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sweeter than heaven, hotter than hell

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Jeff wakes in the middle of the night to the sound of restless tossing and turning from the other bed.

He comes awake in stages, blinking his eyes, staring at the ceiling, trying to remember where he is. Playoff hockey can get like that. Wake up disoriented. Different city. Different hotel room. Impossible to keep them all straight. But tonight, they played against Providence away. Jeff remembers that. They put him in a room with Mike, because both of them are the rookies on the Phantoms roster. It's Mike who's keeping Jeff awake.

The springs of Mike's bed squeak as he shifts positions. Their hotel rooms are not particularly large, and their beds are not particularly good. The sound fills the otherwise silent room. It's dark, and even if Jeff squints, all he can see on Mike's bed is the vague impression of a restless blur.

He reaches over to the bedside lamp, flicks it on. He blinks a few times in the sudden brightness, but then gets his bearings enough to climb out of his own bed to go see what's going on.

Mike's curled into himself, back facing towards Jeff. His rough, uneasy breaths are wracking his whole body, and Jeff's worried. He's never seen Mike like this before. He's never seen anyone like this before. Mike was fine at the game earlier. Maybe a little crankier than usual, but Mike being cranky is hardly something something to write home about.

"Mike?" Jeff asks. He reaches out, puts one hand on Mike's shoulder, feels the soft, thin cotton of Mike's t-shirt underneath his palm.

Mike turns over to face Jeff. There's something dark and unfamiliar in his eyes.

"Is it something to do with Arnold?" Jeff asks, which seems like a reasonable guess, since Arnold isn't in the room. If Arnold were here, he'd be the first one by Mike's side, his giant wolf body curled protectively around Mike, while Mike tries to settle in for the night. Jeff knows that a lot of wolf-friendly hotels still have rules about wolves getting on the furniture, but Mike will blithely ignore rules he thinks are stupid, and that's definitely one of them.

Mike nods, a jerky snap of his head. His teeth are gritted. "Shooter went into heat. Arnold went to find her."

It takes a moment for Jeff to realize what Mike's saying. "Oh," Jeff says. He can feel a blush chasing its way across his cheeks, down his neck. Shooter is Sharpie's wolf. She likes to nap on top of Coach Stevens' feet at inconvenient times, but otherwise, she's pleasant and well-behaved.

Jeff doesn't understand a whole lot about bondwolves, and Mike is pretty terrible at explaining it. In the suburban town that Jeff grew up in, there were people who had wolves, but it was kind of rare and a little exotic, like owning guns. Sure, people did it, but it wasn't common. Apparently, out in the boonies where Mike grew up, there were so many wolves, nearly every kid had their own. Bonding with a wolf was just what people did. No one had to explain to other adults how it worked.

Right here, right now, Mike avoids Jeff's eyes. Maybe he's embarrassed? Mike's whole body jerks again, turning underneath the hotel sheets. Arnold's the one who's getting very thoroughly laid wolf-style, and Mike's here in his hotel room, very much not getting laid. Jeff still doesn't quite understand how any of this works. Half the time, Jeff still thinks of Arnold as nothing more than Mike's pet, the same black-furred puppy he met at sixteen, no bigger than a lapdog, who would trail after Mike's heels wherever Mike went.

But no, Arnold's all grown up now.

Jeff clears his throat. "What can I..."

Mike rolls over again, the outline of his hard cock in his boxers visible for a moment before it disappears again in the twisted sheets. Jeff's mouth goes dry. Mike's his friend, a teammate. Jeff's laughed with him and changed with him and gone out to bars with him. He's seen Mike's naked dick plenty of times. This shouldn't-- it can't mean anything.

But here, in the darkness of the room, the two of them alone without even Arnold to bear witness, Jeff can admit to himself the way his heart hammers in his chest every time Mike grins at him, at the way his skin buzzes when Mike touches him. All the things he can't bring himself to admit in the light of day. "Richie?" Jeff asks. His voice sounds strangled and hoarse already.

He reaches out again, trying to put a hand on Mike's forehead, feel for some sort of fever. This time, Mike grabs his wrist, yanks him off balance. Jeff tumbles onto Mike, sprawled over him. Jeff's face is mashed into a pillow. Mike's breath is hot and damp against Jeff's neck. His cock is hard against Jeff's hip. "Could you--" Mike says. "Can I--" It's easy to figure out what he means.

Jeff feels lightheaded, all the blood in his body rushing southward. "Yeah," Jeff says, "anything." And he probably should be embarrassed at how easily, how thoroughly, he gives in, but it's Mike. He trusts Mike.

