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Summer on You

Chapter Text

Thirty-seven degrees. Thirty-seven degrees and rising.

How was that even possible? July had just started a little over a week ago and yet it already felt like the desert outside. I flopped around on my bed like a fish left stranded, kicking the thin blanket as far away as I could and turned my face to the cool stream my little fan provided. My body was covered in sweat that clung to every pore and I was only wearing shorts. Plus, it was not even noon. If summer kept this tirade up, I had no chance of surviving and making it to my senior year in the fall. Which – on second thought – wouldn’t even be all that bad.

            “Eren, honey? Can you come out and help with the luggage?”

            I rolled my eyes extra-long when I heard my mom’s soft, but intent knocking on my door, even though she couldn’t see it. I debated whether I’d get away with just ignoring her, but I knew that wouldn’t do me any good in the long run.

            With a groan loud enough for her to hear, I lifted myself up in a sitting position on my bed. I needed a nice, long stretch before I could even think about getting anywhere with this heat-riddled body of mine. Getting up after stretching my limbs with a satisfying pop, I padded over to the door and opened it, only to find the most cheerful grin on my mother’s face shining back at me. I was most definitely not in the mood to see anyone this happy before eleven a.m. Maybe not ever. She was wearing a colorful summer dress, along with a large straw hat and golden sandals. From the view of it, she was all ready for her summer trip with dad a few thousand miles away to the Caribbean with a sparkly beach and an even more sparkly, turquoise sea. It was the perfect summer vacation indeed. Only that I wouldn’t get to enjoy any of it, because I wasn’t going to be a part of all the luxury. No, I’d be stuck here in my simmering hometown of Trost for the summer, in a house with broken air conditioning. Well, at least I had the latest addition to our family to keep me company – a six-month old Labrador puppy whose sole life goal seemed to be the destruction of our furniture and every last nerve in my possession. I had really hit the jackpot there.

            “Eren, why the long face?” My mom asked worriedly, “It’s such a beautiful day out and your summer vacation has just started! You should be head over heels with happiness.”

            “Yeah... right,” I sighed with as much fake-happiness as I could muster. “Maybe I’d be happier if you’d decided to take me with you instead of leaving me here to die by myself.”

            “Aw, come on.” She laughed and reached out to ruffle my hair. “You’re still sulking about that? I thought we talked it out. If the time comes when you’re married for fifteen years, you need some time alone once in a while to, you know... Keep things going, I guess?”

            Hearing about my parents’ gimmicks to “keep it going” was definitely the last thing I wanted to talk, hear or think about. Ever.

            I clapped my hands over my ears and plastered an expression of pure torture on my face and groaned, “Oh my god, please stop.”

            My mom burst into laughter and grabbed my hands to pull them from my face. I opened one lid to look into her eyes, which were still crinkled with mirth around the edges.

            “Is it over?” I asked cautiously.

            “Sorry,” she grinned. “I keep forgetting you’re not one of my thirty-something housewife friends.”

            “Ugh, thanks, mom.”

            She pulled me into a tight hug and placed an affectionate kiss on my temple. I wanted to sulk. I wanted to be mad at them for leaving me here, all alone with only a rowdy dog to take care of. But when I saw them like this, so genuinely happy and excited over their four-week long trip, I just couldn’t find it in me. They deserved to get out of here once in a while, and even if I was left here, I didn’t need to play the petulant kid. They were awesome parents, so I resolved to just be a little sulky at them for deserting me. Just a teeny tiny bit.

            It took around two hours of dragging luggage around the house until my parents were safely tucked away in a cab headed for the airport. After my mom had showered me with kisses and made me promise to email a dozen times, they were finally off. I stood on the street and waved until the cab disappeared around the corner. Then, I fell into a good round of sighing. I was really alone now, wasn’t I? I couldn’t help but grow a little bit anxious about what this summer would have in store for me. If I had to guess the most exciting thing that would happen, it was probably whether the heat or the boredom would kill me off first. I ducked out of the blazing sun and back into the house. It was eerily quiet in here, even more so because the air condition was off (broken). Zeke, our dog, had flopped down on his pillow in the living room, a gentle snore leaving his mouth. I’d have to take him for a walk later, but only after the temperature had tapered down a bit.

            “It’s just us now, huh,” I said to his sleeping form.

            I got a water bottle out of the fridge – ice-cold, thank god – and began to amble around, taking sips. My best friends, Armin and Mikasa, had gone off to vacation two days ago and wouldn’t be back until the week after next. I really did feel alone. It was about ten minutes later that I heard the loud tingle of a bell from outside, and then, it took me a second to figure out that this was probably the ice cream man who’d drive around in the summer months. Walking back out into the searing sun would be a pain unparalleled, but a nice cone filled to the brim with soft-melting ice cream was too tempting to refuse. I followed the light tingle of the bell down the street. When I turned the corner, I saw it. It was a normal ice cream truck, painted navy and white. There was a large company logo printed on the side. As I drew closer, I could make out a bearded captain with a parrot on his shoulder and an ice cream cone in his hand. The lettering said “Captain’s Ice Cream”. I’d never heard of that brand, but the truck looked nice enough and I was dying for a delicious refreshment right now. So I slipped to the back of the line that was forming in front of the truck. I tapped my toes while I waited. The sun was mercilessly pressing down here, and there were no shadows to hide in anywhere close by. By the time the window on the ice cream truck opened, my shirt was already clinging to my back. I rose on my tiptoes and squinted my eyes to see how many people were in front of me.

            And then, I saw the ice cream guy.

            The first thing I noticed about him was his round hat. It was navy-colored, with a white strip around the base. I let my gaze travel further to make sense of why anyone would choose to wear a hat like that, when I realized. He was wearing a sailor uniform, complete with a wide, striped collar and the ends tucked together in the front in a neat, red bow. All navy, red and white stripes. On anyone else, it would have looked ridiculous. For some inexplicable reason, it didn’t on him and I was still trying to figure out why. I followed the moving crowd until I was able to see the vendor better. He was short, pale skin, narrowed eyes. He had straight black hair, which seemed to be shorter in the back and dipping into a longer fringe in the front. I was just about to discern his eye color when my gaze caught on his expression. He was... scowling. Actually, more like full-on glaring. At the customers. Either he was having an exceptionally crappy day or he had absolutely no idea how to play the sweet, always-cheerful ice cream guy from around the corner. Maybe he was just pissed because he was forced to wear that sailor uniform for the job. The thought made me chuckle to myself. He did look my age—maybe a little bit older—and there I went, racking my brain over if I’d seen him around before. Maybe at school? I doubted that. I’d not be able to forget a face like his, even if I tried. He had something about him I had yet to figure out, something that made me positively itch to talk to him. Waiting with bated breath, I continued watching until it was my turn.

            “What can I get you?” He asked, his gray gaze trained on me with an indifference that bordered on rude.

            God, I liked his voice. It was smooth and even, very precise. Much to my dismay, he was still scowling though. He wasn’t making an exception for me, even though I’d hoped he would.

            I gave him my sunniest smile before replying, “Hm, surprise me.”

            He lifted a thin eyebrow at me, but seemed otherwise unfazed by my attempt at breaking the ice. Then he sighed as if I’d just asked him to take on my chores for the week. I watched him with interest as he pushed the ice cream spoon into the most unexciting flavor ever, vanilla. He didn’t even use one of the cones with the chocolate rim or make the effort to put a topping of multi-colored streusel on my order. He must have noticed the disappointment on my face, but my misery only served to draw the smallest smirk from him as he offered me the cone. “Surprise,” he drawled.

            My gaze dropped to his hand, more specifically, his fingers, which were wrapped around the proffered ice cream cone. They were long and slim, milky pale with perfectly clean nails. For a moment or five, I imagined what his fingers would look like if I waited another few seconds and the ice cream began to melt and drip down over those fingers. They’d be sweet and sticky and... Somehow, I was one hundred percent sure that licking the ice cream off of his fingers would taste so much better than eating it out of a lame-ass cone. And why in the world was I even thinking about the ice cream guy’s fingers covered in sticky vanilla?

            “Hello? Are you going to take this cone or not? You know how to eat, don’t you?”

            Long lashes blinked down at me in a display of innocence. A fake one, mind you, but it was more than enough to prolong the weird stupor I was presently caught up in. When I finally snapped out of it and moved to take my order, I almost stumbled and crashed face-first into his truck, and wouldn’t that just complete my perfect first impression?

            “Uh, thanks, I... I do know how to eat,” I replied stupidly while I scrambled to find the money to pay.

            Earth to brain, it’s time to reboot.

            I opened my mouth to smooth over my slip up, but then I heard a girl behind me clear her throat loudly. “Are you almost done? You’re not the only one standing in line here, you know.”

            I felt more than a little awkward when I realized she had a point. How long had I been standing in the front, anyway?

            “Sorry,” I said as I turned to shoot the girl an apologetic smile. “I didn’t mean to snag your time.”

            Her eyes widened when she laid eyes on me, her mouth dropping into a small o. Then she straightened and fumbled with her cherry-red crop top. “Oh no, not at all,” she smiled. “You can snag my time any day, if you want.”

            Now it was my eyes’ turn to widen. She was blunt. High school had proved to me that I wasn’t the most unpopular guy when it came to girls, but her open flirting was something I didn't get to hear every day. I wanted to answer, but whatever suave reply I’d meant to come up with was cut off when I heard the ice cream guy snort behind me. Turning back, I saw he was bent over on the counter and paying close attention to me getting picked up.

            “Excuse me?” I said, my eyes fixed on his.

            “Are you serious right now?”

            He looked at me as if I'd just sported horns right there in front of him. Then he nodded to the right and I followed his gaze to the girl, who was now talking to the friend next to her. Slowly, I turned back to him, plastering a bland smile on my lips. “What, jealous? Or just speechless?”

            I watched with a ridiculous amount of satisfaction as his pale cheeks colored the faintest tint of pink.

            “Shut up,” he snapped, but I already knew my remark had hit close to home. “I have plenty to say. I'm just choosing not to.”

            “Oh, do you now? Funny, you were so curt with me just a few seconds ago.”

            I smiled up at him, really smiled, and his blush intensified in color. His impassive, slightly annoyed mask slipped out of place there for a bit, even despite him trying so hard to hide it. He was... adorable. It was the only word that came to mind. If he kept reacting to my teasing like he was doing now, I'd do this all summer.

            “Would you be so kind to leave? You’re hindering my business,” he said, arms crossing over his chest and mussing the cute bow on his shirt in the process.

            I took a generous lick of my ice cream while I stared up at him from beneath my lashes. He was the most interesting thing this summer had presented so far. I had no idea why I was so strangely fixated on this boy, but somehow, I was. I wanted to ruffle his feathers, see him blush. It was almost embarrassing just how much I wanted it. He swallowed when I closed my eyes after an audible slurp to savor the melting sweetness on my tongue. How did I not know that Captain’s Ice Cream tasted to delicious? I opened my eyes just in time to find his fixed on my mouth. Why that drove a hot bolt of undeniable electricity right through me, I didn't know.

            “Well, thanks for the ice cream, Sailor Salty. See you around,” I smirked and turned on my heel.

            “Oh yeah, let’s make it the day after never,” he called after me.

            I laughed the whole way home. When I unlocked my door, I stopped short. I didn’t even know the ice cream guy’s name, but I wanted to find out. Maybe I’d get another ice cream tomorrow. Or... perhaps I’d scratch the maybe. My summer had just taken an undeniable turn for the better, and I had a growing suspicion a pissed sailor was responsible for that. Not that I’d complain. Admittedly, he was the cutest little sailor I’d ever seen, and if I was honest, I couldn’t wait to ogle him in that uniform again. The rest of the afternoon was spent lazing around. At least until Zeke woke and decided to grace me and the whole neighborhood with an endless tirade of yelping.

            “Zeke! Be quiet,” I yelled while I rushed to the living room to see what had gotten him all riled up. I found him by the front door, his paws impatiently scratching up and down. Apparently, he was in the mood for his walk. With a long sigh, I went back to get his leash and after putting it on, I locked up behind me and let myself get dragged down the street by Zeke’s fervor. We were only a bit down the street when he suddenly fell into a mad dash and sped away.

            “Zeke!” I cried helplessly. “Stop!”

            It was no use. Why did he have to be such a ridiculously big, strong puppy? I was fully occupied with not face-planting into the concrete to look what had caught his attention until it was too late. I only got a glimpse of the bearded captain plastered to the ice cream truck before Zeke collided with someone standing in front of it.

            “What the fuck!” Someone squealed, two bags they were holding flying from their hands to crash on the ground.

            Zeke had pinned the poor guy down and licked his face with obvious relish. Finally, I managed to catch his collar and gave it a sharp tug to pull him back.

            “Oh my god, I’m so sorry! Are you o—Oh!”

            Of all the people in this town, Zeke had to run over the ice cream guy I was dying to make a good impression on, even if I had no clue why.

            “You,” he groaned accusatorily while he rubbed his bottom.

            I was momentarily transfixed by him, as he laid there on the ground, his cute sailor uniform adorably ruffled. His collared shirt had ridden up during the fall and was now exposing a pale strip of his stomach.

            Oh god, do not stare. Whatever you do, do not fucking stare.

            He dragged his shirt down with vigor, so I’d obviously failed my mission to not gape at him. I cleared my throat in embarrassment and reached out my hand to help him to his feet. He glared at me, but took it. I jolted when my hot skin met his cool one, and the shiver spread frantically up my arm and down my spine. What would those small palms feel like on my chest, on my stomach...?

            Ugh, shut up.

            I pulled him up to a stand and he immediately wrenched his hand out of my grasp. Trying not to show the weird disappointment on my face, I said, “I’m so sorry. Are you okay? I swear, this dog does not listen one bit. I hope he didn’t hurt you?”

            He dusted his clothes off—those gorgeous sailor pants which came down to ankles that were positively delicate—before he rubbed viciously over his face.

            “Fuck, that’s so gross,” he complained. “Your dog ate my face.”

            I chuckled a bit at that, even more so because his intense rubbing to get Zeke’s drool off his face left his cheeks adorably flushed. I should not be thinking about any of this right now, for crying out loud. My stupid dog had just smashed someone into the ground, I needed to get my shit together and stop ogling his victim.

            “I’m so, so sorry. Here,” I said and offered him a wet wipe I’d taken to clean my hands after Zeke had done his business.

            He looked up at me with narrowed eyes before he snagged the wipe and began running it over his face. He seemed most concerned about the drool, even though his fall had looked like it hurt.

            “Hey, are you okay? You fell,” I said.

            “Yeah, my fucking ass hurts,” he spat. “Thanks to you.”

            I hid my smirk at how that sounded. I didn’t exactly want to be responsible if his ass hurt—not like that, at least. Wait, what?

            God, what was I even thinking? I kept my mouth shut. For once, I felt like I should keep myself from being a smartass. Zeke barked cheerfully and walked over to the guy, nosing against his leg. The raven jolted and backed up, staring down at the dog with obvious suspicion in his eyes.

            “I think... It wants something.”

            “Yeah,” I laughed. “He wants you to pet him.”

            “Oh,” he said.

            Carefully, he bent down and reached his hand out. His slender fingers brushed along Zeke’s head, and the puppy woofed again and nuzzled the guy’s hand affectionately.

            “Hey, you’re unexpectedly cute,” the guy said, and for the first time, I caught the ghost of a real smile touch his lips.

            I found him to be much cuter than the dog, but it was not like anyone seemed to be interested in my opinion. Not when they obviously hit it off with each other so perfectly. The guy was all sparkly eyes for Zeke. I was wounded, to be honest, but at least I got a few precious minutes to check him out properly. He really was something else. He was no more than 5’3’’, his body shapely and fit. His clothes were snug in all the right places. How could a damn work uniform look so... hot? He’d taken off his sailor hat, and I let my eyes travel over his smooth black hair. He wore an undercut, which looked especially nice on him. The longer strands in the front framed his face and fell into his eyes as he bent down to play with Zeke. My fingers itched to brush them behind his ear.

            What was it about him?

           The fact that I seemed to be attracted to a guy didn't bother me in the least. I’d entertained the possibility of being gay before. There had been more than a few guys I’d found attractive, which had led me to conduct my own extensive research on everything guy-on-guy related. It was just that no one had ever managed to capture my interest enough to make me act on it. Not before him, that was.

            “Hey. Are you deaf?”

            I snapped out of my reverie and jerked back to attention. “Huh? I’m sorry, I was distracted. What is it?” I gave him a genuine smile. He averted his eyes.

            “What’s his name?” he asked, nodding in Zeke’s general direction.

            “His name is Zeke."

            “Zeke, huh,” the raven repeated and smiled again when Zeke’s ears perked up at his name.

            “And what’s yours?” I asked.

            His eyes snapped back to me, the carefree expression slipping off to make room for his annoyed one. “Why should I tell you?”

            “Fine. Then I’ll come up with my own name to call you, okay? How about ice cream guy?”

            He groaned and rolled his eyes at me in such an annoyed way that I just had to laugh in response.

            “Well, I’m Eren," I tried. "I go to—”

            “I know who you are,” he said quietly.

            That took me by surprise. And made me almost burst with curiosity at the same time. He had an unmistakable air of mystery about him, which only worked in favor of his charm.

            “You do? Are you attending Trost High, by any chance?”

            He smirked almost absentmindedly, as if he remembered something.

            “Yeah. I attend Trost High, Eren Jeager.”

            Wait, he even knew my last name? How?

            “Hey, it’s kind of unfair that you know my last name when I don’t even know your first.”

            He looked up at me, his hand dropping to play with the ribbon on his chest. My eyes followed every tug he administered on the smooth fabric. I swallowed.

            “Levi,” he sighed.

            Levi. Why in the world did that name not ring a single bell inside my head? I didn’t remember seeing him in school. Maybe we had a class together, but even if that was it, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t have forgotten about him.

            “Well, nice to meet you,” I smiled. “How do you know me again?”

            “The better question is how I wouldn’t. Really, everyone at Trost High knows who you are.”

            I grinned sheepishly and hoped I hadn’t done anything stupid at school that had come to his attention. I watched as he bent down to pick up the bags he’d dropped earlier and stored them away in the back of the truck.

            “Are you packing up for the day?”

            “Yes, thank god. It’s too damn hot outside,” he said from somewhere inside the car.

            Zeke ran around to peek into the back, obviously wondering where Levi had disappeared to.

            “It is, isn’t it? So, is this your summer job?” I asked curiously.

            “Well, it’s not like I’d drop out of school to make my dream of being an ice cream vendor come true,” he said.

            “I think you managed to snag a nice job though,” I grinned. “I bet you get to eat free ice cream all day.”

            “That’s the only plus side to it,” he replied before hopping out of the car and closing the door. Zeke jumped up his legs and woofed, trying to get petted again. Levi indulged him with a sweet little smile on his lips.

            “Uhm...” I started, scratching the back of my neck self-consciously. “Will you be here tomorrow, too?”

            “Yeah, and the day after, and the day after... I have the same route the whole summer long, more or less,” he sighed.

            Then he crossed his arms and looked up at me. For the first time, I could see his eyes clearly. They were gray, and the most beautiful shade of gray on top of that. Silvery, seeming almost liquid when the soft evening sunlight illuminated them just right. Very much like it did right now.

            “What’s your deal anyway? Are you stalking me or do you happen to live close by?”

            I smirked at bis boldness. Stalking, huh? Not quite yet, but if he continued to act like this around me, I might as well.

            “I live just around the corner.”

            He nodded slowly and then shrugged. “I’m gonna leave now. To be honest, I have better things to do than stand here in the heat and... talk to you,” he said.

            “Ouch,” I cried in mock-agony, clutching a hand to my heart. Damn, the guy had bite. I liked it. I liked it a lot.

            “Fine, take care. See you tomorrow,” I smiled mischievously, daring him to tell me no.

            But he didn’t. And that very fact made my heart soar in ways that were probably too embarrassing to think about.

            “Yeah, yeah,” he ground out, even though I caught a peek of the small smile he was trying to hide. “See you.”

            Zeke yelped after the ice cream truck, which had the audacity to cart off his new love interest. I watched as the car turned the corner and drove out of sight. Then, I got down on one knee and stroked a whining Zeke behind his floppy ears. “I know, Ze,” I said. “I like him, too.”

Chapter Text

It had been a little over a week since I’d met Levi for the first time, and I was still excited to see him every single day I went out to get some ice cream, which was every day. I might be hopelessly obvious with my intentions, but stopping myself from seeing him seemed so inconceivable at this point. I’d tried to stay home one day, and that had only led to me turning into an antsy mess. So I’d taken Zeke and gone to visit him in the ice cream truck every day of the week. Today was no different. As soon as I heard the ice cream bell, I shot out of bed and to my feet. So did Zeke. And no, we had not been waiting for this very bell all day. Definitely not.

            I rushed downstairs and tossed a few of Zeke’s toys out of the way to get his leash. I managed to put him on the leash, slip into my shoes and be out the front door in one fluid movement that would have made Trost High’s soccer club panting to have me as a player. As soon as we were outside in the blinding sun, Zeke seemed to know where we were headed and began to pull the leash in the ice cream truck’s direction. I was a smiling mess. Even though I might still be struggling to admit it, Levi had been on my mind more or less all week. Granted, maybe I was jumping on him because he was the only one making this summer a little more bearable. Even if this was a convenient excuse I should probably pounce on, deep down I knew it wasn’t the case.

            I was interested in him. If that interest went outside the envelope of a simple friendship, I wasn’t sure yet. All I knew was that I wanted to be around him, and for me, that was enough of a reason for the time being. When the familiar truck came into view, my heart sped into overdrive. My stomach fluttered with something that could have been butterflies, if I’d dared to admit as much. There were a few people gathered at the front, waiting to get their ice cream. I lingered back and to my delight, the line didn’t grow any longer for now. After the last customers had filed away, full cones in hand, I bent down to Zeke’s level and lifted his floppy ear to whisper conspiratorially into it.

            “Okay partner, here’s the deal,” I said as if we were on a top-secret mission. “We’ll surprise Levi, okay? So to do that, we have to be very quiet, which means no barking or whining. Is that clear?”

            He looked up at me with wide, amber eyes, his tongue hanging out in anticipation. His tail was flopping excitedly up and down, but he kept quiet. I stroked his back and fed him one of his favorite treats. Then I held the leash short and stalked over to the truck’s window. When I drew closer, I heard Levi rumble inside the truck and had to bite my lip to hold back a giddy laugh. I ducked under the window and let my hand creep upwards until my fingers rolled over the window frame.

            “Leviiiii—” I groaned like a not entirely bad rendition of a zombie. “Feed me!”

            Inside the truck, Levi dropped something and the thudding sound was followed by a harsh gasp.

            Hah, got you!

            I jumped to my full height in front of the window and held onto the opening, squeezing my arms and head inside while I rolled my eyes up in my head and let my tongue dangle out.

            “Mmmmh, Levi... You smell so good. Let me eat you,” I groaned.

            Levi bonked me right on the head with his fist, his eyes wide and more than a little shocked, a stunned “f-fuck!” on his lips.

            I exploded with laughter then, unable to keep up my show any longer. He looked so adorably startled, it was too good. Zeke began to jump up at me and bark happily. I pulled his considerable weight into my arms and spun around a few times.

            “You’re such a damn brat! Both of you!” Levi yelled at us, crossing his arms with obvious indignation. But there was a small smile playing around his lips, which told me he was trying to suppress his own mirth.

            I set Zeke down and grinned up at Levi. God, did he grow more attractive every damn minute? He was wearing a different ensemble today, instead of a navy uniform with white stripes, he had on a white one with light blue stripes. And when had I ever thought his hat looked ridiculous? Because it sure as hell didn’t. It was the cutest thing ever, especially when it sat on top of his silky black hair.

            “Very well done, Zeke,” I petted the dog and gave him another treat. “Mission accomplished.”

            “You’re working together now to fry my fucking nerves? Fabulous,” Levi huffed.

            I laughed and blew him a kiss. When I realized what I’d just done, I wanted to grab it from the air and shove it back into my mouth. Why in the world had I done that?

            Levi’s cheeks grew warm with color and he turned away to shuffle through a few boxes. He wasn’t the only one blushing now, though. Fantastic, I’d just made this awkward for the both of us. Just then, Zeke threw himself against the front of the truck and tried to reach the window with his tiny paws. I smiled at him. He was just as eager to see Levi as I was.

            “Hey, do you have a minute?” I asked, leaning on the window frame. “Zeke wants a kiss.”

            Levi smirked and sighed, but he was quick to walk to the back of the truck and climb out of the rear. As soon as his feet hit the floor, Zeke was a cloud of dust with the speed he put up to dash in Levi’s direction.

            “Zeke!” I scolded. I didn’t want him to knock Levi over a second time, but when did that dog ever listen?

            He ran straight against Levi’s legs, making him wobble precariously. Then he jumped up at him and spread the drool Levi was so fond of all over his pants. Great, Zeke. Way to go.

            But to my surprise, Levi didn’t seem to mind this time around. He was smiling happily down at Zeke and petted his fur all over. The dog was almost blinking out of existence with excitement at all of Levi’s attention. I could relate.

            “How are you?” I asked. “Work okay?”

            “Mh, it probably would have been if I didn’t have a total nutcase and his partner in crime scare the living daylights out of me,” he snarked.

            “Hah! So you were scared!” I jabbed a victorious finger at him.

            He smiled again, shaking his head, “No way. You’re ten years too early to scare me.”

            Zeke watched our exchange, giving a short bark at Levi.

            “Shh, don’t worry, Ze,” I said to the puppy from behind my palm. “He was totally scared.”

            “I was not!” Levi shrieked and punched my arm.

            I laughed again and wiggled my eyebrows at him, “uh huh”-ing just to rile him up some more.

            “Anyways, I’ve come to settle important business with you,” I said earnestly.

            Levi’s playful expression dropped from his face in favor of a cautious one when he asked, “About what?”

            “Well, so far,” I began, “You haven’t given me the chocolate-dipped cone once. I want it. Now.”

            He rolled his eyes and shoved me away, his lips curling up at the corners. Suddenly, I wanted to make it my top priority to make him smile in any way I could.

            He climbed back into the truck and walked up to the counter. I hurried over to the window to watch him with a big smile. Levi looked at me, and when he saw my shit-eating grin, he slipped into one of his own.

            “Stop grinning like that,” he said, even though he was pretty close to grinning himself. “And tell me what flavor you want, brat.”

            I scrunched up my nose and decided to tease him some more.

            “I’ll have you know that I’m a very honorable customer of yours. You better be on your best behavior,” I said. The smile was tugging on my lips, and I knew for a fact I failed at keeping it from my face. He snorted and rolled his eyes.

            “Dear shitty customer,” he said in a tone that was an incredible mix of sweet and sultry and made my heart miss a beat or two. “What can I get your lame ass today?”

            “Tch.” I leaned in super fast and pinched his arm until he mewled and swatted me away. “You seriously have to work on your customer relationship skills, mister.”

            “I’m a real sailor, these are the only customer relationship skills we have,” he joked.

            I looked at him, and he looked at me. Time stood still for one tiny moment, and then we both burst into laughter. I felt actual tears prick the corners of my eyes, and I still couldn’t stop.

            God, he was so... I didn’t know. Perfect, maybe?

            Levi was still grinning when I looked back up at him, and our eyes met and locked. We weren’t even touching—not even close enough to—but I still felt as if his hands were brushing over my skin, leaving a burning hot trail of wildfire in their wake. Suddenly, there was not enough air in my lungs to breathe evenly. I had to look away to break the spell, but found myself unable to. I was utterly caught in those exquisite gray eyes and all I wanted to do was stay exactly where I was. I watched him as he licked his lips and raised a hand to brush over his undercut. Damn, I wanted to touch his hair too. I wanted to touch every inch of him.

            He was the first to look away, clearing his throat in embarrassment. “Uhm...”

            I knew then that I was hopelessly hooked on him, and no amount of his snark or my excuses would be enough to drive me away.

            My eyes never left his hands, which placed one scoop of lemon, followed by one of raspberry into the cone rimmed with chocolate and almonds I’d been eyeing. I was already reaching out to take it, my eyes huge and my mouth watering at the sight, when Levi gave me a little slap on my hand and shook his head.

            “Not done yet.”

            I waited patiently, following each of his movements with my eyes. He took a tiny spatula out of one of the counter’s drawers and got to work on the scoop. His eyes were narrowed and there was a little wrinkle of concentration between his eyebrows. I couldn’t look away for the life of me. Even more, I wanted to reach out and smooth the crease with the tips of my fingers.

            After a few minutes of mysterious carving, he finally offered me the finished product. It only took one good look to make me gasp. This was most definitely not a lame ice cream anymore, but much more along the lines of a genuine piece of art.

            “Woah, that’s amazing! Thank you!” I squealed as I turned the cone every which way.

            He’d carved the scoop out to look just like a rose, complete with gorgeous petals and a few gracile leaves.

            He shrugged with a small smile before he quietly added, “You’re welcome.”

            I gazed at him, utterly awed by his skills. “I can’t possibly eat this, Levi. I mean, look at it! It’s a masterpiece!”

            “You can and you will,” he commanded. “Yes, that's an order. I made this for you, after all. Now shut up and eat!”

            I threw him a wide grin before I pulled out my phone to take at least six pictures of the beauty he called mere ice cream, all of them from different angles. Then, I sighed and took a tentative lick across the sugary rose petals.

            “Mh, oh god. Do you see this?” I asked him, pointing to my face. “This is my o-face.”

            He blushed profusely, which was joined by a genuine laugh soon after. “Ew, gross.”

            The smile stuck close to his lips while he watched me enjoy each lick with evident reverence. Levi had taken the time and effort to do this just for me, and having that certainty at the back of my mind made the treat taste all the better.

            “You don’t have to hold back, idiot,” Levi smirked, watching me. “If you’re that into it, I can make you more. I have a few other carving tricks up my sleeve.”

            The soft smile that accompanied his words made me fall for him, so fast and hard that my head wouldn’t stop spinning. Before I could realize what I was doing, I had stepped as close to the small opening as I could, pressing my front up against the car’s side. My hand swept through the window by itself, heading straight for his, which was clutching the counter.

            “Thank you. I’d like that.”

            When I took his hand in mine and interlaced his slim fingers with my own, he did neither protest nor pull away. Only then did I realize I’d been holding my breath, nervous about how he’d react to my rather bold move. My eyes fell closed and I sucked a deep breath of hot, dry air into my lungs. Finally I was touching him, and his hand felt so perfect in mine, his skin so smooth and cool on my warm one. The feeling was indescribable. Holding hands had never felt so good. His touch had every reasonable thought popping out of my head like soap bubbles, which was why my next words were probably chosen by instinct rather than rationality.

            “Levi,” I breathed, “Are you free tonight?”

            “Uhm... I...” he broke off before finishing the sentence. I’d have never thought I’d see him this beautifully at a loss for words. My thumb began to draw slow circles on his soft skin, and I watched as his breath caught with the touch.

            “Why?” He asked breathlessly.

            I smiled and squeezed his hand. “I want to see you. Outside of work.”

            “I—I don’t want to go on a stupid date with you,” he said. I’d picked up on his cute, little stutter at the beginning though. Maybe he did want to, after all.

            “It’s not a date, silly,” I replied, even though I wouldn’t exactly be opposed to labeling it as one. “I just want to return the favor.”

            “What favor?” He asked, before licking his lips again.

            Heavens, he really had to stop doing that or else I couldn’t be held accountable for what I might do to those now-glossy lips of his.

            “Well,” I said slowly. “You’ve fed me the most delicious dessert, so it’s only fair if I pay you back with some homemade dinner, isn’t it?”

            His eyes dropped to my fingers on his, and his gaze turned half-lidded and heavy.

            “Mh, I don’t know,” he said, before adding quietly, “Maybe... Maybe you’re right. I deserve dinner at least.”

            My heart did a quadruple flip inside my chest, and I had serious trouble believing my ears. He’d just agreed to have dinner with me, hadn’t he? I couldn’t remember the last time I’d felt so positively giddy over someone agreeing to spend time with me.

            “Wow,” I squealed while my mouth was taken over by the widest smile in the history of smiles. “I don’t know if it’s weird to thank you but... Thank you.”

            He squeezed my hand back, a small smile dancing over his lips at my obvious joy. I didn’t even feel embarrassed, though I probably should. It was just that I was so overly happy he’d agreed to meet me, that I’d get to see him outside of this small window we were usually conversing through, that I was incapable of not letting it show.

            “When do you get off work? Can you meet Zeke and me here after?”

            The words were tumbling out of me without a pause. I had so much to do; decide on what to do for dinner, shop for the ingredients and prepare everything before I picked him up.

            “Seven-thirty,” he said. “And yes, I can come back here.”

            “Perfect,” I grinned. “Any requests for dinner?”

            I had no idea what he liked. I didn’t even know if he ate meat or not.

            “Hm, surprise me,” he smiled.

Those were the exact same words I’d said to him when we first met, but coming from his lips, they sounded one thousand times better and twelve thousand times sexier. I smiled and lifted our joined hands to my lips to place a quick peck on his knuckles. The small gesture drove a fresh blush to his cheeks.

            “I will.”


Maybe, just maybe, I should have considered inviting someone I was hoping to have chances with over for dinner when I couldn’t cook. Well, I could cook, it was just that I had no hopes of whipping up the five-star menu I’d made myself believe wasn’t that hard to prepare. After coming back to earth while I stood in the supermarket, going over the impossible recipe I’d pulled up on my phone, I decided to drop it and go with something simple and delicious rather than high-class and inedible. So I settled for a Caprese salad as a starter and cheese-filled ravioli with homemade tomato sauce as a main. It was a safe choice. I had no desire to stand there with a meat-filled menu if it turned out he was a vegetarian in the end. While I was shuffling through the checkout, I sent a quick prayer to whatever deity might listen that Levi liked Italian.

            When I got home, it was a little after five. I fed Zeke and got started on dinner. While I washed the salad and began cutting the cheese, I wondered how Levi felt about being in my home. I’d told him my parents were away on summer vacation, and that we’d have the house to ourselves. He didn’t back out after hearing we’d be all alone, which—honestly—I’d almost expected him to. Levi didn’t really know me all that well, and yet I’d made it kind of clear that I was interested in a little more than just his friendship. I still didn’t know how he felt about me, but I hoped he wouldn’t agree to have dinner (alone) with someone he disliked. So... Where did that leave us, exactly? I had no clue, but I was determined to find out.

            By ten past seven, everything was as good as ready. I’d set the table, only to take everything off and set it again when I realized that the way I’d done it really looked like a full-blown date (what with the candles and all). I didn’t want Levi to get the impression I was rushing anything. So I set it like I usually did, but left the nice napkins and a single candle in the center. Then, I’d run around the entire house in a power cleaning session to get everything as shiny as I could manage in the short amount of time I had to work with. I’d breezed into the shower after that, only giving myself fifteen minutes tops to get all cleaned up and ready.

            Now, the only thing missing was Levi. For the first time tonight, I was glad for the little time I’d had for preparations. If I’d had more time on my hands, I’d have gone crazy with nerves. Levi would come over, to my house, to eat dinner with me, just the two of us. If there was a way to stay calm about all of those things, I sure as hell wasn’t aware of it.

            Would he like my cooking? My home? Me?

            I was secretly hoping—wishing—he’d stay for a while after we had finished dinner. I’d love to catch a movie or sit back out on the patio and talk with him until the sun came up. Somehow, I was one hundred percent sure I’d never, ever tire of his company. There was still everything about him to find out, and all I wanted was to know him. The real him; the one who couldn't help smiling at my stupid jokes, who’d blush at the simplest of touches and who didn’t hold back when it came to handing me my ass. And I was dying to get to know all sides of him.

            Zeke was already panting and barking by the front door, as if he knew exactly who’d come visit us today. I took a deep breath and put him on his leash. I’d been to dates before, but somehow, this felt different. Maybe because it wasn’t even a date, I mean we hadn’t specified it as one, but I’d never felt so exhilarated with nervous excitement before. I already knew that I wanted to see him again after this, which meant tonight had to run perfectly for him to want the same. I walked down the street, biting my lip all the while. I got this. No need to panic now. When we reached the corner, I saw that the ice cream truck’s regular spot was empty. No Levi anywhere. Immediately, the fear of being ditched shot up in me with vicious intensity. I checked the time on my phone and realized I’d come early, so I walked a few rounds with Zeke while we waited. Trying not to let my nerves get the best of me was beyond hard. My heart was beating ridiculously fast, and I felt the pulse speeding through my veins.

            After we’d strolled another walk around the block, Zeke barked and fell into his familiar gallop. I knew it had to be Levi, but the knowledge did nothing to diminish the hopeless thrill washing over me when I laid eyes on him. It was the first time I saw him out of his work clothes, and damn.

            He really was getting more attractive by the minute.

            He was wearing black skinny jeans, which were ripped on the knees—okay, kill me now—and an oversized white t-shirt. The tight denim went just shy of his slender, pale ankles. I’d never been a leg fetishist, but those legs made me want to sign up for the president position of the Levi Leg Appreciation Club straight away.

            “Hey,” I said, my voice coming out strangely out of breath.

            “Hey,” he replied while he bent down to pet Zeke’s head.

            The weirdest urge to touch Levi flared up inside my chest, and I thought fuck it. There was no way I’d be successful at keeping my hands off of him all evening, so now was as good a time as any to start and gauge his reaction. Levi was momentarily distracted by Zeke, and once again, his long bangs fell into his eyes. I took a good, long breath and then reached out to tuck his hair behind his ear. I’d been dying to do this, and now that I had, it felt so much better than I’d anticipated. If he got mad and forbid me to ever touch him again after that, it would have been at least worth it. The softness of his hair was still whispering over my fingertips, even long after I’d pulled back. He looked up at me, his cheeks adorned with the most gorgeous shade of pink. His eyes were wide and shining and so expectant, his lips slightly open. Before I had the chance to re-think it, I stepped closer and did the same to the hair on the other side of his face. My breath caught in my throat when I felt him again, and the sound seemed embarrassingly loud in the quietness around us. My hand lingered on his cheek, feeling his warmth with my palm, and then Levi nuzzled into my touch. I was sure I’d known how breathing worked just a few seconds ago, but that ability was lost now when I had trouble to come to terms with how adorably he’d just reacted to my caress. Feeling bold, I closed the distance, pressing my chest up to his and pulling him into a tight hug. My arms slipped around his shoulders as if they were made to rest on the soft curve of his neck. My nose sunk in his hair and I inhaled faint traces of vanilla on the silky strands. He was stiff against me at first, but after a few moments, he tentatively hugged me back. I felt his fingers on my hips and sighed involuntarily into the crook of his neck.

            “That tickles,” he said into my shirt, his voice cutely muffled by the fabric.

            “I'm sorry?” I chuckled and lingered for another moment before pulling back.

            His blush had deepened to a scarlet by now, and he was playing with a crease in his shirt. He was so adorable, I really had to devise a strategy to keep from eating him up. I flicked the tip of his nose and listened to his squeal. He punched my chest, the tiniest pout on his lips.

            “I hope you’re hungry?”

            “A bit,” he said shyly.

            Levi eyed the leash with a happily panting Zeke at its end, biting his lip.

            “Do you want to take him?”

            Levi’s gray eyes snapped to me with an enthusiastic twinkle in them as he asked, “Can I?”

            “Of course you can,” I said and pushed the leash in his hand. “Trust me, you’re his favorite human at the moment. He’ll be delighted.”

            As if to agree with me, Zeke gave an excited woof as soon as his leash had changed its owner. Soon after, he began strutting in the direction of my house, proudly showing off his new dog walker. I trailed behind them for a bit, at least until I figured out this position would give me way too much leeway to check out Levi’s backside. Doing that was tempting as hell, but I didn’t have to challenge the arousal which was simmering just beneath my controlled surface ever since I’d seen Levi in those tight jeans.

            “How was the rest of your shift?” I asked when I’d caught up with them.

            “Boring,” he sighed. “It’s always the same. And it’s fucking annoying to be nice all the time.”

            “You must be the grumpiest ice cream guy ever,” I chuckled and nudged him in the side to let him know I was only being half-serious. “How did you even get this job?”

            “Good contacts,” he smirked and nudged me back.

            “Uh-huh, right. That’s what you think, but let me tell you one thing. The reason you got the job is because you look positively dazzling in this sailor uniform of yours. No one else could pull that off,” I smiled blissfully.

            He came to a sudden halt. I lifted a questioning eyebrow at him, and when he looked up at me, he was all blush again. “Don’t fuck with me, Eren."

            “But I’m not, Levi.”

            He took a step closer and brushed a finger down my bare arm, looking me straight in the eye. All the blood in my body rushed to my cheeks at his sudden proximity.

            “So you like the uniform?” He asked, his tone slow and smooth.

            I took a deep breath and then another one. “You want the truth?”


            “It’s more than simple like. I might have developed a little obsession with it,” I confessed. It was supposed to be a joke, but once the words were out, I realized they were much more honest than I'd intended.

            He tilted his head up to my face, and suddenly I became very aware of how close we stood. If I angled my head just right, I could actually—

            Okay, stop. Do not finish that thought.

            His hand dropped to the hem of my shirt and began to play with the cotton.

            “So... An obsession, huh?” He smirked belligerently.

            “Yep. It’s embarrassing but true.”

            “Good to know,” he said before slipping beneath my shirt and pinching the bare skin just above the waistband of my jeans. I squealed and cupped his hand with mine to prolong his touch. Then I sighed and ran my knuckle over his cheek. I had a feeling he’d stored the knowledge of my little sailor kink carefully away for now. A few minutes later, we reached my house and I led Levi through the front gate. The air was still hot outside, the sun only beginning to set in the distance. I took Levi’s hand in my own, lacing our fingers together as I unlocked the door and held it open for him to enter.

            Everything was possible tonight, and when I met Levi’s sparkling gray eyes, I knew he felt it too.

Chapter Text

            “Come in,” I said and pulled Levi past the threshold.

            “Thanks,” he replied quietly and bent down to slip out of his Chucks.

            Zeke breezed past us and sniffed his empty food bowl, before shooting me an expectant stare. I took Levi’s hand and led him into the kitchen, which opened to the spacious dining area. I watched nervously as his gaze caught on the set table and the single candle in the middle. After I’d walked over and pulled open the back door to allow a draft of fresh, warm air inside, I got Zeke’s food and refilled his bowl.

            “You can sit down, if you want.”

            Levi nodded and plopped down on a chair at the table.

            “I hope you like Italian? I wasn’t sure if you eat meat, so I decided to make a meat-free dinner,” I said a little sheepishly.

            He smiled genuinely and nodded again before he replied, “That’s fine. I eat meat, but not too much. And Italian sounds good.”

            I wanted to breathe an inward sigh of relief, but it came out loud against my will. To gloss that one over, I made quick work of placing the salad in a small glass bowl and taking it over to where he sat. “What would you like to drink?”

            “Water is fine.”

            I took his glass from the table, along with my own, and filled both of them with cooled, sparkling mineral water. Then I got my own salad and placed everything on the table before sitting down across from him. His gaze drifted curiously around the house, and I smiled at him. “Don’t worry, you’ll get the full tour after we’ve finished dinner.”

            He blushed a little and then picked up his silverware. “Okay.”

            It took us uncharacteristically long to finish our starters, but only because we kept talking all the while. I found out that Levi was actually in the same grade as I was, which made him seventeen, his birthday was on the 25th December and he’d moved across the country from a small town called Mitras two years ago. He lived with his mom, Kuchel, and his uncle, Kenny. No siblings, no pets (even though he was fond of them). His two best friends were called Isabel and Farlan, and they lived in the same apartment complex as he did. I didn’t know Isabel, but I knew Farlan from a few of my classes. He was tall, blonde, blue-eyed and gorgeous. I’d never been interested in him, but now that I knew he was close friends with Levi, I couldn’t help but grow a little (a lot) jealous. Even more so because Farlan didn’t hide the fact that he was gay.

            “Seriously, how come I’ve never seen you or your friends at school?” The speck of disappointment was audible in my voice.

            “Well, we’re not exactly elite,” he chuckled. “We’re more like the loner crowd.”

            I lifted an eyebrow at him. “Loner, huh?”

            Then I told him about myself. About my parents, Zeke, Armin and Mikasa and the rest of my group of friends. He listened attentively, asking questions in between. I enjoyed his company more than I’d thought possible. I could keep talking with him forever.

            “Uhm, you know... You and Farlan, are you...?” I trailed off and bit my lip.

            I shouldn’t have asked.

            I peeked up at him and found him smirking at me.

            “Are we what, Eren?”

            God, was he giving me the runaround on purpose?

            “N-Nothing,” I stammered. “Forget I said anything.”

            He kept quiet and I shoveled the rest of my salad into my mouth. And then my curiosity got the better of me.

            “Are you... Together?”

            He gave a short laugh and took a sip from his water before inquiring, “Is this your way of asking me if I’m into guys?”

            “Uhm!” I sputtered and flushed crimson. “S-Sorry, I didn’t mean... That’s pretty personal, you don’t have to... I mean, it’s none of my business anyway, so—”


            My troubled gaze snapped to his, my heart beating out of control at the way my name fell from his lips in that incredibly enticing voice. “Hm?”

            Suddenly, I felt his leg brush against mine beneath the table and I’d have almost cried out in surprise. Was having the hots for him already causing hallucinations?

            “Let’s say I was into guys,” he smiled, slow and seductive. “What would you do?”

            Oh, sweet Lord. Had the temperature just risen by like, one hundred degrees in here?

            What would I do? Thousands of images began to stream through my mind, creating hot waves that clashed on my skin. I imagined his lips on mine, his hands on my body, his nails in my skin. His voice whispering into my ear, my palms touching every inch of him. My name on his lips, his on mine. I fantasized about rolling through the sheets with him, our bodies moist and sticky from the hot summer air, our breathing uneven and raspy, asking for more. I wanted him. I wanted him so bad that my body reacted to the mere thought of having him in the worst ways. My jeans grew uncomfortably tight as a result. I shifted around, and then gasped when his foot wandered up over my calf to graze the inside of my thigh. I couldn’t think clearly.

            “I’d ask you to go out with me,” I breathed, my eyes locking on his. “No actually, I’d probably make you go out with me. Because there’s no way I could take no for an answer when it comes to you.”

            His toes burrowed into my clothed skin, and I released a soft moan at the sensation. My eyes wanted to squeeze shut, but I couldn’t let go of his gaze, which was burning into mine with an intensity that had my pores burst into heated goose bumps.

            He smiled lazily. “So you’d force me?”

            Damn, he was dangerous. I already felt like melted butter, and I was not even touching him.

            “I’d convince you,” I said hoarsely.

            “And how would you do that?” He asked, his foot continuing its slow torture up and down my legs.

            “Mh, first...” I whispered, staring at those beautiful, silver orbs of his. “I’d hook my finger into that illegally low neckline of your shirt and... slip it from your shoulder.”

            His hand shot up to his neck, to the very place I’d indicated, and he absentmindedly traced his fingertip along the neckline of his t-shirt.

            “And then?” He whispered.

            “And then, I’d kiss you. Starting at your ear, to the soft spot just below your earlobe and then down along this irresistible curve of your neck... all the way to that sweet shoulder of yours. I’d not kiss you there, though. I’d bite.”

            His nails sunk into the fabric of his shirt, his eyes squeezing closed. His breath rushed out of him in unsteady gulps.

            I was turning him on.

            The realization left me reeling with barely containable want. But whatever I was doing to him was nothing in comparison to what he was doing to me. He licked his full lips and pressed his back to the chair. I tried not to stare at the way his nipples seemed to delineate through his thin shirt now when they hadn’t before. My fingers clamped around empty air with the need to feel them—to feel him.

            “What about my lips?” He asked, his fingertips ghosting over his mouth. “Wouldn’t you kiss my lips?”

            A slow smile spread across my mouth, and I reached beneath the table to take his stray foot in my hands and gently massage the sole. A soft moan left him, his cheeks dipping in a beautiful shade of cherry red.

            “Oh no,” I whispered. “I’d kiss you everywhere else, until you wouldn’t be able to take it anymore. Until you’d beg me to take your lips.”

            His lips pressed together, as if he was imagining what a kiss would feel like. “Shit. Eren.”

            My name left his lips on nothing more than a whisper, and I knew exactly what he was feeling right now; what he wanted, because I was yearning for the very same thing. My arousal was painfully hard at this point, longing to be satisfied. And the only one who was able to do that for me was Levi. If I didn’t regain the reason I’d lost somewhere on the way between my brain and my mouth, I’d crawl over the table and spread Levi out on top—beneath me, wearing nothing at all. With a movement that was as uncoordinated as they came, I jumped to my feet and slammed my palms on the table.

            “W-Well, uhm,” I stammered. “Where are my manners? L-Let’s get dinner, okay? I mean, we... We still have an entire course left!”

            Levi mirrored my nervous action and sprung from his seat as well.

            “Y-Yeah, right,” he said. “Uhm, I wanted to... I mean... Can I use your bathroom?”

            The mention of the bathroom made me remember the tiny, little fact that there was presently a raging boner between my legs. Horrified, my eyes dropped to my crotch, only to catch on the rather crude outline of my proud bulge. Looking up, I saw any efforts to cover it up were too late. Levi was already fixated on the sight.

            “Ah ha ha,” I forced a shaky laugh, because seriously, what else did I have left at this point? “Fuck, this is not happening right now.”

            I turned away and buried my face in my palms. All I wanted was for the ground to open up and swallow me in one go. It wasn’t my intention to hide just how much he was turning me on, but that didn't mean I was confident enough to present him with my boner on a silver platter. Not yet, at least. I was wallowing in self-pity, at a loss for what to do, when I felt Levi’s arms gingerly wrapping around my waist from behind.

            “Hey, it’s okay,” he whispered. “It... happens.”

            “Yeah. Thanks,” I mumbled in a pained voice.

            Levi sighed into my back and suddenly, he gave his hips a soft push into mine. I felt it. He had a bulge too, and it had just rubbed against my backside.

            “See?” He whispered, his voice now laced with embarrassment that matched my own. “It happens.”

            My eyes threatened to simply plop from my head, and I wanted to turn around to... I didn’t know. Perhaps thank him politely and then move on to kiss him senseless because he’d put up the effort to actually make this humiliating situation bearable for me. But as soon as he felt my movement, he pinched my side and pressed up to my back.

            “D-Don’t look, you idiot!” He squeaked. “J-Just tell me where the fucking bathroom is!”

            Apparently, he was unaware that him pressing our bodies flush like this made me feel the aforementioned bulge rub demandingly against me. It took everything I had not to reach back and touch him.

            “Oh y-yeah, it’s just down the hall, last door on the left,” I managed on a shaky breath.

            And then he let me go and rushed down the hallway with inhuman speed, the door slamming shut behind him. Well... what a huge success. We’d both managed to get a boner with minimal touching, even before the main course. Talk about being compatible. I busied myself with preparing the ravioli to not linger on everything that could have happened just now. It was beyond hard to keep my hands off of Levi as it was, but even I knew we were moving too fast. I didn’t want to rush things like this. That might sound cheesy as hell and usually I wasn’t exactly the overly romantic type, who wanted to “wait” and all that, but with him, I wanted to do it right. I wanted it to be slow and sweet and perfect. Not some sloppy mistake we’d regret afterwards. I took extra effort to prepare the ravioli on the dishes, adding fresh basil on top of the tomato sauce. When I’d set everything on the table and took a seat, Levi still wasn’t back. I bit my nails when my nervousness made a reappearance. What if he wanted to leave after what had just happened? It would be his right, and I could and would do nothing to stop him. Leaning back against the chair, I took a large gulp from my water and then shot to my feet to refill his glass. I lit the candle, and then walked to the back door and let my gaze travel over the sheltered lounge suite we kept in the garden. When my mom had put up orange-colored lampions last summer, I’d rolled my eyes at how cheesy they looked. But seeing them now as they cast their soft glow on the dark cushions, I revised my opinion. They actually looked pretty nice.


            I snapped out of my faraway stare and turned around to find Levi shuffling self-consciously from foot to foot. I noticed that his bangs were a little wet at the tips, so maybe he’d gone and splashed some cold water on his face. Good idea.

            “Hey,” I whispered, smiling. “Everything okay?”

            “Mhm,” he replied. “What are you doing?”

            “Just looking out at the garden. Are you still interested in a house tour?”

            Oh my god, please be interested.

            “Yeah, I am,” he replied, and his smile was shy, but genuine.

            With a relieved grin that was a little too obvious, I walked back in and reached out to run my fingers through his hair. Before I touched him though, I stopped, shooting him a questioning look. Maybe it was stupid, but I wanted his permission. He took a step forward, right into my touch. His hair whispered over my hands, and I didn’t waste a second to twirl a few smooth strands around my fingers. He bit his lip, his cheeks coloring a soft rosé, before he tentatively turned his head so that his lips rested against my palm. Then, he closed his eyes and placed a single, sweet kiss on my skin. I almost fainted. Did he even have an inkling of an idea what he was doing to me? He was a breath-taking mix of hot and sweet, one that had me tripping over my words and fumble for what to do next. My other hand came up to his face and I stepped closer, my fingers trailing down his neck to dance over his shoulder blades. His breath caught seductively in his throat.

            “God, Levi, you—” I trailed off when I realized I had no idea how I could even begin putting into words what he was doing to me, how he was making me feel things I’d never felt before.

            “I...?” He pressed, and of course he wanted to know now that I'd hinted at it.

            “You’re amazing,” I said, figuring the word might come closest to what he actually was.

            He smiled up at me—a little delighted smile—before he got on his tiptoes and placed a lingering kiss on my cheek. I sighed blissfully. “Do you want to eat? Or leave it for later?”

            “No, let’s eat. Those ravioli look too good not to."

            His hands tugged mine from his hair and led me back to the table. We ate in relative silence, gazing at each other only to quickly look away with a blush whenever the other noticed. When we were halfway through our meal, I let my fingers creep over the table to gently brush against his. He smirked and caught my fingers in his palm, lacing them together. Even if that meant we were left with only one hand to eat, neither of us let go, and I was perfectly fine with that.

            “Uff, no more,” Levi huffed after I’d served him generous seconds. “I’m going to explode.”

            “Please don’t,” I laughed, before I got up to walk over and reach out my hand. “Ready for that tour now?”

            “I am,” he smiled and took my hand.

            I led him into every room, showed him all the tiny knickknacks my mom liked to keep, all the decorations we’d put up. I kept my room for last.

            “And this,” I said, suddenly feeling incredibly self-conscious when I opened the door, “Is my room.”

            I let him take the lead and followed close behind. He stepped inside, and I watched as his eyes took everything in—to the posters on my wall, to my not-so-orderly desk, to my bookshelf and wardrobe, until it came to rest on my bed. To my luck, I’d remembered to change the sheets earlier and they were now covered in navy blue satin that I’d chosen solely because it had reminded me of his work uniform. There were even three horizontal white stripes and an anchor on them. I passed him by and sat down on the bed, watching him curiously. Whatever he thought of my room, he didn’t let it show on his face.

            “So, what do you think?” I asked nervously.

            “It’s nice,” he said simply. “Very you.”

            Catching his hand, I pulled him to sit on the bed beside me. Our shoulders were touching and it was enough to drive a delicious little shiver all the way from my neck to the tips of my toes.

            “Is that a good thing?” I asked.

            He removed a piece of lint from my jeans, rolling it around his fingers.

            “Yes. It is.”

            His hand brushed over the sheets, a small smile dancing over his lips.

            “I like your sheets.”

            “Mh, I like them too,” I hummed. I had a feeling he knew why I’d chosen this very set. My fingers slipped behind him to trail down the curve of his spine. He shuddered, and the motion passed right through me.

            “There’s still one place you haven’t seen yet."

            His eyes lit up. “The garden?”

            I nodded and took his hand to lead him back downstairs and out the back door.


            I smiled as he walked down the paved walkway to the roofed sitting area with its lampions. The light was slowly fading, emphasizing the soft glow of the small lights. Behind the lounge sofa and chairs, the swimming pool was sparkling in the warm evening light.

            “You have a pool?” Levi half-squealed.

            He rushed over to where the waves gently hit the marble edges. I loved the pool. Just watching the water sloshing around always had a soothing effect on me. I joined him by the poolside and dipped a bare toe into the water. The temperature was just right; refreshingly cool, but still warm enough to stay in there for hours. Levi was still watching the pool in awe as I took a step back and began pulling my shirt over my head.

            “Eren, what are you—”

            I had to bite back an excited groan when he trailed off after his gaze had caught on my bare chest. His eyes lingered, a beautiful sparkle making them shimmer in the low light surrounding us. Without a single touch, goose bumps started to form all over my skin. Just his gaze on me was enough to make me feel hot all over, in the most delicious way. I let my shirt fall to the floor and got to work on my jeans. I felt Levi’s eyes on me, making me yearn for his touch more than anything. After I’d stepped out of my jeans and kicked them away, I was left standing in only my black boxer briefs. I was torn between peeking at him to see the expression on his face and just diving into the water to evade the simmering tension that charged the air around us with electricity. I wanted him to like what he saw. To find me just as attractive as I did him.

            One glance, and I knew he was not disappointed. I wanted to scream with relief and excitement. His bottom lip caught between his teeth, his eyes burning a hot trail all over my body as he continued to rake them over me from top to bottom. It was too much. I couldn’t last like this, I was already squirming with the need to close the distance and feel those gorgeous little palms on my bare skin. Wrenching myself from his gaze, I jumped. The cool water caught me and returned my overheated body to relative normalcy, but the effect didn’t last long. Not when I came back to the surface and found him standing there, his cheeks flushed, sultry grays gleaming from heavy-lidded eyes.

            “Come in,” I said, a lazy smile on my lips.

            “No... I mean, I can’t really...”

            “Of course you can. And I want you to.”

            “I... I didn’t bring any swim trunks...”

            “So what? You can go in with your underwear.”

            Goddamn, Levi in underwear. With me, in the pool. I clearly didn’t think this through.

            “But I don’t have a spare one,” he said, biting his lip. I knew he wanted to come in here with me, what he needed was a tiny nudge in the right direction.

            I swam slowly to the edge and propped up my elbows on the warmed-up stone tiles surrounding the walled in pool.

            “Well, you could always go naked? I’ve always wanted to go skinny dipping. I’ll join you,” I drawled, my voice a little too high-pitched with miserably hidden excitement at the prospect of us actually going skinny-dipping together.

            His face turned the color of a very ripe tomato, and I chuckled at the sight of it.

            “N-No way,” he stammered.

            I laughed and splashed a handful of water on him.

            “You can have a pair of mine, okay? Now get in here before I make you,” I said with a mock-dangerous edge to my voice.

            “Fuck, okay,” he conceded. “I... I’ll come.”

            I made myself comfortable on my spot at the edge, letting my legs drift through the water below me.

            Seeing him toying with the hem of his shirt made me realize how bad I wanted to see him strip, right there before my eyes. I was actually yearning for it, but not only because he was the most attractive thing I’d ever seen, but also because being like this with him—barely wearing anything—gave us both an air of openness; of vulnerability. And I wanted that. I wanted to be bare with him, without any barrier to hide behind. Just him and me. His eyes locked on mine, gray on green, as he took his shirt off with a slowness that bordered on teasing. When his shirt joined mine on the floor and he popped the button on his jeans, I thought I might faint and drown in the pool, and wouldn’t that be a nice death?

            The denim whispered over his tone legs, inch by inch, until it pooled around his ankles. He was so beautiful. I’d imagined Levi naked at least a hundred times, but the reality surpassed my wildest expectations. The soft evening glow illuminated his pale skin, making warm shadows dance over his body. His skin looked so smooth and kissable, adorned by a light flush that played around his chest and thighs. Looking at him took the last breath away that was still rearing beneath my ribcage. I could only stare as he made his way over to where I held onto the stone edge of the pool, trying my hardest not to fall into an awe-induced coma and drown for real.

            “Your mouth is hanging wide open and it looks ridiculous,” he smirked.

            I wanted to snap my lips shut at that, but found myself incapable of moving a single muscle inside my body when he sat down on the rim in front of me, his beautifully shaped legs dangling into the water, whispering over my skin below the surface.

            “S-Sorry. I’m staring. But to my defense, it’s like a magnetic pull. I’m helpless,” I smiled.

            I drifted closer to where he sat and tentatively brushed my hands up his legs, tracing the divine column of his calves. Even in the water, he felt amazing.

            “Mh, this is nice,” he breathed, and his hands wandered over his own thighs down to meet mine on his knees.

            “It’s more than that,” I whispered back.

            I let my hands come up to rest on his hips, where I gave the soft skin a tender squeeze. “Want to come in now?”

            He nodded and bit his lip, before he placed his palms on my water-slick shoulders. I held tightly onto his hips and lifted him down into the water next to me.

            “Woah, it’s cold,” he ground out. Unconsciously, he moved closer to me to preserve some warmth between us.

            “Aw, here,” I said, pulling him against me. “Let me warm you up.”

            He hesitated for a brief moment, but then he wrapped his arms around my neck. The water slid over our chests before they met and touched. I bit back a moan, and then another one when I felt his legs locking around my waist—first tentative, then tight. We’d never been this close before. All the rationality I had left threatened to swirl away with the waves, along with my self-control. I stroked his thighs under water, holding them in place as I began to walk slowly around the shallow end of the pool.

            “Better?” I asked, nuzzling the crook of his neck and relishing his sublime scent.

            “Not yet. Just keep going,” he whispered.

            His wet hands slipped into my hair, and I felt the sweet tugging sensation when he wrapped the strands around his fingers to play with them. I was pretty sensitive when it came to someone touching my hair, and he touched all the right places, drawing out that moan I’d been trying to hold back.

            And then, out of nowhere, he placed a kiss on the side of my neck. I forgot how to breathe. My step faltered, and I almost slipped on the wet tiles.

            “C-Can you do that again?” I asked, my voice sounding pathetically needy.

            I felt his lips curve against my shoulder, and then I closed my eyes when he placed a wet trail of open-mouthed kisses starting from my shoulder all the way up to my ear. I shivered when the tip of his tongue dipped into the shell, licking carefully around the skin.


            “You like that?” He whispered against my hair. His hips began moving against mine, his rhythm soft and slow at first, before giving way to a quicker pace that had me groaning helplessly.

            “I like it too much,” I breathed, holding him as close as I could. “Don’t stop.”

            He chuckled under his breath, before his kisses were joined by impatient suckles and brusque bites. There was no way I’d last like this, but all I could do was beg him to continue, to give me more in this rushed, breathy voice I couldn’t quite recognize as my own. This was the most thrilling feeling I’d ever experienced and I didn’t want it to stop. I pushed him back against the edge of the pool, trapping his body between mine and the tiled wall. The temperature outside had dropped, which made the steady waves around us feel even cooler. But with Levi pressed flush against me, all I felt was heat, scorching every inch of me and leaving me oversensitive to his touch. My hands squeezed and stroked his thighs under water, before I slipped up over his hips, along his sides, across his shoulders until they were cupping his flushed face. His eyes were half closed, his lips glossy and pink from nibbling my skin. The sight was too much for me to have any hopes of holding back. I stared into his gorgeous eyes and brought my forehead to his. My breathing came raspy and labored, and I couldn’t remember if I'd ever wanted anything in my life as much as I wanted him right now, in this moment.

            “Levi,” I panted. “I...”

            Whatever I’d meant to say was lost to a drawn-out cry I tried to muffle in his shoulder when his palm brushed over my chest and grazed my nipple. Levi grabbed a handful of the messy brown hair at my nape and tugged my head back slightly, only to lick across the underside of my chin. I moaned, harsh and broken.

            “What do you want, Eren?” He whispered, his hot breath kissing my skin and driving me absolutely crazy in the process.

            “I want—ah, shit,” I breathed when he bit my shoulder hard enough to bruise it.

            “Tell me,” he insisted, licking the stinging spot his teeth had left.

            “I want to kiss you,” I whispered, my voice breaking on the last word.

            For one moment, my eyes caught his, our locked gazes setting every part of me on fire. And then, the moment passed, and Levi didn’t give me any time to realize that he wouldn’t tell me no. I was entranced, unable to move, only capable of holding on as if letting go meant losing him. He stopped just shy of my lips for the duration of a heartbeat, and then he kissed me. Really kissed me, and god, it was nothing short of perfect. Sparks of excitement, arousal, elation, bliss—all wrapped up in a sudden burst of emotions triggered by the feeling of Levi's lips on mine raced over me, through me, inside me. His tongue brushed against my lips, and I opened up willingly, sucking him inside. He tasted absolutely amazing, like honey and spice and everything I’d love to taste when I kissed someone. Giving up on another part of my self-control, I let my hands wander. I felt his back, his sides, his chest, even the firm swell of his behind. Even if I’d tried to hold back, I couldn’t. I was too far gone; having him in my arms and feeling him on my lips was an utterly irresistible combination that had me begging for more. A hot flare of arousal shot through me when he began to push up on my hips while he kissed me, and his hard length brushed against mine. Could it be he wanted this just as much as I did? The thought was too good to be true.

            My nails buried desperately in the fabric of his wet underwear, bunching up the cotton in my fists. How was I supposed to hold back from touching him... More? From going all the way here in my own damn swimming pool?

            “Ahh, Eren—” Levi released a sexy moan when I began to knead his ass cheeks—more as a mean to calm myself than to be pushy.

            “Y-Yes, like that,” he moaned, rutting against me, “Fuck Eren, yes... t-touch me more.”

            Who was I to refuse what he was asking for, when it was the one thing I was longing to give?

            I pulled him close to me, never breaking the kiss, as I left our corner and began walking over to the marble stairs as fast as I could. I didn’t care about our clothes, or the fact that I left puddles of water all over the floor inside the house. All the way up to my room, Levi was moaning into my skin, biting at my neck, whispering into my ear. He was testing me in the most tempting way possible and I wouldn't even try to resist.

            I needed to be with him; needed him, so much more than I'd ever needed anyone else. What I wanted was to be his, to just let go and let myself fall—because I knew he’d be there to catch me.

