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Salted Caramel (And Other Flavors)

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It takes Steve a while to notice, honestly. That it’s a problem. Takes him a while to connect the dots, as obvious as they fucking are in retrospect. 

He never said he was smart. He’s a dumbass. He knows this, has accepted it. Hopes it’s part of his charm, or something. 

The thing is, he can fucking taste it. 

Billy’s like. A dick. Steve has not forgotten that, can’t forget it when every time he’s at the pool with the kids the fucking asshole finds a reason to whip that whistle out - 

God, ew, Steve. Jesus.

Steve blushes, makes himself blush, grabs one of the stupid little sample spoons and gets himself a bite of Blueberry Cheesecake to cool himself down -

Finds a reason to whip that whistle out and blow it - 

Christ. He tosses the first sample spoon in the trash, grabs a fresh one, opts for the Blueberry again - 

Finds a reason to smirk and interfere and call Steve and the kids out on shit they’re not even doing. Mostly Steve. Blows his stupid fucking whistle for anything. Threatened to ban Steve for putting sunscreen on his shoulders one time. Said he was creating a safety hazard, got real up in Steve’s space, real fucking smug and shitty about it, making Steve’s heart pound and his hands curl into fists, smugly pointing out a little drop of lotion on the concrete by Steve’s lounger. Slipping hazard, Harrington. Watch your shit if I were you. 

Steve was not proud of his blush. Was not proud of the way he stammered, like a fucking idiot.

Was not at all proud of the way he could smell Billy, coconut and chlorine and sweat. Was not proud at all of the fact that he noticed

He tosses the sample spoon, grabs himself a small cup off the stack and helps himself to a nice scoop of coconut. 

He’s a dumbass. He knows this. But Billy smells like summer in a fucking bottle and Steve can taste it. 

He licks the coconut ice cream off his spoon, realizes his mistake. 

Dumbass. His cheeks go pink. He closes his eyes, just fucking rolls with it. It’ll pass, in a second. For a second. He doesn’t toss the ice cream. Gonna eat the whole goddamn bowl, think about this smell in his nose, salt and heat and skin under his tongue.  

It’s not the first time. Been thinking about it since that first day at the pool, Billy smirking down at him from his stupid fucking chair, all lazy-smug, leaned back, tanned knees spread, sprawled out.  

It took him weeks. Weeks of shoving sample-spoonful's of every flavor of ice cream in this dump in his mouth to get the taste of it out to figure it out.  

The thing is, the really shitty thing is, he hasn’t even had it. Can’t figure out how to get it. Can’t figure out if he even really wants it. 

All he knows is that Billy is all sunkissed and content looking, like he lives for this shit, lives for spending his days in the sun, freckles on his fucking cheeks, yelling at kids for no good reason, most of the time, hopping in the pool every couple hours to cool down, when the sheen of sweat on his skin gets a little too shiny. 

Steve’s mouth waters. He shoves another bite of coconut ice cream in it to try to get it to fuck off. 

Thing is, Billy’s got nice legs; hairy calves, thick tan thighs, pretty strong ankles. And a nice chest. Dusky nipples always peaked and pulled tight, for some fucking reason, light little hairs in that shallow little valley between them stuck to his skin, always so shiny.  

Steve can see how red his cheeks are in glass case above the ice cream, shoves another bite of coconut in his mouth, sucks the spoon clean. Checks the clock.  

And the thing is, it’s like Billy’s looking for reasons. Like he’s just waiting for any opportunity to remind Steve he’s there, to remind him he’s got a shiny whistle and a little slice of power, another fucking kingdom to run, leaned back lazy in his chair, smirking about it. 

Steve thinks about punching that stupid fucking smirk. Or.  

He puts another bite of ice cream in his mouth, rolls it around with his tongue a little, makes it melt before he swallows it.  



Billy’s shift ends at five. Steve doesn’t think too much about that, about how he knows when Billy works, what days, what hours, about how much time he spends extrapolating when his breaks might be, when he might sneak out behind the locker room to smoke a cigarette.  

He doesn’t know what would happen if he got Billy alone. Only knows he wouldn’t mind finding out. Billy’s a dick. Could go sideways. Could. Not. 

