Chasing the Horizon

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Forest of Lights

Dax almost didn’t want to leave their spot on the edge of the ship, even as they got closer to the Forest of Lights. But the sun was getting close to setting and as lovely as it would be to watch the sun set into the clouds with Konnor in his arms, the view from the Forest of Lights would be even better.

He knew it would be a little risky going so close to the Toeaux border. Toeaux had watch towers that looked over the border. He thought it might be possible for them to be seen if the towers were equipped with a high enough powered spyglass. But he wanted to show the place to Konnor. His mother had taken him and Saria there when they were just kids and he’d always remembered it as being so magical. He got the feeling that Konnor would love something as romantic as that.

“Wow,” Konnor let out a breath, staring at the floating land with tall evergreen trees growing on it. Unlike the Tekoland floating towns, this island was floating on its own, no one knew exactly how. There were even entire fields of research devoted to understanding and replicating the mechanics of floating islands like this one. “What is that?”

Dax chuckled, he liked to hear that surprise in Konnor’s voice. He hoped Konnor would like it as much up close as he seemed to from a distance. “That,” he stepped back a little, taking Konnor’s hand, “Is the Forest of Lights.”

Konnor glanced at Dax and back to the island as the ship was quickly getting closer. “It’s so magical.”

He gently pulled on Konnor’s hand to get him to walk with him. Konnor kept looking back at the island, even as he walked next to Dax. Dax laughed and shook his head slightly. “Just wait, you’ll get a closer look in a minute.”

Konnor’s gaze instantly snapped to Dax. “Closer look...” Dax looked over at the redhead, his eyes were practically sparkling. Konnor smiled, saying, “Do you mean we’ll actually get to go on there?”

Dax nodded, pulling Konnor with him as he walked back to the main deck. The crew was already slowing down the ship and preparing to anchor next to the floating island. He stood there in the middle of the deck with the redhead, hoping that the crew would be done soon. There were only moments before the sunset now. Luckily, the crew finished in a snap and lowered the gangplank so the couple could get off the ship.

Dax was about to walk down, but he could feel Konnor pulling back a little. He turned to see Konnor standing at the entrance, biting his lip and looking at the land in front of them. Dax extended his hand to him, “Don’t be afraid.” Konnor dropped his gaze down to Dax, tentatively reaching out to take Dax’s hand. When his hand was close enough, Dax grabbed it, holding onto him tightly. “Just follow me, it’ll be alright.”

He didn’t wait for Konnor to resist more, he just pulled him along as they walked off the ship. He glanced at Konnor as they set foot on the floating island’s soft soil, he could see a sparkle in his eyes. He gently squeezed Konnor’s hand and pulled him towards a spot on the west side of the floating island, away from the ship so they wouldn’t be seen by the crew. On this side, the trees opened into a small clearing where they could see the sun about to set. Dax brought Konnor to the center and sat down on the lush, green grass. Konnor sat down next to him, looking out at the sunset. Dax smiled and wrapped his arms around the redhead’s shoulders, pulling him in closer.

The sun began to sink lower into the sky, turning the clouds and the sky lovely shades of orange and pink. Konnor smiled, leaning into Dax’s shoulder. “This is beautiful.”

Dax held him a little closer, whispering, “Just wait.”

As the sun disappeared beyond the horizon, the daylight was quickly fading. On the island, little sparks of light started to appear everywhere; in the grass, in the branches of the trees. Konnor sat up, looking around with eyes wide. The lights flickered and seemed to dance through the trees. It was as if everything was glowing. “Amazing...” Konnor breathed out.

Dax smiled and looked at Konnor. He could see the lights reflecting in the redhead’s eyes, making his ruby eyes glow. “This is why this place is called the Forest of Lights, the twiglis that live here light up like fireflies at night. There’s so many of them that the entire island appears to glow.” Twiglis were forest spirits that hid during the day amongst the trees and emerged at twilight, they were only found on a few floating islands like this one.

“This place is beautiful.” Konnor glanced back at Dax, a wide smile on his face. “I’ve hardly been outside my home, I didn’t know places like this existed.” He scooted closer to Dax. “Thank you for taking me here.”

The look on Konnor’s face was enough to make him happy. He was so innocent and Dax was glad that he was the first one to take him places and show him things. He didn’t think he’d ever have that kind of experience with someone. He liked it with Konnor, because it was like he was experiencing things for the first time too just by being with him. He tried to hide how happy he was, he didn’t want Konnor thinking he was a sappy romantic. “I’m glad you like it.”

