This QUICKIE was inspired by reading too much Yaoi that was delivered to my house this week. Holy mother! It was like christmas in a box! Yay. But back to the QUICKIE. While it has a dramatic theme to it, I added a bit of true Yaoi nature to it with some fun moments too. So have fun reading that.
****But before you do I thought I would give a quick shout out to M.A. Church who's new book Nighttime Wishes is coming out soon and I'm so excited! Yay time! Take a peek at the interview and the low down on the book at Brilliant Disguise
Have fun reading and thanks!!! XOXOXO NIGHTTEMPEST
Another powerful gust of hot air rolled in, bringing with it strands of withered golden grass and swirling sand. The terrain was dry and cracked and nothing more than a barren wasteland for buzzards and lizards. Only, on this plot of desolate nothingness sat an old clapboard one room shack. Colored a dusty brown from years of heat and sand, you could barely tell it apart from its surroundings. But it was here in this house that Awni Loway gave his last respects to his dead father—the Captain of the Kazukina and the only relative he had left. As was custom, the dead was to be brought to the place of their birth so the cycle of life would be completed from start to finish. So in the Captain’s childhood home, Awni laid the body to rest.
Yone Loway was a third generation government fleet Captain and this simple ceremony had been his dying wish. He was not someone who had liked to be fawned over in life and a true government procession of a flashbulb quality would have mocked him in death. His beloved Awni and his only child kneeled next to the cot on which his father’s body was wrapped from head to toe in traditional red silk. Awni dropped a line of pale orange blossoms across the body and exhaled slowly. The blossoms were something of beauty and color to celebrate the life that Yone had lived and the orange blossom plant in the corner would go in the home of the family in his memory. Awni looked out the dusty window with his bleary orange eyes and saw the setting sun.
Another day was ending and tomorrow would be his final day aboard the Kazukina as he was no longer linked by family nor did he have an official position. None of the crew had stood to take him in after the news of his father’s death. Not even Fallon—Yone’s second and predecessor—had spoken on his behalf. But what had Awni expected? Fallon thought he was nothing more than an irritating youth with dreams bigger than reality. Why would someone so disciplined and well positioned care about his well-being? Awni was over the legal age of maturity on Kauma and it was time to put aside his love of books and art and take up a real position on the planet his father served to protect. With the trust set up in his name from Yone, Awni could do as he wished but he wished even after death to make his father proud.
As he watched the last of the sun slip past the shimmering heat on the horizon, the light of Awni’s youth slipped from his eyes. Removing his favorite red leather jacket with his collectible starry eyed baubles, Awni put it in his bag and pulled out a black tailored jacket that made him look older—more like his father. The emblem sewn into the pocket was the Kauma crest with the Kazukina in all its glory surrounded by the stars and moon. Putting a hand over the emblem and his heart, Awni looked to his father’s body and bowed his head.
“I will make you proud father.” Simple words with such a large impact to a child who thought he was now a man. Awni’s orange eyes dulled of their tears and his face relaxed in an emotionless portrait of someone he didn’t recognize but had no choice but to be. He stood and grabbed his pack with a slight shake of his pink bangs. His eyes said goodbye but his mouth wouldn’t move for his father. Instead he tapped the bracelet on his wrist that was surrounded by colorful jelly bracelets.
“This is Awni Loway requesting an open line aboard the Kazukina. The ceremony is completed.”
“Awni I know it’s you.” Jey—the control deck technician--replied through the transmitter with a hint of concern. “Are you sure…you’re finished? You can take as much time as you like you know. No rush.”
“I said I was done. May I have an open line or not?” Awni replied and turned his back on the body by the window. He couldn’t look at it any more.
“Yeah sure. You okay kiddo?”
“I’m not a child, so if you wouldn’t mind calling me by my name, I’d appreciate it. How long til I get a signal?”
“Awni…” Jey murmured.
“How long Jey?”
