It's not clear how they made their decisions, the genetic engineers. Alex would look at Max sometimes, look at her perfect skin. It looked warm and milky smooth. In sunlight it looked like gold, only softer. And stronger.
But it always looked perfect. Even-toned, flawless. Like real silk, from before the pulse.
Alec wondered what they were thinking when they were making his skin. Freckles, marks, the occasional sunburn - useless properties, and they couldn't be very attractive. Even Logan had lovelier skin than he did. Though, to be honest, Logan pretty much had lovely everything.
He mentioned his freckles to Logan once. "Guess the geniuses at Manticore let a few things slip by, huh?"
Logan had laughed.
Alec had muttered, "Asshole," and started to get up to leave.
But Logan pushed him back down, putting the full force of his hand against Alec's bare chest.
The difference in strength didn't matter in bed. Alec always let himself fall when Logan pushed.
This time, though, though Logan straddled him, as Alec expected a quick I'm-sorry-for-laughing screw, Logan managed to surprise him. He slowly brought Alec's arm to his mouth and kissed the largest brown freckle on it, the one near the wrist wear the hair on his arm began. He moved his mouth along Logan's arm, gently teasing him as he moved up to the shoulder and then the collarbone, now sucking hard enough to leave light ephemeral bruises.
"What's this for, Logan?" Alec managed to ask without it sounding completely like a moan.
Logan stopped long enough to answer. "Lesson in aesthetics, Alec. I know you're mad about why they made you. But those piece-of-shit bastards? They made you perfect."
"That's definitely not true. But I'm totally going to hold it against you that you said it."
"Physically perfect. Now personality-wise..."
"Bite me, Logan," Alec snarked.
"Kind of literal," Alec gasped, "But I'm not complaining."
Logan smiled as he moved up to face Alec. He ran a fingernail along Alec's jaw, lingering every few millimeters, and Alec realized he was tracing the path of his freckles. Alec was about to roll his eyes when Logan said, "I'm going to know every inch of your body, Alec. Every part, every sinew, every freckle."
Logan's hands explored Alec's torso then, alternating between the light tickle of a gentle caress and the hard burn of nails on skin. He continued, "I'm going to take my time, Alec. I'm going to pay attention to every single freckle and mark. I am going to make you so over-the-top, head-back-screamingly _grateful_ that you have this beautiful body for me to explore. So no smartass comments right now, Alec. I have a lot of ground to cover."
As Logan leaned over to kiss the freckle on his right hip, edging his boxers even further down, Alec knew Logan was right about one thing at least. That exquisite sense of ache and awe that Alec felt radiating from somewhere inside of him -- he was pretty sure it was gratitude.