Shadow shifted in the bed and struggled to awake fully. Looking over, he saw that Sunhawk had once again left without him. Pulling on a heavy robe he went out into the main room and looked out the window. The snow had stopped falling; still, it looked as though three new inches of the powdery white snow now lay on the ground.
With a slight shiver Shadow went and put more wood on the fire, glad that Sunhawk had let him sleep. Shadow smiled, remembering the first morning he had woken up to find Sunhawk gone. He had been a little worried and eventually gone in search of him. Luckily he ran into Ariel, who had taken pity on him and told Shadow of Sunhawk’s morning running. Before the snow started to fall Shadow had insisted on getting up with Sunhawk and running with him. Although he had trouble completing Sunhawk’s usual course, and even keeping up at his pace, eventually Shadow was able to build up his endurance, much to Sunhawk’s surprise and delight.
Still, once the snow had started falling Shadow’s thin frame, which seemed to always be cold, had damped his enthusiasm to run with the muscular Captain. After Shadow caught his first cold, complete with a racking cough and a runny nose, Sunhawk had left him sleeping in bed instead of waking him up to go running. Shadow gratefully accepted this, even though he had come to enjoy running with his lover outside.
Setting a kettle over the fire Shadow began to brew some tea. With a sigh he got up and went to the bedroom. Even though he didn’t have to run with Sunhawk, he still had training with Ariel in the morning, something that lately had not been going well. Although things had calmed down considerably since the first month of their arrival, both of them were still busy. Most of the paperwork had been cleared away, but Sunhawk still trained individual men and small groups from morning to mid afternoon. Shadow also trained individually with Ariel early in the mornings and then with Corrin midmorning on sometimes into the evenings. Still, Shadow was happier than he had ever been.
Once a week both of them took off and spent the day together. When it had been warmer, Sunhawk had taken them around the country side, riding and talking, or into Wintermoon and the Rose tavern. As the days got cooler they spent hours in the library, or more often snuggled in bed together.
Shadow had been surprised to find that Sunhawk carved wood as a hobby, and most of the decorations in the house were done by Sunhawk. Over the winter he had taken to carving a statue while Shadow read books or meditated. Shadow, curious as always, tried to find out what the completed work would be, but the large Captain had only smiled, and the statue remained still a mystery to Shadow.
Just as Shadow was about to undress, Sunhawk returned. Shadow peeked out of the bedroom to see Sunhawk removing his snow covered outerwear.
“I thought it had stopped snowing?”
“Yeah, except a damn tree dumped this on me as I was coming back. It is freezing out there.” Sunhawk grumbled as he removed the last of his outerwear. His face was red with the cold and his golden hair hung damply down his back.
Shadow moved over to the frozen Captain and wrapped his warm body around him, clinging to Sunhawk as he buried his face into the large chest before him. Sunhawk’s musky smell surrounded Shadow, and he snuggled close, enjoying Sunhawk’s unique smell.
“Mmm that’s above and beyond the call of duty. You’re like fire there little one.”
“Well, let’s see how fast my fire can warm you.”
With a grin Sunhawk picked up the clinging boy as he wrapped his legs and arms around the Captain. With six swift strides Sunhawk had them into the bedroom as Shadow slid down him to his trousers. With nimble fingers the damp ties quickly came undone while Sunhawk remove his damp clinging shirt.
“No, not yet. Come here,” Sunhawk commanded as he pulled the boy up from his already hard member that bobbed before Shadow.
Leaning down, Sunhawk captured his lover’s mouth with his own as his cold hands found multiple openings in the heavy robe covering the hot body before him. Shadow pulled the Captain forward and they both landed in the large bed that took up most of the room. Sunhawk’s hands roamed freely over the boy, warming quickly as his calloused hand found each one of Shadow’s most sensitive areas.
“Yes,” Shadow hissed.
“Oh, so there is another pleasurable area for you, hmm?”
