Chapter 13 Downtime

“Shadow come on, it’s time to get up,” Sunhawk said as he shook the boy. He had let Shadow sleep for as long as he could, but he needed the boy up. Some of the men had already started to break down their tents and Sunhawk knew that he needed to get out and get things organized.

“No,” Shadow said sleepily, not wanting to rise from the comfortable bed . With his eyes still closed he reached up, wrapping his arms around Sunhawk and trying to pull him into bed as he had so many times last winter.

For a moment Sunhawk almost allowed himself to be pulled into the warm bed, but a bellowing voice echoing outside the tent made him immediately shake off the clinging arms and stride to the door.

“Sunhawk you bastard, where are you,” bellowed Rathgar, anger apparent in his face as he saw Sunhawk walk outside his tent. Standing with his arms crossed and a neutral expression on his face the intimidating Captain watched as his employer charged up to him.

“What is the meaning of this? Why are you getting ready to leave? There is still a mess to clean up!” Rathgar yelled in Sunhawk’s face, waving towards the empty city behind him.

“Our job is completed. There is nothing in our contract stating we were responsible for clean up after the battle,” Sunhawk said in an empty voice, his face betraying nothing as he stared down at the red faced man.

“In the contract? It is customary for the mercenaries to clean up,” Rathgar said, drawing himself up arrogantly, his disgust apparent in his face.

“Customary but not required,” Sunhawk said as his eyes narrowed and his tone became deep and menacing. “You neglected to mention a few key factors when discussing this job with me. They borderline going outside of the original contract. If you would like to take our leaving up with the guild feel free to, but I in turn will bring up a few matters myself.

The Hawks will never contract with you again, and a record will be filed with the guild on this campaign. When you go to hire guild mercenaries again you will find fewer bands willing to answer your call,” Sunhawk said, his eyes flashing as he looked down at the man.

Rathgar backed up a step at the menacing looking Captain before drawing himself up and glaring at Sunhawk. “We shall see about that.”

“No Rathgar, you will see now. Not in the heat of battle or the dark of night. The bodies of women, children and the weak littered in the sheets of Soothbay, slaughtered by your orders. Now Rathgar, maybe cleaning up your own mess will make you hesitate before giving such an order again,” Sunhawk said as he turned his back on the man and entered the tent to find Shadow by the entrance.

As the tent flap closed behind him he felt Shadow’s arms wrap around his waist tightly. He felt the supple body next to him tremble a little in his arms. Squeezing Shadow a little he pulled the boy away to look down at his face.

“What’s wrong?” Sunhawk asked, a little puzzled.

“I didn’t know what had happened. After the first ten hours all I did was treat injures, I lost track of everything else except my work. Kelas and Marissa didn’t tell me either,” Shadow said softly.

“It happens sometimes. I try to avoid situations like this, but sometimes I misjudge and we end up having to do something that none of us like,” Sunhawk said, looking down at the sad face in front of him.

He leaned down to kiss Shadow’s forehead, grateful to the young man for coming back to him despite everything. “Come on, we are moving out soon.”

Shadow looked around, surprised to see that somehow Sunhawk had packed everything up while he slept. He looked at the man’s broad back as he bent over packing their bed away and smiled as he sat down to put on his boots. Sunhawk always seemed to somehow take care of him in little ways that he wasn’t even aware of at times.

“Where are we going?” Shadow asked curiously.

“Keys is a city close too here. We should make it in about three days or so. They have a guild office there so we can file a report on this campaign and see what job offers there are around this area. We will probably be there for a few days. This job was hard on the men and they are going to need a little time to relax,” Sunhawk said, finishing up his packing.

“We could use some time as well,” Shadow said quietly.

Sunhawk went over to Shadow and began brushing his hair, strangely silent. Shadow leaned into the strokes of their familiar ritual, closing his eyes. His mind slowly emptied as the slow, gentle strokes of the brush and Sunhawk’s presence relaxed him

“Shadow would you like for me to ride next to you today?” Sunhawk asked softly.