“Thirty seconds. I’ll see you when you get back. And Awni, I’m really…” Awni cut off the tech’s words by a touch to his transmitter. He didn’t want to hear any more sorry this or sorry that. Grabbing the plant from the corner, the frail looking son of Yone took one last look the simple shack and heard the beep on his transmitter. Opening his free hand, Awni let a E4 explosive stick roll to the floor and shuddered as it began to beep. Shutting his eyes to escape his body’s need to hug the man that had been his life, Awni tapped his transmitter and was consumed by a brilliant green light. Seconds after his departure, the tiny clapboard shack burst in a million pieces and the body of Yone Loway became nothing more than the dust of his people’s land.
Captain Fallon Retwee clasped his hands behind his back and walked the hall to the control deck. He had taken the day to meditate and send his respects to his fallen mentor. Wounded in a fight three days ago, the former Captain Loway had developed an infection and fallen into a coma overnight. He never woke up and the news of Yone’s death was a wound in itself to Fallon. But nothing compared to watching the complete and utter devastation that had taken Awni. Barely twenty, the bubbly youth with his comics and sketch books had shattered. Fallon had never been good with Awni because he couldn’t understand why the boy was so out there—a dreamer who didn’t wish his father’s career. But everyone on the ship got along with him and in despite his gruff exterior, Fallon cared for Awni as well.
When it came time for the final crew meeting and the votes to take the boy in…not one member had raised their hand. Fallon had fought with himself over this ever since. It was supposed to be him. That is why no one had even bothered—he knew that from the first second of the voting. They figured as Yone was like a father to him and a mentor, Fallon would take Awni in no questions asked. But he couldn’t look at the youth without feeling such startling emotions, let alone live with him. It was disrespectful to Yone’s memory to think such things of his only son and it was better for everyone if Awni went planet side instead of staying on the ship.
Fallon grunted to himself as if sealing his decision and then looked up as he reached the control deck. The transit platform lit up green and Awni faded into view. Stopping in his tracks, Fallon’s eyes went a little wide. His pink hair was pushed off his face instead of the normal ruffled style he wore and Awni’s smiling orange eyes were dead from the inside out. Gone was his favorite red jacket with those ridiculous characters and even his metallic silver boots were replaced with simple black government issued ones. The black Kauma blazer was wrapped around Awni as he stepped off the platform and ignored Jey completely.
The technician looked at Fallon and shook his head with a frown. What had happened in the desert? Fallon followed Awni with his green eyes and stepped into his way. “How was the ceremony?”
“How do you think it was Captain?” Awni didn’t even hesitate to look at him because there was no emotion. The youth was like an android in his mourning. It was disturbing how much Fallon suddenly missed the old Awni who ran around the halls being obnoxious--the boy that he scolded every five minutes of the day for his colorful language or crude jokes, that Awni.
“I imagine it was…difficult.”
“You imagined correctly. Then again you always know everything. If you’ll excuse me, I have things to pack.” Awni pushed past Fallon. The Captain’s shoulders fell and he the sudden urge to actually hug the little brat. He too felt such loss at Yone’s passing but it could be nothing compared to what Awni was experiencing. That was his father and his last relative. He was alone now.
“Can I help then?” What was he saying? Why would he want to be a part of packing up Awni’s life into a box and shipping him away? Truthfully…Fallon didn’t want him to go. Nothing would be the same without Awni. He looked to the youth now and time stood still.
“Awni! How many times do I have to tell you that the control deck is not your private lounge? Get your markers off the floor before your father sees this mess.” Fallon shook his head and crossed his arms with a stern frown.
Awni looked up with a dazzling grin and his orange eyes smiled from behind his pink bangs. “No one is up here. It’s shift change and I have an hour before anyone comes back. Besides, they don’t mind me here when they are here. The only one complaining is you Fallon.” The youth winked and blew him a kiss before going back to his drawing on the floor by the window. His slender legs kicked back and forth as he lay on his stomach and his metallic boots reflected against the wall. He was so beautiful and that made Fallon angrier.
“How dare you mock me! I am the Captain’s second and one day I will be in charge around here.”
“You’re only a few years older than me Fallon,” Awni replied. “And the day you become Captain is the day that I leap out that window and shoot to the seventh moon of Kaume with glitter trailing behind me.” The youth covered his mouth with a laugh.
