Riva fumed as he pulled his brother through the crowds of partiers. He had not wanted to leave Toya alone, especially with Oki of all people. He had promised to remain by the Blondie’s side all night, and now instead he was once again taking care of his brother. He had not missed the looks that Elwyn had been throwing at his Master and had been at first shocked, and then appalled at what he knew would happen.
Elwyn was shy, delicate and didn’t have much in the way of a backbone. Teasing and punishment from their follow pets and teachers quickly brought tears to his sensitive brother rather than indignation or anger. But every so often, Elwyn’s temper would flare and he forgot everything in the brief burst of anger. He wasn’t anything more than an angry kitten spitting and hissing but in this case that would mean disaster for Toya and him.
He wouldn’t mean to, but before anyone could stop him, he knew his little brother would completely expose what was going on between Toya and him in his temper tantrum. Pairing with a pet wasn’t against the law, but Toya was a Blondie. Anusual Blondie that stayed to himself and was already a little strange in his behaviors. Riva hadn’t forgotten Omaki’s warning at the Taming Tower and he knew that he couldn’t let their love be exposed. So instead of staying with his nervous Blondie Master he was once again force to choosehis brother over Toya, something he knew was going to cause him problems once again.
Gritting his teeth he pulled his brother out into the gardens and into the maze of brushes and trees to a secluded area away from notice. He let go of his brother and turned to the man only to find his arms full as Elwyn pounced on him.
“Riva, I’ve missed you so much!” Elwyn’s voice ringing in his ear as thin arms wrapped around Riva’s neck.
Riva sighed, unable to completely hold his anger at the pathetic happiness in Elwyn’s voice as all the memories of their past together pulled at him. Still, he knew that he couldn’t let his brother continue to live in the past. Both Toya and Elwyn were part of his life now and he need to draw some lines for both of them before they drove him crazy.
“Elwyn, what didyou think you weredoing?” Riva asked wrapping an arm around the slim shoulders puling him into a light embrace.
“What do you mean Riva? I’m so glad to see you and now we have time to talk,” Elwyn said pulling away to look up at him in innocent confusion.
“That wasn’t what I’m talking about. You were about ready to go off on Toya,” Riva said sternly.
“I…no…he’s just so,” Elwyn stammered looking down.
“He is a Blondie, and you know what will happen if you say anything about what you,” Riva continued implacably.
“So he’s a Blondie, he shouldn’t be doing that sort of thing to you!” Elwyn shot back angrily.
“To me? I don’t think he was doing anything to me Elwyn and we both know it. He wasn’t forcing me in anyway, and that is between me and Toya it has nothing to do with you,” Riva answered his eyes boring into his brother.
“Why are you sticking up for him? If you’re caught it will be you that suffers the most, it won’t be him. It isn’t fair! You were the best of the best and now you’re with some freaky perverted woman looking Blondie!” Elwyn scowled.
“Don’t you ever say that again!” Riva said in a steel hard voice as anger lit his green eyes. He had never been as mad at his brother thenhe was in that moment. It was a battle to makethe overly sensitive Blondie believe that he was beautiful and desirable. The words that had carelessly spilled out of his brother’s mouth infuriated him for he knew how much they would hurt Toya if they were ever spoken in front of the man.
“It’s true!” Elwyn shot back defiantly.
“If you ever say that in front of Toya, I will cut you out of my life completely. You got that Elwyn,” Riva said softly the threat evident in his deep voice and cold face.
The tone of his voice made Elwyn stopin shock as he backed up a pace, unable to believe that it was his brother looking at him. He had never seen Riva look so deadly serious, it made all his anger and indignation flow out of him like an over turned bucket. His brother was serious, far more serious than he had ever been in his entire life.
“Riva?” Elwyn askedtentatively.
“I love Toya and will allow no one to hurt him, not even you little brother,” Riva said turning away tense with anger and unhappiness.
Elwyn looked down at his feet feeling tears well up inside of him and spill down his cheeks in hot trails. He hated it, it wasn’t fair, Riva was his brother and that man was a Blondie. He had everything status, money, even looks although they were unusual, why did he have to take the one thing he had always had away from him. That strange Blondie even had his Master’s affections for he was sure thatToya was more important to Oki than he was. The brief spurt of fury was gone, leaving nothing but emptiness in Elwyn as he looked at the broad back of the man who had protectedand caredfor him for most of his life.
Elwyn sank down to his knees unable to stand anymore as Riva’s cold words echoed through him. There was nothing he could do, for he couldn’t bear the thought of his brother leaving himtotally alone, so angry with him that he would ignore him.
“What’s going on here? Did the brothers finally have a falling out?” a voice sneeredfrom the walkway.
