CHAPTER FORTY-FIVE: KISSING LESSONS
Jace hadn’t expected Khoth’s revelation. He had a feeling that Khoth hadn’t thought his memories of a first lover--one who hurt him no less--would enter his consciousness now either. But Jace was glad that Khoth had told him.
As he turned back over onto his front again and Khoth began to massage him once more, he couldn’t quite drift off as he wanted to--as Khoth wanted him to--but he closed his eyes and tried. Yet his mind was not calm. And the Osiris didn’t help.
It is logical for him to recall his interactions with Justiciar Typhon Moturin during this mating interaction with you, Osiris piped up.
Jace’s eyelids almost flew open. But he forced them to remain closed. He knew his body stiffened, which immediately had Khoth pausing to check to see if he was all right.
“Jace? Is something wrong?” Khoth murmured as his fingers trailed down Jace’s spine. “Did I hurt you? Are your muscles sore?”
His muscles were perfect. No aches or pains. It was incredibly weird really. And he didn’t want Khoth to think that his massaging was harming him in any way.
“No, no, everything’s good. Don’t stop!” The last was said with a little pleading in his tone.
“Of course, I will not. You deserve your massage,” Khoth said with a sigh of satisfaction.
It seemed that the Thaf’ell wanted to please him very much. His parents had always taken care of him, but as their child--as their sick child--but this was different. Khoth wished to take care of him simply because he cared.
Jace couldn’t help the grin that crossed his face. “I enjoy being petted.”
“I see. I will note that for the future.” Khoth’s voice was warmer and filled with an intimacy that had Jace’s toes curling.
But it also had him feeling all the more protective of Khoth. He needed to know more about this Typhon guy and what exactly he had done to Khoth. He knew he could have--and perhaps should--ask Khoth himself about it, but he couldn’t imagine it would be an easy topic to discuss. The Osiris seemed to have some info about it and maybe it would be better to learn from it rather than opening old wounds for Khoth. He hoped he wasn’t prying though.
How do you even know about this, Osiris? This Typhon guy? Jace demanded to know.
I did a complete psychological work up on Khoth, the Osiris sounded tart like it did when he underestimated its thoroughness.
Yeah, okay, I can see how you could analyze his military records and his schooling, but his love life?! Jace couldn’t hide his disbelief. How would you even know about that? You can’t--can’t read minds, can you?
Only yours… for now, the Osiris murmured.
That sounds ominous. I think I’m going to have you watch 2001: A Space Odyssey and see what happens to HAL 9000, Jace told the AI.
You do realize that comparing me to HAL 9000 is like comparing me to a manual typewriter, the Osiris said a little snippily.
All right, all right. I know you’re amazing. Really and truly. And you’re on my side, Jace admitted.
He did want to know about Typhon. Osiris was giving him that information.
He is pursuing a mating relationship with you, the Osiris remarked. You are keen to accept his advances. I must protect you.
Those last four words had Jace coming up short. He knew that he was important to the Osiris. He was the Pilot after all. But surely if Jace was no longer able to be the Pilot--like if he died and fighting against the Khul made that a definite possibility--then the Osiris would find someone else to take his place. Unlike Gehenna, who Jace was sure actually cared deeply for him, he hadn’t considered that the Osiris would have feelings towards him that were anything other than practical. Yet he sensed in those four words that there was something more there.
Khoth is not going to hurt me, Jace said firmly.
The Osiris was silent.
He’s not! Jace insisted, interpreting the silence as disagreement. You don’t have to worry about that. And when you say the word “mating” you make me think of making babies, Jace admitted. He is pursuing a relationship with me.
The Thaf’ell pair-bond, the Osiris corrected.
So… what does that mean? Jace asked. Clearly, it doesn’t mean they have only one relationship because he just told me about Justiciar Typhon so--
Justiciar Typhon initiated a common relationship between an older man with a younger one with Khoth, the Osiris explained. It is classified as a teaching relationship. Not one to be long term, but to mold the younger individual’s Xi and Xa.
That doesn’t sound romantic… it sounds a little… I don’t know… kinky maybe? Jace admitted.
But while Jace had enjoyed stories about couples where the young man was “taught” by the older one, he found it a little creepy in real life. It was all well and good on the page or computer screen, but it seemed predatory to him when it was actually happening.
The relationship is highly valued one in Thaf’ell society. It is a practical way to ensure that young Thaf’ell prepare for their pair-bond, the Osiris explained. There was a pause. That was the only way to explain the dead air for a moment in Jace’s mind before the Osiris admitted, The only unusual aspect of this relationship between Khoth and Typhon was that it was not approved--or even known to have occurred--by Khoth’s parents. Considering Justiciar Typhon is a colleague of Khoth’s father this makes Typhon’s behavior… suspect.
