head lolled limply as he ran, and he feared--he feared she was dead, that he'd already killed her, that she wasn't--
She coughed, weakly, stirred against him. Too soon. Too soon. He had to get her somewhere safe. Somewhere the monsters wouldn't find them. Somewhere she couldn't hurt anyone, if she was--one of them. She...she had to be safe. And if anyone was going to kill her--
If anyone was going to kill her, it was him.
Landon stirred against him. She stirred against him. He reached out blindly, closing his hands around her throat again. She had to go back to sleep. They weren't safe yet. She had to go back to sleep. She had to--
Bell shook off the dream all at once and found his hands not around her throat but Landon's. He released him and scrambled back, one hand to his forehead, breathing hard as he tried to center himself again, bring himself back to this reality. She was long gone. This was Landon, now, and Landon--Landon he didn't have to tie up. "Sorry," he said, looking away. It was almost commonplace, nowadays, him strangling Landon. Why the hell did Landon stay around? Did he like it? Bell was seriously trying to kill him every time. He'd been good so far--he'd been lucky so far--but his luck wouldn't last forever. One morning he was going to wake up to a cold, breathless Landon, and it would be his fault. His fault alone.
"Water?" he asked, trying not to focus on what might have happened.
Cold skin slapped against linoleum floor. Landon recognized the walls as being those at the hospital -the psych ward. Lights flickered on and off, not a soul in sight, not a noise from any of the rooms. A stiff breeze made doors creak and windows shudder, though every window Landon looked at didn't allow for anything to be seen other than a putrid darkness. Hand to the wall, Landon tentatively picked his way down the hallway, circling around a fallen chair. Most of the doors were indistinct and white, chips bitten off here and there. Along the walls was the same sort of damage. Like some beast had scraped off the paint and left white streaks.
Landon felt like calling out, but was afraid of what might actually hear his voice.
There was one door which he recognized, because it had a barred, metal-laced hatch-window. Swallowing away the dryness in his throat did little to alleviate the sudden memory of pain bolting up his spine. As Landon approached the door, it gently ceded to his presence, opening partially. Inside the room was bath-tub. The padded walls were stripped, leaving bare concrete. The tub was filled with a body, blood dripping soundlessly onto the floor, leaving a puddle of dark-crimson.
Landon found himself approaching the tub, found himself searching for an angle that would allow him to see the light falling onto the figure. Daniel.
Looking down at his own arm, Landon noted there was no scar there. However Daniel's wrists bled steadily. A sound behind him startled Landon: Robert. The man smiled benevolently, one arm stretching to push the door shut.
"Now where were we?" Robert spoke with the sort of glee which preluded torture.
Landon wanted to back up, but nearly tripped into the tub.
Daniel woke from the ruckus and reached out to Landon, a bloodied hand grabbing Landon's arm tightly.
"...he's gonna kill ya, Lenny, this time for real," he said, eyebrows raised, as if he was telling a child the ways of the world; that this was normal, common knowledge.
"No," Landon struggled against Daniel's grip. Robert stepped closer.
"No! Let me go," he growled, eyes flicking between Daniel and Robert. Daniel's gaze listlessly drifted over to Robert. There was no hurt the man could do to Daniel which hadn't already been done and so he was less than intimidated.
Landon fought against the dream, muttering softly, though finding himself unable to wake up.
Robert was there now, arm reaching out, and suddenly it became real: the hand to Landon's neck felt real.
Landon was really something, when Bell actually paid attention what he wanted for once. But all the same, he wasn't sure he'd be able to do that regularly. It was too frustrating.
He petted Landon's hair when the man cuddled close. "Water?" he asked, but Landon was already passed out. He snorted. Wasn't that adorable. So he really had fucked him right to sleep. It wasn't really surprising, all things considered. Landon had barely been awake in the first place.
He set the cup down and wiggled down into place beside Landon in bed. Landon was so vulnerable, when he just slept like this. It made him want to do something to him; he contented himself with playing with Landon's hair. Nothing much was going to happen today, was it? Just more lazing around. He laid down beside Landon and watched him sleep, unwilling to leave him alone for a heartbeat. The last time he'd left Landon--Daniel--alone, bad things had happened. Very, very terrible things... He closed his eyes, trying not to remember. It didn't seem to bother Landon too much, but no amount of time or anything would ever wipe that image from his memory: of Daniel lying there limp in the tub, blood dripping slowly down his arms.
"Don't do that to me," he admonished the unconscious Landon, then reached out and pulled him close. It was too scary. Too scary. He didn't want to lose Landon. More than anything, he couldn't lose him. Landon was the only one who'd ever really loved him. The only one who'd ever really cared.
