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* * * A final coda to the series, where Stan heads off on a trip, leaving Connor and Darren to their own devices until he gets back. Starts with quite a dark feel, but it all works out in the end. * * *
Connor can’t climb out of his head. He’s been sitting on his bed now for three hours, three days, maybe three weeks, he’s not sure anymore.
A movie plays in the darkened theatre of his mind and he feels it; every punch to the gut he’s ever received from Xavier and others like him. Every look of contempt, every sneer. Every act he’s performed on his lovers to try and achieve a different outcome. Every time he’s failed.
Again and again he reaches the climax of his worthlessness and dies a silent death—and the movie, its hooks in his viscera, starts again.
Each time there’s more detail and an even deeper self loathing.
He shakes his head in disgust as he digs his teeth into the memory, tearing off pieces that bruise his throat, swallowing them raw and bloody until his stomach aches and the bitterness sours his mouth.
He’s gone dark because Stan’s been away, some trip to see some dam or bridge, or some other infinitely boring structure in Spain. Connor wasn’t listening when Stan told him the details, more concerned that his boyfriend was leaving him for an entire week. Remembers now:
Stan’s hand on his knee. “You’re sure you’ll be okay?”
Connor’s lip curled back, “I’ll be fine. How are you going to live without my cock in your mouth every morning?”
Stan’s laugh. “It’ll be hard.” Then a wink. Not a hint of fear in Stan’s eyes that Connor might replace him while he’s gone.
His pet, his lover—his boyfriend—jokes with him more now, seems more secure. But for all Stan’s happiness, his lack of neediness makes Connor nervous. If Stan doesn’t need him, Stan will leave him. If Stan doesn’t need him, Stan will leave him. If Stan doesn’t need him… and the words run on repeat.
There’s a knock at the door. “Hey, Connor? It’s Darren. I tried to text you but I haven’t heard back. Stan said to drop by if you didn’t answer.”
Did he just?
Connor knows he’s a mess. He’s wearing the clothes he slept in last night, hasn’t showered yet today. He smoothes his hair down, then drops his hands to the bed, Darren forgotten as his mind goes numb again.
There’s another knock, and Connor starts, remembers he’s not alone.
“Connor? Stan told me to come in if you didn’t answer.”
Again Connor’s eyes narrow. Did. he. just?
There’s a click at the lock, the sound of a key pushing against the tumblers, and Connor calls out, “Stop!”
The sound stops. Connor can sense the younger boy on the other side of the door, breathing as quietly as he can. He does that, under Connor’s gaze. Goes quiet, as if any sound he makes might upset his older lover.
“Come back in half an hour. Bring food.”
There’s a half-second pause, then the key retreats from the lock. Darren doesn’t need to ask what Connor wants to eat. He knows. His light tread heads down the corridor, and Connor lies back on his bed. He pushes his hands through his hair in frustration then looks around the room. It’s a tip. He can’t let Darren see it like this. Evidence of his mental state.
He rolls off the bed and starts getting his shit together.
Darren goes to fetch food. He knows his older lover thinks he’s simple, but he’s not. It’s just that when he’s around Connor, his mind goes numb. It’s not just the older boy’s presence, it’s his voice. When Connor speaks, Darren’s brain switches to autopilot, with Connor giving the flight instructions.
He doesn’t fully understand why it’s this way; would never have considered himself to be the kind of person to obey another without question. But Connor’s voice isn’t just a command, it’s a caress. Under the weight of his lover’s gaze, Darren feels his whole mind and body stroked and held.
Hell, Connor could probably talk him to orgasm.
As he collects takeout for them both, his phone vibrates. He juggles food and drink into one arm and pulls out his phone.
‘Is he still alive?’ A message from Stan. Darren can’t help getting a kick of joy whenever he sees Stan’s name light up on his phone.
‘Yeah. I’m getting us food,’ he writes back, and watches dots wink across the screen.
‘Be a good boy for him,’ comes back, and Darren gets a jolt of electricity that starts his dick awake. While Connor makes Darren stupid, Stan’s a warm glow in his world. His calm smile, his easy presence. Stan doesn’t have to tell Darren to behave, because he wouldn’t dream of ever disappointing either of his lovers. But when Stan says things like that, it makes Darren’s gut pleasantly clench and his cock start to swell.
Stan’s a safety Darren didn’t know he needed until he met him, a lighthouse over broken rocks, a concrete bunker against a tsunami.
