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Oh, What Needful Things We Are

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Percival Graves had always considered the Barebone girls exceptionally plain creatures. Etta Barebone was tall and skinny and all jawline and feline eyes and unruly black waves of hair. Her teeth had been crooked as a child but spelled straight at some point so her smile was freely given and wild and pleasant enough that one could ignore the ferret-like features of her face. Mary Lou, her unfortunate squib sister, was shorter and her features were knife-blade thin and her ill temper made her even more unfortunate to look at. Her lips had the constantly pinched appearance of someone who was angry at the world at large for no particular reason other than to be angry.

They were level headed girls, though, he would give them that. Intelligent and sharp and observant and cunning little creatures in their youth, honed even more with age.

Alois and Myrtle Barebone passed away young, barely into their seventies, and Etta ran off with some No-Maj, leaving Mary Lou as the last dredge of the Barebone name.

And Percival would rather die than marry Mary Lou Barebone.

So the betrothal had been avoided, somewhat. Mary Lou was never named the heir of the Barebone line and so none of her children, if she ever had any biological ones, would suffice for the betrothal between the house of Graves and the house of Barebone.

Percival, for his part, had been content to forget about the Barebones and their frightening, frustrating daughters and continue on with his life. After all, he wanted a career, he wanted a life outside the home. Certainly he didn’t want a woman at all, much less either one of the two Barebone girls. He was content with the loneliness, or at least that’s what he told himself. Neatly packing away his emotions, bottling them and storing him in a cellar in his chest. And if the bottles were a bit leaky then he just had to be careful not to light anything near them.

So when, nearly two decades after Etta Barebone had run off with her No-Maj, Mary Lou Barebone knocked on the door of his apartment, a tall, hunched figure trying to blend in with her shadow standing behind her, Percival was apprehensive enough to know that nothing good would come of Mary Lou darkening his doorway.

“Mary Lou Barebone.” He cleared his throat, staring down at the woman. He had seen her file on his desk, more than once, considered a terrorist but not doing enough, or being listened to enough, to gain traction among the No-Majs. Her photographs didn’t do the sharpness of her eyes justice, or the cold set of her jaw.

“Percival Graves.” The woman gave a sweet smile, the smile she used to try charming those more powerful than her normal crowd of bums and lunatics. She waited patiently and shen Graves sighed and stepped aside, leading the woman and the boy into his apartment, he resigned himself to the fact that he’d be entertaining the one person he didn’t want near his home. “Still living in sin, I see.” She gestured to the moving pictures, to the coffee pot in the kitchen now pouring out three mugs instead of just one.

“You grew up living like this, Mary Lou. So don’t go acting all high and mighty.” Sitting down at the small, square table he had in his dining room, Graves turned his eyes to the boy, who was staring, open mouthed and wide eyed at the room. “Sit.” He ordered, watching with a raised brow as the boy scrambled to obey.

“Percival, this is Credence Barebone. My nephew.”

“Your... Your nephew.” He had pictures of Credence too, blurry and never seeing his face fully, but he had always assumed the boy was one of the droves of orphans she collected. “Where’s Etta?”

“Dead.” The woman stated simply. “For some number of years now.”

Credence’s fingers twitched and he bowed his head slightly more, staring at his lap, and Percival felt the urge to reach out to the boy and stroke his too short bowl cut, to feel the vulnerable back of the boy’s neck and tug him close to hide him in his shoulder.

“He is the heir to the Barebone nameline.” The woman raised a brow at Percival. “I am bringing him to you to collect the bride price. In No-Maj money.”

The man froze, staring at the woman across from him, his eyes travelling over to Credence. His clothes were threadbare, too large, and his shoulders hunched in on himself, making him seem smaller than he was. Reaching over, Percival cupped the boy’s chin, forcing his face up to stare at him.

He’d recognize those feline eyes anywhere, beautiful and dark and observant. Etta’s eyes.

“Fuck.” The man whispered empathetically and Credence jumped as if he had slapped him, Percival jerking his hand back, startled as the boy cowered slightly and stared up at him.

Standing, Percival paced back and forth over his living room carpet, glancing back at the Barebones every so often before he continued his circuit. He walked into his office, glancing back at them before he rummaged through his desk drawer, pulling out a neatly rolled cigarette and sticking it between his lips. He stepped back out, tapping the end and lighting it before he turned his eyes to the two people seated at his table.

“What do you want, Mary Lou?”

“Only what I said, the bride price for Etta. Perhaps a bit more since my nephew is obviously more to your taste.” Percival’s eyes snapped to Mary Lou, the woman smirking smugly as she looked at him. “I assure you, he has the same inclinations.”

“So you’re saying you don’t want some degenerate like me in your house so you’re trying to pawn him off to me?”

“Certainly not. I’ve taught him how to clean, how to cook, how to run a household, care for children if you eventually decide to find some woman who you can tolerate enough to make one.” Mary Lou tapped her fingers upon the tabletop, and Credence shrank even further away from her. “Take the boy or I will send him to the cathouse as he is no use to me otherwise.”

Credence quailed at that, turning his eyes desperately up to Percival. “Please, sir, Mr. Graves, please take me.” He whispered, his hand shaking and reaching out for the older man’s sleeve only to pull back as if realising what he was about to do.

Years later, when asked what the worst decision of his life was, Percival Graves would think back to this moment.

He was certain that it was the moment he could pinpoint the exact moment that he had lost his goddamn mind to this boy.

“Credence, come here.” The man ordered, staring down at Credence as the boy stood on coltish long legs, hesitating to approach. He couldn’t blame the boy but still. Squaring his shoulders he vanished his cigarette and held out his hand to the boy. “Credence, I am your betrothed and you will come to me when I call you.”

The boy obeyed, but it was a close thing. The caution and fear in those vulnerable, wide eyes wrung something deep in Percival’s chest and he was lost to the scrawny little creature that was Credence Barebone. He opened his arm and Credence at least had the sense to infer what he was meant to do from the gesture. So he tucked himself close to Graves’ side, his head bending to press to the man’s shoulder and allowing Graves to wrap his arm snugly about his waist.

“Now.” The man looked to Mary Lou. “Are you happy, Mary Lou?”

“The cheque, Graves.” The woman stated simply, not moving from her seat.

Percival nodded, guiding Credence into his office quietly. He didn’t close the door, not trusting to not have easy access to the sight of Mary Lou, but he turned to Credence, quietly cupping his shoulders in his palms, looking down at the boy.

“Is this what you want, Credence?”

“Mr. Graves... It’s what my - my aunt raised me to do. I’ve...” Credence’s eyes dropped to the floor and he gripped at the man’s sleeve tightly. “I’ve known that I would eventually be yours.”

Percival grabbed the chequebook from his desk, clumsily filling out the cheque as only someone unaccustomed to the task could, before holding it out to Credence. “If you give this to her... Then that’s it. I can’t let you go after that.” He swallowed slightly before he spoke again. “I’ll... I’ll almost own you.”

Credence took the cheque without hesitation, glancing up before training his gaze to the ground. “You’ve already owned me for years, Mr. Graves.” He flushed slightly before he fiddled with a button of his shirt close to his sternum. “Now I just have a face I can put to you.”


The Graves Estate was located in Tarrytown, New York. It was a grand, sprawling manor, with extensive acres of land surrounding. There were countless rooms, hundreds if Credence was to guess, and for all the rooms it was so painfully empty.

Credence was not sure how his life had come to be like this. What had happened to make it so that he was seated in a parlour, one of dozens, in the Graves estate, looking out the window into the garden. Watching the man he would be marrying in less than a week pace around outside with a thunderous look on his face.

He had been like that for the past two hours.

Credence fiddled with the cup of hot chocolate that the house elf, Rosemary, had brought him, sipping at the still-warm drink carefully as his eyes followed Mr. Graves through his paces.

He had already had his final fitting for his suit. Mary Lou had been paid the bride price that had apparently been passed from his mother - Etta - to him. The ceremony would naturally take place at the Graves estate and the remainder of the Graves family had long ago arrived for the wedding that night. Credence’s new home was to be a brownstone in New York, in the nice part of town where he had never been allowed to hand out fliers for fear of the police being called. Percival had already sold his old apartment, his bachelor pad as Ernst had described it, with quite a bit arguing and snapping back and forth before reluctantly obeying his father’s wishes.

Credence’s hair had been tended to, spelled to grow out so that it could be trimmed and styled, falling into a sleek, soft bob that framed his sharp cheekbones and square jaw, softening him slightly. He slept alone in a luxurious bed and woke to a house elf, Rosemary was her name, opening his windows and coaxing him into his clothing at eight o’clock each morning. He had a whole trunk of clothing and linens and other such items in his trousseau, none of which were picked out by him, other than the great wooden trunk it was all packed in. He wore an engagement ring on his finger, a beautiful thing made of gold and delicate filigree and a square cut ruby embedded in the middle, flanked by two smaller diamonds on either side. He felt like he was walking around this grand estate, wearing something that could pay the ransom of an entire country.

Credence jumped as he realised that he had been caught staring, Percival Graves stopped in his pacing to stare at Credence. His shirt sleeves were rolled up and his collar was open, his tie loose about his throat, his waistcoat undone as well. The June heat was stifling, Credence was sure, and he felt the urge to go outside, to be with his betrothed and offer him lemonade or something cool to eat and drink. But there were house elves for that, and what Credence could pass as decent cooking was probably far surpassed by whatever Rosemary could whip up with a few quick snaps of her fingers.

