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not sweet by nature, nor altogether vicious

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“Woof,” said Elliot, flopping back. “That was energetic.”

Luke, who was still audibly struggling to get his breath back, rolled over and rubbed his cheek against Elliot’s shoulder. A huff of laughter wafted across Elliot’s sternum, pleasantly hitting the puddle of sweat gathered there. “Is that one of those terrible compliments you warned me about?”

“No,” Elliot murmured. He smoothed back Luke’s damp hair from his temple. “Why would you think that?”

Luke snorted. “Oh, I don’t know, perhaps because energetic is a synonym for sporty and you hate all things to do with sports?”

“Are you post-coitally quoting thesauruses at me, Luke Sunborn?” Elliot demanded. “That is really… hot, actually. Damn.”

He squirmed, trying to peel the tangled sheet away from his legs to fan himself with, and let it go when he discovered that the sheet itself was damp. “Urgh. Speaking of hot – can you please do something about this before I melt?”

“Sure.” Luke slowly pushed himself up into a sitting position, from where he had room to untangle his wings, which rose in graceful twin arcs behind his shoulders. He started beating them in a leisurely rhythm, not strong enough to lift him off the bed, but enough to send blessedly cool swathes of air across both their bodies.

“Okay?” he asked, smiling at whatever blissed-out expression Elliot was presumably making.

“Mhmmm. Yes. Don’t stop,” Elliot muttered drowsily. He wondered, on occasion, whether he might be making too free with Luke’s wings. But Luke never seemed to mind, and besides, Elliot reasoned, having a free flight service/fan/arousal gauge/thermal blanket was absolutely one of the perks of dating a half-harpy, and he was going to shamelessly exploit said perks until such time as Luke actually objected.

He might have dozed a little, enjoying the balmy summer air and the wing-generated breeze across his heated skin. He came to at the sensation of a finger trailing gently down the middle of his chest to his belly, swirling sticky patterns into the drying slickness there. He opened his eyes to find Luke leaning forward, wings still beating gently, eyes fixed on Elliot’s twitching stomach. He looked up as if feeling Elliot’s gaze on his; flushed and smiled and lifted his sticky finger to his mouth, never breaking eye contact.

Elliot’s breath hitched as he watched Luke’s tongue dart out to lick his fingers clean. Falling for someone was not, he had discovered (somewhat to his dismay), a one-time thing; not just that single, half-elated, half-terrified let’s do this. Falling went on day after day, an unexpected slow-motion topple prompted by stupid daily things like the way someone ate their overly protein-based breakfast, or stretched in sunlight, or smiled at you when you weren’t prepared for it, or sharpened a sword, reminding you that they might die.

The way they looked at you from under half-lowered lashes while slowly, deliberately sucking your come off their fingers.

He held still, barely breathing, while Luke repeated the motion – swipe, lift, lick – again and again, until the base of his palm brushed against copper curls and Elliot felt himself react, despite his pleasant languor. Luke looked surprised, then delighted. He would have taken things further, Elliot felt sure, if Elliot hadn’t groaned and flung himself around, out of the reach of Luke’s sneaky fingers, and instead pillowed his head on Luke’s thigh. Luke transferred his attention easily enough, swirling his damp fingers around Elliot’s nipples, over the curve of his shoulders, and eventually up into his hair.

“Can I ask you something?”

Elliot, who had been drifting off again, squinted up. Luke was leaning over him, wings curving leisurely across his back. He had been carding his fingers through Elliot’s hair, occasionally getting tangled in it because Elliot’s hair was a follicular Venus flytrap, but carrying on stroking it anyway, and it had all been very nice until Luke went and ruined it by saying that.

Elliot scrambled upright, languor dispersing on the instant. “Why do people ask that?” he demanded. “Evidently you can, and just have, so why wouldn’t you just ask what you want to ask instead of prefacing it with a terrifying preliminary that’s just going to make me think you’re about to say something awful?”

Luke was watching him with mild alarm and the tiniest bit of amusement. “Uhm… because it’s how conversation works?”

Elliot crossed his arms and leaned back against the headboard of the bed, accusingly prodding Luke’s knee with his toes. “Correction, it’s how terribly scripted conversation works. If I had ever managed to bring a working tablet into the Borderlands, I’d ask if you’ve been watching too many soaps, but as it is, you have no excuse.”

“Why would taking tablets make me watch soap?” Luke asked confusedly. “Soap doesn’t do anything. Does soap do entertaining things in your world?”

Elliot flapped a hand at him impatiently. “I’ll explain later. Stop deflecting. What are you trying to ask me?”

“Oh, right.” Luke fidgeted with the edge of the sheet and dropped his eyes. “Uhm. I was wondering if you… I mean, when we, you know” – he waved a hand vaguely between their naked bodies, and Elliot watched with interest as a blush rose slowly to his cheeks.

“Fornicate?” Elliot supplied helpfully. “Have sexual congress? Engage in carnal knowledge?” Enjoying the progression of Luke’s dismayed scrunch-faced expressions, he dropped his voice and added “Fuck?” in a velvety suggestive tone that visibly made Luke’s blush spread all the way to the top of his chest.

“Make love,” Luke said hastily, and it was such an endearingly Luke thing to say that Elliot took pity on him. He smiled and reached out a hand to slide his fingers between Luke’s.

“Okay. What about it?”

“You’re, uhm.” Luke was still fidgeting. “You’re very…” He visibly struggled for a word, and Elliot tried not to be impatient or automatically defensive, but it was hard not to brace, not to blurt, Clearly I’m doing something wrong so just tell me already so I can fix it because this is torture.

Instead he waited, slowly stroking the back of Luke’s hand with his thumb, until Luke had found whatever least offensive term he could think of for whatever inadequacy he was clearly trying to convey.

