He shuddered as Lazarus’ breath danced over his skin. He thought back to the night before. His reaction had definitely not been one of disgust. There had been confusion and panic, but no disgust to speak of.
“It’s wrong, though,” he murmured weakly, his train of thought thoroughly derailed as Lazarus began to nibble on the edge of his ear. He cursed softly under his breath, making Lazarus chuckle.
“Must be pretty wrong if it makes you swear,” he grinned, pulling back a little to gauge his reaction. Gabriel’s expression was surprisingly innocent. It was as though the young lord had never progressed any further than kisses and cuddles. Lazarus smiled, cautiously allowing a small bubble of hope to swell in his chest, despite the confusion that clouded Gabriel’s dark eyes.
“It is,” he insisted.
“Look, Gabriel, even if you do believe it’s a sin, you’re probably already going to Hell for something else you’ve done in your life. Unless you’re a fucking monk, none of us will ever get into heaven, so we might as well enjoy our lives, right?” Gabriel just stared blankly at him, trying to process the sudden overload of sin and blasphemy. “I mean, I might have to hide the fact I prefer men over women, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still indulge myself.”
“Wrong, I know,” Lazarus sighed, sitting back, “I just figure that maybe religion doesn’t know everything. It says that God loves us all unconditionally, yet if we swear, or drink, or have sex with who we want, or pretty much anything, He’s gonna send us all packing to the Devil and his fiery pits of Hell. I’m not perfect, but God’s just gonna have to accept that, ‘cause He loves me.”
Gabriel bit his lip, looking over at his friend. He had never questioned religion, or any of its teachings or rules. Lazarus had clearly spent plenty of time doubting what he had been raised to believe. It’s just his parentage and bad background, he reasoned, there’s nothing to say he’s right about any of that. But there was a niggling voice in the back of his mind that agreed with Lazarus. He opened his mouth to try and say something, but his friend didn’t notice, already speaking.
“I’ll leave you to think about it,” he said, planting a kiss on his forehead that was not quite platonic as he stood, “will you come and find me when you’ve decided how you feel about this?”
“I... yes, I will,” Gabriel nodded. With a smile, Lazarus walked away from him, abandoning the young lord with his thoughts and the stifling silence of the library.
He waited until Lazarus’ footsteps faded down the landing before rising to his feet. The soft music creeping along the corridor caught his attention as he left the library. He followed it to the music room, leaning on the wall beside the door. Through the gap where it had not been closed properly, he could see Lazarus’s face fixed in concentration, his small body sat straight behind the dark polished wood. The music had captivated him, as had Lazarus himself. He couldn’t seem to stop watching.
The realisation that he was admiring Lazarus for more than just his music had him chewing frantically on his lower lip. How could someone seem so innocent and unassuming be so filled with sin and blasphemy?
He tore his gaze from the boy. Perhaps his sins were simply human misinterpretation. Perhaps Lazarus had been right before. He dared to glance back at him through the gap. His heart raced as those wintery eyes sparkled up at him with amusement, catching him watching. He felt like a frightened rabbit, all of a sudden, caught in the sights of a fox.
Lazarus ducked his head a little, letting his hair fall in front of his face as he needlessly watched his hands dancing across the keyboard together. He wondered what was going through Gabriel’s head. Have I pushed him away from me? It didn’t feel like it from the way he was being watched, but the thought stuck in his head. He put a smile upon his lips, performing privately for his secret audience, Gabriel.