A light flashed between them and a little twigli stopped between him and Konnor, hovering in the air. Konnor could only stare at the little twigli, it had skinny arms and legs, looking like a piece of the tree branches. Dax let out a chuckle, “Don’t worry, they won’t hurt you.”

The twigli flitted closer to Konnor, light from the twigli brightening Konnor’s face. He gingerly reached up a hand and the twigli almost immediately landed on it. Konnor was stuck, staring at the twigli that was smaller than his hand sitting in his palm. “They’re amazing...” he breathed out, “I never even thought creatures like this were real.”

Dax let out a low laugh, moving to sit closer to Konnor. “The world is vast,” he looked down at the twigli in Konnor’s palm, gently touching the twigli’s head with his index finger. “There’s more creatures out there than anyone could ever see in a lifetime.”

The twigli spread out its wings, they looked like groups of pine needles, flying away from Konnor’s palm. They both looked up as the twigli took to the sky. Dax looked back at Konnor, watching the amazement in the redhead’s eyes. He reached out a hand, touching Konnor’s soft cheek. Konnor finally looked back at Dax, a soft smile still resting on his face. That gentle expression made Dax feel happy too. He wanted to stay here with his lover like this for as long as they could. He’d never felt like that before, there was just something about Konnor that made Dax want to have him around always.

He held Konnor’s face close as he leaned in and gently pressed his lips into his. Konnor’s eyes fluttered shut and he pressed back into Dax’s lips. Dax deepened the kiss, slowly moving his free hand to slide down Konnor’s back. The redhead brought his hands up to wrap around Dax’s shoulders as the taller male started to lean him back against the grass.

The twiglis from across the forest gathered around the couple, circling in the air above them. The sky continued to darken as the last lights of the fading sun disappeared. All that was left were the twiglis creating a glowing ring of light around the two boys. Dax could practically feel the magic in the air. This really was the perfect spot to bring his lover, nowhere else would’ve been nearly as romantic.

After a long and romantic kiss, Dax finally pulled back, looking into Konnor’s vibrant eyes. Konnor just stared up at him for a moment, lips slightly parted and face slightly flushed. A smile made its way onto Konnor’s lips as he looked up at the taller boy. “Dax... this is all so... romantic.”

Dax let out a soft chuckle, he was glad that Konnor thought so. Even if he couldn’t bring himself to say it out loud, he wanted to do something special for Konnor. He just rested his hand on Konnor’s cheek again, gently stroking it with his thumb. He wanted Konnor to know that he really did care for him. He wouldn’t ever hurt him again, he even wanted to protect him.

Konnor smiled wide, even his eyes seemed to be smiling. Dax did love that innocent smile on his face. Konnor’s voice was barely more than a whisper, “I really am glad to be here with you.”

A smile set on Dax’s face, one side going up farther than the other. He couldn’t resist the redhead. He leaned in to kiss Konnor again. Konnor kissed back until Dax deepened the kiss, he seemed to be unable to follow Dax’s lead. Dax parted from the kiss, whispering against Konnor’s lips, “Do you trust me?”

Konnor nodded slightly, breathing out, “I do.”

Dax closed his eyes for a moment. He felt so glad to hear Konnor say it. He opened his eyes, looking right into Konnor’s as he asked, “Do you want me?”

Even in such close proximity, Dax could see Konnor’s face redden. Konnor nodded again, his voice was a little quieter than before, “I want you.”

Dax leaned in once more, kissing Konnor deeply. He moved his knee to rest in between Konnor’s legs, spreading them apart. Konnor gripped onto Dax’s shirt a little tighter but didn’t protest Dax’s movements. Dax didn’t stop, he traced a hand down Konnor’s side to slide under the hem of the smaller male’s shirt and caress the smooth skin of his chest.

Konnor broke the kiss, gasping a little and gripping Dax’s shirt tighter still. He lowered his gaze from Dax. Dax had to press him a little to get him to speak, “What’s wrong?”

“I-I’ve just...” he glanced back up at Dax, “I’ve never done this before.”

“I can tell,” Dax said with a smile. His response made Konnor blush a little and that only made him cuter in Dax’s eyes. He pecked Konnor’s lips before saying, “If you don’t like it, I’ll stop. We don’t have to keep going.” He knew it would be hard to actually stop, but if it was what Konnor wanted, then he would. He didn’t want to show Konnor any force.

Konnor looked back up at Dax, not saying anything for a moment. Dax did his best to be patient, he wanted Konnor to make the decision himself. After a minute, Konnor glanced down and back up at Dax, “I want to do it with you.”

