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i wish you could see what i see (when i'm seeing you)

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Quentin couldn’t stop laughing. The weed they’d obtained from Josh Hoberman and his seemingly bottomless stash of Naturalist goodies was going straight to his head, spinning his brain into pure cotton candy. He took another hit on the joint and passed it to Julia, then flopped down onto his back. The blanket they had spread out on the grass cool and slightly damp in the hum of midnight air.

“Eliot has, like—” Quentin snorted a laugh, grinning until his cheeks burned. Turning his gaze to Julia when she sprawled out next to him on the blanket. “The hottest orgasm face I’ve ever seen.”

A little laugh sputtered from Julia’s mouth, a puff of smoke coming out with it. “Don’t you mean the only orgasm face you’ve ever seen? I mean—other than your own in the bathroom mirror.”

Somehow, that only made Quentin laugh louder, deeper, harder. Laughing until his stomach hurt. “I’ll have you know,” he said when the hysterics abated, “I’ve seen plenty of—”

“I can’t believe you got a boyfriend at magic school before me,” Julia cut in, her eyes on the night sky smearing its dark up over their heads. Pressing the joint to her lips for one last hit before passing it to Quentin.

Quentin took the joint, took a hit, passed it back. “I wouldn’t call the guy I met, like—two months ago and have slept with exactly seven times my boyfriend, Jules.”

“Wow…” Julia was laughing again. “He’s keeping count.”

“Yeah…” Quentin actually giggled. The stars overhead winking beyond a veil of half-formed clouds. “His dick is huge too. The first time I put it in my mouth I didn’t think I’d be able to take it all the way down my—”

“Okay—” Julia heaved herself up into a sitting position, extinguishing what was left of the joint with an easy tut from her fingers. “You have officially smoked too much Hobershit, Coldwater.”

Gazing up in the moonlit dark, Quentin laughed, knocking the toe of his shoe against Julia’s ankle. “Maybe if you weren’t such a prude Kady or Penny or Margo would want to—”

“Q, I swear—” Julia tucked the charred nub of the joint into the pocket of her coat and pulled herself up to her feet. “I am… going to bed,” she said, gazing down, the spray of her hair like dark water cascading over her shoulders. “Don’t, um—” She offered Quentin the softest hint of a laugh. Taking a single stumbling step off the blanket and into the grass, lush and glistening beneath the moonlight and the stars and the clouds. “Don’t stay up all night riding Eliot Waugh’s giant dick, okay? If Professor March pairs me up with some rando in PA tomorrow because you’re not there I will literally never forgive you.”

“Love you too,” Quentin mumbled at her back as she was walking away, disappearing into the dark of the campus. Then—

He turned his head slowly, slowly, setting his eyes on the Cottage. Not ten paces from where he lay sprawled on the cool damp blanket. Every window illuminated with a gold-orange glow that seemed to flicker like firelight, like magic. Every window but Eliot’s. That shadowy square in the upper right corner of their little home. Quiet with promise in the blue-dark night, like maybe Eliot was—

Fuck. Up there in his room in the dark all alone. Lying under the covers waiting for—oh. Waiting for Quentin. Just the thought of it made his belly squeeze tight as a fist up under his coat. Because Eliot Waugh could have had any other boy in his bed that he wanted. Literally any one. But somehow—like a dream, when they were alone together Quentin always swore he was dreaming—for seven whole nights in a row, Eliot had decided he wanted to be with Quentin.

Quentin sat up, feeling stoned, feeling infinite. His head suddenly swirling with images of Eliot’s beautiful face awash with pleasure. The way his eyes squeezed shut and his mouth curled up the split second before he was going to come. Every time—it was like he’d been stunned with it. Every time—all seven nights they’d been together. Quentin could hardly fight the urge to count them all out like tick marks on his fingers. Thinking—

Eight had always been his lucky number. Hadn’t it?

Quentin kicked out of his shoes and tossed his coat into the closet. Tottering up the stairs with a hundred-thousand dirty thoughts wheeling around inside his head. Each new thought a little dirtier than the one that came before: Eliot’s eyes and Eliot’s laugh; the thick stretch of Eliot’s fingers the very first time Quentin had taken them; the rumble of Eliot’s voice dripping dark and low as they fucked.

Oh my god. You’re so warm, Quentin. I can feel your—oh, you’re so—you’re gonna make me—

Standing outside Eliot’s room in the dark of the hall, Quentin almost raised his hand to knock, but then—reaching for the knob on the door, he let himself in without hesitating. Just stoned enough to not care that if Eliot was even there in the room at all, there was a fairly large chance he wasn’t going to be alone.

The room was pitch dark save for the scattering of moonlight pouring in through Eliot’s curtains. Quentin pressed the door shut with a click and then pressed himself back against it. Pausing, inhaling, exhaling—

Over on the bed, a rustling of covers. And in the pale silver light of the moon, the fuzzy shadow of Eliot sitting up. “Hey,” he said, punctuating the word with something that might have been laughter. “Um—Quentin?”

Quentin inhaled, held it. Pushing himself away from the door with a huff. “Yeah, uh—” He swallowed, his heart in his throat like a hurricane spinning. “Hi.”

“Hi.” The sound of the mattress creaking as Eliot shifted. “Do you—is everything all right?”

“Yeah, I just, um—” Beneath the haze of his high, Quentin started to panic. All seven nights they’d been together, Eliot had been the one to initiate everything, everything. “I was just wondering, um, if you, like—you know, uh—” His hands were flapping around in the dark as he spoke. “If you… wanted to. Uh. You know…”

A beat of silence fluttered in the dark, then Eliot said, “Have sex?”

Oh god oh fuck. Quentin swallowed around the spike of desire rising up in his throat. “Yeah,” he said. “That.”

“Uh, yeah, Q, that—” The sound of Eliot’s voice came softly, softly. “Do you wanna come get in bed with me?”

Quentin ran a nervous hand over his hair and nodded his head. “Okay.”

Moving the short distance over to the bed in the dark, Quentin was fairly certain he was only getting higher. He wanted Eliot so badly he could fucking taste it. The pounding of his heart so loud he wondered if Eliot might actually hear it as he—

Lowered himself down to perch on the edge of the mattress, facing inward. Finding the curve of Eliot’s thigh beneath the rumpled blankets. Oh…

Reaching out in the dark, Eliot took both of Quentin’s hands in his own. The shock of his warmth so immediate and intense Quentin nearly crumbled. “You’re cold,” he said, softly, fondly. “What have you been doing?”

“Um—” Quentin laughed, his whole body trembling now. “Getting high with Julia out back.”

“Naughty, naughty,” Eliot teased with a cluck of his tongue. The sound of his voice setting Quentin’s brain on fire, every neuron seeming to flare all at once. “Well, luckily for you my discipline happens to be warming pretty boys up. Did you know that?”

“Uh, I thought it was…” Fuck. Quentin couldn’t think, his brain like oily black sludge in his skull. What was the name of Eliot’s actual discipline again? Tele-something. Tele—“Lifting shit…”

Eliot hummed, shifting close. His hands reaching up and teasing along the slope of Quentin’s neck, down inside the collar of his sweater. “Common misconception,” he said. “I can prove it if you don’t believe me. Why don’t you come closer, hm? It’s so much nicer here under the covers with me.”

Quentin sucked a breath and let it shudder right out. “Okay,” he said, his voice little more than a thread of longing lodged in his throat.

“Take off your clothes first,” Eliot said, pulling back, plucking his warm hands away. The loss of them like the tiniest death. “I’m afraid skin-on-skin is the only way this sort of magic is going to work.”

