When Delan stumbled into the Temple, he wasn't expecting to be welcomed as a Temple servant. He wasn't expecting his only duty to be to serve Lyander, cloistered son of the High Priestess. He wasn't expecting to fall in love.
“You’re magnificent,” Delan murmured, kissing Lyander’s mouth, then his forehead.
“You are, too.” Lyander sighed, happy and sated, curling against Delan’s warmth with his head resting on Delan’s shoulder. “I’m curious. You never shout,” he added, rubbing his cheek against Delan’s shoulder, feeling the scar there like ropes beneath the skin.
“Jyase, the others. They would shout when they came. Make some kind of noise. You don’t. Why?”
Delan yawned, his fingers tracing idle designs on Lyander’s back. His voice was sleepy when he answered, “Taught myself not to.”
“Because if you get caught, you get punished,” Delan answered absently.
“What?” Lyander tried to sit up and couldn’t, as Delan’s arm tightened around him.
“What? Wait, what?” Delan blinked and looked around, slipping his arm out from underneath Lyander. He sat up and rubbed his hand over his face. “Damn, was I talking in my sleep?”
“You said … something about being punished if you got caught?” Lyander said. “Caught doing what? Having sex?”
“It’s nothing, Lyander. It was long ago, and it doesn’t matter anymore.” Delan lay back down, this time facing Lyander, pulling him close and running one firm hand down Lyander’s side. “No one is being punished here.”
Lyander nodded, hearing that note in Delan’s voice he’d come to understand meant there would be no answers if he asked any more questions. Instead, he tugged on his chains and smiled. “Are you going to let me go?”
“Let you go? Never. Release your hands?” Lyander felt Delan shift, felt him doing something, and he could move his hands. He stretched his arms as much as he was able, then turned and curled up against Delan, tucking his right hand back up behind his back so he could rest his left on Delan’s stomach.
“I wonder what it would be like for you to hold me,” Delan said, his voice husky, stroking Lyander’s tangled hair with one hand. “I wish I could take the chains off of you.”
Lyander shook his head, yawning slightly before he answered, “You can’t. The chains can’t come off. Ever.”