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the heat that drives the light

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Quentin’s first six months at Brakebills had been nothing short of anti-climactic. Learning that magic was real had been the thrill of his young life, but as the weeks dragged on and the classes grew duller by the day, Quentin began to realize he was nothing if not an entirely mediocre magician. Downright shitty if he were being honest.

He hadn’t thought it would be so much work. It should have come so easily to him. He’d known, his entire life, that bubbling just beneath the surface there was something extraordinary. Quentin Coldwater had always been meant for greatness. But the hand exercises in Amelia Popper’s Practical Exercises For Young Magicians were rote and mind-numbing, the Circumstances of each spell felt impossible to work out, and his professors droning voices had put him to sleep in the middle of class more than once.

In his first month there he’d barely even made a spark.

Somewhere in the middle of his second month he’d finally managed to lift the smooth glass marble they’d handed out to each student on their first day a millimeter off the work table in Practical Applications. It had felt like a triumph, and then immediately a crushing burden.

By month three his marble had become his best friend—he certainly wasn’t making friends anywhere else— and he’d managed to levitate it one whole inch higher than the month before. Quentin was well on his way to becoming a master magician.

What a joke. Magic was supposed to be, well, magic.

Six months in, Quentin was ready to explode. His frustration wasn’t helping. He’d gotten better with his marble and had all but mastered Urgate’s Prismatic Spray, but making pretty colors with his fingers was of little use in the grand scheme of things. Quentin wanted real magic: Levitation with his whole body instead of a pathetic little marble. Invisibility and moving objects with his mind. Quentin wanted to slay dragons with a fire he’d created inside of his own belly.

Quentin wanted to fly.

But, if he were being honest, there was something else that Quentin wanted even more than he wanted magic. Quentin just wanted to make a friend. It didn’t even have to be someone that liked him all that much. After six whole months alone at Brakebills, Quentin thought that anyone would do. But so far, all Quentin had managed to make was a handful of enemies.

Chief among them was Eliot Waugh.

Eliot was a First Year like Quentin, but aside from that they had little else in common. Eliot was tall and confident and proud. Eliot was smug and knew that he was handsome. God, Eliot Waugh was sickeningly handsome. Eliot was quick witted and he always looked like he’d just stepped out of some fancy men’s fashion magazine with a vaguely french sounding name. A single one of his shirts looked like it’d cost more than Quentin’s entire wardrobe combined.

But above all else, Eliot Waugh was very, very good at magic. Quentin didn’t understand it. They’d been there for the same amount of time and had all the same classes, yet Eliot was leagues ahead of Quentin in every area they’d studied. Eliot was a highly adept telekinetic, and Quentin hadn’t even been given his discipline. It had been undetermined.

“How are you so good at that?” Quentin asked one day as he watched Eliot levitate himself two whole feet off the ground.

“I guess,” Eliot laughed his smug little laugh that made Quentin want to slap him, “I’m just better than you.”

Quentin glared up at his face as Eliot continued to laugh. And continued glaring as Eliot outstretched one arm, kicked out his legs, and slowly floated away, his scarf flapping behind him limply like a skinny purple cape.

It was how most of their interactions had ended over the course of their six months on campus. Not so much with the flying, but always with the laughing and the assurance that Quentin, try as he might, would never come close to mastering the art of magic quite like Eliot Waugh.

Quentin didn’t understand it. He’d never done anything at all to Eliot, so why was he being such a jerk? He just wanted to learn, and if his professors couldn’t get him there, then maybe someone like Eliot could. But he couldn’t. Because if there was one absolute truth in all the universe, it was that Eliot Waugh hated Quentin Coldwater.

Whatever. Quentin didn’t need him. He went to classes that morning and didn’t spare Eliot a single passing glance. Well. Maybe a single glance. But just the one and nothing more. It didn’t matter. Quentin was going to learn to get by on his own. After all, hadn’t it always been that way?

Lunchtime that day couldn’t come quickly enough. Quentin didn’t want to think about magic, or Eliot, or the fact that he was an utter failure at life and spells and friends. Quentin just wanted to sit at the end of one of the long tables and stare out the window over some faceless First Year’s shoulder and watch the campus move on easily without him.

He was going to get kicked out. He was certain of it. A shit magician with no discipline that not a single fellow First Year wanted to befriend? What would the world’s leading magical university ever want with him?

Quentin wasn’t even hungry. He picked at his lunch—something with risotto that he probably would have appreciated more had he been in a better mood—and had barely taken two bites when it was time to clear out the cafeteria for the staff to take their meals. Quentin sighed and picked up his tray, and was completely zoned out and dreaming of somewhere that was probably Fillory when he crashed head-on with another body.

The force was such that he nearly toppled over, but he’d managed to keep his footing while spilling the entire contents of his lunch tray all over the other person. And of course, like the stars had aligned to curse Quentin Coldwater alone, that other person just happened to be Eliot Waugh.

Risotto splattered Eliot’s once immaculate shirtfront. Quentin thought it looked like a Jackson Pollock painting and he almost laughed. Almost. Though he was too focused on the rage growing on Eliot’s face to ever get there.

“What the fuck, Coldwater?” Eliot actually shoved him.

“Sorry,” Quentin blurted out, stumbling back, holding the now empty tray limply in one hand. “It was an accident.”

“Bullshit. You did that on purpose.”

“And why would I do that?”

“I don’t know. Because you’re a jealous little bitch?”

Quentin’s pulse quickened, his own rage blossoming more with each passing second. “Why would I ever be jealous of you?”

“Because you can’t do magic for shit. And I’m the best.” Eliot laughed, flicking some of the risotto from his shirt and down onto the floor between them.

