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Precious

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Charles and Erik never meet at the same place, what with Erik wary that people will start to notice and Charles not wanting to risk being seen. They don’t usually stay out for long. The library is too public, but they would usually do a quick stroll by the harbour for some fish and chips or stop by at some café before heading over to Erik’s flat where Erik does his best to work on his latest project while Charles distracts him, kissing him in the back of his neck, running his hands across Erik’s broad chest. Erik can never resist him for long.

Raven sometimes joins them when they’re out and brings Angel, who gets along with Erik just fine. It’s Raven who doesn’t take much of a liking to Erik. She’s subtle about it, but the dark looks she gives him are not lost on Charles. He’d recognise that reptilian glare anywhere, and Raven only reserved it for the people she disliked most. Sometimes, Charles would earn that glare from her when he was being a total prat and deserved it.

Charles is lounging on Raven’s bed one evening, flipping through one of the tabloids that are a permanent sight on her desk before fixing her a gaze. “Raven, why don’t you like Erik?”

Raven doesn’t look up from where she is painting her toenails different colours. She gives Charles a shrug, messing up the varnish, and cries out in frustration before reaching out for the nail polish remover. Raven probably thinks that she appears disinterested about the matter but Charles can see right through her. Sometimes, it’s like he can read her mind, like he knows her better than even she does. But Raven’s not fooling him by acting nonchalant, and she knows it. “It’s not that I don’t like him— he seems decent enough— there’s just something about him I don’t trust. How well do you know him, Charles?”

Charles pauses, pretending to read an article on the tabloid before he replies, “Enough.”

They drop the matter because it’s not worth fighting about but Raven and Angel have stopped tagging along.

--

Azazel is visiting relatives in Russia so Erik borrows his car and takes Charles to Azazel’s country house. Charles sticks his head out the window and lets the wind whip his hair behind him. The drive is peaceful and they play a game that Erik teaches him called Stadt, Land, Fluss where they compete in naming a city, a country and a river that all start with the same letter. Charles has a feeling that Erik lets him win several of the rounds.

They snog at the loo of a petrol station. It’s so typically teenage that Charles giggles as Erik tugs at his belt. Erik covers his mouth to muffle his moans, planting feverish kisses on his neck, calloused hands tracing a rough path on his feverish skin. Charles comes in spasms, knees banging on the flimsy metal divisions in the cramped stall. The patrons shoot them strange looks when they emerge, hair rumpled and clothes dishevelled. Erik pays for Charles’ ice cream and then they leave.

Azazel was being humble when he called his holiday home a house. The lodge is spacious, with a massive master bedroom and at least twenty guest bedrooms scattered across three storeys in a traditional stone building. There is a small shed to the side and a fenced-off area that Charles supposes used to house chickens once. Erik explains that Azazel hardly visits even when he is in England, which is why the front yard badly needs a trim and the whole place gives an air of neglect, with dust littering what is left of the beautiful china and the antique furniture. He and Erik take one of the better-kept bedrooms on the first floor.

Charles is delighted to discover the large lake behind the lodge. The late afternoon air is a bit chilly but he starts to strip to his boxers immediately and jumps in, splashing water everywhere. He doesn’t notice when Erik joins him, grabbing him by the waist, lifting Charles up like he weighs nothing (which is somewhat true— Erik’s always pointing out how slight he is) and hoists him over his shoulder, spinning them around, sending Charles into a fit of laughter that rings out around the still countryside. When it starts to rain, they head back inside and warm up by the fireplace.

That evening, Erik pins Charles’ thighs to the bed as he takes Charles in his mouth, sucking and licking and biting in the most delicious way and Charles comes, crying out Erik’s name, his voice echoing in the empty house.  Erik crawls up to him and Charles rests in the crook of his shoulder. They link their hands together and they fall asleep.

--

Erik holes himself away in the kitchen for most of the morning and doesn’t let Charles near his cooking. The weather is unusually cooperative as the sun shines in between puffy white clouds. They stop at a clearing and set up their picnic. Charles finds himself enjoying Erik’s goulash, which Erik says is a recipe that his mother gave him. Charles curls his leg against Erik’s thigh as Erik talks a little about his mum, running a finger along Erik’s shoulder blade.

