“You look tired,” Connor says.
Jack slowly cranes his head to the right. He looks at Connor with suspicion, unhurried in his response, and then concedes. “I did eat a pretty big meal and buy this little treat to wash it down.”
He holds up his glass of beer. Connor shakes his head. Yeah, he’s had a couple, too. “Legal age. Just one of the ways that Canada’s more fun than the States.”
“Sure,” Jack says, rolling his eyes. It’s the reaction Connor was going for, so he laughs and slumps down in his seat more. Maybe fatigue isn’t just getting to Jack.
He’s not even sure how they’ve found themselves next to one another. It’s been a longer night than Connor anticipated. One season in the NHL, and he’d already let himself sort of forget that shutting down a hotel restaurant with guys all around his age is different than trying to have a late one among teammates with families.
He likes the atmosphere. The media for the World Cup has been over the top, but Connor always enjoys figuring out the rhythm of a roster.
A couple tables away, Scheifele’s listing. His head has to be less than a foot from knocking into Saad. Connor sways his knee to the side and bumps Jack. “Check it out,” he says, pointing.
Jack flinches. The buzz that Connor’s got going continues to make everything at least slightly hilarious, so he takes his turn to roll his eyes. It’s too far into the night for Connor to keep up with the weird lines Jack sets between them. They’ve done enough drills together that Connor feels fairly comfortable with everyone else, and Jack’s accommodating on the ice, but the camaraderie still stops as soon as their skate blades hit a mat.
Connor — well, he’s too buzzed to care right now. “Loosen up.”
He pats Jack’s thigh twice, two quick taps, and Jack glances down like he’s not sure why Connor’s hand exists at all. “I don’t get you,” he says, mouth screwed to the side.
Both Saad and Scheifele startle when the collision finally happens. Scheifele tips back in his chair and nearly wipes out. Laughter makes its way around the tables. Jack looks up late.
“Told you. You missed it,” Connor says. “And you have to make an effort to understand someone.”
“What?” Jack says, but it’s at the same time Johnny says his name, calling, “Jack. Jack! Tell this guy about us beating Gronk at poker.”
Morgan asks Connor if he wants another drink. “Thanks, yeah, um—” Connor says.
As he’s trying to decide which beer to try next, Jack turns to him again. “What did you mean?”
“Hm?” Connor says, glancing back at him. “Hold on.”
“You think I need to, what, be nicer to you?”
“I never—” Connor’s torn between trying to think about alcohol and Jack’s question. “Mo, never mind. Get what you want.” He looks at Jack. “This is probably the most you've talked to me since we got here.”
Jack drains the rest of his beer. “I’m nice.”
Connor shrugs. “Okay.”
“If I was avoiding you, I’d have to do a much better job than sitting right next you,” Jack says. “I don’t know why I’m automatically the bad guy.”
“I’ve never said that.”
“Like you'd need to.” Jack’s voice is a little tighter, cheeks flushed. Connor can’t help staring at the odd pattern the blush on his skin takes.
“What do you want from me, Jack?” Connor asks.
Jack half smiles, taken aback and like he can’t decide if he’s amused by the question. The sound he makes isn’t quite a laugh, caught off guard. “I don’t — need anything from you.”
“Everybody wants something from me.”
He doesn’t even really mean to say it, but once it’s out, Connor just sighs. He considers getting up to get a beer on his own, committing to an exit, but shifting forward makes him realize he never moved his fingers from Jack’s pant. Jack glances down too, reminded by the pressure, and Connor sits back again. His hand flexes on Jack’s leg, fingertips pulsing against the inside of his thigh. He can feel Jack’s muscles twitch. Connor lets his hand drag inward more, inching.
Jack inhales and seems to freeze, holding his breath. “What are you doing?”
Connor blinks, trying to shake the hazy feeling from his brain. Nothing. He got caught up in details. He pulls his hand back. He says, “What time is it?”