He thought of the robe in his closet, part of his wedding garb, or more specifically for after the wedding. He thought of the contract that Ernst Graves had gone over with him, thought of the part stating Consummation of the Marriage: Carnal and Otherwise.

He thought of Mr. Graves and his cologne that was spicy and woodsy and muted and wonderful. He thought of pressing closer and closer to Mr. Graves and how wonderful it felt even though layers of clothes. He thought of all the years of Mary Lou telling him he was purchased by the devil, that he was already nearly bought and paid for by a man and that he would belong to him, that he would serve and honor and obey to repent for his sins. He thought of meeting Mr. Graves in person and how he had wanted the man to keep him, to take him away from Mary Lou and her unstable tempers. He thought of those dark, sharp brown eyes, almost black beneath the set of his brows and the serious lines of Percival Graves’ face.


The boy jumped, spilling his hot chocolate over his lap and freezing at the sight of the strict, pinched face of Antigone Graves. The boy felt his chest clenching as his breaths stuttered in the face of the woman’s disapproving gaze. “I’m so sorry. I’ll go - I’ll clean this up.”

“Don’t worry yourself.” The woman waved her wand and the stain was gone, the cleaned cup back on the table as if nothing had ever happened. “I suppose it’s the price to be paid.” She sighed, sitting across from Credence and watching her son out in the garden, the man returned to his pacing. “I hope you understand how... Disappointing this is.”

Credence’s eyes flickered to the woman and he nodded. He was used to that. To being a disappointment.

“Percival and Etta were at least magically equal. They would have made quite the formidable couple. Provide the Graves line with magically strong children. Unfortunate what has happened to your mother, but I suppose it cannot be helped.” Credence’s fingers instinctively lifted to the small golden locket he wore, the only memory he had of his mother, tucked beneath his shirt and close to his skin. “And now he’s going to marry a squib... The precise thing we had tried to avoid by refusing to let him marry that horrid Mary Lou. Such a disappointment.”

“Believe me, no one is afraid of disappointing Mr. Graves more than me.” Credence whispered, staring at the woman. Failure was not an option. Mary Lou had told him frequently that no one worth a single damn would care about him if he failed Mr. Graves. He’d be on the streets for any John to pay for, to buy for the hour, and that was almost even more frightening of a prospect than Hell. “I... I’ll be good for him, I promise.” His fingers trembled and he lowered them to his lap, clenching and fidgeting them together. “Please don’t send me back.” He choked out, looking up at Antigone for the first time, taking in the severe lines of her mouth and brows.

“We cannot very well send you back. It’s a matter of pride now.” The woman stood. “Whatever decisions have been made are now irreversible.” Antigone stared down at Credence and sighed. “As unfortunate as they might be... At least you are a comely creature and the wedding night shouldn’t be a chore for Percival.”

Credence flushed and looked down at his lap as Antigone left, fiddling with his engagement ring, staring at the deep red depths of the gem, before he looked over through the window at Mr. Graves, the man smoking what must have been his seventh cigarette in the last hour. He wondered if it’d always be like this. If he’d always feel as if he was looking at his husband through a glass partition, able to look but never truly reach him.


The Graves Estate was a massive, sprawling monstrosity of a house and Percival had never been more grateful for it. Growing up it had always seemed lonesome and too large, a perfect place to hide from your family when you didn’t want to worry about a wife or a needy child or an indifferent husband.

Now, Percival felt like a perfect coward using his knowledge of the estate to hide from his betrothed. He was the Director of Magical Security for all of MACUSA. He fought in horrific battles and tracked down dangerous criminals for a living. He had had the Killing Curse and half a dozen other nasty means of death thrown at him on no less than seventeen occasions (as the tally on the wall outside his office, dutifully updated by his underlings declared). He was the most powerful man second only to the President and a powerful wizard in his own right.

And here he was. Scared shitless by a little squib boy half his age.

“You’re pathetic, Percy.” Graves groaned, rubbing his face as he paced once more around the tennis court, nursing a bruise on his cheek. He had spent the last two hours in the court, being pelted by the equipment he had charmed into playing with him. After the last six balls that had caught him almost viciously in the face and stomach he had quickly called it a night and cut off the spell, for fear of where his invisible opponent might hit him next. He produced a towel out of thin air and dried the sweat from his hair, wandering in aimless circles as he thought of his impending marriage and what that might mean.

There was nothing wrong with Credence. The boy was, if anything, wholly delightful, beautiful, young and smart as a whip when given proper intellectual nourishment. He was gentle and kind and considerate, even when met with nothing but indifference from the Graves family. Percival guiltily acknowledged that he had done his best to avoid his fiance and had not helped in the slightest in regards to the murmurs his extended family had about the boy. Leaving the tennis court, he took to the grounds, wandering around the perimeter of the house, attempting to regain his bearings and steady himself in ways the physical exertion had not.

Perhaps the most difficult part of it all was that Credence was, in fact, incredibly desirable. Skinny and pale and ill-kept by his aunt, but all of that had been quickly fixed by the care of the Graves household. What had been undernourishment had turned to slenderness, what had been a sickly wane complexion had turned to something milky and delectable, new clothes that fit had gone a long ways to highlight all of this and damnit Percival knew it.

Walking past the Solarium he glanced out of the large, glassed in room and froze at the sight of the construct, filled with magical and mundane herbs aplenty, currently occupied by a familiar dark figure.

Sneaking over to the doorway, Percival peered through to see Credence sitting on a chaise lounge before a small coffee table, reading a book on herbology and magical uses while whispering the names to himself and peering about the room quietly, curiously.

“Periculid.” The boy murmured, looking at the flower curiously, not touching but still enchanted nonetheless. His delicate fingers traced the air about the bright red-orange petals, the slender stamen rich with pollen.

“They’re deadly.” Graves called from the doorway, lingering quietly. “Don’t touch them.”

Credence snapped his hand back, staring over at Graves before he flushed and looked back at the flower. “Yes, but they are very lovely to look at.”

“Dangerous things often are.” Graves didn’t move from where he lingered in the doorway. Credence carefully angled his body away from the man, clutching the book to his chest and slowly inching until the chaise lounge was between them. Percival paused before something clicked for him and he cleared his throat, shifting in place slightly. “I’m sorry. I made you uncomfortable.”

“No - no you... I mean yes.” The boy whispered, looking shyly up at Graves and placing his hand on the chaise. “You’re quite frightening.” He whispered, biting his lip even after the words came out.

Percival paused, staring at that soft, full lip and imagining taking it into his own mouth. If he slipped his thumb over the plush flesh he was quite certain he could easily press it into Credence’s mouth, watch the boy suckle on the digit, his lips pursed softly -

A sharp nod and a turn and Percival was quickly making his way away from the boy, out of the Solarium and tennis court and through several hallways until he was well on the other side of the Estate, in one of the studies where his father kept the day wine that he often took after breakfast.


“Credence. Credence! Wake up!”

Credence gasped as if surfacing from a great body of water, grabbing at the hands clutching his shoulders, his nails digging into the backs of Graves’ palms as the man’s eyes swam into his vision.

They sat together, breathing heavily and staring at one another, Credence still sprawled on the bed and Graves bent over him, sitting on the edge and holding the boy’s shoulders, gently stroking his thumbs over the edges of sharp collarbones as broad hands cradled the joins of his shoulders. The touch was heavenly and whatever fear or distress Credence might have felt melted away into something warm and liquid in his stomach. He stared up at Mr. Graves, his handsome face and his hair mussed from sleep, his white undershirt and the robe he had obviously thrown on over his smalls.

Credence thought back to a book of fairy tales that he had seen once as a child, of a princess sleeping away her life and a prince who had kissed her awake. He flushed as he thought of Mr. Graves doing the same to him, even though he knows that the man had woken him much more abruptly and roughly than a kiss.

“You were screaming.” The man whispered, his voice hoarse with worry as he pressed his face to the boy’s temple, pulling him close. “You were screaming and I couldn’t move, I didn’t know what to do so I just...” His grip on the boy’s shoulders tightened and Credence felt a piece slot into place, realising that Graves had probably shaken him awake.

Credence’s fingers tangled in the back of the man’s pajamas, clinging tightly as their breathing evened out together.

“You scared the daylights out of me.” The man murmured, pulling back slowly and Credence felt bereft at the loss, grabbing at Graves’ hands and pulling him back.

“Stay.” The boy whispered, staring up at Graves.

“I’m not allowed in here. I had to fight with the door to gain access.” The man murmured, stroking his fingers over Credence’s temple. “Mother and Father don’t want me ruining your virtue.”

“Please.” Credence hiccuped, tears brimming in his eyes, the boy unable to stop them as he clutched at Percival’s arms. “I don’t want to be alone, Mr. Graves.” He sounded so needy and it was pathetic, but he was now frightened of sleeping again. And Mr. Graves’ arms were so warm and heavy and certainly he would be well protected by Percival. Percival the wizard policeman, the Auror.

The man seemed to wage a quiet war with himself before he laid down, carefully pulling Credence to his chest and pressing their bodies together, shoulder to ankle. Credence sighed and nuzzled into the man’s neck, his eyes closing even as he felt the lines of tension in the man’s body tighten. The broad hand on his back didn’t stop moving, however, and Credence sighed, shivering and pressing closer as the man’s palm slid over the curve of his spine.

Percival, for his part, was doing his best to avoid the feelings of arousal that had crept upon him. The boy had opened his eyes and stared at Percival like he was God. Now the boy slept, with long, tear-damp lashes fluttering against his cheeks as he pressed his sharp, slightly crooked nose against Graves’ collarbone. His breath ghosted over skin as Graves stared at full, softly parted lips, wondering about rubbing his thumb over them and slipping the digit into his mouth.

