Snippet: Sweetest Tongue Sharpest Tooth 30/11/2017

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By the time he’s clean, Finn is at war with himself and he wears an expression of absolute agony, his breath coming in swift, audible huffs past his slightly parted lips. When Anders goes to bring yet another handful of water up to his skin, Finn reaches out and snaps his fingers over Anders’ wrist to stop him, the force enough to shake the water free from the woodsman’s palm.

It’s not aggressive. It’s desperate. It’s a silent ‘please,’ begging Anders for some kind of reassurance that everything would be alright. For reassurance that this doesn’t mean Finn would end up like those before him who must have found themselves trapped within the forest in this very same way – nothing now but bones.

Anders gaze slides down to where Finn holds his wrist, the water falling away to nothing leaving his palm empty for the fourth time, the coldness bitingly real. The combination of the night air and the frigid water sparks an icy sensation in his palm, shooting up through his nerves until his whole arm and torso shake – and not just with the frost of the night.

Emotion overtakes Anders, his eyes slowly lifting to meet the gaze of his lover. Finn’s expression is enough to lance him with a sharp, more devastating pain.

What could Anders possibly say?

Nothing is truly safe here in the forest. Nothing is certain. Not even Anders is safe from the forest’s jaws. And if he were to speak – to try and console Finn – Anders’ words could be snatched up by the forest, their meaning twisted, so as to smack him in the face with some horrible twist of irony later on.

Anders offers nothing. He simply drops his head in defeat, knowing very well that the action would drive the lance of fear deeper into Finn’s heart, creating a wedge between them. But it just might be the combination of fear and distance that ultimately keeps Finn alive.

It’s in that one, shivering, moonlit moment that Anders knows for certain this is love. He would die for Finn, if he could. And if he had to let Finn go in order to keep him alive, then he would.

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