He should head upstairs and go to bed. Maybe no one’ll notice if he ditches this impromptu party early.
He looks at his watch and then glances around, determining the quickest way to the elevator. When he turns back, he notices Jack’s still eyeing him, the look measured.
“Shit,” he says. He clears his throat. “Connor.”
The way Jack tilts his head gives Connor an idea about what he might be wondering, but Connor’s not really in the mood to fill in the blanks.
Jack rolls the empty beer back and forth in his hand. “I don’t buy a lot of what people say about you, but,” he says. Something about the spin on the glass helps make it feel loaded. He raises his eyes. “Want to get to know me?”
It’s the first time all night that Jack’s bothered to angle his body toward Connor instead of slightly away. Connor should stick to his instincts from a second ago, but even Johnny’s paying attention to someone else now. No one has tabs on them.
Connor sits up in his seat, rocking in to get close to Jack’s ear as his hand finds Jack’s thigh again. Jack dipping his chin to meet him makes Connor smile as he says, “I’m heading upstairs. ‘Night.”
He stretches his arms, and then gets to his feet. A couple other guys notice him as he tries to move from behind the table. Connor gives them the same quick answer, saying goodbye. As he exits, he can’t help glancing back. Jack’s watching.
It’s late enough that there isn’t really anyone in the lobby. Connor walks through without incident and stands around for an elevator alone. The bell dings quicker than he expects, and he waits a beat but eventually goes in and lets the doors close.
His room is almost at the end of the hall. He’s feeling just floaty enough that dragging his fingertips against the smooth wall is soothing as he strolls.
At his door, he’s worried he dropped his key card downstairs for a moment but finds it in his back pocket.
“McDavid,” he hears. Jack’s at the mouth of the hallway, already heading in his direction.
He knows Jack’s room isn’t as far down. Connor watches him pass it up and keep coming closer. He waits until Jack’s only a few steps away, near enough that he can say, “Hey,” without having to shout.
Now that Jack is in front of him, he’s unsure about what to do next. He likes this part, though — when the nerves kick in.
“Are you tired, too?” he asks. It’s not a good line, but one of them needs to say something.
Jack licks his lips and inhales. “Wondering if one thing I heard is true.”
Connor lifts a shoulder. “I don’t know what you heard.”
It takes another step or two for Jack to move right into his space. Connor braces his waist. Jack glances down and doesn’t seem to get past Connor’s mouth as his eyes travel back up.
Connor almost speaks again, but Jack leans in and kisses him. He’s not tentative but soft. Opening up is easy for Connor. He could linger — make Jack sweat a little — but Connor’s wondering if he’s reading all the signals exactly right, too. Part of him is bracing in case Jack shoves back, confirming his hunch, and leaves Connor mortified. The other part notices Jack’s bottom lip is slightly chapped in a way that’s going to make Connor think about this kiss later, remember that it stuck out to him, that he was paying this much attention to the way Jack feels.
He finally pulls back enough to breathe and because he’s still holding his key card in mid-air. Connor says, “Come on.”
The beep of the door and little green light make him smile. Green means go, he thinks nonsensically. So, this is what he’s doing with his night.
He makes sure to flip over the top lock inside with one hand as he’s pulling Jack to him with the other. Jack presses him back against the wall, palm flat next to Connor’s head. His left is already sneaking underneath Connor’s t-shirt. The kiss was pretty good when it was slow, but it’s better harder, like Jack’s really focused now. Goal-oriented. Connor smiles against his lips.
“I almost thought I’d be calling your bluff,” Jack says, breathier than downstairs.
“Sorry to disappoint,” Connor says.
Jack’s laugh is clipped. “I’ll get over it.”
Instead of letting Jack grab for him again, Connor pulls at Jack’s shirt, dragging it higher. Jack lifts his arms to help. Obviously he’s been around Jack with less clothes on, stripping out of his gear, but Connor hasn’t had a chance to really look. He drops the t-shirt on the floor and swipes the flat of his hand over Jack’s abs, up across his nipple.