“…solicitous.” Luke breathed out in relief, as if at a daunting hurdle cleared.

Elliot frowned. “Do you mean solitary? Sedentary? Salacious? Precipitous?” He wasn’t sure those made any more sense than what he’d heard but Luke did have a history of learning big words from books without always strictly absorbing their nuances of meaning.

Luke shook his head. “I mean you’re always very… focused… on me. On making sure I, uh, you know, first, and stuff.” The flush was getting painfully dark. Elliot watched it with fascination.

“We’re really going to have to unpack the you knows and stuffs in there, I think. Do you mean orgasm? Climax? Getting off? Experiencing le petit mort, as the French so aptly put it?”

“I mean you always make sure I come first, yes.” Luke was beet-red but he managed to hold Elliot’s gaze. “Before you get to. And you’re really, er, thorough about it and everything-”

This was making less and less sense. “Are you accusing me of being too thoughtful in bed?” Elliot demanded.

Luke stuck out his lower lip to blow air at his damp fringe. “No!” he said frustratedly. “Not too thoughtful. I just. Well, er. I appreciate it, uhm, and obviously it’s working-”

“I’ll say.”

“…yes, but, I’m. Ugh. I’m not saying this right.”

“You’re not saying anything at all,” Elliot pointed out tersely. He was trying very hard not to get stroppy, but there was a knot of tension drawing tight inside his chest and his mind kept racing back through the laughably short record of their sexual history. They were still recent enough that he could count the times on the fingers of his hands – well maybe with a toe or five to help out – and he had thought things were going well. More than well. He couldn’t help wondering how they were here already, how he had somehow already managed to screw something up.

Luke made a soft, dismayed sound and took a tighter hold on the hand Elliot was unconsciously trying to withdraw. “No, I – I’m so sorry, I’m really bad at this. It’s hard to talk about.”

Elliot took a deep breath and tried to let his anxiety and instinctive prickliness disperse on the exhale. “Luke, it’s all right. You can just tell me. I won’t be mad.” Mortified, almost certainly, and possibly too scarred to ever attempt sex again, but he could manage not to be mad, he thought. Probably.

Luke nodded. His wings had stopped their slow beat and curled forward instead, as if they were trying to pull Elliot into the curve of Luke’s body.

“I just – sometimes it feels like you’re so keen on making it good for me that I’m wondering whether we’re doing stuff that you like. You know?”

Elliot blinked. This was not what he had expected. “You don’t think I’m… Uhm, Luke, I’m not sure if you noticed, but I enjoy what we do. Thoroughly. Repeatedly.” He dropped his gaze to his still-drying stomach, in case Luke did not follow his meaning. Luke was sometimes slow in these things.

Luke actually rolled his eyes, the jerk. “No, I know that. But you’re, like… always figuring out what I like so you can give it to me. Thoroughly, repeatedly, and so forth.” He tilted his head, meeting Elliot’s gaze despite the heat still flaming in his cheeks. “When do we get to do what you like?”

Elliot swallowed. Sometimes he felt like previous experience gave him at least some sort of natural footing in these matters, like he had figured out at least the basics of what it meant to translate emotional connection into physical expression. At other times – like now – he felt utterly wrong-footed, more clueless than he had before he’d ever touched another person.

“What I like,” he said slowly, testing the words for hidden traps even as he scoffed at himself for being a suspicious idiot. Luke wasn’t trying to trap him; it wasn’t in him.

Luke was tracing his fingers with his own. “If what we’re doing now is what you want to do, that’s awesome,” he said, smiling awkwardly. “Obviously I’m not complaining. It’s just, when I used to wonder about what you’d… I mean, how you might… I don’t know, I guess I was picturing it the way I knew you, how you’re really sweet sometimes and really kind of vicious other times, and-”

Elliot, who did not think himself very sweet by nature, nor altogether vicious, tried to take in what Luke was saying, and was getting stuck on one detail.

“Wait. You thought about… what I’d be like in bed?” His mouth felt suddenly dry, trying to imagine it.

Luke gave him a tiny shrug and a wry smile, as if embarrassed but not enough to hide it. “Well, sure. I spent an annoying amount of time thinking about you in general, you know. By day and, uhm… other times.”

Elliot couldn’t help the grin that crept up on his face, which probably was not a meek or in any way wholesome grin. “And? What was I like in bed in your head?”

Luke blushed again. Elliot thought it was absurd how much he could enjoy making this boy blush, and how Luke had still not gotten over blushing, or Elliot over watching him blush. Everything about this whole situation was baffling and stupid and wonderful; he had no idea how people ever manoeuvred through these things without strangling each other, or at least themselves.

“I didn’t… well, it wasn’t specifics. I could never have looked you in the eyes again,” Luke mumbled. “But, well, you know how you’re kind of bossy?”

Elliot bristled. “Excuse you, I am not bossy. I am just naturally gifted with cognitive skills that render me more likely in any given situation to deduce information accurately and more speedily than others, at which point it would be irresponsible of me not to share said information with my peers and instruct them in the obviously correct way to proceed. Bossy! What?

Luke was laughing at him. He leaned in to kiss him, despite Elliot’s grumpy noises. “Bossy,” he asserted fondly, his fingers sliding into Elliot’s hair. “So yeah, I wondered whether you’d be like that in bed.”

“Oh yeah?” Elliot managed in between kisses.

Luke nodded. “Yeah. And sometimes – I don’t know if it’s just me, but sometimes I feel like you might be about to get bossy, and then you kind of… stop. Hold back.” He leaned back to look Elliot in the eyes, frowning slightly. “And I know I’m not exactly experienced, so maybe I’m completely off here, but if I’m right, I just want you to know – I wish you wouldn’t.”

