The Glittering Boughs

Characters: Morningstar, Radueriel
Origin: Morningstar
Advent Day: Day 27 (December 23rd)
Rating: NC-17
Word count: 3,560


Radueriel stepped out of taxi and instantly smiled. He breathed deeply, taking in the wonderful chill of the air. Winter wasn't a deathly, colorless season to him, it was a chance for the world to rest and renew itself. The cold brought people together, and even though he knew Christ was not born anytime remotely close to late December, he enjoyed that the spirit of togetherness and joy remained surrounding the holiday. As he looked up into the overcast sky, he watched a few snow flurries make their way down from the heavens, and it pulled a soft laugh from him.

"You forgot your hat on purpose, didn't you?"

He whirled around to face Morningstar, a bright smile on his face. "I like the snow."

"And you wear it well," Morningstar admitted, shaking his head, "but you'll get cold before we pick out a good tree."

"I will just appreciate the warmth of your touch even more," Radueriel reasoned, lacing his fingers with Morningstar's.

Three years together, and they had finally moved out of Morningstar's hovel of an apartment. Their new space was larger, large enough for their very first Christmas tree. He had thought they would just purchase one of the pretty trees he saw in the department stores, something with lights already attached, but then Morningstar had insisted on a real tree, and he couldn't deny his lover. That Morningstar was even allowing him a large tree was a pleasure in itself, and as they stepped past the fence of the outdoor vendor, the scent of fresh pine and snow wafted to him.

"How do we choose?" Radueriel grinned, reaching out to brush each branch they passed. "They are all beautiful creations."

"Preferably, by making sure it's no larger than our twelve foot ceilings, and no wider than that little bay window area you prepared for the tree." Morningstar looked around the lot. "Do you want something that smells like pine, or one of the more scentless trees?"

Radueriel frowned. A scentless tree? What was the point of a scentless tree? "I would like one that smells of pine."

Morningstar kissed his cold cheek. "I figured as much. Hmm." He walked down the many rows of trees, as if searching for something very specific. When Morningstar stopped and regarded a particular tree, Radueriel tried to figure out what it was his lover saw in it. It was beautiful, but it looked so similar to the others. "This one," Morningstar announced.


Morningstar chuckled and looked to Radueriel. "It's just tall enough to fit the space and leave room for the tree topper you bought, and just wide enough to fill the bay window. And, if you put your nose to it, you'll smell how piney it is."

Radueriel couldn't help himself. He shoved his face right into the heart of the pine boughs and inhaled. It was fragrant and cold, sharp and sweet. Grinning, he stepped back. "I think it wishes to return home with us."

"I think so, too." Morningstar laughed as he went to find the lot owner and negotiate a price.

Radueriel stayed with the tree. Even after a few years, he still left most of the financial dealings to Morningstar. Yes, he had a job, but it just went into some account somewhere that allowed him to pay for the groceries and occasional trinkets they would buy. With both of them working, he hadn't needed to worry about running out of money, so he left the finer aspects of the accounting to Morningstar. He was good with trees, though, good with growing things. He felt a certain kinship to them. They were all God's creations, after all, even if the angels didn't perish like the growing things of the earth. He only wished he could keep the tree for longer than the holiday season. When Morningstar returned, he smiled. "We should get more green plants for the apartment. I want to help things grow."

"In the middle of winter?" Morningstar asked with a chuckle.

Radueriel felt his cheeks heat up, tingling against the cold air. "We were barred from interfering, from influencing anything on the earth. The tree will eventually fade. I want something I may help flourish."

Morningstar gathered him close, and the press of Morningstar's lips to his cheeks was warm and comforting. "I'll buy you everything you need, but for now, we'll enjoy our tree, hmm?"

Radueriel nodded and shared a sweet kiss with Morningstar before helping take the tree to the waiting taxi. "Do the taxi drivers not mind the tree sap?" he asked as he watched Morningstar tether the tree to the top of the cab.

"They don't when you tip them well," Morningstar said, tying the last knot. "Come on. Get inside where it's warm, and let's go home. You can put all those beautiful ornaments you bought on the branches after supper."

As they slid into the taxi, Radueriel asked, "I cannot when we arrive at the apartment?"

"No." Morningstar told the driver where to take them. "The tree has to settle a little, and we have to feed it."

Radueriel all but bounced in his seat. Feed the tree? It wasn't dead yet? "What do we feed it?"

"Traditionally, I think it's cool water mixed with sugar? It helps to keep the tree vibrant and alive." Morningstar smirked. "Manny will make a terrible mess of any of the ornaments you put on the lower branches."

"Manny is a good cat." Radueriel looked out the window as the city of New York passed them by. "He's old, too. I do not think he will ruin our ornaments."