Jack’s broader in the chest than him. They’re all at their thickest right now, too — a summer of weight training and getting into the track meets of regular games. Connor wants to put his hands everywhere, try to figure out what makes Jack tick.
Jack cups Connor’s jaw as he sways forward again. Impressively, he doesn’t interrupt the kiss much when Connor nudges him back more, guiding him to the bed. Jack flops down on his ass when the backs of his legs bump up against the side.
He goes to undo the button on Connor’s jeans, pulling down the zipper. Connor stops him when Jack kisses his lower belly, something about it jarringly intimate. He pushes Jack back on the bed, lets him settle back on his elbows and looms over him.
“What’d you hear?” Connor asks.
It was alarming earlier this year when someone else first started the same conversation. He’s still not really sure how to handle having this kind of reputation, about it spreading past the O. The NHL’s been a bigger adjustment than he anticipated, but maybe this works, too, if people say his name in whispers, not just out of curiosity but because they’re hoping he’ll say yes.
Jack palms his cock and arches an eyebrow. Connor scoffs, but he bends to rest his hands on Jack’s thighs and drops to the floor.
“Whoa,” Jack says. “You’re serious.”
Connor laughs a little. The indignant expression that inspires in Jack comes and goes as soon as Connor pushes his hands along the inside of Jack’s legs. He feels eager to see Jack’s cock, like every new step they take levels the incriminating playing field.
Maybe that means they still don’t trust each other. Since Jack lets Connor tug his bottoms down, maybe it also doesn’t matter.
Jack wriggles down to the edge of the mattress. He’s not fully hard, but he exhales and cants his hips into it when Connor strokes him. Connor sits low on his knees and sucks on Jack’s balls.
“Shit. Connor,” Jack pants. Connor wishes he could record it: Jack saying his name like he’s yearning.
He licks the shaft from root to tip. Mouthing at the crown seems to rile him, Jack shifting to put a hand on Connor’s head. He isn’t forceful, but the flex of Jack’s fingertips says a lot.
“Impatient,” Connor says, sitting back on his knees. “Thought you were better than that.”
Jack grunts, low. His eyes shut, and he breathes in like he’s gathering himself. When he opens them, he’s figured out where some of his composure went so fast.
He rubs over Connor’s hair, almost friendly. “Tell me about you.”
Connor shakes his head, smirking, and ducks to give him what he wants. He hates that Jack’s funny. Connor’s always wanted to be better at keeping him guessing, but something about Jack makes him smile.
Jack hisses as Connor pushes down and moans when he pulls back again. Connor didn’t anticipate them ending up here, but he’s not really surprised either. Connor’s gotten used to the spectrum of ways people react to him. Many want to see if he’s friendly, some want to rattle him — on and on, all different kinds of tension, and he started learning that he can’t battle it but, when he’s lucky, he can get something out of it, too.
Connor can't control what people think they need him to be: an ally, an enemy, a fantasy. Jack can think whatever he wants about Connor while he’s on his knees. Connor just loves the way a cock feels pushing past his lips, the feel of it like nothing else, inherently dirty. He’s into the way guys sound when they feel good.
He learns that Jack curses a lot when he’s getting blown. Swearing under his breath between moans and gasps. He likes watching Connor let him slip almost all the way out, until he’s kissing the head and then parting his lips slowly, like he can’t help it, dragged down.
“Ohh, fuck,” Jack whispers. “That’s fucking hot.”
It takes a minute before Jack tries to nudge his hips up. Connor groans, encouraging. He presses his hand against his own cock inside his pants, over the underwear.
Jack falters, and Connor says, “You can.”
