“You’re seriously staying in tonight?”
Greg looked up from his computer screen, peering over the rims of his glasses. Ronnie was going through Greg’s closet. Again. With a sigh, Greg shook his head and turned back to the data he’d been trying to make sense of all night. “Yeah. Too much to do.”
One of the peaks on the graph just didn’t make any sense. Biting the inside of his cheek, he reached for the notebook propped up on his desk. He opened it and scowled. Damn it, he was sure he’d brought home those printouts.
“Hey, Ronnie? You didn’t happen to grab my stuff off the printer, did you?” He took another glance up, only to frown even harder at the shirt Ronnie was holding against his chest. “That one? Really?” It was Greg’s favorite.
Ronnie turned, grinning broadly. “I think it’d look good on me. Brings out my skin tone, right?”
He’d made up his mind, then. Greg sighed. “I actually need that one back this time.”
One of these days, he was going to take his own turn rummaging through Ronnie’s closet, only it wouldn’t be to borrow Ronnie’s stuff. He just wanted his own crap back.
Taking that for the assent it was, Ronnie said, “Thanks. You’re the best.”
Ronnie tugged at the hem of the shirt he was wearing, and there was a flash of bare, dark skin. The rise of a hipbone cresting over the waistband of his jeans. Greg looked away before he could take in any more. He worried the corner of his notebook between his fingers and shifted his feet against the base of his chair. The back of his neck felt warm.
Christ, maybe he should go out. If he was looking at his officemate-slash-housemate-slash-best-friend like that, it had really been too long since he’d gotten laid. Way, way too long. He huffed out a deep breath and punched the side of his thigh. No. He didn’t have time for that, and one-night stands never worked out for him, anyway. Not that relationships did, either, if his last disaster of a breakup was anything to go by.
No, he was better off here. Alone.
The rust color did look good on Ronnie’s complexion. Probably better than it ever had against Greg’s paler one, and it fit him better, too. Greg was a little too broad in the shoulders for it, really. He smiled less than enthusiastically and gave a vague thumbs-up. “Looks like it was made for you.”
“Right?” Ronnie preened in front of the mirror for a minute.
Greg rolled his eyes. “You know, I could take you clothes shopping sometime.” It wasn’t something he offered to do very often. As the resident queer in their department, he didn’t like reinforcing that kind of stereotype. His sense of style wasn’t even all that good, relatively speaking. His mom always told him his engineer genes must have overpowered his gay ones. Really, the only thing he had to recommend him in that area was that he did his laundry about twice as often as Ronnie did.
“Nah, I’m broke. And anyway, this is more fun.” Turning back toward Greg, Ronnie smoothed a hand over his chest. “You sure you don’t want to come with us?”
“Maybe next time.” Grimacing, Greg gestured at all the work spread out across his desk.
“Suit yourself.” Ronnie smacked the top of the doorframe on his way through, then stopped short, twisting to poke his head back in. “Oh! Almost forgot. Your printouts are in my bag.” He jerked a thumb down the hall. “Left it on my desk.”
Oh, thank God. Greg really didn’t have time to run to campus tonight, and he needed to finish crunching these numbers this weekend if he was going to get his proposal for the symposium done on time. “I’d say I owe you, but I did just give you the shirt off my back.”
Ronnie laughed. “Dude, your closet is not your back. You totally still owe me one.” He made the shape of a gun with his hand and pointed it at Greg before cocking it and firing. “You’re slipping.”
There was a little twinge in the base of Greg’s gut. He was letting things slip. Too many things. Still, he waved it off. “Whatever. Go. Have fun. Wash my shirt before you give it back.”
“Don’t I always? Don’t answer that.” Ronnie grinned. “See you tomorrow.”
“Sure, sure.” Greg shook his head as the sound of Ronnie thundering down the stairs echoed through the house. He stared after him wistfully for a second, then mentally slapped himself. Next weekend, if the guys from the engineering department went out again, he’d go. He’d definitely be caught up by then. Just to prove it to himself, he pulled up his calendar program, but one glance at all those angry blocks of color had him wincing and X’ing out before he could linger too long.
Maybe next weekend he’d be free. He just had to work his ass off every minute between now and then. He blew out a deep breath. The house would be quiet tonight, at least. Nodding to himself, he refocused on the numbers and graphs in front of him.