“Why are you always such a prick to me? I’ve never been anything but nice to you.”

The indignant smile that had been on Eliot’s face shaped itself into a scowl. He stepped forward carefully into Quentin’s personal space, glaring down at him with intent. He poked two fingers into Quentin’s chest. “Just stay out of my way. Got it?”

“You know.” Quentin puffed out his chest and tossed the tray down to the floor. “If I didn’t know any better I’d say you were itching for someone to knock that look right off your face.”

Quentin swatted Eliot’s fingers away and Eliot didn’t flinch, but something shifted in his eyes. Something nearly imperceptible, but enough for Quentin to feel it burning hotly in his blood in a way he couldn’t explain. Quentin hadn’t actually meant what he said, but suddenly he was starting to.

Eliot stepped back, straightened his shoulders, and smirked. “See you in class, Coldwater,” he said before pushing past Quentin and walking away.

Quentin turned and watched him leave, push out through the heavy double doors and into the hall. The whole cafeteria had cleared out save for them, and now Quentin stood there all alone with the mess of what had once been his lunch at his feet and his heart hammering away in his chest.

He couldn’t get the look in Eliot’s eyes out of his mind for the rest of the day.

The library was quiet. Quentin was pretty sure he had it all to himself this late. No other student in their right mind was tucked away in a stuffy armchair in the corner of the Brakebills library trying to understand Magical Circumstances at nearly midnight on a Friday. Then again, no other student was as awful at this as Quentin seemed to be.

He slammed the tome he had been reading shut in his lap and rubbed at his eyes. He smelled Eliot before his vision cleared enough to see him, or rather he smelled his cigarettes.

“You can’t smoke that in here,” he said, watching a thin wisp of smoke slip from Eliot’s mouth and up toward the ceiling.

“Henry doesn’t care. He’s passed out drunk in his office as we speak.” Eliot gazed at Quentin with the cigarette dangling from his lips for a moment or two longer before relenting and extinguishing the flame with a snap of his fingers.

“How did you do that?”

“Magic.” Eliot smirked, tucked the half-smoked cigarette back into its pack, slipped the pack into his back pocket, and leaned back against a bookcase.

“What do you want?”

“I just wanna talk.”

Quentin wanted to snipe, he really did, but for all his bullshit, Eliot actually sounded serious. His voice had gone downright soft.

“What do you want to talk about?” Quentin asked.

Eliot cocked his head to one side, studying Quentin with intent. “I have an itch.”

“Sounds like maybe you should see a doctor.”

“Watch it. I have an itch that needs scratching.”

It was only then that Quentin realized he’d been white knuckling the book in his lap since Eliot made his entrance. “I don’t see what that’s got to do with me.”

“Our little run-in in the cafeteria today got me thinking, and well… I think you might just be the one, Quentin.”

Quentin swallowed. “The one to what?”

“To help me scratch the itch, of course.”

Quentin released the book from his grasp and ran his hands along the smooth leather of its cover. He watched his hands as they moved, could feel Eliot’s eyes on him as he spoke. “You’re going to have to—”

“There’s no easy way to say it so I’ll just say it, okay? I want you to spank me.”

Quentin nearly choked on the laugh that forced its way up from his throat. “Okay. Yeah. You really had me there for a second, Eliot.”

“I’m not joking, Quentin.” Eliot’s expression was dead-serious, his body language easy. “You’re free to say no, of course. And, I guess I would prefer it to involve a bit more than spanking. Should you agree, we would need to discuss our boundaries beforehand. And I’ll need to teach you approximately three spells, but they’re easy. Even for an amateur like you.”

Quentin wanted to be offended by that last remark, but was too busy focusing on all that came before. “You’re serious,” he said, his voice breaking off at the end.

“Very.” Eliot pushed away from the bookcase, walked over to the armchair and gazed down at Quentin, the gloomy light obscuring his face half in shadow. “I don’t expect for you to have an answer right now. It’s a lot to take in, I know. Think it over. You know which room is mine?”

Quentin nodded. “Uh-huh.”

“Good. Then you know where to find me if you decide you’d like to talk about this further.”

Eliot didn’t give Quentin a chance to respond. He pulled the cigarette pack out of his back pocket and turned away with a devious smile. Quentin couldn’t move. He was plastered to the chair, his feet cemented to the floor, his cock so hard between his legs it made him dizzy. He clutched at the book in his lap and tried to remember what it meant to breathe.

Had this been what Eliot had wanted all along? Could it really be that simple? Quentin nearly laughed at the idea of anything about this being simple. The worst part was, he didn’t even know what he wanted himself. His first instinct had been to tell Eliot to fuck off, to go find some other loser to play his little game. But Quentin never did get those words to come, and by the time Eliot was walking away all Quentin could do was stare at him in awe and wonder.

Goddammit. Quentin projected himself back to that first day on campus, to the very first moment he’d laid eyes on Eliot. They’d been standing out on the lawn after their exam had finished. Eliot was smoking a cigarette and Quentin asked him for a light. Eyeing him from head-to-toe, Eliot had smirked, did some elegant move with his fingers and snapped a flame to life on the tip of Quentin’s cigarette like the whole of him was made of fire.

Why hadn’t he noticed it before? The way Eliot had looked at him that day. It hadn’t been a look of contempt. Eliot had looked at Quentin with hunger, and Quentin had been walking around for six months utterly clueless to his desires.

Well. So much for studying. Quentin re-shelved the book and grabbed his bag. His arousal had died down at least and he made his way from the library out into the chilly midnight air. He wandered aimlessly for what felt like hours, weaving his way through the hedge maze and around the perimeter of the campus before eventually finding himself back in the dorm that housed the First Years.