He imagined it would be so easy to coax the soft mouth open, to kiss the tender skin, to gently coax Credence until his tongue traced curiously over Percival’s thumb, sucking delicately, full lips pursed the same way they would be around his cock.

Percival bit back a groan at the erection he had formed, hoping that the boy was deep enough asleep that he didn’t notice the hardness pressed to his thigh now. Pressing his nose to the boy’s spelled hair and breathing deeply of the scent of vanilla that clung to him, smelling Rosemary’s cinnamon snap cookies on the pale skin as well and smiling as he pressed closer. Credence sighed against the man’s throat and Graves closed his eyes, promising to wake himself before daylight to sneak back into his room.


Credence was staring at him from across the room. Graves had taken up roost in the chair his father usually occupied, reading files sent to him from MACUSA. He had finished filling out his paperwork for the marriage, and was currently working on something that made him glance over at Credence with an assessing gaze every so often.

The boy flushed as their eyes met and he reached down to turn a page in his own book, an Austen novel he had taken to. He liked Mr. Darcy. The shy, quiet love interest of the main character. He couldn’t help that in his mind’s eye Mr. Darcy looked exactly like his Mr. Graves, all broad shoulders and the handsome cut of his features and the silver at his temples, his slicked back hair dark and thick.

“You wear scorpions a lot.” The boy called out, shy but curious still. His eyes flickered to the stickpins at the man’s collar, the black scorpions holding small rubies between their tiny claws.

“The family symbol.” The man stated simply, glancing over as well, their eyes meeting for a brief moment. “Come over here.” He held out his hand and Credence approached, slowly, carefully, before the man took Credence’s hand in his own, rubbing his thumb over the ruby of the ring. He couldn’t help the shiver that escaped him as Percival stared up at him, eyes searching for something that Credence was uncertain he had. He felt barren for that moment, filled with nothing and waiting for Percival to pour meaning down his gullet until he was full.

Credence gasped as he saw a small black scorpion appear in the glittering ruby depths, carved into the gold setting. Mr. Graves smiled and leaned forward to kiss the ring, looking up at Credence. “If you ever wish to see me, then all you need do is touch the ring and think of me.”

The boy looked to Graves and the man was caught with the fever brightness of those eyes, with the way Credence stared at him as if he had given him the key to the world. The man stared into those feline eyes and leaned slowly forward, sliding his palm over Credence’s jaw, over the sharp edge of bone and back to cup the base of his skull.

“Credence.” Graves murmured, looking at those soft lips, parting around a gasp.

And suddenly his need had grown teeth, had become ravenous and desperate, like a wolf starved in the mountains suddenly finding the fat, vulnerable form of a lamb separated from the flock. It became far too much to resist that starving hunger for the boy, for his touch and taste and the soft sigh of pleasure that ghosted over his lips as they met.

Staring down at Credence, Percival couldn’t help the soft smile that curved over his mouth, smoothing his thumb over the boy’s plush lips as Credence’s eyes fluttered open and he stared at him.

“You should go back to your book, Credence.” The man murmured, still rubbing his thumb over the soft flesh.

“I don’t think I want to.” The boy whispered back, kissing at Graves’ thumb gently, looking up at him, eyes lidded and hungry and curious, wanting so desperately as the slim chest pressed to Percival’s own broader torso.

Graves groaned, sliding his hand over Credence’s back, cupping and pulling him close until the boy tilted his face to tuck against Percival’s throat. “Sweet boy... I don’t deserve you.” He murmured into the neatly styled bob of the boy’s hair.

Credence’s head snapped up and he stared at the man, clutching at his lapel tightly. “You can’t send me back.” The boy whispered. “I’ll be good for you, I promise. I don’t know how to be a - a wizard, but I can be your wife, I can be whatever you want, please-”

“Master Percival!” Rosemary’s squeaky voice called from the doorway and Percival glanced over, seeing the disapproving stare she gave. “Not until the wedding night!” She popped over before the man could blink, grasping Credence’s wrist and dragging him away. “No canoodling!” She ordered, waving a finger at Percival as the man stood, watching Credence being led, shame-faced, away from the parlor.

Goddamnit. He was going to lose himself to this sweet boy.

Chapter Text

“Mrs. Graves?” The boy whispered, stepping into what he had dubbed, in his mind, as Antigone’s parlour. It was deep blues and browns and filled with vases of white, yellow and red flowers, some that Credence recognized from the Solarium. White gardenias, yellow irises, and bloody red poppies splashed together. She was sitting by the window currently, working on a needlepoint that looked elaborate and done entirely in gold and black thread. After a few moments of watching Credence began to recognize the MACUSA symbol, as vague of an image as he had of it, from peering at Percival’s letters and such for any clues about his work.

“Yes, Credence?” The woman didn’t even look up at him.

“Mrs. Graves, I know you... You don’t like me... But I know you want what’s best for your son and I’m not it.” The boy’s hands shook as Antigone gave him a cold, assessing gaze, as if she was peering into his very soul “I need your help, Mrs. Graves... I want to be good for my Mr. Graves and I don’t know how. I need you to tell me how to be a good... A good wife for him.”

Antigone stared at him silently for a few more long moments before she seemed to decide he was worth her time and effort. Waving her wand she spelled away the cross stitch, turning fully to face the boy. “Sit.”

Credence obeyed.

Dragging her eyes over the boy, the older woman seemed to be cataloguing every little flaw of him, everything about him that needed to be fixed or adjusted to be suitable for her son.

“First of all, you will not look like some crow hanging about the edges of every gathering. We give you a closet full of good, decent clothes and you always wear the same drab black thing day in and day out. Do you not care that your husband is one of the most influential men in all of America?”

“No! Of course not, I just-”

“No, don’t continue, excuses are for those beneath you.” The woman waved her hand and glared at him. “You are to be married to the Director of Magical Security, you will look and dress befitting that station.”

Credence nodded silently.

“Back straight, shoulders back.” The woman barked and Credence did as told. “My son smokes cigarettes. I’ll teach you how to roll them. He has no house elf in his home and does not appreciate them, so you will be in charge of preparing his suits for every day at work. Do you know how to shave another man?”

“Yes, Mrs. Graves.” Credence whispered meekly, staring up at her with wide eyes.

“Hm. At least your behaviour needs little correction. Do not backtalk my son, you are to be obedient and submissive to his whims. Whatever he pleases is your duty to provide, I’m sure that will not be so objectionable to you.”

Credence flushed at that, nodding as he stared down at his lap and fiddled with his fingers. “I... I don’t know how to cook very well.”

“You will learn how to do better. You know how to clean at least?”


“You will keep your home clean and yourself untouched for my son. You are a virgin and you will remain as such until the wedding night so that he doesn’t have a tainted whore for a wife.”

Wide eyed and trembling, Credence’s fingers clenched around his knees. He tried not to think of his fingers deep inside his body, of how he had thought of his Mr. Graves, of Percival, thrusting into him deeply on their wedding night, how eagerly his body reacted to the very thought, much less how he might feel about the reality.

“Credence, are you listening?”

“Yes, Mrs. Graves.”

“Good. Come along, I’ll teach you how to roll cigarettes.”


Percival Graves did not consider himself surprised easily. He also considered himself in possession of an abnormally strong constitution. However, seeing Credence tentatively rolling cigarettes in Percival’s room, at his nightstand, was a little too much, especially when the boy tentatively licked at the crisp white paper just as his eyes flickered shyly to Graves.

The man stood, breathless and frozen for a moment before Credence hesitantly walked slowly forward to gently stick the cigarette between Graves’ slack lips. Fiddling with a No-Maj lighter, Credence flicked it open and held the flame to the tip of the cigarette. Percival took an inhale out of pure instinct, pursing his lips and lifting his hand to the base, watching Credence quietly.

Credence snapped the lighter shut and stepped back, flushing as he looked up at the older man quietly.

“What brought this on?” Graves asked, peering at the gleaming silver cigarette case he never used, and the bag of tobacco he kept in his nightstand drawer. The case was filled with neatly rolled cigarettes now, some in better states than others where the boy had pressed too hard or rolled too loosely then tried to correct it.

“Your mother said that to be good for you I’d have to roll your cigarettes.” The boy whispered, looking up at Graves shyly.

“Oh really.” The man took a long drag, stepping forward to gently guide Credence back to the edge of the bed. “What else did she say?”

“That I should... I should shave you in the mornings.” Credence shivered as he was slowly pressed back, their chests aligned as Graves took a careful, slow drag of his cigarette. Credence could feel the man’s chest press closer with the inhale and was certain Percival could feel the pounding of his own heart even through so many layers of clothing. “And that... That I should make sure to have your suits pressed and shirts ironed in the mornings.” Another deep inhale, but this time Graves had pressed his face to Credence’s throat, inhaling the scent that Antigone had given him to splash on lightly.

“You smell like cloves. And cinnamon.”

“Your mother said that I should make myself appealing to you... So that... So that you’ll want me on our wedding night.”

“Sweet boy, I already want you.” The man growled, pressing his teeth to the soft skin of Credence’s throat, forcing his head back until Credence was gasping and clutching at his shoulders. Graves vanished the cigarette, allowing his hand to slide over Credence’s waist to cup his thigh.

