An Excerpt from Shadow Dance, my free LiAW novella
“Well now, you must be Peter’s Butterfly. I’m Marcus.” Hinata squeaked, actually squeaked for all the world exactly like a mouse or a frightened middle school kid. His eyes flew open to find the upside down face of a dark angel staring at him with a lopsided grin and nearly black eyes full of wicked mirth. A ragged moan from inside the front door brought both their eyes back to the house. Peter stood leaning against the doorjamb, pain radiating from every line of his body, and a very pissed off Rufus with a nasty scratch down one side of his face loomed over him looking equally torn between picking his cousin back up and kicking him the rest of the way out of the house.
Hinata scrambled out of Marcus’s arms and across the small porch in a flash to wedge himself under Peter’s right arm. “Here. Lean on me, Peter. You shouldn’t be trying to walk on your leg yet. Not without a brace on it.”
Rufus backed a few steps away, the irate look on his face lessening as the white lines bracketing Peter’s mouth pinched tighter. Tater stood ready at the couch, a pill bottle in one hand, and glass of water in the other. “Rufus, you’d better come help him down to the couch. I don’t think he can do it on his own without hurting his leg more. And I told you we outta have put that brace back on his leg before we brought him down. You can see for yourself he doesn’t have a lick of sense about things like this.”
Rufus nodded, easing closer to Peter’s other side. “Hinata, you just hold him steady a moment when we get to the couch. I’ll get him down on it safe enough as long as he’s not trying to get on his white horse and ride.”
Hinata glanced up at Peter, and then over to Rufus. Why would he be rattling on about a white horse? Peter’s cousins were more than a bit odd. He shook his head, and then nodded. “I will hold him steady for you.” Peter’s delicious scent rose to fill Hinata’s head, richer and stronger this close to the source. The tight place inside Hinata that had wound tighter all day with thoughts of his mother and how he could keep her away, keep her from being disappointed in him let go all at once. Hinata sank to his knees, grateful that he could pretend to be helping to lift Peter’s legs onto the couch.
He remained kneeling for a moment. Peter’s hand slid across the nubbly surface of the couch, coming to a stop a whisper away from touching Hinata’s cheek. “Thank you.” Hinata’s lungs opened up, allowing air to move in and out again, and the black spots dancing in his vision released their hold on him.
“I am fine.” Peter’s hand moved a fraction forward, the tips of his fingers just grazing Hinata’s skin. A husky chuckle sounded above him, and Hinata tilted his head back to meet Peter’s blazing blue eyes.
“I never—don’t y’all need to be seeing about dinner?” Peter’s hand kept touching Hinata’s cheek, but his eyes turned away to glare up at his cousins, Marcus, and Andre who had entered the house at some point while Hinata concentrated on getting Peter settled on the couch. Hinata giggled. Peter’s eyes turned back to him, heated once and again. Hinata found the air in his lungs suddenly burning hot. He swallowed thickly.
In the distance Rufus answered. “I reckon we might just need to run out and pick something up. Come on fellas.” And then there was a flurry of footsteps and the soft thump of the front door closing. Peter never looked away from Hinata’s face.
“You thought I was a girl.”
Peter nodded, his gaze still hot, but dipping now from Hinata’s eyes to trace along the line of his nose to his lips and back again. “I surely did.” Peter’s voice had gone deep and growly again.
Hinata’s insides jumbled over themselves like dancers in a first year recital. “I am not a girl.” The words came out each thinner than the last until the final one was nearly transparent.
“I reckon not.” Peter’s face loomed closer as he set a hand on the edge of the couch and stretched his long torso sideways.
“Does that matter?” Hinata rose up higher on his knees.
“I reckon we’re about to find out.” Peter leaned a touch further, ending his words with his lips against Hinata’s. Pressing forward, Hinata’s head whirled with a kaleidoscope of colors from the heated blue of Peter’s eyes to the dark blond of his hair to the sweet pink of his lips. Something moist and firm pressed against his lips.
Hinata gasped. “What are you doing?”
Peter pulled back slightly, his eyes twinkling now. “Finding out if it matters or not to me that you’re another guy.”
Then he leaned back in, and suddenly his other hand was there, sliding along Hinata’s jaw. “Open for me.” The words were accompanied by a nip to Hinata’s lower lip, and the steady pressure of Peter’s thumb in the corner of Hinata’s mouth. Hinata’s brain clicked over. He let his jaw fall open as his eyes slipped shut. Peter’s tongue stole inside, mapping out the hidden crevices of Hinata’s mouth until Hinata was gasping for breath. He wrenched his mouth away, realizing three things simultaneously. He had one hand balled into a fist with a bit of Peter’s thin tee-shirt clutched inside it, his other hand was wrapped under and around Peter’s neck while he keened into Peter’s mouth, and the hand Peter had wrapped around a very private portion of Hinata’s anatomy was stroking a lazy rhythm which exactly matched the ebb and flow of Hinata’s noises.
Peter hummed, a rich note of satisfaction in the noise, and then he murmured against Hinata’s lips. “I reckon not.”
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