He pretends not to notice that Erik’s gone a bit teary-eyed and places a kiss on Erik’s neck, tracing up to his jaw before pressing his lips against Erik’s. Erik kisses him back, violently, and pushes Charles off, hovering over him as he leans on the palms of his hands. His knee is wedged between Charles’ thighs and Charles grinds against it, sending Erik trembling above him.

“Erik. Erik, I want you to—“Charles fiddles with Erik’s belt, moving obscenely against Erik’s knee and starting to get hard.

“Charles, stop. You know my answer already.”

Charles has heard enough of Erik’s usual arguments: Charles is too young, too fragile. Erik doesn’t want to hurt him. It doesn’t change the fact that he wants to feel Erik inside him, driving into him, fucking him sore. But Erik doesn’t even give him a chance to argue back and rolls off Charles, and returns the used dishes back inside the picnic basket. Charles sits up and helps out. Their fingers brush when he hands back the blanket and Erik recoils.

Later that evening, they barely speak over dinner and sleep on different sides of the bed. Charles is the one who relents and slithers up behind Erik’s sleeping figure, wrapping an arm around him. He is surprised when Erik pulls him closer and nuzzles the back of Erik’s neck.

--

Reality crashes back down on Charles the moment he steps back inside his house. He knows something is wrong when he sees the door ajar. He takes the steps one at a time and peers past the front door.
“Hello?”

The sobbing doesn’t even register in his mind until Charles notices that it’s stopped. His hands clench at his side as he wonders what Kurt’s done this time—he really doesn’t want to have to deal with this right now. Charles is about to head up to his room when his mother appears by the kitchen, tears streaking her cheeks. She advances toward Charles, who is rooted to the spot at the look she is giving him. He winces as she grabs his arm, and he can smell the alcohol in her breath when she yells at him.

“And where the bloody hell have you been?”

“At Raven’s.”

“Don’t just go away like that without telling me! I’m still your mother!”

Charles doesn’t understand what’s happening. It’s not the first time he’s spent the weekend away from home. He used to let his mum know where he was going but he hasn’t done that in the recent weeks because he hasn’t seen much of her and it’s been a while since his mum’s been sober enough to care about his whereabouts. Charles wants to make the most out of this, though, while he still can. He places his arms around his mum in a tight hug.

“I’m sorry, Mum. I won’t do it again.”

His mother stiffens in his embrace before Charles can feel her opening up. She strokes the back of his head like she used to when he was six and came home with scratches from falling off the monkey bars. All too soon, she steps away from him and heads back towards the kitchen, wiping the tears away from her eyes. Charles scurries behind her, placing an arm around her shoulder. They sit across from each other in the kitchen counter, sipping tea. It is the closest thing to love that Charles has felt for his mum in a long time.

--

It’s raining and Charles doesn’t feel like going out, even though his mobile beeps several times as he receives several text messages. Charles drops the phone back onto the bed when he sees that it’s just Sean and Armando. He’s waiting for a text from Erik, who hasn’t been home since yesterday and promised to message him but Charles tries not to expect too much. Erik’s not really one to call or text. And Raven mentioned she would be at Angel’s so he’s not counting on her, either.

It’s still a wonder to him that she seems to be a different person when she’s with Raven than she is with him. Raven seems to have different sides of her that she shows to the world, like a chameleon. To Charles, she is the girl who he met shivering in the back of a pub because her father was drunk again and she wanted to run away and ever since then they’ve been the best of friends.. To Armando and the boys, she is the mastermind, the one who always has something up her sleeve. To Angel, she is the smitten girlfriend who talks with her for hours on end every night even though they’d just spent the whole day together, who snuggles with her in the park and snogs her even when people give them looks of disapproval and scurry away, covering little children’s eyes.

Not that he begrudges Raven that. He’s seen the way she and Angel look at each other and Charles is glad for her. Raven deserves to be happy with Angel, just as he deserves to be happy, too. With Erik. If only he would text.

Charles jumps as his mobile rings. He glances at the display and pulls his sheet over him and grabs the ratty old thing from the table beside his bed. The light from the screen emits an eerie blue glow as he stares at it from under the sheets.

Erik. He holds his breath and presses the green button to receive the call.

“Charles.” There is static on the other end but Charles pretends that Erik is in the room with him. It dawns on Charles that Erik has never actually been in his room but, oh, what he would give to change that. Erik, in his room, as they lie on the sheets that have been a silent witness to his longing for Erik. Erik pinning him to the bed and having his way with Charles, who bends and writhes under Erik’s touch like one of his metal sculptures. Charles doesn’t see it happening anytime soon, though. He can’t even begin to imagine what his mum would think if she knew what he was up to.

