Illya settled into the front seat and laid his head back against the headrest. April was practically vibrating in the back seat while Napoleon had gone silent behind the wheel. Without another word, he pulled out into traffic and headed for their brownstone.
"Wow! I knew Catherine was hiding something but he's so ... so gorgeous!"
"He's certainly not your average man." Illya smiled.
"Is he a man? Completely?" Napoleon's voice was neutral.
"Good question. He could be a spontaneous mutation or a throwback to an earlier time." Illya considered. "Or someone was 'experimenting' and was horrified at the result so he disposed of the evidence."
"How nasty." April folded her arms on the back of the seat and rested her chin. "Thank goodness this Father-person rescued him. I don't care how he was created if he loves Catherine and she loves him then we'll just have to deal with it."
Illya smiled to himself. "True love triumphs?"
April snickered. "Of course it does. Look at you and Napoleon."
Napoleon was surprised into a snort of laughter and Illya watched him relax. "I can see that the next few days are going to be interesting."
When they pulled up to April's apartment building, she hopped out and leaned in Illya's window. "We're going to have to keep this quiet until you can talk to Uncle Alex. Let me know if you need me. Napoleon, take Illya home to bed. He looks all tired out."
Illya tried to look indignant but he was aching all over and she patted his arm before heading indoors. Napoleon just nodded and pulled back out into traffic. Illya was content to watch him drive, his profile clear and etched against the passing traffic. His ears were tucked neatly against his head and Illya had a sudden urge to taste them. Perhaps he would outline them with a finger first. Then he'd follow the outer rim with his tongue and taste the earlobe.
Maybe he'd nibble there for a moment. Then he'd have to inspect the ear on the other side for comparison purposes.
"Illya," Napoleon's hand waved in front of his face. "What are you concentrating on so hard?"
He smiled and opened the door onto the sidewalk. "I'll show you later. What are we eating for dinner?"
Napoleon joined him on the steps. "I'm not very hungry. How about soup and crackers? Some of my stew is still frozen and we could heat it up."
"I agree." Illya headed for the kitchen to rummage in the freezer.
They worked together to fix a meal using the new microwave that Mark had insisted on getting. Illya admitted to himself that it came in very handy on nights like tonight. His headache was partially satisfied by food and Napoleon chided him for not eating enough lunch. They loaded the dishwasher and headed upstairs to clean up.
Their shower was cleansing but not playful and Illya watched the little wrinkle between Napoleon's eyes deepen while they toweled off and headed into what had become their bedroom. Illya eschewed any pajamas and crawled between the sheets with a sigh of relief. He'd taken two aspirin in the bathroom and he hoped they would take away the last of the headache.
"I'm going to go read the mail, Illya. I'll be up later." Napoleon had put on jeans and a polo shirt. He tested Illya's forehead with the back of his hand and smiled. "No fever. Rest now so we can play later."
Illya caught his hand and tugged him down. "I love you, Pasha. Tell me what has you so bothered?"
The wrinkle came back and Napoleon shook his head. "Later, when I've sorted out my feelings. I love you, too."
They kissed gently and Illya dozed off. Whatever was bothering him, he'd deal with later.
Illya awoke at the sounds of Napoleon undressing. He enjoyed watching his lover remove his outer layers. He was always so precise with each piece of clothing. First, his shirt was pulled over his head, turned inside out and thrown in the hamper. Then the jeans were folded in thirds and placed in the dresser drawer. His underwear went straight into the hamper and finally he was revealed in all his glory.
"I love watching you do that." He rolled onto his right side and watched his lover cross the room to slide in beside him. "Now, tell me what is wrong."
Napoleon leaned in and kissed him gently then pulled away to lay flat, one arm behind his head. "How did you know he was there and how long had he been watching?"
With a sigh, Illya realized that he should have seen this coming. It was an ability from his past that he'd simply come to accept over time. "When I was a child, I learned quickly the price of survival was eternal vigilance. Only when I was with Sergei, was it safe to let down my guard. Through that first long winter while I came to understand that I was never going home again, I found my senses expanding."
He hesitated. This was harder than he'd thought it would be. But with a quick movement, Napoleon was holding him close and stroking his hair. "Please, Illyusha, I need to know."
Illya burrowed his head into the convenient shoulder. "There were ghosts in the gulag. Those who'd died badly and whose hate was keeping them there. Others were simply waiting for a loved one to join them. I could feel them with that part of myself that was spirit. I stayed away from the angry ones but those who waited would warn me when there was danger. Not even the University and all those science classes could take that sense from me."
"Your sixth sense that has saved our lives over and over. Switzerland." Napoleon brushed a kiss over his temple. "But Vincent is mortal, isn't he?"
"Yes, I thought I'd grown out of it but the chalet reminded me with a vengeance. And Vincent is close to the spirit realm somehow. There is one who watches over him. Perhaps it is his mother, I do not think he would have been abandoned if she were still alive." Illya raised his head and watched the familiar half smile cross Napoleon's face. "Vincent was there when we arrived and he saw us kiss. But of all the people who know about us, he is one who knows prejudice first hand."
"Do you think he and Catherine are lovers?" Napoleon had completely relaxed now and Illya kissed him tenderly.
"Perhaps. Unconsummated as yet, I think. I expect that she is pushing ahead while he is being very, very careful and holding back. I doubt this father of his is for their relationship but Catherine is a very determined woman so I think she will win this battle. Eventually."
"Good luck to her. The claws and fangs would be a bit of a turn-off for me but who knows what a woman thinks." Napoleon smirked at him and Illya attacked with tickling fingers until they were both laughing.
