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I've tasted hell and it tastes just like you

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"Not gonna lie, man. This is a good look on you, Lynch."

Kavinsky smacks him, but his palm catches less of Ronan's ass than the fingers holding himself open, on display, begging to be used. Kavinsky lingers on the sting, growing warmer with it and searing Ronan's hand with his own. Instinct dictates he flinch away, but he's become adept at ignoring anything that appears like cowering. Like hell he'd let Kavinsky have that, too.

"Let's see just how much you can take today."

Foully seductive lyrics bleed from the speakers and the bass pounds in his veins. Kavinsky's thumb burrows into his flesh, stretching him wider. The finger inside him slows and recedes before it returns with added pressure. Ronan's cock twitches and he bites back a grunt. He'll hold out for as long as he can, as if that would give Kavinsky the impression Ronan was still unaffected. He's hot enough to set the sheets on fire and his body must be all shades of red. Not to mention that his cock is achingly hard and smearing his belly with precome. There's no way that Kavinsky would mistake any of that for disinclination.

Shame wrenches his insides. He hates himself for wanting this, for needing this, but there are no safe alternatives. Not that Kavinsky is safe either, but Gansey's disapproval of anything physically harmful has limited his options. Kavinsky is harmful in another way.

"Cat got your tongue? Guess you're too busy enjoying this. Come on, work for it."

His hand stills and reminds him just how good it feels to have his fingers moving inside him, stroking and teasing. But he's not too far gone to fuck himself on those fingers yet. Kavinsky would need to up his game for that.

Still, he can't help wriggling the tiniest bit.

"Go on, I'm ready," he rasps against the mattress.

"You sure, princess?" Kavinsky asks and drags a sharp hiss from him. His other hand smooths over the lines of the tattoo on his back, squeezes his shoulder, scratches his buzzed head. Pins and needles slice through him. "You're still tight like a virgin. Don't seem to be getting much action at home, do you?"

"Just do it already." It doesn't matter how ready his body is, he'll never be. So Kavinsky can go ahead whenever he feels like it. Which Ronan hopes is going to be soon. Kavinsky talks less when his dick is occupied.

"You're a depraved creature, Lynch. I love it when you get impatient and start begging me for it."

Ronan grits his teeth. He's drunk enough for this not to hurt much, but not drunk enough to ignore what a giant prick Kavinsky can be, or how much he still wants to punch him sometimes.

"Say please." With a last playful twist, Kavinsky's fingers leave him hungry and wanting. Now both his hands keep Ronan's in place with a grip strong enough that Kavinsky's slicked-up cock rubbing against him barely registers.

"Fuck you."

"Fair enough." Kavinsky shifts his grip and pushes in.

With his cheek pressed into the mattress, Ronan doesn't have to see Kavinsky—doesn't have to see the Playmate centerfolds plastered on the walls either. Sure, they alternate with posters of cars, rappers and horror movies too, but those don't bother him. Those don't advertise Kavinsky's aggressive straightness, nor do they remind him of the fact that for Kavinsky, this is just another power game. What's bothering him most is that it bothers him at all. It doesn't matter what this is to Kavinsky as long as Ronan gets what he comes here for. With his cheek pressed against the mattress and the busty babe at eye height above the bed, they can both pretend they're with someone else.

Kavinsky's pace is slow but relentless. He's barely giving Ronan enough time to adjust, but Ronan has no right to complain. He asked for this. All he can do now is try to relax and breathe through it. He'll get used to it eventually. And even if he doesn't, the pain is a private thing that tethers him, that assures him this is real and prevents him from enjoying it too much. It's a penitence of sorts, something he both craves and deserves in equal and opposing measures.

When Kavinsky bottoms out, he exhales an amused sigh, as though he's bored already. His hands roam the expanse of Ronan's back, chasing every hook of his tattoo, and Ronan shifts beneath them, chasing them in turn. Kavinsky hums his approval.

Ronan lets his arms fall to his sides as Kavinsky pulls back. The slow drag of his cock inside him is hypnotic, burning, and soothing an itch at the same time.

Just when Ronan is getting used to the intrusion bit by bit, Kavinsky snaps his hips forward and tears Ronan's hips back against him. The sudden jolt rips Ronan's head up.

"Sorry. I slipped," Kavinsky says, pleased with himself rather than apologetic.