Grateful for the cover of night hiding the way that he trembled, Quentin pulled himself up to stand, pulled his sweater up over his head and tossed it away. Jesus fuck. He had to use magic to get the fly of his jeans undone. Shoving them down to his ankles along with his boxers in one quick swoop. Wincing a little as he went, his cock already painfully erect. Gripping the edge of the nightstand to keep himself steady as he peeled each of his socks from his feet. Then—

“Come here…” The sound of Eliot tossing the covers back on the bed. He reached out, one big fiery hand finding the plane of Quentin’s torso. “Straddle me, baby. Just like this. Yes. Let me feel your gorgeous skin…”

It was like Quentin’s whole head had been flooded with water. Straddling the expanse of Eliot’s thighs in the dark. The shocking heat of Eliot’s skin on his skin. “Do you wanna, um…” Quentin was talking without thinking. Without actually meaning to. Gesturing back over his shoulder with one fluttering hand. “Get back under the, uh—the covers…”

A little rumbly sound of contemplation purred in Eliot’s throat. “Well, see, Quentin, I’ve been thinking…” The palms of Eliot’s warm hands found Quentin’s bare ass and—oh. Kneading the flesh so softly. Slowly, slowly spreading him apart. “It’ll probably be a whole lot quicker if I just warm you up from the inside instead. How’s that sound?”

“How would, um…” If this was a game Eliot wanted to play, Quentin was more than happy to indulge him. Though suddenly he could hardly get his tongue to work. Groping around in the silvery-dark, he pressed his hands to Eliot’s bare hips, relishing the way that he burned. “How would that work exactly?”

A dark-throated laugh spilled out of Eliot then. “I’m glad you asked,” he said, still slowly spreading Quentin’s cheeks apart. Strong hands kneading flesh over and over. “It’s very scientific. First…” Quentin gasped when Eliot’s fingertips fluttered over his hole. “I’ll get you all stretched and slippery with two of my fingers. I have a handy little spell for that…”

“That…” Quentin couldn’t help the whimper that bubbled up in his throat. Eliot had used that spell each time they’d fucked before. All seven. “That sounds really nice.”

“Oh, Quentin, you have no idea…” Eliot laughed again. “And after I finish stretching you, I’ll lower you down…” Slowly, Eliot took one of Quentin’s hands, moved it to the length of his erection. Thick and hard and leaking where it was pressed against his belly. “On this. And it’ll warm you right up. Guaranteed.” He paused for a moment, breathing and breathing. Drawing Quentin’s hand up and down the velvet heat of his dick. “What do you think, hm? Think you can take all this cock to the balls?”

“I can—” Quentin’s own cock was so hard he wanted to cry. Thinking back to the very first time Eliot had thrust all the way into him a week ago. “I can try.”

Eliot purred out a deep, dripping sound of approval. “Come a little closer, baby,” he said, giving Quentin a nudge on the hip. “And lift up—yes. Just like that. There you are…”

The outline of that familiar face in the dark. Quentin strained to see it as he pushed forward and straddled Eliot’s hips. Hovering there over the swell of Eliot’s dick, so close he could have bowed himself in two and pressed his mouth against it. Bracing his hands on Eliot’s chest, a delightful smattering of hair catching under his fingers and—fuck.

Eliot’s fingertips pressed right to Quentin’s rim, one big firm hand spreading his body apart. “Are you ready for me to warm you up, Quentin?”

“Yes—” The word punched from Quentin’s throat like a bullet. His fingers dancing against the bony curve of Eliot’s collarbone. “Please…”

Quentin hardly had a moment to breathe before Eliot was speaking the incantation. And all at once—oh fuck. Quentin was blooming. Reaching forward with both hands and gripping the top of the headboard, his quivering knuckles aching. A little broken sound of pleasure pushing itself from his throat.

“Oh…” Eliot cooed, two of his lovely thick fingers spearing into Quentin’s ass all the way to the bottom. “That’s it. I can feel you warming up already…”

“God. Fuck…” The words dripped from Quentin’s tongue thick as honey, voice so warbling and ruined he hardly recognized it as his own. “Feels so—don’t stop…”

Eliot’s fingers slipped out and in, out and in, out and in. “I wanna fuck you hard,” he said with a curl of his fingers, kissing Quentin sweetly, deeply. “Do you want me to fuck you hard, Quentin?”

“Yeah, I…” When Eliot’s fingers slipped from him, Quentin gasped, fuzzy head spinning, releasing his grip on the headboard at once. Groping at Eliot’s shoulders in the dark, aching for something to hold onto. Something, anything at all just to—“I wanna see, um—can we turn on the light first. I just…”

A moment of stillness passed between them, the space of it filled with little more than the gentle push-pull sound of Eliot’s breathing. Then—one of Eliot’s hands pulled away from him swiftly, and the lamp on the bedside table clicked on.

At once—the sight of Eliot there on the bed was awash in soft yellow light. Dark hair, blushing skin—the pink bow of his mouth curving upward. “Better?” He gripped Quentin by the flesh of his ass with both hands, spreading him wider, wider…

“Yes…” Quentin pressed the cupped palm of his hand to Eliot’s warm cheek. “Hi.”

“Hey.” Eliot grinned, drawing the swell of his bottom lip between the ends of his teeth. “So, uh—” He laughed. “You ready to sit on this dick, Coldwater?”

Quentin nodded his head, utterly transfixed on Eliot’s face. “Of course,” he said, the words only just barely formed on the tip of his tongue.

“Go on then…” The softest thread of laughter rumbled in Eliot’s throat. “You know what to do.”

Tearing his eyes from Eliot’s face felt like an impossible thing. But slowly—so achingly slow it it might not have been happening at all—Quentin let his gaze flutter down and down. Along the line of Eliot’s neck, to his torso, the mountainous peaks of his ribcage, to his—oh.

There. In all its thick and blushing glory. Eliot’s marvelous cock was hard and leaking from its velvet tip. A slick sheen of pre-come streaked like comet tails against the flesh of his belly. And Quentin reached for it slowly, wrapping his fingers around it and—

He drew a breath, lifting up on his knees to get the angle just right. Eliot’s fiery hands on his hips holding him steady. Then—teasing the thick swell of the head over his rim like the tip of a tongue—all at once Quentin was sinking down down down…

His total focus locked on Eliot’s face. The way the bow of his mouth fell open, and a beautiful warbling song tumbled out. The sight of it somehow even better than the warm, pulsing feeling of being stretched so deep, so wide, so—

“Brace your hands on my chest,” Eliot said, his grip on Quentin’s hips going tight enough to bruise. Please please please, Quentin thought to himself as he sank all the way down to the bottom. I wanna still feel this tomorrow. “Don’t let go.”

Quentin pressed the flats of his palms to Eliot’s chest, nodded his head. Fully seated now on the thick length of Eliot’s dick, a jolt of white-hot pleasure fluttering up along the length of his spine. “I—” He whimpered. “I won’t let go.”

“That’s my boy,” Eliot said. And then—jesus fuck. He actually had the audacity to wink. “Lift up just a little bit so I can—oh, that’s it. That’s perfect, baby. It just feels so…” The sound of the mattress creaking as Eliot shifted. Then—snapping his hips once, twice. “So fucking—” Three times. “Good.”

Quentin’s mouth fell open, and a shattered sobbing sound punched out where his words should have gone. Refusing to tear his eyes from Eliot’s face for even a second as he fucked and fucked and fucked. Drawing the orgasm from Quentin’s body in less than a minute. And in the sizzling haze of it all, Quentin was surprised he’d even managed to make it that long.

There were tears in Quentin’s eyes, making a mess of his vision. But still he couldn’t bear the thought of looking away. Hated the idea of even blinking. Just seeing Eliot’s face was ten times sweeter than blowing his load. Seeing—fuck. The inky spiral of a curl kissing the slope of his brow. His skin a luminous gold in the light being thrown from the lamp. Eliot’s mouth cracking wide in a smile so radiant that for a moment it rivaled the moon, making a fool of the sun.

His hands on Quentin’s hips squeezing tighter, tighter—Eliot sobbed. The bliss sweeping over his face so stark and intense Quentin felt it all the way down in his bones. His own spent, softening cock twitching as Eliot started to come. Clever hips faltering, skin glistening with beads of sweat and little drops of Quentin’s come like his whole body had been dipped in diamonds.

And when it was over, Eliot’s hands pulled away from Quentin’s body limp and useless. And Quentin collapsed down onto Eliot’s sweat-and-come-dappled chest. Laughing and panting and mumbling nonsense into his collarbone. The two of them sticky and tangled together until Eliot’s soft cock slipped from Quentin and—

Quentin rolled off, down onto his back on the bed. His damp head finding one of Eliot’s ridiculously soft, fluffy pillows. “That was…” He huffed, laughing and laughing. His whole body fizzy and tingling with afterglow. Eliot’s come dripping from his body warm as honey. “Wow…”

Slowly, Eliot rolled over onto his side, pressed his mouth to the slope of Quentin’s shoulder. “Yeah,” he said, his breath moving over Quentin’s skin in happy, flickering waves. “Very wow.”