A clearing of a throat came behind the males and they both looked to the entrance. The broad shouldered and utterly handsome Yone Loway stood there with a grin and a raised brow—his orange eyes playful and his long pink hair tied in a tight ponytail at his neck. His black government blazer was covered in ribbons and crests from his many achievements and his black knee high boots dazzled from their morning cleaning. “Trailing glitter Awni? Now that is something I would care to see.” The Captain laughed and clapped Fallon on the back. “And you. When I am old and gray then your time will come. Until then, have a little fun. Hm?” Fallon grunted and turned his face away. He was took everything too seriously but this was the Kazukina and his job was important. “Awni why don’t you go get something to eat and then go bug Jey? I heard he might have a certain delivery for you from yesterday’s delivery pod.”
Awni shot off the floor with a squeal and threw his supplies into his cheetah print messenger bag. “Oh my stars. I hope it’s the eighth edition of Quany King. I’ve been dying to read it! I have to know if he and…oh never mind.” Awni’s pink hair flipped away from his face in his bouncing delight and he shouldered his bag. Running up to his father, he sprung on his toes and gave Yone a kiss before turning to Fallon and not even hesitating to give him one as well.
Fallon stiffened as the boy’s warm soft lips pressed to his cheek and pink locks fluttered forward—tickling Fallon’s nose before the moment was gone and Awni was already half way down the hallway with a childish laugh lingering in his wake. The second to the Captain lifted his fingertips and pressed them to his face in wonder. He could still feel the tingle left behind and wondered if it wasn’t his own imagination. His heart beat so hard in his chest he wondered if Captain Loway could hear it.
“I will live a thousand years if only to hear the sound of his laugh one more time,” Captain Loway mused. Fallon turned and watched Awni wave at them from the lift. Then he was gone.
Now they were far from that boy with the angelic laugh, Fallon frowned in acknowledgment. “No thank you. There won’t be much to pack after I throw most of it out.” Awni could feel his heart breaking…literally. The pain in his chest was so great. The thought of throwing out who he was and leaving the man behind him broke his spirit. Fallon and Yone had been in his life since he was born. At the age of seven, the now Captain had babysat him after his mother left his father for male on another planet. Most of Awni’s childhood had been spent in the arms of Fallon. But now the beautiful Captain with his spiky black hair and sharp green eyes thought he was nothing more than a nuisance—a stupid boy who would never make anything of himself. And as much as it hurt to strip himself of identity, Awni would do it for his father and just to prove Fallon wrong. He could be a man with a real role in their society. He could do it.
Ten minutes later his new confidence wavered as he pressed his hand over the sensor to his quarters and the door whooshed open. His heart skipped a beat and his eyes watered upon seeing his things. His purple and black striped walls, his furry white carpet, even the glass shelves full of his beloved Manga…all going in the trash. Men didn’t read childish books or draw with markers or…tears welled in his eyes as stepped inside but the door didn’t seal shut. Knowing who was still behind him, he sucked in his emotions again and rubbed his eyes quickly before his face settled once more into nothingness.
“You’re truly going to throw all this away Awni? This?” Fallon picked up the plastic wrapped book that had its very own display shelf. “I remember how you begged me to take you to the author’s signing. How long we had to wait in line for him to write his name over this plastic wrapping. Because you would never want to ruin a first edition of something so beautiful…” Fallon set the manga back on the shelf and stared at the cover. A man with black hair looked at the reader while a smaller blue haired nymph boy sat in his lap—a devious smile on his lips. Even the Captain had to admit the illustrations were something to behold. Awni swallowed as he looked at the first edition Mawn Prince Affair on its custom shelf then turned away.
“Can you see him? Oh I hope he doesn’t take a break before we get to the front!” Awni frowned and jumped to try and see over all the heads standing in line at the city civic center.
“Relaz Awni, you are giving me a headache with your yipping. Is it not enough that I had to personally watch you all day in this crowded line so you can get a signature? Now you wish you to make my head pound as well?” Fallon stared down at Awni with a raised brow and the youth sighed and looked down with a frown.