Mike somehow gets the leverage to flip them over, rolling over Jeff and straddling Jeff's torso. The soft yellow lamplight lights up his face, the clearest view of it Jeff has had all night. There's a dark wildness in his eyes, and Jeff wonders how much of that is Arnold looking back out at him. He wonders how much of this is actually Mike, actually about Mike wanting Jeff. His chest starts to hurt if he thinks about that too hard, so he doesn't. This is just like every other time he's jerked off a teammate. It doesn't have to mean anything.

For a long, aching moment, Mike just sits there, breathing hard, staring down at Jeff's face. And then he bends down, sinks his teeth into Jeff's neck. Pain blooms there, accompanied by a familiar spike of adrenaline and arousal. The bite isn't hard enough to break skin, but it will leave a mark tomorrow. Mike's sparse playoff beard scratches at Jeff's throat.

Jeff lets his eyes fall closed, breathes in Mike's post-game scent. Soap mingling with sweat and deodorant. Mike's heavy, solid weight presses down on him. Mike grinds down, his cock rubbing against Jeff's thigh, and that means that Jeff's rapidly hardening cock is pressed against Mike's hip. Sweet friction but not enough, not nearly enough.

His fingers, already clumsy with interrupted sleep and now clumsy with desire, tug at the hems of Mike's clothes, his boxers, his shirt, trying to get at bare skin. Jeff finds the broad, smooth expanse of Mike's back, and it's-- he's always been aware of Mike's body, but he's always been careful about it, a distant sort of acknowledgement that Mike has one, that it has muscle and hair and hands and teeth. If he paid too close attention, then maybe Jeff would want things.

Things that are right in front of him right now, things that are on offer. He opens his eyes again, and that's when Mike kisses him. It's clumsy with need, lips mashed against lips. Mike makes a noise that's half groan, half whine. His teeth dig into Jeff's bottom lip. Jeff's so turned on, he feels dizzy with it.

He manages to get his own boxers down and Mike's boxers down. Their cocks slide up against each other. It's hot and hard, and Jeff lets out an embarrassing groan.

Things get frantic after that. Mike doesn't have the coordination for anything more complicated than this. His eyes are still glazed over with need. He ruts against Jeff, and Jeff ruts back, and it's sloppy and messy and fuck, so good. Mike bites down again on Jeff's neck again, right over the original mark, and he comes, wet and messy all over Jeff's hip.

Jeff gasps hard into Mike's hair and follows him over the edge.

They stay like that for a long moment, just breathing. It's sticky and uncomfortable, but it's difficult for Jeff to care as he bathes in the afterglow. He flops a bit, letting his arms and legs splay out all over Mike's hotel bed.

Mike's looking more like himself. The eerie glow to his eyes has faded, though there's still a bright flush to his face.

"Hey," Jeff says. "You okay?"

Mike nods. He pulls away, pulls off of Jeff and sits on the edge of the bed. "Yeah," he says. "Sorry, I didn't-- I thought that maybe Shooter-- that she wouldn't go into heat until we got home."

"Oh," Jeff says. That must be why Sharpie's been making increasingly lewd jokes at Mike's expense lately. And why Sharpie's girlfriend showed up out of the blue this morning, looking halfway between annoyed and amused. And why Sharpie disappeared pretty much as soon as the game was over, cheerfully ignoring the chirping that followed him.

"I could have gone out with some of the guys to try to pick up," Mike says with a shrug. "But I don't like going through it with someone I don't-- who I don't trust." From here, Jeff can only see the shadowed curve of Mike's shoulders, the faintest outline of his tattoo, but he can hear in Mike's voice all sorts of things that make Jeff's heartbeat pick up in his chest, that make Jeff's throat feel tight.

"Yeah," Jeff manages to say, just to fill the silence.

Mike glances over his shoulder, and his eyes are clear and sharp, though the smallest of smiles creases his face. "Uh, it's not over yet. You might want to get out of here before--"

"No," Jeff says, probably too quickly. "It's cool. I'm--" He thinks about Mike's body and Mike's skin and Mike's teeth, and he thinks about how it won't take much to get him hard again, even without a wolfbond messing with his sex drive. "--I'm good."

"Okay," Mike says. He stands up, goes into the bathroom and comes out with a damp towel, a few packets of condoms, and a bottle of hotel lotion. He cleans the mess off his own stomach, pulling off his shirt and boxers and tossing them carelessly into a far corner of the room.

