You can read previous chapters here

When Silas and Violet have finished their work, and all the fiends are resting comfortably in their beds, they embrace each other. Violet was always Silas’ closest friend in the coven, but they had never held each other for comfort before. She is small and thin, but she can still provide him with a feeling of protection and warmth. Simply knowing that someone else has seen what he has seen and stayed to help him makes a small amount of the pain ease away. Slowly, they pull away. Silas begs Violet to try and gather more help, so they can talk about what has happened and decide what to do. She looks doubtful, but she nods before stepping through a portal.

After that, Silas sits in the dark. Days pass by with a blur. He feels like he is surrounded by the walking dead. The fiends around him are like shadows. They do not know how to live life without their demons. Slowly, they begin to filter out.

 

Then, one morning, Silas wakes up and discovers he is totally alone. For a while, he simply stands staring into the faint indoor light. Then the door to the warehouse creeks open, framing a silhouette that slips inside.

River.

Silas stands, moving towards the witch without even thinking about it.

They meet in the middle of the warehouse and River pulls him close in the circle of his arms. Silas holds him, feeling a comfort it seems that he has not felt in ages.

“You’re alone?” River asks, still embracing him.

“All the others who…who lost their magic,” He’s silent for a moment as he wraps his mind around the concept, “they left. They weren’t themselves anymore. I don’t know where they went, maybe back to their old gangs, but they had nothing left for them here.”

River frowns but holds back whatever other questions he clearly wants to ask. Silas pulls out of the embrace slowly and only slightly, looking up into the witch’s face. His lips are very close to River’s, and electric between them is this new sense of comfort: a desire to understand and be understood. Silas hadn’t known that he’d needed this comfort, this intimacy. Now he clings to River, needing the comfort the witch can provide.

Their lips move hotly against each other, kissing as if they are both searching for something only the other can provide, something steady and constant. They did not expect, and perhaps did not want, to find such comfort only in each other, but now that they have found it they will cling to it because it is the only thing left.

“Silas” River whispers between their lips. Silas can hear the concern in his voice, and hates how it reminds him of what is happening, what has caused the desperation which brought them to this point. Silas ignores his concern and presses his lips to the fragility of River’s collarbone, his hands pressing into the strong breadth of the warlock’s shoulders.

        “Why did you come here?” Silas whispers, his breath warm against River’s pale neck. They draw back from each other, just enough to look into each other’s eyes. River’s are mismatched, as always, and the uneasiness in them in easy to see.

“I wanted to ensure you were safe.” River whispers.

        “You seem afraid. I’m safe, you don’t need to be scared” Silas whispers. “We’ll figure it out. We’ll beat Valiant.”

River looks down, veiling his eyes behind his dark lashes.

        “I’m afraid of you.” River whispers, “I’m afraid of this feeling.”

        Silas looks up at him. There are things that River is not saying. He can see it in his two-toned eyes. Yet, Silas’ blood is singing and he cannot ignore the pulses of desire that run through his body. He wants to lose himself to the feeling of River inside him, to lips and hands and breath. He wants to run his hands over all of River’s most sensitive parts, make him shudder and cry out. He wants to banish River’s hesitation and fear, unnecessary at best and at worst damaging.

Mostly, he wants comfort. He wants reminding that there are still things warm and complete in the world.

        “Don’t be afraid.” Silas is talking to himself as much as River. He runs his hands over River’s arms. “Just be here, in this moment, and think of what you want.”

He can see the conflict in River, and feel it move all through his body like a current. He wants this, and Silas can feel it so clearly. Not just the sex, though right now that desire must overpower all others, but the companionship and the comfort of being with one who loves you. Although River has been told forever that it is wrong, and that makes it harder for him to understand what he is feeling.

Their mouths are very close. Silas can feel the heat coming off of River, his chest rising and falling rapidly with breath. His eyes flicker over Silas’ body, unable to hide his barely-masked interest.

        There is the slightest shift, each of them moves only a few inches, but it is enough. Their lips touch, and sparks run through Silas’ body. This kiss is different. It is not a desperate yearning or a silent plea for comfort. It is a consent and a confirmation. It is River’s away of agreeing, at least to this, and accepting his own wants. The demon in Silas stirs in a wonderful mix-up of reactions: excited by the thought of satisfying the desires of the body, agitated by the closeness of divine blood. His hands wind up into River’s hair, and River makes a soft noise of appreciation as he tries to fit their mouths closer together. Silas feels River’s tongue sliding into his mouth, and he moans to encourage him. He has been thinking of this since River first opened the door to the coven all that time ago. He is surprised as River takes control of the kiss, the warped moral sense that had always held him back seemingly vanishing.

