For forest--Swordspoint

Richard was watching him. Richard was almost always watching him, these days. Like a cat staring at a stranger offering a bowl of cream. Unsure. Wary. Cautious. Outwardly calm, but all tensed muscle and restrained action.

Alec didn't like it.

"I'm not leaving," he said, his naked body still slick from sweat, their rooms still heavy with the smell of sex. He lay against Richard's body, pressed up hard against his edges, as though sacrificing himself upon a sword. "I gave up that life."

Richard nodded and said nothing.

They both knew that Alec had given up nothing at all.