The Story Continues

The Sweetness of Love

The bar was busy, as per usual after the opening of a new floor.

Usually, Lynus would be mingling with the other patrons, keeping an eye on the alcohol consumption, and just generally being a mother-hen. But tonight, for some reason, it was starting to get a little too loud and rowdy for his liken. So he slipped away to a lesser crowded corner and sat himself down upon an empty barstool. He folded his arms atop of the bar and leaned against it, content to simply observe from the sidelines for the time being.

As he gazed out over the bar, he couldn’t help but muse about how nice it was to see every one of his guild mingling, unconcerned and carefree. Shen and Magnus were absent, which came to no surprise. Magnus winced at the boisterous atmosphere and Shen had little patience for drunkards. Tobyn was, per usual, ensuring that Jhon didn’t get handed any suspicious looking drinks, while Jhon was trying to work out why the blond-haired survivalist was so protective of him all of a sudden. Macerio was causing mischief and Lirit was trying to stop him from causing mischief. Hamza was trying to keep the peace while simultaneously watching Cedric, while Cedric was trying to goad him into a few more drinks. Rahas was face down at the bar (again…) with Chi-hung at his feet, growling at everyone and anyone who drew in too close to the dark hunter.

And Axel…

Lynus had to chuckle to himself when he spied Axel amongst the patrons, noting that his redhead seemed to be making irritated gestures with his hands in the direction of a certain blue-haired landsknecht. He didn’t have his axe with him for the night, and in all honesty, he didn’t need it in the bar. He was more than capable of handling himself with his bare fists alone if a bar fight broke out.

In fact, he had ended many a fight at the bar with the words: “Don’t make me come over there.”

Lynus’ gaze lingered on the redhead and he watched as Axel walked around the bar, his presence enough to prevent any kind of fights or arguments from breaking out. His walk and body posture was that of confidence, but it wasn’t remotely narcissistic or arrogant. His arms, legs, were lean and powerful. He wasn’t just muscular; he was toned.

There was no shame in admitting that Lynus found him gorgeous. And he was fine with others thinking of him that way, too. Just as long as they remember that Axel was taken…

Although, he wished that others could see that there was more to his Axel than just good looks. He was also intelligent. He wasn’t just some blockhead who could swing an axe. He was skilled. He was observant. He was caring and kind. Friendly and loyal. Fearless but cautious.

And, to the surprise of many, he was the undisputed and secret chess champion of Lagaard.

Lynus pulled himself out of his musings when Axel glanced over in his direction and their gazes locked. A smile appeared on Lynus’ lips when Axel immediately headed in his direction, easily navigating his way through the crowds.

When he reached him, Axel dropped down upon a vacant barstool and immediately scooted closer to Lynus, placing one of his feet against the footrest of Lynus’ barstool. Lynus responded by turning to face him completely, blocking out everything and everyone else around them. He kept his folded arms atop of the bar, but he leaned forward in his seat to be closer still to Axel.

“What are you doing here all by yourself?” Axel asked as he, too, leaned against the bar, his arm positioned in such a way that he was also blocking everyone else out.

“Just observing,” Lynus replied as he stretched out a leg to rest his foot against the barstool Axel was using.

Axel arched an eyebrow as he dropped his hand against Lynus’ thigh, idly tracing circles with his thumb. “Silently laughing at all the drunkards?”

A small smile appeared on Lynus’ lips. “Not really,” he said as he trailed his fingers lightly over Axel’s forearm. How could he laugh at the drunken display of explorers when his gaze always sought out Axel from the crowd? “It’s just getting a little stuffy in here.”

And, well, if they snuck out now, he was sure no one would mind.

Axel lifted his hand from Lynus’ leg to instead slip it beneath Lynus’ coat and pressed his hand against the small of his back as he leaned forward to whisper into his ear. “Let’s sneak out of here.”

As Axel pulled back, Lynus lifted a hand and lazily trailed a finger along Axel’s jawline. “Read my mind.”

Axel kept his hand against Lynus’ back as he stood up first, helping Lynus to slip off his seat and to his feet. He pulled Lynus close towards him for a brief moment, Lynus’ shoulder brushing against his chest. They stayed close to each other as they quietly headed for the nearest exit, not bothering to see if anyone was watching them.

Stepping out of the bar, Lynus immediately shivered as a cool breeze washed over him and he folded his arms tightly around himself. Axel, however, quickly wrapped an arm around his shoulders and pulled him against his side to shield him from the cool night breeze. Lynus responded in kind by nestling himself against Axel’s side, already feeling safe and warm.

