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it was you he gave me

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The tattoo artist traces Alex’s thigh with a gloved finger as she grabs the needle, brows furrowed as if she’s trying to make sense of the lettering. “This is beautiful ,” she says, awe in her voice. Alex feels a sort of pride surge through him. “Who’s the poet?”

Alex smiles. “If I tell you, can you keep a secret?”


“Um, baby?” Alex shifts from where he’s leaning over the bedside table to look at his boyfriend. “Is there a reason there’s a pen in our sex toy drawer?”

Henry blinks. “What?”

“A pen.” Alex fishes the fancy black pen out from where it’s resting among the collection of vibrators like a teenage boy’s ill-advised idea of a sex toy. Henry blinks again, sweat clinging to his lashes. His face is flushed red from before and his hair is mussed and damp, and somehow the sight of him is enough to distract Alex from the object in his hands for a few seconds. He impulsively leans in for a kiss, sliding one leg between Henry’s, thigh pressed against where Henry is hard and hot against his stomach. “Hen,” he whispers, an amused smile on his face, “I fucking love your writing, but I’d rather not have a pen shoved up my ass if possible.”

Henry makes a wounded noise, throwing a hand over his face as if he wants to hide. “That’s not what—” he tries but Alex kisses the words right out of his lips. Henry groans and gives him a scathing look between his fingers. “Alex, I’m trying—” Another kiss. Henry attempts to act upset but his free hand cups Alex’s side, his legs loosely wrapped around Alex’s, holding him in place as if he doesn’t want to let go. His blue eyes are dark when Alex finally pulls back and gives him a sweet smile.

“You were saying?” he says gently, tapping the pen to his lips. Henry sends him a glare.

“You’re a bloody demon.”

“Learned from the best, baby.” Alex presses his thigh down, earning another low moan from Henry before shifting to straddle his thighs. His cock, half-hard already, slides next to Henry’s, giving him the slightest bit of friction. He has to bite back his own whine as he thrusts just so along Henry’s cock. “I think,” he whispers, breathless, “you were telling me why exactly you thought the sex toy drawer was a good place for a pen.”

Henry’s nails dig into Alex’s thighs when he thrusts again, lazily this time, slow enough that he feels Henry twitch next to him. “There can be…sexy uses for a pen,” he grinds out, jerking his hips up into Alex’s cock. Alex bites down on his lip again but there’s no holding back his whimper. He grasps Henry’s ass tightly with one hand, moving his cock along his length in small circles.

“Writing erotica doesn’t count as a sexy use, baby, even if it is about me,” he argues, though the thought of Henry spilling his elegant words onto a paper for Alex is enough to bring him to a frenzy. He pushes himself closer to Henry’s cock, wrapping his fingers around the both of them—he didn’t grab lube after he got distracted by the pen, but with the sheer amount of precome dribbling down both their cocks, he doesn’t even need it. He moves his palm along their lengths and teases Henry’s tip.

“Cheeky,” Henry gasps, drawing small circles on Alex’s thighs. He whines against the feel of nails scraping against the sensitive skin, Henry’s fingers moving up his inner thighs to grasp at his balls. If he was only half hard before, he’s fully hard now, straining against his hand as they move in tandem. “You give yourself too much credit.”

“So you don’t write about me?” Alex presses his thumb on the sensitive skin right under Henry’s tip, watching him buck his hips trying to chase the sensation. Whatever retort he might’ve had dissolves into a moan. Alex grins. “I’m gonna take that as a yes.”

“Fuck you,” Henry bites out and Alex lets out a breathy laugh.

“Not with the pen, I fucking hope.” Henry gives him a scathing look, but when Alex pumps his fingers again it dissolves into hooded eyes and parted lips. He grasps Alex’s hips tightly.

“You’re not going to— Christ”— Henry’s words are interrupted with a moan when Alex twists his wrist and pumps his cock at the same time—“let the fucking pen go, will you?”

“I’m just curious, sweetheart.” Alex moves along Henry’s length, faster and rhythmless now as he chases his own pleasure. It’s barely been minutes and arousal is already curling in his stomach, steadily bringing him to the edge he’s oh-so-familiar with. “I wanna know,” he whispers, moving one hand to press the tip of the pen on Henry’s nipple. That, he thinks, is one sexy use as Henry arches into the touch and digs his nails into Alex’s thighs. “I wanna know what you’re thinking.”