Dax smiled back, kissing Konnor’s ear, which made the redhead shiver, whispering, “I’ll make you feel good, I promise.”

He leaned back to see Konnor nod and smile slightly. Dax smiled back and closed the distance between them, pressing his lips deeply into Konnor’s. He moved himself to be laying on the grass between Konnor’s legs and Konnor seemed to welcome him closer this time. He lifted up Konnor’s shirt as he started to kiss down to Konnor’s neck, clavicle and chest. Konnor let out a small moan, knotting his fingers in Dax’s hair. Dax liked the way Konnor seemed to be submitting himself to him.

He pulled back from Konnor’s chest and gently lifted Konnor to sit up. He took off his coat and laying on the grass behind Konnor, before laying Konnor back down against the ground. Dax took his shirt off, tossing it to the side. He could feel Konnor’s eyes on him and it made him smile.

Dax traced his hands down Konnor’s torso to the hem of Konnor’s shirt and slid it off. He started to pull down Konnor’s pants and that light blush on the redhead’s face darkened. Dax thought it was just too adorable, it made Konnor seem so innocent and he knew that Konnor really was. That inexperience made Dax want to protect him from everything bad in the world.

He removed the rest of his clothes and laid over Konnor again, kissing him deeply. Konnor did his best to follow Dax, kissing him back and wrapping his arms around the taller boy’s shoulders.

Dax slid his tongue past Konnor’s lips, savoring Konnor’s taste. Konnor did his best to return the action. He trailed a hand down Konnor’s side, down to his thigh and gently lifted Konnor’s leg. Konnor immediately wrapped his leg around Dax’s waist, holding their bodies closer together.

Dax moved his hand over Konnor’s body, moving his hand to Konnor’s behind. Konnor broke from the kiss, his eyes squeezing shut and letting out something between a moan of pleasure or pain. He kissed Konnor’s forehead, doing his best to be gentle. He needed Konnor to be ready before they connected. With the growing excitement between the two of them, he knew they both wanted it.

Konnor started to relax, he opened his eyes to look into Dax’s. Dax held his gaze as they became one. He wanted to see every expression Konnor made. He wanted to be fully in this moment with Konnor.

Dax kept looking at Konnor, their bodies moving as one. Being like this with Konnor felt just as magical as the place they were visiting, if not more so. He hadn’t quite felt like this before. This with Konnor felt so... right. He felt like they were made for each other. He was opening his soul to Konnor and Konnor wanted all of it.

Long after he and Konnor made love, Dax was laying on the grass, looking up at the stars. Dax had pulled his own pants back on and had Konnor wrapped up tightly in his coat. Konnor had snuggled up next to Dax, resting his head on Dax’s chest. Dax couldn’t help smiling because of it, Konnor really was so cute and snuggly. He wrapped his arm around the redhead, holding him closer. He brought up his other hand to run his fingers through Konnor’s messy red hair.

The twiglis had long since dispersed and the only light left was from the stars. Dax could see almost all of the stars and he felt like it was really just him and Konnor alone in the world. He wanted it to stay that way forever.

Ten years ago when his mother had taken him and Saria to this very island, he remembered his mom telling them a legend about a true mate. Someone who called out to your very soul. She’d said that if you brought the person to a magical place like the Forest of Lights, you would know if they were your true mate or not. Even as a kid, Dax had never been one to believe in fairytales. But after being here with Konnor, Dax had to wonder if she’d been right.

According to the legend, if two true mates came to the Forest of Lights, something deep inside would fundamentally change. A person’s soul would split and half would be given to their mate. The mates would share each other’s souls, and mates that shared souls would be forever true to their lover. They would always need their lover to fully survive.

Dax wondered if something like that happened to him and Konnor tonight. He wasn’t sure he believed a person’s soul could split. He wasn’t even sure people had souls. But he did believe that there had been something different, something special between him and Konnor tonight.

His plan had to work. He had to get his father to break the arrangement with the Seslin prince. Dax wouldn’t be with anyone if he couldn’t be with Konnor.

He could feel Konnor’s body steadily rise and fall against him. He glanced down to see that Konnor had already fallen asleep. He gently kissed the top of Konnor’s head and laid his head back. He closed his eyes, letting all thoughts leave his mind, letting himself relax. It was fine if they stayed there, none of his crew would come bother them and most travelers didn’t make it as far out as this spot. He let out a long breath, letting himself fall asleep.

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