Back in Wickett, he'd be damn near lynched for this.
For letting his hands and eyes wander over another man, appreciating hard muscles as-well as soft curves, for wanting a man like he wants women.
It hadn't been something he could explore more thoroughly, not with the threat of death and damnation hanging over his head like a bloody guillotine. But none of that matters anymore.
He's not in Wickett, and no-one's laws apply to him now, especially not here.
In a rundown tavern in Outworld, where no-one knows who he is, or even cares, he can do whatever he wants, and what he wants is the man sitting beside him,
whose warm gaze makes his blood sing and mouth turn dry.
Despite the teeth, Hale isn't all that bad to look at. A strong jawline, plump lips and heavy-lidded amber eyes that easily meet Erron's, unguarded and calm.
Even as Erron's thigh rests beside his, their knees bumping together, Hale doesn't push him off. Instead, he leans in, their hands just about touching.
Erron could so easily dip his head and kiss Hale, run his tongue over those ridiculously soft looking lips and feel Hale's sharp teeth catch his skin.
Hale's eyes drift to Erron's mouth, as though he's thinking the same thing, how easy it could be to have each other right now, make use of those beds they'd rented for the night.
"You know, you're one hell of a looker," Erron says in a low, sultry drawl after taking another swig of his drink. "Thought you should know."
Hale's brows raise slightly, lips parted, then he makes a soft sound and sheepishly looks away, as though he'd not been expecting for Erron to say that. It's almost...
He doesn't want to say heartbreaking, he's not that overdramatic, but it's certainly upsetting to see Hale be surprised over a compliment on his looks.
Yeah, the teeth might be a bit much to some, but not to Erron, and he wants Hale to know that.
"I'm bein' serious."
"Erron," Hale says in that delicious rumble of his, "You're drunk."
Erron chuckles, deep and throaty, and his trigger finger traces Hale's knuckle. He's definitely a little tipsy.
The drinks are stronger in Outworld after all, but he's aware of what he's doing, what he's saying.
There's a pleasant buzz in the back of his head as he leans into Hale, his lips just barely touching the other man's ear. Before he can even think of what he wants to say, Erron opens his mouth.
"Whenever you say my name in that rough voice of yours, I question things about myself."
It takes another second for him to realize what he's said, and he blinks. He hadn't meant to sound so... Open. So sincere. That's not his style.
Even before he took up the mercenary life, intimacy wasn't something he practiced often.
It's easier to be sardonic and cruel, especially within this line of work, where emotional attachments can kill you faster than a bullet.
Hale's hand covers his, and while Erron stiffens, he doesn't yank it back. If anything, he almost twists their hands so their fingers lock, heat curling low in his gut from Hale's touch.
"I'll keep that in mind, Erron."
A shiver shoots up Erron's back. Fuck, he didn't think he could be this easy. But whatever it is about Hale makes Erron want to drop his guard, to let go and lose himself to the other man.
And that's fucking terrifying.
Hale smirks, his other hand cupping Erron's jaw. There's a soft look in his eyes, it's not something Erron's used to, but here... He doesn't mind it so much.
"Find me when you're sober. If this is something you still want to pursue."
With that, Hale pulls away from Erron, and the man damn near asks him to stay, don't leave, have another drink with me.
But by the time his tongue dislodges from the roof of his mouth, Hale is gone, disappeared into the crowd of the tavern.