(( A note: Kryos does not speak standard, he speaks his own language which Riley understands. I cannot put the language in the usual brackets because LJ registers them as wannabe html, so please just assume he's speaking his own tongue))
It was normal for the library to be deathly quiet, but unusual to see it so deserted, especially on a weekday. Kryos prowled the stacks, slipping between rows of data archives with blinking red lights and dimly glowing holocrons, searching the shadows for any sign of his submissive. Riley had said he would be in the genealogy section, that there was a study nook there Kryos could find if he looked, and it wasn't that Kryos didn't believe him, but most of the genealogy section looked like no one had set foot there in ages. Dust had gathered in the grooves of the holocrons and fuzzed on the sturdy carpeting. It floated lazily in the air and despite his best efforts, Kyros sneezed.
He rounded the stacks, skirting the wall, and found a secluded cluster of furniture set into the corner ahead of him. Dim lights along the floor were the only illumination. A small right-angle couch had been pushed into the corner along with a simple metal table. Riley reclined there with a datapad and a holocron, turning the holocron in one hand as he nimbly typed notes with the other. He wasn't wearing his sith robes, but that was normal for him - he enjoyed the instant prestige and deference dressing like a true sith earned him, but when he had no one to impress, he eschewed all the fabric in favor of simple black pants and a long-sleeved shirt that clung nicely to his lean-muscled frame. Kryos smirked... he enjoyed being reminded of Riley's station, but he enjoyed seeing him exposed just as much. There was something delightfully vulnerable about him when he was out of the bulky robes, and something viscerally pleasing about the way thin fabric clung to his arms and stretched across his shoulders, caressing his collarbone and hugging the narrow lines of his waist. His lightsaber dangled from its holster = he never went anywhere without it. Kryos could relate to his paranoia. In this bastion of the sith, just as on Korriban, back-stabbing was a way of life.
"Not the easiest place to find you," Kryos said by way of greeting, leaning against the end of the couch and eyeing the holocron in Riley's hand. There were several more scattered carelessly across the table next to a self-heating mug that had nearly exhausted its power charge... Riley had clearly been down here for a while. "What are you up to?"
"Research," Riley replied, snarky to a fault, but rather than take the hint to mind his own business, Kryos slid onto the couch next to him and peered curiously over his shoulder. He slid his hand across Riley's shoulders as he settled, and was gratified to see his lover shiver just a little under his touch.
"Well, that's a lot of names I've never heard of."
"No one has, not for centuries," Riley muttered as his fingers danced across the datapad. "They predate Kaas City. I'm still trying to place them all in temporal context... I've got a defined time-span to search but it's still not an easy project. Some of these people are fascinating though. We don't have a lot of information... a lot of it was destroyed when the Emperor put them down. Getting a clear picture of the legacy left by these heretics could take weeks."
"Hard to imagine you buried in a library for hours, let alone weeks," Kryos murmured, leaning in to nuzzle one ridged, crimson ear. His lekku shifted slightly as he moved, dangling against Riley's back. He nibbled, letting Riley feel the sharpness of his teeth, and Riley rewarded him by leaning ever-so-slightly into him and tilting his head to encourage more teasing. "I didn't think Academia was your thing."
"It's not," Riley muttered, "but it's important. Somewhere there has to be something to explain why the spirits in the Dark Temple are suddenly going crazy... well, crazier," he added with disdain.
"Force ghosts aren't usually very pleasant," Kryos pointed out, but Riley shook his head.
"This is different. You haven't been down there," he reminded Kryos dryly. "There's got to be a couple hundred people in the temple; slaves, sith, imperial troops, all totally possessed. Those ghosts have them acting out power squabbles from centuries ago. They're divided into factions of allegiance. They're partitioning territory. It's a war. And this is just the beginning - one of the lieutenants down there had me weld the doors of the oldest vaults to keep the worst of them trapped, but it's a temporary solution. Sooner or later the whole thing's going to blow up."
