“Come back inside.”
Zephiel turned to see his newest bondmate standing behind him. He eyed Xaneth’s half naked form appreciatively. With it almost being time for bed, Xaneth wore nothing but a pair of flannel pajama pants that hung loosely on his hips. The immortal looked almost angelic, if it wasn’t for the red eyes rimmed with black you could easily mistake him for an angel.
Xaneth was truly beautiful but Zephiel would never tell him that.
Zephiel’s grip on the balcony’s banister tightened. He was not ready to be moved, he quite liked looking out at the sky, though it was a silent torture.
“Later.” Was all he replied.
Whether it was due to misbegotten pride or his disdain for Xaneth’s heritage he didn’t know but he had yet to warm up to the other immortal.
Though they had been together for a year they had yet to cement their bond in the physical sense. At first it was because he was too weak but now it was simple because of his pride as an Archangel.
His legs shook from being up too long but he wouldn’t let his weakness show, he was an Archangel and weak was not in his vocabulary.
“You can barely stand. Let me help you inside.”
“Don’t touch me!” He yelled before the stretched out hands could touch him.
‘Help,’ Xaneth had said. Zephiel hated that word more than any other. Only those who were weak required help, and he was not weak.
He saw sadness flash in Xaneth’s eyes but refused to feel guilty, he never asked for this, never asked to be saved and forced to live like half an angelic.
With his teeth clenched he released the banister and started to walk back inside, it was hard to do with how weak he felt but he would not let his struggle show. As he walked the heavy weight of his wings wore him down making it harder for his movement to look effortless.
A stabbing back shot through his chest and he tried to push the thought of his wings from his mind.
He could feel Xaneth’s presence around him, as if ready to catch him should he fall.
Xaneth’s efforts were in vain for he already fell a long time ago.
Their bedroom door opened as soon as he sat down and Raz entered. The bounty hunter looked as tired as he felt but he didn’t comment. He wore an indifferent expression on his face as Xaneth fussed over their bruised bonded.
Discreetly, he wiped the sweat from his forehead. Though the distance from the balcony to the bed wasn’t great it felt like he had run a marathon. He truly had become pathetic if a mere 100 feet tired him so much.
He calmed his heart and slowed his breathing as he settled into bed. He noticed how Raz glanced at him before brushing Xaneth of and turning to the bathroom.
Zephiel had also become colder to Raz. He knew it wasn’t right but he blamed Raz for the pitiful state he was currently in. Not only was it Raz’s fault that he almost died, it was Raz’s fault that he currently still lived.
The immortal human just couldn’t let him die as the angelic he was and now he was forced to live as a shadow of his former self.
He heard the shower turn on as Xaneth sighed.
“How long will it be like this?” Xaneth said so quietly that Zephiel almost didn’t hear him.
Zephiel said nothing as he stared at the immortal, he didn’t know how long they would continue like this, all he knew was that as long as his body was broken his heart would never welcome them.
“He saved you because he loves you. Why are you punishing him for loving you?”
Zephiel’s jaw clenched. “I didn’t asked to be saved.”
“Did you want him to leave you to die?”
“It would have been better than this.”
“Why can’t you just be happy to be alive? Is living really that terrible?”
“I may be alive but I am not living. My body breathes but other than that it is useless. Only your power keeps me going, alone I am powerless and there is no life for a powerless immortal.” Zephiel met Xaneth’s gaze and held it as he spoke. “Should I be happy to be less than what I am?”
“But you’re alive!”
“Neither by my own strength or choice.”
Xaneth sat beside him and takes places a hand on top of his. He tried not to flinch, he didn’t like to be touched for touch only brings pain.
“You can live again, Zephy. You just need to give it time.”
He ignored to infernal name that Xaneth insisted on calling him despite his constant protest and glared at his bonded.
“I have given it time. It’s been over a year, no immortal takes that long to heal.”
“That only applies to physical wounds and you know that. Your soul was wounded by the relic and soul wounds take much longer to heal.”