“You bloody menace,” Henry whispers but there’s no heat behind his voice, really. Alex presses the pen down, moving his fingers along their cocks at the same time until Henry’s fingers close around his wrist. Deep blue eyes pierce his. “I could show you.” His thumb caresses Alex’s skin like it’s something to be revered before he moves to take the pen. “If you wanted.” There’s a kind of excitement behind Henry’s eyes that almost overshadows the pleasure, the kind he gets when he’s happy about a new idea. Slowly, Alex releases his hold around them and nods, letting go of his lip when he realizes he’s been biting it raw.

“Okay,” he says just so Henry has verbal confirmation. He lets Henry tug him close and flip him around so he’s hovering above Alex, pressing him into a searing kiss that turns Alex’s blood into molten lava. Alex scrambles to pull his thoughts together when Henry’s lips trail down to his neck. “As long as”—he has to stop when Henry bites down on his neck and extracts a moan from him—“you don’t shove it up my ass.”

Henry snorts against his skin. “I’m not going to shove the pen up your arse, Alex.”

“Just checking— fuck.” Alex’s next thoughts dissolve into nothing when Henry kisses him again, pushing his tongue into Alex’s mouth so harshly Alex loses all sense of direction. He’s completely melted into the sheets by the time Henry pulls back and settles between his legs, fingers trailing up Alex’s inner thighs. He spins the pen between his fingers like a fucking expert and Alex has to throw an arm over his face so he doesn’t make an embarrassing noise. “Fuck,” he repeats—he thinks it bears repeating. “Do you know how obscene you look right now?”

Henry stops. “With the pen?” he asks. Alex is about to shoot back a response when he sees the mirth in his eyes. “So you admit,” he continues, moving the pen over Alex’s chest like it’s the thing’s fucking purpose, “that pens can be sexy, as you call it?”

“Shut the fuck up.” Alex refuses to admit anything, but from the way Henry smiles he knows. He moves the pen around Alex’s nipple, watching the skin perk up, and then further down, resting it right next to his cock. His fingers are hot when they close around it.

“I’ll take that as a yes.” He leans down for a kiss, first over Alex’s chest, then his cock, making him forget why he was supposed to be mad at Henry in the first place. He loses himself in the sensation of Henry’s lips around his tip and his fingers framing his hip, the pen moving along the ridges of his abs, his hips, his thighs. Henry pulls back just as Alex jerks his cock up to chase the sensation. “In due time,” he says when Alex whimpers at the loss. He meets Henry’s gaze, as frenzied and aroused as Alex’s, and watches him pop the cap of the pen with his mouth.

Fucking obscene. Alex regrets ever claiming pens aren’t hot.

“You know why I like this pen?” Henry asks, and Alex wants to say something about how he’s using it to drive Alex crazy but he doesn’t get the chance. “It’s water resistant. Which means even if you sweat, even if you…” He stops momentarily, looking at Alex through his lashes. “…you come, the writing will stay. Kind of like a temporary tattoo.” Henry smooths Alex’s skin, nails moving over his collarbones like he’s thinking. Alex gathers what he’s thinking about just as Henry places the tip of the pen where his thumb was. He glances at Alex for permission.

“Fuck,” Alex breathes, scrambling to grasp any part of Henry to hold on. “Yes. Please. Mark… Mark me.” He watches Henry’s eyes darken before they drop down, onto the pen, and he begins to write.

It’s the weirdest sensation, to have the pen moving along his skin. It’s sharp and cold and Alex has to still his muscles so he doesn’t move away and ruin the words. Yet, he realizes soon enough, he doesn’t need to. Henry’s fingers are right there, rubbing the sting away. He follows the words with his kisses, holding Alex’s neck to keep himself steady, and soon enough Alex finds himself clenching his muscles so he doesn’t buck into Henry’s touch.

“I do, you know,” Henry whispers as he finishes the line along Alex’s collarbone, admiring his work with a smile. “Write about you, I mean. In case you were wondering.”

Alex’s voice is shaky once he finds it. “You’re telling me I’m the main character in some gay erotica?”

“Demon.” Henry pinches Alex’s nipple as punishment, though from the way Alex jerks into the touch you’d think it’s for his pleasure. “Sometimes,” Henry admits, adding a third line along Alex’s collarbone. “I write about all that you make me feel, love. Happiness and pleasure both.” He smooths the lines and finally his lips curl into a smile as he reads it.

“They said happiness is the taste of a woman’s lips
in a dark room
Yet in my darling’s mouth I found it
chasing it in the light of day.”

