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Magnus makes it seem effortless. His body’s fluid, the steps rippling through him, hands a flourishing extension of his lead- and Alec can’t follow. He can’t move like that, like any one of the people in this club, he can’t follow Magnus because he doesn’t understand what he’s supposed to be doing, even when Magnus explains and demonstrates the basic footwork for the sixth time.

“Just relax,” Magnus says, amused, his hands settled on Alec’s waist, trying to guide him. “It’s no different than teaching yourself a new way to fight.”

“It’s quite different,” Alec says scathingly, and Magnus grins like it doesn’t bother him Alec’s trodden on his glossy dress shoes already.

The club’s packed. It’s full of glamourous women, gorgeous men, matching their rhythm to the pulse of the music easily. Magnus should be here with someone like them, who can keep up with him, make him look good; he shouldn’t have brought Alec. He’d be tempted to tell Magnus to find a different partner for the night and have fun, but he’s distinctly aware of the eyes lingering on the pair of them since they walked in.

Whoever he picked, they would look good in Magnus’ arms and they would take their chance. Alec wouldn’t even blame them.

He feels a fool trying to roll his hips, be sensual, following steps in a pattern he doesn’t understand in a dance not meant for two men, but Magnus is graceful and inviting even when he isn’t trying to be. His eyes shine, his sleeves rolled up, shirt unbuttoned to the navel- he’s one of crowd but he’s the most beautiful in it.

Alec’s too self-conscious. He can’t be what Magnus wants.

Giving up trying to follow the moves, Alec tugs Magnus close, hands resting low on his back. Magnus lets him lead them in nothing more than a sway, arms wrapping around Alec’s neck, and he smiles.

“…perhaps I should try to teach you this somewhere less public.”

“If you move like that somewhere less public,” Alec says, leaning in to kiss his cheek and murmur in his ear, “I’ll end up undressing you.”

Magnus’ breath hitches and Alec raises an eyebrow, playful. He takes Magnus’ hand, spinning him out and pulling him back in too simple, too clumsy, but Magnus doesn’t seem to care. He slips his thigh between Alec’s, eyes dropping to his lips, and Alec lets his head fall back when Magnus grinds against him.

Squeezing his eyes shut, it’s sexy, the heat of Magnus’ body against his, lips gentle on his throat, and Alec finally relaxes into him.

“My love,” Magnus says, low and throaty, nose skimming down his rune, “is that a promise?”

Alec nods, biting his lip when Magnus grinds again, sucking his collarbone gently. To anyone watching, this might look like a seduction, but Alec doesn’t care what anyone else thinks of him when Magnus is touching him like this.

“Come on,” Magnus says, fingertips urging Alec into heaving his head back up, but he doesn’t let Magnus step away like he tries to.

“You wanted to dance.”

“Yes,” Magnus agrees, kissing Alec’s lips light and brief, more a tease than a real kiss, “and now I want you in my bed.”


“Do you believe me?”

It’s deliberately light but Magnus is nothing but certainty, so Alec pushes his insecurities away. They have no place here; Magnus wants him.


Magnus smiles, kissing him again and threading their fingers together. “Then follow me.”

He walks backwards into the crowd, shimmying his shoulders and looking up through his eyelashes at Alec coyly, and Alec makes sure he doesn’t walk into anyone, trying not to smile.

Alec is so, completely in love with him.