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Under My Skin

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It’s a warm, humid Saturday afternoon in August when Oliver returns home from a breakfast run to see moving boxes blocking the hallway to his apartment. Someone is moving in to the once vacant 301. New neighbor, he thinks to himself, here’s hoping he’s not a partier. He’s just about to step around one of the large boxes labeled ‘kitchen’ and make his way to his own door when the new occupant steps into the open doorway of 301.

Oliver is just stepping past when he glimpses the new guy in his peripheral vision, and immediately snaps his head back to do a double take. His new neighbor is hot. Like breathtakingly hot. Like he belongs in a magazine or something. He looks young, maybe just a few years out of school, dark hair, wonderful scruff on a handsome, chiseled face, and a lean body that has Oliver’s eyes drawing downwards before he can stop himself.

The stranger gives Oliver a smile when their eyes finally meet and it’s a beautiful smile, with all his perfect teeth showing and lovely dark eyes crinkling.

“Hi.”

The word finally pulls him out of his trance and Oliver suddenly realizes he had been staring, frozen in mid-step in front of some stranger’s doorway, staring.

“Um, h-hi,” he stutters, and silently curses himself for being so god awful embarrassing.

“I’m Connor, and I’d shake your hand, but uh, I’m kind of gross at the moment,” he gestures down at himself, covered in sweat. His t-shirt sticks to his body in all the right places, highlighting his lean torso, and Oliver has to force his eyes back up to the man’s face, which unfortunately does not make it any easier to think straight. 

“I’m Oliver, it’s–it’s very nice to meet you.”

“So… are we neighbors, Oliver?” Connor asks him coyly.

It’s really embarrassing how just hearing his name come out of a beautiful man’s mouth can make him flush all over.

“Y–yeah,” he stutters. “I’m in 303, actually. Right–right there.” He gestures dumbly down the hall at the next door. “Um… welcome to the building,” he laughs nervously.

Connor’s eyes quickly flicker down Oliver’s body once and he gently chews on his bottom lip–in the sexiest way possible–as he considers the man standing in front of his doorway. “You can welcome me to the city, actually. It’s my first time in Philly, and you’re the first person I’ve met,” his head tilts to one side as he casually leans against the doorway. 

“Oh! Welcome! Um…” Oliver is still trying not the stare. But was else is he supposed to do with his eyes? And the way Connor is looking at him makes him think that he’s flirting, but that doesn’t seem right. He racks his brain wondering what words are supposed to come next. Why is making conversation with handsome strangers always so difficult for him? Ask him where he’s moving from! “W–where are you from?” 

“Originally from Michigan,” Connor says smoothly. “But I went to school in New York, and I stayed a few years after graduation. Felt like it was time for a city change, so…” Connor shrugs his shoulders, “I’m going to Middleton. For law school. I start on Monday. I’m pretty excited.”

“Oh wow, that’s… that’s really impressive.” Middleton definitely has a very prestigious law program. Like top ten in the country or something, he can’t remember. So this guy is attractive and smart, which is just totally not fair. 

“What about you? What do you do, Oliver?” Connor’s eyes are wide and bright, almost predatory as he talks, and he hasn’t stopped smiling since the beginning of the conversation. Oliver is genuinely confused by the, almost wolfish gleam in Connor’s eye. Could this guy actually be interested in him?

“Um… I–I work at an advertising agency downtown. Uh… not advertising though. I–I work in IT. It’s… it’s really boring,” he says with a shaky laugh, feeling embarrassed because it just sounds lame compared to being a lawyer–future lawyer. “You don’t want to hear about it.”

“No, not at all.” Connor shakes his head, “I think IT’s very cool.”

Oliver bites his bottom lip, a habit of his when he’s nervous. He can feel his face blushing and he really wishes it wouldn’t. He curses himself for not having better gaydar because he’s only maybe 70% sure the guy is actually flirting with him. And it always sucks to be wrong about this sort of thing.

“Do you… do you need help moving–carrying? Like boxes and stuff?”

Connor immediately straightens, “I would love some help, Oliver. Thanks for offering.” He’s stepping past Oliver who stumbles a half step back in surprise. He takes a second to blink, and quickly follows behind him down the hallway.

“It’s only a few more things really. I had the big stuff delivered earlier. If you could give me a hand, I’d really appreciate it,” Connor throws him another dashing smile behind his shoulder, and Oliver has a silly thought that he’d pretty much do anything this guy could ask of him.

There’s not much left in Connor’s SUV parked right outside the building. But the few things that are left are heavy–boxes labeled ‘books’ and a few large suitcases of clothes–and the lack of an elevator in the building makes the task much more daunting.

“I really appreciate the help,” Connor says with another smile, before he grabs one of the suitcases.