His eyes meet Alex’s and if he wasn’t actively fighting an orgasm, Alex thinks he might’ve gotten teary-eyed.

“Baby,” he croaks as Henry moves the pen along Alex’s chest. “That’s… Did you write…”

“You inspire me, love,” Henry admits almost shyly and Alex has to surge up to kiss him. The pen is stuck uncomfortably between them, Henry letting out a surprised noise at the back of his throat, yet he lets Alex pulls him close and melts into his skin. He’s smiling again by the time they part. “If I knew you’d react like that, I’d read them to you earlier.”

“Please,” Alex whispers, fingers tangled in the blonde waves of Henry’s hair. “Tell me more. Please.”

Henry kisses him one last time. “As you wish, my love.”

The pen moves along Alex’s skin, making him shiver and whimper in equal measure. The next one Henry places on Alex’s wrist, kissing it first before he presses down, the lines dripping from his fingers easily.

“I thought I’d only have you in my dreams.
Brown locks and long lashes, spread along your cheeks;
they tickle when you wake me up
with your kisses.”

“My lashes aren’t that long,” Alex tries to argue but it falls flat from just how emotional his voice sounds. Henry laughs and kisses his wrist again, tangling their fingers together for a moment before he moves on.  

His fingers move along Alex’s arms, then his neck, then down to his chest, right over his heart. Alex’s breath hitches in his throat when Henry presses the pen down.

“My heart was broken, lost, jagged
The edges curved, the corners frayed
Then you found it, love, traced it with the care of bloodied fingers
Then you found it, love, and fit yourself around it.”

This time, tears do prick Alex’s eyes. “You fucker,” he whispers, twisting his fingers around the blanket. “I’m gonna be so fucking mad if you make me cry before I come.”

“Shh,” Henry whispers, placing a gentle kiss on Alex’s lips. “I got you, love.” Henry brushes his thumb over the corners of Alex’s eyes, collecting the tears, and kisses him again until Alex melts, until he doesn’t feel the burn of his tears. Only then, Henry traces the lines down Alex’s chest to his hipbones, then further down, fingers curling around his thigh to push them up. Alex shivers when he kisses the sensitive skin, and then bites down, enough to leave a mark behind. Alex moans as his cock twitches over his stomach.

“Henry…” he whispers, the word a plea and a cry at once. Henry hums against his skin and hisses again, tapping the pen down as if he’s thinking. “Henry, please,” Alex tries. If Henry doesn’t get a fucking hand around his cock soon, he thinks he’ll explode.

“Shh, give me a moment.” He bites down again when Alex whines and smiles when the noise dissolves into a moan, Alex’s hips bucking off the bed. Finally, finally he presses the pen down onto his skin. His voice is low and sultry when he speaks.

“They said my desire’s twisted, kept it under lock and key
But, my darling, when I prayed to God
It was you he gave me.”

His voice trails off when he finishes, eyes flickering up to meet Alex’s gaze. There’s a sheen to his vision through the curtain of tears but Alex doesn’t wipe them away. Instead, he focuses on Henry, the brilliant smile on his face, the fingers rubbing soothing circles on Alex’s thigh. He leans in again for another kiss and then bites down lightly, sucking a mark right next to his words, claiming Alex as his in the exact way he wants to be claimed.

Alex is so in love it’s absolutely ridiculous, and yet he wouldn’t change a thing about it.

Once Henry chucks the pen aside and gets an actual hand around Alex, it doesn’t take long for him to come all over his chest. Henry keeps whispering poems in his ears—Alex can’t keep track of the words but it doesn’t matter nearly as much as Henry’s voice—and slides his cock along Alex’s, jerking them both together. Henry’s breathy laugh as he comes pushes Alex over the edge too, a moan ripped from his lips, fingers tangled in Henry’s hair.

That night, in the darkness of the room after Henry falls asleep, he traces the words over his skin, repeating them over and over again, Henry’s voice stark in his mind.


“Are those—” the tattoo artist starts before she clamps her mouth shut, face going completely pale. She moves her fingers away from the bruised skin. “Um…”

“You did sign an NDA,” Alex reminds her, biting the inside of his cheek so he doesn’t laugh. A flush rises to her cheeks.

“Right.” She turns to grab her supplies and keeps her eyes firmly on the writing. “And you’re sure you want to get the tattoo done?”

There’s no hesitation in Alex’s voice. “Yeah. I’m sure.”