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Jonathan Emmet Reid, being a man of science, has never believed himself to be destined to an epic love story, so he settles quite easily for what he and Elisabeth Ashbury come to share, companionship in a world that is far too bleak. There might be no real spark between them, but there’s a lot of understanding.

The thing about sparks, though, is that as much as Jonathan has heard about them, he’s never actually felt one. It’s understandable, therefore, that he does not believe them to exist.

Until, that is, he feels it.

Even when days later he plays the events back inside his head, they don’t make any sense. He had been coming back from a round of home visits through the docks, late at night with the London night cold burying into his bones. That’s when Jonathan saw him, standing just outside the Turquoise Turtle, and, more importantly, felt it.

The spark.

“Reid,” the man said in that gruff Irish accent, voice booming around the empty street like a challenge. And, like a moth to a flame, Jonathan went to him. Geoffrey McCullum.

How could he not?

He’ll wonder, in the following weeks, if this was the moment that damned him. The moment he made his choice. Because everything that came after? Feels inevitable.

Their dance around words, banter that floats between too friendly and too aggressive, eyes that hold onto each other’s gaze for a bit too long to be entirely antagonistic.

And the spark.

It hadn’t been there before, Jonathan is sure of it. Almost. He would have noticed it, right? Even though…

Well, he did have quite a bit on his plate when he first met Geoffrey at Swansea’s office. And later, at the theatre. And later still, at the cemetery. Always running from point A to point B, trying to catch up to the Disaster, solve the equation.

He might have missed it then, but it’s impossible to ignore it now, the way his skin feels electric when the hunter looks him up and down, heart hammering inside his chest, air suddenly too thin.

Geoffrey kisses him first, Jonathan is sure of it. Still, it’s Geoffrey who asks, in a daze, “What are you doing?”

And Jonathan has absolutely no idea how to answer that.

What is he doing?

His back is against the wall, Geoffrey’s tongue inside his mouth and the obvious line of Geoffrey’s arousal pressed against his own. And even though this is absurd, incomprehensible, he finds himself relaxing into Geoffrey’s embrace, knees parting for the hunter to fit a strong thigh between his legs. Jonathan chases the taste of whiskey deep into Geoffrey’s mouth as they grind against each other shamelessly, desperately, and thinks, well, Geoffrey might be a tad drunk. Cheeks reddened by alcohol, eyes a bit glassy. Not enough to be out of control, but enough to be more daring than usual, moving against Jonathan with undeniable intent.

And the thing is, Jonathan knows he shouldn’t be doing this. Not with a hunter of his kind, with a man, his poor mother would be so disappointed. Not while he has Elisabeth. But this feels so distant from everything he’s ever experienced that none of those things even occur to him.

Geoffrey’s mouth is so hot, hotter yet as the hunter drags his lips and the roughness of his stubble across Jonathan’s neck, kissing and sucking and then biting down hard enough to make Jonathan gasp.

It’s so ironic that only now Jonathan only gets to feel like this alive, so long after being turned.

Breath warm and tickling, lips catching his earlobe every few words, Geoffrey spills filth against Jonathan’s ear, hips shoving firm and rhythmically against the hardness between the Ekon’s legs. He details, voice low and husky, how good Jonathan feels squirming against him. Jonathan shivers and holds on for dear life, fingers clutching at the back of Geoffrey’s coat.

Geoffrey’s words ignite, scorching in a way nothing else in Jonathan’s life is anymore, thick voice a warm caress against his eardrums. Being wanted like this does strange, amazing things to Jonathan’s insides. Then, just when he thinks he’ll end up coming just like that, thrusting rough and dirty against the constant pressure of Geoffrey’s hips, Geoffrey kneels in front of him.

Jonathan’s hands are shaky when he helps Geoffrey push his clothes away. Geoffrey is much more confident pulling his cock out onto the cold night air. The hunter licks a hot line from the base of the shaft up to the head and Jonathan has to look away. Can’t stand the sight of Geoffrey, the trance-like haze in his eyes, mouth wet and bruised pink from the kisses they shared.

The hunter swallows him down, no hesitation at all, and Jonathan lets out a muttered curse followed by the hunter’s name. And then, because it feels good, that name on his tongue, he keeps going, “Geoffrey… oh, hell, Geoffrey.”

He feel the pleased rumble of Geoffrey’s chuckle between his legs and smothers a moan against the back of his own hand. Anyone could hear them, walk by and see them, even. They’re just around the corner from the bar, for crying out loud. Much later, Jonathan will be thankful nobody did, but the truth is he wouldn’t be able to tell if anyone got an eyeful. The entire guard of Priwen could be standing a few feet from them and Jonathan still wouldn’t have been able to stop himself from thrusting into Geoffrey’s mouth, throbbing cock sliding between spit-slick lips to press against the hunter’s tongue, the roof of his mouth and then further inside.

High on lust, Jonathan runs shaky fingers through Geoffrey’s hair, fingertips rubbing against his scalp but not daring to hold on. Geoffrey leans into the touch, head bobbing more enthusiastically, pressure increasing to a point where Jonathan can’t help but buck into it. As his climax approaches, Jonathan loses his rhythm, throat torn by moans and soft whimpers, half-formed curses, praises, promises he can’t help but make. He can barely believe how good he feels, the fact that Geoffrey fuckin McCullum is the one doing this to him just another notch on the insanity of it all.

“I’m close,” he mutters, voice tight, wounded. Geoffrey moans in appreciation, but, instead of backing off, he sucks that much harder. A burst of salt and chlorine in the air is all it takes for Jonathan to tip over with the realisation that Geoffrey just came while gagging on his cock. Geoffrey swallows, licks him through the aftershocks until he begins to go soft, too sensitive for the touch to actually feel any good.

This, Jonathan thinks as he helps Geoffrey up on unsteady legs, will change everything. The afterglow hits him more intensely than the act itself. Jonathan offers no resistance when Geoffrey buttons his clothes back up, fixes his hair, unnaturally bright blue eyes sliding closed for a second as the world spins around him like it’s about to end. He swallows thickly and Geoffrey’s hands withdraw.

When Jonathan opens his eyes, Geoffrey’s gone.

Damned hunter, he thinks, fully aware that now that he’s had a taste of the Irish man, he is going to want more.