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never have i ever before

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Eliot stepped into the kitchen, his booze-addled brain slogging twenty paces behind. Strains of upbeat music trailed from the common room and fluttered down the hall, clinging to all the lines of his body like smoke. He didn’t even know what he was looking for, what he was doing. Maybe the same party with the same faces eight weekends running was starting to take its toll.

Someone was slumped against the island with their back to him. Brown hair skimming the collar of a threadbare shirt. Slender waist, sturdy shoulders. The hard sting of misery spilling from their body in sickening waves. Eliot blinked, trying to make sense of the world. Trying to—

Oh—of course. Eliot’s heart rocketed up into his throat, the way it was wont to do every time they were alone in a room. “Quentin…” Fuzzy-tongued, he stepped nearer. Meeting Quentin’s red-rimmed gaze when he whipped his body around. “Hey, are you…” Something slipped from Eliot’s throat that might have been laughter. Jesus fuck, Waugh, get it together. “Are you all right?”

Quentin sighed, pushed away from the island, stumbling a little as he went. “I don’t know.” he said, so close Eliot could feel the heat pouring out from his skin. “Why don’t you ask your best friend about it.”

“What did Bambi—” Wobbly-kneed, empty-headed—Eliot told himself it was only the booze. “What did Margo do?”

Quentin narrowed his eyes to slits. “She said I was—” He huffed, raked his fingers through the length of his hair, half-turning his body away. Shoulders slumping, almost withered. “Right in front of everyone—she said I was a—” Voice dropping so low, Eliot had to strain to hear it. “A fucking virgin.”

Voice clipping off in his throat, Quentin ducked his head, hiding his face in an instant. Beyond the dark curtain of his hair, Eliot could see it—the pretty pink blush sweeping from his cheeks to his brow. Everything tipping sideways then—the floor pitching hard as the deck of a ship under Eliot’s wobbly feet.

“I mean, it’s—” A smile tugging at his lips, Eliot gestured with both hands. “It’s Margo. She’s—” He offered his most decadent sigh, pushing close, trying to steal another glimpse of Quentin’s face. “You know. Margo…”

“Yeah...” Quentin circled back to the island, pressed his hands to the counter. His body like a boat lost at sea. “Right.”

“Look—” Belly twisting, Eliot approached. Like coaxing some feral animal out from the dark. Pressing close enough to draw the line of Quentin’s gaze. “You’re not actually… that. I assume...” He offered some halfhearted attempt at laughter. Knees crumbling to ashes, to dust. “And I mean, everyone here is out of their fucking skulls on Hoberman-knows-what anyway.” He smiled then, but Quentin only looked away. “Whatever she said, I promise you, Q… no one is actually going to remember in the morning.”

A thick and choking silence settled over their heads. For a long moment, Quentin said nothing. Eyes downcast and distant, a scarlet flush sweeping its bruise from his cheeks to the tips of his ears. “Yeah, well,” he said at last, voice breaking, “I’ll remember.” He shook his head, worrying a hand along the nape of his neck. “I’ll still remember that I’m a—that I’ve never—you know…”

“Wait.” Dizzy, Eliot gripped the countertop’s edge. Booze and muffled strains of music knocking around inside his heart like a sickness. “Q, are you, um...” The words came out all sticky on his tongue, like they were trying to claw their way back in. “Are you telling me you’re actually a—”

“You don’t have to rub it in.” Quentin’s eyes lifted, wide and dark. Piercing Eliot’s skin like twin bullets. “You don’t have to—” His hands were fluttering around, like they were trying to catch the shape of his words. Like he was trying to lift his wings and fly away. “It’s not like I—like I wanna be a—a fucking—”

“Q.” That single letter slipped from Eliot’s mouth like an endearment. “I’m not—” He laughed, or tried to. Jesus fuck—Eliot was blushing now too. He could feel it. The way it swept along the slopes of his cheeks like a fever. “I’m not rubbing it in.” He let his voice drop low, heart kicking up a tantrum in his chest. Pausing to study Quentin’s shifting expression in the lights beating down from the ceiling. “I guess I’m just—I mean, we are… in grad school?”

Quentin wrapped his arms around himself, like he was trying to push the outside in. “I don’t see what that has to do with—” He huffed. “I don’t wanna talk about this with you right now.” His eyes darted from Eliot’s face to the floor. Hands lifting, he touched his hair, that wilting body of his shuffling away. “Or… ever.”

Eliot drew a breath and pushed back from the counter. Feet beneath his body like tangling threads. “So, okay…” He laughed—easy, unaffected. The sort of laugh that said I am totally not losing what’s left of my mind over this right now. “We don’t have to—”

“I came in here to be alone,” Quentin spit over his shoulder, so quickly the words all smudged together on his tongue.

Eliot shrugged, one corner of his mouth curling up when Quentin met his gaze. “Okay,” he said, reaching down inside the pocket of his slacks. “I can leave you alone.” Plucking out his flask, Eliot let it dangle there between his fingers, all that shining silver like a gift on Christmas morning. “But, rumor has it—” He laughed, the softest rumble slipping out of his chest. “Sulking in the kitchen is a lot less miserable with a friend who has a flask that never empties.”

Quentin pinched his brows together, the frown spilling from his face like heat from a flame. “I’m not sulking,” he said. Stepping forward, he swiped the flask at once from Eliot’s hand. “Give me that.”

It happened so quickly, Eliot hardly registered the movement at all. Watching with rapt attention as Quentin unscrewed the top, pressed the flask to his lips, and drank. A little thread of desire unspooling low in his belly. The sight of Quentin’s throat working as he swallowed nearly enough to send Eliot down to his knees right then.

“What the fuck—” Quentin swiped a hand across the dark red line of his mouth. “Please tell me why anyone would drink this.”

Their fingers brushed when the flask passed between them, and Eliot’s skin glittered like a sky full of stars. “Well, my young apprentice…” Pressing the flask to his lips, he tipped it back, took a swig. Relishing the burn all the way to the bottom. “As you know, with most things magic there are… trade-offs.” His tongue darted out, lapping the acrid sting of bottomless booze from his lips. “Generally with unlimited anything, the quality is going to be—”

“Like—drinking fucking lighter fluid?” Quentin’s mouth twitched up in the corners. A pseudo-smile that quickly shifted into a scowl.

“Something like that, yeah.” Eliot screwed the cap on the flask, slipped it back into the pocket of his trousers. “Look…” His eyes narrowed, going bedroom-soft. “I can’t take back what Margo said, but…” Gesturing with both hands, palms outward. An invitation, an opening door. “If you’d like to come back out to the party with me, I’ll make you a drink so good you might just forget you never got your cherry popped.”

“Um—” Quentin took a step away, nearly tripping over his own feet as he went. Shoulders slumped, he shoved his hands down inside the pockets of his jeans. “No thank you.”

Eliot’s heart was sinking, the heaviest stone. “All right, well…” He shrugged, did his best to make it casual. “If you change your mind…” He offered up the softest smile he could manage, but Quentin wasn’t looking at him now. “You know where to find me.”

Eyes meeting Eliot’s for one fleeting instant, Quentin nodded his head and turned away.

Eliot spun on his heels, head swimming, heart like mush—he stepped from the kitchen without another word and stumbled down the hall. Afterimages of Quentin burning in his retinas like anxious little ghosts.

In the common room—the nauseating din of it all made Eliot’s temples pound. The lights were glowing too brightly, the music was too loud. Sticky bodies of his classmates crowding against one another like drops of rain on glass. Sharp peals of laughter rising high as tolling bells.

Dazed—like a morning after, like a blow to the heart—Eliot made a beeline for the bar and reached for a bottle of gin.

Eliot slumped into his perch in the corner. A half an hour passed, maybe more. Downing the dregs of his filthy martini, he sent the empty glass back to the bar with a flourish of one hand. Legs kicked up, he knocked his head back, plucked a cigarette out of his case and lit it. Pulling smoke deep down inside the pockets of his lungs, holding it there until he burned.

Through the filmy haze of spun sugar smoke, Eliot spotted Margo the split second before she flopped down beside him. Pushing herself up under his arm without a sound, she snuggled close, snatched the cigarette from between the V of his fingers.

“Hey,” she said, filter pressing tight to her lips. “I don’t like it when you ignore me.”

“Now, Bambi…” Eliot watched as she took a drag, exhaled, shoved the cigarette back between his fingers. “When has daddy ever ignored you?”

Gazing upward, Margo quirked a brow. “When he’s too busy sulking in the corner like a virgin to make me a drink.”

Eliot watched the tip of his cigarette chug its smoke. Took a long, hazy moment to consider his words. “I think we should probably workshop your insult material,” he said, and took a drag, and exhaled a tendril of smoke in the direction of the ceiling. “Virgin insults are a little… pedestrian, don’t you think?”

Margo pulled a face, and pulled back, and pulled the cigarette right from his hand. “I’ll show you pedestrian,” she drawled, took a drag, stubbed the cigarette out with a careless indifference. “What’s got your cock in a knot anyway?”

Eliot wrapped an arm around her shoulders, drawing her close. “I’ll have you know my cock is spectacular as always.” He let that sit for a moment, pressed a kiss into her hair. “But maybe…” He sighed, heart kicking up in the hollow of his chest. “Maybe take it easy on Coldwater.”

“Coldwater,” she said, face tipping up, that steely-eyed gaze boring deep, “was killing my buzz.” At once, she wrenched herself out of his hold, swatting at his hand like a pest. “But you know what kills mama’s buzz even more, El? Hm? Take a guess.”

