Tonight, Ronan dreams about light. It is a good dream.
Cabeswater is light. Warm, more humid than he’d prefer in the real world. The air doesn’t feel heavy though; it is light and sweet at the inhale, singing with insects that will never bite.
Adam is there.
He approaches—not cautiously, but slowly. Quiet, as he always is. Taking his time. As if Ronan is a wild thing in the woods, not to be startled.
Ronan is startled anyways. His heart has grown hummingbird wings. His feet are bare, rooted to the earth. Adam is so, so near. He tilts his face up. He is full of light.
“Kiss me,” he says.
It’s sweet and bright as fresh rainwater, the kiss. His blood sings with it. Adam opens his mouth, devouring, always hungry. Ronan meets him, an eager sacrifice.
Adam says, “Take this off,” tugging at his shirt hem. Ronan does. He takes Adam’s off, too.
Ronan feels loose and soft in the thick summer air. He lets Adam back him against the trunk of a large oak. Maybe it’s the magic of Cabeswater, or maybe it’s just the magic of the moment, but it feels like being laid down on a featherbed. He’d let Adam do anything to him, anyway, out in the real world. In here, Adam wants to do everything, and so Ronan lets him. Bark at his back is nothing to sure hands on his hipbones.
Adam unbuckles his belt, unbuttons his jeans, lets them fall to the ground. He unbuckles Adam’s, lets them fall to the ground.
They kiss again. Ronan sucks a breath at Adam’s tongue licking into his mouth, his hands—those knuckles—pressing at the back of his neck. Adam is pressing, draping, melting over him and he is heating, heating, heating. He is bathed in light.
Ronan closes his eyes against the glare, but it doesn’t help. The light is inside him. He is burning up with it.
He closes his eyes, and he feels. Hands skate up his ribs. A thigh, beautifully bare, pressed between his legs. Breath against his winded mouth, into his lungs, giving him life. Lips travel down to his neck, latch under his jaw. The sweet sting of a bite, an itch far more torturous than the insects humming through the trees could ever manage.
He is unbelievably hard. In this hazy dream space, even this feels different from the quick, desperate Monmouth sessions thinking—lately always thinking—of Adam, his own harsh, too-tight grip, dust and sweat and the lingering smell of old gym socks. Here, his body is nothing but heat, melting straight into the air. Shivers of electricity sparking through every nerve. Blood boiling, pooling low in his gut, filling his cock still pressed against Adam’s leg. There is a sound lodged deep in his throat that Adam draws out like poison through his lips.
He opens his eyes, and he sees Adam standing in the clearing beyond. Adam, clothed. A repeat Adam, a glitch, an echo, an obsessive duplication borne of an oil spill, a wildfire mind.
Figures. His head has been Adam, Adam, Adam, Adam for months now. Adam on his bike, pedaling down dusty roads. Adam at Aglionby, seated quietly at his desk, leaning against his locker, head ducked toward Gansey’s at the lunch table. Adam in the rearview mirror, sleeping in the back of the Pig. Adam in the passenger seat of the BMW. Adam walking through Cabeswater, learning Cabeswater, loving Cabeswater. Adam taken alone to the Barns, a secret shared.
It is only natural that he would double, triple, fill this dream space with Adams.
The second Adam is watching, wide-eyed and serious. Always a scientist’s mind—skeptical but willing to be moved. Curiosity paints the furrowed brow, the quirk at the edge of that pretty mouth. There is hunger there, too. Always wanting more, simmering under the surface. In Ronan’s dreams, as now, it is barely kept in check. Is that perception or projection? At the moment, he doesn’t care.
Adam doesn’t either. Either Adam doesn’t.
The first Adam, the nearly-naked Adam, is still latched at his neck. The second Adam strips off his shirt, and then his pants.
Ronan gasps a shaky inhale. Adam’s lips move up to his ear. He whispers, “Shhh,” soothing him like a jittery horse. His teeth graze Ronan’s earlobe, sending a shiver down his spine. He is impossibly, impossibly hot, his skin unbearably sensitive to the touch.