Morningstar nudged him. "He's a cat, Rad. They can't help themselves, no matter how good, or how old, they may be."

Radueriel laughed and cuddled close, enjoying the view out the window and the lilting tunes of praise and holiday joy from the speakers at the front of the taxi. Taking the tree from the cab to their apartment wasn't too difficult, thanks to the elevator. They never really used it, so it was yet another cause for excitement to Radueriel.

Soon enough, the tree was set in its stand. Radueriel's bright eyes couldn't help but glance over to the boxes of decorations he had chosen for the tree, but each time he looked, Morningstar flicked him and told him to wait. He didn't want to wait! He wanted to see all the shiny globes, the ornaments and tinsel and tree-topper. Especially the tree-topper, which he had bought himself and refused to reveal to Morningstar. Nevertheless, Morningstar practically dragged him into their kitchen. From the looks Morningstar gave him, his pouting and constant glances at the tree were endlessly amusing. He bounced impatiently in his seat throughout their supper.

"You are like a child on Christmas morning," Morningstar commented between bites. "If you had ever been a child, that is."

Radueriel childishly stuck his tongue out, and then cut another piece of meat and stabbed it with his fork. Food was so good, and though Morningstar often joked that Radueriel would gain a hundred pounds at the rate he ate, Radueriel refused to stop indulging. Heaven had been so bland without Morningstar that Earth was as brilliant and gold-tinted as Heaven had once been to Radueriel. "It is exciting, Morningstar. Do you not find any joy in the moment, in sharing this time with me?"

A light blush colored Morningstar's cheeks. "Of course I do, Radueriel." He reached over and wrapped his hand around Radueriel's. "That you're here with me..." Morningstar smiled. "It is the greatest gift our Creator could have given me. To see you, touch you, laugh with you... I would trade it for nothing."

"Then revel with me." Radueriel lifted Morningstar's hand. "Sing with me. Love with me. Take pleasure in my innocence—an innocence you have striven so hard to keep safe."

Morningstar stood and helped Radueriel up, pressing their lips together in a deep, slow kiss before he pulled back and whispered, "Let's decorate our tree."

Radueriel hugged Morningstar, and he squeaked ever so softly as he was hugged back. He practically danced his way into the living room and dove into the boxes with exuberant, eager hands. The lights were first: beautiful, white, twinkling lights they attached to the branches with a few twisty ties. Morningstar seemed to get just a little annoyed by the prickly pine needles, but Radueriel just laughed and inhaled the scent of the tree whenever he had to move close and reach inside to secure the lights.

After all the lights were attached, he added the glittery globe ornaments, the jewel-like snowflakes, and the glass icicles. He hadn't really thought about how everything would go together. He had just seen such beautiful things in the stores! Morningstar had told him to choose things he thought pretty, so that's exactly what he had done, from the ornaments to the garland of little, multi-colored, blown glass balls.

"Not the most... cohesive of designs," Morningstar commented, and when Radueriel fwapped him with the empty packaging of another batch of ornaments, he laughed and added, "but it's beautiful. It's beautiful! I promise."

"Just wait. The lights are not on yet." Radueriel just knew that would help tie everything together. He bent down and rummaged at the bottom of the tree until the found the tail end of the cord to the lights. Morningstar handed him an extension, and he plugged the two together and sat back. Morningstar plugged the other end into the wall, and he gasped as the tree lit up, all his ornaments glittering in the glow of the sparkling white lights.

Morningstar wrapped his arms around Radueriel's waist and pulled him back against his body. "Stunning."

Radueriel smiled brightly. "It is just missing one thing." He reluctantly slipped from Morningstar's arms and fetched the topper. Unsteadily, he climbed the little step ladder and set the white-clad angel atop the tree, plugging it into the upper strand of lights. Immediately, the fiber optic wings lit up, and the candle the angel held glowed. He stepped down and stared up at it. "Now it is stunning."

"You bought an angel?" Morningstar chuckled. "That is... so perfectly you, love."

Radueriel turned to face Morningstar. "And is being perfectly me good enough?" he asked, a moment of uncertainty filling him. "Do I not bore you with my silliness?"

"Oh, Radueriel," Morningstar murmured, tenderly running his fingers through Radueriel's long, dark hair. "You never bore me. Through you, I'm able to experience all the things that are worth celebrating. You bring light back to the things that had lost their sparkle to me."

Radueriel blushed and smiled, playing with a golden lock of Morningstar's hair. "I know you are world weary, that life with Him has left you just as jaded as being parted from Him. I just think there are so many beautiful things in this world. Do you not think they deserve to be celebrated?"

"I'd celebrate anything with you," Morningstar purred, kissing him sweetly.

"Even tinsel?"