Ronan curses, but he did want this to not feel good. Kavinsky just gave him a reminder.

Tangling his fingers into the sheets, he braces himself and stops rocking with Kavinsky. He meets his next thrust, nearly shoving himself back onto his prick even though it burns like hell. He wanted this to not feel good and it shouldn't feel good, but fuck, somehow it does.

Kavinsky's laughter is high-pitched, bordering on hysterical.

"Someone's desperate for my cock," he says, audibly amused and shaking with it. "Dick not putting out enough, huh?"

Ronan's breaths come in short, labored bursts; he's drenched and hot and his skin is tense and stretching tightly over the framework of his muscles and bones. The mention of Gansey's name has a sobering and sickening effect on him. He's self-consciously aware of where he is and what he's doing. Exactly as Kavinsky intended it to.

"You think of Dick when I'm inside you, don't you? You're thinking of him now, imagining it's him who's fucking you."

Ronan shakes his head, whether to disagree or to dispel the images forming in his head, he's not sure. God, he can't—he can't be thinking of this. Gansey would never—

A hand snakes around his throat to assist the roadblock to his brain, and Kavinsky hauls him up. The position is awkward: Kavinsky is shorter than him, but Ronan's back is arched enough to compensate.

"I won't let you," Kavinsky growls into his ear, punctuated by puffy breaths. "You hear me, Lynch? I won't let you go there. You're here with me. Don't you fucking forget that."

As if to drive the statement home, he sinks his teeth into the shell of Ronan's ear. Ronan feels that sting down to the tip of his prick. An embarrassing moan rips itself out of his mouth.

So it's one of those days when Kavinsky is not content to let Ronan stay inside his own head. They're becoming more frequent and Ronan is a complex mix of conflicting emotions about it, each tearing into a different direction.

In a way, he's grateful for Kavinsky's interruption, even if he would never admit it. Much as he doesn't want to be reminded of what he's doing and who he's with, he wants to be reminded of Gansey even less. They're best friends and Ronan shouldn't sully their friendship with his toxic desire.

Gansey deserves better than that.

"You're still thinking," Kavinsky warns and just like that, Ronan is cold and empty. He was not prepared for this. "Let me help you."

Ronan's world tilts as his back slams onto the mattress and knocks his breath out. Kavinsky crawls on top of him like a fucking wildcat until he's in his face, eyes dark and unreadable, and it's somewhat mortifying how quickly Ronan spreads his legs to accommodate him.

Kavinsky's grin is like a cut and his heart is hammering in his throat, anticipating blood welling to the surface. His thumb digs into Ronan's jaw and his fingers fan across his cheek. He jerks Ronan's head from side to side until Ronan relaxes enough to let it wiggle. Then Kavinsky draws his hand back and slaps him so hard Ronan's head falls to the side.

"Fuck," he breathes. His cheek is growing hot and doubling in size.

"There," Kavinsky smiles like he's done him a favor, "focus on that."

Maybe he has. The sting radiates out over his head and down his neck, and he doesn't think about how pliable his body is when Kavinsky's hands skim his sides and drag Ronan's hips back into his lap. Kavinsky's eyelashes flutter as he sinks back into him and his gold chain glitters in the yellow lamplight.

On his back, he feels a lot more exposed than he had been when displaying himself. He can't hide his expression from Kavinsky and there's the matter of hands to contend with. Every position feels wrong. Restraints would have been his preferred option. That way, he could pretend he doesn't want this, that he's being forced to take it instead of letting this happen, welcoming it even. For this precise reason Kavinsky won't tie him up. He won't let Ronan forget that he's the one who started this. Choice is not a silent partner.

Kavinsky might think Ronan is doing this to repay him for services rendered, for teaching him how to use his abilities as a dreamer, but really, that's not what this is about. Ronan is not that charitable.

"Look at me," Kavinsky demands, but Ronan is no longer in control of any of that. How can he when Kavinsky won't stop moving? His bones are melting into white-hot liquid and his muscles are wringing him dry, and through all that he hears a resounding crack before he feels the pain in the side of his face. "I said, look at me, bitch."

It's enunciated to get a rise out of Ronan and Ronan does fix his gaze on Kavinsky but he cannot for the life of him muster a glare or even the beginning of anger. With nothing to focus on but Kavinsky, he feels desperate and vulnerable, like he wouldn't hold up under scrutiny, like Kavinsky could leaf through him like a book and tear out pages to use as kindling. He did know one of Ronan's best-kept secrets and never shared for half a year. What else does he know?

