In his mind, Vin has skin of starlight and lamplight, golden and silver in turns, mellow and distant and always beautiful.
Ezra thinks this is because he only sees Vin naked in the softening light of the lamps in his room – the flickering flame casting strange shadows upon his skin that make his ancient scars move and writhe like serpents and angels – or by the harsh silver light of the moon and stars, which hides more but makes stark contours out of that which remains to be seen. By day, Vin's skin is as distant as the sun; covered up, hidden, kept tucked away beneath all his clothes and quiet aloofness. His skin is ordinary in the light of day – burnt by the sun to a uniform tan, and darkened by the ever-present grime of this place – and gives no hint as to the marvelous being that lurks beneath those obscuring layers. Vin is distant too, aloof and secretive in his own fashion, his thoughts as hidden to Ezra as his skin. At night though – in the company of golden flame or nature's blue-white glow – he is a creature of passion, of being, of touch and sensation. He yearns for each caress, throws himself into the lovemaking like a being possessed by the time and tides and turning of the universe itself, as knowable in his passion as the stars in their courses.
Vin stands now, naked, before the open window, his body cast in shadow. Ezra watches him and watches the way the light of the waning moon reflects upon his scars, draws strange new constellations on his body. The wind brings in the smells of the night – the lingering smoke of the night fires, the pungent aroma of the livery, the clean, sweet hint of sage. It brings, too, the far-off sound of a sleepy bird's chirping; it will be dawn soon, and Vin will go back to being an ordinary being and not this creature of light and dark.
"Close the window and come to bed," Ezra says, and though he means for it to be a plea, a heartfelt request to prolong this moment, this night, this humbling intimacy, it comes out as the petulant request of a cold man deprived his companion.
Vin turns, his face bathed by the stars, and Ezra knows he understands.