Elwyn looked up with his brother to see a lithe sapphire haired pet emerge from the darkness. Elwyn immediately recognized him from the academy as one of the pets that had been Riva’s rival and had picked on Elwyn trying to get at Riva. He was one of the few that had the ability to beat Riva and if his brother hadn’t been at the academy he was sure the boy would have ruled supreme for his looks and stunning sexuality were beyond anyone except his brother’s. His bewitching looks were only matched by his incredible arrogance and pride. It had created a cruel streak withinthe pet and he never missed a chance to hurt the people who werearound him.
“So I see you did get sold after all,” Riva said with a polite smile, as the professional face of an academy pet slidonto his face. “To a Blondie?”
“Ofcourse.I was auctioned right after you, as you well know. My master is one of the elite Blondies, he has given me a luxurious apartment in Aptia and still has yet to sell me. He even named me Ming, after his favorite author,” the pet growled as he stepped forward into the moonlight.
Riva suddenly burst out laughing as Elwyn looked up at his brother in confusion. He couldn’t guess what his brother was laughing at. The pet had done exceptionally well to keep his Master’s interest for so long and to have his own apartment. Ming had change little in the time he had been sold. His long lustrous hair was still his best feature and hung in small braids tied off with precious jeweled hair pieces. His clothes weremade of exceptionally fine wispycloth indeep violets, revealing rather than concealinghis firm athletic body with creamy white skin unmarred by a single blemish. Even the sandals he wore were sewn with small jewels marking the pet’s master as very wealthy to spend such absurd amounts of money to clothe a mere pet.
Ming scowled at his brother, ruining the perfect face with lines of anger as the deep azure eyes glared at his laughing brother. Elwyn had heard that after Riva had been auctioned off interest had wanedand that the pets that had the unfortunate honor of following after his brother had brought in considerably less than expected rather than more. He was sure that Ming hadn’t forgotten or forgivenhis rival and yet Riva seemed unconcerned.
“Do you know anything about that author?” Riva asked after his laughter had calmed.
“You know I don’t like reading, besides my Master is a great man I am sure the author is amazing,” Ming shot back haughtily.
“Oh he is. His sex filled imagery is in a class of its own, but he is more known for the fact that he is a narcissist who can’t get laid because he is tooengrossed in his own looks. It is said he won’t sleep with anyone that isn’t as beautiful as himself and so he is celibate. He is anongoing joke, the virgin that writes smut,” Riva chortled at the appalled look that crossed the pet’s face.
Elwyn looked between the two of them suddenly afraid. Neither one of them had actually come to blows at the academy, but at the same time they were now alone without any trainers to step between their verbal confrontations. By the look of Ming, he had a very powerful Master and he wasn’t sure if Toya and Oki could help them if they were caught fighting with this pet. Riva had never been one to back down and he was very much afraid things would get out of control, yet at the same time he was unsure of what to do.
Ming scowled, his lower lip quivering for a moment before he suddenly smiled viciously as he looked at Riva.
“There are some interesting rumors about Elric selling you and about you being auctioned off as a D-class pet. I of course don’t believe them and have triedto argue against them. After all, how could the star of the academy become a D-class pet,” Ming shook his head his tone sickeningly sweet.
“Oh, Iam a D-class pet, although I now have a Blondie Master far superior to Elric,” Riva answered with a tight smile.
“You can’t be serious,” Ming said in shock apparently not expecting his brother to admit it.
“Very. Whether I’m a D or A class I’m still a pet, so it doesn’t make much of a difference and although Master Toya isn’t a popular singer he is one of the most sought after game designers. I believe his wealth is greater than Elric’s, and of course he is a Blondie that works for the Syndicate as well. So I would say I did quite a bit better the second time around,” Riva said with a pleasant smile.
“But you’re a D-class now,” Ming sneered.
“Hmm, yes, I suppose I am. But I was never concerned with status. If you will remember in the academy I was never interested in ranking, unlike some,” Riva said with a shrug.
Elwyn could see that the pet was actually trembling with suppressed anger, yet his brother seemed completely calm and collected as he looked at his former rival. He had to admit that Ming was right. The fall of classes wasn’t something that should be shrugged off so easily. Eventually as Riva grew older he would find he would not be admitted to the higher class brothels where he would be treated well because of his class. As an A-class pet he would have an easy life when he got older, but now that wasn’t true, yet Riva seemed to shrug off the implications with ease.
“So I see you have your brother in tow. Is he your furniture now? There isn’t any way he could make a pet,” Ming said trying as he had done in the past to get to Riva by using him.
“Nope, he is here with his Blondie Master,” Riva answered.
“That isn’t possible, there is no way…” Ming said staring at Elwyn in denial.
“I was just recently sold to Master Oki Volg,” Elwyn said softly looking away from the pet.
“There is no fucking way! What the hell did you do to get sold?” Ming growled stepping forward angrily.
Suddenly Riva was in between both of them . Before Elwyn could even blink his brother was standing in front of him as he had countless times before, protecting him. Elwyn looked up at Riva blinking as he felt tears threaten to spill out once again. Riva still cared for him, still protected him like he always had before, despite everything.