Shadow’s eyes instantly opened as he heard the offer, and he sat completely still in shock. His instant response in his mind was yes but he also knew the right response was no. It didn’t take an intellectual genius to realize that the offer came from Sunhawk’s guilt over what had happened.

“Sunhawk, I want you next to me all the time. I want to spend hours with you everyday and make love to you every night like we did all this winter,” Shadow said slowly. “But you also have a job to do as well. You said yourself this job was hard on your men. What would they say if you spent all of your time following me?” Shadow asked.

“I don’t care. You are important to me too,” Sunhawk said, coming around to face Shadow, kneeling down and gripping the boy’s legs.

“Thank you,” Shadow said closing his eyes for a moment. “I need to hear those words Sunhawk, ever since we left Wintermoon.”

Sunhawk watched as Shadow closed his eyes and was surprised to see a tear come from beneath those long eyelashes. In that instant he realized how much he had been hurting the boy, not just the terrible night of the battle but ever since the campaign had started. Sunhawk knew that just as Shadow was trying to find a way to make their relationship work he needed to try harder as well. For those simple words to bring tears to his lover’s eyes Sunhawk knew that he truly needed a way to balance his work with this strong yet delicate boy in front of him, instead of brushing off the problem.

“Shadow,” Sunhawk said, wrapping his arms around the boy’s waist and burying his head into the boy’s lap.

“Ride with your men Sunhawk,” Shadow said softly, his graceful fingers running through Sunhawk’s loose shoulder length hair. “But make time for us at Keys, no matter what. Time to love one another and time just to be together. Promise me that.”

Sunhawk looked up at the boy who at the moment seemed wise beyond his years, wondering yet again at the strange dichotomy in the boy. The fact that Sunhawk had hurt him so badly yet Shadow still loved him amazed the mercenary captain who had never in his life experienced such love. Sunhawk nodded, looking into the calm silver eyes of his lover.

It didn’t take Sunhawk long to braid up Shadow’s thick, midnight black hair. Shadow stood, wrapping his arms around Sunhawk as the man gently kissed him. They stood close to one another, almost unable to part until Ariel come walking through the tent flap.

“Come on you two. You can do that later,” Ariel said, grinning at the two lovers.

“You know you have rotten timing?” Sunhawk growled playfully at his second in command.

Shadow broke loose from the captain to go over to Ariel, his eyes narrowing as he plunged his glowing red magic into the man looking him over.

“Hey, hey!” Ariel exclaimed, jumping a little at the glowing red tentacles gazed his skin.

“Sorry,” Shadow said shutting down his magic to look at the man with a smile. “I wanted to know if you were ok. I am sorry I didn’t come to see you sooner,” Shadow said with his back to Sunhawk.

Ariel looked at the Captain that was standing very still, a frown on his face. Quickly Ariel focused on the boy, trying to keep his attention, knowing the Captain’s dislike for magic.

“You should have just asked. Think about how a guy feels being attacked by glowy red things, you really could freak someone out you know, ” Ariel said grimacing.

“You didn’t mind my red glowy things when your guts were on my table,” Shadow said with a frown. “It was possible I missed something that could kill you later. Just because there are no holes in your outside doesn’t mean there aren’t any on the inside.” Shadow said looking at the man.

“What? But I feel fine,” Ariel said, looking down at where the wound had been.

“And you are, but I had to make sure, although I probably should have said something,” Shadow replied, rather embarrassed by his lack of etiquette.

“Good idea. You ready Sunhawk? Your tent is about the only one still standing,” Ariel said, turning his attention to the Captain that had finally stopped frowning so fiercely.

“Yeah, let’s get out of here.”

All three of them exited the tent, which was quickly descended on by five men who quickly loaded their belongings into a wagon and efficiently took down the tent. Shadow followed them to the string of horse lined up and retrieved Gray.