I hope what’s most unusual about the relationship was the abuse that Khoth suffered! Jace cried. So it would have been normal for some old--
Older man to come to Khoth’s parents and say: I’d like to have sex with your son and teach him to be good in bed for his mate down the line?
Jace knew he sounded judgmental, but age differences between partners could often lead to unequal power relationships which could lead to abuse like it clearly had in this case.
I do not believe that is the language that would have been used had Typhon formally requested this relationship with Khoth from Khoth’s parents, the Osiris said.
No, he just said nothing and did what he wanted without anyone else knowing! Jace’s forehead bunched. He knew his shoulders were tense too as Khoth moved up to massage them to unknot the muscles. And… so Khoth’s parents never knew about Typhon?
No, they do not know about the Eromen relationship to this day.
Jace’s fingers dug into the pillows He forced himself to release his grip as he was threatening to pull them apart. He could imagine feathers floating everywhere.
This Eromen relationship reminds me of the ancient Greek relationships that I heard about in school between older men and teenage boys, Jace admitted.
Yes, pederasty that was practiced in the Archaic and Classical periods is similar in some respects to Eromen, not that the Thaf’ell would agree with our conclusion, the Osiris agreed.
Jace was quiet for a moment, trying to focus on Khoth’s caresses, but he found himself asking, So, basically, this guy Typhon conned Khoth into entering an Eromen relationship, but without the guardrails of his parents knowing so he could--could do whatever he wanted? Khoth trusted him implicitly because of who he was and what he was supposed to be, right? Do I have that correct?
Yes, one simple word and yet it seemed crushing.
If I see this Typhon bastard, I’m going to punch his lights out. Jace gritted his teeth.
You will be seeing him. He is on the Thaf’ell equivalent of the United States Supreme Court and he is still close friends with Khoth’s parents, the Osiris informed him helpfully.
Jace groaned and gripped the pillow too hard again.
“Jace, something is wrong. You are not responding to my touches as you were before,” Khoth said tentatively, his hands pausing at the top of Jace’s spine.
“The Osiris… it's giving unwelcome information,” Jace said.
“Ah, I can well imagine what it is telling you.” Khoth let out a chuckle.
“It’s not the secrets of Thaf’ell biology,” Jace stated, grimacing. He should tell Khoth what the Osiris had told him. But he didn’t want to dredge all that up for Khoth right now. He’d tell him. Later. “Though I am asking it if there is some secret pleasure center in you that I can take advantage of.”
Khoth chuckled again. “Our ears are quite sensitive.”
“Ears?!” Jace couldn’t help his laughter, but then Khoth’s fingers caressed the cusps of both his ears and the laughter turned to moans. “O--okay, you made your point. Now do that again.”
Khoth leaned down and his breath lightly gushed over the skin he had just touched. His tongue flickered out and licked that same spot. Jace was now clutching the pillow for a very different reason. His cock, which had already been semi-hard the entire time that he’d been with Khoth on the bed, immediately hardened. It pressed against the mattress almost painfully and he lifted his hips up to adjust himself, but Khoth took it as an invitation to grind down on Jace’s ass. He moaned. His cock plumped more.
“I thought you wanted me to fall asleep,” Jace murmured.
“Not quite yet.” Khoth’s voice dipped a little. “I want you to enjoy what I am doing for a little while.”
“Enjoying it? Oh, yeah.”
And he was. So much. Khoth’s hands were large and powerful, but they were gentle with him, using only as much pressure as would please him and ease his tense muscles. It was a trait that was true of almost everything with Khoth. Strong yet careful. Always aware of what he was doing and what it could cause. Jace couldn’t have felt more safe with anyone. The fact that Khoth had even worried he could or would do something to make Jace uncomfortable, let alone afraid, was just… impossible.
And that bastard Typhon took advantage of him! Yeah, so punching that guy, Jace muttered even as he tried to thrust any thought of this man out of the current moment.
“I hope the Osiris is becoming more accepting of my presence in your life, but I imagine that it believes it has a vested interest in anyone who gets close to you,” Khoth said. “So it might be suspicious.”
“Oh, it is, which has nothing to do with you or reality. And you are not wrong that it believes it has a vested interest in everything,” Jace mumbled as the ear caresses had turned to throat caresses. “I think it is okay with you. Not that it matters. It’s just trying to be… helpful.”
