“Asher,” Gabriel repeated, breathless still. Asher could not suppress the shiver that raked his body, ensnared by the way his name sounded on those full lips. Gabriel looked at him with near-scorching intensity, distant thunderbolts rumbling deep behind his irises. His eyes had darkened to a deep shade of auburn. And then—then he said:
Asher’s mouth went dry. He hesitated, suddenly all too aware of his own body—the heightened awareness that came only from the thrill of a fight, the rush of a kill—blistering energy thrumming in his veins, the heady rush of adrenaline-like stoked embers at the core of his brain. “More could come,” he rasped, his voice suddenly rough. His throat felt tight.
Gabriel’s eyes gleamed dangerously in his blood-spattered face. “Shut up,” he all but growled, an untamed grin curling his lips upward in the most infuriating, enticing of ways. He fixed his eyes on Asher’s as he discarded his cloak and shrugged out of his harness. Slowly, deliberately, he unbuttoned his tattered waistcoat and crumpled it in his hand, throwing it to the floor. He was left in a thin button shirt—its sleeves rolled up to reveal the soft crook of his elbows, the hint of strong biceps.
“Fuck me,” he repeated, his mouth a slow sin. His face was sharp and beautiful, pale skin a stark contrast with the dark bloodstains, his eyes smoldering embers staring at Asher from under his tousled locks, provocative, near damn intoxicating—
And Asher was yanking off his own coat, unfastening the thick leather protections that covered his chest. He stripped to a rough cotton shirt that stretched over his muscles, a sleeve ripped to reveal the brass gleam of his arm, a threatening confession in the half-darkness of the room. He grabbed Gabriel’s wrist, gracelessly dragging him close—their mouths clashed together, tongues exploring each other, teeth bared to sink in chapped lips, hot and messy and filthy of all the promises Gabriel’s half-lidded eyes seemed to bear. Asher’s fingers caught in thin fabric as they searched for warm skin—he ripped his hand free and impatiently slid it down the small of Gabriel’s back, past the loose edge of his trousers. His middle and index fingers tucked with ease in the warm crevice between Gabriel’s buttocks, thumb pressing a dimple in the soft flesh of a cheek. Gabriel licked Asher’s lips open and moaned in his mouth, wet and demanding, his taste a cinnamon wildfire seeping into Asher’s bloodstream, sizzling up his nerves to claim his brain, reaching down to his groin—
Gabriel groaned, half in pain, half in fervent lust—a hint of manic laughter twinkling in his eyes as he landed heavily on the crate, his arms not quite fast enough to prevent his chest from smacking against the hard wood. He braced himself with one arm and fumbled one handed with the fastening of his trousers as Asher held him down. The cold weight of the brass arm anchored him firmly as Asher all but wrenched his own garments open. Gabriel’s flesh was firm under his hand, sharp hipbone pressing against his palm as he traced his side, pushing obstructive fabric out of the way before finding a hold—his tanned knuckles a stark contrast where he grasped Gabriel’s fair skin.
Spit was all he had, hard to gather through the sudden dryness of his throat, and it wasn’t quite enough—Gabriel was tight, far too tight where he clenched around his fingers. Yet he moaned, using the leverage of his arms to push himself back, inciting Asher’s movements with small, ragged sounds that told him don’t you dare stop, laced in wordless threats. Asher wasn’t sure he’d manage to in any case, the warm body spread beneath him a much greater temptation than he could resist. He guided himself, slow burning hunger mounting with each of Gabriel’s pleas—it was three attempts before he felt Gabriel’s tight muscles yield to his flesh, allowing him inside. He stroked the soft skin of Gabriel’s hip with his thumb as he heard his ragged moan, the only comforting gesture he could muster, his brain burnt to near ashes by a breathtaking wave of need.
And it was the hot, heady clasp of flesh, muscles rippling and releasing in a stuttering rhythm that grew stronger at each beat, Gabriel’s pale skin vulnerable under his touch, Gabriel’s gasps and moans and strained murmurs. Asher could see the tension build in Gabriel’s shoulders, the taut muscles in his back, the ring of muscle obscenely stretched around his cock, and God—he leaned forward, hand braced on Gabriel’s nape, holding him down, his cold brass hand clutching Gabriel’s hip. It was too hard, he reckoned somewhere in the turmoil of his deep-sea thoughts, bound to leave bruises in its wake. And Gabriel, Gabriel, strong and demanding under his hands, writhing and pressing back against him, his muscles tense and vibrant with unrequited energy, sharp and breathless as he commanded, “Harder,” and “There,” and “Don’t stop, God—don’t stop.”