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rose petal boys

rose petal boys

a community garden with no room for roses.

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Topics: boys, closeted, fanfic, fraternity, friends with benefits, internal homophobia, and romance (Add Tags »)

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:

https://www.roleplaygateway.com/roleplay/another-year-at-fulton-university
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Introduction





XXXXXXXXR O S ExxxP E T A LxxxB O Y S
XXXXXXXHeart beat pounding I said I love you, you loved me too. Where did you go? I didn't know, I didn't mean it.

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Character Portrait: Cyrus James rose child of a thorn

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Character Portrait: Maddox Izumi Character Portrait: Cyrus James
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MADDOX IZUMI
[Maddox' Penthouse]
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The rest of that time spent in Cyrus’ arms, in his room at the Sigma house, had passed much too quickly and before Maddox knew it, he was slipping out the window and formulating the fastest and most discreet way to make it back to his own apartment without being spotted. The shower of messages never stopped. A few are from Annabelle, but most were from Oliver wondering what the hell had kidnapped him this time.

”I’m fine, stop calling me you brat.” was the first phrase out of the older Beta’s mouth after calling his little that same night to avoid being hunted down by the police. He was met with an array of protests, to which he only chuckled and wondered who in their right mind would leave Oliver in charge of taking care of anyone when he himself needed to be babysat. Eventually, Maddox did manage to talk him into a more relaxed state of mind, but only after assuring him that things between he and Cyrus had been fixed.

That wasn’t entirely a lie, but it wasn’t the full truth either. Things still felt different between them, and perhaps they would never feel the same again. Cyrus had suffered a lot, with absolutely no idea of how much Maddox himself had also been put through hell back in New York. The Beta has opted to keep such details to himself, not wanting to appear weak in front of his favorite Sigma who would look at him as if he were some sort of comic book hero. And maybe that was his pride talking, but Maddox couldn’t bring himself to talk about how he’d cried himself to sleep in Belle’s arms that night. At least not yet.

He and Cyrus hadn't seen each other for the next few days, and Maddox never attempted to make it happen. He knew Cyrus needed time, and in all honesty, he did too. Time to pick himself back up and bring back the Maddox Cyrus had originally been attracted to. He couldn’t, however, help but to keep in contact through messages. A not so small part of him worried about what could happen to Cyrus while they weren’t together. He tried his best not to make it blatantly obvious that he was worried and paranoid, though most likely failed. But at this point that was the least of his worries, if anything were to happen to Cyrus, Maddox would never forgive himself.

He used his free time to catch up on school work he had missed due to lack of energy and a stable state of mind, even though his mind continued to wander over to Cyrus and what he was doing, and if he was truly okay. It wasn’t until he stopped thinking about the young sigma boy and tried focusing on his work that said boy actually messaged him. Maddox stares at the text for a moment, realizing that if he said yes this would be their first official date.

A small part of him still nagged about this being a bad idea. About how much safer Cyrus would be if they had nothing to do with one another, but the larger and much more selfish part said he deserved this date. He deserved to be with Cyrus and they both deserved to be happy even if that meant Maddox becoming the blonde’s unofficial bodyguard. That part of him is what moved him to finally reply to the message a good while later.

To: Cy *wink emoji*
This better be worth leaving my apartment on a comfortable Sunday night.

He took a moment to reread his text after sending it, finally seeing his own reflection in his words and not the scared, lonely and broken boy he had slowly started to transform into since arriving at New York. He took another moment before adding,

To: Cy *wink emoji*
Don't be late ;)

Setting him phone aside, he quickly got to his feet to get ready. For the first time in weeks, he truly felt motivated to do something. It was a bit terrifying to Maddox the kind of effect Cyrus had on him, but he pushed those thoughts aside as he slipped into some of his best dress clothes. Those were the exact thoughts that kept them so close yet so far for such a long time. This was a brand new start for them, and Maddox wanted to do it right.

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Character Portrait: Maddox Izumi Character Portrait: Cyrus James
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CYRUS JAMES
Cyrus' off campus apartment.
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For the first time in a while, Cyrus was nervous to see Maddox.

After the call from New York, he was actively avoiding Maddox, only to seek him out at the party when he was intoxicated and angry. But he hadn't been nervous to see the Beta since the first time he'd come to Cyrus' freshman year apartment.

The same feeling of unfamiliarity and giddyness came to Cyrus thinking of their first actual date. He'd never been brave enough to seek a more public relationship with Maddox, or a relationship at all. He'd settled for a no-strings-attached that was full of strings he ignored until he almost lost Maddox. If Maddox hadn't shown up in his room that night wasted and crying, Cyrus didn't know if he would have tried to fix anything with Maddox.

And for that he was thankful. No matter what anyone said or thought, he wanted to be with Maddox. He didn't care about the publicity of it, mainly because of Maddox and how Betas viewed a relationship like theirs, but he wanted exclusivity. Even if he wasn't sleeping in Maddox's bed or Maddox in his, he wanted the security of being Maddox's and Maddox being his.

This date would be the first step to that, and Cyrus had to impress. Impressing the Beta prince himself was a hard task, but as the newly crowned Sigma prince, he'd wisened up since the night he stumbled into Maddox's room as a foreigner to the Beta kingdom.

As he started to work on his hair, giving it the fluffy waves that he craved Maddox's fingers to run through, he thought about Annabelle. She was fiesty and nothing like most of the girls at Fulton, but also had a motherly quality to her. She definitely wasn't what Cyrus was expecting when it came to Maddox's friends, but after the footage and her seeking Cyrus out, he wanted Maddox to stay good friends.