He throws the towel at Jeff. It lands on Jeff's face, still damp with jizz. Jeff's still in too good a mood to be annoyed by it. He rolls his eyes at Mike and gets a smirk in return. It could be any stupid towel fight in the locker room, just goofing off with one another. Jeff strips off his own clothes, tosses them onto the same pile as Mike's. Mike watches him, eyes skimming over Jeff's body, and there's an intent there that isn't ever present when they're naked in the locker room together.

Jeff lets himself fall back onto the bed. He takes a deep breath, tries to get his feelings under control. Mike trusts him, and Mike wants to fuck him, and that's-- that's a lot. That's enough to calm the ache in his chest. Mostly.

Mike straddles Jeff's waist again, his soft, pink cock brushing against the hair of Jeff's stomach. Jeff looks his fill, now that he can do it without-- without giving too much away. The breadth of Mike's shoulders, the V of his hips, the flex and shift of his muscles, the absent way Mike licks his lips. Mike looks at him too, and Jeff wonders what he's seeing, but he's too chicken to ask.

Then Mike leans over and kisses him. It's different without the heat clouding it. Mike doesn't rush, just a careful slide of his lips over Jeff's. Jeff lets himself sink into it, slow and lazy, no different from making out on the couch with a girl at a house party. Well, except for the scratch of Mike's beard, the dry, chapped texture of his lips.

All too soon, Mike's fingers slide into Jeff's hair, tugging, kicking everything up a notch. Mike's cock hardens against Jeff's stomach, and Jeff's cock follows suit.

"I'm gonna--" Mike breathes, pulling. He reaches for the lotion. His hand pauses for a moment, eyes intent on Jeff's face.

Jeff nods.

Mike's efficient with the lotion, slicking up his fingers. "It's not as bad the second time around," he says.

"You've done this before," Jeff says. Mike presses his fingers against Jeff's ass with the same kind of confidence that carries with him when he steps onto the ice. Jeff's not an assplay virgin. He's had some girls finger him while they gave him a blowjob, and it's always been good and weirdly intense. He's liked it enough to consider what it would be like if it were the main course and not just a side dish. But this feels tense, fraught with other feelings.

"Some of the guys on the Rangers," Mike says with half a shrug, "when their wolves went into heat."

Jeff feels a sharp clench in the pit of his stomach. He tries to remember which Rangers had wolves, which ones had female ones at that. Tries to remember their faces, whether or not any of them could be considered handsome or pretty. Mike was captain, then. Was it really part of his captain duties to fuck his teammates? Jeff doesn't remember anything like that during his time captaining his junior team. It definitely wasn't in Jeff's job description.

Mike slides one finger in, and Jeff lets his eyes fall closed. Maybe he should be grateful that Mike knows what he's doing. He relaxes as best as he can around the intrusion, the initial sense of wrongness. Then there's two fingers, pushing inside, stretching him open. Jeff hisses between his teeth.

He opens his eyes in time to see some of the heat come back onto Mike's face. He's flushed a brighter red now, a blush chasing its way down his neck and over his chest. "Gotta--" Mike says. He's gritting his teeth hard. Jeff can practically see the way Mike's fighting for control over his own body.

"Yeah, okay," Jeff says. He turns over, gets on his knees and elbows, because, yeah, once he did end up watching some gay porn, just out of curiosity. The mechanics weren't always entirely clear, but he remembers this much.

There's the sound of a condom wrapper being torn open behind him. Jeff presses his forehead against the mattress and reminds himself to breathe. Mike's hands settle on Jeff's hips, gripping tight, maybe even tight enough to bruise.

Mike's first thrust is hard, harder than Jeff was expecting. He lets out an involuntary groan. His cock bobs underneath him. Mike's cock is larger than his fingers were, definitely larger than any of the girls' fingers were. Jeff feels-- full, forced open. The sensation isn't exactly unpleasant, but it's not exactly pleasurable either.

And then Mike does it again. Another hard thrust that has Jeff's hands sliding on the thin sheets. "Mike," Jeff bites out, not because he wants it to stop or anything, but because, it's a lot, almost too much. He doesn't know what else to say. He reaches back, fumbles, manages to find Mike's hand on his hip, another point of connection between them.

Mike doesn't let up. As careful as he was with prep, he's not careful now at all. He fucks Jeff hard, each push inside more intense than the one before. He covers Jeff's body with his own, his chest pressed against Jeff's back. At some point, he finds Jeff's prostate, and Jeff moans again into the sheets as his whole body lights up with a blinding sort of pleasure.

