Robert and Benedict hold on to their age old New Year’s Eve traditions, but unfortunately, their celebrations are tainted by the fact that Benedict forgets his confidence.
Based on my characters Benedict and Robert from my current vampire NA grimdark fantasy WIP “Escape the Night”.
A/N: Happy New Year everyone!
I hope it’ll be a good one.
“Faster!” Benedict yelled against the wind that whipped his curls into his face.
“Have you gone mad?” Robert asked, but still, he ran faster. Benedict often wondered how Robert could run this fast.
He whooped, resting his chin on top of Robert’s head.
Granted, it was cold, and the wool cloak Benedict was wearing was heavy on his back. He should have listened and worn a proper coat instead.
“This is fun!”
He couldn’t see Robert’s face, but he hoped that Robert was having fun, too.
Piggyback rides had become a thing when Benedict had experienced his first New Year’s Eve at the castle, and even after the incident, he had insisted they keep his tradition. Robert had humored him.
However, it was always over too fast, because Benedict was supposed to watch himself and rest and piggyback rides didn’t exactly qualify as resting in the King’s book – so they were a secret.
Huffing, Robert set Benedict down in front of the door to the castle.
“Thank you,” Benedict whispered, finally pushing his curls from his eyes. “You don’t know how much this means to me.”
“Oh,” Robert breathed as he opened the door and wrapped his free arm around Benedict’s waist. “Don’t I?”
Benedict rolled his eyes. “No,” he insisted hotly, but leaned into Robert’s side anyway, “you don’t.”
“Well then,” Robert conceded and maneuvered Benedict through the door back into the castle. “What’s the plan for the rest of the night?” he asked then, checking his watch. “another hour to the new year.”
It had only gotten dark a couple of hours ago, but they were lucky because winter nights were longer, and that meant Robert was less busy and they could spend more time together.
“I honestly really want to go back to bed. And cuddle.”
“Tired?” Robert joked, but Benedict actually was tired. So he just nodded, and thankfully collapsed into his bed, even before he could have taken his cloak or shoes off.
“You know what?” Robert asked. “The fact that you’re admitting that me carrying you through the garden tired you out is happiness to me.”
Benedict just grumbled in response. He didn’t understand why he had to sleep during the day when he was in his bed all the time anyway. “Happiness for me is you not mentioning how miserable I am.”
With that, he sat up and began unlacing his boots so he could at least get into bed properly.
“Oh yes, you’re as miserable as a day’s rain, my love,” Robert said as he took off his coat before he helped Benedict out of his shoes. “But a day’s rain makes the flowers grow the next,” he then added and undid the clasp that held Benedict’s cloak together. “And I know you. You’re a beautiful flower on the inside. And I wish you saw yourself the way I see you.”
Benedict let himself fall backward into the bed before he pulled his legs on the blanket as well. “You always say that,” he huffed.
“Uhuh. Nothing but the truth.”
Somehow, Robert managed to climb into his small bed behind him, and though his lover’s skin was cold, Benedict relished the feeling of being held, of knowing that while he was lonely a lot, he was never truly alone.
“You think it will be different?”
“I hope so,” Robert mumbled against his shoulder. “I hope that the King gets off his high horse and find someone who can help you, because you deserve better than to live the rest of your life in pain and sadness, and he knows that too.”
They laid there like that for a while, until Benedict decided to reach for the pocket watch he’d left on his bedside table. “One minute,” he mumbled, and he could feel Robert smile.
“You did it,” he said softly. “You survived another year.”
With great effort, Benedict managed to turn in Robert’s arms.
“You are so beautiful,” Robert whispered.
Their lips met.
And Benedict was coming alive in his lover’s arms.