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destroy your reputation

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All things considered, being tackled isn't the worst way Ben's woken him up.

The impact shocks him more than the blow to the diaphragm; jolts him into consciousness and straight into Ben's waiting, greedy hands. Ben doesn't even wait for Poe to catch his breath before he slots their mouths together, kisses him messy and desperate as if they've been apart for four months instead of four days.

Poe has to push him away by the forehead to breathe. Ben tastes like peppermint gum and the heavy tar cigarettes he buys in Madrid, a combination disgusting enough to make Poe grab Ben by the hair to prevent any further kisses. Never one to be let obstacles stand in his way, Ben turns his attention to Poe's neck, hums happily against Poe's skin and amuses himself while Poe squirms and twists until Ben's chest is no longer squeezing the air from his lungs.  

"You'll never guess who wants you," Ben murmurs, breathing the words against Poe's neck in between the open-mouthed bites he's methodically trailing across Poe's skin.

Poe quirks an eyebrow.

"I have a pretty good idea," he replies, smiling wryly as he grinds up into the heavy erection pressed against his thigh. Ben laughs, rolls onto his back and pulls Poe on top of him. He manages to land another minty, nicotine tinted kiss before Poe tugs on his ear to dislodge him.

"Remember the Bulgari shoot?" Ben taps the face of his watch with his nail, the surface barely scratched despite ten years worth of daily wear.

As if Poe could forget.

The Bulgari photo shoot was the campaign that singlehandedly led to a five thousand percent increase in Bulgari watch sales ten years ago with that photo plastered on every billboard and digital screen in the country for months. It had made it into every magazine and publication across the world, is still so iconic that it takes up the entire first page of any Google image search for both their names and the Bulgari brand itself.

The two of them met during that campaign, launched both their careers on the back of that photo, and bought their brownstone from the royalties.

It also happens to be the campaign that blistered and soured Poe's entire professional life.

"They're doing a ten year anniversary edition of the watch." Ben smirks as he slips a heavy, broad palm up the gap of Poe's boxers and drags his blunt nails against the skin of Poe's thigh. Poe's eyes flutter shut, arousal sparking in his belly. He knows Ben's trying to distract him and damn if it isn't working.

"Yeah?" Poe hums, distracted, bites his bottom lip as he arches up into Ben's touch.

"They want you to do the shoot with me."

Poe jerks back, abruptly alert; his arousal fully stamped out. "No."

"Poe," Ben coaxes, voice a weaponized purr that usually gets him what he wants.

"Absolutely not." Poe glares, his voice dry as sand, frustration already prickly in the pit of his gut. "I'm just a photographer, Ben."

"A photographer who's hotter than every model in the business," Ben reminds him with a leer, and Poe rolls his eyes, knows that Ben means it. He chases after Poe's mouth, glowers at him when Poe keeps dodging. "They specifically asked for you. We should be celebrating."

"Celebrate what?" Poe snaps and tries to roll off Ben's lap. Ben tightens his hold, keeps Poe pinned against him in stubborn rebellion. "The fact that I didn't even take the damn picture that made me famous? That every campaign I've worked on for the last ten years is judged against my camera accidentally misfiring while we were fooling around? I won a fucking ADDY for that picture, Ben."

"Celebrate the fact it's a gorgeous picture and the company wants more," Ben says insistently. "I hated my manager for booking that shoot, you know. I only wanted runway, not catalogue. But then you were there." His eyes dart down to Poe's mouth, the sharp angles of his face softening as he remembers. "I would have done anything to have you. I wanted you so bad."

Poe shudders under his gaze, remembers the way his throat had gone thick when Ben had brazenly stripped off that horrible jacket and shirt; the way he'd worked the watch over the broad, thick knuckles of his hand; the way he'd spun it playfully around one of his long fingers.

The seduction had been blunt and brutal and obvious, Ben barely waiting for Poe's assistant to leave the room before he stripped off his pants and pinned Poe to the wall. Poe remembers how they tumbled to the floor, how he'd been so blinded by lust that he'd climbed into Ben's lap and casually tossed a six thousand dollar camera to the side as if it were cursed.

Poe still has no idea how that shot had made it into the proof portfolio, but two weeks later there it was as he drove down Sunset, blown up and slightly off-center but bold in its gritty intensity: Ben, gloriously nude and stretched out on the floor, leaning up into Poe for a kiss that had left his lips raw—the watch on the wrist that was fisting Poe's curls the only thing in focus.

"I still jerk off to that picture," Ben tells him bluntly, yanks Poe against his lap, reminding him he's probably been hard since he walked in the door.

"Good to know I still rate." Poe says, trying for exasperated.

Ben sits up suddenly, catches Poe behind the neck to prevent him from careening off the bed and Ben's lap.

"The first night I met you, I made you come all over a twenty-two thousand dollar watch," Ben tells him, intense. His face is viciously serious; his eyes narrowed and lips bleached white from pressure. "I got to keep it and you and now Bulgari wants to pay me an absurd amount of money to show the world I still have both."

"Ben," Poe says quietly, can already feel his arguments fading.

"I want to do this with you," Ben tells him, and Poe knows that he never says anything unless he means it. "I want you to stop thinking your success was a fluke when everyone knows you're the best in the business." He gives Poe a lopsided, encouraging smile. "Let's do it all again, but on purpose this time."

He finally lets go of Poe's hips, lets him slip off to the side and immediately curls a broad arm around Poe's chest, pulls him in tight. Poe closes his eyes, curls his fingers around the familiar weight of the watch that Ben has called his good luck charm for the last decade. Ben kisses his head.

"I'll think about it," Poe concedes, trying hard to ignore the victorious smile he can feel pressed against the back of his neck.