Title: The Ring
Disclaimer: Wholly original work.
Summary: An unexpected visitor arrives at the Eastern castle. While his wife is overjoyed, Night isn't entirely sure how to handle Daryn's presence. However, Star knows that her husband and father were once in the Northland Army together...
Night, Lord General and King of the East, was nearly to the waiting room for his private audience chamber when he heard the cry. He froze in his tracks, wondering if he really needed to keep moving forward. One of his attendants had told him that a special guest was visiting, but had bowed and exited before Night thought to ask exactly who. Normally, it was his sister, the goddess Tormika, who came calling before the seasons changed. However, that had clearly been his Star's voice - his wife - greeting their guest.
On the somewhat short list of persons, gods, or otherwise that Night did not want to attempt to deal with at the moment, Star's father, the Lord General Daryn, his former commander and former lover, was near the top of the list.
He had never told Star about the relationship he'd had with her father, mostly because it had ended some years before he'd met her and somehow the right moment had never quite occurred where it would be proper to pause and say 'I loved your father, very much, very intimately'.
Still standing in the hallway, Night took a deep breath and started forward again.
"Your Highness," a soldier greeted him just outside of the waiting room. "Lord General..."
"I know," Night interrupted as he passed through the doorway. "Thank you."
Star was on her feet immediately, crossing the room and grabbing Night's hands to pull him towards Daryn. "Night!" she cried. "My father has come to visit..."
"Lord General." Daryn stood and offered a quick salute. It felt out of place. In Night's mind, he'd never stopped being the subordinate soldier, even when he'd attained the same rank as Daryn.
"Lord General," Night replied, bowing, his hands still in Star's.
Star parted her lips but did not speak for a moment. "Oh, that's right," she finally said. "I had forgotten that you were both in the Northland Army together. Of course you know one another. And here I was hoping you'd remember one another from the wedding."
"Was that the last time I visited?" Daryn asked, wincing and looking very much like an apologetic parent for just a moment despite appearing to be about the same age as his daughter.
"It was," Star said as she let go of Night and walked over to hug Daryn for what Night assumed was not the first time. "You need to come visit more often."
Inwardly, Night winced. He could well recall a time when he'd first learned of his arranged marriage to one of Daryn's daughters - he'd assumed that it would be possible for his relationship with Daryn to continue using Daryn's visits to his daughter as a cover. However, that had not been the case and this was, indeed, the first time Night had seen Daryn in close to five years.
"Lord General Daryn is a busy man," Night reminded his wife. "You should simply be happy that he has come now."
"I am," Star replied with a slight pout. She stepped away and sat down on one of the room's many chairs, letting her full skirt fall around her. "We shall have to celebrate this..."
"Tomorrow," Daryn cut in. "Why don't we save that for tomorrow. You and I can catch up before dinner and after, Lord General Night and I can drink and talk about old times."
Daryn glanced over to Night, who quickly looked away and at his wife, who was positively beaming.
"Of course," she said. "I'll have to give you the full tour of the castle. And show you the gardens, of course. Dearest Night had Lord Kee create the most beautiful statues for it."
Daryn chuckled at that and turned his gaze from his daughter once more, staring at Night until Night finally looked at him.
"I was in the middle of an important meeting," Night lied quickly, offering a proper salute. "If you'll excuse me, Lord General..."
It burned, needing to be so curt with them both. But he needed to get out of the room.
"But Night..." Star began, only to be interrupted.
"Of course," Daryn said. "I'll see you at dinner, Lord General."
Once night was out of the room, he practically ran down the hallway. He had quite a few things he needed to read, which would easily take the rest of the afternoon, and with luck, most of the evening.
Dinner itself was even avoidable - luck was on his side again as a pair of Lady Daria's priestesses appeared before him to chat for a bit before picking up the soul of one of the maids who worked in the laundry. Despite the castle staff's knowledge of Night's close ties with the Death Goddess and her priestesses, they were all still petrified at the sight of Night walking around the castle with them, chatting and joking - likely for good reason, since death never made social calls.
The two priestesses had just left, bellies stuffed and heads full of greetings for all at Temple, when there was a knock on the door of Night's personal chambers. He had taken the priestesses there to keep them mostly out of view, however his own personal servants who had fetched his food did know about them.
"Enter," Night said without thinking. He was still in a bit of a daze from speaking to the priestesses and hearing how everybody at Temple was. Lost in his own happy memories, Night didn't even think about his visitor being anyone other than a servant until it was too late and Daryn was standing in front of him.