Eliot’s room was five doors down from his. Quentin didn’t so much as spare a glance that way. He pushed open his door and shut it securely behind, clicking on the light and collapsing with a huff onto his single bed.

The room was a tidy little thing, tucked away into one corner of the building with a big window that overlooked the west end of the campus. Just looking at it made Quentin feel instantly calmer. His narrow desk. His simple chair. His dresser and his lamp and his closet with its door half-open and the neat line of his clothes peeking out.

Quentin flopped down onto his back and let his legs dangle over the foot of the bed. Okay. So. Eliot wanted to be spanked. It sounded so ridiculous Quentin couldn’t believe it thrilled him as much as it did. But Eliot also said that he wanted them to do other things. Things that involved Quentin learning new spells. He watched the shadows move across the ceiling above him and tried to piece together what it all might mean.

Was this a sexual thing? Of course it was sexual. Quentin scrubbed his hands over his face and tried to will away the stirring between his legs. Fuck. Eliot wasn’t just tall and handsome and confident and so arrogant it was amazing no one on campus had punched him yet. Eliot was radiant, the wild energy springing from his core so intoxicating Quentin could hardly believe it took him six months to realize not only what Eliot felt, but what he felt as well.

Eliot was magic incarnate.

Quentin couldn’t fight it. His cock was rock hard and throbbing between his legs and the way his pants restricted his need bordered on painful. He unzipped himself with little preamble, shoved his pants down around his thighs and took himself into his hand.

Desperately Quentin stroked himself. He fucked up into the tight fist he made with his hand and played Eliot’s words on a loop in his head. I want you to spank me. I’m not joking. I would prefer it to involve a bit more than spanking. Three spells. They’re easy. Even for an amateur like you.

Quentin came quickly, slapping his free hand over his mouth to keep from shouting Eliot’s name. Their confrontation in the cafeteria that morning suddenly seemed so far away. Quentin shivered through the aftershocks of his orgasm, the front of his shirt ruined, his body trembling and sated and warm.

When finally he came down all he really wanted was a shower, but the idea of running into Eliot in the hall kept Quentin from even considering opening his door. He wiped his hand on his ruined shirt and tossed the shirt into the hamper in his closet. He turned down his bed and crawled under the covers, curled up on his side and tried to think of anything. Anything at all that wasn’t Eliot Waugh.

Anything other than what Quentin knew he was going to say yes to tomorrow.

The next day was an exercise in self control. There was no class on Saturday, and most of the First Years left campus all together in an attempt to enjoy their single day per week outside of the stuffy Brakebills walls. Quentin didn’t know what the other Years did on Saturdays, tucked away in their cottages and castles assigned to their disciplines. That was another world entirely. Next year Quentin knew all his fellow First Years—all with disciplines save for him—would be assigned to their respective houses, and the idea of being left behind made his stomach turn.

Quentin never left campus on Saturdays. He’d considered a time or two going home to Brooklyn, but the idea of running into his parents or Julia or James didn’t seem worth the risk. He scrounged up a breakfast of stale pastries and bitter coffee from the First Years’ kitchen and locked himself back in his room.

He practiced Popper all morning but couldn’t focus. Magic was a game of precision, and his hands were shaking too terribly to get any of the finger positions down. He tried levitating his marble but it wouldn’t budge. He couldn’t even get Urgate’s Prismatic Spray to make a single burst of color between his hands.

By the early afternoon his mind had gone numb with boredom. He stepped out of his room and into the hall, peering down in the direction of Eliot’s room. He probably wasn’t even there, Quentin had reasoned. Someone like Eliot had much better things to do with his Saturday than hang around campus studying rote finger positions he already knew and waiting around for Quentin to maybe show his face.

Quentin’s footsteps echoed like a pulse. He stopped outside of Eliot’s door with his heart hammering in his chest, working up the nerve to knock only by telling himself that Eliot definitely wasn’t there.

Quentin’s fist had barely made contact on the first knock before the door was swinging open.

“Quentin,” Eliot said. He was dressed immaculately in a lavender shirt patterned with tiny flowers and navy slacks. He ushered Quentin inside and shut the door. “How nice of you to join me.”

Quentin’s face burned hotly as he stepped into the room. “I didn’t think you would be here.”

Eliot’s room was identical to Quentin’s own. He sat down on the edge of his bed, cocking his head as if Quentin were some fascinating new creature he was laying eyes on for the first time. “If you didn’t think I would be here, then why did you come?”

“I don’t know.” Quentin’s words all ran together. His palms were sweating and his body trembled with nerves. “I don’t know what to say, Eliot.”

Eliot smirked. “Are you here to give me an answer to my request?”

“I… guess so.”

“And?”

Quentin swallowed. His mouth was suddenly so dry. “The other things that you mentioned. What would those be exactly?”

“We would negotiate what that would look like. I know what I want—”

“So tell me that.” Quentin wiped his hands down the front of his shirt. He stumbled over to Eliot’s desk, leaned back against it and gripped the edge. He just needed something to hold onto. “Please just tell me what you want, Eliot.”

“I’d like for you to dom the shit out of me, Quentin.” Eliot laughed easily. How could he be so calm? “It’s so hard being,” Eliot gestured at himself dramatically, “this all day long, you have no idea. I’d like to give up control to someone I trust. To someone who can handle what I ask for. I saw something in your eyes today that finally confirmed that you’re the only one around these parts that might make sense.”

“So that’s why you’ve been such a dick to me this whole time? This was all just some elaborate test?”

“I wouldn’t call it a test.” Eliot sighed. “So do you want to do this or not?”

“I’ve never, um—”

“God, don’t tell me you’re a virgin.”