Their hands move over each other through their clothes as their kisses grow deeper and slower, opening with intimacy. Silas becomes distantly aware of the fact that he’s pushing them both towards the pile of cushions and blankets that he has been sleeping on the past few days. Smiling, Silas kneels down on the blankets and reaches up for River’s hand. River does not take it. His eyes are wary, as if all his hesitation has returned in this single moment. They stare at each other.

        “What is it?” Silas asks, head still angled upward to look at River. The position is an odd parody of something River might do often, kneeling at the foot of an idol to pray.

        “I’ve…I’ve never…” He whispers, his two-toned eyes downcast.

        “You’ve never made love to another man?” Silas is not the least bit surprised, but he understands the significance it holds to River, and why it is important for him to say it.

        “I’ve never…done that to anyone.”

Silas keeps his gaze even on River. He was not expecting a different response, but he realizes now that he has never been anyone’s first. Kissing River, wanting to push him onto the blankets and hold him, suddenly has a very different meaning. He can see the nerves in River’s eyes and feel the tenseness of the hands on his back. He is responsible for guiding everything that happens now, and he finds himself unexpectedly nervous as the seriousness of the task.

        “Do you want to stop?” Silas asks, feeling now like he holds something delicate between his arms. As many words as he has used to describe River, he has never felt like “delicate” could be one of them. Yet, now, it feels like the only word he can use.

        River shakes his head. “No…”

River moves to kneel on the blankets before Silas. His eyes move over the fiend’s body, his hands running up his sides and curling into the long hair at the nape of his neck. “I don’t want to stop. But I’ve never done this before.” He trails off. It is clear he has more to say but cannot decide how to say it.

        Silas lays a hand on his cheek, brushing his thumb over his lips. “The demon in me might be strong, sometimes, but I can control it. If you ask me to stop, I will.”

        Gently, Silas pushes on River’s chest and encourages him to lay down. River reclines back and looks up at him through his lashes. Moving fluidly, Silas straddles his lap. River stares up at him, Silas’ thighs astride his own, spreading apart farther so their crotches meet through the thick fabric of their pants. River’s arms are tight around him. They are breathing fast and shallow. River’s eyes move over his face, resting on his lips. Silas can feel the slight tremor in his body, even as he pushes their pelvises close together. Pushing himself up, River moves slowly up towards him, his expression hesitant, as if reaching out towards something he’s never held before. Silas feels the warm, shallow breath against his neck before River places his lips, gently like the ghost of a kiss, to the tan skin where Silas’ neck meets his shoulder. He glances back up at Silas before he kisses the hollow just above his collarbone. Silas moans and reaches to pull off River’s shirt, desperate to get to his skin. It isn’t until after he’s pulled it off that he realizes how impatient he was being. He is burning for River. In his fantasies, he’d stripped and gotten on all fours so River could pound into him all at once. Silas liked it rough and fast and hard. But this was slow, and sweet, and filled with all kinds of emotions that filled Silas’ chest, and that he felt more comfortable ignoring. River has never done this before and there is no knowing how much he will allow himself to give. He must resist his need to rush. He will savor each exposed stretch of skin that he gets to kiss

        Silas locks eyes with River, reaching forward to run his fingers over pale white skin. River glances at him uncertainly, but does not move away as Silas skirts his fingers over his collarbones and down his sides. He touches the soft fabric of River’s shirt and gently undoes the buttons holding it closed. Silas leans down to kiss him again, and their lips move over each other with more passion this time. River’s mouth opens under his. Silas runs a thumb gently over each nipple and River draws back with a surprised moan.

        “Do you like that?” Silas asks, whispering into River’s ear.

        “Yes.” River replies after hesitation. The word sounds almost strained. Silas looks at him curiously, worried he has done something wrong, but River’s face is eager as he tugs at the hem of Silas’ shirt, pulling it overhead. Silas looks down at himself after he has cast the fabric aside, very aware that every one of his ribs is visible under his skin. He does not think about his body often when he is having sex. Usually he is simply focused on the other, and on the pleasure he is feeling. But with River it is different. He feels a sudden shudder in his chest as he realizes that he wants River to want him. But he is so thin and so clearly has been treating himself harshly. River pays this no mind, and looks at Silas’ exposed skin like it is some treasure he will never see again.

        River is tense at first. Silas coaxes him with kisses and gentle touches to his nipples. The more he touches River, the more they both relax. This will help them both, to forget what needs to be forgotten. At least, Silas hopes it will. As he caresses River, he hopes he has not been driven here simply by a selfless need to bury things deep.

