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is this one sin or five?

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It’s not even that late, is the embarrassing thing. Adam and Gansey are out of town together, and with them they have taken the last fragile scraps of Ronan’s impulse control; alone in Monmouth, he drinks, knocks the balls across the pool table, wonders when he got so pathetic that he can’t cope without them. It’s not like Adam’s ever around, it’s not like Gansey ever talks about anything other than Glendower or Blue or Adam, but still. Still.

He’d like to blame it on the heat, or on the drinks, anything outside himself, but the truth is more that Ronan is simply in the same mood as when he got his nine hundred dollar ‘fuck you’ to Declan tattooed over his back, and now that his shoulder blades are crowded with the claws of his nightmares he needs to think of some new form of self-expression. Maybe he’ll get something inked on his neck, before Gansey’s home to stop him; maybe he’ll get Gansey’s name, Kavinsky’s name, something that will hurt one of them for sure.

Kavinsky has been texting him for hours, not needing any responses, possibly content knowing that sooner or later Ronan is going to have to handle his phone and see the full lascivious stream of consciousness waiting for him. Ronan doesn’t think anything of it until he finishes the last of the beers from the bathroom fridge and then needs a new way to make bad decisions. Flip a coin: go out to buy booze four drinks deep, or text Kavinsky back? Driving is temping, feels like some sideways affront to Gansey for leaving him on his own, but it also runs the risk of validating every time Gansey looks at him like he is a dog that needs a shorter leash. Kavinsky wins for today.

The last message K left was an hour ago and almost chipper; ‘Heard you didn’t get a ride in Dick’s helicopter? I’ll let you ride shotgun if you’re lonely, princess.’

Ronan imagines himself saying yes, getting into the Mitsu, broadcasting his surrender clear as fucking day, can’t accept an invitation written like that anyway. His reply eloquently expresses his refusal: ‘how’s Proko gonna suck your dick from the backseat?’

Kavinsky’s response comes quick, and Ronan allows himself the dream that K’s just married to his phone, for emergency dealings and dick pics, and that it’s nothing to do with Ronan in particular. He’s clearly had a productive hour, half his letters double typed like his hands were jittery on the keys. The gist, as well as Ronan can read it, is something like ‘I’ve got what you want, you’ve got what I want, c’mon’, and the word ‘babe’ three times, each with a different number of ‘b’s.

Come and fucking get it,’ Ronan texts back. Instant regret; he tosses his phone away, lets it slide under his dresser, does not check for Kavinsky’s reply as the phone buzzes and glows in the dark. It is night one of two that Gansey is gone, and he is going to claw his way out of his skin if something else doesn’t do it for him. He wants to sleep, he wants to fight, he wants to rip a night horror’s throat open with his teeth, and he already fucking knows that he’s not going to get what he needs. He kicks empty beer cans over the floor of his room, tries to remember how to exhale, feels himself winding tighter and hotter with each passing second.

It’s not long after that he hears the purr of a car as it settles into Monmouth’s parking lot. For a moment Ronan thinks it must be Gansey and Adam, back early, and he’ll need to stay in his room because it’s either not talk to them or have to see both their condescending, clever, gorgeous fucking faces and put his fist through a wall. But he can hear more than one engine; there is more than one set of headlights lurking low under his windowsill, and Ronan eases himself over to the window to check.

A Golf, a Supra, and the fucking Mitsubishi sit in front of Monmouth like wolves that have scented prey, lights blue-bright and ghostly on the cracked concrete. The engines tick off; car doors slam. Kavinsky gets out, tips his head up to the apartment, and Ronan’s too late to move out of sight without being obvious about it so he stares him back down. Even from where he is he can see the shit-eating grin Kavinsky’s beaming up at him. He’s brought his whole fucking gang with him, and they’ve brought drinks; Kavinsky instructs them with a jerk of his head, says, “Upstairs,” and all the rest of them are stumbling, laughing, knocking into each other as they head for the door.

They are coming into Monmouth, and Ronan’s knee-jerk reaction is just no. He’s spent the better part of the last year keeping Gansey and Kavinsky apart and inviting K into Gansey’s home is an egregious betrayal. Ronan hadn’t thought Kavinsky would actually turn up from a text, summoned as sure as if it’d been a pentagram. He’d just been fucking around, baiting him, awful useless liar words.

