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it's not how big, it's how mean

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“Ugh,” Skov grimaced, wincing in disgust as Proko came out of the 7-11, all flash in a fucking tracksuit. “You disappoint me.” He informed the vampire, all snob and haughtiness.

Without missing a beat, Proko retorted: “that’s not what your mother said last night.” He said it in his weird rustic Russian that was like someone had put a bunch of marbles into a blender and turned it on while listening to Putin giving a speech on the preservation of the national parks of the Motherland. It was appalling. It was not hot.

Skov was hard in his jeans, and everything was horrifying.

“I got you a present.” Proko went on, as if he hadn’t just insinuated past sexual congress with Skov’s mama. He tossed the so-called present over, snickering when it hit Skov in the junk and elicited a half-grunt, half-swear.

“Oh man, fuck you.” Skov cursed at him, throwing it back violently at Proko’s head with one hand as the other steered their way out of the lot. Proko dodged the befanged wax candy lips with a roar of laughter and smacked Skov on the shoulder companionably, content then to settle in for the ride. He was ridiculous. Everything about Skov’s life was ridiculous.

And he was still hard.

Fuck it all, seriously.

 

***

 

(“Proko?” Swan had asked doubtfully, furrowing his eyebrows and looking across the field to where Proko and K were either choking each other or possibly just like, holding each other’s necks while looking soulfully into each other’s eyes. Proko was wearing a very loud paisley shirt with lapels that were alarmingly… pointy. It was unbuttoned down to his navel. His pants were made out of corduroy. He looked like Mr. Roper had thrown up on Dick Gansey. Skov had gagged just thinking about it.

“No, fucker,” Skov had snapped, blush rising high on his cheekbones. He took another swing of Standard. Fortification. “It’s just like, you know.” He made a sketchy gesture towards his own mouth, snapping his blunt human teeth.

“Oh,” Swan had said, eyes going sharp. “Huh.”)

 

***

 

“Can’t we just like, rob a blood bank?” Skov asked for possibly the millionth time, groaning as he stretched out, covered in sweat, on the floor of K’s dorm room. “Or, fuck, can’t K like, feed him?” As long as he didn’t picture it he wouldn’t get turned on by it, and so Skov instead focused on the shapes that the water damage in the ceiling made. One vaguely looked like a goldendoodle.

“He could like, once a month.” Jiang replied, not looking up from the screen of his laptop. The duh was heavily implied. “Maybe. Maybe longer. Your body doesn’t replace blood very fast.” And K isn’t exactly the picture of perfect health, either went unspoken.

“So we gotta buy it.” Swan concluded, throwing and catching the basketball in his hands. The dull thudding sound made Skov itch, annoyed. “From creepy hick motherfuckers who work at hospitals.”

“Pretty much.” Jiang conceded.

From the bathroom, there was the sound of every shampoo and conditioner bottle falling to the floor of the shower all at once. “Fuck!” K bellowed, muffled, and then again, this time on a moan. “Oh, fuck!”

Skov scowled, malcontent. Practice had run extra-long, he was extra-starving, and he hadn’t gotten laid since they played Clearwater on the road and he got some head action from their goalie. Weeks ago now. He felt sharp around the edges, like broken glass. Like he’d cut anybody that got too close, fucked with him too much.

“Hey, Teeth, wake the fuck up,” Swan said, breaking him from his reverie. The nickname was said with a curling smirk, like he thought he knew shit. Skov snarled. “I asked you a fucking question,” Swan continued, oblivious.

“Fuck you,” Skov spat, and rose, rolling his shoulders. He couldn’t be here. Everything made him angry. He was too tired for this shit. Too horny. Too everything.

“Aw, she’s mad,” Jiang muttered under his breath, still not looking up. Skov shoved his feet into his battered Vans and ignored the way Swan had gone stiller than nature, expression both predatory and thoughtful.

