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a new kind of love your life has never allowed

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As per usual, Adam's shoulders make suspicious crunching noises when he rolls them and don't loosen in the slightest when he stretches the sides of his neck. He feels like there ought to be a pop of some kind, but none is forthcoming no matter how he twists his neck or steers his head. Digging his fingers into the tops of his shoulders and squeezing them with the heel of his hands is hardly helping either; they're hard as concrete.

More often than not, Adam feels like a walking wall of bricks, stacked together unevenly. Or like an assortment of tense bowstrings, with a knot at every angle of his body. This both delights and annoys Ronan, going by his stormy expression and the gusto he employs when massaging Adam. On the one hand, he jumps at any excuse to get his hands all over Adam, on the other it bothers him that nothing he tries brings Adam any lasting relief.

Adam doesn't mind that much, he's used to it, after all. And he'll never tire of Ronan working out the kinks in his back. But sometimes, the tension crawls up his neck and into his forehead, and his jaw will be hard as a nutcracker's.

Squeezing his burning eyes shut, he straightens his spine and digs his knuckles into the bridge of his nose. All these little inconveniences are his body's way of saying he ought to take a break, but these videos don't edit themselves, and their subscribers expect them to adhere to the schedule they announced in their last video. In Adam's mind, only a family emergency would be reason enough to fail a deadline, and even then he would be trying to make it.

He rubs his thumbs along his eye sockets and lingers on his twitching lower lid. Sitting at the computer for extended periods of time is never a good idea, especially not if you've spent the previous periods of time hunched over books or beneath the hood of a car, but if you want things done right – or at all – you better do them yourself. He's not so arrogant as to believe he's the only one capable of doing a satisfactory job, but experience has shown he's the only one willing to go the extra mile to ensure the quality of the end product meets a certain standard.

A cold shock to his neck startles him out of his thoughts.

"Hey, pretty boy," Kavinsky murmurs and slides the cold, cylindrical something into the collar of Adam's shirt, replacing the chill on his neck with his hot mouth. It's not the first time Adam has heard those words, but they never fail to draw a flush to his face. Adam is not royally attractive like Gansey or dangerously handsome like Ronan, or even strikingly good-looking like Kavinsky himself (if he weren't so pale and starved and dressed in drug dealer chic); Adam knows he does not compare and it's okay, it has never bothered him, not really, but just the possibility of Kavinsky actually meaning it makes his chest twinge.

In the beginning, he entertained the possibility that Kavinsky might be insulting him, calling to attention the strangeness of his features, but the insults he throws Adam's way are more the amiable sort, nothing personal. He keeps the really cutting ones for Ronan, because for them, it must be some kind of foreplay. Adam can't explain it otherwise.

"Damn, you're tight."

Kavinsky, in proper Kavinsky manner, emphasizes the word so that no one listening in can possibly miss its lewd connotation. He's dropped the cylinder, which turned out to be an energy drink can, down the inside of Adam's shirt, his hand warm against Adam's chest, and is now applying those warm hands to rubbing Adam's shoulders. Or, perhaps more accurately, to shifting his skin over his muscles, because not much else is moving in that area.

"Parrish..." Kavinsky says and it's a warning and an invitation all at once. His breath stirs the hairs behind Adam's ear, and something more inside him, the scent of peppermint evoking summers in loud cars, strange woods full of sentient trees, and every other step along their mystical quest for a dead king. His heart aches. Perhaps for those times, but more likely for their common denominator. He wonders where Gansey is now, how he's doing, what new things he has learnt.

"Go bother Ronan," he says, because Kavinsky is like a cat that drapes itself over your mouse hand and keyboard to keep you from getting any work done. But his voice is betraying him, going soft and breathy. His head tips backwards, resting his temple against Kavinsky's cheek. "I need a few moments longer."

Kavinsky peppers kisses along his jaw, threads his fingers through his hair, and kneads his scalp. An involuntary shudder jolts through Adam and he breathes a helpless sigh into Kavinsky's mouth as it closes over his own. Kavinsky has an unfair advantage here: not only is Adam halfway gone because those clever fingers are draining the tension right out of his skull, no, Kavinsky has an equally clever tongue that has many different uses, the best of them not related to talking, and they both know how easily Adam unravels at the merest curl of tongue against tongue.

Even distracted to his wits' ends, Adam can feel Kavinsky's gaze drifting toward Ronan, who is sitting on the couch, controller in hand, studiously not looking their way. It's an automatic thing for him to search out Ronan, to perform for him, like everything is an extended competition between them and Adam is merely the medium on which it is played out.

Sometimes, he thinks of himself as a warzone torn between the two of them, claimed and marked and reclaimed, going off like hand grenade after hand grenade, and dying a thousand little deaths along the way.

