The bright morning sun streamed across the bedspread and illuminated the muscular planes of Thorn’s shoulders. Kenneth smiled at the sight, the small wooden bed creaking as he sat up.
“Mmm?” Thorn mumbled, lifting his head. The wood creaked louder, the flimsy cot that students at the inventor’s college slept on buckling under the combined weight of two people.
“Morning,” Kenneth said. “And happy graduation day.”
Thorn’s eyes flew open and he jolted up, the covers falling off his body and revealing a toned torso and muscular thighs. A flash of heat went through Kenneth, and he wondered if Thorn would be open to repeating their lovemaking session from the night before.
“Why didn’t you wake me sooner!” Thorn said, running his metal prosthetic hand through his hair. Kenneth guessed a quickie was probably out. “It’s already light and I have to prepare, and you…” his brown eyes were wide, “don’t you have to get back to the magi’s collegium?”
Kenneth laughed, leaning over to stroke Thorn’s back, relishing the touch of his new lover. It had only been a few months, but he still couldn’t keep his hands from Thorn. His lover, his lifemate. And after today, after they both graduated, he could show Thorn his home, and they could begin their new lives. “I have Jade, remember? And magic. I can be back in no time.”
Thorn shivered beneath his touch, his eyes going half-lidded, but pulled away. “Right, that’s fine for you…but I still need to prepare. And both of us need to at least get cleaned up.”
That was true. “Where are the baths?” Kenneth asked. He would follow Thorn’s lead. Saving things for later tonight would make the day even more exciting.
“Baths?” Thorn quirked a smile. “We have to be quick, and this is the inventor’s college, remember? We inventors have a new, more efficient way to bathe.”
Kenneth tilted his head. “And what way would that be?”
And that was how Lord Kenneth Victeni, the noble mage, ended up standing naked under a rusty metal pipe in a small wooden enclosure, peering at one of the talentless’ many inventions.
“So, the pump draws water, and it comes out here when I pull this chain?” Kenneth asked.
Thorn was grinning, his usual grin that let Kenneth know he knew and understood things Kenneth didn’t. Kenneth loved it, but on occasions like this it made him slightly nervous. “That’s right. I’ve pumped the water into the basin above your head already. Just pull the chain, and you’ll have water for about five minutes.”
“Is that enough time?” It was far from the luxurious soak he was used to.
“C’mon, Kenneth. It’ll be fun. I’ll join you under there, too.” Thorn moved to stand beside him, his arms encircling Kenneth’s waist. Hot breath flowed over his neck. “It’ll be a new experience.”
Goosebumps rose on Kenneth’s neck and face. Thorn was so sexy, and the power he held, even if he was talentless, always made Kenneth’s blood run faster. “Fine,” he said, and pulled the chain.
Goosebumps fired all over his body, but not due to Thorn. “It’s cold!” he shouted, jumping out from under the falling water.
Thorn’s laughter echoed off the wooden walls of the tiny shower enclosure. “Of course it is,” he said. “What did you expect?” He, at least, didn’t seem to mind. He threw his head back, letting the water hit his chest and cascade over his body. “Its refreshing, Kenneth,” he said, closing his eyes and sighing. “Like standing under a waterfall.”
“A freezing waterfall,” Kenneth said. He stared at the falling water, following a drop of water that traveled down Thorn’s flat stomach, and another that traveled down his thighs. His body began to heat, and he didn’t want to ruin it by getting under that freezing downpour.
But the water itself was simply falling from the basin above their heads. He grinned, and muttered words the aether. Thorn wasn’t the only one who could surprise.
“What the…” Thorn froze in place as the water around him began to steam. He met Kenneth’s eyes, beaming. “This is you, right?”
“Do you like it?” Kenneth asked, walking back under the falling water. It sent fiery trails down his body, ones that made the rising heat in his loins even more potent. He kissed Thorn’s shoulder, tasting his lover mixed with fresh water.
“You noble magi,” Thorn said with a low moan as Kenneth kissed his way up his shoulder to his neck. “Always with your luxuries.”
“At least now it’s not too cold,” Kenneth said, snaking his hand around Thorn’s waist and finding the prize he expected. Thorn’s firm erection filled his hand.
“Yes, Kenneth,” Thorn said, the edge of command in his voice that Kenneth craved more every day. “Do it. Just…ah…be quick.”
“You’re the one that said these showers were more efficient,” Kenneth said with a smile.