“Bambi—”

“It’s been months.” Her words came dark and easy, biting Eliot sharp as teeth. Right down to his messy, hidden center. “Deflower the nerd already and get it out of your system.” She shook her head, dark hair spraying around her shoulders like water. “‘Cause it’s starting to get a little boring, El.”

Eliot swung his legs around, shoes pressing flat to the floor with a click. “So—” He pinched his brows together, fixing Margo with his gaze. “Slight problem with that plan.”

Margo’s eyes narrowed to slits. “Spill.”

“So, okay—” Eliot offered a tip of his head. “Turns out Coldwater is, um…” Pulse kicking hard in his neck, Eliot swallowed around it. “Actually a virgin.”

Margo’s eyes went wide as supernova stars, swallowing up the moon of her face. “Get the fuck out.”

Eliot pressed forward, pressed a finger to her lips. “Bambi, don’t even think about—”

At once, she smacked his hand away. “Tell me how you know.”

Stomach churning, he pulled out his flask, worrying his thumb against the shining silver. “He’s in the kitchen sulking about it as we speak.”

“Well…” Margo reached out and swiped the flask. “I mean, it’s not like you haven’t banged plenty of actual virgins before.”

Eliot watched as she shrugged, unscrewed the top of the flask. Took a pull, pulled a face, passed it back.

“True…” Eliot raised the flask to his lips, took a long and decadent swig. “But those boys were all—” He screwed the top back onto the flask and tucked it away. “You know…”

Margo leaned in, resting her head on his shoulder. “Not Coldwater?”

Something shifted in Eliot’s chest—a pendulum swinging, a terrible weight. Like a fist pressing over his heart. “Exactly,” he said, turning his gaze to the party. All those writhing bodies scattering like smoke. “He wouldn’t be into it. He’s—”

“Coldwater?”

“Exactly.”

Margo sighed, shifting close. Wrapping herself around Eliot’s middle like an unbreakable link. “I don’t know,” she said. “He has a quality.”

Eliot’s heart thumped in time with the music. “Which is?”

Her face tipping upward, that soft, pretty mouth shaped itself into a grin. “Bottom that would totally be gagging for your dick just like all those other boys if you unbunched your ball sack and—”

“Bambi—”

“Unbunched your ball sack,” she said a little louder this time, “and remembered who you are.”

Head giddy, heart in ruins—Eliot offered Margo his most unaffected grin. “My balls are just as spectacular as my cock, I assure you,” he said, pecking her once on the brow. “How about you go make daddy a drink.”

Barking out a fit of laughter, Margo was already pulling away. “Pathetic and hilarious,” she said, popping up to her feet at once, hands on hips. “Now you’ve really gone and killed my buzz.”

She spun on her heels and left him. Swallowed up in smoke and music. The sweat-slick crush of bodies bobbing all around.

Eliot huffed all the air from his lungs. Groping around at his pockets and coming up empty. “Drugs,” he said, tottering up to his feet, legs unsteady beneath him as a newborn colt’s. “Daddy needs lots of drugs.”

Eliot swiped a tab of something pink from a hand without a face and popped it onto his tongue. Holding it there on the tip as it melted, the taste of it grassy and dark. The music had dulled to something eerie—almost haunted—the bodies that packed the Cottage from one end to the other swaying to the rhythm like ghosts.

He took a bong from the shelf behind the bar and collapsed onto one of the sofas. Packing the bowl to its brim and lighting it up with the tip of his finger. Inhalation—Eliot filled the chamber with a blue-white haze of vellumy smoke. Pulled the slide, pulled the hit down deep inside the caverns of his lungs. Holding it in until his head was swimming and everything started to slow.

Eliot exhaled hard. The room beyond the veil that covered his eyes going all spinny and distant. Setting the bong down on the floor near his feet, he tucked himself back inside his little corner of the sofa. Bobbing out in the crowd, there were boys that Eliot knew. Boys he’d found perfectly adequate if entirely unmemorable. Boys he’d had on their knees, filling their throats. Slick and howling and splayed in the dark. But seeing them now, like this, after everything this night had become—their faces all seemed to smear together. Their names little more than shadows clouding one dim corner of his heart.

He blinked. Through the sea of smudged-out faces, a single one stood out in stark relief. Quentin—god. Looking lost as he was beautiful. Stumbling around on the makeshift dance floor, just this side of losing his balance smack dab in the middle of the crowd.

Heat clawing up the base of his spine, Eliot let his mouth fall open. “Coldwater!” His voice came through a tinny echo in his skull. “Come to take me up on that drink after all?”

Eliot was shrouded in a rose-tinted curtain. Watching as Quentin whipped his body around, eyes catching on Eliot there on the sofa. At once—everything else in the room dimmed to static. Seconds slogging past in slow motion until suddenly Quentin was just—there. Slumping down in a huff, sitting close enough to Eliot for their knees to knock together.

Eliot turned to Quentin, soft and lazy. Thoughts sloshing around in his skull like he was trapped inside a dream. “Hey.”

Quentin offered something that might have been a smile if Eliot squinted. “Hey.”

“So…” Eliot’s tongue was like lead behind his teeth. “What’ll it be?” Body wicking the heat that spilled from Quentin’s skin like fever. “I can make you literally any cocktail in existence and at least a dozen more than exist only in my head.”

Quentin wasn’t looking at Eliot. His eyes were somewhere distant. “I don’t know,” he said. “I should probably just go to sleep.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Quentin.” Half outside himself, Eliot reached down and plucked the bong up from the floor. “It’s considered extremely disrespectful to refuse your host when they offer a refreshment.”

The words tumbled from Eliot’s lips like confetti. Suddenly—Quentin was looking right at him. Gaze flitting between Eliot’s face and the long glass cylinder he had clutched in his hands. And though a filmy curtain had fallen down over his eyes, Eliot was pretty sure Quentin was smiling.

“I think that’s just called peer pressure, El,” Quentin said, though he was already reaching out with both hands.

Eliot shrugged, heart like a jackhammer battering his ribs. “Same difference.”

Eliot passed the bong to Quentin, watching as he nestled all that glass between the spread of his thighs. And pressed his mouth against it. And those hands of his—so masculine and wide. The strongest-looking parts of him, really. Stuttering softly as he tried to breathe a flame from the tip of his finger. Failing to get the spell just right once, twice, three times—

“Here.” Eliot reached forward, hardly thinking, everything hazy. “Let me…”

All the lights in the room seemed to dim when their eyes locked together. Up under his ribs, Eliot’s heart was set to pound. The glide of his fingers smooth and easy in spite of the ache. This particular spell such a part of his hand he could cast it without thinking. Index finger spitting out the scorching tip of a blue-white flame in an instant. Eye at the center of the bowl catching the moment Quentin opened his lungs and drew a breath deep inside.

The water bubbling gently, Quentin filled the length of the chamber with a cloud of marshmallow smoke. And pulled the slide with his stuttering fingers. And pulled the hit deep down in his lungs. And held it. And—

In the split second before Quentin sent it tumbling down to the floor, Eliot snatched the bong with both hands. Sent it fluttering over to the coffee table with a little puff of magic. Rapt and unblinking—watching as Quentin exhaled all loose-limbed and dreamy. Sinking back into the sofa with a faraway look in his eyes.

Like a spell had been cast, Eliot found himself sinking down too. Reminding himself it was only the booze. And the drugs. Whatever had been in that little pink pill he’d just taken. Gaze flitting over to Quentin beside him, so soft and warm and close in a way he’d been so many times before. But tonight—god. Tonight it was different. Tonight the soft warm close was so much more. Because now—Eliot knew. Eliot knew that Quentin was a—that he was actually a—

“Hi.” Eliot’s voice was like vapor slipping from his tongue.

Quentin blinked, mouth curving upward. His pretty face so open and so easy. “Hi.”

Suddenly, Eliot was laughing. All loose-limbed and apart from himself. His brain all mushy-soft inside the hollow of his skull. “Not even…” He was speaking without meaning to. The words coming before his mind could hope to catch up. “Not even a blow job, Q?”

Beyond the wavy curtain that clouded his vision, Eliot watched as Quentin’s face flushed a shade to rival a bruise.

Quentin huffed, turning his whole body away from Eliot then. “No—” He was shrinking. Voice so soft and so low Eliot could hardly hear it over the rushing of blood in his ears.

“Well that’s just—” Eliot was laughing again. Laughing and floating up out of his mind. He had no idea what the fuck he was saying, what the fuck he was doing. And he wanted to feel terrible about it, truly he did—but all he could feel was the pull to surrender. “Q…” That single letter flowed from Eliot’s tongue like smoke. “I think we need to get you laid.”

Quentin half-turned back to Eliot then, tucking a tuft of hair behind one ear, his hands spilling over with nerves. “I’m not—” Shaking his head—Eliot registered the movement in stop motion flickers. “I’m not going to—to force myself—”

Eliot snorted a laugh. His hand reaching over of its own volition, touching Quentin on the knee. “Don’t be so dramatic, Quentin. I’m not saying you should—” His gaze fluttered downward, landing on the space where their bodies connected. His hand holding onto Quentin like a secret. “I’m not saying you should…” He started and stopped and plucked his hand away, fingers sizzling right down to the center. “Force yourself. On anyone.” At once—his face was burning. It’s only the booze. “But there are plenty of…” Gesturing with one hand, Eliot let his eyes skitter over the room. Coming to land on a single blonde head among the masses. “Alice Quinn.”

Quentin frowned at Eliot with his entire face. “What?”

“You two seem…” Eliot took a beat. Watching Quentin’s eyes watching him. “Compatible.”

