War awaits on Ilmare, between the humans and the constructs they created. Considered flawed designs by their creators, Selati and his other sentient comrades live the life of refugees on the run, hiding and fighting in Ilmare’s vast jungles. They want only the freedom to pursue their newly awakened sentience away from human interference.
Aleledai taught Selati all he knows of a life without chains and suffering. Neither can know what tomorrow will bring, rather all too well what it could take from them both. On the cusp of war, Selati returns to his lover to spend one last night in the peaceful world that only exists in Aleledai’s arms.
Left with nothing but solitude until dawn, Selati found himself wanting to take advantage of the time they were now allotted. Convincing Aleledai to take the rest of the night off from worrying would be hard, but he was determined. It was just the distraction they needed to take their minds off all the ways their lives could end tomorrow.
A long night spent in each other’s arms would be perfect.
“I have a better idea, if you are willing.”
Aleledai lifted his face, an indulgent smile settling onto his soft lips and lighting up his eyes. “I am always willing to listen to you.”
“The way I figure, the whole camp is down for the night, except the patrols.” He received a nod to confirm what he said. “Since that is the case, we have no one to interrupt us for the rest of the night.” Selati gave his mate a hot look, trying to convey the need he had for Aleledai to agree the idea. “I would love you tonight, just in case.”
“In case one of us does not make it off of the battlefield tomorrow.” Like every other time since they became a mated pair, Aleledai proved just how easily he could hear what Selati meant beneath his words. It was just one more thing that Selati adored about him.
“Exactly. I could not imagine going into battle without knowing your touch one last time. Without giving you a damn good reminder of why we must return to each other after.”
A purely smitten look flashed across Aleledai’s normally worried face. “I do not require being reminded. Nothing could keep me from you, not even something as paltry as death. However, if you must, I am happy to allow you.”
Selati laughed in delight and slowly herded his lover backwards, not letting Aleledai leave his arms for even a moment.
Aleledai went easily, happily letting Selati move him back until his scales barely brushed up against their bednest.
Their bednest was a very large affair, even taking into account the need to accommodate a couple of twelve foot long Caniean. It wasn’t a bed in a human sense or a nest either, but a monstrous pile of patchwork cushions and pillows vaguely ring shaped and a depression in the middle, showing where the bulk of their bodies curled up together.
Still holding on tightly to his mate, Selati bore them down gently to the haphazard mess and coiled loosely around his lover, the loops of his lower body cradling Aleledai. Scales slid with a slight rasp against scales and smoothing over flesh as Aleledai wrapped his brightly patterned hide around the outside of Selati’s darker scales, threading his hands through Selati’s short brown hair to pull him into a deep kiss.
Kissing Aleledai was almost a spiritual experience as far as Selati was concerned. His mate explored every inch of his mouth, flicking his tongue against Selati’s and nipping at lips, caressing the tiny sting away. The best parts were the muffled sounds of enjoyment bubbling up from deep in his throat before Selati swallowed the ardent noises.