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Constant Craving

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Ryan’s out of his chair the moment Dan calls for a break, only one thought on his mind. Briefly returning to his dressing room, he snatches his jacket from the arm of the couch and heads for the nearest fire escape. As he reaches it, he notices Colin several steps behind him and pauses.

“Going my way?”

“Always,” Colin replies, smiling as Ryan holds the door open for him.

There’s a particular part of the lot they always go to, and Colin falls naturally into step beside him as they head in that direction. Ryan is already feeling some of his irritation ease in the fresh air, the sun pleasantly warm after the freezing cold studio.

“I figured this would be your first port of call,” Colin said, shooting him an amused sideways glance. “Ease those murderous tendencies.”

“It’s a fucking shit show.”

It’s definitely shaping up to be one of those days, with technical difficulties continually stuffing things up and Dan upping his bullshit dial to a hundred. They’ve already been there for over two hours and have barely got through half of the run-through.

Ryan’s already preparing to light up as they pass an old disused trailer and their corner of the lot comes into view, enclosed on three sides by walls and far enough away from the main buildings to be safe from interlopers. As far as he’s aware, they’re the only two people who know about this spot, or at least have claimed it as a place to smoke in peace. Ryan’s lighter comes easily to hand, but when he removes the crumpled pack of cigarettes from his pocket, he finds it empty.

“Motherfucker.”

“What?” Colin asks, his own unlit cigarette dangling from his lips as he grabs his lighter.

Ryan turns the packet upside-down and shakes it in answer. They’ve been given a fifteen minute break, which is probably down to ten by now. There’s no way he can get another pack in that time, let alone smoke it.

His last spark of hope is dashed when Colin grimaces and says, “And this is my last one.”

Tossing his empty packet onto the ground in disgust, Ryan sags against the wall. “Spectacular.”

Colin lights up and inhales deeply, blowing a trail of smoke towards the sky. Then he gives Ryan a contemplative look and inclines his head. “Come here.”

“I’m not taking your—”

“Just come here,” Colin says, tone firm.

Huffing, Ryan pushes off from the wall and walks over. He expects Colin to simply pass the cigarette over. Instead, Colin takes another deep drag from the cigarette and steps right up to Ryan, who cottons on just as he leans in. Their mouths meet and form a perfect seal, allowing Colin to expel the smoke straight from his lungs into Ryan’s. The relief is immediate, his craving for nicotine momentarily sated, but Ryan’s attention is more focused on the familiar feel of Colin’s lips, which is fueling a different kind of craving altogether.

Colin pulls away, a knowing smile playing around the edges of his mouth. “How’s that?”

Ryan takes a moment to expel the smoke from his lungs. “Pretty good.”

“Yeah?” Colin says, smiling wider as he takes another drag.

“I just need…” Ryan closes the distance without warning, catching Colin off-guard. Instead of a slow and steady stream, he gets a sudden rush of smoke as Colin exhales, some of it escaping between their hastily pressed lips. The buzz from the nicotine dose is there again, but it’s faded to the background, a secondary sensation to the warmth of Colin’s mouth and the softness of his lips. Ryan boldly swipes his tongue across them and, just like that, the moment transforms, smoking forgotten in the rush of something sweeter.

Neither even notices when the cigarette tumbles to the ground.