“Hello, Erik.” Where are you? he doesn’t ask.

“I just… wanted to hear your voice. Are you all right? You sound unwell.”

Charles throws the sheets off of him and sits up on his bed as if Erik can see him moping about in his room. “Yes. I’m just tired.”

“Okay. Oh, one moment.” Erik's voice is muffled as he speaks with someone else, but it's not long before he is on the phone again. “I’m sorry, I have to go. I’ll see you soon.”

Charles doesn’t want to let Erik go just yet but manages not to sound despondent as he says goodbye. Not soon enough.

--

Charles finds that he enjoys doing his homework at Erik’s flat. Erik’s usually working on a project so there is a silence that hangs about them, punctuated only by Erik’s pencil scratching on paper or the rustling of paper as Charles turns over to a new page. Charles ponders on his maths homework as he is stretched out in Erik’s bed. He’s so engrossed in the problem that he doesn’t notice Erik spin around in his wooden swivel chair to look at him. Charles flinches from his notebook when a small piece of rubber eraser flicks onto it and he looks up at Erik, frowning.

“You look like you’re having a difficult time with that.”

Charles really can’t stay sour at him, especially with that amused smirk on his face. “Maths. It’s not my best subject.”

The chair creaks as Erik relieves it of his weight and he walks over to Charles, sitting down beside him on the bed. “Oh. I remember this from—“ Erik stops himself and glances at Charles before focussing back on the numbers and symbols in Charles’ neat handwriting and says, “This is easy.”

He takes hold of Charles’ pencil and it flies across the paper as Erik solves the problem that Charles has been mulling over for a good ten minutes now, all the while explaining the solution to Charles, who feels thick that he didn’t understand it by himself. Erik explains a lot better than his old fart of a teacher, which of course leads him to fantasising.

“Hey, what are you smiling about?” Erik sets the pencil down and bumps his shoulder companionably.

“Just wondering what it would be like if you were my teacher.”

“Kinky.”

Erik walks back to his chair and hunches over his new sketch. Charles pushes off the bed and follows him.

“Erik, please.” Charles places a hand at the back of Erik’s neck and while the other rests on top of Erik’s chest, holding him down, and straddles Erik’s hip. You won’t hurt me.

“Charles—” But any objections that Erik might have made is cut off as Charles presses their lips together. Erik makes little protesting noises at first but it’s half-hearted and Charles lets his hands travel down Erik’s back, fingernails scraping against the skin, sending shivers up Erik. Erik lets out a moan as Charles traces his lips up Erik’s neck, nibbling at his ear. Charles has been waiting so long for this moment and now that he finally has him, Erik tastes even better than he’d imagined.

Charles hooks his fingers under the band of Erik’s boxers and Erik lets out a grunt before grasping Charles’ wrists in a firm grip. Their eyes lock and they’re both silent but it’s that same argument again between them. Charles is too fragile, too young. They shouldn’t. This is wrong. But Charles isn’t hearing any of that anymore. He lifts his hips and grinds against Erik who draws in a ragged breath as Charles’ fingernails dig into his hip and he lets out a strangled cry.

Erik’s grip on his wrist tightens and it’s starting to hurt a little but Charles doesn’t care. He wants to hear that broken sound from Erik again. He hikes up a little and starts to move against Erik once more and Erik buries his face in Charles’ neck. He gasps as he feels Erik biting into the sensitive skin before running his tongue along the same spot.

Charles can feel the hard table pressing against his lower back and it’s less than comfortable even as Erik leans into him and crushes their lips together, fucking Charles’ mouth with his tongue. His hands are roving along Charles’ side, finally letting go of his wrist so Charles slides his hands under Erik’s boxers, gripping the firm muscle of Erik’s arse. Erik breaks away from the kiss, his lips hovering against Charles’ and their breaths mingle together. Their eyes meet and Erik’s still wordlessly asking, “Are you sure?” and Charles answers by slipping Erik’s boxers down his thighs, to his knees, and Charles feels a sense of pride at how hard Erik is for him. He starts to pull at his own boxers but Erik places his hands on Charles’ and pulls him into another kiss, biting at Charles’ lip before tugging Charles’ boxers down himself. Erik throws them to the side and when Charles settles on Erik’s lap again, their cocks brush together, sending a jolt of pleasure up his spine.

