A hand on his shoulder drew Micah’s eyes. Eden stood naked before him, holding out a satchel of what Micah knew to be copper pieces. “Here. Your fifty pieces,” Eden said softly, his eyes holding Micah’s captive.
Micah’s breath caught in his throat. Before he could stop himself, his lips formed the two stupidest words he could have possibly said. “Keep it.”
Eden blinked. Micah cursed himself. It was too late to take the words back. Keep it. Why? Because the sex had been so good as to rend him of his desire for monetary payment? This had been a business transaction, hadn’t it? Hadn’t the money been what he had done this for?
“Micah, I—” Eden started, but Micah shrugged impassively.
“I said, ‘keep it,’ okay? Just forget it.”
A long moment of tension passed over them as Eden’s stare bore into him. “Micah…do you need the money?”
Micah flinched. He wasn’t some helpless fool cavorting around the underground without the necessary defenses. He was a survivor. He didn’t need the monetary assistance of some aristocratic fool who had stumbled below ground seeking pleasures he couldn’t get on the surface. Micah lived in Tartarus, had made a life here. “I don’t need anything,” he snapped.
“Don’t think of it as payment for a service, then. Think of it as a gift.” Eden held the bag out to him, his face set, not with pity but with sincerity. “Please. I want you to have it.”
Micah glared at him. “I’m not a whore.”
“No. You’re an opportunist,” Eden said with a smile. “And I want to give this to you. Not because of the sex. Though the sex was…” He paused, shaking his head. His mussed golden locks danced playfully on his head. It was ridiculously endearing. “Please. Just take it.”
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