“Ooh...” Credence’s head tilted back and he shivered, sighing as he clutched at the man’s sleeves. Percival slipped his hand between slim thighs, palming at the boy’s erection through his slacks. “Mr. Graves!” He gasped, staring up at the man, his fingers grasping the man’s wrist tightly. “Mr. Graves, I can’t - the wedding - I’m-” Percival kneaded firmly at the hard flesh he could feel through the fine fabric. “I can’t think... I can’t-”

“Shh.... Sweet boy, I’ll take care of you.” Percival murmured, pulling Credence closer until the boy gasped and pressed his palms to the man’s chest.

“I can’t be a whore for our wedding!” The boy blurted out, staring up at his future husband.

Percival blinked, staring down at the boy in confusion before he tilted his head curiously. “You are hardly a whore. We’ll be married in three days.”

Credence bit his lip, shaking his head and pushing gently against Percival’s chest. “I can’t - it’s a sin to - to-”

“Make love.”

The boy’s face flushed brightly but he nodded softly. “To make love outside of wedlock.”

Percival groaned, pressing his forehead to Credence’s. “My own personal tormentor.” He murmured, kissing the boy’s cheek gently before his lips lingered against Credence’s, the boy flushing and pressing their mouths together gently, sweetly, before he pulled back.

“I don’t mean to torment you.” The boy whispered, eyes wide as his fingers slid over the man’s chest and shoulders, tugging at him gently and biting his lip. “I just... I want to be perfect for you.”

“You already are, sweet boy.” The man murmured, stroking his fingers over Credence’s hair and cupping his jaw. “But if you insist... Then I will do my best to resist ravishing you in broom closets and stealing you away to private parlours.”

Credence flushed but smiled, kissing Percival so shyly the man felt as if his entire throat were filled with sticky sweet syrup from the touch, making it difficult to swallow and even more difficult to pull back.

They maneuvered themselves until they were laying together, Percival capturing the crystal ash tray from his nightstand and a cigarette from the case, laying down beside his betrothed and watching as those sweeping long lashes fluttered every time he exhaled a cloud of smoke. They didn’t talk. Credence was, blessedly, not very talkative by nature, even in regards to his interests (he told Graves a few words about his work gardening and how Mrs. Graves had given him permission to take clippings from her Solarium and herb gardens for their own home).

“I could grow tobacco for you.” The boy murmured sleepily, staring at the cigarette between Percival’s lips. The man smiled as he took a deep inhale, exhaling slowly and twisting until a swooping Occamy flew through the air around them, spectral and grey and dissolving after a few lazy loops around a gasping Credence.

The glittering hunger in the boy’s eyes whenever he saw magic was back and he turned his gaze to look at Percival, scrambling to his knees, leaning over the older man to reach for the nightstand. A strong arm wrapped around the lithe waist, tugging Credence down when the boy snatched up the silver cigarette case, pulling him until long, slim legs tangled with Graves’ own legs, their chests pressed together and Credence’s elbows resting on Percival’s shoulders.

“Show me again.” He whispered eagerly, placing the cigarette between Percival’s lips and flicking the lighter until the man could catch the flame and take another long drag. Removing the cigarette and tapping off some ash, the man exhaled slowly, focusing once more and this time a fat little goldfish swam from his lips, splashing and leaping through imaginary puddles of water and swimming around Credence’s head for a moment.

A Horned Serpent was next, but quickly waved away by Graves’ hand when the boy flinched. A butterfly followed, then a small rabbit jumping about and racing through the room. A miniature hippogriff galloped through the air around them for moments before dissolving. On the last long drag of the cigarette, with Credence’s soft, delighted noises still echoing in the cellar of his chest the man couldn’t help but tilt his head back and blow smoke into the canopy above his bed. He watched as the smoke coalesced into a dragon, the swooping Hungarian Horntail moving to coil around Credence’s neck gently, blowing it’s own miniature cloud of smoke before slowly dissolving into the air.

The boy’s laughter was wild and too loud and delighted, free in a way that Percival had never known an adult to laugh. When Credence pressed his cheek to the man’s chest, his laughter dissolved into soft little giggles as he stared up at Graves with such adoring, wide eyes that the man felt something liquid and warm and fond pool in his stomach at the sight.

Those eyes looked slowly down, Credence tucking his head against Percival’s chest, clinging to him tightly.

“I’m not stupid.” The boy whispered, staring down at the line of buttons of the man’s shirt and Percival felt panic well up in his chest. “You were supposed to marry my mother. But she’s dead. So you’re marrying me instead. Because you have to.” Credence turned his head away, a soft whimper escaping him as he clenched his fingers in Graves’ shirt. “I know you probably think I’m skinny and ugly and she was probably very beautiful and she was a woman and she’d be able to give you babies and magic and I’m just-” Credence’s eyes cast downwards and his hands shook. “Me... I’m just Credence Barebone. I don’t... I don’t know how to do all these things you need of me and I’m afraid I’ll be bad at it.”

Percival’s palm rested square on the boy’s back, pulling him close and pressing his face to the soft hair on his temple, watching the way Credence tensed before relaxing at the touches.

“I didn’t want to marry Etta.” He thought of Etta Barebone, how she chewed up people and spat them out again, how she charmed and laughed and cajoled others into leaping out of windows for her with the promise that they could fly on the wings of her love. Credence was nothing like her. Soft and quiet and curious, observant, yes, and certainly realistic, more so than Etta ever was. He was such a frightening boy, not in the barefaced intensity that Etta had been, but in the way he made Percival want to be gentle with him. He wanted to cherish Credence, love him, to carve out chunks of organs and flesh from his chest cavity and make a home for the boy there to keep him warm. “I want to marry you.”

Credence stared up at him quietly and his slim fingers rubbed gently over Percival’s chest, resting at his shirt collar before he tucked his face shyly against the broad expanse of his chest, his breaths soft and stuttering to hold back tears. Percival took another cigarette, lighting it himself with a tap of his finger, and began to blow a whole clutch of occamies from the smoke, letting them swirl and dip through the air, Credence watching as the ghostly forms dove and coiled and swooped in lazy loops through their existence before vanishing.

When he slept, safe cradled in his Mr. Graves’ arms, he dreamt of occamies and smoke and scorpions tapping against the inside of the gem of his wedding rings and Percival smiling as he kissed Credence like he gave him breath.


“Learning tarot, are we?”

Credence jumped as he sat in “his” parlour. It was the one closest to the solarium, giving him a view of the garden as well. The furniture was all dark wood and fine leather but the walls were papered with a rich burgundy paper, interspersed with pale ivory lilies. Book shelves lined the walls, of various topics, and Credence had been invited by Ernst to pillage what he pleased from the shelves, as he was going to need something for his own collection in his new home.

Books on gardening, on herbology, potion making, and even a few cookbooks were all neatly packed away in three large trunks, all locked with a key that had the name “Credence” stamped on the broad brass handle. Now Credence was looking through other books, had collected a few fairy tales and fiction books before finding a few light tomes on divination.

Credence flushed as he looked down. “The Bloodworth Book of Beginner’s Divination says that Tarot is a form of divination that can be accessed even by squibs and some No-Majs... I thought it’d be interesting to learn.”

Percival gave a soft laugh and sat beside Credence, picking up the book that Credence had been reading, another small book on the meanings and definitions of the Tarot cards. “Madam Bloodworth certainly knows what she’s talking about, she’s been writing those books for long enough.” He looked at the current page the boy seemed stuck on. The Devil. He gently tugged the book away, looking down at Credence as the boy flinched and flushed in embarrassment. “The cards are only sinister in relation to one another. Alone they have little meaning.”

“It says The Devil means bondage, sexuality, submission to a greater power or desire.” The boy wrung his hands tightly.

“Is submission to your desires such a bad thing? If you submit to hunger for food is that a sin?”

“Gluttony is-”

“Gluttony is consuming something to excess. Greed is desire for physical things to an excess. Lust is a baseless, mindless desire for sex to an excess.” Turning to a few different pages in the book, Percival paused before he closed it and handed the book back to Credence. “Anything to excess is bad for you. What your Aunt Mary Lou does not understand about sin is the simple fact that the commandments and rules she tries to inflict on others is that those sins are meant to warn you of what caring too much about one particular thing.”

Credence stared down at the book in his hand, finding the page with The Devil on it once more.

“Tarot are rather romantic, in theory.” Percival smiled, staring down at Credence. “Being able to divine under what circumstances you might meet a lover. Seeing if your future holds great rewards, or great struggles. Peering into the future through beautiful pictures, finding meaning in a deck of cards.”

“You don’t believe in it?”

“I don’t believe that it is as direct as that. I also believe that divination is an inherently deceptive art. You see what you want to see, and catch glimpses of things you might struggle to interpret.”

Credence looked down at the book before he looked up at Percival with determined eyes. “I want to read something.”

A curious tilt snagged the corner of the older man’s lips and he nodded, standing and moving to one of the bookshelves to collect a carved wooden cedar box. Inside were sprigs of mugwort and sage and the thick deck of cards which Graves collected carefully, using the thick velvet cloth to avoid touching them directly.

He placed the deck on the table and smiled at Credence. “Your future or mine?”

“Yours.” The boy stated simply. “You cut the deck.”

Graves watched Credence shuffle the cards carefully, not nearly as practiced as anyone who had studied divination for longer had, but still smooth enough that Graves knew he had played with the Tarot deck before. He couldn’t help but smile at the idea of his young Squib betrothed touching his mother’s prized Tarot deck, soiling it with his magicless fingers.

“Cut it.” Credence whispered, placing the deck down and looking up at Graves. “Think of the question you want to ask it.”

Graves did as ordered, and when he was told to pick seven cards he did so.

