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Bad Habits

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     “Take off your clothes,” Julius greeted. His eyes were the problem. Cold. Detached. The kind of eyes that knew their way around a body as well as inside one: all sex and viscera. Those eyes should have kept Alvin from buying him a drink when they first met. They did the opposite.

     Alvin leaned against the bedroom doorway and laughed.

     “Ouch, not even a hello. You really know how to charm a guy.”

     Julius’s eyebrow quirked. “Do you need charming?”

     “Nah, rash and reckless is a good look on you,” Alvin replied, loosening his scarf to expose his collar. “Sexy.”

     “Shut the door, or Rollo will run in.”

     Typical. Alvin kicked the door back, hoping it scuffed, if only to introduce a little chaos into Julius’s meticulous little world. “Not into exhibition in front of the cat? I’m disappointed.”

     Julius removed his glasses, folding them carefully. He was already dressed down— as dressed down as Julius got, anyway— no jacket or vest, and a grey button down that clung to his chest appreciatively. Then there was the weird shit: the single glove on his left hand, and the white belt laid out on the bed, folded over once. Alvin looked at it, and quirked an eyebrow.

     Julius scooted the end table away a few inches— clearly planning no less than six steps into the future.

     “Nice to see you too, you know,” Alvin drawled. “S’been a bit.”

     A bit was a full month, give or take, but Alvin was used to less frequent arrangements. He appreciated novelty.

     “Been busy,” Julius replied, barely glancing his way as he unbuttoned his shirt.

     Alvin pushed off the wall to pick up the belt, weighing it in his hand curiously. Leather— long and sturdy. Alvin slapped it against his palm once, testing. “Spirius tightening your leash?”

     Julius’s eyes slit— he was always so fucking suspicious.

     A rare case among his arrangements: Alvin hadn’t ever actually done anything to Julius. No cheating. No betrayals. Hell, they didn’t talk enough for Alvin to actually bother lying to him. As far as Julius was concerned he was a completely innocent fruit merchant, but it didn’t matter; Julius treated him like he was going to stab him at any moment.

     (Alvin would be lying if he said that didn’t bring him the slightest bit of twisted comfort. He’d ended his things with the others, but kept Julius around for that exact reason. The familiar distrust felt like a drug, and was it really backsliding if there was no harm done?)

     “You’re awfully chatty today, Alvin. Why?”

     “I bumped into Ludger out front, and we got to talking, so forgive a guy for being friendly.”

     Julius was always better when he was riled up, and nothing got to the man like Alvin’s friendship with Ludger. It didn’t matter how ordinary it was, how genuine. Alvin twisted the knife. “Still can’t believe it. You’re not only Spirius, but big bro to the friendly station cook who’s always trying to chat me up for discounted tomatoes. Ludger’s—”

     “Enough.”

     Alvin’s back hit the bed with a thunk, Julius’s gloved hand over his throat. He wasn’t squeezing. Alvin wouldn’t mind if he did— he knew what he came here for. A leisurely smile formed on his face.

     “Getting to this already? Tighter.”

     Julius complied, just enough to the get the blood pounding in his ears.

     “Do you really intend to bring up Ludger every time you come over?”

     Alvin chuckled— or tried to, with the air he could get. He stuck a finger inside Julius’s glove, stretching it, teasing the obvious scar underneath, and Julius released him with startling speed. Alvin sucked in a pleased, slow, breath. All the enjoyment of a smoker enjoying his last cigarette. “If it keeps making you this fun, I don’t know why I’d ever stop.”

     Julius’s cold eyes locked on his and narrowed, just so. Alvin licked his lips.

     “Perhaps now is the time I share the results of my own background check, Alfred.”

     The smile fell from Alvin’s face. He sat up, elbow digging into Julius’s side.

     “You’re a real asshole under all that propriety, you know that?”

     “Ludger’s off limits,” Julius commanded, shoving Alvin back to the bed, just because he could. “I’m assuming Alfred is too.”

     “You assume correctly.”

     “Then stop forgetting, and lose the rest of your clothes or I’ll lose them for you.”

     “Jeez, that a promise?” Alvin sighed, sitting up to toss his coat and shirt across the room. “You’re lucky you’re hot. Though you’re not my type.”

     “Can’t say you’re mine either,” Julius replied, but the way he went straight for Alvin’s pants told a different story. Alvin hooked onto his throat and sucked out a bruise, pushing the rest of the shirt off his arms, feeling those muscles for himself— oh, the things they could do with the right motivation.

     Julius’s hand was in his pants, mercilessly pumping at his half-hard cock.

     “Hey, hey watch it, I still have to use that—”

     “Get hard then.”