Sunhawk arched his eyebrows as Shadow saddled the horse, but said nothing. Shadow was only half done by the time Sunhawk and Ariel were mounting up.

“I will see you this afternoon,” Sunhawk said, looking down at the boy concentrating on saddling his horse.

Sunhawk watched the boy smile up at him and wave quickly before focusing all of his attention back to the task at hand. Ariel followed behind him as they began to get the mess of men, equipment, wagons, and animals moving in the right direction. Sunhawk’s mind, however, was very far from his job as they worked. He could see Ariel’s perplexed look shot in his direction every once in a while as he too noticed his Captain’s lack of focus. Finally they got everything moving as the two took the lead.

“Hey Sunhawk, how about I make the first rounds of the line?” Ariel asked, looking over at the distracted Captain. He guessed the man’s thoughts must be centered on Shadow with his little display of power, but it was unusual for the Captain to be so out of focus once they began to work.

“Huh? Oh sure thanks Ariel,” Sunhawk said vaguely waving the man off, knowing he should be going instead of Ariel.

Ariel turned his horse around and left Sunhawk alone with his thoughts. So many things were whirling around in his head he was surprised he was able to get anything done. The last day had brought a whirlwind of emotions that Sunhawk had no idea how to deal with. He was still in shock over what he had done to Shadow, and the guilt still threatened to overwhelm him despite the young man’s words. He had truly thought he had lost the boy forever and couldn’t believe that he had returned to him. Despite that he couldn’t even bring himself to think of what Shadow had asked of him.

Sunhawk’s hands clenched the reins and his tension was communicated to his horse, who threw back his head in protest. It was crazy and dangerous, yet he had promised to return to Shadow as soon as every battle had ended. Gritting his teeth Sunhawk shied away from the memory of the promise. He was scared of what he would do, and yet part of him felt a relief knowing that he couldn’t hide himself forever from Shadow. Shoving the thoughts of the promise into the back of his mind he wondered what he should do.

He wanted to make the young man happy, but he had to truly wonder if he could really do that with the way things were. They had so many problems that seemed to overwhelm them, from Sunhawk’s uneasiness with the boy’s magic to the monster that lay sleeping within Sunhawk, waiting for battle. Sunhawk sighed softly, looking out into the horizon, hoping that he could find an answer to help them both.

“Come on Sunhawk,” Shadow said, pulling at the man still trying to get his boots on.

“The market isn’t going anywhere, just give me a second,” Sunhawk said, looking up at the excited young man and wincing slightly.

Shadow turned to him, his hands on his hips as he looked down at Sunhawk impatiently. They had been at Keys for a day and although they had been into the city to take care of Guild business the day before, they hadn’t had time to do anything together. Even though they had spent the night within the guild inn they hadn’t gotten to bed until late, since they had been invited to a supper sponsored by the guild officer of Keys that later turned into a large drinking party that Shadow had eventually excused himself from. Even though Sunhawk followed him shortly after, neither one of them had the energy to do anything but sleep, and Shadow was not thrilled about the smell of ale that surrounded the large captain.

“No, but I am if you don’t hurry,” Shadow said impatiently.

Sunhawk groaned, lowering his head a little. “How come you are so chipper this morning? I usually have to pull you out of bed,” Sunhawk asked miserably.

“Because I want to go shopping with you. Keys is huge since it is a port city and has so many unique things.” Shadow said brightly . “Besides, it is already midmorning.”

“Ok, Ok.” Sunhawk said getting up. “You must have a high tolerance for ale.”

“No, I have no tolerance, but I know that so I didn’t drink that much. I have never understood why people drink so much when they are going to feel it the next day,” Shadow replied, looking up at the bloodshot golden eyes.

“Ask me sometime after I have a few then I would probably know the answer, but right now I’m not sure I know my own name,” Sunhawk groaned.