“You wish I wouldn’t…”

“Hold back,” Luke said, looking at him with clear blue eyes and smiling, a little uncertainly. “I like you bossy. It’s who you are, isn’t it?”

Something was happening, a strange sensation rising inside him, something warm and disarming that he had no idea what to do with. It had been only weeks, and the concept that Luke had chosen him first, had wanted him for years, still tended to warp Elliot’s brain. He was still used to curbing himself, making himself fit whatever the other person wanted, because giving someone what they wanted meant they might be more likely to want to keep him around. He didn’t know what to do with the notion that someone – that Luke – wanted him uncurbed.

“So…” he said slowly. “You want me to order you around in bed?”

Luke was watching him with his head slightly cocked, as if listening for something Elliot wasn’t saying. He lifted one shoulder in a shrug. “I want you to do what you feel like doing. I want you to trust me with it. If it turns out that’s something I don’t like, I can still tell you, right? But I don’t really think it’ll be an issue,” he added, with a small grin.

Elliot stared at him, wondering how it was possible for this one idiot boy to be so clueless and at the same time so uncomfortably perceptive, to see Elliot when even Elliot himself had not realised there were parts he was trying to hide, and to be so persistently brave about it. Luke was a soldier, and he had the foundation of a lifetime of love to shore him up, but Elliot didn’t think this – Luke stubbornly stammering his way through inconvenient truths – had anything to do with physical courage or emotional stability. This was just Luke, preferring to face the unknown instead of letting it grow in secret.

“Elliot?” Luke was starting to look worried, and Elliot realised he’d probably been sitting there goggling like a numpty for too long. “Are you – am I completely off?”

Elliot cleared his throat to dislodge a mysterious lump from there. “No,” he said, because if Luke could be brave, he could at least try to follow suit. “No, you’re not, loser.”

Luke looked immediately reassured at being called a loser, which gave Elliot the dubious comfort of knowing they’d at least both warped each other. “Right. So… will you think about it?”

“No,” Elliot said succinctly, and pounced. Not expecting it, Luke toppled down beneath him with a soft whoosh as the air left his lungs, and a louder one as his flapping wings hit the bed. Elliot pinned him down and kissed him, sweet and vicious the way Luke had said he was, and perhaps he was right after all. Nipping at Luke’s lip, he felt him react with a sharp intake of breath and whispered, “You want me to do what I want to you?”

“Yeah,” Luke whispered back, his breath hitching, no hesitation in his voice at all.

Elliot dipped his head to nibble a sharp little trail of half-kisses, half-bites down the length of Luke’s neck. “Okay. So what if instead of being all solicitous about you coming first,” he murmured, pushing a knee between Luke’s thighs and moving it there, slowly, “I want to stop you coming? What if I want to get you all… oh yes, like that,” he encouraged, sliding one hand down across the taut plane of Luke’s stomach, “and then just keep you there?” He wrapped his fingers around Luke’s cock and slid them up and down in a slow, loose-gripped tease. As Luke’s breathing grew more uneven, Elliot kissed his way down to his chest to swirl wet circles with his tongue, just out of reach of a dark-pink nipple. “What if I just want to drive you utterly crazy with wanting it, until you beg me to let you come, and maybe not even then?”

Luke’s breath gusted harshly across the top of Elliot’s head. “O-okay.”

Elliot lifted his head to meet Luke’s eyes. “Okay?” he demanded, stilling the motion of his hand for a moment. He had no intention of bullying or coercing Luke into anything, no matter what Luke thought he might be prepared for.

Luke’s eyes met his, darkened with lust but perfectly lucid. “Okay,” he repeated firmly, licking his lips. “I mean it.”

Elliot looked down at him, momentarily flummoxed by the sincerity in Luke’s voice, the unselfconscious desire in his face.

Sexual experience was actually next to useless, Elliot had come to realise. It tripped you up if anything, because experience with one person did not prepare you for being with any other person, not even a little. It wasn’t like things you learned in books, not like a new language, where you learned the grammar, worked on your pronunciation and ultimately just collected all the words you could to build into syntax to build into communication, universally applicable to any speaker of that language. With sex, it was as if every person was a language unto themselves, and sometimes if you were lucky, you learned a few useful phrases that carried over, but mostly you had to start from scratch and learn the new words that meant you, and here, and us.

Serene: A fierce, abandoned sweetness that Elliot, half-academically, thought was probably characteristic of first love, before Serene pushed away all that he’d read and all he’d thought he’d known to expect with just one demanding, hot swipe of her lips. Serene defied expectations. He followed her lead, let her sweep across him like a tide at full moon, alive with sensation and incredulous delight. There was no question of telling her what he liked, or even considering what he might like; not because he was self-effacing but because he liked what she wanted of him. He liked being whatever she saw when she looked down at him, sweat-slick and lovely, his forever dream.

Jase: A taste of metal and defiant freedom, even as Elliot was manoeuvred, with an indulgent smile, into position. He didn’t really care about dynamics; didn’t, at first, mind Jase pressing him down and asking, half-smug and half-attentive, “All right, baby?” That came later. That first night, all he knew was the novel and joyous realisation opening up inside him and spreading like the smell of a new book, Oh, this is going to work. He let it take him, arched up to capture Jase’s lower lip between his teeth, and took his surprised frown for a compliment, that first time.

Adara: Laughter. He hadn’t, until then, known it could be like this, easy and fun, foreshortened by the knowledge that there wasn’t going to be more beyond the dawn. There was a freedom in that, and an honesty that he relished: it was possible to learn each other for a brief interval of mutual fondness, genuine appreciation, and then let go. He’d been so focused all his life on needing to be loved that it was weirdly nice to let it go; to know that he wouldn’t be, not by this person, and that that was okay.