Quentin blushed from the tips of his ears down to his toes. “I’m not a virgin, okay? I’ve just never… dommed anyone before.”

“Well, okay,” Eliot’s voice went soft, “have you at least gotten a blow job before?”

Quentin tightened his grip on the desk. “Yeah…”

“Okay. Let’s start there. Would you like me to suck your cock, Quentin?”

Fuck. Quentin drew in one shuddering breath and let it out. He was already getting hard. He felt so ridiculous he thought very seriously for a moment about hiding under the desk. “I, uh… Yeah. Yeah that would be, uh. Yeah. Let’s do that.”

“Not just yet.” Eliot’s eyes grew dark. “I am going to suck your cock, Quentin. Only, well, it’s going to be more like you fucking my mouth. You’ll be the one in control. That’s sort of the whole point of this thing. Does that sound okay?”

Quentin white knuckled the edge of the desk so hard the wood began to cut into the flesh of his palms. “Uh-huh,” was all he could manage this time around.

“Look at you. You’re trembling. Do you want me to stop, Quentin?”

Quentin shook his head, breathing heavily through his nose as he watched Eliot shift elegantly on the bed.

“Good. I’ll just tell you what I would like for you to do to me exactly then since I think that might make this whole thing easier for you. As I mentioned there are three spells you’ll have to learn: The first will bind my hands behind my back. Much more efficient than rope or handcuffs. More elegant, too. The second will render me unable to come no matter how much I might want to, no matter what you do to me. Not until you give me permission, if you should so choose. The third.” Eliot paused to laugh a little. “And this is my favorite, Quentin. The third is a home brew. I came up with it myself. A telekinetic slap of sorts, combined with some pleasure-enhancing sex magic.”

Quentin didn’t register if he was still breathing. He was either hyperventilating or his heart had stopped working all together and he had died. He tried to string a couple words together just to be sure. “The spanking,” is what came out when he opened his mouth. “That’s. That’s what that last one is for.”

“It is.”

“Why can’t I just use my hand?”

“Oh, well. You can. I’d prefer that to be how we begin in fact. The spell is an… enhancement. For when we’re otherwise occupied. Say for example if you have me on my knees with my hands bound at the small of my back and your cock fucking my face. Your hand would never be able to reach where it needed to be then. Plus, with the spell I feel it much more intensely. Full body pleasure. It’s absolutely fantastic, Quentin.”

Jesus. He’d really thought this through. Quentin wondered if he’d been thinking of this with every snide remark he’d made over the months. Every time he tore Quentin down, just waiting to see if he might light a fire that might be of some use to him. Quentin tried to respond, he truly did, but when he opened his mouth this time all that came out was a pathetic puff of air.

“I can see this is all a bit much for you,” Eliot said, rising from the bed and smoothing his hands down the front of his shirt. “You’re free to say no to any or all of the things I’ve proposed, or if there’s something that you’d like to do to me, please don’t be embarrassed to ask.”

Eliot took a step, and then another, shortening the distance between himself and Quentin. “And we’ll have a safe word, of course. I don’t see myself needing to use it but should you find yourself overwhelmed and needing to stop—”

“I’ll do it,” Quentin blurted out, the whole of his body on fire under his clothes. “I’ll do everything. I want to. Teach me the spells. Please.”

Eliot smirked, stepping nearer. He pushed into Quentin’s personal space, ran his hand up the front of his shirt, pressed his palm to his chest to feel the frantic pulsing of his heart. “You’re excited,” he said, pushing Quentin down to sit on the desk. “Good. May I kiss you?”

Quentin could only nod. He imagined he looked like a deer trapped in headlights.

Eliot nudged Quentin’s thighs apart and pressed between them, took Quentin’s face in his hands. He kissed Quentin deeply, like he was trying to draw the air right from his lungs. Like he was trying to consume him, body and soul. Quentin whimpered when Eliot pulled away.

“Patience, Quentin,” Eliot said, stepping back over to the bed. “Come. I’ll teach you the spells. They’re mostly incantation and focusing your energy.”

“But what if my energy is shit?” Quentin asked, hopping down from the desk, covering the obscene tenting at the front of his pants with his hands.

“It’s not. You think about too much. Let it flow through you, Quentin. It’s there. Stop fighting so goddamn hard and just let it come.”

Quentin was still trembling like a leaf when he and Eliot knelt down facing one another on the floor. “Relax. Relax,” Eliot repeated until Quentin’s body showed some sign of calming down. His breathing evened and his blush faded, though he was still half hard when Eliot began going through the motions of the first spell.

He hadn’t been lying. The first one at least was surprisingly easy. To bind Eliot’s hands at the small of his back Quentin needed little more than Popper twenty-three, a few muttered words of Greek, and a little flourish of his hand. It was all in the wrist. Ironic, Quentin thought. To remove the spell all Quentin needed to do was say the words in reverse and snap his fingers.

“You’re doing good,” Eliot said. It was like he’d become a different person. Everything about him from his voice to his body language had softened. “Come on. We’ll sit on the bed for this next one.”

The second spell was easier, in a way, but harder in that Quentin mostly had to take Eliot’s word that it had taken hold. It required a modified Popper twelve placed on Eliot’s face, tenderly, and then a short incantation in, of course, Greek—“No one appreciated sex magic quite like the ancient Greeks,” Eliot laughed—followed by a phrase in English that Eliot gave him to seal the spell in place.

He gave Quentin another phrase that he was to say should he choose at any time that Eliot should be released.

By the time they made it to the third spell it was mid-afternoon and Quentin was growing hungry and tired. Eliot must have seen it on his face and said, “The last one is the easiest of all, I promise. We’ll save it for when the time comes, that’s how easy it is. I’ll enchant myself, and then all you have to do is focus all of your magical energy into your hand. Think about where you want that energy to go. Think about how deeply you want me to feel it.”