“I can, um—” Already, Quentin could feel the immediacy of something like panic settling in. Every time, after it was over, he couldn’t seem to fight the urge to run away. Which meant they’d never actually slept in the same bed before. “I didn’t mean to wake you, uh—before. So, um—I can go if you want to—”

“Stay.” Eliot’s voice came so low it was hardly a whisper. He kissed Quentin on the slope of his shoulder again. “Are you still stoned?”

“Um…” Quentin huffed a laugh, folding his hands neatly across the plane of his belly. “Not really.”

“Well, in that case…” When Quentin turned his eyes to him, Eliot was grinning. Calling a long, slender joint over from the nightstand and holding it between the pinched ends of his fingers. “Do you want to be?”

Another week passed by so swiftly it hardly seemed like any time was passing at all. Between studying actual real life MAGIC and the rote mechanics of what that meant—classes five days a week, his evenings spent in stuffy corners of the Brakebills library with Julia—Quentin couldn’t be bothered with something as trivial as keeping his eyes on the clock. And—well. Okay. There were also the Cottage parties at odd hours keeping him up when he should have been sleeping. And when he was sleeping, suddenly doing so in Eliot’s bed. Which generally didn’t lead to much actual sleeping at all. And filling every gap in every waking second thinking of nothing but Eliot’s face. And—

It had all been a lot to take in. Maybe especially the Eliot part. No—scratch that. Definitely the Eliot part. Both literally and figuratively. And sometimes—god. Sometimes Quentin swore it almost felt like he was falling in—

No. God no. It definitely wasn’t that. It was only that Quentin was obsessed because Quentin was Quentin after all. And Eliot was Eliot. The hottest person on the whole Brakebills campus. The coolest and the smoothest. The one with the sexiest magic who was porn-star hung and could make Quentin come in five minutes or less without ever actually touching his dick, and honestly—who could blame him for being obsessed with that?

So—whatever. Quentin was obsessed. But obsession and love existed on two entirely different planets. And it wasn’t like Eliot was in love with him or anything. That was quite literally impossible, Quentin was certain. Because boys like Eliot Waugh with a taste for all the finest things didn’t fall in love with obsessive little nerds like Quentin.

So maybe they were just—they were having fun. It was perfect, really. No strings. And Quentin figured when it was all over at least Eliot would still be his friend. And he’d be left with so many blissful memories to keep him warm in his bed all alone every night. Memories of Eliot’s hands and Eliot’s hips and Eliot’s laugh in the dark and Eliot’s face. That face that was almost certainly the very best part. Just getting to see it blown wide with pleasure. Just getting to see Eliot come. Sometimes Quentin thought that was all he really wanted out of it all.

And, well—okay. The sex part was pretty good too. Better than that. In all his wildest, wettest dreams Quentin had never imagined sex could be as good as it was with Eliot Waugh. Even better than getting to learn actual for goddamn real magic at actual for goddamn real magic school.

“Having sex with you is better than actual for goddamn real magic,” Quentin said one morning after they’d fucked. He’d only been thinking the thought to himself. He hadn’t actually meant to say it. Fuck. “I didn’t, um—”

“Correction, Coldwater,” Eliot cut in, snuggling close, pressing a kiss right over Quentin’s pounding heart. “Having sex with me is actual for goddamn real magic.”

“God—” Quentin couldn’t help the laugh that sputtered out of his mouth, forgetting the terror of the moment almost at once. “Arrogant much?”

Eliot hummed. “Always,” he purred, and pressed a kiss into the sweat-damp hollow of Quentin’s throat. “Want me to walk you to class?”

Quentin let his eyes flit over to the clock, and he huffed. Goddammit. He had Intro to Minor Mendings in twenty-five minutes. “No, it’s, um—you don’t have to—”

“I want to,” Eliot said, utterly earnest. Drawing Quentin down deep into his bright-eyed gaze. “Let me?”

Quentin’s pulse picked up, something swelling in his chest for which there was no language. “Yeah, okay,” he said. “Of course.”

Twenty minutes later, they were trudging across campus with the sun in their eyes and the wind tickling over their faces. Quentin had the strap of his bag clutched in one hand and Eliot’s hand clutched in the other. And—okay. Walking to class together holding hands was almost certainly something boyfriends would do. But Quentin didn’t have the space in his brain to agonize over that particular detail at the moment. He was too busy thinking about—

The way Eliot’s face had looked that morning in the split second before Quentin made him come. All sun-dappled and brilliant in the light pushing in through the parted curtains. His mouth hanging open and his eyes squeezing shut. His expression like a roadmap leading straight to the heart of everything Quentin had ever wanted.

“Well,” Eliot said, plucking his hand from Quentin’s and spinning around to face him. “I do believe this is your stop.”

Suddenly—they were standing inside the Physical Magic building, just outside the classroom where Intro to Minor Mendings was about to begin. A few of their fellow magical adepts were milling around in the hallway around them, but Quentin registered nothing but the luminous sight of Eliot.

“I guess, um—” Quentin gripped the strap of his bag so hard his knuckles burned. “I guess it is. Uh—thank you. For… walking with me.”

His soft mouth curving up in a smile, Eliot pushed closer, closer. “You’re welcome,” he said, touching Quentin on the slope of his cheek. “I’ll see you…” Drawing the pad of his thumb over Quentin’s bottom lip slowly, slowly. “Later?”

His pulse like a kick pedal drum in his neck, Quentin nodded his head. “Yeah,” he said, the word pushing out of him just barely. “Later…”

Everything in Quentin’s head started going all spinny after that. Because suddenly Eliot was leaning in to kiss him. Oh. Licking open the seam of Quentin’s lips with a curl of his tongue. Right there in the wide open doorway of the classroom. Right there in front of everyone. Quentin swore he could feel the eyes of his classmates moving like breath over his skin. Eliot’s hands clutching Quentin’s face as they kissed and kissed and kissed.

Distantly—the sound of Quentin’s bag slipping from his shoulder and thudding down to the floor. Both of his hands reaching forward at once and taking Eliot by the lapels of his cardigan sweater. The floor under his feet bucking and spinning as Quentin pushed his entire body all the way into the kiss.

Eliot pulled back slowly, his warm mouth lingering for just a moment or two. Leaving Quentin so dizzy it was a wonder he didn’t pass out. His heart in his chest battering his ribcage like it was trying to take flight, break free. Like it was trying to—

“Go on,” Eliot said, vision of him almost blindingly beautiful. Like Quentin was looking straight into the heart of the sun. “You don’t want to be late.”

Thirty-six hours later, in Eliot’s room. The two of them with their boxers still on, tangled up in the middle of the bed. Kissing and pawing at one another until a galaxy of stars began to turn in Quentin’s foggy brain. Intoxicated from the heat of Eliot’s skin on his skin. Eliot’s mouth on his neck. Eliot’s hand on his—fuck.

Eliot groped at Quentin’s cock through his shorts. Saying—“Get on your hands and knees now, darling…” Punctuating his words with a kiss that was equal parts gentle and wild. “I wanna fuck that pretty ass from behind.”

Quentin whimpered, pressing himself tight against the heat of Eliot’s torturous palm. “Can we maybe, um—” He drew a breath, huffed it out. A fever inside him spiking like his blood had been set to boil. “Can I ride you instead? I wanna see, uh…”

Eliot nudged Quentin with the tip of his nose. “Wanna see what, pretty boy?”

“Your face.”

“My face?”

“Yes.”

“Oh…”

Quentin swallowed, his body half-pinned to the bed by the glory of Eliot’s weight. “From behind is, uh—it’s really good too if you would rather—”

“Tell me why you want to see my face while we fuck,” Eliot said, laughing, grinning. His lovely eyes shining in the light being thrown from the lamp.