He loses himself at that point, just becomes a collection of raw nerves, panting breaths, slick sweat, overwhelming need. He doesn't even know what he needs, but he knows that Mike is giving it to him, that it's so good it's almost a taste on his tongue, indescribably sweet.

Mike bites down on his shoulder as he comes this time around, teeth digging in hard. The pain cuts through the pleasure like a knife, and Jeff reaches down between his own legs, jerks himself off once, twice, and then spills over the sheets.

They collapse into a sweaty, disgusting heap. Mike's soft cock slips out of him. All of Mike's weight is bearing down on Jeff again, but Jeff finds that he doesn't really mind. He's exhausted, but it's a good, pleasant sort of exhaustion, like coming off a hard-fought win. He could fall asleep like this, even over the wet spot, with Mike's body spread out on top of his own.

Mike doesn't seem any more inclined to move than Jeff is. "I think," he says, breathing against Jeff's neck, "that he's going to want one more."

"Fuck," Jeff says. "Tell him he should fucking tone it down." His dick doesn't object to the idea, but it's not exactly eager to go one more time either. Maybe that will change once round three gets going for real.

He feels Mike chuckle throughout his entire body, through every place they're touching. Mike says, "Wolves, man."

Like that's actually supposed to explain anything. Jeff manages to roll over onto his back without dislodging Mke. Mike goes along with it without complaint. Jeff helps him strip off the used condom, clumsy and unhurried.

Now that Jeff can see his face, he can see there's a softness there, what Jeff might even term affection. It's strange to see it, and Jeff is willing to chalk that up to whatever weird, freaky psychic link Mike has with Arnold. Arnold's the gregarious, friendly one, the one who will rush up to strangers begging for scratches and pets and food while Mike hangs back and glowers at everyone, prickly and intense.

Jeff cups the back of Mike's neck, which is damp with sweat, feels the softness of Mike's hair against his palm. He draws Mike into another kiss. Mike goes along it. He lets Jeff set the play this time. Moans a little when Jeff licks into his mouth. It's good. Jeff tries not to imagine more nights like this -- well, maybe without the wolf stuff -- just getting to kiss and fuck Mike whenever he wants, tries not to imagine what it would be like if Mike wanted it, too.

Mike rolls over on top of him, knees settling between Jeff's legs. He's hard again. Jeff isn't, but that's okay. Mike says, "I'm going to--"

"Yeah," Jeff says. He spreads his legs wider, plants his feet on the mattress, knees in the air. He's already loose and open from the last time Mike fucked him. He bites his lip at the thought of Mike just pushing right in again, of Mike taking everything and not even realizing what he's getting.

Another condom packet. This time Jeff can see everything. The furrow of Mike's brow. The sweat that's beading on his neck. The curve of his tattoo on his left bicep. Mike's fingers press in first, and that's pretty good in and of itself, filling in the emptiness that Jeff didn't even realize he was feeling.

Soon enough, Mike sinks into him again. He goes even slower, this time around. One of Mike's hands palms Jeff's cock, and even despite the oversensitivity of coming twice in one night, he starts to harden at the touch.

Jeff wants to close his eyes again, wants to just feel and feel and feel. But he also doesn't want to miss this. The way Mike's eyes darken as the wolf heat starts to work its way through his body. The way his lips pull back to reveal his teeth, not a grimace and not a smile but something in between. The bob of his Adam's apple at the base of his throat.

It's not as wild this time, it doesn't swamp Jeff in its sensations. But it's still good. It still sends sparks of pleasure down Jeff's spine, still spreads delicious heat throughout Jeff's body. He looks at Mike, at Mike's flushed sweaty face, which shouldn't be attractive at all, and he realizes just how much Mike does trust him. For all that Jeff's being taken, for all that he's the one who's being opened up and used and fucked, Mike's the one who's vulnerable here, the one who's being consumed his need and Arnold's need, the way their needs thread together. It feels like a gift, getting to experience it.

Jeff pulls Mike down for another kiss, tangles his fingers into the damp sweaty mess of Mike's hair. He feels Mike breathe ragged against his lips, a perfect counterpoint to every rough, perfect, beautiful thrust of his cock. Jeff wraps his fingers around his own neglected cock, now fully hard. He jerks himself off, fast and tight, the way he likes it when he gets worked up like this, chasing after his orgasm. It takes a while, after coming twice already tonight, but he doesn't the long frustrating build of it.

