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shot through the heart

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Joe sleeps through his first alarm, the line at the Starbucks drive-thru is too long to wait in, and since he hasn’t eaten in fourteen hours, he’s absolutely starving. He arrives on set in a terrible mood that only gets worse when the PA explains the shoot’s scenario.

“And I bet I’m the one with the gun, right?” Joe asks flatly.

The PA—a scrimpy twenty-something in a Bernie tee and Warby Parkers—grimaces.

Joe sighs. “It’s fine,” he says, taking pity on the kid, even though it’s really not. But it’s not his fault that porn, like most industries, can be pretty racist. “Who am I shooting with?”

“Nicky Smith,” the PA says promptly, and Joe nods, thinking. The name’s familiar, but he can’t put a face to it, not until the studio door opens and a man walks in.

He’s terribly dressed in rolled-up, baggy jeans, an ill-fitting shirt, and, of all things, Birkenstocks. But then he takes off his sunglasses, and Joe takes in his face—Romanesque angles, marble skin, and eyes like the ocean. 

“Is that him?” he asks the PA. 

“Yep,” the kid says, and Joe finds himself moving forward, placing himself in Nicky’s path. Nicky’s tall, about Joe’s height, and he’s broad-shouldered, too, entirely different from most of the wispy guys Joe’s usually paired with.

Unlike the guys Joe’s usually paired with, Nicky is precisely Joe’s type. 

“Hi,” he says, holding out a hand. “I’m Joe Jones. We’re shooting together today.” 

Nicky blinks, slow and cat-like. “I know,” he says, and he’s got a smooth, deep voice and a very sexy accent that Joe’s going to need to hear more of to place. Nicky takes Joe’s hand, and his hand is huge, wide with thick fingers that immediately give Joe some very unprofessional thoughts.

“Um.” Joe swallows. “The PA let me know the scenario they have in mind, it’s kind of hardcore—but we can mix it up or do whatever, I don’t know what kind of shoots you normally do—”

“A bit of everything,” Nicky says, and oh, fuck, it’s an Italian accent. “We can discuss, yes?”

“Yes,” Joe agrees quickly, and he awkwardly gestures in the direction of a couch in the corner. Nicky nods and follows him, though he stops at the snack table to pour himself a coffee. They settle on the cracked leather couch and Nicky pulls a face as he sips from the paper cup.

“Bad?” Joe asks. He’s never had a decent cup of coffee on a shoot. 

“Appalling,” Nicky says. “Though I expected as much.” 

“Disappointed but not surprised?”

The corner of Nicky’s mouth quirks in a smile. “Exactly.” 

Joe grins. “I didn’t make it out of the house in time to get anything, but I’d rather go uncaffeinated than drink that, if I’m being honest.”

“A wise choice,” Nicky says dryly, crossing one leg over the other. “So, tell me about the shoot.” 

“The whole concept is that you’re coming home from a club, maybe a little drunk or high, and I, ah. Basically mug you at gunpoint,” he finishes apologetically. The whole thing is more hardcore than Joe’s normal work, but the more extreme shoots pay better than what Joe can get for giving someone a light spanking. 

Nicky frowns a little.

“Are you all right with that?” Joe prompts.

“Are you?” Nicky asks pointedly. 

Joe shrugs. “It’s part of the whole thing.” He actively tries not to think about the time he was dressed up as a sheikh for a gangbang scene with his “harem” of white twinks. It was early on, when he was still in his mid-twenties. He likes to think that would be the line for him, now.  

“Joe,” Nicky begins, but Joe shakes his head.

“Seriously,” he insists. “It’s fucked up, I know, but. It is what it is.” He’s made a career of being agreeable, easy to work with. It’s how he’s ended up here, shooting with a studio that actually has production quality and actual safety protocols. He’s not going to do this forever, it’s just that doing porn pays significantly better than being a barista. He may be a starving artist, but the starving thing is just something he does before a shoot to make his abs stand out. 

Nicky doesn’t look convinced. Joe’s torn between feeling touched that Nicky cares and feeling defensive about his own willingness to perpetuate racist stereotypes for an easy paycheck. 

“I’m telling you I’m fine with it,” Joe says firmly. “So can we just discuss the scene?”

For a second, he thinks Nicky might press the issue, but then he takes another drink of coffee. “All right.”

“What’s off the table for you?”

Nicky looks considering. “I would prefer you not come on my face.”

Joe nods. “Definitely avoidable. What else?”

“Nothing that will leave a mark that can’t be easily covered, please.”

“You mean face, neck, arms?”

Nicky nods. “Yes. What about you?”

Joe thinks about it. “I”m not sure there’s anything that would be relevant, given the premise and our, uh, respective positions.” 

Nicky hums. “So. I leave the club, and you come upon me in the street, and you pull me into the alley?”

Joe nods. “I’ll cover your mouth, make some general threats, pat you down.”

“But I won’t have anything of value, really. Not enough. So you’ll need to make it worth your time some other way,” Nicky surmises.

Joe shifts. “Right.”

“You’ll have a gun, you said?”

Joe nods.

“You could have me suck it.” 

Joe finds himself staring at Nicky’s mouth as he imagines his lips wrapped around the barrel of a gun. “Okay,” he says, trying to match Nicky’s casual tone. “Are you okay with name-calling? Anything I shouldn’t say?”

Nicky shakes his head. “Do they want to shoot the entire thing in the alley?”

“No,” Joe says. “They want me to take you back to...I don’t know, wherever I apparently have a bed set up and ready for a kidnapping victim.” 

Nicky huffs a laugh. “As one does. So, I can suck you there.”