"Daryn," Night replied, otherwise at a loss for words.
"My daughter is upset that you missed dinner," Daryn stated, frowning. "I thought I told you to take care of her."
"I'll attend tomorrow's feast," Night said quickly. "Two of Daria's ladies came visiting and I cannot attend to them in public."
The look on Daryn's face changed quickly. Daria was his mother, after all, and he'd been raised at Temple. "Oh?" he questioned. "Perhaps I can overlook your absence, then."
"Your mother and sister are well," Night said. "Perhaps I'll have to visit soon. It's been a couple of years."
"And it's been five years since I've seen you," Daryn noted. "May I sit?"
"Hhmm?" Night glanced around. "Of course. I'm not a king in this room, simply Night. You don't need to ask before doing anything."
Daryn shook his head as he sat down at the small table Night was at. Daria's women had already piled the dishes by the door but had left their half-full glasses of wine on the table. Daryn took one and drained it.
"You've never just been Night," he said. "Even when I met you..."
"Daryn," Night sighed.
"You have your own room," Daryn stated, somewhat accusingly.
"In which I attend to Daria's priestesses and sleep," Night flatly replied, gesturing to another door. "My bed is through that door."
"I would have thought you'd still share a bed with my daughter."
Night shook his head. "She's unable to bear children. She has lost interest, however, before you ask, I have not taken a new lover."
"Only those you had before?" Daryn questioned, grabbing the wine bottle and emptying it into the glass he'd decided was his. He smirked and Night was suddenly very unsure of what Daryn was there to do.
"Not to the degree you're expecting," Night replied flatly.
"Actually..." Daryn drank the rest of the wine and set the glass down. He stood, frowned, and thrust a hand down into one of his pockets, rummaging for a moment.
Night watched him curiously, unsure what he should be expecting.
Daryn finally thrust a closed hand out. "Here," he said.
When Night reached to grab whatever Daryn had, he was not expecting to catch and find himself holding the ring that Daryn had given him years before as an affirmation of their relationship. It had been taken from him after he'd defied Daria, so...
"Daryn?" Night questioned, squeezing the ring in one hand. "How?"
Daryn chuckled. "Don't worry about the details. It's yours and you should be wearing it."
Before Night knew what Daryn was doing, Daryn had pulled Night to his feet, knocking his chair over in the process, and had put the ring on the middle finger of Night's left hand.
"There," Daryn said. "Where it belongs."
Night stared at Daryn, his heart pounding wildly. He thought he'd long ago come to terms with his parting from Daryn, but just the thought of another night with Daryn was making his head swim.
Instead of speaking, Daryn kissed him. Night moaned and grabbed at Daryn, wanting to touch the whole of him and not let go. He was still shorter, still smaller, but he'd filled out quite a bit since he'd first met the foreboding general and become enamoured with him. Daryn's body was still familiar, and it still responded in the same ways that Night remembered. By the time the kiss had ended, Night was short on breath and positive that his once-devestated dream of a life with both daughter and father was being rekindled.
"I have a bed," Night managed, pointing at the door to his actual bed-chamber. "We should..."
"It's barely evening," Daryn reminded him. "Your servants will not come calling? Or your wife?"
"The servants do not know that the priestesses have left," Night noted. "And no, Star will not enter here. We're alone and will be."
"Normally, I would be somewhat concerned with how quickly you've invited me to your bed," Daryn said as he draped an arm over Night's shoulders. "But I visited Light first. And then Mere. I understand why the Great Mother would do it, but..."
"It's for the good of this world," Night finished, guiding Daryn to the door to his bed-chamber. "I know. We all know. We smile and put on a happy face..."
"I want you to be happy," Daryn said, pressing Night against the wall beside the door and kissing him again. "I was selfish back then."
"You'd just found out you had three daughters," Night replied quickly. He didn't fault Daryn for that - he never had. He thought he would have done the same thing. "Daryn..."
Daryn reached over and opened the door.
"I've missed you so much," Daryn replied as he turned and pulled Night onward. "Priests, Priestesses, they've never been the same. Jameson told me what had happened to the ring and how to get it back."
Night nodded, knowing full well how much Daryn looked up to the Temple mage. If it was with Jameson's blessing, then Night had no reason to worry any further about what would happen once he and Daryn both took off their clothing.
