Everything about Dick’s story was fascinating.

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As a child with no parents, he had spent his childhood in an orphanage and gone to military college on a scholarship.
He underwent training while in school, and enlisted in the army straight after graduating.
After serving with the green berets, he became a member of the Delta Force.
The official name of the Delta Force was the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta.
True to its name, it was an elite unit that carried out special missions.

Members were thoroughly drilled, not only in fighting, but also in the operation of armoured vehicles and aircraft, disarming explosives, storming tactics, guarding high-profile figures, emergency first aid, and hostage rescue to prepare them for any situation.
Dick also underwent gruelling training before being assigned to a secret mission overseas.

Although Yuto wasn’t privy to the details, he’d heard unsettling rumours about the Delta Force being involved in illegal activities such as overseas assassinations.
Whether for this reason or not, the Delta Force was not officially recognized by the Department of Defense, even with its reputation as a top-class special forces unit on the global scale.

“In Delta, we did things in teams of four.
Our team was really close – Frank, Jonathan, Noel, and I.
They were all reliable guys with a great sense of humour.
Just being with them made the most unbearable missions bearable.
When we weren’t working, we lived on Fort Bragg in North Carolina.
Eventually, we decided to pitch in a buy a beach house together.
On our vacations, we’d wash off all the dirt and baggage we accumulated from work and relax until our next mission.
Those three guys were the best friends I could ask for.
Noel, especially, was someone I could never replace.
He was my lover.”

Yuto felt a sharp jab in his heart at the unexpected words.
He knew that Dick had a lover in the past, but his existence felt all the more real once he knew his name and their specific story.

“Noel was two years older than me, but he and I hit it off from the start,” Dick said.
“He was a kind-hearted, laidback guy who was nice to everyone.
But he suddenly started acting strange after I came out to him.
At first I thought he was put off by me for being gay, but it actually turned out that he was gay, too, and he’d had feelings for me for a while.
Naturally, we started dating.
Frank and Jonathan acknowledged our relationship and accepted us with no issue.
Until then, I’d been all alone.
But now, I had a kind lover and understanding friends.
For the first time, I felt like I had a family.
But that happiness didn’t last long.
Corvus robbed me of it.
It happened in a flash.”

Dick cut off and looked down at the palm of his hand, as if to search for what he’d lost.
He slowly clenched his hand into a fist and resumed his story.
It was a story that Yuto found unbearably painful.

One February two years ago, Dick and his team were given urgent orders to assemble.
A depraved, armed cult called White Heaven had taken a hostage and had locked themselves into a building in a standoff.
The mission was to rescue the hostage and suppress White Heaven completely.
Usually the Delta Force handled overseas missions, but Dick and his teammates surmised that the US government must have chosen the Delta Force for this mission because they wanted to get the incident under control before it could go public.

“We weren’t given any specific information, but that’s a common thing.
We go where we’re told and carry out the mission as directed.
We’re never told why.”

That night, Dick and his teammates followed orders as they usually did, and immediately departed Fort Bragg to head to a mountain cabin in South Carolina, where the hostage was being kept.
When they arrived, they were told that a negotiator from the army was already speaking with the perpetrators, and that there was no need to storm the building.

After a while, the perpetrators came out one after another in surrender, with their hands held up.
On orders from the senior officer, Dick and his team cautiously entered the cabin to search for the supposedly injured hostage that was inside.
They found the man in a room on the second floor, injured and unconscious.

“Frank, the team leader, ordered me to bring a stretcher.
I left the building by myself.
That was when I heard a huge explosion behind me, and I was blasted away by the wind.
My eardrums broke, and shards of glass and wood were hitting my face and hands.
I had no idea what had just happened.
I was covered in blood as I looked back at the cabin.
I couldn’t believe what I saw.
The whole second floor of the cabin was razed.
There was nothing left, as if there had been no second floor in the first place.
My three teammates were dead.
Their bodies were blown to pieces.
You couldn’t even figure out who was who.
It was a gruesome way to die.”

Dick’s voice was shaking slightly.
In an instant, he had lost his everything: his beloved teammates, the first family he had gained well into adulthood; the comfort he had found at the end of his solitary misery.
Yuto couldn’t begin to imagine the depths of the pain that Dick had felt.

“I wished I could have died with them,” Dick murmured.

Yuto, unable to sit still, reached out and gripped Dick’s arm.
Dick grasped Yuto’s hand and nodded as if to reassure him.

“What caused the explosion?” Yuto asked.

“The explosion was set to go off after the surrender, on orders from the leader of White Heaven.
He wasn’t at the cabin anymore; he was long gone.
But before leaving, he’d given orders to the remaining men to set off a timed bomb right before surrendering.
Apparently he said it was to destroy evidence.
But I think he chose to let his own men and the hostages get blown up together for fun.
Corvus – the leader of White Heaven – is cruel that way.”

It was as he’d thought.
Yuto felt his heart sink.
The leader of the cult was indeed Corvus.