“I, uh—” Quentin huffed, his entire body catching like a wick, flaring scarlet. “You know, just the, um—usual reasons? Uh, you’re like, you know, really, uh—really hot. And you’re—”

“Okay, don’t short-circuit on me, Coldwater.” Eliot was still laughing, still cupping Quentin’s dick through his shorts like he couldn’t bear the thought of letting go. “You think I’m hot?”

You’re only the hottest person to exist in the history of time or people, Quentin thought. “Don’t you?” Quentin asked.

Eliot grinned, nuzzled the tips of their noses together. “Think I’m hot?” The laugh he offered Quentin then came deep from the dark of his throat. “Very. And you…” He hummed, stroking Quentin slowly, slowly through the pesky fabric of his boxers. “Aren’t too bad yourself. How about you let me get these off you, hm?”

Quentin could do nothing but nod, sucking a breath. A sheen of tears quivering in his eyes from the force of his wanting.

Eliot had Quentin’s boxers off in a matter of seconds. Shoving his own underwear down around his ankles and kicking them away when he was through. Then, pressing Quentin flat on his back in the middle of the bed, shoving a pillow up under his hips, saying—“You wanna show me how far back your knees can go, pretty boy?”

Quentin’s thighs were parting like an opening door, his knees tipping back until they nearly touched his shoulders. Hardly blinking, watching Eliot’s cheeks flare a delicate shade of scarlet. His eyes tracking down down down to Quentin’s most delicate parts. Oh. That soft dark mouth of his hanging open in the exact way it always did in the moments just before he—

“Would you look at that…” One of his big warm palms pressed to Quentin’s backside, and Eliot gripped his cock firmly, intently. Tapping the head of it softly against the clench of Quentin’s hole. “This is perfect, baby. Now I can see you. All of you…” He laughed. “And you…” He pressed two fingers right alongside the length of his dick without a single moment’s hesitation. Shaping the tut for the prep spell right against Quentin’s fluttering rim. “Can watch me fuck your pretty little brains out. How’s that sound?”

Yes yes yes, Quentin thought. Opening his mouth to say it, but Eliot was already muttering the Ancient Greek of the incantation. And Quentin’s body was already blooming and—oh god oh fuck—Eliot’s thick cockhead was already pushing inside. At the exact moment the magic started to work, the very second. Quentin hardly had time to draw a breath, to blink, to—

“Fuck, baby—” Eliot bottomed out with a laugh, with a sigh. Gripping the backs of Quentin’s thighs with his big strong wonderful hands. “You are so goddamn warm and tight on my dick.”

Eliot’s dark curls were tumbling over his brow. His beautiful bare skin soft and shimmering pink with flush. And it was madness, really, Quentin thought. That a human being could possibly be so unabashedly beautiful. That someone like Quentin Coldwater would ever be permitted to see someone like Eliot Waugh like this.

Reaching forward through the wide V of his legs, Quentin pressed his palm to the center of Eliot’s warm chest. Saying— “El.” Then—drawing a breath, pushing it out with a huff. “I want—”

With a single quick snap of his hips, Eliot knocked the voice from Quentin’s throat, every last stitch of air from his lungs. A surge of pleasure moving along the base of Quentin’s spine, up to his dick, coiling like a second heartbeat in his belly. And there was no more time for speaking then, no more time for thinking, breathing. There was only the pleasure, the whimpering, the sobs. The sight of Eliot’s face and his magnificent body as he fucked, the rhythm of it utterly relentless.

It was like all the pleasure was being wrung from his belly. The beauty of Eliot’s cock moving into him over and over and over again. And it wasn’t long at all before Quentin was coming undone. In spite of how desperately he wanted this moment to last. Just this once. Spurting all over his chest in two minutes flat like he’d never taken a cock at all.

He forced his eyes to stay open when Eliot started to come. Feasting on the sight there before him, that rare beauty. The bow of Eliot’s mouth so soft and perfect. Quentin chugged it down like water, drinking it in like heat from the sun.

After—lying next to one another in the rumpled heap of the bed, their naked skin glistening and sticky. Eliot lit a cigarette and took a drag and passed it over to Quentin. “So,” he said, a little coil of smoke tumbling from his upturned mouth. “Did you enjoy the show?”

Quentin took a drag on the cigarette, his eyes on Eliot’s lips. “It was very entertaining,” he said, laughing, giving Eliot a nudge on the shoulder. His brain in his skull feeling liquid and loose, the words on the tip of his tongue even looser. “Sometimes I think I just wanna, like—sit back and watch…”

The sting of regret hit Quentin like a punch to the throat. Slowly, with a jittery tut—he released the chugging cigarette from between the V of his fingers, stubbed it out in the ashtray on the nightstand. Truly convinced he was going to set the whole bed on fire if he didn’t. He could hardly keep his body from shaking. Fuck. His head in a daze, heart terror-struck and pounding, pounding. Watching Eliot’s whole face light up in a radiant grin.

“Do you wanna watch me jack off, Coldwater?”

“I just, uh—that’s not exactly what I—I mean, I would totally watch you, um—” Quentin was suddenly so aware of his own nakedness it was like a physical ache. “I meant, like…” He huffed, blushing so deep he swore he could feel it deep down in his marrow. “You. With someone else. Um, just forget I said—”

“Kinky,” Eliot purred, calling the extinguished cigarette back into his hand, lighting it with an easy tut. Taking a drag, puffing it out. Smoke pooling around his lovely dark head like a gauzy halo. “And noted.” He laughed. “Have you eaten? I’ll make dinner.”

“You don’t have to do that,” Quentin said, still reeling. Trying to understand how anyone could possibly be so casual about—all of this. “Really, it’s fine, I can—”

“Quentin.” Eliot pressed the cigarette into Quentin’s hand, the lengths of their fingers brushing together like kisses. “I, uh—” He was laughing again, rolling onto his side and touching Quentin right over his heart. “I don’t make offers for things I don’t actually want to do, all right? And right now… I want to feed you.” He arched a brow, offering up a little nod of his head. “I want you to let me.”

“Oh, um…” Quentin couldn’t breathe. Breathing was an impossible thing. Smoke chugging from the end of the cigarette between his fingers like it was made of pure magic. “Okay,” he said, and inhaled, exhaled, swallowed. “Noted.”

Days passed. Another Friday night rolled around. Which meant the Physical Kids were going to party. Well—really it meant Eliot and Margo were throwing another one of their decadent affairs just because they could. Everyone on campus was going to be there. Probably even a few of the professors.

Quentin stood in the doorway of the Cottage’s communal bathroom, watching Eliot primp in the mirror. Each of his curls a perfect loop Quentin wanted to wrap around the length of his finger. “You’re so hot,” he said without even meaning to. This time—he was too enthralled to bother with something as hollow as regret or terror or shame. It didn’t have to mean anything, really. Friends with benefits complimented each other all the time. “Do you have any idea how hot you actually are?”

Eliot looped one last curl into place, leaving his hair looking impossibly, effortlessly tousled. “Do you have any idea how hot you are, Coldwater?” He turned his attention from the mirror at once, fixing Quentin with the soft-eyed line of his gaze.

“No,” Quentin said with a shake of his head, his pulse in his neck picking up just a little. “Because I’m not hot like you.”

“Bullshit.” Eliot laughed, stepping into Quentin’s personal space slowly, slowly. “You’re hot.”

With the heat of him suddenly so close, and his scent—Quentin could hardly remember how to get the words to come. “Your, um—” He shook his head, sucking a breath when both of Eliot’s warm hands touched his face. “I bet that shirt you have on cost as much as my entire wardrobe.”

“Yeah, well…” Eliot smiled, tucking a tuft of hair behind Quentin’s blushing ear. “Without this expensive wardrobe, my love, I run the risk of looking like something that just crawled out from under the Hudson.”

My love.

The soft familiarity of it knocked the wind from Quentin. It was too much to try and unravel all at once. Quentin was going to need days, weeks, decades. “You’re even hotter naked,” he said, voice breaking. Reaching up and gripping the knot of Eliot’s tie with one hand. “It’s stupid. You’re so…”

Eliot pushed closer, his fiery hands finding Quentin’s neck, his wanting throat. “We could just skip the party, you know,” he said, leaning down and pecking Quentin once on the mouth. “Go to my room and put this pretty mouth to good use instead…”

“That, um…” Quentin was melting. He was a puddle under Eliot’s feet on the floor. “Isn’t it your party?”

