"You'll drive me mad," the poet complains in a voice gone deep and husky with desire, and then on a rising note: "don't stop...!"
"Patience, lovely." Courfeyrac laughs, his breath warm against delicate skin, and a rag of vapor forms in the chilly air as though Nature made a token attempt at modesty. "Patience. Would I disappoint you?"
"...no," he admits, shivering, and arches helplessly into another hot, teasing kiss, expertly calculated to drive him to incoherence. Oh, please-- but the words are lost in a fervent cry, as a hundred bells begin to chime midnight.
"Happy new year, Jehan."
Firelight and sunset glow bathes them in a splendor almost palpable, tinting the bare walls scarlet, but, lost in the kiss, neither of them notices. Young lovers, silhouettes in shirtsleeves, lithe shadows entwined in one another's arms.
Clothes fall to the floor, fine linen tangled with coarse cloth, shoes kicked into the corner. Hands glide over flushed skin, slow and gentle. Fair hair mingles with russet on the pillow; kisses light as snowflakes blend with laughter and sighs. There is no artifice, no guile between them, only the slow blossoming of joy. In the hazy dusk, they fall asleep smiling.
Courfeyrac pours another glass. "My poor Bossuet. One would think the odds would be in your favor occasionally."
"I'm used to it." He stares moodily at the wall. The hour is late, the room is empty, the wind howls outside. His lover is even now in someone's bed, no doubt, spread-eagled, tousle-haired, gloriously naked, smiling that deceptively innocent smile. The thought makes his blood race more than it should, in a public place--
And then he realizes that Courfeyrac's hand is in his lap, Courfeyrac's lips are warm on the back of his neck.
"Silver lining, mon ami?"
The air is soft, sweet with the scent of dew and wildflowers. Wind blows across the meadow with a sound like the sea, under a sky of crystal blue. Into the silence comes the birdsong sound of laughter.
"You are incorrigible."
"Ah, don't scold me, not today. Next year I'll be wise and sensible, but today, today..."
"You may not see a next year if you don't behave today," but Feuilly is smiling.
"Hark at him! Combeferre, you see how I'm terrorized?" Courfeyrac slings an arm around each of his companions. "If I step out of line he lectures me about Poland till I beg for mercy--"
"I don't lecture you," with a wicked grin.
Courfeyrac kisses him, in the face of Combeferre's laughter, and pulls him down to the ground. When the kiss breaks, both are breathless and laughing. "God, you'll kill me."
Feuilly knots a hand in his jacket. "Beg for mercy."
For this defiance he is tackled backward into the long grass. Laughing, he reaches out a hand to Combeferre for rescue.
When Enjolras arrives, belatedly, he finds his three lieutenants curled half-naked around each other. For once he does not hesitate to join them.
"O Spring!" he declaims, falling back against the pillow, unperturbed by her giggles.
"Aimery, you're drunk."
"O goddess -- am not -- O Flora with your buttercup hair, your bluebell eyes, your apple-blossom breasts, your snowdrop hands, your fragrance, your honey--"
She kisses him. "What, no roses?"
"Roses most of all," and he slips a hand between her thighs, a caress as delicate as butterfly wings. She sighs, unfolding to the touch, her cheeks blossoming pink. His mouth closes thirstily on hers, drinking her in like sunshine, as she gathers him into her. Outside, the swift spring rain begins to fall.
The kiss catches him by surprise, and for a moment he stands still in confusion. But demanding fingers are twined in his hair, an eager tongue is seeking his, and Enjolras is pressed close enough that Courfeyrac can feel every contour of his body through the layers of clothing. God, does he save his passion all year, to be able to kiss like that in the first flush of summer?
When they pause for breath, his pulse is pounding. "Julien--"
"No words." That pure, boyish face; that brusque tone. "Come with me."
That transparent, scalding need...
Bahorel smells of sweat and lust, of earth and sun. He is overwhelming and irresistible, he is every illicit back-alley encounter that Courfeyrac ever contemplated, he is less a lover than an act of God, absolute and breathtaking. His hands are warm and strong and confident, and he laughs as Courfeyrac tugs his shirt off, openly gleeful.
"Want you, want you--"
"Really?" Bahorel pins him against the desk, grinning.
"Yes, really. Stop gloating and-- ah..."
The room hazes around him, and Courfeyrac lets go a shuddering sigh. Chief among Bahorel's virtues: he knows when to shut up.
They move like body and shadow, like right hand and left, in perfect rhythm. In the hot, still air their kisses seem to linger on Daniel's skin. They might be twins, Aimée and Aimery, even to their names and the wicked glint in their eyes; a dark Apollo and a debauched Diana, and he utterly at their mercy.
The one pins his hands to the pillow, smiling down at him unrepentantly, as the other covers his body with hers. Their skin smells of summer. Her hair spills around the three of them like a wave; he arches against her, surrendering.
Jeannette moves in a twofold rustle, in silk the color of the dead leaves underfoot. The curve of her waist fits snugly into the curve of Courfeyrac's arm; her slight weight leans deliciously against his shoulder whenever they pause. A glimpse of her profile fills him with secret glee. Their transgression is the sweeter for this flaunting.
She is all rounded softness, all frailty -- all illusion. When they reach home, she will look up with those glistening eyes, whisper indecencies till her voice breaks and plummets as he kisses her throat, and his hands find the tautness in her skirts.
He's left his jacket somewhere behind him. Waistcoat unbuttoned, cravat come loose from its elaborate knot, pants that were too tight to begin with become an exquisite agony of restraint. The night air is cool and wild. He's been here before, but never like this, never so good as this.
At the suggestion breathed in his ear, he nods, and swallows, and tries to steady himself. "Let me get out of these clothes."
"Mm. I don't think that'll be necessary."
"Jesus Christ, Keith, I have to return these pants."
His lover laughs, taking pity on him. "You're cuter naked anyway."
Courfeyrac could very easily fall in love with him. Such a heartbreakingly pretty boy: dark curls that any girl would kill for, skin as soft as if he's never been touched. And on that thought he hesitates, struck by compunction.
But the boy seizes his shoulders and pulls him back down, kissing him with redoubled passion. "Marius," he protests, laughing.
"Don't mock me."
"I wouldn't dream of it," Courfeyrac murmurs, fascinated by the vehemence in those velvet eyes. He draws the sheet up over them, sinking against the pillow, and sets himself to learn what the boy can teach him.
"Oh, no... no, you haven't."
"An early Christmas gift, chéri. Don't look so terrified, I'll keep you safe."
"It's--" sputtering, "unhygienic!"
Courfeyrac bursts out laughing and slings an arm around his waist. "Nonsense. Don't be prim, Audric."
The interior is dim, scented, warm, surprisingly quiet. A slim figure approaches them smiling, and Courfeyrac greets her with a kiss. "Solange, lovely--"
His assurance is catching. Combeferre is swept upstairs on a tide of banter and perfume. By the time it occurs to him to object, he finds himself naked, enfolded in Aimery's arms and Solange's legs, far too late for worry.