“I knew my job was a dangerous one, and that it put me constantly on the brink of death.
But I can never forgive Corvus’ cowardly ways.
I spent my days in the hospital writhing in rage and regret.
I wanted more than anything to find Corvus and get my revenge.
But I had no way to do it.
I spiraled further down into despair, and I lost the will to live.
I quit the army.
I whiled the days away, unkempt and sloppy, just remembering Noel and the guys over and over again as I drowned my sorrows in alcohol.
After that, it’s pretty much the same as your story.”

“The same as me?”

“Yeah.
The CIA reached out to me and told me they had marked out Corvus as a dangerous suspect and had been keeping tabs on him for a few years.
He’s a disturbing man who’s skilled at planting dangerous ideologies in the minds of young people and building up a fanatic cult out of them, but he’s not just any cult leader.
He’s got connections with multiple terror organizations, and is even funding them and providing support.
I heard even fundamentalist terror organizations ask for Corvus’ help entering or infiltrating the US.”

The CIA desperately continued to search for Corvus after he vanished a trace following the White Heaven hostage standoff incident.
Finally, they obtained intelligence that Corvus had infiltrated Schelger Prison as an inmate, impersonating a man called Nathan Clark.
This was when the CIA scouted Dick as an agent and sent him in.

“The CIA probably wanted to take advantage of my past military career and my desire for revenge.
Of course, it was a better deal than I could ask for.”

What surprised Yuto the most was how much information the CIA had about Corvus.
The FBI were after the same man, but had set out on the chase much too late.
When Yuto pointed it out, Dick showed his usual characteristic smirk.

“The CIA and FBI are always at odds with each other, so they don’t share information.
On the contrary, they’re always desperate to outdo each other.
Ridiculous, isn’t it? Even with the terrorist attack on 9/11, both organizations were already aware of the signs of a planned attack, but because they hid information from each other, they weren’t able to prevent it from happening.
Neither of them have learned their lesson.
The CIA is desperate to catch Corvus to protect their own hides.
For years now, the CIA has been given the short end of the stick by the Department of Defense, and have even been blamed for mishandling 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq.
Not to mention the neoconservatives in the White House―but that’s a story for another day.
It’s their world, and it has nothing to do with you or me.
I agreed to become a contracted agent for the CIA only because they said they would give me permission to assassinate Corvus.
I needed a legal way to take him down.”

Dick’s sole purpose was exacting revenge on Corvus.
He lived only to avenge his murdered comrades.

“So you were planning on killing Corvus all along…?” Yuto asked.

“Yeah.
But CIA gave me a few conditions.
I had to make contact with him as much as possible to draw out information.
CIA wanted to know the organization that was backing Corvus.
I managed to get into his good graces, and spent a year drawing a decent amount of information from him.
The CIA was reluctant, but I managed to convince them that I’d done enough, and I was finally able to get permission to assassinate.
But just when I thought I could put an end to things, you came along.
And the CIA told me to pause my assassination plans.”

“So it was my fault? Why?”

“The FBI managed to get on Corvus’ trail, too, because he’d sent directives to surviving White Heaven members to commit terrorism so many times.
When the CIA found that out, they suspected that you might be an FBI agent, and ordered me to keep surveillance on you.
They were probably also curious about how much information the FBI had on Corvus.
From your behaviour, I was able to conclude that the FBI didn’t have enough definite clues to identify who Corvus was.
Honestly, I was relieved.
If you’d ended up getting in the way of my mission, I would have had to dispose of you somehow.”

Yuto gazed at Dick’s face as realization dawned on him.
Everything made sense now.
That was why Dick had acted so coldly toward him when they first met.

“So, it wasn’t a coincidence that you and I were in the same cell?”

“Of course not.
You think two people with ties to the CIA and FBI would just end up in the same cell by chance? That’s crazy.”

“But how? Does the CIA have the power to interfere in the prison’s day-to-day operations, too? If they had that kind of power, they could probably walk straight into here and arrest him instead of sending you.”

“No, it’s not what you think.
It’s Gasly.
He’s cooperating with the CIA.
As the chief guard, he was able to change up the cell assignments.
Since we’re on the topic, Spencer is also a cooperator.
He was the liaison between me and the CIA.

“Was Corvus after something? Is that why he was nice to me?”

“Yeah.
He always approached newcomers in a friendly way, and gauged what kind of person they were with his own eyes.
He seemed to be a little suspicious of you, since you were sneaking around.”

“…Was that why you were angry with me when the whole thing with Lindsay happened?”

“Pretty much.
Even if you went after someone who was totally off the mark, that might be enough to tip off Corvus about your true identity.
And if he found out, he would probably try to escape.”

That was why Dick was so irritated.
He realized now what an annoying pain in the ass he must have been in Dick’s eyes.

“I had no clue that Nathan was Corvus.
I fell right into his trap.
I even respected him.”

“You can’t help it.
Look at me – I knew who he was, but I still almost fell for his ‘upstanding model prisoner’ act.
Sometimes you come across those kinds of people.
They’re not acting – they actually become that person.
It’s like a form of multiple personality disorder.”

Yuto was overcome with utter exhaustion as he laid his head down on his propped-up knee.

“What’s wrong?” Dick said.