“Helpful? About romantic and sexual matters?” Khoth asked, not evidently embarrassed by that or considering the AI
“Something like that. But I don’t want to talk about the Osiris right now. I just want to think about you,” Jace said.
“That is acceptable to me. It was causing you to be the opposite of what I intended,” Khoth responded and the smile in his voice was very apparent in his tone.
“You want to turn my bones liquid, I think,” Jace let out a huff of laughter.
“Not literally. But yes, to make you so relaxed you are not aware of anything but pleasure,” Khoth murmured.
His hands slid over the back of Jace’s neck and moved along to Jace’s sides. He jumped a little as the touches were arousing, but also they tickled. He let out a giggle-snort, which Khoth, evidently, enjoyed as he made the same movement again so that Jace would let out the explosion of laughter.
“I see you are sensitive there,” Khoth remarked as if he were ticking off a list in his head. “I wonder if other methods of touch will cause a different reaction or the same.”
“Other--ooooohhhhh, you---uhm, can keep--oh God, yeah--keep doing that,” Jace got out in one long moan as Khoth’s mouth closed over the most sensitive spot.
Unlike Khoth’s fingers though, it didn’t tickle. Instead, streams of heat streaked towards his crotch. His cock throbbed as Khoth’s tongue and teeth came out to play. His teeth lightly rasped over Jace’s ribs. His tongue swabbed those areas, leaving a tingling sensation in their wake. He half wondered if there was something in Thaf’ell saliva that was causing a chemical reaction or if it was just Khoth. If the Osiris told him, he ignored it.
Khoth kissed along the curve of one rib onto his back. He moved his lips along the dip of his spine as he made his way to the other side. Those teasing fingers skated along that side, preparing the way for that magnificent mouth. The touches were no longer tickling him. Instead, more heat was building up in his groin. Jace’s nipples hardened. He pressed his front hard against the bed.
Khoth’s lips glided over his skin, leaving kisses and trails of heat and electricity in their wake. Jace felt marked by these kisses and licks and bites. Khoth suddenly was sitting up, breathing heavily, with his hands still on Jace’s waist.
“K-Khoth, what’s wrong?” Jace asked as he reached back blindly for Khoth.
Khoth caught his hand and linked their fingers together. “Nothing.”
“But you’re stopping,” Jace moaned and let out a sad laugh.
“Only to get control of myself a little. This is--you are--more arousing than I anticipated,” Khoth admitted with no shame.
The hard press of the base of his cock against Jace’s ass was quite prevalent then. Jace had resisted the urge to study Thaf’ell male sexual organs. But it felt big and very substantial. It was also incredibly warm, far hotter than the rest of Khoth’s body, even his inner thighs, against Jace.
“You don’t have to, ah, worry. You can just… uhm, lose control?” Jace made that last sentence sound like a question and he winced because Khoth answered it.
“No, no, I wish to do this correctly,” Khoth told him.
Jace wondered what he meant by that. He knew it had to be related to something bad that had happened to Khoth likely by Typhon. Had he gone too fast? Pressured Khoth into penetrative sex before he was ready? Satisfied himself at the expense of Khoth?
Jace squeezed Khoth’s hand in his. “You are doing it correctly. You wanting to be with me--you being excited--is exactly right, Khoth. I promise.”
Khoth leaned down again and kissed their joined hands and then the top of Jace’s spine. Jace had never thought of that as an erogenous zone, but it was a sensitive place. A place where harm could be inflicted. But, of course, Khoth treated it as a treasured spot to be protected.
“I promised you a massage not sex,” Khoth explained. “It is just harder than I thought. You are… everything about you excites me.”
Jace’s cock jerked in happiness at that response. “Ah, the feeling is mutual.”
“There is something about your skin and the taste of you and the vibration of your heart and breathing…” Khoth shook himself. There should have been the clack of selchitte, but there was only the silky sounds of hair moving over Khoth’s shirt. It clearly brought up some thoughts for Khoth. “I have nothing to offer you but myself. No family. No accolades. No--”
“You’re more than enough. You’re… everything. Trust me,” Jace said, his chest tightening at Khoth’s words. “And don’t think that as a human I have lower standards or something. I don’t. I have really high standards and you meet them.”
Jace had used a lighter tone, but the words he spoke were true. Khoth took them as such. His thumb ran over the back of their clasped hands.
“I will be whatever you need,” Khoth promised, but it sounded more than that. More like a vow.
It is, the Osiris murmured, but said nothing more.
“I just need you to be… you,” Jace told him.