Night was half undressed by the time he ended up on his back on the bed. Daryn had proved no less competent at removing his clothing than Night remembered from their time together. He undid his pants as he watched Daryn undress.
One of the things that Night had always found fascinating about Daryn was his muscle. Night had stayed lean, while Daryn was in general bulkier. It made for great effect when revealed, and Night could barely focus on his own clothing. Of course, Daryn had complained before about Night's habit of wearing difficult and otherwise ornate lace-up boots.
"You're just as I remember," Night admitted once he'd finally gotten free of his footwear.
"And you've grown," Daryn replied, settling onto the bed beside Night. "But this isn't quite the time for this discussion, is it?"
"No," Night said. He glanced over to make sure there was still a bottle of oil on the bedside table. It wasn't often used, but...
Daryn's gaze followed his and he nodded. "In time," he said. "But let me enjoy you a bit first."
"And let me enjoy you," Night commented, pulling away from Daryn's grasp to instead kiss the muscles of Daryn's chest and stomach, letting his long black hair trail loose behind him as he worked his way downward.
Each of Daryn's moans made Night smile inwardly. He'd always worked so hard to please Daryn in the past. The sharp gasp he received when he licked the tip of Daryn's cock free of sticky, near-sweet pre-come was the perfect compliment. A moment later, Daryn was begging him, gently pushing his head downward.
Night complied, taking the tip of Daryn's erection into his mouth and running his tongue over the tip before bobbing downwards and pulling back, letting it nearly pop from the ring of his lips. He then took more in, tracing the underside with his tongue and seeking out spots that he remembered as being sensitive. Beneath him, Daryn moaned and grabbed at him, praising him, urging him onward.
There was only so much Night found he could do, though. He was almost painfully aroused and wanted simply to straddle Daryn's strong thighs and sink himself down on Daryn's cock, writing and arching and full. He kept sucking and licking, though, until Daryn finally stopped him.
In his frenzy, Night was the one who thrust the bottle of lube into Daryn's hands before turning and bending over, offering himself.
"Not like that," Daryn chided, despite offering a teasing swipe of oil between Night's buttocks with one finger. "On your back. I want to see your face."
Night only frowned for a moment, mostly because he was surprised. It wasn't a normal position for them, but Night was not going to complain. Instead, he simply shifted onto his back and looked up at Daryn, who was smiling.
"You look confused," Daryn noted before leaning down to kiss Night, slipping his tongue into Night's mouth at the same moment he slipped two fingers past the ring of muscle of Night's opening.
Night cried out into Daryn's mouth and grabbed at the sheets beneath him, letting Daryn stretch and prepare him while never breaking the kiss for more than the briefest of moments. Finally, as Daryn started carefully rubbing against a spot inside Night that made him feel like he was going to melt, Night managed to pull away enough to speak.
"Now," he said, his voice shaking. "Please, Daryn."
Daryn nodded, pulling his fingers back and using both hands to push Night's legs up. He positioned himself and thrust a moment later, sinking himself into Night's body and causing Night to arch up and cry out with the sheer pleasure he felt.
Unsure if he could manage the motions to take care of himself, Night was grateful when Daryn reached down to roughly stroke his erection with one hand. Night grabbed his own legs, holding them as Daryn began to thrust. It wasn't wholly perfect, but when Night looked up to see Daryn watching him, it was more than enough.
Night knew he was being a bit too loud, but he didn't care. He was close to coming - just being near Daryn seemed to get him to that state, everything else was a bonus. Daryn pushed Night's legs down, shifting their position a bit so that they could kiss. When the perfect muscle of Daryn's stomach brushed against the end of his cock, Night was overwhelmed. He came between Daryn's stomach and his, sticky-wet and warm. Daryn thrust harder then, pulling back ever so slightly from the kiss and instead burying his face against Night's shoulder and long hair.
Night's name was on Daryn's lips as he came - Night holding onto Daryn's body and Daryn's motions making the bed hit the wall.
They clung together afterward, neither wanting to let go until finally Night pointed out that Daryn was laying on his hair.
An hour later, when one of the servants dared knock and see what all the previous noise had been about, Daryn and Night were both sitting at the small table in the outer chamber, drinking and howling with laughter and generally being as noisy as could be, because, after all, they had been in the Northland Army together, years previous. And Lord General Daryn had returned a ring that had been misplaced back then, which no one ever asked about after that night.
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