And if Stan’s the lighthouse, Connor’s the rocks and the tsunami, the awful power of nature sweeping down on Darren while he closes casino şirketleri his eyes and accepts his fate.
His phone vibrates again and his face lights up.
‘I’ll be home later tonight. Don’t cum unless he tells you to. Save it for me.’
The food unbalances and Darren nearly drops it to the ground. The thought of Stan fucking into him with long, slow strokes gives Darren a solid erection, but trying not to cum while Connor plays with him will be nearly impossible. Regardless of what Connor tells him, Darren hasn’t managed to hold himself back yet.
He pushes his phone back into his pocket and hurries back to Connor.
Connor’s showered and shaved, combed down his wild hair and thrown on a fresh shirt and jeans. It’s critical to him that Darren not see him decomposed. It gnaws at him that Stan’s absence has thrown him this much… but that’s what talking with the other boy does. Opening the wound brings the infection to the surface, means it can’t be ignored.
He sits on his bed, his freshly made bed, leans back on his hands and thinks of what he wants to do to Darren tonight.
He’s promised Stan he won’t do anything that might be counted as ‘punishment’ without Stan there and without Darren’s consent—but he knows Darren will consent to just about anything without his minder there to say no on his behalf.
He hears Stan’s voice in his head, reminding him gently, “Kindness, Connor. Do what you want with him, but let him know when he’s done well. And don’t you push him out the door afterwards while I’m gone.”
He sighs. Stan’s altogether too soft on the younger boy. But Connor can’t deny that his treatment of Darren mirrors others’ treatment of him, and the small kernel of his heart that still receives blood knows what he does is cruel.
Half an hour though, lets him compose himself, helps him rein back his darker urges. As long as Darren does everything he’s told, Connor tells himself he can find it in himself to reward the boy with some form of affection. For Stan, of course.
There’s a knock at the door.
“Hey. My hands are full. Can you open the door?”
Connor’s eyes narrow, but Stan’s voice nags at him. Be reasonable.
He gets off the bed and opens the door, and Darren comes in, fumbling food and a bottle of drink towards Connor’s desk.
“I got everything you like,” Darren says, turning back to the older boy as Connor shuts the door behind him.
Connor stalks up to him and Darren freezes in place, his eyes wide. Connor, a head taller, slides a hand through Darren’s hair above his ear and bends to kiss his forehead.
Stan would be proud.
He rests his wrist on the younger boy’s shoulder, and tries to inject warmth into his eyes the way Stan does.
Darren gives him a small smile. “Shall we eat?”
Connor nods, but keeps his wrist pressed against Darren’s shoulder a few moments longer before removing that weight.
Darren jolts back into action, unpacking food, and pouring drinks into glasses Connor’s fetched earlier from the kitchen.
Stanton’s asked Darren not to tell Connor he’s back tonight. If Connor wants to know, he can check his own phone, and Stan knows he won’t.
So instead of chatting about his favourite subject, Stanton, Darren instead starts up a conversation he knows will draw Connor in.
“When’s your show on again? I heard Melinda talking about rehearsals—she says you’re going to get scouted the second you finish up.”
A slight smile twitches the corner of Connor’s mouth as he spins his fork into a pile of Chinese noodles. He knows this is Darren’s attempt to bond, appealing to his ego. But he doesn’t mind. The kid doesn’t lie, so the praise is real, and Connor’s never gotten the point of pretending to be humble.
“Six days’ time,” he says. He also knows Darren knows exactly when his show is. He and Stanton have centre-row seats, bought by Stan the second tickets went on sale. That either of them would miss his show doesn’t enter his mind.
“Who are you playing again?” Darren asks, his eyes on his fried rice.
“Dr Faustus.” Connor chews thoughtfully. “Although, I’ve always thought of myself more as Mephistopheles.”
“Who’s that?” Darren asks, as he crunches into a wonton.
“A demon,” says Connor.
And laughs quietly to himself feeling Darren’s gaze on him.
They finish eating and Connor lets out a sigh. He stretches out on his bed and puts a hand against his stomach. “I’m going to need some time to digest that.”
Darren gets to his feet. “Do you want to…?”
The kid’s fingers fidget nervously against his palms as he waits for Connor to invite him onto the bed.
“Yeah, alright. May as well put a movie on.”