“That can’t be all there is to it.”

Eliot slid his hand along the top of Quentin’s thigh. “You’re more powerful than you know.”

“You said it yourself. You’re better than me.”

“Not your fault.” Eliot smirked and gave Quentin’s thigh a squeeze. “I was in deep with some hedges from the eighth grade on. They taught me almost everything I know.”

Quentin couldn’t decide if he was more aroused by Eliot’s hand, or confused by Eliot’s words. “What are hedges?”

“We can talk about that later. Let us practice the other two spells a little before it gets too late, just to be sure you’ve got them. I’d like for you to have some time before tonight to… prepare.”

Quentin swallowed. “We’re doing this tonight?”

“Unless you don’t want to, of course. But it would be my preference.”

Quentin nodded, a thrill spiking in his blood. “Tonight, uh… Tonight would be good.”

Eliot smiled. “Oh, Quentin. It’s going to be the best.”

Quentin stood outside of Eliot’s room in the dark. He was fairly certain that every other room on the floor was empty, or at least he hoped, although he’d be lying if he said that the idea of someone nearby hearing what they were about to do wasn’t at least a little thrilling.

Quentin swallowed, adjusted his tie. Jesus, did Eliot really have to insist on a suit? Eliot had insisted on so many things, and Quentin had been all too eager to agree to every single one. Quentin had come to the conclusion that Eliot was a control freak, and it was no wonder he was eager to get out of that mindset for even a little while. Honestly, being Eliot Waugh sounded exhausting.

Eliot had given Quentin a dress code and a safe word—paralysis, because it was a word they were unlikely to say otherwise, and he liked the way it rolled off the tongue—and a general idea of how Quentin would find him, and of course the list of things that he would like for them to do—more things than just the spells, and certainly more things than they’d be able to do in a single night—but he left the rest of the scene up to Quentin alone.

“You know what I want. The pace that we go is up to you,” Eliot had purred next to Quentin on the bed, his hand slipping up along the join of Quentin’s hip and thigh. “If anything gets too intense, that’s why we have our word.”

Quentin raised his hand to knock, but then he remembered. That’s not how this was going to go. His blood hammering in his ears so loudly he could hardly hear his own thoughts, Quentin turned the handle and pushed open the door.

The room was dim but glowing, a pinkish-amber light emanating from each corner of the room. Illumination spells, tiny orbs that looked like miniature suns that spread their glow out softly over the floor. And Eliot’s skin. He’d already stripped himself completely naked and was kneeling in the center of the room near the foot of the bed, his head bowed. Quentin wondered how long he’d been waiting like that.

Eliot had insisted that he shouldn’t speak unless spoken to, unless he needed to say their word of course, and he didn’t even lift his head when Quentin entered the room and shut the door, locking it behind him. There was a bottle of scotch and a glass waiting for Quentin on the desk. He poured himself a drink with hands that somehow only trembled a little.

Quentin took his drink with him and sat down on the foot of the bed in front of Eliot. He sipped his scotch and tried to put himself into the mindset of the person that Eliot wanted him to be tonight. Quentin had never been a particularly dominant person, but the idea of playing this game with Eliot was so thrilling that he sure as hell was going to try.

His eyes raked over Eliot’s bare skin, glowing in the light of the miniature suns. He was entirely still, save for the gentle rise-fall of his shoulders as he breathed in and out. His curls fell down and obscured his downturned face in shadow. His hands rested upturned on his thighs. Between his legs, his cock was soft. It was as though, Quentin thought, he’d been drained entirely of that which gave him life, and here he was just waiting for Quentin to fill him back up.

Quentin finished his drink. He stood, walked over to the desk and sat his empty glass down, turned back to Eliot and shrugged out off his jacket, draped it neatly over the chair. He wondered how much Eliot could see from this angle, how quickly his heart might be beating in anticipation of what was to come. Quentin loosened the knot of his tie and rolled up his sleeves.

He shut his eyes. Breathed in, breathed out. Quentin opened his eyes and crossed back over to the bed. He sat, his heart fluttering as though it might at any second take flight. He held his head high, turned his attention fully to Eliot and said, “You may stand.”

His voice had only broken a little giving the command. Quentin considered it a win. Eliot rose to his feet like a dead man coming to life. He fixed his gaze on Quentin, his hair falling across his brow and into his eyes. His soft cock fell heavily between his legs, and Quentin’s first honest thought was that he wanted nothing more than to have it in his mouth.

That’s not what you’re here for, he had to remind himself. “Come here,” Quentin said, his voice more steady this time. “You know where I want you. Be a good little slut.”

Quentin tried to think, had he ever called anyone that before? Eliot had told him how much it turned him on, but what Quentin hadn’t considered was how much it would turn him on as well. Quentin could feel himself slipping more easily into this new role. He could feel the old Quentin slipping away as Eliot positioned himself on his hands and knees across Quentin’s lap.

“Good boy,” Quentin purred.

He was fairly certain that all the blood in his body had rushed to his cock and he did his best to ignore it, running a hand along the smooth slope of Eliot’s back. Quentin traced the drip of his spine with his fingers, stopping just before the rise of Eliot’s perfect backside.

Eliot was breathing heavily now. He wanted it so badly that Quentin could taste it. Quentin couldn’t believe how badly he himself wanted it too. It was like he could feel six months of tension suddenly falling away. This had been building between them from that very first moment on the Brakebills lawn when Eliot looked like he wanted to eat Quentin alive.

