Konnor didn’t notice the crew looking at him and Dax. He was too focused on getting Dax the help he needed. No one stopped him, not even Dax. He heard a faint click as the kitchen door closed behind him and Dax. It was only now that he let go of Dax’s wrist and started to look around the kitchen for the medical supplies.
He was kind of nervous to be patching up Dax’s wound. He hoped he wouldn’t actually have to do stitches. He really didn’t know how much about medical care. Konnor only knew what he’d been able to get Dr Grenault, the doctor to the royal family, to show him. He’d known her all his life and she always had a soft spot when it came to Konnor. Dr Grenault had shown Konnor how to clean and care for wounds, but giving stitches was not one of his lessons.
“I’ll be fine,” Dax’s words came from behind him, “It’s just a flesh wound.”
Konnor ignored Dax’s comment and kept searching through the cabinets until he finally found a box labeled ‘Medical’. He took it over to where Dax was sitting at the table. He took out a bottle of alcohol and some cotton swabs, stepping back to look at Dax. He gestured to Dax’s injured arm, “I need to be able to clean the wound.”
Dax sat there for a moment, looking back into Konnor’s eyes. After a minute, he took off his long, navy blue coat, letting it fall back against the table. He started to unbutton his white suit shirt, at least mostly white. Now there was red blood soaking the shirt by Dax’s left deltoid. Dax took the shirt completely off, which Konnor found unnecessary. On the other hand, this was the first time he’d seen Dax shirtless. Konnor could see just how well defined and strong Dax’s muscles were under his tanned skin.
Konnor swallowed, he would not act immature and gawk over Dax. He poured some alcohol onto the swab and started to dab the area on Dax’s shoulder. Dax grit his teeth as Konnor slowly poured some of the alcohol directly on the wound. Dax had been right, the bullet had only grazed his arm, nothing too serious. Konnor let out a breath of relief, he wasn’t ready to lose Dax.
Konnor got out a gauze pad and some medical tape. He wouldn’t give Dax stitches like he said, he just needed to cover the wound and let it heal. There was silence in the air between them as Konnor gently pressed the gauze pad over the wound and started to wrap the medical tape around Dax’s arm a couple times. Konnor moved his fingers over Dax’s arm to make sure the bandage was tight and secure. Perhaps his fingers lingered a little too long, but he couldn’t pull himself away from Dax, not after almost losing him.
Dax reached up, taking hold of Konnor’s hand. Konnor looked at their hands for a moment before switching his gaze to look at Dax. Dax held onto Konnor’s hand a little tighter, looking right into Konnor’s eyes as he said, “I’m sorry.”
“You saved my life...” Konnor’s brow furrowed and he shook his head slightly.
Dax dropped his gaze, “I kidnapped you and treated you like an object. All I was shown was fear and force, so all I show others is fear and force. But I should never have shown that to you. Sorry doesn’t make up for what happened, I just wanted you to know...”
Konnor could only stare at Dax. He stood there a moment longer, processing Dax’s speech. After a minute, he sat down next to Dax, leaning back against the table, “When that pirate pulled you off the ship tonight, I was so mad that I couldn’t get myself free to be over there and keep you from going over. Even after the crew got up there and untied me, I was so scared to look down and to see you gone.”
Dax sat up, turning to face Konnor. He took a deep breath, “I couldn’t let you get carried away by pirates. You mean too much to me.” Konnor looked up at Dax, he almost didn’t believe that Dax was really saying these things. Dax tentatively reached up a hand to touch Konnor’s cheek, “I’ve fallen for you. I guess literally and figuratively,” Dax added with a small laugh.
Konnor looked right back into Dax’s eyes. He felt so happy to know that Dax loved him too. Dax’s confession felt so much better to Konnor now, he felt like they both really meant it this time. Konnor smiled, “I love you too.”
“I don’t deserve you,” Dax smiled, rubbing his thumb over Konnor’s cheek. He looked into Konnor’s eyes for a moment, slowly leaning. Konnor couldn’t take his eyes away from Dax, especially as he felt Dax’s warm lips press against his own. Konnor couldn’t kiss him back. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to, he just didn’t know how to.
Dax pulled back, keeping his face close to Konnor’s. He let out a breath, “Sorry...”
Konnor shook his head slightly, he didn’t want Dax to feel bad for kissing him. He did like the feeling of Dax’s warm lips against his own. He leaned in to kiss Dax, trying to mimic what Dax had just done with him. Dax kissed him back, taking the lead again. Konnor let his eyes flutter shut, he wanted to savor this moment with Dax..
After a moment, they both parted from the kiss. Konnor slowly opened his eyes to be looking right back into Dax’s sapphire ones. Dax smiled and Konnor could feel his face start to heat up. Konnor glanced away.
