I walked down the stairs, hearing Roy speaking with the other agents. When I arrived before my team, the laughter and roar from the football game on the television blurred as I took out my phone to text headquarters about Kai's condition. I grabbed a water bottle off the counter before leaving the security room, suddenly parched. I didn't want to make eye contact with Roy, even if it may have hurt him by doing so. The more I thought about him, the more I was willing to break rules to satisfy a fuming hunger that grew within my belly.
I unscrewed the cap to the water bottle and walked toward the Belle. Chugging half of it, I approached Agent Hanson. Charles walked out of the door before "sir" emanated from Hanson's mouth. He gave me a quick glance with a simple grin in my direction before climbing into his car. Mentally I cursed. I wanted to question him prior to his departure, but that luxury was gutted.
My phone dinged as Agent Hanson reported Charles leaving the Belle. I looked down at a text, it was from Kai.
"Meet me outside at 7:00 pm to head to the Hanor."
I took that to mean he didn't want me to come up to see him. I sighed, flustered...annoyed but thankfully not carrying as much pent-up stress as I was previously. I had Roy to thank for that.
"You need a push?" I asked Agent Hanson.
"No sir, I just got here a few minutes ago."
"Right, well if you need anything, don't hesitate to call." I said, taking my leave.
I drank the rest of the water, throwing it into a nearby trashcan. What I honestly needed right now, I thought as I took out a pack of cigarettes, is a good smoke.
Kai sighed, as he walked down the stairs: heading to the front door of the Belle. His arm was throbbing, even after the medicine that he had taken, as he clenched his jaw in distress. He knew he shouldn't have been going to the Hanor. He knew in his heart that his demonic lover wanted to break Max...just like he did years ago. He wanted to show him the truth about his upbringing and unleash the harsh reality of who he really was...who he was to the Manors.
Kai grunted, reaching the front door as he tried to compose himself, but he knew the second he walked out...he was willingly handing over Max to Darian. He tried to reason with Darian before Max had arrived. However, Darian's anger took the best of him. Kai had to laugh because even in a position of power, as the son of the president, he felt weak...no helpless. Just like the day his father forced the Manors into his life. In Kai's heart, he wanted to protect Max. He wanted to repent for the atrocities he had to endure when they were younger...but he was unsure if he would follow through.
The door opened as Kai was greeted by Agent Knix, who was now at Post 3. He walked ahead, noticing Max standing in front of the limo. The lead and and follow-up were staged for their departure. Max's eyes meet with his, as Max relayed something to his team...until Max's attention was diverted to Roy.
Roy moved his hand discretely inside Max's suit jacket and whispered something into Max's ear. Max couldn't hide his smile as Roy placed a kiss on Max's cheek and walked back to the follow-up. Kai barely noticed how tight he clenched his fist watching them. Max and Agent Pearson always seemed close. There was talk of them dating on and off amongst the agents. The rumors were good enough to make Kai aware of the situation. However, Kai still hated the fact that Roy was claiming something that was already his.
In that moment, amongst the dread and the pain of his wrist trickling up his arm, he felt time stop. He seemed more than a few feet away from the limo but miles away from Max.
Why...why can't he turn back the clock and go back to the way things were before the Manors destroyed the only thing he held dear?
Kai recalled when he and Max were in high school. Kai would look over at Max during class and gaze upon him without even realizing it. He was always swoon by him, ever since he saw those bright eyes the day he helped Max in the locker room. Those feelings only intensified after Kai opened his home to him, but Kai couldn't openly share his true desires...with anyone. So, he would silently check up on Max during lunch and other periods just to make sure he was alright...and that he was happy. Max never had solid friends, but everywhere he went he held onto his earring, his cheeks would blush, and his mouth would curve into a radiant smile. That was enough for Kai's knees to weaken.
School ending was the best time for Kai, even though he tried his best to keep his image as the heart-throb class president. But when Max would meet him by the suburban, excitedly running up to hug him, there was no greater feeling in the world. Kai had to act embarrassed, and push Max away just to save face. Yet, he enjoyed the closeness...the warmth he received from Max. He truly loved having Max around.