Eliot’s stomach clenched up tight as a fist, turning to stone there under the press of his heart. It’s only the booze it’s only the booze it’s only—

“That’s not—” Quentin’s body folded in on itself, like gravity was pounding down on his shoulders. “That’s not happening.”

“Why not?” Eliot’s throat was like a closing door. “She’s… really cute.”

Quentin fixed Eliot with a steely-eyed glare. “Yeah and really already sleeping with Penny.” In the minute space between their bodies, Eliot could feel Quentin trembling. “You seriously do not have to try and help me right now. I feel pathetic enough as it is.”

“You’re not pathetic.” The words fell feather-light from Eliot’s tongue. “I just… desperately need to catch up on my gossip.”

“It’s fine.” Quentin slumped down, wrapped his arms around his middle. His body a tight little pocket there on the sofa. “I don’t wanna talk about this anymore.”

Eliot was laughing again. “All right,” he heard himself saying. The sound of it coming from the other side of a very long tunnel. “We won’t talk about it anymore.”

Eliot let his eyes click shut. There beyond the blackness, seeing the rest of the night playing out like a fuzzy picture on a television screen. He’d have a few more drinks, maybe pop another pill or two. Soon, Quentin would slink off to bed all alone. Left with few choices, Eliot would pick out one of those smudge-faced boys and ferry them up to his room. And under that heavy blanket of dark, their head pushed down so far under the covers, he might almost be able to imagine it was—

“I would totally blow you.”

Eliot’s eyes shot open, the words still dark and heavy on his tongue. Had he really been the one to say them? Jesus fucking—Quentin was looking right at him with that watery, doe-eyed stare. His face a shade of red Eliot didn’t think he’d ever seen on a person before. Like all the blood in his body had leapt to the surface, painting Quentin’s skin the color of his heart.

“You don’t—” Quentin swept a hand over his hair, shook his head, looked away. “You don’t have to do that. You, um—”

“Q…” Eliot’s hand was reaching forward, curving around the flesh of Quentin’s denim-clad thigh. “I don’t—” He laughed, just wasted enough to keep talking. “I don’t think I have to.” Quentin’s body heat slipped into the flesh of Eliot’s palm like it was feeding a flame. “I wouldn’t say something like that if I…” If I was sober enough to keep my fucking mouth shut. “If I didn’t really want to.”

“You’re, um—” Suddenly, Quentin was moving. Perching himself right on the edge of the sofa, like at any moment he was going to bolt. “You’re drunk. You’re—you’re high. You’re—”

“I am.” Eliot pushed forward, all hind-brain instinct without a mind. Pressed his mouth tight to Quentin’s ear as he spoke. “But I have a potion. Upstairs in my room.” Quentin turned his face inward then, their lips suddenly a hair’s breadth from touching. It took every ounce of restraint Eliot could muster not to kiss him. “It’ll sober me up like—” Eliot snapped his fingers. “Just like that.”

Quentin’s gaze flicked from Eliot’s eyes to his mouth and back again. His breath coming hot and frantic in the split second before he turned his body away.

“Look…” Eliot was all the way in it. There was no turning back for him now. Even as the ghost of sober regret lingered darkly in his periphery. “I’m going to go upstairs. To my room…” He pushed himself to the edge of the sofa, soles of his shoes pattering against the rug underneath. “And if you think you might want to come find me. In a little while…” Quentin wasn’t looking at Eliot. He was gazing down at the floor. “You know where I’ll be.”

Eliot pulled himself to his feet, tipping a little sideways as he went, nearly spilling right back over onto the sofa. Not allowing himself a single glance at Quentin over his shoulder as he stumbled away. Heart like an anvil plunging down to the floor. Almost allowing himself to feel something that might have been hope if he squinted. Almost allowing himself to feel—

He went upstairs, down the hall, shut himself inside his room. Clicking on the light, Eliot didn’t lock the door at his back. Plucking a vial made of glass from the shelf above his desk, the liquid swirling within like honey flecked with rays of golden sun. Pulling out the dropper, he opened his mouth and lifted his tongue. Depositing three shining, bitter droplets onto the silvery flesh underneath.

He placed the bottle back on the shelf and went to his bed. And collapsed down onto it, flopping onto his back. Legs dangling down over the edge, he fixed his eyes on the harsh yellow light that painted the ceiling. And blinked. Sobriety hitting Eliot swiftly as a kick to the groin.

Eliot remembered immediately why he never liked taking this potion. Scratch that—why he never liked being sober to begin with. All at once, it was like the end of the world. Feelings like the sharp tips of daggers. Reality harsh as blunt fingernails pushing up under his skin. Pathetic, heartsick, worthless coward. Eliot’s brain was a quivering animal. It was a torment for which there was no end. He’s going to know everything now. He’s going to see right through you. Why couldn’t you just keep your stupid mouth shut? Why couldn’t you just—

Eliot’s bedroom door creaked open. Jesus fuck—he was on his feet in an instant. Heart like hoofbeats up under his ribs, legs quaking. He was so sober it was just this side of maddening, his head suddenly wracked with a terrible case of the spins. Everything too real, too fast, too much.

Quentin—god. Quentin was there. Door clicking shut at his back, face so red it was like he was electric. That deep neon shimmer, the starkest glowing crimson. Lifting one hand in that nervous way of his, smoothing a tuft of hair away from his brow.

“Quentin.” Eliot was moving, crossing the distance, no hope of his brain catching up with his limbs. “Hi.”

“Um—” Quentin’s back was flat against the door, like he was trying to press himself right through it. “Hi.”

Dazed, Eliot steeled himself, tried to keep his hands from shaking. “I’m glad you came,” he said, voice just this side of total ruin. Plucking the sober-up potion from his shelf and handing it to Quentin. “Three drops.” Their fingers brushing as the vial passed between them. Down between his legs, Eliot’s dick jumped in response. “Under your tongue works best.”

“Is this—” Quentin frowned at the vial clutched in his hand, that swirling sunshine trapped in glass. “I’m not—I’m not really—” He shook his head. “I’m not drunk, so—”

“Humor me.” Eliot wondered if Quentin could see it—all the cracks around his edges, the way the messy truth of it all was slipping through. “It won’t hurt, it just—” He offered an airy gesture of one hand. “Tastes like backwash.”

Slowly, Quentin nodded his head. That soft pink mouth of his hanging open, he plucked the dropper from the glass, and Eliot counted the drops as they went. One two three.

At once—Quentin pulled a face, pressed the dropper down into the vial and passed it back.

Eliot set the potion down on its shelf with a clink. “Go on,” he said, taking a single calculated step in Quentin’s direction, fighting the urge to reach out a hand. “Sit down on the bed. You don’t have to be afraid.”

Quentin pushed away from the door, and Eliot watched him stumble. Heart in his throat like a hurricane, his eyes tracking Quentin over to the bed. Watching as he lowered his body down on one edge. Teetering there, like he was terrified of getting too close. Folding in on himself, arms wrapped tight against his middle. That soft pink face of his just this side of panicked, gaze flitting between Eliot’s eyes and the floor.

Eliot went to him then, crossing the distance between their bodies in dreamy, slow motion flickers. “Quentin.” Eliot hooked two fingers under Quentin’s chin, lifting the line of his gaze. “Hey…”

Quentin knotted his hands together, his face a shock of scarlet. “Um—” Drawing a breath, he pushed it out. “Do you, um—do you think you could—” He shook his head, that soft brown hair skimming the tops of his shoulders. “Do you think you could kiss—” With each new word he plucked from his throat, Quentin’s blush burrowed in a little deeper. “Kiss me first?”

Breath catching like hooks in his lungs, Eliot went down to the floor. “Hey,” he said, taking Quentin’s scarlet face in his hands. “Can I ask you something, Q?”

Quentin made a sound—the slightest whimper clipped off in his throat—and nodded his head.

Eliot thumbed at Quentin’s burning cheeks. “Have you ever been kissed before?”

Quentin sucked a breath through his nose, that pretty pink mouth falling open. “Um, so—” His hands shaped themselves into claws over his knees, blunt points of his fingers digging into denim. “Not—not technically, um—”

“Hey...” Slowly, Eliot drew the pad of his thumb along the seam of Quentin’s lips, heart a tightening knot in his throat. “You don’t have to be embarrassed.”

Eyes damp, Quentin cast his gaze down onto the floor. “You don’t have to—to pretend like it isn’t—” He gave a little shake of his head. “It is fucking embarrassing, El.”

“No, hey—” Eliot pushed nearer, touched Quentin on the neck, drawing the line of his gaze. “It’s not.” The corners of his mouth curled up. “And I—listen, Q, I...” Slowly, Eliot drew the words up out of the dark. “I would love to be your very first kiss.”

For a long moment, Eliot was sure Quentin was going to run. Make for the door, lock himself in his room down the hall. Come tomorrow, he’d pretend this night had never happened. Maybe he’d never even speak to Eliot again. But then—

God—he didn’t. Those big doe-eyes cutting Eliot straight to the quick, Quentin offered up a single nod of his head.

He’s the sweetest boy I’ve ever known.

At once—Eliot let his eyes click shut, pressing forward. The warm, soft petals of Quentin’s lips parting like a flower drinking sun. Pliant and uncertain, Quentin didn’t kiss back, but he allowed himself to be kissed and kissed. He opened to Eliot. The softest whimper pushed up from his throat, and Eliot swallowed it down. Offering a single, fleeting flicker of his tongue before breaking the kiss.

Eliot’s eyelids fluttered open. He sucked a breath. Gazing up at Quentin who was gazing down at him. That pink mouth hanging open, his dark eyes glazed over and bursting with stars. Like every thought had been snatched from his head and written over with Eliot’s name.

