Halcyon Sunset pt. 5

Boreas butts head with Marcus as he expresses his suspicions about the latter’s motives but quickly realizes that he is not quite the immovable object he likes to think he is.

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Boreas wasn’t pleased to see the two people through the windows of the conference room. The one dressed in the suit was sitting at the head of the table like he owned the place.

He followed Hyperion and Flicker into the room, half-ready for Hyperion to say something about the guy sitting at the head of the table. Hyperion said nothing, he just smiled.

Boreas glanced at Flicker. He was smiling, too. And the weird thing was, there seemed to be a genuine affection in both his teammates’ gazes.

He felt uneasy. He had felt something wasn’t quite right from the moment Flicker mentioned he’d found a backer and now he was almost certain. Something was fishy. He just couldn’t put his finger on what.

Boreas glanced over to the well-dressed man’s companion. He was reclining in Flicker’s usual seat with a small smile playing on his lips.

He was handsome in a rugged sort of way. His leather jacket fit him well and the tight shirt he was wearing underneath left very little of his musculature to the imagination.

Boreas’ gaze lingered for a moment before he realized the guy was looking straight at him with a cocky little smirk. He looked away, cheeks flushed pink.

Hyperion took a step forward. "I’m sorry, Mas—Marcus. The plan…"

Marcus waved his hand and just like that, Hyperion clammed up. He turned his eyes to Boreas. They were blue. So blue. Boreas couldn’t help but feel like he might fall in and never get out as their gazes met.

A smile brightened Marcus’ expression. "It’s alright," he said.

Marcus was handsome, too. His perfectly coiffed hair and the immaculate suit looked natural on him. His very presence exuded confidence with ease—as if he’d been born into his regal bearing.

"Believe it or not, this potentiality was accounted for," said Marcus with a small nod. "There will be plenty of opportunities in the future to make up for the losses of today."

Boreas frowned. If Hyperion and Flicker were so taken by this guy they weren’t going to say anything, then he was going to be the voice of reason. "Actually, I disagree," he said. "I don’t think there were any losses to make up for today."

He walked over to the table and planted his hands on the edge. He leaned forward, looked Marcus in the eye, and said, "I don’t want to treat being a hero like a business. I get that it makes a lot of money, but the money shouldn’t be the main focus."

Boreas stood straight. "Whatever your next scheme is, it better not involve purposefully letting villains go so they can harm innocent civilians."

Marcus smirked. He stood up and walked around the table, tracing his fingers along the edge as he approached Boreas. "Marcus Satellus," he said. "I believe I haven’t yet had the pleasure of making your acquaintance but I presume you are the Boreas I have heard so much about?"

"Yeah, that’s me," said Boreas. He glanced at Marcus’ hand but made no attempt to shake it.

Marcus withdrew the hand but he didn’t seem offended in the slightest.

"The others might be blinded by the money, but I’m not." Boreas pointedly looked at Hyperion and Flicker as he spoke. "I don’t intend to get all buddy-buddy with you. As far as I’m concerned, I’d be happier if you just wrote us checks and left us alone."

Marcus laughed. "I have to admit, your bravado is something to admire. It takes guts to talk back to a sponsor."

Boreas shrugged. "It’s nothing that special. I just say things as they are. I’m not interested in sparing people’s feelings. Why? You gonna back out because I said something mean?"

Marcus shook his head. "Not at all," he said. "In fact, I am being quite genuine. However, like it or not, we will be working together more closely come the future."

Boreas frowned. It was exactly as he’d feared. Their sponsor intended to stick his nose where it didn’t belong and one quick look at Hyperion and Flicker told him he was the only one interested in keeping the team more independent.

"I have to protect my investment, of course," said Marcus. "So. I believe it would behoove us to have a more amicable relationship moving forward."

Boreas scoffed. "I don’t know," he said. "I don’t think I can be amicable with you."

Honestly, he wasn’t even sure why he was being so prickly with the guy. Sure, he felt like his space was being invaded but that wasn’t exactly the biggest deal.

He could have just kept his mouth shut and waited for the sponsor to leave. Or he could have at least given the guy a chance to say something stupid he could jump on.

Boreas looked at Flicker. Oh, he thought to himself, that’s why.

From the moment they’d entered the room, Flicker hadn’t taken his eyes off Marcus. He looked like a puppy, practically wagging his tail

"And why is that?" said Marcus, his voice drawing Boreas’ attention back to him.

"An amicable relationship requires, at the bare minimum, mutual respect," said Boreas. "And I don’t think I can respect someone who thinks of profit before saving lives."

Marcus chuckled. "I admire your commitment to your values but I do think you are being frightfully naïve. All hero teams required some level of business acumen to run effectively."

Boreas scowled. "Business acumen is one thing. Pursuing profit at the cost of lives is another. And I don’t think I want to be part of a system that incentivizes the latter."

Pollux laughed. "Man. You should see how they do things planetside, then."

Boreas spluttered. He didn’t know the slightest thing about what heroes did planetside—only that technically heroes like him were illegal down there—but he could only assume it was much more cutthroat.

Marcus turned to Pollux and shushed him. "Regardless, I believe it would be best for everyone if you and I got along. Though I understand it may be difficult, knowing what I know now about the kind of man you are."

Boreas bristled. "If there’s something you want to say, you should say it to my face," he said.

Marcus laughed. "Settle down," he said. "It was not meant as a provocation. To put it gently, I have encountered your like before. Men who feel a need to be the smartest person in the room."