Almost an hour crept by before he reached absently for his notebook again. He blinked. Oh, right. Those graphs he needed were still in Ronnie’s room. His spine made a couple of ominous, creaking cracks as he leaned back in his chair and stretched his arms up over his head. Setting his glasses aside, he dug the heels of his hands into his eyes. They were gritty and dry. Probably time for a break anyway.
He climbed out of his chair and shoved his feet into his shoes, taking a quick glance around as he did. Crap, his room was a mess. Not as bad as the other guys he shared this house with, but still. Not how he liked it. Grimacing at the piles of books and papers everywhere, he at least picked up the couple of plates and mugs he’d accumulated over the past few days.
Arms full of dirty dishes, he picked his way across the room and went out into the hall. Someone had left the light on. Typical. He took the stairs two at a time down to the shared living area. Out of instinct, he peeked his head around the corner. Nobody on the couch. He got to the kitchen to find it deserted, too. He heaved out a sigh. This had been what he’d wanted—a quiet, productive night in with no distractions, but one of the perks of living with a bunch of other grad students was always being able to find somebody to talk to when you needed to unwind for a minute. His shoulders sagged. Oh, well.
He put his dishes down in the sink, hesitating there for a second. Things were piling up on the counter, but no. Not his job this weekend. He grabbed a Coke from the fridge and switched off the light before turning to head back up to his room to slog through a few more hours of data tables and graphs.
Only… No. He shouldn’t. On the threshold between the kitchen and the hallway, he paused, rocking on his heels. He should just go straight upstairs, he shouldn’t stop and…it wasn’t like his housemate, Marsh, was even going to be there or anything. So it wouldn’t do any harm to check real quick. No. Yes. No.
Oh, who was he kidding? His breathing picked up as he diverted from his intended path, down the little hallway and around the corner.
Only to find the last little bedroom tucked under the stairs just as empty as the rest of the house.
Talk about pathetic. His stomach curled just a little with disappointment. It was stupid, really. He leaned against the doorway and rubbed his hand over his face, then cupped the back of his neck. Hell, it was probably a good thing Marsh wasn’t there. Greg didn’t exactly have an excuse to be stopping by. They didn’t have anything in common, and every time Greg had tried to make small talk this past month, he’d crashed and burned. God forbid he actually managed to carry on a real conversation with a hot guy, and worse, one who didn’t speak engineer.
Grumbling to himself, Greg stretched his neck from side to side. It had been a fluke that Marsh had even ended up living there. He was an undergrad, though at least he was a senior. A history major. And a jock. He’d been a last-minute addition to their lease when their other housemate had had to withdraw at the last minute to deal with a family crisis. Facing down the prospect of each having to chip in an extra share of the rent, Greg and the guys had posted an ad on Craigslist, given a little prayer, and the next day, Marshall Sulkowski had shown up with two duffel bags and a rumpled check.
And Greg had been finding reasons to loiter around the entrance to his room ever since.
He popped the top of his soda and took a long gulp of it. Rubbed the back of his wrist over his mouth.
Marsh’s room hadn’t really changed much since he’d moved in. The walls were still mostly bare, the closet open and half empty. The only things that marked it as lived-in at all were the unmade bed, the short stack of books beside it, and the baseball jersey and glove on the dresser.
“You looking for Marsh?”
Greg just about went out of his skin. He caught his Coke before he could drop it and managed not to actually jump as he twisted around to see his other housemate, Jason, standing in the hall.
“Oh. Um. Hey. No.” Could Greg sound any less smooth? He pushed off the wall, fidgeting with the can in his hand as he did. He held it up. “Just needed a caffeine break. Thought I’d see if anyone else was home.”
“Think it’s just you and me.”
Greg took a better look at Jason. He was dressed casually, if not as scrubby as Greg was in his T-shirt and sweats. “Thought you were heading out with Ronnie and the other guys?”
Jason shrugged. “I stopped by but didn’t stay.” He motioned toward the stairs. “Early night for me. Group meeting at eight tomorrow.”
Poor bastard. “That sucks.”
“Tell me about it.” Jason was in one of the largest research groups at the university. It was prestigious, and it would be great for his career when he graduated, but in the meantime it meant putting up with an inattentive advisor and meetings at god-awful hours on Saturdays. He turned and gave a little wave over his shoulder. “Good night.”
