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You Cried Out for the Evening

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Dead and gloom and guilt, none of it mattered; not here inside this pocket of Night, not upon this rotting balcony with an even more rotted corpse no less than twenty metres from them inside the abandoned flat.  For the moment, Jonathan could forget his unlife within the thrum of the warm and so very lively body that was tearing at his clothing with near violent ardour.  Could savour the stale taste of tobacco and sense the bite of whisky in angry Irish blood when McCullum brought their mouths together again.

But through it all, Jonathan could still smell the now dormant sickness on the former tenant lain sprawled across her soiled sickbed nearby.  It was like a lingering thought brushed to the back of his mind while his slender fingers worked buttons free on a wrinkled shirt placket; a diagnosis his preternatural senses could make for him now, in mockery of all his years of studies and practical application.  It was a nagging reminder of his sworn duty and Oath, the stubborn needle of his moral compass.  But the poor old woman was long gone before he’d sequestered his more paramount prey away to the rooftops of Whitechapel.  There were no souls left to save this night.

And there was certainly no time for romantic leanings.  Geoffrey McCullum fucked like he fought: quick and dirty, but skilled and dangerous all the same.  For now, it was all either of them had the patience for.  Time, despite his immortal curse, was no friend to Jonathan once the evening hours trickled towards sunrise.

Briefly though, he did wonder if the scent of decaying wood, heavy with mould and slickened with the falling rain, bothered McCullum as Jonathan pinned him down against the boards.  Wondered if the foetor of the old woman's putrefying flesh and bile reached the mortal hunter's nose.  He thought there was the exiguous fragrance of clove and something more medicinal in there, too.  Did McCullum sense Death the way he did?  Is that what made him so apt for hunting down Jonathan's ilk?

He was letting himself be interrupted and distracted from the only thing that reminded him of what it was to be alive.

Jonathan supposed it didn't bother the other man with the way a growling moan vibrated against his mouth, and there were rough hands mussing his hair, after all; grabbing, pulling.  Blunt and dirty nails scraped down his shoulders and arms as his shirt and waistcoat were tugged off, and the scant pain it caused was laughable.  Jonathan tasted sudden metallic crimson across McCullum’s tongue and lips and it was headier than any wine, more sacramental than any Communion received.  McCullum chased the points of Jonathan's fangs with his tongue once more.  That eagerness could be a perilous mistake.

He tried to pull away from the addictive way McCullum deepened the kiss; how he bit hard at Jonathan's bottom lip in a seeming effort to sample the cursed thing he'd sworn to end.  But strong, aggressive hands held Jonathan's jaw in place.  He could simply use his unnatural strength to pin McCullum's arms again, tell him he'd lost his head and sense in his passion and anger -- had no idea the danger he flirted with in all of this.  

And yet…  He wrapped a hand around McCullum's wrist.  Though he wanted to remove the man’s grip from his chin, he felt himself leaning in for another kiss.

Batting away temptation and McCullum's hand finally, Jonathan sat up, still straddling the man.   What was wrong with him?   There was blood on McCullum's lips.

“Jonathan.”  Not Reid, not Doctor, not leech.  Panting, McCullum gripped Jonathan's waist with one hand, thumb kneading pale flesh against the jut of hip bone above the waist of his undone trousers.

Jonathan sighed in what felt strangely like relief, and fell back upon his hunter; cold flesh against flesh heated, the living still at war with the unliving in their surreptitious embrace.   Was it some newly acquired arrogance, that the utterance of his given name was what unmade Jonathan?  It was but a lilting and ragged whisper -- perhaps involuntary, perhaps a warning , but to the good doctor's ears, it was a much needed benediction.