Rose & Thorn - Excerpt

by Maia Strong
Available from Torquere Books

 

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Clad in only undertunic and drawers, he padded softly to the brazier. The scent of maple syrup and cinnamon had begun to permeate the air of the closed-up room, making it smell sweetly delectable. His cock grew semi-hard as he inhaled the sweet aroma; he'd always been a sucker for all kinds of sweet sensations.

Jasper carefully dipped his little finger into the cauldron and licked the drizzle of syrup from it. It was warm enough and utterly delicious. He was ready to wake his sleeping lover.

Eamon lay on his side, face half buried in the pillow. The bed was narrow, but not so narrow that the two of them couldn't manage what Jasper intended. Jasper smiled, thinking ahead, and his cock grew fully hard. He crouched by the head of the bed and pushed dark brown hair from Eamon's flushed cheek.

"Wake up, boyo," he murmured. "It's time for that dessert I promised you."

Eamon mumbled something as he had before and batted a hand out around his face as if swatting at a pestering fly. Jasper's smile widened. He'd found Eamon sexy, funny, talented, and smart. This simple, sleepy gesture made him endearing, too.

"Come on, sleepyhead," he tried again, a little louder this time. As he spoke, he trailed one hand down Eamon's bare arm, across his belly, and along the waistband of his breeches. The combination of words and actions finally roused a waking response.

Eamon opened one eye, took a moment to focus, and smiled. "I am so glad it's you," he said softly.

"Oh yeah?"

"Mm-hmm. Of all the possibilities, you're by far the best one."

Jasper grinned. "Thank you."

Eamon inhaled deeply. "What's that smell I smell? It's... mmm." He let the breath out in a sigh.

"Dessert. It's ready for you if you're ready for it." Jasper rose and took a step back in one fluid motion.

Eamon pushed himself up into a sitting position. He blinked drowsily and focused on Jasper once more. "I see you're ready." He looked pointedly at where Jasper's drawers were tented out.

"Very." Jasper grinned.

"So what's for dessert?"

"You."

"Oh?" He raised an eyebrow, making Jasper think of the arch mother figure he'd played while they were singing earlier that night.

"And me."

"Uh-huh."

"And something both sweet and hot. Do you have a towel I could borrow?"

"Huh? Sure." Taken by surprise by the change of subject, Eamon immediately dropped the expression he had adopted and pointed to the foot of the bed. "Hanging on the rails, there's one."

Jasper took it and used it to safely move the little cauldron from the brazier to the table.

"So what is it?" Eamon asked again. He rose and steadied himself with the bedpost before taking the few steps to where Jasper was carefully stirring the concoction with a wooden spoon. Jasper ran his index finger along the back of the coated spoon, testing again for temperature and deeming it ideal. He repeated the gesture and held up his finger, offering it to Eamon.

"Taste."

Smiling with a double hunger, Eamon took the offered finger in his mouth and sucked the sweet liquid from it. "Mmm! Maple!" He licked his lips.

"Spiced with cinnamon and cloves. I recommend you finish undressing," advised Jasper. "This stuff sticks. You have paid for laundry service, I trust." He smiled mischievously.

"It's included in the price of the room."

"That's good. Now, about those breeches?" He looked down at the clothing in question and back up into Eamon's eyes -- dove gray in the lamplight.

Eamon hurried to undo his flies and nearly fell trying to get out of his pants too quickly. Jasper laughed and steadied him. "Don't hurt yourself. That would take all the fun out of this."

"Not if you kissed it and made it better," Eamon responded.

Jasper laughed again. "You're quick on your feet."

"But hopefully not in bed." Eamon grinned and wiggled his eyebrows.

"That, too, would take all the fun out of this," joked Jasper.

Finally, Eamon managed to get his breeches and drawers off, leaving them in a pile on the floor. Jasper shook his head and ignored the clutter in favor of the nearly perfect naked man standing before him.

He looked Eamon over with a keen eye, taking in details he'd glossed over at their first coupling and in their rushed bath this morning.

Eamon was slim, but his shoulders were broad and square. He had the suppleness and flexibility of the fighter and dancer that he was. His arms didn't bulge with muscles, but instead were smoothly sculpted by hard work and training -- sinewy and strong, the kind of muscles that only fully showed themselves when they were being used.

Jasper liked that, liked his men lithe and lean, but not too lean. Eamon could use a little bulking up, in his opinion. He was too much like a starving student, which was so far from the truth as to be almost laughable. Jasper had seen the man eat, and he was very good at it. It was part of why Jasper had thought of tonight's dessert. But first, it was Jasper's turn to dine.