It was quiet in the park for a Saturday. Nonetheless, there was plenty to look at, as they strolled around the lake. People out alone, walking their pets; couples strolling together, hand-in-hand, interested in nothing but each other; family groups, their children paddling in the water, shrieking and laughing as their parents watched in bemusement; groups of teenagers and young adults, idling on blankets, eating and chatting excitedly.
Kashael wondered again at the brevity of human life, and whether it was the fact that it was short that made it seem so effervescent. And he wondered what each of these people were thinking. Did they notice, or care, how short their life was? Were they making the most of it by being here, enjoying the sunny weather? Or was this just another way of wasting away the time for them? What did they think about?
"So, what do you think people think when they see the three of us?"
Khamuel's voice interrupted his train of thought, and Kashael looked over at the vampire, amused. He'd come to learn that, like him, Khamuel spent a great deal of time - more than he'd ever admit - looking at and contemplating the humans. His trains of thought were often on a different track, but the basic premise was the same. Me versus them. Us versus them. Watching from afar.
Hanael, walking between them, was silent in response to Khamuel's question, but that didn't surprise him. It was only Hanael who didn't spend much of his time thinking about them... only Hanael who instead leapt effortlessly in and took an active part in their lives. Hanael didn't stop to contemplate them; he just threw himself brashly into the midst of their world.
Kashael thought about Khamuel's question for a moment, but he'd considered it often enough before.
"The perfect gay couple and their perfect son?" he replied cheerfully. He saw Hanael's shoulders stiffen, but he purposefully ignored it, keeping his attention focused on the vampire. Khamuel snorted.
"They'd have to include 'incestuous' in there somewhere.. there's no way to look at you two and not see that you're related." His narrow red eyes were sparkling with mischief, and Kashael didn't doubt that he'd noticed Hanael's reaction as well.
"Alright then, the perfect incestuous gay couple and their perfect son?"
Now Hanael's lips were quirking. Kashael wasn't sure if it was amusement or annoyance, but he was willing to bet on a mix of both.
"It's a kink for some people, you know," he added, still keeping his tone light and cheerful, and directing his conversation at Khamuel. The little vampire tilted his head, his expression mock-thoughtful, but his eyes still mischievous.
"In that case, why not just throw in 'paedophilic' and 'threesome'?"
At the edge of Kashael's range of vision, he saw Hanael's expression twist further. Khamuel surely saw it as well.
"Hey, it's a kink for some people too, you know," he added, as cheerful as Kashael had been.
Abruptly, Hanael stopped walking.
Kashael stopped and turned to look back at him, affecting pure innocence and surprise. Out of the corner of his eye he could see Khamuel mirroring his attitude in miniature form.
"Can we not have this discussion in public?" Hanael's expression was half exasperation, half tired amusement, and neither sentiment seemed able to win over the other.
"Spoilsport," Kashael replied promptly.
"You're just being prudish," Khamuel added immediately.
Hanael folded his arms. His gaze wandered a moment, perhaps checking that there was no-one within hearing distance, and then returned to the two of them.
"If we discuss our sex lives in public, even if it's only theoretical, sooner or later the wrong person is going to overhear and I'm going to end up in jail as a child molester." There was a wry edge to his tone, and his gaze focused on Khamuel.
Khamuel crossed his arms as well, and his eyes narrowed. Kashael wondered if Hanael had pushed too far. Khamuel's temper could be incredibly short when he was referred to as a child.
Then he licked his lips, and they twisted upwards in a smirk, revealing his tiny fangs.
"If they realise what I am do you think they'll also charge you for being a necrophiliac?"
Kashael had to bite his lip to stop the sudden burst of laughter that threatened to leap out of him. Hanael seemed completely stumped, unable to know how to respond; he looked like he wanted to laugh and cry all at once.
Kashael could not waste the moment.
"Ahh, but since he's also technically dead, wouldn't that negate it?" he asked Khamuel, putting on his best 'thoughtful' tone of voice.
Khamuel looked up at him, his eyes shining with suppressed laughter.
"Hmm, that's a good point."
Hanael put a hand to his head.
"Enough already!" He looked over at them. He was smiling, exasperated, his gaze beseeching. "I think I liked it better when you two fought."
"Liar." Khamuel threw the word back at him like a taunt. Hanael's expression relaxed into a proper smile then, gentler than before, and with less frustration.
"Maybe." Then he tilted his head, just a little. His gaze flicked back and forth between the two of them, and something a little more smirky, a little less sweet, entered his smile. "But if you want to discuss it further, we're going home."
Kashael looked at him, considering the possibilities behind that smile. Khamuel was silent as well.
Hanael took a step away from them both. Then he placed his hands on his hips, and relaxed his stance.
For a moment, Kashael didn't think he could speak. Maybe Hanael had been watching him long enough now, or maybe it was entirely unconscious and just pure luck, but there was something incredibly wanton about Hanael right in that moment. The way he stood, with his hands on his hips, his pelvis thrust slightly to one side, his shoulders thrown back... his head was turned away slightly, his long ponytail scattered across his shoulder, his lips were slightly parted, and his one good eye was narrowed a little as it looked back at them, taunting. As Kashael watched, Hanael licked his lips briefly, and then blinked, slowly, and Kashael felt his groin throb in response. He'd never seen Hanael look so openly sexual before. And he wanted it.
"If we're going home, does that mean it doesn't have to remain entirely theoretical?" There was a rough edge to Khamuel's voice. Kashael wondered if the vampire was seeing the same thing he was.
Hanael was silent a moment, and then his lips turned up at the edges, a smile that was not gentle at all. A smile that offered a thousand succulent promises.
"You'll just have to follow me and find out."
Kashael took a deep breath. He looked down at Khamuel... only to find the vampire looking back up at him, all of the desire that he was feeling reflected perfectly in those deep red eyes.
Almost as one, the two of them pounced on Hanael and began dragging him back towards the carpark.
For a moment Hanael seemed too startled to react, but then his stumbling pace caught up with theirs, and he laughed, softly... a sweet, happy laugh, but with a sensual undertone that told Kashael there would be so much more goodness to come that day.