Chapter Text


When I agreed to come over to have dinner at Eren’s, I’d have never expected to go (almost) skinny dipping in his pool. With him. Or kiss him. Or end up in his bedroom with a rather clear indication of where it was going.

But I’d hoped for it.

And now that it was actually happening, I felt like one big (okay, maybe small when it came to me) ball of nerves.

This was Eren.

            Eren Jeager, a coveted celebrity at our school, and as I’d found out, not only due to his incredibly gorgeous, and incredibly unfair looks. I’d never been interested in getting to know him, and that was only because I’d judged before I’d even exchanged one word with him. Admittedly, I’d written him off as just another perfect alpha male. As one of the lucky ones people naturally gravitated to, even if they didn’t do anything to garner their attention in the first place. That was just how he was. His charm came naturally, and everyone around him was hopelessly entwined in the strange magnetic pull he was emitting.

            Never had I thought I’d belong to this crowd; the crowd who sought to be near Eren, to wallow in his sunny smile, to gaze into his bright eyes which looked like fucking perfect oceans while he told another one of his silly jokes. I wanted to be different, and usually I was. It came easy to me, almost like second nature. But with Eren... He had caught me in his web of glorious sarcasm and secret smiles, and the truth was, I didn’t want to be set free. Not when it meant losing whatever we had. He was so... Different. Not only different to the stereotype I’d matched him up with, but so different than everyone else. He had something I couldn’t put my finger on, something that clicked with me unlike anything I’d ever known. He was making me feel all those things—things I was scared of, but yearning to feel at the same time. He’d wrapped me up so entirely that I didn’t know if I could walk away from all of this without leaving a piece of me behind. And that was what I had to do at some point, because Eren was a dream and dreams were never supposed to come true. All you could do was revel in them, enjoy a piece of a reality you could never have, until you woke up with a tear in your eye and a smile on your lips to realize it was just that—a dream.

            When Eren pushed the door to his room open with his foot and hit his pinky toe in the process, I was wrenched right out of my reverie. I bit my lip to hide the gleeful chuckle that wanted to force itself out. I didn’t even think about unlocking my legs from around his waist, even though that was exactly the reason why his walking was a little shaky. I felt right where I belonged though, wrapped around his body, and that’s where I wanted to stay. But Eren had other plans when he made a move to unglue my body from his.

            He chuckled softly when he met my obvious resistance.

            “We should get out of this wet underwear,” he whispered into the crook of my neck, reigniting the goose bumps he’d put there to begin with.

            Getting out of the icy fabric clinging to my skin actually sounded reasonable, so I let him set me down on legs that felt like legit jell-o. I’d spent too much time sitting on him to remember how the actual use of my legs worked. I shivered at the loss of his warm, wet skin on mine. All I wanted was to be close to him, to feel his everything on mine. Even a moment of distance was too much to endure for the state I was currently in. A new wave of furious arousal shot straight through me when his fingertips found their way beneath the waistband of my boxers. Suddenly, I became very aware of the fact that this flimsy piece of fabric was the only thing that hid my most intimate part from Eren’s eyes. My heart was pounding like a hydraulic hammer on the highest setting.

            Fuck, I wanted this. I wanted him, so much more than I dared to admit. He was a piece of my very own dream, and I wanted him to come true. Tonight, and all the other nights I had left before I’d wake up to find him gone. Wanting him didn’t chase away the serious case of jitters I was presently experiencing, though. He was... My first. My very first, which meant I’d never done this before, not with anyone, and I had no idea what I was doing or if this would hurt or if he’d enjoy it or... Oh god, I had to calm the fuck down. It had been quite a long time since I’d truly desired something, but Eren had turned out to be one of those things. This was my opportunity to get him just like I was craving to have him, and if I managed to blow this I’d never forgive myself.

            “Can I?” Eren asked, his fingers tugging on my boxers.

            I swallowed as I met his burning green gaze and nodded. Soft shudders crept down my spine when he pressed his warm lips to the spot just above the waistband. He didn’t stop there though, instead he kissed his way down my body—along my stomach, my hip, my thigh; taking the wet material along with him. When the cool air touched my overheated length, I fought down a small sound of unease. I was utterly bare now, and Eren would just have to tilt his head up the tiniest bit to see me—all of me, and the thought filled me with a fierce mix of excitement and self-consciousness up to my very core. He was so close, we were so close, and I was only now beginning to realize that this was really happening. Eren was kissing me, whispering the sweetest things into my skin, and he was... Damn, he was just making this so perfect. My legs were quivering beneath his touch, and the remaining drops of water from the pool were joined by warm beads of sweat. He inhaled the traces of salt and faint chlorine on my skin, before he lapped at them with his tongue. A quiet moan escaped me at the enticing view of him on his knees before me, his pink tongue dipping out to lick away at my skin, which was so susceptible to his touch. He was not close enough. I tugged him to his feet, but only after he’d placed a sweet, little kiss to the base of my cock, and buried my face against his bare chest to revel in the warmth his tan skin provided. I just needed one moment of feeling him holding me tight to chase the tension away, which was still refusing to leave. I took a deep breath, hoping he wouldn’t notice just how close I was to having a mental breakdown, and listened to his accelerated heartbeat. Pulling back an inch, he bent down and got rid of his own underwear. I heard a faint rustle when they met the floor, and knew he was just as bare as I was. My eyes caught on his, on the way they seemed to sparkle with excitement. He was so gorgeous, sometimes I felt the weirdest urge to squeeze him and see if he was even real. Or myself to wake up. I tried to linger on his eyes, I really did, but it was useless to fight the pull forcing me to let my eyes wander. My gaze dropped and traveled over him—taking in his beautiful sun-kissed skin, the taut muscles flexing with each movement, the droplets of water whispering over his tone body—and when it met the hard length between his legs, I gasped. I heard him chuckle, and the next thing I knew, my chin was between his fingers, and his tongue in my mouth. I let myself fall, first into the kiss and then into his arms when he lifted me up and carried me to the bed. His navy covers were soft and floral-scented, and I had to smile when I realized he must have changed them today.

            “Ah, Eren—” I had trouble recognizing this needy voice as my own, but that was just the way I reacted to him. He was bringing out sides of me I’d never known.

            His lips followed their mission to mark every inch of my skin, and that was exactly what I wanted. When he slid on top of me, and I felt his unfamiliar but perfect weight, I buried my hands in his chocolate-colored hair with a grip that was tight, but not so much that it would hurt him. He moaned when I began to brush my fingers through his wet hair. Eren kissed me again, his hot tongue slipping between my lips to stroke over mine, tasting everything I was longing to give him. The kiss was long and sloppy, wetness spilling over to whisper over both of our lips, but I didn’t care. Not with him. Then, he sat back on his heels between my legs and let his eyes wander over me. The self-consciousness hit me like a fully loaded freight train, and I involuntarily closed my legs. Only that Eren wouldn’t let me. I bit my lip as he shook his head with this utterly irresistible smile playing on his lips, telling me no, while he kept my legs open to bare me to his voracious gaze. I felt hot all over, as if the entire surface of my skin was catching fire. My face was feverish, my mouth dry. Having him stare at me like this was as unnerving as it was thrilling. His eyes made me feel as if he was touching me with their intensity, but what I needed was his hands on me. All of me.

            “Eren, please... Touch me,” I whispered in a quiet plea.

            “You’re so gorgeous, you know that?” He said in awe, before he leaned forward and began to circle one of my nipples with his fingertip. I trembled and moaned—until I screamed out when he caught the tip between his fingers and pinched it with just the right amount of pressure. Fuck, just why was I being so sensitive here?

            “God, you have no idea how bad I wanted to do this. And... You like it here, don’t you?” Eren hummed appreciatively, the words accompanied by a teasing twinkle in his eye.

            My response was swallowed by a breathy moan when he continued his sweet torture on both of my nipples. I couldn’t quite believe my eyes when he leaned in to take one of the tight nubs between his lips. His hot tongue rolled around the tip, before he gave it a long suck that had me bucking into his mouth. He chuckled against my skin, the warm air that left his mouth whispering over me feeling like the softest kiss. I was entirely at his mercy, and that was exactly where I wanted to be. For now, I was his. He continued to lick and suck my nipples until they became too sensitive to take any more, leaving them wet and hard. My erection was pounding painfully, longing to be touched by him. As if he’d read my mind, Eren’s mouth traveled lower on my body, until it met the soft skin just above my pulsing length. I shivered and trembled, unable to stay in control when he was touching me like he did.

            “Levi, I... I want to have a taste,” Eren said questioningly, as if there was actually the tiniest chance of me turning him down. “Will you let me?”

            Eren’s emerald gaze fixed on me, asking for permission and looking for doubts at the same time. He wouldn’t find any.

            “Yes,” I whispered. “You can do whatever you want to me, Eren. Don’t hold back. I... trust you.”

            And I did. Even with something as huge as what was about to happen between us, I trusted him. My eyes never left his, my heart thrumming inside my chest when I saw that beautiful sparkle I’d been hoping my words would elicit light up his gorgeous eyes.

            “God, you... You drive me crazy.”

            He smiled up at me from his spot on my stomach, before he pressed innocent little kisses to the skin below my navel. My cheeks flared a hot scarlet when his throat rasped over my cock again and again. That was it. I must have slipped while getting out of the pool earlier and hit my head, because there was no way Eren Jeager’s head was bouncing between my legs while he told me how I was the one driving him crazy was true-to-goodness actuality.

            “You’ve already been crazy before you met me,” I chuckled.

            He laughed against my belly, before he bit me as a reprimand.

            “Are you sure you’re in the position to be cheeky right now?”

            I wiggled playfully against him before I replied, “Which position would that be?”

            “The position in which your dick is one inch away from my mouth and I just have to lean in to suck you off?”

            Oh, dear god.

            His words were echoing through my head, but I still had trouble believing they’d actually just left his lips. My face flushed with heat, and I reached out to pinch Eren’s arm in an embarrassed knee-jerk reaction.

            “Damn, kudos to your subtlety,” I mumbled, my eyes looking anywhere but him.

            Eren laughed and nuzzled my thigh, before he teased up a crimson kiss mark on the tender skin, just where I’d feel it most.

            “Subtle? So that’s what you want me to be?”

            “Well, I—Fuck!” My hands shot into his hair as he dipped down between my legs and licked squarely across the tip of my cock. I panted raggedly, any coherent words entirely lost to the feeling of having him where I wanted him most.

            “Hm? You wanted to say something, I believe?” He was such a little tease.

            I bit my lip and willed my next words to sound controlled and even, but failed despite my efforts. “You... Oh god, Eren, do that again... Don’t have to be subtle—ahhh, I mean... Oh fuck yes, right there!”

            My hips bounced off the bed as I felt his plush lips pursing over my tip and licking the wet precome off as if it was the most delicious thing ever. It was an intoxicating show, and so utterly addicting.

            “Mmmh, you taste so good,” he murmured, his lips widening in a smile around my length. I should stop watching him. All it did was making holding back impossible, and yet I couldn’t tear my eyes away as his gaze met mine and he continued to sink down on me, my twitching cock disappearing into his wet heat bit by bit. His gorgeous green pools fell shut as he got serious, his intense suckling joined by a tight grip around my base to stroke me until I felt like fainting on the spot.

            “Mhhh, ahhh—Eren, fuck... This feels so fucking amazing,” I moaned, any semblance of reserve forgotten. I pushed my hips up and into his mouth, desperately needing more—more touch, more lips, more him. Eren teased my foreskin until I screamed and bunched up the covers between my palms, thrashing around on the bed as if I was about to take my last breath. His hand never ceased to stroke me hard and fast, while his lips licked and sucked with the rhythm to match.

            “F-Fuck, Eren... God... I-I’m so close...”

            He pressed the tip of his tongue flat against the sensitive spot just below my glans, making me scream out again and tug on his hair so roughly that it had to hurt. I had no control over what I was doing at this point. His hand pumped me roughly—once, twice, thrice. I was about to burst. The hot coil inside my belly clenched tighter and tighter, and with a final suck on my dripping length, I spiraled over the edge and drenched Eren’s lips in pearly white come.

            I met his blazing green eyes staring up at me for the fraction of a second before he was on me, hands tangling in my hair, tongue pushing inside my mouth. I tasted myself on his lips, bitter and slick. My legs wrapped around his waist in a near-death grip, and I pressed my mouth to his ear, begging him to give me more. When he reached behind my head and produced a small white bottle, I didn’t have to see the label to know what it was. We were really doing this, weren’t we? He uncapped the bottle and drizzled a liberal amount of the clear liquid onto his hand, rubbing it up and down his long fingers before warming it between his palms by rubbing them gently against each other. At first, all I could do was stare and think about where those fingers would be going in just a few more moments. When I felt his slick hand massaging my perineum, I cried out and slammed my legs closed.

Eren shot me a questioning look, which was soon taken over by a mix of worry and uncertainty. His brow creased, and he bit his lip, looking down at me intently. “Hey, we don’t have to—”

            “No!” I cut him off more loudly than I intended to. “It’s just that I... I’ve never... This is my first time, you know, to...”

            I trailed off in embarrassment and hid my face behind my arms. God, first I acted like oh-so-suave, riding his hips and urging him on, and now he was faced with the blushing virgin I really was. I didn’t dare to look up and see the disappointment in his eyes, which was sure to be there. There was an unfamiliar sting pricking my eyes, and when I realized why, I wanted to slap myself back to reason. If I cried on top of my stupid confession, I’d have truly hit rock-bottom. I refused to move, but didn’t have to. Eren’s warm weight pressed down on top of me, and in the next moment, I felt his lips whispering over my hands covering my face.

            “Levi,” he murmured against my skin, so soft and careful. “It’s my first too, you know. Let’s wait, okay? We can just... Cuddle? Do you like cuddling? Because I’m dying to cuddle with you.”

            As if to prove his point, his arms wrapped around my shoulders and he nosed against my neck, placing dozens of sweet little kisses on the heated skin. Why did he have to be so perfect? He was funny, gorgeous, sweet... And now he even had to be caring on top of it all? Caring enough to read the situation and make me feel at ease, even when I’d been a mere second away from breaking down into a pile of self-doubts?

            How could I not fall for this guy? How could anyone not fall for him?

            When he tried to pull my hands from my face this time, I let him. He bent down and kissed every inch of my face—my cheeks, my jaw, my forehead. Every kiss he gave me chased another tingle of nerves away, until the only thing left was affection and need; the need to share something with him no one could ever take from me. I was nervous still, but not so much that it overshadowed how much I wanted him right now. I was ready.

            “No,” I whispered against his lips when he kissed me again. “I don’t want to wait. I... I want you, Eren.”

            His green eyes widened, a hungry glint glossing them over as he growled, “Mh, say that again.”

            “Shut up,” I replied abashedly.

            He giggled and bit my collarbone, before he eagerly put more lube onto his fingers and returned back to where we’d stopped before. His index finger circled my twitching entrance, and I turned my head to release a strangled groan into the pillow next to me. Eren kissed a feather-light trail from my cheek to my lips before he whispered, “Ready?”

            “Yes,” I whispered back.

            When his slicked finger pressed into me, I had no chance of holding back the little moans and gasps that forced their way out. The sensation was too intense to keep quiet, and trying was futile. I listened to the sound of Eren’s ragged breathing, attempting to focus on his gasps to keep me calm. Soon, another finger followed the first one. I thrashed and whimpered helplessly beneath him. He whispered sweet, soothing nothings into my ear, my skin, my hair as he continued to work me open as gently as he could. The feeling was foreign, but not unpleasant. Not when he was the one doing it to me. When a third finger slipped inside me, I cried out at the lingering sting it left behind. I felt incredibly full and stretched open around his digits, which were slowly moving in and out. After he continued his steady rhythm for a while, I managed to relax a bit. The tension left my legs and I let them fall open to accommodate Eren in between. He took the invitation right away and slipped back on top of me.

            “Oh god, you’re so hot... Levi, I-I don’t know if I can hold back any longer...” Eren said hoarsely.

            His tan cheeks were beautifully flushed with color, his breathing coming on short-winded puffs. As if he couldn’t bear the distance, he leaned in and kissed me again, long and hard. The moan that whooshed out of me when his fingers left me was swallowed by his mouth on mine. He reached behind me once again, his fingers fumbling for the condom package in the nightstand’s drawer. When he finally managed to grab one, he pulled back and ripped it open with his teeth, just like they did in the movies. No one, not even some hot actor in great demand, would look as sexy doing it as Eren did, though. I was sure of that. Before the rubber could meet his length, I pushed myself up on my elbows and snatched it from his fingers.

            “Let me,” I breathed, watching as my own fingers trembled when I touched the condom to the wet tip of his cock.

            I rolled it on, biting my lip. Eren’s eyes were on me the whole time, and I felt it even if I didn’t look up to meet them. I gave him a quick kiss when I was done. From here on out, I trusted him to take care of me. His arm slipped behind my back, and I let myself fall as he laid me back down. His nails trailed down my thigh, and he hitched my leg around his waist, leaving the other for me to follow. I took a deep breath and my eyes settled on him. Eren bit his lip, his eyes narrowed in concentration, as he aligned himself with my stretched, slick opening. A small drop of sweat fell from his chin to land on my cheek. Another last minute surge of nerves hit me as reality struck once again, making my eyes snap to his cock. Damn, he really was huge, and I wasn’t sure if I could—
My train of thought lost all coherence when I felt Eren’s body slide in place on top of me, right where he belonged. His warm hands cupped my face and began to draw soft circles on my cheekbones.

            “Hey, shh,” he soothed gently, “Don’t worry, I’ve got you. Keep your eyes on me, okay? Only me.”

            With that, he leaned in and kissed me again, so sweet and slow that I knew it was meant to be a back up for his words. I inhaled deeply and did as he told me. The moment I met his vibrant green eyes, I felt myself relax. Eren was here with me, and he’d never do anything to hurt me. He had me, just like he promised. Another second of silence passed and I nodded at him, giving him the okay. And then, he began to push into me. My arms shot up on instinct, nails burying in his shoulders and sinking deeper with each inch he pressed inside me. And pressing it was, because I involuntarily tightened up at the unfamiliar intrusion in an attempt to fight back the pain.

            “Ahh, I-I’m sorry... I’m being as gentle as I can, please... Hold on. Just... Scratch me. Scratch me as much as you want,” Eren begged in a gruff voice.

            God, this hurt. I felt like being stretched up to a breaking point with every bit he covered, until a burning sting began to settle deep inside me. I shifted restlessly beneath him, trying to find a position that would alleviate the pain to some small extent. Hot tears stung my eyes. When one of them threatened to fall, I quickly wiped at it with the back of my hand. Through a blurry curtain of tears, I looked up at Eren, only to find his searing gaze fixed on me. A shudder raced down my spine at the intensity his eyes emitted. I felt as if he wanted to devour me whole, and god, how I wanted him to. This was really happening, and no amount of pain could take away the wave of pure bliss that washed over me. Right now, he was mine, and I was his. Eren pushed inside me to the hilt, and upon feeling it, we both moaned each other’s name. He gave me a few moments to adjust, and when I nodded up at him after, my eyes surely as pleading as his, he started to move. It was soft and sweet and gentle at first, but soon that wasn’t enough. I needed more. My nails sunk into the soft skin on his back and sides, scratching and marking him with angry red lines.

            “Fuck, Levi,” Eren rasped. “You feel so good, so... Perfect.”

            I moaned huskily in response, and began to push my hips down to meet him half-way. When the first tears finally fell, I did nothing to stop them. I was too overwhelmed with emotions, with the sheer intensity of him, of us together, that I needed to let go. The sight of Eren pushing into me again and again, his lips parted on rough pants, his eyes never once leaving mine—topped off with the feeling of him inside me, was too much for me to have any hope of lasting.

            “E-Eren, I-I’m... Damn. D-Don’t stop, please,” I breathed.

            His lips found their way down to my eyes and he licked my salty tears away, driving goose bumps all over my skin. Then he kissed me at the same time as his palm closed around my rock-hard dick and began to pump and squeeze in a tempo that had me screaming his name.

            “Ahh, Eren, I’m c—” I bit into his shoulder to muffle my helpless cry.

            “Me too, Levi, just let go,” Eren whispered into the crook of my neck, shivering slightly when he received my rough bite.

            His thumb flicked over the tip of my cock—and oh damn, I was so wet—while he pumped me even faster and harder, and then I did let go. My orgasm hit me like a literal tidal wave, sweeping me off my feet and plunging me into a wild swirl of sensations. I was hyperaware of everything—his cock slamming into me, chasing me straight through my climax, his sweaty hand wrapped around my length, his slick body on mine, his tongue licking into my mouth. I squeezed tightly around him as I showered my stomach with come, and it was enough to tip him over the edge with me, my name falling from his lips in a drawn-out moan as he followed me into sweet afterglow.

            "Well... That was..."

            "Fucking amazing," Eren cut in breathlessly.


I woke to a soft breeze whispering over my bare legs. My eyes fluttered open, still heavy with sleep, and I found an open balcony door and a starry night behind it. How late was it? I stretched languidly and kicked the blanket away from my body. I never slept in the nude, and now I was wondering why. It felt so liberating, and I quite liked the way the cool satin sheets whispered over my too-warm body. Stretching my arms until they gave a satisfying pop, I yawned quietly and turned around to go back to sleep. Suddenly my skin met something that felt very much like skin, too—just not my own. I jolted into a state of proper alertness and involuntarily grabbed for the blanket in the dim light to cover myself. My eyes followed a curve of tawny calves, over a lean waist and broad muscular chest up to lock on twinkling green eyes. And then, everything hit me at once. This was real. I was in Eren’s room, in his bed, and what we’d done tonight was surely not some kind of elaborate lucid dream. Not with the way my ass screamed in pain and my hips pounded in tune with it.

            “Welcome back,” Eren smirked. He leaned in and brushed my (undoubtedly) hopeless bed hair behind my ear.

            I rubbed my eyes in hope of appearing sleep-hazy, when in reality I wanted to make sure Eren was really here in bed with me. Maybe I was dreaming after all?

            “Mh, I’ve fallen asleep?” I said, but it came out more like a question. My throat was raw from... Sleep? Or maybe from screaming Eren’s name so loud, which somehow seemed more likely.

            “More like passed out,” Eren laughed and pinched my earlobe.

            I swatted him away playfully, but the smile had already taken over my lips.

            “You’re not that good, you know,” I huffed, rolling my eyes.

            Apparently, Eren begged to differ on that one. He pushed me down in a heartbeat, his hand squeezing my thigh. I bit my lip and fought to keep my eyes from falling shut when the memories of our first time flooded back into my mind and rendered me breathless.

            Our first time.

            I felt the most ridiculous urge to squeal like a high school girl, but fortunately I managed to save myself (and Eren) from this awkwardness.

            “Excuse me? Did you say I wasn’t good? You’re asking for a redo, you know that?”

            I tried to whack him away as he began moving on top of me, his smooth skin touching all the right places, his voice whispering seductively into my ear how good I’d felt and how bad he wanted me again and again after that. A sweet tremble went through me when I realized that he found me attractive enough to want me for more than a one-time thing.

            “Eren... Stop...,” I breathed half-heartedly, but even to my own ears it sounded weak and not all that serious.

            “No, I won’t. God Levi, I want you. So bad. Please... Let me have you,” he murmured, his breath hot and moist against my neck.

            His hand slipped past my growing erection to knead my ass cheek. His needy touch sent a shockwave of pain straight through my bottom half, which was a harsh reminder that this had been my first time and that I felt exactly like you were supposed to feel after having bottomed for the first time—painfully sore.

            “Wait, Eren... I want to, but... My ass is hurting like a bitch,” I confessed.

            He ceased all movement as soon as the words had left my mouth. I wanted to kiss the obvious disappointment right out of his eyes, but he was quick to erase it and replace it with quiet understanding instead. He nuzzled my nape and kissed a soft trail up along my jawline before he placed a feather-light kiss on my lips.

            “I’m so sorry. I was too rough on you,” he said worriedly.

            I shook my head and slipped my hands into his hair. They were all dry and super soft by now. I wanted to keep playing with the chestnut strands all night, even more so because I knew how much he liked it.

            “You were not. I wanted you to be rough,” I whispered, my cheeks warming up with embarrassment.

            “Hm? So you like it rough?”

            “So what if I do?” I smirked, and punched his shoulder when he threw me a knowing glance.

            “Well, if you do,” he said, settling on his elbows to either side of my head and pecking my nose. “It will be even harder to contain myself from fucking you every day, and believe me, it’s beyond hard already.”


            I wasn’t one of those wimps who’d call whatever we just had “making love” or any of that sappy shit, but fucking sounded so cold. Especially when I replayed the way he’d looked at me with those eyes, trying his best not to hurt me while making this as good for me as it could be. But that was what I was, right? A summer fuck. I shouldn’t make the mistake to interpret this as anything more than that. There was no way someone like Eren would get serious with someone like me, and I wasn’t delusional enough to think otherwise. At least that was what I was trying to make myself believe with every bone in my body, and yet still, his words had left a bitter taste in my mouth. I turned away from him, because I was sure I couldn’t hide the quick flicker of hurt that fluttered over my face. I knew we couldn’t possibly be more, but I’d still nursed the tiniest sliver of hope. The worst thing was that I’d not even known it was there—not until it got crushed by the weight of reality. Guess this was my wake up call. Eren slipped behind me and wrapped his arms around my middle, holding me tight.

            “Are you okay? How bad are you hurting? Can I get you anything?”

            His words kissed the back of my neck like a caress, so soft and filled with worry, and suddenly I felt like crying. Maybe I shouldn’t seek more contact than what we’d shared, but I couldn’t stay away. Even if all of this was just an illusion and falling for him more than I already had would set me up for heartbreak, I needed to feel him close to me. It was the only way the painful grip around my heart would fade to a dull ache. And so I pressed my back to his front and let myself fall into his embrace, as if he was mine. As if I was his.

            “Not t’bad,” I mumbled around a yawn, all of a sudden feeling impossibly tired. “Just hold me. Hold me tight.”

            I fell asleep to his kisses on my neck and his arms around my body—tight, just like I asked him to.

Chapter Text

As of last night, it was official: I, Eren Jeager, had left the circle of virgins and ascended to someone who’d had sex. Actual sex. It felt unreal, honestly. What felt even more unreal was the fact that I’d had my first time with Levi.


            God, this was not just someone, but him. He came as close to my definition of perfect as humanly possible. And that was just what he’d felt like, too. Fucking amazing. Flawless. I rolled around in my bed and hugged the pillow he’d been sleeping on until a few hours ago tightly to my chest. It smelled just like him, and that made my head spin in the best way imaginable. How long could I get away without washing that pillow case? Tucking my nude body into Levi-scented sheets, I let his enticing scent wrap all around me. I hadn’t bothered with dressing earlier, and that was all due to the fact that I was still drifting on a fluffy cloud that consisted of Levi’s warm body wrapped around mine. I should probably get up and take a shower, but that would mean washing his scent off of me, and somehow, the very thought made me recoil.

            Just why did he have to leave already? I’d been asking myself (and him) that question for a good dozen times before he left. He'd said he had a home with people in it who’d be worried by now and a job to return to, which sounded reasonable—much to my dismay. I hadn’t been ready to let him go, and I still wasn’t. So after my continuous nagging had fallen on deaf ears on his part, I’d clung to him like an itch refusing to fade, and told him I’d not let go until he promised me he’d be back later today. I prided myself on being infamously thick-headed when I wanted to be, and my abilities didn’t steer clear of Levi either. I’d grinned like an idiot and kissed him harder than I ever had when he’d finally given in and agreed to come back to me in the evening. He’d made it clear he’d not stay over again—I quote “no fucking way, you spoiled brat”—but I already had a foolproof plan I wanted to put into action to change his mind. A quick glance to the clock on my nightstand told me it was only a little past noon. And I was hard again. I’d actually believed getting off as intensely as I had with Levi would take the edge off my libido, but nope—now I was stuck here, alone, with all those memories of him and his perfect body and his beautiful eyes and his incredibly gorgeous face and his lewd moans and fuck. Was it actually possible to become a sex addict after only one time? Because it felt like that was what I was currently turning into. Maybe it was possible, so long as you did it with the right person. I turned around and buried my nose in his pillow, letting my eyes fall closed. Had he even enjoyed it? It was obvious he’d been in pain afterwards, so what if he had no desire to repeat what we’d done? I’d tried to be as gentle as I could, but maybe I should have tried harder. Just the thought of giving him up after I’d tasted him once was nothing short of cruel. But it wasn’t just the feeling of him (even if that had been pretty fucking amazing), but the feeling of being so close to him. Connected even, and not only physical. That was what I wanted again. To be as close to him as I could be.

            He was so special. So special to me, and I knew that now. I didn’t want to let him go. Maybe it was rash to mull over any of this already, but thinking about going separate ways after summer was over seemed inconceivable for me. We’d already shared so much, and even if I didn’t know what being in love was like, I daresay it came very close to what I was feeling right now. Which made me think... What would it be like to come out of the closet in front of the entire school? A few people might have their suspicions, yet I’d never told anyone I was into guys in so many words. How profoundly would things change for me, for him? And here I was letting my imagination run wild. It was very possible Levi didn’t even want any of this; getting serious, being in a relationship, becoming a boyfriend. My boyfriend, to be exact. Only because I was head over heels for him didn’t mean he felt the same for me.

            Zeke rushed through the open bedroom door and jumped up on me, drooling all over my face and nibbling my ear. I laughed and petted him until he was satisfied. That was when he got to sniff Levi’s pillow and shoved his snout into the soft fabric. Apparently, I really did have some serious competition in him when it came to Levi. I sighed and smelled Levi’s pillow once more before I sat up and slung my legs over the bed. I’d deal with all of the serious matters when the time came. For now, I only wanted to enjoy being with Levi to the fullest, without allowing any weighty thoughts to drag me down. It was summer after all, and I’d only just found him. We were just starting out. I smiled at the way that sounded—we.

            To pass some time, I did everything around the house that had accumulated, effectively procrastinating on taking that shower as long as I could. I cleaned, vacuumed, did the laundry. When I finally stepped into the warm spray of my well-deserved shower, I took longer than usual. I scrubbed my skin until it was spotless, clean-shaven and soft to the touch. I better looked my best if I planned on winning Levi over for another round. And maybe another after that, if I was lucky. After showering, I let Zeke out to run a few laps in the garden, but it was too hot outside for him to last longer than fifteen minutes, so I refilled his water bowl and watched as he napped on the couch after a generous drink. Once again, I stared at the clock. I debated whether enough time had passed to make a text message to Levi acceptable without looking too needy (which I was, I so was). Tapping my toes, I decided to just go with it. If I annoyed him, he’d let me know without sparing my feelings anyway.

            Me: Hey, you. How’s work?

            I sent the message and stared at the open conversation until a new text bubble from Levi appeared below mine. Then I tried to ignore the way my heart pounded over a mere handful of words from him.

            Levi: A fucking pain in the ass. God, I need a break.

            I smirked and blushed at the same time when I thought about the many different ways I could get Levi to relieve some stress.

            Me: How about a massage?

            Levi: Where?

            Oh? Don't tell me Levi, my Levi, would actually want to do some sexting with me? This was too good to be true, which didn't keep me from finding out anyway.

            Me: Anywhere you want. If I may make a suggestion, I’d love to start on that sweet, little ass of yours.

            A soft squeal left my mouth before I could stop it. Wasn’t I being a little too daring right now? He might get mad at me, but damn, holding back from teasing him was almost impossible. As per usual.

            Levi: Didn’t you miss one adjective when describing my ass just now? ;-)

            Oh, a winky face. Leaning against the kitchen counter and resting my arms on the granite surface, I got comfortable with a huge grin on my lips while I pondered my next bold reply.

            Me: Tight. Definitely tight.

            Levi: Tell me how tight I am.

            Oh fuck, was he serious? I'd been fighting my ever-present boner since he’d left, and now all my efforts were flying straight out the window. And I wouldn’t even complain.

            Me: So tight, Levi. You’re just perfect. So hot and wet, and you suck me in so deep. I can’t stop thinking about it. I can’t get enough of you.

            Levi: Mh Eren, you felt so good inside me. Tell me, are you hard right now? Are you hard thinking about me?

            I’d been hard ever since the first double innuendo I'd received from him via text, now I was rock-hard and grinding mindlessly against the counter I was pressed up against.

            Me: Fuck, I’m so hard, Levi. Riling me up like this when you’re not even here with me… It’s unfair. You better take responsibility.

            Levi: If you want me to take responsibility, I’m going to have to ask for proof. Are you willing to give me some?

            Proof? He could gladly have proof if that would get me him. Okay so, how to do this? I'd never sent a nude, but I was dead-set on making it a good one. One that would drive Levi to the same state of desperate arousal I was currently trapped in.

            I walked (stumbled) into the bathroom and leaned into a corner I knew provided good lighting. Then I took a deep breath and sloppily shoveled down my shorts. Next were my boxers. I tucked the elastic waistband under my balls to put my entire manhood on proud display. I felt only the tiniest flicker of awkwardness passing through me, but that was quick to fade when I imagined how Levi would react to my candid shot. I picked a good angle and snapped a few ones to choose from. Admittedly, it felt pretty weird to look at multiple pics of my own boner, but it was not like any of them were for me. They were entirely for him, and I hoped they’d be worth it in the end. After deciding on the best one, I attached it to a new text message and paid extra attention to get the recipient right, because sending it to someone else in my hopeless state of excitement sounded just like something I'd do. I added a short message along with the pic and swallowed as it sent.

            Me: Proof enough?

            Levi: Fuck, Eren… You’re huge. And you fucking shaved, have some damn mercy on me here. I can’t touch myself right now and your pic... Makes me want to. So bad.

            My heart missed a beat or six when I read his reply. He thought I was huge? I couldn’t exactly help but take this as a compliment. And he even noticed I’d shaved for him. He must have kept a close eye on me while I'd been naked, which made me shiver despite the heat coursing through my veins. The fact that I’d made him want to touch himself was truly blowing my mind, though. So I could affect him just like he affected me, and that certainty was making my heart inflate like a hot-air balloon ready to soar straight up to cloud nine. God, I wished I could see him too. I wouldn't ask him to show proof while he was on the job, but he better bring me some first-hand later. Proof I was allowed to touch and kiss and suck, that was.

            Me: Just let me do all the touching. I'm glad my proof passed the test ;-)

            Levi: Your proof did more than pass. I can't believe it actually fit.

            Me: Oh, it was a deliciously tight little fit. You were positively greedy for it ;-)

            Levi: I still am.

            Me: Levi. What are you doing to me? I want you so bad, it hurts.

            Levi: Don't come before I’m with you. I want to see your face when you do, and be the one who gets you there.

            Me: Same goes for you.

            Me: Damn, just hurry, okay?

            Me: Okay??

            Levi: :-*

            Damn, the little minx was really out to make me lose my mind. Why couldn’t I just influence time and make it pass faster whenever I wanted to? Waiting for him was killing me, especially after he’d teased me with those naughty little texts of his. We hadn’t agreed on a specific time, as far as I knew he could show up at midnight if he felt like it. After I’d lazed away some time, I went back up in my room and changed the sheets to fresh white ones (only because I wanted to see Levi’s beautiful black hair spread out on a flawless white pillow). After that I plopped down on my bed and started up my laptop to watch some show I had no mind to properly follow right now, but would hopefully kill off the remaining time until Levi turned up. I’d dozed off when I heard the doorbell ringing downstairs. Within a second, I was wide awake and on my feet. It was half past nine p.m., so he really had taken his sweet time. All the lights were out inside the house, there was only the fading daylight illuminating the rooms with a gentle golden glow. I didn’t bother to turn any of them on, I was too busy falling over my own feet to get the door. When I ripped it open and laid eyes on Levi, my heart was a beat away from combusting inside my chest. God, I’d missed him, and it took seeing him standing right here in front of me to realize just how much.

            “Hey,” I whispered breathlessly.

            “Hi,” he said, his cheeks warm with color.

            I leaned forward and took his arm to pull him inside and up against my chest. A soft whoosh of air left his lips when his back collided with the wall behind the door, and my body pressed flush up to his. He opened his lips, undoubtedly to utter a protest at my fervor, but I was quick to cover them with mine and swallow any words he planned on using to scold me with. My tongue pushed its way inside his mouth on its own, finally reuniting with his to take and mark just like I’d been yearning to do. His hands grabbed helplessly at my clothes, legs tangling with mine. I whispered his name over and over again, while my fingertips trembled on their way to remove his coat. I was just about to open the lapels, when he stopped me.

            “Please? I’ve been dying to touch you all day,” I begged.

            Instead, he pushed my hands away and stepped out of my embrace. I couldn’t contain the soft noise of disapproval that forced its way past my lips at his rejection. Had I done something wrong? Was he mad at me? I watched him with wary eyes as he walked to the middle of the room and came to stand by the dining table.

            “You are alone, right?” He asked, and my eyes dropped to his fingers, which began to toy with the buttons on his coat.

            “You know I am. My parents are on vacation, it’s just me and—OH. OH SWEET GOD. OH FUCK.”

            My mouth dropped open, just like my eyes, at the sight of him. He’d unbuttoned his coat and let it drop to the floor where he stood, the soft fawn material pooling around his ankles. I followed the gorgeous shape of his legs, which were clad in immaculately white stockings that came up to his milky thighs. Above them, my gaze laid on a navy plaid skirt—one that was way too short to meet the requirements of adequacy. His midriff was bare above the skirt’s waistline, up until his little crop top, which was collared and adorned with a huge red bow in the front. Sweet Lord, had I died and gone to actual heaven? What other explanation was there for me deserving this absolutely ravishing sight in front of me? Levi was wearing his sailor work uniform—the one I'd been hopelessly drooling over ever since the first day I’d seen him in it. Only that now, he was wearing a much lewder version of it, complete with a fucking mini skirt, thigh highs and a crop top.

            There was no way in hell, or heaven, this was real. Real, and happening to me.

            Levi was playing with the perfect bow on his top, before his slim fingers dropped to the hem of his sailor shirt.

            “You like it?” He asked, and I snapped out of my awe-induced stupor just in time to catch the quick flicker of uncertainty pass his gray eyes. He was doing this for me, to turn me on—and fuck, it was working like a charm because I knew for a fact I’d never been this turned on in my entire seventeen years of existence—even though he didn’t feel entirely comfortable with it.

            “L-Like?” I stammered. “Like? Fuck, no. Like is not enough to describe how I feel about this.” I gestured to his mouth-watering get up while I took step after step in his direction, closing the distance between us in a stance that felt almost predatory.

            “Damn, Levi,” I whispered as I drew near, inch by inch. “I’m speechless. You... You look like you’ve just stepped right out of my wet dream.”

            He laughed at that and leaned up against the dining table, an utterly irresistible smirk settling on his full lips. His hand slipped down, over the bare skin on his waist until it reached the folds of his skirt. I stared at him, unable to look away. Even if the house around me would catch on fire right this instant, I’d be happy to burn away with Levi etched onto my retinas. My eyes followed his hand when he slipped it beneath the skirt and up until it met the delectable bulge delineating through the navy material.

            “Ah,” he moaned softly as he began to touch himself beneath the skirt, right there in front of me. For me. “Eren...”

            That was it. It was a physical impossibility to stay away from him after this quiet plea, even if he’d ask me to. I needed to touch him more than I needed to take my next breath. I rushed over and took him in my arms, feeling him and the clothes he’d put on for me until he rasped to go slower. But slow was the last thing on my mind right now. I bit at his lips, kissing him raw while his hands tangled in my hair and tugged me closer. My thigh was pressed up against his erection and I started to rub against him, up and down, sighing when I felt him pushing back down on me. I let my palms travel beneath his shirt to tease his nipples, pulling and rubbing them until I felt the tips grow hard beneath my fingertips. Then I slipped to the back and left red lines down the length of his spine on my way to bury my hands in the soft fabric of his skirt, bunching it up greedily to reveal what was hidden underneath. Suddenly, my fingers met something incredibly soft and my eyes snapped to his. His face was so beautifully flushed, his eyes wide and shining, his lips glossy and red from my rough kisses. He bit his lip as I stared into his eyes. My hands brushed over the silky material he was wearing down below once again, and the most incredible idea struck me. I fell to my knees in front of him, and found myself face to face with the most gorgeous pair of white silk lace panties I’d ever seen. They had large bows on either side to keep them in place, but the knots were straining under the weight of his erection, which was hot and heavy enough to give the gossamer silk a run for its money. I touched my finger to his tip, which was peeking out of the silk band, and watched as it came back with a silvery thread of warm precome. Before I could think twice about what I was doing, I leaned in and pressed my nose to his panties, inhaling the sweet scent of his arousal. Nosing against his length, I kissed the small strip of skin just above the silk. He smelled delicious, fucking mind-blowingly so. After a long, languid lick across his glans, I felt his hands fisting in my hair, my name falling from his lips in an impatient whisper. Biting down on the silk, I pulled and let it snap back against his cock, earning an enticing whine from him that had my bare toes curling in on themselves.

            “Fuck, Levi... I might not be able to make it to the bedroom...” I breathed into his thigh before I bit down on the soft skin in a weak attempt to hold onto the last sliver of my composure.

            “Ahh... I-It’s fine,” Levi moaned while he pushed his pelvis into my mouth and wrapped his leg around my neck, effectively keeping my lips on the inside of his thigh. “J-Just fuck me right here. Please, I... I can’t wait anymore.”

            Fuck, he was begging for it, needing me. Almost as much as I was needing him from the sound of it. I slipped my hand underneath the panties in the back, running my palm over the perfect swell of his ass and massaging his cheeks slowly, but firmly. His hands clawed at my shirt, coercing me up on my feet to pull it over my head. Stepping in between his legs, I rubbed my clothed erection against his and bit a wet trail along his neck. His eyes raked over my exposed chest and stomach, before his nails followed the way his gaze had just covered. I watched as they left harsh red scratches on my tan skin, moaning quietly at the soft blur of pleasure and pain and reveling in the certainty that I’d surely wear his marks for days to come. His deft fingers reached my belt and made quick work of undressing me and pushing my shorts down to my ankles. I chuckled at his impatience and kicked my pants away. After that, I grabbed the back of his neck, my palm brushing over the soft hair of his undercut, and kissed him long and hard, until both our lips were glistening with saliva. Then I grabbed his hips and turned him around, pushing him down and bending him over the dining table.

            “Mmmh, Eren... Fuck... Hurry. I want you so bad. I need to feel you,” he moaned eagerly, and I met his eyes as he threw me an imploring gaze over his shoulder.

            He was such a lovely sight, sprawled out on the table in front of me and surrendering himself to my mercy. I bent over him, showering the skin left bare by his shirt with kisses and suckles before I moved lower. I took a deep breath before I let my hands slip beneath his skirt and tugged it up to expose his panties-clad behind. I took a few good, long moments to admire the view, then hooked my fingers into the material and debated sliding it down the sweet curve of his thighs. But ultimately, I decided against getting rid of this enticing piece of underwear. The thought of having him, taking him, slipping in and out of his tight heat while he was still wearing this pretty silk was too tempting to resist. I caught a peek of Levi’s flushed face, his eyes squeezed shut, his lips open and moist. Taking my time, I licked and sucked at my fingers until they were nice and wet, before tugging the panties away to gain access to his keen hole.

            “Oh god, Eren, yes...” he mewled when I finally pushed one finger inside him.

            When I was certain he was comfortable, I added a second and then a third one. He moaned and gasped, the occasional curse in between, and then he began pushing back on my fingers. His name left my lips on a seductive loop while I ate up the view of him sliding back and forth on my fingers, fucking himself for me to watch.

            “Damn, Levi... You have no idea how fucking hot you look right now,” I rasped, my voice throaty and raw.

            “Eren... Fuck, just... Give it to me. Don’t make me wait,” he commanded, giving his hips another push that had my fingers swallowed up whole.

            “But Levi... I don’t have a condom here,” I whispered, biting my lip.

            “I don’t give a damn about that right now! Eren, just please... fuck me,” he mewled.

            I gulped and closed my eyes as I pulled out, immediately missing his tightness around me. I wished I had lube, but the bottle was far away in my room, and the last thing on my mind right now was to leave Levi here, all stretched and ready for me, to go get it. If I waited another second to be inside of him, I’d simply perish on the spot. So I went for plan B and spit unceremoniously into my palm, bringing it down to my hard cock to spread the warm saliva over my length. I gave myself a few shallow strokes before I aligned myself with his spread, glossy opening. When I felt him twitch against my tip, my nails buried in his full ass cheeks with more force than I intended to. The sleek see-through fabric of his panties graced my oversensitive cock almost uncomfortably, but I ignored it. The sight alone—myself buried in silk and lace, so ready to push into him—made that easy.

            “Fuck, I... Levi, can I?”

            His response was to push back on my cock, sucking my moist tip inside of him.

            “Ah shit,” he whimpered.

            I held tightly onto his cheeks, spreading them open to not miss a single inch of me slipping inside. The view was enough to catapult me dangerously close to the edge already. Combined with the feeling of thrusting inside, of feeling his wet heat squeezing me tight, I had to stop for a second to fight down my impending orgasm.

            “You feel so fucking amazing, Levi. So good,” I whispered in between the soft little gasps that fell from his lips.

            I whined when I was embedded to the hilt, and after a few moments, I began to move. A firework of emotions went off inside my head, my chest, across every single one of my senses. Every tiny inch I moved with him clenching tightly around me was like thunder crashing all around me, making me shudder with waves of intensity. His sweet, desperate voice was drifting through the heated air between us, his slick skin shuddering beneath my brusque hands. I couldn’t get enough. Reaching beneath his skirt, I took his hot length in my hand and started to stroke him fast, my thumb flicking across the wet tip again and again.

            “E-Eren, wait, I-I’m gonna...”

            “Shh, do it. Come for me, Levi.”

            “N-No, I-I... Shit. Ahhh.”

            Levi tightened around me, so hard that only pure self-control kept me from plunging over the edge right then. I didn’t want this to be over so fast, I’d only just pushed inside him—at least that was what it felt like—and I wanted, needed, him more than that. His fingers curled around the table, rosy cheek pressed up against the glass, hot breath fogging the transparent surface. I bent down, blanketing his back with my body, and bit the damp skin on his neck while I stroked him faster. It was enough to make him let go, his body shaking violently as he clenched around me and released hot come over my hand and the table. His hole tightened as he rid out his orgasm, pulling me straight along into sweet oblivion. I spilled myself into him, thick spurts of come shooting inside and dripping down his legs as soon as I pulled out with a soft, wet pop. I was helplessly drawn to the way my come dripped slowly out of his quickly contracting hole, only to catch in the sheer silk he was wearing, soaking it through before running down his legs in rivulets of white cream. Levi grew slack beneath me, his breathing heavy as his strength left him and he slid down from the table. I caught him before he met the floor and pulled him bridal style into my arms.

            “Hey you,” I whispered, needing another few minutes to come back down to earth after a high like this. “Bed or bath?”

            He smirked weakly and nuzzled against my bare chest. I leaned down and kissed his forehead.

            “Bath. With you in it, please,” he said around a yawn. “Uhm, hey. Do you have a bath bomb, by any chance?”

            I hugged him tighter as I climbed the stairs. “I actually do. My mom loves them. Why, you want to use one?”

            “Mh, can we?” He asked, adorably shy.

            I fondled his cheek, kissing it softly before I said, “We can do anything you want.”

            He smiled up at me—so genuine that I felt my heart stutter in response.

            “You know... You always manage to get my underwear all wet,” he chuckled softly.

            Sticking my tongue out along with a smooth wink, I slipped into a hearty laugh and held him as close as physics let me.

            After I’d started to draw the bath, I sat him down on the toilet lid and gently undressed him. At first, he protested and scolded me for babying him, but after I’d rolled down one of his thigh highs, pressing long kisses to every inch I uncovered, he’d fallen silent and just watched me. His legs were so beautiful, especially when they were tucked in those gorgeous thigh highs, and I admit that he had to half-kick me away to stop my endless gush of caresses along their exquisite dips and curves. I turned the lights down low and lit four candles by the bathtub. Then I picked up mom’s bathing utensils and read a few labels on the various bath bombs she kept.

            “Hmm, we have Delicate Floral Delight, Lemony Cocoa Butter Fizzer or Dreamy Lavender Froth. Oh, and here’s something with vanilla. Which do you want?”

            “Wow, those are from Lush. The Lemony Cocoa Something, please. It’s new and I haven’t gotten the chance to try it yet,” he said animatedly.

            I smiled up at him, genuinely awed by his adorable excitement over something as simple as a bath bomb. “I didn’t know you liked to bath that much.".

            “Oh, I do. I fucking love taking a bath. With bath bombs even more,” he replied. Then, he blushed and rubbed absentmindedly at his cheeks. “Uhm... Is that weird?”

            I laughed and unwrapped the bath bomb to find out what 'Lemony Cocoa Butter' actually smelled like.

            “It’s not weird at all. I knew you were a cleanly guy, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise. But damn, I still think it’s beyond cute,” I finally said, smiling to myself.

            He rose on legs that were still a little shaky, and tiptoed over to where I sat on the marble edge of the bathtub. He wavered a bit, so I reached out and pulled him into my lap, my nose pressing up against the back of his neck to inhale his lovely, musky scent. Then I took his hand and dipped his fingertips into the water. He closed his eyes on a long sigh.

            “Temperature okay for you?” I asked.

            “Just perfect.”

            He made a move to get up from my lap, but I didn’t let him. Instead, I rose to my feet along with him and climbed into the tub. When we’d settled in the hot water, him between my legs with my arms around his middle, I leaned back and sighed in contentment.

            “You really are clingy, huh?” Levi asked, eyeing me.

            “Yep, hopelessly clingy. And you better get used to it, because I don’t plan on changing that when it comes to you. Now here, bomb us,” I grinned, handing him the yellow-and-orange striped bath bomb.

            He released an overly adorable little giddy chuckle as he took it, and then dropped it into the clear water. I stared as the bomb began to fizzle and roll around the water, leaving vibrant streams of orange, pink and gold wherever it went. The creamy scent of cocoa, lime and fennel filled the air around us. I was beginning to really like those bath bombs, and considering Levi loved them, I made a mental note to get more for him.

            “Look at that!” He squealed, dipping his fingers into the brightly colored trails. “This one’s amazing.”

            He tried to catch the speeding bomb in his hand, but the coating had become slippery and kept evading him. He cursed at the slowly dissolving bath bomb, and while I watched the cute display going on in my arms, there was only one thought coursing through my head.

            If this is what falling in love feels like, I never want to fall out of it.

Chapter Text

            “Opposite of warm.”


            “Fourth planet from the sun.”

            “Uhm... Mars.”

            “Scowl angrily.”

            “That one's easy. Glare.”

            “Why are you so good at crosswords?” I chuckled and put the crossword magazine away. It was around two in the morning, and we’d lazed in bed ever since we got out of the bath earlier. Levi was lying on his back with me lying on top of him, my torso between his legs and cheek resting on his warm stomach. His hands were buried in my hair, wrapping the strands around his fingers and giving them gentle tugs every now and then. He’d insisted we wear our boxers, which had probably been a good idea considering I was hopelessly insatiable when it came to him.

            “I used to do them a lot when I was bored,” he said, continuing to play with my hair until I purred.

            “What else do you do when you’re bored?”

            “Hm, I don’t know. Drawing mostly,” he replied.

            I lifted my head to gaze at him in awe. I could definitely picture him as an artsy guy. “That’s so cool. I suck at drawing,” I admitted. “Hey, will you show me a few of your drawings sometime?”

            His eyebrows shot up as he studied my face closely. “I guess I could. If you’re really interested in that sort of thing?”

            “Of course I am!” I exclaimed. “I want to know more about you.”

            His grey gaze continued to bore into mine, obvious disbelief marking it. “Why?”

            “What do you mean? Because I like you, that’s why.”

            Levi blushed, and pushed my face back into the lemon-scented skin of his stomach, effectively breaking our eye contact.

            “H-Hey,” I mumbled in his belly, but my protest was short-lived when I realized just how warm and smooth his skin felt against my cheek, so I decided to just stay down with a content sigh. My arms found their way around his middle, and I hugged him tight to me, nuzzling his belly before letting my tongue dip into his navel. He shuddered beneath me, just the slightest tremble that brought a fresh set of goose bumps along with it.

            “You have such beautiful skin,” I whispered absentmindedly. My breath trailing over his sensitive skin elicited a sweet little groan from him which had me impossibly turned on in a matter of seconds. His legs wrapped lightly around my neck when I showered his stomach with feather-light kisses, my nails mapping out every slanted curve of his delicate ribs.

            “Well, you sure marked it a fucking lot,” he breathed, lithe body arching into my touch.

            I laughed and bit him just above the waistband of his boxers, earning a small whine from him.

            “My marks make it even more beautiful. At least to my eyes,” I replied with a wink.

            He mumbled something that sounded suspiciously similar to “spoiled brat”, which only served to make me break out in laughter. It was not exactly a nice pet name, but it was just what I expected of him, which made it perfect. I got up on my knees and took a hold of his leg, lifting it up to kiss a slow trail from his thigh down to his ankle. I was just about to suck on his dainty ankle bone, when I noticed black lettering on his instep. Curious, I pulled his foot closer to my face to inspect my discovery. Then I rubbed over it, but it stayed the same. My eyes popped open when I realized what I was looking at.

            “Oh fuck, you have a tattoo?! An actual tattoo?!”

            I kept brushing over the single gracile black letter. It was a K. God, Levi had a tattoo? He’d just grown a million times hotter in my book. He laughed at my open-mouthed expression, and even more when I kept staring at the tattoo as if it might vanish any minute.

            “Yeah idiot, it’s real,” he laughed. “You can stop staring now. It’s not gonna disappear.”

            I smiled and leaned in to give the small tattoo a long lick just for good measure. It didn’t smudge either. It was really real.

            “Woah okay, okay,” I said, calming myself with a deep breath. I laid his foot in my lap and began to massage it mindlessly, “Spill it. Everything. What does it mean, where did you get it, did it hurt?”

            He laughed again and stretched his arms before he tucked them beneath his head. Then he moved his foot out of my hands, my eyes glued to it as it traveled up my chest, only to stop and flick my nipple with his toe. I gasped, the sound quickly morphing into a low growl before throwing him a heated look. If he didn’t want to steer this where it was currently going, he’d better stop before I jumped at him and took him again. He licked his lips playfully and blew me a kiss that made my heart jump into overdrive. My cheeks flushed with warmth and I averted my gaze, clearing my throat to get rid of the rapidly unfurling warmth in my lower body that demanded attention.

            “Well?” I prodded.

            “Well,” he began, a smile still dancing across his lips. “It’s a K for Kuchel, my mom. The pain was bearable and I did it myself.”

            I stared at him, waiting for him to laugh and declare what he’d just said as a joke. But he didn’t. All he did was stare back at me, his lips curving in a smirk. I raised an eyebrow at him.

            “You did it yourself?”


            “Are you trying to pull my leg right now? Because I’ll have you know, it’s not working.”

            He laughed and gave me a frisky shove with his foot before he said, “I’m not kidding you. I swear I did it myself. I can do you too, if you want.”

            A slow, lascivious smirk spread over my lips, and from the adorable blush grazing his cheeks, he knew exactly why. This opportunity to tease him was too perfect to ignore. I brushed my palms along his tone legs and spread them, just wide enough for me to crawl in between and tower over him. “You wanna do me, Levi?”

            “What, no! I-I didn’t mean it like that, moron!” He squeaked, his blush creeping all the way up to the lovely tips of his small ears.

            His legs wrapped tightly around my waist, squeezing me until a soft moan left my lips to whisper over his. If this was an attempt to stop me from continuing by squeezing me to unconsciousness, it was failing. I began to move on top of him, biting my lip as I purposely rubbed our nipples together while I kept whispering in his ear.

            “You want to insert your needle in me?”

            “Ah, Eren... No, just... S-Shut up, that’s not what I meant—”

            He was embarrassed and aroused in equal measure, a killer combination to look at. Stopping now didn’t even cross my mind.

            “You want to fill me up with your ink?”

            “If you don’t shut up, I swear to god—”

            Before he could finish his threat, I leaned down and took his lips with mine, greedily licking into his mouth until his words turned to breathless moans. One of my hands slipped beneath his behind to touch his perfect cheeks all over, feeling them up with my palm. I’d never get enough of him.

            “Okay, I’m out of tattoo slash sex jokes,” I laughed against his mouth.

            “Oh, thank god,” he sighed and tugged on my hair. And then he sputtered and started to laugh, really laugh, and I was lost to the sound of it. His eyes squeezed shut, his cheeks growing warm with humor. He was so beautiful, it made my heart ache in the best ways. I gazed down at him, kissing the small tears his laughing fit had conjured away with a few gentle strokes of my lips.

            “I want it,” I said.

            “What, again?” Levi blushed and bit his lip, his eyes wide and shimmering in the soft silvery shade I loved so much.

            “Oh uhm,” I stammered. “Not that. I mean I want that all the time, but I meant a tattoo. Would you do one for me?”

            “Uh Eren,” he said while his hand searched for mine. “I don’t know. My body is one thing, but yours... I’m not a trained tattoo artist or anything. I just googled and gave it a go, more or less. You should really get it done professionally.”

            He was talking himself into a nervous babble, so I caught his face between my palms and began to stroke his cheeks with my thumbs. I knew by now that the touch had a soothing effect on him.

            “Hey,” I cooed softly, and his attention fixed right on me. “I know the risk. But I want you to be the one who does it. Please.”

            I kissed the tip of his nose and he turned his head away. “I don’t want to fuck you up,” he said uncertainly.

            I bit my tongue to not blurt out how much I actually wanted him to fuck me up, like super hard, but he was conflicted and worried and this was not the right time to crack any stupid jokes. If I wanted Levi to ink me, I’d better do this right. So I bent down until his lips were just an inch away from mine, my green eyes staring into his grays. He swallowed, but didn’t shy away or avert his gaze again. He seemed strangely caught up in the moment, just like I was. “You won’t. You did the one you have so perfectly, and we’ll only make it a small one, okay? I trust you. Please, do this for me. I really, really want you to.”

            He stared up at me, and a few moments passed with us just holding each other’s gaze. Then he waved his hand and tried to swat me away (as if I’d let him, come on).

            “Would you fucking stop that?”

            “Stop what?” I asked, sucking his neck until a gorgeous red kiss mark appeared. I probably really should stop marking him like this, but I had yet to succeed at letting up on him for more than ten minutes at a time.

            “This,” he gestured to my face. “Stop with those fucking gorgeous eyes and this stupidly beautiful smile and this damn perfect body of yours. Just stop.”

            I chuckled and caged him in between my arms to better look down at him. “We’re gonna have a problem with that, you know. Because there’s no other way I’m able to look when you’re with me. This is all your fault, Levi.”

            The playful mood was gone in an instant, and I felt the sincerity of the situation settle around me, around us. It was true, and saying it out loud made me realize just how much. “Pfft,” he huffed. “You sound like a lovesick idiot.”

            “Maybe I am one.”

            “Shut up.”

            “Why? Would that be so bad?”

            “Can we just... talk about something else?” He stirred against me, and one look at his face told me how uncomfortable he was with the current direction our conversation was taking.

            I didn’t mean to push him to do or say something he wasn’t ready for, so even if I wanted to talk about our relationship more than anything, I didn’t force it. Instead, I sighed and rolled off of him, staring up at the ceiling. Once again, a tweak of cold fear struck me straight through my chest when I thought about the possibility that our time together might come with a time limit after all. Was one summer really all I would get with him? Thinking about this hurt more than I thought possible. Maybe I shouldn’t allow myself to have expectations, but how could I not? He was the best thing that had ever happened to me, and being with him felt like plain paradise. Was I really to blame for not wanting to let that go?

            “Hey,” Levi said, nudging my side. “Do you still want that tattoo?”

            I turned and looked at him, only to feel his hand sliding into my hair to ruffle it. I leaned into the touch as if it was something vital that kept me up and running. Was it normal to crave the smallest of his touches like this?

            “Yes,” I replied without hesitating. I flipped on my stomach and rested my head in my palm. “Are you willing to do it, or do I have to launch my convincing strategy?”

            He chuckled and slipped on top of me, sitting down on my ass and running his nails down my bare back. I shuddered with delight and arched my back to indicate that I wanted more.

            “I wonder what your convincing strategy includes?”

            I reached back and gave his thigh a sly pinch. He shrieked and groaned my name in annoyance, which only made me laugh more. With one fluid movement, I turned on my back while holding onto his hips to make him stay on top of me, straddling my lap. One finger slipped beneath the elastic band of his boxers to tug it back and make it snap against his skin. I bit my lip, wanting to do it again.

            “Ouch,” he drawled playfully and began moving his delicious ass back and forth on my groin, drawing a loud moan from me. “So? Your strategy?”

            “Well, my strategy consists of you... riding me!” I squealed and strengthened my grip on his hips in case he planned to bolt after what I’d said. But he only laughed and gave me a little punch to my chest, rolling his eyes.

            “That’s the worst strategy I’ve ever heard!”

            “That’s possible, considering I just came up with it,” I laughed and leaned up with the speed of lightning to return that little nipple flick he’d dealt earlier. “Is it still effective, though?” I wiggled my eyebrows and gave his ass a sneaky squeeze.

            “Not one fucking bit,” he huffed, crossing his arms. “You got this a little wrong, Jeager. Why would I ride you, when you’re the one supposed to convince me?”

            “Mmh, Levi,” I purred. “Don’t talk about riding me so casually. I’m getting hard.”

            “You’re always hard,” he snapped, trying to move off of me. Tried being the operative word.

            “True,” I sighed dreamily, unfazed by his continuous struggles to get free of my grasp. “And who’s responsible for that, I wonder?”

            He turned away, but his blush was obvious still. I loved when I made him blush.

            “What do I have to do to tone down your libido? At this rate, I won’t be able to walk to school in fall. Maybe gain some weight?”

            I snorted and pulled him down on me, ignoring his cute little punches of protests on my chest. “So you’ve discovered my chubby kink?”

            “Another one? How many kinks do you have, anyway?” He asked, his eyebrows narrowed.

            “Only one.”

            “Which is?”

            “A Levi kink.”

            He buried his face in the crook of my neck, but I still felt his lips curving against my skin. He was smiling, and I knew it. I placed a soft kiss to the top of his head and pulled the thin blanket over us. Tangling my legs with his, I listened to his soft breathing, which was dancing softly over my neck.

            “Why is everything you say so embarrassing,” he whispered.

            “You love it, baby,” I whispered back, holding him tight. He trembled slightly, and I wasn’t sure if it was because of our vicinity or the endearment I’d just used.

            “Don’t call me that,” he said, his voice quiet and a little shaky.

            “Aw, I want to give you a pet name, too. How about sailor? Sailor Levi?”

            “Ugh, no way. I’m more than a sailor.”

            “Well, maybe a captain then? Captain Levi?”

            He snickered softly into my neck, making me tremble. “That's actually... not bad at all. For a brat.”

            I hugged him even tighter and moved the ball of my foot up and down his svelte leg, feeling his creamy skin with my own. Utterly content, I yawned and closed my eyes. It was late, and being with Levi like this made me drift off into a blissful state of sleep inertia. I was already on the brink of dozing off when he made a move to extricate himself from my firm full-body grip, causing my eyes to snap open.

            “What exactly are you doing?” I asked sleepily, watching him as he struggled against my arms, which I had no intention of moving away anytime soon.

            “What does it look like? I’m leaving. Eren, come on... get off of me.”

            He pushed against my arm with his pale little palms while huffing his bangs cutely out of his face, and I just had to bite back a giggle. He was too damn adorable, even if he didn’t want to be. Actually, especially then.

            “You’re joking, right?” My eyes widened when the meaning of his words sank in at last. Leaving? No way. He’d have to knock me out cold to get away without my interference. “Levi, no... Please stay. I can’t... Don’t make me sleep alone. Please? It’s 3.30 in the morning. It’s dangerous to walk home now.”

            He raised an eyebrow at me. “These are the nice outskirts of Trost, Eren. The most dangerous thing happening around here is people falling over their unnecessary-as-fuck robotic lawn mowers.”

            Shit. He was right. My brain jumped into full-on working mode to come up with a credible excuse to make him stay the night. Even after a few moments, I came up empty-handed, which meant the only thing left was to be up front and tell the truth. “Okay, okay!” I cried, taking a deep breath, “I don’t have a valid reason. Just that I am clingy and needy and that I can’t fall asleep if you’re not here.”

            For a few moments, the only audible thing in the quietness around us was my heavy heartbeat. I was one hundred percent sure Levi could hear it too, especially with how close we were nestled together. I hadn’t paid much thought to my words, but now that they were out they sounded so... Intimate. Considering his earlier reaction to anything feelings-related, I might have just made a colossal mistake. Levi took a deep breath and then I felt his arms sneak back around my neck, pulling me close. I wanted to rejoice with relief, and then move on to cry happy tears. He settled back under the covers and placed a soft kiss on my collarbone. Apparently, he was as reluctant to go as I was to let him.

            “Okay,” he whispered.

            “Thank you,” I said earnestly, before I tilted his face up to mine. His eyes were slightly glossy, and shimmering so beautifully in the dim light. I leaned in and kissed him—slowly, languidly, lovingly. My hands slipped back into his hair, and I brushed through the soft strands until I heard his breathing even out. Only then did I close my eyes to follow him into peaceful sleep.



Levi’s smooth voice whispered into my ear, before he kissed my earlobe very softly, just a fleeting touch. I smiled into the pillow, choosing to stall him for another few moments in favor of (hopefully) sponging a few more of his kisses. He dived beneath my arm and brought his face close to mine, mouthing against my lips. “I know you’re awake, idiot. You’re smiling.”

My smile grew even wider at that, but I stayed unmoving still. He pinched my cheek way harder than necessary, and it took everything I had to keep from whining out.

            “Eren, stop it. Open your eyes. Right now.”

