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11 November 2011 @ 06:12 am
FIC: The Kebab Killer, Chapter eight – Police Ball  
Author: Osiris Brackhaus
Story Title: The Kebab Killer
Part: 10/10
Rating: R
Configuration M/M
Warnings: violence, angst, borderline fairytale romance
Word Count: 2.600 / 26.000
Setting: 'Phoenix Empire' verse, see Phoenix Empire Timeline & Index
Characters: Sam/Yaden
Summary: On the night of the annual police ball, Sam has one crucial question to sort out his possible future with Yaden…
Feedback: Yes, please!
EDIT: There's now a map of Imperial City online. Might be helpful for some parts of this story. 

“Sam?” Yaden called from the kitchen downstairs. “Can I have your Yaden mug?”

Smiling, Sam put down the folding table he had just carried out onto the small balcony of his house.

“Sure, love. Everything you want!”

They were at Sam’s house in Downtown, a tiny thing in the last row of houses. Right behind, the steep outer fortifications of the Imperial Palace were rising into the night. The house was only a few meters wide, really no more than a staircase with a roof. But it was enough for a small kitchen and bathroom on the lower floor, and a bedroom on top. But most importantly, it had a balcony with the best view of Imperial City.

And tonight, the city seemed to have put on its finest attire, it seemed.

It was the night of the annual police ball, and Sam and Yaden had just returned home after having danced until the band packed up. Usually, it would have been too cool already for a last drink outside, but apparently, Yaden had nudged the weather just a little bit. There were some distinct advantages of being together with a psion who could influence the weather any way he wanted.

So instead of the usual drizzle, the night air was clear and still comfortably warm. From his balcony, Sam could see all across the bay and even the cupolas of the Old Opera were clearly visible in the distance, stars sparkling both above and as their reflections in the calm water of the bay. Even despite the hour, hundreds of small gliders and hoverbikes flitted through the night like so many well-organized fireflies. If Sam looked right up, he could clearly make out the scintillating spot of Tiara, the space-station in stationary orbit above the palace.

Still humming one of the songs they had danced to tonight, Sam set up the small chairs next to the table, smiling at the sounds of Yaden rummaging in the kitchen below.
Much to his surprise, their relationship had worked out surprisingly well. It turned out that the ‘real’ Yaden wasn’t too different from the charming kebab shack owner Sam had fallen in love with, less than two months ago. Sure, Yaden was a powerful psion and a Phoenix Knight and married to a whole bunch of people – but those things were somehow less troublesome than Sam had feared initially. Yaden was still the kind, honest and slightly naughty person that he had been while working under-cover in the Kebab Shack on the Crooked Steps, trying to lure the Kebab Killer into a fatal misstep.

So they had continued dating over the last weeks, and things had turned out so well that Sam repeatedly had to pinch himself. Only very few things had changed in their between them, actually. For one, Yaden did no longer run the Kebab Shack – now that the Kebab Killer was gone, there was no reason for him to continue keeping up his cover. And somehow, there had been no shortage of applicants for the job now that the place was famous.

But they hadn’t moved into Sam’s house either. Most evenings, Sam went ‘home’ to Yaden’s place, a small island a little off the coast of P2’s only equatorial continent, where the weather was much friendlier than in the capital.
They only used Sam’s house for nights when they wanted to stay in Imperial City, as it was the case tonight. For despite everything, Yaden had agreed to join Sam at the police ball as his plus-one. And what a wonderful evening it had been.

Walking the red carpet with a Phoenix Knight at his arm had been a daunting experience for Sam. Screaming fans and nosy reporters were nothing he would probably ever get used to, but he had managed with sufficient grace. At least that was what he told himself. And once inside the Old Opera, things had been much more pleasant.

They had found Eugene and his wife Phyllis soon enough, and once Phyllis had realized that Yaden wasn’t only a Phoenix Knight but a really charming and fun person, she had taken it as her personal quest to introduce him to all the other officers’ spouses present tonight. From there on, everyone relaxed even though there was a Phoenix Knight sitting at their table.
The only tense moment had been when suddenly, Duke Veruda was standing at their table, congratulating Sam on his good work and amiably chatting with Yaden. But the Duke had somehow sensed that all the other officers were just a little insecure about how to deal with him around, and excused himself soon enough.