Credence turned over all of the cards at once, a beginner’s tactic, and after glancing at all of them he carefully consulted his book.

“This first one indicates you... The Emperor. A father figure, to many, powerful, authoritarian. You are a solid foundation for all who look up to you.”

Which was true and Graves smiled, nodding encouragingly.

“The next one indicates your desire... What you want of the future.” The card was flipped and Credence frowned slightly, uncertain for a moment before he continued. “The Fool.... It means... new beginnings? So a new start. You want to start something.”

“Usually the beginning of a journey, but it can mean any form of new beginning.” His hand carefully nudged the boy’s pinky with his own fingers, gentle and shy in a way he was unused to being. He felt clumsy at it but the smile that shyly flickered over Credence’s lips was more than satisfying.

“These next three indicate your immediate future.” Credence traced the words in his book, taking his hand reluctantly away from Graves’ own fingers as he did so. He frowned slightly, looking at the first card. “She’s upside down.” He murmured, reaching to turn the card only for Graves to stop him.

“Here here, close the book and turn it upside down.” The man showed Credence what to do and the boy opened it again, gasping when he saw the images reversed but the words upright. “See. New meanings for the same cards, viewed at a different angle.”

The boy nodded before he carefully read over the words. “The reversed High Priestess means... Hidden Agendas... Conspiracy and things lurking beneath the surface of events... There’s going to be something bigger than you that you won’t be aware of, or understand.” At Graves’ encouraging nod Credence looked at the next two cards, closing his book to correct it to show the upright readings. “The Moon... Illusion, fear... You will see dark days and find yourself afraid of them... Afraid of what is real and what is not...” Credence bit his lip, closing and turning the book. “The reversed Hermit... Isolation... Loneliness and withdrawal... You’ll be trapped, isolated, by your own will or by the will of another it is uncertain...”

Graves reached out and Credence grabbed the rest of the cards, shuffling them back into the deck quickly, surprising the man. “Credence-”

“I don’t want to see if it gets worse.” The boy whispered, wrapping the cards tightly in the velvet cloth. “I don’t want to know the end.”

There was a feeling of hopeless inadequacy that burned deep in Percival’s gut as he looked at the boy. He was not a comforting person but the distress that was evident in the boy’s face was enough to make him try. “Sometimes the immediate future is... Difficult, or frightening. That doesn’t mean that it won’t... Even out in the end.”

Credence didn’t look up as he released a breath before nodding.

“Promise me something, Credence.”

Those dark, feline eyes glanced up at him and the boy bit his lip briefly. Percival couldn’t help but reach out, cupping the boy’s chin in his palm and staring at him quietly. His thumb pressed to the boy’s lower lip and those perfect teeth released it gently, letting Graves smooth out the faint indentations left in the plush flesh.

“Always finish what you start. Not finishing something can sometimes have drastic consequences. It’s not like shuffling cards back into the deck. The worst that that will do is haunt your memories, make you question what the answer in the end might have been.”

Credence paused, looking up at the man and nodding slowly as Percival removed his hand, leaning forward to pull a soft, slow kiss from the boy, keeping it chaste as he could while feeling desire bubble dangerously in his stomach.

He watched the boy stand, moving to the shelf and carefully tucking the cards away in their proper box. Slender fingers smoothed over the carved lid, tracing the outlines of vines and delicate flowers before Credence glanced over at Percival, the shy smile he wore lighting something in the man’s chest.

“I think.... I think I’ll stick to planning my garden for now.”

Percival smiled, leaving Credence to his thoughts with a shallow bow. He was not there to see Credence draw out the deck once more and carefully shuffle the cards until he found the final card he had pulled from the deck for the reading of Percival Graves’ future.

The World. Upright.


Credence lay in bed, his thighs trembling as he felt how hard he was, gasping and leaking and wet. The dream had felt so real, Mr. Graves’ lips pressed to his, his hand ghosting over Credence’s thighs, his stomach, kneading at the flesh of his waist and the swell of his ass. He shivered as he sat up, staring down at his lap. It was early morning, just before dawn if the clock on his nightstand was any indication, the gleaming white face and stark black arms making it easy to read in the dark.

He didn’t wear pajamas anymore, not since Percival had mentioned how much he wanted to see his bared skin. The man had whispered it to him, nipping at his neck and sucking at his pulse hungrily. He would be a liar twice over if he said he hadn’t stopped wearing pajamas in hopes that Percival would sneak into his room, or come in to wake him from a dream once more and find him in bed, naked and eager and desperate for his touch.

Laying in bed now, Credence wondered if he had the absolute nerve to go to Mr. Graves’ bedroom, to sneak in and whisper into his ear about how he had changed his mind, how he wanted the man now, wanted him so desperately it was like an ache in his stomach.

He thought of Percival, a hallway away, and of the man’s hands on him, clutching his waist tightly, ruffling through his hair. The ache between his thighs persisted and Credence whimpered, pressing his cheek to a cool spot on the sheets, grabbing a pillow and clutching it to his chest to keep from pulling the sheets from their place as he had a few nights before.

He remembered similar nights, back at home, pressing his thighs together, thinking of almost faceless men, strong jawlines, broad palms and strong shoulders, thighs thick with muscle. He remembered how he had once found a film magazine, cast aside in the street, and had looked at the handsome men in the glossy pages and had fleeting brief dreams about their handsome features and low voices that probably didn’t belong to them in reality but felt nice when is imagination murmured them against his skin.

He shifted, pushing the pillow down between his thighs and whimpering as the plush item pressed to his cock, smearing thin clear precum across the fabric of it. He whined and moaned and bucked against the fabric, feeling it grow wetter and wetter with his arousal. His length dragged slowly as he rocked his hips, feeling his thighs clench, moaning far too loudly in the pre-dawn stillness as he humped gracelessly at the pillow, imagining it was Graves he was on top of, riding and grinding against breathlessly.

Reaching back he traced his fingers over the tight furl of his entrance, teasing and pressing rather than inserting his finger. He felt himself open easily beneath the touch, as if his body knew his sluttish desires and what he wanted and was prepared to let him have it from the first man who wanted it. Mary Lou had been right, his mind whispered, to beat him and hurt him and force him away from his desires. He wouldn’t be pure for Mr. Graves if he had given in, if he had let any handsome man take him like a whore in a cathouse.

But he didn’t want any handsome man. Only - “Oh... Mr. Graves...” The boy pressed his fingers, feeling his body open greedily for the barest press and ground his cock against the pillow, whimpering and moaning when the heat became too unbearable. “Oh!” He gasped as he came, spilling in thick streams over the pillow, whimpering and falling aside, his thighs still trembling and clamped about the pillow.

Turning slightly, his back connecting with cool sheets, he tilted his head to look at the clock, his eyes catching the sliver of light outside his bedroom, beneath the door, and breath hitching as he saw the shadows of someone standing in front of the door. He flushed, removing the pillow from between his thighs and stretched out, languid and sprawled out, thinking of Mr. Graves, thinking of the man walking into his room, seeing him debauched and still wanting, and desperate for the older man’s touch.

Then the shadow moved away and he could hear the click of the door closing across the hallway and his heart stuttered as he thought of seeing Percival at breakfast before he went to work and flushed, wondering how he’d sit through such an event.


“Mandrake... Stinging nettle... Basil and thyme.” Credence looked down at the list he had slowly, painstakingly written so that it was clear. His handwriting had always been atrocious, but he could read the list so that’s all that mattered. “Agrimony.”

“Need some help?”

Credence glanced up to see Percival standing in the greenhouse doorway. The boy flushed, looking down at his work and nodding.

“I’m almost finished, but could you hand me those terrariums?”

When asked for some simple pots to take small clippings and other such items from the greenhouse, Credence had been provided with a series of what looked to be glass pyramids held shut by metal seams. Rosemary had shown him how to open them, tap the tip and the glass and metal would bend and open just enough for the handful of dirt, roots and plant to be dropped in, the small terrarium adjusting its own conditions to what would be best for the plant. Now, standing with a worktable that was usually used for the preparation of herbs, he had a collection of at least fifty different glass containers, all with various magical and mundane herbs.

Graves watched as Credence pulled on a pair of thick dragonhide gloves and turned to his list, the boy reading the wobbly, shaky script before nodding as he tapped one that had a small circle beside it.

“Hellebore.” He murmured, carefully collecting a small, black bloom with fragile looking petals from it’s row, placing it gently into the terrarium.

“Hellebore... It’s poisonous.”

“Used to discourage pests from coming into the garden.” Credence stated simply. “It’s also very pretty.” He murmured, stroking the thin petals before closing the terrarium. “Could you help me collect a few others from the Solarium?”

Graves raised a brow but nodded, collecting his own pair of gloves and a few empty terrariums, following Credence away from the greenhouse and into the nearby Solarium, where Mrs. Graves’ more exotic, and dangerous, plants were kept.

Credence made his way immediately to the venomous tentacula, whispering gently to the plant. “Remember me? I know you remember me, I don’t want to hurt you, I’m just going to reach under.”

Percival held his breath as Credence carefully navigated his hand beneath the large, coiling plant, it’s vines ghosting over the boy’s shoulders and head, Credence calmly, breathing deeply, feeling around beneath the mass of vines.

“Credence.” Percival called out warningly, eyeing the tentacula uneasily.

“It’s fine, I got it.” The boy held out a small, twitching version of the monstrous plant above him, cradling dirt and roots in his fingers. “The terrarium.” He murmured, holding out the plant and gently depositing it into the glass container when Graves presented it to him. The boy cupped his fingers over the closed tip of the pyramid, looking up at Percival, all of that confidence and blooming determination gone for the moment as Credence’s eyes met his shyly. “Thank you.”

