Ádan was sitting on his bed, watching Korin with a contemplative smile that had grown painfully familiar in only a few days. A smile that seemed half curiosity, half dare. An undeniable invitation.

Korin wanted Ádan. Had wanted him since the moment Ádan had dragged him out of the haunted academy grounds.

Korin shut the door behind him and took the two steps necessary to cross his small room and stand in front of Ádan. Ádan looked up, still wearing that cryptic smile. He said nothing, but reached out for Korin’s right hand. His eyes locked on Korin’s, Ádan peeled the glove from Korin’s hand and bent forward just enough to place a kiss on Korin’s palm.

A spark ran from that point of contact up through Korin’s arm, a wave of heat that woke his entire body. Korin pushed Ádan back by the shoulders as he climbed on the bed, on his knees, straddling Ádan’s legs. He caught Ádan’s mouth in a hungry kiss which Ádan returned with equal urgency.

Safe, this wasn’t safe. The thought beat against Korin’s mind like a rabbit raising alarm. He pushed it down and away, refused it. Refused to acknowledge it.

The same with the guilt. No thoughts of Jonathan right now. Not if Korin could help it.

Ádan’s hands moved down to Korin’s hips, dragged him forward and down to grind against Ádan.

Korin’s every instinct called out to rush forward, to get through things as fast as possible, before time ran out. Before interruption, discovery. He had to remind himself that this was his room, his space. No one was going to come looking for him. No one was going to question his absence.

Korin pulled back, putting a few necessary inches of space between himself and Ádan. He needed to breathe. Ádan loosened his grip, but didn’t let go. He searched Korin’s face. “Everything okay?”

Korin didn’t know how to answer. He leaned back in for a kiss, slower this time. He brushed his lips against Ádan’s, a whisper of a touch before pressing in tight. Ádan’s rough stubble scraped against Korin’s chin as Ádan tilted his head to a better angle. Korin ran his tongue over Ádan’s lower lip, noting the smooth, soft skin that had probably never been chapped by the cold.

Ádan’s hand came up behind Korin’s head, fingers tangling in Korin’s hair as Ádan held him tight. Ádan worked his other hand in under Korin’s shirt and Korin’s stomach twitched at the feel of warm skin on skin.

So much heat. From Ádan’s body, soaking through the thin clothing between them. The humid weight of the air around them. That had always been another reason to rush—fumbling in the cold, never removing any more clothes than necessary, balancing desire against practicality—a race in the freezing air.

This was pure decadence. “You have no idea,” Korin murmured against Ádan’s lips, “how different this is from anything I’ve ever done before.”

“I really don’t.” Ádan separated the width of a breath. “But I’d love for you to tell me.”

This question had a safe enough answer that Korin could give it. “There’s no rush. No worry someone’s going to interrupt us. It’s warm; it’s comfortable. It feels like we have all the time in the world.”

“Time enough,” Ádan agreed. He took Korin’s hands in his, lacing their fingers together. Without thinking, Korin had kept his hands at his sides, out of the way. Ádan’s skin against Korin’s one bare hand felt unbelievably intimate. Even more so as Ádan lifted that hand and ran his tongue along the ridges of scar tissue that traced Korin’s palm.

“You don’t have to do that.” Korin heard the waver in his voice. He’d never imagined something could be so exciting and so uncomfortable all at the same time.

Ádan flashed a wicked grin and sucked one of Korin’s fingers into his mouth. As if the warm, wet heat against sensitive skin wasn’t enough, Ádan’s tongue traced the length of Korin’s finger, then swirled suggestively around Korin’s fingertip.

This was almost more than Korin could take, and they hadn’t even removed any clothes.

Korin reluctantly freed his hand from Ádan, then set to work on the buttons of Ádan’s shirt. Korin slowly uncovered an expanse of dark skin over sleek muscle that twitched at Korin’s slightest touch. Especially once Korin reached Ádan’s stomach, where the brush of Korin’s fingers made Ádan lean his head back, close his eyes, and sigh.

Korin had never been with a firstborn—he’d only ever been like this with Jonathan—but he’d heard stories. In a school full of precocious, horny teenagers locked away together through long, dark winters, Korin had heard all kinds of things. Like the spots that were particularly sensitive on firstborn lovers.

He leaned forward and traced the outside edge of Ádan’s tapered ear with his tongue. Which earned him a groan, and Ádan grabbed him by the hips again and flipped them both around so Korin was on his back and Ádan leaned over him.

“Troublemaker,” Ádan murmured as he nipped at Korin’s throat, just above the collarbone. At the same time, he pressed down, grinding his hips against Korin’s. It felt too good and not good enough. Korin wanted this to last forever and even more he wanted—needed—Ádan to bring him release.

Ádan…” Korin didn’t know what more to say. He couldn’t make words work in his mind. “Ádan.”

Hearing Korin’s need, or simply motivated by his own, Ádan kissed Korin deeply as he worked their clothing open enough that there were no barriers between them. All Ádan’s teasing manner had gone. They moved together, skin against skin, Ádan’s hand around them both. Korin dug his fingers into Ádan’s shoulder’s, holding on for life. Ádan shuddered against him and the sudden slick, wet heat was enough to push Korin over the edge.

Ádan lay on top of Korin, his face against Korin’s shoulder, his breaths slowing to a more normal rhythm. Korin could have lain there forever.

Except that Ádan’s knee was digging uncomfortably into Korin’s thigh, and they were honestly kind of a mess. “Ádan?”

Korin’s whisper against Ádan’s ear made Ádan’s whole body twitch. He leaned up on his elbows and smiled down and Korin. “Is there something more you need?”

Korin looked down at the wrinkled, wet mess of clothing between them, then back up into Ádan’s laughing eyes.

“You have a point.” Ádan rolled off Korin, landing on his feet with thoughtless grace. Korin sat up, pulled off his shirt and tossed it into the corner, then squirmed out of the rest of his clothes. He felt more than a little self-conscious, fully naked in front of Ádan. This was nothing he’d ever done with anyone, even Jonathan. But Ádan was casually stripping off his own clothes like it was nothing, and Korin hated to choose this moment to seem provincial.

They both made use of the washbasin in a surprisingly comfortable silence. Ádan rinsed his clothes, then spread them over Korin’s chair to dry. Korin had no idea what to say or do.

Ádan sat back down on Korin’s bed, gloriously, handsomely naked. He really was all muscle, solid and rippling atop his lean firstborn elegance. He tilted his head, gave Korin that familiar, cryptic smile. “You okay?”

“I just…what do we do now?”

“Do you have anyplace you need to be?” Ádan asked.


Ádan held out a hand. “Then come here.”

Korin let himself be pulled down onto his bed. It took some adjusting for them to get comfortable on the bed made for one, but Korin didn’t find it at all terrible to be pressed up next to Ádan with nothing else between them. Ádan draped his arm across Korin’s chest, stroked Korin’s shoulder with his thumb. “Night, Sunshine.”

Korin had never in his life slept next to anyone. Certainly not a man with whom he’d just had sex.

Ádan twisted around to lower the cover onto the room’s one lamp, then reached down to pull the sheet up over both of them. Korin didn’t expect he’d be able to sleep like this, but he’d underestimated his own exhaustion. He was asleep almost as soon as he closed his eyes.


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About the author

Barbara J Webb


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