Shadow sighed looking at the miserable captain. This wasn’t what he had in mind for their day together. Going over to his small chest that held his personal items he rummaged around until he found the one item Corrin had told him he would definitely need this summer. Shadow had been slightly skeptical but had packed it away anyway. Holding up the small green bag he looked at his lover.

“Come on and feed me and you can have this,” Shadow said with a grin.

“Is that what I think it is?” Sunhawk said as his eyes lite up.

“One packet of hangover potion, but you have to promise to feed me, and take me out to the market and buy me something,” Shadow said, waving the bag in front of the desperate man.,

“I love you,” Sunhawk said, wrapping his arms around the young healer, leaning a little on him.

“I love you too, but come on let’s get something to eat,” Shadow said, laughing at the man’s obvious pleasure.

Downstairs they joined Ariel at a table as a slim, dark haired serving girl that was flirting with Ariel left to get them their food.

“Great you two, wonderful timing,” Ariel said sourly.

“Just returning the favor,” Sunhawk said with a smile.

Ariel rested his head on his hand as he looked at the two. “I’m surprised that you are up already after last night.”

“So am I,” Sunhawk said looking over at Shadow.

“We’re going to the market. I have never been to one so big,” Shadow said excitedly, ignoring Sunhawk’s still sour mood for the moment.

“Keys’s market isn’t that huge, although they do have some usual things since they are a port city,” Ariel said, brightening slightly when the serving girl returned with Shadow’s breakfast and Sunhawk’s tea.

Sunhawk grabbed the tea and looked over at Shadow, who gave him the small green pouch of herbs. Ariel watched with a smile as Sunhawk poured the contents into his tea and drank it all at once, while Shadow attacked his own breakfast.

“Hey, how come this tastes different?” Sunhawk said, looking over at Shadow in confusion.

Shadow looked up from the bacon and eggs that he was steadily devouring with a smile.

“Because at first I didn’t agree with Corrin that people that overindulged should be punished, although I am not so sure now,” Shadow said, frowning while looking at Sunhawk.

Ariel started laughing at the stunned look on the Captain’s face that started to turn sour. “I think he’s got you there. I always wondered why that stuff tasted so god awful. I’d rather be hung over than drink it. Corrin really is a sadistic one sometimes,” Ariel said.

“I’m going to get him when we get back to Wintermoon,” Sunhawk said with a growl.

“You’re lucky he makes it at all or that I did,” Shadow said. “It takes a week to make and it is very tedious as well,” Shadow said between bites of food.

“Yeah but it works well,” Sunhawk said with a sigh, leaning back in his chair.

“Hey, I talked to the sub-commanders yesterday. The general consensus is that everyone wants to stay here for at least another day before moving out,” Ariel said, looking at Sunhawk.

“That’s fine but gather all the sub-commanders together tomorrow by ten candle marks, we need to go over our next job,” Sunhawk replied.

“The plains job?”

“Yep, down and dirty fighting, but it will be over in one battle. We’ll head for Wintermoon afterwards. Also they are paying premium for this job,” Sunhawk said, looking at his second in command.

“Why? It’s a pretty simple job,” Ariel said.

“Because I’m a brilliant Captain,” Sunhawk said with a grin.

“Let me guess, there aren’t any companies in the area,” Ariel said dryly as Sunhawk shook his head at Ariel.

“Oh, there are some bands, but no guild. Also, our reputation precedes us,” Sunhawk said.

“Well it will make the men happy, although it does mean a lot miles to cover,” Ariel said with a shrug.

Sunhawk nodded, looking over at Shadow, noticing he was finishing up. Looking over at the young man questioningly he saw the raven haired boy nod as he pushed his plate away.

“Well were off Ariel. I will see you tomorrow,” Sunhawk said standing up.

“Enjoy yourself. Oh, are you staying here tonight as well?”

“Yeah, I actually rather like sleeping in a real bed,” Sunhawk answered.

“Sleeping?” Ariel asked, arching an eyebrow to laugh at Shadow’s slight blush, amazed that the boy could still be embarrassed about such things.