Dale: Confusion, and kisses that were hard with vengeance. The rest was tangled up, and the whole thing was wild and half-resentful, to the point where Elliot got an inkling of how drunken hook-ups worked, and almost wished that’s what it was. Because that would have been an excuse, however poor, and it felt worse, having no justification other than being hurt and petty. He knew by then it was okay not to be in love, but there was something awful about not even liking someone, about touching them and thinking only of how being with them might hurt somebody else. Dale didn’t seem to mind or notice, which somehow made it worse.

In terms of experience all he had were four languages that didn’t translate to the here and now.

Elliot breathed deep and let it go. This was them, now, and nothing had prepared him for this: Luke, sprawled beneath him, his wings open to lend a soft pearlescent frame to his sun-browned limbs and exert just the subtlest resistance to gravity.

It made Elliot push down more strongly, pinning the weight of his own body over Luke’s to anchor him. He gathered Luke’s wrists for good measure and pressed them into the sheets above Luke’s head.

Luke moaned, an unmistakable sound, and Elliot felt him swelling harder against his stomach. He tilted his head, intrigued.

“Do you like that?” he asked, pitching his voice low. “You like me holding you down?”

Luke’s lids had fluttered down; he opened them now to meet Elliot’s gaze. He didn’t say anything, but then he didn’t need to. He was fully hard already, and his nipples – which were, Elliot had discovered, delightfully responsive – had stiffened as well.

“Interesting,” Elliot murmured. He tightened his grip and leaned down to circle one of Luke’s nipples with the tip of his tongue, a subtle flicker. He was rewarded with a gasp and another upwards push.

“Don’t,” he admonished, underlining it with a light scrape of teeth, not quite a bite but the threat of one. He heard Luke sucking in a surprised breath and grinned, transferring his attention to the other nipple. The small hard bud tightened further in his mouth, and Elliot closed his lips to suck on it.

Instead of the anticipated moan, he got an impatient, if slightly shaky, snort. “You have a weird way of focusing on yourself.”

Elliot frowned and lifted his head again. “What?”

From under tousled hair, Luke was watching him with a decidedly mischievous expression. “Just saying. It’s really nice and all but… is this all you got?”

Again, Elliot could feel the gathered tension, a slight upward strain along with a subtle sliding motion as Luke tried to gain some friction against Elliot’s stomach. Elliot narrowed his eyes. “Luke Sunborn,” he demanded, “are you trying to… top from the bottom?”

“I don’t know what that means.” Luke attempted an innocent expression. Luke was very good at looking innocent when he actually was innocent. He was, however, not very good at faking.

Elliot, his hands still wrapped around Luke’s trapped wrists, scrambled up into a sitting position until he was straddling Luke’s chest, which, in addition to giving him more leverage, also deprived Luke of anything to sneakily writhe against. Luke made a small, disappointed noise but there was still a smile lurking in the corners of his mouth as he tested the strength of Elliot’s grip. Elliot held him down harder.

“You are,” he accused, impressed despite himself, and more aroused than he’d thought possible at the idea of Luke trying to goad him into losing control.

That triggered something else, a niggling concern that hadn’t occurred to him before. He sat back a little, without letting go of Luke’s hands. “Huh. Actually, we might need a safeword for this.”

Luke blinked up at him. “A what?”

“A safeword. Something you can say to get me to stop, if I do something you don’t like,” Elliot explained.

Luke just looked more confused. “Why can’t I just say stop?”

Elliot grinned and slowly, deliberately rolled his hips against Luke’s chest. “Because at some point you might want to say stop but not actually want me to stop.”

He had further explanations handy – was already coming up with several explanatory scenarios, in fact – but Luke, disappointingly, was quick on the uptake. His eyes widened slightly. “Oh. Oh, I see. Yes. Right.” He licked his lips, a quick, darting motion that had a very distracting effect and reminded Elliot of the relative convenience of his current position. “Okay. So what’s a good safeword?”

Elliot pondered this to distract himself from the proximity of Luke’s mouth to his groin. “Well, it should be something unique that you wouldn’t otherwise say. Like ‘sesquipedalian’ or ‘ovulation’ or ‘gumdrops’.”

Luke boggled at him. “Okay, well I don’t think I can pronounce or remember the first one, and I don’t know what gumdrops are. So…”

“But you know what ovulation is?” Elliot asked, amused.

Luke looked at him as if he was stupid. “I have close female relatives, and also Serene is my sword-sister and she likes to share,” he reminded Elliot. “So yeah.”

“Okay. So ovulation?”

“Okay,” Luke agreed, and resumed his wriggling, his wings fluttering gently on the bed. “But like I said, it seems unlikely that you’re going to do anything remotely-”

“Luke,” Elliot said, very gently, “stop that or I’m going to have to shut up your pretty mouth.” He pushed his hips forward to make his meaning unmistakable, his cock bobbing inches from Luke’s face.

He was close enough to feel the shaky breath of Luke’s exhale, close enough to see him once again lick his lips. Then Luke looked up at him and smiled, lifting a provocative brow. “I don’t know, Schafer. When it comes down to it, I think you’re all talk. I think-”

Elliot never got to hear what else Luke might be thinking, because all it took was one quick forward motion for him to slide smoothly between Luke’s open lips.

Luke opened for him immediately, having clearly anticipated him; it made Elliot worry less than he usually would have about being careful. Instead, he let himself push in and enjoy the warm, wet welcome of Luke’s tongue. He lifted up to change his angle, driving in shallow thrusts in and out of Luke’s mouth. Luke was sucking him eagerly; his eyes had drifted half-shut, and Elliot said his name until they opened. “Look at me,” he instructed, slightly breathless. Luke lifted his neck as high as he could, staring at Elliot, and hollowed his cheeks to pull him deep.