With both of them working together, Connor’s SUV is emptied in only a handful of trips. But by the end of it, Oliver is sweating through his shirt–the August heat and carrying large, heavy objects up three flights of stairs are not a good mix. Somehow Connor still looks devastatingly good. Oliver leans a hand against the kitchen counter and takes a moment to catch his breath. He watches the other man run a hand through his damp hair, pushing it out of his face.

“Well, I guess that’s it,” Connor says looking around the room. The only furniture in sight is a small couch and a coffee table. The layout is identical to Oliver’s own apartment. Kitchen to the right, open living room that leads to the bedroom around the corner. The difference is Connor’s place is currently littered with boxes and suitcases yet to be unpacked. He looks like he wants to get started. “Thanks again for your help.”

“Anytime,” Oliver says with a smile. “Um…”

Connor looks up at him and damn if that doesn’t make his heart pound faster. This part is the worst. Which is probably why he never does this part.

“I’m sure you have a lot of unpacking you want to do, but um… if–if you wanted to, later, I was thinking maybe… I could show you around the city? Um… there’s a great bar just down the street. We could grab dinner, maybe?”

Connor’s smile falters just a bit, and Oliver feels his heart sink into his stomach.

He’s not into guys and you just seriously weirded him out. Or worse, he is into guys and he’s just 100% not interested in you. Of course he’s not interested, fucking look at him–

“Thanks, but… not tonight, I think. I’m just going to stay in, unpack, and get settled in,” Connor says with a small shrug.

“Right–right, of course you’ll want to do that. It was dumb of me to ask. Just–just forget I even said anything.” Oliver avoids eye contact by looking at the door and his feet somehow start moving in that direction as well. “I’m going to let you…” he gestures around the room, “unpack.”

He needs to get out of here and back to the safely of his own apartment where gorgeous men don’t turn him down, and he’s practically got a foot out the door when Connor calls out to him.

“Oliver?”

“Yeah?” He squeaks. 

“Maybe next time?” Connor asks softly.

A nervous smile spreads on his face and he feels the smallest sliver of hope rising in his chest. “Yeah, definitely. Definitely. Um… bye.” He doesn’t wait for a response. The desire to get out is too strong and he rushes out the door. Once he’s back in the safety of his own place, with the door firmly closed behind him, he leans back against it, eyes shut, and focuses on calming his poor frayed nerves.

This is why he never asks guys out. He gets too nervous, too flustered. His hopes get too high, and when the inevitable rejection comes, he falls too fast. It’s been a year since he had even considered dating. A whole year since the worst moment of his life. When a stupid, thoughtless night out that was an attempt to get over a bad breakup, became the biggest mistake he had ever made. He’s come a long way since the diagnosis. His absolute lowest point. It had taken him a long time to accept it, but with lots of support from friends and family, he knows that his HIV is not going to be the end of his life. And he does want to get back out there, and start meeting people again. It’s time.

It’s not easy though, especially because guys like Connor never go for guys like him. Connor is gorgeous, smart, and confident. They’re practically polar opposites.

At least he put himself out there and he tried. That’s the first step. Effort has to count for something, right?

He steps away from his door and decides the first thing he should do is take a shower to wash all the sweat off him. He doesn’t stop thinking about the new man next door for the rest of the day. Even as he continues through mundane tasks and menial chores, Connor still lingers in his thoughts. Oliver finally settles down for a casual night in on his couch, mindlessly surfing channels on the television. Even now, hours later, he can’t quite take his mind off Connor Walsh.

Instead, he’s sitting on his sofa, staring blankly at his television screen, not paying the slightest attention to what’s on it. The clock on his cable box says 12:52. Where the hell did the time go? But still he’s not even a little tired. Instead, his mind goes back and combs over the events earlier. It’s amazing how many times he can go over a thirty minute encounter in his mind, over and over again.

He was definitely flirting. He was. The look on his face, the angle of his body, that smile. He was definitely flirting with you.

Then why did he turn down dinner? Probably would have had a panic attack if he actually said yes, but still… why didn’t he say yes?

He was so nice and friendly. And HE was the one making conversation. He asked about your job like he was actually interested. He seems so outgoing and flirty…

Maybe he’s only looking for friends. He’s new to the city, he doesn’t know anybody…

But he did say maybe next time.

Don’t get your hopes up. He’s just trying to let you down easy. He doesn’t want to hurt your feelings because you are clearly not his type.

But he’s so gorgeous.

He probably just wanted help carrying his stuff up those damn stairs.

You sucker.

Oliver sighs and lets his head fall back into the couch cushion. He could go over their conversation again and again until his eyes fall out and it wouldn’t change a thing. Connor is just a really nice, really really good looking guy, who just happens to live next door, who may or may not be gay. And Oliver is just going to have to deal with this stupid crush that seems to have him in a choke hold. Just let it go, he tells himself.