“You worried me.”

“It just wanted to make sure I wouldn’t hurt it.” Credence murmured, looking over to where the venomous tentacula had carefully curled up on itself, content to leave them alone now that no one was in proximity.

The boy wandered over to the Periculid, Graves watching as he carefully, delicately, dug up around the roots with his fingers, the loose soil giving easily enough, but Credence working his fingers more firmly around the more compact dirt about the roots. When he managed to free the plant he carefully carried it over to Percival, placing the roots in first before he carefully wrapped the long, flexible stem about his gloved fingers, coiling it until the bloom could rest gently inside the terrarium.

Percival released a breath he hadn’t realised he had held as the boy closed the terrarium firmly, the man staring down at Credence with quiet interest.

Credence’s fingers cupped the top of the terrarium, his dragonhide gloves still on, and Graves cupped his own leather covered fingers atop Credence’s, staring down at the boy as those feline eyes tilted up to meet his.

Soft lips parted and Credence looked on the verge of saying something, the words caught on his tongue. Before the boy could speak, Percival leaned in, kissing soft lips gently, carefully, cupping his palms around the thinner set of fingers and squeezing gently. The Periculid was placed aside and Credence shivered at the loss of some form of barrier, feeling Graves pull their bodies closer slowly, pressing together by inches, kissing in the Solarium, until Credence pulled back with a sharp gasp.


Percival groaned, staring down at his sweet boy and feeling the trembling of his body even through layers of clothing, taking in the flushed cheeks and the way Credence’s eyes looked up at him ever so slightly hazily.

“The wedding-”

“We’re just kissing.” He murmured, nipping softly at the boy’s lower lip. “Only kissing.” Credence didn’t resist when he was pulled into another long, slow kiss and Percival smirked into the embrace, dragging his tongue over full lips and coaxing Credence until the boy’s soft mouth opened with a gasping sigh and moan.

When they pulled back it was only because they needed breath, Credence staring up at Percival with those heavy eyes before shivering and looking away, collecting his terrariums quickly.

“Thank you, Mr. Graves.” He whispered, darting away before Percival could grab at him and pull him back, watching the boy all but vanish back into the greenhouse.

His lips still tasted like Credence, like the warm sweetness of the hot chocolate the boy seemed to favour, and he couldn’t help but groan to himself as he thought of those sweet, full lips parted and gasping, the want inside of him gnawing at his ribcage like a ravenous beast as he stared after the boy.


They ate dinner alone most nights. Whether or not it was because Ernst and Antigone couldn’t stand to make small talk with a child that was as good as a No-Maj or not was entirely up in the air. It could simply be a way to acclimatise the two of them to sharing space and time together. Whatever the reason, Percival was grateful for it. Usually they were seated on opposite ends of the long table, but tonight, Percival simply waved his wand and moved Credence’s place setting to his own side before the boy entered. He waited, smiling as the clock struck six o’clock just as Credence arrived, the boy freezing as he stared at the new position of his dinner.

The boy flushed, clutching the book in his hand and moving to sit beside Graves, placing the book down on the table, spine facing away from Percival as the boy looked at his plate. Roast chicken, seasoned with lemon and rosemary and thyme, with potatoes seasoned the same, skins crisp and insides soft and feathery light, asparagus and roasted tomato both perfectly cooked. Credence kept fidgeting, cutting his food carefully, glancing at his book every so often before directing his eyes back at Percival.

“We’ll be married in two days.” The man stated simply, not tearing his eyes away from Credence as the boy ate. He still ate as if he was afraid it might all be taken away, swift and methodical, careful not to taste too much as his eyes kept darting back and forth from his plate. Percival would fix that. When they had their own home, when he could provide as much as Credence needed and more.

“Yes.” Credence whispered, voice shaking as he stared down at his meal silently, biting his lip before he looked over at the man. “Do you... Do you still want to?”

“Nothing in the world could make me not want to marry you, Credence.” It was the truth, as terrifying as it was, as much as Percival wanted it to be some sort of placating gesture. It would have meant that the feelings were real, that this was real. That scared him as much as it did when he first had the revelation looking at Credence across another table in his old apartment that was now emptied of the unused furniture and barely used clothing from his old life.

Credence flushed, looking down at his plate again and he whispered. “Do you still want... Want...” He couldn’t force the word out, swallowing around it like a pill, before he whispered. “To make love?”

A heavy flare of desire pulsed in Percival’s gut and he nodded. “I do.”

“But I... I need to be a virgin for our... For our wedding.” The boy whispered. Percival didn’t answer that, instead watching as Credence fiddled with his book. “You could... There’s things you could do to me that... I would still be a virgin for our wedding night?”

Percival smirked slowly down at the boy, reaching over his empty plate and collecting the book, opening it to reveal sketches and ink drawings, wood cut prints of erotic poses, men and women together, tangled in heated passion, the pictures moving in the throes of passion and heated desire, the images silently opening their mouths in mute cries of pleasure. “Credence... Would you like me to make love to you?”

Credence swallowed, flushing as he looked up at the man and nodded. “Yes, please.”

How they got here was anyone’s guess, but Credence couldn’t complain. Mostly because doing such a thing would warrant removing his mouth from Percival’s own. One moment they were in the dining room and suddenly Credence found himself falling back onto the man’s bed, sprawled out as nothing but long limbs and the soft linen and silk of his clothing.

Percival groaned, pressing his face to Credence’s throat, licking softly at the warm skin before he pulled back slowly. “Well we wouldn’t have to go all the way.” He murmured, stroking his palms over Credence’s thighs, tugging them further open, slowly rutting his hips against the tight pull of the fabric of the boy’s slacks. Credence for his part whimpered and tightened his grip on Percival’s shoulders, staring up at him.

“What do you mean?” His voice was so small and quiet but undoubtedly curious and hungry, wanting in the same ways Percival wanted. He thought of the book, cast aside on the bed somewhere, and of one picture of a man thrusting between a woman’s thighs.

The man guided Credence hand down to his slacks, watching the boy’s lashes flutter slightly as slim fingers felt the hard, hot curve of his length through his slacks before Percival murmured a spell and his belt snaked free, falling to the floor as the fastenings of his slacks opened. “You could take just the tip.” He suggested, watching as Credence’s fingers twitched before wrapping around the heavy, hard length of his cock, the boy teasing gently over the thickly swollen tip, feeling the wet, silky flesh and whimpering. His fingers explored the size of the man’s cock, shuddering at the weight of him against his palm, imagining how he might feel inside Credence’s own slim body. He whimpered at the thought that the man might part him, open him up, and he might never be able to hide the wanton hole inside him ever again.

“Just...” The boy licked his lips, looking up at the man. “It wouldn’t be a sin if it’s not... Not all the way?”

Graves nodded, kneading his hand over Credence’s leg, tracing his thumb over the seam along the boy’s inner thigh. Credence gave another long, slow stroke of the man’s length, making Percival shudder and resist the urge to buck into the loose grip. “Just the tip.” He murmured, reassuring gently. “No one will know.”

Credence nodded, carefully turning onto his knees, perching his hips into the air and carefully undoing his belt and slacks. Percival grabbed a pillow, shoving it beneath Credence’s hips as the boy’s fingers fumbled with his fastenings and belt. He shivered for a moment as the stiff leather of his belt slid from his fingers onto the floor, looking over his shoulder to see Graves stroking himself as he watched Credence. One hand reached out to squeeze the globe of Credence’s ass, parting flesh to reveal his pink, twitching hole. Credence felt the man’s thumb press firmly and his back arched, gasping as he opened up so easily for him, letting the man slip the digit inside.

“Beautiful.” The man murmured, rucking up Credence’s shirt in the back, pushing the fabric aside to kiss at the soft, smooth skin of his shoulder and down his spine. Credence gasped as he felt the thick, blunt head of the man’s cock against his entrance, feeling the warm and slick as the flesh was rubbed slowly, firmly over his entrance. His voice was a low, gravelly noise, hungry and heavy in his throat. “Such a pretty cunt.”

Credence gasped, feeling his body open up even more under the intimate touches. Percival laughed at that, rubbing the tip even more firmly, his thighs twitching with the desire to thrust forward fully.

“You like that? You like me saying you have a cute, pink, open little cunt?” The man thrust his hips slowly along the crevice between soft thighs, Credence whimpering at the drag of the man’s cock over his taint, nudging at his balls, before sliding back up to press against his open, hungry entrance.

A gasp thick with desire escaped Credence when he felt the blunt head nudge into him, the first inch or so of Percival’s cock buried inside his warmth. “Ooh... Oh, Mr. Graves...” The boy whimpered, rocking his hips back and gasping when he felt Percival rock forward. “Oh! No, you mustn’t-” The boy gasped as more of the thick flesh sank into him, spreading him open, ruining him in inches. “Mr. Graves, you promised only the tip!”

“I can’t help it.” The man groaned, pulling back just enough that he could stare down and see the slick ring of wetness that showed how deep he had managed to sink inside the boy before being caught, his tip still twitching inside that unbearable warmth. “This is what you do to me, sweet thing.” He groaned, kissing Credence’s shoulder as the boy whimpered, feeling the drag of the shallow thrust and closing his legs slowly. The movement, the press of his thighs, only seemed to make the pressure worse, made the man’s cockhead feel that much bigger inside him. He was sure that if Percival pulled back he could see Credence gaping wide and loose and used.