Sunhawk shook his head as he left the inn with Shadow by his side. They walked through the crowded streets of the bustling city, staying close to each other as Shadow examined everything with wide eyes. Except for Armath, Shadow had never really been walking around in a large city. Wintermoon had been a small town compared to the large, busy city of Keys.

Shadow’s excitement wasn’t lost on Sunhawk, who watched the young priest with humor now that the hangover potion had worked its magic on his aching head. Grabbing the boy’s shoulder he steered him away from the flow of traffic heading for the slave market and headed instead to one of the open markets offering goods from the dock. He was sure that the young man would be more than a little upset by the slave market and was determined to keep the sheltered boy away from one of the nastier parts of society for as long as he could.

Before long they arrived at a large boulevard that was lined with a brightly colored awning of various stores. People dressed in all sorts of different exotic and traditional clothes of vibrant colors bustled through the street buying, selling, and trading various goods.

It wasn’t long before Shadow stood enthralled by a small table filled with musical instruments. He looked at the small harps, his hands tracing the intricate details in the frame.

“I didn’t know that you could play,” Sunhawk said curiously.

Shadow shook his head, backing away. “I can’t, but I remember an old minstrel that came to play for me once in the temple. I was enchanted by it and always envied him a little, to be able to produce such lovely sounds.”

“You could learn,” Sunhawk said as Shadow began to walk.

Shadow laughed, looking up at Sunhawk. “I’m already a full time healer, secretary and priest. I really don’t think I have the time.”

“I guess you’re right,” Sunhawk said as he was drawn over to a huge display of armory.

Shadow followed him over, curious at the wide variety of weapons. As Sunhawk struck up a conversation with the dealer Shadow’s eyes glanced over the glittering sharp weapons. Lightly touching them he knew they weren’t for him, they seemed so cold and hard. Walking around he noticed a rack that held a small array of staffs.

Lightly his hands traced the various staffs, looking them over. Idly he sent his own healing magic out and was surprised when the glowing red tentacles of magic seem to flow into one of the staffs instead of bouncing off like it usually did with inanimate objects. Picking the staff up, he looked it over. The white oak staff was very stolid, with intricately carved spiraling designs on it. His was amazed at its beauty and the way it seemed to fit in his hands.

“It’s beautiful, but how’s the weight?” Sunhawk asked, coming up behind him.

Shadow jumped, so absorbed in the staff that he had been totally oblivious to the man approaching behind him.

Shadow handed the staff over to Sunhawk, watching the man weigh it in his hands then balance it on one hand.

“It is light for me, but for you I imagine it is perfect. It also has amazing balance. You will be learning the staff once we get back to Wintermoon, so we will need to get you one. We don’t keep them in our equipment,” Sunhawk said thoughtfully, handing Shadow the weapon.

“Then I will buy this,” Shadow said firmly, somewhat surprised at himself. Yet he was very curious about the staff that seemed to almost drink in his healing powers.

“Ah, so you are interested in that staff. Is he a friend of yours Sunhawk?” the muscular one- eyed merchant asked as he approached them.

“Yes, he is my companion and a healer of the Hawks,” Sunhawk said.

“Well normally I would be enthusiastic about someone finally taking an interest in that staff, but since you’re the leader of the Hawks I will tell you not to buy it. There is something odd about it,” the man said, shaking his bald head.

“Odd? It’s a staff,” Sunhawk said.

“Yes, well it has a history. It has been sold countless times, each time the buyer finds that the staff seems to become heavier at inopportune times. It has been blessed, but none of the priests that I have taken it too can tell me which god or goddess blessed the damn thing. Which is strange in itself, since those types of things are suppose to leave a loud blazing signature, if you know what I mean. Most gods want credit for their work,” the merchant said in exasperation. “I think the thing is cursed rather than blessed.”

“I will take it,” Shadow said firmly, despite the warnings. He knew that he was supposed to have this staff. Some deeper part of him knew that it was meant for him.