“Jey would have taken me if he wasn’t so sick. I thought you would want to go out with me. You haven’t left the ship in months.” Awni kept his eyes on the ground and stopped moving about. Fallon sounded so angry and they weren’t on the ship where he could tease and flirt and run away. If Fallon left him here, he’d be lost in this crowd.
Fallon sighed and rolled his eyes. “Oh alright, come on.” He snatched Awni’s hand and pulled out his official Kazukina badge. “Official business, coming through. Move it!” The dark haired crew member pulled Awni through the line and marched up to the author’s table. Awni came face to face with Tiona Hewjee—his idol—for the first time and let out a shrill scream of excitement. His arms went around Fallon who went completely still in his embrace and he smushed his face into the older male’s chest.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you Fallon. I can never repay you for this.” Reaching up on his tip toes Awni kissed Fallon on the cheek. When he pulled back, it was the first time Fallon had ever smiled at him. It was small and secretive but it was a smile all for Awni. Looking at the manga now brought him nothing but grief.
“Yes.” Awni turned away to hide his pain. “Men do not read such things.”
Fallon spun around and eyed Awni’s back with a frown. “Men? Since when are you a man Awni?”
“Get out.” His tone was flat and cruel and Awni hoped it would be enough. “I do not need your help and I surely don’t want you as company. So leave. Now.”
“Awni, I didn’t mean that you are not a man per say but well…”
“I said get out!” Awni turned and anger took him over. “Isn’t it bad enough that you publicly denied me as any type of relation to you? That you would turn me out on my ass? You seriously want to mock me more? Have you no respect Fallon? If my father could see who you really are then he would spit in your face!”
Fallon slapped Awni so hard that the red hand print pooled on the surface of the youth’s milky white cheek immediately. Frozen in place with barely a breath leaving him, Awni stared at the ground as tears dropped onto the carpet. Immediately regretting his actions, Fallon covered his mouth in shock and reached for the pink haired male. Orange eyes narrowed and Awni found his voice. “Never…touch me.”
“Awni, it was a mistake. I miss him too and that…that just set me off. I’m so sorry…”
“Fuck you Fallon. You’re not sorry! You got everything you ever wanted! You got my father. You got his affection and his pride in you. You got his title and the respect of the entire ship. And now I have to leave the only place I’ve ever known as home because I am a failure—because I was never good enough for anyone. So fuck. You.”
“You are not a failure Awni. Your father loved you so much that you have no idea how…” Fallon could not believe this. Awni had been Yone’s pride and joy but the youth didn’t view it that way at all. He was hurting beyond words and Fallon felt like the failure for not standing up for him and taking him in. Yone would spit on him if he saw this now. What had he done? Awni was his family even if they weren’t blood. Fallon loved him dearly but he couldn’t say it because it wasn’t right. It was not right to be in love with your dead mentor’s son. It wasn’t right to think the things he did for Awni.
“Please leave. You’ve said enough Fallon. Just go…” Awni sighed and wiped his eyes again. In his tirade, he’d knocked over the orange blossom plant and soil scattered within the pristine white of his fuzzy carpeting. “Shit.” He dropped to his knees and carefully righted the plant.
“Let me help you.”
“No! I just want to clean this up, throw this all out, and leave. Then I never want to see you again.” Awni stared into that handsome face that he had dreamed of kissing for so long and knew this was it. The last of his old life was about to walk out that door and he would be alone for real. In all his life, Awni had never known pain like this.
Fallon looked into a face that he didn’t recognize anymore. An older, sadder Awni looked back at him. Gone were the shimmering earrings and funky outfits, gone were the smiles and high pitched laughs, gone was his playful manner and that youthful warmth. Awni was gone. Fallon would never again watch the beautiful male lay on this carpet and flip through his books with a secret smile, he’d never have to catch his breath as Awni jumped out from a doorway with a boo, Fallon would never be able to slide past the male with an inhale of the fruity scent he wore. Awni was really leaving.
“Stay…” Fallon kneeled in front of Awni on the carpet and grabbed the other male’s shaking hands. “Stay with me Awni.”