Maybe he should work on his flirting skills so their next contact won’t be so horrendously nerve wracking for him. He’s awkward even on his best day, so trying to make conversation with the cute guy that he has a crush on, it’s a recipe for disaster. And they’re bound to bump into each other in the hallway or while getting the mail or something. Oliver sighs and tries not to think about how his heart speeds up just at the thought of seeing Connor again. He wonders what the other man is doing right now.

It’s happening again, he knows it is. He always does this. He falls too hard too fast, and this time for a guy he barely knows and totally out of his league. He should have learned his lesson by now. Oliver groans and buries his head in a throw pillow.

Suddenly he hears a faint sound that’s not either his muffled groans into the pillow or coming from his television. He furrows his brow and stills. There it is again! He removes the pillow from his face, straightens his glasses, and grabs the remote sitting next to him. He presses the mute button.

What is… he hears voices… but it sounds like they’re… moaning.

Oliver’s eyes widen and his jaw drops open. He stares, mouth agape in shock at the wall behind his TV, as sounds continue to filter through it.

It’s definitely a guy’s voice. And whatever is happening he seems to be enjoying it extensively if the sounds he’s making are any indication.

Oliver’s cheeks flush red as he listens. But the sounds get dirtier and his heart begins to race. How long has it been since he’s engaged in any activities like that?

He can hear a low voice saying words, probably filthy, dirty words that he’s very thankful he can’t quite make out through the wall.

Please let him be watching porn. Please please please let him be watching porn.

The moans get louder. Ridiculously loud, almost laughably loud, like something someone would hear in a porno. And it doesn’t exactly sound like Connor…

A dull thud reverberates through the wall.

It happens again. And again. And again. Steadily now.

Oliver blinks as the realization dawns on him that he’s hearing a headboard slam repeatedly against the wall that is shared between their apartments.

The man’s voice continues to be heard, loudly vocalizing his pleasure at all the filthy things being done to him.

Connor is fucking some guy on the other side of their wall.

That son of a bitch.

Chapter Text

“I might as well hand you the trophy right now, Miss Pratt. But I won’t. Not until I see how the rest of you step up your game.”

Connor’s eyes narrow as he stares at the screen of his computer. There’s nothing he loves more than a good challenge. It makes a warm feeling settle in the pit of his stomach. His heart rate accelerates, like he’s getting ready for a fight. It keeps him alert, focused, and feeling alive like nothing else. Almost like he’s seeing the world through a different set of eyes. 

Pretending to be a claims provider to coerce information out of a witness’s optometrist, he has to admit, he’s impressed. Not exactly what he was expecting from little miss know-it-all. He had wrongly assumed that Michaela Pratt was all book smarts and nothing else. But if the game is being cunning and deceitful to manipulate people to one’s will, she could stand to learn a thing or two from him. 

Using his wits–among other things–to manipulate people to his desires comes second nature to him by now. He’s been doing it his whole adult life. What better way to get ahead? He scoffs at people who insist on playing by the rules, and actually think that pure and simple hard work will get them where they want to be in life. He wants more than that. And it’s quite simple really. If he wants something, he’ll do whatever it takes to get it, no matter the consequences. And right now? He wants the trophy. He wants to be the best and he’s going to prove he is the best by impressing Annalise Keating. Connor Walsh is ambitious if nothing else. 

He wants that trophy. And to get it, all he has to do, is find a defense that will free their client. 

While the rest of their class pores over Gina’s discovery file, analyzing every word, every detail, agonizing over dozens of law texts trying to find a single hint or clue that will convince the jury of her innocence, Connor knows that the answer isn’t in any book. Annalise already gave them the answer.

Step 1: Discredit the witness. Step 2: Find a new suspect. Step 3: Bury the evidence.

He’s done his research. Now it’s time to go after the prize. 

His cell phone goes off on the coffee table next to his laptop amid dozens of pages from Gina’s file, the sound interrupts his thoughts. 

Hey, I had a really good time last weekend. I was thinking we could grab coffee or something some time?

Connor rolls his eyes at the text and drops his phone back on the table. Clingy one nighters come as no surprise to him at this point. Some guys just can’t take a hint. 

He closes his laptop and grabs what he needs from the kitchen before heading out the door. He doesn’t have to go far though, just a few steps down the hallway and he stops in front of apartment 303. 

Shifting the items in his hands, he raps on the door three quick times in succession. 

He doesn’t have to wait long before the door opens, revealing his friendly–adorably nervous the last time he saw him–neighbor Oliver, who was kind enough to help him out last weekend when he was moving in to his new place. 

“Hi,” Connor says, giving him his well practiced winning smile. His eyes briefly flicker down the other man’s body, and he’s already thinking about the dirty, lustful things he could do to him.

But he doesn’t exactly get a warm welcome in return.