Quentin threaded the fingers of his free hand into Eliot’s hair at the nape. He wrenched Eliot’s head back and smirked. “Beg me. If you want it, you’re going to have to beg.”

They’d talked about this beforehand, it had been high on Eliot’s list in fact, but still Quentin was shocked at how it all felt in the moment. The power in the words, in the commands. They hadn’t even started any of the spell work yet and already Quentin could feel a brand new magic flowing through him.

Eliot whimpered. “Please.”

Quentin tugged a little harder. “Say it right, or you’re never going to get what you want.”

“Please. Please. I want it.”

“That’s not good enough. Say it or I’ll leave.”

Eliot moaned, and then he laughed. It was a mocking little sound. “Please, sir.”

It was the brattiest Eliot has ever sounded, and that was saying something considering the six months he’d spent making Quentin’s life just this side of a nightmare. And in response, Quentin actually growled. He was feeling it now, deep in his bones. This was who he was. This was who they were becoming together. Four walls, Eliot’s naked flesh, Quentin’s hands. That was all that mattered.

“Oh,” Quentin drawled, releasing his hold on Eliot’s hair, “you really are going to get it now.”

Roughly he pulled Eliot down to drape across his lap. Eliot’s body was heavy and warm through Quentin’s pants, and he could feel Eliot’s hard cock pressing into the flesh of his thighs. He rubbed circles into Eliot’s back, ran his hands up and down the warm skin of Eliot’s ass. He wanted to savor this, the thrill of the very first moment of their coming together. Quentin stopped his teasing and drew back his hand, and the whole world that was now just the two of them started to spin in slow motion.

There was a sting against his palm and a beautiful, deep sound of skin-on-skin upon the moment of impact. A symphony composed in flesh. More beautiful still was the sound it drew from deep in Eliot’s chest, something like a gasp rolling into a moan, and he rocked his hips into it and rutted his erection against Quentin’s thighs.

“None of that.” Quentin held Eliot down until he was still. “Haven’t even done the first spell yet, and you know you’re not allowed to come. Not until I say. Keep it up and that will be never.”

Eliot let his head fall down between his outstretched arms on the bed. The energy that flowed through him was intoxicating to be near. Eliot’s magic was wild, untamed and unbeholden to the strict guidelines that Brakebills tried so hard to limit them to. Quentin wanted to be drunk on him, drunk on the feral animal that writhed and howled at the heart of everything that was Eliot Waugh.

Quentin swatted Eliot’s backside again, gentler this time, just to let him feel it. He rubbed a circle over the spot where his hand had just made contact and brought it up once more, let his body relax into the motion. Thwack. Sting. Moan. Eliot’s flesh reddened more and more with each strike of Quentin’s hand.

Quentin paused for a moment, admiring Eliot’s blushing red flesh in the dim light. Quentin had done this to him. Quentin had made him look and feel this way. The evidence was right there before his eyes. He heard Eliot’s words echoing in his mind. You’re more powerful than you know. In that moment, Quentin was actually starting to believe him.

Eliot arched his back thrust his ass up into the air, begging for more. When Quentin didn’t respond, Eliot rolled his hips and began rutting into Quentin’s lap again.

“You really are asking for it, aren’t you, Eliot?” Quentin watched, mesmerized, as Eliot’s ass flexed with each desperate thrust against him. “Naughty boys get punished. Get up and get on your knees.”

Eliot continued rocking his hips as he let out a greedy, desperate moan. “Please, sir,” he whined. “More. Please. Please give me more.”

Quentin could feel Eliot’s hard cock moving against him through the fabric of his pants. And the sight of him there, the desperation in his moans, it was extraordinary, dizzying. Quentin had to take a moment to try and compose himself.

“I didn’t—” Quentin’s voice broke. He breathed deeply, exhaled slowly, and tried again. “I didn’t say that you could speak.”

Quentin pressed his hands to Eliot’s warm skin and tried to steady his breathing. Eliot just kept repeating, “Please, please, please,” like a mantra. Like a prayer. Quentin tried to center himself, remind himself why he was here. He had a role to play, they both did. He couldn’t go breaking down in the middle of it. Eliot deserved better than that.

When Quentin brought his hand up this time and let it connect with Eliot’s flesh it was with such force that it echoed throughout the room. Their very own sweet, filthy music. He did it again, and a third time, and a fourth, Eliot punctuating each swat with a pleading, “Yes, yes, yes.”

“On your knees. Now. If I have to tell you again I’ll make you watch me jerk off and then leave you to rut here all alone like an animal.”

Well. That was something. That was better. His breathing had calmed a little and Eliot’s body stilled, then rolled off of Quentin as he stumbled to his feet. He went down to his knees without a word or a sound, bowed his head and waited there in almost the exact pose Quentin had found him in.

Clothes. Shit. Quentin had to take off his clothes. Or did Eliot want him to leave them on? They hadn’t actually discussed that part. But Eliot had wanted Quentin in a suit. At the time that had felt important, but now he couldn’t work out if it was only meant to set the scene, and no longer served a purpose now that they had begun.

You’re the one in charge here, Coldwater, he had to remind himself. He pulled himself to his feet and pulled at the knot of his tie. “Did you enchant yourself yet? For the third spell, I mean.”

Eliot shook his head.

“Do that while I take off my clothes.”

There. Easy enough. Quentin got his tie off and tossed it to the floor. Eliot muttered his enchantment quietly, too quietly for Quentin to hear it, but when he was finished his whole body glowed a brilliant shade of blue for a flash of a second before returning to normal.

Quentin kicked off his shoes, tried his best to pull off his socks without tumbling over or looking ridiculous, and worked open the buttons of his shirt with fingers that only trembled a little. He pulled off his belt, let the soft leather glide through his hand like a promise, then dropped it to the floor with a clink.