        His worries get lost, drifting further and further from his conscious mind as River’s body and the driving need to be joined in something that is so intimate and so permanent takes him over. They are fully pressed together now, and River is rubbing up against him, even though they still both have their pants on. Silas’ breath is coming fast and deep, and he pulls his legs up, wrapping them around the small of River’s back. River makes a throaty sound and pushes up harder against him. All at once all the hesitancy is gone, and he is simply a man, seeking pleasure from another and eager to please.

 

He certainly doesn’t fuck like an innocent, even if he is one. Silas presses soft, sweet kisses to the gentle skin of his neck as he runs his hands down his back, squeezing his ass and eliciting a moan from the witch before running his hands over his hips and bringing them between their bodies. He can feel River stiffen slightly, pushing himself up on his arms as Silas works at the button of River’s black jeans.

        Silas looks up at him. “Can I take them off?”

        River’s eyes slide over him. “Do you…” He trails off.

        “What?” Silas asks, trying not to show how frustrated he is with River’s poor timing.

        River sighs. “No, it’s stupid. Never mind. Take them off.”

        Silas holds River’s face between his hands and looked deep into his eyes. He finds there nerves but not protest. He opens his jeans, very slowly, so slowly he feels it in his body like pain, and draws them off. He presses gentle kisses to River’s neck. “Do mine?” He whispers between touches of lips to skin.

        River leans back so he kneels between Silas’ legs. His arousal is apparent through his boxers. Silas’ is as well, once River manages to get the button undone and pull the pants off. He stays kneeling between Silas’ legs at first, so that no parts of them are touching. His hand shakes as he reaches out to touch Silas’ chest. Silas sits up and grabs River’s shoulders, turning them over roughly so River is laying down with Silas straddling him. Their bodies move very fast now, Silas pushing off his own boxers and then River’s, kissing him with open-mouthed fervor and pushing their pelvises together, joining their most sensitive parts and making River cry out and dig his fingers into Silas’ back.

Silas reaches for the jar of oil he’s kept wrapped up with his other belongings, pressing it into River’s hand. The witch looks down at him, his eyes full of nerves and wonder. Silas watches him, and when he does nothing, Silas opens the bottle for him and drizzles the liquid onto his hand. River stares up at him as he guides his hand, pale within his own, between his legs to the place that made his intentions clear.

        As nervous as River looks, his fingers are deft and quick. Silas feels heat pooling in his stomach, and he leans forward so his face is pressed against River’s neck.

        “Take me.” He whispers in River’s ear.

        River is panting like he’d just run a mile, he removes his fingers and flips Silas onto his back, spreading his legs with eager hands and entering him, shallowly at first, with one press forward into his body. Silas hisses at the sensation, reaching forward and wrapping his arms around River’s neck. He is motionless for the first few moments, experiencing the sensations of being inside, and then he begins to move. He pushes deeper with each thrust, and Silas lets himself go, moaning with each movement. After how slowly they’d taken each step, these quick actions hit Silas like a rush of water. Suddenly everything is happening at once: River’s weight is pushing him down into the mattress, moving inside of him with growing depth and speed. One hand still grips his thigh while the other pumps Silas’ erection. Their eyes meet and River’s are cloudy with lust. He releases Silas’ thigh from his grip and uses his hand to steady himself as he leans down and kisses the hollow just behind Silas’ ear. Throughout each of these moments, Silas moans and whines but River is quiet, his breath rough against Silas’ ear.

        As Silas’ body opens, River pushes in deeper and deeper. His breathing becomes rough and ragged.

        “Silas” he whispers, breath hot against his neck. He shifts, pushing even deeper into Silas’ body, and Silas cries out with a renewed intensity. He has hit the spot of pleasure within Silas’ body, and he feels his stomach tighten as the feeling works its way up from his groin to fill his body with shivers. Silas wraps his legs around River, drawing him deeper in. Silas hears River whispering his name, and Silas’ fingers dig into his back. River is whispering nonsensical things about love and forever, and the surety and sweetness in his voice makes Silas fall over the edge. His body shivers with his own release, and River finally lets out a whimpering moan as his thrusts grow quick and erratic. They cling to each other as the waves of pleasure crest, breaths slowing and deepening as they come down from the high. River does not withdraw from Silas right away. He stays fully pressed against him as his body begins to still. He takes a deep breath and then pushes up on his arms, withdrawing from Silas, pushing himself onto his back. Silas has never had the easy pillow talk one is supposed to share after making love. His first time he had been much too young, with someone much too old who he thought had loved him. Since then he had had mostly had short stints of rough fucking with randoms. He had always liked it, thought that was for him.

        Now, he finds himself feeling almost empty, as River stares up silently to the ceiling. Had he really expected smiles and whispered words, gentle embracing, even after they had separated? He stands and goes into the bathroom to clean himself off and fetch a towel for River. When he returns, River’s eyes follow him as he draws closer, handing him the towel and watching him clean off his stomach. River doesn’t look at him, but drops the dirtied towel next to the pile of blanks they’d been lying on.

