My attention was drawn to the beautiful dragons, and I traced them lightly with my fingers. “Have I told you how much I like these?”
“You might have mentioned it,” he replied gruffly.
“I wish I could have a tattoo, but it would get lost in a sea of freckles.”
“Why choose ink when you have a natural constellation of art?”
“Oh, please. My complexion is a muddied canvas compared to yours. I can’t even see your pores.”
“That doesn’t make yours any less beautiful. Colors are a big part of my life, and when I look at you, I see every variation of red imaginable. It would take me hours to replicate some of your shades.”
He was carding my hair with one hand and thumbing my face with the other. I’d never been studied with such intensity. Instead of feeling self-conscious, I was flattered beyond measure.
“Would you sit for me one day?” he asked. “I would love to capture you in pastels.”
“Hasn’t anyone ever told you how extraordinary you are?”
“Me?” I practically squeaked in shock. “I’ve always been the butt of jokes.”
“People can be so blind sometimes.”
“Or perhaps you’re seeing me with different eyes.”
I kissed him then, overwhelmed by the praise. No one had ever given me such an ego boost.
“I’ll walk you to your apartment,” he said after we broke apart.
“There’s no need. I’ll take a cab.”
“Then I’ll ride in the cab with you.”
“Humor me, Niall. I want to make sure you’re safe.”
“If you insist.”
When we stepped out of his building, the streets were busy. It was eleven o’clock but early by Kowloon standards. People were still dining or clubbing, and it felt like a shame to cut our evening short.
“Let’s take the ferry,” I suggested. “Unless you want to hurry back.”
“There’s nothing pressing,” Gerard remarked. “I rather like the idea of having you for another thirty minutes.”
Third Son will be available for purchase on Monday, October 2. 30% off the price if you purchase at NineStar. Type PREORDER at checkout. Offer only good until the book releases.
NineStar Press: https://ninestarpress.com/product/third-son/