He crossed over to Eliot and stood before him, his erection obscenely tenting the front of his pants. He hooked two fingers under Eliot’s chin and tilted his gaze upward. “Take these off of me. And then we’ll do the spells.”

Eliot’s eyes were hungry in the dim light. He smirked, and wasted no time reaching up and popping open the button of Quentin’s pants. He unzipped them slowly, then hooked his fingers in the waistband and tugged, taking them down to Quentin’s thighs along with his underwear. Quentin shoved them down the rest of the way and kicked them out of sight.

“That’s very good, Eliot.” Quentin gave his cock a single stroke, just to take the edge off, and it felt so good he had to bite back a moan. “Good boys get rewarded. But first you have to take your punishment. Those are the rules.”

Popper twelve pressed right to Eliot’s face. It was almost too tender for this moment. Eliot gazed up into Quentin’s eyes as he muttered the incantation in Greek, and then, so quiet it was almost a whisper, “Quentin says stay.”

If he hadn’t felt it earlier, Quentin felt it now. A shudder ran from his body to Eliot’s and back again. It was as though something had been sealed between them. It was as though, Quentin thought, in some small way they had become one creature occupying the space of two bodies. Maybe they always had been.

Quentin pulled his hand away. “Very good,” he said. “Hands behind your back now.”

Everything was quiet, so quiet, the room filling with the sound of their breathing as Eliot hooked his hands together at the small of his back. For the first time in six months Quentin felt like a magician. It took him two tries to get the binding spell right but he didn’t let it throw him. A sparkling blue rope of magic twined itself around Eliot’s wrists and disappeared to let him know it had taken. The final spell was complete. They were ready to begin.

Quentin stood before Eliot. “Look at me,” he said, holding his cock in his hand, threading the other in Eliot’s hair and giving it a little tug. “That’s good. Now open.”

Eliot parted his lips. He was breathing very heavily now, and the excitement in his eyes was nearly enough to tip Quentin over the edge right there.

Quentin dragged the head of his cock over Eliot’s bottom lip, leaving a trail of pre-come behind. “That’s good. Open wider. Yes. That’s good. Good boy, Eliot.”

Quentin thrust forward and into the heat of Eliot’s mouth, and he couldn’t help but let out a broken little moan. Warmth washed over him from head-to-toe. It was almost too much pleasure for his body and his mind to register. Quentin pulled back and Eliot whimpered, mouthing at his shaft hungrily. He lavished the head of Quentin’s cock with his tongue as though he’d been drowning, and here Quentin was, finally, to help him breach the surface.

He pushed back into Eliot’s mouth, deeper this time, pulled back, thrust forward until he could feel himself slipping into Eliot’s throat. He gripped Eliot’s hair tighter and began to work up a steady rhythm. He wasn’t going to last if he kept this up, and he made a mental note to have Eliot enchant him with the do-not-come-until-I-say spell the next time around. Why hadn’t he thought of that before?

Quentin’s toes curled against the floor as Eliot gagged around the length of him. Jesus, he really could take it. Quentin buried himself to the hilt and held him there, feeling Eliot’s throat flutter around him, and Eliot made the most beautiful, desperate sound when Quentin wrenched him back entirely, stood there watching the spit dribble from his parted mouth.

Eliot smiled at him wickedly and licked his lips, begging for more with his eyes. Quentin wasn’t about to deny him even a single moment of their shared pleasure. Not now. Not after they had already come this far. Quentin pulled Eliot forward by his hair and pushed back in, slipped back into Eliot’s throat like he’d always belonged. They were two perfect puzzle pieces coming together. Finally, after all this time.

Quentin raised his free hand. It was now or never. He snapped his hips and let the sounds of Eliot taking him deep wash over him in waves. You’re more powerful than you know. You’re more powerful than you know. Quentin focused all of his energy, all of his magic, onto one central desire: to make Eliot feel him everywhere.

He projected himself back to where they had been on the bed, how it had felt to first connect his hand with Eliot’s flesh in that one perfect moment. He poured every ounce of his longing and his need into the palm of his hand, saw it flowing from himself into Eliot, forced his hand downward, letting that energy fly, and when Eliot bodily winced and came up on his knees, taking Quentin deeper in the process, he knew he’d just become the most brilliant fucking magician to ever live.

Magical spanking, as it turned out, was really fucking awesome. Each time Quentin built his energy up and let it out and felt it enter Eliot’s body was like an epiphany. It was like, in a way, he was leaving his body and flowing entirely into Eliot’s. It was intoxicating, the overwhelming pleasure of Eliot taking his cock to the root with ease, the glorious music spilling out into the air with every thrust. And the magic, the magic. Quentin’s body going into Eliot’s body.

It was like he was penetrating Eliot at both ends. Filling him completely. Their bodies and their magic had truly become one. Quentin could feel himself slipping closer and closer to the edge. He didn’t want this to be over, but he was powerless to fight the pleasure that was threatening to spill over into agonizing release any second.

One last time, one last moment, Quentin lowered his hand and released his magic into Eliot’s flesh. It was a powerful connection, and it shoved Eliot roughly forward on the floor just as Quentin was thrusting deep into his mouth and then it was all over. Quentin’s legs began to tremble and the pleasure ripped through him in blinding waves and his cock pulsed hotly in Eliot’s throat. Eliot moaned obscenely and swallowed him down.

Quentin held onto Eliot for dear life then, certain he was going to collapse. Eliot didn’t falter even once in his mission to swallow every last drop Quentin had to give him. The room was spinning all around them as Eliot continued moaning happily, and then whimpering at the loss as Quentin slipped his cock out of his mouth. Eliot licked at his lips greedily. He was filthy with the mess they had made and Quentin didn’t think he’d ever seen someone quite so beautiful.