The hardest thing Awni ever did was pull his hands from the glorious warmth of Fallon’s fingers. “No. You feel guilty now that you did not do right my father and nothing more. You already humiliated me and I won’t take your pity. Now go.” The last words were a whisper and Awni couldn’t handle anymore.
“That’s how you feel then?” Fallon sat back. Hurt didn’t cover the words that came from Awni’s lips. “You’re really that determined to be someone you’re not that you would give up the chance to stay here? To be who you are?”
“And who am I to you Fallon?” Awni patted the soil into the pot of the blossom plant and sniffled.
“My mentor’s son,” the Captain said with a sigh. He couldn’t say the things he longed to say. It wasn’t right.
“If…if that’s all, then yes Fallon. I am that determined to become someone I was supposed to be this whole time. My father’s old friend from the university mentioned an opening in the dormitory and I can easily get into classes there. I’m not as stupid as everyone thinks.” He looked over to the metallic boots that were shiny silver and had to look away. The school didn’t allow such attire and he’d have to stick to the government issued uniform from now on. Black pants, black emblem blazer, and the basic black boots. For the next four years.
Not knowing what else to do to, Fallon stood and looked down at the most beautiful thing he’d ever known. “I never thought you were stupid Awni. But I do now.” With that, the Captain turned around and left Awni’s quarters—his power walk turning into a run for his own rooms. He saw the heads of the crew turning as he passed but he paid them no mind. Once he reached his rooms on level three, he collapsed onto his lounge and looked out at the stars from his portal window—the tears finally coming. Awni was really leaving. This was it for both of them. He had to fulfill his duties as Captain and the next out of orbit tour was leaving in two days. Then he wouldn’t even have time to think about Awni.
Turning in a circle, the pink haired youth looked around his bare room. He propped his prize possession against his portal window and stepped back in thought. The plastic wrapped manga stared back at him like a silent good bye as he bent down and pulled his trunk upright. Tapping his transmitter activated the trunk and with the help of a corresponding hover deck it lifted to waist height. With the weight of the world on his shoulders, Awni turned and left his room—his only belongings following him down the hall in a simple trunk.
Jey lifted a hand as he passed and Awni looked over to where the bin of his discarded things sat against the wall. “Bye Jey.” That was all he said as he kept walking.
“Awni!” Jey called but the male kept walking. Why would he turn around? Jey hadn’t claimed him either…but they were all so sure that Fallon would at the voting that none of them thought about it. By the time Fallon declined, the votes had been cast and it was too late. The entire crew had been up all night trying to find a way around it but government rules were stone. The only way he could stay was with the permission of the Captain and it had been more than obvious that Fallon didn’t want Awni. The crew had been flabbergasted. Fallon—despite his attitude and harsh words—loved that boy with all his heart. They all knew it and so did that stubborn bastard now wearing the pants.
“What are you doing tonight Fal?” Jey smiled at the second in command.
The tall brunette dried the water from his hair and hung the towel in his locker. “Captain Yone has a dinner with the General and he asked me to keep an eye on Awni.” He grabbed his black tank top and pulled it over his muscled chest. “Again.” That was followed with an eye roll from Fallon.
“Yeah, like you don’t like it.” Jey snorted and shut his locker door.
“What are you saying Jey?” Fallon shot back with narrowed eyes. “He’s a child and that is inappropriate.”
“He’s twenty and not a child. And I’d have to be brainless not to know you’re head over heels for him. We all know,” Jey said casually and put his bag on his shoulder.
“He is the Captain’s son and yes, he is a child! You’ve got some nerve Jey.” In his anger, Fallon slammed the door to his locker shut and something fluttered out from the bottom shelf. Reaching down to his feet Jey picked up the overturned postcard and turned it over. It wasn’t a postcard at all. It was a picture of Awni planet side—a vibrant patch of orange blossom plants behind him and a gorgeous smile on his face.
Shoving the photo into Fallon’s chest, Jey shook his head. “Yeah. Sure.” Fallon’s mouth hung open mortified. “I’m not saying anything but one day, you should. He loves you too you know.”