Dax stood up, picking up his button up shirt. He put his arms through the sleeves but didn’t bother to actually button it. He picked up his coat, slinging it over his forearm and reached his other hand down to Konnor. “Let’s get some rest. I want to take you somewhere special tomorrow.”
Konnor’s eyes widened a little, looking up at Dax. Did this mean that they would be able to be together? All this time, he wanted Dax to let him in and now it seemed like they could actually get close. He nodded, taking Dax’s hand and stood up.
Dax pulled Konnor out of the kitchen, still holding Konnor’s hand. He didn’t seem to care who would see them, and by now, most of the crew was busy putting away the weapons and resetting the ship’s course.
Dax let go of Konnor’s hand as he walked over to his crew. He didn’t even have to say anything for the crew around him to stop what they were doing and look at him. Dax spoke loudly so everyone could hear, “We’re taking a detour. Set course for the Forest of Lights.”
Dax smiled as he walked back over to Konnor, taking a hold of his hand again. Konnor smiled back, “What’s the Forest of Lights?”
“It’s a special island not far from here, close to the Toeaux border,” Dax said, pulling Konnor with him towards his quarters under the helm.
“Why is it called the Forest of Lights?” Konnor tilted his head to the side, he had to admit he was curious. He wondered why Dax wanted to show him this island, and if it would be any different from the Floating Towns. The name of the island certainly did give it a more magical feeling.
Dax shook his head, glancing at Konnor, “You’ll find out tomorrow.” Dax pulled Konnor into the bedroom, shutting the door behind them, “Let’s get some rest, I think we both deserve it.”
He let go of Konnor’s hand walking over to the bed and plopping onto it. Konnor stayed by the door. He didn’t want to admit it, but he was a little nervous to be alone with Dax.
Dax gently pat the bed next to where he was laying. Konnor still didn’t move. Dax’s expression was serious when he said, “If you’d rather sleep by yourself, you are welcome to go to your own room. For me, I know I’ll sleep a little better if I know you’re in my arms.”
Konnor stepped forward. He didn’t mean to seem so nervous and hearing Dax’s words did make him feel better. He trusted Dax. He believed that Dax wouldn’t do anything he didn’t want.
He went up to the bed and slowly laid down to be looking at Dax. Dax smiled, resting a hand on Konnor’s cheek and tilting Konnor’s head down slightly to kiss his forehead. Konnor blushed heavily, Dax was really acting so sweet.
Dax draped his arm around Konnor, pulling Konnor closer to him. Konnor let himself relax and snuggled closer to Dax, fitting his head in the crook of Dax’s neck. He smiled as Dax gently rubbed his back. He closed his eyes and let himself fall asleep.
For the second time in his life, Konnor woke up in someone’s arms, and not just anyone, but Dax. As soon as he knew there were pirates after him, he thought that he’d just gotten himself into a worse situation. But Dax had done so much to save him. He was glad that Dax rejected him before, because now he knew that Dax truly felt for him. Konnor had no regrets.
He snuggled closer to Dax, loving his warmth and big, strong arm still draped over him. He could even feel Dax breathing and that was somehow comforting. Just feeling the steady rise and fall of Dax’s chest, Konnor realized that having another person with him was something he’d wanted for a long time now.
Dax’s arm tightened around Konnor a little as he started to stir. Konnor pulled back a little in his arms to look into Dax’s face, smiling at him as the taller boy slightly opened his navy blue eyes. Dax smiled with one side of his mouth, “You seem happy this morning.”
Konnor kept smiling and shrugged a little, “I am... I like being here with you.”
Dax let out a chuckle and Konnor couldn’t help blushing a little. Dax kissed Konnor’s forehead. “You’re so sappy, Konnor.”
Konnor turned redder in response, dropping his gaze slightly. He just had never felt like this before and had never been this close to anyone before, he didn’t know how to act. He just did what felt right, even if it was sappy.
Dax brought up a hand to rest on Konnor’s cheek. “It’s not a bad thing.” Konnor looked back up at him, feeling warmer inside just looking at Dax’s small smile. Dax’s eyes locked with Konnor’s, his expression darkening a little, “As long as you only show that side to me.”
He looked back into Dax’s eyes for a long moment, he knew Dax was serious. He didn’t want to be like this with anyone else. He’d fallen in love with him, he didn’t want anyone to replace Dax. He rested a hand on Dax’s cheek, “I won’t. I only want to be like this with you and no one else.”
Dax smiled wider, pecking Konnor’s lips. “That’s good, I won’t let anyone take you away from me either.”