“The absurdity of it all just took the strength out of me.
So I pretty much made a complete fool out of myself.
All this time I was just a pawn moving around as part of your plans, right? I was putting everything I had into looking for Corvus, armed only with the measly information that the FBI gave me.
I was desperate – my life depended on it.
But Corvus was right beside me all this time.
Not to mention, on the other side you had a guy who was keeping tabs on Corvus and me.
In your eyes, I must have looked like such a reckless, idiotic buffoon.
It’s so embarrassing it makes me want to cry.”

“Don’t let it get you down,” Dick said, ruffling Yuto’s hair.
Yuto swatted his hand down irritably.

“Who’s fault is it, huh?”

“Don’t be mad.
I don’t owe the CIA anything, but I signed the contract and agreed to do the job.
I had my obligations to keep things secret, too.
Not to mention, given our positions, we’re practically enemies.
That was the best I could do.”

Dick was right.
Yuto had no right to accuse him like that.
He knew he should be grateful that Dick even chose to tell him the truth.

“I wonder what Nathan – I mean Corvus – went off to do after?”

“He was laying low in prison because he knew his safety was secured, and he wouldn’t have investigative authorities after him.
Now that he knows there’s a hit on him, he’s obviously going to hightail it.
He’s got the warden on his side, so he’s probably out of this place by now.”

Dick’s tone was relaxed, leaving Yuto stunned.
Dick had spent an entire year at this mission, only to fail because of his interference.
And this was not just any job for Dick; it was something more important, a wish that he had spent his entire life to fulfil.

“Dick, I’m so sorry,” Yuto blurted, his face pale.
“It’s my fault.
Corvus got away because I was in the way.”

“It’s not your fault,” Dick said, shaking his head.
“I was too careful myself.
I wouldn’t have made this kind of mistake if I’d gone and killed him the moment he murdered Choker.
I knew I wouldn’t be able to move freely once a riot happened.
Looks like my senses have dulled from living a mundane prison life for too long.”

Dick laughed derisively at himself, then took out a small radio from his backpack.

“They should be broadcasting the commotion soon, once the news of it gets out.
Judging from past prison riots, most likely the National Guard will be called in to suppress the violence.
BB, you, and I are all wanted, so we should hide out here until then.”

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Yuto agreed with Dick and leaned back against the wall.
He felt completely drained.
He reckoned that his tension had eased now that he had somewhat of a grasp on the situation.

“Yuto,” Dick said.
Yuto remained leaning against the wall as he turned his head.
“When the National Guard comes in, I’m going use the commotion as a cover to break out of here.
Once I’m out, I’m going to go after Corvus.”

Yuto was shaken, but managed to keep an outward appearance of calm.
“Is that so,” he murmured.
Dick would probably manage to get away.
He probably had his arrangements made, too.
There was nothing for him to be worried about.

“I’m sure you’ll be alright.
You’ll be able to find him.
I’ll be wishing you the best.”

Dick had been close with Corvus for a whole year – the information he gleaned from the man probably included his potential hideouts and the organization that backed him.

“Will you come with me?” Dick asked.
What looked like intense passion wavered in his eyes.

“What…?”

Yuto couldn’t hide his astonishment.

“It’s just one more person.
I should be able to manage getting you out.
Although you did find Corvus like you were supposed to, he still escaped.
You don’t know if the FBI will hold up their end of the bargain.
Are you gonna spend more years in here for a crime you didn’t commit? No need to throw your life away in prison.”

Dick spoke quickly and urgently.
Yuto was taken aback.

Making an escape with Dick – it was an offer more attractive than any he could hope for, but he couldn’t give an answer right away.
Once Dick broke out, he would be able to return to his normal self.
Yuto, on the other hand, would attain freedom but be marked as an escaped convict, damaging his reputation further.

“Come with me, Yuto,” Dick said firmly.
Yuto felt his heart waver.
He wanted to go with Dick.
He didn’t want to be apart.
He wanted to get away from here as soon as possible, even if it meant breaking out of prison.
He wanted to feel free, truly and from the bottom of his heart.

Yuto’s heart swelled painfully at the sweet ring of the word “freedom”.
But once he became an escaped convict, he would no longer be able to see his family.
He would have to live in constant fear.
Could he really call that freedom?

Yet, if he said no, he would lose Dick.
Perhaps he may never see the man again.

Conflicting emotions roiled tumultuously inside him.
After some agonizing moments of thought, Yuto arrived at his reluctant answer.

“I’m grateful for the offer, but I’m going to stay here.”

“…Are you sure?”

“Yeah.
But I don’t plan on being here for long.
I still have a hand to play in my deck – I came into contact with Corvus, after all.
I’ll try to negotiate with the FBI.
I’ll manage somehow.”

Yuto was careful to maintain an optimistic tone.
Dick smiled wryly and shook his head.

“What?” Yuto asked.

“Nothing.
I just can’t believe how idiotic I was.
You saying no made me snap out of it.
What a relief.” Dick curled his lip in a cynical smile.
“Even if I were to take you with me, I wouldn’t be able to stay with you.
It was irresponsible of me to offer.
Forget I said anything.”

“No,” Yuto said, shaking his head defiantly.

“Yuto…?”

“I won’t forget.
I’ll always remember that you offered to take me with you.”

No matter if it was a rash invitation in the heat of the moment, or an irresponsible offer; he appreciated Dick’s gesture.
It was many times better than a cold farewell.