Much as expected, Yaden turned out to be an excellent dancer, his adorably helpless moves limited to dancing in pubs or discos. Actually, he was a much better dancer than Sam, and they had a ton of fun arguing if Sam tripped over his feet less often while leading or when being led. For the first time in his life, Sam stayed at the ball until the band played their last song, and if the cleanup crew hadn’t been politely waiting in the wings already, they might have stayed even longer.

A little foot-sore but still way too excited to go to bed, they had decided to return to Sam’s place and have a cup of coffee on the balcony. Not that Yaden would ever drink coffee, he couldn’t stand the stuff. But a cup of tea would do nicely, and that was what Yaden was currently preparing down in the kitchen.

Apart from everything else, Sam was happy to have some more time on his own with Yaden. Not that he minded Yaden’s other spouses or his children around, all the contrary, but tonight there were still some other matters to sort out.

Even though everything was good between them, Sam still wasn’t too sure if he was really doing the right thing. Not that Sam had any doubts about wanting to share his life with Yaden, not at all. But would the Phoenix Knight really keep him around? After all, Yaden surely was already getting enough trouble from the PR staff at the Phoenix Knight Tower for making out with yet another commoner. One just couldn’t go on and constantly marry below your status. Especially not when you’re one of the most observed people of the Empire.

But Sam thought he had figured out a way to calm those questioning voices in his head once and for all.

“Are you ready up there?” Yaden called from downstairs. “Tea is ready.”

“All’s set,” Sam replied, lighting a small wind-light as finishing tough. “Just waiting for you.”

From the dark pit of the staircase, Yaden emerged, carrying Sam’s ‘Demon Witches of Leichnam’ collectible mug. Behind him, floating in the air as if pulled on invisible strings, were another mug, a small teapot and plate of bisquits. Sam had not expected to have any cookies around the house, but then again, finding food seemed to be one of Yaden’s many odd talents.

As always, Yaden wore his typical outfit – heavy brown pants, a roughly woven green shirt with sleeves so short they barely registered. The tattoos on his lower arms were covered by two leather bracers sporting two Phoenix’ in gold filigree, the symbol of the Phoenix Knights. Barefooted, of course, as always.
Sam had seen his lover wearing those clothes countless times by now, but it still made his heart skip a beat or two. A real Phoenix Knight. In his house. Serving tea. Having Yaden walking around in his iconic outfit was a little disconcerting each time he came into view.

It was a lot to take in, and the effect seemed to be wearing off much less quickly than Sam had hoped or even expected. It wasn’t even so much Yaden’s noble rank or the legal powers he carried. It was just that a Phoenix Knight was less a real person in Sam’s mind than someone you see in a comic book or a movie. Or on a collectible mug, for that matter.

“What a beautiful night,” Yaden remarked while setting down the cups.

“Indeed. What a lovely coincidence.”

Instead of an answer, they just shared a knowing smile.

They settled down in silence, holding their mugs and looking across the glittering cityscape that stretched out in front of them. Wordlessly, Yaden snug a bare foot up his lover’s ankle, insistently pulling at the sock with his toes, trying to reach some skin.

Again, they shared a silent, smiling look across the tiny table.

“Don’t tell me you’re too tired, now,” Yaden remarked as he realized Sam had no intention of instantly giving in to his lover’s advances. “If I had known that, we’d have left the ball hours ago.”

“I’m not too tired.” Sam replied without moving his legs out of Yaden’s reach. “It’s just that I have other things in mind.”

“Other things?”

“Yes, other things.” Sam turned a little to face his lover before he continued. “Look, we’ve been dating the last weeks, and I for my part had the time of my life.”

“Did I ever give the impression that I didn’t?” Yaden asked incredulously.

“No, darling.”

“Then what’s the problem?”

“No problem. Just a question, but a complicated one, and I’ll need some moments to explain. Will you let me?”

Grinning, Yaden nodded, biting his lip and looking a little like a schoolboy caught in chatting in class, only waiting for the teacher to turn his back to continue.