Steve stops by his house to change after work and heads straight to the pool. He doesn’t know if the kids are there or not – it's like 90 out, he can’t think of anywhere else they would want to be in this heat, but they’re fucking weird. They do weird shit. Not his responsibility. 

His shorts are short, but not as short as Billy’s. He pulls on a baggy old basketball tshirt he’s cut the sleeves off of to cope with the suffocating, oppressive Indiana heat; good enough.  

Billy’s in his high chair when Steve gets there. Sunglasses on. Lounging. 

Steve doesn’t stare. He hears the kids before he sees them, splashing around, being obnoxious. He’s surprised Billy’s tolerating it. 

He chooses a lounger near the kids’ stuff, pulls his shirt off, sits down for the first time other than driving in about seven hours. His doesn’t even have to turn his head to look at Billy from here. It’s a blessing and a curse. 

Steve’s got his sunglasses on, but he swears to god Billy notices him looking anyway, if the lazy, shitty little grin on his face is anything to go by. Steve gets a little warmer, figures he can blame the pink on the heat anyway. Billy’s got his legs splayed, and all Steve can see are the light little hairs on the insides of his fucking thighs. 

Christ almighty. 

Steve gets in the pool, splashes around with the kids for a little bit. The water feels incredible in this heat, easing some of the tension right out of him, lifting his mood just like that, got him grinning and easy. Dustin harasses the hell out of him, gets Lucas in on it, and Max, and gets dunked for his trouble.  

He doesn’t hold him under for that long, just long enough to remind him that Steve can still fuck him up, if he wants to. Billy blows his fucking whistle.  

Steve gives him the finger with the hand that’s not holding Dustin’s head under water. Billy’s lips twitch, just a little, at the corners. 

‘No drowning children on my watch, Harrington. Don't make me ban you.’ 

Steve removes his hand. Dustin comes up spluttering, smacking him in the chest, cussing him out. ‘You’re not gonna ban me. You’d get bored without me.’ 

Billy just grins down at him, shifts a little lower in his seat. 

Steve needs a fucking drink. He splashes Dustin directly in the face, just to be a dick, smirks at Billy while he does it. Billy’s grin gets a touch wider.  

Steve climbs out of the pool, towels off his hair a little, dries his hands and pads over to Billy’s chair in his bare feet. Doesn’t think about it too much. 

‘You got a smoke?’ 

Billy raises his eyebrows at him. Steve can smell the coconut, the smell of his sweat, salty and earthy. Billy’s knee is about level with his chin, like this. His mouth waters. 

He’s got his own smokes in his car. He doesn’t need Billy’s.  

‘Come on,’ Billy says, and hops down out of his chair. His shorts are riding up between his thighs, stuck there with sweat. Steve only stares for a second. Just a second, as Billy walks away, toward the locker room. ‘Takin’ my break,’ he says to the other lifeguard, Heather, maybe, and she nods, not looking up from her book. 

Steve follows him into the locker room, checks out his ass while he gets into his locker, follows him out the back door. Doesn’t know what he’s doing, only that it’s already after 4 o’clock and Billy shouldn’t be on his break, not when he’s off in less than an hour. 

Billy leans back against the brick under the awning once they’re outside again, puts a cigarette between his lips and holds the other out for Steve. 

Steve takes it. Ducks forward and lets Billy light it for him.  

‘Didn’t know you smoked,’ Billy says, tipping his head back against the brick. A bead of sweat rolls down from behind his ear, down the side of his neck. Steve takes a drag of his cigarette, imagining how it would taste. Knowing. Tasting it. 

‘Don’t know a lot about me.’ 

Billy tips his head, looks at him, got that lazy, shit eating grin that drives Steve fucking crazy back on his face. ‘I suppose that’s true. Tell me something, then.’ 

Steve swallows, incredibly, acutely aware of every drop of water running from his hair down his chest, at the way his shorts stick to his legs. His. Everywhere. ‘Tell you what?’ 

Billy shrugs, wraps his pretty fucking lips around his smoke. Steve has a small crisis. ‘Something I don’t know.’ 

‘I-’ Steve starts, doesn’t know what he’s doing. Doesn’t know what they’re doing. Just that his neck and his cheeks and his ears feel hot, and it’s not all from the sun, no chance.  