Awni got into the lift. “Control deck,” he said softly and the lift shot up into the air. Getting off the lift disc at the top floor, he paused and turned to the left. His father’s old office was just as he had left it and in the large chair by the portal window was Fallon. The Captain stared outside and tears rolled down his cheeks as he sat completely motionless. The trunk bumped into his back and Awni gasped in surprise making Fallon turn. The older male hid his face and cleared his throat while wiping his eyes.
Awni watched Fallon sitting in Yone’s chair from behind the doorway with a smile. Fallon looked so big and powerful as he smoothed his hands across the desk and ran a finger over the frame that Yone kept on his desk of the three of them. Fallon had just completed his mission training and had his first medal and ribbon secured to his black uniform. The tall dark haired male looked so handsome, Awni thought. A smile lit up Fallon’s lips as he sat back in the chair and daydreamed at the big Captain’s desk. Awni giggled and Fallon spun around—his green eyes landed on the small twelve year old and a forced scowl knit his brows together.
“Awni!” Fallon shouted and the small boy took off with a laugh, knowing without a doubt that the man he looked up to would come chasing after him.
Awni stirred out of his memory and before things got awkward, he took off for the control deck to check with the second shift tech that the university signal was open. “Hey wait!” Fallon called from behind but Awni couldn’t turn around. If he did, he’d give in and ruin all his plans. “I command you to stop Awni Loway.”
“You can’t do that!” Awni turned around and lashed out. A Captain was the highest ranking military official of Kaume and his word was to be obeyed. But this was Fallon not his commanding officer...or was he? Fallon wasn’t his family anymore. He really was the Captain now.
“You want to bet? Awni Loway, as a member of this ship you cannot leave without giving a two week residency dismissal notice and you must have the permission of the Captain to do so. And that would be me.” Fallon crossed his arms over his chest and faced off with a very angry but still gorgeous Awni.
“I am not a member of the ship though. So ha!” Awni went to turn around but Fallon’s next words stopped him.
“Actually you are. By claiming your father’s trust three days ago you took over his residency temporarily. For the next sixty days, you’re mine.”
Awni’s eyes went wide and he tried to reply but the control deck technician came walking out. “Loway the University is on hold. The signal is up if you’re ready to use the line.”
“That won’t be necessary Ceb. Apologize on behalf of the Captain and give them my regards. Awni won’t be attending this semester. Or ever.” Fallon narrowed his eyes at the tech, who looked between the two men, then slowly backed out of the hallway.
“You can’t just tell me what to do Fallon. I’m a person not a pet.” Awni stomped forward and Fallon put his hands on his hips.
“I’m not telling you what to do Awni. This is what you want but you’re too stubborn to admit it. If you left here you wouldn’t come back the person that we all care about. You’d be hard and cynical. You’d lose that smile and you’d wear all black like your life was a funeral. You wouldn’t be Awni.” Did he really just say that, Fallon thought and sighed. Yeah, he did and he could feel the rest of it coming on.
“Why would you care about that? My father was just your mentor and I’m just a kid to you.” Awni was losing his anger as Fallon drew closer. Their eyes were locked on each other. “You hate my stupid comics and my drawings and the music I listen to and the clothes I wear. You hate my pink hair and how much candy I eat and…” Fallon’s thumb on his lips cut off any other words he had planned to say.
“Yes…but all those things make you who you are. And…and pink hair and stupid boy comics and sugar in tubes…I…”
The second shift tech couldn’t believe his ears and quickly whispered into his transmitter. A holloscreen popped up and Jey waved from the small picture. “What’s up Ceb?”
“You guys have to see this. It’s happening! He’s gonna freaking say it.” Ceb peered around the corner with a cheesy grin. “Fallon is gonna tell Awni.”
“No way. Is this is a joke Ceb?”
“I swear by the seven moons of Kaume that I am not joking.”
Jey smiled wider than he ever had before and shut down the signal between them before he took off running to the mess hall. The crew was going to freak!
“What are you saying Fallon?” Awni gulped and Fallon stepped into his body—towering over him by almost a foot. The Captain’s arm slipped around Awni’s waist and the other hand cupped the younger male’s cheek.
