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Whipped

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Since Jesper left his dad’s farm in Novyi Zem, Wylan's house is the first place that feels like home. He loves The Dregs, and they’re a family, but they’re more like nomads or something. Nothing permanent, and nothing about The Crow Club feels like a place to settle down and put down roots. Jesper got used to thinking that his restlessness was always turned up as high as it could go because that was just the way things were. But even though it’s not something that ever goes away, Wylan’s teaching him that it could be, at least sometimes, less. It turns out Jesper likes the quiet.

Sunlight streams in through the curtains as Wylan rolls over in bed and regards Jesper with sleepy eyes. “What’re you doing?” he mumbles.

“Watching you,” Jesper says. “You drool, you know.”

A line appears between Wylan’s eyebrows and he self-consciously wipes at the corners of his mouth with the back of his hand. Jesper laughs because the drooling is cute, and Wylan’s indignation over it is cute, too. Jesper’s so far gone that it’s almost sad. He wonders what any of the rival gangs would say if they could see him now; Jesper Fahey, sharpshooter and gambler, whipped and happy about it.

Jesper shrugs to himself and pulls the covers up over both of their heads before pushing Wylan into the mattress. There are definitely worse fates than his.