“Even if we never meet again, I’ll never forget about you,” Yuto said.

“Alright,” Dick murmured, his face lowered.

About four hours after the commotion began, the radio broadcast a news segment about the riot at Schelger Prison.

“A dispute between the blacks and Latinos seems to have developed into a riot that has spread to the entire prison.
The prison has taken emergency measures to seal off the holding cell blocks to contain the rioting inmates.
As a result, Schelger Prison’s systems seems to have lost functionality completely.
A number of guards have been stranded and left behind in the holding cell blocks, and their safety is currently in question.”

Upon hearing this news, Dick remarked that the National Guard might be called in earlier than expected.
He and Yuto secured a supply of food by raiding the storage room, grabbing as many cans of food and drinks as they could and bringing them back to the room.
Although Yuto had no appetite, he reluctantly took his lunch on Dick’s encouragement to eat while he still had the chance.

Lunch was a porridge of oatmeal and Spam, boiled in a kettle – Dick’s own concoction.
The only qualm was that it was served in coffee mugs and not bowls, but the taste was passable.

“I feel like I’m camping outdoors,” Yuto joked.
“If we had a sleeping bag, it would be perfect.”

Dick smiled slightly as he scooped up his porridge with a teaspoon.

“It reminds me of camping out in the army,” he said.

“For me, it’s summer camp when I was a kid,” Yuto said.
“Every summer, my dad would force me to go.
It was such a drag.
I hated doing things in groups.”

Dick looked at Yuto curiously.

“But you work well with others,” he said.

“It only looks like it.
I’m fine with superficial relationships, but I don’t do well with deeper ones.
That’s why I can never seem to have close relationships with people.
I’ve always been bad at making friends and dating.”

“It’s not like you never dated though, right? When was the last time you dated someone?”

“About two years ago, I think.
Paul introduced me to a pretty brunette, but we broke up after three months.
She said I was boring – that I took my work more seriously than her.”

Dick cocked an eyebrow and gave a small shake of his head in sympathy.

“That’s a classic phrase women like to say.
‘What’s more important to you, me or work?’ I don’t understand why they’d want to compare in the first place.
It’s like asking you to choose between water and bread when you need both to survive.”

“Haven’t you ever experienced it? Didn’t any of your boyfriends ask if you cared about work more than them?” Yuto asked jokingly.

“Nope,” Dick said in all seriousness.
“On the contrary, Noel told me over and over to choose the mission over him if it came to that.
Given the nature of our job, he probably meant to warn me not to bring personal feelings into my work.”

Yuto felt a twinge of pain in his heart every time Dick mentioned Noel.

“Have you dated anyone else before?”

“A few friends with benefits.
But Noel was the first person I could call a lover.
I didn’t really understand what romantic feelings were until I met Noel.
He taught me a lot of things.”

No matter what he asked, Dick’s answer always came back to Noel.
Although Yuto knew that Dick wasn’t comparing them, every time he praised Noel, Yuto felt like he was being negated.

He knew why.
It was because he was in love with Dick.
He was strongly attracted to him, and it was more than friendship.

He didn’t know when he’d started feeling that way, nor why, but it didn’t matter.
Even if he didn’t want to acknowledge it, it was still the cold, hard truth.
Yuto didn’t see himself as gay, but he felt a romantic desire for Dick that was unmistakable, and wanted the other man to seek him in the same way.

Yuto changed the topic, wanting to snap out of his negative mindset.

“…Once you get out and you find Corvus again, do you plan on killing him?”

“Yeah.
It’s the only reason I’m living for at this point,” Dick said, his tone absent of any hint of uncertainty.

“Didn’t your hatred for him ever wane after being close with him for a whole year? You two looked like you really got along, at least from what I saw.”

“I was only acting to get his guard down.
He’d sense my murderous intent if I didn’t try to hide it.
Nathan was playing the part of an honest, upright man, just like I was playing the part of Dick, a guy who only lets his guard down around Nathan.”

Yuto could only feel awe at the sheer willpower of Dick to calmly suppress his hatred and become friends with the man he was trying to kill.

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“Are you disgusted with me now, because I have no qualms about killing people?” Dick asked.

Yuto shook his head weakly.
When he thought about how angry and powerless Dick must feel about having his lover and friends murdered by Corvus, he couldn’t bring himself to criticize Dick for taking this path.
Besides, Dick had surely killed people in the past on his missions in his army days.
If he were to blame Dick on moral grounds, wouldn’t the whole state be liable to blame for ordering those numerous murders in the name of justice?

“I’m not disgusted.
I don’t have any right to be.
I just wish that you wouldn’t have to kill any more people, if possible.
Not because lives are precious, or it’s a crime, or anything like that… I just feel like every time you hurt someone, it hurts you, too.”

Yuto inwardly rolled his eyes at himself even as the words left his lips.
They were superficial words, only noble-sounding on the surface.
If he truly understood how Dick felt, he knew that these pretty disingenuous words were not the right thing to say to him.
After all, Dick was completely unafraid of getting hurt from his own actions.