Elliot let himself lean over, transferring most of the force of his weight into his grip on Luke’s wrists and the motion of his hips. “Yeah,” he breathed. “That’s good. Just like that.”

It occurred to him belatedly that it might be somewhat beside the point to agree on a safeword and then immediately stop your partner from being able to say anything at all. But Luke was working him with obvious enthusiasm, making deep, humming noises that thrummed directly into Elliot’s most sensitive nerves, so he had to bite his lip to keep from shouting. He angled deeper, experimentally sliding all the way to the back of Luke’s throat, and, when he still got no signals of distress, let himself go a bit, let himself fuck Luke’s mouth, surrounded by sweet suction. It was wet and messy, his balls hitting Luke’s chin on every thrust, and Elliot loved every second of it.

“I’m going to come,” he blurted, sooner than expected; looked down and found Luke’s eyes glazed and eager. Elliot smoothed his hair back, smiling at him while rutting into Luke’s mouth. “You ready?” he demanded. Luke tried to nod and made an urgent, encouraging noise deep in his throat that vibrated at the apex of a stroke against the taut head of Elliot’s cock. It was all it took. Elliot came with an undignified noise of his own, felt the exquisite pressure of swallowing motions around him and allowed himself a few more shallow thrusts, spurting hard.

The blood was roaring in his ears, drowning out all other noises; he felt like he was pulsing all over, turned inside out by the power of his climax. He withdrew shakily but stayed hunched over for a few long moments, struggling to regain his breath.

When he opened his eyes, Luke was staring up at him, panting harshly. He was all tension to Elliot’s blissed-out torpor, unsubtly pushing upwards. “Elliot,” he said plaintively. His voice was roughened and there was come dripping slowly from the corner of his mouth. Elliot let go of his hands and leaned down to lick it off his lips and kiss him on his reddened mouth. He drew it out, enjoying the taste of himself in Luke’s mouth, soothing Luke’s lips and tongue from the rough usage.

Luke lifted his freed hands to dig into Elliot’s hair, kissing back breathlessly and with more urgency than Elliot could remember. “Elliot,” he said again, writhing beneath him. “Can I…” He pushed up, made a frustrated noise at the lack of anything to push against, and started to reach down.

Elliot captured his hand in mid-motion, pressed a smiling kiss against the fingertips, and said, sweetly, “No.”

Luke glared at him with stormy eyes. “You bastard,” he gasped and lurched suddenly upwards. There was an interval of grappling that ended with Elliot still perched above Luke; he deduced from that, and from the frustrated arousal in Luke’s face, that Luke was not, in fact, trying to buck him off.

Elliot, his limbs still buzzing with the deep, pleasant after-pulse of climax, leaned back slowly, brushing his palm as if by accident between Luke’s legs. He hummed appreciatively at what he found; Luke was hard and throbbing with it, the head slick with pre-come. Elliot thoughtfully moved his thumb over it in a small, teasing circle, and smiled down at Luke when he moaned.

“Something you want, Sunborn?”

Luke was visibly trying to control his breathing, his hands fisting in the sheets. “I’m… no,” he ground out, and his eyes were a hot blue challenge despite the slight tremor in his voice. “I’m fine.”

Elliot grinned delightedly and scooted down. “Oh yeah? That’s excellent news,” he purred. “I guess then you can just lie there all stoic and put up with it while I do this,” and he applied his mouth.

Luke’s hips came halfway off the mattress, and there really was no way to describe the noise he made other than a shout. Elliot smiled around his mouthful, peered up Luke’s body to gauge his reactions, and took him down. It was the first time he’d done this immediately after tasting himself on Luke’s lips, so comparing came naturally. Luke tasted sweeter, he thought: naturally he did, the jerk. Elliot scowled and sucked hard in retribution, until Luke made the most interesting whimpering noises, trying to thrust up while Elliot held his hips down hard.

Elliot had always enjoyed this act in particular: there was something so lovely about the concept of it, someone literally surrendering to his mouth. His mouth had got him in trouble most of his life and continued to do so, so it was nice to know he could use it like this, his vicious mouth made sweet, in an action so universally designed for joy. It was nice, too, to do it while he was pleasantly sated himself, so he could concentrate on his technique without any urgency. He let himself go with it, let his tongue dance and lash and slowly, gently suck, until he realised that his eyes had drifted shut and Luke had been saying his name, several times, with increasing desperation.

He let Luke’s hard length pop from his mouth and lifted up to meet Luke’s glazed, pleading eyes. “Yeah?” he asked, as innocently as he could. “Something wrong?”

Luke was swallowing frantically; he knocked his head back hard against the mattress, eyes squeezing shut. “Oh god. Elliot. I don’t know if I can…”

His cock pulsed under Elliot’s mouth, the tip distending slightly. Making his voice a rough command, Elliot said, “Oh, you can,” and gripped the base of Luke’s cock, squeezing tightly.

Luke cried out, and this time a note of almost-pain scraped past the pleasure in his voice. “Fuck.”

“Maybe later,” Elliot told him absently, gauging the effect of his punishing grip. He’d never tried this before, but it seemed to have worked; Luke’s cock, though dark-red with need, stayed hard and upright. “Nice. Look at you. You’re in a state, aren’t you?”

Luke let out a long, shattered groan. Elliot released his grip and slowly, making sure Luke saw and felt it coming, reapplied his mouth, gentling his lips around the very tip. “Do you need to come?” He closed his lips and delivered one light, torturous suck. “I’ll let you, if you really need it,” he murmured, looking up.

