In black and white, back-lit and tightly-focused, half of a man’s bare chest is exposed. Every curve of pec and shoulder is silvered, the nipple tight. Another man’s face hovers, upturned, clearly kneeling before him. Only the straight nose, strong chin, and open mouth can be seen. The kneeling man extends his tongue with the tip curled, waiting, half an inch— a hesitation’s width— from that expectant nipple. In the next breath, they will touch.
For so long, years that seemed to go on forever, I couldn’t bear to be touched. I put up not just walls but whole concrete bunkers to keep people out— not just emotionally, but physically as well. Sure, I was alone. But I felt safe. Only, after a while, I wasn’t sure any longer whether a totally “safe” life was really worth living. But I was still too afraid to reach out. I started to think about a way out— a way out of living, that is.
Then someone came along. Someone… completely unexpected. How do I explain him? I can’t. But he wouldn’t give up on me, and he never believed in walls.
Tags: mage/sorcerer, first time, hurt/comfort, friends to lovers, magic users, PTSD
Content Warnings: history of past abuse, self-harm
Word Count: 103,749
Nor Iron Bars a Cage on Goodreads