He slammed the door on his way out, petty to a fault. Fuck it all. Hey, Teeth. Fuck Swan. Fuck everything.

Skov wanted some fucking carbs.

 

***

 

The Girl was working at Nino’s, which was just Skov’s luck. She seemed mildly surprised to see him alone, tucked up into a corner booth with his legs stretched out and his feet propped on the opposite bench’s seats, taking up an unreasonable amount of space.

Dick Gansey’s girl; Skov could see the appeal. If he squinted. And turned his head to the side. And imagined that there was a strap-on concealed beneath her pizza-sauce-stained apron.

Her name tag read Blue in aggressive all-caps. It had been written not in blue but green, and this was amusing enough to make Skov snort a little giggle through his nose, a sound both nasally and douchey. She didn’t seem to take any more offense to the laugh than she did his presence, only raised one thick, arched brow to indicate her overall apathy to his continued existence.

“What do you want,” she stated flatly, not-asking. Skov wondered if she liked it the way he did. He knew better than to ask, though.

“Cheese sticks.” He said, raising an eyebrow of his own. The expression was probably more bitchy than cool, but Skov had a fancy car and a black American Express card in the pocket of his ratty sweatpants, so he didn’t worry himself overmuch about being cool in comparison to a townie with neon-painted safety pins pierced through her earlobes.

(This was a lie; Skov was kind of a desperate slut for attention and approval. Whatever.)

“With extra cheese. And a Mountain Dew.” He added, as she started to walk away. If he was gonna fuck his nutrition plan, he was gonna do it thoroughly.

Blue didn’t comment, only made a vague noise of assent. She had really nice legs. Skov wondered how the rasp of the hair on them would feel against his own leg hair; different or the same to a guy’s? It was a fleeting thought, and one he discarded quickly enough when he got to thinking about guys he’d had sex with. And guys he hadn’t had sex with.

And guys who were tall and broad-shouldered and had teeth whiter than snow and freckles and lips so full they had to be soft—

Skov sighed.

Everything fucking sucked. Except for the cheese sticks and Mountain Dew.

 

***

 

“Y’done being a bitch?” Swan asked, leaned up against his Golf with a cigarette hanging out of his (terribly lush) mouth. He was wearing sunglasses. His biceps bulged with his arms crossed, straining the seams of his uniform shirt.

He was gorgeous. Skov was horrifically in love with him. Skov wanted to claw his fucking eyes out.

“Fuck you,” he mumbled, again, but this time it had no heat, and he had to restrain himself from scuffing the toe of his shoe on the concrete, abashed and tired and young, all of a sudden. Swan always made him feel… not small, just.

Young. Messy. Hot.

Swan only hummed, and with his eyes hidden he seemed inhuman, too-upright. Too everything. “About that.” He said, almost musingly. Like he was rolling the words around in his mouth, feeling them out. Tasting them.

His teeth were very, very white. Skov felt hot under the collar, on the back of his neck, behind his ears. Hot and out of control.

“Yeah?” He asked, almost a challenge, straightening his shoulders and cocking his hips. Pretending like he wasn’t gagging for it. But he was. He’d been waiting.

He’d been good.

(That was a lie; Skov had been bad. Cliché amounts of bad. Sucking cock in the locker room, getting fucked in storage closets, trading handies in the back of the team bus. He’d been real bad.)

Swan nodded, slow, considering. He flicked his cigarette butt away, burnt down to the filter. “Yeah.” He said simply, and then nodded towards the RX-7. “Race y’back to Effervescence?”

It was a peace offering, and a distraction. Skov welcomed it.

“You’re on, Swanny Boy.” He smarmed, playing up his New England accent. It was a sharp contrast to the London accent Swan spoke with; everything Swan said sounded cool. Everything Skov said sounded like he’d be better suited saying shit like my trust fund is higher than the national debt and do you know who my father is?  

It was annoying, but also hot.