Dick remained silent.
Yuto felt like the man was silently reproaching him. “What can you ever understand about me?” he seemed to say.
The heavy silence was exceedingly uncomfortable.
Feeling suffocated, Yuto got to his feet.

“Where’re you going?” Dick asked.

“I’m going to check the storage,” Yuto said.
“It’ll get cold at night, so I’ll see if I can find some blankets―”

Yuto’s sentence died out on his lips as Dick suddenly grabbed his hand.

“Don’t go.”

“I-I’ll be back soon.”

“No.”

Dick yanked his arm forcefully, catching Yuto off-balance and making him fall to the ground.
He ended up sitting in the man’s lap, straddling his hips.

“The hell was that for?” Yuto blurted.

“Stay here.
I want you to stay.
Don’t leave me,” Dick said with straight face.
Yuto was flustered.
He wondered if the man was teasing him again, but Dick gazed at him in all seriousness.

Dick slowly reached out, and cupped Yuto’s face with his large palms.
Yuto felt his heart beat faster.

“Yuto…”

Dick pulled Yuto’s face closer until their foreheads were touching.
Yuto’s face was a little higher than Dick’s.
The man looked up at him longingly and combed Yuto’s hair out of his eyes with his fingers.

“Stay with me.
I’m begging you.”

His uncharacteristic words; his pained eyes; his hot breath.
Yuto naturally sensed Dick’s inner turmoil.
It was easy for him to understand because he felt the same impulse.

The desire to feel each other’s skin and to sense each other’s body – all it took was a small trigger to instantly stoke those male desires to the highest pitch.
It could be anything – a facial expression, a movement of the gaze, casual words, a tone of voice, a scent, the tone of skin.
Something about Yuto had flipped the switch on for Dick.

As soon as he knew that Dick wanted him, Yuto could no longer hold himself back.
He lowered his face and planted a hesitant kiss on the bridge of Dick’s nose.

“―Hey, Yuto, don’t tease me like that.
I’m at my limit here,” Dick said, his voice throaty with desire.
Yuto wished the man would abandon all self-control.
Growing impatient, he kissed the man on the lips next.

“Yuto…”

“Can’t you tell I’m at my limit, too?” Yuto said plaintively.
A look of surprise crossed Dick’s face, and he gave a small shake of his head.

“But you’re not gay.
You’re just getting caught up in the moment because of me.
I know you’ll regret it.”

“You’re right; I’m not gay,” Yuto said.
“I’ve never wanted to sleep with another guy.
But I want you.
I want to touch you, and I want you to touch me, too.
Because I love you.
Isn’t that enough? Am I not good enough for you?” he argued desperately.

Dick stroked his cheek softly as if he were afraid that Yuto would break.

“I’m not good enough for you.
I can’t say anything to comfort you.
I can’t make any promises.
I have no right to sleep with you.”

Yuto wondered what Dick meant by ‘no right’.
Did he perhaps feel that he was doing Yuto a disservice by sleeping with him while still having lingering feelings for Noel?

“I don’t need anything from you,” Yuto said.
“No promises.
Nothing.
All I need is now.
Just love me now, this moment, while we’re here.
That’s enough.”

There was no guarantee that they would be alive and well tomorrow.
He didn’t have much time left with Dick.
That was why he wanted to share what feelings they had, in the moment, right now.

“I don’t need to hear any excuses or superficial words.
No hesitation and uncertainty, either.
They only get in the way.
If you have even some feelings for me… sleep with me, Dick.”

Dick was speechless at Yuto’s straightforward proposition.

“You’re not going to turn me down, now, are you, after making a straight man say this much?”

“―You win.
You’ve got more balls than me, for sure.”

Having abandoned his hesitation, Dick swept Yuto into a rough, passionate kiss.
Yuto responded with equal passion.
He let himself go, getting lost in Dick’s skilful and sensual kiss.

As their tongues intertwined, Yuto reached for Dick’s hair tie and pulled it free.
A cascade of bright, blond hair fanned out, making the handsome man look even more alluring.
Yuto ran his fingers through Dick’s hair, combing it and smoothing it out, enjoying the feel of it between his fingers.

After they broke off their long kiss, Dick took off Yuto’s shirt.

“Your skin is beautiful.
And smooth, like velvet,” Dick ran his fingers on Yuto’s skin, wearing a dreamy look.
Yuto couldn’t help but smile.

“What?”

“You made fun of my skin before, remember? You said it was like ivory.”

Dick laughed.
“You got me,” he said, pulling Yuto close in an embrace.
“I can’t win against that memory of yours.
I wasn’t making fun of you, though.
I pretended to, but I actually meant it.”

“Even though you thought I was a pesky FBI agent?”

“My head thought so, but my heart was different.
You were such an annoying little devil, messing with my feelings like that.”

As Dick spoke, he rained down kisses on Yuto’s neck, shoulders, and chest.
Yuto straddled Dick’s thighs, his upper body bending back like a bow at being peppered with the sweet sensations.

Everywhere Dick’s lips touched, Yuto felt a tingle of sexual pleasure.
When the man sucked his nipples, he felt heat gather in his lower body, and his crotch beginning to grow hot.
It was his first time feeling this way from having his nipples touched, and he was surprised.
But at the same time, he felt it endearing that his body responded so honestly to Dick’s caresses.

