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Chapter Twenty-Five

It’s terrifying, in a fascinating sort of way, for Thæon to be the one holding Anther up in his arms.

He can’t seem to tear his eyes away from the places of his face, the slight goose-pimple of his skin where he can feel the cold of the mountain air now that he’s not protected by a cloak of iron-strong scales; one hand firmly tucked into Thæon’s while his other brushes at the stone beneath him, as if he is fascinated but this not-new, unfamiliar way that the world feels around him.

His eyes ghost across Thæon’s face, flicking to the others at the sounds of their voices rising above one another in question, confusion and quiet celebration. And Thæon is grateful for them, he really is, but he’s not sure how he can thank them all and tell them to fuck off in the same breath, wanting time alone with Anther, not wanting them to overwhelm him in their onslaught of questions that they are bound to bombard him with.

Thæon remains on his knees, legs pressed into the cold earth, his own magic measured to keep himself warm and to extend that which he can also offer to Anther so that he’s at least a little more comfortable; bare skin pressed into his lap and partially leant against Thæon’s chest, face turned in against him where he is keeping Anther propped up.

As much as he knows his friends are going to pester, he knows Anther is going to try and push himself into normalcy like he hadn’t just had his body torn apart and put back together by unexplainable magic, although not even he is sure if the hand that hugs Anther’s waist is the desire to stay close to him or to keep him from exhausting himself.

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