‘Here, I’ll start,’ Billy says, swallowing. Steve’s transfixed by the way his throat moves. ‘You’re right. I would get bored without you.’ 

Steve’s heart beats a little faster. ‘I’ve got my own smokes.’ 

Billy’s lips quirk. ‘Tryin’ to get me alone?’ 

Steve leans his shoulder against the wall, whole body turned toward Billy’s. ‘It’s your turn.’ 

‘You’re not a safety hazard cause you get lotion all over the fucking concrete. You’re a safety hazard cause you distract the hell outta the lifeguard.’ 

Steve’s dick isn’t as much of a dumbass as Steve is.  

‘You. You’re such a dick, Billy.’ 

Billy grins at him, easy and wide and smug as shit. ‘You’re supposed to tell me something I don’t know.’ 

‘You drive me crazy.’ 

‘Try again,’ Billy says. 

Steve takes a breath, sucks a drag outta his cigarette. ‘I. Can’t stop looking at you.’ 

Billy licks his lips on a grin. ‘I think you’re missing the spirit of the game, pretty boy.’ 

Steve feels jittery, a little drunk. Billy’s either gonna beat his ass again, or.  


Fuck it. They’re doing this, then. 

‘I can’t get the smell of you outta my fucking head.’ 

Billy’s mouth drops open, just a little, and then breaks into a smile, wide and pleased and a little predatory. Steve’s heart kicks in his chest, adrenaline kicks in his blood.  

‘Can’t stop thinking about how you’d taste.’ 

Billy takes a very slow, very deliberate drag of his cigarette. ‘You wanna find out?’ 

Steve’s mouth waters. He licks his lips. 

Billy opens his posture up a little, lifts his chin. An invitation.  

Christ. Steve’s body’s moving before his brain has caught up, hands on the brick on either side of Billy’s shoulders, so close to him. 

The smell of him makes Steve’s head spin. It’s so much, the only thing he can think about. 

Billy takes the hinge of Steve’s sunglasses between his thumb and finger, lifts them up, into Steve’s wet hair. Does the same with his own. His pupils are blown wide as hell, and Steve can’t get a breath, the fucking intimacy of it making his knees shake.  

‘Well?’ Billy breathes, and Steve groans. 

Gets his lips on Billy’s neck, right under his ear. Licks up the taste of him, exactly like he imagined, salt and fucking sunshine. Billy’s fingers are in his hair, and he’s gasping. 

Too soon, Billy pulls him back, fist in his hair. Looks him in the eye. ‘Break’s over.’ 

Steve’s gonna die. His dick is hard as hell in his wet little shorts. Motherfucker. ‘You’re an asshole.’ 

Billy smirks at him. He lets go of Steve’s hair, pats him on the chest, patronizing as all hell. ‘Later, pretty boy.’ 

He takes one last drag of his smoke, flicks it out into the gravel, and ducks out of Steve’s arms, heading back into the locker room. 

Steve remembers his cigarette, smokes the rest of it while his hands shake and his head spins, willing his dick to soften up, just a little. Just enough to make it back to his keys and his tshirt.  

Billy tastes incredible. Just like he thought.  



It takes Steve two bowls of coconut and a bowl of strawberry to get through work the next day, thinking about Billy, trying to get the taste of him out of his mouth. The sugar’s got him jittery - that’s his story and he’s sticking to it, just had way too much fucking ice cream. 

It doesn’t really work. Doesn’t really take his mind off it. He doesn’t even have to concentrate to smell Billy on him, smell his sweat and his sunscreen and the chlorine in his stupid fucking mullet, the sunshine on his skin. Taste it. On his tongue.  

Billy let him. Started it. You distract the hell outta the lifeguard

Steve goes to the pool again after work. Wears the same shorts as yesterday, doesn’t even bother with a shirt this time around.  

He doesn’t look at Billy when he gets there, but he can feel Billy’s eyes on him the whole time. Sunscreened up in parking lot. Doesn’t get in the water. Doesn’t give Billy any reason to blow his goddamn whistle, today, just lays back in his lounger, one knee bent up, other leg outstretched. Hand behind his head. Sprawled out. 

He’s got his eyes closed behind his glasses, mostly.  

If there’s one thing Steve knows, it’s that Billy Hargrove needs attention. Doesn’t like being ignored.  