Skov revved his engine, let everything else fall away. There was the feel of the wheel under his hands, the power at his command, the bright blue of Swan’s Golf in his periphery, the swooping thrill of waiting for the light to turn green again.

He grinned. The light went green.

They both gunned it.

 

***

 

He was in K’s lap, and the Labor Day party was in full swing around them. It had been too-long since Skov had had K’s full attention; it felt good. He nuzzled into K’s cheek and laughed, probably too-loud if it weren’t under the cover of Jiang’s latest mix thumping through the stereo, bass thrumming through his chest.

There were bruises on K’s neck, almost-healed puncture wounds. They looked painful. Skov lapped at them with his tongue, because he could. K had fed him a couple pink pills earlier and now had to suffer the consequences, as Skov had smugly informed him. He’d acted like it was some big imposition, but Skov knew he liked nothing so much as having a lapful of drugged-up soccer star, especially with every one of their classmates watching.

K didn’t push him away, was the point, when he licked at the place where Proko had bitten. Fuck. Fuck, Skov wanted to get off. He wanted to be K. He wanted to be bitten.

He wanted. The Bravery remix Jiang was playing wailed, lyrics sharply dichotomous to the techno beat scalped from a Presets song. Everything felt a little sideways. A little brighter than it should’ve been.

That was the drugs. He’d hate himself in the morning when it was time for conditioning.

He loved himself now, though.

“You’re sweaty,” K complained, half-heartedly, as Skov went to work sucking a messy hickey over his collarbone, even as he tilted his head back to give him more room.

“You’re gross,” Skov retorted around a mouthful of skin and bone, muffled and nonsensical.

K laughed. Skov could feel the vibrations all through him.

It was gonna be a good night.

 

***

 

Swan was waiting for him when he got back to his dorm room.

Skov blinked, slow and stupid as he came down from the drugs K had fed him, still more than a little drunk, at Swan, leaning up against his door. Proko had pried Skov off K’s lap eventually, grip like iron and jeans alarmingly acid-wash. There was no arguing with Proko when he was being, well, Proko. He’d had plenty of time to wind himself up, though.

“Hey.” Skov said, almost a question. Swan inclined his head in a nod, acting for all the world like it was normal that he be here, waiting on Skov at three in the morning.

He couldn’t find the right key for the door. There were only three keys on his keyring, but all of them seemed unfamiliar to him. His hands felt clumsy. Everything felt clumsy.

Swan didn’t sigh exasperatedly, or laugh at him, so shitfaced he couldn’t even unlock a door. He was there behind Skov suddenly, nimble hands overtaking Skov’s own, stripping him of his keys and easily locating the right one, turning it in the lock.

The door opened, but Swan didn’t nudge him forward, just stepped up closer behind him, ducking his face into the crook of Skov’s neck and laying one of those much-admired hands on Skov’s belly, low down. His breath tickled. Skov didn’t laugh. Didn’t breathe. Shook, a little, maybe. Swan smiled against his skin, nibbled at him, teasing.

It was— it was so much.

“Swan,” Skov implored, his own voice unfamiliar with his need, reedy with desperation. “Swan,” he said again, and pressed back into the hold, pushed his ass back against Swan’s cock through the barrier of their pants and underwear.

He didn’t have to ask a third time; Swan muscled him forward, through the doorway until he could shut the door behind them. Until they were alone, and Skov was frothing at the fucking mouth for it, rabid.

“Gonna let me bite you?” Swan murmured, when they were face to face and Skov could see how dark his eyes had gone, how hungry he looked. Human, but fiercer than anything or anyone Skov had ever seen. It was so much. Swan was so much.

He could only nod, and then Swan was upon him again, physical and confident the way boys their age seldom were. It was good. Skov liked it. He liked the weight of Swan’s hands and the assurity with which he moved, like he knew Skov would take whatever he was giving out.