Joe nods, picturing the set up. “Are you tied down?”

“Not yet, I don’t think. You can use the gun to keep me compliant.” 

“But then?”

“You could tie me down for whatever’s next.”

“I could play with your ass for a while. Use some toys. Throw in some standard edging.”

The ghost of a smile is back on Nicky’s lips. “That works. Then you’ll fuck me?”

“Mm-hm.” It’s not exactly a hardship, to get paid to fuck Nicky, but Joe wouldn’t hate having it the other way around, either. 

Nicky’s tongue licks at his bottom lip, and Joe blurts, “Is kissing okay?”

“Yes,” Nicky says, and his voice might’ve gotten even deeper—or maybe Joe’s imagining it. “Kissing is fine.” 

Joe swallows. He can’t think of anything to say because now all his thoughts are of kissing Nicky. 

Luckily, he’s saved from further conversation by another PA appearing to usher them to wardrobe.



Changed into clothes that actually fit him, Nicky is even more devastatingly attractive. Better-cut jeans show off his ass and thighs, and the tailored shirt they put him in only emphasizes the width of his shoulders. The shirt’s top three buttons are undone, too, giving Joe a tease of smooth, pale skin.

Joe’s been dressed in a pair of tight jeans of his own, plus a thin white t-shirt that he might bust out of if he twists the wrong way. He hopes he doesn’t imagine Nicky’s eyes lingering on his abs. 

They’re sitting shoulder-to-shoulder, close enough for Joe to smell Nicky. He smells unfairly good, a bit like cigarette smoke in a way that makes Joe want to pick up the habit again, and like clean, musky amber. 

“Hey guys,” the director says. “Why don’t you introduce yourselves to our members?”

“Hi everyone, it’s Joe Jones,” Joe says, plastering a smile on his face. 

“And I’m Nicky Smith,” Nicky says stiffly, and Joe forces himself not to react to the coldness in his voice. 

“Welcome back, Joe,” the director says.

Joe deepens his grin in the hope it’ll offset Nicky’s icy demeanor. “It’s a pleasure.”

“And Nicky, you’re brand-new, right? Today’s your first time?”

“Mm-hm,” Nicky says. It’s technically true, if they’re talking just in terms of this particular studio, but of course the impression that Nicky has never done porn before is entirely intentional. 

“Well, you’ll be very safe here with us. How do you feel?”

“I’m excited,” Nicky says, though it’s not particularly convincing; Nicky’s jaw is clenched and Joe can practically feel him fighting not to roll his eyes. He hopes Nicky’s a better actor once he’s in-scene. 

The director babbles for a few minutes about the shoot they’ll be doing today as if Nicky and Joe weren’t the ones who essentially planned it. “Do you have that kind of fantasy?” he asks Nicky. 

“Oh, yes,” Nicky says, and he licks his lips, which makes it slightly more believable. 

“Joe, are you excited to work with Nicky?” 

Joe gives the camera a fresh grin. “Oh, yeah, very.” He glances over at Nicky, who smiles back, something almost shy about it. 

Oh no, Joe thinks. 

They make it through the rest of the interview and are dismissed for any final grooming they need to do before beginning the shoot. 

Joe grabs his bag and hurries into the bathroom. He always takes care of all the initial necessary hygiene at home, but it couldn’t hurt to brush his teeth again. 

When Joe steps out of the stall, he sees Nicky at the sink, pulling out a toothbrush and tube of paste from his toiletry kit. 

“Great minds,” Joe says as he fishes out his own. “Sorry about the interview, if I made it awkward or anything.”

Nicky shakes his head. “No,” he says around the toothbrush. “It’s always awkward. At least for me.”

“Me, too,” Joe reassures him. They brush their teeth in silence and lean forward to spit at the same time. It feels weirdly domestic until Joe reminds himself he’s at work

“Ready?” Nicky asks as he straightens. 

“Ready,” Joe says, then he notices the bit of toothpaste in the corner of Nicky’s mouth and reaches out automatically. “You’ve got some—sorry,” he says, freezing with his hand outstretched.

“You can touch me, Joe,” Nicky says, voice low and amused. “You’re going to be doing it soon enough anyway.” 

“That’s the job,” Joe protests weakly.

Nicky raises an eyebrow. “You can touch me,” he repeats. 

Butterflies flutter in Joe’s chest as he leans forward to wipe at the toothpaste with his thumb. 

“Thank you,” Nicky says easily, and he smiles at Joe before he takes his things and leaves the room.

The pad of Joe’s finger tingles.



It’s a little odd pretending to mug someone in broad daylight, but the director has assured Joe that they’ll make it look like night in post, so Joe does his best to pretend it’s dark in the alley outside the studio as he yanks Nicky down it and slams him up against the wall. 

Nicky struggles, putting up a good, showy fight, until Joe jams the gun against his temple. He’s not sure he’s actually holding it naturally, since he’s never shot a gun in his life, but he realizes no one will be watching this porn for accurate firearm handling. 

“Don’t fucking move,” he says as meanly as he can manage, and Nicky goes still, his eyes wide with what definitely passes for real fear, enough that it makes Joe want to stop and ask Nicky if he’s okay.

Then Nicky inclines his head just a little, exposing more of his neck, reassuring Joe that it’s all an act.

Gun still pressed to Nicky’s head, he proceeds to pat him down, pulling out a prop phone that he pockets and a wallet. 

“No credit cards?” he growls.

“They’re at home,” Nicky breathes, and Joe can’t believe he was worried about Nicky’s ability to sell this. “I’m sorry, please, let me go—”

“Shut the fuck up,” Joe says, and he slaps a hand over Nicky’s mouth. 

