Four Excerpt

Maybe this will help…

Excerpt From the Four…

Death selected a ripe orange from the fruit bowl on the counter, hitching himself farther back onto the kitchen counter, the marble cold under him, even through the thickness of the low-slung cotton pants he’d tugged on after his workout.

The sudden screech of thumping music had broken the quiet of their penthouse, but Death didn’t mind. It was good to have Mal around, and Death was willing to make adjustments for their youngest. As their new Pestilence, Mal brought a youthfulness to their Four that was long missing, although the other two didn’t see it as much of a good thing as Death did. At least this time the volume hadn’t been loud enough to rattle the windows. They’d replaced a broken mirror recently, a victim of Mal’s music.

When the eldest Horseman bent over, his inky hair curved down over his strong jaw, the thick black curtain nearly hid the sharp angles of his cheekbones. Behind him the city glowed under the waning sunlight, holding back the San Diego night creeping in from the horizon.

Sliding his thumbnail against the dimpled orange skin, Death inhaled the sharp citrus oil of the pierced rind. Curving his nail carefully around the rim of the navel, he pushed down gently to barely break the surface. The fruit still lay under in its bright rind, seemingly immune to the immortal’s fingers. A door opened down to the left of the kitchen area. Then Ari strode into the common area, fresh from a shower.

Ari’s rib cage ran thick in one spot, a cicatrice blooming on a stretch of tanned skin. The sunburst peeking over the towel’s edge caught Death’s attention, pulling him away from his orange and the problem that had landed in his lap. War’s scar was as familiar to him as his own but much more intriguing, rays of thinner lines spiraling out from a single spray, and still it tugged at his imagination. He gave the thin scar running down his left eye ridge and over the bridge of his nose much less thought.

Death wondered if their scars were from their deaths, one of the few times he’d given himself permission to wonder about where the Horsemen all came from, but the answer, like so many others, was out of his reach. Pestilence, the most recent of their Four, had none on him. Death was amused at the irony of a Pestilence dead from a disease. Min’s flat belly was carved with a half-moon arc between her hip bones, nearly a pinkie width of tangled skin.

“Ah, we’re alone. Okay, maybe not totally alone, but unless Cooties comes out of his room, we’re alone enough. Want to neck and have some fun?” Ari’s white teeth nipped at the dark-haired man’s ear, barely skimming the soft flesh before Death pulled away and gave him a muted disapproving look Ari was quite used to. Eyes slanted slightly upward, he glanced a black warning at Ari’s familiarity with his body.

“Stop it.” His eyes dropped, voice soft in a whisper, a reluctant protestation made out of habit. Looking at the recalcitrant fruit, Death worried once more at the rind, crushing the pulp inside. “I’m thinking.”

“You think too much sometimes. And give me that. I’ll open it for you.” His rough voice broke Death’s study of the fruit. Disgusted at the mess made of the orange, he reached for it, tugging at the fruit until Death let go.

Death gave up the orange reluctantly, long fingers opening under the press of Ari’s callused hand. Ari met the other immortal’s contemplative dark eyes with a steady stare, refusing to give in to Death’s stubbornness. Looking down, Death avoided the other man’s frank gaze, staring instead at the towel knotted about Ari’s waist.

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