     Alvin’s breath caught, dick responding whether he wanted it to or not. Gritting his teeth, he let himself fall back to the bed, yanking Julius over him. He wasn’t giving up by a long shot, but Julius was clearly in a mood— best to let him get it out first. “You’re gonna be the death of me, you know that?”

     Julius laughed, and leaned in close enough that Alvin felt his breath on his face.

     “Not this time,” he whispered. Alvin’s pulse spiked in some sick combination of fear and arousal.

     “Spirits, you’re nuts, who says shit like that?” he mumbled, knocking their foreheads together violently, forcing Julius back. Julius let out a pained grunt, and Alvin took the chance to drive a hand into his pants, matching his strokes. It was stupid and animal. Hot breath and rough palms— grunting and yanking; not enough care between them to bother with any sort of technique.

     “Your foreplay—” Alvin’s breath hitched, fingers biting into Julius’s shoulder. “—Needs a helluva lot of work. Who would’ve guessed that the Julius Will Kresnik is selfish in bed?”

     “I give when I’m asked nicely. Is this you asking, Alvin?”

     “Is this you offering?”

     Julius had the nerve to sigh, frantic strokes slowing until they stopped. Grinning, Alvin pulled back as well, arms behind his head.

     “Go on,” he challenged. “Show me what you’ve got, Kresnik.”

     Knuckles stroked the stubble on Alvin’s jawline before tenderly cupping his cheek. Gloved fingers tangled in his hair as Julius dragged him into a slow, passionate kiss. Alvin sighed into it, some hasty form of approval.

     It was obediently romantic, a kiss for the books, the kind shown in movies that stargazers like Jude dreamed of. Precise, performative, and extremely Julius— but showmanship wasn't what kept Alvin coming back. He bit down on the invading tongue without hesitation, and felt Julius’s whole body jerk away. A knee to the chest, and the Spirius agent was laying flat on his back, their positions reversed. Alvin grinned down at him, crooked, licking the blood out of his mouth— off his lips.

     Julius moaned into him, an involuntary broken sound, dick pressed against Alvin’s thigh— harder now than ever.

     One good thing about fucking Julius: he liked it as rough as Alvin did.

     “Not bad,” Alvin simpered, leaning down, lips against Julius’s ear. “But I’d rather put this belt you laid out to use. Any complaints?”

     “Asshole,” Julius breathed, and Alvin licked a line down his jaw.

     “That’s not a no.”

     Julius’s eyes shut as his body shuddered. “Grab the damn belt.”

     “Good man,” Alvin grinned, reaching behind him for the belt that had nearly slipped off the mattress. He folded it over and gave it one more quick test against his hand— the slap echoed in the room, and Julius’s eyes lidded at the sound. “You want it?”

     Julius was silent; Alvin knew better than to expect a reply. Alvin smiled, gliding the dyed white leather over his pecs, watching his skin twitch, ache for it.

     Alvin laughed. “You’re a funny guy, Julius.”

     “Are you going to use that or talk about—”

     Crack. Julius’s hands clutched at the sheets, teeth gritting.

     “What was that?” Alvin asked, mouth closing around his right nipple, belt lightly dragging over the toned skin of Julius’s jerking abdomen. “You want to say something, Julius?”

     Julius grit his teeth, face turning into the pillow.

     “Hm? Nothing?” Alvin crowed. “I’ll just talk with something else then. Your body’s a better conversationalist than you’ve ever been— we’ll have a nice chat without you.”

     Another slap, diagonal, across the stomach. Julius’s legs seized, digging into the mattress, making it creak.

     “Ah, beautiful,” Alvin praised, layering wet kisses over the pink mark he left, whispering to it. “I can do whatever I want to him, can’t I? You’ll just keep reacting to me, nice and obedient— while he stays quiet.”

     “Shut up—” Julius breathed, and Alvin held the folded leather over his lips, voice darkening.

     “I wasn’t talking to you. You stay good and quiet, Julius— we’re busy here.”

     Alvin trailed the belt down the vulnerable skin of his neck. Julius’s eyes followed him— subzero, cold enough to burn. This was a man who hated to need, who fancied himself wanting for nothing, but only because when he wanted— he devoured. Alvin would take a bite out of him first.

     The sound of the leather slapping into Julius's thigh was better than any high. Julius’s whole body jolted. Breath escaped them both in low sighs. Alvin got to work on Julius’s pants, yanking them down along with his underwear.

     “Turn around,” he ordered, and didn’t wait for Julius’s response, already wrestling him over.

     Julius was on his knees in seconds, broad back and ass on full display. Alvin pressed against him, greedily biting his shoulder blades, cock teasing his tight hole.