Strong thighs shifted and Credence craned his neck to look over his shoulder, staring down at where the man was stroking himself, his tip still buried inside Credence. “What are you doing?” He asked breathlessly, whimpering when his hips jerked with the need for the man to give him more. His hips rocked against the pillow, giving delicious friction to his cock and making Graves thrust shallowly inside him, chasing the stretched rim of his entrance.

The first splash of cum inside him made Credence gasp and the pillow become soaked beneath him as well. When Graves pulled back, watching the dribble of thick fluid leaking out of the gaping entrance, sliding down Credence’s taint to his balls, dripping onto the dark bedsheets, staining them with his sin.

“O-oh...” Credence whimpered, flushing as he looked down, embarrassed at his lack of restraint. Lifting his hips he could feel his cock sticking to the pillow with thick, sticky strands of cum.

“Well you know I simply must marry you now.” Percival murmured into the boy’s ear gently, grinning when Credence shivered against him. “Now that I’ve had my taste of how sweet you are, I’ll never be able to find anyone else to satisfy my craving.”

Chapter Text

“Master Credence, sir.” Rosemary apparated into the parlour that had somehow, someway, become theirs. Even when Percival was not in the room, he would take his cigarettes or his pacing just outside, where Credence could pull back the curtains and watch him. Credence jumped slightly at the intrusion, flushing as he tore his gaze from the sight of Graves tilting his head back to exhale smoke into the blue afternoon sky. “It’s time for us to be getting you dressed, sir!”

Standing in the room that had been his for the past days, Credence flushed as he stripped out of his clothes, simple black but not the same suit he had insisted on wearing endlessly when he had first arrived. He slipped into the steaming bath drawn for him and allowed Rosemary to clean every inch of him, struggling only mildly when her hands made to the space between his thighs. He didn’t want her to know he had been filled with Graves’ seed and technically violated his duties as Percival’s betrothed.

“Rosemary!” He squeaked, shuffling back and sloshing water over the rim of the tub. “I... Um... I can clean that if... I...”

“No time, don’t worry about it, Master Credence.” The house elf snapped her fingers and Credence felt the rough, almost abrasive feeling of being cleaned by magic, flushing with the knowledge that she had probably made sure to clean him up inside and out with the spell. A fluffy, warm towel appeared in the air and Credence stood, allowing the soft white fabric smooth over his body, drying him so effortlessly that Credence was sure the towel was charmed in some way to make sure his skin had not an ounce of dampness.

He was given a familiar bottle of lotion that smelled faintly of some warm spices, something sweet and spicy-hot, alluring in a way that Credence knew himself not to be. But he smoothed it over his skin and watched Rosemary prepare his suit for the wedding.

Along with his underthings.

He flushed as he stood, stepping into the girdle and watching the stockings roll themselves up his thighs, the lace edges clinging to the soft flesh and kissing the sensitive skin of his inner thighs. Looking in the mirror he couldn’t help but fidget with the lacy top edge of the black girdle, watching the way it emphasized sweet little cutouts of white flesh beneath the lace. He touched his mother’s locket, tracing the soft gold filigree that rested low on his sternum, adjusting it carefully as Rosemary unbuttoned his shirt and slid it over his shoulders with a wave of her fingers.

Credence couldn’t help the way his breath hitched as he was dressed slowly. He was being dressed for his wedding. In a sleek black suit, a white waistcoat, and a soft white silk shirt. Credence slipped the necklace into his pocket as a tie swam through the air, wrapping itself into a neat bow. He looked down at the black leather shoes, slipping into them and watching as they laced themselves up neatly.

The young man in the mirror could not possibly be Credence Barebone. Whatever illusion Rosemary had cast on him, he couldn’t help but fear that when they were married, when the doors to their bridal suite was closed, that the illusion would fail and Mr. Graves would realise how he had been tricked. He would see ugly little Credence Barebone, barely eighteen and unloved by all, looking up at him and hoping against all hope that Mr. Graves could love him.

God, he hoped the illusion held long enough for the man to say “I Do”.

There was a knock on the door and Credence shivered as he was led by some member of the family he couldn’t recall the name of to the ballroom. There was a small crowd, no more than thirty people, mostly the extended Graves family, but with some other witnesses.

Percival was standing beside his father, having a quiet argument with the man if the motions he made were any indication.

When the entire room turned to stare judgmentally at Credence the boy bowed his head, fiddling with his engagement ring as he walked slowly over to stand beside Percival. The man fell silent, staring down at Credence and the boy couldn’t help but turn his gaze up to look at the man, even as Ernst began to speak about the marriage and the responsibilities the two had to one another.

Percival Graves looked down at him with a gaze of someone who rarely smiled. A stern, hard face. Handsome, certainly, all even lines and cleancut and his hair slicked back perfectly, but severe. Credence recalled Antigone saying to him that Graves men were not inclined to kindness, they were not made to love gently. He thought of Percival, of the last few days they had spent together, of the man’s careful hesitance, his shyness to be near Credence, his tenderness, and wondered if perhaps Antigone had been entirely wrong about the nature of her son.

“Credence.” The man whispered, staring down at the boy as Credence’s own eyes fixed upon his face. He looked like he wanted to say something and Credence held his breath, staring up at Percival before the man’s hand pulled back from where they had been linger, carefully nudging at Credence’s own fingers. “I do.” He murmured in practiced response to Ernst asking if they promise to have and hold one another. Credence echoed him softly, looking up at the man with wide, worried eyes.


Percival couldn’t help but feel like he was robbing Credence of something as the marriage finished, they kissed softly, chastely, and rings were slipped onto their fingers and suddenly they were being ushered through the reception.

Credence didn’t eat. He couldn’t blame the boy but he did try to coax him into eating something.

His emotions didn’t seem to know what sort of stance to take on Credence Barebone. Certainly he was an improvement from Mary Lou. He was sweet, quiet, and once he had been fed, cleaned and given enough potions to resurrect a year old corpse, he was quite lovely to look at. All long, smooth limbs and bony wrists and sharp features, his hair was so damn feather soft once he had been cleaned and his skin a milky white that Graves knew women at his work slaved to get. He wanted the boy, perhaps more than he should. He wanted his eagerness and curiosity, his wonder and sharp observation and the way the boy absolutely devoured the world around him in an effort to learn more.

But Percival Graves was an Auror. The Director of Magical Security. His life was dangerous and time consuming and he didn’t need a spouse waiting at home for either him to come home or a letter stating that he had died because some Dark Wizard was faster than him. He had lived alone, worked alone, and had resigned himself to the fate of dying alone.

Now he was married. He had a husband... Someone who would rely on him.

And that scared Graves more than any close encounter with death ever had.

“Here.” Graves held out a small, delicate chocolate cake with raspberry jam spread in a thin layer between the two sections. He tried for a reassuring smile, but was fairly certain that his smile had come out more sinister than he had intended. He watched the way soft lips had parted and Credence had taken delicate bites of the cake, not even bothering to ignore the way his stomach twisted and lurched with want at the sight of the boy's eyes fluttering as he eagerly licked the crumbs and smears of chocolate and jam from his fingers.

He was not a kind man. He was selfish and greedy and possessive and he wanted Credence. A kind man would not have let the boy marry him at all. A kind man would have sent Mary Lou away and given the cheque to Credence, to tell the boy to start a life of his own, away from New York, away from Percival Graves.

Now, standing in their bridal suite, Percival couldn’t help but stare as Credence slowly, shyly removed his jacket, then his waistcoat. Percival reached for his own tie, undoing it carefully. He was fiddling with the buttons of his own shirt when the thin silk shirt slithered off of Credence’s shoulders, revealing his back, littered in scars from Mary Lou, and the black lace edge of the girdle that Credence wore emphasizing the uneven tissue, making it look like the ragged flesh was crawling up the boy’s spine and shoulders. Then the pants dropped and Graves stared at the long, pale legs encased in black stockings, the line of the seam cutting straight up from the backs of his heels to his thighs.

He was... So lovely.

Credence glanced over his shoulder briefly, blushing and looking back down to the plush carpet, his slim hands pressing at his waist, down his hips and thighs, tracing the curves that the girdle gently shaped for him. The boy looked... So edible. And when Credence turned fully to face him, his fingers sliding over the dark fabric covering his stomach, Graves couldn’t help the low, hungry breath that escaped him as he stared.

The boy looked up at him, shifting to perch carefully on the edge of the bed. He ran his fingers over the soft fabric of the coverlet and Graves knew he was getting hard already just looking at the boy. The man moaned low in his throat, staring at the boy’s legs before dragging his eyes up to his face. He stepped forward and Credence laid back slowly on the bed, his hands pressing shyly to his stomach as he looked at the man looming over him.

He didn’t bother with platitudes and asking if the boy was sure. He didn’t say that they could always do this later, that they didn’t have to consummate the marriage tonight.

“I just... I want to be good for you.” The boy whispered, eyes wide and glistening and lips and cheeks flushed. His fingers moved up to his own hair, fiddling with a stray lock of his bobbed hair as he watched the man above him. “I want you to like me.”

Percival let out a slow, shuddering breath as he planted one hand next to Credence’s head, the other hand reaching down to stroke over his waist, his hip, grabbing his thigh and carefully tugging him close. He slipped his hand up beneath the boy’s girdle, pushing the stiff fabric up just enough that he could glance down and see the bare flesh between Credence’s thighs, at the twitching pink hole that he had gotten a brief teasing taste of. He shuddered, imagining Credence getting ready, imagining him thinking and worrying and wanting this just as much as Percival did.