Kryos's brow ridges couldn't have risen any higher. "And you stayed?"
Riley's gaze flicked toward him. He had the most astonishing eyes, crimson fading into cold like a burnished flame. They seemed lit from within, especially in the darkness of the library archives. The effect was positively draconic, and it drew Kryos like a moth. It was passion, fury set at a constant smolder that made them gleam. Kryos had seen it and wanted to see more of it. He wondered sometimes if the other Sith knew what was walking among them. Some, he was pretty sure, had an idea... and those sith were watching with keen, calculating interest.
"I'd fought them off once already," Riley said after a moment. He did that often, pausing while he calculated what he could and couldn't tell Kryos. He held his secrets close, and while it was sometimes frustrating, Kryos could hardly blame him. "Wasn't like I wanted to repeat the experience, but nobody else was strong enough to go in. There were sith lords lost in there, important data... somebody had to go get them."
Somebody had to. That was so like Riley that Kryos had to smile. Since his arrival on Dromund Kaas he'd made a name for himself doing the dangerous, dirty tasks no one else dared attempt, and while he didn't often express it, Kryos knew his dedication was rooted in a stron love and loyalty toward the Empire. And as usual, Riley didn't seem to have considered the implications of a mere apprentice being sent to the rescue of his superiors.
Then again, though Kryos had no proof, not even so much as a rumor, he was privately convinced that Riley had single-handedly slain a Darth his first week on Dromund Kaas. It couldn't be coincidence... Riley had arrived a mere day after Lord Zash returned from Korriban, where Riley had been in the process of passing his trials. He'd been assisting Lord Zash on her research projects since his arrival. Several of his most dangerous expeditions had yielded ancient Sith artifacts which now resided in Lord Zash's possession. And then... the death of Darth Skotia, Lord Zash's chief rival, and Lord Zash at a party across Kaas City surrounded by witnesses. Following Skotia's murder, Lord Zash had become Darth Zash, and was now stationed in Skotia's office, with all his research, his resources, and his possessions at her disposal. It didn't take a genius to connect those dots.
He wished he could probe Riley's thoughts and feelings on that, but he knew he could never mention the subject - if anyone suspected, Riley could be tortured, and if proof surfaced, he'd be executed. The only thing keeping him from suspicion now was the fact that no one thought an apprentice fresh out of the Academy could take a Dark of Skotia's power. It was impossible, unheard-of, ridiculous. Riley had a vested interest in silencing anyone who suggested otherwise, and Kryos didn't want to put Riley or himself in that position. A duel to the death would put a damper on their relationship, and they had a wonderful thing going. Kryos didn't want to see it end. Still... to murder a Darth on his own... a Darth secure in his own office, a Darth defended by powerful bodyguards (whose corpses had also been dragged from Skotia's quarters), a Darth at the height of his power... even factoring in Lord Zash's support, it was a terrific feat. Even Kryos had feared Darth Skotia, his cruelty and inhumanity enhanced by his extensive cybernetic implants, replacements for pieces of his body that had been too corrupted by the Dark Side to continue functioning. He'd felt the ripple in the Force when the cyborg met his end and the idea that the pebble that caused that ripple was tucked against his side, head resting on his shoulder, was both sobering and thrilling. It made him feel aroused and aggressive - it made him want to carry Riley back to his quarters and make him scream.
"Save your data," he told Riley, nuzzling his ear, nearly purring as his fingers caressed the softer skin under his jaw. "You've been down here long enough."
Riley shot him a dry look, but as Kryos's fingers slid along his throat, he sighed gently and leaned into the twi'lek's embrace. His surrender was wordless; his fingers found the keys without looking, prompting the datapad to save his notes and mark his place in the holocron files, then shutting it off. The screen went dark and Kryos was surprised by how much light was lost - the glow of the datapad had been the chief source of illumination in this little nook and now the shadows dominated. It felt musty, forgotten, and private, and Kryos slid both arms around Riley, pulling him into the curve of his body. Riley cooperated, folding up his legs, turning slightly, nuzzling against the crook of Kryos' neck. The sharp protrusions along Riley's jaw, evidence of the purity of his Sith blood, dug into his shoulder and Kryos raised his hand to caress the ones on the other side, rubbing his fingers between them. Riley's dark crimson skin was tougher than a human's or a twi'lek's, but it was still soft in places, and sensitive, and Kryos delighted in exploiting those hidden points of vulnerability.