“Not just mine…” Eliot kissed Quentin deep and slow, deep and slow, deep and—“Bambi is more than capable of hosting without me.”

Quentin’s head was nothing more than a dizzying spiral of stars. “No, we should, um—” What was he doing, what was he saying, what was he—“We should go. We can, um—you know. Later…”

Quentin didn’t want Eliot later. Quentin wanted Eliot now. Fuck. He wanted to ride Eliot’s dick and watch his face twist with pleasure for hours. But skipping the party was something boyfriends would do. And they definitely weren’t that. They couldn’t be. There wasn’t any way Eliot would ever actually want—

“All right,” Eliot said, breathing, laughing, knocking their foreheads together. “Later.”

Quentin loved and hated the parties they put on at the Cottage in equal measure. They were always too loud and packed with too many people. There were too many eyes on his skin. Too many strobing lights, too much pulsing music. Too many tangled bodies dancing. But then—

The drugs were good. Josh Hoberman could always be counted on for that. And the cocktails were excellent. Heavenly. Like they’d literally been cast down from heaven. The sight of Eliot behind the bar mixing them with his hands and his magic even better. But then again—

Quentin hardly ever got to hang out with Eliot at this sort of party. The ones where he and Margo were so wrapped up in their roles as legendary hosts they couldn’t be bothered with trivial things like spending time with their friends. So… yeah. In that respect, maybe Quentin just actually hated their parties full stop.

About an hour into the debauchery, he slumped into the window seat next to Julia with a cigarette pouring smoke between his fingers. Watching the fragmented image of Eliot behind the bar out of the corner of one hazy eye. “We should go do something else,” he said, miserably, taking a drag on the cigarette and huffing it out. Thinking—What I should be doing right now is Eliot Waugh. Nothing else. Just me and him alone in his bed. “Parties are… stupid.”

“Yeah, well—” Julia snatched the cigarette from between his fingers and pressed it tight to her lips. “If we went and did something other than attending this stupid party, you wouldn’t be able to sit here pouting and ogling your boyfriend, so…”

“He isn’t my—” Quentin fixed her with the narrowing line of his gaze, snatched his cigarette back. “My boyfriend.”

“Right.” Julia laughed, offering a smirk and a shake of her head. “He’s just the guy whose bed you share every night. Who you’ve been fucking exclusively for, what—weeks at this point? The one you wake up with every morning who knows how you like your coffee and your eggs and your—”

“Eliot doesn’t do, like—boyfriends, Jules. Okay, he—” He puffed on the cigarette until his lungs started to burn. “Stop looking at me like I’m a freak.”

“I’ll stop looking at you like a freak—” Stealing the cigarette again, Julia took a long and decadent drag, blowing a smoke ring up at the ceiling. “When you stop acting like one. Just go make out with your not-boyfriend already, Q. We both know that’s what you’d really rather be doing.”

Quentin pinched his brows at her, watching her smoke. Saying nothing for a long moment in favor of simply being miserable. Kicking himself for not taking his chance at bliss when he’d had it. When he’d been clutching the whole world right there in the palms of his hands.

And when at last his stubborn heart had relented, he turned his eyes to the bar again, seeking nothing but the sight of Eliot. Thinking of nothing but going to him, dragging him upstairs, his cock already stirring at the thought of getting Eliot alone…

But behind the bar, right where Eliot had been only moments ago—there was a scattering of faceless magicians mixing their own colorful drinks in his place. And Quentin’s heart was already sinking as his eyes scanned over the room in search of that lovely dark head among the masses. Realizing in an instant that Eliot was already gone.

Another hour passed, maybe more. Quentin couldn’t find Eliot anywhere. Though to be honest he hadn’t really been looking. Figuring—hey. Maybe tonight was finally the night Eliot had decided to move onto someone shiny and brand new. Someone who wouldn’t even think to turn their nose up at the offer of a whole night all alone with Eliot Waugh in his bed. But most importantly—someone who wasn’t Quentin.

He stood by the window seat, dodging the writhing mass of shifting bodies, watching distantly as Julia charmed Josh Hoberman out of two-candy pink pills from his massive stash. A little quirk of her mouth, a little twirl of her hair…

A handful of seconds later, she was pushing her way back over to Quentin, pressing one of the pills into the palm of his hand. “Bottoms up,” she said, popping her little circle of pink into her mouth with a smirk.

“What, um…” Quentin frowned at the dot of the pill in his hand. Feeling its presence like punctuation. “What does this do exactly?”

Julia shrugged. “Makes you less of a wet blanket so you can have a little fun with your best friend at this super cool and very fun party we’re currently at?”

Quentin huffed, pinching his brows. The driving rhythm of the music poking at the inside of his brain like fingers. “You’re a—wet blanket…” He lifted the pill to his mouth, parted his lips. But before he could hope to swallow it down, someone was taking him firmly by the curve of his shoulder.

Quentin gasped, whipping his entire body around. The little pink tablet falling from his hand and hitting the floor. It was—

Oh. It was Eliot. So radiant and tall Quentin had to fight the urge to lunge forward at once and kiss him.

“Quentin,” he said, voice rising high above the pulse of the music. Both of his big strong hands on Quentin’s shoulders now. Those eyes of his dark and hooded and glassy. “Hey…”

“Hi.” Quentin swallowed around the lump of his heart in his throat. “Where were you?”

“Regrouping with Bambi out back,” Eliot said, cheeks pink, mouth grinning. “We were getting stoned. Regaling each other with tales of debauchery past—whatever. Listen. I have a question.” Deep in his eyes, something dark and glinting. “Your answer is of the highest priority.”

Quentin nodded his head, forgetting all about the party, Julia, his little pink pill on the floor. “Okay. What is it?”

“Were you being serious? Before, um—” Eliot laughed, and for a moment it was almost like he was terrified. A little flash in his eyes that he quickly folded away. “What you said. About wanting to see me, you know—with someone else. While you watch.”

At Quentin’s back, Julia snorted a laugh. Her mouth quipping something too quietly for him to have any hope of actually hearing it. Then—the rhythmic click-click-clicking of her shoes rising over the music as she walked away, disappeared into the mass of the party.

“I, um—” For a moment, Quentin could hardly even remember the sound of his own name. Had he been serious? He couldn’t be sure. The idea of sharing Eliot was its own specific brand of terrible. But the idea of seeing him that way. God—“Yes,” he said, and he was pretty sure he meant it now even if he hadn’t meant it before. Ninety percent. “That, um—sounds nice…”

Eliot hummed, his back stiff and straight as a pillar, his hands moving from Quentin’s shoulders up to the curve of his neck. “That’s very good to hear, Quentin,” he said, sounding almost formal in a way that was equal parts hot and hilarious. “Now may I ask you one more question?”

Quentin couldn’t speak or breathe in that moment. All he could do was clutch at the front of Eliot’s vest, nod his head.

“Are you still being serious if I propose we do exactly that tonight?” Eliot’s thumb swept along the point of Quentin’s pulse slowly, slowly. “Right now.”

“Um—” Quentin had to fight the urge to shake his head, shake a little of the static out. “Like—right now right now?”

“Yes, Quentin…” Eliot drew the swell of his bottom lip between his teeth. “Like right now right now.”

“Okay, um…” Quentin nodded slowly, pinching his brows. “Do you know who'd want to—”

“Mike McCormick,” Eliot said without hesitation. He laughed a little, shook his head. “He’s been gagging to gag on my dick for weeks.” His fingers danced along the nape of Quentin’s neck softly, absently. “He tried to get me in the coat closet earlier, and I turned him down of course, but then I got to thinking…”

Quentin’s brain short circuited for a second, trying to logic why someone like Eliot would turn down a perfectly good blow job from a perfectly good mouth like Mike McCormick’s. And of course, why the of course of it all. “Um, do you…” He shook his head. “Do you want to—you know. With Mike…”

“I mean…” Eliot’s voice dropped low, the blush that colored the apples of his cheeks growing darker. “I wouldn’t mind getting my dick sucked.” He laughed again. “He doesn’t have to be the one to do it, okay, if you’d rather we just go upstairs and do what we do all alone, baby, I am more than okay with that.”