Luke’s eyes met his, hazy and darkened. Elliot saw his Adam’s apple working; it took a moment for Luke to find his voice. “No,” he said hoarsely, “no, I… when you want me to.”

Elliot felt the words, and Luke’s expression, pulse through him like some ancient and powerful spell. He felt the switch from defiance to pliancy, the struggle and surrender of Luke’s arousal as if it was his own. He drew in a deep breath to stay in control, and noticed only at Luke’s moan that the passage of air drawn over spit-slick skin had an effect. He fought down the instinct to apologise and instead lowered his head and repeated the action in reverse, gusting warm air over Luke’s straining cock.

“You sure?” he asked gently, bringing his open mouth within a hair’s breadth of the tip and pulling back immediately when Luke tried to push up. “I mean, I could keep doing this for… who knows how long,” he added casually. “I like you like this.” He darted out his tongue for the briefest flick, just to hear Luke whimper. “What if I did this” – suddenly diving down, allowing them both a long, luxurious suck before pulling off abruptly – “for hours?”

Luke’s hands were digging trenches into the sweat-damp sheets. “Couldn’t,” he managed, through clenched teeth. “You’d have to… you know… yourself.”

Elliot laughed, a whisper-lick up against the underside, and pinned Luke’s shaking thighs down hard. “Firstly, I’m still good – thanks for that, by the way, it was lovely. Secondly – I can. What if I touched myself while keeping you just like this”- he licked, a long, slow swipe from root to crown – “and then came all over you and you still weren’t allowed?” He trailed kisses down the crease between Luke’s groin and thigh, open-mouthed and wet. “Just think how that would feel. You’d be all wet and messy. And I might need quite a while to recover, you know, so you’d just be lying there all hard and ready and covered in come and I wouldn’t even let you touch yourself, let alone-”

Elliot,” Luke said, pushing up against Elliot’s restraining hands.

“Mhmmm?” Elliot said dreamily; it was hard to talk while doing this but he kind of enjoyed the uncoordinated challenge of it, the restriction of forming words while his tongue was otherwise occupied. He’d let his mouth wander while he talked, lips mapping the contours of hard tendons, the softness of the skin at the very top of Luke’s thighs.

Luke was continuously arching up, so Elliot took advantage and let his mouth go down into the space surrendered, as if quite by accident. He measured the heft of Luke’s balls with his tongue, and then drifted lower. He tasted the salty tang of sweat and felt the tensing of Luke’s buttocks. Smiling, he pushed past, fluttering his tongue against the sleek skin behind Luke’s balls, and then the rounded clench of muscle there.

Luke made a noise that sounded like protest, but at the same time his thighs spread wide, and Elliot, encouraged, pushed forward, letting his tongue explore. It was close and damp, hard to breathe. He felt strange and a little out of his depth, but there was Luke, palpably yearning towards his mouth, so Elliot went with it, swirling his tongue around and then firming it to push inside. It was new, shockingly intimate, and he would probably have stopped to think about tutorials or hygiene, if he weren’t being driven by Luke’s soft, shocked noises and the tight flesh loosening in increments, surrendering to his tongue.

He heard Luke saying his name, pleading with him, heard him say things that were maybe curses and maybe weren’t words at all. All he knew what that this was clearly working, wasn’t shocking, wasn’t dirty, wasn’t anything but new and intriguingly effective. He was hard again, sooner than he’d thought he could; his cock was throbbing where it pushed into the sheets. He breathed deep, opened his mouth and thrust his tongue deeper, just to hear more of the lovely noises Luke was making.

He had been sort of aimlessly petting at Luke’s thighs while plying his tongue; now he let his fingers drift down to join his mouth, two fingertips just brushing gently against where he was breaching Luke with his tongue. Somewhere above him, Luke was making a new, urgent keening noise, which Elliot took as encouragement. He drew back slightly to admonish Luke, breathlessly, “Don’t come.”

There was a snort of laughter above him, half desperate, half defiant. “Not. Coming. Bastard.”

Elliot swiped a wet tongue up Luke’s cleft and decided that Luke was clearly asking for it. He nudged at Luke’s opening with saliva-coated fingers and took some grim enjoyment in Luke’s audible gasp. Aided by his tongue’s ministrations, his fingers slid in easily. He did not bother with stretching, but immediately curled his fingers, teasing for the swollen nub of Luke’s prostate. When Luke whispered a curse, he grinned, swirling his tongue around the perimeter of his plunging fingers. He pushed and prodded slowly, establishing a rhythm. There were no more noises to reward him – he suspected Luke of biting his lip, which was really cheating if you thought about it – but he didn’t really need them; all he need do was to look up and watch the tensing curl of Luke’s stomach, the way his cock curved and twitched against his abs, leaking slowly but continuously.

“Don’t come,” he repeated, making it a teasing brush of air and tongue and fingers beyond the gaping rim. “I swear I’ll leave you like this and go and jerk myself off in some fucking corridor if you come before I tell you to.”

Luke’s inhale sounded like a sob. “Fuck, Elliot… please. Please let me?”

Elliot slowly mouthed the twitching muscle, and pushed his fingers deep. “No, love. Not yet.” He felt the smooth tautness of the gland under his fingers, felt the tempting clench of the hot passage around his fingers. His own erection, fully restored, twitched in sympathy, but he ignored it. Instead, he dragged his lips back up to the length of Luke’s cock and pulled it once more inside his mouth. Luke was making delicious noises, hoarse cries alternating with low-pitched moans.

“Elliot. You’re killing me. Please. Please. Please.”