Adam—the other Adam—moves toward him. His dry hand reaches out slowly, as if disbelieving of his newfound permission to touch. The hand covers Ronan’s heart, his hummingbird heart, pulsing rapidfire through his veins. His lips barely graze the other side of Ronan’s neck, and drag up, up, up to meet his own gasping mouth.
Two sets of hands reach out to drag his boxers down his legs. They fall to the forest floor. Two sets of hands take off their own underwear. Two cocks, equally flushed. He sees the second first, and at once the first mirrors the second. They are pretty—like Adam. That might be a weird thing to think, but Ronan can’t help it. He likes the look of them, he wants—he wants.
He is still panting slightly, like there is no air in this place without Adam’s breath mingling with his own. He does not know what to do. He wants—too much, everything, all at once. It is overwhelming. Grateful that Adam is there to direct him. Adam will know what to do.
Adam pulls him from the tree, turns him, presses him back against Adam. Hands on his hips, hands on his chest. Lips kissing his own, biting, tongues tangling—lips dragging down the curls of his tattoo.
He doesn’t know what to do with his hands. From behind, Adam guides him so that they are pressed against the trunk of the oak. He is bent slightly, Adam’s hot chest draped over his back. In front, Adam sinks to his knees to mouth wetly at the head of his cock. He feels enveloped. He feels consumed. He moans brokenly. It is too much. Adam whispers, “Shhh,” into his ear from behind. Not hushing him, but soothing, taming the fire licking through his limbs.
Behind, Adam presses into him, slick and hot. He is losing his mind with the sweet drag of it, with spit-slick lips wrapped around his cock. Tanned arms grip tight around him from behind, one high at his throat, one low on his belly. Freckled hands from below on his hips, circling around toward his ass, pulling his cock forward into that soft, wet heat, again, and again.
He feels holy, struck through by lightning. Floating in an oil-spill wildfire.
From below, Adam gives one last drag of his lips and pulls away from Ronan. From above, Adam presses Ronan gently to his knees. He falls gratefully, blessedly. They kiss messily on their knees, Ronan and Adam, and then Ronan feels Adam kneel down behind him.
He is pushed gently to all fours. His flushed, oversensitive skin tingles all over in anticipation. He is face to face with that pretty cock, now, hard and bobbing, leaking a little. He locks eyes with Adam and opens his mouth, a filthy invitation.
He has only ever done this in dreams, but he loves it. Though there is a heaviness in his jaw, his limbs feel light enough to float. His mouth flushes with spit, and he knows it is dripping out at the seams. Adam pushes into him again from behind, and the new angle pulls a deep groan from his chest. Adam’s cock twitches in his mouth, the duplicate pressing further into his ass. His arms shake with the effort of staying upright, but he knows Adam will not let him fall. His body is fully in Adam’s—many—hands, and even that thought is incendiary.
Adam is using his mouth, whispering filthy words of encouragement, petting his head, his jaw, telling him he is beautiful—ridiculous, when Adam is the beautiful one. Beautiful Adam cries out and comes in his mouth, filling him with light. He is so close to—something. He feels like it might be the secrets at the center of the universe.
From behind, Adam’s hands move to his shoulders, pulling him back so he is seated on his cock. They move like that, Ronan leaning back against Adam’s chest. The sounds he is making are animalistic, he knows—and they only get louder, once he sees Adam’s head fall to his lap, once he feels Adam’s mouth down around his cock again.
This Adam, too, is murmuring in his ear, now. Soft praise, how good he looks, how hot he feels, how he’s better than Adam had ever dreamt—ridiculous, when this is Ronan’s own dream. Ronan is so close—he has never felt this heat before. They come together, this Adam and Ronan, sweaty and plastered together, while Adam below laps up every drop.
There is silence but for the singing summer air. They lay out, spent, on the soft clover in the clearing. When Ronan feels able, when he finally looks over, one Adam has vanished; the other, asleep. Ronan closes his eyes again. He opens them again to find himself in his bed at Monmouth.
When he next sees Adam, there will be something new behind his eyes. Ronan will not be certain, but he will wonder.
But that’s a question for another day.
This morning, when he wakes, he is full of light.