Morningstar laughed. "Even tinsel."

Radueriel ran his hands up Morningstar's chest. "Could we celebrate the tinsel and the lights and our joys? Here? Under the tree?"

"Are you asking me to make love with you?"

Radueriel blushed. "Yes."

Morningstar cupped his face and drew him into a deep, sweet kiss. Radueriel's heart began to pound, and blood pooled low in his body. Arousal—even after all this time—was something that still fascinated Radueriel. No longer being an angelic body, the arousal was hotter, heavier, so much more potent than what he'd felt in Heaven all those long years ago with Morningstar. By the time Morningstar broke the kiss, Radueriel was swaying on his feet, flesh warm and hard, his breath short.

"Let me fetch the lube," Morningstar moaned as Radueriel leaned in and kissed, nipped at his throat. "Radueriel, I can't get the lube if you're doing that."

"Mmm," Radueriel whimpered, the sound soft and high. "All right." Morningstar never wanted to hurt him, and he insisted the lubrication was always—always—necessary. "I will wait for you here."

Morningstar pulled away, and Radueriel watched until he disappeared into their bedroom. He worked quickly, removing his layers of clothing and tossing them over the back of their sofa. He moaned softly as his hard flesh was exposed, and he stretched himself out on the floor beneath the tree, smiling up at the lights and ornaments. Manny darted past, playing with a stray piece of tinsel stolen from one of the lowest boughs of the tree. He laughed. It seemed Morningstar was right about Manny playing despite his age, but it just made him smile, and that's exactly how Morningstar found him when he returned from the bedroom.

Morningstar stopped short and stared at him so long that Radueriel felt a flush creep over his cheeks and down his neck to his chest. "Is something wrong?"

"No." Morningstar's voice was rough, a little gravelly, and Radueriel was about to frown with concern when Morningstar rounded the sofa. The large bulge in Morningstar's jeans gave away his arousal. "You're just... stunning."

"Like the tree?" Radueriel asked happily, reaching out in invitation.

Morningstar took his hand and sank down to the carpet. "Even more so than the tree."

Radueriel held out his hand. "Will you make love with me now?"

"All night," Morningstar breathed as he knelt between Radueriel's spread thighs. "Forever."

Forever was such a nice thought. Radueriel liked the idea of forever with Morningstar. It's what he had wanted in Heaven, what he wanted now. When Morningstar's lips touched his again, Radueriel plunged his fingers into the golden mass of his lover's hair. The kisses were passionate, an edge of hunger that Radueriel hadn't known in Heaven, and he moaned when Morningstar parted from him.

"I need to undress," Morningstar panted softly. "Can't make love with you in jeans and sweater."

"Not in the way I would like best," Radueriel agreed, reluctantly letting Morningstar sit back. His hands went for Morningstar's jeans, unsnapping the button and pulling the zipper down with just a little difficulty. Morningstar was always beautiful when aroused, and once he had peeled the denim away, this time was no exception. In Heaven, there had been no such thing as foreplay, but now that he had returned to Morningstar and felt all the pleasures a mortal body could contain, he had been trying to give as well as receive. His hand closed around Morningstar's sex, and he wiggled down a little on the carpet as Morningstar moaned and pulled off his sweater. Leaning over, he gave the head the daintiest of licks.

Morningstar shuddered, his hand gently caressing Radueriel's hair. Oral pleasures were still a curiosity to Radueriel. Oh, the joys of finding release between Morningstar's perfect bowed lips was something Radueriel frequently enjoyed, but he was still sussing out the mechanics of giving instead of receiving. It was a slow task for him, something to ease into. Morningstar was no small man between his thighs, and it took a bit for Radueriel to adjust.

"Yes," Morningstar groaned. "God Almighty, I love when you taste me."

Those words only made Radueriel more determined. He altered his angle and began to bob, gradually taking more of the musky, thick flesh into his mouth. His own organ throbbed, demanded to be touched, to be teased, but he ignored it. Morningstar's melodic cries of pleasure pushed him onward, made him bolder. He sucked and licked, pumped his hand, all while remaining delicate, elegant in the act. It was a fine dance of lips, tongue, and fingers, and Morningstar was gasping above him, his fingers tightening in his hair. Making love with his glorious bearer of light, God's most beloved angel, was a greater than any blessing to be found in Paradise.

"Wait... Oh, God, Radueriel, wait." Morningstar moaned and started to pry him off his sex, and he gave in without a moment's hesitation, looking up at Morningstar with eager, wide eyes.

"Have I done something wrong?"

A breathless laugh escaped Morningstar, who caressed the angles of his face and his slightly swollen lips. "Not at all. There is just so much more I want to celebrate with you before I come. My cock just couldn't take much more of your lovely lips."