Jason headed up the stairs, leaving Greg alone. He took one last glance at Marsh’s room. Nothing like getting caught hovering like that to make a guy feel like a creep. He knocked the side of his fist against the wall, then made his way toward the stairs himself, turning off lights as he went.
One quick stop at Ronnie’s room for his printouts, and then he holed himself up in his own again, the door ajar and loud rock pounding through his headphones. He resettled his glasses on his nose and cracked his knuckles. He looked at all the books strewn out across his desk. This was his life. And that was fine.
And with that he dug back in.
Apparently, he dug in deeply enough that he wasn’t sure if hours or minutes had passed when something rose above the sounds of drums and guitars and the sight of numbers on his screen. At first, he thought he was just hearing part of the bassline, but then he turned the volume down and looked up, and—
“Shit.” He put one hand to his heart while with the other he scrambled to pull his headphones off his ears. “You. Um.”
Because that was Marsh standing at Greg’s door. Marsh, with his sandy hair all mussed to look like sex, his blue eyes and his arms. Christ, the veins standing out on his forearms, the thick muscle under golden skin, the bulges of his biceps beneath the rolled-up sleeves of that tight black button-down.
That was Marsh standing at his door.
And Greg was cool. He was totally cool as he set his headphones aside and pawed at his glasses to get them off his face, because, no. Marsh did not need to see those. “Um,” Greg said again. “What?”
Marsh flashed an easy grin, just a glimpse of perfect, white teeth between plush lips. “You okay?”
“Yeah. Of course. Yes.” Did Greg not look okay? He ruffled a hand through his hair, then rubbed at his eyes. He gestured futilely at his monitor. “Just. Working.”
He winced at himself. Working at—he glanced at the clock—midnight on a Friday night. Sure, he was cool.
There was something to the way Marsh spoke. Something tired. Greg didn’t quite know what to do with that. So he just tilted his head to the side. “Yeah.” And cool or not, Greg should be able to be a little bit smoother than this, but it was midnight on a Friday and he’d been working all night, and Marsh didn’t ever seek Greg out. Greg scrunched up his brow. “Are you… Can I… Did you need something?”
There was no other reason he’d be here, right? No other reason that wasn’t the prelude to some sort of really cheesy porn. Not that Greg had ever entertained fantasies about just that kind of thing. Nope, not at all. He swallowed hard and shifted to rest his arm across his lap.
“I—” Marsh scratched at the back of his neck, crossing one ankle over the other. He glanced behind himself toward the hall. “Er, Jason said you were looking for me?”
Shit. “No,” Greg said, too fast, and did Marsh just frown a little? No, he couldn’t have. “I mean. I was, earlier. I was taking a break. From all of this.” He pointed at the papers strewn across his desk. “And I was seeing if anyone else was home.”
“And you checked in my room?”
“Well, you’re someone aren’t you?” Then it occurred to Greg, “I thought Jason crashed out a couple of hours ago.”
Marsh shrugged. “Ran into him when he was coming out of the bathroom. He looked half asleep.”
“Well.” Greg gave himself a little bit of credit. This was one of the longest conversations he’d had with Marsh. That was worth something, right?
But not as much as Marsh shifting his weight, looking around…and then walking right through Greg’s door to plop himself down on Greg’s bed. “So, you ready to take another break?”
Oh God. Maybe this was a cheesy porn. Greg pinched his elbow as hard as he could, but nothing happened. Because this was real.
Cool, he reminded himself. You’re cool. He glanced back at his computer screen. He still had a million things to do, but it wasn’t like he was going to accomplish any more of them tonight, not after this. Turning off the monitor, he nodded. After another deep breath, he swiveled in his seat until he was facing Marsh. Marsh on his bed. “Sure,” he said, voice way more level than he felt.
As easy as it had appeared when he’d shown up, something in Marsh’s posture seemed to relax. “Awesome.” He shoved himself to the end of Greg’s bed and bent over, one finger extending out as he looked over the portion of Greg’s movie collection that hadn’t managed to migrate to the living room yet. Greg chewed on the inside of his cheek and was about to suggest that there was more of a selection downstairs when Marsh’s gaze caught. His hand darted out, and he pulled the case for the Abrams Star Trek reboot, holding it up as he twisted. “This any good?”