Cheeks the color of inferno, Quentin sucked a breath. “Did I, um—” He exhaled hard. Eliot felt the force of it down in his bones. “Was that okay?”

Eliot’s hands moved from Quentin’s neck, skimming down to his shoulders. “Q, oh my god—” Pushing impossibly close, he nuzzled the tips of their noses together. “It was wonderful, baby.”

Baby. Eliot’s voice was running away from him now. Powerless in the face of all that sweetness, Quentin had pulled him under deep enough to drown.

Slotting their lips together again—it was madness. Quentin’s hands on Eliot’s neck, groping at the collar of his shirt. Eager tongue slipping hot against Eliot’s like the curling tip of a flame. Eliot felt the tug of it deep and low, and all at once his cock began to thicken. Jesus fucking—

Eliot broke the kiss, hot mouth panting. One hand trailing along the front of Quentin’s shirt, tracing the ridge of his collarbone just underneath. “Why don’t we…” His voice was hardly a whisper. He could hardly stand to breathe. “Why don’t we get you out of these clothes…”

Pulling back, tottering up to his feet. Eliot watched Quentin’s hands twitch against the curves of his knees. Mouth opening and snapping shut in quick succession, like he couldn’t figure out where he was supposed to begin.

Eliot reached forward, eyes soft. Sweeping a wisp of hair away from Quentin’s brow. “Do you think…” Drawing a breath, he exhaled slowly. “Do you think it would help if I got naked first?”

“Um—” Quentin pinched his brows together, voice warbling. “Maybe…” He drew a breath, and huffed it out, and nodded his head. “Yes.”

With other boys on other nights as another version of himself—this had always been Eliot’s favorite part. The teasing. Stripping himself of all those dark, rich layers. Like an animal shedding its skin. Giving the quivering, pink-mouthed boy on his bed a peek of what was yet to come. Watching their eyes go wide as dinner plates, the swell straining at the front of their jeans. Sometimes, the very instant Eliot’s underwear came off, they’d tumble right down to the floor.

But tonight—god. Eliot didn’t think he cared if Quentin touched him at all. That wasn’t ever what this night was going to be. Taking a step back, untucking his shirt. Eliot thumbed at a button, popped it open, set it free. Watching Quentin’s gaze as it followed the trail of his hands steadily downward, like Eliot’s buttons were mapping the stars.

Eliot’s shirt fluttered open and he shrugged it down to the floor. Hard and shameless, curve of his erection pressed tight as a fist to his zipper. Quentin’s eyes never left him, not even for a second. Rapt and unblinking, gaze honing in on that one central point.

Kicking out of his shoes, Eliot peeled his socks away, at once starting in on his belt. Meeting Quentin’s gaze for one gasping instant, chest quaking, like a hammer was forging his body a heart. Going still as his belt buckle flipped open, reminding his brain to remind his lungs that they needed to breathe.

Cock growing harder by the second, Eliot popped the button of his fly, and counted to three…

Snick of his zipper flooding the room with its music. All that dark fabric pooled around Eliot’s feet like tufts of smoke. Stepping out of his slacks one leg at a time, he straightened his spine into an arrow and kicked them away. Hands shaping themselves into loose-knotted fists, he—fuck. Quentin made a sound, the softest whimper that Eliot felt in his chest like breathing. Those big doe eyes still locked dead-center on his dick. The massive length of it tenting the front of Eliot’s boxers like an opening door.

In one fell swoop, Eliot’s boxers joined his slacks in a rumpled heap on the hardwood. Heart skipping like a metronome up under his ribs. Spine like a pillar, watching Quentin’s eyes, his parted lips, the anxious little knots of his hands.

“Wow…” The word tumbled from Quentin’s mouth like exhalation. Like he was only just learning to make a sound.

Eliot’s cock hung thick and heavy, a shining thread of pre-come drooling from the tip and tumbling down to the floor. “Do you…” Taking a single, calculated step in Quentin’s direction. “Do you feel better now, Quentin?”

“I don’t—” Quentin huffed and shook his head. “Did you, um—” Gesturing wildly with both hands. Those hands of his like little wings. Like he was trying to flutter away. “Did you do a spell or something to—to make it, um—” Cheeks stained scarlet, his eyes tracked up to Eliot’s face. “If it is a spell, do you think you can teach me? ‘Cause, uh—” The line of his jaw wound up tight as a spring. “I think you’re going to be, um—disappointed? I’m not, you know…”

Before he could hope to register moving, Eliot was going down to the floor. Knees pressed to hardwood, he cupped the blaze of Quentin’s cheek with one hand. “Hey.” Breathing, breathing—his mouth curling up in the corners. “I have a big dick, okay?” Down between the spread of his legs, Eliot’s heartbeat thumped. “It’s not illusion magic, and it’s not—” He shook his head and quirked a brow. “It might sound like total bullshit, Q, but size doesn’t really matter to me all that much.” At once, he plucked his hand away, draped it over the flesh of his thigh to keep from shaking. “It’s not possible for you to disappoint me, okay?”

Quentin held his body like he was withering to dust. “Okay, um—” At once, he ducked his head, gazing down at his hands where they gripped his thighs, fingertips pressed tight to his jeans. “Okay.”

“Q…” Softly, Eliot took Quentin’s face in his hands, lifting the line of his gaze. “If you’ve changed your mind it’s okay.”

When Eliot plucked his hands away, Quentin shook his head. “I haven’t, I just—” Reaching up, he skimmed the ends of his hair with his fingers. “What if I’m, like—bad at it?”

Eliot couldn’t help the grin that spread itself over his face. “Bad at getting your dick sucked?”

Quentin’s whole body seemed to frown at that. “You know what I mean.”

“Hey—” Eliot reached forward again, drawing his knuckles over Quentin’s scarlet cheek. “Look, Q, it’s just—” Gesturing with one hand, he huffed a laugh. “It’s just you and me, sweet boy.” Sweet boy—oh. So goddamn soft and sweet. “No one else is ever going to know what happens in this room tonight, okay? Not even Margo.” Slowly, he tangled both of Quentin’s hands with both of his. “Especially not Margo. And maybe—” Shaking his head, heart dripping down into his stomach like acid rain. Burning, burning. “Maybe the next time you hook up with someone—anyone—you can just…” Lifting one of Quentin’s hands to his lips, peppering his knuckles with kisses. “You can just let yourself relax. Without all the pressure, I mean…”

Slowly—so slowly Eliot hardly registered the movement at all—Quentin offered a single nod of his head. “Okay.”

“Okay.” Eliot let go of Quentin’s hands, watching them flutter away. “You know, you don’t have to take off your clothes if you don’t want to. You can just…” The slick cups of Eliot’s palms pressed to the curves of his knees. “Shove your jeans down for me a little…”

Quentin swallowed, shaking his head. “I wanna take off my clothes,” he said, gazing down at his hands. The hands Eliot had only just had tangled up with his own.

“Okay…” Eliot straightened the line of his neck. And breathed. “Do you want me to look away?”

Quentin lifted the line of his gaze. “Um—” Curve of his throat bobbing as he swallowed. Eliot felt it like a thread in his belly, tugging low and slick. “Okay.”

Eliot offered a single, fleeting touch to Quentin’s cheek. “Take your time, baby.”

Baby baby baby.

Quentin gave a single, jittery nod of his head. Gaze following Eliot up, up, up as he rose to his feet.

Eliot turned his back to Quentin, heartbeat battering his temples. Suddenly aware of his own nakedness in a way that was almost embarrassing. Like suddenly he was the virgin. Trembling and terrified in the backseat, counting down the seconds until the boy he’d been crushing on for weeks and months finally popped his cherry. Jesus fucking—he fixed his eyes down onto the floor, tried his best to ignore the angry red line of his dick. Swollen and arrow-straight with desire, shining beads of pre-come drooling straight from the tip.

The bed creaked when Quentin stood, and Eliot sucked a breath, and held it. In his mind’s eye, picturing it just like this: Quentin’s t-shirt being tugged up over his head and tossed away, his nipples pink and soft as petals. Downy smattering of hair on his chest Eliot knew at once he’d want to rub his face into. Quentin’s velvet skin flushed and bumpy with arousal.

A rustling then—the softest exhalation of fabric as it slipped from Quentin’s hand and hit the floor. Eliot shut his eyes, and listened, and breathed. Hands shaping themselves into hooks, into knots, into claws.

Two soft thuds. Metallic clink. Whoosh of denim as Quentin’s jeans hit the floor.

When a silence settled over the room, Eliot’s knees started to tremble. Pulse in his dick a steady, quickening tempo. Crimson flush sweeping from his ears to his cheeks to his torso.

“Um—” Quentin’s voice hit like a jolt to Eliot’s heart. “Okay, I’m—you can turn around…”

Eliot spun on his heels the way a lever shifts. Registering the moment in snapshots and flashes, like seeing the whole picture at once might have short circuited his brain. He saw it just like this: Quentin, stark naked. Clothes scattered around his bare feet like confetti. Posture of a terrified animal. Like something Eliot had snared in a trap. Like prey.

Soft dusting of hair between his rosy nipples. The gentle curve of his waist. Hip bones that Eliot wanted to press his fingers into, graze with the ends of his teeth. And down below and in between—a thatch of hair like shadow. His dick so rigid it pained Eliot just to see it. The size of it on the small side of average, blushing and wet at the tip. The perfect size, Eliot knew, to clutch tight in the palm of his hand.

“Oh, baby…” Baby baby baby baby. “You are just…” Eliot let his eyes sweep along the line of Quentin’s torso. Down and up again, lingering. Coming to rest on his face. “You’re perfect.”