But he’s not unhappy. He knows it as he leaves his room to wait at the apartment’s front door, he’s scared and he’s stressed in a huge twisted knot in his head, but. Maybe if he can get rid of the others, just take K in his room, get what he needs, K wringing the poison out of him drop by drop with his wicked hands, maybe he can just get sorted without the ceiling caving in.

Maybe instead he can let things get wildly out of control, and just pretend like he doesn’t like it.

“Are you going to make me fucking knock?” Kavinsky yells through the apartment’s front door, and Ronan considers his options, considers the promising bottles he’d seen Proko carrying, opens the door and blocks it with his shoulder. All four of Kavinsky’s goddamn minions are looming behind their alpha, and Skov and Swan make K look small, a sinewy kind of creature that is currently clearly artificially wired. “You could look happier to see us, Lynch. We came all the way here just for you.”

“I didn’t ask you to bring your whole goddamn entourage,” Ronan spits back, and the apartment’s landing isn’t even big enough for all of them, Proko’s three steps down and swallowing vodka like he’s trying to stay competitive. “Give me a good fucking reason to let you all in.”

Kavinsky raises an eyebrow that says about everything he might want to say himself – that he knows Gansey’s gone, that Ronan wouldn’t have texted back if he wasn’t interested, that he knows Ronan well enough to see the tension coiled through him and he is here just to help him unwind. He’s going to act like he’s being outright charitable.

“There’s five of us. Five dicks,” Kavinsky says instead. “Imagine.”

“Piss off,” Ronan tells him, and opens the door wider. 

Kavinsky tugs the vodka away from Proko and places it in Ronan's hand like a gift; his grin makes it clear that he thinks this is generous, instead of the bare minimum it will take for Ronan to step aside. He pushes his shades down just enough that Ronan can see his eyes, bright with his high, making him a promise; Kavinsky has what everyone needs.

Ronan gets out of the way. He lets Kavinsky through, glares at the others as they pass by; Proko slurs something grateful, Jiang ignores him, Swan smirks, Skov tries to smack him on the ass and laughs when Ronan kicks at him.  

“Don't touch Gansey's shit,” Ronan demands, probably too late. Aside from Kavinsky, they all live in Aglionby dorms, and off-campus housing is still something of a novelty. The five of them spread out and the sense of invasion is instant. This is a transgression; it’s making Ronan’s stomach churn, taut with interest and roiling anxiety, breaking one of his own dearest taboos. Kavinsky in Gansey’s space should be a nightmare, not exciting. Kavinsky’s entire damn crew in Monmouth should not get his dumb animal instincts turned on.

“You heard the man,” Kavinsky drawls, like he’s actually going to enforce the code of conduct. "Hands off the mint, no trying on polo shirts, keep your feet off of - is that a fucking model town?" It is, and Kavinsky stares at it mystified for a moment before mentally folding it up with everything else he thinks of Gansey. "Dickie needs some better fucking hobbies." 

Everywhere Kavinsky moves, Ronan re-orients around him. The vodka he’s been passed is warm, but he takes a big swig anyway, and a few more for luck. He watches Jiang discover the bathroom/kitchen/laundry with no small amount of disgust, Proko go to poke at Chainsaw in her cage, Skov and Swan delighting over the pool table and the fact that the felt is still intact. Kavinsky props himself up in the doorway to Ronan’s bedroom to survey it, but does not do as Ronan was expecting and lead the way in. All he says is, “You break a lot of your shit, huh? Don’t worry, I can relate.”

Ronan tries to figure out if there’s a way to get Kavinsky in his room with the door shut without being tragically obvious about it, but Kavinsky doesn’t make him wait; K reaches out to place a hand on the back of his head, fingers splayed out over the growing stubble. There is something so immediately possessive in it that Ronan leans in, instant response, instant regret, but he is boiling under his skin, Adam and Gansey have left him here, and this is what he needs in their absence. Nervous and eager and loathing himself for both; he is standing on the edge of a pier at midnight, waiting to be shoved into the sea.

Kavinsky seems to sense the restless hum in him as he smooths his fingers over Ronan’s scalp, feels him tremble against his palm. “I knew you were like this,” K croons, degradingly kind, “But don’t you worry babe, I’m going to sort you out. We’re gonna take care of you.”

“Who the fuck is ‘we’?” Ronan asks, definitely too late, as Kavinsky’s hand slips to his shoulder and tries to drag him back across Monmouth’s main room. Ronan slaps the hand away, stands his ground, forces Kavinsky to turn back around and face him even though his heart is racing and his fists are clenching, and he knows what he wants. His id is attempting to suplex his superego.