'Come' and 'cock'. Such crude words to Radueriel, but they made his heart race to hear along with Morningstar's compliments. He laughed softly and lay back, stretching his arms above his head and playing with a lock of his hair. He would have preened a little at his wings, but those had been taken from him when he'd chosen to come to Earth, to Morningstar. It was a choice he never regretted. "Make love to me?"

"Endlessly," Morningstar purred.

The cap of the lube was popped, and as Morningstar bent his lips to Radueriel's sex, two slippery, cool fingers pushed into his body. Radueriel gasped, arched. The pleasure! It was always so intense, wonderful to indulge in. The humans had it wrong. Lust wasn't a sin. Lust was an affirmation of God's love, of His divine hand offering the purest of pleasures with another being. Radueriel cried out as Morningstar's fingers moved inside him, touched places that made his toes curl. All the while, Morningstar's talented mouth moved on his hard organ.

"M-Morningstar!" Radueriel gasped, the lights of the tree and the colors of the ornaments swimming in his gaze. "Oh—oh! Please, Morningstar!"

But Morningstar didn't stop, not as he had when Morningstar had warned him. No, Morningstar brought him the clarity of climax, his whole body trembling beneath their beautiful tree as he spilled himself within the confines of Morningstar's mouth. He twitched, his fingers weakly tugging at Morningstar's fine hair—like spun gold—but Morningstar would not relent. Beyond the pleasure of immediate release came the dull ache of sustained arousal, and Radueriel whimpered to the boughs of the pine above him.

It was beautiful, all-consuming, and his whimpers were met with a deep, vibrating moan from Morningstar, who only pulled back after several more sucks to his organ. "Please," he panted, his eyes meeting Morningstar's. "Join our bodies."

"Yes," Morningstar moaned. Fingers left his body, and he tugged Morningstar closer by the fallen angel's hair until he could wrap his arms around shoulders and waist. His fingertips teased over the scars, the place where Morningstar's wings could appear if he willed it. Even in his exile, in his punishment, God Almighty hadn't the heart to sheer Morningstar's wings. The thought made love swell up in Radueriel, and he peppered kisses to Morningstar's lips as Morningstar moaned and pressed against him with the tip of his sex.

The penetration was slow, steady, and Radueriel felt his head spin with pleasure, the lights glimmering in the halo of Morningstar's golden hair above him. There was the slight sting of pain, something wholly belonging to the reality of flesh and blood, and Radueriel cherished it as reminder of all he'd gained when he'd left the perfection of Heaven.

There were kisses, soft touches, and Morningstar's sex moving in and out of him in long, slow thrusts. Radueriel heard the distant sound of Christmas music, probably hidden inside one of the many apartments in the old, lovely building. The glittering glass icicles shivered on the tree limbs each time Morningstar surged forward and his shoulder bumped the needles. Radueriel laughed, the happiness and joy in his heart needing voice. Morningstar smiled brightly against his lips, and Radueriel thought—not for the first time—that his heart would shatter with sheer amount of gladness he felt.


Morningstar dipped down, brushed their lips together. "Laugh again," he whispered. "I want to wrap myself in your laughter."

Radueriel laughed for Morningstar, for himself, for their love, for the love of their God. He laughed before the pleasure swept him away and all he could do was gasp and moan, his toes curling as he met every thrust. Morningstar was masterful, his touch so knowing, and Radueriel clung to him, loved him, and savored every moment under the tree with his fallen angel.

Morningstar's hand snaked its way between them and curled around his straining organ. The touch brought a cry from his lips, music that twined with Morningstar's voice as they moved together. His fingers dug into the tattoos on Morningstar's back, and he arched, his head thrown back as ecstasy stole away his senses. His seed spattered up his skin, and he distantly felt Morningstar's lips at his throat, that strong, beautiful body shuddering above him. Heat spread inside him, and he couldn't help the silly, joyful smile that bloomed on his face.

After a moment, Morningstar's lips found his. Radueriel thought he might purr like Manny did when he was scritched. His arms weakly wove around Morningstar's neck, and he chuckled, the sound soft and lyrical. "Beautiful," he slurred. "Like stars in your hair."

"Ever a poet," Morningstar breathed against Radueriel's lips. "My poet."

"Yours." Radueriel moaned as Morningstar thrust into him again, his sex still hard inside him. "Morningstar?"

Morningstar grinned, wicked and bright. "I said endlessly, love."

Radueriel gasped and arched as pleasure spread warmly through him again, and his eyes stared up into the glittering pine boughs. "Endlessly," he breathed, and he couldn't think of any better way to spend eternity.

All works contained here are copyrighted to S.L. Armstrong. No reproduction or usage is permitted without written, express consent by the author.