Plus, he had a feeling that she could be the key to getting Jack over Maya. It's been at least three or four months, and Jack needed someone like Annabelle to remind him not to be an arrogant hotshot.

She was also good for Cyrus. He knew she was there for Maddox, but those videos and the look on Maddox's face as he was forced to call Cyrus assured him that Maddox didn't want to hurt Cyrus. The pain that Maddox must have gone through pushed Cyrus to make everything perfect for their date and to show Maddox that not only did Cyrus want to continue what they had, but he forgave him for that night.

Maddox's apartment wasn't far from his own. It was sitting in the car, fiddling with whether or not to wear a tie - opting without - and messing with his hair for the twentieth time tonight, that made the time pass by. He'd gotten to Maddox's apartment complex almost twenty minutes early and the nerves were getting to him.

This felt like the first night they met. The time he spent talking to Maddox during recruitment had the freshman boy thirsting after the Beta prince. It was a challenge, but his baby blues and his presence on Maddox's bed had been enough to get him in. Tonight, he had just his charm and hope that they could fix things to work with. If nothing else, The Victoriana was the best Italian restaurant in town and he could have enough glasses of wine to numb his nerves.

A second to breathe, in, out, and he stepped out of his car to make his way up to Maddox's apartment. He would've brought a bottle of wine but after the other night, he supposed a single white rose would still be romantic enough to start off right.

Cyrus paused outside Maddox's door, taking another breath so his voice wouldn't be shaky once Maddox was at the door. Then, he knocked.

"Damn Mad, I was really hoping you'd answer the door naked."

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Character Portrait: Maddox Izumi Character Portrait: Cyrus James
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MADDOX IZUMI
[Maddox' Penthouse]
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Much like his personality, Maddox' clothing choices had never been very flashy. Of course, he always tried to look his best, like a proper Beta Prince should. He wasn't a fashionista by any means, but he somehow always managed to dress well for any given occasion. When an occasion was special, he gave his clothing extra thought. Tonight's date, his and Cyrus' first official date, was one of those occasions.

Maddox spent a good half hour running through the options of clothing all the while messaging with Anabelle to assure her he was doing okay. Her concern could be sense even through the lifeless words on Maddox' iPhone screen. He smiled a bit, making his responses as detailed as possible. Knowing Annabelle, she'd be asking all the question anyway so he thought it wise to beat her to it and give her everything she wanted to know.

He hadn't exactly been honest with her about what happened the night of the party. All she knew at this point was that there was a party, and thanks to Oliver, that he hadn't gone to class the following day. As expected, she had immediately confronted him about it, but Maddox in all his years of experience was able to not only lie his way out of it but also change the subject entirely. He was certain he'd convinced her, but her endless questions said otherwise.

He opted to start from the beginning, from the moment he set foot inside the Sigma house and was struck with an overwhelming sense of guilt. That same guilt that led him to take the first drink despite his long-standing rule of remaining sober at any party to ensure he has control over his actions. That first drink that led to many, and the many drinks that led to his wandering the Sigma house halls looking for answers he was almost certain he wouldn't find. And most importantly, this wandering that led him to Cyrus' bedroom, desperately hoping that by some miracle he could turn back time and start over. To rewind to the night he'd found Cryus in his bedroom and kick him out.

If there's anything Maddox was good at was lying. Lying to others, and lying to himself. He had tried to convince himself that Cyrus meant nothing to him. He'd lied to himself time and time again, taking notes of any negative feelings he could have towards the blonde in order to use them later to distance himself, but there was never enough to grip onto. On the other hand, every casual smile, every moment together, every late night conversation and morning waking up in tangled sheets only pulled him in deeper to the point that he could no longer lie to himself no matter how hard he tried.

He wasn't going to try anymore. He cared about Cyrus more than he ever cared about anything or anyone, and there was no part of him that wanted to ignore that anymore. He no longer had the strength to. But he had the strength to fight whatever came their way in order to stay together if that's what Cyrus wanted.

After much deliberation, he decided to skip the tie look all together. Tossing the narrow piece of fabric aside, he tugged on the collar of his floral shirt. The floor-length mirror and the bedroom lights perfectly captured the suit that hugged him in all the right places. He ran his fingers through his freshly washed hair as the sound of a knock at the door decided for him that his dark locks would have to remain perfectly imperfect and unstyled.

Maddox would be lying again if he said the sight of Cyrus at his doorstep just like old times didn't flood his stomach with butterflies, but if there's anything he was good at it was keeping his poker face intact. "And here I put all this work into looking good for you." he stated, a subtle hint of feigned disappointment hanging off of his words. He closed the door behind them, his steps careful and calculated. They had been alone in his apartment plenty of times before, but after all that had happened, this time it felt...different. There was something in the air, something that wasn't there before. Or perhaps, something that had always been there but they had chosen to ignore time and time again.

There was so much he wanted to say now, but no clue where to even start.

Nothing to see here. Move along, 2768065.

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Character Portrait: Maddox Izumi Character Portrait: Cyrus James
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CYRUS JAMES
Maddox's apartment.
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The moment Maddox opened the door, Cyrus' breath was caught.

While Cyrus had opted for a slightly dressed down formal look, with an oversized dress shirt and mid-waist suit pants, Maddox was dazzling in a suit. Cyrus swore that every piece of clothing Maddox wore looked good, but this was to a new level of looking good. The slightly unkempt hair and those pretty brown eyes were more than enticing; Cyrus was looking forward to running his hands through every brown lock and gazing into those eyes all night. He was also looking forward to taking every piece of clothing off of Maddox's slender body and kissing every inch of skin he could find.