Once he laid Yuto down and took his pants and underwear off, Dick showed no hesitation as he lowered his face into Yuto’s crotch.
Yuto, on the other hand, quickly pushed the man’s face away.

“Don’t.
Oral is too dangerous.
There’s still a risk that I might have contracted HIV.”

“You’re fine.
You haven’t contracted it.
I guarantee it.”

Yuto ended up giving in to Dick’s determination, but insisted for the sake of safety that he stop before Yuto finished, since swallowing semen carried risks, too.

Yuto let his body relax as Dick took his swollen member into his mouth.
One moment, Yuto was feeling a hot, wet sensation close in on his member; soon after, he felt the man’s smooth tongue slithering against it.
A powerful wave of pleasure washed over him that almost left him in tears.

“Ah… mh… Dickm ahh…” Yuto moaned in ecstasy.
Dick’s skilful tongue quickly brought him to the edge.
“Dick, let go… I can’t…!”

When Yuto clutched at Dick’s hair, the man promptly lifted his face and used his hand to finish Yuto.

“Ah―”

Yuto’s back arched, soaking Dick’s hand with his cum.
He took ragged breaths, his mind hazy as he soaked in the lingering pleasure.
Dick used his own shirt to wipe him off.
Once Yuto’s breathing calmed down, he remained lying on the floor as he reached toward Dick’s crotch.

“My turn.”

Dick smiled wryly and told him not to force himself, but Yuto ignored him and forcefully undid the front of his pants.
Dick’s member was already completely erect inside his underwear.

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“Who’s the one forcing themselves, huh? Look at you.
And you were saying I didn’t need to do anything, too.”

“Yuto, you really don’t.
I didn’t mean―”

“Shut up.”

Yuto yanked the man’s underwear down and revealed Dick’s penis.
For a moment, he was intimidated by its length and size, but Yuto renewed his resolve and wrapped his lips around it as deeply as he could.

Although he could only fit half of it in his mouth, Yuto did his best moving his lips and tongue along Dick’s member, hoping to make him feel good.
Its thin skin felt smooth on his tongue, and he felt none of the disgust that he feared.

As he continued intently sliding his mouth along the shaft, Dick reached down along Yuto’s back to his butt.
His fingers softly caressed the crack to his balls, and lightly rubbed the area between them.
Yuto felt a shiver run down his back at the strange but arousing sensation.

Dick licked his finger and softly stroked the tightly closed spot.

“Dick,” Yuto protested in a muffled voice.
Dick ignored him, letting his wet finger slip inside.
Yuto’s sphincter muscles tightened in response, and his insides squeezed Dick’s finger as if to ask for more.
Dick exhaled in what sounded like amazement, and Yuto suddenly felt a rush of embarrassment come over him.

“Not there…”

“I’m only touching it gently.
I won’t hurt you.
Lift your hips.”

The embarrassment was enough to make Yuto want to bolt, but he lifted his hips anyway, wanting to grant Dick’s wishes.
Dick’s finger sank deeper into him, making wet sounds as it probed inside.

“Ah… Dick…”

The feeling of Dick’s finger moving inside him stirred a heated arousal deep in his nether regions that bubbled to the surface.

He was close to cumming again, even though he had just finished.
It was enough to make Yuto wonder what was wrong with his body.

As Dick gently loosened him up with his fingers, Yuto felt his apprehension and fear melt away.
Feeling certain that it would be okay, he got up off the floor and straddled Dick’s legs again.

He held Dick’s penis, wet with his own saliva, and brought it to his opening.
This time, Dick was the one to get flustered.

“Hey, what do you think you’re doing? That’s not what I meant.”

“Really? I thought this was the way things are supposed to go.
I’ll be fine as long as it’s gentle.
I’ll go slowly.”

Dick looked at a loss as he gazed at Yuto.

“You’ll go slowly, and then what? If I move my hips too much, you’ll end up getting hurt again.
Just so you know, even I can’t control myself once I get into it.”

“…You won’t hurt me.”

Even as he said those words, Yuto wondered if it was cruel to Dick.
It was like saying he could put it in but not move at all.

“I’m sorry, Dick,” Yuto said.
“We don’t have to if you don’t want to.
I just thought I could make you happy if I did this.
…Let’s forget about it.” Yuto felt a wave of guilt as he tried to move off of Dick, but the man grabbed him by the arm.

“Hey, are you serious? You got me all in the mood, and now you’re calling it off? …Okay, fine.
I’ll try my best not to move, so I want you to come here.
I want you so badly, I’m going insane.”

With that, Dick gave him a peck on the lips.
Yuto was relieved.
Now that he had Dick’s consent, he lowered his hips again and tried to continue what he’d started.
But he struggled with penetration, and the saliva didn’t seem to provide enough lubrication.
Also, he couldn’t help but tense up every time Dick was about to enter him.

Yuto took deep breaths, trying to calm himself.
Dick also caressed his body softly as if to soothe him.
Gradually his hole began to loosen up, and he managed to get the head of the penis – the widest part – to slip in.
After that, he was able to slide the rest of it inside him up to the base without much trouble.

