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by Riley Cannon
Notes: This started out as a drabble for the HT100 Word of the Day challenge but turned into a little more than that -- just right for this challenge, though. Idea and some lines of dialogue courtesy of Maverick.
promulgate o \PRAHM-ul-gayt\ o verb
*1 : to make (as a doctrine) known by open declaration : proclaim
2 a : to make known or public the terms of (a proposed law) b : to put (a law) into action or force
"Catch ya later," Chris whispered against his ear, getting up from the cafeteria table.
"You will," Toby promised, tracking his progress through the room -- and catching sight of a grim-faced Said bearing down on him. "Hey."
"Beecher, have you fallen so low you don't even have pride enough to be ashamed?" Said demanded, skipping all the social niceties.
Tempting though it was, Toby restrained his snark; it tended to be wasted on Said anyway. "And I'm supposed to be ashamed of what, exactly? Because, you know, I never got the memo." All right, so his snark tugged at its leash a smidge.
"Letting Keller degrade you and make you his prag," Said returned, fired up with righteous indignation.
Christ... "Said, I'm not his prag and he's not mine. We love each other. Why can't you understand that?"
"It goes against the law of Allah."
"That's your best shot?" He stood and picked up his tray. "Said, you should know better than anyone that you can't control who you love. And as for Allah..." he shrugged, shook his head. "How is love wrong? In whatever form it takes, how is love wrong?" He might as well argue with a brick wall, of course, and that knowledge saddened him. "I know how sin feels. It's angry and scared and filled with hate. But loving Chris ... Said, that feels sacred."
Toby watched his friend struggle to contain a torrent of infuriated outrage in the face of this blasphemy, and was afraid he was going to stroke out for a second. Another moment, though, and Said had himself under control and wrapped in virtue. "I can't help you then."
"Hmm," Toby pursed his lips thoughtfully, "funny, I don't recall asking you to."
Said pulled that virtue more snugly around him, replied with a sharp nod, and stalked off.
Toby watched after him and waited one more minute to see if he was going to be smote by a wrathful god. When nothing happened, he headed off to a hard day of slaving for Sister Pete.
"What's got Said's shorts in a twist?" Chris asked.
It was light's out and Toby was watching him brush his teeth. He smiled and reached out to rub his lover's back, feeling the warmth of him through the thin fabric of the wifebeater. "We talked earlier. I promulgated something he didn't like."
In the mirror, Chris frowned, thinking that over. "That one your Harvard words?
"Umm hmm." And like Toby believed he didn't know what it meant. He waited until Chris had spit out the toothpaste to kiss the nape of his neck, grasping his hips and rubbing against that perfect ass.
Chris arched against him. "You promulgatin' something now, Beech?"
"Mmmm," Toby nuzzled him again, "could be." He was devoted to the doctrine of loving Keller.
They crossed the short distance to the bunks, stretching out there as they kissed, leisurely necking there in the dark. Hands slid under t-shirts to caress smooth skin, bare feet tangled together as they shifted and rolled on the unyielding mattress. A heavenly soft, queen-sized mattress to wrestle across would have been an exquisite luxury, but this wasn't so bad. There wasn't one instant, for example, when they were ever out of contact. Good as it was, that tactile orgy wasn't enough for Toby, he needed more senses stimulated, and he squirmed around to bury his face in Chris' crotch and breathe deep. It was musky, male -- Keller. He could track him in the dark from that sensuous aroma.
"Shh." He exhaled the sound against him, felt his cock twitch in response, and smiled. "I love the way you smell, Chris." He confessed it quietly, rubbed his cheek there as if to mark him, mingle their scents.
"Yeah, you do?" Chris reached to touch his head, stroke his face.
"Yeah." Toby turned his head to kiss that palm, lick it, suck at the confluence of veins at his wrist, the skin so tender there. Every religion held blood as the most precious, most sacred offering, and Toby pressed his lips there and worshipped his lover's blood pulse, rapid and strong.
"What're you doing?"
"Shh." This time he breathed it against his stomach, muscles quivering as he pushed the wifebeater up. "I'm performing holy rites, baby" he said, scooting up to dance his tongue around a hard little nipple.
And Chris' soft moans as he continued with the service was the sweetest choir music he'd ever heard.
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