“Well,” Greg started, then stopped himself. Marsh didn’t care that the purists thought it was a travesty, or that the Spock-Uhura romance didn’t make any sense. He definitely didn’t care what the slash community thought of it. He lifted one shoulder, as nonchalant as he could be. “I like it.”
“Do you mind?” Marsh was already reaching to pop the tray on the Blu-Ray player.
Of course Greg didn’t mind. A movie would sure be easier than trying to carry out a conversation or whatever else Marsh might want to do. In the set of all possible options for spending time together, watching a geeky sci-fi movie was probably the least threatening one Greg could imagine.
But even that didn’t make any sense. Part of him wanted to just go with it, but his thirteen-year-old spidey sense was tingling too hotly to ignore. The last time a popular kid had tried to spend time with Greg, he’d been looking for homework to copy. There wasn’t any homework here, wasn’t anything Marsh could possibly be trying to use Greg for, but still. The whole idea made his stomach roil.
He must have hesitated too long, because even as he was opening the case, Marsh looked back at him, his brow furrowed. “We could do something else if you don’t wanna.”
“No.” The response came automatically enough, but Greg didn’t feel quite so confident about it. He hesitated. “I mean, no, but…”
“But…” Fuck it. “What are you doing here? You just, what, want to hang out?”
And was that—it couldn’t be. Was that hurt in Marsh’s expression? “Is that so weird?”
Greg bit off a raw little hint of a laugh. “Yeah. I mean, we’ve been living together for, what? A month now? And when have you ever just stopped by to say hi?”
Marsh winced, and yeah, maybe that wasn’t fair. There was something else going on, though, too, Greg could see it. Part of him wanted to take it all back, but the bigger part wanted the answer.
“Look.” Marsh set the movie case down on the bed beside him with force, like the sound of the impact should have resounded in the room. The mattress was too soft to make a thud, but there was gravity there, and his arm looked achingly heavy as he braced his elbow on his knee. “I had a really shitty night. And a shitty day.”
He looked up, and any second-guessing went out the window. That self-assured smile was gone, and the dullness in his eyes made him look more tired than Greg had really realized a happy, popular, good-looking guy could be. For just an instant, it all slipped, and Marsh seemed ready to break. Greg had been nursing a bit of a crush on the guy for a while now, but that split second of vulnerability made it feel like Greg’s chest was about to crack open, too. Marsh ground his teeth and grated out, all in one breath, “And I don’t want to be alone.”
The crack split wider. It wasn’t homework Marsh was looking for, or anything else he could use Greg for. It was just company. Greg could empathize with that. It was all Greg had wanted himself.
But Marsh was shaking his head, pushing off the bed. “Or not. Whatever.”
Greg moved before he could stop himself, stepping right into Marsh’s space, blocking his way and standing over him, his throat dry. Marsh looked up and sat back down. Leaning forward, Greg picked up the movie case and pulled the disc out. When he squatted down in front of Marsh, it put them so close that Greg could feel the warmth of Marsh’s big, lean body through the air. He chanced one glance up at Marsh before looking to slot the disc into the player. “It’s a good movie,” was all he said.
One second’s pause, and the whirring of the Blu-Ray was the only sound in the room. Then Marsh breathed out hard. “Yeah?”
“I own it, don’t I?” As if Marsh had been asking if it was really good movie—like he hadn’t been actually asking if he could stay.
“Yeah. Good point.” And apparently that was that. Marsh kicked off his shoes and pushed himself up the bed, stretching out all along one side of it, propping himself against Greg’s pillow.
Somehow in the process, his shirt had bunched up underneath him, and there was a thin, tan line of flesh exposed above the waistband of his jeans, a hint of a trail of dusky hair. Shadows hinting at the dips and crests of abdominals and hip.
Greg licked his lips, then forced his gaze away. There was nowhere to sit in his room except this bed and his office chair, and fuck if he was going to spend another minute there after hunching in front of his computer screen all night. He eyed the space beside Marsh. It looked so inviting.
Marsh had found the remote sitting on Greg’s nightstand, and he turned on the TV. The room filled with sound, but Greg didn’t even have to ask before Marsh was turning it down.
“Okay?” Marsh asked.