     “Always so fucking tense…Give me your arms, too.”

     Julius didn’t, of course, because he had to be difficult in every possible way— and Alvin rewarded him with another strike on his ass, grabbing his wrists himself.

     “Gonna make me waste this nice belt, because you can’t ever make this shit easy,”  Alvin complained, unfolding the belt. He’d go with a partial hogtie this time— just Julius's hands— there was no way something this thin could manage to keep his feet still. Alvin looped the leather under Julius’s stomach, and tugged both sides back, slipping the rest around his wrists to lock them together. It took some muscle, but he managed to close it. Alvin leaned back, just watching Julius strain for a moment. His fingers clenched and pulled, only making the belt dig further into his abdomen. Alvin looked forward to seeing the marks that would leave, hours from now.

     “Looks like you’re stuck, Kresnik. Lube still in the table?”

     Alvin had to climb out of bed to reach it, thanks to Julius’s earlier pushing. He stepped out of the rest of his clothes while he was at it. The lube was plain and nothing special, wet against Alvin’s fingers, as he glanced over to the bed.

     Julius was still bent in half, but he’d pushed the pillows aside with his face to rest his forehead against the mattress. His arms had stopped straining against the belt, and he was perfectly still. Meditative, even. Had he pushed the table earlier to buy himself some time now? That kind of planning would be insane for anyone else, but for Julius…

     “You’re the weirdest person I’ve ever fucked,” Alvin mumbled, climbing into bed, massaging Julius’s red ass as he struggled to relax. “If you need a second ask for it like a human, would ya?”

     “I don’t.”

     “Sure you don’t,” Alvin said, squirting some of the cold lube over the base of Julius’s neck, making him hiss. Slowly, Alvin kneaded it over his flexing back and shoulders in some fabrication of a massage Julius would never accept unrestrained. “Relax for me, now.”

     Julius’s breath trembled, forehead digging into the mattress. He took pain well, but pleasure…

     “When’s the last time someone touched you like this, huh?” Alvin asked, knowing Julius would lose three nails before giving him a straight answer. His gloved fingers clenched against the belt, and Alvin just laughed.

     “Yeah, well, me too.”

     Fucking Julius, was, simply put, a bad habit. A vestigial reflex, an ancient siren song of self-sabotaging impulse. Old habits died hard, and a part of Alvin was doomed to always try to open closed boxes.

     “You know, you’re a man with no wants, Julius— as long as you focus on what you don’t desire at all.”

     Julius’s breath hitched in time for Alvin to get a knuckle in him, forcing his face back to the mattress with his other hand.

     “Agent Julius Kresnik. A fan club on every corner, and yet you’re in here, with me: a nobody fruit salesman with plenty of skeletons in my closet. Now why do you think that is?”

     “Shut up—” Julius growled, but his ass had loosened enough to swallow Alvin down to his second knuckle. Contradictions, contradictions. Alvin couldn’t have enough of him.

     “Make me, Julius. I don’t think you can. You’re already taking me so well—”

     The praise, more than the degradation made Julius tense, squeeze around Alvin’s middle finger as his legs threatened to push him off.

     “Jeez, relax, shhh…I’m not complimenting you, you know. You think you’ve earned that? You think you’ve given me anything? Not yet. You haven’t given me anything, yet.”

     Alvin released Julius’s head, let him hold himself to the sheets. His face was red and still. Alvin added more lube to his fingers, slowly pressing a second and third into him. Julius swallowed his breaths as Alvin stretched him open in the long silence.

     “You know why I think you’re here with me, and not one of your pretty fan club members, Julius?”

     Julius grunted, knuckles white against the belt. Alvin leaned down, pulling his fingers out so he could line them up. The tip of his dick pressed against Julius’s asshole, but he didn’t push inside. Instead, his lips lingered at Julius’s ear, breath teasing.

     “I think,” Alvin whispered, giving chase as soon Julius turned away. “I think you just like my cock. I think you love it more than you know how to admit.”

     Julius’s breath shuddered, and Alvin trailed a hand down his side, keeping them glued together, but refusing to enter him the way he wanted. Slowly, methodically, he licked the shell of his ear. Julius flinched like he’d been burned, and Alvin laughed.

     “I think you want it in you now. I think you’ll let me do whatever I want to you as long as you get it—  as long as something fills you. Tell me I’m wrong, Julius.”

     “You’re—mgh—” Julius’s voice caught as Alvin slowly pressed in. When his head was fully inside, he stopped, laying a warm kiss at the back of Julius’s hot neck.

     “What was that? You don’t want the rest? Guess I’ll back out.”

