Wylan’s grin broadened. His brow lifted. If that wasn’t an invitation …
“Well, hell,” Jesper muttered. He closed the distance between them and took Wylan’s face in his hands. He moved slowly, deliberately, kept the kiss quiet, the barest brush of his lips, giving Wylan the chance to pull away if he wanted to. But he didn’t. He drew closer.
Jesper could feel the heat from Wylan’s body against his. He slid his hand to the back of Wylan’s neck, tilting his head back, asking for more.
He felt greedy for something. He’d wanted to kiss Wylan since he’d first seen him stirring chemicals in that gruesome tannery—ruddy curls damp with the heat, skin so delicate it looked like it would bruise if you breathed on it too hard. He looked like he’d fallen into the wrong story, a prince turned pauper. From then on, Jesper had been stuck somewhere between the desire to taunt the pampered little merchling into another blush and the urge to flirt him into a quiet corner just to see what might happen. But sometime during their hours at the Ice Court, that curiosity had changed. He’d felt the tug of something more, something that came to life in Wylan’s unexpected courage, in his wide-eyed, generous way of looking at the world. It made Jesper feel like a kite on a tether, lifted up and then plummeting down, and he liked it.