He knew as well as any immortal how fatal soul wounds were. If his soul wasn’t tied to the strongest immortal after Agnor then he would not be breathing.
“Stop lying.” He pulled his hand from Xaneth’s hold. “You don’t need to try and appease the broken immortal. My ego is not so fragile that I need lies to make me feel better.”
Even he could hear the lie in his words. His ego was not only fragile, it was smashed beyond repair. The things they did to him in that dungeon made sure of that.
Warm hands cupped his face. “You are not broken. A little battered and bruised but never broken.”
Soft lips covered his own in a quick kiss. The heat of Xaneth’s mouth coupled with his long abstinence made his stomach tight with arousal.
“See you’re working just fine.” Xaneth said as he pulled away.
Zephiel’s mind was still hazy from the kiss. “Huh?”
Xaneth tilted his head down and lowered his eyes to Zephiel’s crotch. His cheeks warmed as he realized that his body had reacted, making him semi-hard from a simple kiss.
Xaneth chuckled and pecked his lips again. His playful bondmate was always like this, kissing him softly whenever he gets angry or started on his path toward self pity.
The kisses were a nice distraction but he was thankful it never went further than a kiss, being touched anywhere but his face still made him queasy.
They both turned towards the bathroom when the door suddenly opened. Zephiel quickly slapped Xaneth’s hands away from his face, the action causing his arm muscles to ache.
Though Raz’s face was neutral, Zephiel could feel his hurt through the bond.
“Don’t stop on my account.” Raz said as he walked over to the wardrobe and dressed.
Zephiel looked away from Raz and met Xaneth’s gaze once more. “I’m tired.”
Xaneth smiled sadly and moved from his bed.
With great effort, Zephiel shuffled around and pulled the thin, silk sheet over his body. Then he laid down and closed his eyes.
Due to his injuries he slept alone while Raz and Xaneth slept together. Though they had insisted that all they did was sleep, Zephiel once woke to moans coming from their side of the room. He wanted to say he wasn’t jealous but he was, and the reasons for his jealousy bothered him.
He cared little that they were intimate, if anything that turned him on, what made his heart tight was that they lied to him about it like he was some child that didn’t understand that they had needs. Needs he was not willing to fulfill.
He heard the light switch off and the sound of footsteps as Raz walked over to the bed he shared with Xaneth. When all movement stopped he assumed that his two bondmates were comfortably in bed.
The sound of the night time echoed around him as he laid there, his mind was too awake to sleep. He was happy that his bondmates has found each other because it made his plans of leaving them so much easier. They deserved to be happy with each other, not bonded with an empty shell that still needed their help to shower.
It wouldn’t be long now, once his body was a little stronger he would leave. He had thought of throwing himself off the balcony but, even as weak as he was, a fall from that height wouldn’t kill him.
What he had to do was find an angelic who would grant him a kind mercy or a demon who wanted to earn some status from killing an Archangel.
His mind wondered to his bondmates. They probably wouldn’t be happy with his plans but he didn’t care. If they could force him to live then he could choose how he died.
He stiffened as he heard movement.
“Ze.” He heard a quiet voice asks. “Are you asleep?”
He said nothing.
After a couple of seconds a hand grasped his under the sheet.
“I know you probably want me to say sorry for saving you but I won’t. I know it’s selfish but I love you too much to let you go.”
Something wet hit his cheek before the feeling of lips replaced it.
“One day you’ll be happy again and even if I’m not the one to give you happiness, I’ll be happy for you.”
A hand slowly pushed his hair back.
“Xaneth is great, isn’t he? I’m sure you’ll love him soon and I know that when you love him, he’ll become your reason to live.”
A quiet sob echoed through the room.
“When you love him hopefully a small part of you can come to love me too.”
Zephiel wanted to hug Raz or brush his tears away but he forced himself to remain still. Raz was in love with the Archangel he was before, not who he was now. What Raz was feeling towards him now wasn’t love, it was guilt.
Broken beings did not receive love, only pity.