“That is enough,” Riva said firmly all sense of humor gone from his voice.
“It is far from enough. There is no way the talentless hack that doesn’t even know what his cock is for could be an A-class pet like me. You were one thing, but your brother is an entirely different story,” Ming said with white hot anger.
“It doesn’t matter anymore. We aren’t in the academy anymore. There is no competition, we all have Masters and we aren’t competing for attention anymore. I suggest you leave quietly,” Riva responded coolly his whole body tense.
“Think about it for a moment. Even if your Master likes you, you are still an older pet. What do you think will happen if he catches you fighting? Both our Masters are close friends with Lord Omaki, who do you think will lose face if we are caught? Do you really want to mar that lilywhite skin?” Riva asked.
“You would be punished as well,” Ming said as apprehension tickled onto his face.
“Perhaps, but as you noted, I am a D-class pet,” Riva said as he undid the buttons of his shirt to expose his scar covered chest as he stepped threateningly close to the now anxious pet.
Ming gasped as he looked at the bronze chest covered in a multitude of jagged deep scars. Elwyn looked away, unable to bear seeing the once flawless skin now completely destroyed by harsh scarring that told of a nightmare Elwyn couldn’t even come close to understanding.
“A few more whip cuts will matter little to me, but what of you? Not only that, are you sure about your own Master. I am about mine, I will not be sold. Can you say the same if you embarrass your Master?” Riva taunted stepping even closer to the pretty pet menacingly.
Suddenly Ming turned and fled down the walkway leaving the two of them once again alone within the darkened garden. Elwyn looked up at his brother feeling so many different emotions all at the same time. Riva had once again protected him like he had back in the academy. When Ming had taunted him Riva seemed totally uninterested in the man’s taunting but as soon as the pet had turned his attention to Elwyn his brother had sprunginto action. Yet only minutes before Riva had threatened to never talk to him again. Did his brother still love him, or was he just protecting him out of habit? Elwyn bit his lower lip worriedly as he looked at his brother’s back. Riva continued staring at the empty walkway that Ming had fled down.
“I guess I couldn’t get lucky enough not to see him again, although I always hoped. I couldn’t stand the brat back at the academy and time hasn’t improved him any,” Riva sighed turning to look down at Elwyn. “I suppose he’ll bring his Master back saying we were threatening him.”
“I don’t think so.He never was very brave and you’re right, he is an older pet, surly he must realize that it’s almost time for his Master to trade him in. He won’t risk the chance that we actually know Master Omaki,” Elwyn said softly not looking up at his brother.
He felt a large hand on his upper arm pulling him up into firm arms as his brother hugged him gently , stroking his hair as he started to cry again with relief. At least Riva wasn’t still angry with him even if he still didn’t understand what was going on with his brother. Elwyn curled his hands into the long hair streaming down Riva’s back and pressed close to the hard body, feeling his own respond to the warm comfortable feeling of being once again in his brother’s arms.
“Riva?” came a gentle voice from the darkness that made his brother stiffen in his arms.
Elwyn felt Riva pull away from him with a deep sigh, his face deeply lined with pain as he looked in the direction of the voice as his Master appeared. The short Blondie that was barely as tall as his brother walked towards them with his own towering Master following close behind him looking a little angry as he looked at Riva and him.
“Elwyn get over here,” Oki said in deep voice that was far from its normal cheerful tenor as he looked down at Elwyn’s burgeoning arousal clearly evident through the thin clothing.
“I was worried about you,” Toya said softly looking at his pet with worry and sadness in the sky blue eyes as he hesitantly stepped forward to his pet.
“You should. Be between the two of you, you’re going to tear me apart,” Riva said with a sigh as he sat heavily on a nearby bench.
“What do you think you’re doing?! You’ve been worrying Toya just so you can play with your brother? I thought you loved him?!,” Oki said angrily as he watched the flash of hurt cross Toya’s face as his pet walked away from him.
“It’s ok, Oki. Besides this really isn’t the place for this conversation,” Toya murmured, putting a hand on Oki’s arm.
“Like hell! He’s out here alone with his Elwyn. ..”Oki started.
“It isn’t Riva’s fault. I…” Elwyn started.
“Quiet!” Oki snapped looking at Riva.
“Oki, you don’t …”Toya started.
“All three of you be quiet!” Riva said sharply cutting into the three of them standing up.
“Do you think this is a game?! Do you think who ever cries the most is going to fucking win!?!” Riva growled looking at them with anger blazing in his eyes as he whirled and almost ran away from them deeper into the darkness.
“What is his problem,” Oki murmured in surprise as his pet burst into noisy tears and Toya himself looked ready to cry.
Suddenly Oki found himself caught between wanting to kill Riva for leaving him to clean up the mess and wanting to sympathize with him for being caught between the two.