“You and your family have made me feel really welcome. I am still not sure how you can happily be married with four people and not have jealousy running rampant, but if your other spouses manage, I sure will try. I mean, even Teagan has stopped trying to get into my pants, at least for the moment, and the way we handled that was… really cool.”

Teagan was Yaden’s second husband, and he had taken to Sam like a cat to catnip. It was a disconcerting sight to have a renowned demon warrior reduced to purrs and awkwardly obvious attempts of seduction. Sam was harbouring a strong suspicion that this current pause was just a strategic lull, and would resume with renewed fervour at some point in the future. But the whole affair had been handled with so much laughter and charm and complete lack of jealousy or embarrassment among all spouses involved that Sam felt very confident they would be able to handle a lot of trouble together.

“So, basically what I am trying to say is – wow, I can’t really believe this is happening, but yeah, it’s great. I am happy, and I think you are, too.”

Yaden nodded silently, his eyes sparkling vividly enough to rival the glittering city behind him.

“Only thing is, I am still a commoner among nobles, and I’m actually still a rather scared with all those people walking through your life.”

Yaden opened his mouth to reassure Sam, but he just raised a finger to his lips, gesturing Yaden to be silent for a little while longer.

“But I think I have found a solution for that, and that’s were we come to the question I have been talking about.”

Sam rose and walked back into his bedroom, rummaging in the drawer where he kept his socks until he had found the small box he had stashed there for good reason. Yaden could sense metal better than any radar, and if Sam had carrying the content of the box with him, it would have spoiled any moment of surprise he might have had.

So when Sam returned to the balcony, Yaden’s cautiously disbelieving expression made it clear that he already had a notion of what Sam was bringing back with him. His expression didn’t change much when Sam knelt down on one knee in front of him, as elegantly as that was possible on the tiny balcony, presenting him the ring he had bought a few days earlier.

“I am positive this goes against any protocol of this Empire, with me being a commoner and such. But I love you.” Taking a deep breath, he looked Yaden straight in the eyes and asked the question he had been carrying with him the whole evening. “Sir Yaden of House Dracon, Phoenix Knight of the Empire, will you marry me?”

“Huh,” Yaden mumbled, wide-eyed and genuinely flattened by the situation. “I… I am not sure this is possible…”

“What is not possible?”

“I mean – me being married by anyone. I should be the one proposing, and I need the Emperor’s permission, I mean, uh…”

For a heartbeat, Sam waited politely for Yaden to find the words he was obviously searching for frantically.

“Dear, this is the part where you are supposed to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’…”

“Huh?” Yaden blinked at Sam as if only now realizing that he hadn’t yet answered the actual question. “Oh my god! I’m sorry, I mean, yes, of course! Yes!”

“Good.” Taking another deep breath, Sam smiled with relief. “You had me worried here, for a moment.”

“Oh no, darling, I was just – “ Genuinely startled and with the cutest blush Sam had ever seen on another man, Yaden laughed with relief and excitement. “It’s just that no one’s ever proposed to me. And apart from the legal questions, I have no clue how to act when I’m the one being asked.”

As if trying to make amends for his former bumbling reaction, Yaden graciously held out his hand to Sam, smiling.

“It would be with deepest pride and greatest pleasure that I consent to such a marriage, Officer Samuel Balmoral of the Ducal Crescents.”

Chuckling at the overly floral wording, Sam took the ring out of its case and slipped it onto Yaden’s finger. He even managed not to flinch when the ring moved slightly under his touch, as Yaden adjusted it to fit perfectly. Looking up, Sam could see Yaden smiling like a little boy, excited and happy beyond words. Finally giving in to his urge to move, Yaden slid out of the chair and onto the floor next to Sam, taking his head into his hands, kissing him passionately.

Now with the question finally out of his mind, Sam surely didn’t mind. Holding his lover tightly, they kissed and cuddled in the warm night. Sam had just picked up Yaden to carry him over to the bed as he noticed a gentle, mental knocking in the back of his mind.