“I don’t want to head back to the inn just yet,” Axel said as he idly rubbed his thumb against Lynus’ arm.

“Hm,” Lynus murmured as he slid a hand across Axel’s torso to his chest, his palm resting over his steady beating heart. “Let’s just walk around for a bit.”

“Sure,” Axel said idly.

They walked around idly, with no destination in mind. With no hurry to get anyway, they moved slowly, their arms wrapped lovingly around each other. Being members of a popular guild, a much relied on guild, left little time for themselves. So this night, simply walking around with just each other as company and allowing themselves to act as the young lovers they were, was more than pleasant. It was…something that really couldn’t be described.

Lynus wasn’t going to waste his time trying to analyse what he was feeling, what word could be used to describe the warmth and contentment. He simply allowed himself to be in the present. To relish in the tenderness and security that Axel’s arms, his presence, brought him.

After wandering around for a while, they found themselves at a small, secluded rise that looked out over Lagaard. No one else was around, the area quiet and dark, so they silently decided to linger there for a little while. No words were exchanged as they headed over to the small stone safety wall.

Axel pulled Lynus into his arms, turning him around so that his back was against his chest and wrapped his arms tightly around him. Lynus placed his hands atop of Axel’s and pulled Axel’s arms closer around him. Axel chuckled, but said nothing as he rested his chin upon his shoulder and seemed to gaze out over Lagaard.

Lynus, however, rested his head back against Axel’s shoulder and looked up at the dark sky above them. The shining stars and the brightly glowing moon dotted out between the large branches of Yggdrasil, giving them a greater mystical sense to them. It was almost as if the branches of Yggdrasil could reach the stars and moon itself.

“It’s a beautiful night, isn’t it?” Lynus murmured softly, his voice just above a whisper.

“Hm,” Axel simply murmured, his lips brushing against Lynus’ ear. He sounded as though he was responding to his comment, and yet…he wasn’t looking at the night sky.

A light blush dusted over Lynus’ cheeks as a soft laugh slipped lightly passed his lips. He rolled his head to the side, toward Axel’s. His eyes immediately caught Axel’s and they gazed silently at each other before Lynus lifted his chin up and placed a quick kiss to Axel’s chin, prompting a smile from the redhead.

Axel loosened his arms around him, only so that he could turn Lynus around to face him before promptly pulling him back against his body tightly. Lynus rested his hands against Axel’s chest, his fingertips brushing against the collar of his shirt, lightly touching the gorgeous golden brown skin of his collarbone.

Keeping one arm wrapped tightly around his waist, Axel slipped his finger under Lynus’ chin, gently tilting his face toward his. For a silent moment, he just gazed deeply into his eyes. The warmth and love in his eyes was so clear. So deep. Lynus felt himself unexpectedly tremble and pushed himself deeper into Axel’s chest. He could only hope that his own eyes reflected back just how much he loved him in return.

Leaning up on his toes, Lynus felt his eyes drift shut as he brushed his lips lightly, gently against Axel’s. He felt and heard Axel’s breath hitch in his throat before abruptly moving forward and eliminate the distance between them.

All but melting in Axel’s arms, Lynus gripped the front of Axel’s shirt tightly as he tilted his head to the side, allowing (nearly begging) for Axel to deepen the kiss. He sighed with relief when he felt Axel’s tongue lazily tease his lips before slipping inside to bring a shiver of delight down his spine.

Slipping his hands along Axel’s chest, Lynus wrapped his arms around Axel’s neck as he allowed himself to become completely lost in the gentle embrace. He lightly gripped the back of Axel’s clothing with one hand while the other idly played with the strand of his hair on the nape of his neck. And with the way Axel was holding him in return, one arm around his waist, the other across his back and gripping his shoulders, his feet barely touched the ground.

Their kiss was not what one would call passionate; it was loving. Slow, soft, warm. It spoke volumes. And yet words couldn’t articulate the loving feelings between them.

Raking his fingers through Axel’s hair, Lynus gently touched the side of Axel’s face and slowly pulled back. Not very far, mind. He could still feel the heat of Axel’s lips against his. He fluttered his eyes open so that he could look deep into Axel’s, wanting him to not only hear what he was about to say, but to feel and see it.

“I love you.”

“I love you, too,” Axel immediately said in return, his words as powerful as Lynus’ own, before he promptly pulled Lynus back into another loving kiss.

The one of many that night.

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