“That’s not—” Quentin ducked his head, cheeks blazing. “You don’t have to lie to me, okay?”

“Hey—” Eliot stepped forward, pushing into Quentin’s personal space. Head of his cock like velvet when it brushed against Eliot’s hip. “Look at me…” Hooking two fingers under Quentin’s chin, tipping the line of his gaze. “I wouldn’t lie about something like that.” His hand lifted, curving soft against the slope of Quentin’s cheek. “Tell me you understand.”

“I—” Eyes soft and damp, Quentin nodded his head. “Yeah, I—I understand.”

Eliot slipped his hands along Quentin’s neck, down to his shoulders. “Good,” he said, and pressed a single, fleeting kiss to Quentin’s brow. “Now…” Plucking his hands away, steeling himself. Heart like a freight train barreling along in his chest. “How about you sit down on the bed…” Voice dropping dark and low, Eliot shaped his mouth into a grin. “And spread your legs.”

Quentin nodded his head, averted his gaze. Face the color of over-ripe cherries, he reclaimed his seat on the edge of the mattress. Perched with the tips of his toes pressed hard to the floor. Like the feet of a dancer. The feet of a bird. Like at any moment Quentin was going to up and fly away.

“I can’t believe…” Eliot lowered himself down between the V of those soft pink thighs. “I can’t believe you thought I was going to be disappointed.”

Eliot touched him on the knee, and Quentin’s whole body lurched. “Sorry—” Ducking his head, Quentin hugged one arm over his chest, fingers digging hard into the flesh of his shoulder.

“Hey…” Reaching up, Eliot plucked Quentin’s hand away, and held it. Pressed a fluttering kiss to his knuckles. “We can stop right now if you want to.”

Quentin offered Eliot the fleeting line of his gaze, and shook his head. “I don’t wanna stop.”

“Okay…” Eliot’s hands on Quentin’s thighs, soaking up the heat of his skin. “I don’t wanna stop either. Because I am…” Eyes locked on Quentin’s face, Eliot’s hands started to move. Up and up and up again. “Very attracted to you, Quentin.” Eliot’s eyes flicked downward. Quentin’s chest, his belly, the rigid, blushing line of his dick. “And this gorgeous little body of yours.”

Under the press of Eliot’s hands, Quentin’s body trembled. The force of it some pneumatic thing, almost tectonic in the way it shifted. Eliot settled the cups of his palms in the creases of Quentin’s thighs, and begged his heart to settle, and breathed.

“But if you do want me to stop…” Eliot pushed his hands up and up, circling the bony ridges of Quentin’s hips. “At any time, Quentin…” Offering a single, careful nod of his head, their eyes at last locking dead-center. “All you have to do is say.”

Quentin gripped the edge of the mattress with both hands, and nodded his head. “Okay.”

“Okay…” Eliot exhaled slowly, letting the line of his gaze flutter down. One hand folding soft around the shaft of Quentin’s dick.

Quentin gasped. Guttural, animal sounds punching up from his belly. Eliot soothed one hand along the flesh of his thigh, thumbing a bead of pre-come from his slit.

“Relax.” Eliot could hardly hear the sound of his own voice over the rushing of blood in his ears. “I’m gonna go really slow, okay?”

Eyes fixed on the sight of his cock in Eliot’s hand, Quentin nodded his head. Mouth gaping open, skin all aflame—Quentin’s chest shuddered with the force of his breaths. Holding his body like he was balanced on the edge of a needle. Like Quentin had been overfilled, and it was all he could do not to burst.

Quentin’s cock thumped hard in Eliot’s hand. Flesh of his glans slick and soft as velvet. Eliot pressed forward, let his mouth tumble open. Mapped a trail with the tip of his tongue across the ridge of Quentin’s slit. Lavishing the head all around, peppering the swell of it with kisses. Eliot could have lost himself for hours just like this. The salty splash of Quentin anointing his tongue like communion.

“Does that feel good, sweet boy?”

He’s so sweet I could swallow him whole.

Quentin screwed his eyes up tight and shook his head. “Feels—” A strangled sob punched out of his chest. Quivering like a string that had been plucked. Like at any moment he might snap. “Yeah…”

Eliot hummed, nuzzling soft against the head of Quentin’s dick. “You taste…” Purr of laughter, that deep-throated rumble. Eliot mouthed a trail all along Quentin’s shaft. “Just the way magic feels, you know that?” All the way down to the bottom, lavishing Quentin’s balls with his tongue, enveloping the length of his dick with one hand. “You taste like heaven…”

Peppering kisses all the way up to the tip, Eliot let his eyes click shut. Lips sealing wet and steady around the head of Quentin’s dick, lavishing all those nerves with the flat of his tongue. For one joyful instant, time itself seemed to stutter around them, brilliant and hazy. The very fabric of the universe coming undone. And then—oh god. Eliot felt the want of it pulse hot in his body like fever. Blossoming with it, almost sanctified—Eliot’s mouth was sinking down, down...

Quentin’s hands went to Eliot’s hair, fingers catching like hooks at the root. “Stop.

Panic struck Eliot like a knife to the heart. Pulling back so quickly he nearly bolted right out of his skin. Sitting back on his heels, everything spinny. Quentin’s cherry-dark face coming through in fragments and shards.

“Q…” Eliot curved a hand around Quentin’s trembling thigh. Salty taste of pre-come stark as madness on his lips. “Did I hurt—”

“I’m not gonna last.” The words flew from Quentin’s tongue with all the gentleness of a bullet. “I’m not—” Covering his face with the open palms of his hands, something like a sob wrenching out of his chest. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m—”

“Quentin.” Heart in his chest like a tidal wave swell, Eliot plucked Quentin’s hands from his face. “Hey…” Cupping a palm over Quentin’s cheek, he laughed. “You don’t have to last, okay? You—” He offered a smile, all the lights in his head going dark. “Do you think you’d like to fuck me instead?”

Oh.

Oh.

Oh fuck. Eliot hadn’t meant to—

“Oh—” The word on Quentin’s tongue was little more than air. “I don’t—” He shook his head. “I don’t think I would be very…” Averting his gaze, Quentin made a sound that might have been a sob or a laugh. “I don’t know…”

“I want you to.”

When was the last time Eliot had bottomed for anyone, let alone asked to be fucked? Six months, a year, maybe more.

“Are you, um—” Gaze flicking upward, Quentin pinched his brows together. Palms curving soft around the flesh of Eliot’s shoulders. “Are you sure?”

Eliot nodded his head, every last ounce of blood in his body rushing at once to his dick. “Very sure.”

Quentin’s hands slipped from Eliot’s shoulders up to his neck. Experimental little flickers of his fingers. Like he was only just now realizing he was allowed to feel Eliot’s skin. “Okay…” He said the words like he could hardly believe it, fingertips grazing Eliot’s hair at the nape. “Okay.”

Eliot lunged forward, kissing Quentin on the mouth. Once, quick and needy. “Okay,” he breathed, knocking their foreheads together before pulling away.

It all happened so quickly then. Stumbling feet, pounding heart, creaking mattress—suddenly Eliot was lying flat on his back in the middle of his bed. Nestling his head down into a pillow, letting his thighs flutter open like wings.

And Quentin—oh. Quentin was there, sight of him shifting and nebulous. Fumbling hands uncertain and empty, mattress dipping gently down under his weight. He was close enough now for Eliot to feel the heat of his skin. The look on his face some heady mix of excitement and terror. It was the exact expression Quentin had been wearing the very first moment they met.

“Um, so—” Eliot tucked his knees back tight, bracketing his chest, reaching down between his legs with one hand. “There’s a spell. For prep…”

Quentin shook his head, eyes locked dead-center on Eliot’s face. Like he was terrified to look anywhere else. “Okay.”

“I can just—” Eliot’s hand was moving before his mind could register thinking. Fingers pressed tight to his fluttering rim, the words of Ancient Greek slipping from his tongue like water. And then, all at once—he was—Eliot was—

Oh god. Oh fuck. The magic took hold, and Eliot gasped a breath, nearly choking on the sound in his throat. Somehow, he’d managed to forget just how intense this particular spell could be. Leaving his body slick and gaping in an instant. Tips of his finger slipping right in where they were pressed against his entrance.

“Here—” Half out of his mind, Eliot reached for Quentin, caught him by the flesh of his wrist. “Come closer. Come—come close.”

The spread of Quentin’s knees went wide as an opening door. One hand circling the base of his dick, the other pressing flat to the back of Eliot’s thigh. “Um, so—” He drew a breath and let it shudder out. “Hi.”

“Hi.” Eliot couldn’t help the laugh that stuttered out of him then. “God, look at you, baby...” Baby baby baby. Reaching forward, his hand pressed flat to Quentin’s chest right over his heart. “Go on. Put that gorgeous dick inside of me, Q.”

Swiftly, Quentin gave a little nod of his head. That soft pink mouth hanging open, dark hair obscuring his face half in shadow. He pushed forward—velvet head of his cock licking sweet as honey against the slicked-up rim of Eliot’s entrance. And just like that—just like that—

Quentin was slipping right in. And Eliot was blooming. And and and—

A single thrust of Quentin’s hips, shallow and uncertain. Eliot’s dick thumped hard where it was pressed to his belly. The world in his vision flaring white, flicking out like television static. Quentin made a sound like he’d been wounded, and before Eliot could hope to register what was happening—his body was empty. Quentin’s hand a radiant blur where it worked along the length of his own dick. And everything that had been so slick and so perfect only a second ago was suddenly falling apart.