“Come on, we can find one without such a weird history,” Sunhawk said, looking down at the white wood uneasily.

“No Sunhawk, didn’t you once tell me that your weapon is a part of you? That you just know when it is the right one?” He said, looking down at the staff.

“Well yeah, but you aren’t a warrior Shadow.”

“Maybe because I’m not one it is even more important. I think this is the staff that was meant for me,” Shadow said, “How much?”

“Sixteen silvers,” the merchant said hesitantly.

Before Shadow could reply Sunhawk jumped in and before he knew it Sunhawk had bargained the staff down to twelve silvers and had paid for it. Shadow looked up at Sunhawk rather confused as the man lead him from the stall.

“I promised to buy you something. Besides, I’m the one forcing you into weapons training anyway, although I still think a plain normal staff would have been better,” Sunhawk said with a shrug.

“Thank you Sunhawk,” Shadow said with a smile, looking up at the slightly embarrassed man.

“Come on, there is a book dealer over there,” Sunhawk said, pointing to a large stall stacked with books.

Sunhawk and Shadow spent the rest of the afternoon looking through the vast open market. As the day progressed, Shadow felt a peace wash over him, filling him completely. Being with Sunhawk again in a bustling market, laughing at the outrageous items and looking over the ones that truly interested them, made him feel as though they were rebuilding what they had lost in the time since winter camp. He missed the one on one time with Sunhawk that simply couldn’t be filled with the few short hours at night wrapped in the large arms of the Captain as they traveled.

As the sun started to sink, they headed back to the inn where they were staying. Shadow listened to one of Sunhawk’s stories about his first adventure into a large city after becoming a mercenary. When they reached the inn Sunhawk headed for a table, but was stopped by a gentle hand restraining him and pulling him towards the stairs that lead to their room.

Sunhawk looked questioningly at the boy, knowing his fondness for meal time only to get lost into sultry silver eyes gazing up at him. There was no mistaking the meaning of the look Shadow was giving him and he found himself being pulled up the stairs.

“What about supper?” Sunhawk asked as Shadow closed the door behind them.

“I want you for supper. I don’t want to waste even a second of this day with you,” Shadow said, his hands resting on Sunhawk’s hips. “Soon we will be on the road again and things are going to get rough. I want you all to myself and don’t want to share you with anyone tonight.”

Sunhawk looked down at his partner, surprised at the deep, unshakable desire in the young man’s voice. Sunhawk realized that Shadow was right. They were going to have to push it to reach the battle site on time, and it would leave very little time, if any, for them.

Sunhawk wrapped his arms around the delicate frame, pulling the lithe body close to him. He felt Shadow melt against him as he wrapped his slender arms around his neck. When he leaned in to devour the warm lips offered,he couldn’t help but be amazed at the desire that was sparked by such simple contact. Picking Shadow effortlessly up he carried the boy to the bed as graceful hands investigated the wide opening of his white shirt.

Wanting to take his time and explore the body of his lover, Sunhawk’s hand captured the nimble fingers that were trying to quickly divest each other of their clothing.

“Let me,” Sunhawk said softly as he kissed the captured hands, turning the palms up to let his lips and tongue taste them.

Shadow looked up at the erotic scene of his golden lover kneeling over him kissing his palms. He couldn’t help but tremble a little in excitement at the seductive slowness of Sunhawk’s movement. He felt each new piece of skin exposed to his lover examined by calloused firm hands and a burning tongue and lips. It wasn’t long before Shadow was panting with sensual explorations of his inflamed body.

“Sunhawk,” Shadow gasped as the wet mouth found it’s way to Shadow’s slim shaft, as his warms hands moved further below Shadow’s spread legs. Shadow felt the large, saliva covered fingers twisted their way into Shadow’s small opening as he moaned softly.