“Lynch. Ronan. Babe,” Kavinsky says, voice a warm dribble of melting wax. “If you want us to go, then we’ll go.”

Fuck him for making Ronan choose; fuck him for making Ronan cross the room, skirt the model Henrietta, every single charming piece of antique clutter screaming Gansey at him, fuck him most of all for sitting himself down on Gansey’s bed, slapping the mattress beside him, grinning like he somehow thinks Ronan is making the right decision. Ronan doesn’t think there is a right decision, just an array of differently-painful incorrect ones.

“My room,” he tries to insist, “Not on Gansey’s fucking bed.”

Kavinsky raises an eyebrow, the worst kind of I know you written on his face. “You’re saying you don’t want to come in his sheets? Because I’ve got to tell you, it’s like a year too late to start pretending you’re not hot for him. Is he actually frigid, or does he just not fuck you?”

Fuck you, you don’t know shit like you think you do,” Ronan snaps, and it’s not like he’s never thought about it, getting taken to pieces on that bed, so exposed in the middle of the room, but he’d just always imagined Gansey present for it. Or Adam, he thinks, and wishes he didn’t, wishes Kavinsky wasn’t the only one offering. K’s still being patient with him; Ronan folds.

At least the rest of K’s gang isn’t too obviously watching yet – Skov and Swan are actually playing pool, and Jiang and Proko are sprawled out on the leather couch, still getting industriously wasted, legs intertwined with a casual simplicity that Ronan envies down to his bones. They’re watching him with something still much closer to amusement that arousal, but Ronan hesitates long enough for K to snake an arm around him and drag him down.

On Gansey’s bed, with Kavinsky. Ronan doesn’t know where to put his hands, feels stupidly, childishly out of his league, and all the angrier for it. At least Kavinsky’s taking the lead, rubbing his hands over Ronan’s shoulders like he really is just trying to help him relax. His kisses taste like smoke and haze, like the space after a party’s dispersed, dregs and cinders and residual heat. Kavinsky kisses him until the worst of his tension begins to ease, until Ronan can tentatively settle a hand on Kavinsky’s hip and god, he feels so exposed, so vulnerable, can’t bring himself to look to see if the others are watching.

“Don’t you worry babe,” Kavinsky whispers low into his ear, “We are going to take real good fucking care of you.”

One of K’s hands cups the back of Ronan’s neck, and he shivers – Gansey has touched him like that, exactly once, on his very worst night, a very long time ago. And Gansey never took it far enough, started up a coal fire in the spaces between Ronan’s ribs and left him alone to burn, drove Ronan up to the point where getting pushed down onto Gansey’s bed, head on Gansey’s pillow, feels like the best play from a very bad hand.

Kavinsky’s head blocks out the overhead light, haloed by it; staring straight up, Ronan does not need to know where anyone else in the room is, if they’re watching his clothes get worked off, if they’re seeing his hint of hesitance before he slides his hands under K’s shirt, if they’re as turned on as he is by K’s carnivorous grin. “You’ve been talking yourself up for months,” Ronan breathes, trying to build his own mettle, “You better deliver.”

“Oh, sweetie,” Kavinsky replies, endlessly fond, dragging Ronan’s jeans down to his ankles, “I’m making you a goddamn promise. You are going to like this.”

Ronan hears Prokopenko slur, “Fuckin’ get it, K,” and then Kavinsky’s mouth is on him, hands on him, licking and stroking and biting, months of teasing finally manifest until Kavinsky is staring at him ravenous and Ronan feels about ready to be devoured. He doesn’t protest as K turns him over, easier to face the pillow than those infinite eyes.

The fabric beneath him smells like mint leaves; Ronan breathes it in and doesn’t exhale, holds the scent in his chest, shame not nearly able to eclipse the want shivering up and down his spine. Kavinsky is a careful combination of firm and gentle, still alight from whatever he’s taken, pressing more kisses into the back of Ronan’s neck, some with more teeth and less restraint than others. And it’s a relief; the light brush of Kavinsky’s hands on his sides are death by a thousand cuts, but when he bites, when he whispers, “Aren’t I nice, not making you beg?” it’s a sheer black heat that licks so nice along Ronan’s insides.