Quentin’s whole body seemed to convulse, face a shock of bruising terror. Like he was witnessing the end of the world right then. Like Quentin might have been the one to end it. Ruining everything with a sob in his chest, cock spurting warm and sticky all over Eliot’s fluttering rim.

He stroked himself clean through to the aftershocks, eyes never once catching on Eliot’s face. And when it was over, Quentin nearly collapsed. Shoulders slumped and heavy as he turned his body away. Curling in on himself down at the foot of the bed, his back to Eliot, knees tucking up tight to his chest.

For a long moment after, Eliot could only lie there, sticky and trembling. His own dick still so hard it was impossible to think. His slicked-up hole clenching tight around the empty space where Quentin’s body had only just been.

Choking down the disappointing nothing of it all, Eliot forced his limbs to work. Crawling down to Quentin where he was lying at the foot of the bed, touching him softly on the shoulder. “Hey—”

Quentin gasped and wrenched away from the touch. “If you tell anyone about this,” he said, turning his tear-slick face to his shoulder, “I’ll never talk to you again.”

Days went by after that. Days and days. Seconds and minutes and hours all smudging together like ink on a page. Eliot couldn’t stop playing the memory over in his head, torturing himself with it really. The moments just before Quentin had bolted—the fumbling, the tears. The way, no matter how sweetly Eliot had begged him, Quentin wouldn’t turn back around and listen to reason.

Each night that passed without the two of them speaking closed around Eliot’s heart like a fist. But Eliot was nothing if not an old hand at pretending. Keeping Quentin’s secret was the only thing that mattered now. Or rather, making damn sure that Margo never knew. He’d walk around aching until the stars went dim if it meant Quentin never once had to feel that particular brand of shame.

At night, under a heavy blanket of moonless dark, Eliot would lie awake for hours with himself. The heady scent of Quentin lingering there on his unwashed sheets, clinging like a ghost to his bed. He’d touch himself and think of Quentin’s come splashing sticky-hot all over his skin. Smoking cigarettes down one after the next until the whole world turned to ashes on his tongue. Drinking himself into a blank and dreamless slumber only to wake in the fitful light of morning to start the pretending all over again.

The next weekend barreled in like a hurricane. The same party with the same people—the same drugs, the same music—springing up in the Cottage right where it had always been. Where it would be, Eliot figured, until the heat death of the universe at last found a way to bring it all to an end.

Eliot made himself a drink and packed a bowl and curled up on his lonely little perch in the corner. Smoking and drinking in equal measure until his lungs ached and his stomach burned all the way to the bottom. Eyes on the party—dark puffs of magic that fluttered against the ceiling like balloons. Twisting, hysterical fragments of faces. Bodies levitating in the middle of the makeshift dance floor. Across the room, a Physical Kid whose name Eliot couldn’t remember was making fire shimmer in the palms of his hands.

A full hour passed before Eliot decided he couldn’t take it anymore. Tottering off to the kitchen in some halfhearted attempt at clearing the fog from his head. He went to the fridge and opened the door and stood in the soft yellow haze of the light spilling forward, cool air fluttering over his skin like kisses. He’d only just shut his eyes and let his mind drift away when a voice at his back sent his heart plummeting down to the floor.

“I want you to stop looking at me.”

Quentin. Godshitfuck.

Eliot whipped his body around so quickly he nearly toppled over. Slamming the door of the refrigerator shut with a little puff of magic from one hand. “Quentin.” Sucking a breath, pushing it out. Running both hands down the front of his vest, feigning some modicum of composure. “Can you, um…” He let a laugh stutter out, or something like it. “Can you say that again?”

“You were looking at me,” Quentin said, eyes red-rimmed and swollen, like he hadn’t slept in days. “I want you to stop.”

Eliot squinted, trying to think. It was like someone had come along and stuffed cobwebs into his brain. “Um—” Had Quentin even been at the party? “Q, I haven’t seen you all—”

“I don’t care.” Quentin huffed, running a hand over the top of his head. “You can’t just—” Wobbly-lipped, he averted his gaze, casting his eyes down onto the floor. “You have to stop looking at me, okay?”

“Okay…” Eliot let the word breathe right out of him like surrender. “I won’t look at you anymore, Q.”

“Okay.” Quentin shoved his hands down into the pockets of his jeans. “Thank you.”

Quentin turned around, started shuffling away. At once—Eliot lunged forward, reaching out with one quivering hand. “Wait.”

Quentin froze in the doorway, turning back to Eliot. Messy curtain of his hair obscuring half his face. “I just wanna go to bed, okay?”

“Okay.” Eliot chanced another step in Quentin’s direction, locking onto the line of his gaze. “But will you please just let me say one thing?”

Quentin visibly tensed, ducked his head. He wasn’t saying anything, but he offered a little shrug of his shoulders.

“You don’t have to be embarrassed.” Eliot regretted the words the moment they left his mouth. That was never what Quentin needed to hear, and he knew it. “Fuck—I’m sorry, look—” Sighing with his whole chest, heart like a sputtering engine. “Would it help if I told you my first time was even worse than yours?”

Face flaring brightly, Quentin met Eliot’s eyes for a fraction of a second. “I don’t believe you.”

“You don’t have to believe me.” The words slipped from Eliot’s tongue softly as a kiss. “But it’s true.” Palms outward in the space between them, like he was offering Quentin the world. “Homecoming. Senior year…” He paused, waiting for Quentin to meet his eyes again. “We ditched our dates for the bed of his shitty old pickup truck…”

A beat of silence. Quentin blinked. “I’m listening.”

In Eliot’s chest—a thread of something like hope. He pinched it there between his fingers, started tugging it out from his heart. “We made out for a little while. It was—” He laughed. “Really bad. I was—” Flashes of memory then. His clumsy tongue, his fumbling fingers. “So bad at it. And then…” He took a single step in Quentin’s direction, not yet close enough to touch. “He touched me.” His eyes flicked down the line of Quentin’s body and back again. “Over my clothes. He started rubbing my dick, and…” He grinned. “That was it. I blew my load inside my JCPenney chinos and proceeded to give my not-date the worst blow job anyone has ever given in the history of mouths or dicks.”

Quentin’s throat bobbed as he swallowed. “Yeah, well,” he said, averting his gaze, “I still think mine was probably worse.”

Another step nearer. It was now or never. Eliot reached forward, curved his hand around Quentin’s sweater-clad shoulder. “Look, Q, this isn’t…” He tried a laugh but hardly felt it. “This isn’t the Shitty First Time Olympics, okay? Literally everyone’s first time is bad.” He let that sit for a moment, reminding his body to breathe. “But if you’ll let me…” Slowly, Quentin locked onto Eliot’s soft-eyed gaze. “I would really like to help make your second time a little better.”

Quentin held his body still and rigid, hardly breathing. Eyes wide as two dark moons swallowing all the light of his face. “I—” He started and stopped, shaking his head. “I don’t know why you’d want to do, um… you know. That. With me. Ever again.”

Eliot pushed a little closer, touching Quentin on the slope of his neck. “Because,” he said, voice nearly breaking, “I do.” Slowly, he pressed the open palm of his other hand to Quentin’s face, holding onto him so gently. “Do you trust me?”

Mouth twitching, eyes damp—Quentin nodded his head. “Yeah, El, I do. But I’m—” He huffed all the air from his lungs, brows pinched tightly together. “I’m not sure I trust myself.”

“Well...” Eliot’s voice was soft as a feather. That thread of hope inside his chest unfurling like a wing. “How about you let me trust you for the both of us, hm?”

Three drops of sober-up potion under his tongue. Eliot killed all the lights in the room, breathing an orb of illumination to life between the open palms of his trembling hands. With a little puff of magic he sent it floating up to the ceiling. The tiniest sun, no bigger than an apple. Just enough light to splash like a golden shadow there over their heads.

Quentin was sitting on the foot of the bed, folding in on himself a little more by the second. Arms hugged tight against his middle, like a knot waiting for Eliot’s hands to coax it undone.

Eliot went to him there in an instant, went down to his knees on the floor. Reaching up, folding his hands around the sides of Quentin’s face. “Can I ask you a question?”

Arms going slack around his middle, Quentin nodded his head.

“You watch porn,” Eliot said. It wasn’t exactly a question.

Quentin pinched his brows together. “Who doesn’t?”

Eliot’s mouth curled up, hands soothing down to Quentin’s shoulders. “Let’s just focus on you, okay?” Palms slipping down the lengths of Quentin’s arms, coming to rest on his hands, their fingers all tangling together. “When you watch porn, can you tell me what gets you off the most?”

“I don’t, um—” Quentin laughed, the sound of it all nerves and anticipation. “I don’t know how to answer that.”

“Cone of silence, remember?” Eliot lifted one of Quentin’s hands to his lips, pressed a kiss to the tip of one bony knuckle. “Nothing you say or do in this room ever leaves.”

Cheeks stained scarlet, Quentin nodded his head. “Um, so—” He plucked one of his hands away from one of Eliot’s, started flapping it around like a little broken wing. “I guess just, like—blow jobs are really, um—really good…” Squeezing his eyes shut, he huffed a little breath from his nose. “I guess I like it when, um—when, you know—” Nervous fit of laughter, a little shake of his head. “When the girl or—or the guy, um—when they—they ride—”

“Do you want to ride me, Quentin?”

Quentin’s eyes snapped open, and Eliot’s heart launched itself up into his throat. The words had flown from his lips without any thought behind them. There was only the wanting. His dick swelling to full hardness at once down inside his slacks.