The reply to his cheeky comment earned him a familiar mischief that he was used to hearing and seeing from Maddox. Cyrus only hoped that this Maddox, the Beta prince he'd enticed to strip the layers of formality, would stay for the night. "What can I say, babe? Your birthday suit is your best outfit," Cyrus answers with a wink.

The pet name is slipped in discretely, more to test the waters. Sure, the call was settled, but where they stood wasn't. After a year of messing each other's bedsheets, they were still at square one. Cyrus hadn't even told Maddox he liked him more than a fling until he almost didn't have the chance to.

The thought urges him inside and he closes the door, taking in Maddox once again with an appreciative smile. "I know we need to head out, but..." Cyrus saunters closer to Maddox with every word, trailing off as he makes it right in front of Maddox. He grasps onto Maddox's cheek, cupping it softly as his eyes take in those pouty lips and then his lips take them in, kissing him like he wanted to since they last saw each other.

He lingers on Maddox's lips as long as the Beta will let him, then pulls away enough to rest his forehesad against Maddox's forehead, taking in the smell of that cologne he wore that made Cyrus woozy with attraction and the warmth of the other boy before pulling away completely.

Cyrus sets the white rose he brought on Maddox's dining room table, taking in the apartment he hadn't been in for a while. Most of their "meetings" were in one of the fraternity houses or Cyrus' apartment, mainly because Cyrus would tug the Beta home after every event he got to be with him without needing a good excuse.

This dinner - this date - would be good for them. It would show if they were really meant to be together. Cyrus could forgive Maddox all he pleased, but if Maddox couldn't forgive himself, the Sigma didn't know if he could stick around.

He didn't want to be just a fling anymore, and he didn't know how the casanova Beta, who was closeted to everyone but the boy who claimed his bedsheets and a few others, would feel about being more. From what Annabelle said, Maddox really cared about Cyrus, and assurance like that made Cyrus' heart flutter and practically skip a beat.

That prompts Cyrus back toward the door, grabbing his keys from his pocket and looking over his shoulder at Maddox. "Well, if we don't leave now we'll end up on your bed and miss our reservation," Cyrus calls, smirking knowingly and giving Maddox an elevator glance for added effect. Cyrus liked many things about Maddox, his affection, his mischievious comments, even his care when he's pretending not to care, but most of all, the Beta was a damn good dresser.

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Character Portrait: Maddox Izumi Character Portrait: Cyrus James
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MADDOX IZUMI
[Maddox' Penthouse]
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There were very few occasions when Maddox could say he’d felt nervous about something. One had been during his senior year of high school as he waited for the results of his college entrance exams. He’d been so desperate to not only get out of his father’s house but also get accepted far away enough to not have to see his face again.

The most recent had been when he first set foot into the Beta house. He had trouble sleeping the night before due to overthinking and wondering if he’d be able to really fit in. His worries quickly disappeared though, when he realized the older Betas were much more easy to impress than he’d expect. Gaining their trust and respect had been all too easy.

Tonight was another one of those rare occasions, though the sense of nervousness felt much different than the previous times. Before, he’d only been worried about himself and his own well-being. But tonight, all he could think about was whether Cyrus was truly okay? Would he really be happy with Maddox around? He had no idea what staying with him entailed. Would he really be willing to face what was coming?

Maddox didn’t give a response to the blonde’s flirty comment but instead watches carefully as Cyrus moves towards him, a white rose hanging from one of his hands. There’s a look in his eyes that says he truly wants to be there. His baby blues are more transparent than they have ever been as his hands cup Maddox’ face. The Beta’s dark browns watch him with undivided attention as their faces grow closer.

The kiss feels much different than the previous ones. Not only the stolen drunken kisses that they’d shared a few days prior, but it felt different to every kiss they’d had before. In the back of Maddox’ mind, there had always been that feeling of displacement. Like his kisses had a lot more meaning to them than they should have.

But it was different now. This one felt much more raw and honest. Maddox made it last for as long as he could, his hands slowly snaking around the blonde’s waist and locking in place as if refusing to let go. They only pulled apart when they both needed air. The corners of Maddox' mouth quirked upwards to form his infamous smirk as he watched Cyrus set the rose on his table and return to him.

The look that followed his statement didn’t go unnoticed. This was the Cyrus Maddox had known all this time, but of course the blonde never changed. The one that changed was Maddox himself. But maybe it was for the better. Still, there was enough of the Maddox that Cyrus knew to be familiar. ”Well your wish is my command.” he almost purrs in the Sigma’s ear as they step outside and Maddox turns to look his door.

The drive to the restaurant is comfortable. There’s a new sense of ease between the two of them that had never been there before, but many things were still unsolved. Cyrus has seemingly forgiven everything that had gone down the past few weeks, and Maddox was trying his best to do the same. Yet their relationship status was still up in the air.

Maddox had never been in a real relationship before, having nothing more than no-strings-attached and one-night-stands. But that’s not what he wanted with Cyrus despite their initial agreement. For the first time ever, Maddox wanted more than just Cyrus’ bedsheets. He wanted everything. The good, the bad, the bitter and sweet. Simply put, he wanted a relationship and from what he’d seen, Cyrus felt the same way.

But there was still that part of him that doubted. There was no guarantee that Cyrus wanted what he did, nor was there any guarantee that they’d be able to make this work even if he did. So he opted to keep this to himself as they arrived at the establishment. A lot of things were still uncertain, but what Maddox knew for sure was that he would do anything to make those baby blues happy.