Ronan presses his face into the pillow as Kavinsky cups him, strokes up along the sensitive underside of his dick, laughs unkindly at the way Ronan twitches away from the first touch of fingers on his asshole. Of course Kavinsky knew what he was there for; of course he brought lube up with him, he probably keeps it in the Mitsu’s glovebox, his car’s backseat is a biohazard. Ronan doesn’t want slow, but Kavinsky murmurs, “Pace yourself, princess, you’ve got a long way to go,” as he presses his first finger in. Someone wolf-whistles; even with his face down, Ronan knows they can see his ears are burning.

It might be the chemical influence still playing through Kavinsky’s mind, but he gets Ronan ready better than Ronan expected; Ronan has fingered himself before, but not with lube, and the cool feel of it is alien inside him. The thought of being a more active participant comes and goes; Kavinsky slaps him on the ass, says “Hips up, Lynch,” and Ronan pushes his chest down, back arcing, hyperaware of Kavinsky’s hands helping to spread him open, and the thought that crashes through him, clear as day, is this is what you want.

Kavinsky thrusts into him, slow and insistent, hands locked bruisingly tight around Ronan’s waist. Ronan tastes blood in his mouth, but that is absolutely fine, and when Kavinsky exhales he feels it, not just the collapse of the chest pressed against his back but the absolute shift of the body against his, inside his, and fuck. He’s sweating against Gansey’s sheets, mint in his nose, Kavinsky’s breath in his ear, and he hadn’t realised but he’s been a mess for hours and this is desperately needed release. His own body tenses, sags, and Kavinsky leans back on top of him, bares the black barbs of his tattoo to the room, lets all his friends see the deep red flush down the back of Ronan’s neck.

“Looking pretty, Lynch,” Swan calls to him, and it takes Ronan a second to realise that he hasn’t heard the crack of the pool balls for a while now, hasn’t heard any sign that Kavinsky’s gang is entertaining themselves with anything other than the sight of him. His hands fist in the sheets; Kavinsky’s pressing at a new angle, hands smoothing over Ronan’s back, whispering something hushed and sweet and grating as he fucks in, some acid tone between gentle and condescending.

Someone else’s hand comes to trail over his tattoo, following a curve of it as a claw becomes a thorn becomes the outline of a slitted eye. Ronan doesn’t raise his head to look; Proko’s voice is what gives him away as he murmurs, “It’s so cool,” gliding his fingers through Ronan’s sweat.

“Bit pretentious, but it looks alright,” Kavinsky agrees. He laughs his approval as Proko follows the lines all the way up to where it wraps around Ronan’s throat, curious nails digging against his skin, like Proko’s trying to find the way to grip Ronan’s neck and make him bend.

He fails, but the drag of his nails is good in a way Ronan’s afraid of, and Ronan manages enough breath to snarl, “Fuck off, Proko,” not able to put any heat in it. Proko, unintimidated, simply shifts his hands back to Ronan’s shoulders, touch steady and warm as he feels the tension under Ronan’s skin.

“Don’t be like that,” Kavinsky chides, “He’s next, after I’m done with you.”

Two thoughts shudder through Ronan; the first is that he’s not going to say no. The second is the question, if Proko’s getting a turn, are the rest of them? Kavinsky’s hands on his back force him to arc more, let him in deeper, until finally K brushes up against something inside him that makes him sob, raw, so aware of the audience and unable to stop enjoying it as Kavinsky keeps rocking into him.

Ronan spills out on Gansey’s bed, thinks he can smell the very distant hint of Gansey’s sweat, somewhere under his own and Kavinsky’s and the unconvincing scent of the lube. It doesn’t really feel like pleasure, just the removal of a knot that had been inching tighter and tighter around his neck. Relief is a better word for it, not quite good or bad, but still something Ronan can bask in.

His hips drag along with each of Kavinsky’s thrusts, no attempt to push back or offer resistance, and for a moment Kavinsky seems content with that until he leans in to cover Ronan again and bites savagely hard down on one shoulder. Ronan’s pained reaction is immediate, body tensing, curving in, legs trying to shut down tight and that is apparently what Kavinsky needs, enough to flood Ronan with sick heat while Ronan groans out, hurt and annoyed, and someone by the pool table cackles.

Despite everything, Ronan feels reborn as Kavinsky eases back from him though, the fog in his head warm enough to melt, his skin no longer too tight around his fingertips. He winces as K pulls out of him, but he feels good in a way that he shouldn’t dripping onto Gansey’s sheets, can almost bear to face K and the others, even having just been wrecked for their entertainment.