“You’re already such a good boy.” His lips trailed down the boy’s throat and neck and one of the boy’s fingers grasped at his sleeve. “So sweet and wonderful for me...”

“I want to be good.” The boy breathed, arching when the man’s fingers found the necklace, the locket that he had left on.

“Well aren’t you lovely?” Percival’s lips curved into a smirk as he fiddled with the locket, opening it and revealing the empty inside before closing it and placing it just along the line of the boy’s sternum. “Spread your legs.” He ordered, leaning forward to kiss the boy’s collarbones before he straightened, dislodging Credence’s grip on his sleeve, tugged his vest and shirt off, leaving him in his undershirt and slacks still, before he knelt beside the bed.

A startled noise echoed about the room as Credence was dragged to the edge of the bed, Graves throwing the boy’s legs over his shoulders as he leaned in to force his head between soft, tender thighs. His tongue dragged over the soft skin of his taint, over the burning hot curve of Credence’s cock, his mouth sucking briefly at the delicate skin of the boy’s sack before he pushed Credence’s legs open just that much more. The moment Percival gave a wet lick to the boy’s entrance he could feel Credence’s cock twitch with interest at the touch. Looking up, he could see those feline eyes closed and a full lip trapped between Credence’s teeth. His slender fingers were tangled in his own hair, mussing the bob he had been given and shaking as his free hand clutched at the bedding tightly as if to avoid grabbing hold of Percival.

A few long, slow licks and Credence’s body already started to open beneath his attentions, the boy’s entrance twitching soft and pink and eager when Graves pulled back and slid a finger along the trembling rim. Even just one finger had the boy jolting and gasping as he felt it sink deep into his body.

“Mr. Graves, I-” Credence groaned as Percival curled his finger sharply, finding his sweet spot and proceeding to knead the fingertip against the bundle of nerves relentlessly. The boy managed a few strangled noises, grasping at the man’s wrist and arching as his thighs twitched and jerked. “I need... I need...”

Graves pulled back, crowding Credence onto the bed, pushing him up until the boy was kneeling, back to the headboard. The man’s lips found Credence’s own soft mouth, kissing and biting at already flushed lips until Credence was writhing against him, slim hands grabbing at the ornate headboard tight enough that his nails left gouges in the finishing.

“Stay like this.” His voice was not his own, Percival distantly realised. Who was this man with the hoarse, desperate voice, low and eager and wanting. Certainly it wasn’t him. Laying down on the bed, his head on the pillows that Credence was kneeling upon, Graves pulled Credence’s hips forward, tugging the boy down even as trembling thighs resisted the motion.

“Mr. Graves!” Credence gasped, one hand releasing the headboard to plant firmly on Percival’s stomach, fingers clutching at the solid muscle there as Graves slid his finger back into the boy, teasing his tongue along the rim. His free hand slid from Credence’s thighs to cup his length, his fingers stroking over the hot flesh, knuckles pushing against the tight fabric of the girdle. Credence rocked his hips into the touches, his own hand coming down to press to Graves’ wrist, feeling the man stroke him slowly, evenly in time with the plunges of his tongue and finger.

Credence opened his mouth as if to speak only to let out a harsh, desperate half-scream as Graves’ finger continued to mercilessly work him, his tongue lapping and lips slurping messily at the hungry, gaping hole of his sweet cunt. When Credence came, staining the black fabric of his pretty little girdle and coating Graves’ fingers as he stroked him through the aftershocks, his entrance shuddered and sucked and clenched around the finger buried knuckle deep. Percival stared when he pulled the digit free, couldn’t help but watch the twitching muscle, leaning forward to give the stretched rim one last kiss before he slid his fingers out, watching the gape for a moment.

“Mr. Graves...” Credence whimpered, staring down at Percival’s cock, resting thick and heavy and leaking upon his stomach. “You haven’t... I want to be good for you.”

“Then be good for me.” The man murmured, his free hand reaching down to tangle in soft hair and pressing the boy’s head between his thighs. Credence’s lips eagerly kissed at the sensitive head and Grave groaned, feeling soft lips and tongue tasting him, learning him with tentative touches and licks and sucks. When the boy suckled his flushed tip into his mouth, Percival couldn’t help but groan as he tangled his fingers more tightly in Credence’s hair, tugging him back just enough for the swollen flesh to pop out of the boy’s pink lips. His teeth pressed to Credence’s thigh and the boy arched and whined at the soft threat.

“Up, up.” The man murmured, grasping Credence’s thighs and pushing the boy until he was rolled onto his back. “Spread your legs.” Credence did as he was told, beautifully obedient even as he shook with anticipation and need.

Graves stared down at the boy, gently lacing his fingers with the hand that reached for his groin. He pinned Credence’s hand to the bed, leaning forward, staring straight at the boy as he braced himself on his elbow, his fingers still refusing to release Credence’s. He reached down and began to stroke himself slowly, panting as he stared at the boy’s flushed, kissable lips, at his ruffled hair and sweat-slicked skin, at the way his eyes stared up at Percival as if he had hung the moon, as if he were a knight from old times, as if he were the saviour of his soul.

“Oh... Oh fuck... Credence.” The man groaned, pressing his lips to Credence’s throat as he bucked into his hand, his cock spurting thick ropes of cum over the tight black fabric.

Pulling back after a long moment, Percival stared down at the boy, limp and gasping and clutching at Graves’ own shoulder with a thin hand, pulling him close. Credence had practically melted into the luxuriant bed, looking up at the man as if he was something divine.

There had to be a god, somewhere, but Percival couldn’t help but believe that this sweet little boy in his arms was his own personal deity. His to worship and adore and place high where the unworthy couldn’t lay their hands on him.

“Spread your legs more, that’s it, such a sweet boy.” He didn’t know what he was saying now, as he pushed Credence’s girdle up as far as he could, groaning and thrusting against the boy’s spit-slick entrance, feeling the easy give of the flesh. “Oh god...” The way Credence’s body opened up so easily, accepted his length like he was meant to be there, the way the boy’s head was thrown back with wild abandon and shivering, desperate moans was almost enough to make Percival come, to make him thrust as deep as he could go and paint the tender insides of his new spouse.

It didn’t take much, not with Credence sensitive and already clenching so tightly around his cock. All it took was Credence looking up at him with glistening, tearful eyes, his skin oversensitive and trembling, and his lips gasping on Percival’s name as the man fucked deep into him.

“Oh - oh god.” Credence whimpered, his legs hooking over Percival’s hips, the boy looking down at his own body, seeing the way his stomach bulged with each thrust into him. His entire body tightened and Percival snarled, grabbing at Credence’s thigh and pulling him closer, his fingers digging into the meat of the tender flesh.

“Gonna fill you up, babydoll.” The man growled into Credence’s ear, his face tucked against that glass-cut jaw that he fantasised about licking and sucking bruises into. “Gonna make you so full you ache.”

“Yes, yes, please.” Credence whimpered, grabbing at broad shoulders, his nails leaving deep red scratches across Graves’ shoulders. He felt raw and laid bare and open and he wanted it so badly his entire being hurt with it. “Please, Mr. Graves, I need it.” He might die without it. Percival’s abdomen tensed as he changed his angle, thrusting until he hit something that made Credence see stars, his eyes crossing as the thrusts turned punishing. “Oh god!”

Percival groaned and grabbed Credence’s thigh with a broad hand and his other arm wrapped about his waist, pulling the boy until his cock was embedded inside the boy, feeling him tighten with every single thrust against his sweet spot. He could see the boy’s cock, flushed a rich pink at the tip, jutting straight up from beneath the girdle, twitching with each thrust, and Percival couldn’t help the stab of lust at the sight of the ruined fabric and the boy’s eager prick.

“Look at how sweet and pink you are... Pretty pink cock, and such a pretty pink cunt. God, I could just eat you up.” And what a delicious meal his sweet boy would make, if the taste of his ripe, eager pussy had been any indication. Credence gasped and tightened once more and Percival pressed his face to the boy’s throat, biting at the join of his neck and jaw, leaving a livid mark that would take days to fade as he came in thick, heavy streams inside the boy.

Credence slapped his hand against the bedding, tangling his fingers in the soft cotton sheets and arching close, feeling the way his thighs trembled and his entire body tensed once more. His eyelids fluttered, crossed and struggling to stay open as he shook with the force of his orgasm. Percival watched his cock twitch in the air, dribbling out a few more drops of come even as he continued to thrust through Credence’s orgasm. They stayed like that for a few moments, hips flushed together and Credence’s chest and stomach heaving with the effort to breathe. Percival smirked and tugged at the hooks keeping the girdle in place, watching as the black fabric fell open, sticky strings of come trailing from the fabric and connecting to Credence’s cock.

Percival panted, grinning as he stared down at the boy’s lolling head, the way his thighs trembled as his husband pulled out of him. Credence’s legs fell open and Percival groaned as he watched his come leaking out of the boy’s abused hole.

“God, your cunt is so perfect.” He murmured, hooking his thumbs into the loosened muscle and leaning forward to give a long, slow lick to the trembling flesh. The boy gasped and his hand tangled into Percival’s hair, limp and falling out of it’s style from the sweat. Credence shivered and Percival groaned, blowing cool air over the twitching muscle. He grinned as the boy looked down at him, eyes still hazy and thighs trembling. The man smirked, planting a kiss to each thigh, gentle and wet, before he gave another lick, tasting his own spend and the sweetness of Credence’s hole. “I’m going to have such fun making it mine.”