Kate has her shirt off before she asks, "You're clean right?" Normally, she would've asked the question within fifteen minutes of meeting the man, but usually she would have had him naked in ten. Declan isn't like that. He is all proper and high tea and he's got manners to match Magnus when either wants to use them. He's not the kind of man Kate used to take to bed.
"Last round of blood tests was a month ago, and they were fine. Haven't been exposed to anything that I know about since then," he says, while popping the clasp of her bra. They've been working their way to this in fits and starts for over a year. Declan had been trained to be too much of a gentleman somewhere along the way and Kate had eventually decided just to push him into the deep end. It seemed to be working well enough at the moment.
"Me, too," she says, pushing his pants and boxers down around his ankles. Her pants quickly follow.
"Most people don't ask, you know," Declan says, as she runs her hands down his chest.
Kate stops and stares at him for a moment. "I guess when you grew up under the rule of Queen Victoria, STDs aren't something you really consider. Though you'd think nefraimine abnormals would be."
Declan laughs and tangles his fingers in her hair, ignoring the reference. "They did have syphilis and such back then. And, you've had a run in with neframine?"
"Once," she says with a full body shiver. "You?"
"James and I cleaned out an infestation of them a dance club once," Declan replies. "Nasty little buggers. The people in the club almost danced themselves to death."
"I'm impressed. Not even a bite mark on you," Kate says as she pushes him back onto the bed.
"Run in with a Grailhawk. All the old scars are gone." Declan doesn't quite meet her eyes when he says that, and she wonders what that's like, losing the map of scars left by experience on one's body.
"Tell me," she says, because she's never been to leave anything well enough alone, and she can't leave anything behind. She wants to know everything, see every bit of this man. It's an unfamiliar impulse. In the old days, she hadn't always even bothered with names.
Declan takes her hand gently and move it to his collar bone. There is nothing there, just unmarked skin. "My first abnormal. A guairai."
"Beak or claw?"
"Claw. I was going to be dinner for its young. That's how I met James."
Kate bends down to place a kiss on the unblemished skin. "You needed a rescue?" she teases.
"I was seventeen, let's say eight stone soaking wet. The guairai was a full grown female," Declan explains. There are things that he clearly isn't saying, but there is only so much of yourself you can bare to another person at a time, and Kate does actually know when to stop pushing. He doesn't need to know that she's already heard the story of how he met James from sources more reliable than himself. Or, perhaps, not more reliable, just more willing to divulge details, like the fact that Declan had been as high as a kite at the time and a runaway besides. She knows that telling her even a part of it was a gift.
"You weren't much of meal back then," she says instead, and he suddenly pushes himself up to kiss her full on the lips. She lets him cut her off. Enjoys the questing tongue in her mouth. She pushes bash, toppling them both down on to bed, kissing the entire time. Kate shifts her hips and sinks back on to him and Declan groans, eyes closed tight.
"Warn a man," he says, with a grin.
Kate wiggles her hips. "What fun is that?" she asks, and settles in a rhythm. "I want to see you come apart."
"It's not going to take much," he responds. Declan reaches up to where their bodies meet, finding her clit and applying just the right pressure. The man is good with his hands, she'll give him that, even if she can tell he is staving off his orgasm with sheer will power, hoping to make her come first. She wonders how long its been for him. If she's the first person since James, or if he had drowned his grief with sex. And then she stops thinking, because this is Declan, and this is good, and she just enjoys it.
"Shh, shh," she whispers, and replaces his fingers with her own. No reason to make him work so hard or to leave him feeling guilty after all. She's close too, she needs just the right pressure, which she provides herself. Kate tightens around him and that sends Declan over the edge.
Kate lays on top of him, after, not yet ready to move, and Declan wraps his arms around her.
"I'm glad you pushed," Declan says.
"I'm glad you let me," Kate replies.