His fingers slid downward, tracing the cords of Riley's neck, following them down to his shoulders. There were knots there, the tension that had set in after hours of reading, snarls in the flow of the Force through his body. Kryos tugged at them with his will as he dug his fingers in, loosening them, freeing the flow. His work earned him a low moan from Riley. Kryos kissed his spiky brow ridges, murmuring softly to him as his knowing touch stole his lover's bones away, leaving him warm and relaxed and half-melted. "That's my boy," he whispered, "that's my good boy. My eager little sub." He leaned Riley back against the couch so he could press close to him, his hands sliding up and down his back, fingers kneading along his spine as he claimed a soft, lingering kiss. "My beautiful, spiky ball of rage. I'm tempted to use you right here, fuck you into this couch... watch you struggle to be quiet when you want so badly to scream..."
"Please," Riley whispered harshly, rubbing his cheek against Kryos' as his arms slid around his neck. He touched Kryos' lekku just the way he liked - firm, but gentle grip and consistent tugging pressure. Kryos rewarded him with a hungry groan and swung a leg over, dragging Riley down by the waist of his pants, rearranging them so they were lying properly on the couch with their legs tangled together and Kryos' weight pressing Riley into the thin leather cushions. They were comfortable enough, but there wasn't much give for what they were about to do. That was fine with Kryos. He loved the sensation of fucking Riley into something hard and unyielding. He kissed him again, rougher this time, and Riley met his passion - Kryos had loved that about him from their very first sexual encounter. So many young males would lie supine and blushing, responsive but passive, letting him do all the work. He wasn't sure if it was his mannerisms or the title of Overseer that intimidated them, but while a pliable and willing toy was pleasant enough, Riley offered him so much more than that. He was an active partner, an equal contributor, who didn't hesitate to unleash his own furious passion on Kryos - he bit, he scratched, he mouthed off, he occasionally shoved Kryos down and had his way with him; he asked for what he wanted; he made demands and dared Kryos to meet them. And when Riley got too mouthy and Kryos had to put him in his place, then he became truly beautiful, a work of cruel, quivering art, vibrating under Kryos' hands and the Overseer's lash until his pleasure and pain transcended the limits of his frame. The Force and his body sang in harmony like perfectly tuned harp strings, consumed with passion and sensation, and when Kryos finished with him and they lay exhausted in each others arms, only then would he reveal a deeply buried sweetness hidden from everyone else. He curled against Kryos like a kitten, tucked into his arms, clinging to him, and let Kryos soothe him. He could have channeled the Force to heal his injuries, but he almost never did, and Kryos liked that he could trail a hand up Riley's back days after his punishment and watch him arch away from the sting. Sometimes he would lay Riley on his bed and spend an hour or so just breaking up the platelet deposits so he wouldn't scar, torturing each lash mark with meticulous care, rubbing healing salve into them with more roughness than was necessary and drinking in Riley's moans of submissive agony.
But Riley was not being mouthy now. He was present and compliant, spreading his knees to let Kryos settle between them, pressing their hips together and pulling Kryos down into his arms. Kryos' hands shoved his shirt up, exposing his belly, tangling the fabric under his arms, and Riley let go of him just long enough for Kryos to yank it over his head and drop it onto the floor. He leaned down, kissing and biting along the lines of Riley's ribcage, hands stroking possessively over his frame. Moving upward, his teeth dug in around his collarbone, earning a guttural moan and the pressure of nails against his back.
