Lucian sipped his gin martini and gestured for another as Shea hopped onto the stool next to him.
"Guinness?" Shea requested, and the bartender flashed a smile at the geeky kid with unkempt curls before going to fill the order.
"Evening," Lucian murmured, cocking a brow at Shea, who wore a button-down that did nice things for his eyes and a pair of jeans that actually fit the skinny frame. "You're looking particularly fetching tonight. Date?"
Shea's flush was adorable, as usual. "Uhm, sort of. I mean... no. Not... just here to meet you."
Lucian watched Shea fidgeting with interest. He'd not appeared this nervous since that conversation they had back in junior year about virginity and how Shea should lose it. Lucian could admit now, some three years later and a year past the Raquelle-and-that-night-Lucian-cried scandal, that the chat was mostly to encourage Shea to seek his own sources of relief else Lucian's willpower cave and force him to do the honors. "Something on your mind?"
"No. Yes." Shea grimaced.
"How distressing, such equal opportunity for positive and negative."
Shea sighed. "Could ya not pull the imperial shit for three seconds?"
"Miracles do happen." Lucian inched closer, facing Shea with his legs crossed at the knees and concern lighting candles in the winter chill of Lucian's core.
"I was just... thinking."
"Saints forbid." Lucian would not touch Shea. Soothing that brow with a thumb was right out, as was taking the trembling hand lying on the bar. Entirely, thoroughly, completely OUT.
"You know about that Scene shit, right?"
Lucian restarted his heart when it stuttered, and thankfully his tongue did not follow the stammering suit. "Yes. I do."
"Right. So I was thinking about... maybe... trying some of--"
"Yes." Lucian drained his second glass in two gulps.
"Just to, you know, see if it would help with the--"
"Yes." Lucian hailed the absent-minded idiot bartender and gesticulated violently for the check.
"--stress, ya know? And so I was thinking maybe you could--"
Shea blinked. "But you don't like--"
"Yes, I do."
"You don't even know what I was gonna--"
Lucian sighed and grabbed Shea's collar. Lucian's best friend and single, positive motivator in life blinked cutely at him, seemingly made of big puppy eyes and tender everything. "Does it involve you, me, and anything Scene-related?"
"Then I agree."
"I will not have you unleashed hapless among the assholes out there, Shea. Not when I'm an option near and dear at hand." Lucian smirked. "And at whip. And flogger. And anything else you might want to let me try."
Shea gulped and continued to blush and blink. "I... er... but..."
"Finish your beer." Lucian laid down cash for the drinks.
"Wait a damned minute." Shea used the stern voice, and Lucian had the presence of mind to pretend it gave him pause and not merely an erection. "You play with... you like... I know, Raquelle, but he was a... so you--"
Lucian stopped the train wreck of Shea Logic with a sigh and a bruising kiss that got them catcalls and one gentleman deciding elsewhere was a better place to be.
Shea swallowed, gaze clouding. "Ya know, I really don't need the last few sips. Not as much as I... er... thought."
Lucian smiled, the world finally moving as it should on the axis of Lucian and Shea. "Good. Very, very good, sweet Shea."