Mike bites at Jeff's lips. His fingers dig into Jeff's shoulders. He fucks Jeff hard enough that Jeff can feel it in his teeth. He says, "Yeah, Jeff, come on." His hand joins Jeff's on Jeff's cock. And it's all so fucking good that it makes Jeff's head spin.

Jeff finally comes with a loud groan, spilling all over their joined fingers. Mike fucks him through it, drawing out the pleasure until it's really too much. Jeff claws at Mike's shoulders, Mike's back. He finds a piece of Mike's jaw with his teeth and bites down on it.

That's what pushes Mike over the edge. His mouth falls open, his eyes squeeze tight, he lets out a wheezing sort of groan. And it really does look stupid, but it's Mike, and Jeff fucking loves that he can make Mike look this stupid, that Mike will let Jeff see it.

It takes them a while to disentangle their bodies. Mike pulls away, shaking off the last of Arnold's influence. His expression changes, hardens into something familiar, similar to the way it does every time Mike gets on the ice, putting his game face on. "You okay?" Jeff asks.

"Yeah," Mike says. He tosses out the used condoms, collects their discarded clothes, finds the towel and helps Jeff clean himself off, all the parts that are sticky with come. He bites his lower lip, and Jeff thinks about licking it. Mike asks, "You?"

Jeff takes a moment to think about it. His ass is going to hurt tomorrow, and he's pretty sure he's going to discover all sorts of weird muscles he didn't know he had before. Good thing tomorrow's just a travel day. But other than that, he mostly just feels the familiar zing of endorphins through his body, the bone-deep exhaustion that comes with excellent sex. "Yeah," he says. "I'm good." He smiles at Mike, because yeah, he really is good.

Mike smiles back, just real enough to make Jeff's chest feel tight again. Mike crawls into bed next to Jeff, still naked, and he turns off the lamp, plunging the room into darkness again. He doesn't touch Jeff or anything, but Jeff can still tell that he's there.


In the morning, Mike opens the hotel door to let Arnold back in. It's that weird psychic thing again, where Mike just walks out of the bathroom and opens the door, and Arnold bounds into the room, no sound of him howling or scratching at the door or anything.

Mike digs his fingers into Arnold's fur, like he wants to re-establish some sort of connection, and Arnold leans into it. "Hey, bud," Mike murmurs. "You had a fun night, didn't you?" Jeff tries not to be obvious about eavesdropping, but he's pretty sure he's not fooling man or wolf right now.

Arnold gives Mike a look that Jeff can't interpret, and then he pulls away, comes over to where Jeff's kneeling on the ground and trying to shove all of his stuff into his suitcase. Arnold noses at Jeff's cheek and licks his face, as friendly as ever, but it seems like there might be something Jeff's missing here. He glances over at Mike.

Mike's wearing that almost-smile, just the slightest curl of his lips, a trace of amusement in his eyes. "He's-- um, he's happy you were here with-- for me last night," Mike says, tripping over the translation of wolf into English, the way he always does.

Jeff scratches behind Arnold's ears, lets Arnold sniff at him, lets Arnold nose at the bite marks that are still visible on Jeff's neck. He carefully doesn't look at Mike. He doesn't think of all the weird little aches and pains of his body, nothing compared to a real injury, but still a solid reminder of his activities the night before. "You're welcome, bud," Jeff says.

Arnold licks Jeff's face again. "He's happy that it was you," Mike continues. "He, uh, he likes you."

Jeff feels that right in the center of his chest. It's a tight, hard feeling. It could become more if he lets it, but Jeff's afraid of hoping, of asking for too much. "Yeah?" Jeff asks, mostly because he doesn't know what else to say.

He looks at Arnold, and Arnold gazes steadily back. A sensation tickles at the back of Jeff's skull, not quite a buzz, something gentler than that. It recalls a smell, the scent of wet leaves on a foggy autumn day. It has to have come from Arnold. The connection is faint, probably nothing close to what Mike feels day in and day out. Jeff wishes he understood what it meant.

He's so focused on Arnold that he almost doesn't notice when Mike kneels down next to him. Jeff glances up at him, startled at Mike's sudden presence. "Yeah," Mike says. He cups Jeff's face between his palms and kisses him. His mouth tastes like toothpaste.

Arnold rests his head on Jeff's shoulder, wuffs out a pleased sound.

"Okay," Jeff says, pulling back. He wraps an arm around Arnold's neck. He looks right at Mike, sees all the things that Mike won't say out loud, and that's fine, because Jeff won't say them either. The tight feeling in his chest loosens, becoming bright and airy and impossibly happy, the wanting dissipating into having. He feels a little dizzy with it. "Okay."