And, yeah, it was. Loud enough to enjoy but not so loud that sleeping housemates down the hall would be upset. But Greg wasn’t okay. Not by a long shot.
Nodding, he stood, tugging the hem of his own shirt down. His ancient, oversized T-shirt. Even if he’d known this was going to happen, he couldn’t have planned to look any worse. Not that it mattered. Shit, he needed to relax.
His gaze hit on the Coke can next to his computer. “I’m, uh, gonna grab something to drink. You want anything?”
Marsh nodded without taking his eyes off the screen. “Sure. Beer would be good.” His eyes darted toward Greg. “Or whiskey if you’re feeling really crazy.”
“That’s me,” Greg said drily. He traced a little circle in the air with his finger. “Life of the party.”
Fortunately, Marsh was kind enough to only dignify that with a grunt of a laugh. Greg pushed out of the room and down the stairs, where it was all dark and deserted. He opened the fridge and peered inside. The whole top shelf was beer, and Greg had to think for a second. He’d seen Marsh with a beer at some point, and it hadn’t been the piss Ronnie liked. He took his best guess and grabbed two Sam Adamses, then shut the door. He hesitated for just a second.
“Fuck it,” he mumbled to himself and threw open the liquor cabinet and grabbed the bottle of Jack he’d put there just the weekend before.
Thus armed, he made his way upstairs. At the threshold to his room, he had to do another double take. Yup, that really was one of the star members of the baseball team laid out on his bed. His knees went a little weak, but he had it together. He was fine. Cool.
“Grab the lights?” Marsh asked.
Oh God. “Right.” With an elbow, he hit the switch, leaving the room in darkness but for the blue glow from the screen. He wavered, then went ahead and closed the door, too. For the noise.
Marsh didn’t comment on it. He just held his hand out for his beer, and Greg passed it over. He set the whiskey down on the shelf above their heads without comment and twisted the top off his own beer. And then there was nothing left to do but go for it. Sucking in a deep breath, he sat on the bed beside Marsh. He did it gingerly, probably way too carefully, so the mattress hardly rocked. Wadding up the other pillow, he wedged it behind his back so he could sit up against the headboard.
It was only a double bed, so he was inches from Marsh, his shin so close to his knee, their elbows almost touching. It sent electricity through Greg’s body, and he pulled at the hem of his T-shirt, suddenly grateful for the darkness and for his decision to wear briefs beneath his sweats. He took a big gulp of his beer and tried to focus on the screen as the ads and previews finally gave way to the opening of the film.
Warmth brushing his side made him startle. Marsh was holding out the cap of the bottle of Jack, the inside dark with liquid. He was propped up on his side, free hand touching Greg’s arm. “You look like you need this more than I do.”
What? Oh. “Sorry.” He willed his body to just relax, but he couldn’t help it. All that stress and work, and now this—this proximity and this man on his bed. He was just a ball of tension. He eyed the whiskey.
“Just one. I’m not trying to get you drunk.”
Pity, that. It would probably do Greg good. Resolved, he took the cap and threw it back, grimacing at the burn before he passed it to Marsh who refilled it and downed it with practiced ease. He paused, then took a second shot. Before he closed the bottle, he glanced at Greg, giving him a chance to ask for another shot before twisting the cap on tight and setting it aside.
And the booze couldn’t possibly be affecting Greg, but there was something about the heat of it, still echoing in his throat. It made him feel like he could let go a little. Like he didn’t have to hold himself quite so carefully. He kicked his legs out and rolled his neck. His spine was all kinked. He glanced at Marsh.
Marsh hadn’t hesitated to make himself comfortable. He looked as easy as could be, and maybe Greg knew part of it was an act. Maybe he’d seen beneath that disaffectedness, if only for a moment. It still didn’t make it any less difficult for Greg to be so calm.
Finally, he pulled the pillow out from behind his back and lay down. Marsh didn’t react, and it was fine. Just two men lying beside each other on a small bed, watching a movie.
He looked at the screen, but he didn’t see a thing.
Not the fight in the bar or the first time Spock was a dick at the Academy, not the freaking sword fight on the drilling platform in the middle of the sky. All he could focus on was the heat of the body beside him and the ripples of warmth and want winding their way through his skin. He licked his lips and shifted and kept to his own damn side of the bed.
