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caught in the web of regard

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Beneath the layers of wool and leather that make up an Ascian’s robe, the first thing that the Exarch notices about Emet-Selch is that he is almost skin and bones. The Exarch knows that this is a man whose martial prowess was enough to win him a handcrafted empire, and when he shifts his body, leans upon one elbow, tenses a thigh, there is more muscle than could possibly seem mete to so thin a man. All over, he is skinny as a rail, broad shoulders made less imposing by how little width they take up, his wrists slight enough that the Exarch can nearly wrap his fingers around them, his thighs and hips with so little flesh upon them that sitting atop his lap is rather more akin to sitting on recently-broken paving stones than anything more comfortable.

For all that the grey in his hair is so distinctive, nearly lavender and less silver, the hair across his body shows little such weathering: his stubble grows in with but a few white hairs, and the hair on the centre of his chest that runs down to meet with that upon the base of his stomach, his forearms, his calves.

And that at the apex of his thighs, that G’raha’s eyes are drawn two inexorably the first time that Emet-Selch hooks one thumb in the waistband of his smallclothes, tugs them down, reveals the hard line of his cock.

Emet-Selch, naked in his bed, his cheekbones flushed and his eyes blown wide with arousal, gasping for breath, his hair stuck to his face. Emet-Selch, Paragon of the Source, sweat wicking between his sharp collarbones to the hollow of his sternum, his long, narrow cock hard between his thighs.

The Exarch cannot remember a time in the last ten years he had anything so much as beyond the tops of his elbows bare in front of another person. But when Emet-Selch ties the blindfold on behind his head, narrow, nimble fingers fashioning a knot—

Nervous?” Emet-Selch laughs, long-fingered hands sliding up his legs, past his knees, pushing his robe up his thighs until it’s puddling at his waist, “I can hardly see your secret identity, Exarch. Whatever must I do to convince you how safe your secret is with me?”

Have you considered perhaps not being an Ascian?” G’raha returns, biting back his nervousness—Emet-Selch cannot see his face, and even if he could make out such fine details with his third eye, the security of the anonymity of G'raha Tia, an unknown, is what spurs him at last to pull his robe the rest of the way up.

Emet-Selch’s hands chase it all the way, palms never leaving his skin for a moment. His lips follow.

Soon enough, G'raha forgets all but their skin.