            He huffed adorably, and I felt the stream of warm air pass from his lips to my jaw. Goose bumps began to form on my skin, and my brain shot me a mental note to finally stop my antics and touch him. Everywhere I could reach, preferably. Apparently, Levi had enough of my pretenses. He bit my shoulder hard enough to draw a miserably suppressed mewl from me, and I quickly bit down on my lip to keep the sound from slipping into a full-on groan. That would be a dead giveaway, and I wasn’t ready to admit defeat just yet. I felt Levi’s gaze on me, observing my every movement, even if I didn’t see it with my own eyes. It was there, I knew it, and that tiny little fact alone made my heart speed up by at least fifty-five miles per hour.

            “Fine. Be like that,” he said, obviously annoyed now. He untangled himself from my body and made a move to leave the bed, but I was quick to wrap him back up in my arms and hold him close to me, nuzzling the soft shaved hair at his nape.

            “Where are you going?” I whispered, my voice scratchy from a night of fabulous sleep with Levi in my arms.

            He sighed and succumbed to my hug. I smiled fondly into his neck. He really was indulging me, and I loved every second of it.

            “Up. Considering you,” he jabbed me in the ribs, “Are having way too much fun playing dead.”

            I laughed and began nibbling on his neck. The touch made him shiver against me, and my lips curved against his skin in satisfaction.

            “Have a shower with me?” I asked innocently.

            He turned around in my arms and watched me closely, his eyes narrowed before he finally sighed and nodded. “I think we could both use one. We spent all night glued together and I’m fucking sticky all over because of you.”

            I made a quiet noise of happy approval, but when he slipped out of my arms again, I held him back once more. He turned, his brow furrowed and and his lips pressed in a tight line, so I spoke quickly to soothe the gathering storm. “Morning kiss first?”

            “Ugh, no way in hell. I don’t want to kiss you. I’m sure you have awful morning breath.”

            I pouted and tightened my grip on him. “Kiss or no shower.”

            He rolled his eyes at me, and then huffed. “Seriously, how spoiled can you even get?”

            I shrugged before I tried my sweetest smile and fluttered my eyelashes at him. He scowled back at me, but I was still brave (or suicidal) enough to jut out my lips in anticipation. I’d insist on that kiss no matter what. Levi tapped his finger to my bottom lip with a long sigh, and my eyes fell closed of their own accord. Then he leaned in, and I felt him coming closer, inch by inch. This wasn’t my first kiss with him, not by a long shot, but I couldn’t help feeling as if it was. He made every little touch exciting; every kiss feel as if it was my first. When I finally sensed his lips on mine, my heart stuttered and then stopped altogether. I grew utterly still, enjoying the incomparable feeling to the fullest without allowing anything else to snag my attention away. It was just this kiss, his lips on mine, and in this moment, it was perfect. It was enough, more than that even. When he broke away after a few blissful moments, I met his warm gaze and smiled at him, like I’d never smiled at anyone before. He deserved a smile entirely for himself, and so much more than that.

            “Shower,” he stated.


            As soon as both of us were on our feet, I swept him up in my arms, ignoring his angry protests and annoyed eye rolls. I carried him into the bathroom, my mind only just coming out of its dreamy state, and set him down on the edge of the tub while I turned on the water to let it heat up. When soft steam began to billow around us, I turned only to find him standing right behind me. His hands came up to brush lightly over my chest, and I squeezed my eyes tightly shut as I reveled in the the feeling of his palms on me. Every little contact made sparks burst inside my chest, only to mingle with my blood and shoot through my entire system. Once again, I wondered if all of those giddy sensations would ever fade, but when I looked at him—at those impossibly gorgeous gray eyes filled with emotion—I was sure they wouldn’t. This was heaven. My own hands came up to travel over his arms, up to his neck, where I began to massage the smooth skin with my fingertips. I failed at suppressing a moan when his fingers dipped beneath the waistband of my boxers and tugged them off until I was utterly bare in front of him. Opening my eyes just the tiniest bit, I gazed at his expression—his bottom lip caught in between his teeth, his eyes adopting a glossy sparkle, his cheeks coloring the faintest blush—as his eyes ate me up from top to bottom. God, he made me feel so wanted. So desirable, just with this subtle look on his face; it was incredible. And so very addicting.

            “Turn around?” I asked, feeling my own cheeks growing hot as he continued to rake his gaze over me almost hungrily. He broke out of his stare with a small jolt, and then turned like I asked him to.

            My hands came to rest on his shoulders, squeezing the hard muscles, before I let them wander down his back, grazing his spine—slowly, tenderly. An involuntary smile found its way on my lips when my thumbs brushed over the sweet little dimples just above the full swell of his behind. I took a few seconds to play with the cotton of his boxers, before I hooked my fingers into the waistband and pulled them down along the perfect curve of his ivory legs until I was on my knees behind him. He lifted his feet so I could get rid of his underwear for good. Having his gorgeous rear right in front of my face made me lick my lips with vigor. What would he taste like here? I was dying to find out, but I knew he’d never let me suck any of his private parts before he’d gotten his shower. So I settled for two open-mouthed kisses to each of his bottom cheeks, and then came back up to my full height. Levi didn’t turn around to face me right away, which gave me another moment to check out his ass—damn, was having an ass like that even physically possible—along with the glistening traces of saliva my kisses had left on it. I licked my lips again at the inviting sight, and gave the supple mound an appreciative pat before following up with a playful smack that made his sinful little ass bounce animatedly.

            Goddammit. I was a goner.

            Before I could give myself the chance to play with one of my favorite parts his body had to offer some more (and get even harder in the process), I opened the glass sliding door of the shower cabin and pulled Levi with me into the moist clouds of warm steam. He slipped a bit, but I was there to catch him before he could fall. Puffing adorably, his palms came up to my chest, and just the sight of them on my tawny skin drove the biggest smile to my face. I could get used to this.

            “Warm enough?” I whispered into the humid air between us.

            “Yes...” he answered languidly, his eyes fixed on where our skin met.

            He brushed his hands along my chest, before trailing down to my waist and holding gently onto my hips. I closed my eyes and relished the moment; only him and me and the warm water raining down on us. We stayed like that for a few moments before I reached behind him and picked up the shower gel bottle.

            “Hands or loofah?” I asked, holding both up for him to see.

            He mustered me intently, before he finally asked, “Are your hands clean?”

            I looked at my palms and quickly brought them under the water stream, rubbing them together a little too roughly, but hey, I had to satisfy a clean freak after all. “They are now!” I grinned and held up my pink palms, wiggling my fingers.

He smirked and nudged me playfully in the side, before turning to let me get to cleaning him, which I’d been dying to do. Before I could get started properly, my gaze caught on his beautifully pale back. God, he really was a sight, and I couldn’t help staring shamelessly whenever the chance arose. Before I could totally space out again, I squirted some shower gel on my palm and spread it over my hands. A fresh, creamy scent of oranges, lemons and grapefruits rose up and mingled with the humid air, creating warm clouds of citrus water.

            “Mh, this smells fantastic,” Levi mumbled happily and swayed back into my touch.

            “You like it?” I asked quietly. “It’s from Lush as well.”

            He chuckled softly and took another step back, coming to stand so close to me that washing his back was getting a little difficult. Not that I’d complain, though. When it came to me, proximity outweighed cleanliness, always. Running my soapy hands over the exquisite curve of his shoulders, I dipped down his back, massaging the citrus foam into his skin. The soft ivory of his skin was left pink and irresistibly soft to the touch, making me wonder how long I’d manage to keep my hands off of him this time. After I’d taken care of his back, I sunk to my knees and got to work on his legs. I tried not to linger on the way the pearly drops whispered in soft trails down his thighs and calves, the creamy expanse showered with love marks in various colors. Biting my lip, I closed my eyes briefly to force down another wave of persistent arousal at the sight of how thoroughly I’d marked him up. If anyone was to see him like this, they’d know he was taken in an instant. That he was mine. The thought bloomed like a full peony inside my heart, spreading its sweet scent into every nook and cranny of my being. How much did I want to call him mine? Much more than I’d ever wanted anything else up to this point, that much was sure.

            “Hey,” came Levi’s voice, a slight touch of worry swinging in the low timbre, “You’ve been washing away at the same spot for half of eternity now. You okay?”

            The question pulled me out of my thoughts and back to the present. I kissed the spot which had grown a hot pink from my rubbing apologetically, lingering another moment to smell the perfect combination of his skin and the fresh citrus bouquet.

            “I-I don’t know...” I answered truthfully.

            “Huh?” Levi asked, turning around to catch a peek of my face. “Eren, what’s wrong?”

            His voice was filled with tension, and I knew he cared about me then. Why couldn’t we just talk about how we felt for each other? I wasn’t the type of person to hold back on anything, be it actions or words. The same apparently held true for feelings, too. Tiptoeing around them, biting my tongue when all I wanted to tell him everything he was making me feel with a mere touch or look, was only serving to make me grow restless and dissatisfied with myself. When I felt Levi’s hands in my wet hair, combing it through with agonizingly silken strokes of his fingers, I felt a dam breaking within me. With that barrier gone, I suddenly felt like I needed to tell him, everything. How much he’d come to mean to me, how I missed him the second he left my side, how I couldn’t imagine being without him anymore. But the thought of his previous reaction halted me just a second before doing that. Opening my heart to him would leave me exposed. Vulnerable. Everything we had could and would change in a heartbeat, and I was not ready for the negative outcome this could entail. Losing him now would break me. I had no doubt that it would. So instead, I let Levi pull me to my feet, his slate-colored eyes searching mine. I didn’t dare to look up and meet them, because I knew then I’d truly be lost. I was teetering on the edge as it was, and seeing those perfect charcoal storms in his eyes would melt my resolve in a split second. His hands cupped my face, so soft and careful.

            “Eren, look at me,” he said. “Come on.”

            I tilted my face up to his, choosing to focus on his lips rather than the silver irises waiting for me. “What is it you’re so anxious about? Did I... Do something?”

            Yes. You did, Levi. You’ve done something to me I can’t even begin putting into words. All I know is that it feels incredible and that I want more. That I want you.

            “No... You didn't do anything wrong. It’s just that I... Levi, I... I lo—”

Chapter Text

            “No, you didn’t do anything wrong. It’s just that... Levi, I... I lo—“

            The rest of my confession was cut off by an obnoxiously loud ringing inside the bathroom. The sound was joined by a persistent vibration somewhere outside the small, blissful bubble the shower stall currently presented. And now our bubble was right on its way to burst all around us, and I wasn’t ready for that to happen. Not until I’d said I what I needed to tell him.

            “Fuck, that’s my phone,” Levi huffed and rolled his eyes. His attention was already drifting towards his ringing cell. I was losing my chance to tell him how much I liked him, and fast. I had to do something, anything. Without thinking of a sensible way to approach this, I reached out and grabbed his hand, pulling him back against my water-slick chest.

            “Levi, please, wait a second. There’s something I need to tell you,” I began. I took a deep breath and braced myself for whatever possible consequences my next words would unleash. But Levi wrenched his fingers out of my hand and shook his head.

            “This might be work, Eren. I really need to get that. Just... tell me later, okay?”

            And with that he was gone, so fast that I didn’t even get the chance to utter something in return. To keep him here, to make him listen. As quick as I’d decided to let him know about the way I felt for him, as quick did I watch as the moment evaporated along with the steam we’d just occupied together. I squared my shoulders, just to sag against the wet tiles when a sudden bout of disappointment washed over me.

            “Ah yes, sure. I understand... I’ll be there, don’t worry. Yes, I’ll leave in a bit. See you soon.”

            Levi’s voice was drifting towards me, but I was only barely listening to what he was saying to whoever was on the other end of the line. A few moments later, Levi knocked against the glass of the shower stall. Snapping out of my melancholy, I involuntarily searched his eyes, which were blurry through the fogged-up glass.

            “Are you going to stay in there for a bit longer?” Levi asked. He sounded so far away, and that was just what he felt like. As if I was right here, but he was somewhere else entirely. Behind an impenetrable wall. Unreachable. Wasn’t it fitting that the glass was separating us from each other right now? I almost had to laugh at the irony.

            “Uhm...” I started, unsure if I wanted to stay or get out.

            “Well, I gotta go. My boss asked me to cover a colleague’s shift today. Sorry. I’ll call you later, okay?”

            I only nodded. He might not have seen it, but right then, I didn’t care. For once, I didn’t chase after him and beg him to come back later. Instead, I continued to wash myself with shaky hands and watery eyes, my thoughts rumbling inside my head, taking hundred different turns. Maybe I was fooling myself. The notion brought a sad smile to my lips. It had only been a few weeks, and here I was, ready to spill my heart to him. My behavior could probably only be described as rash and impulsive, two traits I’d had plastered to my forehead ever since I was born. Why the hell did I have to wear my heart on my sleeve? So if all of this was just a delusion... Why didn’t it feel like one? If what I was feeling was wrong, why did it feel so right?

            A thin sigh left my lips, and I made quick work of finishing up and stepping out of the shower, which felt strangely empty without Levi here to share it with me. The towel I used to dry myself off fell carelessly to the floor when I caught my reflection in the large mirror across from the shower I’d just left. There were lingering traces of fog on the glassy surface, but not enough to blur out my face staring back at me. My fingers curled around the sink and I looked up at myself, at the soft pink glow across my cheeks, at the shimmering sparkle in my eyes, at my lips which couldn’t seem to suppress an abiding happy smile. I knew then that none of what I felt for Levi was an illusion. It wasn’t wishful thinking, or a lie. It didn’t matter that we hadn’t spent years of time together, just the few days I’d had with him were enough for me to know. I was in love with Levi, so entirely that just thinking about it made my heart swell with a certainty I knew was genuine. I didn’t care what all the others would think, about what the entire school would gossip about. Levi was the person I wanted to be with, consequences be damned.

            I loved him. I really, truly loved him.

            When I met my gaze in the mirror this time, my lips were taken over by a smile so huge that my cheeks hurt with its intensity. I’d not let him go. If he wasn’t ready yet, if it was too soon to think about a future together, I was ready to wait. A nagging thought made its way past my love-struck haze, making my stomach twist in a painful cramp.

            What if his hesitance meant he didn’t feel the same for me? What if time wasn’t enough? What if... Nothing would be enough, because his feelings would never match my own?

            I gave my head a good shake, as if the motion was enough to clear it of the miserable turn my earlier bliss had taken. A sudden need to talk to Levi flared up again, white-hot and pressing, but I tried my hardest to wrestle it down. Pushing him now would only force him away from me. He just... Needed time. And he’d get it. All the time in this world, until he knew. Until then... Whichever way he wanted me, he’d have me. I’d show him how good we were together, how perfect, until he realized the truth of it. Because it was true. He was meant for me, just like I was meant for him. While I couldn’t deny that there was a persistent voice in the back of my head telling me to anticipate the worst, I still tried not to let my spirits get dampened by it. For now, Levi was by my side and I’d do my best to keep him there. My mind made up, I stretched my limbs and got to work on the house, hurrying to get it spotless.


I was just out on a walk with Zeke when I heard the familiar tingle of the ice cream truck’s bell a few streets down. Biting my lip, I bent down to pat Zeke’s head while I contemplated going over to see Levi at work. He’d told me he’d take his colleague’s shift today, that much I could remember, which meant I’d get to meet him if I wanted to. Why was I even thinking about whether I wanted to or not? This wasn’t normal. Normal would be me jumping into a mad dash to make it to the truck before anyone else. Zeke eyed me curiously, before he jumped up at my legs, obviously willing me to continue our walk—most likely into Levi’s direction. It was then that I made a decision. I would not let Levi know that something was off, or that I was currently pondering how to turn this casual relationship we had into something more. I’d not let him worry about it, or me. I’d act just like I always did, loved him just like I always had those past few days. It wouldn’t be easy, but I’d force myself to put up a tough front, for him. For us. Getting up from my hunches, I let myself get pulled after a frantic Zeke, following the light tingle until it got louder and finally led us to the truck. I watched from afar as the long throng of people ordered and walked off with their ice cream cones, before I moved closer. Zeke was silent beside me. I peeked through the window to be confronted by the sight of Levi’s back while he cleaned up a few boxes in the truck’s rear. My heart did a somersault hard enough to make me miss my next breath, and I hadn’t even seen his face yet. But I would, in a few moments, and that led my lips to dip into the widest grin all by themselves.

            “I’ll be right there!” Levi called, and I kept quiet as I watched how he stood up on his tiptoes to reach something from all the way up on the highest shelf. God, his height would be the death of me—or more like, the adorableness that came along with it.

            “Okay, I’m—“ Levi’s voice trailed off as soon as his eyes met mine. “Eren!”

            “In the flesh,” I smiled. “Am I bothering you?”

            “More than usual, you mean? Not yet,” he quipped.

            I rolled my eyes and put a very realistic pout on my lips, taking Zeke’s leash to turn away from the truck.

            “Fine. Zeke, we’re leaving,” I said, head held high.

            “Hey! Eren, wait! Eren!”

            I ignored Levi’s voice behind me while I strolled away from the truck, enjoying my little fib more than I should. He'd sounded so genuinely worried that I was wondering if he actually meant it. A few steps later, my bad conscience reared its ugly head, and I decided it was enough with the teasing for now. I was just about to turn around and laugh at him, when I felt slender arms wrapping around my middle, accompanied by a gust of hot breath on the back of my neck.

            “Eren! Would you just fucking wait!” Levi huffed, but made no move to untangle himself from me. I could only stare, momentarily taken aback by his unexpected—though very welcome—reaction.

            “Hey, it’s okay. I was just—“

            “Shut up,” Levi cut me off, and used his grip on my hips to turn me around with more force than I thought possible for him to possess. I shut up at his command and resorted to staring down at him, unable to anticipate his next move. Was he angry over that stupid little joke? I was already regretting it.

            “Okay... I’m not used to this, which is why I suck. Either way, I’m sorry. You wanted to tell me something today, and I left because I was called here. It wasn’t my intention to leave you hanging, though. So yeah, I guess what I’m meaning to say with all of this is... Sorry.”

            My mouth opened and closed, just like a fish left stranded, while my gears started working through different possibilities of how to react to this. I hadn’t thought it was possible to fall for him more than I already had, but hey—here I was, doing exactly that.

            Levi was biting his lip, waiting for my response with eyes that held a considerable amount of worry in their stormy depths. I was well underway to get lost in them, like I always did. Damn, what was it we were just talking about? My hands traveled up to cup his, tightening his hold around me. He let me, and I smiled into his soft, sweet-smelling black hair at getting his permission.

            “It’s okay. Don’t worry about that, you hear me?” I whispered, allowing my senses to get assaulted by his unique scent and much-needed vicinity. He released a long breath that sounded almost relieved, and nuzzled my chest.

            “You were really worried, weren’t you?” I asked gently, stroking his back softly up and down until he relaxed against me.

            “Yes. I don’t know. Maybe,” he replied meekly, and I leaned down to kiss the top of his head.

            He stepped out of the hug and took my hand to lead me back to the ice cream truck.

            “So?” He asked, shuffling his feet and avoiding my eyes, “What was it you wanted to tell me?”

            The question, along with the possibility it presented, hit me hard and entirely unexpected. I could tell him, right now, but I knew I shouldn’t. I’d promised myself not to do or say anything that would put him in a complicated situation, which a spontaneous confession while he was at work would undoubtedly do. So I gulped down the enormous lump in my throat that held all my feelings for him, and chose to smile. I could only hope it looked genuine, because it sure as hell didn’t feel like it at the moment.

            “Nothing important. Nevermind,” I said.

            He raised a perfect dark eyebrow at me, obviously not buying it.

            “Nothing important? Didn’t seem like it to me,” he said. “You... Can tell me, you know? If there’s something you need to say, you don’t have to hold back.”

            Suddenly, the air was thickly saturated with something that felt very similar to tension. Trepidation. Foreboding. It was oppressive and more than a little uncomfortable. I was still trying to figure out where the sudden change in atmosphere had come from, when Levi spoke again. “Eren... Is it... about us?”

            Those few words felt like a slap exploding on my face, pulling me back to the present and sharpening all my senses in a matter of seconds. What? About us?

            Did he know?

            “Uhm... Yeah, I mean... I guess?”

            I was being vague on purpose. This was a precarious situation—at least it felt like one—and I had to be careful not to do anything I’d regret later. Levi dropped my hand, biting his lip and inhaling a deep breath before he tilted his face up to meet my gaze. “Eren, I... Just say it. I mean, summer’s halfway over and we... I knew we’d get to this point eventually, so... It’s okay.”

            I was really confused now. What was he talking about? Then, a gut-wrenching realization dawned on me, making my chest squeeze painfully and stealing all my breath away.

            Was he thinking we were... Breaking up right now?

            “Woah, Levi, stop right there,” I hurried, stepping forward to pull him into my arms once again. Fuck, just the mental image of walking away from the ice cream truck, knowing we were over, was impossible to endure. It hurt me, both physically and mentally, to even go there. “What are you thinking this is? I could never... Levi, listen to me. Whatever you think I came here for, it’s not to break up or anything of the sort. Not at all. I’d never do that.”

            Levi was quiet for a long while, and then I felt him return my hug with tentative arms. I wanted to sigh with relief, and when I did, he squeezed me a little tighter. “You... You’re not? I mean, technically, we can't break up, right? We aren't even together, I just thought you wanted to end this... Thing... Between us,” he said quietly, his cautious voice muffled by my shirt. God, was there any way I could carry him off from work so I could take him home with me and hug him until the end of eternity? I sure as hell wanted to.

            The shock was agonizingly slow to subside, but being enveloped in his tight hold on me made the whole process that much easier to bear. “No, I’m not. And I won’t.”

            I let my hands wander up to his face, let my palms cup his soft cheeks to make him look at me. His gaze locked with mine the way it always did, and I knew I had his full attention for my next words. “I like y-... Spending time with you. So much more than I can tell. Levi, you... You make every single day spectacular, and I won’t let that go. I promise. Okay?”

            He returned my searching eyes with big, intense pools of raw granite, making me melt right on the spot. There were so many things I wanted to tell him, to let him know how if any of this was up to me, I’d never, ever break up with him. How much his mere presence lightened up every second of every of my days, how he was the most beautiful thing I ever had the pleasure of touching, holding, feeling. But I held back in favor of the promise I'd made. I allowed things to be easy for now.

            “Okay,” he whispered softly, his warm breath dancing over my lips.

            Holding back at this point was unfathomable. Having him so close to me was too tempting to not lean in for a kiss, so that was what I did. I had to make sure, to affirm we were still together, even if we weren’t. Not in so many words. But I still belonged to him, just as he belonged to me, and a kiss would prove that in the most pivotal way. Our lips touched together ever so tenderly, so very gentle. My hands found its way up and into his hair, brushing through the silken strands and guiding him to my lips again, harder this time. Both of our mouths opened in giddy anticipation and desire, our tongues clashing in a wet match for dominance, our breaths turning to raw pants and low sighs. My index finger brushed his cheek, before moving lower to let my nail graze against the delicate curve of his slender collarbone, all the way down to the hem of his uniform shirt. When my bare palm slipped beneath the fabric to meet his warm, inviting skin, he moaned into my mouth.

            “Ah, Eren, wait...” he whispered, even as he stepped closer to press our bodies flush. My nails curled against smooth, kissable skin, undoubtedly leaving marks I was dying to see on Levi’s beautiful pale skin. His back made contact with the ice cream truck, giving me the opportunity to cage him in between the car and my overheated body.

            “God, I want you,” I groaned, my voice reflecting the need for him in every breathy syllable.

            Somewhere at the back of my mind, I knew I had to stop. That pressing Levi up against his literal workplace with both my hands shoved up his shirt to play with pert nipples wasn’t exactly the code of conduct Levi liked to work with. But damn, here he was—moaning so sinfully into my skin—my name falling from his lips in breathless whispers that had every nerve ending inside me tingle with the urgency to have him; to reinforce that he really was mine, even if it wasn't official.

            “Eren, stop... We really can’t,” Levi breathed on a throaty whisper, “Not here.”

            My hands left his warm skin with a considerable amount of effort and reluctance on my part, but they did. A pained breath escaped me, my gaze dropping to hide the brief flicker of disappointment passing my eyes. Before long, I nodded my head in agreement and began to stroke Levi’s cheeks with gentle fingers, listening to the soft purrs he made.

            “So, about later—“

            “Come over!” I blurted, only to tone down my excitement and repeat in a more level voice, “I mean, you can come over, if you want to. Do you?”

            Levi’s eyes were still closed, seemingly wrapped up in the slow caresses of my fingers on his beautiful face. He looked so relaxed right now, so free of worry, that all I wanted was to never stop touching him.

            “Mhm,” he finally answered, his voice low and silken. "There's actually something I want to show you."

            "Oh?" Excitement licked at my nerves, which quickly gave off a wave of adrenaline.

            Leaning in, my arms curved around the slender arc of his neck, pulling him close to me until there was no room left between us. Then I licked my lips and ran them over every part of his face I could reach, starting at his forehead and the tips of his bangs, down along the perfect bridge of his nose, across the warm mounds of his rosy cheeks until I finally brushed against his full lips. They were open and glossy, inviting me to have a taste. When I slipped my tongue inside, Levi’s questing hands found their way to my hips and squeezed me until I felt arousal flare again, red-hot and scorching.

            “When do you get off?” I whispered against his lips, impatience and need clearly weaving through my tone.

            Levi’s fingernails dug their way up my back, leaving marks all over my shoulder blades until they slipped into my hair, wrapping soft strands around long fingers.

            “Whenever you touch me,” he whispered seductively, and for a brief second, I wondered if his reply was actually something I’d just made up in my mind. It was just that good. He smiled saucily, before he kissed me again.

            “You cheeky little thing,” I said breathlessly after we parted from another deep kiss a few moments later, “Damn right you do. And what about work?”

            “Six,” he said, his eyes piercing straight through me, an unspoken promise woven into their steel gray I was only too willing to return.


            After that, we kissed again, and again, and again. I couldn’t get enough of those sweet, perfect lips on mine; of his hot mouth ready to play whenever I pushed inside. It was intoxicating, so utterly unlike any high I’d ever experienced. When we finally managed to break away from each other—okay, more like Levi breaking away from me—I had to call Zeke back, who’d decided to explore the neighborhood on his own. Luckily, he hadn't gone too far off. We ran around, chasing after him, but had to stop once every five minutes because we were doubling over with laughter. Levi almost howled with mirth when I slipped on the grass and fell squarely on my ass, and then he even went so far as to refuse me assistance in getting back up to my feet. I sneakily tried to shove him when he wasn’t looking, but he was way more agile than me and dodged my attacks with an ease that had me legitimately turn green with envy. Finally, we managed to catch Zeke, and I turned to head home, scolding him just a tiny bit for his little adventure. A few feet away from the truck, another wave of pure affection hit me, and I rushed back to the ice cream truck, rising up on my very tiptoes and holding onto the window frame to lean inside.

            “Kiss me again,” I said longingly when I met Levi's eyes, “I need this to last me a few hours.”

            Levi didn’t say anything, just looked at me. I watched as the most genuine, most perfect smile spread over his gorgeous kiss-swollen lips, and then he reached out to softly bonk his fist on my head. My eyes fell closed when he leaned in, and I almost moaned when the tip of his tongue licked a wet trail along the seam of my bottom lip. Just when I was getting lost to the soft strokes, Levi moved on to biting down on me, sucking my lip inside to nibble on it until it was left pink and wanting. He was quick to soothe the sting with his lips, kissing me until I was utterly lost to the sensation. When he pulled away after what felt like a blissful eternity, I was panting and hopelessly hard. Levi gave my earlobe an affectionate tug, before he said, “You have no idea how much I want to slap your hot ass right now. It’s a damn pity I can’t. Now get lost, or else I won’t be able to get any work done today.”

            I watched as Levi prepared the quickest ice cream cone in existence and handed it to me after (super sized, of course).

            “Mh, lord. You’re the best, you know that?” I said, giving the scoops of double chocolate chip and mint a generous lick and enjoying the way it melted on my tongue to mix with Levi’s abiding flavor.

            “I do know. Now off with you,” he laughed, before he used the carving spoon to fire some whipped cream in my direction. I clicked my tongue chidingly when he missed and blew him a kiss, grinning like a fool.

            “Aw, captain,” I snickered. “Close, but no cigar.”

            “Go away, you brat!”

            This time the whipped cream hit me squarely on the cheek, and I dipped my finger in to lick it off the tip with obvious relish. “Wow, free topping! Thanks, babe!”

            Grinning at his playful scowl, I ran off with Zeke, laughing all the way, my heart thrumming a ridiculous tempo as my mind lingered on Levi and every single kiss we’d shared.

            He really was making every day spectacular, and I'd do everything I could to hold on to that.

Chapter Text

            “Levi!” My lips slipped into a wide grin at finding him on my doorstep, my heart squirming in delight. “Finally.”

            Reaching out my hand, I watched with adoring eyes as he interlaced his slim fingers with mine, ever so gentle. I chuckled and gave his hand a good pull, one that made him fall right against my chest. Not another second passed before he was in my arms, my nose inhaling his scent, lips nibbling the beautiful arc of his neck.

            “Levi, Levi, Levi...” I mumbled mindlessly while rubbing the entirety of my body against his. Once again, I was jumping at him as soon as he walked up to my house, which was actually something I planned on changing. At least in terms of being more restrained in my attacks. Well apparently, that was another idea to put on the shelf, especially when he turned up looking like this. He was wearing an oversized White Stripes tank top that left the pale skin across his ribcage mostly bare on both sides and dipped down low enough in the front to show off the exquisite curves of his collarbones. As if this wasn’t enough to conjure an animated twitching between my legs, he’d combined his shirt with his trademark black, ripped skinny jeans and low Chucks that put his slender ankles on obvious display. He looked positively delicious, in every sense of the word. Or more like ready-to-eat, actually.

            “Eren, calm down,” Levi said breathlessly, hands tugging at my shirt.

            I purred into his soft hair, before I tugged his small earlobe between my teeth to lick the soft skin.

            Mmmh, god. Perfect.

            I only released him after he pinched my side hard enough to make me pull back in pain. The sudden sting was a very effective mean to make me come back to earth though, and I searched his face to determine if he was mad over my little emotional outburst, but he was in fact smiling. Smiling, his eyes sparkling with warm affection and humor.

            “Sorry. I really have to get that under control, don’t I?” I smiled sheepishly, my finger tracing his delicate shoulder.

            “Maybe a bit?” He snickered, then shrugged lightly. The smile was still tugging on his lips, and I wondered if he actually liked the way I fell all over myself with giddy joy whenever he came over. I knew I’d get a one-way ticket to heaven on a pink cloud if he’d ever react to me like this. I smiled, lost in the thought. Yeah, Levi jumping into my arms when I returned home, showering me with sweet kisses. A man could dream.

            I jolted when I felt his warm palms cup my cheeks to pull me down to his height. “Where is your mind right now?”

            My arms encircled his hips in a firm hug, and I sighed happily when he took a step forward to lean into my chest. “Oh, nowhere special. Just thinking about you being my wife, you know, with naked apron and maybe a pink princess plug—Oww!”

            I rubbed the sore spot on my head he’d just hit, grinning teasingly. Okay, I deserved that. Levi wearing a pink princess plug though, only for me... Damn, I had to store that idea away for the future. I let him take off his shoes, and then took his hand to lead him into the kitchen. I’d prepared a salad with water melon and feta cheese for dinner, but wanted to ask him if he’d do the dressing, because he was a salad dressing god, whereas I was a mediocre apprentice at best. Although there were more pressing matters at hand to deal with first. Turning around, I grabbed his hips and lifted him up to sit on the counter, me following suit and stepping between his spread thighs. There was a soft sound of surprise from him, but it wasn’t long until I felt his hands cupping the back of my neck to gently play with the messy brown hair at my nape.

            “Okay, so dinner is ready,” I began. “But first of all, I need my hello kiss. You better get to it if you want me to feed you.”

            “Oh? Cheeky tonight, are we?” He said, taking his sweet time to lean into me, but stopping only an inch before actually touching his gorgeous lips to mine. “Almost makes me want to keep the surprise I brought for you all to myself.”

            “What?! A surprise? I love surprises!” I squealed, quickly dropping my hands to pull at the waistband of his skintight jeans, only to be met with a set of plain boxers.

            “Aww, no lace panties today? Maybe some hot stockings?” I mused excitedly, lips twisting into an aroused little smile.

            I dropped to my knees between his splayed thighs, fully intending to get rid of his jeans, when what I got instead was a warning slap to my arm by one of Levi’s dainty legs.

            “No!” He cried, blushing a bright scarlet, “Nothing like that, moron!”

            “Okay, okay,” I smirked, placing an apologetic kiss to his knee before getting back up. “So? What is it?”

            Levi wrapped his legs around my waist in a tight embrace that had my heartbeat doing fierce overtime. My fingers brushed intricate lines along his sides while I leaned in to kiss his throat.

            “Would you just stop so I can—Mh okay, that’s actually... really nice...” he trailed off on a shaky sigh when I licked his Adam’s apple, and then moved up to kiss his chin, smiling all the while. I loved when he praised me, even one word was enough to get me all fuzzy with an amount of excitement that would easily last me all day. I nuzzled his cheek, nibbling my way along his jawline to his lips, which were parted on a string of soft, wobbly breaths. My hands curled against his back, fingers bunching up his tank top as I made my way down to play with the hem of the fabric.

            “Eren...” he moaned on a languid sigh, my name sounding so much more beautiful than it actually was whenever he was the one who said it.

            “Hm?” I murmured, “What’s my surprise, Levi?”

            His nails dug into my bicep and he exhaled on a long groan that had all the blood in my body rush to a very specific area. “You should get my bag and see for yourself,” he whispered, his eyes blazing with mystery.

            I was intrigued. So intrigued.

            “Okay, wait here,” I said and pecked his cheek before I hurried out into the entrance area and retrieved his bag from where he’d put it by the shoe cabinet. For one brief moment, I contemplated sneaking a peek to satisfy my curiosity, but decided against it. Levi deserved to see my face when I laid eyes on whatever he'd brought for me. When I re-entered the kitchen, he was still sitting up on the counter, swinging his legs through the air. He smirked at me when I came over to him and placed the bag on the counter beside him.

            “Can I?” I asked, my voice high-pitched with barely containable zeal.

            “Go ahead,” he said, biting his lip as his gaze fixed on the bag.

            Taking a deep breath, I pulled the zipper on top, making a show of opening it very slowly for dramatic effect (which was almost killing me). I threw another glance at Levi, who nodded to indicate I keep going and then I slipped my hand inside and took out the first item that met my fingers.

            “You brought me tissues? Aw babe, you shouldn’t have!”

            Levi snagged the tissues from my hand and rolled his eyes. “You’re such a sarcastic ass, you know that? It’s obviously not this. Just... keep going.”

            The soft blush that bloomed across his high cheekbones was enough to make me shut up without uttering another remark and return to reach back into the bag. The next thing I fished out was a notepad covered in scribbles and drawings. I turned the notepad over in my hands, and then opened it. Or tried to. Levi snatched it from my hands before I could look at it properly and laid it down on the counter next to him.

            “There’s more,” he said.

            Nodding, I returned my attention to the bag and took out another item, a medium-sized black bottle this time. Turning the plastic around in my palm, I read the label out loud.

            “Sumi. What’s Sumi? I’ve never heard of it. Some kind of aphrodisiac lube, maybe?” I winked, nudging Levi in the side to let him know I was only joking... a bit.

            “You’d like that, wouldn’t you?” Levi replied, giving his head a scolding shake.

            I shrugged and put the bottle down next to the tissues, but ultimately couldn’t stop the grin from forming anyway.

            “Hell, yeah. I would,” I said, giving him a quick kiss to his cheek. He snickered quietly, before going back to watch me clear out his bag. There were cotton balls, some rubbing alcohol, a lighter. The next notable thing was a see-through plastic box containing a set of various long, shimmering needles. I turned them around in my hand, curious if I could open them to have a closer look, when my subconsciousness connected the dots and made my mouth drop open in stunned disbelief. Levi looked at me, his face a mixture of tension and uncertainty, though his eyes were sparkling with excitement.

            “Levi!” I whisper-shouted, “Is this what I think it is?”

            If someone were to ask me how in the world I’d managed to stay calm up to this point, I’d not have the slightest shimmer how to answer. I felt a veritable inferno of giddy enthusiasm simmer below that controlled surface of mine, and I knew once he’d drop the bomb and tell me what I thought this was was actually true, this control would disappear straight into nothingness.

            “Well,” he said, teeth sinking into his bottom lip once again, “What do you think this is?”

            I placed the needles by the other items I’d uncovered and stepped closer to him, wrapping my arms tightly around his waist and catching his gaze with mine. “Am I getting my tattoo today?”

            Levi grinned and nestled his cheek against the crook of my neck, his warm breath accompanying his next words whispering over my neck. He nipped along my collarbone before he looked up at me, his lips still curved in a subtle smile. “You are.”

            Everything was a blur after that, for me as well as for Levi. I dived in and used my hands almost roughly to wrap his body around mine, only to pull away from the counter and spin him around like a faulty carousel going off its hinges. Levi laughed in my arms and held tightly onto me, which made my exuberance soar even higher. It was a sweet, intimate moment of bonding that made me feel even closer to him. When I finally set Levi down on his feet a couple of minutes later, still chuckling and out of breath, I needed to gulp down an entire glass of water in one go to make up for my elated outburst.

            “I can’t believe you’re serious about this,” I said, grinning widely. “Thank you. This means so much.”

            He blushed, this absolutely irresistible soft rosy color I was hopelessly obsessed with, when he said, “You’re welcome. Just don’t sue me if it doesn’t turn out like you expected.”

            Unable to wipe this foolishly happy smile from my face, I pulled him into another tight hug and spun him around once more, letting my nose sink into his silky black strands. He hugged me back, and we stayed like this until he forced his way out of my grip and ushered me off to get dinner before setting to work. An hour later, I was sprawled on my stomach on the couch in the living room, while Levi sat cross-legged on the floor, his notepad on his lap. He was drawing possible tattoo designs for me, and I was utterly captivated by every stroke he brought on paper. I’d expected him to be a fabulous artist, but this was far from anything I’d imagined. He had some serious talent in those perfect fingers of his.

            “Is there anything you like?” He asked, putting the pen between his lips and rolling it around.

            I was entranced by the motion. I’d never had any desire to be an item, but right now, I wanted to be that pen. “Hm,” I mused. “Well, I like... Black?”

            He turned around to raise an eyebrow at me. A black eyebrow. “Black?” He asked incredulously. “Okay, not really helpful. What else?”

            I looked at him, and an untamable urge to kiss him shot up within me like a white-hot flare. Biting my lip, I tried to focus on what he’d asked to piece together an adequate reply. My eyes met his when I spoke, and the word just fell out of my mouth.


            My mind was blank. The excitement over getting an actual tattoo by Levi, and having him draw it for me on top of that, had any coherent thought happily swirl away on a torrent of dazed bliss. And Levi was on the receiving end of the babble it resulted in.

            “Eren,” he sighed patiently, “Colors are kind of hard to work with. What about letters? Any letter that has a special meaning to you?”

            I looked him squarely in the eye, my heart pounding madly inside my chest as the reply began to form on my lips without my conscious consent. “L.”

            Time stood still. It was like everything around us slipped into stasis, the only thing stirring being this crackling electricity between us. And then, Zeke dashed around the corner and headed straight for Levi, uncaring about his notepad when he jumped up in his lap and showered his face with sloppy kisses. The tension was broken after that, and I dropped my head on my arms to hide my face away from Levi. My mind was spinning with thousands of different emotions, panic and disbelief at the forefront. What a close call. A moment longer of this intense eye contact, and I’d have told him. I’d have told him that he was so special to me that I’d consider getting a tattoo with the first letter of his name on my skin, permanently. If this wasn’t a love confession, then I didn’t know what was. Levi was quietly talking to Zeke, petting him and whispering sweet things, and even though I was dying to see him, I didn’t dare to look up yet. Not until Zeke jumped up on me and got all comfortable on my lower back. One moment later, he was fast asleep and snoring softly.

            “So, uhm...” Levi began.

            “What do you think would fit me? For a tattoo, I mean?” I cut in.

            All I wanted was to chase this lingering awkwardness my earlier statement had conjured away. I didn’t want to make him uncomfortable, and maybe even lead him to change his mind about tattooing me with a careless remark. The pen was back at his lips for a second, the pink tip of his tongue darting out to lick the back end. I gulped and dropped my gaze to the designs sprawled on his notepad. After another moment of silence, Levi flipped to a new page and started to draw. His strokes were quick and precise, his bottom lip caught between his teeth and there was this small wrinkle of concentration between his eyebrows, the one he always wore when he was getting serious about his creations. It was such a pleasure to watch him like this. My eyes followed his hand and hung on every line, until he put the finishing touches on his design and lifted the notepad for me to see.

            He cleared his throat and avoided my eyes as he said, “Something like this is what I picture as you.”

            My breath hitched in my throat, my eyes widening as I took the notepad from him and ran the pads of my fingers over the design again and again. It was beyond compare. I knew there was nothing better I could hope to find, nothing more worthy of being eternalized on my skin.

            “Wow,” I breathed. “Levi... It’s perfect. Thank you.”

            While I assisted Levi in setting up his station, I had to admit that I was getting nervous. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust him, I knew he’d do his job impeccably. The main thing giving me jitters was the pain. I obviously knew getting tattoos wasn’t anything overly comfortable, but I just hoped I wouldn’t end up crying and curling in on myself. I had a reputation to uphold, after all. When we’d finally gotten everything ready, I laid down on the height-adjustable recliner in the living room, and watched Levi slip into tight, white gloves. He snapped them against the skin of his wrist and winked at me. I almost started to drool right then and there.

            “Have you decided on the spot you want it on? I’m not tattooing your balls, just so you know.”

            “Aw okay, I’ll have to go with second choice then,” I joked, suddenly feeling incredibly shy. “I want it here.”

            I lifted the hem of my shirt so that it bared my hips and pointed to a spot on my hipbone. Levi’s eyebrows rose, and there was a delectable onset of a fresh blush grazing his cheeks.

            “Okay, uh... You should probably... take off your shirt for this,” he said quietly, licking his bottom lip.

            Now it was my turn to blush. I nodded and slipped my shirt over my head. Levi’s gaze snapped up to my exposed chest, and even though he’d seen me naked close to a hundred times, I felt self-conscious all of a sudden. Clearing my throat, I began to twiddle my fingers nervously. Another moment passed, and I felt Levi’s eyes on me, making me feel unbearably hot and fidgety at the lack of touch. I wished he’d reach out and run his palms over my chest, or even just his fingertips. Anything, really.

            “Okay, let’s do this,” he finally said.

            I watched as he took the disposable razor out of its prepared bowl filled with warm, soapy water and ran it over my hip to get rid of any hair. It was a necessity to do that, but it felt so intimate that I couldn't help squirming in my seat. Levi was all concentration again, seemingly oblivious to the slowly forming arousal between my legs. When he was done shaving the hair off my hipbone, he sterilized the skin with a cotton ball soaked with rubbing alcohol. Then he uncapped a Sharpie and began to draw the design on its designated spot. I bit my lip to fight down the tickling sensation, watching him work. The design looked even more stunning on me than it had on paper, and once again, I got excited to wear it on my skin after this. After the design was drawn and Levi gave a satisfied nod upon inspecting it, he held a long silver needle to the candle he’d lit earlier and rolled it around in the flame until the tip glowed a fiery red. I tried to gulp down the rest of my anxiety.

            “How about you?” I blurted, “Are you planning on getting one as well?”

            Levi shot me a secret smile and shrugged his shoulders. “You know, today might be your lucky day. If you pay close attention and I deem you worthy, you might get to do mine.”

            I all but jumped out of my seat, when I remembered the tiny little fact that he presently had a hot needle in his hand. It was probably better if I didn’t wrap him up in my arms right now, not if I didn’t want the needle to end up somewhere in my body it had no business in. Whether I liked it or not, I had to stick to expressing my excitement in a vocal way.

            “What?!” I cried, “Wait! You’re actually serious?!”

            “Absolutely,” he replied, determination set in his gray eyes.

            “Fuck. So you’re telling me I get to mark you? Permanently?!”

            My heart started to thrum out a ridiculously dysfunctional beat at the prospect of leaving my eternal mark in the soft ivory of Levi’s skin. God, was this really happening? I half expected to jolt up from another wet dream about him in another second.

            “That’s exactly what I’m saying,” Levi answered, his voice laced with giddiness, just like mine.

            “Yes,” I breathed. “Yes, yes, yes. Please!”

            “Okay, now lie down and glue your gorgeous eyes to everything I’m doing.”

            I complied enthusiastically and let myself fall back into the soft cushion of my seat. I was so ready to do this. Levi was just about to dip the needle into the saucer of black Sumi ink when he looked up at me again, his eyes dancing with mischief.

            “No stupid tattoo slash sex jokes today? I’m shocked,” he quipped.

            Laughter bubbled from my lips, and I was grateful for that. I’d still been a little tense about the whole thing, but his joke made that vanish into thin air.

            “Hit me with your best shot, baby?” I grinned, feeling just a tad bit smug.

            Levi snorted and shook his head, “Of course. Why am I even surprised?”

            “Hey, to be fair,” I said, showing him my palms in innocence, “I meant to keep it professional today and hold back, but you asked for it. Seems as if you like my jokes after all!” I nudged him with a sly, knowing grin.

            “Oh, you self-confident brat! Dream on!” He laughed, his shoulders shaking cutely.

            After we’d stopped laughing, which took longer than expected, Levi finally set to work. He heated the needle up once again and dipped it in the saucer filled with ink.

            “Brace yourself” he warned.

            “Levi, you—Ouch! Fuck! Dammit,” I wheezed when the needle pierced my skin deep enough to draw a few drops of blood.

            “Sorry,” Levi said sincerely, “Are you okay?”

            He was so genuinely worried, I wanted to pull him into me and kiss him forever. Too bad he couldn’t tattoo me blind.

            “Yeah,” I said, calming myself with a few deep breaths, “It was just the initial shock. I’m fine, go on.”

            Levi nodded, and after he’d wiped away the blood and excess ink, he started again, making tiny dots along the tattoo’s design. He never made a mistake, never moved outside the lines. While he continued his work with minute precision, I allowed my eyes to wander for a bit. Maybe I shouldn’t have done that. Okay, scratch that. I shouldn’t have done that, period. Levi was bowed over my torso, working the ink into my hipbone, and the way he arched his back to bend over me made his oversized shirt ride down low in the front, giving me the most delicious view of his chest, and especially his gloriously pink nipples. I licked my lips when I watched the black cotton of his tank whisper over them in sensual strokes, wishing nothing more than to replace it with my lips. His long bangs kept falling in his eyes, and he blew them out of his face every now and then. And damn, he looked so utterly irresistible while doing it, too.

            “Eren, I can’t work like this,” Levi cut in, pulling me out of my blatant ogling, “Why the hell are you squirming so much?”

            “I’m sorry,” I whined. “But I do have a legitimate reason. I don’t know if you know, but whenever you bend down like this, your nipples are showing and it’s so fucking hot that you should be glad squirming is all I do.”

            I watched as Levi’s lips dipped into the most winsome smile ever. He blew out his bangs again, as if he knew about the profound effect it had on me, and leaned in to brush his gloved hand all the way from my abdomen up to my chest. Our gazes met and I urged him on to continue with my eyes, to touch me more, but he stayed still atop my pecs. My lips parted on a quiet sigh, and then he began to circle my nipple with the tip of his finger, making my heart go haywire. I bit my lip while I watched as his circles grew smaller and smaller and finally touched the sensible flesh I wanted to feel him on most. He licked his lip seductively, and then took the tight tip between his fingers and gave it a good, long twist that drew an embarrassing mix between a moan and a shout from me.

            “Well, same goes for you,” he smirked, and got back to work as if the rock-hard erection between my legs wasn’t even there at all.

            His ability to not give a fuck was infuriating. And so damn hot. I reached out and brushed my fingers through his hair, tucking it behind his ear. Levi stopped for a second to nuzzle into my touch. As if I wasn’t losing my mind over everything he was doing already. After that, he continued to poke and wipe, until he sat back with a satisfied sigh after inspecting his handiwork.

            “Done,” he said. “And if I may say so myself, this turned out pretty fucking amazing.”

            There was a sweet smile on his lips as he cleaned me up and put some healing ointment on my new tattoo. Then he gave my thigh an affectionate pat and looked up at me.

            “Go look.”

            I was on my feet as fast as lightning and rushed over to the long mirror we kept in the entrance area. Upon laying eyes on the design, all my breath was hopelessly lost, for good this time.

            This was amazing. Perfect. Flawless. The little wing was delicate and elegant, the black ink standing out nicely against my tan skin. The way Levi had designed it, it was tipped to the right and divided in small segments, giving it a particularly unique appearance. I was still staring at it in awe when Levi came up behind me and wrapped his arms around my waist, careful not to touch the tattoo. He squeezed me tight, before rising on his tiptoes to kiss the back of my neck. I leaned into him, overwhelmed by emotion.

            “Do you like it?” He asked quietly, his lips continuing to brush against the sensitive skin of my nape.

            “I love it, Levi. It’s so beautiful. It’s marvelous. You are marvelous,” I whispered, trying to keep myself from touching the design to ascertain it was really there.

            He held me tight as he whispered, “I’m glad then.”

            I turned around and cupped his rosy cheeks, meeting his eyes before I leaned in and took my well-deserved kiss, my tongue pushing inside to taste every last inch of his hot mouth. He swayed gently and held onto my shoulders for support, giving into the kiss and letting me take control. Breathless whispers of ‘thank you’ passed from my lips to his, our hands desperately touching every bit of skin they could reach. It was a heady moment, full of devotion and intimacy.

            When I finally pulled back, as out of breath as Levi, I stared into his molten steel gray eyes and brought my forehead to his.

            “I was thinking... If you wanted the matching wing on your hip...?” I asked, biting my lip in suspense. It was beyond daring to voice such a suggestion, but it had been on my mind ever since he'd shown me the design on paper. It was a perfect match, something that seemed to be made for the two of us.

            “Now that’s funny,” he breathed against my lips, which were still wet from kissing him, “I just wanted to say the exact same thing.”

Chapter Text


“Don’t go outside the lines,” I said while I watched Eren as he did just that.

            “Sorry,” he mumbled and kept within the design I’d drawn on my own hipbone, on the same spot he wore his.

            Getting the same tattoo as Eren wasn’t something I’d planned, but when I’d seen it on his beautiful, tan skin, things kind of clicked into place and I knew. It didn’t matter how this would end, Eren would always be a very special memory to me. I’d never regret wearing something on my skin that reminded me of this summer, even if it was for eternity. I wanted it all the same, just as much as he did.

            It was almost comical how concentrated he worked, worrying his lip between his teeth and burrowing his hand into the skin on my opposite hip almost painfully. But it was also sweet and endearing, and had me helplessly drawn to every movement he made, however small. He was good at this, that much I had to admit, especially considering his trait of being easily excitable. I had yet to figure out what had possessed me to let him do my tattoo, but as it turned out, I didn’t need to worry. He was trying his best, and the effort turned to account. When he finally pulled back after wiping the sweat from his brow a while later, a considerable amount of time had passed. But that was fine. It was his first time tattooing someone, and taking longer than I had was normal. From when I watched him working, I knew the tattoo would turn out nicely, yet seeing it in all its glory, the black lines being a compelling contrast to my pale skin, had my lips part on a surprised noise.

            “Wow, Eren...” I began, momentarily at a loss for words. “It looks really good. You’re a natural.”

            I watched him in the mirror as his face was taken over by a huge, genuine grin that made looking away impossible. His arms squeezed around me from behind, his face nuzzling my cheek as he spoke softly into my skin.

            “Thank you for trusting me.”

            I couldn’t suppress the smirk that broke out over my lips at his sincere words, and pressed my back even closer to his front, giving myself to the sensual little touches and breathless whispers he administered on my most sensitive spots.

            Being with Eren was... Heaven. I’d never been one for prose or poetry, yet I couldn’t think of any other way to describe what being with him felt like. I didn’t have much experience to compare this to, but the way he looked at me, the way he touched me, the way he cared for me, was so otherworldly that I thought I must have stumbled head-first into a perfect dream. Who would have guessed our first official meeting at my work would lead to something like this? When I’d seen Eren at school, surrounded by his swarm of friends and being everyone’s center of attention, I’d have never imagined there would be a day I’d get to be this close to him. I hadn’t even known I needed him until I had him. The worlds we were from couldn’t have been any more different, and yet we’d found together. It was almost like fate, if one thought about it.

            Which was ridiculous, of course.

            I gave my head a good shake and got to help Eren on cleaning up all of our tattoo supplies. Still, those thoughts were raging inside my head, like they’d taken to do since a few days. Questions I shouldn’t make the mistake of contemplating, not even in the privacy of my mind. Scenarios that were pointless to imagine. Hope I couldn’t afford to nurse. Yes, I’d thought about taking this further with Eren. I’d thought about being with him, not the way we were now, but officially. A sincere relationship that everyone knew about. Something real. It was beautiful to indulge those sweet possibilities in my mind, at least until I was sober enough to come back to reality and realize that none of this would ever happen.

            Eren might feel something for me. Something more. Even if he had never said anything in so many words, the way he treated me—as if I was something precious he wanted to worship—suggested that assumption. But even if that was the case, and I still had my serious doubts about that, who said his feelings weren’t only based on this summer fling we had? You could like someone, even enough to have sex with them, but love? Real, honest-too-goodness love? That was a different thing entirely. Whatever feelings Eren might have for me, I knew for a fact they’d fade with every day summer drew closer towards its end. Those two hot, sunny months were nothing more than a sweet, fluffy bubble we were currently drifting around in, one that would burst when fall came around and we had to let it go and return to our normal lives. All of this was only temporary, a short excursion into a world without worries or painful realities. A world in which someone like Eren and someone like me could be together without second thoughts. Whatever rules applied here didn’t work for the real world. I knew Eren was never meant to be mine, and I was trying to come to terms with that everyday. I was trying to brace myself for the inescapable changes between us, which would start out subtle, and then grow more noticeable. His parents would eventually come back, as would his friends. Eren wouldn’t ask me to come over anymore, or call me, or even text. Maybe there would be a talk, one last time we met to end things and say thank you. We’d go back to being acquaintances who’d only share a fleeting smile or quick wave at school. It was okay, though, because I knew. I knew this was the way things were supposed to be between us, how it was meant to go. I’d known it from the start, despite my occasional daydreams about Eren being my boyfriend and me being his.

            That was exactly why I couldn’t understand why this hurt so fucking much.


            My mind had caught onto the inevitability of things long ago, yet here I was, feeling as if my heart was torn from my chest by a relentless hand I could do nothing to fight off. I didn’t want to be the one who’d stare after Eren in the hallways, remembering everything about him—his adoring touches, his perfect kisses, the scent of his skin on mine—and hurt over the fact that this had meant nothing to him, but everything to me. What I wanted to do was accept what I knew was unavoidable, and make my peace with it. However long I had left with Eren, I wanted to cherish every second and then be ready to let go when the time came. To wish him luck for everything he wanted to do in the future and maybe kiss him one last time as goodbye before we’d part ways for good. What we had was a time out, and I was sure we both knew what that a time out would not last forever. It was finite. And that meant roughly fifty-six days in our case. It was a logical line of thinking, wasn't it?

            But then, why? Why was I unable to maintain a steady breathing rhythm whenever I thought about letting him go? Things weren’t meant to be this painful, this excruciating, but my feelings didn’t even think about following my mind’s rationale. Instead they were screaming at me to not give him up, to fight for him and make him stay.

            My heart and brain had engaged in a ferocious battle, and the result was an extent of confusion I had no idea how to deal with. I was all over the place, and I knew it. The only thing I didn’t know was how to make it stop.

            “Levi? Hey, what’s wrong?”

            Eren’s alarmed voice pulled me from my thoughts, and I jolted to a state of alert when I felt his arms tugging me into a warm, tight hug. His palms caressed my back, his fingers trailing soft paths along my spine.

            “It’s okay... Everything is fine,” Eren whispered into my hair, his breath warming the black strands. “Did I hurt you after all?”

            He was worried and sounded stricken, holding me tight as if he was trying to comfort me for something I didn’t understand.

            “W-What?” I mumbled, my voice coming out strangely scratchy.

            “Well, uhm...” he whispered. “You’re crying.”

            My eyes dropped open in disbelief, which quickly morphed to shock when I felt wet warmth on my cheeks that was seeping into his shirt. From my eyes.

            What the fuck was happening?

            Realizing I was truly crying, something I hadn’t done in ages, made me snap. I began to shake, first gently and then harder as multiple violent shudders racked my body from top to bottom. I needed to get myself back under control, but the helplessness and lack of understanding as to why I was fucking bawling into Eren’s chest right now only intensified the tears spilling from my eyes.

            “I-I can’t... I... I don’t understand w-what’s happening,” I sobbed pathetically.

            “Hey, it’s fine... Don’t worry. I’m here,” Eren whispered in this sweet, understanding voice of his, and I wanted to scream. I wanted to act out, to shove him away and yell at him to quit being so damn perfect. To stop making this so fucking hard for me. I needed to get away from him in order to come to my senses and comprehend what the fuck was going on with me right now, but found myself incapable of putting any distance between us. Instead I clung to him as if even an inch of distance meant torture, and wrapped my arms around his waist to feel him as close as physics allowed.

            Eren’s palms traveled to my behind, and he lifted me up on his body, my legs wrapping around him by their own volition. I hid my face in the crook of his neck, soaking his warm skin with tears and snot. He held me tight as he walked towards the staircase and carried me up into his bedroom. All the while, I desperately kept trying to catch any thread of control between my palms, but there was none I could reach. Eren laid me down on his bed, the familiar floral scent of his sheets whispering through my nose, and then covered my body with his. My fingers grabbed blindly for him in the dim light the room was enshrouded in, my voice begging for him without meaning to. He held me close to his chest, and I tangled every part of my body with his, everything that was possible, my legs lacing with his, my arms creeping beneath his shirt to feel up every inch of familiar, balmy skin.

            “Levi, hey... What’s wrong? Are you in pain? Do you need me to get you anything? Shit, I-I... Don’t know what to do,” he said, his voice loaded with sorrow and fear.

            He made a move to untangle himself from me and get up, which almost had me in a hysterical panic fit. God, how I hated myself right now. Who was this person, losing it in front of Eren? No matter how hard I tried to twist and turn things in search of an explanation, I couldn’t recognize him as myself.

            “N-No, please... Stay with me. D-Don’t leave me,” I whispered into his chest, more tears pouring from my eyes to land on his shirt. It was all wet by now, but Eren didn’t seem to care. All he did was hold me closer.

            “Shh, Levi, I’m here. I’m not going anywhere, okay? I promise you. I’ll stay with you. Always.”

            Hearing those words fall from his lips made me almost break down into another sobbing bout, but calmed me beyond all bounds at the same time.

            He was here. He’d stay with me.

            I wanted to replay those words over and over in my head, as long as it took for me to believe them, but I didn’t have to. Eren was doing that for me, repeating his promise to stay by my side, to never leave me, until I was calm enough to focus on his steady heartbeat against my cheek. I counted the beats in my head, reminded myself that this was Eren and that he was the one who held me as tight as he did, that this wasn't over, not yet. Finally, the tears seemed to subside. The sobs turned to quiet sniffles, the flood of tears to fragile rivulets, the oppressive pain in my chest to a dull ache. Even as my body began its way back to normalcy, I kept quiet. I knew better than to trust my voice after a breakdown of this magnitude. Thankfully, Eren didn’t push me to. All he did was thread his fingers through my hair, brushing and patting it while whispering the sweetest things into my skin to soothe me. I’d never been more grateful for a person’s presence, for someone holding me together when everything in me wanted to break apart.

            “Are you feeling better?” Eren asked quietly, his voice still strained with audible worry.

            Snap out of it, Levi. You're fine. This is nothing. Everything's fine.

            “Mhm. Thanks,” I mumbled into his chest, not daring to look up to meet his gaze in fear seeing the devotion there would make me lose it all over again.

            “Thank god. I almost cried too,” Eren admitted shyly. “I can’t take seeing you cry. It’s... I don’t know. It’s breaking me.”

            I held him tighter to me, arms squeezing his waist a little too hard. I inhaled the traces of salt and something uniquely Eren on his shirt, and exhaled on a long sigh.

            “I’m sorry... I don’t know... I don’t understand why this happened,” I answered truthfully.

            “Hey, don’t worry about that, okay? There’s no need to apologize, or to feel embarrassed. Maybe you just—God, I’m so sorry for being this insensitive right now, but can I kiss you? Please?”

            His rushed question, which had a beautiful lilt of desperation to it, made me chuckle the tiniest bit against him. He was just Eren, always, and that was enough to return the smile to my lips and the warmth to my heart.

            It took me another minute to gather my courage enough to look up at him. I hid the bottom half of my face in his shirt, and blinked up at him with moist eyes, feeling endlessly shy and small.

            “Hello there.” Eren smiled at me as if he couldn't believe his luck. He took my face in his palms with a solemn tenderness that had my eyes sting once again, although for entirely different reasons. I tried to squirm free of his grip and hide again, but he didn’t let me go that easily.

            “No no, hey. Stay here. You owe me a kiss,” he whispered, and I could hear the smile in his tone, feel it.

            I bit my lip and tried to push down my embarrassment to look up at him. His hands were warm and inviting on my face, and I allowed myself to forget my undoubtedly messed-up appearance for a moment in favor of giving in to his fond caresses. When my swollen eyes finally met his bright green ones, I felt like I belonged. It felt like coming home.

            “You’re so beautiful,” Eren breathed against my lips and I was already on the verge of asking him if he'd truly lost his mind now when he closed the last bit of distance between us and took the kiss I’d promised him—so reverent and lovingly that I knew there was no chance I’d ever be kissed like this again, not by anyone who wasn’t Eren.

            Time stood still and for the duration I felt his lips on mine, all my worries broke away. It was just him and me, only our lips searching each other’s with a hunger almost feral, our bodies interweaving like puzzle pieces made to fit together.

            Eren’s tongue pushed inside my mouth with impatient desire that matched my own and I took it with mine, licking and sucking until I drew soft mewls from his throat that vibrated temptingly across my insides. My fingers tangled in his soft chestnut hair, holding it tight to guide his lips to mine with more fervor than before. I moaned when his hands pushed beneath my tank top to feel up every inch of my skin he could reach. His palms felt like wildfire wherever they went, scorching my skin and leaving me oversensitive to his touch. I arched my back off the bed, pressing our bodies flush and giving him access to my needy backside at the same time. Eren took the invitation without hesitating, slipping his hands beneath me to knead my behind in a way that had me trembling with anticipation. His nails burrowed into my clothed ass, and I whined when I felt his fingertips pushing beneath the tight denim of my jeans, pulling and tugging to get it off. I hurried to undo the button and zipper, and he immediately dove in and all but ripped my pants off my legs. My erection was hot and heavy, and had been ever since he’d kissed me like he did. Both of Eren’s hands dipped beneath the cotton of my boxers in the back, and I cried out when I finally felt his brusque grip on my ass cheeks, splaying them open.

            “God, Levi... I’m so sorry. I can’t stop,” Eren rasped throatily, the usual light timbre of his voice colored compellingly dark with arousal.

            “Don’t,” I replied on a heart-felt moan. “Don’t hold back, Eren. I want you, so bad. Just... Take me. Give me everything you have, and I promise I’ll keep it forever.”

            My thoughts were spinning out of control, rationality separating from instinct and leaving only a searing hot desire for Eren in its wake. He was all I wanted, all I longed for. I needed him to show me that in this moment, he was mine, to prove that he’d stay with me just like he’d told me.

            “Levi, you’re so... Fuck, I... I can’t lose you. I just can’t,” he whispered gravely into my skin as he tugged my shirt down to shower my collarbones with love bites.

            I arched into his touch, breathless moans of ‘yes’ and ‘more’ bubbling incessantly from between my lips as I pulled forcefully on his clothes to get them off. I needed more of him, needed him entirely bare beneath my hands, across my skin, all over my body.

            “You won’t, Eren. You won’t lose me,” I murmured back while I stripped him off his boxers and dropped my hand in fervent search of the hard, ardent flesh between his legs.

            “Levi...” Eren groaned desperately, “I need you. I need you so much.”

            My heart thundered inside my chest at his words; words I never knew I needed to hear this badly.

            “You have me, Eren. All of me,” I replied on a warm whisper, and right then, I meant it. All of me, it was his.

            He growled low in his chest and finally yanked my boxers off my body, leaving me utterly naked. Being with him without a single piece of clothing on either of us made excitement and hunger soar once again. I ran my gaze over his toned body, over all the small dips and curves I knew so well, eating him up with my eyes. I was panting heavily by now, my arousal so hard that it was almost painful. When Eren let his gaze wander over the length of my body without touching me, I caved in with a quiet groan and reached down to cup my erection, giving myself a few shallow strokes to take the edge off my arousal. Eren’s glowing green eyes widened at the sight, and he put his hands to my legs to spread them wide.

            “Yes, Levi, touch yourself. Touch yourself for me,” he said while he licked his lip, his nails curling against my sweat-slick thighs. Feeling bold, I spread my thighs even wider to give him a shameless view of myself as I began to tease my foreskin.

“Ahhh, Eren... Fuck, fuck, fuck.”

            I massaged my wet slit and smeared the rapidly gathering precome over the head with my thumb, making it glisten with moisture. I smiled cheekily when I caught Eren’s expression, his eyes wide and greedy, his lips tucked beneath his teeth. He looked ready to blow up, and I reveled in the certainty that I was responsible for getting him there. His cock was big and fully hard, bobbing with enough arousal to stand on its own. I bit my lip as I let my hand drop to my base, intensifying the grip and rhythm of my strokes until I mewled an incoherent combination of gibberish and Eren’s name.

            “Yes Levi, like that... Mmmh... You have no idea what you’re doing to me... I can’t wait to be inside you.”

            His words urged me on, goaded me into speeding up my movements. Warm precome was coating my hand and length, my orgasm being so close that I could almost taste it on my tongue. I reached up with my free hand and pinched my nipple hard enough to turn it a hot pink, before I tugged the tight tip between my fingers and rolled it around until it grew impossibly hard. I was so caught up in my own pleasure that I hadn’t even noticed Eren retrieving the bottle of lube from the nightstand. My eyes were glazed over with a thin layer of tears, but I wiped across my face to get a better view of what Eren was planning to do with that lube.