And then Marsh kicked his leg out, and that was his knee against Greg’s. Marsh had to realize they were touching, and he was a sports guy. That couldn’t be okay. He probably knew Greg was gay, and what about this could possibly be okay? But he didn’t move, and the heat in Greg’s spine was ready to boil over. He was so keyed in on this one bright point of awareness, of contact.
Marsh shuffled again, and his arm hit Greg’s. And Greg was going to explode. It had been so long, and Marsh smelled so good, like amber and pine and something clean. Something that seared right through Greg and left him ready to go out of his skin. He was aching and hard and he wanted…
Something that was never going to happen.
It was just a crush. With the pretext of picking up the beer he’d left on the floor beside the bed, Greg rolled over, carefully disengaging himself from the places where their bodies had been touching. He instantly felt cold. After taking a long drink, he set the beer down and resettled on his back. There was space between them again, and that was good. For the sake of Greg’s sanity, that was necessary.
Marsh didn’t make any further overtures, and bit by bit, Greg started to relax. He’d seen the movie enough times that he was able to figure out where they were, and maybe he was a little hyperaware of Marsh and where he was on the bed, but there wasn’t any harm in that. Other than the twinge of disappointment in his gut each moment Marsh didn’t choose to close the gap between them again, it wasn’t hurting anyone.
Toward the end of the movie, he was actually pretty engrossed, his heart rising through the victory lap, and he knew full well that the end was coming. He was still surprised, though, when the credits starts to roll. Marsh fumbled over their heads and found the right remote from the pile and pressed a button.
The room went dark and quiet all at once. There was just the faint glow of the still-powered-up TV, thin lines of light from the slats in the blinds. There was just silence.
Just the sound of breathing.
And that was all it took. Suddenly, although they weren’t touching, they were entirely too close. Greg could feel the static, could feel the inches between their bodies.
His swallow was an audible gulp in the quiet and the dark. He turned his neck, only to find eyes staring back at him. Marsh’s gaze was a buzz of electricity, something that had Greg lighting up from the inside out. Everything blurred except those twin points, and beneath them the curl of Marsh’s lips.
Marsh closed his eyes and shook his head. Beneath his breath, he muttered, “This is such a bad idea.”
Greg didn’t have time to ask what he was talking about, because then Marsh was opening his eyes and propping himself up on his elbow, twisting and leaning forward, and putting his hand on Greg’s face. Greg sucked in a breath, all harshness and too loud in the space.
“What are you—”
It was confusion and want and disbelief, a complete short-circuiting of his brain at the first press of lips, and he froze. His hand stuttered in the air, and his eyes were wide, everything cracking. Because never, not through the month of stilted not-quite conversation, not through the sudden appearance of this man in his door or the way they’d almost touched…never had it occurred to Greg that he might not be the only one to feel this way.
Air rushed into his lungs, realization dawning, and it was too impossible a thing. But the second kiss was a question, and the answer was yes, of course it was yes, if Greg could only get it out. He scrabbled at the sheets, wanting to haul Marsh closer. But Marsh was drawing away, dragging his fingers down Greg’s cheek, breathing out a laugh that sounded like an apology, and Greg made a choked little noise. He surged forward. In a blur, he latched on to the collar of Marsh’s shirt and reeled him in, closed his eyes and pressed his mouth to Marsh’s and licked the surprise from his lips.
And it was…perfect, really. Marsh tasted warm and real, a tang of hops on his tongue as he opened up and let Greg suck at his bottom lip. All the curled-up energy from lying beside Marsh leapt from Greg’s skin, electricity crackling through the wet push and pull and the grip of Marsh’s hands on Greg’s hips. Greg groaned into the kiss, because he’d been wanting this for so long, had been starved for someone to touch him and to let him touch, and Marsh was gorgeous. Was so out of his league, but he was here. Greg got his hand up under Marsh’s shirt and pressed his palm to smooth skin. Marsh’s stomach was all muscle, the trace of hair down the middle so sensitive as Marsh shuddered and pulled Greg closer. Rising up, Greg pushed Marsh back and climbed into his lap, straddling him, and maybe this was too fast, but it felt so good.