Nonetheless, Yuto couldn’t help but furrow his brow from the pain and pressure that inevitably came with it.
He took several shallow breaths.

“It hurts, doesn’t it? Don’t force yourself,” Dick said, giving him kisses as if to console him.
Yuto knew that it must be hard for Dick, too, being put on hold while penetrating him.

Yuto felt a swell of emotion at Dick’s kindness, and couldn’t bear to stay still and do nothing.
He grit his teeth against the pain and began to sway his hips.
The pain wasn’t much different, as long as there was no in-and-out motion.

Dick let out a guttural moan as Yuto gyrated his hips, with Dick’s penis sunken in down to its base.

“I feel like I’m dreaming.
To have you on top of me, shaking your hips like that.”

“Did you ever fantasize about having sex with me? ‘Fess up.” Yuto squeezed his sphincter muscles, eliciting another moan from Dick.
Yuto felt like some sort of seductress who toyed with men to get her way.

“I did.
I fantasized about going all the way into you, and you’d move your hips and tell me, ‘it feels so good, give it to me harder’.
I’d imagine you, always cool and prim, lose control when you were under me, and my crotch would blow up like airbags.
You don’t know many times I jacked off in secret in the top bunk after you’d gone to sleep.”

Yuto knew he was exaggerating, but he found it strangely humorous that Dick was at the mercy of his male nature.

“Stop laughing,” Dick said.
“You need to get into it, too.”

“I’m fine, I… mmh!”

Yuto felt the flames of desire being lit again as Dick rhythmically pumped his penis with his large palm.
Not wanting to be the only one to finish again, Yuto also drew Dick’s member deep inside him and moved his body.

Dick’s hand moved up and down to match Yuto’s movements.
Yuto became so engrossed that before he knew it, the pain was gone.
Instead, he felt a throbbing sensation deep inside, and a sense of comfort where they were joined.

“Dick… I’m going to cum again.”

“You’re already dripping.
Look how wet you are,” Dick teased.
Yuto felt his cheeks burn.
Dick was right; his clear pre-cum was enough to wet Dick’s fingers.
This had never happened to him before.

“Is it starting to feel good down there?” Dick asked.
When Yuto nodded honestly, Dick asked if he could move his hips.
Yuto said yes, and the man began to move in small, upward thrusts.
There was no pain, but an overwhelming pleasure sent a tingling feeling through his hips.

“Dick, I’m going to… cum…”

“Me too.
It feels so good inside you, I can’t hold it in anymore.”

As Dick rhythmically stimulated him from the front and back at the same time, Yuto felt a powerful climax come over him that nearly made him black out.
He felt like he was rising up and falling down at the same time.
It was a violent pleasure he had never experienced in all the times he had sex before.

“Hah… nh… ahh…!”

As Yuto threw his head back, letting his body go taut as he released himself, Dick also unleashed his desire into Yuto.
Only the sound of their heavy breathing could be heard in the cramped room.

Once the wave of arousal subsided, Yuto clung to Dick’s shoulders, and the man embraced him back firmly.

“Do you feel alright? Does it hurt?”

“I’m fine.
…Can I stay like this for a while?” Yuto said, pressing his cheek against Dick’s.

“As long as you want,” the man said, running his hand through Yuto’s hair.

Wrapped up in Dick’s warmth, Yuto felt all the tension leave his body and soul.

He had finally been able to capture the real Dick, and had been able to get through to his heart that once seemed so out of reach.

Yuto’s heart was brimming with an immense satisfaction.

They had remained joined even after they finished, and eventually Dick’s penis began to stiffen again inside Yuto.

Dick tried to extract himself out of concern for Yuto, but Yuto didn’t let him.

“Hey, you’re still new at this,” Dick said.
“Don’t overdo it.
You’ll be feeling it later.”

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“I don’t care.
I want to feel you more.
Once isn’t enough.”

Normally, Yuto would never think of saying such racy things, but there was not much time left to them.
Yuto decided to abandon his inhibitions and be upfront and honest with his feelings.

“Dick, take me however many times you want so I won’t forget about you.
Please.”

Dick gave a sigh and raked Yuto’s hair back with both his hands.

“…Don’t talk so much.
Everything you say turns me into a powerless puddle of mush.”

“What an honour to render Dick Burnford powerless,” Yuto smiled.
Dick smiled with him, and their lips naturally found each other.
They exchanged short, teasing kisses, then slowly savoured each other’s tongues.
Since both of them had climaxed once already, there was no more sense of urgency.

“Can you turn around?” Dick murmured, and Yuto nodded.
He lifted his hips up to break their connection, and turned his body around so that he had his back to Dick as he straddled the man’s thighs.
As he tried to lower himself onto Dick again, the cum from their previous round came dribbling out.
It acted as a sort of lubricant that made penetration easier than last time.

“How’s this?”

“That’s good.
Don’t worry about doing anything.
Just lean on me.”

Dick’s lips passionately caressed the nape of his neck and his shoulders.
His right hand stimulated Yuto’s penis while his left messaged Yuto’s nipple, making him writhe in Dick’s lap.

“Dick, I don’t want to be the only one… I want you to feel good, too…”

“I’m feeling it, too.
I don’t even have to move – I can feel you squeezing me inside.
It’s incredible.”

