Night, by Vanessa Mullen

Avon paused in the dim light. The figure under the sheets lay still, the rise and fall of the broad chest barely perceptible. The limbs were heavy and relaxed, sprawled in slumber. He took a step closer, daring to come where he never ventured in the day. In the day, there would be no point. In the day, this room would be dead, lacking the vital presence that this man gave it. The strength and the passion, even in that sleep, Avon could sense them. Whatever Blake did, he brought to it his own single-mindedness and dedication.

If Blake were to love, he would do it whole-heartedly. If that passion were focused on an individual instead of the great mass of humanity, who would be able to stand against it? Jenna had fallen without a single shot being fired. Nevertheless, Blake slept alone. Avon knew – because he’d been here before.

He let his hand hover over the contours of Blake’s body, a caress that never quite touched the sheets. Fantasies of a thousand kinds floated through his mind: Blake looking at him, truly looking, not seeing the computer technician, or the friend, or the cynic, but the man within, with a complexity of needs and desires that he barely understood himself; Blake holding him, finally focused on Avon, wanting him, needing him; Blake kissing him, the barest brush of the lips, but a touch that burned deep into the soul.

He stepped back abruptly. Fantasy was one thing, reality another. Blake’s cause was his mistress and she would never release him while she lived. Coming here was simply torturing himself with impossibilities.

He stepped back into the corridor, hating himself for the pain in his heart and the fever of his body. He would not come again.

But he’d said that the time before…

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