From on top of his lover, Illya was struck once again by his great good luck. "I love you, Pasha. Make love to me."
Napoleon rolled them into the reverse position. "I love you too, Illyusha. I'm going to make you scream."
"Well, you can try." Illya teased him.
Napoleon chuckled and moved down his body stimulating every hot spot that Illya knew of and a few he didn't. By the time he got down to his cock, Illya was overheating and moaning. It felt so freeing to be able to make noise while he made love and not have to hide his passion.
"Pasha!" He writhed under the maddeningly agile tongue that bathed him from top to bottom.
"You taste so good, my Illyusha. May I have this?" Dark eyes gazed up at him and made his heart beat faster.
"You can have any part of me that you wish." Illya wondered what was going through his partner's fascinating mind.
"Thank you." Napoleon leaned up to gently lave his sensitive nipples and Illya had to hold on to the sheets at the feeling of liquid fire that streaked through his body.
His eyes closed and his head tossed back and forth on the pillow. Then Napoleon's hand was wrapped around his cock as well and between the two sensations, he was about ready to go mad. Only to suddenly feel something tight and hot around his cock. It felt like Napoleon's leather gloves but different and he opened his eyes in time to see his lover sit down flat against his hips.
"Pasha." A whisper was all he could manage. I'm inside of him.
"I love you, Illya. All of you with all of me. Does it feel all right?"
Illya didn't know what to say. It felt wonderful ... and dangerous ... and so very, very good. "What about you? You didn't prepare."
"Yes, I did, before I came back in to the bedroom." Napoleon slid his hands up Illya's chest to run small circles around his peaking nipples and he flexed his inner muscles around Illya's cock.
Illya slid his hands up the long arms and tugged his lover down to his lips. They kissed briefly before Napoleon began to rock up and down on the cock impaling him. "You feel good inside of me, Illyusha. I'm going to want you in there all the time. Taking me with your strength and tenderness."
"I love you, Pasha. Am I doing this right?"
"Does it feel good?" Napoleon asked and waited for Illya's nod. "Then you're doing it right. Ready to move, lover?"
Illya nodded and tentatively thrust up just a little, surprising Napoleon into a little chuckle. Then he used his thigh muscles to pull almost all the way off before slamming back down and they began the slow dance that Illya had never thought to experience. The inner muscles massaged him until he was burning with the heat and thrusting up with every downward pass.
At some point, Napoleon and he had joined hands and were quickening the pace until Illya could no longer feel separate from his lover but one with the man who'd opened his heart. The burn was continuous now and he aimed for the spot that made Napoleon pant each time he hit it.
And that was finally what brought them release. Napoleon froze with Illya's name on his lips and began to pulse out strings of white onto his chest. But Illya was being racked with his own spasms, pulled from him with each inner contraction. He'd never felt anything like it before and when Napoleon slowly fell forward, he caught him close with arms that trembled.
He held him tight and wished for the words to thank the man who held his heart but language appeared to have deserted him. All he could do was rub soothing circles onto the heaving back and mourn the loss of heat when he slipped free. The room seemed cooler to him and he tried to pull up the sheet over Napoleon's back to keep him from getting chilled.
"Wow." Napoleon's whisper sounded right by his ear. "I'm probably smothering you but I don't think I can move."
"Wow is a gross understatement, Pasha." Illya kissed a convenient ear. "Why now, Pasha? Why gift me with your body now?"
"We need another shower, Illyusha. Come with me?" He rolled slowly off and his eyes didn't meet Illya's.
"Certainly. I may need you to hold me up." Illya thought he might know why his lover was being so contrary. He took the offered hand and let it pull him up. "And I will want to check to be sure I wasn't too rough."
"You weren't, love." Napoleon tugged him into the bathroom and the shower without another word. They lathered away their passion and Illya checked the slightly reddened opening with relief. While they were toweling off, he ventured his own analysis to his lover's back.
"He's exotic with a very sexy voice and I am intrigued with how he came to be, but he is possibly a friend ... never a lover. He could never hold my heart in his hands."
Napoleon froze then turned slowly. "I could see an almost instant connection between you. I know that I'm nowhere close to your intellectual level but he could fascinate you away from me."
Illya smiled affectionately at his suddenly diffident lover. "Not possible, Pasha. I love you and while, I might be fascinated by another, it could never be more than an academic interest. You complete me in ways I never knew existed before you. You hold my heart in your hands and I am content that you will never let me go."
Napoleon dropped his towel and pulled Illya into his arms. "I've never been jealous before and I dislike the feeling. Is it okay with you if I don't do that again?"
Illya snickered into Napoleon's neck. "Does that mean I can't ever fuck you again?"
"Illya! I'm shocked at your language." Napoleon's voice was perfect but his whole body was shaking with the tiny tremors of near-laughter. "And no ... it doesn't mean you never get to slide inside of me and love me right into tomorrow. In fact, you may have to do it regularly from now on. It felt so very, very good."
"Ah, I thought it might since it felt so good from my side. Perhaps you might be willing to show me just how wonderful it is?" Illya smiled into brown eyes and for the first time in his life, he knew he really would enjoy it.
"Well, ours is an equal opportunity partnership." Napoleon smiled tenderly and led him back into their bedroom. "I expect you'll be able to talk me into it. Eventually."
Illya laughed out loud and let Napoleon tumble him into bed. It looked like several investigations were going to be ongoing in their lives. And this one was going to be the most fun. Wrapped in his lover's arms, Illya made a fervent vow to make enough room in his life for lovemaking while ensuring the underground tunnels stayed safe for all its citizens.
Including the intriguing Vincent and his Catherine.
THRUSH didn't stand a chance against the forces of true love.
End part five