“Oh—” The word punched out of Quentin’s throat like a whimper. “I don’t, um—I don’t—”

“You don’t have to.” Eliot’s hands flew to Quentin’s face at once. He didn’t think he’d ever wanted anything more in this life than this. He wanted Quentin more than booze or drugs or magic. “If you don’t want—”

“I want to!” Quentin sucked a breath, mouth snapping shut in an instant. “Sorry, I—” He ducked his head, voice dimming to little more than a whisper. “I want to, El. I do. I just, um—you’re so—”

“Hung like a mythical creature?” Eliot’s hands went to the nape of Quentin’s neck, offering teasing little flickers of his fingers. Heart pounding so loudly in his chest he wondered if Quentin could hear it.

Quentin raised his eyes to Eliot then. “Yeah,” he said, a broken little laugh punching out of his chest. “Something like that.”

“Well…” Eliot’s fingers slipped against the hair at Quentin’s nape. “If you’re on top…” Just the thought of it was enough to make Eliot’s cock thump between his legs. “If you’re on top, you can take as much or as little as you want, sweet boy.” Pressing forward, he ghosted the curves of their lips together. Close enough to kiss, close enough to devour. “You can control the pace. And with that handy little spell…”

“Oh…” Quentin sucked a breath and pushed it out, quivering there under Eliot’s hands. “I forgot about the spell.”

“The spell is…” Eliot knocked their foreheads together, pecking Quentin on the mouth. Once, so soft and so sweetly. “Really good. Maybe my—my favorite…”

“Okay…” Quentin reached forward with one hand, taking Eliot by the knot of his tie, kissing him on the mouth again. “I, um—I want to try…”

Eliot’s pulse stumbled in the column of his neck. “Okay,” he said, touching Quentin’s neck, his face. “Can I ask you one more question?”

Quentin’s hand on Eliot’s tie went slack and fell away. “Yes,” he said, voice hardly a whisper. “Yes…”

Eliot sat back on his heels, studying the soft pink features of Quentin’s face in the dim. “Is there…” He steeled himself, breathing, breathing. Slick palms of his hands curving down over his thighs. “Is there anything you’ve fantasized about that you want me to do to you? Or maybe…” Down between his legs, his dick jumped in time with his heart. “Maybe something you’d like to do to me?”

Quentin opened his mouth and snapped it shut a half dozen times before any words would come. “Um, I—I don’t know…” A sound purred out of him that might have been laughter. “Maybe…” He drew a breath, long and deep. Like he was trying to pull his nerve up from the hollow of his belly. “Could I maybe put my mouth on…” His voice was trembling out of him, soft and devastating. “You know…”

“Oh…” The points of Eliot’s fingers pressed into his thighs nearly hard enough to bruise. “Do you fantasize about sucking dick, Q?”

The breath that Quentin drew seemed to echo. “Yeah,” he said, voice little more than a figment. “All the—all the time.” He let that sit for a moment, trembling. Casting his eyes down onto his shoes. “Yours…”

Oh.

Oh.

Eliot’s heart battered his ribcage like a fist. “You fantasize about sucking my dick?”

Quentin’s cheeks had flushed the color of deep red wine. Shock of it cutting clean through the golden dim. “I always, uh—always wondered. About you, I mean. And then I—I saw it and—” White knuckling the edge of the mattress, he sucked a breath and shook his head. “I just—I couldn’t stop thinking about—every night I—”

“Hey.” Eliot was pressing forward without thinking, taking Quentin’s face in his hands. “I think about you too.”

Quentin lifted his eyes to Eliot’s face. “You do?”

Eliot nodded, thumbed at Quentin’s cheeks. “Every night. Right here in this bed…”

Quentin blinked once, twice. Like he was trying to peck out a code. “Oh…”

It was like his whole body had been soaked in molasses. Slow and trembling, Eliot plucked his hands away and pulled himself up from the floor. Brume of desire making everything hazy. “So,” he said, pressing in between the spread of Quentin’s legs, “you wanna help get me out of these clothes?”

Eliot cradled the fire of Quentin’s upturned face, watching the stars in his eyes as they shimmered and danced. Slowly, slowly—Quentin nodded his head, two tentative hands reaching forward, taking Eliot by the leather of his belt.

Eliot pulled his hands from Quentin’s face. “Go on,” he said, torrent of blood in his ears near the point of deafening. “It’s all yours, Q.”

For a long moment, Quentin was perfectly still. Eyes tumbling down to his own hands where they were wrapped around that length of leather, the shining silver buckle of Eliot’s belt. But then, all at once, like something had been ignited in him, he started fumbling the buckle undone. And suddenly—Eliot had no idea what he was supposed to do with his hands. Shaping them into anxious little knots at his sides. Pulse like a kick pedal drum in his neck. Watching as the two ends of his belt flapped loose, and Quentin lifted his watery gaze.

Eliot nodded his head, voiceless and quivering. Like he’d never been touched this way by a man before. Quentin reached forward, curving one tentative palm around the bulge that strained the front of Eliot’s slacks. Eyes locked dead-center on Eliot’s face, Quentin gave his cock the gentlest squeeze. Almost experimental, uncertain in the way his fingers flickered.

A little sound pushed its way out of Eliot’s throat when Quentin popped the button on his slacks. “Wait,” he said, voice quaking. Totally natural. Totally not losing his mind over the thought of Quentin Coldwater sucking his dick. “Just, um—” Cheeks like kindling catching a spark, Eliot shook his head, watched as Quentin pulled his hands away. “I should take this stuff off.” Gesturing to his torso—his tie, his shirt, his vest. “Make it easier…”

Doe-eyed and blushing, Quentin nodded his head. “Okay.”

“Okay,” Eliot said, taking a single step back. Shaky fingers shaping the tut to undo all the buttons on his vest in one fell swoop.

He shrugged out of his vest and tossed it away. Tugging at the knot of his tie, pulling it up over his head—it was gone in a blink. Jesus fuck—he couldn’t stop the shaking. He could hardly stand to look at Quentin for fear he was going to burst. Eyes cast down on his own hands as he untucked his shirt. Undoing all the buttons down the center with a jittery puff of magic.

His shirt joined his vest and tie in a heap on the hardwood. Slowly, Eliot’s hands went down to his slacks, shoving at the metal of his zipper, snick of it filling his head like a pulse. Letting all that dark fabric tumble down to his knees and—jesus fuck he was still wearing his shoes. Suddenly, it was like he’d never once gotten undressed before. Face flaring brighter than Quentin’s had ever been, Eliot had to plonk down on the foot of the bed to keep from falling over.

“Sorry,” Eliot said, laughing a little. Tugging his shoes from his feet and letting them thud down onto the floor. “Maybe I should just, um—” Gesturing with one hand, peeling a sock away with the other. “On the bed…”

“Yeah…” Quentin’s eyes were on Eliot, warm and steady. “Okay.”

Pulse a stampede in his temples, Eliot pressed his bare feet to the floor. Lifting his hips, shoving his slacks and boxers down to his ankles—with trembling feet he kicked them away. A voice in his head that sounded not unlike Margo’s suddenly cutting clean through the fog. Unbunch your ball sack and remember who you are. A prayer for Eliot’s jittery hands. A mantra for his stuttering heart.

Quentin’s eyes on his body like hands, Eliot crawled up onto the bed, slumped against the headboard, a mound of pillows like spun sugar clouds cradling his back. Cock pressing thick and heavy to his belly, he stretched his legs out long, bunched his hands into fists, and breathed.

Quentin tottered up to his feet the moment Eliot was settled. “Maybe, um…” He shook his head, already reaching for the hem of his sweater. “Maybe I should take my clothes off too?”

“Yeah, baby…” Baby baby baby baby. “Let me…” Voice dropping low, smooth like honey. Remember who the fuck you are. “Let me see that gorgeous little body.”

Quentin gave a little nod of his head, averting his gaze. Tugging his sweater off and tossing it alongside Eliot’s heap on the floor. His shoes, his socks, his belt, his jeans. His boxers that he peeled away like shedding skin…

It was over in a blink. Quentin pressed one knee to the foot of the bed, face flaring bright as the wick of a candle. “Um—” He paused, ducking his head. Like all at once he was losing his nerve. “So—”

“Come to me.” Eliot reached across the distance with one hand. “Just you and me, remember?”

On hands and knees, Quentin crawled to Eliot then, the mattress dipping softly under his weight. “So…” He huffed a breath, sitting back on his heels between the parting of Eliot’s thighs. “Hi.”

“Hi.” Eliot breathed the word, pressing one hand to the curve of Quentin’s bare shoulder. The other falling down, down… wrapping around his own cock at the base. “You wanna put your mouth on me, sweet boy?”

Quentin’s whole body went tense as the edge of a blade. “Yeah…”

Tunnel vision. Everything dreamy and soft-filtered. “Yeah…” Eliot took Quentin by the nape and pulled him forward. Softly, slowly—watching as Quentin went down to elbows and knees. “I’ve got you. Right here… I’ve got…”

Sound of his voice fluttering away, away. Guiding Quentin’s soft pink parting mouth down and down and down. Rushing of blood in Eliot’s head like water. Watching as Quentin’s tongue darted out, his eyes tipping upward, locking onto the crimson shock of Eliot’s face.

Quentin licked a stripe along Eliot’s most sensitive part—the glans, thick and swollen, plucking a gasp from the dark of his throat. Eliot pulled his hands away, shaped them into fists at his sides, letting Quentin take and take. Heat of his mouth sealing wet around the blushing head—Quentin sucked. Holding himself steady for one toe-curling instant before pulling back with a pop.