Boreas’ ears grew hot. There was some truth to that, but he was never going to admit it. "I object to that characterization," he said.

"Ah, but I am simply, as you put it, saying it as it is," said Marcus with a little smile. He looked around the room and added, "Everyone here knows it to be true. You know it to be true."

Boreas wasn’t expecting Hyperion to come to his defense at all but he was hoping Flicker would at least say something. A pink tinge blossomed across his cheeks when he glanced over and saw Flicker nodding in agreement.

"That’s just not f—" Boreas started.

"There is no use denying it," said Marcus. "Deep down, you know it to be true."

A small smirk curled the corner of Marcus’ mouth. "Tell me, your negative impression of me aside, do you think I am a successful businessman?"

Boreas huffed, crossing his arms over his chest. "I fail to see the relevance of the question," he said.

"Humor me," said Marcus.

Boreas scowled. "Yeah, I guess," he said. "But that doesn’t mean anything. And it certainly doesn’t make you a good person."

Marcus shrugged. "I won’t deny that but I rather like to think my actions speak for themselves," he said. "In any case, my goodness as a person is irrelevant."

"So what is relevant?" said Boreas.

"The fact that it takes a good judge of character to make a successful businessman," said Marcus. "Ah, but I did not need to say that, did I? You knew that already."

Boreas blushed. "Well, of course, I knew that," he said. "But that doesn’t mean you’re infallible. You can be a good judge of character and still be wrong."

"Am I?" said Marcus. "I am not wont to toot my own horn, mind you, but I do think I am a very good businessman and a very good judge of character."

A smirk curled the corner of Marcus’ mouth. "Ah, but you already knew that, didn’t you? You know I have seen through you. Little more than pride prevents you from admitting the truth."

Boreas flushed. The heat spread to the very tips of his ears. "Stop being so smug," he said. "Sure. Alright. Let’s say you’re right about this. It was probably just a lucky guess anyway."

"Would you like a demonstration?" said Marcus.

Boreas didn’t trust the devious little smile playing on the older man’s lips but he was too far invested to back out now. "Alright," he said. "I’d like to see you try."

"You will accept I know you better than even perhaps you know yourself should I demonstrate that I know your deepest, darkest secret. Is that right?" said Marcus.

Boreas scoffed. "Yeah, sure," he said. Of course, if Marcus did manage, then he’d be impressed. But mind games weren’t going to work on him. He was too aware for that sort of thing.

Part of him found it odd that Marcus kept phrasing things as statements instead of questions but he figured it was just a quirky pattern of speech. He was far more interested in seeing Marcus crash and burn.

"I look forward to seeing you humiliate yourself," said Boreas.

Marcus chuckled. "Believe you me, little one, I am a very good judge of character," he said.

Boreas’ heart skipped a beat when Marcus’ eyes wandered over to Flicker. There was no way. He hadn’t told anyone. And he certainly had done his best to show no signs.

Deep down he hoped Marcus would move on and look at Hyperion next but Marcus lingered on Flicker instead. His heart thumped in his chest.

"You’ve been in love with Flicker for years," said Marcus.

Boreas’ blood ran cold.

"The only reason you tolerated Hyperion was because you knew Flicker would never leave his side."

With every damning word Marcus spoke, Boreas’ world shook. It was as if someone had pried open the clasps on his cover and flung him open to be read.

"In fact, if not for Flicker, you would have long since left the team," said Marcus. "You believe Team Halcyon stifles your potential. And you’ve agonized over asking Flicker to come with you time and again."

Boreas’ eyes widened. His heart skipped a beat. He shook his head in utter denial. Marcus didn’t know a thing. He’d never told anyone. Never.

"Alas, the mighty Boreas did not have the courage. You thought the risk was too great. You didn’t want to potentially lose Flicker if you said the wrong thing."

Boreas almost wanted to tell Marcus to stop but he was rooted in place. His ears were ringing. His face was red. It was as if all his secrets were laid bare.

Marcus chuckled. "Instead of making a move like the gallant knight you like to think you are, you have settled with fantasizing that Flicker might one day look at you the way he looks at Hyperion."

Flicker blushed.

"You are holding out hope that one day, Flicker might see Hyperion the way you do—as an inept wannabe leader entirely out of his depth."

Boreas’ heart was pounding so hard he could hear his pulse in his ears. He wanted to deny every word but he couldn’t. Not when it was the truth.

Marcus really did know him incredibly well.

And as if to add insult to injury, Marcus smirked and said, "You know, Boreas, for someone supposedly so intelligent, you are being awfully stupid about romance."

Boreas was shaken. He wanted to say something, anything to defend himself but the best he could do was stare blankly at Marcus.

"Now that we’ve established I know you rather well, perhaps we can do something more constructive," said Marcus. A small smile tugged at the corner of his lips as he pulled out a chair and patted the backrest. "Sit. Please."

Boreas shook off the shock. "I don’t take orders from you," he said, though his voice certainly faltered more than it did before. Marcus had put him on the back foot. That much was clear.

Marcus smiled. "It was but a suggestion. Feel free to stay standing, if you’d like. But you want to take a seat. Trust me."

Boreas squinted at Marcus. He didn’t know what the insistence was all about but he supposed there wasn’t really anything wrong with sitting down.

He was a bit tired on his feet, after all. The fight had taken a bit out of him. But he wasn’t going to sit in the chair Marcus had prepared for him. No way in hell.

Boreas grabbed himself a chair and sat down. He glanced over his shoulder as both Hyperion and Flicker grabbed chairs of their own to sit on.