“Stay with me Awni. Not as my mentor’s son but as a member of the ship. Stay because you are mine.” Fallon slid his hand under the black jacket on Awni’s back and felt the heat radiating off the youth. “Stay because you feel this too. Stay because you love me back. Stay because you want to be who you are now and not who you’re grief believes you should be. He loved you just as you are. As do I.”
Hesitantly, the pink haired male lifted his fingertips to Fallon’s lips to feel if this was real. He had followed Fallon around for years—flirting, teasing, scaring, anything he could do to get the man’s attention. And now he knew that all those stern looks and cold words were not real. “But I won’t be anything to anyone. I don’t have a job and I’m not a student anymore and…”
“You are everything to me. That is enough.” Fallon said and brushed Awni’s bangs away. “No job or status will make you any better than you already are to me. Stay Awni. Say you’ll stay with me.”
“But you’ll just get irritated with me eventually and…”
“I love you Awni. I. Love. You.” Fallon felt his eyes watering in frustration. Did Awni not love him too or was this another of his little games?
Slowly the robotic expression on Awni’s face brightened until his smile was so big it had to hurt. Looking up into Fallon’s green eyes, he knew that the Captain meant it. “Oh Fallon!” He squealed and jumped up and down in the big man’s arms. “Oh I love you too!”
Fallon sighed and rolled his eyes at the bouncing male whose emotions knew no limits and put his hands on Awni’s shoulders to calm him. Settling back on the soles of his boots, Awni bit his lip and stared at Fallon shyly. “This is the part where you look at me Awni and by the stars take off that jacket. You look like…you don’t look right.”
Peeling off his jacket, Awni smiled at Fallon’s boots and let it drop in the middle of the hall. “Awni! Don’t drop your things like that!”
“But you told me to take it off. You never said what to do with it.” Awni looked up with his boyish grin and Fallon lost it. He pulled the younger man to him and threaded his hand at the back of Awni’s neck and into the mass of thick pink hair. Their noses were barely touching, Awni’s warm breath blew over Fallon’s lips from two inches away, and as their eyes locked on each other, the Captain’s hand tightened in Awni’s hair.
“I shouldn’t have to tell you, you little tease. You know better.” Fallon’s mouth brushed over Awni’s plump lips and the youth sighed. Kiss me Fallon, oh please, he shivered. His eyes were spelled on Fallon’s and his knees were weak with only the Captain’s arms supporting his weight. “Tell me you’ll stay Awni. Tell me you want me too.”
Suddenly shy and dry mouthed, Awni looked down. How did you tell someone like Fallon that you loved them? Did you say it or did kiss him to get your point across? He had only ever told him parents that he loved them and now faced with what he felt was a different kind of love, Awni was nervous that he’d screw this up.
“Awni…tell me. Please.” As if Fallon was in his head, Awni smiled and knew in his heart that the Captain had always been his. From the moment Fallon had first held him as a child, Awni would never leave his side. How was this different than how Awni expressed his love to Fallon every other day? A kiss to the cheek, a flirty smile, a finger trailing along Fallon’s back. This was just a different kind of expression. A more direct one that came with maturity and realization. His first words as an adult and Awni felt that somewhere and in some way Yone Loway was watching over them. These words would make him proud.
“I love you Fallon.” He put his hands around Fallon’s neck and brushed his fingers along the short hair above the Captain’s collar. “And yes, I’ll stay with you.”
Fallon exhaled and brought their lips together. A dizzy tingle left him breathless and he wrapped his arms tighter around his Awni—his lips opening to let that sweet tongue inside himself. A soft whimper and warm tears pressed against his cheeks and he knew how Awni felt. He could almost feel Yone’s smile inside his heart and knew that the bastard was laughing somewhere.
“You scold him more than I do Fallon,” Yone said and laughed. “It’s a wonder you don’t have an ulcer even at your young age.” The Captain paused then turned with a serious eye to Fallon. “But don’t think for a second I don’t know what you’re doing Fallon. Telling the world one thing and knowing another in your heart only makes the lie harder in the end. Don’t torture the innocent and that includes yourself my boy.” Yone ended with a sly smile and patted Fallon on the shoulder.
“What does that mean?” Fallon turned in his chair to watch Yone pause in the doorway.