He really did feel loved with Dax. No one had ever loved him like this. He’d always felt alone in his family, kept away from most of the world. He never knew his mother, she’d died giving birth to him and his father had always blamed him for it. The only person he could call a friend was Timothy. Even so, Timothy was only allowed in the castle when Timothy’s father was there for business since Lord Kendrick served on the King’s Court. Konnor had wanted someone to sweep him off his feet and save him, he wanted to be loved the way that Dax loved him. He didn’t know if he deserved to be loved, but he was glad that Dax seemed to genuinely care about him. He seemed to be the only person who did.
Konnor moved closer to Dax, hiding his face against the other’s shoulder. He whispered, “I want to stay with you forever.”
Dax’s arms wrapped around Konnor, hugging him tightly. Konnor could hear the smile in Dax’s voice as he said, “I’m glad we’re taking some time away from all the action. I really want you to see the Forest of Lights.”
He pulled back to look up into Dax’s eyes. He couldn’t help smiling, “Tell me what it’s like.”
“You’ll see. We should be there by the afternoon.” Dax pulled his arms away, sitting up. “But for now, we should eat.”
Konnor couldn’t deny that he was hungry, but he almost felt like he could wait if that meant he could be alone with Dax longer. When Dax stood up, he reluctantly got up too. Dax buttoned his shirt back up and covered the blood stain on the arm with his coat. Neither of them had a change of clothes. For Konnor, that hadn’t been one of the things that crossed his mind when running away. Maybe it’d been the same for Dax. Though now, Konnor had to admit that it was a bit annoying. He felt pretty grungy in the same clothes that he’d taken from the castle two weeks ago.
They walked onto the main deck, the morning sun making everything look bright and cheery, despite the attack last night. The crew was laughing and talking to each other, at least until they saw Dax and Konnor walk out. Dax didn’t seem to notice the crew looking at them, but Konnor felt like they were definitely getting more attention than before. He kept his head down, trying to just focus on Dax. He followed closely behind Dax, glad when they got to the kitchen and the only people who were there were Saria and Timothy.
Dax pulled out a chair and plopped down next to Saria. Konnor only quietly sat next to Timothy, who was, unfortunately, also staring at him, “Are you okay after the attack?”
Konnor nodded, “Yeah. Everything’s fine, thanks to Dax.” He glanced across the table to see Dax smiling back at him.
“I saw you go with Dax into his room. What happened?” Timothy spoke quietly, trying to direct his question to Konnor only. His voice was flat but Konnor knew he was curious.
Konnor didn’t really want to say anything, especially with Dax sitting right there. He looked at Timothy, shrugging a little, “He was sorry, about everything. He just wanted to be close to me.” He was met with silence from Timothy, so he added with a smile, “He said he loves me, and I believe him.” He didn’t care if he sounded naive, Dax was the best thing to happen to him.
Timothy stared at him for a moment longer. He finally let out a very hushed whisper, “But does he know who you are?”
“Timothy, I’m happy,” Konnor shook his head, “And I want to stay that way.” He didn’t want Dax to know that he was the Prince of Seslin. He didn’t want Dax to turn him away for it. If everything went as well as this last night with Dax, he’d never have to go back to Seslin anyway.
There was a pause before Timothy said, “I think it’s dangerous.”
Konnor was about to say something else, but a plate of food was set down in front of him and his focus instantly shifted. He did his best to wait until everyone else also had food. Once everyone was served, he couldn’t help scarfing the food down. He could feel eyes on him, but he didn’t look up until he was done. Dax was just watching him as he ate too. Konnor wondered what he was thinking but thought better than to actually ask. He just hoped that Dax wouldn’t continue to be jealous of Timothy.
Luckily, Dax never said anything and the four of them ate breakfast in peace. Konnor didn’t want to keep sitting in the kitchen though, he couldn’t wait to see the island that Dax wanted to take him to. He got up and Dax immediately followed him. He looked back at the taller boy, “I hope we’ll be there soon.”
Dax just smiled, “We will, don’t worry.”
Dax took Konnor by the hand and led him to a secluded part of the deck where they could look out over the cloud horizon the ship was sailing through. Konnor rested his hands against the railing, smiling as the fresh air blew across his face. Dax stood behind him, resting his hands over Konnor’s, and rested his chin on Konnor’s shoulder. Konnor let out a sigh, looking at the horizon. “It’s so beautiful.”
Konnor could feel Dax’s chuckle since their bodies were pressed so close together. “They’re just clouds.”
He let out a laugh, turning his head to look at Dax. “But it’s more than that, it’s freedom.”
“It is,” Dax said quietly as he leaned forward just enough to kiss Konnor. Konnor immediately kissed him back. He was still new to the whole kissing thing, but doing it with Dax felt right.