            “Keep going. You're doing so good, don’t stop,” Eren said.

            Usually, I wasn’t someone who’d react to any type of command, but with Eren, it was almost easy. I picked up my pace again while I watched Eren uncapping the bottle and drizzling a liberal amount of lube on his long fingers. I bit my lip, a harsh cry tearing from my throat as I felt my balls tighten with my impending orgasm.

            My eyes never left Eren’s as he warmed the lube between his palms and slipped his body between my legs to bow over me. I breathed his name on a loop of needy moans and unreserved cries when I felt his slick fingers prodding at my hole. Within the next moment, Eren pushed two fingers three knuckles deep into my ass, making my orgasm rip through me with an intensity that had stars dancing across my vision. My hips bucked off the bed, my breathing coming on erratic gulps as Eren’s fingers curled to brush along that sweet spot inside me, stroking me straight through my climax.

            While I was still wrapped in a fog of bliss, Eren bent down and licked a few drops of come from my stomach, slipping his fingers out of me with a wet pop. I could only lie there, panting, my mind blown and my heart racing. It would take me another few minutes to gather all my wits, or maybe days, I couldn’t be sure. As it was, I felt strangely detached from my body.

            Eren watched me as I languished in my dazed afterglow with this stupidly beautiful secret smile on his lips while he caressed my thighs. I felt my come drying on my stomach, and immediately, a pressing feeling of disgust breezed over me. I couldn’t stand being dirty.

            I watched silently as Eren dove beneath my leg to place it on his shoulder and tease up a crimson kiss mark on my calf.

            “Eren... What are you doing to me?” I whispered without realizing that I’d actually moved my lips, much less produced words.

            His green eyes looked up at me while his lips were still sucking on my skin, his mouth curving in a smile against my calf.

            “I don’t know,” he whispered into my skin as he lifted my leg and continued to place a trail of open-mouthed kisses down to my thigh. “What I do know is that it can’t be anything like what you’re doing to me.”

            I smiled up at him, my heart fluttering as if there were actual birds trapped beneath my ribcage. My eyes dropped from his eyes to his lips, then to his chest, down the hard ridge of muscle of his abdomen, along his tawny happy trail to his—

            "Uhm Eren, you're still... I mean, I could—"

            "Shh," he whispered against my knee before kissing just below the cap, "It's fine. Don't worry about me."

            I eyed him skeptically, and then bit my lip. It felt wrong to just leave him like... well, like this, especially considering how I was happily hovering in post-orgasm euphoria. But when he kissed and caressed me like he did, it was hard to think in any way that was even rudimentarily coherent. So I settled for sighing languidly as I let my legs fall open to give Eren easier access to continue kissing me wherever he wanted to. Already half-asleep, I awoke with a slight jolt when Eren spoke again.

            “Come on,” he murmured, “Let’s get you cleaned up.”

            “Ugh, yeah... In a second,” I muttered, not knowing how I’d ever be able to get up on legs I didn’t even feel anymore at this point.

            Eren chuckled and licked across the sole of my foot, making me whine. God, why did that feel so good?

            “I bought new bath bombs. Cherry Blossom being only one among many others...” he mused with a sly grin.

            Okay, that got my attention.

            “Alright, let’s go,” I said and stretched. Then I reached out my arms at him and wiggled my fingers. “Carry me?”

            Eren’s eyebrows rose in surprise, his lips opening just an inch. Asking him to carry me made me look vulnerable and defenseless, an image I’d never want to conjure on purpose, but right now, I didn’t care. I was utterly spent and my body ached in the best ways. All I wanted was to be bundled up in Eren’s arms.

            His eyes lit up beautifully and then he smiled as he gathered me in his arms. I snuggled up to his warm skin and closed my eyes as he got up from the bed and carried me to the bathroom.

            “I’d carry you anywhere you want,” he whispered into my hair before placing a sweet, heart-felt kiss to the top of my head.

            I brushed my lips against his chest, right over his heart. “I just want to be where you are.”

Chapter Text

Admittedly, taking a bath with fresh tattoos wasn’t the best idea I’d ever had. As it was, it was more of a hassle than true relaxation, but at least we managed to get clean enough to satisfy Levi’s ridiculously high standards.

            He’d become very quiet since we’d entered the bathroom, biting his lip and staring off into space. To me it seemed like he was dwelling on his own thoughts, which made me incredibly nervous. I still hadn’t digested the shock over seeing Levi falling apart in my arms, crying and shaking as if he couldn’t help himself. It had been unreal to see him so upset, and when I had, I was at a complete loss for what to do. Levi was always the strong one, the one with the level head who’d keep me rooted to the ground if need be. But back then, he broke. He caved in, and I had no idea why. Something of epic proportions must have gone on inside him to trigger a reaction like this. Whenever images of his crying face slipped unbidden back into my mind, my stomach clenched with anxiety. It wasn’t right that he’d suffer like that. Not Levi. He didn’t deserve to face anything that would hurt him. All my warning lights had flared when I’d seen the first tear fall from his beautiful eyes, out of nowhere, and as a result, every single protective urge inside me had risen to the surface in a matter of seconds. Suddenly, everything that had mattered was him, and whatever I could do to comfort him. Even now, all I wanted was to pull him back against me and never let go. I didn’t know what was going on, but I didn’t have to. Seeing him like this was enough to make me want to hold him forever, to touch him in every way that felt good, to kiss the pain out of his eyes.

            There was a relentless grip around my heart, and a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts in my head. Naturally, I wanted to know what was troubling him so much that he’d break out in tears in front of me. If Levi had to cry, I was sure he’d do it in private without anyone to see him in this state of what he’d consider weakness, yet he’d done it right here in front of my eyes, which left no doubt about the seriousness of the situation to me. I was mulling over in my head how I could make him open up to me. Talking about what was bothering him might be a good way to take at least a little bit of the burden he was struggling with off his shoulders. I just wanted to be there for him. I wanted to talk to him and hold him while we thought about a solution to whatever he was fighting with. The worst thing for me was to leave him alone in this, to act like nothing had ever happened. I just had to figure out the right way to approach this matter.

            My eyes went to Levi, who was curling up under one of my sheets. He was facing away from me, so I had no chance of seeing what was going on in his mind. Even if his expression was controlled and inexpressive most of the time, there were still his eyes. He might do a flawless job with keeping any and all emotions off his face, but his eyes were still more telling than he liked them to be.

            I reached out and brushed my palm over his shoulder. “How are you feeling?”

            He shrugged, but didn’t turn to face me. Ironically enough, this distance between us felt nothing short of suffocating. This was new to me. Usually I was always so close to him, so in tune. I didn’t know how to deal with this unwanted space between us, and I was unwilling to to find a way to. I didn’t want to get used to this. “Tired. Eren... Can you take me home?”

            My first instinct was to tell him no, that I wanted him to stay here, even more so after that breakdown from earlier. I couldn’t possibly leave him alone after this, could I? Sadly, that wasn’t my call to make, though. I’d peg Levi for someone who sought solitude after what had happened, and I couldn’t take this from him. No matter how much I wanted to. It still stung that he’d choose to distance himself from me, to prefer being alone over staying here where I was.

            “You... Don’t want to stay?”

            It was nothing but selfish to ask that of him, but I was incapable of shutting up before the words had spilled from between my lips. He was just that important to me and maybe he did need me, even if he was reluctant to admit it.

            Levi was quiet for a while, snuggling further into the blanket. I listened to each breath he took while I held my own, waiting for his reply.

            “I don’t know... No... It’s better if I leave.”

            “Better for who?”

            He huffed and brought a hand to his face. Cold fear flooded my insides in an instant. If he’d cry again, I would lose it. Much worse than he had. And then I’d force him to tell me what the hell was wrong, something I had no desire to do. It was his choice to let me in, and I didn’t want to be the ass who’d make him share. Though I would, if I had to.

            But he stayed silent. So very silent.

            I wanted to scream with frustration. I wanted to beg him to tell me, so we could work through this together. This invisible wall between us was tearing my heart in two.

            “Levi,” I began quietly, “You don’t have to leave. If you want to stay here, you can. Just know that I want you to. I’ll always want you to stay, no matter what happens.”

            With a start, Levi sat up and brushed the blanket off. Then he changed his mind and wrapped the blanket back around his body, as if he needed the comfort it provided. I couldn’t possibly not react to this. I got up on my hands and knees and started to crawl over the bed, slowly, to let him know I was heading his way. When I reached him, I nuzzled his back and slipped my hand beneath his blanket cocoon to run the pads of my fingers over his shoulder blades, making him shiver.

            “Oh Levi,” I breathed, my eyes stinging as I pressed my face to his back, “I want to be there for you. Won’t you just tell me what’s going on? We’ll find a way to deal with it, I promise.”

            Levi snorted, and my eyes widened when the sound slipped into a quiet, humorless chuckle.

            “You can’t help me, Eren. This is something I have to do on my own.”

            I pondered what to say, but my mind was only filled with requests and pleas to let me in. I had to accept his decision to keep this to himself, even if holding back right now went against everything I was. All I wanted was to touch him, kiss him, feel him. If he couldn’t tell me what was upsetting him, I wanted to at least chase the pain away in a physical manner. Even if it was just for a little while.

            “Look at me,” I said, desperate. “Please.”

            I listened to him taking a deep breath and then he shuffled around on the bed until he was kneeling in front of me, still clutching the blanket around him. His eyes were downcast, his face a picture of defeat. My heart lurched, and I rose to pull him against me. He struggled at first but soon, he gave in and indulged my need to hold him close. I didn’t want to force him to tell me anything he didn’t want to or urge him to stay with me, but that didn’t change the fact that I needed him; that I craved to be close to him—right now so much more.

            Again, my hands slipped beneath his blanket and I curled them around his neck. Reaching up, I brushed through his soft hair, combing the strands until I felt his last resistance wither away. Being so close to him after the tormenting minutes spent apart, inhaling his perfect scent and feeling his smooth skin, made my heart rejoice. His eyes were glossy and shimmering, like wet granite after rainfall, and I found myself entranced by their intensity.

            “Eren... Right now, I just... I don’t want to think about it. I want to forget. Can you make me forget?”

            I didn’t give myself time to think of a reply to his request, and even if I had, I wasn’t sure if I’d found the right words. Instead of answering, I closed my eyes and pressed my lips to his. His hands cupped mine on his face, and then he kissed me back. My lips opened of their own accord when I felt Levi’s warm tongue press to the soft folds, asking for entrance. God, there was nothing I wouldn’t give him. I opened up and didn’t waste another second to suck him inside, my tongue sliding over his, our tastes mingling in a wet embrace. Guiding him to lie down on the bed with my lips, I ran my hands along the sweet expanse of his body, enjoying every inch as if touching him for the first time. His blanket fell away, but it didn’t matter. I was quick to replace its soft security with my body, covering him and giving all the warm protectiveness and comfort I could. If I couldn’t use words to soothe him, I hoped touching and being close was enough to make him feel better.

            “I’ll do anything you want. Just ask for it,” I whispered into his ear, before kissing the small lobe.

            “Just be with me until the end,” he replied, and I wondered what he meant. I got the feeling there was a hidden meaning residing just beneath his words, something I couldn’t decipher. But even if that was the case, I didn’t care. I’d promise him the world.

            “Always,” I said.

            We crept under the blanket in a tangle of limbs, kissing and touching each other all over. When we broke away after some time, we were both breathing heavily, our lips raw and kiss-swollen.

            I smiled at him, and then went straight into cardiac arrest when I caught the tiny smile he offered me in return. Holding him close, I buried my nose in his hair and began to draw soft circles on the bare skin of his back.

            “Your skin is dry,” I whispered absentmindedly.

            “Mh, yeah,” he said. “You make me bathe too much.”

            I chuckled softly and bent back to kiss his cheek. “Can’t say I’m sorry. Though I can do something to help with the dryness, if you let me.”

            He raised a questioning eyebrow at me and chuckled when I leaned in to kiss it. “Okay. You have my permission to work your skin magic.”

            I smirked, finally feeling the gravity fading and god, the subsequent flood of relief was irrefutable. “Thanks, captain. You won’t regret it.”

            Jumping to my feet, I breezed into the bathroom and got the Lush bag I’d stored away below the sink. I fished around for what I needed and when I finally dug it out beneath all the various bath bombs and shower scrubs I’d bought, I rushed back to Levi, who was awaiting me with curious eyes.

            “What’s this you’re hiding behind your back?”

            I smiled lazily and revealed the dark packaging. Levi reached out his hand, and I put it in his palm for closer inspection. My heart hammered inside my chest as he turned the small bag around and then proceeded to undo the small sticker keeping the packaging together. I’d picked it out because it had sounded simply too delicious to not take it, but now I was nervous whether Levi would think the same way. As soon as the sticker was off, a creamy mix of honey and chocolate drifted around us. Levi took out the heart-shaped product and lifted it to his nose, his eyes falling closed on a small sigh upon inhaling.

            “God, what in the world is this? The scent is divine.”

            I smiled happily, and gave him a quick kiss to his bare shoulder. “You like it? It’s a massage bar. It’s made of honey and almond oil, but the core is liquid chocolate. Uhm... It’s edible.” I blushed. Hard.

            Levi smelled the massage bar again before he looked up at me with this mischievous glint in his eye. “Edible, huh? Really?”

            “Yes...” I stammered breathlessly.

            Levi rose to his knees and climbed on top of me, straddling my lap. He was extra careful not to touch anywhere near my new tattoo, which I found incredibly endearing. The fact that we were only wearing boxers had me aroused in a heartbeat. Although I truly lost it when Levi sat down on me, wiggling around until my clothed cock was firmly nestled in between his ass cheeks. Which was apparently exactly what he wanted, considering he was now moving back and forth on my lap, grinding down on me until I had to bite my lip to keep a harsh strings of groans from escaping.

            “You want to use this on me, Eren?” He whispered seductively into my ear before trailing lower to bite along the vein on the side of my neck.

            “Ahh... Y-Yes, I mean... If you want to...” I panted, hopelessly turned on by him and the prospect of kneading his soft skin until he was begging for more than just a massage bar.

            “You want to massage me with honey and lick this chocolate off my skin?” He continued, his voice pure temptation. God, I just wanted to eat him, with or without the chocolate.

            He ran the massage bar over my bare shoulder as he got back to rutting against me, teasing me into stiffness. My hard on was rubbing against his perfect little ass, and I had to talk myself out of ripping his boxers off with my bare hands like a needy caveman. Instead, I pushed my hips up to meet his, to get even more friction of his lithe body on mine. Levi moaned, his head bending back to bare his throat as he felt my demanding length moving against him with each buck of my hips. My hands slipped from his lower back to his rear, filling my palms with his supple cheeks and pulling him even closer to where I wanted him. When he rushed against me with a surprised moan, chest to chest, we both cried out, though not from pleasure this time. The soft collision had made our fresh tattoos clash and rub, and the resulting pain hurt like hell. I bit my lip and dropped my hand to right the gauze and strap it properly back on my skin. Then I did the same for Levi while he smirked down on my attempt at first aid.

            “We probably can’t do... Things for some time,” I said in bewilderment.

            Up until this point, I hadn’t taken into consideration that it would be difficult to top Levi with tattoos that required minimal touching and a lot of rest to heal. Damn, I should have. I really should have. Just the thought of spending days without feeling him like this was unendurable.

            “You look as if you’re about ready to burst into tears,” Levi smirked and cupped my cheek with one warm, small palm.

            I nuzzled into his touch and caught his gaze when I spoke next.

            “Sorry. It’s just...” I sighed heavily. “I don’t really like the idea of not being able to... You know. Be with you. Like this.”

            I gave my hips another gentle push into his to emphasize my point.

            Levi sighed and then smirked again. Apparently, he didn’t find the current predicament we were in nearly as catastrophic as I did. Well, good for him.

            “Hey,” he pinched my cheek playfully, and I looked up into his silver eyes. “It’s not gonna be forever, you know. Those shouldn’t take too long to heal. We can wait.”

            Uh, yeah. Thing was, I couldn’t wait. Not really.

            I blew out a long breath and shrugged. I wasn’t too fond of the whole abstinence idea, but it was not like I could do anything about it either, could I? This was one bitter pill to swallow.

            Levi pulled me from my miserable thoughts when he began to wiggle on my lap, his fingers tugging impishly on my hair. “Massage me. That’s an order.”

            Laughing, I pushed him down into the sheets and watched him squeal in delight. This playful side of him was absolutely to die for. He looked up at me, his lip caught between his teeth, and I trailed my fingertip from his shoulder down to his wrist, nudging in between his splayed fingers and taking the massage bar out of his hand. I gave it another good smell before I quickly bent down to Levi’s chest and kissed his pink nipple. He groaned and wiggled at the feather-light touch. I picked up a pillow and laid it down on the bed for him to adjust it the way he wanted to.

            “Aren’t we a demanding little captain?” I quipped then, waving the bar from side to side. “Back or front first?”

            His eyes followed mine down the length of his body, and we both noticed the hint of a bulge in his boxers at the exact same time. With a ridiculously quick movement, Levi turned on his front and buried his face in the pillow.

            “Back,” he mumbled, and I was almost sure the tips of his ears peeking through that lush raven hair of his were way pinker than usual. He grabbed the pillow I’d placed on the bed and positioned it beneath his pelvis, so that my massage wouldn’t hurt the sore, tattooed skin on his hipbone. Even his shoulders were flushed with color by now. It was too cute.

            I bit my lip to hold in the most ridiculous fit of giggles, and got to rolling the massage bar between my palms. Putting it aside, I brought my creamed-up palms to his shoulder blades and gave them a thorough rub. From the way Levi squirmed with each touch, I knew he was trying to hold back from making known how much he was enjoying this. A little while later though, he stopped trying. Tiny sighs and quiet moans fell from his lips as I ran my hands up and down the beautiful expanse of his pale back, watching as the ivory skin colored a delectable rosy color with each stroke.

            “Mh, okay... I have to admit you’re quite good at this...” he sighed dreamily.

            I chuckled softly, and then let my hands travel down to slip beneath his boxers in the back. There was an involuntary, mortifying little moan from me when I made direct contact with the pliant swell of his ass cheeks. He bucked off the bed and reached back to swat my hands away, his cheeks gorgeously pink.

            “Not t-there,” he stammered.

            I held his abashed gaze as I let my fingernail draw lazy circles around the two lovely dimples above his ass. “Why not?”

            “Because I say so,” he huffed and laid his cheek back on the pillow.

            It was hard to follow his request, but I wanted this to be about him, not me, so doing this the way he wanted was the least I could do. Leaving his sweet rear for now, I moved down to his thigh and began kneading the firm muscle. I ran my nails over the soft skin, gently, using just enough force to leave marks in form of faint pink lines. After I’d done the same to the back of his other thigh, I decided now was a good time for some chocolate. I watched small goose bumps rise on Levi’s satiny skin while he threw me a heavy-lidded gaze over his shoulder, watching me intently as I took the massage bar and broke it in half. Thick, warm chocolate spilled from the core and danced in opaque trickles over my fingers. I met Levi’s curious eyes and smiled. Leaning down, I put my finger to the back of his knee and drew a cedar-colored heart on the soft skin. He laughed out in response, his leg quivering beneath my fingertip.

            “That tickles!” He squealed cutely, drawing a long giggle from me.

            I felt Levi’s gaze on me as I bent down, my lips stopping only an inch before the tasty chocolate treat waiting for me on his leg. My hand continued to stroke his calf, and then I blew on that ticklish spot of his, making him whine.

            “Mh, Eren... Just... Lick it, please,” he begged, hiding his face in the pillow to avoid my cheeky smirk.

            His wish was my command. As soon as I put my lips to the chocolaty mess, he stifled a string of moans with the pillow, body arching, legs trembling. I followed the heart’s shape with the tip of my tongue, lapping at the traces agonizingly slow before sucking the sugary remnants away with a few languid strokes of my lips. I was just suckling off the last bits when Levi released a long, heart-felt sigh.

            “Goddammit,” he whispered. “Do that again.”

            “You like that?” I teased, coating my finger with fresh chocolate and drawing a sweet line along his calf, all the way down to his Achilles tendon. Crawling over him on all fours, I leaned down and followed the trail with my tongue once again, reveling in the breathy moans and quiet curses that escaped his lips. When I reached the delicate tendon, I couldn’t help kissing the dainty curve down to his heel. I forgot all about the chocolate, I was so lost in kissing along the smooth sole of his foot. Somewhere in my periphery, I could hear Levi complaining half-heartedly, but I kept kissing him until I got to his toes. Lifting his leg up, I sucked his pinky toe in between my lips, and he screamed.

            “Eren, shit, stop! What are you—AH!”

            He wiggled underneath me, which only goaded me on even more. Licking and kissing each one of his small toes, I came back up with moist lips and the silliest grin ever. After I’d turned around, I ran my hands back up to his behind.

            His skin was so warm beneath my palms, so inviting. I wanted to touch him so much more than that, feel him with more than just my hands. How much time had passed since we’d agreed not to go there as long as our tattoos were still healing? Now look at the marvelous progress I’m making.

            The skin I’d touched was silken with oil that smelled like sweet honey. The sight was breath-taking and cruel at the same time, because all I could do was run my palms over the balmy skin again and again, unable take it any further. It was torture. But if Levi didn’t want me to tamper with that delicious body part of his, maybe we were in the same boat about our current situation. Deciding to be bold, I let my hands whisper over his behind once again.

            “I said, not there!”

            I bit my lip, ignoring him. I slipped my hands back beneath the cotton and started kneading his lush ass, watching as my splayed fingers delineated through the thin material of his boxers. “What is it, Levi? Scared of getting turned on if I touch you here even though you shouldn’t? Afraid of taking the risk?”

            I gave his ass a sneaky pinch and watched as he bent into the caress for all of one second before he wiggled and tried to get away.

            “No, you idiot. That’s not it,” he said, though with a lot less determination than I knew he wanted to lend to his words.

            His resolve was melting, just like the honeyed oil on his skin. I had the chance to back down now, which would probably be the right thing to do. Yet as soon as the thought crossed my mind, I knew I wouldn’t do what was right. I wanted him too much.

            “Oh?” I said, taking the boxer’s elastic band between my fingers and pulling it down to mid-thigh, baring his backside to me.

            Levi squealed and pressed his ass cheeks together, making the muscle contract way too deliciously to contain my desire. If he was trying to defer my mission to get him, this wasn’t the way to do it. Before he could do anything more to defend himself, I slipped in between his thighs and let him feel my firm erection. He gasped and slapped his hands over his mouth to avoid spilling another one of those delicious little sounds I loved so much, while I continued to lean into him, pressing my painfully hard cock into his bare cleft and watching as it nestled in between his cheeks as if it was made to be there.

            “Fuck, Eren... Stop...” he moaned weakly, even while he pushed his ass back against me. All I wanted was to get rid of my own boxers and find out what my cock would look like being swallowed up by those luscious cheeks without the confines of any clothes.

            I bent down to his ear, letting my lips brush over the shell. “Are you sure stopping is what you want?” My hand slipped beneath his body in the front to meet hard flesh. “Don’t lie.”

            Levi shuddered with another trembling breath, his skin warm and flushed a deep scarlet.

            “You’re not playing fair,” he said, defeated. “It’s not like I don’t want to. We just can’t. Have you already forgotten about that?”

            “Well, there’s actually a way we can.”

            He looked up at me, and my heart missed a beat at his thoroughly aroused appearance—eyes glossy, lips moist. “What are you talking about—OH.”

            I bit my lip and watched as realization dawned, hoping. Wishing.

            “If you’re implying that I ride you, you can get that idea right out of your head!”

            Pouting, I crawled off of him and took his shoulder to turn him around. The distance was too much to bear, so I grabbed his hand and pulled on it until he practically fell into my lap. Looking into his face, adorned with those brilliant gray eyes, made a sudden, but powerful sentimental streak crash over me. I took his face in my hand and bent down to take his lips with mine in a long, loving kiss. His response was immediate, and perfect. I caressed his tongue with mine, relishing the warm saliva that escaped our hungry mouths to make a mess of our joined lips.

            “Please...” I whispered against his lips, my heart pounding almost uncomfortably fast.

            He shook his head and fell back into my touch when I kissed him again, with more urgency and fever than before. “Levi... I want you so much... Please, I need this. I need you.”

            It wasn’t a cheap excuse to seduce him, but the undisputed truth. Sometimes, I felt the most painful tweak of cold fear, like a force reminding me that this could be over in the blink of an eye. It was these irrational moments in which I needed him, with me, connected to me.

            I trailed the column of his throat with wet lips, leaving a glistening trail down his skin before dipping into the hollow at the base, sucking and licking until his moans turned to pleas.

            “Okay,” he breathed, climbing on top of my lap and pushing me down on the bed with strong, impatient hands. “I’ll do it and you had better show me how much you love it.”

Chapter Text

I was still pondering if Levi had really just said he’d ride me, when he repeated himself with this irresistibly impatient lilt to his voice. I growled low in my chest when I realized he’d not write it off as a joke, or back down from the challenge he'd just issued. Not when he was looking so ready, so fierce.

            “Take your underwear off. Slowly,” he commanded.

            If he’d stick to that commanding voice, I couldn’t guarantee I’d even make it anywhere near his lovely behind before blowing my load. This controlling side of him was so hot, it was toe-curling. Literally.

            He rose up on his knees, giving me space to reach down and shuffle sloppily out of my boxers. Levi’s eyes glinted dangerously before his tongue dipped out to run across his bottom lip. He was so enticing, so sexy, and the best thing was that he didn’t even seem to realize just how sexy he was. That fact never failed to lend him an air of innocence that had me positively panting for him. He took a deep breath, his eyes closing upon exhaling, and then he lifted his fingers to his lips and slipped two of them into his mouth. I could only stare in awe as his tongue worked around them, coating the slender digits with glossy saliva before retreating with a wet pop. Those gloriously wet fingers dropped down between my legs, making me groan loudly when they connected with the head of my cock. It was only the lightest touch, yet I felt like exploding.

            “Ah yes, touch me,” I begged, rising my hips to indicate how much I needed it. My desire was intense enough to set every inch of my skin on fire.

            He chuckled seductively. “Who’s begging now, huh?”

            My hand shot out to wrap around his wrist, tugging him closer to my arousal which was so thirsty for his touch—but he still wouldn’t touch me, not really. I groaned in frustration as my eyes dropped open to bore into belligerent silvers.

            “Do you want me to beg?” I asked breathlessly, “Because I will.”

            His eyes widened before I could positively watch how his pupils grew wide with dark arousal. He bit his lip and gave my tip a soft squeeze. I almost came right then and there, upon first serious contact. Thankfully, Levi decided I didn’t need any more teasing. I didn't care about the relieved moans punching their way out my mouth when his wet fingers worked their way over and into my slit, coaxing multiple beads of pearly precome out of me. My hips moved of their own volition, pumping up with the primal urge to have him on top of me, riding me until he fell apart with me deeply embedded inside of him.

            I almost fainted at the view of him bringing his fingers up to his lips, now slick with my precome, and sucking them clean with obvious relish.

            If this was a dream, I didn’t want to wake up. Ever.

            His fingers still deep in his mouth, he smiled down at me with heavy-lidded eyes before he removed them with a content sigh as if he’d just tasted one of the finest delicacies. “Tell me what you want me to do, Eren. Beg for it.”

            I swallowed hard, and then again when I realized once wasn't enough to get past this persistent lump in my throat.

            “Levi,” I croaked, sounding not the least bit sexy, but positively wrecked, “Take me. Use me. I just want you... On top of me.”

            Come next morning, I’d gladly pass onto the afterlife thinking about all these mortifying things I was spouting in his presence, that much was a certainty. But right now, I didn't care. He wanted me to beg, and fuck, I would.

            Levi bent down to kiss me hard and fast before he continued to bite a rough trail along my lips. His lips were hot and demanding, aroused and fervent. I licked greedily into his mouth, taking everything he gave me and returning it double. When we broke apart after a few mind-boggling minutes, I was panting like crazy. I fought the natural urge to switch positions and tuck him beneath me, to take control and have my way with him. Not today, I reminded myself. Today it was his turn to be on top, and just the thought, the actual prospect of it, made a fierce want shoot through my veins.

            Levi bent over and grabbed the bottle of lube from the nightstand, hurrying despite having shaky fingers to pull off the cap. When it finally came off, it fell on the floor and rolled somewhere beneath the bed. Not that either of us cared. We were too transfixed by the liberal amount Levi poured onto his fingers with meticulous concentration. Once again, he rose from sitting on my thighs to get on his knees. The last breath that was still rearing beneath my ribcage left me in a blissful whoosh of air when he slipped his slick hand back between his cheeks, his other hand holding onto my chest to keep himself steady.

            “Ahh, fuck,” he moaned, his eyes squeezing tightly shut as he pushed one finger inside himself. I wanted to blink out of existence. How was I worthy of lying beneath him while he fingered himself open for me? I’d never know.

            I bit my lip roughly in a desperate attempt to keep my arousal in check. He needed the preparation, but damn, it was so hard to just lie there and watch him do all the work. My nails buried in his pale thighs, squeezing and scratching at the soft flesh. There were tiny beads of sweat forming on Levi’s brow as he continued to fuck himself open with his fingers. The image was out of this world; how he swayed back on his hand, taking his digits deeper and deeper, irresistible squelching noises filling the air around us. How as I supposed to wait any longer than I already had?

            “Fuck Levi,” I rasped, “Hurry. I want you.”

            His head fell back, his throat bare and moist and exposed, his shoulders shaking. “Have a little patience, will you? I need... A bit more time to take you in.”

            “Damn, I... I’m sorry,” I moaned, “Take your time. You’re doing so well, shit, you have no idea how fucking hot you look right now. I can’t wait to have you.”

            My name fell from his lips in a searing hot whisper, his eyes opening just the tiniest bit to catch mine. His fingers curled against my pecs, nails marking me up with delicious scarlet lines. He rode his hand while his moans turned to miserably suppressed mewls and cries, a single tear spilling from his eye. By now, he was probably three fingers deep already and my patience was running out. The time of keeping myself from touching him the way I wanted to was over. My hand left his thigh to dance over the soft mound of his pubic bone and Levi’s breath hitched in his throat. I felt his gaze locked on me, his fervent movements slowing for a second as I slipped my hand beneath his fully hard cock to cup his balls. He jolted and cursed, dozens of tiny goose bumps blooming all over his skin as I began to fondle them in my palm, squeezing and stroking until warm droplets of precome fell from his erect length onto my belly below.

            “Ahh, shit. Fuck it,” he cursed before slipping his fingers out of his hole with an irresistible wet noise. I swallowed hard when he wrapped my cock, twitching with impatience, in one warm palm and guided it between his legs. Wanting to give him full control over everything we were about to do from here on out, I buried my hands in the sheets and crumpled the sheer fabric in my palms to keep from taking over. The urge was there and it was strong, but today it was his turn to take me however he wanted to have me. When his stretched entrance brushed over my wet crown, I screamed out his name, and I didn’t even care about how damn needy it sounded. I was close, so close, to having him, to make him mine, every second apart at this point was just not possible to bear. My head lolled back against the pillow, my eyes rolling up into my head when he took my first inch inside. That delicious, hot heat wrapped around me, squeezing me so tight that I wanted to throw caution into the wind and grab his hips to push into him to the hilt in one go. How I was able to hold back was beyond me.

            “Mmh, Eren... Yes... Fuck, you feel so good,” he moaned, his head tilting back, his lips open and wet.

            I forced my eyes open to watch him sink down on me, taking every inch, swallowing me up until he bottomed out with a drawn-out whine, his thighs flush against my hips. A long, heart-felt string of praise fell from my lips as my hands stroked his thighs and hips with loving appreciation. The feeling was indescribable. This position felt so much deeper, so much more intense, and seeing him sitting on top of me, impaled on my cock without an inch to spare, was an entirely new, breath-taking experience. After a few moments had passed—Levi adjusting, me eating up the view—he began to gently roll his hips to test the waters. His brow furrowed and he bit his lip, a sharp flicker of pain crossing his features. I began to massage his skin, trying something to make him feel better.

            “Ouch,” he whispered, eyes squeezing shut as he continued to roll his hips every which way, “Why do you have to be so... Big?”

            I couldn’t help chuckling at that, and feeling just the tiniest bit smug at the same time. I knew he liked my size, he’d admitted to it more than once.

            “Breathe Levi,” I coaxed when the anxiety on his face lingered, “Are you okay? Am I hurting you?”

            It felt utterly perfect for me, so very good, but that didn't matter if he was in pain.

            “N-No… Just another second,” he breathed, his chest rising and falling quickly. His body was coated in a soft sheen of sweat, skin slick to the touch.

            “Okay, I'm alright,” he whispered after a while. The cutest, deep crimson blush began to grace his cheeks when he looked down at where we were connected. Averting his eyes, he bit his full bottom lip and slowly rose up, the base of my cock sliding out of him. Just this tiny bit of friction made me see stars. Levi moaned and cursed when he reached the top, keeping just the tip inside before sliding down in an agonizingly silken stroke. I got back to fondle his thighs, his ass, his nipples—I was touching him wherever I could reach.

            “Ah yes, do that again,” he half-shouted when I twisted one rosy nipple between my fingers until it turned pink and hard. Obeying his command, I did the same to the other nipple and watched his face twist in sheer pleasure. Soon, his movements grew faster, harder, more frantic. He braced himself against my chest, small palms burrowing into my flesh as he slammed down on me again and again. I was transfixed by how seamlessly we moved together, by the way his tight hole stretched around my girth. It felt so good, I wanted to let go and allow my mind to spin into blissful oblivion.

            “L-Levi, ahh… Damn, yes, give it to me. Ride me harder,” I moaned mindlessly.

            He followed my request, slamming down on me with a fervor that catapulted me straight at climax’ door. I bit my lip to force down my orgasm, not wanting to come before he did. His cock was straining and hard, curling up against his belly. With a slow smirk, I licked my fingers and brought them down to his crown, just like he’d done to me before. He squealed when I finally got to tease his glans before dropping down to stroke the base with quick, hard twists of my wrist. Levi was utterly caught in the throes of passion, whispering curses and praise and commands on a seductive loop—and god, seeing him like this was the greatest pleasure of all. He leaned back, his back arching deliciously on my lap, chest adorned with tight pink tips on tempting display. His hands curled against my thighs behind his ass and he threw his hips up, rolling them around my tip before taking me back in again whole, making loud cries rip from both of our throats. I started moving, chasing his fervent movements with thrusts of my own, rocking into his tight body from below.

            “I-I,” he whispered, “Keep going, please, just like this. Ah yes, Eren, right there, you’re hitting it. Oh fuck, this is so good—!”

            With a shudder and a long moan, he came all over his stomach and chest. His orgasm made him squeeze tightly around me, drawing my own climax with an intensity that made my hips buck up into his and my toes curl in on themselves. I grabbed his sides almost too hard as we both rode out the waves of orgasm. Finally, Levi rose and I slipped out of him with a wet pop. He fell beside me on the bed, panting just as hard as I did.

            “God, Levi. Can you get any more perfect than this?” I asked dreamily while turning around to pull him in for a kiss.

            He chuckled against my lips, “Oh, you have no idea.”


That evening, I decided to pick Levi up from home and take him somewhere. Somewhere nice. Somewhere romantic, somewhere that wasn’t my room. Holing up with him at my place and moving between various surfaces and the bath all day was lovely, but tonight, I had the strongest feeling we needed to go to some place else for a change. Levi had told me where he lived back on our first date, and luckily, I found the address with ease. Now all that was left to do was hope that he wouldn’t be annoyed or bothered by my surprise visit. After I’d parked my truck on a spot designated for visitors, I found the front door to his apartment complex open and took the elevator up to the fourth floor. When the sliding doors opened and I stepped out into the dimly lit hallway, a sudden wave of nerves hit me squarely in the stomach. It would be the first time I’d get to meet his family—provided they were home—and for some reason, I hadn’t really taken that tiny little fact into consideration when I came up with the glorious idea to surprise him with a spontaneous date pick up. For a minute, I stopped in my tracks and thought this through. Was I going too far? It was Levi’s right to have a say in when I’d get to meet his family, but then again, it wasn’t like we were officially dating, right? Nobody knew about the relationship we had. It was a secret, at least for now. I bit my lip as I took another reluctant step forward. There was a weird feeling in my belly, as if I was about to do something I shouldn’t. However, I was here already, wasn’t I? What bad could happen if a guy from Levi’s school came to pick him up at—I checked my watch—half past seven at night? We could just hang out after all, meet up with others, whatever. It was fine. Plus, Levi might actually like it if I came by out of nowhere to carry him off on a date. My confidence restored, I squared my shoulders with a deep breath and walked down the hallway until I got to apartment 412. There was a silver name plate beside the dark wooden door reading ‘Ackerman’ and a small door wreath bound with light green ribbons. It was stupid, but the little sign dangling from the wreath saying ‘Welcome’ made me feel even more certain about what I was about to do. I brushed a surprisingly steady hand through the mop of chocolate colored hair on my head in a (vain) attempt to tame it and even straightened the creases out of my shirt. I shook my head with a grin when I realized how silly I was acting. It was not like I was about to ask Levi’s family for his hand in marriage, I really ought to get a grip on myself here. I rose a hand and pressed the doorbell, before I quickly took a step back and waited. There were muffled voices from inside, but I couldn’t make out a single word they were saying. I suppressed the urge to shuffle my feet when nerves struck once again in a last minute attack.

            No. I had this. No need to panic.

            Suddenly, the door swung open to reveal a distressed-looking man wearing loose slacks and a disheveled white dress shirt. He was holding a beer can, his long hair unkempt, his thin moustache askew. He lifted a dark eyebrow at me before giving me a thorough once over.

            “Yes?” He said.

            “Uhm, hi... I’m Eren Jeager, a friend of Levi’s from school. Is he home, by any chance?”

            The man stared me down in a way that made my toes curl inside my Chucks. Damn, this guy had something sinister about him. I didn’t know who he was, but his attitude made me want to bundle Levi up in my arms and hijack him from this place.

            The man made no move to answer. Instead, he took a long gulp from his beer before continuing to gawk at me as if I had personally wronged him by turning up on his doorstep.

            “Well, uh... Levi? Is he here? I came to pick him up,” I said uncertainly. Geez, what the hell was wrong with his man?

            Then, everything happened incredibly fast. I watched as some kind of realization hit him, his features taken over by something that seemed like anger and annoyance. He took a determined step in my direction and I wanted to pat myself on the shoulder for holding my own and not shrinking away from his demeaning presence. His eyes narrowed into slits and he pulled the door shut behind him. Whatever it was that was about to happen now, I knew for a fact I wasn’t ready for it.

            “A friend from school, huh?” He sneered, “Are you the friend who’s responsible for making my nephew believe he was born a fucking faggot?”

            I choked on air. My chest constricted painfully at his words, and I felt a frantic surge of nausea take over my senses. What I’d just heard... Had he really just said that? And this was Levi’s uncle? I couldn’t believe this was actually happening.

            It took me a moment to recuperate from the shock his hateful remark had triggered, but when I did, I had the hardest time keeping the rage that was speeding through my entire body out of my voice.

            “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I said in a cold, unwavering tone that surprised even me, “Though I assure you, your nephew is not a faggot.”

            “You little shit,” he huffed, “I don’t give a flying fuck about what you assure me of, boy. As long as I’m around, Levi will not go out with pretty boys like you to get himself fucked in the ass. You might have succeeded at putting this shit in his head, but he is a man, not some pussy you can fuck for your entertainment. What you’ll do now is turn around and leave. You’re not welcome here. Get the fuck lost.”

            While he’d spoken, he’d continued to come closer, crowding me until I was backed up against the railing behind me. The fact that he was a member of Levi's family didn't matter to me now. Not after he’d delivered that speech. Needless to say, I didn’t want this to get physical, but chickening out and running was out of the question. Levi was special; extraordinary in every sense of the word, and I’d not stand back while someone went ahead and insulted him in front of me. Not even if it was his own uncle. Internally, I was readying myself for a fight. I opened my mouth to let that stupid ass have it, but I was cut off mid-sentence when the door swung open with a force that made the wood collide with the wall behind it. My eyes locked on Levi’s—which were wide open with unmistakable horror—and then he was beside me, stepping in between his uncle and me to break us apart.

            “What the fuck is going on here?” He yelled, his stare moving from me to his uncle and back in quick succession.

            His uncle was breathing hard, his face red with fury. He’d spilled a good amount of beer on the floor while tackling me.

            “This friend of yours,” he spat at Levi, “Has come to pick you up to do whatever perverse, gay shit you’re doing with boys like him. What the fuck is wrong with you, Levi? What did you not understand about ‘you’re not allowed to meet guys outside of school’? Who is this anyway, eh? Don’t tell me this is your boyfriend?”

            The man made another step forward but Levi kept him at a safe distance by pushing him back with a hand to his chest.

            “Fuck, no!” Levi hissed, “He’s not my boyfriend, okay? He’s just... Someone I know from school. Can you calm the fuck down now? He’s just here for a school project. Or what, am I not allowed to do homework now either?”

            Levi’s uncle clicked his tongue in disgust and smacked his nephew’s hand away from his chest. He still seemed to be enraged, but at least he stuck to his side of the hallway and refrained from going at my throat again.

            “I have my eye on you, Levi. You better not have lied to me about this, or I swear you’ll live to regret it. Now get your stuff and go do your homework. I expect you back within three hours, and don’t even think about overstaying your curfew. I’ll lock you up until you’re thirty if you do, I don’t fucking care. As for you,” he said, locking red-lined eyes with me, “I know who you are, Eren Jeager. You better watch out.”

            With that, he gulped down the rest of his beer and made a show of crumpling the can in his palm for Levi and me to see. His eyes bore into mine as he took another step in my direction and threw the dented can down in front of my feet. He leveled another punishing stare at Levi before he turned on his heel and stepped through the open door back into the apartment. Levi and I exhaled on a long breath as soon as he was out of sight. He didn’t look at me as he followed his uncle back into the apartment. A few moments later, he returned with his bag and a denim jacket in hand. Slamming the door, he rushed down the hallway, heading straight for the stairs instead of the elevator. He didn’t say anything to me, not one word. My anger was slowly subsiding, but the emptiness it left behind was immediately replaced by fear for Levi’s reaction to my little stunt back there.

            I cleared my throat nervously, watching my step as I tried to keep up with him on his mad dash down the stairway.

            “Levi, listen... I’m sorry. I didn’t know—”

            “Shut up,” he cut me off, “Just shut up. I can’t talk to you right now.”

Chapter Text

                  My lips opened of their own accord to shoot back a reply, but I caught myself just in time and kept quiet. Levi was obviously livid, and I had better do exactly as he said if I wanted to keep on living. Which didn’t mean it was not already killing me to hold my tongue right now. When we reached the first floor, he pushed the door open and stepped out into the golden evening glow. I hurried after him, my heart pounding furiously, blood rushing in my ears. Levi headed straight for my black pick up as if he knew what kind of car I drove. I was hot on his heels. When he got to my car, he swiveled around and grabbed my collar in a death grip, turning me around and pushing me up against the car’s side with a force that knocked the air right out of my burning lungs.

                  “What the fuck do you think you’re doing, Eren? Are you fucking insane?”

                  There was moisture glossing his eyes over, turning their metal gray to liquid silver. His usually pale cheeks were flushed with color. He was furious, that much I could tell. But he was also... Scared? Ashamed?

                  “I-I’m sorry,” I stammered, “I didn’t know your uncle was... Like this.”

                  “Well, here’s a fucking news flash for you,” Levi bit out, his hands burrowing further into my jacket with a force I’d have never believed he possessed, “Not everything’s all rainbows and unicorns! That’s exactly why you can’t turn up at my place whenever you fucking please! Goddammit, Eren! Fuck!”

                  He pulled on my jacket, making me stumble against him in an ungraceful plunge before he shoved me roughly back against the car once more. With another vicious curse, he released me and turned away, his shaking hands burying in his hair to tear and tug on the black strands in a way that had to be painful. It was a display of misery, and I couldn’t possibly stand there without doing anything. This was all my fault. I never meant to hurt him in any way. Yes, I should’ve called him before coming over, but I couldn’t turn back time, no matter how bad I wanted to. What was left was to find a way to deal with what had just happened. Thankfully, my car was parked out of sight from Levi's apartment. It would've been disastrous if his uncle decided to sneak a peek down at the parking lot and find us in the middle of a fight.

                  “Levi, hey...” I began, extending my hand to pull him around to face me.

                  His eyes were wet and wild when they met mine, a deep frown marring the skin between his eyebrows. Reaching up, I gently let my hand slip into his ruffled hair and closed my fingers around his, which were still holding onto the thick strands. Slowly, softly, I laced our fingers together and took them out of his hair. Deciding to take the risk, I pulled him against me, so close that our chests were touching, and placed our joined hands against the small of my back. His unoccupied palm came up to push me away, but his attempt was half-hearted at best.

                  “Shit, just... Leave me alone,” he mumbled into my shirt, even as his head dropped against my chest and stayed there, his warm breath creeping through my shirt and whispering along my skin beneath.

                  I ran my fingers up and down his spine before lingering on his nape to brush over the silky, shaved hair at the back of his head.

                  “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry,” I said, my voice breaking on the last word, “I should’ve called. I should’ve asked. I just... I wanted to surprise you. I didn’t mean to intrude or provoke a fight. All I wanted was to come pick you up to take you out. God, it seems so stupid now. I am stupid. Please... Forgive me?”

                  “I-I...” he took a deep breath and looked me squarely in the eye, “I don’t know, Eren. Maybe we should just... Stop. It’s better if we don’t see each other anymore.”

                  “No, hey,” I said, my heart clenching painfully at the thought of stopping anything at all with him, “Don’t even go there, Levi. There’s nothing wrong with you, you hear me? Liking guys doesn’t make you a bad person, no matter what your uncle thinks. You’re perfect just the way you are, and nothing he says can change that.”

                  Levi’s bottom lip began to quiver, his beautiful gray eyes tearing up in a matter of seconds. Damn, I was the one who wanted to cry right now. My hands came up to cup his face, my thumbs brushing over his cheeks, wiping away every single tear that fell from his long lashes. His eyes squeezed shut when I leaned in to brush my lips against his cheeks, his forehead, his chin. I kissed his face all over, tasting salt and wetness and Levi’s scent on my lips. I never wanted to let him go. The resistance left him and he grew pliant in my arms, allowing me to take care of him at last. After what felt like hours, he began to calm down. I listened as his breathing grew relaxed and easy. My arms slid around his neck and I hugged him tight, brushing through his messy strands until they became soft and smooth beneath my fingertips. Levi gave a weak sigh and squared his shoulders. Looking up at me, he said, “Let’s go. Take me away from here.”

                  We were driving in silence for the longest time. Whenever traffic allowed, I threw a glance in Levi’s direction, only to see him gazing out the window at the quickly darkening sky overhead. I was scouring my mind for something to say, but the right words wouldn't come to me. Once again, there was a wall between us I was yearning to overcome, if only I knew how.

                  “Are you okay?” I asked quietly.

                  “Getting there,” he replied without looking at me.

                  Reaching over, I linked my fingers with his and laid our joined hands in my lap. Levi did neither protest nor pull away, a little fact that made my heart rejoice with relief.

                  I kept quiet for a few moments while I followed the road leading outside of town, heading for the beachside at the outskirts of Trost. It was a beautiful spot, especially at night, and I was itching to take him there and spend a few quiet moments by the shore.

                  “The beach?” He asked when I set the turn signal.

                  “Yep,” I nodded, “Is that okay with you? Sorry, I should've asked you before.”

                  A mistake that seemed to repeat itself already.

                  “No, no. It’s fine. It’s nice out there,” he replied.

                  I chanced a wry smile at him and caught the little twinkle of excitement in his dark eyes that had my heart doing happy twirls. After driving on the gravel road for another fifteen minutes, the beach came into view. It was lying there in soft evening light, its surface only disrupted by gentle waves and translucent foam. It was so peaceful. I passed the main parking lot and took the bumpy dirt road down to the shore to get as close as I could. Thankfully, I owned a truck that could take the uneven ground with ease. I parked off the beaten track under a tall oak tree before turning off the engine. The ceasing of the motor noise made silence stretch around us like a heavy blanket, but it wasn’t entirely uncomfortable this time around.

                  My hand dropped from the steering wheel to cup his, which was still linked with mine. My eyes were fixed on us holding hands, and I began to draw soft patterns on the soft skin along Levi’s wrist.

                  “Levi… I want to apologize again. Believe me, if I'd known I'd have never taken the liberty to come by without telling you. I'm sorry for being so inconsiderate.”

                  He didn't look at me, but his shoulders shrugged in defeat. “I don't blame you, Eren. Not anymore. I know you only meant well. It’s just… Damn, I never wanted this to happen. It’s been hard for me ever since I told my mom and uncle I was into guys. He’s still not accepted it, as you can tell. If I so much as talk about a guy, he just... He loses it.”

                  I turned in my seat and curled my index finger under his chin to coax his face gently in my direction.

                  “That’s horrible. I can't believe your uncle is putting you through this hell. God, you... You deserve so much better. Please tell me you know that.”

                  He sighed and dropped his head in my hand, his eyes fluttering closed. “You don't understand what it’s like, Eren. You haven't come out. Nobody knows. It’s easy to say how people should react to someone being gay in theory, but reality is just different. You don't know what it feels like to make that step and decide to come out, only to have the people closest to you turn against you.”

                  “No, I don't know what it feels like, and I don't pretend to. I just want to tell you that you've done nothing wrong. You have nothing to be ashamed of. I admire you for being so strong and coming out to your family. I just can't bear to see you facing this pain from the people who should support you. That’s what’s been eating away at you lately, isn't it?”

                  Levi looked me in the eye, before he sighed and pulled his hand out mine. The feeling of loss was immediate, and left me wanting more.

                  “No. Yes… I don't know,” he said reluctantly, “It's part of it.”

                  I ran my fingers through his hair and watched him shiver at the affection. This conversation was difficult enough as it was, I couldn't do this without him being way closer to me than he was now.

                  “Do you want to sit back in the truck bed for a bit? I brought blankets,” I said quietly while I studied his face to gauge his reaction to my offer.

                  “Sounds nice,” he finally replied with a little smile.

                  I nodded, my heart jumping back into high alert, and opened the car door to get out. I pulled a large bag and a bundle of checkered blankets from the back seat and walked around to put them in the truck bed. Levi joined me in the back and eyed the bed curiously, biting his lip as he stepped closer.

                  I chuckled and approached him from behind before wrapping him in my arms. My nose buried in his soft black hair, and I smiled blissfully as he leaned back against my chest.

                  “Want me to help you?” I whispered, my lips at his ear to kiss the soft spot just below his lobe.

                  A little moan escaped him as my breath danced over the small hairs on the back of his neck, then he nodded quickly. Grinning all the while, I let my hands travel down his sides until they reached his hips. My fingers caressed the soft swell before I grabbed him and turned his body around to face me. A cute oof left his lips when he collided with my chest. I didn't wait for his reprimand, instead lifting him up and taking a step forward to sit him up on the truck bed. He slipped his palms beneath his thighs, his legs dangling back and forth—just shy of touching the floor. He was so adorable, so perfect, sitting on the back of my truck like this.

                  I stepped closer, my hands creeping slowly up his thighs to part them and allow me to step in between. I shot him a meaningful smile, and he knew. With a soft smirk, he wrapped his arms around my neck, one hand cupping the back of my head to pull me closer. I caught a quick peek of his silver eyes flashing gorgeously in the moonlight before my consciousness shut down as soon as his lips touched mine. It was just lips first, teasing, stroking, suckling. I knew the soft texture of his mouth by heart now, both inside and out, yet every time I kissed him felt like the best kind of novelty. It was all I could ask for, and so very addictive. Our lips moved against each other, our tongues just shy of dipping out to steal a taste. When Levi’s wet tip finally came out to lick tentatively across my bottom lip, I moaned languidly into his mouth, making him smile against my lips. When I took too long to give him access, he bit me hard enough to draw his name in an aroused, half-scolding mewl.

                  “Cheeky,” I laughed into his mouth when he continued to chase my lips with his teeth.

                  “Mh, you like it,” he breathed.

                  Did I ever. After another round of breathy kisses, I climbed up into the truck bed and closed the rear. Levi got to unfolding the blankets. He laid them down for us to wrap ourselves in, but then he moved away to sit across from me. I bit my lip and pouted, to which he replied with a low chuckle.

                  “You don’t like me sitting so far away from you?” He teased.

                  “No, I don’t. You should come sit over here,” I patted the spot between my legs, “It’s getting colder and this place right here is nice and warm.”

                  “And you think you deserve that? After that little stunt you pulled with my uncle?”

                  My smile dropped, along with my playful attitude. Guilt struck me straight through my chest, and I felt the most ridiculous urge to hide under the blanket. It was his right to scold me for what I’d done for years to come, but I felt bad enough without him telling me. God, how I wished things had been different.

                  “Come on, Eren. I’m not being serious. Stop looking like that,” Levi said.

                  “No, you’re right,” I shrugged and averted my gaze, “I’m sorry.”

                  “Hey,” he whispered and shuffled around, but I didn’t look up to find out why. I couldn’t look at him right now. All I wanted was to wipe the slate clean, but I knew there was nothing I could do to undo my mistake. If Levi wanted to quit things between us, he could. And I didn’t even have an argument that would stop him.  

                  I was surprised to find him leaning over my outstretched legs on all fours, the slightest touch of a smile on his lips. “Stop pouting already.”

                  I blushed. He was so close. All I wanted was to pull him against me and forget all about what had happened. I wanted to go back to before a well-meant surprise visit had made everything difficult and uncertain between us. Maybe I should have held back. It wasn’t fair for me to be this close to him after I’d been the reason he was facing more problems with his uncle than he already did. I should step back and give him distance, if I only could. Yet my hands reached out for him all on their own, seeking his familiar warmth to assure me of his proximity.

                  “I’m so sorry. God, I want to slap myself right now for being so careless,” I muttered into his skin as my lips touched his nape.

                  “We can’t do anything about it now,” he sighed breathlessly when I began to mouth against the soft skin of his throat. “I hate that it happened. I hate that he’s seen your face and knows your name. I didn’t want that, but it’s done now. I can’t change that, and neither can you. Eren... Have you ever—No. Nevermind. It's not important.”

                  I lifted a questioning eyebrow at him. There was no way I'd let him get away without telling me what was on his mind. "Tell me, please. I want to know."

                  "No, it doesn't matter."

                  I stroked his back and placed a soft kiss to his ear. "Please? You can ask me anything, you know that. Don't hold back, okay? It's alright."

                  He watched me closely, cautiously, before he finally took a deep breath and spoke, "Have you ever... Thought about coming out?"

                  As soon as the words had left his mouth, he grew stiff against me. This question was as important as it was daunting, and it was obvious how much it meant to him. There was no way we could continue our relationship—or be official—if I didn’t choose to come out. No way that didn’t include secrecy and sneaking around, that was. Levi deserved more than that. He deserved someone who was honest and proud to call him his boyfriend.

                  So where did that leave me?

                  Coming out was a huge thing. My parents would probably take it easier than Levi’s family had, even if I wasn’t entirely sure about my dad. We did have a fairly good relationship, but if he’d accept his only son being gay without batting an eye remained to be seen. As for my mom, I had no doubt she’d support me. She loved me unconditionally, she’d not allow something like my orientation to change that. That left everyone else. Armin, Mikasa, the rest of my friends, the entire school. I wasn’t ashamed of liking guys, but I had to admit thinking about letting everyone I knew know about it scared me. Would people start treating me differently? Would there be scorn or hate, like Levi was facing from his own family? Would we have to fight for there to be an us everyday?

                  Apparently, I had been quietly dwelling on my thoughts for quite some time now. I jolted out of my intense brooding when Levi’s lips placed a sweet kiss to the corner of my mouth.

                  “Still with me?”

                  “Ah, sorry,” I said, clearing my throat, “I was just thinking. Levi... I want to be honest with you.”

                  Levi’s eyes widened at that, even though he tried to hide it. There was a frown marring the skin between his thin eyebrows and a bit of color drained from his cheeks. I grabbed his hips and pulled him forward, so he’d sit on my lap facing me. I continued to brush my thumbs against his hips before I wrapped my arms around his waist and searched his eyes.

                  “No, I haven’t thought about coming out.”

                  Levi gasped. He actually gasped, and then slapped a hand over his mouth as if he couldn’t believe he’d actually just done that. He tensed noticeably and made a move to get away from me, but before he could, I locked my arms around him and spoke again.

                  “Wait, I’m not done. No, I haven’t thought about coming out. Not before I met you. Not before I got the chance to be so close to you. Levi, listen. I don’t know what this is we have. I don’t know where it goes. All I know is that I don’t want it to end. Truth be told, I can’t imagine being without you anymore. I can’t think about going back to school, knowing you the way I do, and not be with you. I haven’t come out yet, but Levi, for you—I would.”

                  Levi opened his mouth to interrupt me, but I silenced him with a quick kiss.

                  “Still not done,” I smiled. “It’s not that I want to come out for you. I’m doing it for myself, because you’re too important to me not to. It’s what I want. Keeping it to myself feels like a lie at this point, and I don’t want to lie, neither to myself nor to anyone else. I want to be yours, and I want you to be mine.”

                  For the moment after I’d spoken, time stood still. All that was audible was the soft breaking of waves on the shore, accompanied by the gentle chirping of crickets nearby. I looked up at Levi, at his glossy, deep gray eyes which were filled to the brim with emotion, at the silvery twinkle of stars in the dark velvet of the sky just behind him. When I’d decided to take him out here on a date, I’d have never anticipated this night would entail a love confession. But here I was, on the brink of admitting how much he meant to me, and suddenly, I couldn’t imagine a better time or place for it to happen.

                  “Levi,” I whispered when he stayed silent. My hands wandered from his hips up to brush over his arms and shoulders, all the way up until they came to cup his rosy cheeks.

                  “Yes?” He breathed, and I’d have missed it if he hadn’t been so close to me.

                  “I love you. I love you so much that I can’t even begin putting into words what it feels like. God, I don’t want this to ever stop.”

                  I closed my eyes then. While focusing on keeping my breathing steady, I replayed my confession in my head. It was out, and god, did it feel liberating. It felt so right—so right that I wondered how I had been able to hold back for so long. My heart jumped around in my chest, overjoyed at finally getting its way. Levi could turn me down, and after what happened tonight, he had so much more reason to. He could tell me he didn’t want me, or break up right here, right now. Before that happened, I wanted to indulge in the sweet idea of living in a reality in which he loved me, just as much as I loved him. For however long it took him to reply, I wanted to believe we had a chance.

                  “Eren...” he whispered slowly, his voice heavy with emotion, “I-I...”

                  “You don’t have to say anything if you don’t want to,” I replied without opening my eyes.

                  “Eren, look at me.”

                  A soft sigh passed my lips as I opened my eyes to find his. Having his eyes on me felt like a physical caress, so soft and sweet that I had to wonder how I’d ever live without seeing those gorgeous gray pools of emotion everyday. In that moment, I just had to smile. I didn’t know how he’d reply, and maybe I was just a mere handful of words away from losing him forever. But that smile was something I couldn’t hold back. I loved him, and knowing that he knew made me so incredibly happy that not even the prospect of rejection could take that from me.

                  “I love you, too. I’ve tried not to but... These feelings wouldn’t let me go, no matter how hard I tried or how often I wanted to make myself believe this is nothing more than a summer fling between us. If...” he cleared his throat, his cheeks flushing pink with fresh color, “If you really want me, I’m yours.”

                  There are moments when you just know, when you feel that when they’ve passed, your life is about to change. That everything will be different from here on out, and this moment was one of them. I couldn’t believe the words Levi had just said to me, even while I knew it to be true, while my chest burst with millions of butterflies and my feelings spiraled out of control, it was still hard to grasp the incredibly beautiful luck I was having.

                  When things finally clicked and my mind caught up, things happened so fast. Levi was in my arms, on his back in the truck bed, gasping for air while I couldn’t stop my hands from roaming his body or my lips from searching his with a hunger beyond control.

                  “I love you. I love you,” I whispered into his skin again and again, kissing the words into every soft spot I touched. I couldn’t get enough of telling him, of tasting the weight of those three little words on my tongue.

                  “Ah Eren, w-wait a bit,” he implored, but soon after, his breathless reprimands turned to laughter, and I joined right in. If there had ever been a time I felt happier than I did right now, I couldn’t remember it, not with all the will in the world. My hands wandered under his shirt, along the expanse of his body, caressing his skin until he squirmed beneath me. I was well underway to devour him with both my hands and lips, at least until he stopped me with a light bonk to my head.

                  I resurfaced from my elated daze and blinked stupidly, “Sorry.”

                  Levi was breathing hard, his cheeks red and—oh my god, were those actual teeth marks along his jawline?

                  “Uhm, okay. I have no excuse for ravishing you like I did, but I have an apology ready. You’re my boyfriend now, aren’t you?” I laughed cheerfully. It was too good to be true. “Maybe you can forgive the sudden attack? I really, really couldn’t help myself.”

                  He laughed and gently shook his head. “Considering the circumstances, I might be able to make an exception.”

                  I laughed and leaned down to kiss him again, my hands wrapping around his to pin them up over his head. A soft moan left his lips at my sudden display of dominance, and I swallowed the lovely sound with my lips. His small palms slipped beneath my shirt with equal fervor, his nails scratching up the skin along my back and sides.

                  “Eren, I—“ he blushed hard, noticeable even in the dim light of night. “I love you, too.”

                  It was the sweetest thing, he spoke the words with an incredulous smile on his lips, as if he couldn’t quite believe them yet.

                  “You’re so cute,” I breathed before kissing a slow trail along his collarbone.

                  “Am not,” he whispered back while he pulled his shirt down to give me easier access.

                  He spread his legs and wrapped them tightly around my waist, and god, I wanted him. Again. Despite everything that had happened earlier. I felt a tweak of guilty conscience considering I didn’t deserve to get anywhere near his body tonight, but it was not strong enough to keep me from wanting more. Not when he was telling me he loved me, not when he was touching me like he was. I wanted to celebrate us getting together, and what better way to do that than to connect in the most intimate way possible?

                  “Levi...” I whispered into his neck while my hand slipped down along his waist to give his full behind a hearty squeeze.

                  As soon as I touched him there, he flinched. He actually flinched, something that had never happened before. Anxiety flooded my system, and in a matter of seconds, I became hyperaware of every last little movement he made.

                  “I-I’m sorry,” he stammered, averting his eyes. “I didn’t mean to... It’s not that I don’t want to... It’s just—“

                  Realization dawned on me, and I backed away to give him space.

                  “It’s because of what your uncle said, isn’t it? About guys like me only being out to use you?”

                  He bit his lip and shrugged forlornly. I knew then that I was right.

                  “It’s not like I don’t want to be a bottom. To be your bottom. You’ve never given me any reason to believe you weren’t serious about this, it’s just... He keeps telling me guys are only using me. It kind of... Sticks, you know?”

                  His shoulders sagged in defeat and my heart plummeted at the sight. I understood, I really did. Being a bottom made one more vulnerable, more defenseless. It took more to open up like this than the other way around. An idea bloomed in my mind, and as soon as it was there, I knew it was exactly what I wanted to do.

                  I leaned back against the truck bed’s side and reached out to grab his shirt between my fingers. His eyes widened when I pulled him on top of me, my hands searching his to place them firmly on my waist.

                  “Top me,” I said. Every second that ticked by made me want this more. “I want you to. Let me give myself to you the same way you give yourself to me. I want to feel you. Please.”


Chapter Text

            “W-What?“ Levi’s mouth dropped open. He looked positively scandalized, unable to make a move. My admission had obviously put him in some kind of shock.

            I brushed gentle fingers through his hair. “I mean it. Top me.”

            “N-No, I mean... I c-can’t possibly—”

            “Of course you can,” I interrupted him. “And I want you to. I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, actually. Even before tonight happened. Don’t you want to know... What it feels like?”

            That obviously got him thinking. He sat back on my lap, a pensive expression washing over his features. After he’d spent a few minutes dwelling on the opportunity, he bit his lip and sighed. There was a faint blush coloring his cheeks a warm rouge. He worried his lip between his teeth, staying silent. I knew he was interested. And not only that. The hurt his uncle’s behavior—someone who should’ve supported him—had unearthed was responsible for casting all these doubts within Levi. It was not like he doubted me, I knew that much. He just wasn’t sure how to let go of something that refused to die down. Every time his uncle dropped a taunt, a jibe, a mere hint would only serve to nurture this feeling. What he needed was confidence, in himself and me, and proof that would show him just how serious I was about him. Coincidentally, this proof I had in mind had been on my bucket list for quite some time now.

            “Hey,” I whispered, catching his chin between my fingers to tilt his face in my direction. “Please? I love topping you, you know that. It’s just that... I’ve been thinking about it. About you... Being in control. About feeling you inside me.” I flushed hotly, unable to believe how eager I sounded. Nevertheless, my voice refused to sound any different, no matter how much I willed it to.

            Levi righted his posture on my lap before he tentatively slipped forward and gave my groin an experimental brush with his own. Gentle fingers flicked across my neck to sink into the messy hair at my nape, and he leaned in to touch his forehead to mine, his breath fast and hot against my lips.

            “Damn Eren,” he whispered, his eyes fluttering shut, “You make it so hard to say no. I want to try this with you, I really do... It’s just that I don’t know how. I don’t want to hurt you.”

            His lips dropped open to utter something else, maybe another string of worries or more words of doubt, even while his hips began rolling against me in a tantalizing pace. My hands wrapped around his waist, pulling him so close that our chests met. Then, I kissed him. I kissed him in a way that was sure to take every last qualm away. He responded with more vigor than ever, his lips demanding and needy and dominant. Goose bumps started to race across every part of me he touched. I reveled in the feeling of him grinding down on me, searching and taking that sweet friction. Impatience filled my veins, pressing enough to make my hands sweep beneath his shirt, my nails sinking in the soft flesh only waiting to be marked by them.