He slapped Riley's hip. "Over," he growled, and Riley obeyed without arguing, a clear sign that his desires and Kryos' were in perfect sync. He rolled onto his stomach and braced his knees as well as he could on the narrow couch. He lifted his hips so Kryos could slide his hands under him and touch him, and offer Kryos took eager advantage of. His fingers kneaded across Riley's belly, feeling the taut muscle under blood-red skin as his fingertips dipped under his waistband. Riley's hips snapped back - he was already hard and straining, panting with need, and Kryos wasn't in a mood to waste time.
He unfastened Riley's pants and yanked them down over his hips, shoving them to his knees, exposing his ass. They bunched around his knees, neatly trapping his legs, and Kryos pressed close up behind him to tuck Riley's ass into the crook of his hips. He bit Riley's back, teasing him with the sting of sharp teeth, feeling Riley arch and grind back against him. He had no toys, no props, and they had to keep quiet anyway, but he was fairly sure he could drive Riley wild by natural virtue alone. And he had lube, fortunately, because as much as Riley loved pain, Kryos preferred not to tear him up inside. He unfastened his robes and slicked his cock, spreading Riley's cheeks and carefully pressing against him. Riley arched his back, tipping his hips up, silently signalling his assent, not that Kryos needed it. Keeping Riley's knees together with his own knees, holding him open, he pushed inward slowly and firmly, and heard Riley muffle a sharp keen in the couch cushion. He adjusted and leaned down to press against Riley's back, then slipped a hand over his mouth as he snapped his hips forward, sheathing himself in Riley's helplessly tight body. The boy couldn't spread his legs, couldn't adjust, had no choice but to take Kryos's cock at whatever angle pleased Kryos. He screamed into Kryos's hand, and Kryos groaned through his teeth, driving into him hard and fast, muffling his cries of pain and pleasure as he used his lover.
His other hand cupped Riley's cock and squeezed as he found his rhythm. Keeping Riley's growling moans contained, suffering Riley's teeth digging into his fingers as the boy bucked against him. He laughed darkly and took him harder, flesh slapping against flesh as he squeezed Riley's balls hard enough to hurt, reminding him who was master. Riley gave a deep, shuddering groan that betrayed how much he liked the rough handling, and Kryos bit his shoulder with a growl.
"Mine," he whispered harshly. "My tight, hungry little slut. Just a taste before I take you back to my quarters," he promised. "I'm not done with you for tonight. First I'll have you here... and then I'm taking you to my rooms. We'll have a little 'quality time'. I've kept the electro-lash out just for you," he whispered, and felt Riley shudder again. "A little leather, a little lightning. I'm going to make you scream for me tonight, lover," he promised as he pounded deep into him. "I want you begging."
"MMMPH," Riley groaned, and came, tightening hard around him, spilling between Kryos's fingers as the twi'lek rutted against his ass. Kryos grinned and took him faster, feeling Riley's flesh grip his shaft as he shuddered in climax, gripping his balls tight until he spilled himself with a harsh groan.
Riley slumped, panting, and Kryos fairly purred as he pulled out, wiping his cock on Riley's ass and then giving it a firm slap for good measure. Riley was panting, and Kryos let him tumble onto the couch, lying down with him and pressing his cum-stained fingers against Riley's mouth until the boy relented and sweetly, dazedly licked his own release from Kryos's hand. When it was clean, he nuzzled softly into the palm, and Kryos kissed his ear. "Come to my quarters," he ordered softly. "And no cleaning up. And bring whatever you need for tomorrow... I'm keeping you all night."
"Yes," Riley murmured, and Kryos left him.
In the aftermath, Kryos enjoyed lying in bed with Riley, hands wandering over him, teasing his sluggishly bleeding welts, the faint burns, and the hidden sensitive spots. Riley moaned softly at the attention, but was too weary to do anything else. Kryos enjoyed his lover's exhaustion - it meant he'd performed up to standards, taken Riley as far as he could go and maybe a little beyond. It felt so good to be able to do that, to have a lover who could fulfill his needs and match his stamina.