Fucking Connor’s mouth — that Jack is tentative about. He tightens his grip on Connor’s hair and lifts carefully. Chasing the feeling gets the better of him, though. Scooting up to plant his feet and really thrust helps. Connor feels worn, the edge of the bed cutting across his stomach as Jack pushes.
Connor can’t deepthroat.
He chokes, and Jack lets go immediately. Connor tries to swallow and heave in air. Jack touches his chin as he tries to sit up and asks, “Hey, are you—”
“I’m fine.” Connor pushes his hand away, dipping in take the head of Jack’s cock in his mouth. He doesn’t want Jack to talk. He wants to try again.
After a second stutter, Jack doesn’t push as deep, not even when Connor pinches his hip to aggravate him. Jack goes halfway, rough enough that it’s almost a challenge but not quite there. Connor sucks harder to spite him, wants the ache in his jaw.
By the time he starts to feel it, Jack’s breathing shallowly. A tremor shocks through him, and Connor grips Jack harder. He wants to leave a bruise, a reminder that he made Jack shake.
Connor sucks him until Jack loses the flow, barreling toward coming, and then he sits back. Jack’s cock falls from his mouth with a pop.
“What the hell,” he says. “You have to — come on, come on.” Connor yanks at Jack’s pants, makes them clear his feet completely, shoving his shoes aside. When he stands, Jack protests. “You’re not leaving me like this.”
Legs spread, face flushed. He’s wound so tight, on the edge. Connor crawls over his body and kisses him. Jack makes the most frustrated noise, the sound folding into a reluctant groan.
“What an asshole,” Jack mumbles.
“Let me fuck you.” Connor slides his hand down Jack’s stomach and encircles the head of his cock to feel him twitch. Turning to whisper in his ear, Connor says, “I heard something, too.”
Jack angles away, staring at Connor. His glare isn't as effective when his eyelids flutter in the middle, but he asks, “Do I get to come?” There’s some attitude despite Connor’s teasing touches.
“Want to find out?”
Connor kisses Jack’s cheek, and Jack says, “You're so irritating.” He bites back a whimper when Connor stops playing with him. “Tell me you have lube.”
Connor prefers to jerk off with it. “Yeah. No condoms, though.”
“I have a couple in my room,” Jack says, but he frowns. That's kind of far. “Screw it, whatever, just don't come in me.”
He hasn't been with many people who manage to look annoyed about sex. Conor kisses Jack’s soft scowl. For all his protesting, he gets it into easily, mouth pliant.
Pressing a wet finger inside him erases that look completely. Jack hitches his hips, working with Connor. His cock curves against his belly, leaking, and Connor’s tempted to taste him again, but he wants Jack to keep making needy sounds more.
“You go down easy,” Connor says.
“Look who’s talking.” Jack speaks through gritted teeth. “Another one.”
Connor wipes more lube over Jack’s rim, gets him so wet that he can hear the thrust of his fingers between their breaths. He kisses Jack’s abs, drifting higher until he can brush his mouth over Jack’s nipple, flicking it with his tongue. Jack sighs, his legs spreading wider, and Connor drags his teeth over sensitive skin.
Curling his fingers inside Jack makes him shudder. “Leave it — yeah, yeah,” Jack says, so Connor takes that as his cue to back off. Jack whines. “Don’t. No.”
“Sorry,” Connor says.
Jack shifts down, trying to fuck himself on Connor’s fingers. “I should just go jerk off.”
Connor kisses his collar and slides a third finger inside. He wants to see how long Jack will let him get away with stringing him along. Connor spreads his fingers carefully, stretching him. Any time Jack chokes on a breath, Connor eases his rhythm, changes the angle.
Twisting his fingers as he thrusts in makes Jack grunt and reach for his cock. Connor has to maneuver fast to catch his hand and pin it back on the covers.
“I thought you were gonna fuck me,” Jack says.
Connor smiles. He lets Jack lift his head to kiss him, nip at his mouth. “You really want it, huh?”