            “Are you sure... This is what you want?” He whispered into my mouth before he kissed me again, the tip of his tongue fondling the underside of mine with wet, languid strokes that had me almost scream out for him to hurry.

            “Fuck yes,” I whined breathlessly, “This is exactly what I want.”

            Levi exhaled on a long moan, and then he stopped touching me for about two seconds. I could only stare up at him, longing, wishing, waiting. I was all his, ready for the taking. His palms wrapped around my shoulders, and in the next moment, he pushed me down onto the truck bed. He kissed a wet trail down along my neck, pressing soft kisses to my throat and nipping my collarbones. My breath puffed out of me in steamy clouds. When I felt his hands on my belt, I groaned loudly. It felt so good to give up control for once, to give myself to someone I trusted unconditionally. To feel everything he felt when I was the one taking him. For tonight, I was his bottom, to be handled however he wanted to.

            When my jeans made way to warm air caressing my bare legs, I bit my lip to hold in an embarrassing string of desperate whines. His gaze met mine, asking for permission I was only too willing to give, before his fingers curled beneath the waistband of my boxers. I closed my eyes—I couldn’t help it—as my underwear joined my discarded jeans at the back of the truck bed. I only dared to look when a vicious mix of curiosity and desire forced me to. His moist breath was kissing my chest, his wet tongue dipping out to circle one of my nipples.

            “Mmh yes, right there,” I urged.

            He chuckled against my nipple, the sound’s vibration shuddering temptingly across my hypersensitive skin.

            “Ahh, Levi!” I half-shouted when his plush lips closed around my pink tip to give it a long, appreciative suck.

            His hot tongue swirled around the tip, never letting up on me—not even when my body shuddered and rubbed against him in an almost mad frenzy. No, he was enjoying this way too much to grant me even a second of reprieve. After my nipple was hard and dipped in a pretty pink hue, he moved on to the next, repeating his slow torture until I screamed, begged, for him to give me more. His lips continued their journey down my body, kissing my abs and licking into my navel. When he buried his nose in the soft patch of hair that led down to my heavy erection, I squeezed my eyes shut and wondered if I’d even make it through all of this with my consciousness still intact. I felt like fainting from the intensity of his touches—touches that were familiar, but so entirely new at the same time. I arched my back to push my pelvis against his lips in a desperate move that screamed impatience.

            “Shh,” he whispered quietly, one firm hand pushing me back down. “Not so fast. I want to take my sweet time enjoying this.”

            My heart stopped, and then started back up again to pound with break-neck speed. God, this was too much. He was too much, making me ooze wetness without even a single touch to where I wanted to feel him most. He followed my happy trail with the tip of his tongue until his cheek grazed my erection, which was bobbing greedily at the mere touch. One small palm came up to wrap around my base, silvery eyes looking up to pin mine. He didn’t even break our intense eye contact when his tongue came out to brush softly against my tip.

            “If you keep looking at me like that, I’ll blow my load with the next stroke of your tongue,” I warned, meaning it.

            A belligerent smirk curled his lips against my cock, which only served to make him look all the sexier.

            “Hmm, maybe you should blow your load,” he teased. “I’m actually dying to have you come down my throat.”

            God. Have mercy on me.

            When I caught a tiny peek of that utterly beautiful smile spreading across his lips as a reaction to his seductive words, I threw my arms over my face and groaned into them.

            “God, Levi. You can't say things like that!”

            “You don't like it?”

            “On the contrary. I like it way too much. Didn't you say you wanted this to last longer? That’s not the way to make me last longer, you know,” I smirked.

            “Well, it’s a good thing that the amount of times you can come isn’t limited then, right?” He replied with a lopsided smile, his steel gray eyes lighting up with mischief.

            “Oh? You plan on making me come more than once? Ambitious.” I was going for sounding skeptical, but my silly grin gave me away.

            “More like realistic,” he replied, drawing a miserably suppressed laugh from me. Wasn't he cheeky? Any more of this and I'd blissfully drop into an excitement-induced coma.

            “Look at you getting all self-confident. I think you—AH! Damn!” I shuddered violently when his soft lips swallowed my tip, his tongue caressing the head until I was leaking multiple beads of precome he was quick to suck off. My head lolled back against the blanket, my eyes following his every move despite wanting to close from the intense sensations he was making me feel. Every touch, every lick he administered on my most sensitive part made my rationality slip further away, until a needy ball of emotions was all that remained. Gasps turned to pants and soon enough, my consciousness became as spotty as my breathing.

            “Ahh yes, d-don’t stop... I need m-more,” I wailed helplessly.

            I watched as Levi sunk down on my cock, sucking my entire length in between his lips until his nose was buried in the soft hair at my base. The sight of him, of his deliciously small mouth struggling to take me in entirely, had me grow impossibly hard with want. Levi sped up his rhythm, his teeth grazing the sensible skin just below my glans, and I screamed. It was embarrassing, but I couldn’t control the husky sounds leaving my mouth anymore at this point. The sensations, the view, the sheer intimacy of it... It was too much to attempt keeping any semblance of restraint. My hips bucked relentlessly up into his mouth, and he didn’t hesitate to take in more of me, his silky hair falling into his eyes as he swallowed me up and then released me with a wet pop. I was getting close—so close.

            “Levi, I—” I whispered to let him know this wouldn’t take much longer.

            He released me again and then threw me a darkly aroused look before he leaned in close and fucking blew across my tip. I bowed off the truck bed and promptly hit my head upon falling back down. Levi chuckled at my unbridled reaction and then slipped one fingernail into my slit to coax thick spurts of precome out of me. My eyes rolled back in my head, a harsh gasp ripping free from my throat.

            “Please, just... L-Let me...” All I wanted was to come, my body felt so tight and overstimulated, I was longing for sweet relief. Just before I could let go, Levi stopped his caresses, making me plunge back down from the impending high.

            “N-No, why...” I protested weakly.

            “You really thought it would be that easy?” He said before licking a stray drop of precome off his bottom lip.

            I groaned loudly and squeezed my legs around his waist. He watched me with a slow smile, and then held out his palm. It didn’t take long for me to realize what he was asking for. Reaching back, I rummaged through my bag until my fingers closed around the small bottle of lube I’d brought. How he’d known I’d sneaked one along was beyond me. Maybe he just knew me too well. I placed the bottle in his palm and watched as he turned it around a few times before uncapping it. I swallowed hard and tried to stay calm. A relentless mix of excitement and anxiety flooded my senses. He moved on to drizzle a large dollop of the clear fluid onto his long fingers before proceeding to warm it up in his hands. Just like I always did. The thought made me smile wide.

            “You’re good at this,” I said dreamily.

            He blushed. God, he was still so cute.

            “I haven’t even started yet,” he said.

            “I know you are,” I encouraged while I spread my legs in an open invitation. I watched as his Adam’s apple jumped with a large gulp and felt ridiculously satisfied. Oh yes, two could play at this game and now it was my turn to tease.

            I bit my lip and let my eyes fall to half-mast, “Come on, Levi... I want you. Give it to me already. I can’t wait anymore.”

            He dropped the bottle of lube, his eyes widening before his pupils grew dark with desire. Was this how I always looked when I was about to take him? I liked this look on him. I liked it a whole lot. His raven eyebrows puckered as he watched me, obviously catching up on what I was trying to do here.

            “Still think you’re the one in control here, don’t you?” He chuckled softly, the obvious challenge obvious in his twinkling eyes. My heart missed a beat.

            “Hm well, looks like I am though, doesn’t it?” I bit my lip and nodded at the impressive bulge that was straining against the front of his pants.

            Levi blushed and clicked his tongue at me. I smirked and pushed my fingertips beneath the waistband of his tight jeans. “You should take these off. They look a bit tight... Around here.”

            I pushed my hand further into his jeans until I felt his hot erection against my skin and wrapped him in my palm. I gave him a few purposeful strokes that made him curse harshly. But I didn’t stop. Soon, his resistance melted away and he began to rock into my hand with vigor. I worked his jeans open with my unoccupied hand and yanked them sloppily down to mid-thigh. Levi watched my indigent attempt at getting him naked with heavy-lidded eyes and a lazy smile. My hand grew sticky with his precome and I fought the urge to let go and taste his warm wetness on my fingers. Suddenly, he took my hand in his, breaking my hold on him. I watched, dazed, as he sunk down between my legs again, his raven hair whispering across my thighs. A moment later, his mouth was back on me, sucking me harder and faster than before. I moaned and mewled restlessly, not giving a shit about how damn lewd I sounded. He made me come undone, in every way I knew how, and he deserved to know that. One of Levi’s hands slipped down to cup my balls, and I flexed my legs to give him more access. I was so sensitive here that the lightest touch made me shiver, a fact my reaction did nothing to conceal. Levi trailed the thick veins on my cock with the tip of his tongue while he played with the soft skin on my balls, alternating between squeezing and stretching it. I hadn't known I could feel this way—so positively greedy for it, for him, that it was as if I’d simply drop dead if he’d refuse to take me right now. When I finally felt his slicked finger hovering above my entrance, it was both relief and excitement I felt. This was really happening, right now.

            “Ahh, oh my... Fuck...” I mewled when he pushed one long, warm finger inside me.

            “Feel good?” He asked, watching my every expression with rapt attention.

            “Yes,” I whispered, biting at my lip to keep in a gasp.

            He ran the pad of his finger along my walls, massaging the tightness into relaxation with a skill that took my breath away. He knew exactly where to touch, was aware of everything that felt good. I was shuddering uncontrollably, bucking up when he pushed a second finger inside. I rolled my hips into his hand, a long stream of barely suppressed moans falling from my lips as I sucked his fingers deeper and felt them working me open in return. The third finger felt different, more intense and admittedly painful. It felt too tight to take all of them in at the same time, but I held my tongue and wiggled around to ease the pressure.

            “You’re doing so good,” Levi cooed in between my moans, and it was just what I needed to hear in order to loosen up a bit more for him. He didn’t waste the opportunity and scissored his fingers to open me up wider. It was a fine line between pleasure and pain, but I couldn’t help but relish the thought that here I was, exactly where Levi usually was, feeling the same things he felt when he was with me.

            “Mmmh Levi, it’s—ahh!”

            “I know, just a bit more, Eren. We’re almost there. You feel amazing.”

            Somehow, he’d moved from licking my dick to pressing wet kisses to my nape. I moaned when I felt how his sweet words of praise brushed along my skin. I loved this side of him. I’d have never known he’d be this gentle with me. Closing my eyes, I concentrated on relaxing more, until he gave me an appreciative kiss and slowly pulled his fingers out of me. The sudden loss was more than a little uncomfortable, but I knew I wouldn’t feel empty for long.

            “You know, I’ve always liked your back,” he whispered against my cheek, “It’s so broad and tan and... Gorgeous. I think it’s exactly what I want to see while I take you.”

            A fierce shiver worked its way down my spine. I knew what he meant, and damn, I wanted it. Maybe more than he did. My eyes were moist when I opened them to find him looking down at me, and then I pulled him in for a long, sloppy kiss. His hands wandered down to my hips and helped me up so I could turn on my stomach. When I was lying on my front, I took a deep breath and let Levi pull me up to my hands and knees. It felt so good to be positioned by him, just the way he wanted to have me.

            “Mmh, look at you. So ready,” he said as he ran his palms along my ass cheeks.

            I listened to the sound of him taking more lube and slicking himself up. When he spread my cheeks and the warm air assaulted my hypersensitive hole, I whined loudly.

            “Please, Levi... I’ve waited long enough. Come on, do me already,” I begged.

            His lips treaded a soft trail down along my back, gentle licks giving way to tender kisses. Finally, he moved closer. I felt his hard cock slipping in between my cheeks and he gave my cleft a few deft strokes. The feeling was divine—he was so close, so hot, so greedy. I pushed back against him, feeling as his slicked cock nestled in between my cheeks.

            “So needy,” Levi whispered appreciatively.

            His cock brushed over my hole again and again, every little touch setting my already frayed nerves on fire. When his tip was right at my opening, gently nudging against it, I grew utterly still. Holding my breath, I squeezed my eyes tightly shut as Levi pushed into me—slowly, deliberately. The sensation was out of this world. Its sheer intensity, this feeling of being filled and stretched to become one with him, was unlike anything I’d imagined. It was so much... Better.

            “Ah, L-Levi... Fuck... This feels so...” I trailed off when he pushed another two inches inside me, making me forget what words were.

            I couldn’t see Levi with the way my face had dropped down to bury against my arm, but his wrecked voice left little to the imagination. “Yes Eren, tell me... Tell me how it feels.”

            He continued to slide into me, my insides stretching around him to accommodate his girth. I felt so incredibly full at this point, even while I knew he wasn’t even in all the way yet.

            “It feels so... good,” I whispered, almost incredulous, as if I couldn’t quite believe it. I wiggled my hips and tried to adjust to the feel of him some more. Levi was impossibly gentle, giving me all the time I needed, stopping and going whenever I gave him the sign to. When he was embedded to the hilt, I moaned, long and loud. I bit my bare arm, my whole body wanting to cave in with all the sensations that were rushing through me at once. Yet I fought it, staying on my knees and pushing my behind out to keep the position Levi had chosen for me. His hands were lightly cupping my hips, applying gentle pressure whenever he moved. Suddenly, there was warm breath dancing across my shoulder blades, followed by the sweetest of kisses.

            “I love you, Eren,” he whispered, his lips kissing each little syllable into my skin. I arched my back, every single one of my pores longing to absorb more of his beautiful words into me. He was now truly mine, just like I was his, and this moment was entirely ours.

            “I love you too, so much,” I breathed. Right then, I couldn’t bear not seeing him for a second longer. Looking over my shoulder, I was met with the most gorgeous view possible. He was so utterly caught up in this—in me—that it was impossible to tear my gaze away, even if I’d wanted to. Which I didn’t. I so didn’t. He was so beautiful, in every sense of the word. The way his hair fell into his eyes, half closed with arousal, his pale cheeks flushed a dainty scarlet, his hands holding onto my hips while he pulled out of me so agonizingly slow, all the way until only the very tip remained inside. I groaned at the friction, and his eyes snapped open at the sound, meeting mine in a burst that made literal sparks fly. I pushed my ass back in a desperate attempt to make this more, to feel more. I gasped—one of those high-pitched, clipped gasps—as he sunk into me again until his hips were flush against my rear. I held my breath as his nails buried in my back before trailing down to hold unto my behind with more force than before. The next thing I knew, he was accelerating his pace, slamming into me so hard that his balls were slapping against my ass with each thrust. I couldn’t think straight, not anymore. All that was left of me were nerves and feelings and sensations, wrapping me up and sucking me under without any chance of resurfacing. I buried my hands in the blanket, trying my best to hold on as Levi continued his merciless rhythm, unable to suppress any of the desperate cries and heart-felt moans falling from my lips.

            “Damn, Eren, you... You are so tight. I love it,” Levi breathed heavily behind me, before pulling my hips in a bruising grip and pushing his whole length into me in one go.

            His praise made me clench around his warm girth on purpose, and I relished the wrecked sounds he made in response. Despite being the bottom, or maybe just because of it, I felt this incredible power radiating from me. I knew I had him in the palm of my hand, and that felt positively compelling. Levi’s hand whispered over my hipbone, before dipping low in the front to skim over my cock, which was throbbing almost painfully with the need for release. He timed his strokes on my length in perfect synchronization with his thrusts, the feeling of being touched by him from the front and back simultaneously tossing me right up to an incredible high. I felt him growing bigger inside me, his moans turning louder and more intense, telling me he was as close as I was.

            “Ahh, Levi... S-So close...”

            “Me too, Eren, just let go. Come for me,” Levi rasped.

            His movements grew more frantic, his fervor driving me up against the truck until I had to brace my arms against the driver’s cab to keep from smashing right into it. My entire body was covered in sticky sweat and warm drops of my arousal. Levi angled his hips just the tiniest bit, and then he hit something inside me that made me scream. It felt like he was stimulating a taut bundle of nerves there, making it coil tightly, again and again, and then I simply burst. A drawn-out moan left my lips as I finally gave in and came all over the blanket under me. Levi whispered sultry words of praise into the electric air between us, continuing to slam into me. Just when overstimulation threatened to take me, I felt warmth seep into me. Having his come inside me, feeling as it filled me up to the brim, brought an insane sense of satisfaction with it, and I sighed contently as I allowed exhaustion to take me down to my front. My mind was muddled, not ready to form any words—none that would have made sense, anyway. Levi slipping out of me, rummaging around to find something to clean me with, it all happened somewhere at my very periphery. At some point, I was wrapped in a fresh blanket and pulled between Levi’s legs. I let my head fall back on his shoulder, enjoying the way he held me close while placing dozens of sweet little kisses on my sweat-slick neck. Many moments passed by like this, none of us saying anything. It was the most peaceful kind of silence, spent reveling in each other’s warmth and proximity after we’d experienced another breath-taking first together.

            My eyes were closed when Levi’s fingers brushed through my hair, gently combing it through. It took all I had not to purr, but I didn’t think I managed despite my efforts.

            “How are you? Feel okay?” Levi asked quietly, his affectionate voice chasing warm goose bumps all over the spots on my neck his breath was touching.

            I snuggled back against him, turning my head slowly to press a chaste kiss to the soft spot just below his ear.

            “Well, I don’t think I’ll be able to walk after this, but... I feel fantastic,” I whispered, even while my entire body burned and tingled. I was pretty worn out, yes, but it was the best kind of worn out I could imagine.

            Levi chuckled and wrapped me right back into his arms. “Fantastic, huh? So does that mean I make a good top?”

            I smiled quietly to myself and brought my hands up to draw tender lines and patterns along his bare arm.

            “I say you make a damn fine top,” I replied. I couldn’t be entirely sure, but it felt like his chest was swelling a bit against my back. Oh yes, he could definitely be proud.

            Shifting in his arms until I sat practically princess style in his lap, I looked up at him. He looked as drained as I did, but there was the most dazzling glow lighting up his pale skin, a shimmer that seemed to gleam right from within. His lips were drawn up in a soft smile, his eyes sparkling with devotion. I could only imagine what my appearance must be right now, especially in comparison to his. Whereas he looked like the most beautifully wrecked kind of well fucked, I was positive I looked more like the fucked kind of fucked. The thought made me snicker.

            “What’s so funny?” Levi asked, and I could hear the smile in his tone.

            “Oh nothing,” I whispered, suddenly out of breath at the view of that stunning smile he seemed to only ever smile for me, “I was just thinking that it doesn’t matter if you top or bottom, you always look so... gorgeous doing it. I’m pretty jealous of that.”

            Rolling his eyes, he bent down and bit my cheek, making me mewl and playfully swat at his chest.

            “That’s not true,” he said, sincere. “I’ll have you know that the way you’re looking at me right now makes it damn hard to hold back from going for another round.”

            I blushed. Hard. Me.

            He nuzzled my cheek after I rambled on about how he couldn’t be serious when he sealed my lips with a long, wet kiss. I gave in, letting myself fall into him, allowing everything else to break away. My mind was still up on cloud nine, my eyes closed in bliss, when Levi spoke against my moist lips.

            “Thank you, Eren. Thank you for doing this for me.”

            I blinked up at him, only slowly resurfacing from my elated daze. “I wanted it too, just as much,” I held his gaze when his eyes began to sparkle with something that might have been delight. I ran the pad of my thumb over his bottom lip and shivered when he shivered at the touch. “Don’t thank me, Levi. You’re... my everything. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you.”

Chapter Text


            “Ah, Eren... Seriously, I... I have to... Go,” I whispered breathlessly against his lips—lips that had been latched onto mine for the better part of fifteen minutes now. Ever since we’d parked in front of my apartment complex, Eren had jumped into clingy boyfriend mode and refused to let me go. The thing was that I wasn’t complaining, not really. Considering I’d just spent one of the best nights imaginable with him, I was just as reluctant to untangle myself from him. So when he murmured “Mh, just one more” into my mouth while kissing me, I couldn’t exactly help but comply. He came even closer, pressing his body as close as possible, and licked his way into my mouth. His hand slipped into my hair, his fingertips brushing over my undercut to sink into the longer strands on top. He used his grip on me to keep me in place, even while there was no chance in hell I’d ever back away when he was kissing me like this, as if my lips were air he needed to breathe in. Right then I gave in, allowing his tongue to caress mine with deliberate strokes while I wrapped my arms around his neck to respond to him in full.

            “Are you sure you can’t come up with some excuse to stay the night at my place? I don’t want to go home without you,” Eren said in the short break between one long kiss and the next, even while he knew there was nothing I could possibly do to stay in this car and drive home with him. Yet still, I knew he wished there was, because I felt the same. Letting him go now after the mind-blowing evening we’d spent together felt plain wrong, on every level. Just the thought of walking back up into my own personal hell of taunting that would undoubtedly follow once I stepped foot past the threshold was too painful to dwell on. It was like a taint on the night I’d just been granted.

            My eyes opened slowly, my mind still clinging to the sweet remainder of the kiss we’d just shared, and I looked up at him. My face softened noticeably when I caught the tiny flicker of hope passing his vivid green eyes. I reached up to run gentle knuckles over his cheekbone, and smiled when the touch drew a soft shiver from him in response.

            “Don’t look at me like that,” I said admonishingly, but I couldn’t fight down the faint smile that stuck to my lips. “If I ask to stay the night after what happened earlier, I wouldn’t live to see another day. Which would be terrible, you know... Now that I have something that makes getting up in the mornings actually worth it.”

            I swallowed hard, everything in me forcing me to take back what I’d just said. It was silly and embarrassing and way too honest, but even taking all this into account, I couldn’t find it in me to play the words down as a joke. Today had meant so much to me, and I felt closer to Eren than I ever had. Along with everything else I could give him, he deserved my honesty.

            A soft blush stained his cheeks a sugary shade of pink, his eyes flicking from my lips to my eyes with obvious affection blooming in their mossy depths. My heart was fluttering inside my chest when millions of butterflies took flight, all at once. Taking a deep breath, he linked his fingers with mine and brought them up to his lips to place a tender kiss on each of my knuckles.

            “I love you,” he said, and I bit my lip when the rush of emotions hit me anew. The words were still so fresh, so strangely untouched, yet I knew I’d never grow tired of hearing them. Not when Eren was the one to tell me.

            He kissed me again, his lips as soft as a feather and as balmy as a summer breeze. I relished the feeling with all my senses, pressing my body into the center console until an uncomfortable tingle started to radiate from my side. Not that I cared. All I wanted was to crawl over that damn thing and let him cover every inch of me with every inch of him. I was so utterly lost in him, of his tongue sliding over mine and his nails burrowing into my shoulders, that the feeling of his hands whispering beneath my shirt tore a surprised gasp from my throat. He chuckled softly, the sound dancing down my throat, and ran his warm palms across my ribcage. Somewhere at the back of my mind, I knew we didn’t have nearly enough time for this as my curfew crept closer and closer, yet I couldn’t hold onto that thought. The pads of his fingers whispered up towards my nipples, which were already straining for his touch, and I released an embarrassing little squeak when he finally gave my tips a timid squeeze. Goose bumps began to race all over my body in an instant, my skin turning oversensitive. All I wanted was to get rid of my shirt and push my chest into his eager hands, but then I realized I was risking getting seriously grounded right here. The moment would be worth it, but the subsequent dry spell without seeing Eren would not. So I forced the lid on my raging arousal and pushed his hands away.

            “N-No,” I said, albeit reluctantly, “Don’t. I’ll never be able to leave once you start touching me like this.”

            He sighed, obviously fighting with himself. His expression told me how seriously he was considering damning this all to hell and dragging me straight to the backseat—a thought that made sticking to my resolve beyond hard—but then he sighed in defeat.

            “Sorry,” he said sheepishly.

            Damn, he was cute. I reached up and gave his head an affectionate pat before I could think better of it, and smiled despite myself when he leaned into the touch.

            “It’s time,” I said after a little while of brushing my fingers through his lush chestnut strands, “I better not break my curfew.”

            “It’s alright,” he said quietly, “Go.”

            I looked at him, a sudden feeling of guilt flooding me, as if I was doing something wrong. Eren watched me closely, and then he smacked an arm over his eyes.

            “God, stop being so adorable,” he ground out.

            I huffed. I wasn’t being adorable at all. Clearing my throat, I asked, “You are okay, right? I mean—”

            “Yes, I am. More than that. And now please go,” he groaned, “Because I am one second away from not being able to let you.”

            I bit my lip for a moment, contemplating asking him how he was feeling, again. He had bottomed for the first time a few short hours ago after all, it was my job to make sure he’d made it out of this okay. Although I also didn’t intend to put his (barely existent) self-restraint to the test. Not when it meant grounding and having to make do without seeing him for however long my uncle decided it would take for me to get straight. Nope, not gonna happen.

            He glared playfully at me, making me snicker. I leaned in and placed another quick kiss to his lips. “Text me later?”

            “That’s a given,” he smiled, his eyes lighting up at the promise.

            “I wouldn’t have accepted any other reply,” I half-joked and opened the car door. Eren got out and retrieved my bag from the backseat, before walking to the front and handing it to me. We stood there for a long minute, just looking into each other’s eyes, and once again, I felt this insane pull I always ever felt with him. It was strong and rampant, pulling me right back to where I wanted to be. I shifted weirdly from one foot to the other, before I wrenched myself from Eren’s vicinity and turned away with a curse. I half-ran to the entrance door, when a sudden instinct held me back. My hand already on the door handle, I slowly turned back and was surprised to see Eren still parked there, his eyes following my every move. I smiled and lifted my hand to wave at him. That silly idiot blew me a kiss in return, and I cursed myself when I felt my cheeks grow warm. With a final peek in his direction, I pushed the door open and stepped inside the building. There was no time left to dally, so I skipped waiting for the elevator and rushed up the stairs. I made it to my apartment just in time, without a single minute to spare. Just like I’d anticipated, Kenny was standing right in the entryway, another beer can in hand. He stared me down with a suspicious twist around his lips. Maybe I could explain my mussed hair with some new style I was trying out, but that excuse wouldn’t exactly work for my kiss-swollen lips. There was nothing I could do to hide or explain them, so my tactic consisted of keeping my head down and making a quick dash for my bedroom. Kenny’s hand shot out to grab me, but I dodged it and ducked under his flailing arm. My victory was only short-lived though.

            “Levi!” He thundered after me, his heavy steps following me down the hallway.

            I pushed the door to my bedroom open and hurried for the far corner, as far away from him as possible. He was hot on my heels, his gait already a bit unsteady with the alcohol he’d undoubtedly consumed by now. I watched him as he tried to find the light switch in the dark, failing three times before the overhead lights finally came to life.

            Damn. I had no chance of hiding my appearance with that bright light shining down on me.

            My uncle came over to where I stood against the wall, his lips curled in a menacing snarl. When he reached me, he took hold of my chin and tilted my face up to his. I shuddered. I didn’t want his hands on me, especially not on any of the places Eren had touched. It felt like Kenny’s meaty fingers were overwriting Eren’s soft touches on my skin. At first, I refused to meet my uncle’s eyes, at least until I realized that avoiding them seemed like an admission of weakness on my part. My eyes snapped up to his, boring into his hazy ones. He gawked at me, at my face, my lips. Then, he huffed as if he was disgusted by what he saw.

            “Did you let him fuck you?”

            The words were dripping with contempt, and usually, that would be enough to drive a blade straight through my heart. I was waiting for the familiar pain of rejection to settle within me, but all that came was a dull ache. Slowly, I realized I wasn’t all that susceptible to his hate anymore, not in the way I used to be. The realization brought a faint smile to my lips. Something about tonight had changed me.

            “No,” I replied. Technically, I hadn’t. Eren had allowed me to do that to him this time around. The warm feeling of affection wrapping me up when I thought about it only served to pronounce my smile even more.

            Apparently, Kenny did not like my carefree response. He jostled me back against the wall and smacked his index finger in my chest.

            “Don’t you fucking lie to me. It’s all over your face,” he bit out. “Just you wait, Levi. You’ll soon be laughing out of the other side of your face.”

            I still couldn’t wipe the smirk off my face as he turned on his heel and stalked out the door. It was an innocent reaction. I was just happy. It wasn’t my intention to spite him, but if smiling had conjured that effect, all the better. Nothing he did, nothing anyone did, would take away the happiness tonight had given me.

            I walked to the door and closed it, once again wishing my key hadn’t been taken by Kenny when he found out about my orientation. As if I’d ever bring a guy I liked here.

            Pressing my ear to the door, I listened to my uncle shuffling through the hallway until he plopped down on the sofa to watch some sports show. My mom wasn’t home yet. As a nurse, she often had to take the night shift and would only return in the morning. I sighed as I walked back to my bed, dropping onto it face first like dead weight. Mom was treating me with way more consideration after my coming out, yet still, it felt like she was trying to convince me, just as much as herself, that all of this was just some kind of phase I was currently going through. She never said it in so many words, but I still knew that in her mind, the safest way of action was to wait this out. My thoughts drifted back to Eren. Coming out was the hardest thing I’d ever done, but it felt better to be out than to carry the secret without anyone knowing. Eren still had to go through all of that, and make it out alive. I could only hope his family wasn’t like mine.

            Just in this moment, my cellphone vibrated in my jeans pocket. I wiggled to grab it and found a new text message from Eren. Just like promised. Once again, he was the reason I had to smile.

            Eren: Just got home and guess what? I’m missing you already. You should sneak away. I could come back to pick you up.

            Well, damn. Wasn’t that a brilliant idea? My heart pounded as I re-read his message, he said he was missing me, and I opened up a reply.

            Me: I wish I could. Being here sucks.

            All of one moment passed before my phone started to ring in my palm. Eren’s silly grinning face squished to mine flashed across the screen.

            “What happened?” He shot out before I could even attempt a witty greeting.

            “Hello to you too,” I said. “Nothing. He was just being... Difficult. Forget I said anything.”

            Eren was quiet for a second. I could just picture him debating whether he should push this or not. Finally, he sighed and asked, “Are you okay?”

            He was worried about me. It was there in plain sight, and all I could do in response was press my palm to my fierce heartbeat, as if the touch was enough to slow it down to a normal level.

            “I am. Now,” I answered, closing my eyes. I wished he was here with me. I might have gotten better at avoiding any of my uncle’s hateful remarks to get to me, but I was still far from being immune.

            “Okay, I’ll let this go. But only because you told me to,” Eren grumbled. “What are you doing now?”

            “Thanks. Nothing much, just lying around in bed. You?”

            “I was just thinking about how nice a hot bath would be right now, when I remembered I never even used to like taking a bath. Not before I met you. See the influence you have on me?”

            I chuckled. Oh yes, getting Eren to love taking baths was definitely going on my list of accomplishments.

            “Yes, huge impact,” I laughed. “Are you going to use a bath bomb?”

            “Sure thing. Your favorite.”

            “Mh,” I whispered, picturing his lean body half-submerged in sparkly waves of lilac foam. “So... Are you in the bathroom right now?”

            “Yep, just walked in.”

            “And are you... Taking your clothes off?”

            The line stayed silent for a moment—well, almost silent. There was Eren’s breathing on the other end, which was noticeably picking up after he’d heard what I said. I listened to him shuffling a bit, wondering what he was doing right now.

            “I’ve just slipped out of my shirt and now I’m playing around with my jeans. Do you want me to take them off for you, Levi?”  

            I sat up straight and leaned back against my pillows, my legs falling open. I had no idea what I was doing or where this was headed, but damn, I would not stop here.

            “Yes,” I breathed, “Take them off. Take everything off.”

            For a moment, I wondered whether he was really up to go that far, but when I heard more shuffling around, I knew he was down to get with the program.

            I heard his accelerated breathing when he came back on the phone, “So, I am all naked. Don’t you think I deserve a little reward for that?”

            I swallowed. Oh, sweet Lord. What had I gotten myself into?

            “Y-You do,” I managed on a shaky breath, “Why don’t you tell me what you want?”

             “Get comfortable, pick any position you like. After that, I want you to slip one hand under your shirt. Play with those pretty nipples.”


            My heart was pounding in my chest, my breathing coming clipped and sloppy. I wouldn’t have guessed Eren would be so good at this, even when I should have. I mean, was there anything he wasn’t good at?

            I squeezed my eyes shut as he gave me time to conquer my doubts. This might be embarrassing, but that didn’t mean I wanted it to end. He had me, and I was going to stay. All of this was too exciting not to.

            Taking a deep breath, I pushed the pads of my fingers beneath my shirt and let them wander all the way up—from my belly, over my abs until I felt the soft tip of my nipple between my fingers. I gave it a playful tug, and promptly moaned in return.

            “Feel good?”

            “Mh, yeah. I just wish... You were here doing it for me,” I whispered, my eyes staying closed as I twisted my nipple around until it got hard and too sensitive to take any more. I was imagining Eren’s hands on me, his deft fingers massaging me just where I needed it, where it felt best.

            “Ahh, Eren...” I trailed off, too needy to touch my chest any longer. I needed more. Tentatively, I slipped my unoccupied hand back down along my torso until it met the waistband of my jeans. My erection was trapped and straining against its denim confines, and I knew I couldn’t wait much longer to free it and touch where I wanted it most.

            “You want it, don’t you?” Eren said huskily, his voice whispering over my eardrum. “You want to touch yourself down there, to stroke until you scream. Tell me, are you imagining me touching you? Do you want to feel my hands on this beautiful skin of yours?”

            His voice in my ear, whispering those things to me while I was touching myself, did the most extraordinary things to me. I was sure I was practically panting at this point, but I couldn’t help noticing that his voice had changed as well. It was breathy and gruff, as if it took a lot of effort to keep control over what he was doing. Whatever that was, I was pretty sure it involved staying naked.

            “Y-Yes, Eren,” I moaned, “T-Touch me... Right there...”

            I undid the button on my jeans and yanked them sloppily down my thighs, the denim feeling too tight on my hot skin. Somewhere at the back of my mind, I realized my door wasn’t locked and if my uncle decided he wanted another fight, he could just walk straight in here and catch me doing this. Still, even the considerable risk wasn’t enough to make me come back to my senses and stop this phone call, all it did was make me grab for my covers and slip beneath them. If someone walked in here, at least they wouldn’t be presented with all of me on a silver platter. I perked up when Eren’s breath hitched sexily in his throat. Was he playing as well? While thinking of me?

            “Mh, you feel so good. I’m... God. I want you, so bad...” Eren rasped in my ear, clearly as turned on as I was. “Tease your tip for me, Levi. Until it’s all wet and messy.”

            I complied right away, letting my fingers wander up my length to my tip, squeezing that sensitive spot just below my glans before reaching up to swipe at the slit. It didn’t take long until a few pearly drops of precome glistened on the head. I used my thumb to smear the bead all over the crown. “Ahh, shit... Eren... I... Fuck.”

            I was lost to the pleasure, my phone falling in between my cheek and shoulder as I continued to tease and touch myself, more and more, until I felt the oncoming of this tight coil of sensations I always felt when I was well underway to come.

            “Shh, baby. I got you. Slow down a bit, okay? I’m not done with you yet.”

            I contemplated ignoring his instruction for a second. My whole body was strung tight, and I knew I just needed another few good strokes to get off. God, I wanted to get off, right here, with his perfect voice ghosting through my mind.

            “Levi,” he moaned, my name whispering over the line on a lingering moan.

            His voice had adopted a commanding ring to it, and it was exactly what I needed to listen. I stopped touching my cock and felt the high subside. I couldn’t help but release a displeased sigh.

            Eren chuckled. That bastard.

            “Good boy,” he whispered, and usually, I’d go ballistic if someone called me a ‘good boy’, but when Eren was the one doing it, it made my heart race and hot goose bumps break out over my skin.

            “Now spread your legs and touch your balls. I bet they are aching,” he said. I swallowed hard, my head lolling back against the pillows. He should be illegal. Absolutely illegal.

            Doing as he told me, I gingerly spread my legs beneath my blanket and dipped down to cup my balls, gently rolling them around my palm. Just the touch made me remember every time Eren had touched me here, and once again, I closed my eyes to imagine him doing all of this to me.

            “Mh Eren, yes... This feels amazing... Oh fuck, I want you. Here, with me.”

            Eren grunted on the other end, his voice now broken and wrecked. Was he touching himself too? What with all the moaning and shuffling going on on his end, I was pretty sure he was. The thought made my cock twitch.

            “Oh yes, Levi, you’re doing so good... Don’t stop. Just listening to you, it’s... Damn. You drive me crazy.”

            My entire body flushed with heat, and I moaned into my phone. He was the one making me lose my mind here. Though when I thought about the fact that I was likely doing the same to him right now, I felt as sexy as he made me out to be.

            “Do you have lube anywhere near you?” Eren said, his tone hoarse. There was the distinct noise of movement in the background, leading me to believe he was enjoying this just as much as I was, not even taking a moment of reprieve.

            “Uhm... I have lotion,” I replied, voice tremulous.

            “Good. Take it. You know what I want you to do, don’t you?”

            I gulped and nodded, as if he could see me. Reaching back, I rummaged through my night stand and pulled out a small bottle of scented lotion. It slipped out of my shaky hands before I finally managed to open it and coat my fingers with the cool balm.

            I let the heels of my hand dance down across my body, feeling its light touch before it dipped between my legs to nudge my entrance. A small moan escaped me.

            “Are you there?” Eren asked throatily, “Be careful. Don’t go too fast, we don’t want you to hurt yourself.”

            I groaned uncontrollably and bit my lip while I pushed one finger inside. Despite what Eren had told me, and was still telling me if I understood correctly through my aroused daze, I didn’t wait. Impatient, I pushed a second finger in place and wheezed at the sharp pain it elicited.

            “Levi,” Eren scolded. “Didn’t I tell you to go slow? Take your time. You want to be ready for me, don’t you?”

            “Ah! Ah y-yes, I do,” I breathed.

            I fingered myself open slowly—just like he wanted—but when the initial pain faded and I was ready for more, I didn’t hold back any longer. I let my phone fall and grabbed my cock with my free hand, stroking it in time with the thrusts of my fingers. Images of Eren touching me, holding me, whispering to me took over my mind, and I felt myself losing control. Close to my ear, I could hear him moaning and shouting my name, lost to his own pleasures. When the waves of arousal began to topple, I pressed down on my tip and came in an instant, drenching my blanket and hand in warm spurts.


            At first, I thought it was Eren talking to me. At least until the voice got louder and I realized this was most certainly not Eren’s voice. It was a girl’s. What the hell? Had I blacked out and fallen straight into some weird dream? Wouldn’t have surprised me in the least.

            I yanked my boxers and jeans up my thighs and tried to make myself look presentable. Well, as presentable as I could considering I’d just experienced one of the most intense orgasms I ever had. And the one responsible for that wasn’t even in the same room with me.

            “Just one second!” I called to whoever was out there in the hallway, obviously looking for me.

            “Eren?” I spoke into the phone.

            “Getting walked in on?” There was an obvious smile in his voice.

            “Yeah,” I said. “I’ll call you later, okay?”

            “Uh-huh. Can’t wait,” he sighed dreamily.

            “Uh well, you know... I mean... Thank you,” I said. A hot blush immediately followed.

            “Thank you,” he replied. “Don’t forget to call me later. Love you.”

            “Love you too,” I whispered and ended the call.

            What I wanted to do was jump in my bed and squeal into my pillows for hours on end. I couldn’t believe I’d just had phone sex with Eren. Luckily, my sad attempt at fangirling didn’t come to pass when my door flew open to reveal my two best friends, Isabel and Farlan.

            “Well, look who we have here!” Isabel cried. “If it isn’t...” she looked to Farlan and made a pensive face, “Hm, no. I don’t remember his name. I do believe this used to be our best friend, at least before he decided to go all MIA on us. Levi, don’t you love us anymore?”

            I smiled sheepishly. She was so right, and it took them showing up here to whip me to make my guilty conscience finally rear its head.

            “I’m so sorry guys, I was—"

            “Wait.” She held up her palm to silence me. I stared as she closed the distance and came to stand in front of me. “Why is your face so flushed? And your jeans...”

            Horrified, my eyes dropped to my jeans, only to find them undone. God, have mercy. Could this get any more embarrassing?

            “Shit!” Isabel exclaimed suddenly, smacking a hand over her face, which was well underway to turn the same shade of scarlet as mine. “I... Fuck. I am so sorry, Levi... I-I didn’t think... We... We walked in on you, didn’t we?”

            Additional to my beet red face, my body started to tingle with scorching hot embarrassment. Of course they would notice, how could they not? I’d just masturbated to the voice of my hot as fuck boyfriend, while I was listening to him doing the same. There wasn’t really a way to avoid looking as well done as I felt. If only I could just black out already, that would be great.

            “Oh! Uhm no, you didn’t! I wasn’t doing... This. I mean, I wasn’t doing anything. I-I’m fine! Yes! T-Totally fine, don’t worry!” I babbled on and on without pause. This was going fantastic. Totally believable.

            Isabel had the decency to avert her eyes while I stupidly tried to right my clothes and brush through my mussed hair as inconspicuously as possible. Farlan was watching me with a foreign sparkle in his eye and a small smile on his lips. Guess he was getting a grand time out of my distress, typical best friend behavior. At least he’d shut the door.

            Finally, Isabel cleared her throat and shot me a cautious glance. When she saw I was all done making myself look a bit more decent, she sighed and smiled at me, her cheeks still glowing pink.

            “Well... That was... Okay. Let’s just forget about—”

            She trailed off and stared at me, wide-eyed, her mouth dropping open in a perfect O. What now? This entire situation was really starting to unnerve me, and I just wanted it to be over. Suddenly, her hand dropped to my chin and she tilted my face to the side to expose my neck. I bit my lip, not daring to look at her, until she released a loud gasp.

            “Levi! Oh my god! Is this a hickey?! Or more like, a dozen hickeys in all colors of the rainbow?!”

            Perfect. Just great. Now how was I going to get out of this one? While I was racking my brain to find an escape, it dawned on me that there was none. I knew Isabel well enough to be sure she’d not let up on me until I’d spilled why my neck looked as if someone had used it as their own personal popsicle. It was time to come clean.

Chapter Text


Maybe I could have kept it a secret, just for a little bit longer. That was, if Eren weren’t so obsessed with nibbling on my neck and I weren’t so hopelessly into it. Isabel and Farlan came over to where I was sitting on the bed, taking a seat to either side of me. Here I was—trapped between my two best friends, who where set on making me spill all my secrets.

                  I moved back and leaned against the wall, watching them. I had no idea where to start. I wasn’t even sure if I was ready to tell them about the one-eighty my life had made lately, but they were my best friends. Admittedly, thinking about sharing felt pretty good. I was insanely happy that I’d found Eren and was getting serious with him, so why not tell my friends why I’d went ghost on them ever since Eren had turned up at the ice cream truck?

                  I sighed. Well, easier said than done. I’d never been the talkative type, and considering this was my first serious relationship ever, I didn’t know the right etiquette to broach the subject.

                  “So,” Isabel said, obviously trying her best to stay calm. “Anything you want to get off your chest?”

                  “Uhm well,” I began, my cheeks flushing with fresh color. Great, if that wasn’t a dead giveaway then I didn’t know what was. I was basically admitting it without uttering a single word. “I-I don’t know, I mean...”

                  “Hey,” she cut in gently, an encouraging smile lifting the corners of her mouth. “It’s alright. I’m sorry for getting all excited just now, it’s just... Well, it is pretty exciting, isn’t it?”

                  She gave me a toothy grin. “Levi, is there someone? Someone special?”

                  I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Trying to stall, I picked up a throw pillow and began to play with it. I didn’t understand why I was so nervous about this. Probably because this was my first time having this conversation. I’d not told anyone about Eren and me so far, and I guessed doing it now made everything feel even more real.

                  However, they were my closest friends and I would not lie to them if they asked me about it point-blank. I had to take the plunge.

                  “Yes... There is someone special...” I smiled absentmindedly, “Someone very special.”

                  I caught Isabel and Farlan shooting each other fond smiles, their eyes soft and affectionate.

                  “Wow,” Isabel sighed, moving closer to take my hands in hers. “Levi, I... Wow. This is amazing. I am so happy for you. I can tell you like this person a lot.”

                  I blushed. Again. In a weak attempt to cover it up, I dropped my gaze and pulled on a thread that had become loose on one side of the pillow case.

                  “Yeah, I mean... God. He’s... Sweet and funny and he treats me as if I’m his entire world. He makes me feel so special. When I’m with him, it’s... As if I belong, you know? He’s just... Wow. To me, he’s perfect.”

                  My thoughts had long drifted and come to linger on Eren; on his beautiful smile, on his sweet lips telling me he loved me. The memory was vivid enough to make me reach up and brush the pads of my fingers over my bottom lip. His taste was still imprinted on me, and all I wanted was to keep it that way. Forever, preferably.

                  “Would you look at that?” Isabel grinned, nudging my side. “Someone’s very much in love.”

                  “Mh yeah,” I said, finally feeling confident enough to return her smile. “I guess I am.”

                  “Oh, come here!” She crawled over the bed and threw herself at me, her arms pulling me into a tight hug that knocked the wind right out of me. “I want to squeeze you forever! Except that now, somebody might have a problem with that, huh?”

                  I grinned as I thought about Eren’s possessiveness when it came to me. Yeah, someone would probably have a problem if I spent all day locked up in someone else’s arms.

                  “I think he would be a bit jealous,” I smirked, liking the idea way more than I should. Then, my eyes fell on Farlan. He hadn’t moved from his spot by the edge of the bed, his expression caught in a mix between wonder and thoughtfulness.

                  I nudged him with my toe and watched as he snapped out of his thoughts.

                  “Everything alright? You haven’t said a word,” I remarked.

                  “Oh, sorry,” he said. “I guess I just wasn’t expecting that...”

                  I lifted an eyebrow at him and he was quick to add, “I’m happy for you, of course!”

                  Admittedly, I found his reaction a bit odd but maybe he really was just caught by surprise. I mean, I had been caught by surprise by all the things that had happened between Eren and me, in such a short amount of time no less.

                  “So!” Isabel chimed in, demanding my attention. “Tell us all about him! What does he look like? I bet he’s tall.”

                  I smirked at her and shrugged. “Well, compared to me, everyone is tall. But yes, he is quite tall, though not overly so. He’s just right.”

                  “Mh, it must be so nice to go up on tippy toes for a kiss,” she sighed. “So romantic! What about his eyes? And his hair?”

                  “He’s a brunette, but not the boringly normal kind... More like the chocolaty kind. His eyes... God, they are gorgeous. Something between green and blue, like a deep teal.”

                  Goddammit, what was I even saying? It would be nice if my mouth could just stop talking and refrain from embarrassing me any further.

                  Isabel giggled and threw herself into my bed, grabbing my pillow from me and squealing into it. Her sudden bout of fangirling made me chuckle.

                  “God!” she wheezed. “He sounds amazing. How old is he? Wait... He’s not like forty or so, right?”

                  I rolled my eyes and grabbed another pillow to throw at her.

                  “No, he’s not forty! He’s my age,” I said.

                  That made both Isabel and Farlan perk right up. Too late I realized they’d be able to connect the dots with this admission.

                  “So if he’s our age and from around here... He has to go to our school! Damn, this has just gotten all the more exciting!” Isabel clapped her hands with enthusiasm. “So, the question of all questions: Do we know him?”

                  There was no way in hell they’d not know Eren from school. Everyone knew him, even if only by hearsay. However, it was not my place to disclose the fact that Eren was into guys. He had not come out yet, not to anyone as far as I knew, and I would not tell on something I had no right to. This was his decision to make, not mine.

                  “Maybe... I can’t really tell you, sorry. He’s not come out yet.”

                  I met Farlan’s gaze when I looked up. He didn’t look away. I fought the urge to squirm under his stare. Something about him seemed off today, yet I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. What was his deal?

                  “Urgh!” Isabel pouted, “That’s too bad. I so want to know. Just imagine, maybe I’ve already talked to him at some point! But... I do understand. If he’s not come out yet, you should definitely keep it a secret until he’s ready.”

                  I gave her a grateful smile. “Thanks, Iz.”

                  “How about a little hint, though?” Farlan piped up. “I mean, it’s not as if we’d tell anyone. And he will come out soon, right? How would you be able to be together otherwise? Are you even together?”

                  I had expected those kind of critical questions. What I didn’t expect was that Farlan would be the one to ask them.

                  “Yeah,” I said, looking at him pointedly, “We are together. About your hint, I can’t give you one. This is not about me not trusting you guys, it’s about respecting his decision.”

                  Farlan crossed his arms, a quick flicker of annoyance crossing his features. I didn’t miss it.

                  “I get it,” he sighed after a few moments. “So... How long has this been going on between you two?”

                  “I met him on my first day of work, and we started to talk. He came by almost everyday after that, and it kind of went from there.”

                  Farlan nodded thoughtfully and then dropped his gaze. I was relived he’d finally done that, him watching me with this piercing stare gave me goose bumps, and not the good sort. I made a mental note to ask him about what was wrong after we were through discussing my newfound love life.

                  “So, time for the juicy details. You guys have obviously touched first base, so what about... More than that?” Isabel asked.

                  More. Ha.

                  “Uhm yeah... We have done more than that.”



                  “What’s wrong?”


                  “Uh-huh. I bet nothing is also the reason you’re blushing right now.”

                  Even while I mentally tried to write that remark off as a lure on her part, I felt the warmth flooding my cheeks. Why was I so terrible at keeping anything from them?

                  “Levi,” she persisted, her green eyes boring into the side of my face while I refused to look up at her.



                  “Oh god,” Farlan said. “You’ve done it, haven’t you? You’ve gone all the way with this guy.”

                  I shrugged and bit my lip. I had the feeling this was heading in a direction I didn’t want it to go. Talking about all of this was hard enough as it was, I sure as hell didn’t want to dive into any juicy details. Especially not with the way dozens of hot images of Eren and me were dancing through my mind; like him fucking me raw four times a day, or me sinking into that gorgeous tan ass of his in the back of his truck... Oh, damn. Wrong things to think about.

                  I jolted when Farlan grabbed my shoulders and gave them a good shake. My eyes snapped up to his, a curse already forming on my lips, but he cut me off before I had the chance to ask him what the fuck his problem was.

“What the hell, Levi?” He boomed. “You don’t even know this guy! How... Fuck! How could you just let him get into your pants like this? What if he’s just playing you, Levi, huh? Ever thought about that? He’s not even out yet! For all we know, this is all just a game to him! This isn’t like you, Levi. Not at all. I can’t believe you are this... this....”

                  Within a second I was on my feet, my hands shooting up to grab his and use them as leverage to push him up against my wardrobe. He gasped when his back connected forcibly with the wood, but I didn’t give a shit. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, and I didn’t have time to make sense of it either. I didn’t even want to.

                  “This what, Farlan? This easy? This slutty? Just fucking tell me, come on. No need to hold back. Not that it’s any of your business, but I am old enough to make my own decisions and if I feel like offering my ass to someone on the first date, I fucking can, got it? You don’t know anything about him, so don’t you dare talk about him like that!”

                  When he stayed silent, I caught my breath and let him go, but didn’t back off. Despite the seriousness of the situation, a humorless chuckle bubbled from my lips. “You of all people should know what it means to come out. I can’t even fucking believe the bullshit you’re spouting.”

                  Farlan grabbed my hand from the air and gave it a sharp tug to pull me against him. That was when I really lost it. Somewhere at the back of my mind, I knew he was only trying to calm me down, but I was far away from being able to be this close to him and he should know that. I began to thrash in his arms, moving back and forth to extricate myself.

                  “Levi, hey, shh... Calm down...”

                  “Let go of me!”

                  “Boys!” Isabel jumped at us, squeezing herself in between and forcing us apart. I was breathing heavily, my eyes stinging with tears of rage. I just wanted to be alone. I wanted to run for shelter in Eren’s arms and forget everything Farlan had said could be a reality I didn’t want to consider.

                  “Hey!” Isabel cried. “What the hell is going on with you, huh? Calm the fuck down, both of you!”

                  With a curse, I pushed her hand from my chest and turned away to stalk to the other end of the room. My heart was throbbing in my chest, and I felt the most oppressive urge to scream. Despite being unaware of it myself, Farlan had hit a sore spot and right now, I hated him for striking me where it hurt the most. I knew Eren was serious about me, that he loved me—at least that was what I wanted to believe, what I needed to believe. Nevertheless, those gnawing doubts were there, nestled somewhere deep inside me. They’d gotten their teeth into me, and even knowing Eren and everything he was doing for me, I couldn’t shake being scared. Scared of getting hurt. Scared of losing him. I loved him so much that it hurt, and just the thought of being without him made me lose every thread of control I was so used to having.

                  “Just go,” I said. Even to my own ears, the request sounded cold and distant, and for a second I felt a surge of guilt, but that was quick to pass. All I wanted right now was to be alone.

                  Isabel turned to look at me, her eyes pleading. “Levi, he’s just worried about you. He only means to protect you...”

                  “All he’s doing is trashing my relationship! I told you how much I like him, yet he goes and proclaims him as a liar. You don’t even know him, for fuck’s sake! Maybe you should trust my judgment on this, but I guess you just know better, huh?”

                  She crossed her arms and leveled an imploring look at Farlan. He just shrugged and held his head high as he stared at me from his spot by my wardrobe.  

                  Nobody spoke a few painful moments, and I started playing with the thought of just throwing both of them out. I was so done with having this conversation. I was just about to open my mouth when Farlan beat me to it.

                  “Look,” he said, his blue eyes icier than I’d ever seen them, “I won’t take back what I said. As your friend, I want to be honest with you and I do think you’re rushing into things.” He sighed and ran an exasperated hand through his hair. I watched him—saw how his stance changed, how the hardness bled out of his expression while he looked back at me.

                  “Levi please,” he said quietly. “I just... I don’t want to see you hurt, that’s all. You’re my best friend and you deserve someone who loves you and treats you right. I can see how much you like this guy, but how well do you know him, really? It’s only been a couple weeks, Levi. Please, all I’m trying to do here is be a voice of reason... Don’t you see that I only want what’s best for you?”

                  My shoulders sagged. I was torn between thanking him for being such a good friend and kicking him out of my house for pricking my perfect Eren bubble. At a loss for what to say, I dropped my gaze and began chewing my lip. It didn’t even take a heartbeat until I felt Farlan’s arms wrapping around me. Defiance flared like an ugly afterthought that reminded me why I shouldn’t let him hold me right now, but I forced it down and half-hugged him back with one arm.

                  “I'm happy if that guy treats you right. Just be careful. If you need something, I'm here, okay? I'll always be here,” he whispered into my ear and I shivered despite myself. With the way we were standing, our bodies flush as he held me close and his nose buried in my hair, the moment seemed so strangely intimate that it made me squirm. 

                  “Yeah,” I said, taking a step out of Farlan’s embrace, “I know it’s soon, but it just feels… Right. I'd appreciate it if you could just be happy for me.” 

                  Farlan nodded and reached out to squeeze my shoulder. “I am. I'm just worried about you, too.” 

                  We sat down on my bed afterwards, and I was glad to talk about things that didn't include my new relationship. We listened to some music and thought about what to do with the rest of our summer, before all three of us started to yawn and stretch. 

                  “Let’s call it a night?” I suggested and when both nodded their approval, I brought them to the door and we said our goodbyes. 

                  Upon walking back to my room, I spotted a passed out Kenny on the recliner in the living room, the TV still on to some football game. From the way he seemed to be out like a light, I was pretty sure he hadn't overheard the argument I'd had with Farlan in my room, which I was beyond grateful for. He’d not hesitate to grill me about what had happened if he heard. I headed straight for my wardrobe and changed into a pair of comfy grey sweats and a white t-shirt to sleep in. As I got to brushing my teeth, I looked at my reflection in the large mirror over the sink. A tired face with shadows under its eyes and paler skin than usual stared back at me. So much had happened, it had been a day filled with ups and downs. I felt drained and looked the part, but when I brushed my fingertips over the kiss marks in various colors gracing my neck, I couldn't help but smile. The view was accompanied by the feeling of Eren’s soft lips on my skin, and a sudden vicious pang of longing hit me squarely in the chest. God, how I wished I could just step out of this apartment and walk all the way to Eren’s place, just to fall asleep bundled up in those strong arms that could chase any pain away as if it was never there to begin with. 

                  I went back into my room and turned off the lights, finding my way to the bed through the moonlight. Smiling as I slipped under the covers, I realized how unfamiliar it felt to be in a bed by myself. It had only been a few weeks since I met Eren, and still, not having him around made me feel like an essential part of me was missing. Thinking about him made me remember something important. I sat up in bed and started frisking the blankets for my phone. I'd promised Eren to call, and I didn't want to break that promise. Not that my motives were entirely altruistic. Everything Farlan had said tonight had riled me up more than I thought possible and hearing Eren’s voice right now sounded damn good to me. 

                  I dialed his number and held the phone to my ear, listening to it ring. 

                  “Hey,” Eren’s velvety voice whispered in my ear, “I was just starting to think you'd forgotten all about me.” 

                  “Yeah right, and how would I be able to do that?” I smirked to myself. Jesus. One word from him and I could practically feel myself heal already. 

                  “I miss you,” he sighed longingly, and a warm shiver of adoration danced down my spine in response. “I have no idea how I'll be able to sleep tonight. Honestly Levi, what have you done to me? It feels so odd to know I'm going to wake up without you.” 

                  It was sudden, absolutely unpredictable. A sniffle. A tiny, utterly embarrassing sniffle escaped my throat, out of nowhere. For a second, I contemplated hanging up on him. Where the hell had that come from? For some reason, I had no control over myself today and it was starting to seriously annoy me. 

                  “Hey, what’s wrong?” Damn, he’d noticed. Of course he’d notice, it made me wonder how well he knew me already with how easy it seemed for him to read me. 

                  “Nothing,” I tried to play it down, but even to me, my voice sounded strained. “I just needed to hear your voice.” 

                  “It's alright, baby. I'm here. I'll talk to you forever if you want me to,” Eren breathed down the line and my heart gave an excited squeeze. 

                  Usually, I didn't like being called ‘baby’, but somehow, the endearment was exactly what I needed right now, and he’d used it as if he knew. God, I loved him. Everything he said, everything he did proved to me how deeply he cared for me, how much I meant to him. He gave me so much more than I deserved. 

                  “Fuck,” I said, chuckling softly. “I love you.” 

                  “I love you too, baby. And that's why I want to ask you something.” 

                  I pulled the covers over my shoulder and bit my lip in anticipation. “What is it?” 

                  “Levi, I’ve been thinking... Would you go on a date with me? A real one? I’m dying to take you out to somewhere nice and have a perfect night with you.” 

                  My breath hitched in my throat and I felt my cheeks heat up. He was just asking me out for a date for god’s sake, there was no logical reason to get all nervous now, and yet I was. Pictures of Eren and me in some nice restaurant flickered through my mind. We'd be out there, in the open, being together. For everyone to see, and I realized how much I wanted that. It felt like taking the next step in our relationship and now that Eren was the one who offered to take it, I felt millions of butterflies swarm my belly, making me feel lightheaded for a moment. 

                  “Yes,” I whispered, my heart pounding as if I was about to do something life-changing, “Yes. I want to. I want to go on a real date with you. So much.” 

                  I could positively hear Eren’s smile when he replied, “Really? Wow. Okay, I totally want to jump in my car and come kidnap you right now.” 

                  I laughed and then turned on my side to snuggle into my blanket, imagining his arms around me, his nose buried in my undercut and his lips caressing my neck, like he loved to do whenever we were spooning. 

                  “Soon,” I promised, growing hopelessly excited when I thought about seeing him again; being with him, feeling him close to me. “I can’t wait.” 

                  We kept talking and talking, sharing long laughter, whispered love confessions and flirtatious teases. The night had already moved well into early morning when I felt my eyes drooping. I kept dozing off but refused to end the call, so Eren talked to me until I finally drifted off into a peaceful sleep with his beautiful voice in my ear and his gorgeous face in my head. 


Chapter Text

This was stupid. So embarrassingly stupid that I had no idea how I could even sit at my laptop without curling in on myself. I looked at what I’d typed in the search bar and sighed. Then I pressed enter and scrolled through the various pictures that came up.

            Question: What sane guy on this planet would ever start a Pinterest search titled ‘what to wear on the first date’?

            This cringey Eren Jeager weirdo here, that was who. 

            I could never tell anyone about this, least of all Levi. He’d never let me live that one down. The thing was, I wanted this to be perfect. From my clothes, to the place we’d go, to how this date night would end, I’d not be satisfied with anything less than perfect. For some reason, I felt like I owed that to Levi. He’d opened up to me, given me so much of himself despite everything he was dealing with, and taking him out to prove to him how much this meant was the least I could do. He’d never admit it, but I’d picked up on the slight traces of excitement he’d try to suppress whenever our date came up. He was anxious for this to happen, maybe just as much as I was, and that’s why I wanted to give him exactly the date he deserved. I smiled while I went through all the different outfits consisting of dress shirts and blazers, pondering whether Levi would like seeing any of this on me. I was more the casual denim jacket type of guy, but for a date, I was itching to wear something special. I put a finger to my lips in contemplation as I took in an especially nice combo consisting of a dress shirt and navy blazer. I had one quite similar to the one on the screen hanging in my closet. Throwing a glance to the clock on my nightstand, I confirmed the time I’d left to get ready and got up to try on the outfit I was planning to wear.

            When I’d taken a generous shower that left my skin flushed and soft to the touch, I walked back to my room and stepped into a pair of boxer briefs. There was still an hour left until I had to pick up Levi at his place. For what must have been the trillionth time, I worked off the to-do list in my head. My outfit was ready (pressed, even), reservations were made, my car was cleaned and topped up. Two days ago, I’d panhandled my friend Jean to get me a bottle of that very expensive champagne they sold at the liquor store downtown—of course the bastard had hustled way more money from me than what was fair, including commission or whatever crap he’d tried to make me believe. If I hadn’t been so desperate to get my hands on that special brand of champagne, I’d have told Jean to go to hell and thought of an alternative instead. As it was, Levi had mentioned this very brand once and that had basically closed the deal. An extensive Internet research had yielded the result that strawberries went especially well with champagne, so I’d dropped by the store the day before and gotten two packages of the premium brand which were now all ready and waiting for us in the fridge. Of course I’d also gotten a selection of Levi’s favorite bath bombs from a Lush store near my house. In short, I’d taken care of everything I could think of to make this date as good as it could be. The restaurant I’d chosen wasn’t anything super fancy, at least not as fancy as I’d have liked, but it was nice and cozy and apparently, the food was great. It was a bit outside of town, about twenty minutes by car. If time would have allowed it, I’d have picked something farer away than this, to make sure we wouldn’t meet anyone we knew. It wasn’t that I was ashamed, just that I wanted this day to be only ours, without any interruptions that would require us explaining why we were out on a date together.

            I was pulled from my mental agonizing when my phone chimed from somewhere between my sheets. Putting my jeans back down, I walked over to my bed wearing only my boxers and started scouring my blankets for the phone. After a few moments of searching, I found it tucked away beneath my pillow.

            Armin: Hi, Eren! Camping’s great so far. We might be back a bit sooner than expected. Can’t wait to see you. Mikasa says hi. Hope you’re doing fine!

            PS: Don’t get into any trouble.

            I chuckled at Armin’s message and quickly typed a reply. My best friends had been away for a camping trip since the beginning of summer vacation. They were due to return by next week, but based on Armin’s text, they might be back earlier than that. I was happy to have them back, but at the same time, I was also nervous. They’d be the first people I’d come out to, and even if I expected them to support me, it was still a huge thing for me to tell someone. I still had to come up with the best possible plan of action to pull that off, but for now, I pushed those thoughts to the back of my mind. I’d worry about that next week, today belonged to someone else.

            After writing a few texts back and forth with Armin, I bit my lip while I contemplated sending a message to Levi. Geez, I was ridiculously clingy as it was, I shouldn’t even think about shooting him another text when I was set to be at his place in less than an hour. As always, my desire to be in touch with him won out and led me to open up a new message.

            Me: Hey, baby. I can’t wait to see you. 6 still ok with you?

            I pressed send and played around with my phone while I waited for a reply. Maybe he would just roll his eyes and click my message away. I really was annoying him, wasn’t I? If only I could help myself. I almost jolted (okay, maybe I did jolt, just a bit) when my phone vibrated with a new text.

            A giddy chuckle worked its way up my throat when I caught a peek of Levi’s name on the screen.

            Levi: Yes. <3

            He’d sent a heart symbol. An actual heart symbol. Goodness. To anyone else, that probably didn’t mean much, but to me it meant everything. Levi wasn’t the type to shower me with heart symbols or kissy faces, so whenever he did, it was special. I traced the pad of my finger across the text and couldn’t help but smile. This day was going to be perfect. I knew it. I put my phone away and finished getting dressed with the white dress shirt, the navy blazer and black jeans I’d laid out. Once I had fastened my watch around my wrist, I eyed the plain black tie I’d wrapped around the hanger, just in case I wanted to go all out. A tie? I wasn’t sure. Was this too much? Would Levi like seeing a tie on me? I brushed my knuckles over the soft material. There was only one way to find out. I snagged it from the hanger and tied it in place around my collar.

            A few minutes later, I was seated in my car and ready to drive off. I put on a playlist from my Spotify as I set the turn signal and left my driveway. I was so incredibly excited for this date that it was hard to stay calm, much less breathe easy. What if I messed up? Despite all the preparations I had made, the odds of me screwing up somewhere along the way were pretty much in my favor. However, it was not like that was something I had any influence over. If bad luck decided to dog me tonight, all I could do was to be extra careful.

            For the rest of the drive, I tried to concentrate on the music blasting from my speakers. When I finally pulled into the parking lot of Levi’s apartment complex, I felt as if I was about to burst out of my seams from nerves. My palms were moist and my bottom lip was raw with how much I’d been biting it during my way here. I pulled into an empty spot and killed the engine, taking a few moments to calm down by establishing a steady breathing rhythm of inhale and exhale. When I opened my eyes, they fixed right on Levi, who was just stepping out of the entrance door. As soon as he was within walking distance of me, everything changed. My nervousness waned, my heartbeat returned to normal. Suddenly, what filled me wasn’t anxiety or fear of screwing up, but plain, unobstructed happiness. Levi was here, with me, and whatever would happen, he’d be by my side. With him, I could do anything. No matter what happened, I’d be alright. We’d be alright. As long as we were together.

