They were close then; close as two drops of rain on a pane of glass, breathlessly waiting for the instant when they must touch and fuse and run down the window like a streak of wet lightning... --from Nobody's Son by Sean Stewart
He stood watching the late night storm in contemplative silence, the large loft window framing his form in such a way as to create a living, full-body portrait whose paints were fashioned mostly from shadows, dark and darker. Occasional lightning strikes of stark, glaring brilliance from the storm just outside limned his body in a stormy chiaroscuro of silver on black, flashing glimpses of the planes and angles of his face in an intermittent strobe effect which rendered his expression both devilish and angelic by turn. His state of undress was apparent even in the darkness, would be obvious even to eyes not nearly so keen as the ones studying him now; the contrast of the living portrait's dark, riotously curling strands of hair against the paleness of his skin seemed to the watcher something of almost unutterable beauty, the combination merging to form something wild and fey and yet unquestionably masculine. Each time a lightning bolt sizzled through the sultry, rain-hazed atmosphere outside to cast its garish illumination into the loft, the watcher slouching on the rumpled couch across the room automatically dialed down the light sensitivity of his pupils, transforming the painful surges of radiant energy into something bearable. But only for the brief interval that each flash required; as soon as the blessed darkness returned, the watcher's irises flared wide again, the blue membranes urging black pupils to expand wide, wider, in order to absorb every line, every nuance, of the figure breathing so quietly, so calmly now, before the rain-streaked window.
I've been both damned and redeemed, the watcher thought to himself as another slash of white-hot electricity arced across the loft's wooden floor, forcing him to shutter his eyes from their near-mesmerized perusal of the man standing at the window. I was damned from the second I threw him up against that wall in his office, doubly damned the instant those eyes of his seared straight into my fucking soul. Seemingly damned, for all eternity, because I wouldn't speak the truth. And this...this place was fast becoming my own private hell, the last bastion of the incalculable pain of my own making--a pain shared had I but known it but brusquely unacknowledged by the both of us until it was almost too late. But tonight...tonight we confronted the devil head on, so to speak ; during that first, wild onrush of the storm we delivered ourselves freely to what we mistakenly thought would be joint damnation, tumbling together into the abyss with no scales of denial or delusion left to cloud our sight as we fell. But such a sweet hell--one transformed and made indescribably holy by that first, tentative brush of fingers on skin, by the first slow, heated melding of mouths and chests and groins into a blazing conflagration that burned away all the dross of past suffering and mistakes, leaving only the richness of pure gold behind.
The summons was spoken softly, the watcher's name little more than a breath falling from the kiss-roughened lips of the man before the window; but the watcher heard it easily, clearly, the husky tone of his name spoken by that familiar voice sending a delicious frisson of heated longing gliding down his spine. Rising nude from the couch, he moved with feline grace through the darkness to the window, arms sliding around the shadowy figure waiting there to pull the other man snugly back against his own chest.
His own voice emerged as a low, sensual growl on the rain-muted air, and in response the other man went very still for the length of one heartbeat, his body poised as if waiting for some silent signal from beyond which might dictate his next move. As another flash of lightning speared the sky, accompanied seconds later by the low growl of thunder, the younger man made a low, soothing murmur about dialing it down to the leanly muscled man cradled snugly against his back and then relaxed gracefully into his watcher's--his sentinel's--waiting warmth. It was almost too much, the warm brush of the skin of Sandburg's back against Jim's puckered nipples and the light furring along the backs of Sandburg's legs rubbing exquisite friction against the front of Jim's own legs; the rich, ripening scent of sex and musk and inchoate longing emanating from the both of them charged the storm-laden atmospere even further, raising the tiny hairs along their arms in tandem with the steady, delicious roll of desire surging between them. Watcher and observed moaned in unison, Jim's arms tightening around Blair's chest and holding him still as he pressed his growing erection against the pale, rounded globes of the other man's naked ass; Blair's head tipped languidly back against Jim's shoulder, his legs going weak with the force of his own, answering arousal, and Jim spent the next long, excruciatingly erotic moments gliding his lips slowly up and down the side of Blair's neck, alternately kissing, nibbling, and sucking until the man in his arms was trembling uncontrollably. Blair tried to turn around, tried vainly to press his front to Jim's front, to wind his arms hungrily, needily, around Jim's neck and plunder the wet, heated interior of the sentinel's mouth; but Jim merely slid his hands down to grasp Blair's hips on either side, holding him still as he slowly and ruthlessly rubbed himself against those sweet, tight cheeks. His growing ardor laid a glistening trail across Blair's skin, pearly beads of salt-tangy desire finding the delightfully mysterious crevice that Jim's hard length longed to plunder; as another jagged shard of lightning lit up the night, Jim hid his eyes against the protective curve at the nape of Sandburg's neck and counted silently till thunder shook the window glass in its frame. They were close then, closer than either of them had ever been to anyone, yet still not as close as both of them wanted to be again tonight and many, many more nights to come; anticipation was a drug, an aphrodisiac strong enough to bring them right up to the edge, to keep them stiff and moaning and shaking with the fury of something so ancient, so new.