Elliot suckled slowly on the swollen head, enjoying the pleas more than he’d thought possible. He hadn’t realised, until Luke called him on it, how much he’d pushed down and denied this part of him, the part that relished being in control, a weird mix of solicitousness and exultation at the notion of having someone surrender to him like this. He didn’t think it was entirely fair to blame Jase for the repression. True, Jase hadn’t expected or welcomed this side of Elliot and that hadn’t helped, but there was also Elliot himself, always too ready to roll into a hedgehog shape of prickly self-denial at the least sign of criticism. He hadn’t trusted Luke to see or want this, and because of that, Elliot had missed out on this – the unselfconscious, wanton joy of Luke spread beneath him, saying things that he had never said before, things that Elliot thought he could listen to forever if it killed the both of them.

“Please what?” he murmured, with busy, teasing lips. “Tell me.”

Luke whimpered. “I don’t know. Just… do something.”

“Hm.” Elliot grinned between dainty licks. “I think I’ll need specifics.”

He sat back on his heels and cupped his own hard cock to palm it slowly, the motion more geared towards calming down than speeding up. His other hand was still busy between Luke’s legs, fingers curled in a slow, relentless rub inside. He took his time, enjoying the view of Luke beneath him, a feast of tense limbs and golden skin and straining, desperate flesh; but most of all, Luke’s face, flushed and wide-eyed, staring up at Elliot beseechingly. He wasn’t talking, as if he knew that Elliot wouldn’t listen if he did. Elliot wanted him, quite badly, to talk in spite of that. He let go of himself and reached down to tease Luke’s cock, dark-red and so hard and pretty, fluid beading at the tip. Luke was pushing restlessly against him, angling for more friction, trying to speed the motion of Elliot’s fingers inside him. “Stop that,” Elliot told him, and slowed down instead. The slick of spit between Luke’s legs was running out, so Elliot took a moment to reach for the small ceramic bowl on the bedside table. He didn’t bother pulling out, just emptied the entire bowl between Luke’s legs, coating his hand and Luke’s cleft and cock, pouring the rest over himself for good measure. At the newly slicked intrusion of his fingers, he thought he could almost see the way Luke’s cock throbbed at every gentle, rhythmic push.

“Specifics,” he repeated, softly. “What do you need?”

The sound out of Luke’s mouth was almost a sob; his hips pushed against Elliot in a needy, frenzied arch. “I need to come.”

“Do you?” Elliot smiled, deliberately dropped his eyes, and watched the swollen tip and its slow pulse of pre-come. “I think you can stand to go a little longer.”

Luke let out a frustrated groan and threw back his head, sweaty strands of hair flopping against the sheets. “I really can’t.”

Elliot knew there were things to do; knew he could use his hand again, squeezing to stave off climax, or find a length of cloth to improvise as a restraint, but he liked, too much, the knowledge that he might not need to; that Luke could absolutely hold on just by the force of Elliot’s voice, even if he was clearly bursting.

“No. I really think you can.”

“It hurts,” Luke complained, writhing restlessly. Elliot denied them both the impulse to dive down and swallow Luke to the root, to suck him to a swift and hot conclusion.

“Deal with it,” he said instead, swiping his palm in a brief, callous caress down the pulsing length, his other hand thrusting deep. “I think maybe I’ll let you come when I fuck you. Maybe,” he added, seeing Luke’s eyes widen. “Do you think you can hold out until then? Because, I don’t know… if you can’t, I might not bother.”

“Yes,” Luke groaned, biting his lower lip. “Yes, okay. I can… I can do it.”

Elliot rewarded him with a smile and a deep, slow, dirty kiss, their tongues tangling sweetly.

“Okay,” he whispered. He fit himself into the space between Luke’s spread legs, nudging up against the place where his fingers were still engaged, just letting Luke feel the weight of his hard, oiled cock. “You want it?”

“Yes,” Luke breathed, eyes shut, teeth still sunk into his lower lip. “Yes. Yes. Please.”

Elliot rutted slowly against him, enjoying the slippery drag of skin against skin. Luke’s hard nipples pressed up into his chest. The muscled roundness of Luke’s buttocks tried to trap his cock between them. But it was not enough.

“Luke,” he murmured, and finally withdrew his hand from between Luke’s legs, replacing them with his cock poised at the edge of the warm, slick opening. He pressed his palms flat against the sides of Luke’s cheeks, thumbs stroking softly. “Look at me.”

Luke’s gold-brown lashes lifted as if compelled. His pupils were huge, darkening his eyes to almost-black. He looked both lust-drunk and exquisitely aware, staring at Elliot as if there was nothing else in the world to look at. His lips were red and swollen, whether from sucking Elliot off or from biting them, Elliot couldn’t tell.

“Elliot,” he whispered hoarsely. “Please.”

Elliot smiled and tilted his hips forward, permitting himself only the most fleeting contact. He felt the twitching ring of muscle against the tip of his cock, and slid over it as if he didn’t care. “Please what?”

He heard and saw the motion of Luke’s throat as he swallowed. “Please fuck me. Please. I want you.”

The words were naked, desperate, and sweet as honey. Elliot made a thoughtful humming noise and repeated his earlier motion, barely engaging, not penetrating, even though everything inside him was aligned with Luke’s hoarse plea, begging him to fuck them both into oblivion. “Oh. Do you?” He circled his hips, a slow, maddening tease. “How much?”

Elliot,” Luke begged, voice cracking. “You’re driving me crazy. Just... give it to me. Fuck me. I need it so much.”

Elliot leaned in and took his lips slowly, softly, kissing him as if there was no urgency at all, as if they weren’t both on fire. “Aw. Poor love. Okay,” he soothed, kissing and kissing and then finally letting instinct take over, letting his hips slide forward and his cock ease inside. There was no resistance, no interval of discomfort or adjustment. Luke cried out into his mouth and opened for it beautifully, spine arching, his inner muscles rippling to pull Elliot inside.

