“Well, I can assure you, Lazarus, whatever your problem is, you can share it with me. I shan’t tell a soul.” Gabriel smiled reassuringly, hopeful as the boy sat up and looked him in the eye.
What felt like an incredibly long moment to Lazarus passed them by. He couldn’t pick the right words. There was no way he could say it. His hands shook as they stretched out and held Gabriel’s face between them. The rough unshaven cheeks felt so right beneath his fingers and something within him sparked. Suddenly, he was no longer afraid. He had no idea where this sudden courage had come from, but he seized it, using it as his opportunity to show Gabriel what had been bothering him. He didn’t need words with this reckless adrenaline pumping through his body.
Gabriel wasn’t sure where Lazarus was going with this as his bony thumbs stroked his cheeks. He watched something fall away from the boy’s defences. The change in his posture was almost imperceptible. He sat a little straighter, leaning forward ever so slightly. He was instantly more assertive. The grip on his face was a little firmer and he let himself be gently reeled in closer. The look in Lazarus’ eyes was not unfamiliar to him. He had seen lust plenty of times before, but never had he seen it directed at him from another man.
He didn’t know how to react as the boy’s lips pressed to his hungrily. It was nothing like the kisses he’d shared with girls. His lips were weathered and chapped and they grazed each other with their stubble. It was against everything he’d been taught by his parents and religion, but somehow... It didn’t feel so very wrong. He put a hand on Lazarus’ chest, as if to push him away. But Lazarus didn’t move back until he had finished exploring Gabriel’s lips. He may have been feeling reckless, but he wasn’t foolish. Gabriel could feel their hearts pounding in unison. He withdrew his hand, staring at his friend uncertainly. He didn’t know how to feel. How could something he knew was wrong feel so good?
Lazarus pulled his hands back, waiting for some kind of reaction. He bit at the dried out skin on his lips furiously; the courage he had felt was fading rapidly, his stomach twisting itself into a nervous knot as Gabriel sat there blankly. What had he done? Fool! he chastised himself, what the fuck were you thinking?
“Don’t do that,” Gabriel said quietly, noticing a bead of blood forming on Lazarus’ lower lip.
“You made your lip bleed, fool,” he replied, wiping the blood away with a swift sweep of his thumb.
“Don’t you hate me now?” Lazarus asked, earning himself a smile.
“Our friendship is a lot closer than I ever imagined. That’s all,” he nodded to himself, deciding that was all it was. Lazarus was just showing him some strange kind of friendship he had never experienced before. Perhaps it was some kind of villager thing. Yes, that was it. Villagers were just less restrained than those of the upper class.
“Oh. Right. Y’know, I think I need to sleep more’n I thought.” He got up and walked out of the room before Gabriel could stop him.
He don’t get it! he thought as he hurried back to his room. How can he not get it? Is he some kinda idiot? He curled up in the bed, the covers crumpling like the waves of the ocean, threatening to drown him. They could take him tonight, for all he cared. Gabriel wasn’t having any of it, and Lazarus didn’t know what to do with himself. He hadn’t exactly expected Gabriel to kiss back passionately and carry him to bed or anything. But acknowledgement of the fact I love him would be nice.