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Character Portrait: Maddox Izumi Character Portrait: Cyrus James
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CYRUS JAMES
Maddox's apartment.
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There was something in the air between them that was different from every time Cyrus had breathed it before. For once, he didn't feel on his toes, eager to impress the older boy he'd somehow persuaded one more night for more than a year now. In this moment, it was just Cyrus and Maddox.

Cyrus wasn't sure if the thought paralyzed him with fear, or finally made him comfortable. He no longer feared the last kiss, last touch, last moment to look into the brown eyes and see more than the wall Maddox put up for everyone else. He didn't know if Maddox was truly his, but he was sure that he didn't belong to anyone else's. That was assurance enough to gently clasp Maddox's hand in his own as they drove to the Victoriana, blue eyes set on the road but his thoughts set on the soft hand tangled in his like their bodies often were in soft linen.

The drive lasted seconds and hours at the same time, Cyrus' thoughts wandering as he maneuvered the streets of Miami but arriving at the restaurant like no time had passed at all.

Cyrus had no idea how this night would go. Sure, he'd been on plenty of dates, even some with men, but this wasn't any date or any man. Cyrus had secured a room that had a few tables in it but would only seat him and Maddox tonight, enough privacy for the closeted Beta to feel a bit more at ease in public with no real excuse to why he was sitting with Cyrus at a romantic restaurant.

That was another thought that bothered its way from the back of Cyrus' mind. Would Maddox want a relationship with him in public? A large part of him was fine with a secret as long as he could call Maddox his. But another small part of him didn't want to hide.

That part of him was still hurt and felt Cyrus deserved a public, real love with someone. He knew he needed to be cautious and slow with Maddox, but that part of him was afraid. Cyrus didn't really remember a time he fell in love, but he knew he felt that for Maddox, even if he would choke up trying to say it out loud. So he shoved all the feelings and emotions that usually poured out in a fountain of transparency for the chance to sit down in the candle lit restaurant and be with Maddox.

Cyrus drops Maddox's hand after he stops the car, and stops himself from opening Maddox's door like he wants to. He shoves his hands into his pockets to keep from searching for Maddox's slender fingers and saunters beside him, keeping a more guarded posture and look in his eye than usual. He needed this one assurance, a test to see if Maddox wanted him for every moment or only in the private times.

The hostess guides them to the secluded area of the restaurant, and Cyrus tips her generously for doing this favor for him. He'd been to the Victoriana often with the more business-like alumni of Sigma, and had flirted with the very same hostess plenty of times. Tonight was about Maddox and the beautiful glow of his dark browns against the candlelight.

"Hope I'm not treating you too much like an Alpha,". Cyrus teases softly, noting the romantic atmosphere that would definitely woo a pretty girl in a short dress. He opens the bottle of wine already left on the table, pouring a glass for himself and one for Maddox as well. "Though if that kind of treatment gets me the same outcome, I might continue," He says with a wink, tipping his glass to Maddox.

Cyrus resorts to more flirtation as his guard to hide how nervous and scared he is that this will end with him being alone again. He was stuck between wanting everything with Maddox, and wanting nothing but sex so he wouldn't ruin the small notes of romance and love he did receive and denied if anyone asked.

He was more hopeful that he'd take Maddox home tonight and be his forever - or as long as Maddox will be his too.

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Character Portrait: Maddox Izumi Character Portrait: Cyrus James
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CYRUS JAMES
Maddox's apartment.
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There was something in the air between them that was different from every time Cyrus had breathed it before. For once, he didn't feel on his toes, eager to impress the older boy he'd somehow persuaded one more night for more than a year now. In this moment, it was just Cyrus and Maddox.

Cyrus wasn't sure if the thought paralyzed him with fear, or finally made him comfortable. He no longer feared the last kiss, last touch, last moment to look into the brown eyes and see more than the wall Maddox put up for everyone else. He didn't know if Maddox was truly his, but he was sure that he didn't belong to anyone else's. That was assurance enough to gently clasp Maddox's hand in his own as they drove to the Victoriana, blue eyes set on the road but his thoughts set on the soft hand tangled in his like their bodies often were in soft linen.

The drive lasted seconds and hours at the same time, Cyrus' thoughts wandering as he maneuvered the streets of Miami but arriving at the restaurant like no time had passed at all.

Cyrus had no idea how this night would go. Sure, he'd been on plenty of dates, even some with men, but this wasn't any date or any man. Cyrus had secured a room that had a few tables in it but would only seat him and Maddox tonight, enough privacy for the closeted Beta to feel a bit more at ease in public with no real excuse to why he was sitting with Cyrus at a romantic restaurant.

That was another thought that bothered its way from the back of Cyrus' mind. Would Maddox want a relationship with him in public? A large part of him was fine with a secret as long as he could call Maddox his. But another small part of him didn't want to hide.

That part of him was still hurt and felt Cyrus deserved a public, real love with someone. He knew he needed to be cautious and slow with Maddox, but that part of him was afraid. Cyrus didn't really remember a time he fell in love, but he knew he felt that for Maddox, even if he would choke up trying to say it out loud. So he shoved all the feelings and emotions that usually poured out in a fountain of transparency for the chance to sit down in the candle lit restaurant and be with Maddox.

Cyrus drops Maddox's hand after he stops the car, and stops himself from opening Maddox's door like he wants to. He shoves his hands into his pockets to keep from searching for Maddox's slender fingers and saunters beside him, keeping a more guarded posture and look in his eye than usual. He needed this one assurance, a test to see if Maddox wanted him for every moment or only in the private times.

The hostess guides them to the secluded area of the restaurant, and Cyrus tips her generously for doing this favor for him. He'd been to the Victoriana often with the more business-like alumni of Sigma, and had flirted with the very same hostess plenty of times. Tonight was about Maddox and the beautiful glow of his dark browns against the candlelight.