“What are you doing here?” Oliver asks hesitantly. For a second he looks surprised to see him, but it’s gone in a flash and his reluctance becomes clear in both his voice and demeanor.

Okay, not quite the response Connor was expecting, but he’s worked with worse. Connor holds up the bottle of red wine that he brought over. “A thank you gift, for this past weekend. You know, you helping me out.”

“Oh. You didn’t have to,” Oliver says as he shifts uncomfortably.

Connor shrugs. “Well yeah, I know. But I wanted to. You were really nice to me, and you didn’t have to be. I’m new to the city, don’t really know anyone… and you were really nice. I wanted to show my appreciation.” 

Oliver doesn’t respond. His face twists into a small frown. He reaches up a hand to adjust the glasses on his face, and makes no move to take the bottle of wine from him.

Looks like Connor might have his work cut out for him. He sure does love a challenge though.

He brings up his other hand, which holds two wine glasses he had been hiding behind his back. “I also brought glasses.”

Oliver’s eyes widen slightly. “Um…”

“Come on, let’s open the bottle!” Connor squeezes in through the space between Oliver and the doorframe, ignoring the way the other man sputters as he does so.

“Uh… C-Connor…”

“It’ll be nice! We can get to know each other!”

“I really don’t think–” he starts to shake his head…

Connor turns around from where he had set things down on Oliver’s coffee table. “What’s wrong, are you busy right now?”

“Well, no. But–”

“Are you expecting company?”

“No…”

“Do you hate wine?” Connor asks as he tilts his head to the side with a smirk. 

“No, I’m fine with it–”

“Then I don’t see what the problem is, Oliver.” He proceeds to sit down on the couch and looks up at the other man expectantly. “You got a bottle opener?”

Oliver gives a small sigh of defeat and grabs one from one of his kitchen drawers. He reluctantly walks over to Connor and hands it to him before sitting down. It doesn’t escape the other man’s notice that he leaves a good two feet of space between them. 

This is certainly a 180 from the nervous, stuttering man, clearly enamored with him a few days ago. That’s okay. Connor has a few tricks up his sleeve. He pours them both a glass, and hands one of them to Oliver.

“So let me tell you about this class I’m taking. It’s Criminal Law 100. Intro class, and it’s only the third day, I know. But it’s crazy. The professor is insane. She’s supposed to be some big shot lawyer, the University loves her. Anyway, her first lecture is a ‘case study,’ ” and he makes air quotes with his hands as Oliver watches him. “But it turns out it’s actually a real case that she’s currently working on, and she asked the entire class to participate and help her solve it. Can you imagine? Like fifty some students huddled around in her tiny little office, it’s ridiculous. And what law professor invites her students to help her on a real case on the first day of class? It’s insane, right?”

Oliver gives a small, nervous laugh and sips his wine. “I–I wouldn’t know, I don’t study law.” He watches Connor as he rambles on animatedly about his class. As the man talks, he feels himself relaxing, his earlier discomfort starts to fade, and his eyes unconsciously travel over the other man’s features, taking the opportunity to appreciate them at a closer distance. 

“Anyway,” Connor continues, “the first thing she says to us, is that she’s not going to teach us how to study or theorize about the law, none of that boring stuff. She wants to teach us how to practice it in a courtroom, like real lawyers.” He leans in close and smiles, which Oliver timidly returns. He doesn’t back away when Connor leans closer, which he takes as a good sign.

“So this case study we’re looking at, I think it might interest you,” Connor says, a smirk on his lips. “Commonwealth v. Gina Sadowski, the case of the aspirin assassin.”

Oliver’s eyes widen and he quickly backs up. “Oh… whoa, I’m–I’m not supposed to talk about that.”

“I knew it!” Connor exclaims, a smug smile on his face. “You do work for the same company!”

Oliver stares at him confused.

“I figured, how many advertising companies can there be in Philadelphia?”

“Quite a few actually,” Oliver states. “I’m not sure how you–”

“Oliver, relax.”

“Look, I’m–I’m not supposed to talk about the case. The legal department warned us not to–”

“Come on, it’s not a big deal.” Connor says with a laugh. “It’s not like I’m an actual lawyer working on the case. I’m just a student.”

“I–I know, but–”

“We can still talk about it,” Connor says dropping his voice to practically a whisper. Oliver still looks unconvinced, which only makes Connor’s smile widen, because how adorable. “This secretary supposedly used an aspirin to try to kill her boss–your CEO. Aren’t you just the least bit curious?”

“About what?” Oliver asks.

He scoots a few inches closer to Oliver on the couch, and again lowers his voice like he’s telling a secret. “If she really did it.”

Oliver blinks at him confused, and he fiddles with the stem of his glass as he considers it. “Well, it’s not like we can know for sure. It’s all just speculation, right? Isn’t it your job to figure out if she did?”

“Do you think she did it?”