Marcus, on the other hand, remained standing. From Boreas’ new vantage point, he seemed to loom over everyone. He smiled down at Boreas and said, "I believe we may have gotten off on the wrong foot."

Boreas huffed. "I don’t know," he said. "I don’t think there’s a right foot."

Marcus chuckled. "I disagree," he said, clasping his arms behind his back. "I think you and I can get along rather well, in fact. Trust me. I would know."

Boreas frowned. He was skeptical, to say the least. But he did know Marcus was a really good judge of character now, so perhaps he could at least trust that. "I don’t know…" he said.

Marcus smiled. He walked over to Boreas, circling him and coming to a stop behind the chair. He placed his hands on the backrest and leaned forward. "Oh, but I do," he said. "It’s simply a matter of getting to the real you under all that bluster."

Boreas laughed. "I have nothing to… hide…" He faltered halfway through, realizing the irony of saying such a thing when his deepest, darkest secret had just been revealed to the world.

Now that he thought about it, he should have expected to hear some sort of outrage by now. He glanced at Hyperion, hoping to discern whether he should prepare to explain himself but it seemed Hyperion was more interested in Marcus than anything else.

"W-well, I have nothing more to hide," said Boreas. He was fairly sure, at least. But since Marcus was such a good judge of character, part of him couldn’t help but doubt.

Part of him couldn’t help but wonder if he was hiding something. Something so deep in his psyche even he didn’t know about it. Surely, Marcus wouldn’t have said anything if there wasn’t anything.

Marcus chuckled. "Shall we circle back around to your most glaring fault?" he said. Without waiting for a response, he continued. "You like to be the smartest man in the room. But that hardly helps make friends, does it?"

Boreas scoffed. He was pretending at confidence but deep down, there was a knot of anxiety that Marcus would reveal something embarrassing about him again. "Alright, alright. You got me. We’ve been over this," he said.

"And so what if it doesn’t help make friends? I don’t need to make friends," said Boreas. "Most people are dumb, anyway."

Boreas glanced at Flicker and then turned his gaze back to Marcus. "Besides, if I thought I could hack it on my own, I would have. But I know it’s a lot more effective to be in a team, so here I am."

With a bitter laugh, Boreas shook his head. "Honestly, is that the best you can do? For someone who says he’s so good at reading people, you’re certainly not reading the room well. How is this supposed to help me like you?"

Marcus chuckled. "I was approaching my point," he said playfully. "You see, I know why you like to be the smartest person in the room."

Boreas’ heart skipped a beat. There wasn’t any particular reason. Or at least, not one he was aware of. It just felt good and more often than not he was the smartest person in the room.

Most other people got carried away with emotion or fell for basic psychological tricks. Boreas, on the other hand, was far too vigilant for that kind of thing to work on him. So it usually turned out he was the one with the clearest head in any given group of people.

Even so, part of him didn’t want Marcus to continue. There were walls he’d built to protect himself and he got the sense that if he let Marcus go on, they’d get peeled back to reveal what was truly behind them.

Things had gone too far, though. Boreas’ pride was on the line. He just needed Marcus to make one mistake and he could claim victory. "Go on, then. If you’re such a good judge of character. Why do I like to be the smartest person in the room?"

"First, a few questions," said Marcus. "You were a gifted child. Correct?"

Boreas gulped audibly. "My academic records, right?" he said, grasping for something rational that might explain how Marcus knew this. "I mean… You’d be a pretty shitty businessman if you didn’t look into our backgrounds, right? That’s not impressive."

Marcus didn’t rise to the jab. If anything, he pointedly ignored it. "True enough. You were top of your class. Academic honors."

A smile tugged at Marcus’ lips. "You were special. And your parents expected great things. Yes?"

Boreas’ heart thumped in his chest. He had to calm himself down. It was a reasonable conclusion to draw and didn’t demonstrate some miraculous leap of insight. "It’s what happens to every ‘gifted’ kid," he said. Near every, anyway. "Next."

"You liked it."

Boreas’ heart skipped a beat.

"Being special. Being better. Being smarter. Then you got powers. And suddenly, no matter what your peers did, they would never be as special as you."

Boreas clutched the armrests, his knuckles white. "I mean, who doesn’t like that kind of attention?" he said through gritted teeth. "My parents gave me whatever I wanted. My teachers loved me. It was the life."

Marcus smiled. "Oh, I never doubted it was. It was just… Things changed in the mentorship program."

Boreas’ expression shifted. He wanted to tell Marcus to shut the fuck up but he couldn’t get the words out.

"Real life finally caught up with little Wyn," said Marcus. "You were hardly the smartest in your group—not compared to the kids with super-intelligence, anyway. And your powers were middling at best."

Boreas squeezed his eyes shut. His breathing was shallow and uneven. He slammed a fist into the armrest. "So what?" he hissed. "What are you getting at? When everyone’s special, no one is? Surprise, genius! Everyone knows that!"

Marcus walked around to the side of the chair. He touched Boreas’ shoulder, the tips of his fingers lingering there, separated only by the thin fabric of Boreas’ super suit.

"All the recognition you were used to, gone in an instant. Oh, your parents were still ever so proud, boasting about their very gifted child to the neighborhood. But it was never the same. They could not possibly understand."

"I-I’m done. I don’t have to sit here and listen to this," said Boreas as he tried to get up from the chair. Marcus, however, pushed him back down with surprising strength.

