Jean-Claude walked very deliberately into the bedroom and closed the door behind him. He sighed softly, somewhat wearily,
and fixed his eyes on the tall blonde vampire disrobing next to the headboard of his bed.
For a moment, the silence in the room pressed down on Jean-Claude like a weighted hand, but then he sighed, more audibly
this time, turned around, and locked the door.
“Tough night?” Asher tossed his shirt aside and began working on unfastening his braided leather belt. A small,
insinuating smile curled the corners of his mouth. With a shake of his head, Asher flipped his generous bangs from his eyes
and looked up.
“Eventful,” Jean-Claude replied, stalking across the room to where Asher stood. “I am very ready for
it to be over." He jerked at the collar of his shirt, simultaneously shrugging off his jacket.
Asher moved to turn the bed down. “Problems?”
A crooked smile flashed across Jean-Claude’s face, momentarily brightening his expression. “The usual,”
he said and then dismissed it all with a wave of his hand. “Nothing I couldn’t handle and nothing really worth
repeating.” The master vampire drew in a long, slow breath watching Asher shimmy provocatively out of his pants. “…I’d
prefer to occupy my mind with something more pleasant before I retire.” Easing his frame onto the side of the
bed, Jean-Claude stretched out one long, leather-clad leg.
Asher peered at him and raised his brow inquiringly.
“S’il vous plait, mon ami,” Jean-Claude asked in a breathy, childish voice. It was a tone reserved exclusively
for getting a favor from Asher.
As if recognizing it, Asher grinned and obligingly seized the heel of Jean-Claude’s boot. He tugged it off and dropped
it to the floor. “Other foot.”
Jean-Claude smiled back at him and lifted his other boot towards Asher.
“What did you do about these before I came around again?” the blonde vampire teased his friend. “Please
tell me you didn’t sleep with them on….”
Jean-Claude cocked his head slightly. “Mmm, sometimes.” He watched as Asher braced his own leg on the side
of the mattress for better leverage. His bare foot brushed against Jean-Claude’s thigh sending a bevy of tingles coursing
up his loins. “There were times I had no choice.” His dusky eyes were drawn to the seams of Asher’s smoke-colored
briefs. The fabric flexed and stretched enticingly over his friend’s rather generous endowment.
Too preoccupied with the task at hand to take note of Jean-Claude’s unabashed gaze, Asher simply shook his head and
clucked his tongue.
“I find it hard to imagine you ever alone in this room.”
“I had Jason now and then,” Jean-Claude was quick to add, now all but entranced by the bend of Asher’s
knee. He knew just behind that curve lay one of Asher’s more peculiar erogenous zones. Tentatively, Jean-Claude
raised his hand and played his fingertips teasingly along the other vampire’s inner thigh.
Asher made a little hissing noise between his teeth as he inhaled sharply. Having pulled off Jean-Claude’s other
boot; Asher hefted it aside and sidled closer to the bed, situating himself between Jean-Claude’s splayed legs.
“But he is not your lover,” Asher fairly whispered, pressing his knee against Jean-Claude’s side. He
leaned forward, forcing the other vampire to raise his chin to see him.
Jean-Claude smiled slowly. “Neither are you, mon ami.” He placed his hands on either side of Asher’s
svelte hips and ran his palms over his cool bare skin.
Keeping his eyes locked on Asher’s, the master vampire slipped his long fingers into the waistband of the briefs
and pulled them down.
Steadying himself on Jean-Claude’s shoulder, Asher shed the last of his clothes and stood naked before Jean-Claude,
“I could remedy that,” he whispered, his pale eyes gleaming. Slowly he bent and touched his lips to Jean-Claude’s,
a quick, chaste kiss. “So very easily.” He helped Jean-Claude out of his pants and laid him back on the bed, stretching
out beside him. “I would take you in my arms and never let you go. I would enchant you with my touch, sear you with
my passion, and devour you with my kiss.” He reached out and gathered his friend into his embrace.
Jean-Claude nuzzled Asher’s ear. “Your temptations rival the Devil’s.”
They kissed again only a little deeper than before and parted slowly, smiling.
Asher dragged his hands over Jean-Claude’s shoulders. “Mon Dieu, you’re tense,” he noted. Sitting
up, Asher rolled Jean-Claude onto his stomach. Gently he massaged his back.
Closing his eyes and releasing a heartfelt moan of pleasure, Jean-Claude laid his face in the cradle of his arms. “I
told you I had an eventful night,” he sighed.
“Anything I can do to make it better?” Asher asked.
“You do make it better.” He moaned again and surrendered his tension to the expertise of Asher’s careful
How many times had Asher rubbed his aching back? How many times had he held him tight, stroked his hair, and assured him
that everything would be all right? Truly more times than Jean-Claude could remember. It had almost become a nightly
ritual with the two of them. Even now, as different as things were between them, a lot remained the same.
This was all so familiar a scenario in many ways to Jean-Claude. A small whimpering sound of contentment escaped
Asher suddenly shifted his position on the bed causing Jean-Claude to look up at him. The blonde vampire smiled. “I
remember that sound,” he said softly. “Even though I have not heard it nearly enough these past few years. That
exquisite mixture of pleasure and pain. I know when I’m able to draw it from you…I’m almost there.”
“I was just thinking along those same lines,” Jean-Claude admitted. "Old habits, I suppose."
“You were thinking you are ready to succumb to me,” Asher murmured seductively. "I know you too
well, mon ami. Every pose, every expression, every little sound....You speak to me with your body."
Jean-Claude rolled over and smiled up at his friend gently. “It is an unconscious sound. I am not even aware I make
it--until you comment on it.”
Asher lay back down beside the master vampire and gathered him up against his broad chest. “Subconsciously, then.
You find me irresistible.”
“I do,” Jean-Claude confessed, dragging the back of his hand down the side of Asher’s face. “The
body doesn’t forget.”
"Non. You remember more than you'd have me believe." Asher’s expression grew solemn. His pale, glossy
eyes roved his friend’s fair visage. “You are as beautiful as the day I first set my eyes on you,”
he breathed. “How did I ever let you walk away from me?"
Jean-Claude shook his head. "Asher...."
"My heart was an empty vessel," Asher concluded knowingly. "Void of any kind of feeling or compassion. When
I think of how you suffered for me--”
“Ssssh,” Jean-Claude soothed, placing his fingertips against Asher’s moist lips. “All that
matters is that you are with me now. I do not live in the past, mon ami. I am in the here and now--finding my repose in your
arms at the break of another dawn.”
Asher hugged Jean-Claude tightly. “Is it where you want to be, Jean-Claude?”
Jean-Claude turned his head and kissed Asher deeply. As he pulled back, Jean-Claude peered at Asher, his face a portrait
“Tell me everything will be all right,” Asher whispered, reaching over to touch Jean-Claude’s luxurious
Smiling benevolently, Jean-Claude nodded. “Everything will be just fine, mon ami.” He settled on his back,
laying his head on Asher’s golden tresses which had fanned out across the burgundy-colored pillows.
“I love you, Jean-Claude,” Asher proclaimed sleepily, closing his eyes. He gave the other vampire a little
squeeze. “Sleep well.”
Jean-Claude snuggled closer to Asher, reveling in the weight of his friend’s arm draped over his chest. “I
love you, Asher. Sleep well, mon chardonneret.”
Asher emitted a small sound of contentment. One Jean-Claude recognized with a heart-warming nostalgia. The last thought
in the master vampire’s mind was of waking once more wrapped in his lover’s arms.