“I have no idea,” Oliver says exasperated. “The legal department warned us not to talk about it–”

Connor interrupts him. “We could find out.”

Oliver stares at him. “How?”

“I have a theory, okay? Arthur Kaufman is the CEO of this big advertising agency. He’s got to have enemies right? I mean, the guy is literally worth millions. His wife stands to inherit everything from his death. He must have partners at the firm that could walk away with sole ownership of the entire company. Why would you think his assistant, who has next to nothing to gain from this, commit attempted murder? I mean, do you think losing the relationship and being transferred to another department, do you really think that warrants murder?”

“I… I guess not,” Oliver admits. “So… you think someone else did it?”

Connor finishes off his glass before nodding and pours himself another, topping off Oliver’s as he goes. “I think it’s very plausible that someone else did it. And if I think so, it’s reasonable to believe a jury could also be swayed to agree.”

“So… what exactly are you thinking?” Oliver asks, his curiosity getting the better of him.

“I’m thinking that we… you help me hack into Mr. Arthur Kaufman’s email account. There’s bound to be incriminating emails that the prosecution is hiding from us,” he says casually.

Oliver lets out an incredulous laugh, “You want me to hack into my own CEO’s corporate email account? Are–are you insane? First of all, email hacking is illegal. Second–”

“Which makes it kind of exciting though, right?” Connor’s eyes are wide and wild as he scoots closer again to the other man. “And besides Oliver, what are the chances of you actually getting caught for this?”

Oliver shrugs his shoulders, “Well, the company could have some sort of firewall set up, or maybe a secured network–”

“Which you obviously know how to get around.”

Oliver scoffs. “Well, yeah.”

“Then what’s the big deal?” Connor asks. “I wouldn’t tell anyone. Believe me, I’m no blabbermouth. It’ll be our little secret.” He can tell Oliver is considering it. He’s so close to doing it. Just one more little push should do it…

“This… this is crazy. No, no way. I could get in so much trouble for this–”

“Oliver, why don’t you live a little?” He waits until Oliver looks at him, making direct eye contact before he continues. “I think I know your type pretty well. Shy, nerdy, maybe picked on in school, never the popular one. Painfully smart, and under appreciated,” he says softly. “Am I right?”

Oliver doesn’t answer him and that tells him everything he needs to know. 

“How many times have you been the smartest person in the room, yet you feel completely invisible because nobody gives you a second glance.” His tongue flicks out to moisten his lips, and he grins when Oliver’s eyes catch the motion. “I bet you could hack into this account like it was nothing. How often do you get the chance to show off to someone who will actually appreciate your talents? You’d be doing me a huge favor, Oliver. And, I don’t know,” Connor shrugs his shoulders, “maybe the thrill of it would get you off too.”

He can practically see the gears shifting in Oliver’s mind, as the other man considers his words. 

Oliver chews on his bottom lip, fingers still playing with the stem of his glass. “Okay,” he finally says, setting down the glass and reaching across the coffee table to grab his laptop where it sits. “Just this once. But you have to promise not to tell anyone.”

A grin spreads on Connor’s face. “Of course.” 

“Seriously, I mean it. I could get in a lot of trouble for this.”

“I completely understand,” Connor says seriously, as he watches the other man typing furiously at his computer. “So uh, how exactly does this work?”

Oliver’s eyes are fixed on his screen as his fingers fly across the keyboard. He’s in his element. “Well, you know what cookies are, right?”

Connor frowns. “Um, yeah. Kind of.”

“Well, using a simple Java script, I can search for cookies that are sent across a specific network, launch the program that will search over the network, and grab any unsecured cookies. It’s pretty simple actually…”

Connor’s eyes turn away from the screen and instead he watches the other man as he works. Watches how Oliver’s eyes are fixed to the screen, a small crease forms between his eyebrows, and just a hint of a smile on his lips as he concentrates. It’s kind of cute, really.

“Now we do a simple keyword search… and viola! Password obtained,” Oliver exclaims, turning to Connor with a smile.

“Are you serious?” Connor says, turning back to stare at the screen. He’s genuinely impressed. “That took you like less than six minutes.”

“It wasn’t hard, really.” Oliver says with a bashful smile. “Once you understand how network security works, it’s pretty easy to get through–”

“Let’s see what we’ve got,” Connor interrupts, grinning widely.

Oliver chuckles at his impatience. “Okay.” He retrieves the password and logs into the account, grinning as it opens up without an issue. “What exactly are we looking for?”

Connor lets out a breath and narrows his eyes as he scans over the first couple of emails. “Look for anything from his wife or his lawyer, or any of his business partners, anything regarding the status of the company, or big changes to ownership maybe,” he mutters. 

Oliver sees a big name that he recognizes. “Here’s something he flagged,” he says as he clicks on an email. “It’s from Kaufman’s business partner, Lionel Bryant.”

