The crispness in the air was finally here. I had been waiting all summer, no, the entire year for it. Now the breath of cold and indescribable smell that indicates fall had arrived right before Halloween. As I walk through the forest, a relaxed feeling flows from the trees around me. Some are still damaged, charred ruins from those long ago blazes, others restored, and new ones growing. Although humans have changed, moved on from the dark times, the land still cowers during the summer months. It remembers the threat of fire seasons that forever altered the landscape.
With the change of the season, the entire state seemed to take a collective sigh of relief. With Halloween, with Samhain, we remember the death and destruction but with that also comes the new ways it brought us to. The thin line between the past and the present is so thin this time of year, especially in the woods where part of it still bears the scars. Touching the charcoaled stump, my hand pulls chunks of the cold, aged ash away. I rub my fingers down my face, ashen tears against warm skin. Life and death, the cycle always remains.
“I knew you’d be here.” A voice rumbles through the quiet from behind me.
I don’t have to look to know who it was. I would know Nik’s voice, his presence, anywhere. Though I am still surprised by how silent he can be. He is a much bulkier man than I yet he moves like he weighs nothing. A feather on the wind.
“Not surprising.” I say, keeping my back to him. “My leave was planned, my itinerary left with the office just in case, and I come here every year. You did not need to do much sleuthing to figure it out.”
“I meant here, in this exact spot. Not at the cabin.” He’s closer, breath against my neck. “You love this place because it is both where time seems to end and begin. Forever trapped between the worlds of then and now.”
Well that, that was a surprising revelation.
“I thought the Governor was a bit too preoccupied to notice my absence.” I say with sarcasm, I know it irritates him when I call him by his title instead of his name. “Did you leave the motorcade at the cabin?”
“I left my team back in town. Far away from you, from us.” He whispers. “If you want me to stay, that is.”
Turning around, he is exactly how I imagined his face would be. That stupid smirk, which I begrudgingly found endearing. Most people did, one of the many reasons the public loved him so much. Even though he appears to be arrogant, cocky, I could see that his eyes tell a different story. Those impossibly black eyes, framed by even darker lashes, were open and vulnerable. Nik wanted me to forgive him, to let him back in.
“Kol, you think I don’t notice you but I do.” He says. “I notice it all. I see if you are there, if you are not. What you like, what you don’t. You are the first and last thing on my mind every day.”
“I’m not really mad at you, you know.” I say. “I just needed some time away, clear my head. Plus I feel like this is where I need to be at the solstice. Tradition and all that.”
He nods, watching for his fate. It is heady, knowing that this man who so many admire wants my approval.
“Normally I like to be alone but I think it is time that maybe I let someone else in.”
“Yeah?” He says, a real, brilliant smile breaking out over his face.
I can’t help but lean in and kiss him, pressing our lips together sparks a fire that has never quelled since the first time Nik and I touched. What starts as chaste, turns more aggressive. My hands cup his face, keeping him in place as our mouths collide.
“You’re possessed.” Nik says with a laugh, pulling away. “It’s been too long since I’ve touched you like this.”
I can feel my blood racing through my body, fire awakening all the parts that become cold without him. It is like waking from a dream, all that I had been doing were the movements of my subconscious. Now I’m fully aware, controlling my fate.
“If you are to stay,” I say. “We must make an offering to the gods, give life for their deaths.”
“Take your clothes off and lie down.”
As he complies without complaint or remark, I know it has been too long for him. We deny ourselves, for others. Working for them, making sure they are taken care of, all while we suffer in silence.
I walk around him, dragging a stick over the ground and mumbling the words to conjure the sacred circle. Before I enter myself, I disrobe and he can’t seem to tear his eyes from me.
“Kol.” He rumbles. “You are the most beautiful creature I have ever seen. A man too gorgeous to be real.”
I can only smile. Me? I’m nothing compared to him. His ebony curls flow around him, blending into the earth, I kneel to touch him. Grabbing handfuls of dirt, ash, even leaves, I anoint his body with the land. Nik looks like a warrior Mother Earth has conjured up, bringing him forth to protect her.
Leaning down, I kiss him again. The air feels hot, charged with power and passion. Magic encircles us, flows through us as our naked bodies finally connect. Our hard cocks brush against each other and that is all the encouragement I need. I want him more than I want to breathe. I want to fuck him, bury myself deep inside him and never leave. Possess him. But first this, here in the woods, surrounded by the spirits and by the gods, our hips meet over and over in mirrored thrusts. There is only enough time for this.
I break the kiss so I can see him. Perfect in this moment. My nostrils fill with the smell of pine, ash, and Nik. My head spins, watching his abs contract, his strong thighs squeeze around my own.
Spitting into my hand, I grasp our cocks, stroking against our movements. He moans, a thunderous sound. I am panting, unable to form words, to tell him I love him, that I cannot live without him, that we should never leave this place, just stay rutting in the forest like wild animals.
Nik says my name, so reverently it sounds like a prayer, a sacred thing. He bites into his lip hard enough to draw blood, I lick at his lips, wanting everything I can get from him. Then he’s tensing up, releasing all over us.
Fire is building in my toes, legs, white heat coiling in my gut. Nik smiles up at me, so bright it blocks out the sun. White heat explodes out of me, blinding me from the force of it.
After laying in the dirt for who knows how long, I get up, releasing the circle. Cool air rushes in, sending goosebumps over my bare skin. We dress in silence, not strained and broken like it has felt recently, but full and comfortable. Like I never need to say another word to him, he would know with only a look or a touch. Our connection renewed, a bond strengthened.
Taking his hand, we walk towards the cabin. The woods feel oddly charged, aware. Maybe the gods are watching through the thin veil, taking in the offerings we have to give them and blessing us in return.
I notice green tendrils peeking out of the blackened stumps. This year will be different, this is the beginning of something new.
Ms. Blackburn lives in a quiet suburban neighborhood with her family. In between reading classic literature and comic books, she finds time to subvert the status quo and write smut to make people’s lives a little more fun.