“Yeah,” Marsh said, one big hand coming up to cup Greg’s neck, holding his mouth there, and a thrill went through Greg. Being held in place like that made him harder, made him want nothing more than to rub himself off against Marsh’s thigh. Maybe, someday, Marsh would really pin him down and take him apart, put all those muscles to the task of turning Greg to liquid, but tonight he wanted something different.
He ground his hips into Marsh’s, shivering when Marsh grabbed his ass and thrust up. Heat pooled deep in Greg’s belly at the answering hardness against his own, and he wanted skin, wanted the musk of arousal and the taste of pre-come and the fullness of hot flesh in his mouth.
“Wanna suck you,” he mumbled into Marsh’s mouth, and Marsh gave a pained little grunt that seared Greg to his bones.
There was a hand on Greg’s shoulder, the one on his ass coming to rest on his hip, and both urged him down. “Yeah, that sounds so good.”
Greg scrambled, crawling down Marsh’s body and taking needy bites at him, getting damp fabric between his teeth. At his navel, Greg pushed Marsh’s shirt up to run his tongue along the ridges and dips of his abdomen, to taste the salt from his skin. Marsh’s hand pressed into the space between them, tugging at the fasteners of his pants, and Greg nosed down into the gaps, pushing fingers out of the way to part his lips around the clothed head of Marsh’s cock.
Marsh groaned and shoved at the waistband of his underwear, and Greg loved this. It had him aching and desperate, the way Marsh arched and the push at the back of his neck. The long, flushed line of Marsh’s dick, the tip slick, and the neat thatch of gold-brown hair, the scent of male wanting. Greg flicked his gaze up Marsh’s body, and his own dick throbbed inside his briefs.
Oh God. Marsh was a wet dream. His eyes were locked on Greg, his chin tilted back, and Greg loved the sharp point of his jaw, the shadow of his stubble in the dim light. His abdomen gleamed, and he wrapped a hand around himself and tilted it toward Greg’s lips.
Greg didn’t hesitate. There was the low frisson of shame, because he shouldn’t love this so much, but he did. He loved a good mouthful of cock and the way the head shoved up against his throat; he loved letting go like this. He pushed himself farther than he could take, only letting himself up when he choked, and then he bobbed, up and down. What he couldn’t fit in his mouth, he stroked with his hand. He sucked and licked, and he loved this. He ground himself into the mattress, making his lips nice and soft, slurping and working at the underside with his tongue. Marsh was all little gasping sounds, threading his fingers through Greg’s hair and whispering, “Yes,” and “Oh,” and “Like that.”
Marsh rocked up into Greg’s mouth. His thigh was tense beneath Greg’s palm, the muscles of his abdomen rigid. Greg bobbed faster, tightening his fist.
Marsh keened, fingers tugging hard at Greg’s hair, and Greg had to shut his eyes, because that felt so good. He gave his own little whine, cock kicking, balls going tight. And he wouldn’t move, he’d take it all, drink it down, and then it was pouring in. Marsh bowed off the bed as he rasped Greg’s name. Salty come slicked Greg’s throat, and he swallowed and chased every shudder, every spasm until Marsh let go. His hips sank back down, and he gave a little nudge at Greg’s shoulder that Greg ignored. He laved Marsh clean and sucked at the tip until the sounds spilling out of Marsh turned from wrung-out pleasure to the faintest lick of distress.
He let Marsh slip, softening, from his tongue and flexed his jaw as he rose up onto his knees. Holding Marsh’s gaze, he dragged the back of his wrist over his lips. They were swollen, probably looked red and used. Marsh reached for him, and he came readily, tugging at the drawstring of his sweats, and then they were pushing them down together. Marsh got a hand around Greg’s aching dick and stroked it, fast and punishing as Greg panted and fell into his mouth. It was less a kiss and more a sharing of air, more just a place to rest and connect and feel. Marsh’s other hand was on Greg’s cheek, holding him and grounding him, and Greg pressed his forehead hard against Marsh’s brow.
Pulling away, panting for breath, Marsh swiped his thumb through the slick at the tip of Greg’s cock and twisted his wrist. “Fucking loved your mouth, so filthy, you felt so—”
Greg didn’t hear the rest. He shook his head and buried his face against the hot, damp skin of Marsh’s neck as he shot across his naked hip. Shaking pleasure made his vision go blank.
And he was laughing and pulsing and convulsing, because, God, he’d needed that.