As Max held close to Kai as they slept, Kai couldn't stop combing his fingers through Max's hair. He slept so peacefully in his arms the last two years. Kai's mother didn't return home as she had promised and that left an emptiness in his heart. He resented his father for pushing her away and losing interest in her son. But, the more time he spent with Max, the less he felt the swirling void swallow him into depression. He relied on Max...just as Max relied on him, but in a completely different way. Max never left his side, not once. When Kai was sad, angry or completely impossible, Max still climbed into bed with him and held him like a valuable trinket: and that made all the difference. Kai didn't want to lose him, he didn't want to be apart from him...ever. Selfishly, Kai hoped that he and Max could stay like this for the rest of their lives and forget about the world around them. Even if he knew time would not be so gracious to them.
Max shifted in his spot on top of Kai, his hand sliding down Kai's chest to his waist as Kai suddenly felt his cheeks heat. Maybe it was because Max felt warm, so warm that it made his heart pound faster, or it was the sensational touch. It was the friction that started to make Kai feel different...bringing a new urge to his mind that he had felt but hid many times before. He and Max were both eighteen...had both been sleeping this way in secret without anything coming of it: like they were brothers. But, deep down, Kai wanted more.
"Hey...Max?" Kai asked.
"Hmm?" Max said sleepily, not moving from his spot on Kai'.
"Have you...have you ever kissed anyone?"
"No?" Max sleepily replied, rubbing his eyes and yawning.
Max pulled himself off of Kai, half asleep. "Why are you asking?"
Kai chuckled, a little shyly but still determined. "Well, I was thinking you should practice. Prom is coming up and you don't want to be the only guy who can't kiss properly."
"Psh, I'm not going to the dance." Max said, confused and angered. "And I'm not interested in kissing girls, Kai."
"Of course you're going! It's a once in a lifetime event, and I want you there with me." Kai chirped.
Max did not respond. He just stared up at the ceiling, creating a void between them that Kai did not like.
"Ok...fine, why aren't you interested in girls?"
Max didn't remove his eyes and that created an unsettling atmosphere. Kai was bothered for more than one reason, but not having Max answer him or acknowledge him annoyed him. But looking at his face...that strong jaw and those maroon eyes, calmed him down. He was a gorgeous being...one that should have never been mistreated.
"Because," Max said, turning his head to Kai, "I only like you."
Kai felt his heart thump so loud that it rang against his eardrum. He wasn't expecting Max to confess to him. He wanted to do it first! It was insanely surprising that the meek boy he had rescued had turned into the man before his eyes.
Max's didn't waiver in his glance and that suddenly made Kai nervous. Extremely nervous to do...no say what he wanted to do next. And for him, the son of a senator, to be weakened by Max...it was unimaginable.
"Close your eyes, Max."
"Just...just do it and I'll tell you a secret."
Max held his gaze a few seconds longer, but did as he was told. Kai exhaled. It was time. He couldn't be swayed because he...he really liked Max. More than Max knew...more than he'd ever know. He was the one person who was always there for him, always showed him that he mattered...and he didn't want that feeling to disappear.
Kai's lips found themselves on Max's. Max didn't jerk, but took it and continued to keep his eyes closed.
Kai leaned over to Max's ear, "I like you too...and I've liked you for some time."
Max gasped in disbelief, his eyes finally opening as he tried to retort but Kai's lips were on his again. Kai's hand fell on Max's face, as he kissed him like he was his life support. He wanted to learn more about him by scaling his mouth. He knew the sensation was new to Max, who awkwardly held onto Kai's back. However, he could tell Max enjoyed every moment of it.
It was the first time he and Max had become intimate, but what stood out to Kai was Max's eyes when he sat on top of him. They were so bright that they pierced through darkness. It was so sweet...so pure that he couldn't take it. It made Kai feel like crying just from being in his presence.
"Do," Max huffed, excitedly, "you think it's silly for me to love you?"
Love...when Max said he loved him it reminded him of the same words his mother said before she abandoned him for Japan. Love was the word his father mentioned before he gave Kai a good beating. Love wasn't what he wanted with Max. Love was a lie, but he didn't want to upset Max by disagreeing with his feelings.
"Close your eyes again." Kai said, jokingly: hoping that he would agree.
"But," Max huffed, feeling exhausted but yearning for more, "seeing you makes me happy, Kai. I don't want to look away from you."
He could feel his heart breaking at the sincerity in his voice. I don't want you to look away, either is what Kai wanted to say. However, he didn't want a relationship that gave Max a reason to leave. Kai wanted to keep him chained to his hip until the day he died.
"I'll make you a promise if you do."
Max's silence meant he was interested.
"I promise to be yours, Max. If you close your eyes, that means you promise to be mine."
Kai stared into Max's reddened eyes, until he smiled: closing them.
That sealed the deal.
Max and Kai were bonded.