Careful, he told himself. Attachment is a weakness you can ill afford.
It wasn't that Kryos had powerful enemies or determined rivals to worry about. He was an Overseer, which was a good, solid position, but most Sith aimed higher. For a twi'lek and a former slave, however, he thought he'd done pretty well for himself, and was content to stay well out of the constant power games of the lords and Darths. His job was to teach, and to better himself so that he might better his students. His methods could be cruel, and certainly plenty of his former students resented him, but he didn't think any of them hated him above and beyond the typical resentment most Sith carried toward their teachers. That was just the way Sith society functioned, and that resentment was meant to act as fuel to propel the student to greater heights. Kryos actually considered himself a fairly good teacher, in that his success spoke for itself - not all of his students had the power, wisdom, or instinct to truly excel, but he could count on one hand the number of students who failed to improve at ALL under his tutelage. He still believed what his own Overseer had taught him when he was a student - not everyone could be great, but everyone could get better. And helping students get better, no matter how poor the specimen, strengthened the Empire. More Sith on the battle lines were more weapons in the Empire's hands. Or more canon fodder, depending on their usage.
Still. An emotional attachment, affection, even love... these were passions a Sith could ill afford. Enemies would take advantage of anything perceived as precious. Some would do it just to be cruel. What he and Riley had was amazing, combustive, wonderful, deeply satisfying... but ultimately without meaning. It had to be, for both their sakes. But that didn't mean he couldn't enjoy this, he told himself, stroking his fingertips through Riley's short, dark hair, brushing them along his cheekbones, following the line of his jaw. He had a powerful creature in his bed. That was a mark of pride by any standard.
Riley slept deeply, and Kryos dozed. Over the course of the night, they migrated out of each others' arms to sprawl across Kryos' bed. Riley slept half-curled on his side and Kryos stretched out on his back, taking up far more than his fair share of space. In the beginning Riley had refused to sleep with him, had insisted on hauling his sorry carcass back to his own quarters after their playtime, but these days he wasn't quite such a hard-ass about it. Kryos appreciated it, because it meant when he woke, he could roll over and wake Riley with soft, coaxing kisses, pull him close, and convince him to squirm into his arms and pillow his head on Kryos' chest and cuddle until they had to get out of bed.
"I thought I might join you in the library today," he murmured when Riley seemed a little more awake. "I have evaluations to do. Wouldn't mind your company."
"Sounds good," Riley yawned, and Kryos gave a sharp-toothed smile. Riley worked very, very hard and Kryos didn't often get him all to himself for more than a few hours. A whole day was a rare treat, and the first order of business was taking care of his sub... then breakfast.
"Let's see to these," he murmured, brushing his thumb over one of the welts on Riley's back, then raising his head to summon his droid. "TAK-8," he called.
The droid, who'd stationed itself just outside the doorway, quickly bustled in. "Master, I obey," it said in its buzzing electronic voice.
"Fetch me the after-kit, then start on breakfast."
"Yes, Master," the droid said simply, and moved to obey. Kryos took the kit it brought back and coaxed Riley onto his stomach, straddling him, using his fingertips to knead salve into the welts, particularly the ones that had split open. He dressed the burns with antiseptic and numbing cream, placed flesh-guard patches where needed, and then repeated that treatment on the front of Riley's body where the damage was much less severe. When Riley's body responded predictably to the rough treatment, Kryos mounted him, pressing him supine into the bed, and took him slow and deep.
"Master." TAK-8 stood in the doorway. "Breakfast will be ready shortly. Your clothing and Master Ekari's have been laundered and pressed. Is there any other way I may serve you?"
"That is satisfactory, thank you," Kryos murmured as he climbed off Riley and cleaned up the last signs of their lovemaking. He kissed Riley and started to move away, but Riley seized one of his lekku with a growl and pulled him back down for a longer, hungrier kiss. Kryos gave in with a groan and bit his lower lip, indulging in his submissive's mouth until TAK-8 made a robotic throat-clearing sound behind him.