“No, it’s, um…” Quentin swallowed, reaching up and taking the length of Eliot’s tie in his hand. “I want to.” He meant it one-hundred-thousand percent. He wanted to. He was pretty sure he actually needed it. Even if the jealousy of seeing anyone else with Eliot might actually kill him. “Let’s do it.”

In Eliot’s room—three bodies standing in a loose circle of limbs down near the foot of the bed: Quentin, mind racing, his heart in a knot up under the knit of his sweater; Mike McCormick in his faded blue jeans and his flannel; and Eliot—oh. So poised and lovely and quiet, watching them. The tiniest flicker of mischief sparking in those bright glassy eyes.

The whole thing started to feel like a standoff after a moment or two. Like each of them was simply waiting for one of the others to be brave enough to make the first move. But then—suddenly, swiftly—Mike was pushing himself closer to Eliot. Reaching forward and touching the sleeve of his shirt. That pale face of his tipping upward, angling his mouth for a kiss.

Quentin’s vision blurred. A pang of jealousy hitting him so quickly it was a wonder his knees didn’t buckle. Watching in slogging slow motion as Eliot lifted one finger and pressed it right to the seam of Mike’s wanting lips. Turning his gaze suddenly to Quentin, saying—

“I think…” Eliot laughed, plucked his finger away, turning his eyes back to Mike and gesturing over to Quentin. “You should probably ask his permission before doing that.”

Quentin blinked. Once, slowly. His whole brain seeming to foam like a wave on the ocean. What the fuck what the fuck what the—why would he say—

Mike pulled a face when he turned to Quentin, halfway between a smile and a scowl. “Is it cool if I kiss him?” he asked, pointing to Eliot with the length of his finger, hardly bothering to mask the annoyance in his tone.

“Oh, um…” Quentin sucked a breath, running a hand along the top of his head on the exhalation. His eyes skipping between Mike and Eliot. Blushing, blinking. Uncertain what he was going to say until suddenly he was just—saying it.

“No.”

The word glittered on the air for a moment after Quentin had said it. Like the scent of the earth lingering long after summer rain. Then—

His eyes locked on Mike’s intensely, Quentin reached forward, taking Eliot by the front of his vest. “No kissing.”

There wasn’t a single coherent thought in his head when he turned his attention fully to Eliot. Pressing forward and tugging Eliot down in one swift motion, their lips crashing together there in the heart of the rush. The blood in Quentin’s ears like a torrent, a flood. Pounding like hoofbeats in his temples as he threw his arms around Eliot’s neck and kissed him and kissed him and kissed him and kissed—

He broke the kiss, dazed and breathless. Both of Eliot’s fiery hands had pushed up the back of his sweater. And Quentin could feel the line of Mike’s gaze on them, his jealousy almost a physical thing. Like a hand clutched tight to the back of Quentin’s neck, like breath, like—

“Wow—” Mike was laughing now, the vision of him blurry when Quentin turned around to face him. “Okay, so. No kissing for me then…”

“That’s, um…” Quentin shook his head, knees wobbly, head all loose and spinny. Pressing himself against Eliot—back-to-chest—to keep his body from toppling over. “We both know what you’re here for.” He swallowed, cheeks flaring. “And it isn’t kissing.”

Mike’s mouth fell open then, a little flush growing high on his cheeks. “Why don’t you tell me what it is I’m here for then, Quentin,” he said, bunching his hands into fists, eyes wild, jaw tense.

“You’re here to—”

“Now, boys…” Eliot wrapped an arm around Quentin’s shoulders, tugged him closer, pressed a kiss to the top of his head. “Play nice. We’re all just here to have a little fun, remember?”

Quentin sucked a breath, reached up and gripped Eliot by the sleeve of his shirt. Watching Mike watching him, and Eliot. All the lines of his body seeming to tremble beneath the denim of his jeans, the soft-looking flannel of his shirt.

“Right,” Mike said, expelling an enormous breath from his lungs. A little of the tension easing at once. “Yeah, let’s—I like fun…”

Eliot hummed, swaying a little, pressing his lips right to the shell of Quentin’s ear when he spoke. “You wanna help me get these clothes off, baby?”

“I…” Quentin’s grip of Eliot’s shirtsleeve wound tighter, tighter. His eyes locked on Mike, watching his fingers lift, pop open one of the buttons on his shirt. “Okay.”

Quentin spun himself in Eliot’s arms, tipped his face up. Planting a kiss right in the center of Eliot’s chin. Touching him—god. On his waist through the rich, velvety-soft fabric of his vest. Drawing his fingers down the front and counting the buttons. One two three four five. The knot of his tie, the collar of his shirt. The warm, thumping skin of his neck just down below…

With Eliot touching him, watching him—Quentin shot off a puff of magic with the tips of his fingers. Holding his breath. Watching all the buttons on Eliot’s vest pop themselves open in a tidy little row. Oh—

“I love your magic,” Eliot said, a dark little rumble of laughter rising from the depths of his throat.

I love your everything, Quentin thought, though he didn’t dare say it. He could never. The wanting inside of him spiking so intensely he nearly choked.

Fumbling with the knot of Eliot’s tie before finally magicking it loose. Eliot slipped it up over his head and tossed it away, away. His vest shrugged off, Quentin started in on Eliot’s shirt. Revealing the glory of his bare skin underneath one tempting strip at a time. Using his fingers for each button without his magic, making it last, feeling Eliot quiver. Thinking—This is the sort of thing that married people do.

It was the stupidest thought Quentin had ever had in his life. The absolute stupidest. The flush on his cheeks spreading like wildfire all the way down to his toes. His breath hitching, stuttering, catching like hooks in his throat. Fingers fumbling on the final button of Eliot’s shirt, and he had no choice but to call on his magic to actually get it undone. Fuck.

“Are you all right?” Eliot shrugged the shirt from his shoulders, leaning close. Whispering the words for Quentin and Quentin alone. “I’ll gladly tell him to fuck off and pound your perky little ass into next weekend instead if you’ve changed your mind.”

Eliot’s breath on his neck made him shiver. “No, um—” Quentin shook his head, swallowed around the knot in his throat. “I haven’t changed my mind.”

Saying nothing, Eliot straightened the line of his neck and stepped back. Ridding himself of his shoes and his socks in mere seconds. Immediately starting in on his belt with a dark little glint dancing like fire in his eyes. Then—his slacks, his black silk boxers. All that soft dark fabric shoved down and away and left in a heap on the floor.

At Quentin’s back, Mike made a sound. Something partway between gasping and laughter. And when Quentin turned on his heels to face him again, Mike was naked save for a pair of blue cotton boxers. His eyes fixed firmly on Eliot, his pink mouth hanging open, curving up in a soft little smile.

“So the rumors are true,” Mike said, voice all air. Like he could hardly believe it. Quentin didn’t have to ask what rumors he was talking about.

Eliot laughed, the sound of it the sort of easy arrogance Quentin imagined went hand-in-hand with being ridiculously hung. “So they are…”

Quentin looked to Eliot again. He was grinning. His cock half-hard and bobbing like a weighty anchor down between the spread of his thighs.

“Would you like to come closer and get a better look?” Eliot let his eyes flick over to Quentin. Reaching out and drawing a hand along the slope of his shoulder. “Darling, why don’t you pull up a seat and get comfortable, hm?”

Quentin took a step back, and then another, a third. Ripping himself out of the scene entirely, though he couldn’t seem to get his brain to cooperate long enough to actually find somewhere to sit down. Instead, for a long stretch of seconds, Quentin just stood there, trying to get some air in his lungs. Watching Eliot lower himself down on the foot of the bed, the spread his legs going wider, wider. And Mike—stepping forward, going down to his knees on the floor with a thud.

Without thinking, suddenly—Quentin was moving. Over to the bed in a few quick strides, touching Eliot on the slope of his shoulder. His ears hardly registering the words Eliot and Mike were saying now. He thought it all just sort of sounded like laughter. Their voices little more than garbled static all tangled in the mess of his brain. There was only this—

The creak of the mattress as Quentin pressed his knees against it. He crawled up onto the bed and pressed his body to Eliot’s body from behind, kissed his neck. Roiling in the soft familiar heat of all that naked skin. Quentin wanted to fall into it, to taste it. To open his mouth and swallow Eliot down. Jesus fuck—Quentin wanted nothing more than to devour.