Kavinsky’s grin is a war crime. He pulls away, sweat on his neck, chest heaving with exertion and delight and the concentrated knowledge that he has finally had Ronan Lynch writhing underneath him. Prokopenko’s standing too close, palming himself loosely through his jeans, eyes lidded and lust drunk and flicking between Ronan and Kavinsky like he’d have liked to have been in the middle. “My turn?” he asks, direct to Kavinsky.

“Yeah, babe,” Kavinsky agrees, slaps Ronan on the ass again, and gets out of Proko’s way.

Ronan is loose and warm as summer, and when Proko rolls him onto his back, he turns; when Kavinsky comes to sit behind him, lifts Ronan’s head into his lap and strokes rough thumbs over his shoulders, Ronan stays obliging. He is never going to get another chance like this, delivered to him and so easy, with everyone who can never know already out of town. Proko pushes his knees apart and Ronan helps spread his legs, feeling overripe and split gently open.

Proko does not apparently feel the need to taunt Ronan as much as Kavinsky had; he grips Ronan’s sides for leverage as he presses in, and Ronan is still slick from K, doesn’t have trouble taking Proko in until he’s hilted, and feeling so loose is a whole new kind of wrong that starts electricity up under his skin again.

Proko doesn’t seem to know where to look between him and Kavinsky, but he settles on Ronan in the end, watching the way Ronan shudders and jerks when his thrusts are too sudden, something analytic in his gaze even through the mist of drink and drugs he’s been taking in all night. “How come you never fuck with us, Lynch?” Proko asks, glancing at Kavinsky, then back down, angling in a little deeper. “If you’re this easy, you should’ve just come to our parties.”

“You pricks only care about instant gratification,” Ronan snarls. His cock is still soft on his stomach, still spent, and Proko’s thrusting is starting to push his insides from sensitive to raw, makes his hips jerk without doing much at all. Kavinsky’s blunt nails on the side of his neck are the real threat.

“We know you think you’re too good for us,” Proko says, something not very kind curling his lips. He finds the angle that makes Ronan shake, worthlessly sparking, grinds down as much as he can. Ronan swears; someone across the room laughs; Kavinsky’s hands grip Ronan’s shoulders, hold him down as Ronan tries to arch and twist away from the rough intensity.

Ronan tries to press his knees closed again, but Proko’s got friends to help him, Skov helpfully forcing Ronan’s thighs to stay apart. All Ronan has is Kavinsky, taunting, crooning, touching him in that hideous mix of kind and condescending once again. The agony of it’s enough to start getting Ronan hard again, and he swears a stream of, ‘you absolute cocksucking fucking bastard’ and no one helps him at all.

Jiang bites a kiss into Proko’s collarbone; Proko is grinning now, as wicked as his master, still checking K’s face every few seconds for approval. He manages to slam into Ronan hard enough for Ronan’s whole body to jolt, eyes wincing closed, and comes not long after that, eyes lidded and hazy and vicious once again.

Proko pulls out, and though Ronan strains, Skov does not let him close his legs; Jiang and Proko swap places. “Seriously?” Ronan asks in an exhale, pushing the words out with no small effort. “All of you?”

“That’s not a no, honey,” Kavinsky says above him. He helps Ronan sit up a little more, presses the vodka back to his lips, helps him take a few more generous mouthfuls, a few more steps away from lucidity. Kavinsky keeps Ronan’s shoulder blades pressed against his chest as Jiang gets his belt off, as Skov and Swan smirk down at him, both definitely aroused. Proko lights up, and the smoke is destined to infuse Monmouth’s vaulted ceilings for longer than Gansey will be away. Kavinsky kisses Ronan’s jawbone, whispers, “Imagine if he could see you now, huh?”

Jiang does not have as much of a personal bone to pick with Ronan, and doesn’t go as rough with him as Proko did; sore as he is, Ronan can still close his eyes, still give himself over to imagining Gansey getting back early. Gansey and Adam seeing him like this, come-slicked and dripping, passed between so many hands, allowing it, encouraging it. Absolute shame. Total ecstasy.

And the rest of Kavinsky’s dogs are getting bolder about touching him, Skov running hands over his chest, Swan scraping nails over his hip to make him shiver, all of them starting to press in close until there’s barely any air left in the world.