He's panting open-mouthed and scratches Kavinsky's arms, as if trying to claw out the boy beneath his armor. It's only fair that they both be stripped naked. Kavinsky looks at the ceiling and, swallowing hard, runs a hand over his face. He's unraveling just like Ronan, or that's what it looks like. The next instant, the impact of two fists on the mattress to either side jostles him and Kavinsky's chain is cool against his neck when Kavinsky leans over to bite his ear. Ronan sets his nails into Kavinsky's back and nudges his head against Kavinsky's, seeking out his mouth.

When his lips finally find Kavinsky's, he goes rigid for a moment. He'd forgotten that Kavinsky started chewing peppermint gum after Ronan complained about his crappy taste when he'd just had a smoke. His teeth clamp on Kavinsky's bottom lip. Kavinsky huffs against him and then his hand is on Ronan's prick and tugging him to completion. His fingers tangle in Kavinsky's hair and yank hard as he comes. Kavinsky fucks him through it and only pulls out once Ronan's grip on his hair subsides. Ronan barely notices that he spills himself on his chest.

For a while, nothing exists but the air in his lungs. When he hears the rasp of a lighter, he wonders how the fuck Kavinsky can have enough breath to spare to drag on a cigarette. Kavinsky is lying on his side, head propped up on his hand and a leg thrown over Ronan's. Blood is soaking into the butt of his cigarette and running down his chin. He catches the droplet with his thumb and the gesture is so curiously like Gansey's pensive one, it shocks Ronan awake.

He groans and heaves himself onto his elbows. He needs to get back before Gansey notices he's gone and starts to worry, or worse yet, to look for him. It's one thing to find him drunk in a church and quite another to find him in bed with a boy he can't stand.

Ronan's chest is a wildfire, laying waste to all the growth in its path.

"Going already?" Kavinsky asks as Ronan rolls himself off the bed.

Ronan doesn't say anything, merely plods to his clothes. That should be answer enough.

"We barely even got started, man. I want to fuck you so raw you won't be able to move without thinking about this for weeks."

Ronan's legs are trembling as he forces himself into his jeans. There's no way he will not be thinking about this for weeks. Kavinsky is still too much of a physical presence on his skin.

Lying on his stomach now, Kavinsky brushes his hair out of his face. Ronan has made a mess of it. Both his face and his hair. Blood is a good look on him. Ronan ought to put it there more often.

Kavinsky crushes the cigarette in his overflowing ashtray. An empty bottle topples from his nightstand, joining a few of its brethren on the floor. When he gets up, Ronan once again becomes painfully aware of how slight he is. His arms are wiry, his ribs pushing through his skin, and his chest so hollow like he's been starving for months. Ronan could break him so easily.

If he was disappointed or annoyed before when Ronan decided to leave, none of that is showing now. His expression is pleasant, not a glimmer of meanness about it. He reaches up to touch Ronan's tender cheek and strokes his thumb over it. A light pressure on the back of his neck compels him to bow down to Kavinsky's height.

"It was nice fucking you again," he murmurs against Ronan's lips, quietly laughing to himself. His mouth tastes like blood and ashes, but Ronan says nothing.

Ronan comes here to be hurt. But it's not the physical pain that gets to him. What hurts the most is not the times Kavinsky invades his body when it's barely ready. It's not the times he humiliates and treats him like a whore either.

What hurts the most is when Kavinsky kisses him like it means something.

It's a cruel joke he falls for every time, like the glimpse of a world in which they could be something more than pain and rage and mutually assured destruction. But Kavinsky can't be trusted not to use this against him one day, and Ronan won't leave Gansey's side for anyone else. Not for long, anyway.

Ronan pushes Kavinsky away. The staccato of a jackhammer rattles against his fingertips and enough heat rolls off Kavinsky to scorch his skin like a blacktop in midsummer.

"Yeah, fuck off," Kavinsky says. His face is a mask kept in place by his grin.

Ronan steps away. Something inside him is ripped and open, bleeding as from a night horror wound. He's loose, untethered, soaring high and helpless, and it's only a matter of time before he comes crashing down.

"I'll see you on the streets."