“Quentin…” Eliot laughed, turned his face to his shoulder. “Um—don’t you want to, you know…” He laughed again. “See my face?”

“I…” Quentin pressed a kiss to the warm flesh of Eliot’s shoulder. His heart in his chest like a wild animal growling. “Maybe you can just, um… tell me how it feels.”

Another tiny thread of laughter rumbled in Eliot’s throat. “Well, I’m certainly not going to turn my nose up at a little dirty talk if that’s what’s gonna get you there, my love.”

My love my love my love. Quentin’s brain was a whirlpool spinning in the dome of his skull. “Okay,” he said, utterly breathless. It was the only word he could manage now. Locking one arm around Eliot and drawing him closer, closer. “Okay…”

Eliot turned his attention to Mike, and Quentin followed the line of his gaze down, down. Watching as Mike peppered Eliot’s inner thigh with gentle kisses, reaching forward and wrapping one greedy hand around the shaft of his dick.

“Not so fast,” Eliot said, reaching forward and sweeping a hand along the top of Mike’s dirty-blond head. “You know the barrier spell?”

Mike released his grip on Eliot’s cock, nodded his head. “Yeah,” he said. “I know it.”

Quentin pinched his brows together in delicate confusion. Hooking his chin over Eliot’s shoulder, choking down a little flutter of something that tasted like envy. What was the barrier spell, and why hadn’t Eliot ever wanted to use it with him?

“Do it,” Eliot said, giving Mike’s hair a single gentle tug before pulling his hand away. Then—turning his face to his shoulder, his nose nudging Quentin’s, the velvet heat of his voice coming softly, softly. “The last thing daddy needs is to go and catch the clap at magic school.”

Quentin opened his mouth to say something, though what it was he couldn’t actually be sure. Because suddenly he and Eliot were kissing. God—kissing until Eliot had stolen every stitch of breath from his lungs. The sound of Mike muttering an incantation so muffled and distant he might as well have been a million miles away where he knelt on the floor.

“That’s…” Eliot broke away from the kiss, turned his attention to Mike with a sigh. “Very good.” Drawing his hand along the glorious length of his dick, teasing slowly. A single pearl of pre-come glistening on the tip that Quentin ached to swipe with his tongue. “Now…” With his free hand, Eliot wound the short crop of Mike’s hair in his fist. “Open.”

“Right to business.” Mike laughed, the sound of it shaky, all excitement and nerves. His hands on Eliot’s thighs dancing their way to his hips. “Okay…” He nodded his head, audibly swallowed. “I don’t hate the sound of that.”

From his perch behind Eliot, pressed all against him—Quentin watched as Mike’s pink lips slowly parted. And Eliot fed the thick swell of his cockhead in between with a groan.

Fuck.” Eliot huffed, laughing, turning his attention to Quentin again. “You know, if you’re not going to watch you might as well be sucking it yourself.”

“I’m watching,” Quentin said, his voice coming out all gentle and broken. “Don’t be a dick just because you’re getting your dick sucked.”

“God, you’re a brat—”

Eliot craned his neck and stole Quentin’s mouth in a lopsided kiss. All sloppy tongues and nipping teeth, pulling away laughing and laughing. A moment of such easy intimacy passing between them it was like they’d been best friends for decades, ravenous lovers for centuries…

Eliot gasped, and in his periphery Quentin watched him shoving Mike’s head down and down. Then—the sound of Mike’s throat wet and rasping, gagging as he tried to swallow. A sensation Quentin understood so deeply he almost swore he could feel it.

“Tell me—” Quentin slipped his fingers up into the tangle of curls at Eliot’s nape. Kissing his neck, his shoulder. “Does it feel good?”

“It feels—” Eliot gripped Mike’s hair by the roots, wrenched him back. Tracing the head of his dick along the swell of Mike’s bottom lip. “Fucking incredible. Jesus. Warm and wet and—” He exhaled hard, and Quentin felt it. Watching Eliot’s hands pull away, curving over his knees like they were resting. “You should put on a show for our little Q here, don’t you think?”

Mike’s eyes flashed from Eliot to Quentin. “Yeah,” he said, his expression dripping with annoyance, jealousy, envy. His hand gripping Eliot’s thick cock at the base. “Yeah, I think I can do that.”

“You hear that, Quentin?” Eliot reached back with one hand, groping at Quentin’s thigh through his jeans. “A front row seat to the happiest show on earth. Just for you. How’s that sound?”

Mike was mouthing at the head of Eliot’s dick, kissing over the slit with a roll of his tongue. And Quentin pressed himself to Eliot’s back firmly, completely. Pressing and pressing. Like if he could just get close enough he might have some hope of actually feeling what Eliot was feeling too.

“It sounds…” Quentin’s voice was a ruin of itself in his throat. His cock thumping in time with his pulse in his jeans. “Yeah, that sounds, um—really good…”

Over Eliot’s shoulder, Quentin locked eyes with Mike, and a spike of envy all tangled with lust jolted up into his throat. Thinking—That should be me, down there. On my knees worshiping at the altar of Eliot Waugh’s giant dick. Opening my jaws wide and taking it all.

But then, Eliot laughed, and Quentin felt the rumble in his belly like butterfly wings and—oh. All at once, Quentin remembered why he’d wanted this in the first place, what this whole thing was about: Eliot’s pleasure and Eliot’s pleasure alone. And Quentin getting to see it. To feel it so entirely, so deeply, it was entirely indistinguishable from his own.

“Go on then. Show him.” Eliot reached back, running a hand along the top of Quentin’s head, gripping his hair before pulling away. “Show Quentin how deep you can take it. A boy like you, so excited by those little rumors. I don’t imagine you’re going to have any trouble at all.”

Mike traced the tip of his tongue all along the head of Eliot’s dick. “I wouldn’t call the rumors little,” he said, voice thick and dark, the apples of his cheeks swirling with a brilliant scarlet flush.

At once—Mike took Eliot into his mouth, his lashes fluttering softly when his eyes clicked shut. And Quentin watched him, holding onto Eliot, kissing his neck. Nipping at the flesh of Eliot’s shoulder as Mike sank down and down. Letting the easy pleasure sounds in Eliot’s chest push inside of him like lapping waves.

The slick clicking of Mike’s throat as he opened. Pulling back with a pop and drawing a breath before diving back down. Working up a determined, off-kilter rhythm that flooded the room with its music. Eliot’s hands finding his hair and guiding him onto it, down and up and back down again. Slick and wet and filthy and almost perfect. Almost. Because from where Quentin was kneeling, he could see Mike was struggling to take little more than half of Eliot’s length.

“Deeper—” Eliot huffed, laughed, his whole body trembling now. Tugging Mike back and letting him breathe before guiding him right back down. “What do you think, Q?” He turned his face to his shoulder, stealing a quick little kiss from Quentin’s parted mouth. “Think he can take it as deep as you?”

No one will ever want to take you as deep as I do. So deep I can feel you in my fucking soul. Quentin thought the thought, chewing at the inside of his lip to keep from saying it out loud. He couldn’t. Saying something like that was something a boyfriend might do.

“I, um…” Quentin wrapped himself around Eliot tighter, tighter. The erection tenting the front of his jeans pressing right to Eliot’s back. “I don’t know. He should, um…” His lips skittered over the shell of Eliot’s ear as he spoke, his eyes on Mike, watching as he struggled to take the full length of Eliot down. “He should try.”

Eliot tugged Mike back, and Mike gasped, laughed, gripping the bare flesh of Eliot’s thighs with both hands. “I can do it,” he said, his watery eyes on Quentin. “I can…”

“Prove it,” Quentin said without really meaning to, then immediately meaning it with his entire chest. “Make him—” He exhaled hard, pinching his brows in Mike’s direction. “Make him feel good. I wanna see you do it.”

Mike narrowed his eyes at Quentin, like he was saying I’ll show you what I can do. And it was so ridiculous Quentin had to bite at the inside of his cheek to keep from laughing out. Watching as Mike’s mouth parted and he pushed himself down on Eliot’s dick until he choked. The sound of it filling the room like breaking glass, like the gentle flowing sound of water.