Boreas looked up into those bright blue eyes. "I-I don’t know what you’re getting at, but if you’re saying that I base my life’s worth on what other people think of me, then—!"

Marcus didn’t give Boreas the chance to finish. "Suddenly, you had to work harder than you had ever worked before. You used to be so sure you would be great, that you would stand proud among the heroes of your childhood. And yet, in the blink of an eye, all that shiny-eyed certainty was gone."

Boreas’ shoulders trembled. "W-what the hell do you know?" he whispered. "Y-you don’t know me."

He wiped his eyes. They came away damp. He hadn’t realized he was tearing up.

Marcus smiled. It was a warm smile. A genuine one that reached his eyes. "You like to be the smartest person in the room because it is familiar. It gives you comfort. Certainty."

Boreas struggled to find the words to refute Marcus but he couldn’t. Marcus wasn’t exactly right but he wasn’t wrong, either.

Marcus squeezed Boreas’ shoulder. "I haven’t been wrong about you so far. Have I?" he said.

Boreas slumped. "N-no," he said, shaking his head.

"Then you must understand by now it is unlikely for me to be wrong about you."

Boreas sighed. He supposed it was true. Marcus had hit every point, touched upon truths he hadn’t even been aware of. He did know it.

Marcus smiled. He cupped the side of Boreas’ face. "In truth, beneath that frigid exterior, you are but a terrified young man. You are afraid of the uncertain path you must tread. Anxious about the future. Burdened with self-doubt. You know this."

Boreas looked into Marcus’ eyes. He felt like getting lost in them forever. That, or bawling uncontrollably.

He gulped choked down a sob and stammered, "I-I do…"

Marcus’ hand was surprisingly warm. The touch was comforting and despite himself, Boreas leaned into it and shivered.

"All you want is to feel special again," said Marcus.

Boreas nodded. He felt unbalanced. Wrung out. It was weird. He almost felt detached, observing his life from the inside out.

He did want to feel special again. And oddly enough, part of him hoped Marcus could give him that. Not directly, maybe. But by supporting the team. Making them a big name. That was special enough, he was pretty sure.

His thoughts must have been evident on his face as Marcus chuckled and shook his head.

"Alas, I cannot offer you that," said Marcus.

Boreas’ face fell.

Marcus smiled. "But worry not, little one. I can give you better. I can give you what you need."

Boreas looked up at Marcus. He reached up, gently wrapping his fingers around the older man’s wrist. "What I need?" he whispered.

The corner of Marcus’ mouth twitched. "Yes. What you need. Structure. A guiding hand. Expectations. And, should you do well, the approval you crave."

Boreas half-heartedly tried to push Marcus’ hand away. "W-what makes you think I want those things?" he said.

"Who said anything about wanting those things?" said Marcus. "I thought I had made myself pretty clear. These are things you need."

"T-then I don’t need them!" Boreas weakly protested, though he wasn’t sure who he was trying to convince.

"Ah, but your eyes say otherwise, little snowflake," said Marcus with a smile.

Boreas scoffed. He tried to look away, wary of Marcus’ uncanny ability to read him with such ease. "W-what kind of bullshit reasoning—"

Despite his best efforts, Boreas couldn’t avert his gaze for long. He met Marcus’ eyes again, a chill trickling down the length of his spine as Marcus pressed the pad of his thumb over his lips.

"Shh," Marcus cooed. "You know I’m right. You know admitting the truth would feel better."

Boreas gulped. He didn’t know if he was ready to do that. It was a truth he’d never acknowledged, a truth he’d never known had existed in the first place.

He looked at Hyperion and Flicker. He was surprised to find that they were looking at him. They were looking at him and smiling.

Not in a mocking way. They seemed almost eager to hear his answer.

The team had its disagreements. There were no doubts about that. But one thing he did know was that Hyperion and Flicker would never intentionally lead him astray.

They seemed to trust Marcus well enough. And part of him did feel Marcus could be trusted. So maybe, just this once, he’d put his faith in his team.

With no small amount of reluctance despite his newfound resolve, Boreas slowly nodded. "Y-you’re right," he said. The words somehow felt simultaneously awkward and right as they tumbled from his lips.

Marcus smiled. He gently took Boreas’ chin in his hand, forcing him to look in his eyes. "You always had an active mind—brilliant, yes, but far too active for its own good."

Boreas shivered. It was another of those things he’d never really given much thought to. Now that Marcus had pointed it out, though, it was plain as day. "I-it never stops."

Marcus nodded. "Yes. Yes. Poor thing. Thoughts running a mile a minute. All those ideas and worries tumbling one over the other. Not a moment’s peace."

It was true. There were better days and worse days but sometimes Boreas lay awake at night dwelling on things.

Even if Marcus had established he was a really good judge of character, Boreas was still surprised at how well the man seemed to know him. He was beginning to think it was wrong to ever doubt.

"It would be so much better if you simply did not have to think at all," Marcus cooed as he rubbed his thumb on Boreas’ cheek.

Boreas shivered. The thought was oddly enticing. He struggled to imagine what it would be like, to not have his brain going at a full gallop all the time but he expected it would feel good.

"It would be much easier if you could let someone else do the thinking for you," said Marcus as his lips curled into a devilish little smirk. "That is what you need. Someone to tell you what to think. What to do."

Boreas flushed. His mouth felt dry. His throat did, too. "Y-yes…" he croaked. He’d never considered it before but the more he thought about it, the more he craved it.

He didn’t want to have to make decisions for himself. The world was stressful. The world was mean. He was plagued with uncertainty and doubt despite the confidence he outwardly displayed.