            I offered Levi my brightest smile when he pulled open the car door and slipped into the passenger seat. My eyes were already half-closed, my upper body leaning in for a kiss when I realized I wasn’t getting one. I opened one eye and caught his incredulous expression.

            “What?” I asked.

            “Well, maybe there’s something wrong with my eyes, but... Are you wearing a tie?”

            I felt heat flush my cheeks and knew I was sporting one hell of a blush right now. I guess Levi didn’t like ties; there was my answer. My fingers trembled from embarrassment when I reached up to loosen the knot around my neck and take the tie off. Then, a pale hand on mine stopped me. I met Levi’s glossy gray eyes and tilted my head in question.

           “No, please don’t. Wear it. I like it on you,” he whispered before clearing his throat and looking away.

            Warmth encased me in an instant as I soaked up his words. So he liked the tie after all. I brushed my palm along the lapel of my blazer and whispered his name to bring his eyes back to mine.

            “Do you like the rest of me too?”

            Levi smiled and reached out to brush my hair behind my ear. I shivered.

            “I like all of you,” he smiled before adding with a wink, “Without clothes even more.”

             His cheekiness drew a genuine chuckle from me, and along with that, the last bit of my anxiety faded away. I grabbed his hand and laced his fingers with mine, grinning down at him.

            “Kiss me,” I said, and within a second, his lips were on mine. I leaned closer, enjoying the feel of his shoulder brushing against mine and his warm breath in my mouth. Levi deepened the kiss, his tongue licking a wet trail across my own, and a tiny moan escaped me in response. We should probably stop before this could lead to more—the more that entailed Levi spread out on my backseat—and get back on the road. At least that was what I was thinking before his lips erased every last sliver of reason from my mind. I groaned when he bit my lip and I left his mouth to suck on his jawline in return.

            “Eren, w-we should... Get going,” he moaned quietly, his hand slipping into my hair to keep my mouth on his skin.

            “Mh yeah, probably...” I smirked but didn’t even try to pry my lips loose from his porcelain neck. His fingers began tugging on my hair, which only served to turn me on more. Soon, he realized his repeated pulling on my hair didn’t have the desired effect of me stopping, so he leaned out of my reach, his breathing heavy.

            “If we don’t stop here, I’ll crawl to the backseat and won’t let you leave until you’ve made me come at least twice,” he panted.

            “Levi,” I groaned, “You really know how to speed up this whole date thing, don’t you?”

            Levi naked beneath me, on my backseat. Somehow, that seemed worthy of abandoning my date plans for the night, but I couldn’t let that happen. What he deserved was a fairytale date, and he’d get it. Tonight.

            I bit my lip and pulled him in for another long, wet kiss before I settled back in my seat and started the engine.

            When we were on the road, I snuck a peek at him from the corner of my eye, taking in the view of him from top to bottom. “You look gorgeous.”

            Even in the dim light, I could make out the soft blush grazing his pale cheeks. “Thanks... If you’d told me tonight required a tie, I’d have... I don’t know. Dressed up a bit more.”

            I didn’t know what about his outfit made him think he was underdressed. He was so perfect wearing his black and white plaid shirt and tight black skinny jeans. He didn’t even have to try. “I love what you’re wearing. Don’t worry. You look amazing.”

            I took his hand and held it while we drove through the evening, using the minutes we spent at every red light to steal quick kisses and gentle touches.

            About ten minutes before we arrived at the restaurant, Levi picked up my phone and started going through my playlists. Mentally, I shot a quick prayer to the heavens above, wishing I didn’t have anything saved that would embarrass me for the rest of my days. My heart thumping, I kept glancing at him as he scrolled through various songs, until he stopped at one and put it on.

            A very familiar beat filled the interior of the car, accompanied by lyrics I’d come to adore by listening to them over and over again.

What if, what if we run away
What if, what if we left today
What if, we say goodbye to safe and sound
What if, what if we're hard to find
What if, what if we lost our minds
What if, we looked and fall behind and then never found

            My lips fell open and I wanted to say something trivial, maybe something about the song or the lyrics, maybe even crack a joke, but when I met Levi’s fierce eyes, words failed me. All I could think about was him and me, us, while the music wrapped around us like a blanket, the lyrics pouring warmth into the small space between us.

And when the lights start flashing like a photo booth
And the stars exploding
We'll be fireproof
My youth, my youth is yours
Trippin' on skies, sippin' waterfalls
My youth, my youth is yours
Runaway now and forevermore
My youth, my youth is yours
A truth so loud you can't ignore
My youth, my youth, my youth

            Something odd was going on inside me, something that made me connect to the song, recognize the meaning behind each line and how perfect they all weaved into the relationship we had. I took a deep breath while my heart threatened to jump right out of my chest, straining against my ribcage, pulling me closer towards the boy I loved. Concentrating on driving was becoming increasingly more difficult as I tried to handle both the mechanics of it and this incredible urge to wrap Levi up in my arms and whisper every tiny little thing he made me feel into his soft skin. Taking his hand in mine, I brought it to my lips and breathed the line across his knuckles—my youth is yours—because it was—my youth, my everything, it was all his. This was my truth, and all I could do was whisper the words into his skin because I was robbed of the ability to put into words how much of me belonged to him. But he understood. Somehow, he understood what was going on inside me, even without me putting it into coherent sentences.

            He leaned into me, his other hand covering both of ours and then he pulled them to his mouth and kissed my fingers wrapped around his, so careful that I felt a stinging sensation pricking at my eyes.

            “Eren, I want to run away with you. I want to be lost with you. I want to experience all my firsts with you, every single one. I love you, so much, please just... Stay with me.”

            A strangled gasp left my lips and I shot a quick look out the window to my right. One moment later, I jerked the steering wheel and swerved to the sideline. The car juddered over gravel until it came to a standstill, and I killed the engine and put it into park, all in one rushed movement. My seat belt went flying and then I was on the center console, not giving a shit about how my knee smashed into it or my shoe got caught on the seat, all I wanted—all I needed—was Levi. His arms were open, ready to bundle me up, and I didn’t hesitate. I flung myself at him, feeling his body heat beneath me and his hands in my hair. Our lips crushed together while the song went on, tongues tangling as we swallowed every gasp and moan passing between our lips.


            “I love you, all of you...”

            “You’re mine.”

            “I’m yours.”

            All those significant phrases swirled around us, creating pages over pages of sweet vows. Vows I’d keep as long as I breathed. What I’d done to deserve such luck, I didn’t know. Maybe I’d never know. All that mattered was that I’d done it; I’d found him. That one person who made up everything I lacked, who fit all my jagged edges. Our hands pulled on each other’s shirt, fingers unable to pull buttons apart fast enough. For a moment, I contemplated ripping Levi’s shirt open, but that would probably turn out to be a mistake considering we had somewhere to be afterwards. After a few moments of more desperate pulling, I finally managed to flip Levi’s shirt open, exposing his flawless, milky chest to me. I licked my lips at the view, and then moaned unabashedly when I bent down to touch my lips to one curved collarbone. The tip of my tongue followed its slant, leaving a thin, glossy trail in its wake before I moved to the second.

            “Mh, Eren... Please...”

            He arched his back and with that, I knew what he was asking for. A smile was curving my lips while I moved my mouth to where he wanted me, relishing his moan when I closed my lips around one pink nipple to have a taste.

             “Ah... Damn,” Levi moaned. His fingers slipped into my hair, holding me steady. His taste filled my mouth, sweet and irresistible. I was lost. Without even knowing it, my lips wandered down the soft dips and curves of his stomach, gravitating to that one special place I was yearning to taste.

            “Eren... W-Wait...”

            His voice was like beautiful ambient music to my ears, his whispered command not insistent enough to pierce my current state of infatuation.

            I was just about to bite down on the waistband of his jeans when his hand slipped in between my lips and that gorgeous pale skin of his.

            “Hang on for a sec... I really want this date.”

            “And I really want you,” I said breathlessly, pushing his hand away to resume my kissing. But before I could, Levi’s palm covered my mouth and effectively thwarted my plans.


            One look at his face was enough to make me stop for real. He was so serious about this, and within the blink of an eye, I was hit by a lash of guilt. Wasn’t I the one who’d promised him a perfect date? What the hell was I even doing here, all but ripping his clothes off on the passenger seat of my car?

            My shoulders sagged and I released a long exhale into his palm, which remained on my mouth. Apparently, he didn’t trust me enough to take it away yet, and he probably shouldn’t.

            “Levi... I’m so sorry. I’m... Incorrigible.”

            My eyes dropped to my fidgeting hands, because suddenly, I felt too embarrassed to look at him. Seriously, I was behaving like some sex crazed animal and if Levi thought I was only in for the physical experience, I wouldn’t even blame him. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

            “Hey, don’t look like that,” he said, his hand finally moving from my mouth to caress my cheekbone. I leaned into the touch without even realizing it. Following his movements with mine, only to connect and touch, was something that had almost become second nature.

            “No, you’re right. I’m sorry, I really am,” I said. I listened to his breathing while I began buttoning his shirt, one button after the other, until his milky chest was covered once more. Then I sighed and smiled at him. “Let’s do this.”

            We arrived at the restaurant only minutes before the reservation was due, but luckily, we made it on time. I’d known the restaurant was nice, it was one of the main reasons I’d chosen it. That, and that it was Italian. Despite everything that had happened on our first date back at my place—namely making Levi mine for the first time—one other piece of important information had stuck, and that was that Levi liked Italian food. Knowing that fact had made my search for the right restaurant a lot easier.

            “Italian,” Levi stated with a small smile while he sat down in one of the plush red seats. I took a seat across from him and picked up one of the menus offered by the waitress, trying to contain my grin. He’d noticed, and I was fairly certain he knew exactly why I’d chosen this place without an explanation.

            “Yes, Italian,” I nodded when the waitress had taken our drink orders and hurried away. The place was really nice, almost fancy even, and despite the fact that I usually didn’t frequent restaurants like this, I didn’t feel uncomfortable or out of place. The lighting was turned down to lend some privacy, and there was a single scented candle in the middle of the table which gave the atmosphere something romantic. Once again, I was glad I’d chosen to take Levi here for our first proper date.

            I watched my gorgeous boyfriend as he flipped through the menu, his eyebrows adorably puckered as he pondered what to pick. My own menu was forgotten. He was just too cute, especially now that he’d put a finger to his chin while letting another one glide over the many dishes they had. Luckily for me, the table was rather secluded and small enough to touch him without having to drape myself across the table. Suppressing a giddy chuckle, I let my foot wander in his direction, until I met his under the table. A small gasp left his mouth when I moved my instep up along his calf. He shot a nervous glance around us, but there was no one close by who’d notice what I was doing to him. 

            “W-What are you doing?” he whispered under his breath, cheeks blushing a dainty pink. I bent my leg and brushed my foot against his knee. Too bad he wasn’t wearing ripped jeans today, he’d feel this so much more if he did.

            “Touching you,” I said, as if it was the most normal thing in the world. Levi dropped the menu and then his hands were on my foot beneath the table, stopping me from taking this any further.

            “N-Not here, idiot!” He scolded, but I only grinned at him. Doing something like this—something improper in public—was driving a spark of excitement through my veins. And I knew he felt it too. I didn’t want to stop. It was not like I could hold back from touching him for more than ten minutes at a time anyways. Not here, while we were on our first real date and he was looking at me like I’d made a dream of his come true with it. 



            I sighed. Admittedly, the fact that he always knew how to keep me in check when I was about to jump his bones had been a saving grace more than once, but at times, I wished he would just give in to me and let me do what I longed to do. Even if it was risky and dangerous.

            I moved my foot again, but his iron grip didn’t budge. So I went for the only thing that would probably make him cave in. I pouted. 

            “Eren,” he groaned impatiently, “Don’t pout. You know… What that does to me.”

            He blushed again, and damn, I wanted to flip this table that was presently separating us and push him down into those luscious red pillows.

            “I know exactly what it does to you,” I breathed. “What? You think I can keep my hands off of you for the entire evening? That’s not gonna happen.” 

            He leaned back in his seat and levelled a knowing glance at me. “You know, I knew this would happen. Which is why I’ve prepared for it.” 

            That got my attention. How would he keep me at bay? He could wear a paper bag over his head all night and I’d still be all over him. 

            “I have no desire to get arrested for public indecency on my first date. Let’s make a deal,” he continued. “If you manage to behave while we’re out, I’ll reward you for it. Later.” 

            I tried to act all unimpressed, and failed miserably. My whole body flushed with warmth as I replayed Levi’s offer in my mind. A challenge. How I loved challenges. It would be nothing short of torture to keep from touching Levi like I was longing to touch him all evening, but the prospect of his reward was stirring my will to fight.

            “What kind of reward?” I’d take the bait without an answer to that question, but a little teaser would get me even thirstier for it.

            “The kind that doesn’t let you get much sleep tonight,” he whispered while his silver eyes bore into mine, the pink tip of his tongue dipping out to lick across his bottom lip for added effect. As if that was even necessary.

            “Do you have an inkling of how bad I want to drag you to the bathroom right now? I’m dying to spread you out on a white marble toilet and suck you off until you make all those pretty sounds I love to hear.”

            Levi inhaled sharply and squeezed his eyes closed. Upon re-opening them, they were glassy, pupils blown wide with arousal.

            “Dammit Eren,” he sighed breathlessly, “You and your dirty talk… You’re killing me. Where do you even get that from?”

            We fell silent when the waitress returned with our drinks, but still smiled longingly at each other. Levi’s compliment had catapulted my head straight up in the clouds, which was why I blamed him for forcing the poor waitress to repeat her question three times because I was unable to concentrate on anything else besides the fact that Levi liked my dirty talk enough to praise me for it. 

            “The bruschetta with salad for me please,” Levi said.

            “And for you, sir?”

            I jerked to attention, but not because she’d called me ‘sir’, but because Levi had taken to flick his foot against mine. 

            “Oh uh, yes! Same please!”

            She nodded and walked off towards the kitchen.

            “Do you even know what a bruschetta is?” Levi smirked, his gaze looking right through me.

            “What? Of course!” I had no clue.

            I made a show of righting my tie, and it didn’t escape my notice how Levi’s eyes dropped to my hand playing with the knot.

            “So, we were talking about my dirty talk. What you said… It means you like it, right?”

            “Yes, I mean… I do,” he said before he averted his gaze. He was embarrassed, and the view was adorable. “I really do.”

            Without even realizing it, my hand crept over the table top to wrap around his. He didn’t pull away.

            “I’m glad to hear that. With you, it kind of… Comes natural,” I said truthfully. “So, I’m still wondering about that reward you mentioned…” 

            His fingers laced with mine, and I sighed softly as I relished the feeling of his skin on mine. Finally. Just this touch calmed me to a point that made it easier to accept that I couldn’t touch him more than what was considered innocent for at least two hours. It wasn’t a bad thing though, this way I could focus entirely on him; on the lovely expressions he made, on the way his lips opened and closed when he spoke, on how his eyes told on what he was thinking. 

            Levi glanced around the restaurant, as if to make sure nobody was in close proximity. Then, he slipped his fingers beneath his shirt and gave me this wicked smirk, the one he always wore when he was up to something. Seeing that tell-tale curl of his lips was enough to make me get hopelessly excited. I leaned over the table and watched him, enraptured, as he lifted his shirt and exposed a small strip of his pale stomach. My fingers itched to touch him, but I held back. He scanned our surroundings once again before he swiftly unbuttoned his jeans and pulled them down just a bit. My jaw dropped. Seriously, it dropped

            What was peeking out of his jeans was a lacy, pink waistband that undoubtedly belonged to an absolutely mouth-watering pair of panties. A pair he’d put on for me. Damn, he was incredible. To my chagrin, the view wasn’t granted for long. A moment later, Levi redid the button on his jeans and righted his shirt, but not before he’d let the waistband snap back against the lovely skin of his hip.

            I gulped. My throat had suddenly become strangely dry, which could probably be appointed to my mouth hanging open for the better part of two minutes. “Wow, Levi… I…. C-Can I see it again?”

            “Nope,” he said, and then gave me a secret smile that made my heart positively bounce inside my chest. “That’s dessert. Your dessert.” 

            We were still wrapped up in each other, smiling and blushing as we played around with our linked hands when our starters came. Levi made a move to pull away but I didn’t let him. His eyes sparkled at me, his lips kissed by a happy smile. The waitress looked at us for a brief moment before she smiled and served our food.

            “Enjoy your meal,” she said and left us to it.

            Once again, I nudged Levi’s foot beneath the table. “Enjoy, baby.”

            He gave me a lovely smirk and nudged me back. “You too. And thanks.”

            “For what?”

            “For making this possible.”

            I reached out and took his hand in mine, my thumb drawing lazy circles on his soft skin. My heart missed a beat when he squeezed my hand. It was just an innocuous touch, and yet it was more than enough to make sparks burst between us. It didn’t matter what he did or how he touched me, it always felt like the very first time, and if I was sure about one thing, it was that he was the only one who could make me feel this way. Whatever happened, I couldn’t lose him. Not ever. 

            We continued to eat, sharing secret smiles and little touches here and there. The food was delicious, and somehow, it tasted even better when Levi told me so. Only a few minutes after we’d finished our starters, the waitress returned and took our next orders, along with taking our empty plates away.

            I watched Levi sipping on his vanilla coke, before he set the glass down and licked a stray drop from his lip.

            “Let me kiss you. Please.” The words tumbled from my mouth before I could shoot the bolt. The deal we had… Well, I was ruining it, wasn’t I?

            I had to fight the urge to pinch myself when Levi shuffled closer, so close that I could touch him—kiss him if I wanted to. If he let me.

            “Kiss me,” he whispered.

            Even this tiny distance between us was too much to bear. I brushed his hair behind his ear and came closer. He looked at me before he took a deep breath and closed his eyes, waiting for me to kiss him. The pad of my thumb caressed his cheekbone as I leaned closer still, until our breaths met and mingled. And then, I kissed him. It was innocent for our standards, but not any less beautiful. As always, it didn’t even take a second to lose myself in his kiss, in him, and I willingly gave up control as I took more, my tongue parting his lips for me. His hands were on the back of my neck, fingers tangling in my messy brown hair to tug my head just the way he wanted it. I moaned softly, and his lips curled in a gentle smile against mine.

            “Levi? Levi, is that you?”

Chapter Text


            "Levi? Levi, is that you?”

            I wrenched myself away from Eren as if I’d been burned, only to be left thunderstruck when I caught a pair of very familiar eyes staring back at me. Grey ones, so much like my own.

            This couldn’t be happening. Not here. Not right now. Not today.

            Why couldn’t I be granted one perfect night with my boyfriend? Apparently, we couldn’t go out without provoking a storm of massive proportions. And I was in for a storm unparalleled, that much was certain, as I looked back at a face I’d known all my life.


            “Levi, what... What are you doing here?”

            Her eyes jumped from me to Eren and back, until they came to linger on Eren. There was a very distinct emotion crossing her features, an emotion I knew all too well from having witnessed it countless times on my uncle’s face. It was a combination of shock and disgust, unmistakable and scathing enough to cut me right open, like a knife slicing effortlessly through flesh. Maybe it wasn’t on purpose. I knew my mom well enough to assume she wouldn’t treat me with such obvious contempt, but even if it wasn’t meant to peek through, it didn’t change the fact that it did. I was aware of her being convinced that me being gay was just a rebellious phase I was currently going through, and that the best course of action would be to skirt the topic and wait until I came to my senses. That couldn’t exactly be called acceptance, but at least she refrained from abusing me like uncle Kenny did. If I really had to, I could live with that, even while I’d die for her acknowledgement every day.

            I tried to speak. I really did, but it had never been so hard in my life. Not even when I sat both Kenny and my mom down in the living room that day to tell them I was into guys. Only guys. For some reason, the words had come easier to me back then, which could probably be appointed to the fact that I’d taken weeks to prepare for it. Right now, I was not prepared, not by a long shot. I was wide open and weaponless. Maybe it had been reckless to come here without taking into consideration that this was not Eren’s room and we were not holed up somewhere where it was just the two of us. No, this was the open – the public. Crossing paths with someone we knew was a consequence we should’ve been ready for, and yet I’d come here as gullible as possible without taking all the things into account that could happen. I'd wanted this illusion to be real, so bad, that I’d blindly ignored everything else. And now, the consequences of my ignorance were hitting me full force. Still, I was tongue-tied. I knew I had to say something—anything—to break the tension that was thickening by the second, but all I could do was open and close my lips like the stranded fish I felt like.

            Just then, my mom’s gaze fell on my hand, which was still linked with Eren’s, and I realized what it was she was undoubtedly realizing right now. Despite the fact that she probably wanted to ignore the kiss she’d just stumbled upon, our joined hands left no doubt about what this was. Her son was out on a date, with a guy, and he was being indecently close to him, kissing him, holding hands with him. Out here in the open, where everyone could see it, and somehow, that was enough to make the penny drop. Things clicked for Eren at the same time they did for my mom and me, and I felt him pulling away. He wanted to deescalate the situation by letting go of my hand, and maybe, that would be the right thing to do in that moment. Maybe it would give my mother at least a shard of hope about me not being serious about all of this. The thing was, I didn’t want to give her that shard of hope. If she was holding onto any kind of straw of me not being gay and this not being a date with the boy I liked, it was better to crush it right now when I had the chance. Because I had no intention, at all, to let Eren go. Not ever. If it was me against my family, I wouldn’t bend down to their will and lose everything I’d come to love just to appease their selfishness. It was breaking my heart in two to close my fingers around Eren’s and see the subsequent pain flare white hot in my mother’s eyes, but I knew I had to do this. More than anything, it was vital for me to make my point, right here. I had to stand up for myself, even if it meant going against the mother I loved.

            “I’m on a date,” I said. Despite my efforts to sound unwavering, my voice was quiet and brittle, but even despite all that, she understood. Just like I understood the tears that were pooling in her eyes in response. A cold hand closed around my heart, and the pain it elicited was unlike anything I’d ever felt before. This was a turning point in my relationship with my mom, and I had yet to find out where that would leave us.

            Mom sniffled and averted her gaze. It took her a few moments to calm down enough to speak. “Levi... Can we talk? Alone? Please.”

            Feeling a bit more confident now that I felt Eren’s hand squeezing me back, I was about to tell her that anything she wanted to say, she could tell me in front of him. But before even a word could fall from my lips, Eren interrupted me, his gaze begging.

            “Go,” he said, and this one word was enough to make me comply. As if on autopilot, I rose from my seat, but not before I’d brushed my thumb over Eren’s once more.

            Our eyes met, and despite the seriousness of the situation, Eren smiled at me. Genuinely. I wanted to kiss him then, just as a mean to let him know how endlessly grateful I was; for him and the unwavering support I could always count on.

            “I’ll be right back,” I promised, meaning it. I had no intention to leave Eren here by himself for too long. I’d listen to what my mother had to say, but after that, I’d come back in here and spend the rest of the day with Eren. I would have a beautiful night with him and then fall asleep with him holding me close, like he always did.

            “I’ll be here,” he said with a smile, and released my hand. My heart thumped ridiculously hard, even while I was facing a life-changing talk with my mom, and I suppressed the urge to run my fingers through Eren’s soft, chocolaty hair.

            Finally, I nodded and walked to the exit of the restaurant, my mother following close behind. As soon as the door fell shut behind us, she crowded me against the wall, my shoulders grabbed in her hands.

            “Levi, please tell me this is not real. Tell me this is just—” 

            “—A phase, mom? Just something I’m doing to experiment while I’m young?”

            “Yes!” She exclaimed, fervently nodding her head at the offered suggestion. “That’s what it is, isn’t it? Just a phase.”

            I sighed, my heart giving a pained squeeze. This was exactly what she wanted to hear, more than anything, wasn’t it? It would be so easy to soothe her worries, to tell her yes, it probably was just a phase and that I was still trying out new things without knowing what they meant or where they would eventually lead. When I looked back into her grey eyes, I almost wanted to. Seeing her suffer had always had the strongest impact on me, and I’d do whatever I could to ease it. Only that now, there was nothing I could do. The lie would make her feel better for now, but it wouldn’t change how I felt. Cupping her hands with mine, I tilted my head to look up at her. “I’m sorry, mom. It’s not. Just to make this easier for you, I wish I could tell you something else. But the reality is that this is not a phase. It’s not me experimenting. It’s not me being rebellious. I’ve told you once before, and believe me when I say it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I’ll tell you again to prove I’m serious. I am gay,” I whispered, tears stinging my eyes, but I refused to let them fall. We couldn’t both start crying now, it would rob this much-needed conversation of anything remotely resembling control, and that couldn’t happen. It wasn’t even necessary for me to spill any tears; she was doing more than enough of that for the both of us. It took all I had not to cave in along with her.

            “Mom, I want to apologize... But I can’t. This is just who I am, you know? But it doesn’t make me a different person. I’m still me. Still your son, and I love you. Can’t you just... Accept me, the way I am?”

            For the first time since we started this conversation, she looked me straight in the eye, really looked at me. Her stormy eyes were wet and defeated, and the tears wouldn’t stop falling. Slowly, her hands unwound from mine and she dropped them to her sides. Then, she began to shake her head from side to side, as if she couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Her body language gave me enough of an answer, yet still I felt everything inside me shattering into millions of tiny pieces when she put her reply into actual words. “I-I’m sorry, Levi,” she whispered brokenly, “I always wanted to be a grandma, for your children. How can I accept you’ll never have a family of your own? This life... It’s not what I want for you. Whoever this boy is you came with... Is he really worth all this, Levi?”

            Anger shot hotly through my veins, but I managed to fight down the surge of adrenaline before it could take effect. She was the same as uncle; they both wanted to blame someone else for the situation they were confronted with, which was me being gay. Having a scapegoat was always the easy way out. They were still denying the truth, and with the way she was acting, I started doubting if this would ever change. A tiny sniffle made it past my lips, and I hated myself for it. I was trying so hard to be strong, but I couldn’t deny the fact that I’d been hoping—wishing—my mom would be the one exception in my family. When I was lying awake in bed at night, struggling with myself and everyone who was rejecting me because of my orientation, I’d dared to pray she’d stand by me when nobody else would. As it turns out, all these sleepless nights filled with prayers had been for naught. I’d never felt more alone in my life than I did right now.

            “You would know if you cared enough to meet. But it’s not about him, mom. It’s about me. Don’t you see that? I am the one who likes guys, he doesn’t make me do that. It’s my own free will, and this is who I am. If he didn’t exist, I’d still like guys....” I trailed off and ran a hand through my hair in distress. “Damn, do you think any of this is easy for me? All I want is for you to be by my side through this.”

            She took a step back and hid her face in her palms, her shoulders shaking harder now. I wanted to close the distance and hug her, but I was too afraid she’d reject me. That would be the finishing blow.

            “I-I’m s-sorry...” she whispered while her voice shuddered with sobs, “What you’re asking of me... I don't know if I can. I just... I need time. I can’t give you an answer right now. Please... Try to understand.”

            I nodded, because what else was there left to do? I couldn't force her to accept me. It was something she had to do by herself; no words I could possibly say would take that out of her hands. She sighed and wiped her eyes. “I'm going home. Do you... Want to come?”

            I should. A quickly manifesting feeling inside my chest told me that leaving with her was the right thing to do. But my feet were rooted to the ground, unmoving. Eren was sitting right behind that glass door, waiting for me, and despite the dire situation that should have made my decision easy, everything in me urged to stay with Eren and get the date we planned to have. What was more, after this... I needed him. Even at the risk of sounding like a petulant, needy child, I wanted Eren, my Eren, and that was final. Just the thought of returning to my place and the inescapable oppression that would undoubtedly weigh down on every last inch of air at home made me choke. No, what I needed right now was my boyfriend and someplace I could be alone with him. If someone was able to make me feel a little less broken, it was Eren. He'd proven that on so many occasions.

            I took a step closer, momentarily deafened by the vicious heartbeat thrumming through my veins. “I’d like to stay with him. Can I?”

            If she’d tell me no, I wouldn't know what to do. I didn't want to leave, but I also wasn’t sure if I had it in me to turn down her request for me to accompany her back home if she voiced it. Fortunately, she didn't tell me no. Slowly, and with endless sadness in her eyes, she gave me a curt nod. It was an admission of weakness, but still, I wished I could hug her. I wished she would hug me. Parting ways after what had just happened between us, without having some kind of reconciliation, felt wrong and incomplete. But apparently, I was the only one who felt like that. What she did was turn on her heel and hurry in the direction of the parking lot, leaving me for the second time that night. I watched her as she unlocked the car and got inside; as she reversed and drove out of sight. Now that she was gone, I could cry. With every fiber in my body, I felt that that was exactly what I wanted to do, what I needed. An outlet, anything that would release some of the pain that threatened to consume me whole. But for some reason, I couldn’t. I shivered and my throat closed up, but my eyes stayed dry.

            Would my mom eventually come around? And if she did, would I be ready to forgive her for abandoning me when I needed her the most?


            An amount of time I couldn’t even begin to understand passed. It could be minutes for all I knew; it could be hours. Routine movements my body was usually perfectly capable of doing were suddenly impossible to perform. All I could do was stand there, shaking from top to bottom, my arms wrapped around my body as if to hold myself together. That was how Eren found me some time later, his voice being the only thing able to pierce through my haze of dejection and unshed tears.

            “Levi?” He asked cautiously. His footsteps were drawing nearer, albeit slowly. He was careful. Knowing him, he wasn’t sure if approaching me right now was the best thing to do. Also knowing him, when it came down to the decision to touch me or not, he’d not be able to turn down the opportunity. It was like he couldn’t help himself, and that was only one of the many things I loved about him.

            “Hey,” came his soft voice and a moment later, I felt his warm fingertips against my undercut. “Are you okay? Did your mom... Leave?”

            I nodded wordlessly, but chose to stare at the tips of my sneakers instead of his green eyes and the worry they’d hold. His fingers wandered up to weave tenderly in my hair, and I leaned into the touch.

            “It didn’t go well?”

            I shook my head.

            “Come here.”

            Within the next moment, I found myself in his arms. He bent down far enough to bury his face in the crook of my neck, his lips brushing feather-light kisses against my skin. Somehow, I felt the urge to explain everything that had happened, but when his arms squeezed my sides and he held me tight, words seemed too much. So I just allowed myself to fall into his embrace, tucking my head against his broad chest and clinging to the comforting scent that crept through his shirt.

            “I love you, Levi. Whatever happens.”

            “Thank you,” I whispered into his chest, voice pathetically brittle. Thanking someone for a love confession was probably a stupid thing to do, but right then, I just had to tell him. I was so thankful to have him love me, even if it was hard to understand why he chose me sometimes, knowing that he did had become my beacon of hope.

            “If you want to talk about it, I’m here,” he said against my temple before placing a sweet kiss to the soft skin there.

            “I know. Later, okay? For now, can we just go back in and pretend this didn’t happen?”

            Eren squeezed me tight enough to make the breath puff out of my chest, and the feeling was glorious. “Anything you want.”

            I hooked my finger into Eren’s belt loop while I followed him back into the restaurant. A few minutes after we’d sat back down at our table, the waitress returned with our main courses. The pumpkin lasagna looked mouth-wateringly delicious, but the whirlwind of emotions going in inside me somehow managed to numb my taste buds, and I ended up pushing the food around more than actually eating any of it. It was the same with the conversation I managed to put up – quiet one word answers and subdued replies. I wanted to push the conversation with my mom to the furthest corner of my mind, to repress it in favor of enjoying this date I’d been pining for forever. So why couldn’t I? I’d always considered myself a pro at hiding things away deep within me, so no one would be able to see. Yet tonight, that seemed impossible. The question of whether I’d lost my mom or not was adamantly looming over me, refusing to let me go so I could focus on the boy sitting across from me.


            My eyes snapped to Eren's and it felt like coming out of a daze. My mind had wandered, again.

            “Sorry,” I apologized. “I was zoning out again, wasn’t I?”

            “A bit,” he smiled, but I caught the tiny flicker of disappointment crossing his features anyway. God, this was all my fault. I’d messed up this date, and ruined the night not only for me, but Eren as well. And he’d planned everything so meticulously, too. This was supposed to be perfect, and now everything had fallen to pieces right in front of us.

            “I think we should go,” Eren said. “I don’t want to force you to be here.”

            “What, no! You’re not! We can’t go yet, we didn’t even have dessert.”

            With a half-hearted attempt, I tried to flag down the waitress to ask for the dessert menu, but Eren’s fingers wrapped around my wrist and pulled my hand back down. I shot him a questioning stare, but all he did was shake his head gently. Denial burned me like a literal flame, and I wanted to force this date back on track, even while I knew it wouldn’t happen. Still, it was beyond painful to admit it was over.

            My shoulders sagged and this time, the tears pricking my eyes were real and ready to fall. How could a perfect night turn into this unsalvageable mess in a matter of minutes? I just couldn’t grasp it.

            “Eren, I’m so sorry,” I whispered in his direction, hanging my head in shame. I was unable to look at him. Guilt was overwhelming me a little more with each breath I took.

            When his fingers slipped into my field of vision to brush my hair behind my ear, I wanted to cry. I wished he’d be angry with me, that was something I could deal with. This tenderness of his was tearing down the last defenses I had left.

            “There’s nothing to apologize for, Levi,” he whispered back and even if I knew I wasn’t worthy of receiving any of Eren’s affections right now, I selfishly took them by leaning my cheek into his palm.

            “There is, and you know it.” I was trying to make him see that for himself, but he wouldn’t have it.

            “No. None of this is your fault.”

            Finally, I looked up at him. He couldn’t possibly be serious, could he? Nobody could be this understanding about someone ruining all their efforts within the blink of an eye. He had to be mad. He had to be furious. If he was, he hid it exceptionally well. Everything I recognized in those endless teal eyes was devotion.

            “You called, sir?”

            The waitress had approached our table and was looking at us expectantly.

            “Can we get the check, please?”

            “Sure. I’ll be right back.”

            She turned around and left. Right after she was gone, I dropped my face in my hands.

            “Shit, all of this is my fault. Would you just please yell at me already? And after that, I’ll make it up to you. You just have to tell me how. I’ll do anything, just—”

            “Shh,” he cut me off with a lingering kiss to the corner of my mouth. “I already told you there’s nothing to apologize for. Now shut up and let me take you home. I want to have a nice, long bath with you.”

            God, this guy. Had he fallen straight out of a damn fairytale or what? Nothing about him could possibly be real, and yet it was. I wondered how long it would take me to realize this perfect boy was really all mine. My current estimate was at around seven years, but for all I knew, it could be forever. Eren footed the bill like the gentleman he was, and then he took my hand and led me out to the car. Despite the fresh air outside, exhaustion hit me full force and I felt drained. I couldn’t wait to get into Eren’s bathtub and snuggle up to him until I was tired enough to fall asleep. Eren put some music on while I fastened my seatbelt and then we were on the road. I watched the streetlights breeze by my window, thinking of something to say when Eren spoke first. “So, do you want to talk about what happened?”

            The question was careful, tentative. If I didn’t want to tell him, he wouldn’t force me to share, but somehow, I felt ready to. “Well,” I sighed, trying to bring some order into my scattered thoughts. “She was still hoping all of this is just a phase I’m going through. When I told her it wasn’t, she started to cry. She... Said she couldn’t accept it, not yet at least.”

            Eren stayed quiet for a few long minutes, which gave me enough time to gather the courage to turn in my seat and look at him. His eyes were fixed on the road in front of us, his eyebrows puckered in thought.

            “Not yet?” He finally asked. “What does that mean?”

            “She said she needed time.”

            Again, he weighed his words before replying.

            “Okay, so what she needs is time. Maybe... You should give her that. It’s a lot to handle for her right now, but I’m sure once she’s found her bearings, she’ll accept it. You’re her son after all, I mean how could she not?”

            “And what about me? Do you think all of this is easy for me? Isn’t she supposed to be the one supporting me through this? She’s abandoning me, Eren!”

            Rage surged through my veins like acid. He couldn’t be serious, could he? What he was doing sounded like an attempt to downplay the entire situation; something that was impossible to downplay. Did he really have no fucking clue about how serious this was?

            “I don’t think she’s abandoning you, Levi. She’s just confused and helpless, so she’s making mistakes. But... Her reaction could have been worse, right? I mean she saw us kissing. She could’ve blown up right then.”

            It could have been worse? It could have been fucking worse?

            Goddamn, he was really serious about this. I couldn’t believe my ears. What I wanted to do was seize his shoulders and shake some sense into him, but the fact that we were currently driving didn’t allow that much.

            “Are you listening to yourself right now?” I said, my voice trembling with barely containable fury. “How the fuck can you even say that? This is exactly what coming out can be like, people who are supposed to love you unconditionally having to debate whether or not you’re still worthy of their love. Just because you have the audacity to like a gender you’re not supposed to like. And here you are, making fucking excuses for her behavior.”

            Eren threw me a worried look, but I was too far gone to care about whether he felt sorry for what he’d said. How could he stab me in the back like that?

            “Hey, calm down,” he said, his voice strained with anxiety. “I only meant well... All I’m trying to do is soothe you.”

            One of his hands left the steering wheel and crossed the short distance between us, but I slapped it away without a second thought. All of the sadness over our ruined date morphed to feelings of rage and betrayal, and fast. My blood boiled, and my vision was well underway to dip into vivid shades of scarlet at this point. Somewhere at the back of my mind, I realized I needed to calm down if I wanted to keep this from escalating for real, but for some reason, I didn’t want to stop. I didn’t want to keep calm. I wanted to scream and shout, to make Eren pay for defending someone who was purposely hurting me, when he should be on my side.  

            “Soothe me? Soothe me? What a fucking joke! You can’t possibly be that delusional. You think coming out is all fun and games? Just accept people hurting you and give them time until they make up their mind, if they do? Let me tell you one thing, it’s not like that. Not at all. And you obviously have no idea about what coming out could mean for you!”

            I cut off, my breathing heavy and my heart racing. Thousands of different thoughts spun through my head, things I still wanted to say but didn’t know how. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been so angry, and never would I have thought it would be Eren to trigger me like this.

            “Levi, please listen to me. I’m sorry, okay? I didn’t mean to upset you, you know I would never do that! I just wanted to help you feel better and maybe see all of this from a different perspective, but I am sorry if what I said hurt you. I shouldn’t have said anything, just please... Don’t be mad at me. I can’t take it.”

            “I don’t fucking care!” I yelled, once again smacking his hand away from me. The pain at my rejection was obvious and he flinched and whimpered at the same time.

            Good. For what he’d said, he deserved to hurt just as much as I did.

            “Come on, I don't want to fight. Please don't make this worse than it already is.”

            “Ha, me? You did that all by yourself,” I snorted venomously. “And now I want you take me the fuck home. I’m not staying anywhere near you tonight.”

            He gasped and the car swung very slightly to the right as his mouth dropped open in shock. “Please Levi, don’t do this...” His eyes were shimmering with wetness, but maybe it was only the dim light betraying my vision, I couldn’t be sure. “Let’s just go home and talk this out, okay? Please, don’t go now. Don't leave me, not like this.”

            I made the mistake of meeting his gaze, which was filled to the brim with regret, and for a moment those eyes caused my decision to totter. I looked away to break his hold on me and crossed my arms. “Take me home. Right now.”

            I caught his hands gripping the steering wheel until his knuckles turned white, but ignored it.

            “You know what?” He spat, getting angry now. “Fine! Then go! All I did was try to make you feel better, but apparently, you want to believe I’m dead set on going against you, which is something I’d never do, and you know it!”

            He set the turn signal and swerved the car into the direction of my place.

            “Oh, so you think you have any right to get angry now?” I shouted. “You must be fucking kidding me! You are the one who decided to defend someone who’s rejecting me for being me!”

            “I never said that! I’d never defend someone who’s hurting you! I was only trying to make you understand how your mom must be feeling, which doesn’t mean I agree with how she’s treating you! What do you want me to say, huh? Do you want me to say she’ll never accept you? That she’ll never come around and just cast you off? If that’s what you want to hear, then fine! Apparently, you want to expect the worst, then you better get used to the possibility of losing your mom!”

            He breezed onto the parking lot of my apartment complex and ran straight into an empty space without even stepping on the brakes once. I was stunned into utter silence. Cold shivers were racing down my spine in quick succession, my breathing spotty and labored, matching the inconsistent beat of my heart. My mind was blank. I’d heard Eren’s words, each painful one of them, but I couldn’t find anything that would’ve made for an adequate reply. Both of us stayed quiet while we tried to come down, until a tear fell on the back of my hand with a soft plop. For a moment, I didn’t realize the tear had fallen from my eyes, and when I did, I angrily wiped at my face. Eren smacked the dash and cursed under his breath, before he undid his seat belt and leaned over the center console into my personal space.

            “Levi, I’m so sorry, god... I am the worst. I didn’t mean it, I promise, it just slipped out... Please forgive me,” he whispered on a small sniffle, and I practically felt how more cracks formed all across my already wounded heart. I didn’t mean to come for it this far, but now it had, and for the first time ever, I couldn’t bear being near Eren. I needed to get away.

            He reached out his hand to touch my cheek, his finger thumbing at my tears. I allowed myself to linger for all of one second before I protected myself in the only way I knew how – by closing off and shutting everyone out in the process. I pushed his hand away just as a strangled sob ripped free from my throat.

            “D-Don’t touch me,” I whimpered, hating myself for being so weak whenever it came to Eren.

            It was painfully obvious how much effort it took for him to keep away from me. It was there in plain sight, the overwhelming need to touch me, to be close to me in any way, and I knew refusing him was the worst punishment I could issue. It was not meant as a punishment for him though, at least not primarily, instead it was a basic urge to protect myself. Too much had happened, and right now, all I had left was to retire into my shell and cut off anyone who could possibly hurt me. Which now... Included Eren.

            “Levi... Please...” His voice was strained and trembling. He was holding back his own tears. Even if it was killing me, I’d hold my ground. I had to look out for myself.

            With uncoordinated movements, I bent down and retrieved my bag from the foot well. Eren continued whispering to me, asking me to forgive him, to stay, to allow him only one touch. I didn’t grant any of his wishes. Instead, I hooked my finger into the lock and opened the door. Setting my feet down, I wobbled for a brief moment due to feeling solid ground beneath me, but quickly caught myself and started to walk in the direction of my entrance door. Slipping my hand into my jeans pocket, I was relieved to feel the warmed metal of the key against my fingers. When I crossed the threshold, I heard shuffling behind me and threw a glance over my shoulder to see Eren running towards me. The door was closing slowly, and I did nothing to stop it. Eren reached it just a millisecond too late and pulled on the door that was now separating him from me. He was crying, thick tears streaking his tan cheeks, his full lips trembling as he lifted his palm against the glass and whispered ‘please’ in a soundless plea. His face was twisted with anger, his gaze fiery and wild. I’d never seen him this enraged before, and the mere sight stirred something within me; something I forced down in the blink of an eye. He was the one who’d wronged me, and I’d not cave in only because seeing him in pain was driving me to my knees.

            I looked at him for the duration of a heartbeat, and then turned away and headed for the stairs. His fists began to pound the glass door and I heard him screaming my name, even through the barrier between us. I forced myself not to look back. Only when I took the first step of the stairs, did I realize I was crying just as much as Eren had.


Chapter Text

Sometimes, there were nights in summer that weren’t warm, even despite the hot temperatures during the day. Tonight was one of those nights. I’d been tossing and turning ever since I’d slipped beneath my covers a few hours ago, caught between dozing and waking to watch the starry sky through my open window. I was restless. Not even the warm sheets against my skin were enough to lull me into sleep. I was losing hope that anything could, when I felt a warm body slide against mine. Momentarily, my heartbeat slowed down and a content sigh left my lips.

“Can’t sleep?” Levi whispered groggily, his arms wrapping around my waist from behind, his lips brushing against my shoulder blades ever so softly.

“I dreamed that you… Left. We fought and you left and I didn’t know if I’d lost you. God, it… It was terrible.” I shuddered at the vivid memory and pressed closer into Levi’s front. His hold on me tightened and he nuzzled my back, bringing me instant comfort.

“Shh, it’s okay now,” he whispered, silky hair dancing over my bare skin.

I wanted to see him, to look into those gorgeous gray eyes and reassure myself that he was really here. The feeling of loss the dream had conjured was still looming over me, heavy and threatening.

“Is it really?” I asked uncertainly, finally turning to gaze at him. His hair was adorably mussed, his eyes drawn with sleep. A yawn took his lips, and I wanted to kiss him, solely because he looked too cute not to be kissed.

“Yes,” he murmured, warm breath kissing my mouth, “We still have tonight.”

“Tonight?” I asked, alarmed. Why did this sound so... Final?

“Mhm,” he continued, leaning into me. His lips were so close to mine, and their vicinity was starting to distract me. For some reason, I got the feeling that this was exactly what he wanted—distract me.

“What do you mean?” I persisted, even while his lips brushed mine in a feather-light kiss. An involuntary moan passed from me to him, and he smiled softly in response.

“Don’t you remember?” Levi asked, hands sinking into my hair, legs wrapping around my body. He was naked, just like I was, and when I realized that, desire flared hot and heavy in my lower belly.

“We broke up, Eren. We agreed to end it here. Tonight’s our goodbye.”

He said the words as if he was asking me what I wanted to drink for breakfast, calm and sober. As if this didn’t mean the end of my world.

I went into rigor as I tried to process what he’d said, and why in the world I’d ever agree to something like this. It couldn’t be real; I’d never let him go that easily, not even if I was subject to torture. This couldn't be happening. Not now. Not after everything we’d been through.

My grip tightened around him, but suddenly, he felt so light—like air, warm enough for me to feel, but impossible to catch.

“Levi, please... Don’t leave me.”


I jolted awake with a scream and sat up in bed, my hand shooting up to clutch my shirt over my heart. I was covered in cold sweat all over. My hair stuck to my forehead and nape, my clothes sticky and wet, clinging to every inch of my skin. It was dark out, which meant it must be sometime in the middle of the night. I began to rub my palm over my heart in a circular motion; a weak attempt to calm myself. My mind was muddled with a wild mix of sensations; sleep, fear, the inability to catch my breath. Pieces of the dream stuck to my mind, replaying haunting images on a tormenting loop and bathing me in all-too-real emotions along with them. After a few moments had passed and my breathing had returned to relative normalcy, I sighed and rubbed my temples. There was a killer headache pounding just behind my forehead and I felt sick. Exhausted. Slowly, I reached out and picked up my phone from the nightstand. I dared to hope, even when I knew that was as stupid as it was pointless. A look on my home screen confirmed my thoughts. 

No missed calls. No texts. 

It was day three without any sign of life from Levi. When I'd left his place after our colossal failure of a date, I'd been so angry that I swore I'd not be the one to reach out to him. Not after this. It was a mystery to me how he could've blown up like he had. I'd only been trying to calm him down after the haunting experience he'd had with his mom, how could he not see that? I'd thought we were better than questioning whether we were on each other's side. But apparently, we weren't. At least not in Levi's eyes. What had I ever done to make him doubt my loyalty? He had to know I wouldn't hesitate to give my right arm to see him happy and content. Yet he'd thrown me in together with people like his mom, who had to consider if he was worthy of acceptance. When had I ever been anything but one hundred percent supportive of him? Fuck, I couldn't wrap my head around it. His behavior towards me had cut deep and without fail, and the anger that wove into the mix had made me see red. And then he'd gone ahead and shut the door in my face, while looking me straight in the eye. For the hundredth time while I'd been on my way home, I’d wondered how much I really meant to him if he could push me away like he had. I could've never left him standing there when he was so obviously hurt. Only that he'd had no problem with that. Maybe he didn't like me as much I'd originally thought. I'd gone well over the speed limit on my drive home, ear-splitting music blasting from my speakers. I'd gripped the steering wheel with all my might, and then ‘Youth’, the song we’d made out to when driving to the restaurant had come on, and I’d almost blown my stack. Nothing I did was enough to soothe the vicious roil of anger and disappointment burning through me like acid. When I'd pulled into my driveway, I’d shut off the engine and just sat there in the dark. How long, I didn't know. The sudden silence around me had made my accelerated heartbeat sound eerily loud in the quiet interior of the car. There was wetness on my face that wouldn't stop coming, so I gave up trying to push it back under wraps. Hopefully, the tears would stop once my body's liquid reserve was exhausted, which couldn't have been long now.

After what felt like forever, I’d finally put up enough strength to drag my ass out of my car and through the front door. It was even quieter inside the house, dark and deserted. The contrast was so much starker because I knew how different it was with Levi being around every day. It took an hour of me throwing clothes and other things like pillows around for the anger to subside. Another hour for the fear to set in. It crept up on me, silent and lethal, and made me shiver despite the warm summer temperatures around me.

What if I’d lost him? What if Levi left me over this? Was this all it took for us to break?   

Maybe it had been my mistake after all. Maybe I was the one who was in the wrong. But I never meant to hurt him. I'd truly believed what I said would make him feel better; comfort him, help him be optimistic despite the bleak prospects. More than anything, I wished I'd just kept quiet and held his hand. Maybe then he’d have been here with me instead of a home he wasn't welcome in. Even while I knew it might have been an honest mistake, I couldn't help feeling guilty. As if I’d let him down when he needed me, and that feeling was one of the worst I'd ever felt.

I picked up my phone from where I'd chucked it earlier by the sink and contemplated messaging him. I was most likely the last person he wanted to hear from right now. Would I make it worse by reaching out to him when the fight was still so fresh? I took a deep breath and tried to make sense of what I was feeling. I wasn't as riled up as I'd been when I drove here, but I had to admit I was still raw. If I called him now, we'd probably just get into another fight. I’d locked my phone and gone upstairs to get ready for bed. I couldn't wait for this day to be over.


Now three days had passed. It was the longest I'd ever gone without seeing or hearing from Levi. Right after lunch a day after the fight, I'd caved in and sent him a text, only to get yawning void on his end. I did try to stay calm and keep from bombarding him with texts, even while I was an inch away from losing my mind, but failed when the day had moved into night. My messages doubled in frequency, and when that still didn't yield any results, I started calling him. With every call that ended up going to voice mail, I felt my heart drop a bit more. Was that it? I wasn't even worth a damn talk? I couldn't believe he’d leave me like this, after everything we’d been through, even while the silence on his end was speaking volumes. If this was really how he wanted to break up, I didn’t know what I could do to prevent it from happening. It wasn’t like he owed me anything, right? God, how I hated being kept in suspense, especially if it was Levi, because I was so madly in love with him and this silent treatment was literally killing me. All I could do was wait while he decided where we’d go from here, if he hadn't decided already, that was. Truth be told, I had no idea how long I would last. Come next morning, I'd probably turn up at his front door, hateful uncle be damned. After everything that had happened between us, everything we’d shared, I deserved at least a talk. I deserved being looked in the eye when I was left.

Who was I even kidding?

I’d fight for him until my dying breath, even if he didn't want me to. Giving him up without a struggle was out of the question. If I was sure about one thing, it was that Levi belonged with me, and I’d do anything in my power to make him see that.

“Zeke? Come here,” I called, passing the living room. Within a second, the little ball of fur jumped through the open glass sliding door that led out to the garden, dripping wet after what had to be a lap in the pool. Too late, I realized he was now heading straight for me, and then I was jostled against the wall when he threw his whole body weight against my legs. At first, I tried to keep him at bay and my clothes dry, until I realized I stood no chance. After that, I simply gave up and let him drool and jump on me. Squatting down, I reached out for him and petted him behind his ears, where he liked it most. Only then did I notice that he was chewing on something.

“Hey boy, what do you got there, huh?” I tried pulling the piece from his mouth, but he took that as his cue to dash off and make me play tag with him. The way he sped towards the open door and came to a stuttering halt just in front of it, looking back with his tail wagging to make sure I was right behind him, drew a small smile from me. Even if it was more a slight curl of one of the corners of my mouth, it was the first genuine smile I’d smiled ever since that night.

I played with Zeke out in the garden until he got tired and threatened to succumb to a heat stroke. He flopped down by the pool, giving an excited woof of approval when I joined him in the soft grass.

“Now?” I said, petting his stomach while he laid on his back like a human. “Have I earned the permission to see your new plaything?”

He barked again, and then opened his mouth as a sign for me to take the dark piece out of his mouth. His amber brown eyes watched me intently as I untangled what seemed to be a piece of fabric.

A sharp pain hit me straight through my chest, making me gasp as it forced the air right out of me.

It was Levi’s shirt.

One of the shirts he’d left here in case he needed a spare. My eyes began to prickle as I turned the shirt over in my hands, touching it, feeling it between my fingers, imagining Levi wearing it.

It was well chewed and moist with drool, but I didn't care. Levi had worn this before, it was a piece of him he’d left here with me. I bit my lip and forced down the surge of pain wanting to break through. I couldn't allow myself to go through another breakdown, I was still too raw from that night three days ago. Another crying fit would deal the finishing blow. So I held onto the shirt as if it was the most valuable gem in the world, folding and unfolding it just to be able to touch something that belonged to Levi. Maybe this was weird and creepy and stalker-ish, but I didn't pay those thoughts any mind. Instead I wondered if Levi would be mad when he found out that Zeke had used his original Ramones tee as a chew bone. The thought made me chuckle quietly to myself. I was pretty sure Levi would positively demur at even touching something that had been in Zeke’s mouth for the better part of a day. He was way too cleanly for that, but considering the love Levi had developed for Zeke and vice versa, he’d maybe make an exception after the t-shirt had been through a severe wash. Zeke had gotten up on his little paws in the meantime and was now nosing against my leg before moving on to the shirt in my lap. His gaze was questioning. I had the suspicion that he knew I wasn't on speaking terms with Levi right now. He nuzzled the shirt and pressed his snout into the fabric, dropping heavily to his stomach and releasing a long sigh as he relished the shirt’s scent. I petted his ears gently.

“Let me guess, you're missing him?”

Zeke crawled on my lap and let his head peek out on the other side if the shirt, which was now covering him like a blanket. Despite the hot summer day outside, the puppy didn't seem to mind the additional warmth.

I jolted when he gave a loud, persistent bark at me. I narrowed my eyes and entered a staring duel with him. I lost.


He barked again, if possible, even louder this time. His tail was wagging excitedly, as if he was trying to tell me something.

“I know you don't agree with the current situation. You’re missing Levi. I am too,” I sighed as if he was able to understand any of the words I was saying. Maybe he was.

He nudged my hand and I noticed that I'd stopped petting him, which had to be resumed of course, so I did. He closed his eyes as he enjoyed the attention.

“I don't know what to do,” I admitted to the dog. “I just... I want to see him. I miss him so much, it's like there’s not enough air to breathe. Maybe some of my vital organs have taken a metaphorical hit during the fight?”

Zeke gave me a snort, as well as a long look that seemed to say ‘oh please’. Was I exaggerating? Maybe. Desperate? Definitely.

I couldn't help how I felt. I was at my wit’s end. Levi was ignoring my every attempt to get in touch with him. Any other person would probably just give up at this point. It was obvious that he had no desire to see or even talk to me. The thing with me was that I was most definitely not like other people. I was way more tenacious than that, and if there was one word missing in my repertoire, it was giving up. Especially when it came to Levi, who was still my boyfriend until he told me otherwise. Now that I knew sitting still was no longer an option for me, I had to come up with a plan of action. But what would that be?

While I pondered the question, I got up to my feet and walked back into the house to get some dinner into me. After washing the salad until it was squeaky clean (a habit I’d picked up from Levi), I got to cutting the tomatoes to go with it. Preparing the food posed a nice distraction—for all of five minutes. That was how long it took for my thoughts to drift back to Levi and the us I could be losing right now, in this moment, while I was cutting damn tomatoes. Sighing, I rubbed at my eyes. Was he thinking of me like I was thinking of him? Or had he already given up on what we had?

Even if everything in me refused to go there, a variety of unsettling questions began to bloom in my head. Questions I probably had to find answers to before long. How would I deal with a break up? I had no idea. I was not ready to consider what an actual separation would mean for me. Was fate really so cruel to end things between us before they even had the chance to start for real? Losing Levi… Hundreds of painful images descended upon me, creating unbearable noise in the quietness of my mind. This brief moment of inattentiveness was all it took. I saw the knife slicing through the tomato and my finger beneath it before I felt it, and when I finally did, pain exploded over my fingers and up my arm. Great, that was just what I needed.

Along with the blood that seeped from the cut in steady drops, the rest of my energy left me. I’d never felt so defeated before. It didn’t matter what I did to distract myself, nothing helped. All I could think about was Levi and how much I needed him. As I stood there in the kitchen, my finger under the cold stream of water from the tap, I realized that I couldn’t go on like this. Considering my mental state, it was safe to say I couldn’t take another day of this painful in-between. Of the uncertainty. The fear. This crushing feeling of loss.

When I found a band-aid to put on my cut, I made a decision. Levi wasn’t taking any of my calls or reacting to any of my texts, which only left one possibility: to seek him out. I knew his work schedule by heart, so I knew he was working the late shift at the ice cream truck today. A sudden wave of doubts bubbled through me—what if me coming by would make everything worse? What if he needed time and I was pushing him if I just came by to talk? Maybe the right thing to do was give him time until he was the one to contact me, and if he didn’t, well... That would be my answer, right?

The thing was that I wasn’t that kind of person, the one who could sit back and wait. I needed to know what I was in for, what to expect, how to go on. Being in the dark was the worst, especially when it came to someone you loved. So the only remedy I had left was to find him, talk to him. To make this right, if he still wanted to be with me.

I ended up not even eating half of the salad I’d prepared, my nerves making my stomach clench in a way that was almost painful. After giving up on my meal, I went upstairs for a quick shower and a change of clothes. Zeke was following my every move, but even he stayed quiet, as if he was picking up on the heaviness saturating the air. The way he pushed against my legs every now and then was a sign of him sensing my agitation and trying to comfort me against all odds. For a moment, I contemplated bringing him with me to see Levi, but then I decided against it. I didn’t know how long my conversation with him would take, but if it lasted longer than a few minutes, Zeke would probably get restless, and I wouldn’t be able to deal with any disruptions. This conversation would decide everything between us, and I needed to be there one hundred percent. Levi would get my undivided attention. One last look in the mirror proved how crushed I looked. Aside from my hair being the usual mess, there were dark circles under my eyes and my usually tan skin looked oddly sallow. Even I couldn’t deny how much my mental state had affected me physically. It was high time I got this sorted out. Now so much more than before, did my decision to drop by the ice cream truck seem like the right thing to do. But even the certainty of knowing that didn’t help any in regards to calming my insane nervousness or my heart, which was a second away from beating right out of my chest. This could mean the end of the most beautiful relationship I’d ever have the chance of calling my own. I was nowhere near ready to talk about a break up, much less deal with the aftershocks of it. Only that this wasn’t my call to make, not mine alone, at least. If Levi didn’t want me anymore, I’d have to accept it. I had to walk away.

Biting my lip, I slipped on my shoes and stepped out of the house, locking the door behind me. Zeke was barking after me. I heard his paws slamming against the door, but I knew I couldn’t bring him, even if I’d have loved the additional support. For the moment, I was just relieved to know someone would be waiting for me when I returned, be it bearing good or bad news.

The walk to the ice cream truck was so familiar, yet so alien at the same time. Whenever I’d walked that path, I’d been happy and excited, eager to see Levi and snag another minute with him. How quickly things could change; it was cruel. This could very well be the last time I’d ever talk to him.

I took longer than necessary, slowing my step until I was almost creeping along the sidewalk. I knew I couldn’t delay this forever, but I was trying to make myself believe that just a few more minutes would help me calm down. All too quickly, I realized not all the time in the world would manage to achieve that.

When I rounded the final corner and the familiar navy-and-white striped truck came into a view, I had to stop in my tracks and take a few seconds just to steady my breathing. The life I’d come to love over the past few weeks could end for good when I stepped away from that truck after we’d talked this out. Finally, it dawned on me that nothing would prepare me for what it meant to lose Levi. All I could do was prove to him that I loved him and that he was everything to me. If that wasn’t enough, I had to find a way to deal with what would be left of me after him, even if I had no idea how I’d do that.

I took another deep breath and brushed over my hipbone, feeling the soft touch through my shirt and against my tattoo. When I opened my eyes again, I knew I couldn’t accept giving up. Not him; not ever.

I waited another few moments until the people who were still standing in line in front of the truck had dissolved before I closed the distance with a heartbeat that was loud enough to be heard all the way to Levi.

When I stepped in front of the truck window, at the very spot I’d met him for the first time, and spotted him with his back turned to me, standing on his tiptoes, all I wanted was to squeeze through the small opening and just take him into my arms. To feel him close to me after the tormenting hours we’d spent apart and kiss every soft inch of skin I could reach. It took an inhuman amount of restraint to fight the urge to just touch him, even just for one second.

I stepped closer and rested my hand against the window pane, waiting until he turned around. He hadn’t noticed me yet, which gave me time to look at him—just look, that was all I wanted in that moment—and the way he moved, from the gentle sway of his hips to the brush of his fingertips against the box he was trying to reach at the very top of the shelf. He was so perfect, it hurt to see him here, so close, without being able to touch him. He was so far from me, even if he was standing just a few feet away.

I must have made some kind of noise, maybe a strangled whine or a miserably suppressed mewl, because suddenly, Levi realized he wasn’t alone. He spun around, and when he laid eyes on me, those two gorgeous pool of gray widened beneath thin eyebrows.

“Eren,” he breathed. His cheeks dusted the faintest shade of pink, barely recognizable as a blush to those who didn’t know him well enough. God, seeing him, his beautiful face and those sweet, tinted cheeks almost drove me to my knees. Literally. My legs grew weak and my eyes started to sting in a way that had become so familiar over the past few days. I felt like collapsing right there in front of him, only to have him catch me when I fell.


Chapter Text




            Time stood still. Usually, I prided myself on having quite the quick tongue, but right then, every single word I could’ve possibly uttered was stuck in my throat with no chance of ever making it out.

            He was here, wasn’t he?

            After three days spent doing nothing but thinking of him, he was really here, in front of me, looking at me. Staring right back with those gorgeous charcoal eyes and the signature arched eyebrow—and god, I forgot that we were currently in the middle of a fight and supposed to be talking it out. All I wanted was to be close to him, to hold him in my arms, to feel his skin on mine. To kiss him until he couldn’t imagine being without me ever again.

            My legs moved of their own volition, carrying me away from the window at the truck’s front and towards the backdoor. For some utterly inexplicable reason, I knew the door would open for me this time around. Levi would let me in. When the small backdoor swung open as soon as I reached it, my heart did a quadruple flip inside my chest and the wave of relief flooded me instantly. There were warm tears in my eyes when I saw Levi reaching out his arms for me, beckoning me closer, asking me to hurry. It was so unreal, I wanted to scream the happiness I felt right then out for the entire world to hear. I rushed up the single step that led into the interior of the truck, and Levi was there, waiting for me. A hopelessly embarrassing whine of joy left my lips when I collided with him, and I couldn’t help but wrap him in my arms and sweep him right off his feet. The limited space inside the truck didn’t allow for any overly exuberant movements, so I settled for holding him as close to me as I could and pinwheel around. He gasped and grabbed my shoulders, his legs wrapping tightly around my waist. I wanted to kiss, bawl and celebrate—all at the same time. The feeling of holding him again, knowing it wasn’t just a beautiful illusion or a bittersweet dream, was overwhelming.

            “I-I’m so sorry, Levi, it was my fault, I shouldn’t have said—” I tried to catch my breath and bring some order into the gibberish spilling from my mouth, “I’m so sorry for what I did. I don’t deserve you, I know that, but... I miss you so much. God, I love you more than anything, and those past few days have been hell. I love you. I love you. Don’t leave me because... I can’t be without you. I tried, and I can’t. Please, stay with me. I need you. I’ll always need you.”

            “Shh, stop,” he whispered into my hair, his arms tightening around me until it was hard to breathe, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. He could squeeze me forever if that was what he wanted. “It’s my fault, all of it. I overreacted. I was just so... So overwhelmed with everything that I didn’t know how to react and... I lashed out at you. I’m sorry. I'm sorry for not calling or texting back, I just didn’t know how to apologize for what I did... Eren, I—Oh god, I miss you too. It’s all I ever do.”

            “Levi,” I breathed. It was the only thing I could utter, and I held onto it like a lifeline, saying it over and over again, until the pain of the last days began to gradually dull. My hands found their way around his body by heart, touching every inch that had been withheld from me for what felt like half of eternity.

            He moaned into my mouth when our lips finally met, too hungry to be anything but rough. My hands moved down along his spine, mapping out every slanted muscle moving beneath his warm skin, until they curved around the full swell of his behind. Just feeling it in my hands led me to dig in, a needy whimper spilling from my lips as soon as Levi pushed his cheeks back into my palms. While I kept my mouth glued to his, licking and sucking on every inch of him I could reach, I couldn’t keep from grabbing him by his ass and lifting him up against the wall. His legs wrapped right back around my waist, his arms doing the same with my neck.

            “Mh fuck, you feel so good,” I whispered before I nipped his earlobe and drank in the sigh he elicited in response.

            “Go on,” he panted against my wet lips, making a delicious shiver race all over my skin, “Keep touching me.”

            His wish was my command. Even if he’d demanded I held back, I wasn’t sure if I’d been able to. Right then, everything inside me was flooded with desire—the desire to feel the one person I needed more than anyone else.

            When my hands slipped under his shirt to roam his soft skin, he didn’t protest. No, instead, he pushed back into my touch, urging me on. I let my nails graze his back, his sides, his hips, filled my hands with warmth and softness and him. Yet still, it wasn’t enough. I needed more than that—wanted him bare under me, wanted every inch of glorious, pale skin on every inch of mine. I was desperate, and I knew it. None of my touches were as gentle as they should have been. I wanted to cherish him in any way I knew how, but I was too overwhelmed by having him again, by feeling him holding me as tight as I held him. We crashed into a shelf that was pushed up against the wall, causing a few boxes of ice cream to tumble down on the floor to our feet. Neither of us paid it any mind. Levi breathed my name over and over again, every syllable making my desire flare all the more intense.