"Hope I'm not treating you too much like an Alpha,". Cyrus teases softly, noting the romantic atmosphere that would definitely woo a pretty girl in a short dress. He opens the bottle of wine already left on the table, pouring a glass for himself and one for Maddox as well. "Though if that kind of treatment gets me the same outcome, I might continue," He says with a wink, tipping his glass to Maddox.

Cyrus resorts to more flirtation as his guard to hide how nervous and scared he is that this will end with him being alone again. He was stuck between wanting everything with Maddox, and wanting nothing but sex so he wouldn't ruin the small notes of romance and love he did receive and denied if anyone asked.

He was more hopeful that he'd take Maddox home tonight and be his forever - or as long as Maddox will be his too.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Maddox Izumi Character Portrait: Cyrus James
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MADDOX IZUMI
[Maddox' Penthouse]
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Maddox had been to plenty of dates before. He was never one to shy away when asked out to drinks by a pretty girl, and part of his princely reputation had come from his efforts to always go the extra mile, even when he had no interest in the high-class beauty queen that hung from his arm. It was always the same routine; they'd flock to him like bees to honey, he'd woo them with a charming smile and flick of his credit card, then they'd spend the night together leading into the next morning where he'd bid them farewell with an excuse that normally started with "This was fun, but..." and ended in something having to do with his busy life and having no time for a relationship.

In reality, he simply couldn't be bothered to feign interest in something or someone for longer than a couple of days. It was mentally and physically exhausting, so he hid behind excuses of the hectic life of a pre-law student. The last time he'd been at The Victoriana had been no different.

This time, however, everything was different. Never mind the fact that Maddox wasn't the one effortlessly wooing whatever Alpha was "fortunate" enough to get him for the night, or the fact that unlike all the other times...he actually wanted to be here. There was this sense of comfort that came with following Cyrus inside the restaurant. His eyes wandered the place as they made their way to a secluded area, which Maddox was thankful for. Physically, nothing had changed. Figuratively, it was all brand new. For the first time ever, Maddox Izumi actually felt nervous while being on a date.

"Hope I'm not treating you too much like an Alpha," the comment came after the waitress had left the two boys alone. Maddox' nerves once hidden by indifference were now overshadowed by a playful smirk as he took hold of his wine glass. A soft hum leaves his lips as he takes a sip, dark eyes catching the baby blues across the table for two. "I'm sorry to break it to you but I'm not so easily wooed" he kept his voice low, both on purpose and subconsciously to avoid being heard. "You're going to have to try a little harder than that"

There was no part of Maddox that was ashamed of what he felt for Cyrus, and had circumstances been different he would have proudly yelled it from the rooftops. Maybe in an ideal near future, he could, but there was much more holding him back now than what his Beta brothers would think and say. A heavy sense of guilt mixed with paranoia still hung from the Beta's shoulder and that was something not easily shaken. He no longer cared for his sorority brothers' opinions, but he feared something much greater.

If there was anything Maddox had learned over the years is that all it took for something he cared about to be taken away from him was his speaking it into existence. It was like some running cruel joke from the universe that prevented him from loving anything or anyone other than himself. So if talking in hushed tones and feigning indifference was all it took to fool the universe and keep Cyrus at his side then so be it. It was no one's business to know what Cyrus meant to Maddox. The only one that needed to know was Cyrus himself, and if all went well then very soon he would.

"So what inspired you to bring me here all of a sudden?" though the smirk remained, the question was genuine. They hadn't seen one another in a few days. Not since Maddox' drunken episode at the Sigma estate. surely there had to be a reason behind this intimate and romantic date. As far as Maddox knew, he hadn't done anything to deserve this.

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CYRUS JAMES
The Victoriana, date with Maddox .
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As much as this date was out of their element, Maddox didn’t seem to find any difference. The same smirk, same wit, all of the man he fell in love with was still there, hidden behind a glass of dark wine and his favorite dark brown eyes.

Cyrus was sure Maddox could tell how nervous he was. He tried to keep his gaze cool and slightly flirtatious, his posture relaxed, but he couldn’t help but drum his fingers against the table, and even when he picked up his glass to take a sip of wine, his fingers would circle around the bottom of the glass until he moved back into drumming them again.

It wasn’t Maddox himself that make Cyrus nervous. In fact, just looking up and seeing Maddox sat across from him surrounded by candlelight in a very romantic setting made his stomach flutter. He was more worried about scaring Maddox away. Everything Cyrus did or said was running through his head, good and bad criticisms based on the reaction he got from Maddox.

Maddox’s question jolts him from his thoughts, but he keeps himself collected with a little flirtatious smirk and another deep swallow from his glass. But did he have an answer? An answer that wouldn’t make Maddox on edge or worried of their relationship?

The waiter saves Cyrus from an immediate answer, asking the boys for their order for the night and if they had any questions. He let Maddox go first, knowing his own order well, and then ordered quickly for himself to return to them to their private chat where he could speak more freely. ”Would you prefer someone else’s company tonight?” Cyrus first teases with a little wink, using their familiar banter to relax himself for the real answer.

He chuckles softly, then picks up his wine so he can swallow his words as he says them. ”I just really wanted to see you tonight,” Cyrus’ words trail off into the glass of wine he finishes, his eyes finally moving up to Maddox to gauge his reaction.

Out of pure impulse, or maybe trying to figure out how Maddox feels about him concretely, he keeps talking. ”After that party, and you know… what happened in my room, I understand why everything happened the way it did. But I… I don’t know- there’s still some things left unanswered. I figured you saying yes to this was a step towards an answer.”