     “Fuck you,” Julius breathed, and Alvin knew he was making his favorite expression. Cold eyes dark, face flushed, struggling to keep his own longing at bay.

     “C’mon now Julius, don’t make this harder than it has to be. Just show me what you want. It’s so easy. Close your eyes and push back against me—yeah, fuck, just like that.”

     Julius took him in incrementally, a slow, agonizing slide that made Alvin want to eat him alive.

     “That’s it, Julius. I’ll take care of the rest,” Alvin whispered, once he was fully sheathed. Julius only sighed, letting out a soft, vocal breath that finally sent Alvin’s hips moving.

     There was nothing gentle about it. Alvin took what he wanted; moved in a merciless rhythm that only focused on fucking Julius as hard and deep as possible. The bed shook. Julius bit the mattress, tugging the sheets up with his teeth.

     It drove him crazy, Julius’s constant silence, even in moments like these. Alvin groaned into him, lapped the sweat and lube off his shoulders, pace relentless. He was barely rewarded with a low grunt.

     “Fuck you,” Alvin gasped. “You’re so quiet. You want me to cum in you? Fill you up? Tell me.”

     The sheets fell from Julius’s lip, wet with spit. Something between a laugh and a snarl left him between harsh breaths. “Didn’t know— you were— such a quick shot—Alv—”

     Alvin smacked his ass hard enough it echoed through his room. Julius sucked in a breath, untouched dick red and leaking onto his clean sheets. Alvin wrapped a hand around it, pumping it alongside his thrusts.

     “I can do this all day, asshole. Don’t test me.”

     Julius only laughed, single gloved hand clenching around the belt, as if he could get some stability there. A part of Alvin wished Julius would lean against him for once, but he smashed it, hips picking up the pace further until neither of them could talk— until they were both gasping and grunting and groaning like the wounded animals they were.

     Alvin came with a growl deep in his throat. Julius spilled into his hand in response, and Alvin stroked him through it. He watched his body tremble violently, beg where his voice wouldn’t, all needy and depraved and everything Julius despised about himself. One final shudder and Alvin released him. His wet dick slipped out of Julius as he slumped against his waiting back, catching his breath.

     True silence this time, only broken by Julius clearing his throat.

     Right.

     Alvin straightened up, carefully unhooking and untying the belt from Julius’s wrists. An elbow dug harshly into Alvin’s chest sending him back the moment he was free. Julius turned on his side, able to catch his breath better without Alvin draped over him.

     “Jeez, violent…” Alvin complained, hands up.

     This part was always awkward. Julius looked too spent to kick him out, which probably meant Alvin should stay even if they weren’t going to go again. Last year, Alvin might have left him here regardless. He’d abandoned this same view without a second thought hundreds of times before with men and women, with people who mattered, and people who didn’t.

     He didn’t know where Julius fit in there.

     Alvin stayed. Newborn morality was easily trumped by base needs, and he was simply too tired to search for his clothes. He grabbed a couple of pillows, and laid one next to Julius in a half-assed peace offering.

     “Up for round two, later?” He asked the ceiling.

     “Don’t push your luck,” Julius replied.

     “That’s what I thought. You sore? Need some ice or water or something?”

     “I’m fine.” Julius replied, jaw tightening, exactly the way Alvin knew it would. It was amazing how quickly you learned to read someone when the majority of your conversations took place without clothes.

     “Can’t say I didn’t try,” Alvin mumbled, and let his eyes slip shut.

     There was scratching at the door. Soft paws jostling the frame in a rhythmic thunk, thunk, thunk. Alvin’s eyes opened slowly, as Julius reluctantly sat himself up to let his cat back in. He smoothed his hair out first, like Rollo would know and care about what they’d been up to. The belt had dug a firm line across his stomach and waist. Bite marks littered his chest, back and shoulders, a particularly dark one just around his right nipple.

     Alvin whistled, low— he’d done a great job.

     Julius ignored him, opening the door so Rollo could run in, meowing loudly.

     He paused, crouching down (Alvin was impressed he managed that, with his ass in its current state) to hold his bare hand out to the obese cat, knuckles-first. Rollo meowed, leaning in, and Julius accepted his touch with an ease and a smile Alvin had never seen before. Not with him, hell, not even with Ludger.

     For a moment, Julius wasn’t a Spirius agent, wasn’t a cold-eyed hook-up from the back of one of Duval’s bars, wasn’t even an older brother— protective and secretive in equal measure.

     He was just a man, petting his cat.

     Alvin laid back in his bed, and wondered how long Julius could manage that before the rest of the world would rush in, and send him tumbling somewhere new and worse.