“If you don’t put your dick in me, I’m leaving.” Jack’s wrist jerks in Connor’s grip. He hasn’t made any real moves to go anywhere, but it adds punctuation to the threat.
Pulling out, Connor nudges Jack with slick fingers and says, “Turn over.”
He ditches his pants while Jack does. Connor lets Jack hump the bed a little, watching his ass flex. Connor smacks him as he knees his way up the bed again. “Try not to,” he says. Jack doesn’t have to listen, and he complains, but he does stop.
He shivers when Connor uses more lube, asks, “Jesus, how much do you need?”
“I like it,” Connor says simply. Instead of fisting his cock, he pulls Jack’s hips back, sliding along the cleft. He spreads Jack’s cheeks apart and grinds slowly.
Connor skates his thumb along the same dip. He takes his time making everything messy, until his fingers and cock and Jack’s ass are shiny with it in the light. Every time the head catches over Jack’s rim, he sighs longingly. His hips buck once, twice, but he doesn’t get himself off even though he curses.
“Do it,” Jack demands, thin.
Jack opening around head of Connor’s cock looks so good that he pulls out and does it a second time. He pushes in the tip and rocks, enjoying the view, the way Jack’s hole stretches. Each time Connor does it, he wrenches a moan from Jack’s throat. He sounds hopeful, like maybe this time Connor will sink deeper, and then exhales all his disappointment.
“I hate you,” Jack says. He turns it into a mantra as Connor toys with him. “Hate you, hate you so much.” Connor thrusts all the way in while he’s in the middle of saying it again, the words flattening into an extended, keening, “Ahhh.”
Jack lets his back pop, pushing his ass a little higher. Connor holds onto his hips, fingers slipping on the skin. The sloppy squelch of Connor’s cock pumping in seems so loud. Jack isn’t content to just take it anymore, meeting Connor’s hips.
“There you go,” Connor says. He slides a hand over Jack’s lower back, through the sheen of sweat gathering at his spine. He likes that Jack’s working for it, ass tight and warm, and Connor still wishes he could take photos or something, have proof that he got to see what Jack looks like this way.
It’s hard to maintain the rhythm he wants and reach for Jack’s cock at the same time. He can tell that Jack’s leaking more pre-come, touches him more gently here than anywhere else and then squeezes the base.
“Fuck,” Jack pants, rearing back.
Connor says, “Don’t come. Hold on.”
“What is wrong with you?” Jack says, biting it out. He collapses, face pressed to the comforter. It’s not ideal, Connor humping into him now more than controlling the feel. He lets himself fall over Jack, covering him.
Connor kisses the nape of his neck. “You feel good,” he says. He wants it to last a while. Jack curves his arm back, trying to hold Connor to him, keep him fucking inside in short, stabbing thrusts.
“Jack,” Connor says, kissing along his neck, searching. Jack turns his head to the side, and he takes some directing — persuasion — but he twists enough that their lips brush from the side. It’s all ragged breaths. A little strain helps them connect, tucking erratic kisses against each other’s mouths.
What Connor heard was that Jack doesn’t break.
Jack keeps twisting for so long that Connor’s the one to get worried first. He pulls out and smacks Jack’s ass, makes him flip over all the way. If he wants to bend in half, he at least doesn’t have to screw up his spine to do it. They’ve worked themselves close enough to the headboard that Connor can brace a hand against it. Jack props his head up as Connor fucks in this time, still awed by the first slide.
Connor drives down into him, licking into Jack’s mouth. It’s simpler but not easy, Jack fighting him through it and then chasing after Connor’s lips any time he tries to turn aside.
Just when he thinks he understands what Jack wants, Jack presses on Connor’s shoulder, holding him at arm’s length. He stares at Connor, jaw slack, and Connor doesn’t want to be the first to cave.
Jack slides his hand around Connor’s neck. It feels more desperate than intimidating, but Connor still has to swallow carefully and inhale slow when Jack adds some pressure.