“It means what you think it means.” Yone laughed. “Get some sleep Fallon. You have a long journey ahead of you.”
Yone knew the whole time. Whatever sparked that memory had Fallon’s undying gratitude and he stroked his hands up Awni’s back, pulling his lips from the younger male’s with an inhale of oxygen.
A chorus of sniffles and sighs caught the pair’s attention. Awni and Fallon turned to see a few dozen crew members sharing Kleenexes and dabbing at their eyes. With an almost silent gasp, Awni blushed and hid his face behind his bangs. Fallon narrowed his eyes and pulled Awni to his side. “Jey! What is this?”
Ceb stepped forward and he blew into a tissue. “Oh I wish Yone could have seen this. He would have been so thrilled! His two boys together at last!” The technician’s eyes went glittery with tears and the other crew members sighed. Fallon and Awni looked at each other just as Jidia the head chef came running into the hall and paused to catch her breath. “Did I miss it?”
“Yes,” they all chorused back and Jidia pouted. “Ah man.”
“Excuse us!” Fallon scoffed and pulled Awni behind him. “What a bunch of nosy little ingrates with nothing better to do. I am their superior and they mock me like one of those silly televised dramatizations. Ridiculous idiots and their stupid Kleenexes and googly eyes. Big lot of children!” The Captain grunted with his hand latched onto Awni’s wrist. They came to his door and he barely registered putting his hand to the scanner.
“Fallon!” Awni laughed and his still activated trunk bumped him in the back several times. “Oh my stars. Fallon.” He broke into a fit of laughter listening to the cursing Captain.
“What?” Fallon turned around and rolled his eyes at the trunk. Releasing Awni’s transmitter attached wrist, the Captain pulled his jacket off and put the deactivated trunk inside the door. He noticed Awni looking around and realized it was the first time the boy had been in his quarters since he’d moved to the top level.
“Wow,” Awni moved to the wall sized portal window that faced the Nimian Starway and put his hand to the glass. “It’s completely different on this side.”
“Yeah. It is,” Fallon replied softly and listened to the door seal behind him nervously. He knew it was time to show the male his most treasured secret. “Awni?”
“Hm?” The male turned and pushed his bangs out of his face.
“Come with me.” Fallon held his hand out and Awni smiled a little before placing his hand in the Captain’s. “I…I have to show you something.” Fallon confessed and hid his face from the boy for the first time.
“Fallon are you blushing?” Awni was overwhelmed by his usual behavior and couldn’t help but tease the man with the reddened cheeks.
“No…I…well. Oh shut up and come on.” Fallon took a deep breath and stopped before his bedroom door sensor. He looked at Awni and sighed. “You can’t laugh at me. I…I was just…well…I was trying to uh…understand and well maybe…maybe…oh hell to the moon Awni.” Fallon shut his eyes and waved his hand in front of the door’s sensor.
The door opened and Awni gasped. Red and black stripes pasted across the walls and grey fuzzy carpeting covered the floor. A giant circular bed covered in silver sheets and fuzzy red pillows sat in the center of the shrine. A shrine of floor to ceiling shelves of manga on either side of the bed. He couldn’t believe it. Awni was in wonderland as he stepped through to Fallon’s private sanctuary.
“You bought them because of me? This whole time you were reading these?” Awni turned around with a huge smile and teary eyes. “For me?”
“For you Awni.” Fallon shook his head and walked to his heart. “All for you.”
Awni squealed in his true glittering fashion and jumped into Fallon’s arms. “This is a dream!” He kissed Fallon’s cheek. “It can’t be real. The big Captain Retwee reading boy love books? I must be sleeping.”
“Awni…” Fallon warned but his scolding was done with a grin.
“Fallon…” Awni stuck his tongue out and Fallon brought his mouth to the pink haired boy’s lips then pulled away.
“Stay the night.” The Captain began to unbutton Awni’s shirt with trembling hands and lowered lids. “Stay with me.”
With a shiver but his heart finally feeling in the right place, Awni looked up into the eyes of the man who would protect him from the world--the man that would be his future and would make his father proud. “I’ll always stay where you are Fallon…because I love you.”