Nicky whimpers loudly enough to be heard through it. 

“You don’t have any money, but maybe you’re still worth something, pretty slut like you?” Joe moves his hand to fist in Nicky’s hair, grabbing at the crown and pulling so Nicky’s neck is bowed backwards. 

“No, please, just let me go. I can get you money. Whatever you want.”

“Yeah,” Joe agrees. “Whatever I want. Get on your knees, slut.”

Nicky shakes his head, eyes screwed shut. 

Joe taps the gun against the underside of Nicky’s chin. “Do it.”

Nicky drops to his knees. “Please,” he begs again.

“I told you to be quiet,” Joe says, and he brings the muzzle of the gun to Nicky’s lips. The gun is real, and even though it’s unloaded, waving it around this close to Nicky still makes Joe’s stomach clench with trepidation, like he’s on the top of a rollercoaster. He pushes it aside.

“That’s a nice sight,” he croons. “Let me see those pretty lips wrapped around the barrel, huh?” 

Nicky clamps his mouth shut, jaw clenched, lips a tight line, and shakes his head, staring down.

“You want to take a bullet to the head, slut?”

Nicky’s shoulders heave, and when he looks up, there are tears streaming down his face.

Joe’s impressed. Not a lot of guys can cry on command like that, at least not in his experience. 

Nicky shakes his head again. 

Joe raises his eyebrows. “Then you’d better suck my gun.”

Nicky lets out a sob, then his jaw drops open. Joe shoves the gun between his teeth, making it look as rough as he can while taking care not to chip a tooth. 

“You look good like that. Suck it.” 

Nicky seals his lips around the metal and hollows his cheeks, and while forcing someone to fellate a gun isn’t really something that does it for Joe, his cock does twitch as he thinks about Nicky giving his cock the same treatment. 

“There you go. Suck it harder, slut. Make it good.” The porn talk is basically second nature to him at this point. Lots of “oh baby”s and “fuck yeah”s, and, in a scene like this, plenty of degradation. 

Nicky whines around the gun, a noise soon drowned out by the sounds of slurping and gagging as he chokes himself on it with such gusto that any doubts Joe had about him being comfortable with this scene are put to rest. 

“Yeah, that’s it, slut,” Joe says. “Keep sucking.”

Nicky does. He keeps it up for so long that Joe’s about to call for a pause on his behalf when finally Nicky pulls off the gun and wipes at his mouth. “Break,” he says, voice rasping a little.

Casual chatter buzzes in through the set as everyone puts down their recording equipment. 

“Great job, you two,” the director says. “Very hot. Maybe one more take in this scene, then we can move on.”

Joe and Nicky nod. A PA runs up and presses water on both of them, then they’re alone again. 

“Doing okay?” Joe asks, offering Nicky a hand up. 

Nicky nods as he takes it. Despite the tear tracks on his face, his eyes are sharp. He takes a long drink of water and clears his throat. “Yes. And you?”

“Yeah,” Joe says, surprised. “I had the easy job.”

Nicky shakes his head, and he looks like he’s going to say something, but then the director approaches.

“You two ready to go again?” he asks. 

Nicky holds Joe’s gaze for another moment before he looks away and nods. 



After the director is satisfied with the alley shots, they move back into the studio where one of the stages is set up with a bed and not much else in the shot.

“We’ll open on Nicky on the bed,” the director decides. “You’ve been unconscious, and you’re waking up,” he tells Nicky.

Joe thinks Nicky looks unimpressed, but he nods and bends to take off his shoes and socks. 

“Joe,” the director continues, “you can be waiting for him to wake up. Maybe touching him a little.”

“Okay,” Joe says, and he waits for Nicky to move into position. He gets on the bed and sprawls his limbs, then shuts his eyes. Joe sits beside him, gun resting on his thigh, and waits for the cameras to start rolling.

“Action,” the director calls, and Joe strokes a hand against Nicky’s cheek. It won’t be visible to the cameras, but he feels Nicky go a bit tense at the touch before his face relaxes into slackness again. 

Joe’s tracing the line of Nicky’s neck as Nicky pretends to wake up. He jerks away from Joe, scrambling up on the bed. 


“Shh,” Joe says. “I saw how pretty your mouth was on my gun. Now I want to feel it on my cock.” 

Nicky shakes his head. “No, no—”

Joe cuts him off, waving the gun at him as he stands. “You’d better fucking do it. Get on your hands and knees.”

Nicky does, crawling over to Joe’s crotch. Nicky licks his lips, a hungry gleam in his eye as Joe unbuttons his jeans and takes out his cock. He feeds it to Nicky, who swallows it down easily even as Joe grabs at his hair and pulls him forward. 

Joe lets his eyes fall shut. Nicky’s mouth is as perfect as he imagined, but he tells himself that he’s had his dick in a lot of hot, wet mouths. 

This isn’t any different. 

He swallows. “Fuck yeah, slut. Choke on my cock.”

Nicky does, and Joe bites back a moan. He holds on for another few minutes before he drops his hands and gasps out, “Break.” 

Nicky pulls off him and rests back on his heels. “Is it all right?” he asks quietly.

“Yeah,” Joe murmurs back, voice strained. “I was just—getting close.”

“Let’s take ten and reset the cameras,” the director says. “I want a better closeup shot of the blowjob. Nicky, can you choke on it a little more?”

Nicky drains a water bottle and nods. Joe tears his gaze away from the bob of Nicky’s throat and hastily excuses himself to the restroom. 

He snags his phone from his bag on the way, and in the safety of the stall he does a quick search for Nicky Smith porn.