Jiang is not interested in getting Ronan off; he comes with his head turned away, kissing Proko until Proko’s lips are split and stinging, and with a speed that probably has a lot more to do with Proko’s hand down the back of his jeans than anything to do with Ronan. The awful, cold vulnerability of his position returns when Jiang pulls away, but Ronan doesn’t want to surface, doesn’t want to think two to go or have to see the black delight simmering on Kavinsky’s lips.

One of the hands holding his knees relaxes, and Ronan lets his legs drop with relief. His ass is sore, his dick is hard and has been ignored since Kavinsky, but he doesn’t want to touch it. If Kavinsky and associates are clocking out early, he will have a cold shower and then pass out in front of the fridge and it will be excellent.

But Swan says, “Go on, babe,” and Ronan resurfaces at the feel of a leg being slung over his hips. Skov is grinning at him, somehow more friendly than malicious, even as he kneels over Ronan’s waist. Kavinsky brushes his mouth over the savage bite he left on Ronan earlier; Ronan makes a whining sound that might be an objection, might be encouragement, and Skov sinks down on him easy.

He rides Ronan with the kind of clear practice that it’s impossible not to enjoy; Kavinsky laughs, teeth still against his skin, as Ronan’s breathing hitches very sharply. Skov’s been watching everyone else take their turn, eager and hungry for his own, and now he’s got it he’s making the fucking most of it, rocking his hips down with a greedy rhythm, letting Ronan feel all the shifts of Skov’s body as he tries to work him into the right angle for once.

It’s probably enough to get Ronan off again, and Ronan’s about ready to close his eyes and just get ridden without having to meet anyone’s eyes. There’s more pressure on his anus, and his hole is still so sore and wet from the first three that he has to groan in protest. His legs feel too weak to push back as Swan works two fingers into him, pushing up to the knuckle and then scissoring out, and it’s white lightning in Ronan’s head, almost as big as Kavnisky’s actual fucking cock, and he shivers, trying to cant his hips away and only managing to give Skov a better thrust.

“You coming to help?” Skov asks Swan, at the same time Kavinsky asks, “You think he can take you?”

“I’ll go gentle,” Swan replies, and Ronan would say something, refusal right there on his tongue, but it’s all he can do to keep sucking in air, his panting becoming more of a ragged, tremorous thing.

Any scent of mint has been sweated quite thoroughly out of Gansey’s pillow. Kavinsky takes Ronan’s head in both his hands, tells him, “He says he’s going to go gentle,” and doesn’t let go as Swan positions himself at his entrance. At least he used more lube; at least Skov’s managed to get some muddy pleasure firing back through him again; at least Kavinsky’s hands are steady, and he’s not ribbing Ronan about what he needs, since what he needs turns out to be quite a lot more than Ronan could have imagined.

Swan presses in; Ronan’s head falls back against Kavinsky’s hands, mouth opening and closing around a scream that is trapped so deep in his chest it can’t even start up his throat. Skov rolls down on him, Swan pushes a little deeper, and Ronan can’t take it, the conflicting pressure, pleasure, half-numb below the waist and split in absolute two. His head doesn’t know where to be, shudders him through his release, good feelings totally enveloped by how overwhelmed he is. Kavinsky’s mouth is on his, but he’s barely aware of it, brain dazzled and right there on the urge of blinking out.

He stays focused on K through the rest of it, Kavinsky’s warm fingers practically cool against his burning cheeks, Kavinsky kissing him, whispering something, more sincerely encouraging now, pleased in a slow, curling, dangerous way, a devil with a newly signed contract. Skov rides him as he softens, until Swan jams a finger up alongside Ronan’s cock, which makes both Ronan and Skov groan for very different reasons.

He’s not sure how long it takes them to finish, but eventually Skov clenches and trembles tight around Ronan, shooting out enthusiastically over Ronan’s pecs, a sight Proko snickers his enjoyment of. Swan didn’t even get in halfway, but Jiang strokes his base, helps him out, and Ronan’s degradation is complete.

The aftermath aches, low in his gut, everything he wanted and then so much more that now he can’t stand. Kavinsky’s gang do not stop touching him, do not lift their hands from him, do not leave him to find his self-loathing on his own. At least one of them will have taken a picture. Someone – possibly Ronan himself – chewed his lip open and left him bleeding, incriminating crimson dribbled onto Gansey’s pillow.

And Kavinsky doesn’t move, doesn’t release him, drinks more of the vodka and takes a drag of whatever Proko’s smoking. Ronan thinks, in no particular order, shower and laundry and Gansey and fuck, and stays exactly where he is.