He lays there until five, just like that. Breathing slow. Glancing at Billy every once in a while, watching his jaw get tighter and tighter, listening to him snap at kids for the stupidest shit. He doesn’t smile. Doesn’t give Billy the satisfaction.  

At 5:05, Steve’s skin prickles. The hot, relentless rays of the sun disappear from his skin. He cracks his eyes open. 

Billy’s glaring, fists clenched by his sides. Looming over him. Steve raises his eyebrows, not bothering to move. It pisses Billy off. Good. 

‘Blocking my sun, asshole.’ 

‘Get the fuck up.’ 

Steve smiles then, can’t help it, feeling pretty smug. Pretty damn pleased with himself. Billy’s not the only asshole in this town.  

Steve takes his time getting up, and Billy storms off toward the locker rooms, stops at the doorway, glances back to make sure Steve’s following.  

Billy shoves him against the wall once he’s inside, cool tile kissing his shoulders.  

‘You’re a dick,’ Billy says, and then kisses him. Puts his mouth on Steve’s, doesn’t take long before Steve’s parting his lips, letting Billy lick into his mouth, giving as good as he gets.  

He shoves Billy back a step. ‘I’m a dick? I am a dick. After that shit yesterday? Fuck you.’ 

‘God, shut up,’ Billy says, and kisses him again, presses his whole front to Steve’s, slots their hips together. Steve puts his hands on Billy’s waist, warm from the sun, groans into his mouth. 

Billy rolls his hips, and Steve pulls back, breaks the kiss, as fucking spectacular as it is, to lick at his neck again, lick up all that salt, get the taste of it in his mouth where it belongs. 

‘Fuck, Harrington.’ 

‘Steve,’ Steve says, figures they can try first names. 

‘Asshole,’ Billy says, tips his head, gives Steve more room. 

‘Or that.’ Steve licks at Billy’s collarbone. Billy clutches at his hair. It’s hot as hell. 

‘What,’ Billy starts, swallows, ‘what do you want, asshole?’ 

‘Told you. Can’t stop thinking about it.’ 

‘How I taste, right, yeah,’ Billy grinds his hips into Steve’s so fucking good, ‘Well, now you know.’ 

Steve groans, frustrated, thumbs at Billy’s hipbones, dips them under the elastic of his shorts. ‘That’s not true and you fucking know it.’ 

Billy drags him up by his hair, looks him in the eye. Looks real turned on. It makes Steve flush, lick his lips. ‘You want more?’ 

Steve looks at him for a moment. Considers. He’s never sucked a dick before. The salt on Billy’s neck, the musky earthy taste of him is. A matter of obsession, really, at this point. Makes him fucking dizzy. Makes his dick hard. Makes him come all over himself, every night, thinking about it. Fantasizing about it. 

He imagines what it’d be like between Billy’s legs. How much. More

His mouth waters. He looks at Billy’s mouth, then back at his eyes. Bites his lip. Nods.  

Billy’s head smacks back into the wall, chest heaving, eyes to the ceiling. Steve kisses his throat. 

‘Do it,’ Billy says, ‘do it, asshole.’ 

‘Here?’ Steve asks, heart hammering. It’s. They’re at the pool. They could get caught. 

‘You seriously wanna wait?’ 

He does not. He does not want to wait another fucking second.  

He gets on his knees.  

‘Oh, motherfucking christ,’ Billy breathes, looking down at him, fingers spasming in Steve’s hair. His dick twitches in his tiny little shorts, right at Steve’s eye level. Steve looks up at him, hands still on Billy’s hips. Like he’s waiting for permission.  

He feels like he’s waiting for permission. 

Billy bites his lip, yanks at Steve’s hair a little. ‘Come on, you fucking dick.’ 

God. Christ. Steve gets his mouth on Billy’s tan belly, kisses at him under his bellybutton, licks the salt outta the hair there, slides his palms up Billy’s calves, his fucking thighs, up his shorts, around, down the back, hair so fucking soft under his hands. Nothing like a girl. Nothing like a girl at all.  

Billy gets impatient, apparently. Shoves his shorts down and steps out of them and kicks them aside, stands there naked, looking down at him, chest heaving, dick pointing straight out. Hard.  