River turns over onto his side, facing away from him. Silas purses his lips, feeling the pleasure still radiating in his body competing with sadness that begins to settle over him. He slides under the blankets besides River. His eyes are closed, so Silas puts a hand on his shoulder.

        “River.” He says quietly. The witch isn’t asleep yet, Silas can tell by how quickly his chest rises and falls.

        River turns onto his back. He doesn’t smile, but sits up, his eyes moving over Silas but not meeting his gaze.   

        “Look at me.” Silas whispers. His voice is hollow with desperation.

        River obeys and his eyes flick up to Silas’.

        “I’m sorry.” He says. Silas is relieved he spoke first, but what he says sends a shiver down him.

        Silas’ mouth is dry. “You’re…sorry? You regret it?”

        River pushes himself further upright. “No. No, Silas.” He puts a hand on Silas’ cheek, and Silas closes his eyes in relief. “I definitely do not regret it.” He licks his lips, his eyes narrowing as he searches for his next thought. “I don’t regret it, but it is…difficult for me.”

        Silas nods. “Your whole life, they’ve told you this is wrong.”

        River pushes his hands into his hair and falls back onto the blankets. “A part of me believes them.”

        Silas takes one of his hands and lifts it to his mouth, kissing the knuckles. “Did it feel wrong?”

        “No.” River says, but there are a few seconds of hesitation before he speaks.

        Silas does not acknowledge his hesitation. He knows that River does not regret what they did. That is enough. He lies down and shimmies his body up against River’s, front to back. He puts an arm around River, drawing them closer together. With his nose pressed against the nape of his neck,  blonde curls tickling his face. He inhales River’s scent. It is not long until both of their breathing has become slow and even, and then both of them drift off into sleep.

        Silas wakes, blinking into the dim light. As always, the fog of sleep lifts from him very quickly, and as his eyes adjust to the darkness he notices a shape moving in the shadows.

        “River?”

        He sees River’s shoulders slump, obviously upset that he woke Silas.

        Silas sits up, the blankets falling over his lap, “Sneaking away in the middle of the night?” he asks wryly.

River turns to face him. He’s put pants back on, but clutches a shirt in his hands, wringing it with nervous twisty motions.

        “I’m sorry.” He whispers.

        Silas frowns. He realizes that until that moment he had hoped that River was simply getting up for a piss, or cold, or anything else other than actually leaving.

“What, you think you can pretend you weren’t here?”

River flinches. Silas feels the breath pushed out of him with the knowledge that his words meant simply to be hurtful were true. Too true, perhaps. Maybe River had still been hiding the truth from himself, even as he had held Silas and whispered all those things about love.

        Silas rises from the bed and takes a step towards River. He realizes he is naked, and suddenly feels the urge to cover himself. Prominent under his anger is disappointment, but hiding beneath that is a deep sense of shame

“I asked if you regretted it and you said no!” Silas yanks his underwear on and steps closer to River, who backs up until he’s up against the wall. His hands clutch his shirt tighter and tighter.

“What we did is wrong. The gods wrote it so in the Book of Shadows.”

Silas stares at him, shocked, groping for words to say but unable to find them. If only he could open his skin and show River the things he feels twisting in his chest.

River shakes his head. “I don’t know Silas. It’s complicated. I’m confused, I’m questioning everything, and I think I made the wrong choice-“

        “I trusted you!” It explodes out of Silas, feeding off the feelings that are rising within him. “I-“ he hesitates, “I let you inside me.” He whispers. “I thought you had left all that bullshit the coven feeds you behind.”
“It isn’t bullshit.” River’s voice is stern but he is not yelling. “I wasn’t myself when I did those things with you. Like I said, I’m confused, and I was so overpowered with lust I didn’t think about my actions.”

        “So you do regret it?”

River doesn’t answer. He avoids Silas’ eyes and pulls his shirt over his head.

        Silas feels his knees weaken and kneels on the pile of blankets that had served as their bed. He can’t say anything, can barely even think past the anger and the sadness that take him over.

“I’m leaving.” River keeps his gaze focused on the floor.

        River hesitates for a moment. Silas is keenly aware of this hesitation, and to him it seems to last forever. He waits for River to wrap his arms around him and say that he’s changed his mind, and he doesn’t actually care about what’s written in the Book of Shadows. River does not do this. He only stares at his own feet. Silas eyes start to feel misty. He closes them against the view of River staring down at the floor in shame, against the tears he can feel building, against his own stupidity and against his own belief that his feelings could overturn a lifetime of damage. With a quick spell and a feeling like wind rushing past him, River has vanished.

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