There was also that hanging in the air. Did Maddox love him? Cyrus was done lying to himself, so he knew that he loved Maddox. But he’d never been in love, never even had a boyfriend. Sure, there were a few girls that he dated for a month or two, but every time he tried to plant roots he always seemed to hit the bottom of a vase. But the feelings he held for Maddox, the roots that sunk into the neverending earth, were far more stable and sure than anything he had felt for anyone else.

And that’s what makes him nervous, scared, eager to down the entire wine bottle to stop being nervous and scared. But for once, he wants this sober reality, even if it’s the last time he’ll share a moment like this with Maddox.

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MADDOX IZUMI
[The Victoriana - Dinner Date]
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Maddox had spent most of his life trying to live up to expectations. His parents’, his family members’, his Beta brothers, but mostly his own. He’d built this idea, this model of himself that he was meant to follow. Goals he was supposed to meet and emotions he was meant to avoid, love being the very first. And he had been doing a damn good job of it, but life had different plans for him.

The night he’d found Cyrus in his room, drunk and disoriented, baby blues staring back at him as if looking for answers that Maddox didn’t even know he had, the Beta hadn’t thought much of it. Aside from the nagging that reminded him to not get caught, he’d expected nothing more than a night’s hook up. Convinced himself so. If only past Maddox could see him now. Sitting across the restaurant table from the boy he’d deemed nothing more than “just sex”, fine wine and candles filling the space between them, eyes locked on each other’s as if they were the only two people on the planet, and a four-letter word hanging from Maddox’ tongue, waiting for the perfect moment to come out. The irony of it all almost made him laugh.

”Would you prefer someone else’s company tonight?” Maybe Maddox had changed over time, but Cyrus hadn’t and somehow that gave the Beta a piece of mind. Maddox responded with a smirk of his own, matching the one directed at him. If there was anything the two boys had in common, it was their pride. Neither one would openly admit that, despite the flirtatious smirks and witty banter, their nerves were silently running ramped. Luckily for Maddix, not only was he skilled at hiding emotions but he’d also become quite skilled at reading others. More specifically, at reading Cyrus. The blonde was nervous, no doubt about it, and Maddox couldn’t blame him considering he felt the exact same way.

Still, he managed to keep his features smoothed out even while Cyrus brought up the subject Maddox had been most anxious to talk about. Friday night...the night of the party. The night Maddox peeled back just about every layer, every mask he’d worked so hard to put up over the years and laid his soul bare for no one but Cyrus to see. The thought of being so honest, so...vulnerable with someone made his stomach sink in fear of all the possible ways this could end badly for him. But what was done was done, there was nowhere to move now but forward and nothing to do but prepare for the fall.

”Fair enough” he finally spoke after a silence prolonged by a sip of wine. He set the almost empty cup down, fold his arms on the table in front of him as his body leaned slightly forward, signaling that Cyrus had his full and undivided attention. ”Ask me anything you want to know, and I’ll answer with one hundred percent honesty.” his eyes searched for Cyrus’, their usually cold and distant charm now replaced by genuine interest. He was done lying, some with hiding, over pretending he was something and someone he was not and Cyrus deserved nothing but the absolute truth.

”After all, what kind of a boyfriend would I be if I didn’t.” the words left his mouth so smoothly and casually that not even Maddox himself realized he’d said them until a few seconds after. His first instinct was to backtrack, fear immediately claiming that he had crossed the line. But feigning confidence had always been what Maddox did best, so despite his urge to run from his seat and vanish before Cyrus could break his heart, he say perfectly still, eyes fixed on the ones across the table while he silently waited and hoped against all hope that the blonde staring back at him felt the same way.

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CYRUS JAMES
The Victoriana, date with Maddox .
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The red wine started to relax Cyrus from the inside out, cooling him down into his usual charm and collection. In reality, he had no reason to be nervous. Just getting Maddy to come with him and sit down to a dinner with candlelight and one of the most expensive wines on the menu - though Cyrus wasn’t telling Maddy that - was more than enough to garner assurance that Maddy wanted to be here.

Still, Maddy always managed to surprise him, even from the very night they met. Cyrus hadn’t expected any of this, only to be thrown out the room and find his way into another bed. But then Maddy’s lips were on his, and their bodies connected in a way he’d never felt before, so he’d been slipping into Maddy’s bed every chance he had, if only for the night behind closed doors. Even still, it stopped being Maddox, but his Maddy, the one Cyrus fell for and convinced himself every step of the way that he hadn’t.

Recently, he’d shown his chameleon skin. The cold charm he was so used to, even when he found residence in Maddy’s arms and made himself exclusive to the brown-eyed casanova, was harshly stripped away for a drunken boy begging for forgiveness when he hardly remembered what he needed to be forgiven for.

Cyrus didn’t know how to be cold, even when the same drunken boy had broken his heart just a few days before. It reminded him of the little he remembered of his parents being married, his mother always showing warmth to his father that deserved none of it. Certainly that was a trait he’d received from her, though he had no issue showing his father all the reasons he hated him. But even that came from a place of warmth, no coldness in the words or fists thrown at Reid.

Maddy was nothing like his father, even though Cyrus’ hurt had told him they were one and the same. That was a cruel thought, because Maddy had never hurt him of his own accord. In fact, it seems that the very reason he made that phone call was to protect Cyrus from being hurt by his father. He still didn’t understand why Maddy was so afraid of his father, he’d never seen Maddy afraid of anything. But the moment Cyrus even suggested going near Mr. Izumi brought out a paranoia he never expected from him.