It would be easier if he didn’t have to evaluate the merits of every decision. If he didn’t have to weigh the pros and cons of every choice.

If someone else could do all the heavy lifting for him, it would be so much better. He knew he’d be happier if all he had to do was go along with what someone else said. He just didn’t trust anyone enough to be that person for him.

Marcus chuckled. "I can be that someone for you. You need only ask," he said softly.

Boreas gulped. He didn’t know if he was prepared for that. To give up his self-determination to someone else was a big ask and he’d always been fiercely independent if he could help it.

But Marcus was right. He needed this. He needed someone to take the burden off his shoulders and he certainly needed it more than he feared trusting another person.

Chewing on his lower lip, Boreas muttered, "p-please…"

Marcus smiled. He tightened his grip on Boreas’ chin. "Louder," he said.

Boreas whined softly. He glanced at the others, first at Pollux, then Hyperion, and finally Flicker. Their expressions were inscrutable—or at least he couldn’t make out what they were thinking in the brief time he had before Marcus forced him to look him in the eye again.

"Do not look to them," said Marcus. "They will not speak for you. Look at me. I can give you what you need. All you need do is ask."

Boreas took a deep breath. His heart was hammering against his chest. Alarm bells were going off in the back of his head—something wasn’t quite right—but he ignored them.

This was what he wanted. This was what he needed. "P-please! Tell me what to do! Please tell me what to think!"

Marcus chuckled. He patted the top of Boreas’ head. "Good boy," he said. "That felt so good to admit. Didn’t it?"

Boreas’ eyes widened. A frisson of pleasure wound through his body, starting out as little more than a faint tingle in the pit of his belly before overtaking him and making his cock throb in his suit.

Marcus smirked. "Thank me," he said.

Boreas had his issues with authority, but this time he followed the command without even thinking about it. "T-thank you, Sir," he said.

He shivered. He’d never followed orders so quickly. Not unless the stakes were high or lives were on the line.

Obedience felt… oddly good.

Marcus smirked. "You liked that. Didn’t you?" he said as he cupped the side of Boreas’ face.

Boreas nodded, leaning into the touch. "I-I did, Sir," he whispered.

Sir. He didn’t know why he’d said it but it felt right. He’d never been the deferential kind of person but in this context, for Marcus, it only felt natural to use the appellation.

Marcus threaded the fingers of his other hand through Boreas’ silky platinum blond locks. "You like being praised," he said.

Boreas nodded. That much was true. It had always been true. From his parents, to his teachers, and even to their mentor Midnight. He’d always thrived in approval.

Marcus chuckled as he rubbed his fingertips over Boreas’ scalp. "Being obedient makes you feel good," he said.

It wasn’t a question, more a statement, and Boreas couldn’t help but nod. It was a very recent discovery but it was true. Obedience felt good.

Boreas supposed it had always been there, buried deep down, the part that enjoyed following orders. Even if he butted heads with authority figures, he’d always liked to follow rules—the ones that made sense to him, anyway.

If anything, he just didn’t like authority figures that demanded respect without giving anything in return. He’d always been more than happy following Midnight’s guidance, but he’d also always bristled whenever one of the suits in the Hall tried to tell him what to do and how.

"Good, obedient boys get praise from their owners," said Marcus.

It was a strange phrase and seemed entirely out of context in the conversation but it rang true. Especially as Boreas sounded it out.

"Good, obedient boys get praise from their owners…" he whispered, turning the words over on his tongue, savoring the taste of them. They resonated with him, sent a shiver down his spine.

Marcus chuckled and stroked Boreas’ chin with his thumb. "Good, obedient boys feel good when their owners praise them."

Boreas mumbled after Marcus, repeating the words. He felt as if he was in a trance, his head all fuzzy and his body weirdly floaty.

It was an unfamiliar sensation but he found he didn’t really mind all that much. It felt good. His thoughts, which were usually whipping past at high speed seemed to have slowed.

"Open your mouth." The command was firm but gentle and Boreas obeyed without question. That simple act was enough to make his cock twitch.

Boreas shivered when Marcus placed his index finger inside his mouth and said, "Suck."

The faintly-salty taste of Marcus’ finger lingered on Boreas’ tongue as he closed his lips around it and sucked lightly. A light moan escaped him, his cheeks flushing, as his obedience was rewarded with a "Good boy" from Marcus.

"Good boys do as they’re told. They do not think about their orders. They do not question their instructions. They hear their owner’s command and they obey."

Boreas was a good boy, wasn’t he? Marcus had said so himself. And if he was a good boy, then he had to act as good boys did. He had to be obedient, as good boys were.

Another moan bubbled up out of Boreas as Marcus slipped a second finger into his mouth. He sucked on both, swirling his tongue around them as his cock stiffened in his suit.

"Good boys do not think unless they are told to do so," said Marcus as he slowly thrust his fingers in and out of Boreas’ mouth. "Good boys focus on their owner. They focus on their orders."

Just like that, it was as if the only people in the room were Boreas and Marcus. The thoughts that usually whirled relentlessly in the younger man’s head were oddly still.

For the first time in his life, he could live in the moment. And right now, that moment was Marcus.

"Get up."

Boreas’ body had moved before his brain even processed the command. He was acting on instinct, following a primal, fundamental desire to obey instructions he’d never known existed in him before.

"Face the table."

Boreas turned. In so doing, Marcus’ fingers fell out of his mouth and he couldn’t help but feel disappointed. Before he could dwell on it, however, the next command was given.