Quentin sank down to his knees, somehow found the good sense to release Eliot’s hands from their binds with the world still tipping around him. Eliot fell back onto his hands and let out a sigh, and then a laugh, and then the happiest sound that Quentin had ever heard. His cock was thick and gorgeous and hard and leaking, and Quentin couldn’t take his eyes from it even for a second.

He’d never wanted to put anything into his mouth more.

He was like a man possessed. Quentin crawled the short distance between them and looked up until Eliot’s eyes. Something had burst, and the roles they had been playing had fallen away. Now it was just the two of them. Just Quentin Coldwater and Eliot Waugh naked and alone in a room.

“Can I?” was all Quentin could manage, his eyes flicking from Eliot’s cock to his face.

Wide eyed, Eliot nodded, and Quentin wasted no time sealing his lips around him. Eliot gasped, gripping Quentin’s hair with one hand and thrusting up into his mouth. He cried out like he was in agony, fucking Quentin’s mouth like he couldn’t seek his pleasure fast enough. Quentin gagged, pulled back, and it was only then that he remembered what he had yet to do.

Lips parted, chest heaving, Eliot’s fingers threaded in his hair. Their eyes locked together in a moment of pure connection.

“Quentin says go free.”

The moment the words left his mouth Eliot was pulling Quentin back down to his cock. Quentin gagged around him once, and then it was all over. Quentin could feel him trembling, and then Eliot was spilling hotly all over his tongue, pulsing into Quentin’s mouth as he cried out his broken pleasure song.

Quentin did his best to swallow every drop. He kept Eliot in his mouth until he started to go soft, and then he let him slip free and collapsed back onto the floor. For a long time the two of them lay there not speaking, their frantic breaths the only sounds filling the room, Quentin’s blood rushing like white noise in his ears.

And then, just when Quentin started to drift, Eliot was standing over him and nudging him with his foot, holding out his hand. “Come on. The bed is much more comfortable than the floor.”

Quentin let Eliot pull him to his feet and lead him over to the bed. He stripped down the covers and they crawled inside. Quentin settled in against Eliot’s chest, hardly believing this had somehow become his life.

“So,” Eliot drawled, letting out a contented little sigh, “how do you feel now?”

“I don’t know.” Quentin let out a little yawn. “Tired. Good. Really fucking good. Like you just sucked every bad feeling I’ve ever had out through my dick.”

Eliot barked out a laugh. “I am a truly spectacular cock sucker if I do say so myself.”

It all felt so easy. Had they really been enemies only yesterday? No. Enemies didn’t sound right. They were probably never that. But Quentin certainly couldn’t have imagined that they would become this literally overnight.

“How does it feel?” Quentin asked, snuggling up more completely at Eliot’s side. “All those things that I just did to you?”

“Well, how did it feel for you?”

Quentin smiled and shut his eyes. “It was the best sex I’ve ever had in my life.”

“You haven’t had very much sex in your life.”

“Hey.” Quentin nudged him. “You don’t know that.”

“Yes I do. But it doesn’t matter. You were really, really good at it, Quentin. You made me feel…” Eliot trailed off and was quiet for so long Quentin thought he might never continue the thought. But then he said, “You made me feel like I was discovering magic for the very first time.”

Oh. Quentin’s pulse picked up a little. “I hadn’t felt like a magician before I walked into this room. Not really. I was pretty sure I was going to get kicked out because of how bad I was at everything.”

“And now?”

“Now… I know that I have real magic. I felt it flowing through me and into you.”

Eliot made a happy, approving sound, and pressed a kiss to Quentin’s forehead. “I’m so happy to hear that, Quentin. Your magic is… transcendent. And your cock isn’t too shabby either.”

Quentin laughed. “Seriously though, what’s it like? Giving yourself over to a person like that?”

“It’s hard to explain. But it’s nice to get out of my head once in a while. And everything that you did to me felt good and gave me pleasure and I like choking on cock.” Eliot wrapped his arms around Quentin and held him close. “It’s really not that complicated. I just like what I like.”

Quentin thought he understood. He looked up into Eliot’s eyes. “Do you think maybe, next time…”

Eliot smiled at him softly. “Is there to be a next time?”

“I’d like for there to be, yeah.”

“Okay. Good. Go ahead.”

“Next time maybe I could be the one…”

Eliot’s smile widened. “The one bent over my lap getting a spanking and then put on his knees?”

Quentin blushed and looked away. “Maybe.”

“Hey.” Eliot tipped Quentin’s chin up to meet his eyes. “It’s all right. You don’t have to be embarrassed or ashamed.”

“I’m not ashamed.”

“Good. And the answer is yes, though we’ll have to establish new boundaries, determine what you’re all right with me doing to you. But I’m perfectly all right with being on the other end.”

Quentin nodded and settled back down against Eliot’s chest. “Thank you.”

Eliot kissed the top of his head. “You’re welcome. And thank you for… indulging me.”

Quentin laughed softly. “Thank you for the best blow job I’ve ever had in my life.”

Eliot hummed. “Thank you for the spanking of a lifetime.”

“Thank you…” Quentin yawned. “Yeah, I’ve got nothing, sorry.”

Eliot soothed a hand down his back. “It’s all right. Let’s try and rest now. Tomorrow is a brand new day.”

For the first time in a very long time, Quentin was so excited for tomorrow, for what each new day might bring with magic and Eliot in his life. With the magic he and Eliot might create together. He shut his eyes and listened to the rhythmic ticking of Eliot’s heart, finding rest easier than he ever thought possible.