"Now, Jim," Blair breathed out on a rough whimper, hips thrusting helplessly back against the rigid seeking of his partner. "Oh, god, do it now..."
"Now, Chief," his watcher, his sentinel, growled in reply, fingers hot as molten steel digging into Blair's hips and turning them, turning him till they stood face to face, chest to chest, hard cocks dueling for dominance in a heated, musky riposte of sliding and rubbing and exquisite friction. "Yes, NOW..."
"Jim? JIM! Hey, man; um...sorry to wake you, but I think it's going down now. The...uh...drug buy, that is. Not...er...that. Other thing. THAT'S definitely still...um...up. Jim? You back with me?"
Jim Ellison opened dazed, sleep-and-lust glazed eyes to find himself wedged most uncomfortably behind the wheel of his truck, his raging hardon bulging insistently against the seam of his jeans while rain drizzled a montonous, quietly metallic tattoo on the roof and traced weird patterns of rivulets down the windshield. Cheeks flaming helplessly with the remembered dregs of his dream, Jim ran a shaky hand over his face as Sandburg leaned across from the passenger seat and invaded his personal space, warm fingers plucking somewhat nervously at the material of Jim's shirtsleeve as he reassured himself that the disoriented detective was fully awake and aware now.
God...just...God, Jim sighed bitterly to himself as he dragged his protesting frame upright in the seat and forced himself to pay attention to the blur of movement and activity going on down the block. Unbelievable, just fucking unbelievable, he silently excoriated himself as he shrugged off Blair's subdued questions concerning his mental acuity and his grasp on his senses. Of all the places to finally crash after four relentless days tracking these assholes down; and then, not only do I crash like some stupid rookie cop, I have to go and have THE DREAM. Yeah, that one, the same damned, steamy, white-hot thunderstorm dream I've been having for weeks now. It's this goddamned rain; the sound of it must have infiltrated my subconscious mind and triggered the whole thing. And there's no way in hell Sandburg's gonna let this one slide; geez, maybe I should just walk down the street right into this drug drop and let Bustamente's henchmen shoot me. It'd probably be less painful than the grilling I'm going to get once we go home.
"Yeah, yeah, I'm good, I'm good to go, Sandburg," he groused now to the form vibrating with a mixture of anxiety and blazingly prurient curiosity at his side. "You can move back to your own side of the truck and stop bobbing around like a demented rubber duck. You're making me seasick. So, did you call it in to Simon yet?" he continued, both his voice and his composure back on an even keel as the job ahead became his point of focus. He palmed his gun and checked the slide as Blair obligingly filled him in on the tersely worded phone call he'd just made for back-up; and even as Jim nodded brusque understanding of the info being provided him, his eyes never quite connected with Blair's. As soon as Sandburg's voice dwindled into momentary silence, Jim reached for the door handle on the driver side, ready to slide silently out into the rainy night and position himself for the take down of the drug gang Major Crime had been after for the past several months. But stubborn fingers suddenly locked around his right bicep, yanking him half across the front seat space separating him from his ridealong partner. This time his gaze slid instinctively to Blair's piercing blue stare and was held there, helplessly suspended, as Blair's fingers dug painfully into the flesh of his arm.
"And don't even THINK about getting yourself hurt out there," Sandburg growled warningly, his mouth curving on a grimly dangerous smile. "We have a LOT to talk about once all the paperwork from tonight is done."
"Just stay in the damned truck, Chief," Jim answered tiredly and was gone, the quiet snick of the closing truck door barely discernible above the drumming of the rain on the roof. As he moved silently down the street under cover of neighborhood residents' cars and trucks parked along the curb, Jim's thoughts flickered once, briefly, to the richly remembered taste of dream Blair's lips beneath his own; and impending gun battle or no, he couldn't help considering, for the first time since the dream had begun to torment him so sweetly, the slim but increasingly compelling possibility that he might soon discover what Blair's mouth really tasted like. He had a feeling the experience would turn out to be as white-hot as the lightning in his dream.