Joe’s not surprised by the volume of the results—it’s not that different from his own—but the content. When Nicky said he’s done a bit of everything, he must have meant a bit of everything kinky, because there’s Nicky getting fisted, Nicky getting electrocuted, Nicky getting spitroasted, Nicky getting spanked, flogged, paddled, whipped. Nicky in a collar, in shibari, in a sex swing. 

As he scrolls, his eye catches on a thumbnail of Nicky, his mouth pressed to the ass of a man strapped to a spanking bench. 

One of these is not like the others, Joe thinks wryly to himself. Interest piqued, he’s about to click it when he remembers he is literally at work, and even though he works in porn, watching porn on your bathroom break is still frowned upon.

He saves the link for later, then splashes some water on his face.



After they’ve spent another hour filming Nicky blowing Joe, everyone takes a quick lunch break. As Joe stabs at a cherry tomato, Nicky appears, a faint whiff of smoke clinging to his clothes and hair. 

He sits next to Joe and unwraps a sandwich as he frowns at Joe’s minuscule salad. “That’s enough for you?” 

“On shoot day,” Joe says, grinning, but Nicky still looks skeptical.  

“You can have half my sandwich,” he offers, but Joe shakes his head.

“I’m good,” he lies. “Promise.” 

“Hm,” is all Nicky says as he bites into the sandwich. 

Joe casts around for a change of topic. “So, how long have you been doing porn?”

“Almost ten years,” Nicky tells him, and Joe blinks. That’s longer than he expected; Nicky has to be around his age, and Joe wonders how old he was when he started. 

“What about you?” Nicky asks.

“Five,” Joe says. He’s hoping he’ll have enough saved up that he doesn’t make it to six. He’s trying to find a polite way to ask if Nicky intends to keep filming for the foreseeable future when his phone pings with an email from the indie gallery he’s been in talks with. 

“Hey, sorry, I need to make a call,” he tells Nicky as he skims the message. Nicky nods, and Joe steps outside.

“Hi,” he says when the line connects. “This is Joe al-Kaysani.”

“Hey Joe,” the gallery owner says. “Sorry this is short notice, but the chick who was gonna exhibit at First Friday next month bailed. You have anything you want to show?”

Joe’s heart leaps. “Yeah, I’m in,” he says quickly, and listens raptly as the owner runs through the details.

By the time he’s off the phone, he knows everyone else will have finished eating. He hurries to the bathroom to brush his teeth and re-apply deodorant, then returns to the set just in time to see a PA wrapping a leather leather cuff around Nicky’s left wrist. The right is already secured to the opposite end of the bed. 

Nicky looks unfazed, but as he takes in the sight of Nicky’s naked chest, Joe feels more flustered than ever. He’s...solid, built but not defined—his stomach is even a little soft—and he looks so real, so different from the hyper-muscular or super-skinny men Joe usually films with that Joe can’t look away.

“Shirt off for this scene, I think,” the director tells Joe casually, and Joe complies without hesitating. 

Nicky shifts on the bed. He’s still wearing a pair of tight white briefs, but nothing else. Joe notices that the PAs have set out a cart with a variety of toys for anal play, dildos and plugs and vibes and massagers. 

“Maybe you should do something with my legs,” Nicky suggests to Joe. “So I don’t have to kick.” 

“Right.” Joe glances around until he sees one of the PAs, the one with the Warbys. “Can we get a spreader bar?” he asks, and less than a minute later one’s handed to him. “And some cloth scissors, too?” he adds. 

While the PA hurries off, Joe buckles the cuffs around Nicky’s ankles, noticing how Nicky’s cock jumps against his underwear.


Joe clears his throat. “That all right?”

“Yes,” Nicky tells him. 

The PA reappears with the scissors and passes them to Joe.

Nicky smirks. “Always a crowd-pleaser,” he murmurs, nodding at the scissors, and Joe laughs a little under his breath. 

“Rolling!” the director yells, and Joe schools his face into something like a leer while Nicky blinks until his eyes are cloudy with tears. 

“Please, please let me go,” he begs. 

Joe ignores him and starts cutting away his briefs. Nicky squirms beneath him, but a hand on the spreader bar makes it impossible for him to get away—not that Nicky is actually trying. 

When the last bit of connecting fabric is severed (revealing a very large, uncut cock), Joe selects a dildo from the cart. It’s bigger than any he’s ever taken, but after seeing Nicky’s filmography he’s confident Nicky can handle it. He lubes it up and rubs the head of it against Nicky’s hole. Despite the way he’s thrashing in the cuffs, Nicky’s relaxed, ready, so the dildo presses in easily.

Nicky moans. “Please, please, don’t.”

“Mm, but you like that, don’t you, slut? Your greedy hole just swallowed it up.” 

“No,” Nicky whimpers. “No, stop it, don’t.”

“Quit whining, slut, just take it,” Joe says, fucking the dildo in and out of Nicky, and even though he sobs a little, his hips rock back on the toy. Soon the only sound in the room is the wet squelch of the dildo plunging in and out of Nicky’s ass. 

“Slap his cock, Joe,” the director instructs after a few minutes.

Joe and Nicky exchange a look. Joe’s never met a guy who actually enjoyed having his cock slapped, even in a BDSM context, but directors always insist it’s something people want to see. 

Nicky gives him a little nod, and Joe slaps at his cock. 

“You like this, slut,” Joe says, and Nicky moans. The sound goes straight to Joe’s cock, which is already uncomfortably hard in his jeans.

They carry on like that until the director calls cut, and Joe carefully extracts the dildo, dropping it on the cart. 

“Want out of these for a bit?” he asks Nicky, fingers tapping the cuffs. “Anything for your ass?” 