"Master. Breakfast is served."
"As much as I would relish staying in bed with you all day," Kryos murmured, "I have too much work to catch up on, and so do you. Another time," he promised, nipping Riley's mouth.
"Mmm," Riley agreed, relaxing, closing his red-gold eyes. "Another time." Then he rolled over and forced himself out of bed, pulling on his clean clothes.
They ate in companionable silence. There were a few items on the breakfast table that Kryos didn't recognize, but Riley gravitated toward them, so he assumed TAK-8 had specifically included some Sithian homeworld staples. He made a mental note to reward the droid with a thorough cleaning later. They ate quickly and in silence, and Riley left first to stop by his own quarters while Kryos gathered his notes for the day. He felt unaccountably cheerful, and caught himself whistling through his teeth as he fished through his collection of memory chips and grabbed a datapad. TAK-8 silently handed him a heating mug full of his usual morning pick-me-up, a thick, dark brown sludge that barely resembled coffee and tasted nothing like it, made from the pulped inner bark of the puricuri bush, and he strode out of his quarters with the floating anticipation of a wonderful, relaxing day.
Riley arrived at the library nook shortly after Kryos. He'd dressed for comfort in soft, close-fitting clothing, and he'd brought a blanket with him, which Kryos appreciated - the library was a little too cool, especially on the lower levels. He'd gathered his notes and the holocrons he needed and they arranged themselves in the corner of the couch, pressed close together but with plenty of elbow room, to work in content and companiable silence. Kryos couldn't help glancing over at Riley's work from time to time... he wished he could abandon his evals and help Riley research, but he had too much to get done. It seemed like fascinating stuff, though, the history of Kaas City and the Dark Temple, ancient Sith lords and heretics, and tales of Force magic that would be dismissed as mythology in today's age. Several of those heretics had descendants who had survived, he was surprised to discover - many had been disowned by their families, and their families had escaped the purge. Riley was tracing the lines of descent, and kept getting up to go fetch more holocrons or paw through data chips... where the information on the family lines was broken, he turned to census data, military reports, news articles, personal letters, and recovered diaries, anything which might give him a hint about where those missing descendants had disappeared. Kryos wondered why it was important, but he chose not to ask - it was probably Darth Zash's research that he was doing, and he didn't want to ask too many questions about what Darth Zash was up to.
"Let's have lunch in the cantina," he said when they were about midway through the day. Riley looked up and raised his brow ridges, dubious - they usually made an effort to keep the time they spent together in public to a minimum, but Kryos was feeling gregarious. "I'll buy."
"I'm not gonna lie," Riley said cautiously, "this is nice, but I thought our whole thing was, we don't talk."
Kryos leaned in and gripped Riley's chin between cruel fingers. "I have this day with you," he purred, forcing Riley's head back a little. "All mine, just for a little while. Tomorrow I'll release you. But today I want you by my side. Once you get back out into that jungle, who knows when I'll be able to taste you again?"
Riley swallowed. "I'm not going back to the jungle," he said hoarsely. "I'm going off-world. Zash bought me a ship."
"... A ship?" Kryos repeated thoughtfully, and couldn't help thinking, not a bad trade for a dead Darth. "Where is she sending you?"
"Out of the core," Riley said simply, and Kyros knew it was all he would say.
Disappointment was like a blade through Kryos's gut. He softened his grip and caressed Riley's jaw spikes. "Well, then," he murmured, "I suppose I'll just have to get my money's worth out of you while I have you here."
It was a dark promise, and Riley shivered in anticipation, flashing his teeth in a wry smile. "Guess you will."
"One day," Kryos said firmly. "One day before you leave is mine. Sunrise to sunset. And I will do things to you that I cannot do with greater time constraints. I will make you break for me."
"Yes," Riley agreed helplessly, breath already coming faster as he pressed against Kryos's sturdier frame. "One day."
"Good boy," Kryos whispered, and kissed him. "Now. Lunch."