Sunhawk slid down the pale skin to the area between the young man’s tight balls and soft pink opening. Shadow quickly lifted and spread his legs for the exploring Captain as he began to pleasure the young boy with mouth and hands.
It wasn’t long before the Shadow’s obvious pleasure and the sight of the hot body in front of him was too much for the Captain to take.
“Shadow I can hold on anymore. I need to be inside you now.”
“Yes, go ahead,” Shadow panted looking into Sunhawk’s eyes.
Sunhawk moved close to his lover, closing his eyes for a moment, trying to contain his overflowing lust at the look in his partner’s silver eyes. Leaning down, he caught Shadow’s mouth in his again as he entered the hot tightness of the boy.
Shadow arched up against Sunhawk, burying the entire length of the man’s cock inside of him. Sunhawk gasped in surprise, looking down at the impish grin of the boy’s face.
“I take it you want a good fucking?”
Before Shadow could reply Sunhawk began to move quickly, grinding into the boy, enjoying the gasps of pleasure coming from Shadow. It wasn’t long before the pleasure of tight depths of Shadow overcame the golden man. With a series of hard thrusts he lost himself into young priest. He heard Shadow’s loud gasps of pleasure as he came into the stroking hand of Sunhawk.
After a few minutes Shadow started to rise from the bed only to find his wrist caught in a very large, warm hand
“I am sorry I was to rough today,” Sunhawk said quietly.
Shadow shook his head, turning back to Sunhawk, his eyes meeting worried golden ones. With a sigh he lay back down against his lover and snuggled close.
“No, you weren’t. I rather enjoyed it today, it was something different, and I always enjoy being with you Sunhawk. If you noticed I wasn’t pushing you away or saying no.”
“More like ‘Yes please more,’” Sunhawk said with a grin, relieved at Shadow’s response.
“Hey, you be nice. It is just we both have to go soon. Laying here makes me want to just snuggle close and not go anywhere, especially outside. I need to wake up a little, you know me, I hate mornings and your warm body does not help matters in the waking up area.”
“Yeah I noticed on our days off I can’t get you out of bed until midmorning.”
“Well then let’s get up,” Sunhawk said, rising from the bed with a grin at Shadow’s sour look.
Before long both men were dressed and Sunhawk began to comb through Shadow’s long hair as the boy drank his morning tea, which helped to wake him up. It was a habit that had started soon after they had arrived at Wintermoon that both men enjoyed.
“So, how is practice going? I haven’t been able to watch you since I took over training Var’s group in the second training area. You were doing great for a beginner.”
Shadow shrugged remaining quiet.
“Is there something wrong?”
“I don’t know. I don’t want to talk about it. I am sorry Sunhawk.”
“It’s ok, but still, what is wrong?”
“Do you think I should cut my hair?” asked Shadow, changing the subject.
“Why do you ask? I thought you have always had it like this?” asked Sunhawk as he ran the brush through the boy’s midnight hair, wondering what his hair had to do with training.
“Yes I have, but it is kind of a pain, especially when we leave Wintermoon. When I was a priest it really didn’t matter, since I never left the temple. Kelas mentioned that maybe I should cut it off to make things easier to deal with.”
“I personally like it the way it is, and I would miss doing this. As long as you keep it combed and braided on campaign there shouldn’t be a problem. You aren’t on the front lines and many healers have long hair as well. If you want to cut it off it is your choice, but I hope that you don’t. Kelas is one to talk anyway, his hair comes down past his shoulders.”
“I didn’t really want to, but I don’t want it to cause problems either. Mine is a lot longer than Kelas’s, you know.”
“Yes,” Sunhawk said as he finished braiding the hair and nibbling on the now partly exposed white neck before him.
“Come on we have go to go,” Shadow said standing up.
Sunhawk pulled the boy up against him and kissed him deeply, his tongue moving against the boy’s open mouth. Shadow clung to him for a moment, then moved slightly away.