            I let my fingertips wander into the waistband of his uniform pants, feeling the warm cotton of his boxers and the smooth skin beneath. When my thumb brushed against the noticeable bulge straining against his underwear, a breath of hot air escaped his wet lips on a moan. My eyes snapped to his and I caught them getting wide, his usually pale cheeks dusting a deep scarlet.

            I smiled and kissed him again. “Just how are you so darn cute? I want to eat you right up.”

            “Then why don’t you?”

            God. Keeping my cool was hard enough as it was, and I was pretty sure that with the way I was rubbing helplessly against him, he knew. Yet there he went, whispering things like that in this incredibly sexy voice of his. I obviously knew making out in the ice cream truck wasn’t a great idea, but where this between us was heading right now was even worse. Especially knowing me, I wouldn’t be able to stop once I really started, not even if there was a whole damn audience watching us.

            “E-Eren…” Levi breathed into the crook of my neck, and it was this sound—this utterly gorgeous, little, almost desperate sound—that made me come undone. I didn’t care where we were or who could see us; nothing mattered but being with Levi right here, right now.

            Levi gasped when I gave up control at last. He knew what I was doing, what was about to happen between us, but he didn’t stop me. Instead, he grew pliant and willing beneath my fingertips, following my lead. The moment made my head spin in the best way possible.

            “I want you,” I whispered desperately. He trembled in response and kissed me even harder.   

            I pulled him against me, holding him tight while I wrapped his body around mine and got down to my knees to lay him on the floor. That was when I spotted a rolled up blanket in the corner. Levi’s half-lidded gaze followed my every move as I got to retrieve the blanket. When the soft dark fleece was spread beneath us, I placed my palms on his knees and looked at him. No words were necessary. Levi bit his lip, his cheeks flushing with fresh color, and then he slowly spread his legs and reached out to pull me in between. I leaned in and kissed the corner of his mouth, then nibbled my way to the middle of his bottom lip before licking inside. Small gasps and tiny sighs mingled with my breath, and I soaked them up as if they were water on my parched throat. I tugged on the bow at the front of his shirt and watched him arch his back, giving me the opportunity to take it off—which I promptly took.

            “God Eren… More,” he breathed. His hands fisted in my shirt, tugging hard enough for me to realize he wanted it off of me. I forgot how to breathe when I caught his reaction to my exposed chest. His eyes traveled over my skin, before following the trail with his nails. I groaned helplessly and took his hands in mine, keeping them just above my frantic heartbeat. His gray eyes widened when he felt it, and then flicked to mine, a dazed expression washing over his face.

            “Take my pants off,” he urged, fiddling with his belt.

            “Is someone impatient today?” I chuckled before I bit down on his small earlobe.

            “Hell yes I’m impatient! What do you think three days without you are doing to me?”  

            A surprised gasp left him when I leaned in and squeezed him tight, my lips pressed to his moist neck.

            “Do you know how much I love you?”

            “N-No,” he moaned, his hips pushing up against mine, driving the hardness between our legs together and tearing a hot cry from my lips. “I just know that it can’t be anywhere near as much as I love you.”

            I pulled back and took his flushed face in my palms, my eyes boring into his. “Then you have no idea.”

            He averted his gaze in embarrassment, instead fixing those gorgeous grays on the noticeable bulge between my legs, which was throbbing rather painfully at this point.

            “Please, Eren… D-Don’t make me wait any longer than this.”      

            I sure as hell didn’t plan on it, not with the way my cock jerked at his unfiltered plea. All I wanted was to be inside him; to feel him moving in tune with me. 

            We pulled and tugged on what was left of each other’s clothes, leaving them where they fell, until there was nothing between us; until all we were wearing was each other’s touch. The evening light filtering through the small window was soft, giving Levi’s pale skin a tender glow. I took a few moments to look at him, watch him, how he trembled beneath me, his breath puffing out in warm clouds, his eyes squeezed shut, lush bottom lip caught between pearly white teeth. His legs rested on my thighs, spread, giving me a prime view of his perfect body. I was pretty sure that was the reason why he was too embarrassed to look me in the eye right now. It made him all the more adorable, all the more irresistible. I ran my thumb over his pink cheek and leaned in to kiss him once more, all the while using my other hand to draw soft patterns on his thigh. When I left his lips in favor of caressing his neck, he sighed, long and content. Then I bit him, just where his neck met his shoulder, and he moaned loudly, his legs squeezing me tight.

            “Oh... Eren,” he whispered, half of his face hidden behind his arm, though one eye followed my path down his body with rapt attention.

            I tilted my head up to meet his gaze, but kept my lips on his skin, my tongue flicking across his delicate collarbone.

            “I love how sensitive you are. I always have,” I whispered into his skin before I blew across the moist spot I’d left in the hollow above his collarbone. He shuddered, and then his hands were in my hair, coaxing me to continue.

            “Funny how I’ve never been like this before I met you, huh.”

            “Funny how I can’t even remember what I was like before I met you.”

            The arm he used to shield his face with dropped when he looked at me, really looked at me, his expression puzzled.

            “You’re not being serious...”

            “And what if I am?” I said, licking a warm trail along his pecs before stopping short just above one gorgeous nipple. “You’re changing me, Levi. You’ve changed the way I feel about myself, about life... About everything. And I like that. I like it a lot.”

            He looked at me as if I’d just told him the sun wouldn’t rise tomorrow, eyes wide, with that little wrinkle in between his fine eyebrows. I just had to smile. Chuckling, I pulled him against me and buried my face in the crook of his neck.

            “You really are a sap,” he whispered, but his voice was shaky and breathless. I had the feeling he knew exactly how serious I was about him, about us. Yes, us... Now I knew that there was still an us, and I’d never let that go.

            I grabbed his waist and pulled him against me, my lips latching back onto his nipple to give a long, wet suck. The tip grew hard between my lips, and I bit down on it with all the tenderness I could muster, lavishing it with attention until Levi grabbed my hair and pulled me off his chest.


            “Hm? You sure?” I teased, licking a wet strip across his other nipple. “These seem to be loving the attention they're getting.”

            “Shut up!”

            His dick twitched against mine, drawing all of my attention in a matter of seconds. I wondered how long I’d be able to hold back like this. All I wanted was to be inside him, right now, but considering we hadn’t been with each other in a while, I knew I couldn’t just rush into things. He needed to be prepared with care, and in that regard, I planned on spoiling him rotten. My tongue slid down his stomach, dipping into his navel and further into the soft patch of black hair beneath it.

            When I looked up, I could see Levi’s expression was one of barely contained excitement. He was waiting for this; for me to bend down and take him into my mouth, to taste him until he spilled everything he had. His face alone made it impossible not to touch him where he wanted me to touch him, even if my plans for him tonight were different. So I leaned in and placed a soft kiss on his wet crown, before swiping my tongue at the bitter drops of precome inside the small slit on top. Again, Levi’s impatient hands were back in my hair, but instead of running his fingers through the strands, he used them to push my head down on his length, making me gurgle in surprise.

            “Oh god... Fuck, yes... Right there, Eren, don’t stop—”

            Fighting the urge to laugh at his fervor, I gave his cock another long suck before I released it with a loud pop.

            “No... Why...” Levi began to sulk and tighten his legs around my neck, giving me the unmistakable hint to continue, but I only shook my head and playfully bit the inside of his thigh.

            “Ouch,” he smirked, his eyes half shut, an utterly irresistible smile lingering on his lips while he moved his foot between my legs and gave me a playful rub.

            He watched me as I untucked his legs from their grip around my neck and got up to a kneeling position. I let my flat palms run over his chest once again, before I grabbed his hips and flipped him around with one fluid movement.

            “Hey, what are you doin—Ah! Ahhh—N-No...”

            If there was one way to make any protest disappear into thin air, it was me spreading his ass cheeks and burying my lips against his tight entrance—like I was doing right now.

            “No, Eren, wait... Not there!” He tried to get away from me, to detach my mouth from him, but my grip was tight and I didn’t even think about letting him go. My fingers sunk into the soft skin on his hips as I held him in place, continuing to lick along his cleft. It was exciting me in a way I didn’t know before, almost so much that I couldn’t bear it. I’d imagined doing this with him so many times, and that I was doing it now seemed too good to be true. What was even more was that the reality felt and tasted so much better than any dream I ever had.

            “Ahh—! Mmmh, Eren, you... Y-You don’t have to do this,” Levi stuttered, embarrassment obvious in the way his voice trembled. “You can j-just use your fingers to...” The rest of what he wanted to say was cut off by his scream when I pushed my tongue past that tight ring of muscle to taste him on the inside.

            “And miss the chance to finally eat you out? No way,” I breathed against his hole, which was hungrily twitching against my mouth. The fact that it was already wet from my ministrations was sure to make it extra intense whenever I did so much as breathe against him.

            “Ahh, Eren... This feels so... Damn...”

            He was breathing hard, gasping and moaning in between. It was almost impossible to go slow. His legs began to shake and when they finally gave in, I was there to hold him up. I wasn’t done here after all. First hesitant, then eager, did I raise my hand to lick two of my fingers from top to bottom.

            “Touch yourself,” I whispered lowly, giving his hole another wet kiss.

            “Mn, fuck, you... You drive me crazy,” he mewled, but did as I told him, his hand reaching in between his legs to wrap around his fully erect cock.

            He began to stroke himself just as I pressed one finger inside him, watching greedily as it got swallowed, listening to Levi whining in response. I noticed that his hand had stopped moving, so I slipped my free hand between his legs and gave his balls a teasing pinch—not enough to hurt, but surely enough to leave a tiny sting.

            “Ah!” He mewled, “What was that for?”

            “I didn’t say you could stop, did I?”

            Goose bumps began to bloom all over Levi’s skin, moist from my lips and the heat of summer, and I knew he was enjoying this just as much as I was.

            Slowly, he took his length in hand once more, setting a slow rhythm while he rocked his behind back against my face.

            “And I haven’t told you to stop either, right?” He said, throwing me a cheeky look over his shoulder.

            I smirked at him and dove back between his luscious cheeks, licking and sucking until he was wet enough to take two of my fingers. While I continued to pamper him with my fingers and mouth, I spotted the box that had fallen down earlier when I’d pinned Levi up against the wall. There was a large sticker reading “Cherry Lemon” on top of it. That sticker was enough to spark an idea in my head. Before I had the time to think it through, I had let go of Levi—not for long though—and reached for the box. From the corner of my eye, I watched Levi sinking down onto the blanket beneath him, his face turned away from me, breathing heavier than before. Smiling, I ripped open the box and reached inside to retrieve a metal container filled with cool, pink ice cream. Just thinking about where this was going to go in a few moments made a literal firework of arousal go off throughout my entire body. Levi would kill me for this, that much was certain. Which made me want to do it all the more.

            I dipped two fingers into the velvety ice cream and closed my eyes when I put them into my mouth to have a taste. God, this was amazing. And it would taste even better on someone else. Smirking, I crawled back over to Levi, the box of ice cream in hand.

            “I hope it’s a condom you’re getting,” Levi huffed. “Can you just do me already? It’s all I thought about for the last three days, and here you are, making me wait. Seriously, Eren, if you continue to be like this I’ll just do it myse—Oh, god! What the fuck is this?”

            Him complaining was the perfect opportunity for me to put my plan into action, which was exactly why I took it without hesitation. And now, Levi’s gorgeous little hole was covered in sweet ice cream, which was tenderly melting and leaving a mouth-watering trail from his cleft along the inside of his thigh.

            Levi shuddered and moved away from me, but I held him in place.

            “Please... Tell me you did not just put ice cream there?”

            “Mh, but I did. And it looks so fucking beautiful,” I sighed, spreading his ass cheeks for a prime view.

            Levi’s face buried against his crossed arms, and with the way he was bending down, he offered me even more of his behind. I was pretty sure he was too far gone to notice at this point.

            “Dammit, Eren... Ahh, s-stop it...” he moaned, even though he tried to suppress it.

            I watched as his blush spread from the back of his neck all the way down to his shoulders. He was so cute, it was unreal. I gathered more ice cream and continued to coat his most sensitive spots, each barely-there sound he made arousing me even more. I sucked at every bit I put on him, relishing the incredible taste of him mixed with sugary ice cream. Before long, he was a mess in front of me, his legs shaking, his breath rushing out of him in unsteady gulps. His skin was sticky and sweet. Slowly, I let my fingers slip back into him, and as soon as the second pushed in, he groaned and came onto the floor. I kissed him through his climax, until he sunk down onto the blanket with a quiet curse. Chuckling, I leaned in to place a kiss on each of his ass cheeks, savoring how they quivered after he’d reached his peak.

            “I can’t believe you put ice cream on my ass and ate it,” he whispered after some time, an incredulous smirk on his face. Then he blushed, and it was so pretty that I wanted to do it all over again.

            “I’ll have you know that now I can finally say with certainty that every inch of you tastes heavenly. Without the ice cream even more.”

            He snorted and I laughed. Then, because I couldn’t stop myself, I took one second to rub my stone-hard dick in between his cheeks, drawing another sweet moan from him, before I kissed his shoulder blade and flipped him around on his back. My palms wandered down along his sides, to his thighs. Gently, I lifted them so they’d be wrapped back around my waist. Levi squeezed me tight. God, how I loved when he did that. Him, under me, his shapely legs clenched around me, his arms slung around my neck to keep me close enough to kiss me whenever he wanted to. His eyes locked with mine, not missing a single moment of me watching him; of how I couldn’t even stop watching him if he wanted me to. When he was with me, he was the only thing worth looking at.

            He closed his eyes when I leaned in to kiss him, and so did I. My hands moved into his hair, brushing along his undercut and holding him close to me.

            I felt the remaining slick from earlier between his legs rubbing against me, making my desire go through the roof. I should be more than satisfied with what he’d just allowed me to do, yet I knew I wouldn’t be able to leave tonight without making him mine. Entirely.

            Levi gasped, his lovely eyes snapping open when he felt my wet tip press against his entrance.

            “Uhm... Bare?” He asked, cheeks flushing a delectable shade of hot pink.

            “Only if you let me,” I whispered, kissing the spot on his lip he was just worrying between his teeth.

            “Do it,” he said, “I want you. And I’d rather drop dead than pass on having you right now.”

            I choked on air and felt my face go hot. God... The things he said. What was control? What was keeping my cool and abstain from taking him here in damn public?

            I didn’t remember, and I sure as hell didn’t want to. All I wanted was him.

            I caught his hand in mine and interlaced our fingers while I gently pushed into him. His eyes squeezed shut, multiple gasps leaving his lips as I continued to press in inch after inch until I was fully embedded inside him.

            “Ah yes... God... How I missed you,” I breathed when the familiar intimacy began to surround me.

            Levi cupped my cheek and looked at me, tears in his eyes, his gaze so incredibly devoted. I thought I must be a second away from blinking out of existence just from happiness alone.

            “I love you, Eren. I want to be with you always.”

            “Me too, Levi. I love you so much.”

            After that, the last thread of control I had left tore to pieces. I grabbed him almost roughly, ramming into him again and again. It was like a high I could do nothing to break free from, like the addiction I couldn’t satisfy for three long days.

            “Ah, Levi... You feel so good, I c-can’t... I’m sorry, it’s so hard to hold back,” I breathed desperately, even while I was still thrusting into him hard enough to make him slide along the floor along with the blanket we were on. 

            His nails sunk into my back, leaving long scratches.

            “D-Don’t,” he gasped, “Don’t hold back.”

            My heart was about to jump through my chest and into his hands, where it belonged. I smiled as I bent down and took his kiss-swollen lips again. My hands held onto his hips as I rammed into him without pause, until he tightened noticeably around me. I knew he was close, so close.

            “Eren, I—” Without another word, I wrapped his cock in my hand and began to stroke him, just the way he liked it. His head kicked back, his nails continuing to scratch along my back. I’d be sure to be well marked by tomorrow, and that was exactly what I wanted.

            “Come for me,” I whispered in his ear. He trembled again, and then I felt warm spurts of his release all over my hand.

            Smiling, I wrapped him in a tight hug and rocked my hips into his, even harder than before. My name left his lips on loud gasps, his fingers tugging wildly on my hair. One of his hands slipped down to sneakily flick my nipple, and that was all it took for me to let go. I spilled myself into him, unconsciously giving two more shallow strokes to chase after the addictive feeling, before I collapsed on top of him. Right then, I was floored with the intensity of my feelings, and just stayed where I was, pressed to Levi’s chest, inhaling his scent. The fact that he began to gently comb his fingers through my hair made me want to stay there forever.

            “I think I’ve pretty much managed to get all the tangles out of your hair,” Levi mused after some time. I’d blissfully dozed off on top of him in the meantime.

            “We should probably clean up,” he said. “I mean, we’re still outside.”

            He tried to get me off, but I only sighed in contentment and refused to let him push me away.

            “Mh, just one more minute.”

            “Eren, we really need to get up. What if somebody comes?”

            There was anxiety in his voice, and I knew he was right. It was too dangerous to stay like this. We’d already pushed our luck with going as far as we had.

            And then, the luck we’d had until that point was used up.


            There were voices outside. They were too close for comfort, way too close. I fumbled for my boxers in the fading light, and quickly slipped them on before I pulled my discarded T-shirt over my head. Levi was still searching for his clothes in the pile we’d left all over the floor.

            “Here, take this.” I wrapped him up in the blanket and pushed him back into a dark corner. It wouldn’t help much though if whoever was out there decided to approach the truck. The interior was too small to hide something or someone. I was in the middle of hastily stepping into my jeans when someone gasped at the front of the truck.

            “Eren?! Oh my god, Eren, is that you?!”

            My eyes snapped to the truck window upon hearing my name, and then the penny dropped. I knew this voice. I’d known it all my life.

            “Mikasa?! What are you doing here?”

            I stared at her in shock, just like she stared at me. Dammit, could there be a worse moment for her to show up? I was well fucked and looked the part, what with my jeans dangling undone on my thighs, and Levi was... Levi was naked and trying to cover himself using only a flimsy blanket. Mikasa was too smart not to connect the dots. Fuck, why was this happening? I’d been meaning to tell my friends once they came back from vacation, but this? This was nothing like I’d planned. Nothing like I'd wanted them to find out. It was a disaster.

            “Eren, what the hell... Are you doing here? Who is this?” Mikasa pointed an accusing finger at Levi.

            “Uhm, I-I... I'm just... Armin?”

            A short blonde head had appeared beside Mikasa, and a huge pair of pale blue eyes looked inside the truck, going wide as baseballs when they took in the scene inside.

            “Eren? What's going on here?”

            Fuck, I had to get out of here. I had to explain everything, but I didn't want to do that with my jeans down and Levi naked on the floor. Both Mikasa and Armin looked about ready to blow up, and I couldn't even blame them for it. I’d probably react the same way if I caught one of them in such an obvious situation, and with someone of the same gender, no less.

            “I c-can explain,” I stammered. “Just give me a minute.”

            “You better!” Mikasa roared.

            I finished getting dressed in my rumpled clothes and then I dropped to my knees in front of Levi, who looked ten times more shocked than anyone else did. All the color had left his face; he looked almost ghostly pale.

            “This can’t be happening...” he whispered in horror. “Please tell me your best friends did not just walk in on us?”

            He pulled the blanket tighter around himself. I blocked him out of view with my body, but didn’t touch him.

            “I have to go,” I said, sounding strangely detached.

            I had to explain this to my friends. They were shocked out of their minds to find me here like this, and I could absolutely not let them go without telling them all about what had happened this summer. They deserved this much. It was all I could think about.

            “What?” Levi said forlornly, “You can’t go now. Eren, you... You can’t just leave me like this.”

            “I’m sorry, but they deserve an explanation. You know that! I can’t just send them away. Not after they’ve seen us... Like this.”

            “P-Please, don’t go... Don't do this to me.” He wrapped his hand around my wrist and held me tight, his eyes pleading with me.

            “Levi, please... They don't know about me. This is more important right now.” With a heavy heart, I pried his fingers off me and pushed his hand away.

            “Eren, who is this?” Mikasa asked. I threw her a glance over my shoulder and found her gray eyes fixed on Levi with obvious suspicion.

            “He’s... Uhm, he’s a—a friend. I’ll explain everything, just give me a moment. Please.”

            Levi’s expression was one of pure hurt when I looked at him. My heart splintered a little just seeing him like this, and knowing I was responsible for it. What I really wanted was pull him in my arms and stay with him, but I knew I couldn’t. Not right now. My friends were important to me as well, and they needed an explanation for everything that was going on.

            “A friend?” Levi whispered in a torn voice. “That’s what I am to you? Just a friend?”

            “Levi, please... I don’t have time for this right now. You have to understand that I need to talk to them, now. This cannot wait. I... I’ll call you later, okay? I’m sorry."

            There were tears brimming in his beautiful eyes, and it hurt me more than anything to turn away from him right now, even while I knew I had no choice. I wanted to stay and beg him to understand, but Mikasa and Armin were waiting for me. I needed to set things straight with them. What I was doing was unfair to Levi, but I just had to trust that he would understand. I'd make it up to him a thousand times over after I'd made it out of the conversation with Mikasa and Armin alive.

            “I'll come back, okay?” I said, brushing my thumb briefly over his cheek. He turned away from my touch, and for a moment, I felt as if all the air was ripped away from me.

            "Don't bother."

            "What?" I asked incredulously. I must have misheard.

            "I said, don't bother."

            “You... You don’t mean that.”

            “I do. After everything that just happened between us... After what you just said..." He averted his gaze and moved farther away from me. "You know what? Just go.”

            "Levi..." I reached out for him but he slapped my hand away, a single tear falling from his eyes.

            “Eren, come out here already!” Mikasa yelled. "You have some serious explaining to do, right now!"

            “Dammit... Levi, I really have to go. Please understand how important this is to me. We’ll talk later, okay? I’m really sorry.”

            He didn’t say anything. He didn’t even look at me. It ripped my heart in two, but I got to my feet. With a last look at him, I stormed out the backdoor and led my friends away from the truck.

            Away from Levi.

Chapter Text


When the backdoor of the ice cream truck fell shut, I flinched. It was just a soft click, and yet it described what was going on inside me right now to perfection. A door closed. I might have not been able to put into words what was changing in this very moment, but I knew for sure that something was different than a mere minute ago.

            A minute ago, when Eren was still here. With me. When my world had still been right. It was funny, actually, how you could be the happiest person on the entire planet one moment, and then simply fall to pieces the next. I guess fate was cruel like that. When Eren had come by at the end of my shift a little while ago, I couldn’t believe it. Sure, he was the type to suddenly show up out of the blue, but after what had happened between us... I’d been pretty sure I’d managed to drive away even someone as persistent as him. It wouldn’t have been a big surprise, either. I’d hurt him with my behavior. He had every right to be mad at me. And yet still, he’d never stopped messaging me, calling me... Countless times I’d asked myself why. Why me? Of all the people he could have, why did he want me? I knew I was far from easy to be with. I had my quirks. My faults. It was almost unreal how Eren seemed to love even my worst sides. That was probably the reason why I’d always questioned this relationship—because he was too good for me. He was too good for my insecurities, too good for my fucked up family drama. Back when my mom had ruined our first official date, he’d only meant to be there for me. To offer comfort when I needed it, just like the sweet boyfriend he was. I knew it now, and I’d known it then when I’d chosen to push him away. He’d offered me his shoulder to cry on, and how had I reacted to that? I’d gone and lashed out at him, like I always did. Maybe what had happened now was what I deserved. Maybe I should have seen it coming that I’d be the one to be left behind when it came down to it. Being with him had been so... Perfect. It had been so perfect that I hadn’t wanted to see the reality that was seething just below the perfect surface. Maybe it was my mistake to believe I’d become someone important to Eren, someone he’d proudly introduce to his friends as his boyfriend. Maybe I should’ve known better. If I had, this wouldn’t hurt so damn much. The truth was, Eren had been confronted with a choice tonight, and he hadn’t chosen me. He’d denied not only me, but our entire relationship when his friends showed up—someone who should understand. From what he’d told me about his best friends, they were the kind of people who supported him no matter what. And he’d still... He’d still refused to be honest, even while I was sitting there right in front of him, naked and vulnerable and so damn naive. I’d trusted him. After everything that had happened tonight; after I’d given myself to him in public, at my damn workplace no less, he’d chosen to walk away. To leave me behind like the fucking picture of misery he’d made of me.

            I pulled the flimsy blanket tighter around my shoulders and leaned back against the wall; trying to catch my breath. Trying to stop the tears that refused to die down ever since he’d left. It was useless to force myself to quit at this point, the harder I tried, the more they doubled in intensity. I was still stupid enough to try to make sense of the way he’d treated me, to make myself see his reasons. But what were his reasons, anyway? He didn’t have to leave me here. He could have brought me along. He could have told them about our relationship. He could have stayed. Fuck, he could have done anything but this. Anything but leave me here on my own. Yes, the circumstances of Eren’s friends finding out about us hadn’t been ideal. It sucked to get caught in the act like we had, and I hadn’t wanted this for Eren, not like that. But this mischance didn’t mean he had to push me away and abandon me, only wrapped in a blanket that smelled like sweat and sex and him. God, when was the last time I’d felt this humiliated? Had I ever? The worst thing was that I felt so cheap; like a toy he’d used to pass the time while he was facing an entire summer by himself.

            I snorted and cried into the moist blanket. Didn’t he tell me he loved me? How much could he love me if he was capable of doing this to me?

            Slowly, I felt the wetness he’d left me with leaking from between my legs, and suddenly I felt sick. I felt dirty. What I needed to do was get a grip on myself and go home. I couldn’t stand spending another minute in this ice cream truck. If only my body would move the way I wanted it to. Everything in me felt exhausted to the point of simply shutting down. If only I could feel numb. Nothing at all. I’d rather put my feelings for Eren to sleep than having to feel them right now. After another couple of minutes had passed, I gingerly tried to get up on my feet, only to be wrestled down by a persistent pain spreading from my behind. God, this was the worst. He’d fucked me raw in this damn ice cream truck, and then abandoned me as soon as his friends showed up. Was that what friends did to each other? Because apparently, that was what I was to Eren. A friend. What a fucking joke. A humorless snort escaped me, only to be swallowed by a fresh set of pathetic sobs. In this moment, I just wished I could hurt him back. Just like he'd hurt me. He’d messed me up real good, and now I’d had enough. I was done. If someone had told me Eren would ever betray me like that, I’d have laughed at them. Or decked that person in the face. And now? Now the joke was on me. And that was when I realized that there was nothing he could possibly do or say to get me back. No apology he could use. Maybe I had my faults, and maybe I couldn’t hold a candle to him when it came to a lot of things, but this? Never, ever would I hurt him like this. And I just knew that nothing I’d done before would justify why I deserved to be treated like that. It was hard to believe everything he’d said to me was never meant to be serious, but maybe he just hadn’t known any better. Maybe he’d just wanted to believe all of this was real, just like I’d wanted to believe it. Well, it had been real for me. I’d have given my all for Eren, fought everything and everyone to be with him. Tonight had proven he didn’t feel the same about me. If the road got bumpy, I was the one who ended up under the wheels. Eren might like me, but the way he did wasn’t enough. We weren’t on the same page in regards to how we felt for each other, and I knew that now. Was all of this my fault? Was this life teaching me a lesson? Maybe I should have never gotten involved with someone who wasn’t out yet. It was so easy to promise someone the moon as long as nobody else knew about it. Now, when I thought about all the promises Eren had made to me, his eyes so fierce, I couldn’t believe he never really meant any of it. Maybe it was just wishful thinking, but I wanted to believe that in those moments, he’d really meant to come out; to be with me. It had been naïve to think it would be easy. Even he had underestimated the pressure that came with it, and now I was the one who had to deal with all the promises he couldn’t keep.   

            I fought the pain racing through my body and got up on wobbly legs. It took me a while to get dressed, but when I finally managed, I felt utterly exhausted from just this small task alone. Being in the ice cream truck, where I’d been with Eren just a few moments ago, didn’t exactly help my mental state either. I grabbed the ice cream box he’d opened earlier, the one he’d used to... My face grew unbearably hot, and I hated the reaction I had to merely thinking about Eren and how good he’d made me feel just before he’d stabbed me in the back. None of this would hurt this much if I wasn’t so madly in love with him. Shaking my head to chase the unwanted thoughts away, I put the ice cream into the cooler. Then I got to scrub the floor until it was squeaky clean, but not even my usual cleaning routine helped me to calm down this time around. I was still crying when I put the cleaning supplies away, and still crying when I got into the driver seat and headed for HQ to return the truck for the night. My vision was blurry. I knew I shouldn’t drive in this condition, but I needed to finish my job and get home. I needed to pull through. Just until I was home. I’d figure out everything else then. I just needed to make it through this night.


            After I’d spent an hour drifting in and out of conscience in the bathtub, I found myself beneath my covers without any knowledge of how I’d gotten there. My behind had been a bitch to clean up, and for a naïve second, I’d resolved to forbid Eren from ever going bare again. And then, I realized that none of this would ever happen again. Eren and me... It was over.

            I’d dragged myself from the bathtub and spent what felt like hours lying in bed, staring at the ceiling above me. Both my body and my mind were hopelessly exhausted, but sleep wouldn’t come to grant me relief. It was 1.34 a.m. in the morning when my phone went off beside me. As if in trance, I picked it up and checked the caller ID, only to have Eren’s stupidly gorgeous smile flash across the screen. In response, I went into shock. At least, that must have been what it was, considering my breathing went into respiratory distress.

            Why the hell was he calling me?

            Didn’t he realize what tonight had meant for us?

            And... Should I pick up?

            It was stupid to even consider the notion, but it wasn’t easy to deny the chance to talk one more time. There were so many things I wanted to tell him. But what would any of that change? After what he’d done tonight, I wouldn’t be with him anymore. I couldn’t. This was over, and nothing he did or said would change that. I pressed “decline” and shoved the phone under my pillow. God, this was torture. I was fighting with myself, even though I shouldn’t be. I hated myself for wanting to hear his voice just one more time, even if it would shatter me to pieces. But if he really didn’t know that tonight’s events had been the death sentence for us, I needed to tell him. He’d not quit calling me if I didn’t. Dammit, that idiot had to know what he’d done. He had to know what this meant. Just then, the phone went off again. What was I supposed to do? I just wanted to deal with the mess that was left of me and get back on my feet, but how would I be able to do that if he kept contacting me?

            I fished out the phone and before I knew it, I’d answered the call.

            “Levi? Levi, is that you? Oh, thank god.”

            His voice sounded stressed and maybe just as exhausted as mine. There was silence in the background so I guessed he was home by now. Alone.

            “Levi? Please... Talk to me?”

            Oh god, why did he sound so broken? He had no right to. Not when he’d been the one holding all the cards.

            Talking to someone had never been this hard. Simply forming a reply demanded all the strength I had left.

            “Have you explained everything to your friends?”

            “Oh, you’re here! You’re speaking... To me. After what I’ve done. Damn, Levi, please listen... I-I fucked up. Big time. I don’t even know what I can do or say to make this up to you, but I am so sorry. I didn’t know what I was doing, and I just wanted to explain everything to my friends. I’m so sorry... For leaving you back there. I should have never done that, but I... I just panicked. I cracked. And with the way the whole situation was escalating, I thought it would be best to take them away and give them what they wanted. I am the worst boyfriend ever, aren’t I? Please... Tell me what I can do to earn your forgiveness?”

            No. No, no, no. Please no.

            I felt the tears coming before they reached my eyes. I could try to force them down, but by now, I knew the attempt would be in vain. I wanted nothing more than to be strong and end this like an adult, but when he said those things to me... It was so hard to go through with it. I blinked the tears away to the best of my ability and took a deep breath before I answered.

            “Sure, Eren, I’ll tell you what you can do.”

            “Yes? Tell me. I’ll do anything.”

            “The answer is nothing. You hear me? There is absolutely nothing you can do to make this right again. I’m glad you managed to realize on your own how badly you’ve fucked up tonight, because I wouldn’t want to be the one to tell you why I’m doing this.”

            “Do what, Levi?”

            His voice was filled with terror. Fear. If only he knew how much this was hurting me, but I couldn’t be gentle with him. I couldn’t make this easy. I knew I’d never be able to let him go if I did.

            “Eren...” Was I really going to do this? I could still back out. I could still accept his apology and be with him. “I...”

            The possibility was so close that I could taste its sweet flavor on my tongue, and it would be so easy to give in. Just tell him I forgave him for leaving me behind when I needed him the most, just swallow the pain and hide the scars, because that would get me him, right?


            Wrong. I just needed to pay attention to my feelings to know the answer. My trust in Eren, everything we’d built over the past weeks... It was broken. Gone. All he’d had to do was stand by me, to choose me. If I forgave him now, what would happen? He’d already decided to deny our relationship—to deny me—in front of his closest friends, what would happen when the time came to out himself to his parents? To the entire school? It wasn’t worth the risk of getting hurt, again. He wasn’t worthy of my trust. Not anymore. One moment he told me he loved me and wanted to be with me forever, the next I was just a friend. I didn’t want to be with someone like that. I loved Eren, more than anything or anyone, but I couldn’t have this relationship with him. I was far from perfect, but I deserved better than this. Which didn’t mean that realizing that fact was not ripping me to pieces, no matter how right it may be.

            “It’s over. This friendship, like you called it, it’s done. I’ll tell you one thing, just so you know. Nobody has ever hurt me the way you hurt me tonight, Eren. I’d have expected rejection from anyone, from every single person on this entire damn planet, but not from you. Not from you. I know what you’re going through right now, believe me, I do. I know how hard it is to come out. But I refuse to be collateral damage in this war of yours. If you can’t stand by me through all of this, then you’re not ready to have this relationship.”

            I was breathing hard by the time I finished, battling the tears that kept falling relentlessly. I wished I could just end the call and be done with this.    

            The line stayed quiet for a few moments. I checked my phone to see if it was still connected. And then, Eren began to cry. First softly, as if he was trying to hold back, and then he gave up and simply sobbed through the speaker. What was left of my heart broke right then.

            “L-Levi,” Eren sobbed, “I-I k-know I messed u-up... I-I don’t deserve you... B-But if you give me j-just one more chance, I p-promise I’m going to d-do right by you. I love you. I love you m-more than anything, p-please... Believe me.”

            I wiped my own tears away, but when I answered this time, the tremble in my voice gave them away. I didn’t care. There was no way I’d survive this conversation without crying over what I was losing.

            “Oh Eren, I did. Don’t you see that? I did believe you. With everything I had, I believed you, but you threw that away the first chance you got. I can’t... I can’t be with you. Not anymore. Tonight’s been proof enough for me to know that.”

            “P-Please... Don’t d-do this. I c-can make this right again, I promise. I-I can earn your trust back, and if it’s the last thing I do. J-Just give me the chance to, I-I beg you.”

            “Eren, let’s be honest. We are going back to school soon. It’s going to happen again. Somehow, someway, someone will notice. It can be just a simple look and people will know. There’s no way we can hide forever, and I don’t want to. I can’t live like this, always being cautious; always holding back; always pretending there’s nothing going on between us. I thought I could. If it’s you... I thought just being with you would be enough. But now I know it’s not. I don’t want to change you, Eren, or force you to do something you’re not ready for. You should come out on your own terms, and it shouldn’t be because of me or anyone else. And that’s why we’re stopping this, right here, while there’s still time. While it's still summer.”

            “No...” Eren whispered. “I don’t want to stop. I don’t want to give you up, please... I can fix this. G-Give me the chance to, Levi, please, I-”

            “No, I can’t. I won’t. I won’t stick to the sidelines and have you introduce me as your friend ever again.”

            “L-Levi... Please. I... I love you.”

            “Sometimes, that’s not enough.”

            “It can be. Please, just... Let me see you. I can drive over right now, just give me one chance to apologize in person. I just... I need to see you.”

            Good god. Of course he had to go there, as if he knew how damn weak I was to that suggestion. Seeing Eren right now... Just looking at him, being alone with him, just one last time... No. I couldn’t allow that. I wasn’t too proud to admit I’d cave in as soon as my eyes met those beautiful greens. My resolve would be rendered useless with a mere touch from him, and we both knew that. Doing this was hard enough as it was, meeting him on top of it all was sure to break me beyond repair.

            “No, Eren. There’s nothing to talk about. Please just... Don’t make this any harder than it already is. I’ve made my decision and... Nothing you say can change that. I’m sorry.”

            “No, Levi, don't do this. Please, I... I can't lose you.”

            "You already have."


            “Goodbye, Eren.”

            I dropped the phone on my mattress and stared at it as if it was a foreign object. I’d really done it, hadn’t I? I’d broken up with Eren. There was no going back now. Even though I knew it was the right thing to do, I’d never felt so empty. If this was so right, why did it feel so wrong? Wasn’t Eren the one who’d fucked this up? Why was I the one who hurt so damn much?

            I’d held my own while talking to him on the phone, but now, in the silence of my room, everything became so painfully real. I’d loved and lost my first boyfriend, and now we were over. All the strength and confidence I’d displayed while talking to him began to bleed out of me, drop by drop, until there was nothing left. Nothing but the pain of losing the one person I loved the most. I buried my face in the pillow and just let go. I let out all the tears, the screams, the pain. I shuddered and convulsed with sobs until my muscles were hurting with exertion. Until I didn’t know if I would ever stop crying again. Do you know how people who are about to take their last breath say they see their life flash before their eyes? Well, that was what happened to me, only that what I was seeing was every gentle touch, every whispered word, every sweet moment this summer had given me.

            I had no idea how long I laid there, sobbing and clutching at my heart as if I could make all the pain stop just by holding it, but at some point, I must have fallen into an exhausted sleep. When I woke up the next day, the sun was already high in the sky, and my room was immersed in shades of gold. I sat up, feeling as if I’d aged at least fifty years overnight. My whole body ached as if I’d run a marathon and broken down somewhere in the middle of it, nobody caring enough to pick me up and deciding to just run me over instead. I stared out the window—at people who were out and about with their dogs and kids, at couples who were walking down the street holding hands—and wondered how the fuck the world could just run its usual course while I felt like blinking out of existence here inside my tiny room.

This was it, wasn’t it? Today was day one after Eren, and I had no fucking idea how I’d be able to make it through one, much less all the others that came after.


Chapter Text

“Eren! Can you just stop for a second and explain what the hell I just saw? Who is this? Why are you with him and what the fuck were you doing inside that truck?”

              Mikasa shot question after question at me while I was half-running down the street. Why was I running? Because if I didn’t, I’d turn on my heel and go straight back to that ice cream truck. Back to Levi.

              "Eren! I said stop!”

              I wheeled around and stared at her, my breathing erratic. The blood was rushing in my ears and everything she said felt like it was coming from miles away with the way my heart was throbbing through my body. If only I could grasp one of the emotions exploding through me right now—just one—so I knew where to start dealing with this meltdown. Thousands of different things were speeding through me at a mind-numbing pace and for a second, I felt the urge to scream, just to release some of the pressure stringing me tight.

              Mikasa took a step closer to me and without realizing it, I backed away.

              "Eren? Eren, are you even listening to me?”

              "Mikasa, please! Can you just please be quiet for one minute?”

              My hand flew to my mouth, my eyes bulging. Why was I screaming? Just why the hell was I screaming at my best friend? I gaped at her through glassy eyes and found her looking just as stunned as I felt.

              "God... Shit... I-I’m sorry, I don’t know why I d-did that...”

              How did standing on two feet work again? How did breathing work again?

              My gaze fluttered to the direction we ’d come from. I might have not known what to do, but what I did know was that I needed to go back. I’d made a terrible mistake, but maybe it wasn’t too late to fix my mess.

              "I...” I began, voice brittle. “I need to go back.”

              They were my best friends and they deserved an explanation, but Levi... Levi was my everything. I couldn ’t leave him back there; he was the one I needed to be with right now. My mind made up, I began hurrying back towards the truck, but was stopped in my tracks when a strong hand wrapped around my arm and pulled me back.

              "You’re not going anywhere,” Mikasa said. Her tone brooked no argument. “Not until you explain what happened while we were away.”

              I stood there, my mind pinwheeling around itself and yet not offering a single idea what to do. What I wanted to do was leave. Just go back to Levi and deal with whatever storm was brewing on the horizon tomorrow. But when I looked at them, their eyes big and confused and so vulnerable, I knew I couldn ’t just leave them here like this. All they did was care for me. I couldn’t leave them in the dark about what was probably the most important event of my life. I couldn’t disappoint them like this.

              There was this evil, little voice in my head, whispering ‘but you did it to Levi, didn’t you?’ and just hearing the bitter truth made me want to throw away my decision to stay and go back after all. I slipped my hands into my hair and pulled on the strands, as if the pain would somehow make this any easier.

              "Eren.” Armin stepped in front of me, his hands reaching for mine, guiding them out of my hair and holding them tight in his own.

              "Hey,” he whispered softly, taking a step closer and searching my eyes. “What is it? You can tell us, you know that. I’ve never seen you this upset before, and it’s driving me crazy right now. Can you tell us what happened? Please.”

              “Fine,” I finally conceded. I could at least clear up one mess tonight. I just hoped Levi would understand the current situation and accept my apology later.

              “Come on,” Armin said, linking his fingers with mine and pulling me down the street. My mind was reeling too much to pay attention to where we were headed, so I just followed them through the neighborhood. Fifteen minutes later, a huge blinking sign came into view. The Trost Diner. It didn’t really matter to me where we’d have our talk, as long as it wasn’t in the middle of the street. As we went to the entrance, I was relived we weren’t doing it at my place, either. There were too many memories of Levi and me in that house, and recounting everything that had happened over the course of the summer would rekindle all of them.

              We passed the tables by the door, Armin leading me to the very back. Finally, we sat down in the worn red seats, Armin and Mikasa across from me. A platinum blonde waitress appeared a few moments later, pulling a notepad from her apron and giving us a bright smile.

              “What can I get you guys?”

              “Coffee, please,” Mikasa said.

              “I’ll take a strawberry milkshake,” Armin said.

              The waitress noted their orders and looked at me. It took me a few seconds to realize she were waiting for my order and then I began to stutter like an idiot. “Uhm, I... I...”

              It was just a stupid order, for god’s sake, and yet here I was, incapable of focusing on the easy task of what the hell I wanted to drink. It was a prime example of just how messed up I was after everything that had happened in the past thirty minutes.

              Thankfully, Armin decided to save me from my misery by chiming in. “He’ll have a chocolate milkshake.”

              The waitress threw me a mildly worried look and for a moment, I thought she’d ask if I was okay, to which I’d have probably broken out in tears. But she just nodded, put the order on her notepad and turned around to get our drinks.

              I leaned back into the cushioned bench and wished I could just disappear into the fabric. What I needed to do was get a grip on myself and put my head into this conversation. This was my chance to come clean about everything that had happened between Levi and me, along with where we currently stood with each other. It didn’t matter how bad I wanted to get out of the diner and run for my boyfriend, now I was here and had to set this straight.

              My friends gave me a few moments to gather my thoughts. When I thought I was ready to start, our drinks came and I was glad to have at least a milkshake to help me through this. Playing around with the pink-and-white colored straw that came with it, creating small twirls in the liquid and watching them dissipate somehow had a soothing effect on me.

              I sipped on the creamy shake and allowed myself a moment to relish the chocolaty taste on my tongue before I got down to action.

              “Okay, so...” I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. When I re-opened them, I found two sets of eyes looking straight at me, ready to listen to my every word. That alone was enough to make my nerves rear once again, but I forced them down and continued to speak. “The guy you’ve seen back there in the truck with me... His name is Levi. The reason we were inside that truck is because he’s working it over the summer. That’s how we met. It was a few weeks ago, on the day my parents left for vacation.”

              Images of the time I first met Levi inside the tiny ice cream truck, wearing this adorable sailor uniform of his, flashed through my mind. Just remembering those sweet first days was enough to make my feelings for Levi flare with a vengeance. It was surprisingly hard not to tell my friends about every tiny little thing in meticulous detail; to share everything I loved about him, just so they’d understand how much he meant to me. So they could see him the way I saw him, because then they’d know why it was a sheer impossibility not to fall for him.

              “When I saw him,” I continued quietly, “Something changed. From the first moment, I realized he was different. Different than anyone I’ve ever met. He had this special air about him... it’s difficult to describe but I guess it’s like a special attraction, you know? No matter how much you try to defy it or how often you tell yourself it’s all in your head, it won’t fade. Not until you decide to stop fighting it. I found myself wanting to see him, talk to him, just be close to him every chance I got. At first, I was trying to make myself believe that he was just someone new and exciting to get to know since I was by myself all the time. But the more time I spent with him, the more I realized it wasn’t the charm of novelty about him, but him as a person. I wanted to get to know him, find out everything there is to know, not matter how small or inconsequential... So I made that decision. I decided to stop resisting. I let it happen, and after that, everything moved so fast. As soon as I opened myself up to all these feelings, I fell for him, every day a little more.” I smiled softly, utterly caught up in my thoughts. Speaking about everything I felt for Levi felt surprisingly liberating and with every word that left my lips, I realized how true each one of them was. I took a sip from my milkshake, not daring to look up and meet Mikasa or Armin’s eyes. I was too scared I’d lose my courage if I did. So instead, I fixed my gaze on the straw and continued.

              “I told him about my feelings and asked him out on a date. God, my heart was pounding so hard when I did. When he agreed, I thought I’d ascend straight to heaven and thank god for granting me this much.” I laughed at how sentimental that sounded and wiped at my eyes. “We had dinner at my place. It was so romantic; you should have seen it. I cooked! Me! And I put out candles and held his hand. It was... perfect. Just like I imagined my first date to be. He stayed over that night and we... we...” I trailed off, flushing bright red. My reaction probably didn’t leave much to the imagination, but Mikasa still gasped. Her hand rushed over the table to grab mine, forcing my eyes to snap up to hers.

              “Eren, you... You... You’ve gone all the way with him?”

              Averting my gaze, I stared down at where my hand was intertwined with hers and squeezed it tight. “Yes. Yes, I did. More than once.”

              She pulled her hand away and fell back against the cushion, her eyes darting around in search of what to say. Armin sat there, gazing at me intently without saying anything.

              “Wow...” Mikasa breathed. “I... I don’t know what to say... What about Annie? I thought you were going to ask her out this year?”

              “I thought I liked her like that. But... Meeting Levi put everything into perspective. The way I like her does not even compare to the way I like Levi, not in the slightest. I know now that what I thought I have with her is nothing more than friendship. Nothing but amicable feelings, and that’s all it is. That’s all it ever was.”

              There was a spark of something fluttering through Mikasa’s eyes at that, but it was gone too soon to decipher what it was.

              “So, you... like boys?”

              “Yes,” I admitted. It felt so liberating to say it out loud. “I think I’ve known for quite some time. It’s just that there hasn’t been anybody who made me act on it. Not until now. Not until Levi. He’s... We’re together. I’m serious about him.”

              I threaded my hands together in my lap and lifted my head to finally look properly at the both of them. Mikasa seemed to be deep in thought, her usually impassive face caught somewhere between incredulity and shock. It was the polar opposite to Armin, who gave me a gentle smile, his light blue eyes softer than I’d ever seen them before.

              “I’m so glad you finally told us, Eren.”

              A shiver ran down my spine and I trained my gaze on him, whispering, “You knew?”

              He propped his chin on his palm and nodded. “I had a feeling. You were subtle about it, but if someone who knows you like I know you pays close attention, it’s actually pretty obvious.”

              “Obvious?” Mikasa perked up. “Excuse me, but I know Eren just as well as you do, and I never noticed anything.”

              “That’s because you didn’t know how to look for the signs.”

              Her lips pressed into a tight line and she crossed her arms. “I can’t believe I didn’t know about something this important to you, Eren. Why didn’t you tell us sooner? Why... did we have to find out like this?”

              Her eyes welled up with tears, but she was quick to wipe them away, her accusatory gaze fixing on me. The hurt in it was obvious and sliced right through me.

              “I’m sorry,” I whispered. “I wasn’t one hundred percent sure whether I was gay and I figured I’d just see how it would develop. You weren’t there when I met Levi and I was so caught up in him that I didn’t think about telling you, or anyone else for that matter. It’s also not exactly something I’d want to do over the phone. I wanted to tell you as soon as you came back, but then you turned up tonight and caught us in the act and... I’m sorry. I never meant for you to find out like this. I’m so sorry.”

              My eyes burned with unshed tears. Three of the most important people in my life, and I’d managed to disappoint all of them in only one night.

              Somewhere at my periphery, I noticed Armin slipping out of his bench and coming over to sit next to me. His arm slid around my shoulders and hugged me tight to his side. Even though I knew I didn’t deserve his compassion, I greedily took it and let myself fall into his embrace. I hadn’t even known how much I needed the proximity until it was given to me and all I could do was hold onto it like a lifeline.

              “It’s okay, Eren,” Armin said, his cheek pressing against mine, “I can only imagine what you must be going through right now. Falling for a boy without being sure whether you like guys, being on the verge of coming out... I’m just glad you told us. I don’t want you to go through this alone. We’ll stand by you, Eren. Even if everything around you changes, our friendship never will.” 

              It was the last drop I needed in order to brim over with all the emotions that were struggling inside me. Burying my face in the crook of Armin’s neck, I began to cry softly, drenching his shirt with warm tears. He stroked my back and held me until the shudders slowly subsided.

              “I should have never left him there,” I whispered, a stray tear running down my cheek and dropping from my chin. “I should have stayed with him... But I just wanted to explain to you. I couldn’t just send you away after what happened.”

              Armin gave my arm a final squeeze before he turned in his seat and grabbed my shoulders, his eyes boring into mine. “Go back. Go back to him and explain. Go now.”

              My heart pounded inside my chest. I watched Armin with big eyes, my legs already on the verge of running out of the diner. But before I allowed them to carry me off, I glanced at Mikasa. She nodded at me.

              “Go,” she whispered.

              It was all the encouragement I needed. Jumping up from my seat, I looked at them one last time, mouthing a heart-felt ‘thank you’ before I rushed out the door and in the direction of the ice cream truck. I’d never run faster in my life. Every nerve inside my body was strung tight with anticipation and fear, but when I rounded the corner, my heart plummeted into nothingness. The truck was gone.

              I came closer, looking every which way as if it was playing hide and seek and I just had to look close enough to find it. I couldn’t believe it; wouldn’t believe it.

              Levi was gone. I was too late.

              No. I couldn’t give up yet. It was the middle of the night, so he’d probably returned the ice cream truck and gone home, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t still reach him. I started running again, this time for my house. My lungs were burning with every breath I took, but I wouldn’t slow down. When my house came into view, I doubled my pace and forced my legs to move faster. I almost broke down the door in my attempt to get inside, kicking off my shoes when I finally did and heading straight for my room. I plugged in my dead phone and waited for it to power up. The progress bar was daunting me, every second that went by making it harder to breathe.

              Please let him be awake.

              The device lit up to the lock screen and I quickly typed in my code, messing up twice before I finally got it right. 

              Please, Levi. Let us be okay.

              I went into my contacts and found his name, clicking it and putting the phone to my ear. When I heard the ringing sound, I bit into my fist and released a relieved sigh into it. His phone wasn’t turned off. There was still a chance he’d hear it and pick up to talk.

              Ring. Ring. Ring.

              It rang two more times before it cut off, going to voicemail. Damn! This night couldn’t be over until I talked to him. I wouldn’t allow this day to end like this.

              I took a deep breath, ignoring the tears of despair pricking my eyes and dialed his number again.

              Please, Levi. Please pick up.

I repeated the same phrase over and over again, like a mantra. Like a prayer I hoped would reach him, even if he was miles away.

              On the very last ring, the line clicked and I knew it had connected. I sent a silent prayer of thanks to whatever deity might hear while I listened to Levi’s soft breathing on the other end of the line.

              “Levi?” I whispered, barely audible. “Levi, is that you? Oh, thank god.”


⤜ ⤛


“Hello? Still alive in there?”

              A small foot poked my side, making me groan at the unpleasant sensation.

              “Go away.”

              “Lovely,” Mikasa huffed. Seeing as I was currently wrapped in the thickest blanket cocoon the world had ever seen (and in the process of suffocating myself with it), I couldn’t see the expression she made. If I had to guess though, I was pretty sure she was crossing her arms and glaring at the blanket wrap, as if that was enough to make me come out and face anyone.

              “Come on, Eren. It’s been a week. This is not like you at all,” Mikasa continued in this tone of hers that was caught somewhere between annoyance and worry.

              “Well, I want to see you losing the love of your life and acting just like your usual self, Mikasa,” I groaned into the direction I suspected her to be in.

              Mikasa harrumphed, but stayed quiet otherwise.

              “Well, at least he’s talking. A bit,” Armin interjected.

              Yeah right, and wasn’t that an improvement?

              For the first five days after that day, after the phone call, and after knowing I’d lost Levi for good, I didn’t speak. Not one single word to anybody, not even to Zeke. All I wanted to do was sleep and only wake up when Levi would be the one to kiss me awake. How I was feeling right now… I had no idea how long I’d be able to go on like this. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t even get up and leave this damn bed. Not even the times I dozed off from sleep loss and exhaustion offered any reprieve, as I’d always, always dream about him. I could watch the goriest horror movies in existence just before I went to sleep, but even the residual images and sinister feelings they left me with weren’t enough to chase him out of my dreams. At first, I was sure this was life granting me a last thread of luck. If I couldn’t be with him during the day, I could at least see him when I closed my eyes, right? The fact that none of it was real did nothing to diminish the beauty of it. I could touch him, smell him, taste him. I could make a silly joke and hear his wonderful laugh in return. I could kiss him and watch his cheeks dust this drop-dead gorgeous shade of pink I loved so much. Feel his skin grow warm beneath my fingertips, his body searching mine as if by chance.

              Yes, it was beautiful and it was a buoy of happiness I clung to, despite knowing it was nothing more than an illusion. One that was gone as soon as I opened my eyes to find myself back in what was now my reality—a world without Levi. 

              And I was responsible for it. All of it was my fault. How often had I wanted to call or text him ever since he’d called it off? Far too often to count. Even if I managed to pick up the phone, what would I tell him? I’m sorry for breaking your heart? Forgive me for betraying your trust? Please give me another chance?

              I had no right to ask him for anything. He could treat me as if I didn’t exist for the rest of our lives and it would be just what I deserved. I might not be the type to give up on somebody he loved without putting up one hell of a fight, but now... I felt worthless and ashamed. I wanted to fight for Levi because I knew nobody would ever love him like I did, but was that even true? What I wanted was for him to be happy. There had been a time when I was certain I’d be the one to make him happy, but now? I wasn’t so sure anymore. I’d hurt him in a way I wouldn’t be able to take back, and even if I never meant to, it didn’t change the fact that I had. It hurt so much to consider, but maybe I wasn’t the right one for Levi. Now that I knew him, I knew that what he deserved was the best. Someone who’d lay his entire world at his feet.

              Was that what I had done?


              I’d left him naked and stranded after fucking him in public. That was what I’d done. God, I wanted to die. Nothing more. I wanted someone to walk through the door and punch me into the ground. I’d always thought of myself as a decent person, but the way I’d treated Levi, someone I loved with all my heart, said something entirely different about me. That I’d been capable of doing this to him led me to doubt everything I thought I knew about myself. He’d told me I wasn’t ready to have a relationship with him. I was starting to think that maybe, he was right. Maybe I wasn’t ready to be anyone’s boyfriend. It hurt me so much that Levi had to be the one to find out first hand. His family was putting him through hell and back, what he didn’t need was a boyfriend who abandoned him when he needed him. Just like I’d done.

              “Mikasa,” I groaned into the blanket, hoping she’d be able to hear me through two miles of fabric, “Will you knock me out cold for the next year? Please?”

              “Eren, that’s the sixth time you’ve asked me that and my answer is still the same. No, I won’t knock you out, especially not for an entire year. Why? Because you wouldn’t be out cold, you would be dead.”

              “That’s the plan,” I said.

              I thought about Levi and how much I wanted to have him here inside the blankets with me, calling me a sappy idiot even while he snuggled into my chest and placed dozens of little kisses to the underside of my jaw. Fresh tears began to sting my eyes and I did nothing to stop them. I’d learned long ago that fighting them would only prolong the crying fit, which I neither wanted nor had the strength for. At least the blankets muffled my sobs, which was why I didn’t mind that I didn’t get nearly enough air to breathe. Suddenly, someone began to pull on the blankets, ripping them away from me. I tried holding on, but the attempt was pathetic at best and soon enough, I was surrounded by sunlight and my best friends’ teary-eyed faces. All it took was one look at them and then they were on me. Armin pulled me into his arms, Mikasa wrapping us both in a tight hug as I began to cry in earnest. Burying my face in the crook of Armin’s neck, I cried until my tear glands threw in the towel and my body shuddered with dry heaves. Until my friends were the only ones who held me upright. 

              “Eren, look at me,” Armin said, his hands cupping my face and coercing me to meet his fierce blue eyes. It was then that I realized he was crying as well, yet his voice was strong and unwavering when he said, “This is not the end, you hear me? You are Eren Jeager, the most persistent hothead I know. Curling up in a mountain of blankets and crying over the mess you’ve made is not who you are. You don’t give up. It’s not in your nature. Yes, you made a mistake. You’ve driven Levi away, but this is not the point where you’re stopping. This is the point where you get back up on your feet, even if it hurts, and fight for the guy you love.”

              I stared at him, lost and torn. His words resonated with something I’d thought to be dead and buried when Levi told me we were over; something I’d given up on when I realized I wasn’t worthy of being his boyfriend. It was the faith that had made me confess to Levi in the first place; the belief to be the right one for Levi. Even if it was hard to imagine at this point, maybe I could still be the one for him. Maybe I was still that person who loved Levi more than anyone else ever could, and maybe I wasn’t supposed to let him go. Not as long as I hadn’t tried everything in my power to win him back. If there was still a chance, a tiny little chance that he wanted me, I had to fight. He had to know how much I regretted my mistake and how badly I wanted him back at my side. My chest was inflating with this stupid little thing called hope, but when I realized how much and how fast I was clinging to it, I began to hesitate.

              As soon as the spark had come, it was gone again. I dropped back onto the bed and instead of taking the initiative and fight, like Armin had suggested, I teared up again. It might be true that I was a fighter at heart, but even my fighting spirit knew when I had fucked up so bad that there was nothing left to fight for. This wasn’t even an uphill battle, there was no battle. Levi had told me to accept his decision. Shouldn’t it be my last sign of respect towards him to do what he’d asked of me? I didn’t want to hurt him more than I already had and chasing him when he didn’t want me to was nothing but selfish. Maybe I should just stay away and let him get on with his life. It was his right to end things after what I’d done to him, and if I tried to win him back, I’d probably only hurt him again. I’d keep him from moving on from... me.

              “Or...” Mikasa began, “Maybe it’s better this way. I’m not saying what you did to Levi is okay. But let’s be honest, he’s right. You had the chance to stand by him, but you—be it impulsive or not—decided not to. Isn’t that a sign? I mean, imagine coming out to everyone you know, to your family and all the people at school... Maybe it’s too soon. This is a huge step and it will change everything. Maybe you ought to give yourself more time. I’m not stupid. I can see how much you love this boy. But I just want what’s best for you, Eren. I want to protect you from everything that could hurt you and I can’t help feeling that this relationship is one of those things.”

              I stayed quiet while I contemplated her words; words I’d turned over and dissected in my head ever since the phone call I had with Levi. Was it too soon? Coming out was a daunting thing and I was scared about everything that would come after. But it would be daunting next year, and it would be daunting in ten years. The truth was that I was gay and that I was in love with Levi and wanted to be with him, no matter what. Keeping the truth to myself felt like lying, not only to myself but everyone around me. It was like keeping a secret that would tear me apart piece by piece, every day a bit more, until there was nothing left. Even facing everything that came along with it, I knew I couldn’t keep this to myself. I wanted people to know about me. Deep down, I knew I’d made that decision long ago; on the back of my truck when I promised Levi I was ready. Despite how I behaved tonight, I was ready. And I would prove it.

              “I know you want to protect me, Mikasa. And I know coming out is going to change my life, but that’s what I want. I want to be honest, and this is what it means to be honest. I don’t want to keep this to myself anymore. This is what I am, and if people don’t accept me, so be it. At least I won’t have to carry the burden of lying to everyone around me. I’ve made my decision to come out quite some time ago and that won’t change.”

              Mikasa looked at me intently and for a moment, I thought she’d object. Luckily, she knew me well enough to understand I was dead serious. She knew better than to argue with me when my mind was set on something.

              Replaying my words in my head made my throat constrict again. I knew I wanted to come out, I’d made my decision, so why didn’t I stand by Levi when I was confronted with it? Because I’d been stupid and overwhelmed, and now I’d hurt the one person I never wanted to hurt.

              Armin and Mikasa exchanged a look as I sat there, lips quivering, shoulders trembling. When I grabbed a frilly blue pillow and starting crying into it, Mikasa took a deep breath and sat by my feet, patting my knee, while Armin leaned in to rub soothing circles on my back.

              “Maybe we should start with something easy?” Armin mused.

              “Like?” Mikasa asked. Her voice sounded defeated, as if she couldn’t fathom what to do next.

              “Like going out, for example,” Armin continued. “I hate to break it to you, Eren, but summer won’t last forever. You have to go out at some point. Plus, a change of scenery is just what you need right now. It doesn’t have to be something overly crowded... Let’s see... How about Rose Café? You love their Chai Latte frappés!”

              I did love their Chai Latte frappés, but that didn’t mean I could imagine getting up and dressed, let alone leaving the safety of my own four walls and heading out to be around actual people.

              I shook my head. “No, I’m really not in the mood to go out.”

              “Come on!” Armin continued, “Just for a bit. One hour. All I’m asking for is one hour. We’ll have a nice walk there, then get delicious frappes and enjoy the nice weather outside. It’s the best way to get some distraction.”

              That did the trick, kind of. Distraction... I was longing for it. All I wanted was something that would take my mind off the pain, even if it was just for a little bit, and allow me to breathe again.

              Armin caught up on my piqued interest and slid his arm around my shoulders. “It’s going to be great, you’ll see! Let’s get out for a bit, okay? We can always come back if it gets too much. I promise neither of us will force you to stay.”

              Okay, that actually sounded... nice. I could always come back if I felt like breaking out in tears again, and even if I couldn’t imagine anything being able to numb the pain I was going through, maybe it would at least help with it. For today.

              “Okay...” I said quietly, wiping my tears on the already wet pillow.

              Armin bumped his fist in the air and squeezed me once more before he got up and opened the door to the small en-suite bathroom. I got to my feet, wobbling briefly due to being unaccustomed to standing on two legs again, but caught myself and straightened my back. Once I’d passed the door and began to gingerly strip out of my overused clothes, Armin joined me and held up a brown paper-wrapped package that smelled of mint and fuchsia.

              “I got you something,” Armin smiled.

              I took the small package and turned it around. As soon as I read the brand name printed on the front, my eyes teared up again. It was hard to believe there was still any tear fluid left by now.

              It was from Lush.

              “Hey, you okay?” Armin asked uncertainly. “You mentioned you’d become obsessed with their stuff recently, so I thought you’d like it.”

              Yeah, I had become obsessed with their stuff. What neither Armin nor Mikasa knew was the reason why. A vivid memory of Levi in the bathtub bloomed in my mind, smiling over a dissolving bath bomb, catching the multi-colored foam in his hands only to blow it in my face and laugh at my stunned expression.

              I held the package to my chest and closed my eyes, cherishing the memory.

              “Thank you, Armin,” I whispered. “This means so much.”

Chapter Text


I shifted slightly, ignoring the pain in my chest and wrapping the blanket tighter around myself. All I ever did these days was feel cold. It had taken a few miserable days to realize that neither layering sweaters nor a dozen blankets could chase that feeling away. A few miserable days to realize the cold did not come from an external source, but from the inside. From me, and I had yet to figure out how to get rid of something that seemed to spread from deep within. Peeking out from under the blanket, my bleary eyes fluttered to the window, noticing the soft golds and purples of dawn beneath the drawn curtains. Another night had passed.  

              Somewhere along the way, I’d lost track of time. It could have been day, night, morning, evening—I wouldn’t have known. Neither would I have cared. My body had decided to quit service. The wide array of bodily functions I usually called my own was now reduced to two things: breathing and crying. Little of the first, lots of the latter. I was so sick of it, all I wanted was to be done, for fuck’s sake. If a genie were to appear in front of me right now, I’d only ask them to make it stop. To make the pain go away, to feel okay again. I should know better than to believe I could get over Eren in a few measly days, but heavens, did I want to. How often had I tried to stupidly convince myself I hadn’t really fallen that hard for Eren? That I’d only talked myself into believing what I felt for him was love, just because I was desperately grasping for any straw that would make this easier? If I’d only imagined the intensity of those feelings from the start, it would be so much easier to let go. It would be just a summer fling, right?  

              If only I’d accomplished persuading myself that none of it had been real. If only one of these lame pretenses had been good enough to convince me, because even if I promised I’d never forget this summer, I’d reached a point where I was up to anything just to be able to breathe again. Losing him felt like a hand around my neck, squeezing tight on bad days and suffocating me on worse. How could I make it through this if I was too weak to fight? If I was too hurt to heal? Would time tell? Because it sure as hell looked like all that 'time heals all wounds' crap didn’t work on me.  

              Turning my head, I buried my face in the soft fabric of my pillow and huffed into it in defeat. Almost unconsciously, my hand wandered down my upper body, slipping under the hem of my shirt and the waistband of my sweats.

              There it was. The skin was smooth beneath my fingertips and yet still, I could feel it as if it was not in my skin but on it, just waiting to be touched. I knew the tattoo’s design by heart now, knew where I needed to put my finger to trace the wing’s delicate outline. Despite the hopelessness of my situation, an involuntary smile found its way on my lips, even while my eyes were brimming with fresh tears. 