Charles reaches out behind him and fumbles with Erik’s drawers, his hands brushing against the bottle of lube that he knows Erik keeps there and shoves it into Erik’s hand. Erik shoots him an amused look before pouring some of the cool liquid into Charles’ hand. His eyes shut as Charles prepares him, stroking him, his thoughts racing as he imagines Erik inside of him, finally joining together and being one person. Erik thrusts into his hand, letting out delicious moans that make Charles so hard he fights the urge to wank off to the chorus of Erik’s pleasure. Because he wants to savour this, what Erik will give him, what Erik will do to him.

Erik is panting for breath, sweat trickling down his forehead and he places a hand on Charles’. “Enough. Shit, you’ve gotten so much better.”

They pause for a moment to catch their breaths. Charles clings to Erik, who has never looked so devastatingly handsome, and Charles feels an ache in the back of his chest at the surge of longing he has for Erik.

When Erik finally moves to slicks his hand with the lube, Charles clenches involuntarily at the sight of Erik’s long fingers. But Erik doesn’t notice.

“Just… Tell me if it hurts, okay?”

Charles nods against Erik’s shoulder and then he feels Erik’s finger sliding in, slowly, slowly. This time, Charles does clench against Erik, back arching against the desk. Nothing could have prepared him for this. Even though he knows that it’s Erik, Charles can’t help but resist even as Erik presses tender kisses along his jaw, shushing him and caressing his back. “Just relax.”

Charles tries to do as he is told, breath catching in his throat as Erik’s finger slides even deeper into him than he ever thought possible and when will this end and then Erik stops and Charles can feel his knuckles along his backside and—

“Fuck fuck fuck… Eriiiiik!” Charles bucks against him as Erik curls his finger, his other hand steadying Charles against the desk lest their heads would bang together. Charles’ knees bang against the back of Erik’s chair, squirming under Erik and lets out a surprised grunt as Erik slips out before adding another finger in. It’s a tight fit and Charles tries not to battle the alien feeling inside of him because he doesn’t want to stop until he has Erik inside of him. He holds in a cry as Erik’s fingers scissor him, stretching him even tighter, drawing out ragged gasps from Charles.

Erik stills for a moment but Charles has barely even caught his breath when Erik thrusts even deeper into him and fuck he’s found the most perfect little spot that sends Charles writhing under Erik, begging for more. Erik teases him a little bit more, his other hand somehow sliding its way between them to grip Charles’ neglected cock and grips the base painfully just as Charles is about to come and slips his fingers out of Charles, who whimpers from the loss of contact.

“Up.”

Charles lifts his hips as Erik aligns himself, and lets out a gasp as Erik’s cock snags upon entry.  Erik’s hands rest at Charles’ side guiding him back down to his lap.

“Slow. That’s it. Don’t rush.” Erik whispers to him like a spooked horse, his hands soothing as they run up and down Charles side. Charles chokes on his breath as he can feel Erik’s cock driving deeper, deeper into him and he’s starting to tear up at the pain. Erik pulls him in for a kiss, brushing the tears away with his thumb.

“Just breathe, Charles. You’re doing great— Oh, fuck, you’re tight.” Erik is shaking under him, his hips quivering, and he bites his own lips, drawing blood. Charles leans into him and licks the red away, tasting the metallic tang to distract himself from the pain and the alien sensation pushing into him, his hips stuttering as he lowers himself. Erik’s losing his own battle, making the most wanton sounds as he tries not to thrust up into Charles, grunting as Charles jumps up a little, shaking from the effort.  “Sorry.”

Finally, finally, he is fully seated and it’s strange to feel so full, with Erik filling out the spaces that Charles didn’t even know were empty. They settle like that for a few moments, breathing heavily as Charles is getting used to Erik inside of him. Charles can feel himself on the brink—he knows he won’t last too long.

“Are you all right?” Erik is brushing his sweat-soaked hair away from his eyes, tracing a thumb along Charles’ jaw, brushing his lower lip. Charles parts his lips so Erik can slide his thumb inside and Erik’s breath catches as Charles bites into it, sucking and licking and Erik thrusts up into him, making Charles moan and oh, that felt good. He starts to move and lets out a sharp breath as Erik’s cock hits that same spot, sending sparks of white up his vision.

