The Power of LoveBy Catherine
Page 1 of 2
stared, red lights flashing, sirens screaming. Surrounded by Federation
troops, he looked down. The figure crumpled at his feet was still breathing.
But not for long, a voice whispered in his head. You've killed him. As you
kill all things that you love. Returning his gaze to the troopers, he raised
his gun to fire. At least this is the end. I'm sorry, Blake, for not
trusting you. For loving you too much. Avon's grim smile turned to a gasp
of pain as the Federation forces fired. He collapsed on his knees, toppling
down across the fallen rebel. As consciousness ebbed, he realized that the
troops were still firing. Too late, Blake. Your cavalry is too late again.
Resting his head against the man he had destroyed, that he loved, Avon let
oblivion take him.|
* * *
Blake groaned as he sat up, gingerly feeling his ribs. What could he have possibly done to ...
"No. Oh God, Avon!"
Grabbing for a shirt, he jumped to his feet. We're aboard ship, so Deva and the others must have sent out a warning. Racing for the medical unit, he skidded to a stop, bursting into the med center, demanding to know what happened. Deva, sitting quietly, arm in a cast, raised a hand placatingly.
"Calm down, Blake, and sit here. I'll tell you everything while I check you out, everyone else is busy."
"I'm fine, Deva. You know that better than anyone."
His friend's face tightened at the tone of the rebel's voice but he spoke softly, only for his leader's ears.
"I do, but we do not know that your "condition' guarantees immortality, Roj. Those shots were meant to kill."
The burly rebel sat impatiently as his friend looked over his chest, smooth skin where bullet holes had been.
"No scars," Deva marveled.
"Not on the outside," Blake muttered darkly. "Avon?"
Deva straightened as though for battle.
"He is here, Blake. But he took a lot of punishment. He may not make it."
The rebel's world went black, spinning out of control, and he reached for Deva to steady himself. But nothing could relieve the icy coldness flooding his veins, causing his heart to pound desperately.
"I want to see him."
There was no room for dissent. Deva could see the desperation written on his friend's face. He knew how much Blake cared for his would-be assassin, even if he could not understand it.
"All right. But be careful."
Blake sighed softly, his gaze returning to the silent figure.
"I won't lose him, Deva."
Deva shivered at the ominous tone of voice. Blake had long ago passed the point of reason where Kerr Avon was concerned. He was obsessed with the dark comp tech. Blake's condition was horrible yet fascinating. Without Avon's tempering presence, would Blake continue to accept it? Or would he shut himself off as Avon once had, refusing to care because he was afraid to lose those he loved? "Do what you must, Roj. You're a good man."
Deva squeezed a powerful shoulder in leaving, as always, amazed by the contrast of the rebel's recuperative powers and his emotional fragility. Blake waited until he was alone, then approached the bed. Bending over, he whispered softly.
Extending his hand, he brushed silky black hair out of Avon's eyes. How to reach him? Perhaps the same words as before but in a different context... a reminder of his trust in the tech.
"It's me, Blake."
Blake held his breath as Avon stirred at the gently touch. His eyes opened at the familiar words and he stared at the man above him. Blake stood quietly, letting the other man adjust to his presence. His hand had drifted down of its own accord and now clasped Avon's tightly. The smaller man's voice was rough but he made an effort to speak.
"I'm sorry. You must be in a great deal of pain."
Blake frowned at the weakness revealed in Avon's voice and he sat down on the edge of the bed. He opened his mouth to speak but Avon interrupted him, voice filled with pain as emotional as it was physical.
"I should have trusted you but I... " The comp tech's voice broke and he turned his head, unwilling to let the rebel witness his anguish. Gentle hands settled on his shoulders, turning him back to face Blake.
The rebel's eyes had filled with tears, one slowly trailing down a cheek. Avon's own eyes stung but he raised a hand to take Blake's tear, bringing it to his own lips. The bigger man bowed his head.
"Blake, I know I'm dying."
The rebel's gaze was stricken, his voice thick with unshed tears.
"You can't. I won't let you."
A ghostly smile graced Avon's sculpted lips.
"Blake the messiah. I was always a lost cause."
No! I cannot lose you. Not now, not ever. I love you. Blake's desperate thoughts were interrupted by the dying man's words.
"What I said before Star One... I never answered your question. No, I do not hate you, Blake. I never did."
Unshed tears glittered on the tech's dark lashes. Blake closed his eyes and gently pressed his lips to the tears, salt to an open wound. He whispered.
"I am so sorry, Avon, for staying away. I... I love you."
He opened his eyes, watching surprised pain and pleasure war on Avon's features. Words failed the smaller man. He simply placed Blake's hand against his heart, his own against Blake's.
So softly spoken, Blake barely heard. But he understood. It's not too late, my love. If you are willing...
Suddenly, Avon withdrew his hand, puzzled surprise written plainly on his features.
"Your chest? No scars, no bandages?"
"Avon." Blake's voice was urgent, drawing the other man's attention back to his face.
"You could not have killed me."
Avon's eyes were pools of confusion.