He didn't dare sleep. Not after telling Landon his name. He'd only dream about her, and then he'd probably end up hurting Landon. Or maybe the younger him would return, and who knew what he'd do to Landon then. It wasn't as though they were two different people, but...his perspective was different. He didn't care about Landon enough, and that was dangerous. The goat had only given him the night, but...well, he'd stretch it as far as he could. See if maybe he could keep this form, after all.
He dozed off, not quite awake but not quite asleep either. In the space between wakefulness and sleep, it was her he held in his arms, her soft hair that tangled in his fingers and brushed against his cheek.
Since when did Bell cater to his wishes anyway? But when the man did, Landon was a writhing mess, crippled by the waves of ecstasy rushing through him, starting low down his back, and then wave after wave of pulsating heat ran their course. And everything went white for a flash, until Bellwether's pats forced Landon to focus on the here and now. Unfocussed eyes opened to mere slits, narrowing at Bellwether contently before closing again.
"'m good, great," Landon mumbled incoherently.
The cold following that statement was less than pleasant, but at least it gave Landon the time to come back to himself. Bell was the one usually wiping them down, Landon realized, but felt too drained to mind now. Drained in a good way, in a way that he was fucked senseless.
"Glad you're back, stupid no-touching rule," Landon muttered, closer to sleep than he was awake now that everything was over. If there had been a tense muscle in his body, that tension was absolved now.
What could Landon even do? Getting up would be a strain and a half, so why bother? Okay, so maybe he could, but there would have to be more water and probably something to eat to keep his sugar from plummeting all the time.
They could have another go, that'd be nice. Landon had yet to move after their little exercise, and listlessly reached out for Bellwether's warmth, nuzzling close.
"Need a nap," Landon excused his behaviour. He hadn't even noticed Bellwether had brought back water.
Maybe after his impromptu 'nap' they could actually go out to grab dinner or whatever. Perhaps, unconsciously, Landon had been meaning to postpone going to the hospital to find out whether Robert was there, but it was very likely. The women he'd been experimenting on to produce hybrids were most definitely there. Something in Daniel, or something he'd seen in the visions goat's blood gave, made him certain. And he didn't want Bell going there, for fear of losing that already ephemeral presence. What if what Bellwether-goat had done wasn't enough? What if Robert got the better of Bell?
Within seconds Landon was out for the count, breathing gently. He'd felt better for having drunk the water, but recovering from a substantial amount of lost blood was going to take a little longer than just a couple of hours of sleep. Especially if he remained dehydrated.
He couldn't. He had to. He couldn't. But he did. Teasing, teasing, and Landon ate it up. He loved it, the masochist, clenching even at his teases. It was just frustrating to Bell. Never able to push over the edge, hovering in and out of sensation. But that was what Landon had asked for, and he had promised anything.
It was so rewarding when he finally begged for it, when Landon arched his back into him and pulled him in, sucking Bell into his heat. He all but gave it up then, but held on just barely for Landon's sake; that was the last straw. He was done teasing. He grabbed Landon's hips firmly and drove it home, plunging deep, Landon's heat nearly making him melt. Finally, finally, finishing hard and fast the way he liked best. It came on stronger than he expected, the teasing having built tension further than he'd thought, and all thought was wiped out of his mind before the torrent of sensation. He cried out without thinking, louder than he'd meant to, and then it was done, all tension released.
Thought returned after a long, empty moment of pleasure, and he remembered why he'd been going so slow. He looked down at Landon. Was he still hanging in there? Fucking someone to oblivion was fine, but he didn't want to hurt Landon and make him pass out. "You still hanging in there?" he asked, patting Landon on the cheek.
Waiting for a reply , he pulled out, climbed backwards off the bed and found a clean towel to wipe them both down. He was glad he'd finally been able to physically reconnect with Landon; it'd been almost frightening to have to refuse Daniel for so long. There was more than just physicality between them, but even so, he didn't want to refuse his lover. "I'm glad you're back," he told Landon. Glad he didn't have to worry about which was which anymore.
He fetched the water for Landon, figuring he'd need it after the exercise when he'd already needed it before. If the man was still conscious, he'd feed him some. "What're we gonna do with this day?" he asked, leaning back beside him. They still had the whole day ahead of them, though with Landon weak like this their options were limited. He supposed they could go out to a restaurant, if Landon got his strength back enough to walk. Though maybe fucking him hadn't been the best way to get him ready to walk...
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