But the Maddy in front of him was unlike any of the other layers he’d met. This was Maddy, his boyfriend.

”Boyfriend?” Any other question he may have had slipped from his mind. The glass of wine would’ve slipped too, but he had enough of his bearings to place it neatly on the table, trying to comprehend Maddy’s words. The Beta prince, the one who everyone wanted the attention of, wanted to be his boyfriend. Boyfriend of the newly claimed Sigma prince, who had no business being close to him in any fashion other than the few Greek council meetings.

This date alone told him he couldn’t expect any from Maddy except more surprises. This was one surprise he didn’t mind receiving.

After realizing he’d just been sitting there looking like a complete idiot, he smiles like the lovestruck idiot he really is. ”You know, considering you’re a Beta, I thought you’d have a better way of asking me to be your boyfriend. What if I said no?” Cyrus finally teases, though he hopes that Maddy knows that he would have said yes without hesitation.

Another question hangs on his tongue, but he swallows it down with the last bit of wine in his glass. Being Maddy’s boyfriend, whether in private or public, assured him that Maddy wasn’t looking for anyone else. That was enough to keep the question swirling in his head as they continued to enjoy their night together.

Do you love me?

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MADDOX IZUMI
[The Victoriana - Dinner Date]
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Despite every paranoid muscle in his body telling him otherwise, It was clear to Maddox that Cyrus liked the way that one word sounded if the way he repeated it was anything to go off of. One simple word that shouldn't have carried so much meaning, but did.

Of course, nothing was ever simple between them and this was more than just a word. It was a string that attached them in defiance to their initial rule being "no-strings-attached". It was a one-word confirmation that reminded them that their attempts to remain nothing more than "fuck buddies" had been in vain. And maybe at some point during their journey that brought them to this moment, Maddox would have minded, but the way Cyrus smiled as he nervously set his wine glass down told him maybe he had no reason to mind at all.

There was a pause during which Maddox, eyebrow raised in question, examined Cyrus' every feature. A face that months ago would have been nothing more than another cute stranger in the sea of many. A face that, according to the Greek hierarchy, was destined to be his enemy. The kind of guy the Beta president always warned not to make friends with in order to protect their precious reputation. The guy Maddox had so easily fallen in love with.

The thought came just as smoothly as the previous words had, driving the Beta to gulp down whatever was left of the red liquid in his cup. There were very few days on which Maddox acted on nothing but instinct, and today had been one of them. From the vocal confirmation of his more than just sexual feelings for Cyrus to the first time, he'd been able to admit to himself that he was not jumping to conclusions but he was in fact in love with Cyrus James. It was real. As real as the feelings of a man who had never been given love and had never been in love could be. Granted, it was just as terrifying now as it had been when it was nothing more than a possibility. The difference between then and now was that sitting here across from Cyrus, a smile on his face and baby blues filled with surprise as he scrambled for what to respond made it clear to Maddox that this had never been a one-sided battle.

”You know, considering you’re a Beta, I thought you’d have a better way of asking me to be your boyfriend. What if I said no?” a soft chuckle left Maddox, his dark browns more sincere than they had ever been, even during his drunken confessions from just a few nights ago. "Who said I'm asking?" though it may have sounded like a statement of confidence, in reality, Maddox hadn't asked because he wasn't prepared for the possible rejection. However, after seeing Cyrus' reaction, any and all worries vanished into the smoke coming from their table's candles. "Besides, even if I had. You would have said yes." he stated as he picked up the almost emptied wine bottle and poured himself another glass. "I just figured I'd save us bot the time."

His smirked mixed in with the red wine between his fingers carefully hid the fact that this was the most vernous, but also the happiest he'd felt in a very long time.

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CYRUS JAMES
The Victoriana, date with Maddox .
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Who said I was asking?

You would have said yes, I’m just saving us both the time.

Cyrus didn’t recognize anything but confidence in Maddox’s voice as he explained away his reason for claiming Cyrus as his boyfriend without even asking. He himself tried to explain away the chills he got from it all with the amount of red wine in his system, but in reality, he hadn’t been wanted like this in a long time.

Sure, he’d found himself across from pretty women and handsome men on dates like this on occasion. But even when he ordered the expensive wine and flirted his way home and past the little black dress or the tight suit pants, all the strings were cut by midnight when he was laying in his own bed tied up with the emotional exhaustion of investing into a pretty face for one lone night. The whole night spent playing the interested date, dressing in his best and offering wine and dessert all for a few personal details he would forget in the morning with the hangover that was never really worth it.

Now? Cyrus couldn’t remember being this happy since his mother’s passing. All of the pain from her case, all the disappointment and frustration from the baby blue eyes of Reid James, everything that kept him from being truly happy vanished the moment he became Maddox Izumi’s boyfriend.

The night melted away in more glasses of red wine and flirtations from both sides of the table. The nervousness vanished too, replaced with a sense of content that the boy sitting across from him no longer wanted to deny the strings that had been tied between them. Every inch of skin that had crossed under Cyrus’ fingers was laced with all the feelings both of them had been denying for months now.

From the moment he first saw those dark brown eyes, he tried to deny the need to be with him. At first it was just to see how far he could push the boundaries. He tried everything to make Maddox smile or laugh or even get angry with him, anything to break the cool and collected exterior. Then he felt those soft fingers brush through his hair, experienced the kisses all over his skin, and he was hooked on Maddox and being close with him.

He was reminded how close he was to losing all of that when he caught eyes with Isaac.

Maddox had slipped off to the bathroom and Cyrus was close to finishing off their second bottle. He almost rolled his eyes watching the younger Beta slip over to him, but merely smiled with an amused look in his eye as Isaac came closer. Isaac folds his arms across his chest as he stops in front of Cyrus, frowning deeply at the blonde.