It’s just like he thought. Smells just like he thought. His mouth waters, and he clutches at Billy’s thighs. His thick, gorgeous fucking thighs. God. 

‘Harrington,’ Billy bites out, gives his hair a vicious yank. It makes Steve’s dick kick in his shorts.  

‘Okay,’ Steve breathes, tucks his face right up next to it, overcome, ‘okay. I don’t. I’ve never-’ 

‘Jesus fuck, Harrington. Just. Think about how you like people to do it to you, and try to do that. It’s not that fucking hard. You breathe on me wrong at this point and I’m gonna fucking come, there’s time to work on your technique later, just fucking do it.’ 

So Steve does it. It’s decent advice, actually. It’s a little weird, having a dick in his mouth, but it’s also. Fucking everything. He knows from the first taste that he loves this, wants to do it again, as often as possible. 

His dick throbs when he realizes Billy said later. Implied there’d be a later. 

He knows he liked it when girls would use their tongue on that spot under the head, when they’d wrap their hand around the base of his cock so he was all wrapped up in them. He does that. Billy groans, and his dick blurts out a drop of what Steve figures is precome in his mouth.  

It tastes fucking incredible. Salty. Steve likes it. Wants more of it. He gets a little braver, tries some new things, tries to take Billy a little deeper. Uses his lips a little more.  

‘You don’t want my come in your mouth now would be a good time to pull off,’ Billy says, a little frantic, hips making these aborted little thrusts.  

There’s no fucking way Steve’s not gonna taste that. No way he’s pulling off. Billy’s dick swells a little in his mouth, twitches, twitches, and then Billy’s fist tightens so hard in his hair that Steve’s eyes water, and he makes this incredible noise, this little cry, and the first spurt hits Steve right on the tongue. He whimpers, he thinks, sucks all sloppy, pulls it out of him, keeps going until Billy yanks him off and looks down at him, cheeks all flushed, eyes all wide, chest shiny with sweat.  

Steve swallows. Billy’s lips part.  

Steve shoves his hand in his shorts, jerks himself off while Billy watches him, looking fucked out and shocked and really fucking pleased.  

It’s a good look on him, honestly. Steve thinks he’d like to see it again. Like to put that look on Billy’s face again. 

‘Take ‘em off, asshole. Let me see.’ 

Steve lifts his ass, shoves his shorts down his thighs just enough to give Billy a look. His cheeks burn. His ears burn. His head swims. He’s on his knees at Billy’s feet, taste of his come in his mouth, jerking off about it. 

‘Come on, lemme see,’ Billy says, and yeah. Yeah. 

Steve jerks himself harder, realizes at the last second he’s gonna make a mess all over the fucking tile.  

He doesn’t really decide to grab Billy’s shorts off the floor, but then he’s coming, catching the mess in the red fabric, feeling fucking incredible when Billy yanks his head back and slots their mouths together and kisses him, just like that, kisses him all deep and hot and dirty.  

‘God,’ he says, when Billy pulls back, slouches against the wall. Steve kind of collapses, forehead on Billy’s thigh, smell of him everywhere, so much warm skin. 

‘Well, shit,’ Billy says, carding his fingers through Steve’s hair. ‘Now you know, I guess.’ 

Steve nods. Yeah. Gonna be jerking off to that til he’s dead, probably. 


It sounds a little hesitant, maybe, a little too quiet, a little too genuine. A little like an invitation, maybe. 

He looks up at Billy. Pretty, shitty Billy. 

‘Said there’d be time to work on my technique later. You volunteering?’ 

Billy’s so bright, shit eating grin back on his face. Steve wants to punch it a little less.  

‘It wasn’t bad, for your first attempt,’ Billy says, hand gentle on his jaw, intimate as hell, ‘but you could use the practice. I could be convinced to help you out.’ 

Steve scrapes his teeth over Billy’s hipbone, and Billy smacks him upside the head. Steve grins up at him. 

‘First lesson. No teeth.’ 

Steve bites him. ‘You like it.’ 

Billy’s dick twitches, just a little.  

‘You’re an asshole and I still don’t like you.’ 

Steve gets up off his knees, presses his lips to Billy’s. 

‘You’re supposed to tell me something I don’t know.’