He snaps his hips, crashing into Jack with quick slaps, skin on skin. Jack lets go, wrapping his hand around the back of Connor’s head instead, reeling him in again. He kisses him a little softer, whining.
“Please just touch me,” he says. “God, Connor.”
It doesn’t even take much. Connor grabs Jack’s cock, stroking him loosely. Jack starts tightening around Connor before he even comes, spunk splashing his belly and chest a few strokes late, like his body needs a moment to believe it’s real.
Jack’s thighs tremble, small quakes rolling through. Connor murmurs, “that’s it, just like that,” just so he doesn’t say what he’s really thinking: I won. I beat you. Tell the truth. You need me. I can take you apart.
Connor loves the slick heat of Jack so much. He goes limp as his orgasm passes, letting Connor have whatever he wants. Maybe the trick’s on him, too, because it takes everything to pull out before he finishes. He holds on to his cock so hard it hurts, and then jerks off over Jack’s middle, placing both hands on the headboard when Jack decides he wants to take over, pumping Connor fast until he lolls inward, spilling on Jack’s skin, too.
Jack swipes fingers over the damage. He collects come on his fingers and holds it to Connor’s mouth, laughing when Connor scrunches up his nose and dodges. “What?” Jack says. “Thought you liked swallowing.”
He could ignore that, but surprising Jack suddenly feels more important. Connor’s jaw drops enough to be inviting, letting Jack run fingertips just inside his bottom lip, over his tongue. Connor sucks his fingers clean and swallows audibly.
Jack repeats the experiment but braces Connor’s cheek after, his thumb skimming over the swell of it. Being observed like this sets Connor’s skin on fire. It’s too much kindness too quickly. Connor rolls to the side and lies down next to him to get away from the expression on Jack’s face.
Gazing at the ceiling together gets old quicker than he expected. Connor gets on his elbow to look at Jack. “Who told you about me?”
He’s not sure he wants to know, but rumors spreading to Jack seems so far. Jack shrugs, though.
“Just stuff you hear,” he says. He seems more comfortable than Connor would’ve expected. Wrecked in Connor’s bed, behind enemy lines, and Jack yawns likes it’s natural. “I guess I am getting tired.”
His hair is more of an unruly mess than usual. Connor reaches out to pull at it and finds himself tracing along Jack’s hairline for no reason, around his ear. He really doesn’t get to just look at Jack. He’s done it a lot tonight.
“You’re not gonna ask me the same question?” Connor asks.
“Would you honestly say?” Jack seems fine with Connor touching him. He’s closed his eyes. He knocks a hand into the headboard gently, maybe basking in the afterglow.
Connor considers it. Actually, Jack’s right. He’s not really interested in causing trouble for Sam. Jack may not even care, really, but — “No.”
“There you go.” He wiggles down the bed, finding a better groove against the sheets and then his eyes fly open. Connor raises his eyebrows, and Jack says, “I should probably get out of here.”
“I don’t mind,” Connor says. He doesn’t know he feels like that until it comes out of his mouth, but it’s true. People already gossip about both of them, and Connor doesn’t care if Aaron knows they hooked up. Jack doesn’t seem convinced, so Connor adds, “I’ll text Ek to sleep somewhere else.”
He starts to shift away, but Jack grabs his wrist. “Sorry,” he says, “Just. In a minute.”
Connor’s not really sure where to move now. He hovers awkwardly and tries touching Jack’s hair again, caressing his jaw. He strokes fingers over Jack’s collarbones, and Jack exhales, closing his eyes again.
“Good talk, McDavid,” he says. He probably doesn’t mean it to sound oddly affectionate, but that’s what sleepiness can do.
Connor laughs airily. He ducks in to say, “This doesn’t mean we’re friends, right?”
Jack hums faintly. “No way,” he says, threaded through a sigh, but he curls toward it when Connor kisses his chin.