Elliot raised himself onto his hands so he could watch Luke take it, could see the way his mouth had dropped open, his eyes half-shut, an intense expression of utter abandonment on his face. “Look at me,” he demanded again. Luke didn’t seem to have heard him, lost to the motion of Elliot inside him, and Elliot stilled his hips, coming to rest at the incipience of a stroke, with just the head of his cock caught inside.

“Luke,” he repeated, making it a command.

Luke, quivering and sweat-slick, moaned in protest but forced his eyes open to meet Elliot’s gaze. Elliot could feel him, taut and leaking, between their bodies, and smiled at him tenderly. He captured Luke’s wrists again, pinned them down on either side of Luke’s head, and leaned in. “That’s it. Take me. Don’t come until I tell you to,” he told him, and Luke nodded, dazed. “Just look at me. Keep looking. If you close your eyes, I’ll stop. Got it?”

Luke nodded frantically. His wrists strained against Elliot’s grip, and Elliot tightened his hands in retribution, squeezing to the point of pain. He heard Luke moan and felt his body soften, fingers slackening, surrendering to him. It was heady and addictive and Elliot never wanted it to stop. He might have some real power-trip problem, he realised, and didn’t care, because Luke didn’t care; because Luke was clearly getting off on this.

Luke was looking up at him, panting harshly, and Elliot fucked him that way, their eyes locked and Luke’s legs wrapped around his waist. On every stroke, he could feel Luke’s neglected cock sliding wetly against his stomach, and he could tell that at this point, one brush against Luke’s prostate would get him there despite all the willpower in the world; so he bypassed it intentionally, ignoring anything except the primal need to fuck, to push himself as deep as he could get. And all the while Luke was looking at him, barely blinking despite the sheen of sweat on his forehead. In a way looking felt more intense than fucking, as if there was a whole world in Luke’s lust-darkened gaze and he was offering it up for Elliot to take.

Elliot felt the climax gathering inside him, a slow, rising throb that felt inevitable even though he tried to fight it, to draw it out as long as possible. Luke, too, seemed to feel it; he hollowed his back, pressing himself closer to Elliot. His eyes were flame-blue, hazy, wanton; he never looked away from Elliot’s face as he begged, “Do it. Come in me. I want to feel it.”

Elliot growled at him, “Don’t tell me when to come, loser,” and leaned down to deliver a punishing bite to the curve of Luke’s slackened mouth, but it was too late; his body was already pulling him inside out, his balls drawn tight and the orgasm sweeping across him like a flash flood, wild and all-consuming.

He groaned and lost the struggle to keep his eyes open after all. Inverted rainbow colour exploded against the insides of his eyelids; he thrust and thrust and strained to make it last. He heard Luke make a guttural noise and forced his eyes open to see him holding on, flushed and lost, entirely at Elliot’s mercy. He undid Elliot, looking like that; he’d tell him that later, when he had air and words and sense; not now. Now, all he was capable of was leaning down, still buried inside Luke, and gasping harshly against Luke’s whimpering mouth, “You want to come?”

He made it a question because he wanted, one last time, to see Luke poised at the edge of it, waiting for Elliot to let him, and Luke gave it to him, nodding frantically, his voice almost lost in his one hoarse croak of, “Please.”

Elliot smiled, feeling his face light up with it and his climax extending, unable to help it. He grabbed Luke’s hair with one hand, pulled back his head and leaned as close as he could to look right into Luke’s eyes as he gave the single, harsh command, “Come.”

Luke obeyed instantly and beautifully, his whole body arcing; he came untouched, not with the frantic release of manipulated climax, but slowly, in a series of convulsions, a hot and steady gush of come pulsing against Elliot’s stomach and dripping down between them.

Elliot fought the impulse to keep thrusting, fought to stay right where he was, where he could feel all of Luke from as close as he could get and lose himself in the feel of it, a strange combination of being consumed and taken while being utterly yielded to. He groaned and bit at the warm, damp skin at the juncture of Luke’s neck and shoulder; felt an answering shudder of renewed, pulsing release, and he thrust one last time, collapsing at the close.


“Nghnnn,” said Luke, softly, into his ear.

They were both slippery with sweat and come and spit, wetter than even fanning wings could deal with. Elliot slowly opened his eyes from where his face was pressed against the rapid pulse in Luke’s neck.

“Oh my god,” he mumbled, and pulled free of Luke’s body as carefully as he could. Even so, he got a groan of protest as he dropped onto his back. “Oh my god. Fuck. Are you all right?”

“Are you kidding me?” It took him a second to realise that the near-airless huffs were laughter. “That was amazing and we’re doing it again. Eventually. Once I can feel anything below my waist. Damn.”

It took some effort, but Elliot forced his head to turn so he could look at Luke, who was gazing back at him, sweat-drenched and smiling and shiny-eyed. “So… it was okay?” Elliot hazarded, suddenly feeling absurdly shy.

“What part of amazing sounds like not okay to you?” Luke scoffed, delivering a very floppy shove to Elliot’s shoulder. “Told you I like you bossy.”

“I am not bossy,” Elliot attempted, before his voice was smothered in the heat of Luke’s kiss, sloppy and slow, but thorough. It was no fair that Luke had enough control over his muscles to roll over, Elliot thought. Overachieving sporty types.

“You are so,” Luke murmured against his open mouth, “and I love it. Shut up.”

“I’m not-“

“Shut up, shut up, shut up.”

More kisses: the language of Luke, pressing affirmation into his mouth with exuberant, sweet silence, and in that silence, a hundred shades of meaning.

Elliot, listening, shut up.