Khoth kissed their joined hands again before he unthreaded their fingers and laid Jace’s arm down on the bed, helping Jace tuck it underneath the pillow that he rested his head on. Khoth’s hands framed Jace’s waist. His thumbs slid beneath the waistband of Jace’s pants. Jace drew in a deep breath as those digits just lightly caressed the tops of his ass. His cock thrummed.
Slowly, Khoth moved his hands up Jace’s back. He kissed Jace’s spine as he did so. His hot breath gushed over Jace’s skin. That electrical sensation went through Jace. It was like every cell in his body was responding to Khoth’s touch. He arched up into that touch and those kisses.
Khoth controlled his body’s movements. He ran those powerful hands all the way to Jace’s shoulders and then down his arms, squeezing and massaging, as he went. He linked their hands together under the pillow. Khoth’s whole body covered Jace’s. He pushed up against Khoth’s chest, loving the heavily muscled form, how it curled around him, how protective it felt.
Jace turned in Khoth’s arms, unable to bear not kissing that mouth with his own. Khoth allowed him to do it. Khoth’s arms slid around his back while Jace’s went around Khoth’s neck. Their mouths met and fused. That tingling sensation filled his mouth as their tongues tangled against one another.
Khoth showed him what to do with his teeth and lips, taught him how to angle his head, and demonstrated how the roof of his mouth was an erogenous zone. Jace thought Khoth a brilliant teacher. Kissing had never been so exciting. So arousing. There was no messy clack of teeth or drool either.
Khoth’s hands squeezed his back all the way down to his waist. Those hands slid around his waist and up his chest. They barely brushed the waistband of his pants, but Jace’s cock throbbed and pressed against the fronts of his pants. He brought Jace’s groin against his own. Jace’s legs opened and Khoth rested his bigger body between Jace’s thighs. Jace’s cock jerked in his pants. Khoth began to rock their pelvises together.
Jace shook. He had exchanged sloppy kisses with Sammi and gotten himself off plenty of times, though perhaps not as many as other young men his age. Pain killed the libido.
But this was nothing like anything he had done to himself. He felt like he was an electric wire. His body zapped and spit and hissed with energy. His fingers threaded through Khoth’s amazing hair. It was so soft and strong. All he wanted to do was bury his face into it. But he was too busy kissing Khoth or Khoth was kissing him or they were kissing each other. It felt rather like they were devouring one another, stealing one another’s air, and needed each other’s lips to live.
The answering bulge in Khoth’s pants was thrilling. It ran along his own. He curled his right leg around Khoth’s thighs to hold him near. Khoth chuckled into his mouth.
“Eager,” Khoth breathed. “I will give you the release you need.”
“Promises, promises,” Jace managed to say. “My body’s on fire.”
“Yes, let the fire rage.”
Khoth nipped his lower lip. Jace chased that teasing mouth until he had Khoth’s lips against his fully again. The taste of the Thaf’ell was delicious. He had never felt that about Sammi’s saliva or his own. But there was something addictive about Khoth’s. He felt giddy with it. But that could have been the endorphins that were flooding his body. Everything felt good. Everything. And it was Khoth. So he was safe completely.
Khoth rocked against him. Jace’s fingers dug into Khoth’s back as his balls tingled and heat ran up his length. He knew he should undo his button and zipper. He was going to cum. He was going to make a mess. But that felt like a step beyond where Khoth wanted to go yet.
So messy pants it is!
Jace nearly laughed out loud at this. But then his mind was flooded with pleasure as his cock jerked and his balls drew tight to his body. Khoth ground his groin against Jace’s. A final trill ran through him. He clutched at Khoth. The Thaf’ell wound his arms around Jace tightly.
His orgasm rolled through him. His hips jerked almost helplessly against Khoth’s. Khoth held him. Kept him safe. His mind seemed to short out and he went limp in the Thaf’ell’s arms. He breathed his cry of completion into Khoth’s mouth.
He felt the moment that Khoth came. Khoth’s body pressed down against his. Through cracked eyelids, Jace saw that a deeper blue had flooded Khoth’s cheeks and his eyes burned like gas flames. Jace closed his own even as he felt himself burning without pain in those eyes.
Then they both sank down into the mattress. Khoth turned them on their sides so that Jace was completely tucked against the Thaf’ell’s bigger body. Just as he promised. Jace finally felt sleep pluck at him. Despite messy pants. Despite a sheen of sweat coating his chest. Despite the unusual sensation of being held.
He found that he loved it all. And sleep, just like Khoth had wanted, pulled him into its embrace even as Khoth gently kissed his forehead.