I’m not here to talk.
Vanilla and cigarette smoke.
Silk crumpled beneath his fingers.
Whiskey and the sharp tang of sweat on his tongue.
Just shut up and fuck me.
Tanim groaned involuntarily as a vengeful headache pierced the thick sea of inebriated unconsciousness that had provided him a blessed, dream-free sleep. He rolled over, attempting to shield his eyes from the sunlight which blazed beyond his closed lids, but no position offered respite from the steady throbbing in his temples. After a moment of fruitless tossing and turning he abandoned hope of retreating back into slumber; instead, he begrudgingly cracked open his blurry eyes, untangled his legs from the sheets knotted around his waist, and pushed himself into a more or less upright position. Even that slow movement caused his hungover head to pound and his stomach to churn unsteadily, eliciting a second unhappy moan from the man. Had he really had that much to drink last night? He could recall a few fiery shots, but surely he hadn’t…
Just shut up and fuck me.
Combing tense fingers through his tangled hair, Tanim turned and anxiously eyed the slumbering creature at his side. The man slept with his back to Tanim, his face buried in the crook of one outstretched arm. Sunlight painted his bare skin in golden highlights and danced along the gentle curls of his pale hair. Tanim’s heart leaped into his throat at the sight, a painful and helplessly hopeful desire coursing like adrenaline through his veins. He reached out, fingers hesitating just above the sleeper’s shoulder, but before he could touch the temptingly soft skin the man rolled over with a gentle sigh.
The urge to vomit crushed Tanim’s misplaced hope and choked out the thundering heartbeat in his throat. These were the same angelic features, yes, but not quite right. Too arrogant where they should be uncertain, too feral where they should be refined. Skin pale but stretched over tight muscles, fingers expert at gripping but incapable of caressing. Sculpted lips curled into a shallow smile, but piercing blue eyes glinted up at him with a predatory amusement. Last night that hint of danger had been part of the allure, Tanim recalled with disgust. Now it only made his filthy skin crawl.
The man smirked, raising one shapely golden eyebrow at Tanim’s dismayed expression. “Expecting someone else?” he inquired with mock naivety.
Silken skin. Pale hair. The face of an angel.
But those eyes. Always the wrong eyes…
Swallowing back bile that tasted too much of stale alcohol and self-loathing, Tanim swung his legs over the side of the bed and began searching for his clothes. He needed to get out of this room. He needed to forget this moment: forget the absurd hope that had risen so easily in his chest; forget the comforting, agonizing weight of hot flesh pressed against his body; forget the self-destructive desperation that had driven him – again – to drown his loneliness in the arms of a man who gloried in his downfall. Alcohol may have provided a few hours guiltless peace, but no drunken stupor would wipe him clean now.
“I should go,” Tanim muttered, though he knew the words were unnecessary. Alexander stretched luxuriously, the sheets sliding off his naked body in a manner which suggested ulterior motives to the innocuous motion. “What’s your rush? It’s not like you’ve anyone waiting for you.” A cruel barb coated with insincere temptation. Tanim bristled, the focused intensity of his loathing for Alexander overwhelming all other emotions in his mind, and snapped “fuck you” as he stepped into his pants.
Alexander chuckled at Tanim’s scathing retort, his lips still curved up in a mocking smile. “So soon? You’ve got to let me rest a bit longer than that, Tanim. I’m only one man.” He dropped his voice to a seductive murmur. “Unless you’d like to keep pretending I’m Daren. In which case…” He left the sentence unfinished, fully aware of the many intriguing possibilities such an offer presented.
An unflattering combination of mortification, guilt, and conflicted resentment twisted Tanim’s face. “I… I wasn’t–”
Alexander laughed again; the sound made Tanim want to smash his fist into those perfect, taunting lips.
“Don’t worry, it’s fine with me,” Alexander purred as he slid his hungry gaze over Tanim’s body. “Besides, you’re much more…” he ran his tongue over his bottom lip thoughtfully, “…vocal… when you’re thinking about him.”
That did it. Tanim’s skin flushed several shades darker and without another word he scooped up his shirt and stormed out of the bedroom, trembling with a rage directed as much at himself as at his despicable companion. Alexander grinned wickedly and called out just before Tanim slammed the door, “when he breaks your heart again, you come right back. I don’t mind.”