Nicky shakes his head. “I’m all right,” he says, though he’s glistening with sweat. His mouth is red and a little swollen from the way he’s been biting his lips, and his eyes are bloodshot from crying. He sinks back into the bed, all the tension in his muscles gone, and his lips twitch into a tiny smile. “Besides, if you let me up, I’ll only go out for a smoke.” 

“Trying to quit?” Joe can relate. It’s been just over a year since his last cigarette. That was the last of the vices he picked up in his mid-twenties that he managed to say goodbye to. 

Nicky flashes him a lopsided grin. “Every few months.” He looks good like this, lazy and fucked out, languid as he blinks up at Joe, and the sight of him pushes Joe into a silent stupor for a few beats.

“How did you pick your porn name?” he finally asks, mostly for something to say.

Nicky looks surprised for a moment, then shrugs a little in his bonds. “I figured there must be at least a hundred Nicky Smiths out there. I do go by Nicky, though. To my friends, at least. Nico, to my family.”

Nico, Joe thinks. He likes that. “I go by Joe, too.”

“Short for Joseph?”

“Americanized for Yusuf,” Joe admits. 

“Yusuf,” Nicky repeats, and Joe likes that, too, Nicky calling him by his real name. 

“Worst shoot you’ve ever done?”

Nicky hums thoughtfully. “Qualify ‘worst.’”

“Longest? Worst co-star? Least sexy sex acts?”

Nicky considers the question. “I did a shoot where my co-star sucked on my feet and toes for at least an hour,” he says, and Joe bursts out laughing.

“No way, an hour?

“Yes!” Nicky insists, though he’s laughing, too. “But the worst part—they didn’t use any of it in the final video.” 

“Oh no,” Joe groans. “I hate that.”

“What about you?” Nicky asks, and Joe’s about to lie and tell him it was the time he got mosquito bites on every inch of his body during an outdoor shoot (which, in fairness, is in his bottom three), when the director appears next to the bed.

“We’re going to move on to the finale,” he tells them. “I think we’ll have you fuck Nicky like this, Joe.”

They both nod, and the director walks away to talk to the boom operator. A glance at the wall clock reveals they’ve only been on set for seven hours—an unusually short day, but these things tend to go faster when there’s more natural chemistry. 

There’s definitely chemistry, Joe thinks.

The playful mood from a few minutes ago evaporates, and the idea of fucking Nicky right now is dizzying. Even though Nicky looks wrecked, he’s still somehow at ease, projecting an air of calm even though he’s moaned himself hoarse. Speaking of which—

“Can I gag you?” Joe asks a little desperately as the crew moves the cameras.

Nicky blinks at him, a line creasing his brow. “Yes,” he says slowly.

“I just.” Joe swallows. His throat feels like sandpaper. “I don’t think I’m gonna last long enough if I keep hearing you…” 

“Oh,” Nicky says, and his chest flushes pink. “Yes, right.” 

Joe hops from the bed and finds a PA to point him in the right direction. He has a wide selection to choose from, but in the end he takes a ball gag, thinking it’ll do the most to muffle Nicky’s moans without distracting too much from his face. His gorgeous face. 

Joe goes back to bed and holds up the gag for Nicky’s approval. “Will this be okay?” 

Nicky licks his lips and nods. “Yes. I’ll snap if I need to break.”

“Great,” Joe says. Just a normal workplace conversation, he tells himself. Nothing to be embarrassed about or painfully turned on by. He undoes his jeans again, and this time he steps out of them. 

He sits next to Nicky on the bed. “I can take off the spreader bar,” he offers as he starts lubing up his cock, since if they leave it on, Nicky’s going to need to be folded in two for as long as Joe can fuck him. 

“It will be fine,” Nicky says, and then he lifts his legs over his head.

Joe bluescreens for a second. 

“Okay,” he manages as Nicky drops his legs. He can tell the crew is about ready to start rolling again, so he holds the gag up to Nicky’s lips. Nicky opens his mouth obligingly, and Joe buckles it around his head. 

“All right,” the director says as he moves behind the camera. “Ready for the last scene?”

“Yep,” Joe says, shifting to stand on his knees before Nicky. Nicky gives a thumbs up.

“Okay.” The director settles into his chair. “Action!”

Joe grabs the middle of the spreader bar and pushes it up and over until Nicky’s bent in half. He uses his other hand to guide his cock to Nicky’s hole and holds it there, letting the camera get a good shot before he pushes in. 

Beneath him, Nicky moans around the gag. 

Fuck. The muffled noises aren’t any less hot.

Joe tries his best to think about dead puppies, about melting ice caps, about the time he ate a donut bacon cheeseburger to soak up the alcohol after a night of partying and still ended up puking his guts out. Anything to distract him from how sexy Nicky is, and how close he is to coming. 

It’s usually not an issue, keeping it together on set. Yeah, Joe shoots with good-looking guys all the time, but between the lights and the crew and the way everything is drawn out way longer than anyone would actually want, it’s generally not especially sexy, especially since half the time the sex he’s having on screen isn’t the kind of sex he prefers to have in his real life. 

But for one thing, Nicky seems to be genuinely enjoying himself.

And for another, Joe obviously has a huge crush on him. 

God, he’s embarrassing. 

Finally, when Joe can’t take it anymore, he glances back at the director, who looks disappointed but nods as if to say, if you must.

Joe comes so hard his vision whites out. He wants to roll over and collapse against the bed, but the director hasn’t called cut, so he blinks a few times to clear his head before releasing the cuffs on Nicky’s ankles. Nicky’s legs immediately drop forward, but Joe hooks them over his shoulder so the camera doesn’t miss Joe’s come trickling from Nicky’s hole. 