Connor’s eyes narrow as he reads the opened email. 

“Dear Arthur. Consider this my official request that you step down as CEO. I’ve warned you about having sexual relation with employees…”

A grin spreads on his face. 

Step two: find another suspect.

A partner in the company with a lot to gain from the removal of the current CEO of a multi-million dollar company, displaying intent that gives him the motive for the crime. This is exactly what he was looking for. “You did it,” he says softly.

Oliver laughs softly. “It was nothing.”

“No,” Connor shakes his head, and turns to look at him. “It’s not nothing, Oliver. This is going to help us win the case. You just helped us win the case. Thank you,” he says seriously.

Oliver shakes his head bashfully, and reaches for his glass again, avoiding the other man’s sharp gaze. “Really, it’s not a big deal. It’s actually pretty easy to–”

“Maybe we should celebrate,” Connor says as he sets his own glass down on the table and turns towards the other man. 

“How?” Oliver asks timidly.

Connor smirks for a second before leaning over, closing the distance between them and he presses their lips together. Oliver practically flinches against him, and they end up falling back onto the soft cushions of Oliver’s couch. Connor’s nimble fingers pluck the glass from Oliver’s hand, placing it on the table out of harm’s way, while his other hand runs through Oliver’s short hair, brushing through the soft, silky strands. 

It takes a solid minute before Oliver gathers enough of his bearings to push Connor away from him. 

“What–what the hell are you doing?” He sputters.

“What does it look like I’m doing, Oliver?” Connor asks innocently.

“Uh… I’m–I’m not–I don’t–”

Connor stares at him, eyebrow raised expectantly.

“I–I thought all you wanted from me were those emails,” Oliver finally says.

“I did,” Connor says with a smirk. “But I want this too.”

Oliver looks at him, hesitant and unsure. “Um…”

“What’s wrong?”

Oliver pushes him back a bit, and they both sit up on the couch. He runs a hand through his short hair, flattening the pieces that were sticking up from Connor’s excitation, and straightens his glasses, trying to compose himself. “Look, I’m just… I’m really confused by you… like in general.”

Connor tilts his head to the side as he watches him. “What do you mean?”

“Let’s just slow down for a minute.”

“What’s the problem, Oliver?”

Oliver sighs. “Look, I’m not an idiot, okay? I know what this is. You’re not the only one who’s good at reading people. You don’t really like me. You just want sex.”

Connor straightens and allows the other man to put some distance between them. Oliver shuffles a bit and tries to put his thoughts into coherent words.

“I know your type, Connor. I–I heard you, and–whoever, on the night we met. The walls are pretty thin here. And whoever that was–he wasn’t exactly being quiet.”

Ahh. So he heard that night. Brian. Or Ryan. Or whatever his name was. Not that it matters anymore.

“Yeah, okay, maybe you’re right,” Connor says honestly as he watches the other man. “Maybe I’m just looking for sex.” He shrugs, he’s got no problem with honesty. “I like sex, Oliver. So what? Sex feels good. Sex is fun. Sex iseasy. Are you telling me you don’t want to have a good time?”

“I–I just–”

“Because I can show you a good time.”

Oliver shifts uncomfortably in his seat.

“When’s the last time you had sex?” Connor asks unabashedly.

Oliver scoffs and looks away from him, embarrassed. “I’m not answering that.”

Connor smirks. “Oliver. I want this. I want you,” he says seriously. “And I want to make you feel good. You know how you have a talent for…” he waves a hand in the air as he struggles to remember words that Oliver had said, “systems architecture and… network security?”

Oliver gives a small laugh at that. “Yeah.”

“Well my talent, is making a guy come so hard he thinks he’s seeing stars.” Connor gives him a teasing smile as he watches Oliver swallow hard. “Show me yours, and I’ll show you mine. What do you say?” He asks softly.

Oliver takes a shaky breath and thinks about how much he wants this, but at the same time, it is such a bad idea that goes against every good judgment he’s every had. “Look, the last time I had random, casual sex with a stranger, it–it didn’t turn out so well for me, okay?”

Connor smirks, “I’m not a stranger. Well, I don’t have to be.” He scoots closer, and places a hand on Oliver’s thigh. His hand travels upward, slow enough that Oliver could stop him if he wants to. “I can make you feel good, Oliver. I want this. Don’t you?”

God yes, he does.

He feels antsy and nervous, and Connor is sitting so close he could count every one of his eyelashes. It’s actually really distracting.

“Relax,” Connor says softly as he leans in to kiss him. The kiss is soft and gentle, like he doesn’t want to scare him off. One hand cups his face, the other goes around his waist, pulling their bodies closer together. He teases him gently, tongue dipping into his mouth. And when Oliver finally responds, he pulls away, smirking as he backs off an inch. Finally.

