Ádan sat up, bleary-eyed. “You were out late.”

That wasn’t the direction Korin wanted the conversation to go at all. He ran his hands up Ádan’s chest, caught his lips in a kiss.

Ádan’s hands came up, rested lightly on either side of Korin’s head as Ádan pressed forward into the kiss. “Korin,” his whispered. It sounded almost like a plea. He took a deep breath, his shoulders and chest moving against Korin’s, then pulled back. He looked more awake now, wearing a familiar grin. “New tricks?”

Korin nodded. “Lie down.” He felt himself blushing as he added, “Without your clothes.”

Ádan raised an eyebrow in inquiry, but he did as he was asked. Korin watched—how could he not?—as Ádan peeled away his layers of fine clothing to reveal the lean, muscular body beneath. Fully naked, he stretched out on his back, arms over his head, obviously posing. “Like this?”

Distracted by the sight, it took Korin two tries to answer, “Turn over.”

Ádan rolled onto his stomach and settled comfortably with his head on his folded arms. It occurred to Korin that at no point in this had Ádan asked Korin what he would be doing. He’d accepted the instructions he’d been given and now waited to see what Korin had in mind.

Ádan trusted him. And how was Korin living up to that trust?

But this wasn’t the time to worry about it. Not when Ádan was tired—and naked—and so obviously needed Korin to just take care of him. Which Korin could do, in potentially very interesting ways.

Korin straddled Ádan, resting his weight on Ádan’s thighs. “Is this all right?”

“Absolutely,” Ádan murmured, eyes closed.

Korin ran his hands up Ádan’s back. A light touch at first, with no magic. His fingers traced the lines of Ádan’s muscles, felt the smooth expanse beneath him, watched the twitching movements under Ádan’s dark skin. So much tension. Everywhere Korin touched, he met resistance. Ádan was tight.

Well that, Korin could definitely fix. He pressed, gentle, but firm. Turning his explorations into a massage.

Korin didn’t need magic for this. He knew the muscles, the body well enough to find all the places where tension settled and work them with his fingers and the heel of his hand. Ádan gave a happy groan as Korin worked his shoulders, kneading places that felt like they’d been held too tight for far too long.

Rather than dig too deeply into the knots, Korin did send a few little threads of magic. Without magic, those pressure points could hurt before they released, and Korin didn’t want Ádan to feel anything but relaxed. He worked down Ádan’s sides, along his spine, to the small of his back.

“You are amazing. Have I told you that lately?” Ádan’s murmur was practically a purr.

Korin’s cheeks heated. A mix of pleasure at the compliment and continued guilt over the things he was hiding. He didn’t know what to say, so he focused on Ádan’s body. Which was now completely relaxed. Time to change tactics.

Once again, Korin ran his hands lightly up and down Ádan’s back. This time, he closed his eyes and sunk into Ádan with his magic. After days of intense study of minute reactions both within and without his own body, Korin could now easily pick up the tiniest signals moving through Ádan’s flesh. He watched the patterns, like tiny sparks, as Ádan’s skin felt Korin’s touch and reported those touches through Ádan’s nervous system.

Korin pulled back his hands, focused his mind, and recreated those signals.

Ádan gave a happy sigh.

Korin smiled. Yes, this was going to be fun.

He kept that pattern going, the tracing touch of fingers stroking down Ádan’s back, and leaned forward to stroke lightly across Ádan’s shoulders.

Ádan twitched and his eyes flew open. He twisted his head around. Korin’s eyes were still closed, but he was tuned in to Ádan’s body so deeply it was like he could see. “Shh,” he said. “It’s all right. It’s magic.”

Ádan lay back down. “It felt like you’d suddenly grown more hands.” As Korin resumed, Ádan groaned with pleasure. “Okay, I take it back. Now you’re amazing.”

Korin leaned down and kissed him right between his shoulder-blades. “Want to see how many of these I can keep up?”

“Yes. Please.”

Hands stroking down Ádan’s back, across his shoulders, down his arms, up his thighs, through his hair, and Korin was starting to his his limit. As he added each new touch, he tried to bundle them together in his mind, but it became a complicated web of sensation to keep track of and keep going. He didn’t want to push too hard and accidentally flare too much power. That might get painful for Ádan, which was utterly unacceptable.

With practice, though, Korin thought he could do better. Or maybe Sheluna would have ideas for a different way to think about it, to manage—

Korin blushed again, happy Ádan wasn’t watching him. Was he actually thinking about talking to Sheluna about the theory of how to better use magic for sex?

And then, a second thought, was there any way to make this sound more scholarly? Because she probably would have ideas.

Tomorrow’s problem. Right now, what mattered was Ádan, who was undeniably enjoying this. “Roll over,” Korin said.

Ádan languidly obeyed. He stretched out on his back, with a relaxed smile, his eyes half-closed, and a look of bliss on his face.

Time to up the game. Korin leaned down and circled his tongue around first one nipple, then the other. Ádan’s hand reflexively came up to grip the back of Korin’s head. Encouraging. Korin repeated the act, this time tracing it with magic so the sensations continued as he pulled away.

He moved lower, rubbing his cheek lightly across Ádan’s stomach. That earned him another groan of pleasure. So Korin kept that going as well.

Leaving him just enough focus for one more loop of sensation, which Korin created by licking his lips and sliding his mouth over and down Ádan’s straining cock.

Korin sat up to admire his handiwork. Ádan’s eyes were completely closed. His hands were clenched in Korin’s sheets, his body arched up into the sensations Korin’s magic was creating. It was amazing to watch, and Korin had done this.

Korin wrapped his hand where his mouth had been, and stroked in time with the magic. He watched Ádan squirm, heard him sigh, watched the shudder of pleasure run through him as he came.

Korin released the magic and lay down next to Ádan. With his eyes still closed, Ádan said, “I can’t move. I think I’ve melted.”

“That was pretty much my goal.” Korin kissed him, a feather-light brush across Ádan’s lips.

Ádan mumbled, already almost back asleep. The only word Korin could make out was, “Perfect.”

Which gave Korin another stab of guilt. Keeping secrets and—he had to be honest with himself—manipulating Ádan with sex was the exact opposite of perfect. And if he kept on like this, it would ruin the time between them.

Ádan was so clearly exhausted, and Korin wasn’t going to wake him up from sleep he obviously needed. But tomorrow—tomorrow they’d talk. And Korin would come clean.


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About the author

Barbara J Webb


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