Sweeten Thy Mouth
by Rana Eros

Brigdh requested Richard/Alec for the Wishes for Kisses Mini-Fanworks Challenge. We'd just been discussing the apocryphal history of "cloven fruit," which strikes me as just the sort of thing the nobles on the Hill would indulge in. Betaed by Eliza.

"Where did you get this?" Alec asks when Richard tosses the clove-studded lemon to him. He sounds on the verge of amused laughter, and Richard relaxes a little.

"The lady whose honor I was hired to defend gave it to me."

"And then offered you a kiss on the back of her lily white hand, I suppose." Alec pauses, then narrows his eyes and drawls. "Of course, you're very popular on the Hill right now. Perhaps it was her lily white something else."

"It was her hand."

Alec holds his out, one clove pinched between two elegant fingers, and Richard crosses the room to kiss the back of it. Except Alec twists his wrist before Richard's lips touch, and he ends up kissing Alec's palm. He darts his tongue out, and Alec hums happily. Then hands him the lemon back when he straightens.

"There aren't very many cloves on this. Are you certain the lady's honor was worthy of defense?"

Richard shrugs, completely disinterested in the question. "Her brother's money is good."

That makes Alec smile; it's vicious, but Richard knows it's not aimed at him. "Oh, Richard, you have no romance in your soul. If they only knew, they'd stop asking you about weddings."

Richard chooses a clove, gives Alec his hand. Alec bypasses it for his mouth. Richard's more than happy to let him break the rules. He tastes a bit like the fish he said wanted lemon earlier in the day, and a bit like cheap brandy, and more than a bit like ink. Richard wonders what he's been writing.

There's one last clove left in the fruit. When Alec pulls back, Richard presents the lemon to him. Alec bites the clove out of the rind, offers his mouth to Richard.

Takes what Richard offers after that.


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