“Keep it long. I will take care of it for you,” Sunhawk said quietly before letting him go.
Shadow nodded with a smile
As the two walked to the training area Sunhawk remained quiet, thinking about Shadow’s reluctance to talk about his sword work. They parted at the first training hall where Shadow entered. Striding to his own class he decided that today he would peek in on Shadow’s training. He ran his students through basics and set each of them on various exercises, and the jogged over to see Shadow’s lesson.
“No, you must attack boy. If you don’t you will die eventually. Come on, you don’t have much time!” Ariel was yelling as Shadow continued to defend against his attacks.
Sunhawk watched as Shadow shifted his stance and everything began to fall apart. As soon as he began to clumsily attack Ariel his guard dropped. Ariel slaughtered him again and again. Sunhawk watched, mystified at the spectacle before him. Shadow’s defense was well above his beginner’s level, but as soon as he attacked he became worse than a farm girl with a sword.
Sunhawk watched the entire practice, slipping out at the last minute before Shadow could spot him. He went back to his own class, although his mind continued to replay Shadow’s lesson in his mind. He couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the boy, his defense was good, but as soon as he attacked he was awkward and unbalanced. He knew the boy was trying just by the determined look on his elfin face, but something was missing.
Sunhawk had never seen this kind of problem before. Usually if someone wasn’t suited to sword work they just weren’t any good at any of it, but Shadow had shown an aptitude for it in his defense work. He could tell by Ariel’s face and words he was just as perplexed with Shadow.
Sunhawk had pressed Ariel into taking on Shadow as a pupil instead of leaving the boy in the care of one of the sub commanders. He had wanted Shadow to learn how to defend himself quickly and had been happy at the progress Shadow had been making. Ariel was the best at training green recruits, even better than Sunhawk.
He worried about Shadow being a tempting target for the many enemies he had made over the years. He had never worried about pissing people off, because he thought he could always defend himself, and he had no really close friends or family to worry about. Shadow had changed that, and had created a vulnerability that he was afraid someone might try to get at. His gut feelings told him Shadow needed to be trained and trained well, or something would happen. He couldn’t bear to lose Shadow now, but he also had responsibilities as well that he couldn’t ignore.
As the day wore on Sunhawk set most of his students on practice exercises and didn’t spar them as his mind turned over Shadow’s problems. It wasn’t until Ariel slapped him on the back at lunch that he noticed him. He called halt to his student’s drills and looked at his second in command.
“Saw you watching. Whatcha think? I am confused as hell.” Ariel said as he leaned against the wall.
“Don’t know. I have never seen a problem like it before.”
“He is good, Sunhawk, really good. He has the reflexes and he absorbs knowledge like a sponge. I show him a defensive move once and he can pick it up from that, but…”
“He can’t attack.” Sunhawk said flatly.
“No, but he isn’t a solider either. All he needs to do is hold out for help to come. Considering he is a noncombatant he will never have the time to become a great enough swordsman to do anything more than that anyway,” Ariel said lazily as his eyes concentrated on his Captain.
“I hear a but in that statement. Look, if I keep pressing on the attack and he keeps failing he will lose confidence and his defensive skills will suffer. I am thinking of just concentrating on defensive work, and improving what he is good at. If he were a solider I would do it differently, drive at him ‘till he breaks or his offensive abilities improve, but he is not.”
“If it were any other noncombatant I would say you’re right, but I have this gut feeling Ariel. He needs to know more,” Sunhawk said, his face a mask.
“Your gut, huh? Your gut feelings are pretty accurate, but what do you suggest? Do you really want me to break the boy? I don’t think he is going to break through this block he has, and he tries with everything in him.” Ariel said straightening up and looking Sunhawk in the eyes.
“No, of course not. Do what you think is best for now, and I will think on this some more.” Sunhawk said, shaking his head.
“Well, come on it’s lunch time. Let’s see what Gretch has cooking today,” Ariel said as he walked towards the door.