"What do you mean?"
Blake took a deep breath.
"I am immortal."
Blake waited for questions or disbelief but Avon continued to simply stare. Suddenly he began to laugh hysterically, gasping for breath. In fear, Blake seized him, pulling him protectively against his chest.
"Stop it, Avon. It is true. I can prove it."
Slowly the gasps subsided and Avon pulled back slightly, looking up into Blake's gently brown eyes.
"Watch me, Avon."
The rebel leader pierced the soft skin of his chest with a sharp fingernail. Avon's eyes widened. Almost instantly, it healed.
"More severe injuries take more time and energy to heal but they eventually do."
Avon's eyes were bright as he gazed into the rebel's.
"You will be safe. You don't need someone to watch your back anymore."
The light words belied the comp tech's pain.
"I can give this to you, Avon. But it is painful and it's forever."
Blake watched the emotions chase across the smaller man's face. Hope vied with uncertainty and not a little fear.
"Do it." Avon smiled through his pain. "I love you and trust you. Forever is not nearly long enough for me."
Blake's heart swelled in response. The pounding of his own blood rushed through his brain as he leaned over Avon's throat. One hand tangled in the other man's hair, exposing his vulnerable throat. Vision blurring, Blake drove his sharp fangs into the delicate skin of Avon's neck. The comp tech gasped in agony as Blake sucked voraciously, drawing the lifeblood from his victim's body. Agony and ecstasy swirled together as Avon felt consciousness slipping away. So cold, he felt as if he were frozen everywhere but where Blake touched him. Blake's lips were so hot. And his hands, they burned his skin with their fire. Desperately he struggled against the rebel's hold, panic at his apparent helplessness surpassing everything else. His senses were overwhelmed by Blake's presence, powerful arms holding him like a frightened child. His nostrils filled with Blake's heady scent and he gasped out a weak plea.
The devouring lips lifted for a second, bringing a fresh wave of agony.
"Soon, my Avon. Very soon."
Blake smiled down, once more sinking his fangs into Avon's flesh. This time his victim's cry was almost inaudible. Too weak to struggle, Avon gave into the chill seeping through his body. If he were to die now, at least it would be in Blake's arms, by his hand. And it would finally be over. He willingly surrendered his will to the larger man, floating in a drugged stupor, at Blake's mercy. After what seemed like hours, with a massive force of will, the rebel released his victim just before the moment of death. Avon moaned faintly at the white-hot pain of withdrawal, Blake's fangs leaving their mark. Licking the blood from his lips, Blake pressed them to Avon's pale ones, drawing the smaller man back to awareness.
"Half-way there, love."
This time, Blake placed a scalpel against his chest, pricking the flesh deeply. Avon's gaze was hungry, desperate, and his lips parted at the sight, fangs slightly protruding.
"So cold." Avon's voice was very faint.
"Yes, Kerr," Blake whispered, moving to straddle the weakened comp tech. Pulling the dark head to his chest, he whispered, "Let me warm you."
At first, Avon resisted. He could refuse. It would be ended and both of them would be free. No fear of betrayal, no fear of hurting Blake. But the rebel refused to relinquish his captive. As always, he foisted his warmth and caring on his companion, refusing him the cold comfort of death, the peace of the grave. The pressure he exerted on Avon's head forced him to open his mouth to breathe. And Blake's sweet blood, warm and thick, flowed against the comp tech's lips. There was no choice. There was no fear. The desire to drink, to drive away the cold forever, took over and Avon sank his teeth deep in Blake's pliant flesh. Warmth flooded through his veins, bringing a soothing peace to his tortured body. But it was not enough. He wanted, needed more. This was Blake, finally his to possess, to conquer. Control, he savored the thought, as he savored the sweet taste of the rebel's blood. But for a moment, he hesitated, fear for Blake uppermost in his mind. But the rebel's grip never eased and Avon continued to suck.
Gasping, the rebel clenched his teeth against the pain. Not just the pain of broken skin but the agony of blood loss. Damn, it had been so long since he had experienced this. He felt the icy fangs deep in his flesh, cold tendrils racing through his body. His head throbbed with the pounding pressure of his blood, what little heat remaining centering in his groin. The rapture took him again, as it had the first time, with a passionate surrender more powerful than sex had ever been. And it was Avon doing this. Avon mastering him as he had so often wished to master the enigmatic comp tech. Dizzy, his grip on his companion weakened but Avon never faltered. Greedily, he feasted, growing stronger, his body repairing itself at the larger man's expense. But the sturdy rebel remained still, allowing the depletion, surrendering control, until he was almost unconscious. With what little strength remained, he shoved the dark figure away, back against the bed. His blurry vision revealed a shocked expression on Avon's face. And when he tried to stand, he collapsed to the floor, his strength exhausted. Dimly, he realized that Avon was bending over him, urgently calling his name. Too tired. Go away, Avon. I almost finished the job for you. But the comp tech did not leave.
"Call Deva," he whispered.
Avon stared for a moment, then did as requested. And Blake knew no more.
* * *
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