When he started to come back to himself, Marsh was easing him down onto his side. He rolled easily enough, sliding off onto his back, and he flung his arm across his eyes as he let out a deep, long sigh. The thrumming beneath his skin was something good now, something sated and satisfied, and he hadn’t felt this easy and pliant in months. Rubbing his hand over his face, he looked down at himself. He was still fully clothed except that his pants were around his thighs, his cock lying half-hard and wet against his stomach.
The mattress shifted beneath him. Marsh was tucking himself away and refastening his jeans, dragging a hand through his hair as he sat up against the headboard. Somehow, he managed to look composed enough. Greg gave a little groan as he tugged his own sweats to rest on his hips and pulled his shirt down.
Without a word, Marsh reached for the bottle of Jack on the shelf. He uncapped it and took a big swig straight from the bottle before passing it over. Greg almost didn’t take it, but the lingering taste of come wouldn’t stay sexy for long. He paused as he grabbed the bottle. It was lighter than it had been.
His gaze darted to Marsh’s face, looking deeper, and it was dark, but his cheeks were flushed. Maybe with more than just the sex. Greg had been so aware of him all through the movie, but he’d been paying attention to his closeness. Not to what he’d been doing. The hazy afterglow started to fade, and a pit opened up in Greg’s stomach. He sipped at the whiskey before handing it back. Marsh capped it and set it aside.
Marsh pulled a face as he sat up higher and rose. He stumbled a little on his way to Greg’s desk. He yanked a couple tissues from the box there and hiked up his shirt to dab at the mess Greg had left on his skin.
“Sorry,” Greg started.
Marsh shook his head, a lazy grin curving parted lips. “No apologizing.” He came over to the bed and bent down, bracing himself with an arm against the mattress as he ducked to press a slow, filthy kiss to Greg’s mouth. “You were so good at that.”
It was a compliment, but it left Greg cold. Marsh was gorgeous and popular. He probably had a lot of mouths to compare Greg’s to. The pit in Greg’s stomach deepened into something gaping. He’d asked Marsh why he was here—he’d been so sure there’d had to be a reason.
Maybe this had been it. Maybe he’d known Greg was a repressed little queer who’d suck anything if he could just get up the courage to let himself go. The shutters fell, all the tension seeping right back in.
He forced a smile, touching Marsh’s neck for just a second before letting his hand fall away. “It was good.” He steadied himself and leaned back.
It had been so good, but that didn’t mean anything. Especially if Marsh had been drunk. If Marsh had been drunk, Greg shouldn’t even have touched him, but he hadn’t been thinking beyond the heat and the press and the pleasure of being kissed. Of having all that attention on him. It had made him feel…special.
He shook his head at himself as Marsh stood. Steeling himself, Greg looked up at him and tried for nonchalance. “You going to be okay getting back to your room by yourself?”
Something strange passed across Marsh’s face. But then it was gone. Maybe it hadn’t been there in the first place, just a trick of the shadows in the dimness. Marsh straightened his shoulders and gave a little laugh as he crossed his arms over his chest. “Yeah. Pretty sure I’ll be fine.”
Marsh unfurled his arms, and his hand twitched at his sides. He stuck his hands in his pockets and turned away. Pulling the door open, he poked his toe at the jamb. “Thanks,” he said, not looking up. “For the movie. And everything.”
“Anytime.” And shit, Greg shouldn’t have said that. He’d do it again, but Marsh didn’t need to know that.
“Great,” Marsh said, and it sounded like relief. He met Greg’s eyes and nodded. “Good night.” His voice was warmer now, and yeah. Greg would do it again.
Marsh let himself out and closed the door behind him. The instant he heard the click, Greg dropped to lie flat on his back and pulled a pillow over his face, breathing into it to try to calm his heart. He’d made a dent in all the work he had to do, and he’d sort of gotten laid. He’d gotten everything he wanted, and yet he felt just as frustrated as he had when the night had begun.
He shoved the pillow away and lifted his head to glance at the piles of papers that still needed his attention, then down the length of his body. At the spatters of white drying on his shirt. He might have gotten what he wanted, but it hadn’t been the plan.
A quiet, productive night in, his ass.
Dropping his head, he ran his hand through his hair. Somehow, things had gotten completely out of control.
He didn’t know what he was going to do about it.
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