"Bare your chest."

The suit was state-of-the-art. Under normal circumstances, once it was worn, it became a single seamless piece of fabric as the nanites sealed the seam.

With a single thought, however, the seam returned. Boreas slipped a hand into it, separating the two halves of his costume.

Once there was enough space, he took both halves in his hands and drew them apart. The seam extended down to his navel, the two halves of the suit falling open on his chest.

Marcus came up behind Boreas. He pressed his lips to the side of Boreas’ neck.

Boreas shivered. He could feel Marcus’ smirk against his skin. He could feel the heat of Marcus’ breath against his neck.

He parted his lips when Marcus’ fingers found their way back. He sucked on both, groaning with an odd satisfaction as he swirled his tongue around them.

With his other hand, Marcus reached around Boreas’ body and found a nipple. He pinched it between his thumb and index finger, tugging and pulling on it.

Boreas moaned. An electric thrill of pleasure surged down his spine, straight to his cock.

Marcus leaned in. The heat of his breath ghosted along the sensitive skin on behind Boreas’ ear. "My sweet little snowflake. So desperate for praise—for acknowledgment… You would do anything for your owner. Would you not?"

Boreas shivered. He wanted to say he had integrity, that he was willing to do many things but not anything.

But if he was being honest, Marcus had given him more praise than he’d had in years. He craved it. It simply felt too good. He wanted more.

No. It was more than that. He needed more.

Boreas nodded. Talking around Marcus’ fingers in his mouth he said, "Y-yes. A-anything, Sir!"

Marcus chuckled. "Good boy," he said.

He continued with another of those statements about good boys. Boreas wasn’t finding them as strange as before. He was starting to like them. He wanted to hear more about what it was like to be a good boy because he wanted to be one.

"Good boys are sluts," said Marcus.

That single word made heat pool in Boreas’ belly. He shivered at the sound of it in the smooth, slick baritone of Marcus’ voice spoken right next to his ear.

"Good boys are horny. The only thing they think about on their own—the only thing they are allowed to think about on their own—is sex. Is using their bodies to serve the carnal pleasures of their owner."

Arousal, unlike anything he’d ever experienced before, flooded Boreas’ body. They drowned his thoughts, made him feel even fuzzier, even hazier in his mind.

Marcus’ fingers slipped from his mouth with a quiet pop, followed by a faint groan. They traced down the front of his body, flicking at a nipple along the way.

Boreas’ back arched. He sucked in a ragged gasp. His knees trembled as Marcus cupped the nigh-obscene outline of his cock in the front of his suit.

"Remove your top," Marcus whispered right into Boreas’ ear. He’d scarcely finished speaking and Boreas was already sliding his arms out of his sleeves.

The suit fell around Boreas’ waist, the legs the only part still clinging to his body. Boreas’ skin broke out in goosebumps as he felt the cold air against it. It was the first time he’d ever experienced such a thing and it sent a shiver through him.

"P-please," he said, his cock pulsing against Marcus’ palm. "L-let me serve you, Sir!"

Boreas’ eyes widened as Marcus’ body pressed up against him from behind. He could feel something stiff poking at his ass cheek.

It was Marcus’ cock. The realization sent his libido into overdrive. He was so horny, so turned on, he was panting.

As Marcus lightly humped him through the suit, Boreas couldn’t help but moan. He’d never imagined himself as anything besides a top but right now, his hole was fluttering like crazy.

"Good boys are desperate for their owner’s cock. It is their life’s purpose to pleasure it with their bodies—to serve as sheathes for their owner’s cock. They feel empty without it inside them."

Boreas gulped audibly. He’d never been so aware of his asshole before. It feels so cavernous, so lonely, so empty. Hell, even his mouth and throat felt like they were missing something.

Marcus chuckled. He squeezed Boreas’ cock through the fabric of the suit. "Take the rest off," he said.

Boreas pushed down the bottom half of the suit. His fingers trembled with apprehension and excitement in equal measure as the skin-tight fabric slid down his legs.

His cock flopped out. He was rock-hard. Harder than he’d ever been in his life.

It bobbed between his legs when he straightened up and kicked the suit to the side. A glob of glistening pre-cum dripped off the tip and onto the table.

"Relax," said Marcus, his voice deep, gravelly, and sultry as he murmured in Boreas’ ear.

Just like that, the tension in Boreas’ body seemed to melt away. His eyes widened. He could feel the head of Marcus’ cock at his hole.

He didn’t have much experience but he was pretty sure he wasn’t supposed to take a cock up the ass without lube.

Marcus chuckled. It was as if he was reading Boreas’ mind. "You would be surprised how deep a good boy’s obedience can go. Good boys surrender all control to their owner. Even the parts they have no idea they can control at all."

Boreas shivered. Somehow, he knew it to be true. And the idea that Marcus could command his body to do things even he couldn’t get it to do was oddly tantalizing.

"Open up for me, little snowflake," said Marcus as he pressed more insistently up against Boreas’ hole.

It was the strangest thing. Boreas’ toes curled against the floor as a moan spilled out of him. He was relaxed already but he could feel his asshole relax even further, the muscles growing loose and yielding to Marcus’ cock.

"That’s it, little snowflake. Swallow your owner’s cock with that sweet virgin hole."

Boreas leaned forward, bracing his hands against the edge of the table. He could feel his rim kissing the head of Marcus’ cock, slowly opening up and stretching to accept it.