"Lynch already kicked me off the sofa when I tried to talk dirty to him," Kavinsky's voice drifts to him through a haze.

"You weren't talking dirty," Ronan cuts in, eyes most likely still trained on the screen, "you were trying to spoil the ending for me."

"Not my fault if you're so damn slow, man."

"At least I'm not a fucking cheater."

"That's such a straight-laced thing to say for a gay shithead like you."

"Don't make me come over there, because I'll make you eat those words if I do."

"I'm waiting. If you come over here, I'll eat you. And that's a promise."

Ronan growls something in response, but Adam can practically hear the blood shooting into his face. Kavinsky's triumphant snickering might also be cluing him in.

Adam lets them bicker; it's cute in a way, how even their violent and filthy threats take on an affectionate tone when they're both in a relaxed environment.

Adam also lets out an embarrassingly loud and embarrassingly high-pitched moan when Kavinsky finds a particularly mean knot below Adam's left scapula.

"Now we're talking." Kavinsky grins against Adam's jaw and nips at it, continuing to circle the knot with his thumb. Adam cannot help the exhale that is at the same time pained and aroused. If they didn't have Ronan's attention before, now they certainly do. "Mhh, Parrish. I'll need you to stretch out somewhere flat so I can really work you over. I don't care if we do it right here on the floor or if you'd prefer the bed. I'll do you anywhere. Your choice."

"Fuck." That one came from Ronan. He must have died in the game. Between Kavinsky's voice and his hands, Adam has lost all faculty of speech and is being reduced to a mess of incoherent, gasped-out syllables. His thighs are turning to jelly. There's no way he'd make it out of the chair, let alone anywhere near a bed, for Kavinsky to continue this in a more comfortable manner.

All he can do is tilt forward to give him better access to his back. The energy drink rolls from his lap and falls to the floor unheeded.

In a way, he's lucky that both his boyfriends are the handsy sort, because that means Adam will be on the receiving end of ceaseless backrubs, hair-twirling, and general haptic gestures that convey their fondness of him. But Kavinsky, who's also quick to grow bored and quick to jump at anything to alleviate that boredom, can be a menace and distract him from his duties with the restlessness of fingers on skin alone. Not that Adam has it in him to be annoyed for long, when he's still so starved for the contact, even after he's been given and given and given some more.

The Skype ringtone bubbles through the speakers.

In the time it takes Adam to lift his head, Kavinsky has already accepted the call.

"Hey, you're probably still busy writing papers, Adam, but I—"

"Dick, my boy," Kavinsky answers him cheerfully, "how's it hanging? Still expanding your harem?"

"Joseph. Have you drugged Adam?" he asks, the tiniest bit alarmed, then addresses him directly, "Are you okay?"

Adam imagines what a sight he must make, beet-red and disheveled, lips parted and glistening, chest expanding visibly. A tiny, hidden part of him hopes Gansey can appreciate that.

"He's peachy, aren't you, man?" Kavinsky's voice has taken on a teasing quality that his thumbs pick up when they bury into the knot they've been servicing. Adam moans his answer. "Just loosening him up real nice."

A light blush is dusting Gansey's sun-loved cheeks and that alone makes this whole embarrassing ordeal worth it for Adam. His chest is both tight and expanding far beyond its physical confines, Adam is gripped by the irrational urge to stretch out his arms wide enough to embrace the whole Earth.

"It's good..." he begins, shakily, trying to swat Kavinsky away, then inhales deeply to steady himself, "it's good to hear from you again."

"Yeah," Gansey agrees, somewhat breathless himself, "we're in Ecuador now, preparing for our trip to the Galápagos Islands."

"When are you leaving? Is Blue close-by?"

"She is, she's just taking a shower. We..."

Gansey trails off as Kavinsky's hands are trailing lower, and another is threading through his hair, brushing the shell of his ear, down his neck, and it takes Adam a moment to realize that the number of hands doesn't quite add up.

"Ronan," Gansey solves the mystery before Adam has the chance to, and he sounds genuinely pleased about Ronan's presence.


There's a whole conversation transmitted in the inflection of their names. It's something he can only hope to convey with his own faltering attempts at language. Love, longing, certainty, trust. The need to touch so strong they have to conduct it elsewhere, Ronan to Adam, and Gansey toward his laptop, as it were possible to touch either of their skin through the screen.

As usual, nothing of the sort registers with Kavinsky or else he doesn't care about it. Nothing is sacred to him.

Or maybe he feels left out and needs to redirect their attention to him.

"Let's skip the boring niceties and get right to why you called in the first place," Kavinsky says and opens the fly of Adam's trousers. "Dick."

