The book is practically singing to Richie from the paper bag around his wrist. Eddie spent considerable time perusing it before they paid for it, trying to ascertain that it wasn't a scam or wouldn't open a portal to the nether world or whatever, but the moment Richie's hands touched its cover, he knew this book was coming home with them. It's right. He feels it the way he feels that being together is the antidote for forgetting. This book is going to allow him to talk to Stan.
Richie wants to run straight home and put Guidance from the Dead to use, but Eddie points out that Mike is probably there and will, if not actively interfere, certainly voice his reservations. Eddie seems to feel the same urgency Richie does, the need to act before the memory loss gets worse, and Richie is pathetically grateful that he's not alone in this. Still, they're both aware that they are acting without the authorization of the rest of the Losers, and that it's probably best to keep a low profile--until and unless they succeed in contacting Stan.
Instead of going home, they walk around the neighborhood until they find a park, a modest plot of grass with a fountain in the middle. Eddie leads the way to a wooden bench painted fading green. The sun-warmed boards against Richie's back and legs are good; the way Eddie nestles beside him, fitting perfectly in the crook of Richie's arm, is even better.
"If they all go on without us, at least we'll have this," he says.
Eddie stiffens. "Dude, stop that," he says.
"What?" Richie turns red and yanks his arm back from around Eddie. "Shit, I'm sorry, I didn't--" He doesn't know what the rules are yet, what Eddie's comfortable with in public, how far he can go without embarrassing him.
"Not that, dickhead." Eddie grabs Richie's arm again and arranges it around his own shoulders, turning his head to press a soft kiss on Richie's knuckles. "Do that all the time. Why else do I have a tall boyfriend? I mean stop talking like everyone else is just--a lost cause. No one's leaving us behind, okay?"
Richie kisses Eddie on the top of his head, but says nothing.
"It's just some weird leftover magic bullshit," says Eddie. "They're not forgetting because they don't care. You're taking this shit really personally and you need to cut it out."
"That's, uh, kinda funny coming from you."
Eddie scowls up at him. "What the fuck is that supposed to mean?"
"Nothing," says Richie. "Nothing whatsoever. No one has ever accused you of taking anything too personally."
"Don't think that just because I'm in love with you means I won't kill you in your sleep," Eddie says, but he's smiling, and that smile pulls Richie in like an open door.
It's only been a few days, and given enough time Richie's sure that kissing Eddie will begin to feel commonplace--maybe a thousand, hundred thousand years from now. Today, though, it's still a revelation on par with the beginning of the universe. He experiences it in layers of feeling, each brilliantly clear: Eddie's weight shifting toward him, Eddie's hand on his neck, Eddie's lips, Eddie's breath, Eddie's tongue. Richie takes his time responding, layer by layer. Weight, warmth, hands, lips, sigh, tongue, until he's trembling with feverish intensity, skin prickling red in the early afternoon sun. Richie traces Eddie's jawline with his thumb and feels his head tilt in response, wordlessly directing Richie's hand farther back. Overjoyed to oblige, Richie slides his fingers into Eddie's hair, then closes them into a fist, pulling gently.
The sound Eddie makes in reply is deep and raw, and yeah, they're definitely approaching the limit of what's acceptable on a public park bench in broad daylight. Richie forces himself to break the kiss, resting his forehead against Eddie's. "I feel like we came here to have a conversation we can't have with Mike around," he says.
"Isn't that what we're doing?" Eddie's hand drifts down to Richie's hip, fingertips just barely curling into the waistband of Richie's jeans.
"Mmm." Richie feels his resolve softening, which is kind of ironic because-- "Hey, no, stop, we have planning to do. Forces of darkness and shit. We need, like, supplies and--"
"Oh, I have supplies," Eddie says, arching his eyebrows.
Okay, that does it. Richie grabs Eddie around the waist and drags him into his lap. It doesn't go quite as smoothly as he envisioned--there's briefly an elbow in his face, then a knee in his ribs--but then Eddie's laughing and straddling his thighs, fingers laced behind Richie's neck.
"You're cute when you're horny," Eddie says.
Richie laughs, feeling out of breath. "I'm always horny when you're around."
Eddie grins triumphantly. "Guess that's why you're always cute." He punctuates it with a little roll of his hips, and Jesus, Richie must be fucking precious.
He lets himself get a little distracted then, since Eddie's throat is right at eye level, enticingly framed by the v-neck of his soft gray shirt. Richie puts his mouth to the spot within the very point of the v, not quite kissing the hot skin there, just touching it with his lips. He likes the way Eddie's thighs clench at that, so he does it again: brushing his lips across the hollow of collarbone, then repeating the motion with the tip of his tongue. Eddie's pulse speeds up in response, and Richie chases it.
"Fuck, Richie," Eddie gasps. He grabs Richie's hand and presses it against the bulge in his jeans.
"Want to?" Richie whispers into his neck.
"Oh, now who's not focused?"
"I'm extremely focused," Richie says. Eddie lets go of his hand, but Richie leaves it where it is, moving almost imperceptibly. Although Eddie seems to perceive it just fine.
"We really need to take this somewhere more private," says Eddie.
"We have a car," points out Richie.
Eddie smiles. "Oh, yeah? You want to screw in the backseat like teenagers?"
"We never got to," Richie starts, and out of nowhere the wave of regret and loss catches him broadside. He chokes up, can't finish his sentence.