>> Everything alright? << Calm, dark and sensual, like red wine and incense, the mental voice of Lord Kendrik. A talented empath and telepath, he kept taps on all members of the family, and was pretty much as enamoured with Yaden as Sam. >> Yaden’s pretty upset. <<

>> He’s fine. << Sam replied, chuckling inwardly. He wasn’t just marrying a Phoenix Knight, he was marrying a whole family. >> I proposed, and he said yes. <<

>> By the Goddess! << This time, it was Colin’s mental voice that replied, patched through by Kendrik’s delicate talent. >> Finally! <<

Sam felt Kendrik sending a wordless, mocking reprieve in Colin’s direction before he said:

>> Congratulations, then. And welcome to the family. <<

>> Thank you, Kendrik. <<

>> Will you be coming home? << Colin asked. >> This calls for a proper party. <<

Looking down on the man in his arms, Sam only sent them one of his dirtiest smiles.

>> We’ll stay in town tonight. And now get out of my head. I’m about to ravish my husband. <<

Gently, he sat Yaden down onto the bed, smiling at his questioning glance.

“Who was that?” Yaden asked, having noticed the tell-tale signs of a telepathic communication in Sam’s face.

“Nobody.” Closing the balcony door behind him, Sam gave Yaden the same, dirty smile he had sent to his other spouses just a moment ago. “Tonight, it’s just you and me.”

BerthaBlueberthablue on November 11th, 2011 07:03 am (UTC)
Aww :) Such a happy ending for them! Everything in this entire world fills me with happys :)
BerthaBlueberthablue on November 11th, 2011 07:07 am (UTC)
Well, not really ending, but like... happy next part, anyway. Late + drunk = illogical at times.
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on November 11th, 2011 07:15 pm (UTC)
And it IS a happy ending of sorts.
It is the end of this story. But it is not the end of their story.

So much more to come!
Charis: faun with panpipescharisstoma on November 13th, 2011 12:56 am (UTC)
NOT the end of their story *SMILES* How glad I am to hear that. I love Sam and need more of the family's story.
Read this from beginning to here in one long read. It IS awesome.
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on November 14th, 2011 08:11 am (UTC)
Well, if there is one thing I can promise you with absolute confidence - there'll be bucketloads of more stories of Yaden and his husbands, his squires and the children. Yaden's family is one of our anchorpoints in this universe, and most stories will gravitate around them in one way or another.

And thanks so much for the compliments, this really means a lot to me!
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on November 11th, 2011 07:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Such a lovely thing to say - filling you with happies makes writing these stories so much more fun to me than it already is.
idolme922idolme922 on November 11th, 2011 04:20 pm (UTC)
Wonderful!! Action, drama, intrigue, and most of all, love! Awesome! I look forward to seeing Yaden and Sam in future stories.

Well done!!
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on November 11th, 2011 07:17 pm (UTC)
OMG, I think this is the first time anyone called something I wrote 'awesome'! *hugs Alana back* Thanks soo much, dear, I am so, so happy you liked this.

ruefullruefull on November 26th, 2011 05:22 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you suggested this! It was lovely and warm and wonderful, and I adored it! Oh, so good! And grown up Yaden is everything I could have hoped for!
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on November 27th, 2011 03:06 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you like it! The way we post our stories might seem a little chaotic, but they're all connected in a way. So, you can look forward to a lot more adult Yaden stories.

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!
hab318princess on December 9th, 2011 09:12 am (UTC)
loved Yaden's reaction... brilliant
wonderful chapter
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on December 9th, 2011 07:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you, dear!
triptyxtriptyx on December 17th, 2011 10:10 pm (UTC)
I have been away from LJ for so long! I am really sorry!

Sam proposed!!! *squee* I love that! Yaden being the important Phoenix Knight and semi-god and all and normally the one who has to do everything and now Sam is the one taking charge! I like that! :)

Hee! This is really sweet I liked this story very much! Thank you!
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on December 18th, 2011 01:01 pm (UTC)
We have missed you, too! I hope everything is alright in your corner of the world.

Yeah, Sam is quite special. ^^ I so love him.

Thanks so much for your compliments, really means a lot to me.
triptyxtriptyx on December 25th, 2011 07:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I am sorry to have been away so long, and yes everything is alright in my corner of the world, just extremely busy! ;) I hope you are having nice Holidays! :)

osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on December 29th, 2011 09:10 pm (UTC)
Yes, holidays this year are extremely nice, hope the same holds true for you.