Adam is not sure if he's addressing Gansey or referring to male genitalia. It could be either. It could be both. In any case, Adam is sucking in a breath and trying to squirm away from Kavinsky's invading hand, peeling him out of his boxers and into view. He's looking up at Ronan beseechingly, clutching the front of his tank top, but Ronan's gaze rests heavy on him. He's not going to stop Kavinsky.

Gansey has become very still and very intent on his side of the screen, though Adam doesn't think the angle of his camera captures anything below the chest.

When Kavinsky begins stroking him lightly, Adam lets his head fall against Ronan's abdomen as if seeking comfort. Maybe he does, maybe this is too much, maybe this is just right, but how can Adam tell when he's being overwhelmed, not only by the pleasure Kavinsky is wresting from him, but also by Gansey's presence and Ronan's tenderness. He's cradling Adam's head, playing with his hair, and rubbing his shoulders soothingly, as if he wanted to quell the need that is growing inside of him.

Gansey clears his throat, an involuntary sound close to a cough, not an intended interruption of the moment.

"Let him do it," he says, somewhat hoarsely.

Kavinsky breathes a laugh and Adam whines a little when his hand leaves him, but then his mouth is warm on his cheek next to Ronan's fingers and Ronan is scratching Kavinsky's chin and Kavinsky is guiding Adam's hand to his painfully hard and painfully neglected erection, and the merest brush of his knuckles against it elicits a shock through his entire body.

"Gansey," he whimpers, and it's both prayer and invocation, thankful and wondrous and pleading, for Gansey to be here with him, with them, for Gansey to be present in this moment with him, for Gansey to continue to be, because that is the most wondrous thing of all.

As he tugs his foreskin down and up over the head of his prick, grinding against the palm of his hand, a new voice flows through to his consciousness.

"Is that Adam?" Blue's soft Henrietta accent is summer-warm and enveloping him as if in a cotton cloud. "Why didn't you wait for me before—oh."

Her arms still, so her damp hair sticks out in all direction where the towel wraps against it. Gansey is pressing a kiss to the top of her shoulder even as his eyes never leave the scene unfolding before them on the screen.

Adam can see the gentle swell of her breasts as she takes a gulping breath and lets the towel fall around her shoulders. Adam can almost taste the droplets on her collar bone, can almost inhale the fruity-fresh scent of her shampoo, can almost feel the softness of her skin beneath his fingertips. He aches for them both, their ease, their togetherness, their complete lack of complication.

If not for the hands fisted in his t-shirt and hair, he might have been floating out of his skin, attempting impromptu astral travel through the forests of Ecuador to the small bungalow the three of them have no doubt rented. (He imagines Henry sitting outside in the sunlight reading, or exploring the local market, giving Blue and Gansey the necessary space to call Adam.) But he's rooted here, in his own body, winding tighter around the coil of his lust, twisting, reaching, waiting for it to spring and release him.

"You can let go," he thinks Gansey is saying, and so he does.

He cups himself with both hands, to catch most of the damage, because he really shouldn't be making a mess in his workspace. He's twitching and sensitive, even long after the pulsating stop, and every brush of fingers over his t-shirt makes him jerk.

"That'll be fifty bucks," Kavinsky breaks the breathless silence, "we'll be charging you through your provider."

If Gansey says anything in answer, Adam doesn't hear, because Ronan takes up his entire world then.

"You all right?" Ronan kneels beside him, rubbing small circles on his back. Adam only notices how slippery his forehead is when he tries to press it against Ronan's.

He nods and his lips seek out Ronan's scratchy chin. Their kiss is sloppy and solid and slow, quite different from Kavinsky's concentrated and single-minded skill. Ronan presses a last kiss to his lips, then to the side of his nose and the top of his damp brow. Adam feels so secure in his arms, he could drift right off to sleep.

Ronan startles him as his head swivels upward. Kavinsky is scratching his nails over the bristles of his buzzcut.

"Now's our chance," he says, but the line of his spine, the curl of his fingers under Ronan's chin, and the intensity in his eyes spell out more than his words do. "Parrish is not doing any more work tonight. You grab his booty, I get the laptop. That is, if you want to join us."

Adam thinks the last part must have been intended for Gansey and Blue, otherwise it wouldn't make much sense to bring the laptop along.

There's a pause before they agree. No doubt they're a bit hesitant to witness what Kavinsky is having in mind. They don't know that Kavinsky is most likely about to make good on his promise to work out the knots in Adam's back, but even Adam can't be too sure. Now that he has an audience, he might have come up with more wicked things to try and torment Adam with.

"Can't wait," Kavinsky says as he moves to close the Skype application, and his laughter follows Adam out of the living room. "See you in the sheets."