Swan bore him, half-dressed, face down onto his own bed, the two of them barely contained on the Twin XL mattress. “Tell me what y’want,” Swan said, a command, low and hot, spoken right up next to his ear. Just for Skov. Not anybody else. They were alone here.

“Bite me,” Skov begged, squirming. His stomach was fluttering with the excitement, the thought of it. “Fuck me.” He added, because it had been too long. He’d be so tight for it. For Swan. Be so good for him.

“Yeah,” Swan mumbled. “Yeah.” He got them naked, then, thick fingers nudging, smeared in the lube Skov kept perpetually under his pillow, inside Skov as his teeth worried dark purple marks all over his nape, gnawing and hot. Skov was out of his head with it, making these caught little noises each time Swan curled his fingers in a little deeper, spread them a little wider, bit down a little harder.

It was too good. So much. Not enough, except then Swan was pushing the head of his cock inside, opening Skov up with it, his bite going from dull- to sharp-edged, not just trying to mark but trying to break the skin.

Skov could feel it— the blood. He could feel it when Swan’s teeth ripped him open, just a bit, just enough, and he didn’t suck at the wound but he didn’t leave it alone, either, worrying at it until the blood was dripping down either side of Skov’s neck, streaming down to stain the sheets, make them slick when Skov tried to twist his hands in them for purchase so he could fuck back into Swan’s slow, powerful thrusts.

“Swan,” he said, dreamy, around a mouthful of pillow. “Swan, Swan, Swan.”

“Such a fuckin’ slut for it, Skovron.” Swan said, like it was a compliment. Like he wasn’t surprised but he was pleased, and one of his hands went to spread Skov’s legs wider, splay him open so he could get in deeper. He pressed kisses to the backs of Skov’s shoulders, left them stained in blood. Skov made high, urgent noises, imagining that Swan’s ivory teeth must be stained red. Imagining how they looked, oh fuck.

“Oh fuck,” Skov said, blinking, shocked, and came, muscles seizing up and whole body undulating with it, blissed out to the point of mindless grinding.

Behind him, Swan swore and might’ve come, too, but Skov’s mind was so far offline that it didn’t register. There was just the pleasure, fuzzy and thick, and the bright pain from Swan’s bite.

 

***

 

“Useless,” Swan was saying, fondly, when Skov came back to himself, manhandled around until he was tucked up like a burrito in his favorite blanket, Swan walking around the room and fussing with things he found to be out of place. He’d always been a compulsive tidier. He’d smoke a bowl and then do everyone’s fucking laundry.

It was not cute.

(This was a lie; everything about Swan was either devastatingly hot or life-ruining cute. It was all very inconvenient.)

“Hnnnn.” Skov agreed, nodding vaguely. “бесполезный.” Something about the syrupy mood he found himself in meant that Russian came more easily to his tongue, though his slurring made the word sound like b’sposelessy and was thus incomprehensible to both English and Russian speakers.

Swan laughed, regardless. “A mess and a half.” He murmured, and finally stopped fiddling with the line of Nalgenes on Skov’s desk in favor of coming to stretch out next to Skov on the slim mattress, half of his body falling off the side.

“Mhm.” Skov managed, and fell asleep like that.

 

***

 

They woke in the morning at the same time, though not to the blare of Skov’s alarm clock.

No, they awoke with a start to the sound of frantic pounding on the door. Whoever was knocking had no sense of decorum, only urgency.

It was, of course, Proko.

“We have a goddamn problem,” Proko snapped, looking like death defrosted and then frozen again. His teeth were shifting in his mouth, lips distorting with the movement of them. Skov found himself much more able to tear his eyes away from the sight than ever before, the raw throb of the bitemark on the back of his neck keeping him grounded.

“What’s wrong?” Swan asked, grim, even as he was already going for the duffel bag full of protection that Skov kept beneath the bed.

The bag rattled as he dragged it out; wood on metal on glass.

“Yakov is back.” Proko said, jaw tight. “And he’s not alone.”