Nicky’s chest is heaving, and his cock hasn’t softened at all. His face is a mess of tears and drool, but his eyes are still bright, and Joe can’t help leaning forward to lick and bite at his lower lip, fresh desire pooling in his belly as Nicky whines helplessly against the gag. 

Work, Joe reminds himself, this is work.

He pushes three fingers into Nicky’s puffy hole, fucking his own come back in. “I knew you’d like, you slut,” Joe says as he gets a hand around Nicky’s cock. “Going to come for me, huh? Show me how much you need it?”

Nicky’s eyes screw shut as his hips hump up into Joe’s hand. He’s making little nonsense noises that might be words, but then it all turns into a keen as he starts to come, shooting long spurts over his own stomach and chest. 

As Nicky trembles with aftershocks, Joe dimly hears, “Cut!” and he moves to unbuckle the cuffs and the gag. 

“Okay?” he asks Nicky in an undertone.

“Mmm,” is all Nicky says. He throws an arm over his eyes and heaves a sigh, then pushes himself to sit up. He looks at Joe. “I’m good,” he says. “And you?”

Joe swallows. More than a couple times, he’s had to comfort guys who broke down a little at the end of an intense shoot, which he’s happy to do, but Nicky’s near-total composure is a welcome contrast. “Also good.”

Nicky gives him a tired smile. 

Around them, the crew is moving, dissembling the cameras and the lights. A PA appears at their sides, two robes in hand. Nicky takes one and wraps it around himself, then stands gingerly. “I’m going to clean up,” he tells Joe, and Joe nods as he takes the other robe. 

It’s always a little disorienting after shooting wraps, but Joe’s usually glad when it’s over.

Now, though, he just wants to hold Nicky.

Unprofessional, he tells himself. 



In the bathroom, Joe can make out Nicky’s outline in the shower. Joe cleans himself off with a baby wipe and dresses hastily, overcome with a sudden need to get home. He feels weirdly emotional and he doesn’t know what to do with it, other than maybe curl up on the couch with something high-calorie and a cheesy movie. He’s made it one step out the door when he hears Nicky calling him.


He turns, and Nicky’s hurrying toward him, hair wet, feet bare, back in the baggy clothes that don’t really fit him.

“Hey,” Joe says, trying to affect nonchalance. 

“Hi,” Nicky says. “It was good working with you.”

Joe forces a smile. “Back at you.” 

Nicky looks at him, expression thoughtful, then he lets out a long breath. “You never kissed me,” he says.

Joe stares. “I…”

“Is kissing still okay?” Nicky asks, and Joe’s heart feels like it might pound out of his chest.

“Kissing is fine,” he manages, and then Nicky steps into his space, cups his cheek, and kisses him. 

Joe sighs into it, mouth opening. Nicky’s lips are soft. He tastes like toothpaste and rubber. His tongue is everywhere and it’s so good, the best kiss Joe’s had in a long time. 

Joe wraps an arm around Nicky’s waist, pulling him closer. The kiss deepens and Joe loses himself to it, letting Nicky kiss the air right out of his lungs until his head is rushing, content to stay here for the rest of eternity if it means he doesn’t have to stop kissing Nicky.

“Uh,” someone says. 

They break apart, and over Nicky’s shoulder, Joe sees it’s the Warby Parker PA. 

He frowns before he realizes they’re blocking the door. 

They shift to the side and the PA hustles past. 

Joe chuckles nervously, and Nicky smiles back, wide and crooked. 

“I hope that was all right,” he says after a beat, gaze sharpening as his grin fades. 

“More than all right,” Joe assures him. “It was—awesome.”

Nicky laughs. “Awesome?”

“Don’t laugh. You kissed me senseless.” 

“I’d like to do it again,” Nicky says, completely serious, and Joe’s heart does a backflip. “But first I’d like to take you to dinner.” 

“Is the dinner a condition of the second kiss?”

“Yes,” Nicky says. “Tonight, if you’re free. I saw what you ate for lunch. I don’t want you fainting on me. We’re going for pasta.” 

Joe grins. “If you insist,” he says. 

They end up at an Italian place a few blocks away that Joe’s never been to. The place looks like it hasn’t been updated in twenty years, but Nicky swears up and down that the food is amazing, and he turns out to be right.

“This is a heart attack on a plate,” Joe says through a mouthful of fettuccine alfredo. “It’s fucking amazing.”

Nicky smiles and twirls his fork through his carbonara. “What do you like to do outside of work?” he asks.

“I go to the gym for a couple hours most days,” Joe tells him.

Nicky quirks a brow. “Yes, I can tell.” His tone is exasperated, but his gaze is hot. 

Joe’s lips twitch as he considers what else to tell Nicky. “I’m an artist,” he admits. “The message I got during lunch—it was about a chance to show at a gallery.”

Nicky’s face lights up. “That’s wonderful,” he says. “Congratulations.”

“It’s just a small place. Really underground, nothing fancy.”

Nicky pointedly looks around the restaurant. “Those are the best places.”

“Yeah,” Joe agrees, feeling warmth spread through his chest. “Anyway. I’ve been hoping to start making an actual living from my art. It’s probably a way off, but.”

Nicky nods and sips his wine, which was served in a clear plastic cup. He won big points for not so much as blinking when Joe said he would stick with water.

“What about you?” Joe asks.

“I’m in graduate school,” Nicky tells him. “Philosophy and religious studies.”

Joe blinks. “Oh. Wow.” Most of his co-stars are guys looking to get into more reputable parts of the entertainment business. He’s met a few people putting themselves through law or med school, but religious studies is a first. “What do you want to do with that?”