Marcus pushed inside him. It burned. But it didn’t hurt nearly as bad as he was anticipating. His hole yielded easily. His insides felt soft and pliable.

It was as if his chute was opening up to accept Marcus’ cock, like he’d accepted Marcus’ fingers into his mouth earlier.

"Good boy," said Marcus, and Boreas’ entire body flushed with heat at the praise.

The crown of Marcus’ glans pushed past the rim of Boreas’ entrance. It felt incredible. The sensation was indescribable. It felt so hot, so hard, and yet so soft all at the same time.

Boreas arched his back and grit his teeth. "NnnH!" he groaned as Marcus pushed his cock deeper. He could feel every inch disappearing inside him.

His hole was gripping tight. The friction was intense. But it wasn’t so bad as to be painful.

It didn’t take long before Marcus was firmly seated inside Boreas. By then, Boreas’ head was spinning. He’d never felt so full. It felt so right, like this was the role he’d been born to.

The hand that was playing with his nipple moved up to wrap around his throat. Marcus yanked back, forcing Boreas to arch and tilt his head up.

Boreas’ arms dangled uselessly at his sides. The position Marcus had forced him into made it impossible to reach the table.

Marcus pressed his lips to the base of Boreas’ neck. "You are very tight, little snowflake," he grunted. "And very hot inside—despite what one might expect."

Boreas flushed. He’d never been complimented on the tightness and warmth of his fuckhole before but he liked it. It felt good. "T-thank you, Sir," he gasped.

"Good boy."

Boreas moaned, his hole clenching around Marcus’ cock.

"Tell me, little snowflake, what do you want me to do?"

Boreas whined. His cock strained. Pre-cum trickled down along the underside of his shaft and dripped off his balls. "P-please fuck me, Sir!" he hissed.

"Is that so, little snowflake?" said Marcus.

Boreas nodded—as much as Marcus’ hand around his neck allowed, anyway.

"Then say it with more conviction. Tell me exactly what you desire. Let loose all those dirty fantasies—those filthy words buried under all that ice."

Boreas shivered. He buzzed with nervous energy. The words were on the tip of his tongue and he couldn’t believe he was going to say them.

"P-please fuck me, Sir! Please break open your little cock sheathe! Please own my body with your cock! Please fuck me so hard I forget my own name!" With every heartfelt plea, the conviction in Boreas’ breast grew until he was practically begging with the last.

Marcus pulled his cock almost all the way out, leaving just the crown of his glans resting on the inner rim of Boreas’ asshole. "Good boy," he said.

Boreas whined. His hole clenched around Marcus’ cock head, gripping tight, trying to invite it back inside.

Marcus chuckled. "Be as vocal as you need to be, little snowflake. Let loose all the perversion you have been hiding deep down." He slammed his cock home.

Boreas wailed. The pain and the pleasure somehow rolled together into something like ecstasy.

Unlike his earlier demeanor, Marcus didn’t start gently. He was rough. His fingers dug into the sides of Boreas’ neck as he growled, "take my cock, little snowflake. You were made for this. Just like the desperate slut you always were, deep down."

Boreas’ eyes rolled back in his head as Marcus pounded his hole dry. Thrust after thrust left him awash with pleasure. "P-please, Sir! Harder!" he moaned despite himself.

"That’s it," said Marcus as he nipped at the back of Boreas’ neck. "Good boy. Tell me what you want."

Boreas’ toes curled. His cock bobbed up and down, flinging pre-cum every which way with every slap of Marcus’ hips against his. "P-please, Sir! Ruin my slutty little fuckhole with your superior cock, Sir!"

Marcus pulled back harder on Boreas’ neck, forcing him to arch further, pushing up on the tips of his toes. "That’s right, little snowflake. Your place is beneath me. A good little subservient boy eager for my cock."

Boreas groaned. Marcus was pounding him mercilessly. He felt as if his insides were getting rearranged.

Thrust after thrust. In and out. In and out. Boreas sank deeper and deeper into the haze of lust and arousal. "H-harder! Please! Harder! Please fuck your slutty little snowflake’s brains to mush, Sir!"

Marcus growled. He released Boreas’ throat and placed his hand on the back of Boreas’ neck instead. He pushed him down against the table with surprising strength, pinning him in place by the back of the neck.

His other hand went to Boreas’ hip, gripping so tightly his fingers were digging into the meat of the boy’s ass. He pumped his hips, slamming his cock into Boreas’ eager asshole over and over and over again.

"M-more, Sir!" Boreas mewled. Every thrust shoved him forward against the table and he didn’t even mind. "C-core out my boypussy with your cock, Sir!"

Sweat dripped from Marcus’ brow onto Boreas’ back as the brutal fuck continued. "Desperate little slut," he said under his breath, but just about loud enough for Boreas to hear it.

"Your ass will mold itself to my cock. You will feel an emptiness inside you in the shape of me when I am not there to fill it."

Boreas jerked forward and saw stars as Marcus gave him a particularly hard thrust. His cock, pinned between his body and the edge of the table, dripped liberally onto the floor.

"Make no mistake, if ever you take another cock in this tight cunt, it will still send sparks flying in that empty little head of yours," said Marcus. "But it won’t feel the same. It won’t satisfy you in the same way."

Boreas groaned as Marcus slowly pulled out of him. He missed the roughness already but there was something to be said for enjoying the luxurious sensation of his insides gripping every inch of Marcus’ cock on its way out.

"Even when you are writhing under another man, begging for a fuck to keep that pretty little head empty of silly thoughts, your pussy will remember who owns it—whose cock you were made to take."