He shifts his position and again presses them both back onto the arm of the couch, Oliver doesn’t resist this time. Connor runs his hands along the other man’s chest, and when he reaches the bottom of his shirt he firmly grasps the hem, tugging up to signal what he wants. Oliver lifts up a bit so he can yank the shirt off, and his eyes follow the motion of the shirt over the back of the couch where Connor throws it. 

Connor raises an appreciative eyebrow as he admires the man’s naked chest. “Someone’s been going to the gym,” he teases.

“Well, I’ve–I’ve been pretty health conscious this past year–”

Connor cuts him off by leaning down, and he captures his lips in a kiss that leaves them both panting. Oliver lets out a soft whimper when Connor nibbles on his bottom lip. His hands are shaky by sides, but when Connor removes his own button down shirt, and throws it to the floor, Oliver’s hands instantly attach to the newly revealed skin. He stares up at the other man, eyes wide and unassuming. Connor grins down at him, reveling in delight at his prize. 

“Let’s move this to the bedroom,” he growls, and he climbs off, pulling the other man with him, and he pushes them towards the other room, hands attached to the other man’s hips the entire way over.

They stumble into the bedroom, and Oliver seems to have abandoned his bashfulness. His hands explore the younger man’s body, firmly grasping his abdomen, traveling downwards to grasp his hips, and pressing them flush together with his own. 

This is what Connor was looking for. His heart pounds in his chest as adrenaline rushes through him.

He pushes Oliver onto the soft mattress and they both land with a soft phuumf. 

“You sure you want this?” Connor asks, his messy loose hair falls into his face. “Last chance to tell me to fuck off,” he says with a breathy laugh.

Oliver’s fingers dig hard into his hips, firmly grinding into where his hipbone juts out. He nods as he looks up at the other man. “Yeah. Yeah, I want this.”

Connor grins lewdly. He removes Oliver’s glasses from his face, throws them onto the bedside table, and quickly attaches his lips to the curve of the other man’s neck. Oliver arches upwards when Connor’s teeth nip at his sensitive skin and shivers run through his whole body. His hands clutch the other man’s hips even tighter. 

Connor’s nimble fingers are trying to undo both their pants. He struggles to pull his pants down from his hips, and eventually lets out a groan of frustration, and climbs off Oliver, who immediately feels a chill from the separation.

Connor shimmies his pants down his legs while toeing off his shoes. His black boxer briefs are the last to go. And he stands, completely nude, smirking down at the man on the bed, almost daring him to say something. 

“Where’s your lube?”

“Uh… b–bedside drawer,” Oliver says shakily. “Um… grab a condom too.”

Connor smirks at him. “Of course.” He grabs the bottle of lube–mostly full, he notes–and a packet from the box next to it. On the bed, Oliver hastily removes the remainder of his own clothes. 

Connor eyes his lover’s body as he returns to straddle him. 

“Turn over.”

Connor not so subtly admires the strong curves of Oliver’s back, His fingernails gently rake down the soft skin, and he leans down, and presses wet kisses along his spine, starting at the base of his neck. And down, further down, until he reaches the cleft of his ass. He runs his tongue slowly over his opening–

“Ah!”

Oliver jerks beneath him, and Connor forces him still with his palms pressed against his hips. He continues to drag his tongue over the sensitive ring of muscle, enjoying how Oliver whines and whimpers above him. He darts out the tip of his tongue against his tight hole, pressing firmly against it, and he alternates between tracing circles around it and working his tongue into Oliver’s body until his whole body is shaking and trembling beneath him. 

Oliver’s panting deeply, and he starts shifting his hips, trying to get Connor to loosen his grip–and Connor knows it’s because his hard cock is pressing into the mattress causing discomfort. He finally lets up, his classic crooked smile spreading on his face. He grabs two pillows from the head of the bed, and forces them under Oliver’s stomach, one on top of the other. 

“Better?”

Oliver gives him a shaky nod, and doesn’t even bother to lift his head.

Connor leans over him, “I love eating you out,” he whispers into his ear. And he grins again when Oliver’s only response is a soft, breathy laugh. 

He reaches for the bottle of lube next to him, and applies a generous glob to his fingers. He smears the slick on his fingers and against the cleft of Oliver’s ass, and presses his index finger against his hole. There’s not much resistance given the mix of saliva and lube aiding him. It’s a snug fit, and Oliver’s insides are hot and tight around him. He grins, anticipating what it would feel like around his cock, which is currently hard and leaking between his legs.

He slowly moves the digit in and out of Oliver’s body, enjoying the soft whimpers that are coaxed out of the other man. 

He slides his finger in and out, and he can feel Oliver’s body slowly relaxing around him. He adds another finger, and admires how Oliver’s hole stretches around his fingers. He gives them just the slightest twist–and Oliver jerks. 

“Oh!”