“So hard for me. Lassen Sie mich diese. ” Erik starts to mutter some more in German, Charles doesn’t understand what he’s saying but it’s surprisingly hot and gets him even harder, which he didn’t think was even possible. Erik takes hold of his cock and the friction is so delicious, Erik’s calloused hands jerking him while Erik is inside him. It’s like their minds are connecting as they give into the pleasure, as Charles gives Erik something that he has never given anyone before.  Erik knows just how to unravel him, begging for more, scrabbling for just a little more skin, a little more friction, their two bodies joined as one. Charles’ lips come into contact with anything that he can, Erik’s ear, his cheeks, his forehead.

Charles comes without warning, crying out Erik’s name as he splatters white all over their stomachs. Erik isn’t too far behind and he jerks inside of Charles as Charles is still riding out his wave of pleasure. They stay like that for a while before Charles can trust his legs to support him as he pulls away. Charles winces as his arse protests. A shower would feel nice right about now. He twines his fingers against Erik’s and tugs him towards the bathroom. He won’t be able to take Erik again, at least not tonight, but he would like to stand under the water and just hold him and never let go.

Erik’s eyebrow quirks up before he lets out a little laugh. “You’re insufferable.” But he lets Charles pull him up anyway and they stumble towards the bathroom together.

--

It’s been a while since it’s just been Charles and Raven. He stops by her house but she’s not home. When he rings her, she tells him she’s at Angel’s. She starts to giggle about something as she speaks on her mobile and Charles is about to hang up but she agrees to meet him at the corner shop.

They fall into their old routine. Raven distracts the clerk behind the counter while Charles nicks a bottle of vodka. They’re quick to scamper away when the shop assistant notices and gives chase but Charles and Raven know they’re not in any danger. The CCTV at this particular shop’s always been shite and these streets have been their playground; they know every possible hiding place.

They cosy up among the shadows of a footbridge, sharing the bottle between them. Raven gushes about Angel encouraging her to go back to her natural red hair and how Angel wants to go to dance school in London and Raven plans to take up fashion design and they’re going to share a flat together.

Charles swells with pride at how Raven isable to make those decisions but sad that he’s only hearing about this now. Things are happening so fast and it feels like Raven is slipping away from him.

When Raven asks about Erik, Charles looks up from where he’s dangling his feet above the water. Raven’s tucking her hair behind her ear as she turns away from him. Charles recognises the gesture. He could tell though, even without looking at her, that she was just being polite. \Instead he says, “I’ve been talking with Erik about going to Oxford. He thinks it’s a good idea.”

Raven faces him and Charles is afraid that she’ll laugh at him as he tells her about his dream to study genetics but Raven nods and smiles and lets him prattle on. Charles doesn’t know why he didn’t tell her in the first place. Raven’s always been a good sounding board. It’s probably just because nothing else mattered so much to him before.

Charles picks himself up and takes her hand. They head to a playground and spend the rest of the afternoon, laughing as they try to see which of them can swing higher.

--

Charles is mostly sobered up by the time he stumbles back home. He turns around when someone taps him on the shoulder and grins when he sees it’s Erik. He leans into Erik’s touch and wraps an arm around Erik’s waist as Erik tousles Charles’ hair.

“I think you need a pastime other than getting pissed.”

“I’m not pissed!”

Erik laughs as Charles pouts up at him. “If you say so.” They stop there in the middle of the street, and Charles is about to lean up for a kiss when Erik jerks away from him and looks at something behind Charles. Charles’ blood turns cold as he spins around and sees Sharon fumbling with her keys in their porch.

Charles runs his thumb along Erik’s knuckles before letting go of his hand. He rushes to catch up with Sharon and they head inside together.

Charles settles at his favourite spot by his window. Erik is watching telly from his sofa, and looks up, smiling as their eyes meet. He reaches for his mobile and sends out a text. Charles scrambles for his mobile as it beeps and laughs as he reads Erik’s text message: “Stop watching me, you creepy stalker.”

Charles taps out a reply: “Stop trying to seduce me then.”

“You call me sitting in my sofa in nothing but my boxers and watching telly seducing?”

“Yes. I find everything you do fascinating.”

It takes a while for Erik to reply. Charles picks up the book on his lap and resumes reading when his mobile vibrates.  “Turn on the telly. I’m watching repeats of Inspector Morse.”

Charles grins and hops off the bay window. He snuggles under the covers and does as Erik asked. They text until Charles falls asleep.