"No, you're right." Eddie dips his head down to kiss Richie on the lips, quiet and understanding. "We never got to be teenagers in love." He ruffles Richie's hair. "I wish I could've taken you to prom."
Richie laughs, trying not to think about their actual prom night, which he spent getting stoned in the clubhouse by himself. That night was still three years away from the first time Richie would kiss a boy. "Would you have brought me a flower?"
"Would you have put out?"
"Oh my God, Eds, if you'd suggested it in high school I would have died on the spot."
"Well…" Eddie pushes his head back, and this kiss is less sweet, more urgent. "My curfew's not for a while yet."
They hurry back to the car, Richie swaying on his feet like he's tipsy. "Want to put on some music to set the mood?" he suggests. Eddie fiddles with his phone, and after a moment, Tracy Chapman's voice comes out of the Hummer's speaker, singing about a fast car and a ticket to anywhere.
"This is your idea of a sexy song?" Richie asks.
Eddie shoots him a death look. "Well, what the fuck would you prefer, then, dickwad?"
Richie lets his smile break through. "I would have picked exactly the same thing, and you are literally my perfect man."
"Oh, you're going to pay for that," Eddie promises.
They leave the city and drive into the hills. It doesn't take long to find the perfect spot--a dirt parking lot, neglected and overgrown, at the trailhead of a hiking path that appears long forgotten. Richie dashes around the car to open Eddie's door, but Eddie is already scrambling over the driver's seat into the back of the car, ungainly and adorable.
Richie slams the back door open, and Eddie's sprawled in the seat, cheeks red, breathing hard, reaching to unzip his jeans, and he looks like fucking Christmas morning.
"What are you staring at, Tozier?" he says. "Get on me."
"Oh fuck," says Richie, and complies. He's definitely not a teenager anymore--trying to crawl on top of Eddie while skinning out of his jeans at the same time nearly results in him dislocating his shoulder, and he's very aware of how long it's been since he's had the car vacuumed. Still, in a moment they're lying together, Richie's legs scrunched up to fit in the backseat, Eddie's arms tangled around him, both of their pants having been summarily flung toward the front of the car.
Eddie rubs his nose against Richie's. "Hi."
"Thank you," says Richie, which is maybe a weird thing to say under the circumstances, but he means it more than anything. Eddie is here with him. Eddie is not letting Richie fall away into the void. No amount of gratitude Richie could express would ever be enough.
"Haven't even done anything to thank me for yet," says Eddie. Then he arches his back, moving underneath Richie in a way that makes him feel like giving thanks and demanding more all at once.
"Thinking about you since yesterday," Richie says, warm in Eddie's ear. "I can still fucking feel you. I want to feel you again."
Eddie gives an amazed laugh. "God, you're greedy. One time, and you can't wait for more." The words stoke the already blazing fire at Richie's core, and he leans forward, rutting helplessly against Eddie's groin.
"Keep talking," Richie manages to say, his face red.
"Yeah? You like it when I call you greedy?" Eddie's voice is quiet, musing. "What if I call you a slut?"
Richie whimpers an affirmation without meeting Eddie's eyes.
"No, look at me, baby," Eddie says. "I want to make sure this is okay."
Richie pushes himself up onto his hands, staring down into Eddie's face. As soon as Richie's weight lifts from his torso, Eddie reaches down between them, shoving fabric aside until he has both their cocks wrapped in one broad hand. Richie trembles at the feeling of Eddie's soft skin on his own.
"Do you want me to call you a slut?" Eddie asks, low in his throat, and Richie breathes "Yes," even though the syllable leaves him feeling like his whole body is scraped raw.
"Yes, you do," says Eddie, and then he's moving his hand up and down, slick with both of their precome. "You want me to notice how desperate you are for my cock, don't you? I notice, baby. I see how you can't get enough of me. You want my cock all the time, don't you, slut? You need to be fucked so bad."
Richie is absolutely incapable of forming a coherent response. Eddie's hand, Eddie's cock, Eddie's voice--it's all he can do to keep breathing, and even that's getting more erratic by the second.
"All it took was one fuck to turn you into my gorgeous, greedy slut," Eddie says. "You're so fucking perfect. You were made for me to fuck you. Now that I know what a slut you are, I'm gonna give it to you all the time."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," gasps Richie. He's suddenly aware of just how fucking awkward this is--two grown men folded into a parked car, jerking off and talking dirty with their shirts still on--but that awareness just makes it hotter, reminds him anew how shamelessly he needs Eddie. There's a slow explosion unfurling inside his skin with every filthy thing Eddie says.
"I know you're dying to feel me inside you again," Eddie groans. His cock pulses along with Richie's, furiously hot, both of them thrusting into Eddie's fist. "I know you want to feel me come in you, so you don't forget you're fucking mine."
"Jesus, Eds, yours, all yours."
"Such a dirty slut, and all for me," says Eddie, looking up at Richie with those huge brown eyes, and Christ, he's close. Eddie's hand speeds up, Richie's hips twitching, but it's not until Eddie says "Come for me like a good little slut" that Richie's arms give out and he falls over the edge of infinity, moaning Eddie's name. Eddie's right behind him, below him, around him, above him, Eddie is the sky and the whole universe and they're coming together and Richie sees stars, even though he never looks away from Eddie's eyes.