“Does it…” Quentin breathed, cheeks blazing. One uncertain hand wrapped around the shaft of Eliot’s dick at the base. “Does it feel good?”

“Feels incredible…” Eliot’s voice croaked out, like it was coming from someone else, warble of it hardly human. “Do it again.”

Quentin dove back in, sound in his throat a heady mix of shock and hunger. He sealed his mouth around the head, sinking down, down. Taking an inch or two before pulling back. And gasping a breath. And pushing down again. Working up a jittery, sputtering rhythm.

“That’s so good, Quentin.” Eliot fisted one hand in Quentin’s sweat-damp hair, toes curling hard down into the mattress. “Just like—yes. A little less teeth, all right? That’s perfect. Don’t try to take—just focus on the head. Fuck yes, that’s so—” Fuck. Eliot’s thighs had started to tremble. Tugging Quentin back by the roots of his hair, watching as a shining string of spit glistened between them, connecting their bodies together. “You’re so—so fucking good at that...”

Quentin swiped his tongue along the swell of his bottom lip, and nodded his head, and dove back in with a snarling hunger. In truth—he sucked dick exactly like a virgin. All sideways enthusiasm and terrible technique. But—jesus fucking fuck it was Quentin. And from where Eliot was slumped, that alone made up for the lack of everything else. That alone was enough to make him want to blow his load right there. Enough to make him want to ruin everything.

“It’s so wet…” Eliot was babbling, Quentin’s over-eager tongue swirling patterns over the head of his dick. “It’s so…”

Eliot was losing himself. He was drowning. His balls drawing up tight as a fist, clenched taut as the skin of a drum. With a fistful of Quentin’s sweat-damp hair he tugged. His dick slipping wet and heavy from Quentin’s parted lips, thwacking hard against the plane of his belly.

“Fuck—” Eliot laughed, his hand in Quentin’s hair going slack and falling away. “You’re making me feel so good, Q.” He soothed a hand along the top of Quentin’s head, cupped the blazing slope of his cheek. “It’s so good, but—” He was laughing again. Remember who you are. “How about you let me show you that spell now, hm? Get you ready to take my dick.”

“Oh…” Dark-eyed and trembling, Quentin pulled away. Sitting back on his heels, he swiped a hand across his mouth. “Okay.”

“Okay…” Eliot slumped down a little deeper into his mound of pillows, heels of his feet digging to the mattress. “Come here. Straddle my hips…”

With a little guidance from Eliot’s hands, Quentin got himself into position, holding onto the headboard to keep his body steady. Eliot’s palms moved to the velvet-soft flesh of Quentin’s ass in an instant, the hard lengths of their cocks brushing together.

“There’s, um—” Eliot let the softest laugh puff out in the space between them. Looking up at Quentin who was looking down at him, that soft brown hair falling into his eyes. “There’s really no good way for me to prepare you for how this is going to feel. It’s—” He gave Quentin’s ass the softest squeeze. “Intense but... not unpleasant? Just…” With a little nod of his head, Eliot breathed and breathed. “Just try and relax, okay?”

Quentin nodded, breaths rippling through his body in anxious little waves. “Can I, um…” Leaning in, in—so close Eliot could almost taste him. “Can I kiss you while you do it? The—the spell I mean...”

Eliot’s mouth curled up, palms skimming the flesh of Quentin’s backside, up and down again, soothing circles. “You’re just the sweetest thing, aren’t you?” It was too tender. Too much. Eliot was melting, sinking down through the mattress, through the floor. He was going, he was gone. “I have to say a little incantation, all right? But after...” He nuzzled the tips of their noses together. “Right after, baby.” Baby baby baby fuck. “Right after I finish, I want you to kiss me.”

Quentin knocked their foreheads together, and sighed. “Okay.”

It took every bit of concentration Eliot had left to get the tut just right. Tips of his fingers pressed tight against Quentin’s soft, warm, untouched entrance. Seeking out that place inside where no one else had ever been. He said the words of Ancient Greek slowly, carefully. Syllables like drops of honey dripping sweet from the curl of his tongue.

The spell took hold in an instant, and Eliot could feel it. The exact moment his magic slipped from his body and into Quentin’s. The exact moment Quentin was—oh god. Slick clean pink warm. Dripping and open. Practically begging for Eliot’s body to slip right in.

Quentin made a strangled sound, his lips latching onto Eliot’s. Fuck. Everything going sideways there in the rush. The tips of Eliot’s fingers slipping in, in. Just a little, just enough…

“Here…” Eliot plucked his fingers free, cupping Quentin’s ass with both hands. Hungry lips still seeking Quentin’s even as he spoke. “Lift up. Just like—yeah, baby. Just like that.” One hand around the base of his dick, the other holding Quentin strong and steady. “Just—just sink down on—just—just a little, don’t—don’t try and take too much, don’t—”

But Quentin was already there, using the headboard as leverage, letting gravity do the rest of the work. Practically balancing right on the tips of his toes. His knees nearly reaching up to Eliot’s shoulders, Quentin was sinking down, and Eliot was falling. And everything was happening so quickly it was like the ground beneath the bed was dragging them under, swallowing them whole.

“Quentin—” It was all Eliot could do to keep hold of Quentin’s body as he quivered and shook. “Don’t try—don’t try and take—it’s too much, baby—too much—too—”

Quentin made a sound, some full-throated song wrenching up from his bones. Eliot knew that feeling—oh. The one where your body was being split open, and everything was hollow and bare for one shining instant before you were filled to the brim. Before you were spilling over with it, pleasure sloshing right over your edges like water in a glass. He was trembling, half-seated on Eliot’s dick. The magic doing exactly as it had been created to do. Making everything wet and slippery-smooth. Quentin sank down a little bit deeper, and then he started to move.

The headboard ticked against the wall with every shallow thrust. Quentin was writhing, howling like an animal. Head tossed back, hips rocking in a wavy, stutter-stop motion. Eliot’s mouth was babbling, fingers slipping and sticky against the flesh of Quentin’s ass, his back, his hips. His dick so hard inside of Quentin’s body he was pretty sure it was going to kill him. Pulse in his temples pounding with such intensity he could hardly hear or think. He held on as best he could manage, and screwed his eyes up tight, and let Quentin take and take and take and—

“Is it—” Quentin was suddenly kissing Eliot on the mouth. Kissing and panting and whimpering so sweetly. “Is it good? Is it—”

“Oh, baby—” Baby baby baby baby baby. “Feels so good. Like heaven, baby—you’re so—so warm, so wet, so—”

“Will you tell me—” Quentin’s pace had suddenly quickened, taking Eliot impossibly deep. Bouncing and moaning like something he’d almost certainly seen in a thousand different scenes online. Thank you, magic, Eliot was thinking. Thank you, Ancient Greece. “Will you tell me that it’s—that it’s good…”

Jesus fucking—this was it. This was Eliot’s end. “Oh, sweet baby—” Eliot pushed a sound up from deep in his belly. Holding Quentin so close, so close. Like they’d melded together right there in the center. “It’s so good. You’re so—” Feet pressed to the bed for leverage, he bucked his hips once, hard, thrusting into Quentin all the way. All the way. “You’re so good, Quentin. The best—”

Quentin pulled up and slammed his body back down. And just like that—he was coming. Spurting hot and sticky all over Eliot’s belly, all the way up to his chest, the shining ridge of his collarbone. Hips still working as he shuddered his way through an orgasm so intense Eliot felt it in his blood, his teeth. He felt it in the center of his bones.

It took a long, dreamy moment for Eliot to register that he was coming too. Warmth spreading from his balls to his dick, up the column of his spine in slick, pulsing tendrils. Pleasure so all-consuming it whited out the edges of his vision. Tickling over the nape of his neck, warm as the hands of a lover.

Eliot kissed Quentin on the sweat-slick curve of his shoulder, and just like that they were through. His softening dick slipping free of Quentin’s body. Quentin’s body toppling sideways onto the bed. Shuddering, laughing. Saying something so garbled and broken Eliot couldn’t hope to make sense of the sound.

“Hey, hey…” Eliot followed right after, all sticky, sweat-damp skin and quivering lungs. He curled his sated body around Quentin’s there on the bed, and held him. “Tell me,” he was saying, voice distant beyond the rushing of blood in his ears. “Tell me how you feel, sweetheart.”

“I…” Quentin turned his head, gazing at Eliot over the boundary of his shoulder. “I wanna do it again.” He was laughing, laughing. “Tell me we can do that again.”

“Oh…” Eliot pressed his mouth to Quentin’s sweat-slick temple. “Baby, we’re going to do it again. Don’t you worry.”

“Good,” Quentin said, a grin spreading over his face bright enough to rival the sun. “That was—” He huffed a laugh from his nose. “So much better than I thought it would be. And I—” Laughing, laughing. His whole body was trembling with the sound. “I thought it was going to be really fucking good.”

Eliot hummed, nuzzling into the hair at Quentin’s nape. “Oh, Quentin,” he purred, “you have no idea.” He pressed a kiss to Quentin’s shoulder, and smiled. “You have no idea how good I’m going to make it for you.”

“Yeah?” Quentin was breathless.

“Yeah,” Eliot said, fingers skittering down the expanse of Quentin’s torso. Cupping that soft, warm, sated, perfect dick in the palm of his hand. “We can start again right now, baby.”

Baby, baby, baby…

In the cup of Eliot’s palm, Quentin’s dick started to fill. Like magic. Like their bodies were casting a spell there together. Like they’d always been meant to find one another like this. Like this moment might be theirs to keep until the stars went dim.

“Right now…” Quentin was laughing again. He was laughing. He was shattering apart. “Yeah, I think right now works for me.”