Nicky cocks his head. “What do you mean?”

“I mean, do you want to go on to teach? Or…” he trails off, unsure what other career options exist for people with doctorate degrees in philosophy.

“No,” Nicky says casually. “I will probably keep doing porn. At least for several more years.”

“Really?” Joe asks. 

Nicky shrugs a shoulder. “It pays well.”

“I mean, yeah, obviously I get that,” Joe says. “I just—why are you going to grad school, then?”

“Because I like it. Knowledge is the only thing that is intrinsically valuable, you know.”

Joe did not know. “Do you like doing porn?” he asks.

Nicky looks like he’s considering the question. “I suppose I like it as well as I would like any job. Do you not?” 

“I like it better than being a server or an office drone,” Joe allows. “But it’s not exactly my dream job. Usually it’s know, work.” 

Nicky frowns. “Usually?”

Joe’s face feels hot. “It didn’t feel like work today,” he says, and Nicky smiles.

“No,” he agrees, “it didn’t.” 

It’s kind of nice to be out with someone in “the business.” Joe’s never considered dating a co-star, but it’s nice, not feeling like he has to justify his job to the guy across the table. 

They finish their meal, and Nicky insists on paying. “I asked you,” he tells Joe.

“Fine. But I’m getting it next time,” Joe says, then hesitates. “That is. If you want there to be a next time.”

“I do,” Nicky says slowly. 


“But I’d rather not be done with this time.” Nicky licks his lips, now stained a little from the wine. “Would you like to come home with me?”

“What,” Joe jokes, “you think I’m easy?”

Nicky laughs. “Is that a yes?”

“It’s a yes,” Joe confirms, and when Nicky takes his hand he feels like a teenager again, light and giggly with the feeling of first love. 



Nicky’s apartment looks like it belongs to someone much older. There are bookcases lining every wall, the kitchen is crammed with appliances yet spotlessly clean, and the pattern on the couch is straight out of the 70s. It’s so cozy that Joe never wants to leave, though part of that may be because the apartment has Nicky.

They end up making out on said ugly couch, and Joe suspects he might develop an attachment to this piece of hideous furniture if he keeps getting positive associations to make with it. They both taste like garlic, and Joe doesn’t care even a little bit. Nicky’s on top, and Joe is obsessed with the feel of their chests pressed together. 

“I’m not sure I can go again,” he admits regretfully when he feels Nicky’s hard-on nudging his thigh.

“That’s all right,” Nicky says against Joe’s lips, and he kisses him again. 

“I could suck you, though,” Joe offers when they pull apart. 

Nicky makes a low noise in the back of his throat. “I can’t say no to that,” he says. “But I don’t want you to feel like you need to—”

“I want to,” Joe says quickly. “I really, really want to.”

Nicky’s face gets a little pink, but he nods. “How?”

“You could fuck my face,” Joe blurts. “I mean. If you want.” 

Nicky’s pupils dilate. “Yes,” he says, so low his voice practically rumbles. 

Nicky scoots up to straddle Joe’s face and fists a hand in his curls. “This is all right?”

“Uh-huh,” Joe says, and he opens wide.

Nicky’s cock tastes good, he thinks as he wraps his lips around it. It’s huge, but you don’t get as far in porn as Joe has without being able to deepthroat just about anything.

Nicky’s hips rock forward and he groans. “Joe. Fuck, your mouth.”

Joe hums happily around Nicky’s cock, relishing the reaction it gets him. 

After a few minutes of more active participation, Joe rests his head against the couch arm and focuses on relaxing his jaw as Nicky fucks his face. It’s hot, getting used like this, and it’s novel—he’s typecast as the top in almost every shoot he does, and most of the guys he meets are looking for that, too. 

He can’t remember the last time he got fucked by a real cock, but just the thought of Nicky putting him on his back, on his belly, his knees, is making him hard despite the odds. 

Joe taps Nicky’s thigh, and Nicky immediately releases him, looking concerned. 

“Too much?” Nicky asks. 

“No,” Joe says, shaking his head. “I just.” He swallows. “Would you. Want to fuck me?” 

Nicky makes a strangled sound and pulls Joe into the bedroom by his wrist. 



They strip unself-consciously and Joe arranges himself on Nicky’s bed. It’s like climbing into a cloud. 

Nicky’s pawing through the side table drawer in search of lube. 

“Do you want to use a condom?” he asks.

“I’ve already fucked you without one,” Joe points out, though he’s charmed that Nicky asked. “It’s cool, I know they wouldn’t have let you on set without a bunch of testing.”

Nicky smiles and lets the condom fall back into the drawer. Lube in hand, he settles in between Joe’s legs. “How do you like it?”

“Ah,” Joe says, hesitating. 

“Tell me,” Nicky urges. 

“You might think it’s kind of boring.” 

Nicky frowns. “How do you mean?” 

“I mean, I don’t know, I just like a nice, slow railing.”

“Why would you assume I think that’s boring?” 

Joe looks over Nicky’s shoulder. “Because I Googled you,” he admits.

Nicky looks unhappy. “It’s work,” he says. “You know that.”

“I know that,” Joe agrees quickly. “I just. I don’t know. You seemed to like it, today.”

“I did,” Nicky says. “That doesn’t mean I don’t also like fucking beautiful men deeply and gently until they’re begging me for more.”

Joe’s cock jumps as his mouth drops open. “Fuck, Nicky.” 

Nicky grins, sharp and a little dangerous, and Joe didn’t think it was possible to be more turned on, but if Nicky doesn’t start opening him up this very second, he thinks he might implode. He spreads his legs and whines. 

