Dangerous Territory

Half Moon Bay Weyr - Candidate Barracks

It is well past midnight, and the barracks are shrouded in darkness. The sporadic glow baskets, closed for the night, offer only faint and far-between luminosity. It’s quiet, with only an occasional snore, or the creaking of a cot as a sleeper shifts breaking the silence of the cavernous dormitory.

Laying on his back on his cot, Sevran is wide awake. His grey eyes see nothing as he stares up toward the distant ceiling. He wishes he was alone. Wishes it so badly that his palm suffers half-moon marks from the clench of his fists and the bite of his fingernails. But the shroud of night, and the hope that he was the only one awake, was as solitary as he was going to get. He also wishes he could go get drunk, or find someone to fuck. But both of those things are forbidden to him for the foreseeable future. And so, in the darkness, Sevran allows his thoughts to purposefully travel where he wouldn’t let them go earlier.

All day his mind has wandered, rendering him next to useless. Thankfully, his assignment that day was menial labor and was not something that required much cognitive attention. Even so, he could not keep his mind from returning time and again to his encounter with J’en at the corrals. First there was the unfortunate intrusion into the intimate moment between the bronzerider and his beast. The unintentional glimpse of J’en behind his iron mask. His smile, free and unrestrained. His laugh, shocking Sevran into motionlessness. The total relaxation that Sevran was able to witness before the great bronze beast made his presence known to the ‘rider. It wasn’t the first time Sevran had seen a glimpse of the man behind the curtain, but this time it was joy that he saw, not pain. Against his better judgement, those little breadcrumbs of what J’en might be capable of in a different setting intrigued him and drew him in.

The second thought, which would follow rapidly on the heels of the first, is the kiss. The first one. The second one. And just like that, his lower abdomen would clench, and a flood of adrenaline and fire would race through his veins, fierce enough that Sevran would have to pause, grip the shelf, and force his thoughts in a new direction. It was very distracting.

Now, alone in the dark, Sevran allows himself to relive the scene in its entirety. Eyes closed, he lets the moment consume him. The smell of J’en, a heady combination of clean soil and sweat, the faintest undertone of sweet grass. Enough to make Sevran dizzy . The feel of his lips, and his teeth and his tongue. The rush of adrenaline and carnal need that flooded his veins and made him lose his common sense. The war between them that was never really won or lost. And then the look of unfettered desire in those golden eyes that so perfectly matched the way Sevran had felt himself.

But that’s all it was. Raw, primal, impersonal desire. It flooded his body with a delicious rush of adrenaline and endorphins. And there was absolutely no doubt that Sevran had wanted to fuck him. And from what he saw, it looked like J’en wanted that too. But really, truly, what did he know of the bronzerider personally? Nothing.

That thought gnaws at Sevran, because he can’t deny that he *wanted* to know about J’en. The little moments he caught him unaware, when the bronzerider inadvertently revealed something about himself that was meant to be hidden. The first time in the woods, when Sevran interrupted him at his task and he was privy to a deep-seated pain buried within J’en. That look haunts him, because the candidate has utterly no idea what someone would have to go through to be capable of harboring such an emotion. It scares him. And so do the scars across J’en’s back and the newer one that looked frighteningly recent. Sevran is deeply curious to know how J’en has come to carry them all, and yet he is somewhat afraid of what the answers might be. Or, more accurately, he is afraid of how he may react to those answers.

Not that he is likely to get any answers at all, he thinks ruefully, his mouth quirking up into a half-smile at the thought. He could just picture the look on the bronzerider’s face if Sevran were to dare to ask him. He chokes back a laugh at the mental image.

But above all, it is the brief moment of relaxation that Sevran witnessed between J’en and Leketh that makes him dwell on the young Wingleader. He wanted to see it again. What would it be like to have that smile turned on him? He didn’t dare to imagine it. The thought brought up too many past memories that were best left forgotten and had nothing to do with the golden-eyed dragonrider.

With a huff, Sevran turns onto his side, trying in vain to force his thoughts away from the enigma that is J’en.

He needs sleep, but it will still be hours before he’s able to find it.

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