Boreas pushed against the table. He arched his back and lifted his head. "Y-yes, Sir!" he managed before Marcus pushed him back down.

"You had better remember it, little snowflake," said Marcus as he reached the end of his pull-out.

He lingered for a moment. The head of his cock pulsed and throbbed just past Boreas’ ring. "What are you?" he said.

Boreas whined wriggling his hips in a pathetic attempt to coax Marcus back inside him. Even the few moments it took him to answer made him feel empty. And the words were difficult to come by as the only thing he could think of was getting Marcus back inside him.

"A-a slutty little snowflake, Sir!" Boreas whined once he managed to string the words together into something coherent.

Marcus rewarded his answer with a sharp thrust that made his toes curl and had him fruitlessly clawing at the table for purchase.

"And who do you belong to?"

"Y-you, Sir!"

Boreas shivered as the hand on the back of his neck slid down his back. It dipped along the curve of his spine, teasing him with feather-light touch before it came to a rest at his hips.

He felt the weight of Marcus shift, the older man leaning over him. "I’m close," said Marcus, bending down even further to whisper in Boreas’ ear. "I will come inside you. And when I do, I want you to say it louder. I want you to mean it. I want you to know, not just in your mind, but in the very depths of your being, that it is true. That you are mine."

"Y-yes, Sir," Boreas gasped as Marcus ground his hips into his.

"And when I breed you, I want you to come for me. Sear this new truth about your place into that empty head of yours. Use the pleasure to etch this truth into your soul, so that it may never be removed, changed, or forgotten."

Boreas nodded. He was close, too. So close. Without even touching his cock once was on the brink of orgasm. That had never happened before.

Marcus pulled out. He went all the way, his cock head slipping out of Boreas with a pop and a groan from the boy.

He kept himself lined up. His cock head remained resting against the quivering pucker.

Boreas tensed as Marcus’ fingers dug into his hips. And then, he screamed. "P-please, Sir! Please breed my pussy!"

"Who do you belong to?" Marcus growled as he slammed his cock into Boreas with all his strength.

Boreas’ back arched. His legs tensed. His toes curled. His fingers tried and failed to find purchase on the surface of the table. "Y-you, Sir!" he gasped.

He could feel Marcus inside him. Hilt deep. Pulsing. Throbbing. Swelling. His hole clenched tight around it, the walls of his chute fluttering along the length of it.

And then the first shot. Boreas moaned as Marcus painted his insides with hot cum. His own cock pulsed and strained, his balls pulling up tight against his body.

Wave after wave of pleasure crashed over Boreas’ body as Marcus unloaded inside him and he shot his own thick jism all over the floor. "I-I am your slutty little empty-headed snowflake, Sir!" Boreas cried out at the top of his lungs.

Some few minutes later, once the high of the orgasm had faded, Marcus released his tight grip on Boreas’ hips.

Boreas collapsed against the table, his chest heaving from the exertion.

He whined softly as Marcus pulled out of him. He could already feel the emptiness, the shape of Marcus’ cock irrevocably imprinted on his insides.

He’d only just gotten fucked and he already wanted Marcus inside him again. He just didn’t have the energy to beg for more.

"Good boy," said Marcus, reaching over to ruffle Boreas’ hair.

It was time to head back to base after a largely uneventful night of mandatory patrol. They were scarcely past the front door and Hyperion was already stripping. Boreas, not to be outdone, quickly followed suit.

Flicker rolled his eyes. Many things had changed but at the same time, many things had remained the same for Team Halcyon. The two were locked in heated competition but at least they were putting their energy toward more productive things.

For his part, Flicker made full use of his powers and disappeared from between the two.

Boreas and Hyperion were stunned. It took them a moment to catch up, realizing what Flicker had done when they watched his suit crumple to the ground, empty.

They elbowed and shoved at each other as they made for the bedroom while also stripping. It was a bit of a mess but it was all in good fun.

Flicker looked over his shoulder and chuckled when the two entered the bedroom. He was already naked and on all fours on top of the bed. "I was starting to wonder if you guys would get here before Christmas."

Boreas scoffed. "No fair. You used your powers."

Hyperion chuckled. He’d managed to get his arms out of his sleeves. He pushed the rest of his suit down his legs and stepped out of it. "Don’t be a sore loser, man," he said.

Boreas frowned. "I’m not a loser yet!" he said, having done the same as Hyperion. He whipped his suit off and jumped on the bed, scrambling to get in position before Hyperion could.

There was a bit of a scuffle, Flicker getting jostled between the two as they tried to sabotage the other. In the end, however, Boreas won.

Once everyone was in position, they waited. Thoughts slowly bled out of their minds as their cocks got hard and their holes started twitching.

The door swung open and all three shivered at the familiar voice that seemed to caress their ears. "What a lovely sight this is."

Marcus chuckled as he entered. He wasn’t alone. Looking over their shoulders, the boys noticed Marcus was accompanied by Corey, who was nude but for his cage and collar.

"Why don’t you join them, little thundercloud?" said Marcus.

Corey smiled. "Yes, Master!" he said, clambering up on the bed and lining himself up next to Hyperion.

Marcus approached the bed. He took a moment to admire the row of pert asses presented for his pleasure. With his index finger, he rubbed the jeweled buttplugs buried in each one, relishing the soft moans he managed to elicit.

"Such good boys you all are," Marcus murmured.

All four boys couldn’t help but shiver with anticipation.

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