Connor starts curling his fingers, and he watches as Oliver’s hands fist the sheets beneath them. He adds one more finger, slowly stretching him out. He knows all too well the importance of proper preparation. 

He twists his fingers until the muscles have adjusted around them, and he retracts them, enjoying the small whimper that Oliver makes when they leave his body. 

Connor reaches for the condom he had placed next to him, tearing the small packet open, and he quickly rolls it onto his cock. He dribbles more lube over Oliver’s ass and generously rubs the excess over himself. 

He places himself against the other man’s entrance, gives him a second to prepare, and slowly presses inside. He groans loudly as the warm, welcoming tightness surrounds him. He continues sliding in, inch after inch, until he’s fully inside. And he holds himself there, forehead pressed against the back of the other man’s neck. He waits a moment, letting Oliver adjust to him. 

Oliver’s heaving pants are muffled into the sheets, and he jolts when Connor starts moving, pulling out nearly all the way and slowly sliding back in until he’s completely buried inside him. 

“God you feel so good,” Connor murmurs into his hair.

Oliver only lets out a whimper in response. 

Connor grips his hips to get better leverage, and he continues his steady thrusts into the other man’s body. 

Soft, wheezy gasps escape from Oliver’s lips as he presses his own hips back–wanting more–it almost sounds like he’s crying into the sheets. And his body jerks in pleasure with every single thrust that Connor makes. 

“No no no,” Connor murmurs. One of his hands reaches up to bury itself in Oliver’s short hair, tugging gently. “Don’t do that. I want to hear you scream.”

Oliver lifts his head from the mattress just slightly, tilts it so he can glance back at the other man.

“Be as loud as you want,” Connor says in a husky voice as he continues moving his hips to a steady pace. “In fact, it’s encouraged.”

A particular hard thrust forces a wrecked cry from Oliver’s lips. Oliver lifts his head, twisting his neck, and Connor’s lips meet his own. They kiss, hard and rough, with teeth and tongue, and wicked, pleasurable noises continue to make their way past Oliver’s lips.   

Connor picks up his pace, and continues his deep thrusts, reveling in the satisfaction of hearing Oliver’s delightful cries. This is what he needs, what he craves, another person writhing and moaning beneath him, the physical connection at such an intimate level. Making them gasp and cry and whimper in agonizing pleasure, this is what he’s good at, what he’s meant for. Finally, he feels comfortable in his own skin again.

Oliver’s back shakes against him, and he feels so close. He reaches around and grasps Oliver’s cock, giving it a few firm strokes. Oliver lets out a shaky, breathy groan, and Connor basks in the glory of every little sound coming out of his mouth.

Connor kisses him again, he can feel Oliver’s short, jerky breaths against his lips–and finally, it comes.

Oliver’s body spasms against him, his cum spurts onto the sheets, and Connor continues fucking him–kissing him, through his orgasm. 

The way Oliver’s body clenches around him starts his own orgasm flooding through his body, and he shakes and trembles as he grasps the other man tightly. They collapse together, breathless and boneless onto the bed, and lie there for several moments. 

He presses gentle kisses against Oliver’s neck, before pulling away. Oliver lets out a soft whimper as he withdraws from him. 

Connor carefully removes the condom, tying it off and throwing it into the waste basket in the bathroom, before return to bed, and he collapses on the mattress.

Oliver shifts until he’s half on his side, half on his stomach. He’s still catching his breath, but he watches the other man silently, until Connor, feeling eyes on him, opens his own and turns to him.

“Was it good for you too?” He asks softly, only half a smirk on his lips because he’s just too worn out. 

Oliver responds with a nod, and they continue laying on the bed. The only movements are from their chests as they breathe. 

Eventually, Connor raises his head to glance at the clock on Oliver’s bedside table. 10:08 PM.

“I should go,” he murmurs. “Early day tomorrow. I’ve got class.”

Oliver can’t deny the feeling of sadness that washes over him at the thought of him leaving so soon. “You could spend the night… if you want.”

Connor opens his eyes and turns to look at him. “Do you want me to?”

Oliver gives a small shrug of his shoulder. “I wouldn’t mind it.”

Connor smirks at him. “Alright, but only because you’re cute. I bet you’re a cuddler,” he says as he rolls over, and throws an arm around Oliver’s waist.

Oliver lets out a small, hesitant laugh. “Yeah… maybe.” 

Connor closes his eyes as tiredness takes over him. He’s still coming down from the high. He feels Oliver adjust the covers so they cover them both. He’s generally not one for sticking around after sex, but with Oliver he doesn’t seem to mind so much. The man is sweet, shy, and utterly adorable. He seems completely harmless, and he’s pretty cute too. 

Oliver’s arm gently comes to rest around his waist just as he begins to drift off, and he tries not to think about how he can still feel the other man’s eyes watching him.