”You could have just texted me, you know.” Isaac starts, giving Cyrus an elevator glance before returning to Cyrus’ eyes and frowning harder.

Cyrus grabs the stem of his glass, taking a sip before even attempting to respond. When it came to Maddox, he had a hard time ruffling feathers because Maddox always knew how to get him flustered. With a new Beta, Cyrus would have a field day. ”Were you worried about me? That’s sweet.”

Isaac blushes, immediately coming to his own defense. ”That’s not- you’ve been a dick since the toga party. I helped you get ready and got you drinks and then you lock up your door to fuck someone else? That’s just shitty and even a Sigma like you can understand that.”

Cyrus keeps a cool exterior, despite his instinct to argue with Isaac and tell him the whole reason they fucked walked into the room and begged his forgiveness. He knew how other Betas saw Maddox; he was always mysterious, always charming, and always in control. No one would know the Maddox that was in his room that night except him.

Before he could think up an excuse, blow him off with the fact that he didn’t owe Isaac anything, Maddox was making his way back to the table. Cyrus leaned back in his chair, one arm slung across the back, as Isaac turned and scoffed at the older Beta returning to his date with Cyrus.

“Should’ve figured you’d blow me off for Maddox, considering that’s the only name you remembered while we were fucking. What, you have a little crush on Izumi?” Isaac spits, the jealous lacing venom in his voice. Cyrus’ eyes momentarily flickered over to Maddox, a flash of embarrassment knowing the older Beta could hear perfectly well what Isaac was saying, before his eyes settled back on Isaac and he chuckled softly.

“Sweetheart, if I’m saying someone else’s name in bed, I think that reflects more on your bedroom skills.” Cyrus replies smoothly, finishing off his wine and challenging Isaac for another response with a raised eyebrow.

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MADDOX IZUMI
[The Victoriana - Dinner Date]
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Whatever Maddox had done in a former life to deserve what he was getting and feeling now, he was convinced it must have been a greater act of kindness. There was no part of his current life he could give the universe as collateral for what Cyrus was making him feel. There was nothing, not even remotely as amazing as this moment. Somehow it'd been this way since the first day they met, despite how avidly Maddox worked to hide it. The Beta prince, the kingdom's heir, the mask of a perfect man, all that had been stripped little by little the more time he spent with the blue-eyed Sigma until there was nothing left but the rawest inner lawyers of who he was. What was most surprising wasn't the fact that there was someone skilled enough to dig so deeply into Maddox' being, but more so the fact that Maddox didn't mind it one bit.

For the majority of his life, people had seen only the most superficial layers of the Izumi lineage's golden boy, but no one cared to figure out what was hidden behind them save one person. But Maddox knew, as much as Belle wanted to stay by his side to keep him from sinking lower and lower into the false persona he'd built for himself, she too had a family and a life to look after. There was a point in his life, admittedly after his freshman year at Fulton, that he'd been convinced those layers would be the only thing anyone would ever see. They would eat him up until there was nothing left of who he once was. But if there was anything this night, and Cyrus' words and gestures towards him had taught him, was that those masks and layers were virtually non-existent as long as the two were together.

The night swooped by almost too quickly for the Beta's liking, but that didn't mean the two had to separate nor did he have any intentions on doing so. After convincing the Sigma, with highly persuasive words and a seductive smirk for good measure, to let him pay the bill despite not having been the one to invite, Maddox slipped off to the restroom. The darkest part of him tore at his insides with every moment he spent away from the blonde. After everything had been said and done, there was no doubt in his mind that Cyrus felt for him the same he felt for his "favorite sigma", and he was almost certain he'd been forgiven as he worked to ignore the minuscule amount of guilt still present in his mind. The possibility of Cyrus changing his mind or leaving him didn't even cross his thoughts. In its place were thoughts much grimmer and daunting. There was nothing that guaranteed Maddox he wouldn't be walking back to the table to find Michael Izumi in his seat, threatening his way into Cyrus' psyche. Or worse, find the blonde kidnapped by one of the man's many goons. Maddox was well aware Cyrus didn't understand Maddox' fears related to his father, and there seemingly was nothing he could do or say to make him understand. That didn't mean Maddox could simply forget about it. In fact, knowing that Cyrus was so relaxed about it only made his paranoid thoughts stronger.

He'd expected the absolute worst as he walked back to his date, but he certainly didn't expect what he saw or heard. His eyes met the blonde's for a brief moment and he was able to catch the tail end of the conversation. Or rather, or Isaac's complaints. The image of the younger Beta hanging from Cyrus' arm as if he'd been marking territory the night of the party made an instead replay in Maddox' head. Oddly enough, that image coupled with Isaac's last statement painting a very reassuring picture. If Maddox didn't know any better, he'd say the only reason the younger Beta had found himself in the Sigma's bed was because he happened to resemble the original.

"Issac? Isn't it past your bedtime?" His words, though mildly taunting, weren't laced with any venom. Maddox had nothing against the Isaac. In fact, certain aspects of the boy did resemble a much younger and less experienced version of him. The version that wanted to accepted and respected by his older brothers, to impress them despite how much of himself he had to sacrifice. "What brings you here?" he asked after handing their waitress the check for the night's dinner. His eyes then flickered to Cyrus in a questioning fashion as he made his way over, resting a palm against the back of the blonde's chair. There was no part of Maddox that even wanted to attempt to hide his newly acquired relationship with Cyrus, and most certainly not from Isaac considering it'd be his word against the all-mighty Beta Prince.

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