Despite what Dick said, Yuto was sure that, as a man, he still had the desire to thrust in and out.
He was sure that Dick was holding back in order to avoid hurting Yuto, who was still recovering from his fever.

But he wanted Dick to feel good.
The desire naturally came to him.
Yuto moved his hips up and down, gently stimulating Dick’s member.

Dick moaned softly and held Yuto’s hips down.

“Does it feel good?” Yuto asked.

“Yeah, but I don’t want you to force yourself.”

“How many times do I have to tell you? I’m not forcing myself.
I want to do this.”

As Yuto repeated the motion, more of the cum spilled out, making wet sounds as he moved.
Aroused and spurred on by the sound, Yuto continued moving his hips fervently.

As if to return the favour, Dick pumped Yuto’s penis with his right hand and gently grasped his balls with his left.
Their engorged members rubbed against each other in Dick’s large palm.

“Mmh… Dick… don’t…”

“Don’t what? Look how much you’re enjoying it.”

Yuto couldn’t bring himself to say that it was because it felt too good.
The pleasure was so strong, he could tell that his muscles were twitching involuntarily, squeezing Dick inside him.
He was embarrassed, but even the embarrassment turned into pleasure.

“Stop touching it so much… I’m going to lose it,” Yuto pleaded, tossing his head, but Dick nipped his earlobe from behind.

“Go on and lose it.
I want to see you unravel.”

Dick’s ragged breath tickled his ear.
He turned his neck, seeking Dick’s mouth.
They entwined their tongues together as they let themselves fall into sweet bliss.

It wasn’t the kind of hungry sex driven purely by desire; it was a slow, peaceful act of communicating love to each other, like the comfortable lull of an afternoon.
It melted Yuto’s body and soul with its sweet, comforting embrace.

Climaxing was no longer their end purpose.
Yuto and Dick took their time to make love, taking breaks in between.
When their eyes met, they would kiss, and when they kissed they would clasp hands.
It was a period of utter bliss that made the violent, bloody days until now seem like a distant dream.

“I still wish it could’ve been on a big, freshly-made bed.”

Those nonsensical words came tumbling from above, as Yuto was laying his head on Dick’s lap, resting his exhausted body.
Dick was sitting with his back against the wall, wearing only his pants.

Although it was chaos outside, it was quite inside the room.
It felt strange, as if the world had left them behind, and simultaneously as if they were the centre of the world.

“What do you mean?” Yuto asked.

“For our first time having sex,” Dick said promptly.
“Who knew we would have ended up doing it in this tiny room, on cardboard.”

“I didn’t know you were a romanticist,” Yuto smiled.

“Every guy is,” said Dick, giving Yuto’s earlobe a yank.

“…Dick,” Yuto said after a pause.
“Once you get out, you should take some time off – even for just a day – and just relax.
You should go to the ocean, or something.”

Yuto was a little worried.
He felt like Dick would set off on chasing Corvus as soon as he got out without even slowing down.

“The ocean, huh.
Maybe.
I haven’t seen it in a while.”

“Where’s the beach house you bought with your friends? Did you sell it already?”

“No, it’s still there.
It’s on Kure Beach, in a town called Wilmington.
It has white beaches, beautiful scenery.
But I won’t go there anymore.
No use going alone.”

Yuto gently squeezed Dick’s hand.
It was painful to return alone to a place where he had lived with loved ones and friends.
It would probably bring back memories of all the enjoyable days they spent together, making it unbearable to stay.

“Dick, if you want to… would you tell me your real name?”

Yuto lifted himself up to look Dick face-to-face.
Dick quietly shook his head.

“I can’t.
Forgive me.”

For one, it was probably because he was contracted a CIA agent, but Yuto instinctively knew that it wasn’t the only reason.
Dick didn’t want to reveal his identity to Yuto because Dick didn’t intend for their relationship to start – he intended it to end, right here.

“If I’m lucky enough to get out of here, and I want to see you, what should I do?” Yuto asked.

“You shouldn’t.
I don’t know what’s going to happen to me down the road.
I can’t make any promises to you, no matter how small.
Forget about me.
It’s for your own good.”

Yuto couldn’t bring himself to blame Dick for being cold.
He himself had agreed to it before he sought Dick to have sex with him,

“I don’t need anything from you.
No promises.
Nothing.
All I need is now.
Just love me now, this moment, while we’re here.
That’s enough.”

Dick had said that he only lived to exact revenge on Corvus.
But once that was accomplished, then what? What would he do?

Yuto hoped from the bottom of his heart that Dick would take the step forward to live a new life for himself.
He hoped Dick would fall in love – it didn’t have to be with him – but love someone again like he had once loved Noel, and live out his days in happiness.

Yuto leaned his head on Dick’s shoulder.
Although he was bursting with things to say, he couldn’t manage to put anything into words.
He felt like whatever he said would only make Dick feel worse.

He felt a gentle kiss on his temple.
When Yuto lifted his face, his eyes met with Dick’s.

“Catch some sleep.
You must be tired.”

Yuto closed his eyes as Dick put his arm around him.

In his heart, he wished that this night would go on forever

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