“Mm, you’re needy,” Nicky teases, dropping a kiss inside Joe’s thigh. 

“Yes.” Joe’s already breathless. When one of Nicky’s (huge, thick, perfect) fingers traces his rim, he gets light-headed.

“How many fingers do you want?”

“Three,” Joe says, willing his muscles to relax as Nicky starts working the first one in. 

“You’re so tight,” Nicky tells him, leaning down to mouth at his neck.

Joe squirms. “It’s been awhile since I bottomed.” 

“Poor you,” Nicky says, tossing Joe a roguish grin. 

“I know,” Joe agrees. “My poor neglected ass.”

“Mm, I’ll take care of it,” Nicky says, so full of easy confidence that it just does things to Joe. He slips a second finger in alongside the first and rubs at Joe’s prostate with such precision that Joe nearly loses his mind.

He tosses his head back against the pillow, which incidentally smells like Nicky, masculine and perfect. “Fuck, yes, yes—”

Nicky kisses the corner of his mouth. “You’re so stunning, Joe, all spread out for me like this.”

Joe can only moan in response. He runs a hand down Nicky’s side, hopelessly enamored with his tiny love handles. 

Nicky licks at one of Joe’s nipples while he adds a third finger. 

“Oh fuck,” Joe shudders. “Nicky—”

“I can’t wait to get inside you,” Nicky whispers in his ear as he pumps his fingers into Joe, and Joe thinks his brain is going to start leaking out the other side. “You’re already so responsive. How sweet will you be when I’m fucking you?”

“Whatever you want, Nicky, I’ll do whatever you want, just, please.

“Please what?”

“Please fuck me,” Joe sobs. “Please, please—”

Nicky silences him with a kiss as he hooks one of Joe’s legs over his elbow. 

He pushes into Joe, torturously slow. It still burns a little—Nicky is bigger than Joe’s toys—but even the stretch feels good. 

When he’s all the way inside, Nicky pauses, braced on his palms above Joe. “Tell me when you’re ready for me,” he pants. 

Joe surges up to kiss him, just a quick brush of the lips. “I’m ready,” he says, and Nicky groans and starts moving, fucking Joe slow and hard and just the way he likes it. Joe thinks he might cry, it feels so good.

“You feel perfect,” Nicky whispers as they rock together, and Joe moans. This particularly sweet brand of dirty talk is going to be the death of him. He’s desensitized to all the usual stuff, but not this, not Nicky whispering praise.

Joe reaches for his cock, but Nicky beats him to it, and fuck, Nicky does have such nice hands. 

“Like that?” Nicky asks, even as Joe fucks his cock into Nicky’s fist with wild abandon.

“Yeah, fuck, Nicky—”

“I want to see you fall apart for me,” Nicky purrs as he strokes Joe’s cock. “You’re so beautiful like this, so good for me—”

“Nicky,” Joe says helplessly. He closes his eyes, a little overwhelmed at just how perfectly Nicky’s touching him, fucking him, but then he doesn’t want to miss a second of it, Nicky’s eyes blown dark and hungry, his kiss-swollen lips and flushed cheeks. 

Nicky leans forward, but Joe stills him with a hand to his cheek before their lips touch. 

“What’s wrong?”

Joe sucks in a breath. “If you kiss me, I’m going to come.”

“Good,” Nicky says, some primal satisfaction shot through his voice, and then his tongue is licking over Joe’s lips, his teeth, and that combined with Nicky’s hand, his cock, the comforting weight of his body, is what sends Joe toppling over the edge. 

He’s still recovering when he feels Nicky groan into his neck and come inside him, a rush of heat that makes Joe’s spent cock twitch against the pool of come on his stomach.

Nicky pulls out and crawls down Joe’s body, ignoring Joe’s half-hearted attempts to keep him pressed close. Nicky looks up with a lazy grin, then lowers his face to lick at the come coating Joe’s belly.

Joe yelps, abdomen muscles twitching, and feels blindly for Nicky’s head. “Fuck, Nicky—you can’t, stop, I’m gonna die.” 

Nicky’s head snaps up. “I’m sorry,” he says, looking confused.

Joe shakes his head. “It’s not—you didn’t—I just, it’s too hot, Nicky, you have to let me recover from the first time you blew my mind before you do it again.” 

Nicky laughs and climbs out of bed.

“Wait,” Joe whines as Nicky walks through the door. 

“Back in a minute,” Nicky calls over his shoulder, and then Joe hears a tap turn on across the hall. Nicky reappears with a damp cloth, which he uses to wipe Joe’s stomach and hole.

“I made a mess of you,” he says, and Joe feels his face heat even as he spreads his legs to give Nicky better access.

“Stay the night?” Nicky asks once Joe’s cleaned off. “I’ll make you breakfast in the morning. Whatever you like.”

That warm feeling blooms in Joe’s chest again. “Waffles?”

“And some decent espresso,” Nicky says solemnly. 

Joe wiggles his eyebrows. “It’s the only way you’re going to get me out of this bed.”

Smiling, Nicky tugs down the covers and crawls into bed next to Joe. He drags the blankets over both of them, and Joe snuggles closer, throwing an arm around Nicky’s waist. “I’m a cuddler,” he warns.

Nicky’s breath tickles his ear. “Good,” he says. “So am I.” 

Joe grins against Nicky’s shoulder and his eyes drift shut. The last thing he thinks of before he falls asleep is that link he saved on his phone, the video of Nicky eating a guy out. 

Maybe tomorrow, he thinks, they can watch it together. And if he’s very lucky, maybe they can re-enact it.