And all at once—Quentin let his mind go blank as death. Lifting the thumb and forefinger of one hand to his lips and getting them wet with a curl of his tongue. Pulling them back slowly, slick and glistening. Then—reaching around, Quentin rolled one of Eliot’s nipples between them, hardening it to a pink little nub.

“Jesus fuck—” Eliot pressed back against Quentin gasping, laughing. And down between his legs, he was pushing Mike’s head down. “Are you trying to make me blow my load, Coldwater?”

“Yes,” Quentin mumbled, sucking a kiss into the space where Eliot’s neck met his shoulder. Sucking flesh between the ends of his teeth until Eliot started to purr. “Tell me it feels good.”

He wet the tips of his fingers on both hands, pressing himself to Eliot’s back like they’d melded. Brushing his fingertips over both of Eliot’s rosy nipples soft as kisses. Biting his neck, peppering pretty little bruises in the shape of his mouth, his wanting, his love.

“Feels…” Eliot’s voice was suddenly slurred. The sound of it punctuated with a gasp from Mike when Eliot tugged him up for a breath. “Warm. Everywhere, baby. God—I love it when you bite my neck like that.”

Quentin couldn’t help the sound that poured out of him then—partway between a whimper and a snarl. Everything inside of him suddenly moving so swiftly. Head spinning, heart racing. The intoxicating rush of Eliot’s pleasure pumping hot in his veins like a drug.

His fingers rolling over Eliot’s nipples, Quentin let his eyes fall shut. He didn’t even have to see what was happening now. He didn’t have to see anything at all. Quentin could feel it, hear it, smell it, taste it. Count it out like his heartbeats that rattled his bones. He wanted Eliot to come more than he’d ever wanted anything. Latching onto a spot on his shoulder and sucking a bruise until Eliot sobbed.

“Fuck yes, just like that. Oh—” Eliot’s voice punched out of his chest high and breathy and broken. His entire body quaking against Quentin’s like a crumbling ruin. “Deeper, deeper—yes. Fuck, I’m so—Quentin, baby, you’re gonna make me—”

Quentin didn’t see Eliot come, but he heard it, felt it. Sucking on Eliot’s neck as the pleasure crested up up up, the very fabric of reality itself seeming to explode. And when he finally opened his eyes again, it was to the sight of Mike falling back, Eliot’s softening cock slipping from him with a dark wet guttural sound. His blushing chest spit-slick and heaving as he shoved his hand down inside the front of his boxer shorts.

Quentin hardly had a moment to register what he was feeling, what his own body was doing. It was like his flesh was flame and he’d been dunked in gasoline. Like he’d always been fated to burn. The kindling of his heart leaping up to the ceiling when Eliot twisted his whole body around. And took Quentin firmly by his hair at the roots. And tugged him forward. And kissed him.

Later, after Mike had gone, and the two of them were naked and cuddled up under the covers together, Quentin lifted his eyes to Eliot and said, “I, um…” Stopping himself before he’d even begun. Feeling foolish. Like a child, or worse: like he was on the very precipice of ruining everything. “I was just wondering, uh… why. Why you told Mike, um…”

Under the covers, Eliot’s palm swept along the dip of Quentin’s back, sweetly as a gentle breeze stoking a flame. “Why I told Mike what, gorgeous?”

“Um…” Quentin could feel his face flaring dark as he willed his voice to say it. He felt ridiculous, he was ridiculous, he was—“Why he needed my permission to kiss you.”

For a long moment, Eliot was quiet. His soft face hardly giving anything to Quentin at all. A tiny pinch of his brows, his lovely pink mouth only just barely curling up in the corners. “I mean—” At last he spoke, letting a little laugh sputter out. “You are my boyfriend…” He was pinching his brows at Quentin tightly now. “Aren’t you?”

All at once, it was like Quentin’s chest was an elevator shaft, and his heart was plummeting all the way to the bottom. “Oh, I—” He sucked a breath, dizzy and panicked. Feeling suddenly more foolish than he’d ever felt before. “I just didn’t think, um, that you… you know. Did, uh…”

Eliot was fully grinning now. “You didn’t think I did what?”

“Like…” Quentin swallowed. “Boyfriends.”

Eliot’s whole body shook with the force of his laughter. “Um, Q, what do you think it means when two people are—that subpar blow job Mike gave me tonight aside—monogamously fucking and waking up in the same bed together every morning? I mean, jesus god, we don’t even use condoms, Quentin. Or—” He was laughing again. “Barrier spells…”

Quentin couldn’t breathe. Was there even any air left in the room? Quentin was going to pass out. “I mean, we never really, um—talked about it, so…”

Eliot hummed. “Well,” he said, sweeping his hand down to the swell of Quentin’s ass under the covers and giving it a swat. “The whole not talking about it thing is definitely on both of us. We, uh, should maybe try and work on that.”

“Um—” Quentin pushed all the air from his lungs, suddenly so over-warm it was like his skin had been boiled. He shrugged the covers down off of his shoulders, drew a breath, huffed it out. “So—okay. Do you think we should talk about it, like—now. Or—”

“I think. For now…” Eliot drew Quentin closer. Pressing the palm of his hand right between Quentin’s shoulders. “You should ask me to be your boyfriend.” He grinned, his lovely bright eyes shining like stars in the night. “If that’s what you want, of course.”

“Oh, uh…” Quentin swallowed, pressing himself tighter to Eliot, their bodies so impossibly close. Touching his collarbone, the hollow of his throat. “Yes.” There was a perfect clarity building inside him when he said it. How could he have ever believed this couldn’t possibly be true? “That’s—I want it.”

Eliot nuzzled their noses together, tracing the ridge of Quentin’s spine with his fingers. “So ask me,” he said. “Spoiler alert: I’m going to say yes.”

“Okay, uh—” Quentin huffed a nervous little laugh from his nose. “Will you, um—will you be my boyfriend?”

His cheeks flaring pink in the glow of the lamp, Eliot nodded his head. “I’ll be yours if you’ll be mine.”

Quentin nodded his head swiftly, laughing, laughing. “Yeah, okay,” he said, voice all air. He could have sobbed at the relief of it all. Like he was finally letting go of something he hadn’t even realized he’d been holding onto. “Let’s do it.”

Eliot grinned with his whole face, giving Quentin another quick swat on the backside. “Oh, honey love, it’s already done.”

They were silent for a long moment then, kissing softly, laughing, breathing. Their delicate magic hands roaming over skin down under the covers. The sort of unhurried exploring that came with the sudden knowledge that they had all the time in the world to make a mess of each other.

Half-hard and aching, Quentin opened his mouth against Eliot’s neck. “Do you think you’re going to want to hook up with Mike again?” he asked, knowing it was never going to leave him alone if he didn’t.

Their eyes met in the soft yellow light of the lamp, and Eliot shook his head slowly, slowly. “Why would I want some amateur on his knees for me when I’ve got the da Vinci of dick sucking right here in my bed.”

Desire thumped in Quentin’s cock in time with his pulse. “I mean—he made you come pretty hard…”

Eliot laughed, shifting a little, gripping Quentin’s ass with both of his soft, strong hands. “That was, like—ninety-percent your mouth on my neck, sweetheart.”

“That’s, um…” Quentin’s voice only just barely squeaked out of him. He was practically lying right on top of Eliot now. “Good to know.”

“So how did you like it?” Eliot asked, his fingers slipping in between Quentin’s cheeks and ghosting soft as breath right over his hole. “The show, I mean. Watching…”

“It was…” Quentin exhaled hard. “Hot. But, um—you were probably right.” He let a little laugh flutter out, his dick throbbing to full hardness as Eliot’s fingers continued their teasing. “It should have been me. You know—doing that. To you…”

“Hm, well…” Eliot drew his bottom lip between his teeth, considering Quentin slowly, carefully. “I think to make up for it, you should definitely let your boyfriend do terribly filthy things to you right this second. There are all sorts of things you can watch him do.”

“Yeah, well, um…” Quentin kept his eyes on Eliot’s face, trying—and failing—to steady to his breathing. “I think my boyfriend should stop talking now and prove it.”