              I hated it. I loved it. I wanted to scratch the ink off my skin just as much as I wanted to guard it from any exposure that might cause it to tarnish.

              God. I was so pathetic. 

              I cried silently, even while there was no one around to see or hear me. Nobody who lived in this apartment cared anyway. They were probably clinking glasses over my loss. After all, it was just what they wanted and now they had gotten it. The thought alone irked me to no end.

              At some point, I must have slipped into a restless sleep, because the next thing I knew was that I woke with a jolt when the door to my room opened. Something akin to curiosity began to stir in me, but died down soon enough. Whoever it was, I didn’t care enough to move. I just wanted them to leave, so it was probably best to pretend I was still asleep.

              “Levi?” My stomach unclenched a little when I recognized my best friend’s gentle voice. “Levi, are you asleep?”

              It was my chance to avoid conversation and knowing Isabel, she was giving it willingly. All I wanted was to be alone, but then I stirred and threw a look over my shoulder without meaning to. Maybe I did need company more than I wanted to admit.

              “Hey,” she said quietly as she sat down on my bed. A moment later, her hand slipped into my hair and brushed a few stray strands out of my tear-streaked face. “How are you feeling?”

              I shrugged and turned away, even though hiding from her was futile.  That night when everything had fallen apart in the blink of an eye, she’d seen me at my worst. At my all time low. She’d picked up all the things I’d thrown around when I'd run riot through my room, held me when I screamed, broke down with me when I cried. She’d called Farlan, who had put me to bed and held my hand while I cried myself to sleep; who had stayed the night sitting on the floor just to avoid letting go of my hand, face buried in the sheets, hair a blonde mess on top of his head. Since then, the two of them had come by every day, trying to help me pick up the pieces.

              “Like shit,” I whispered, voice rough and almost unrecognizable.

              A large hand gave my shoulder a soft squeeze, followed by a quiet “hey”. Farlan was with her and I was glad for it. They were the only people I could fathom having close to me right now. I’d always thought that I was the type who’d suffer through heartbreak alone, but as it turned out, I wasn’t. At least not entirely. Who knew what would’ve happened to me if it weren’t for them. They’d been the one constant I held onto as everything else twisted and turned before starting to spin out of control for good.

              The bed dipped with an additional weight and then there was a hand massaging slow circles into the hard skin on my neck. A small sigh left my lips. I wanted to lean into it and drift back to sleep, but it seemed as if my friends had other plans.

              “Do you know what day it is today?” Isabel asked, fingers still combing through my barely clean hair.

              I gave a resigned half-shrug. Did it matter? I had nothing to do anyway, no one to meet. Why would I care what day, month or year it was? Fall would come around eventually and then I’d have to get up, put on a brave face and act like a well-functioning human being. Just thinking about that made me want to cry again. To my luck, fall wasn’t here, not yet. For the moment, it was still summer. All I had to do was breathe in and breathe out, nothing else. Just breathe.

              “It’s Friday, Levi. You know what that means?” Isabel asked quietly. 

              “It means it’s been a week. An entire week you’ve spent in this bed, Levi,” Farlan answered for me. “Don’t you think it’s time to... you know, think about moving on?” 

              “Farlan!” Isabel hissed. “Don’t be such an insensitive ass! Never mind him, Levi. He just doesn’t know what to do without you.” 

              “Well, excuse me! Somebody has to say it!” Farlan shot back, “It’s our job to make sure he gets through this alive and spending all day in bed to wallow in the pain won’t solve anything. It will not get better like this, Levi, I know it won’t. You need a distraction. Something to get your mind off this asshole.”

              Maybe he was right. Maybe he wasn’t. I couldn’t imagine a single thing that would make things easier, let alone better. And I was not saying that because I had tried whatever came to mind, but because I didn’t know where I’d possibly take the strength to get up and pretend I was ready to operate.

              I felt their eyes on me, so I grabbed the blanket and pulled it over my shoulder in a feeble attempt to hide away. “No, thanks.”

              Farlan sighed. “Fine. Your call, but then let me at least draw you a bath.”  

              A bath... how I used to love those. My go-to ritual to relax and recharge, to let go of all the tension and the doubts and the insecurities. As well as something I’d shared with him. He’d done it for me, so often that he started to love it just as much as I did, probably because it was another thing we did together. After all the wild love that had lasted for what felt like hours, that was what we’d do, just slide into a tub filled with warmth and soap bubbles and lie in each other’s arms, sharing little kisses and tender touches every second of it. It was another opportunity to be close, another chance to touch and feel, only without the tint of desperation or the lick of urgency that accompanied every time we were intimate with each other. It was the contentment that came after, the sweet afterglow. The quiet moments in which everything became real and I noted how lucky I was to have been granted a summer like this and a boy like him. 

              Actually, I’d believed my heart to be either dead or numbed until well into next year, but thinking about him mapping my ribs with his thumbs and kissing the curve of my shoulder while I ran my fingers through the colored twirls and scented bubbles in the bath water was enough to convince me of the opposite. There had to be at least some small nerve tract alive somewhere in there, otherwise I wouldn’t feel this. This pain that was like a knife slicing through all of me like butter, reminding me that I had a long way to go before I was out of the woods.  

              “Yeah,” I mumbled, still not entirely ready to shake off the memory, “A bath would be nice.” 

              Both Farlan and Isabel gave a relieved sigh and I wondered if I was really in such dire need for a cleanup. It was funny actually, cleaning and everything connected to it was such an important part of me, yet I’d simply not cared about it since... that day. In light of what had happened, it had lost its significance. Which was probably why I didn’t really care that my hair was gross and my clothes were dirty. Now that my friends pointed it out to me, I realized that it was high time I got a much needed grip on myself and took care of a few basic human needs. 

              Farlan left my side and walked down the hallway, most likely to prepare my bath, while Isabel opened my wardrobe and went through neatly folded clothes and underwear ordered by color to get me something fresh to change into.  

              “It’s really nice outside today,” Isabel hummed as she took a t-shirt and eyed it before putting it back inside and continuing her search, “I was thinking that we should head out for a bit, enjoy the last bit of summer we have left, you know?“ 

              I turned around and pushed the blanket from my face to throw a suspicious glance at her, but she had turned away and was back to browsing through my clothes. How convenient. Apparently, they thought that if they mentioned it in passing without making a big deal out of it, I’d be more open to trade the dim solitude of my room for the bright summer sun beyond these four walls. Nice try, but I was far away from leaving my room anytime soon.  

              I opened my mouth to tell her that, but was interrupted by Farlan poking his head into the room, a delighted grin on his lips. “All done!” 

              He came to my side and reached out his hand. “Can you walk or do you want me to carry you?”  

              I snorted and glared at him. “I’m not an imbecile, even if I feel like one. I can walk just fine, thank you very much.”  

              Sitting up tore a pitiful groan from my throat, followed by a sharp sting shooting through my body. God, maybe I’d actually become impaired in some way. Didn’t some people swear true heartbreak was like an actual sickness?  

              “Looks like I am getting to carry you after all,” Farlan smirked, looking more than just a little pleased with himself. That bastard. I was not exactly keen on humoring him, but it seemed like I didn’t have much of a choice. Not if I wanted to get into that bathtub at some point within the next two years. I gave in with a huge sigh before reaching out my hands, impatiently wiggling my fingers at him.  

              “Don’t even act like you’re not dying to do this,” I remarked, “You’ve loved carrying me around since we were little.”  

              An indecipherable emotion crossed Farlan’s features at that, making me wonder if I’d said something wrong. But then his lips parted with a tender smile that seemed almost wistful.  

              “I can’t believe you remember that.” His smile grew wider and there was a tiny flicker of something passing through the intense blue of his eyes. The moment felt strangely intimate to me. Despite believing there was nothing about Farlan I didn’t know after fifteen years of being close friends, this was different. This felt like uncharted territory between us and I didn’t know what to make of that. 

              The moment passed and before I could dwell on it, Farlan’s arms slipped around my body and lifted me from the bed as if I weighed nothing at all.  

              “Up we go.” He grinned down at me and suddenly I became hyperaware of how tight he was holding me. I gulped and crossed my arms.  

              “Just get this over with, Far.” 

              We left my room and walked down the hallway. Instantly, I was distracted by the divine scent wafting from the open bathroom door. It was a mix of mint and magnolia, refreshing and sweet. If I was correct, it was the last bath bomb I had left in my stock.  

              My eyes drooped as I focused on the scent, relaxing with every step we took towards its source. When we reached the bathroom, where it was most intense, and I laid eyes on the bathtub filled to the brim with crystalline pink bubbles, I released a longing sigh. Blushing, I wiggled around to alert Farlan to my ascend from his embrace. He hesitantly gave in and put me on my feet.  

              “Thanks,” I said, lifting the rim of my shirt and slipping it over my head. I put it in the woven hamper in the corner and undid the ties at the front of my sweats. Farlan just stood there, a contemplative expression on his face as he watched me.  

              “Far? Thanks, I can take it from here.”  

              “Oh yes!” he seemed to snap out of a daze, his high cheekbones dusting a soft rosé. “I’ll just… Go. Yeah. I’ll go.” 

              He turned stiffly and headed out, pulling the door shut behind him. What had that been all about? Maybe it was my body. I’d lost weight during the past week and it was possible it was starting to show.  

              Deciding to avoid thinking about when I’d last eaten, I slipped out of my sweats and dipped a toe into the bathwater. A soft shudder raced down my spine. It was hot, almost too hot, but still within the bounds of being bearable. Just perfect.  

              I sank beneath the surface and closed my eyes, letting the enticing scent and soothing heat lull me into a sleepy haze. For the first time in a week did I feel a tiny bit more like myself.  

              I came to about twenty minutes later, the bathwater already beginning to cool. After washing my hair, I got out and wrapped myself in a fluffy towel before padding to the sink and brushing my teeth for the better part of ten minutes. I rinsed and washed my face before I looked at myself in the large mirror. The moment I met my eyes, I wished I hadn’t. I barely recognized this crestfallen boy as myself. There were heavy, dark bags under my eyes. The skin seemed almost translucent. My gaze dropped to my collarbones, which stood out in a sharp line. I gulped, brushing a finger across my pecs. At least the hot bath had returned a more natural color to my pale skin; a soft pink glow that was the only thing proving I was still alive and breathing. It was easy to tear my gaze away from the miserable reflection, because seeing me like this was only another reminder of what love had done to me. What entrusting my heart along with the promise to keep it safe had brought me. All I’d done was open up and now this was what was left; a thin, pale shadow who was stuck in his own head, trapped by all these hopeless feelings that had nowhere to go but refused to perish either.  

              I turned and retrieved my bathrobe from the cabinet, slipping into the terrycloth and returning to my room. I crossed the threshold and froze mid-step. This was my room? I could barely believe how badly I’d let my own space wither away. The smell of sweat and tears saturated the air. There were things strewn everywhere; used plates, snack wrappers, books, stained clothes. The carpet was dirty and so was the bed. It was dark, every last ray of light blocked out. Suddenly, I couldn’t fathom walking back in here and laying down in that bed, especially not now that I’d finally gathered the will to get up and bathe.  

              “I know,” Isabel whispered from behind me. “Don’t worry. We’re gonna make this right again, I promise.”  

              She passed by my unmoving form, her hands full with freshly washed sheets. Farlan was scurrying through the room as well, opening windows, picking up trash and clothes. They’d started cleaning my room while I’d been in the bathroom and the thoughtful action touched me much more than I thought possible. Only now, as I was watching how the mess in here made way to the cleanliness I was used to, did I realize how badly I needed this. How badly I needed any kind of normalcy, however small, to make me feel like I was still me.  

              “You know what? Maybe we should go out.”  

              Both Farlan and Isabel stopped what they were doing to turn wide eyes at me. It was obvious that they hadn’t anticipated a suggestion like this coming from me. Hell, I hadn’t even meant to suggest it. Why in the world did I want to go out into actual sunlight, where actual people could see me and god beware, talk to me? The more I thought about it, the clearer the answer became to me. It was because seeing this image before me, the image of what my room—a place I’d kept sparkling clean for as long as I could remember—had turned into. A mess. A filthy mess. This was what I’d let my own valued personal space come to and suddenly, I couldn’t be here anymore. I needed to get out; needed to get away from the painful visual reminder in front of me.  

              My friends stopped what they were doing in favor of staring at me. Before I could change my mind, they dropped the cleaning supplies where they stood and rushed over to where I was standing, taking my arm on either side and leading me towards the entrance door.  

              “What a wonderful idea!” Isabel exclaimed, her cheeks flushing pink with enthusiasm. “Off we go!”  


We’d spent the better part of the afternoon on the playground near my house, sitting on the swings and going around on the carousel. It felt nice to be outside as opposed to being locked up in my stuffy room, but even the bright sun and the happy faces my friends gifted me with weren’t enough to make me forget that this was not just a normal day during a normal summer. Eren was with me, every second of every day and I was starting to believe only time would rid me of his constant presence in my head. I had to get back on my feet and start fighting; fight thinking about him, fight reminiscing about our time together, fight the urge to just go and see him.  

              “Levi? Are you listening to me?” 

              I snapped out of another daydream filled with teal eyes and chocolate hair, my eyes searching aimlessly until they found Farlan’s sky-blue ones. I wasn’t sure if he had been the one to call out to me, but considering Isabel was a few feet away riding a yellow spring rider, I just went with my first guess.  


              “So you weren’t listening,” he said quietly. For a moment I thought he might be hurt by my inattentiveness, but then his full lips slipped into an understanding smile. “I was wondering if I could ask you something.”  

              I leaned back on the swing I was sitting on and began to gently swing back and forth. “You can ask me anything. You know that.”  

              “Well… Even if I’ve already asked you once and you refused to answer?”  

              I bit my lip in contemplation as I tried to think of what he was referring to, drawing a blank. Shrugging, I turned to him and rose an eyebrow. “Then I probably didn’t want to answer your question.”  

              “Do you think that could have changed?”  

              He was beating around the bush; a caprice utterly unlike him. My gaze turned somewhat suspicious; I could do nothing to stop it. This didn’t feel right.  

              “Ask and find out.”  

              “Well, I…” he broke off, his eyes dropping to his shoe, which was drawing small circles into the gravel beneath our feet. “I asked you once if… If…” he took a deep breath as if to steady himself and it was then that I grew nervous. Very nervous. Farlan had always been the type to say what was on his mind without any kind of filter, so when he was stalling like this, it could only mean what he was about to ask was huge and serious and important and god, I had no idea what to expect.  

              One of his hands wrapped around the back of his neck to rub his nape, a gentle blush grazing his high cheekbones. I swallowed thickly.  

              Then he gave his head a gentle shake and tilted his face up to look at me. “I was wondering if… I mean… If… If you changed your mind about not wanting to tell me who you spent the summer with?” 

              A long exhale pushed past his lips and he rubbed his eyes. He seemed relieved, though I couldn’t entirely shake the feeling that this was not what he’d intended to ask.  

              He began to move his swing, his blue eyes fixing on me, holding my gaze this time. “I just… I wish I’d know who did this to you, Levi. You... You mean so much to me. I don’t want to imagine being friendly with a guy who broke your heart, at school or anywhere else. Just because I don’t know who to watch out for.”  

              I pushed my swing in tune with his, returning his look with equal fervor. It was not as if I didn’t understand the point he was making; I’d probably act the exact same way if our positions were reversed. In all honesty, I wanted to tell them. More than anything, I wanted my best friends to know, and if only so I could describe him in every last gorgeous detail. But I couldn’t. It didn’t matter how much I wished I could hurt him back or how much he’d deserve it; I wouldn’t do this to him. I couldn’t. I still loved him too much to betray him like this, even if a taste of his own medicine would serve him right.  

              A sad smile touched down on my lips when I replied, “I’m sorry, but I can’t tell you. I want to, but I can’t. You’re my best friends and I wish I could just disclose who it is, but I made a promise I’m not going to break. Even if there’s no longer a reason to keep it.” 

              Farlan sighed, his expression anxious. “I know you made a promise to him but I… Damn, I just can’t live not knowing. I want to see him suffer for what he did to you, Levi, for every second of pain he’s putting you through. Does he even know how much he’s hurt you? Does he even care?”  

              Eren had not called, not once. Neither had he texted or left a message or tried to get in touch with me anywhere else, so did he? Did he care? I didn’t know. A part of me wanted to believe he’d realized his mistake and was as devastated about what he’d done to us as I was, but another part—a larger part—told me he was over it. What else would be the reason for his ongoing silence? If he missed me as much as I missed him, he wouldn’t be able to hold back. It was hard enough for me to not just damn it all to hell and pick up the phone—if he felt the same, knowing he’d been the one responsible for this mess, he’d not stay away. He’d be here, trying to get me back. My thoughts were spinning, a nasty headache beginning to build behind my temples. What was I thinking? Did I want to be chased by him? Did I want to see his face again? Or did I just want to move on?  

              The vortex of my thoughts, so loud even in the quietness of my mind, was vicious enough to suck the breath from my body and I felt the overwhelming urge to cover my ears and ask for it to stop.  

              “Levi? You alright?” Isabel squeezed my shoulder, pulling me back to the present.  

              I blinked stupidly up at her, forcing a wobbly smile. “Yes. Fine.”  

              She nodded slowly, but her hand remained on my shoulder and I was glad for it. “We were just talking about getting something to drink. I’m parched! Farlan is, too. You in?”  

              It took her pointing it out to realize how dry my throat was. Something cold to drink sounded like heaven right about now, especially considering the tropical temperature outside.  

              “Yeah sure,” I said, a bit hesitant considering the entire school was on summer break and this close to fall, most of the students were probably already back from vacation. Even if I mostly kept to my friends at school, I had no intention to see anyone and what was even more—to let anyone see me in this sorry state. But I was thirsty and we’d only be a few minutes, right? Just in and out, no big deal.  

              “Where to?” Isabel asked excitedly, hooking her arms into Farlan’s and mine to each side, pulling us along.  

              “Well, what’s closest?” Farlan hummed. “Rose?”  

              “Oh my god, yes!” Iz squealed, tugging me close. “I love Rose! It’s been ages since we’ve gone for frappés.”  

              I let myself get manoeuvred about, half listening to my friend’s gushing over Rose’s frappés, half trying not to get nervous at the prospect of going to a place that would be brimming with people. Why was I even doing this? What I should do was turn on my heel and rush in the opposite direction, but before I could even elaborate on that plan, we’d arrived. The small café was buzzing with laughter and chitchat, all of it surrounded by the rich scent of coffee and chocolate.  

              “Wow, tell me you can’t wait to get your hands on those frappés!” Isabel sighed languidly as she steered us towards the entrance. “I think I’m getting…”  

              I stopped in my tracks. There was… I could have sworn I’d heard something; a sound that seemed to resonate with something ingrained deep within me. It was a laugh, so familiar and intimate that just the faint echo of it drove warm goosebumps to my skin. It couldn’t possibly… It wasn’t… 


              I knew it was him before I turned my head and caught sight of him; of the beautiful tan of his skin and his eyes, which seemed to reflect every nuance of golden sunlight in their depths. This was it. This was all it took for me to break anew, as if no time between that day and right now had passed at all. I felt as if I was back there in the ice cream truck, asking him not to go even while his eyes told me he would. I was back to losing him right there in front of me, unable to make him stay even when he had promised he’d never leave.  

              He was sitting there at a little table outside the café with his friends, the girl and the boy I recognized from that night at the truck, large cups of frappé sitting in front of them and… he was laughing. He was smiling at them; genuinely, as if he meant it. What was left of my heart shattered with such a deafening crack that I felt the repercussion echoing through my veins.  

              So this was how hurt he was. So hurt that he was going out with his friends, smiling without a care in the world, as if we had never happened. As if he had not broken my heart beyond repair, and hell, he had no fucking right to be happy. Seeing him like this was a painful reminder of the hope I’d nursed; this stupid little glimmer of hope that had led me to believe Eren was wrapped up in his own dirty sheets, crying and suffering just like I was. What a fucking idiot I’d been. What a pitiable, pathetic idiot.  

              I wrenched my eyes away from him—how I was able to, I’d never know. All I wanted was to get out of here, as far away from him as physically possible.  

              But luck evaded me once again.


              It was him. It was his voice. I didn’t need to turn around; didn’t need to look into those endless teal eyes to know he was the one calling me with this haunting timbre in his voice.  


              Hearing Eren’s voice was enough to tear the makeshift bandages I’d wrapped around my heart asunder, but hearing this voice, this voice that had whispered to me countless times while touching every inch of me say my name made them vanish into nothingness, as if they’d never been there to begin with. 

              “Levi, who…?” Farlan took my hand and spun me around to face him, his eyes brimming with questions. “Hey, what’s going on? You look as if you’ve seen a ghost, what just happen… ed…”  

              He trailed off, his gaze snapping up to pin Eren, who had jumped from his seat and was mere feet away from where we were standing, calling my name relentlessly.  

              I could literally watch as Farlan put two and two together, his mind connecting the dots and arriving at the obvious conclusion. His hands wrapped around my shoulders in an iron grip, his gaze boring into mine with an intensity I’d never seen in it before.  

              “Don’t tell me it’s him? Don’t tell me Eren-fucking-Jeager is the one who did this to you?”   

Chapter Text



“Don’t tell me it’s him? Don’t tell me Eren-fucking-Jeager is the one who did this to you?”               

         Just a second ago, my mind had been brimming with one million different things I wanted to say, but now, it was all gone. What remained was yawning void in my head. I felt empty, especially with the way my heart had taken to leap into my mouth. Ridiculously enough, I felt the urge to laugh aloud, because let’s be honest, what shitty luck must someone have to stumble headfirst into a situation like this? The shock over seeing Eren was still firmly edged into every fiber of my body—I couldn’t believe he was really here, just a few feet away and heading straight in my direction. What I wanted to do was stare at him. Just forget Farlan who was frantically pulling on my arm and look at that stupidly gorgeous brunet who’d been my boyfriend just a week ago. It was a good thing the situation required me to act accordingly; otherwise, I’d have probably done just that. Now I only had to figure out how this acting accordingly thing worked and in preferably under one minute. With the way Eren was hustling over, I wouldn’t have left much more time than that.

         “Levi? Fuck, Levi, are you listening to me? Is he the one who did this to you?”             

         I snapped back to attention, my eyes reluctantly ungluing themselves from Eren and the way his lean body moved with fluid ease and flicking to Farlan’s instead. He looked about ready to blow a fuse, maybe worse. The sight of his imploring expression prompted me to think twice about giving the information he was asking for, but I couldn’t exactly lie to him. After all, Eren was the one who’d done all of this to me; the reason why I was a far cry from my usual self.        

         I met Farlan’s intent gaze and he knew. Not another word was necessary, the answer was right there in my eyes.        

         “Fuck,” he breathed, blue eyes glazing over with a mix of shock and disbelief.            

         I guessed nobody who knew Eren and who knew me would have suspected we’d hook up. Ever. We were so different from each other that it seemed unlikely we’d ever so much as be in the same place at the same time. He was coveted hot stuff on the football team, whereas I was… well, I was “Levi, who?”. In other words, not much more than a nobody compared to him. I was neither salty nor delusional about that. It was something I’d always known, and it was the reason why I couldn’t be mad at Farlan, who was staring at me as if I’d just uttered the worst lie I’d ever told.             


         Oh, god. It was Eren. Eren, with that criminally gorgeous voice of his. How in the world was that damned voice still able rock my core like the most profound natural disaster known to man? Why was his mere vicinity still affecting me so much? I lifted my head and then he was right there, his huge green eyes filling my vision, his scent sneaking into my nose and making my toes curl inside my sneakers. God, nothing had changed. Seven days spent wallowing in the pain of forgetting him and then it took a mere glance at him to void every second of it.                

         My breath hitched when I tried to speak his name and all that left my lips was a strangled groan. That was it, just a miserable groan. I couldn’t speak. There were so many thoughts battling for the upper hand in my head, so many emotions, that it was impossible to put even one of them into comprehensible words. So what I ended up doing was revert back to my original plan: stare helplessly and fight the unmistakable familiarity being near Eren conjured within me.  

         “Levi, hey…” he whispered.    

         A part of him seemed just as shocked to see me out and about, but another part—a much larger part—looked positively thrilled to meet me here by chance. I recognized his excitement from every single time he came to pick me up after my shift; from every single time I turned up on his doorstep for another date. It was the most gorgeous sparkle in his eyes, a little glimmer that made them appear almost wet when the light touched them just right. Another telltale sign was the quivering of his bottom lip. It was not as if he’d cry any second, I’d learned, but the slightest shiver as a result of suppressing the huge grin wanting to part his full lips. He’d always lost that fight; his brilliant, panty-dropping-within-a-hot-minute grin winning out in the end. At one point, he’d told me he wanted to try not being so overenthusiastic whenever he laid eyes on me, because he’d read somewhere (probably some tacky Cosmopolitan) that would only lead to me losing interest in him over time. He’d explained how he had to act a bit more manly, a tad more unattainable. He’d said it with so much conviction too, even as I’d pinned him down buck-naked beneath me, that I couldn’t help but laugh in his face. The notion of him, of Eren Jeager, devising strategies to retain my interest had been just too funny at the time.        

         Now, it hurt to realize how well I knew him, even now, as if not a day had passed. As if not everything between us had irrevocably changed.               

         I must have made another pained sound, because in a matter of seconds, Eren had closed the distance and reached out for me. Horrified, I stumbled back, my rear making contact with Farlan’s chest. My friend’s hands wrapped gently around my upper arms, steadying me, and I thanked him in silence because I wouldn’t have known if I’d been able to stand on my own with Eren looking at me like he did, his face a picture of longing.               

         “Don’t you dare touch him,” Farlan hissed at Eren, using his hold on my arms to put another few inches between him and us. He’d not risen his voice in the slightest, but as it turned out, that wasn’t necessary. It sounded beyond lethal just the way it was.  

         I could only stare as Eren’s gaze moved slowly and with obvious reluctance from my face to Farlan, who kept a protective arm around me.    

         “Farlan, right?” He said after a second. “Listen, please don’t take this the wrong way, but this is between Levi and me. If you don’t mind, I’d like a moment alone with him. All I want is a chance to talk.”        

         “Talk?” Farlan spat, a humorless chuckle falling from his lips that ruffled he top of my hair. “You must be fucking kidding me, Jeager. In case you’re too stupid to understand, you’ve forfeited the chance to talk to him when you broke his heart, asshole! Now get the fuck lost, or I swear to you, I’ll make you.”    

         I’d have expected a lot of emotions reflecting on Eren’s face in response to Farlan’s words—shock, disbelief, even rage. What I didn’t expect was defeat. Acceptance. It seemed so oddly out of place on a face I knew to be tenacious enough to refuse any kind of surrender. For a terrible moment, I thought my body would betray me and reach out to smooth the lines of worry from his face, but much to my relief, I managed to keep my urges in check.    

         Eren’s gaze dropped to the ground, his shoulders sagging in defeat. I wished I could make sense of his reaction, because to me, it appeared like he was weighed down by regret. Why would he feel that way? Because of me? Even when it was obvious he was over us?

         “I know what you must be thinking of me,” Eren whispered, his tone small and fragile. “I do. And I know I have no right to ask for anything, but I still am, because I need to. Levi, please... Just one minute. All I need is one minute of your time.”       

         “Tch,” Farlan huffed, blatant repulsion dripping from the single sound. “I can’t believe you. What do you think this is, huh? Look at him! Look what you’ve done and then think again about what you just asked of him.”

         Eren didn’t say anything. He didn’t even look up, his eyes remaining fixed on the tips of his sneakers. Farlan was shaking with rage against me; I could feel his body heat seeping through my clothes. His grip around me tightened when he said, “Got nothing to say to that, huh? Who do you even think you are, coming up and talking to him? Aren’t you ashamed of yourself? After everything you’ve done?”  

         A visible shudder seized Eren, his shoulders trembling. For a moment I thought he was going to cry right here in front of us. Suddenly, Farlan pushed me behind him, taking a protective stance in front of me. And then he took a step forward and shoved Eren, hard. He stumbled back a couple of inches, but caught himself before he could fall. As for me, I couldn’t seem to shake my stupor. All I could do was stare and hold my breath, a helpless bystander to what was unfolding in front of me.    

         “I asked you a question! If you have the balls to play someone who’s obviously in love with you, then be a fucking man and own up to it!” 

         He shoved Eren again and that was apparently what was needed to light a spark of the fighting spirit I was used to. Before Farlan could push him again, Eren’s hands came up to grab his wrists from the air, and tight enough for his knuckles to turn white. He used his grip on Farlan’s arms to push him back in return, tearing a stunned gasp from his lips.        

         “I never played him!” Eren bit out through clenched teeth, his cheeks glowing with determination. “I fucked up, I know that, but that doesn’t change the way I feel about him!” He sucked in a sharp breath. His eyes fluttered closed for all of one moment and upon reopening them, they were blazing with sincerity. “I-I… I love him.”        

         Everything happened so fast after that, way too fast for me to speak up, much less intervene. As if in slow motion, I could only watch as Farlan’s fist came up with breakneck speed. Even if it was horribly obvious what would happen next, my brain had trouble processing the visual material my eyes were providing. When my best friend’s fist connected squarely with Eren’s jaw, I screamed. At least I think I did, there were multiple sounds erupting from different mouths, though I was quite sure that scream was mine. Especially since I wanted to scream again when Eren stumbled backwards with a pained groan, one of his hands reaching up to clutch the side of his face.

         “Don’t you dare say that!” Farlan boomed, charging forward to shove Eren again. “Don’t you fucking dare say you love him! Not when you have absolutely no right to.”   

         Eren moved in a flash. Suddenly he was chest to chest with Farlan, his eyes spewing venom. An angry red bruise was already forming on the spot Farlan hit, but he didn’t seem to feel the pain that had to radiate from the injury.      

         “You don’t know a thing about how I feel!” he thundered. “Now back the fuck off!”       

         Farlan all but sneered at him before he grabbed Eren’s shoulders and pushed him back with a force that audibly knocked the air out of him.    

         “You don’t get to tell me when to back off, bastard! Don’t you fucking get it? Levi doesn’t want you!”        

         That did it. I gasped in shock as Eren pulled back his fist and returned the favor, clocking Farlan straight in the nose. Farlan staggered back, his hands shooting up to touch his face. When he pulled them back, his fingers were streaked red with blood. My stomach churned and I’d have covered my mouth to keep the bit I’d eaten earlier in my stomach where it belonged, when I realized I was already doing that. The shock had made me cover my face in an attempt to shield myself from the horrible spectacle of my ex and my best friend pummeling each other into the ground. There was a sick mix of anguish, surprise and regret washing over Eren’s face. His hand was hanging helplessly in the air and when his lips opened, maybe to utter an apology—I’d never know—I realized that Farlan was getting ready to pounce again, and I snapped. Sensation flooded my numb senses, dissolving my stupor into nothingness and I was finally able to move again, to do something. Forcing my legs to stir, I grabbed Farlan’s hand and pulled him behind me, effectively thwarting his plans to hurt Eren again.       

         “Stop it!” I cried, my brittle voice betraying my distress. My wide eyes moved from Eren to Farlan and back, and then I gave them both a shove. “What the hell is wrong with you two? Have you lost your damn minds?” 

         Much to my chagrin, we apparently weren’t done yet. Those two idiots were still fuming with rage and shooting daggers at each other. Not even my attempt to interfere helped any in regards to taking the wind out of their sails.      

         “L-Levi…” Eren whispered, his face tilting down to me.

         When he looked at me, the fury in his eyes dulled in a matter of seconds, making way to something warm and intimate that caused my heart to throb inside my chest. Once again, I was stunned, though not by any display of physical violence this time, but the mere look into those intense green eyes I’d loved to feel on every inch of my skin—once. Once. I’d have to fucking remember that; we were over. There was no more us, no more adoring looks or tender touches. All of that was done, and my primary goal now was to break up this stupid fight and go separate ways.   

         “Levi…” Eren started again, his hand rubbing the abused skin on his jaw. “If you don’t want to hear me out, tell me. Just know that there’s more to what happened a week ago and that there’s so much I want to tell you. So much I need to say. But if it’s over… If you’re done with me, I understand. Just… tell me. I’ll leave. I’ll disappear from your life. Even if it’s killing me, I will.”         

         Disappear from my life.         

         Wasn’t this what I wanted? To be free of him; of all the memories, all the feelings I was fighting on a regular basis?         

         Here was my chance to be free. My chance to tell him how much he’d hurt me and how badly I wanted him to vanish from my sights, forever. All I had to do was open my mouth and say it. Goddammit, why couldn’t I form words? Why wasn’t I able to make a sound?       

         “I—Eren, I—” I was running on pure instinct at this point. Whatever I wanted to say had no chance of making it out, though. Before I could finish my sentence, Farlan had wrapped a tight arm around my waist and turned us around, putting me back to my previous place behind him. He let me go, but only for one second. A moment later, his hands came down on my shoulders—hard—and shook me with a force that made my teeth chatter. His blue eyes bore into mine, their usual sky blue shade frozen down to pure ice.   

         “Levi, don’t listen to him! He’s only trying to rope you back in, don’t you see that? You can’t trust a word he says! Don’t forget he’s broken your heart once, do you seriously want it to happen all over again?”         

         I couldn’t think, couldn’t talk. I couldn’t even see straight. There was Eren, his eyes caught in a twist of hope and rage, shaking his head from side to side as if to tell me what Farlan was saying wasn’t true. And then there was Farlan, who held me tight and looked at me, eyes filled with bottomless concern for my sake. I knew he wanted to protect me. He’d never do anything to hurt me, as opposed to Eren, who’d broken me in half and left me for dead. I was torn. I could cut Eren from my life, entirely, but now that the chance was laid out before me, only waiting for me to take it, I couldn’t fathom never being able to see him again. His gorgeous eyes, his beautiful face, every tiny little thing I’d fallen in love with—I just couldn’t let go. I wasn’t ready, and god knew if I’d ever be. All I knew was that it wasn’t going to happen today. I might not be delusional enough to trick myself into believing I wasn’t still madly in love with this boy, but that didn’t change the fact that I wouldn’t forgive him for what he’d done to me. It was a painful in-between I couldn’t get out of, not yet, and surely not as long as he was standing in front of me, begging for another chance.  


         “No! I won’t stand by while he hurts you! I wasn’t here the first time it happened, and trust me, I’ll hate myself forever because of it, but I won’t let it happen again. You might be in love with him, Levi, but he doesn’t deserve you! He had one chance to treat you right and look how well he’s handled that. He’ll pay for what he did to you, so please, stay back. Please.”    

         “Farlan, no!” I started screaming, and I didn’t stop. Farlan turned around and smashed into Eren, this time using his entire body instead of his clenched fist. They crashed down on the ground in a pile of arms and legs and shouts, dealing blows and punches and kicks too quick for me to follow. And I? I had no better idea than to jump straight into the tangle of limbs. I didn’t think. My sole goal was to do something to stop this madness and not stand idly by while the two of them were bashing their heads in. I knew both of them well enough to be certain nobody would be wise enough to give in first. Latching onto Eren’s back—who’d somehow managed to get on top of Farlan in the struggle—I tried to ignore the bolt of electricity that went through my entire body as soon as my body touched his. God, how could I expect to break up an actual fight when I was distracted by the mere feeling of Eren’s hot, sweaty body writhing beneath mine?

         “Fuck,” I groaned, both from misplaced desire and unexpected exertion. It took way more strength to grab Eren by the arms and keep him from laying another punch on my best friend’s face than I’d anticipated. He was strong and he was angry, and I was so much smaller compared to him. Not to mention frantic with fear. But that didn’t deter my efforts. My nails scratched his skin as I held on, trying my hardest to pull him off an equally thrashing Farlan.      

         “Stop it, you bloody idiots!” I yelled desperately, but my voice was lost in the staccato of huffs and groans. Multiple punches were flying by my face. I managed to dodge a few, but took way more. My clothes tore when someone used them as leverage. Nails lapped at my skin. For the moment, I didn’t feel the pain due to every cell in my body being charged with adrenaline. I would though, and soon.         

         Suddenly, I was dragged to the bottom of the pulsing heap. Someone’s elbow connected with my face and I screamed as raw pain exploded over my cheek. My hands flew up to finger the throb in a vain attempt to soothe the ache away. I tasted the metallic flavor of blood in my mouth, on my teeth, and coughed viciously. Hot tears shot into my eyes and I rolled around into a fetal position to protect myself from any more potential strokes.   


         I think that was Eren, shrieking my name, but I couldn’t be entirely sure. Sounds and colors were swimming around me in a hazy fog, blurry and indecipherable. My head was pounding relentlessly and I felt as if I was going to be sick any minute from the combination of pain and blood.  

         Someone squatted next to me, touching my face with gentle hands and murmuring soothing words with lips that brushed against my ear every so often. I closed my eyes and tried to will the dizziness away, but to no avail. Maybe this was what fainting felt like. If that’s what it was, it was probably a good thing to drop unconscious right now. Hopefully, this would turn out to be enough to get those two to finally quit their crazy brawl, while I could sleep myself back to health.          

         As it turned out, I wasn’t blessed by falling unconscious. I laid there on the filthy ground, moaning as every single part of my body ached, and tried my best to focus on the voice murmuring sweet nothings to me.  

         “Goodness, Levi.” A second pair of hands joined the first, gently examining my body for any serious injuries besides my throbbing face.       

         “Now you even hit him, as if the emotional anguish you’re putting him through isn’t enough!”

         I must be on the road to recovery, because I could recognize this voice as Farlan’s, which meant Eren was the one who was rubbing gentle circles across my cheekbones with the pads of his fingers. He knew me, knew what kind of effect it had on me. Anger curled around my insides, hard and scorching. I didn’t want to be comforted by him, but he knew exactly how to do it anyway, even against my will. And so perfectly too, so well that I couldn’t pull away even if I wanted to.

         “Are you kidding me?” Eren shot back, his hands continuing their tender caresses. “You were the one who hit him with your damn elbow!”

         “Oh, you would like that! I’d never hurt him, not even unconsciously! I don’t believe you can say the same for yourself, now, can you?”       

         “When will you finally get that there’s more to the story? I never meant to hurt him, so stop acting like this was all some elaborate ploy on my part!”   

         “Oh, come on! Levi here might be good-hearted enough to believe any of the bullshit you’re spewing, but you’re not fooling me for a second!”       

         “You have no idea how badly I want to punch you again right now,” Eren snarled, bending over me.        

         “Why don’t you try it then, Jeager?” Farlan taunted right back, leaning in as well. “I promise I won’t go easy on you this time.” 

         Within a second they were at each other’s throat again, clutching at one another’s shirts while they were bowing over my body, which I'd manage to heave up onto my elbows by now.  

         “What the hell is going on here.”      

         That voice was new, and deadly. As well as decidedly female. She didn’t even phrase it as a question, more like a simple statement that commanded everyone’s immediate attention. I managed to lift my head and squint in her direction, and then I recognized Mikasa, Eren’s friend. She took a step into the struggle, grabbed both Eren and Farlan by the back of their shirts and pushed them apart with a force that left me with little more to do than gape at her. They looked ridiculous being held apart by Mikasa’s arms, still swinging their fists uselessly at each other, and I wondered just how strong this girl was.         

         Mikasa looked from Eren to Farlan and back, her expression bordering on murderous. “Would one of you idiots care to explain why you’re bashing away at each other?”     

         Nobody said anything. They just continued to fume in relative silence, mumbled expletives excluded.       

         “Fine. Eren?” She said, turning her gaze to him. “You told us you’d come over here to talk, not fight. What happened to that good resolution of yours?”    

         Eren shrugged. I couldn’t help but give him credit for refraining to push the fault immediately onto Farlan, even though he’d been the one to throw the first punch.

         “Oh, dear god!” A petite blonde boy came over to kneel beside me. “Are you okay?”   

         “I've been better,” I huffed miserably.   

         “Can you stand?”

         I sure as hell didn’t want to stand, much less if it entailed walking. But I didn’t have much of a choice.     

         “Mhm.” I tried to nod and groaned instead when a stiff pain seized my neck.      

         “Here, take my hand.”  

         I gave the boy a grateful look and took his proffered hand, huffing as he pulled me to my feet. The world spun for a moment, but I focused on my breathing and managed to stay upright. Mikasa was still going at those two idiots, who looked positively shamefaced by now, as well as bloody and bruised. We might have gotten off on the wrong foot with each other, but right now, I was glad for Eren’s friends. Truth be told, I’d been far away from being capable to break up the fight by myself.

         The blonde boy, Armin, I remembered, led me over to a wooden bench on the sidewalk and sat me down. He was just about to say something when an ear-splitting scream cut through the air. God, would this day ever end?

         “Levi? Farlan? Oh my god, what the devil is going on? Have you been fighting?”

         Isabel rushed over from the coffee shop, a cardboard tray filled with frappés in her hand. Faintly, I remembered that she’d made a mad dash for the café in her excitement over cool drinks earlier. She had no idea what had just transpired, and I for one was relieved she’d been spared from having to witness the mayhem.     

         “I get it, okay! You can let go now, I won’t hit him again.” Farlan said right then, shaking off Mikasa’s grip. “At least not today,” he grumbled under his breath as he came over to where I was sitting.       

         “What happened to you? Tell me right now!” Isabel cried, her eyes wide as she took in our mangled appearances.         

         “Later,” Farlan snapped. “Can we just leave? If I have to see Jeager’s face for another second, I can’t make any guarantees regarding his wellbeing.”        

         I got to my feet and nodded. 

         “Levi…” Eren whispered pleadingly, drawing my gaze despite the resistance I put up to fight the temptation.      

         “Not now.”

         Nobody was more surprised by my firm answer than I was. An insistent urge to take back the words sunk into me, but I forced it down. Now was neither the time nor the place for a talk with him. I had to get out of here, now.  

         Eren froze, his eyes glossing over at my adamant rejection. I wrenched myself from the sight of him, ignoring the squeeze around my heart to the best of my ability. Another moment in his presence and I’d cave in. I’d be a fool not to acknowledge that.        

         Farlan hobbled over and wrapped an arm around my middle, supporting me even though he was off far worse than me. I put my remaining strength in doing the same for him, giving Isabel an imploring gaze that had her swallow any more questions for now. Her mouth clamped shut and she hurried over to help me keep Farlan upright.     

         “Sorry,” Isabel mumbled to no one in particular by ways of goodbye.       

         I refused to look anywhere but my feet, concentrating on taking one careful step after the other. Nobody said anything, but I could feel three pair of eyes burning into my back.  

         We’d already put a fair distance between us and them when I felt a tingle emerging on my neck, causing every hair on my skin to stand on end. I didn’t want to look back, and I knew that I shouldn’t. But this could very well be the last time I saw Eren and for some utterly inexplicable reason, my body was forcing me to turn my head and look at him one more time before I disappeared. With agonizingly slow movements, I looked over my shoulder. It didn’t matter how discrete I was trying to be, as soon as I did, my eyes met Eren’s and I felt an electrifying shock zapping through me in response. His eyes were alight with emotion, and right then I knew that everything rushing through him in that moment—every last little thing—was rushing through me as well. It was as if we were connected by an invisible bond that allowed me to feel him, just as much as it let him feel me in return. The sensation was otherworldly and stunning and frankly, terrifying. It left me breathless and hopeful at the same time, and for one brief moment, I wondered if there was still a future for us. If giving him the chance to tell me what he’d wanted to say would’ve changed anything. The life creeping back through the cracks in my heart wished I would try.          

Chapter Text

A warm breeze came through the open window, gently ruffling my hair upon crossing the windowsill. Since summer was slowly nudging towards its end, the air was holding a slight chill these days. Not that I was bothered by that; especially not in the current condition I was in. The touch of cool whispering over my throbbing face felt positively elysian. I tilted my face to allow the draft better access to my neck and released a soft moan at the relief it brought along. Granted, it wasn’t enough to help the swelling in my face, but it was still nice. I was beginning to be grateful for small favors.

            Farlan Church had really done a number on me. Part of me wanted to be furious at him—somebody I didn’t even know well enough to possibly earn getting hit by him—but a larger part of me knew I’d deserved it. Were our positions reversed, I’d reacted the exact same way, and damn, it would’ve felt nothing short of glorious to clock someone in the face who’d hurt Levi. Only that this person was… me. And now I had a black eye and a swollen face to show for it. I touched the bruise on my cheek and promptly cringed when the mere brush of fingertips elicited a new wave of pain across my skin. I should wallow in the pain and curse Farlan for the rest of eternity, and yet I couldn’t help but feel an odd sort of happy. Why?

            Because I’d seen him. He had been there, so incredibly close to me that a simple stretch of my arm would’ve been enough for me to feel his gorgeous skin beneath my fingertips. My face grew warm at the mere thought of it, and this time, it wasn’t due to the pain. Gosh, Levi had been so beautiful, it had hurt to look at his lips without being able to kiss him. As soon as I’d laid eyes on them, the most vivid memory of their taste flooded my senses and it had taken Herculean effort to hold back from pulling him against me and taking his mouth by force. That was how far I’d been gone just from the sight of him; from his presence, his scent, his voice.

            To be honest, the fight had happened mostly in my periphery. Levi had been the one taking up every inch of space in my vision, even more so when Farlan had accused me of using him for some kind of twisted enjoyment. Fuck, the notion still left me fuming with rage. For the tenth time that day, I felt the nagging urge to put my fist through something solid. It was not as if I didn’t understand where he was coming from; it was just that he couldn’t possibly be further from the truth. I’d always known that I was in love with Levi, even after spending a week broken up and apart. Those seven days had done absolutely nothing to dull what I felt for him.

            Seeing him yesterday, looking into his eyes, watching his body move with the unmistakable grace I could never take my eyes off of, had reinforced all the feelings I had for him thousand fold. Where I planned to hold back for his sake, abstaining from contacting him to give him the space he’d asked for, I was unable to grant him that any longer now. Not after meeting him again, after feeling his body on mine, even if it had only been for a moment during the fight. It was imperative that I got one more chance to talk to him, to make it clear how much he meant to me and that, if he let me, I’d prove that I’d never hurt him again.

            Coming out as gay seemed so minor and inconsequential compared to what I’d gone through this past week. Nothing—and I was sure of that—could be worse than spending my life apart from the person I loved. I’d lost him due to my own stupidity and I had no right to ask him to forgive me, much less grant me another shot at a relationship with him, but I had to try. That last look we’d shared, that brief meeting of our eyes when he’d turned around while leaving… It had meant something. I knew it had. I could read in his eyes that he wasn’t entirely sure whether he really wanted me to vanish from his life and that tiny little fact gave me hope that maybe he wanted me in it after all.

            All of this might as well be wishful thinking and I knew it. Still, some of the tenacity I was famous for had rushed back into me when I’d seen him hesitate and now it was impossible to smother. I would not give up this time, not until everything was said and he knew exactly how I felt for him.

            Slowly, I got to my feet and rubbed some feeling back into my stiff limbs before I closed the window and made my way down into the living room. My phone was charging on the sofa, right next to Zeke, who was sleeping soundly. Already reaching for the device, I stopped mid-air and paused.

            Should I call him?

            Could I?

            Instead of taking the phone, I pulled my hand back to touch my aching chin in contemplation. Frankly, I was scared. Scared to make the situation worse between us, scared that calling him was just the last straw that would make him hate me for good. It was a fine line and I suspected making the wrong move now would do me harm in the long term. On the other hand, maybe… Maybe he was waiting for me to reach out to him. The chance was astonishingly low, but it was still a possibility. At least I wanted to make myself believe it was. Suppressing a shiver of anticipation, I took a seat next to Zeke, who woke and gave a gentle woof before placing his head in my lap. My fingers brushed through the soft fur on his head as I pondered which direction to go.

            Continue waiting or make a move?

            Eventually, I grabbed my phone and dialed before I had the chance to change my mind. It rang once, twice, thrice. Six times altogether before it went to voicemail. Biting my lip, I stared at his name on the screen and tapped on it once more. I’d try again, and again, if I had to.

            A few minutes later, I ended my fifth call and sighed in defeat while pocketing my phone. I was trying to cling to the hope that at least it had gone to voicemail without any premature interruptions, which meant he at least hadn’t hung up on me, right?

            Or maybe he was just ignoring me on purpose. Leaning back, I fixed my gaze to the ceiling. Currently, I was only able to see with one eye, the other was swollen shut. I looked hideous, my body covered in vivid shades of red, green and purple. I could only hope I’d heal before my parents arrived back home next week. They would kill me if they saw me like this and even worse, I’d have to explain how I’d gotten into this sorry state.

            I sighed. The house was quiet, unbearably so. I should probably rest and do my best to speed up the healing process, but I was buzzing with too much inexplicable energy to sit still. I was in the middle of contemplating whether I should try to call Levi again when the phone rang loudly in the quiet space of my house. I gulped. For a brief moment, I wanted to ignore it without even checking the caller ID. It could be Levi, maybe, and suddenly, my throat was tight and my mouth dry. I had never thought about what I wanted to say, I’d just hoped the right words would come to me when I was with him. The prospect of hearing Levi’s voice, of talking to him, made me slip my phone from my pocket and press answer before I could miss the call, a breathless hello? on my lips.

            “Hey, it’s me.” Mikasa.

            My chest deflated, body sagging in disappointment. Of course he’d never call me back. Why would he?


            "How are you feeling? I was thinking I could come over, maybe watch a movie?”

            I was more grateful for my friends than I could ever tell, but today, I needed to be alone. Constantly being surrounded by either Armin or Mikasa or both had proven to be a wonderful distraction, but at this point I felt like I needed to face the music and I needed to do it on my own. Despite the fact that being by myself with only my weary thoughts to keep me company was a dismal prospect, I was done with curling up in a ball and hiding from my fears.

            “Not today,” I said weakly, “I thought I’d rather spend some time alone. Is that okay?”

            There was shuffling on her end and then she said, “Of course. Take care, okay? And call me if you need anything.”

            “I will. Thanks.”

            She hung up and I groaned into the empty air. Every move I made hurt to the point where I wanted to lie down and never get up again, but I couldn’t fathom taking a nap or be still. I needed to do something. Zeke gazed at me with wide eyes and then barked. I watched him as he jumped from the sofa and threw his paws on my legs, panting excitedly. It was almost time for his walk. Considering I was yearning to get out, even despite my appearance and the looks it would undoubtedly garner, I decided to prepone Zeke’s afternoon stroll. First though, I’d better shower and change into something fresh. If I had to draw attention, I’d much prefer if my smell wouldn’t add to it.

            Thirty minutes later, I was out in the fresh summer air, a frantic Zeke leading the way by pulling on the leash with me in tow. Despite my earlier worries, it felt surprisingly nice to trade the quietness of the indoors for one of the last summer days I had left before fall. As for my destination, I didn’t have one. Zeke was in charge today and I’d let him make his walk as long or as short as he liked. We walked around the usual blocks before he began to tug into a new direction. Talking quietly to him along the way, I followed without question. After a few turns, we reached a park filled with spotless greenery and late blooms. The gravel crunched beneath my feet, a few nearby birds singing in tune with each step. It was peaceful. There was only Zeke and me around and for once, I enjoyed the solitude. We crossed a wooden bridge leading over a small pond and took a right turn that led to a playground surrounded by tall trees. I spotted a set of red swings in the far corner, and when I did, I realized I was not alone. There was someone occupying one of the swings, gently swaying back and forth. I squinted to see if I recognized the person, and then my heart stopped. It just stopped, altogether. All the air inside my body left me on a drawn-out whoosh as I drank in the familiar form in the distance. My eye, singular, might have betrayed me right then, because it was almost impossible to believe it was really Levi sitting across from me, his face tilted up towards the sun, its golden light catching in his raven hair. From where I was standing, I wasn’t able to make out if it was really him or not, but I found that I already knew the answer. I’d had no idea that I’d find him here, but then again, I couldn’t say I was surprised that some unseen force would lead me to wherever he was. It seemed almost natural at this point.

            Unable to stand the distance any longer, I began to move with bated breath, incapable of taking my eyes off him. I’d never admit it, but I was afraid he’d be gone if I did. When I was mere inches from him, I stopped and allowed myself a moment or two to gaze at him. His eyes were closed as he relished the warmth on his face. Apparently, he hadn’t noticed that someone had joined him, or maybe he just didn’t care. My heart throbbed at the sight of him like this, carefree where he’d been distraught yesterday, calm where he’d been upset.

            It was unreal.

            It was breathtaking.

            And it made me remember every time I’d been blessed to see this beautifully blithe expression in vivid detail. Every time I’d been the reason for it. For a second, I couldn’t breathe. All I wanted was to see him happy again; to be there for every smile and every twinkle in those graphite eyes.

            I sat down in the swing next to him while Zeke jumped excitedly up into Levi’s lap to shower his face with a round of wet kisses. Levi’s hand came down to scratch Zeke’s ears and the puppy closed his eyes as he relished the attention from his favorite person.

            “How did you find me?”

            I turned slightly, my hand wrapping around the chain fastening of my swing.

            “I didn’t. Not consciously. I followed Zeke and we eventually ended up here.” I sighed when I realized how that sounded. “You probably don’t believe that, though.”

            “Strangely enough, I do.”

            I moved the swing gently back and forth, allowing myself a moment to bask in his vicinity. I knew I probably wouldn’t get another chance like this one, but telling him what I was yearning to say might result in the definitive end of what we’d shared over the summer and the prospect of that made me hesitate. Presently, we were caught up in a strange moment of truce and I wanted to stay like this for a moment longer, even if it only meant delaying the inevitable. I dared sneaking another peek at him, from the corner of my eye, only to gasp quietly when I noted the angry red bruise stretching across his cheekbone. Before I knew it, my hand had already come up to trace the injury with my fingertips. Levi flinched, but didn’t pull away. Realizing I was crossing a line, I dropped my hand and gave him an apologetic look.

            “How bad is it?”

            He shrugged. “Not too bad.” Then he threw me a sideways glance, a small twitch around the corner of his mouth. “I’m guessing not as bad as yours.”

            The pain in my eye pounded again when he pointed it out. Despite that, a crooked smile found its way on my split lip. “I deserve it.”

            “Yeah,” he said without ceremony, “You do.”

            I looked at him and chuckled. Judging by the expression on his face, he was trying to fight joining in, but gave up in the end and smirked along with me.

            “I’m sorry I forced you to get involved. I was... not thinking clearly. Obviously.”

            “You didn’t force me, Eren. It was my decision to help. Well, try to, at least. In the end, I couldn’t do much besides getting injured myself, but it’s the thought that counts, right?”

            He’d said it as if it was a joke to laugh at, but to me, it was anything but. He’d risked getting hurt only to break up two idiots butting head over him.

            “Thank you,” I spoke up. “Really. You shouldn’t have done that, but you did. And now there’s another injury of yours I’m accountable for.”

            He stayed silent for a long moment, his gaze holding mine. I fought the urge to shiver.

            “The fight’s not your fault,” he said at last. “Well, not entirely. I admit I’d have never expected it to get out of control this fast, but in hindsight... I guess I understand why. A bit. I’m not saying you weren’t idiots for resorting to your fists, though.”

            I bit my lip before I could let it slip that Farlan had been the one to provoke me. It wouldn’t do any good and I hadn’t exactly hesitated before fighting back either. I felt bad about hurting Levi’s friend, and yet still, I couldn’t help hoping Farlan wasn’t looking much better than I was. Levi’s eyes were reprimanding me, for the fight and maybe everything else too, but all I could do was revel at feeling of his eyes on me after missing them for so long.

            “God, I miss you,” I blurted. And then I flushed bright red as I realized I’d just said that out loud and there was no way to take it back. A deep frown appeared between his thin eyebrows. He didn’t believe me. It was plain to see. My heart gave a pained squeeze. This was how we were now, wasn’t it? He’d question everything I said and I’d given him plenty of reason to.

            Levi took a deep breath and then he turned in his swing, facing me. His eyes were so intense that they captured and held me within a single moment.

            “Oh, yeah?” He said. It took me a second to recognize the underlying tone in his voice as bitterness. “If you miss me that much, why did you never reach out to me, huh? Why did you never call?”

            He had every right to ask. After all, I hadn’t tried to contact him and it had been the hardest thing I’d ever done. In the end, I’d done it for his sake. Days on end I’d done nothing but stare at the phone, his contact details open and his number just a tap away. I’d been torn between calling him and holding back, because I felt that it was my obligation to honor what he’d asked of me. He’d wanted us to be over and considering how badly I’d hurt him, there was little other I could do but accept his request.

            “You asked me to stay away,” I said quietly, tilting my face slightly to return his intent gaze. “You broke up with me, you didn’t want to see me anymore, not even when I asked you to… to…” I trailed off when I realized that my words sounded like an accusation. Blaming him for the way he’d reacted that night was never my intention, I knew all of this was my fault. He’d done the right thing, he’d backed out and protected himself. It was only natural, and god, I was so proud of him for pushing me away when he had no other choice, because I knew I’d have never been able to do the same were our positions reversed. I could only imagine how much it must have hurt him after the summer we’d spent together. When it came to maturity, Levi had years on me.

            I tried to swallow past the lump in my throat. All I’d wanted was one more chance to talk to him, but now that my wish was granted, I was struggling with how to put everything I felt into words. I was treading on dangerous territory and one step in the wrong direction could cause me to crash and burn for good.

            “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to imply… I mean, I understand. God, of course I do, it’s just that… Levi, this phone call, this entire night… it hurt me so much that I don’t know how I can possibly move on from it. When I lost you, I… I lost myself.”

            Levi stayed quiet, even when I could read in his eyes that there was so much he wanted to say. Maybe he felt that this wasn’t everything I needed to tell him, even when I didn’t know it myself. The familiar sting of tears pricked my eyes, but I did nothing to hold them back. If this was my chance to show him how I felt, I’d be honest. I’d show him all of me, inside and out.

            “I’m so selfish, aren’t I?” I whispered. “I have no right to grieve you, not when I’m the reason you’re gone. I did this to myself. And I hurt you, I hurt you so much that I know I don’t deserve another moment with you. I’m not worthy of you sitting here and listening to a word I’m saying, but… I just need you to know how sorry I am. I’m sorry, Levi. I’m so sorry for hurting you this way, that I betrayed you when you needed me. That I walked away when I promised I’d never leave.”

            There were dozens of words lodged in my throat, but I wasn’t able to utter a single one of them. All the pain I felt, all the remorse, the memories, the love I held for him… it crushed me. Right then, a tidal wave of emotions hit me with all its might, pulling me under the surface without any chance of escape. It was neither my place nor my right to break down in front of him, not when he was hurting so much more than I ever could, but I was incapable of keeping the turmoil at bay. I turned away from him as I hid my face in my hands and cried, trying to be as quiet as I could and failing miserably. I didn’t care about the throb pulsing across my swollen eye, didn’t care about the pain the tremors chased through my bruised body. What I wanted to do was handle this conversation like an adult, to show Levi that I was worthy of being regarded as one, but I should have known that I’d never be able to when he was with me.

            “Eren,” Levi whispered, his voice nothing more than a soft whisper. “Eren, look at me.”

            At first, I didn’t want to. I felt ashamed for breaking down like this, for acting like a victim when we both knew I was anything but. And then I closed my eyes, counting silently to three and trying to force the sobs down to a minimum, because there was nothing I wouldn’t do for him. If he wanted me to look at him, I would, no matter what it took me.

            My sight was blurry when I turned my head to gaze at him, my eyes wet.

            Levi’s brows knitted together and when an expression of sadness stole onto his features, I thought I’d cry again. He wiped his own tears away and then sunk to his knees in front of me, taking my hands in his. Just the mere touch made me feel whole.

            “I can tell how much you’re fighting with this,” he said, his beautiful gray eyes welling up anew. “And it’s good that you are. Now I know that you care.”

            “Oh Levi,” I cried. Within a moment, I was there on the ground with him, hugging him tight to me and basking in all the dips and curves of his body that molded to mine as if he was my perfect match; a puzzle piece that fit all the edges I lacked. “Of course I care. I care so much, I… I’ll always care. I’m so sorry. Please believe me when I say I never meant to hurt you, I was… out of it. I didn’t think. It’s the biggest mistake I’ve ever made and there’s no good reason for you to trust me on this. All I can say is how much I love you and how much I want to be with you. Levi, I love you. You’re all I want.”

            I pulled back to carefully cup his cheeks and then I said it again, and again. Warm tears were running over my hands and I thumbed at them with utmost care. Levi shook his head, his features caught in a combination of incredulity, pain and hesitance. He looked as torn as I felt.

            “Levi, you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” I continued, gazing into his endless eyes, which were so much more like a wild storm today than ever before, “I’ll never hurt you again, and if you let me… if you still want me, I’m going to prove it to you. However long it takes, I’m going to prove that I’m worthy of being with you.”

            “Oh Eren, I—” A soft whimper escaped him and I wished I could lean in and use my lips to soothe the pained sound away. “I can’t. What you did… it broke me, Eren. I can’t—”

            “I know,” I whispered. I leaned in and touched my forehead to his, trying my best to ignore the way his warm breath kissed my lips. He stayed still for a brief moment, but then he began to tentatively lean into my touch and I thought I’d never be able to let him go. “I know there’s no way you can, but I can’t help asking for the impossible.”

            A single tear slid down his cheek. His gaze held mine and with everything I had, I laid the love for him in my eyes, hoping he’d see how serious I was. He stayed silent and suddenly, even the few inches of distance between us were too much to bear. I brushed his hand with the pads of my fingers, giving it a gentle tug when he gave me a questioning look in response.

            “Come on,” I whispered and stood from my swing, tugging him along with me. I headed for a nearby loveseat that was probably dirty beyond hope, but right then, I hoped he wouldn’t mind when it meant sitting with me. An arched eyebrow on his part told me he had not missed the obvious dust on the wooden surface, but then he shrugged almost unnoticeably and dropped down next to me. I’d sat down first to let him decide how much distance he wanted between us, but when he sat so close to me that our thighs were touching, I couldn’t suppress a relieved sigh. Just this little touch gave me enough comfort to last me a day. Tentatively, I took his hand, lacing our fingers together and brushing slowly over his skin. He shuddered and I was afraid I’d gone too far, but then he settled against me with a content hum.

            I wanted to touch him more; to hug him to me and bury my face against the tender skin of his neck to inhale the scent I knew by heart. I wanted it more than I wanted to take my next breath, even when I’d neither the right nor the permission to. But then, before I could do anything to chase him away… Levi sighed and laid his head on my shoulder, causing my heart to kick into a tempo I felt thumping through every single one of my veins. Oh, god… please grant me the strength to hold back. One wrong move, one forbidden touch, and the fragile thread between us would break off.


            “Just one moment,” he interrupted. “Please, just this one moment.”

            My chest constricted and then my fingers mapped out the elegant curve of his spine, whispering over the shaved hair at his neck and sinking into the long strands on top. He stirred and pressed closer to me, giving me silent permission to continue. Running my fingers through his silky hair, I closed my eyes and relished the moment he’d asked for. He could have asked me for one million moments and I’d have granted them gladly.

            After a little while, he took a deep breath and pulled back, graphite eyes searching mine.

            “I’m sorry, too.” He put a finger to my lips when I opened my mouth to cut him off. “I ran. You hurt me and I ran because I couldn’t deal with the consequences that meant for me. Maybe I could’ve saved us a lot of pain if I’d agreed to have this conversation sooner, but I… I…” he broke off on a small whimper and I made a soft hm? sound to let him know he could continue, no matter what came next. “I realized that I’d fallen harder for you than I wanted to make myself believe. After that day at the truck, I wasn’t ready to see you, to be close to you, I just… I couldn’t. Just the thought made me feel like breaking.”

            He smiled wistfully. I saw all the pain carved into his features and wished I’d not been the reason for it. Wished I’d made the right choice, done the only thing that would’ve been acceptable.

            “Please… Don’t apologize,” I breathed, voice tight with unshed tears, “There’s nothing to forgive.”

            “But there is,” he persisted, his eyes boring into mine. “And I wanted you to know that I’m sorry for shutting you out.”

            Him apologizing to me, something I didn’t earn in the least, made me feel all the worse. I’d done nothing to deserve him, and yet I wanted him anyways.

            “Levi, I… I just… I want to be with you. Can we try again? I don’t… I don’t know how to move on from this summer.”

            “I have too many reasons to let this end.”

            My gaze dropped. He was right. Of course he was right, and yet this stupid sliver of hope wouldn’t die down until he told me we were over for good.

            “But what about a reason to try again? To stay?”

            There must be something left; some tiny doubt, a little piece of him that was willing to consider taking me back.

            “I don’t know…” he whispered. “Maybe.”

            It was this guarded tone he’d used when we first met, before we’d gotten as close as we did. Before he’d cast it off and opened up to me. Before he’d started to trust me.

            It threw me off kilter, leaving me feeling adrift. My confidence began to waver, but I refused to let that deter me. This was my chance and I’d try until the end. I’d not blow this by allowing fear to creep up on me.

            “Please…” I whispered breathlessly. “This was a bump in the road. Okay, it was a massive pothole, but we can still make it out alive. Try for me, Levi. Try with me. Tell me you’re not done.”

            Levi’s gaze held mine, countless emotions flowing between us as we looked at each other as if it was the last time we’d get the chance to. And maybe it was.

            Slowly, he began to shake his head, a stray teardrop sneaking down his cheek. It looked like he was fighting with himself. “I… I want to, Eren. But I can’t. I’m sorry.”

            His hand slipped out of mine, the sudden loss of his warmth on mine leaving me feeling bereft. It was a last look he gave me before he turned and rushed off, past the swings we’d sat on, across the lush grass until he was out of sight. I was too stunned to stop him, and even if I hadn’t been caught in the shock over his quick departure, I wouldn’t have held him back. He’d given me the chance to talk. He’d listened. It was all I’d asked for.

            Despite the vague outcome of our conversation and the longing it left me with, I couldn’t help but find comfort in hope. I knew Levi. If he’d really given up on me, on us, he would have said so. And… he hadn’t. He hadn’t told me it was over. I loved him, and this conversation and the delicate touches we’d shared, the long looks into each other’s eyes, made me dare to hope that he loved me as well. If he thought this was what it took to make me give up, I’d prove him wrong.