Sunhawk smiled at the breathy gasps of his partner, satisfied to know that he could still, after everything, bring his lover such pleasure. Sunhawk felt long fingers tangle into his hair, guiding him along the hot shaft as throaty cries of pleasure increased.

“No not yet,” Shadow cried, pulling Sunhawk off of his leaking member and guiding him up to the boy’s face. “Not yet. I want to come first with you inside me. Close to me,” Shadow said, opening his intense silver eyes overflowing with lust.

Sunhawk closed his eyes as he felt his own carnal pleasure expand by the look in the boy’s eyes, making his already tight pants almost unbearable. The golden captain couldn’t believe how excited he had become by only exploring the lithe body of his lover.

Sunhawk groaned with desire as a teasing tongue found the entrance to his half open shirt and his now exposed chest, and he felt the anxious hands undoing his tight pants. He couldn’t help but sigh with relief as he felt his enormous, throbbing erection now freed from the confides of the tight pants as Shadow straddled his chest, rubbing his cute ass against him as began to kiss Sunhawk deeply. Their two tongues collided as they fought for dominance, each one devouring the other in their need to be even closer to each other.

Shadow felt Sunhawk’s hip twitch underneath his as he continued to slide himself against the rigid member behind him. He felt his partner’s large hands on his hips guiding him surprisingly off the muscular body and on to the bed. Without hesitation he got up on his knees, bending over provocatively for Sunhawk, knowing the man loved to take him from behind.

Shadow felt Sunhawk guide himself into his waiting opening. Crying out in pleasure Shadow felt the large member totally fill him with an agonizing slow thrust. He felt Sunhawk’s hand brush away his loose hair from his back to feel them run over his narrow shoulders and down the curve of his back as he thrust teasingly slow into Shadow.

Sunhawk felt a deep gratification welling up inside of him and he felt Shadow grip him tightly as he slowly began to thrust into the boy. His hands lightly traced the beautiful hawk spread out before him so much like the boy, feeling the pleasure build in him. Shadow‘s sexy cries of lust as Sunhawk increased the rhythm of his thrusts began to fray the muscular man’s control. He could feel Shadow’s grip on him increase, pushing him to the borderline.

Shadow felt Sunhawk’s steady thrusting increase as he heard the man’s breath come faster. The hard member invading him sent shock waves of pleasure through his supple body, making him cry out passionately. When he felt one of Sunhawk’s warm hands travel down his side and under him to his dripping sex he struggled for control.

“Sunhawk if you do that I …” Shadow gasped but stopped as he struggled to keep from exploding as Sunhawk increased the pressure on his overwrought member.

Sunhawk grasped the hot organ, stroking it with hard, firm strokes as he felt his own climax building inside of him. He buried himself deep within his lover as he let his overflowing ecstasy wash over him, releasing into the young man under him as he heard Shadow moan as his own passion shot into Sunhawk large hand.

Shadow collapsed on the bed as Sunhawk released him, feeling drained by the passionate sex he curled his muscular body around the boy, his large arm coming around to pull Shadow close. Wriggling a little bit to get comfortable, the young man settled against him with a sigh of contentment. The day, although it had started out a little rocky, had become a wonderful, peaceful day.

As they laid silently together Sunhawk couldn’t help be feel the wonder of what his lover had did for him. The day with Shadow had relaxed him and made him fall in love with the exhubrant laughing young man all over again. The scars made by the last campaign had faded from Sunhawk’s mind as the day wore on taking with it the dark mood that had hung over him since the battle of Soothbay. He knew that Shadow was responsible for that.

“What are you thinking?” Shadow asked idly after a while.

“How do you do it? How are you able to know exactly what I need? How can you . . .” Sunhawk stopped, unable to find the words to express what the young man was able to do to him. Sunhawk pulled the young man close, breathing in his calming scent.

“I could ask you the same thing, Sunhawk. I don’t know why or how anymore than you do. All I can do is go with what I feel and what I know to be right, and hope that everything will turn out,” Shadow said softly.

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