Darren opens Connor’s laptop and finds a movie from Connor’s hard drive that he knows the other boy hasn’t seen. The movies came from him, movies he’s downloaded so that he can cue up his review videos on YouTube for the day of the official release.
He casino firmaları sets the movie to play and climbs onto the bed, while Connor props himself on one elbow, waiting for Darren to settle before resting a hand against his side, his fingers sliding under the younger boy’s shirt.
With a warm palm resting against his skin, Darren’s tension falls away, the heat radiating out from Connor’s touch infusing him with sense of contentment.
As the credits close, Connor’s still and silent, his fingers warm against Darren’s side, his heat at the younger boy’s back.
Darren glances back to see what’s going on with his lover and sees Connor lost in thought.
“Why’d you pick that one?” Connor finally says. He leans past Darren and flicks on the bedside lamp, and Darren rolls onto his back.
“It’s painful,” says Darren. “But it’s powerful.”
Connor rests a hand against Darren’s chest, still lost in his own world. Although Stan’s never told Darren any of Connor’s past—and there’s more than just Xavier stacked back there in the dark—Darren gets a sense of it.
“I’ve never hurt you,” Connor says, and his tone’s defensive.
“No,” says Darren, and his tone’s deliberately offhand.
Connor’s gaze moves from the distance of his thoughts to Darren’s face. The muscles around his eyes tighten. “You’re fine.”
“Mmhmm,” says Darren. He reaches over to the laptop and puts on some music, then rolls back.
Propped on his elbow, Connor licks dry lips, then puts a hand behind Darren’s head, cradling it against the pillow, and then leans in to kiss him.
Darren accepts the kiss with soft lips, and opens his mouth to Connor, reaching up to pull Connor on top of him.
For a moment there’s just the kiss, Darren’s hands pressed against the hardness of Connor’s body, Connor’s exploration of the other boy’s mouth. Then Connor pulls back.
He says nothing, just pauses in that moment. It’s the first time he’s made out alone with Darren like that. Stan, sure. But Stan’s his boyfriend. Darren’s… well, he guesses, Darren’s his and Stan’s boyfriend, in some weird cascading hierarchy.
Darren’s eyes are lit, his lips parted as he looks up at his lover.
Connor rolls off him and pats his chest.
“Go get ready. I’m going to take the rubbish down to the kitchen. I want you naked and on your knees when I get back.”
Darren’s almost breathless with excitement as Connor climbs over him and gathers up their rubbish into a plastic bag. As soon as the older boy leaves the dorm room, Darren scoots off the bed. He’s barely finished tugging his shirt over his head before his hands are fumbling with his pants, kicking his shoes off moments before he slides his mustard-coloured chinos down.
He dumps his clothes in a corner, knowing Connor will be pissed at that, but knowing he’ll be more pissed if Darren isn’t ready for him when he gets back.
He’s already showered, made sure he’s clean inside and out, but they’ve just eaten.
He goes into the bathroom, grabs up the electric toothbrush he shares with Stan from the holder, and collects the spare toothbrush head from a glass beside the sink.
He brushes all taste of his dinner from his mouth, then rinses with mouthwash. He checks his pits—they’re good. He shaves regularly, at Connor’s insistence, and his deodorant still smells fresh. He checks his body in the mirror. While he’s still too lazy to work out as hard as Stanton and Connor do, he does see an improvement. More definition in his pecs, in his biceps, although little change in the region of his abs. His thighs are tightening though, and when he reaches round and grabs his butt, he likes the feel of his smooth skin, and the tautness of his buttocks.
What else does he need to do to prepare? He can’t remember, flushed and panicked. The kitchen’s only half a minute down the hall, and brushing his teeth took at least a minute. Connor should be back by now.
He glances down and takes himself in hand. It feels warm and pleasant, to hold himself like that, but he quickly lets go. He doesn’t want to peak too soon and blow his load the second Connor starts fucking him. Although he remembers Stan’s command, he doubts he can hold back. He hasn’t managed to yet.
Don’t cum unless he tells you to. Save it for me.
He groans. Why did he have to think about Stan? Which reminds him he needs to put his phone on silent. He goes back into the main room and fumbles with his chinos, finally finding his phone and unlocking it with urgent fingers.
The door knob turns, and Darren throws his silent phone back on top of his pants and sinks deftly to the floor in the centre of the room, his hands on his thighs, his back straight.
Connor pulls open the door.
For a moment the older boy stands silhouetted by the light from the hall. His eyes rove over Darren’s body, consuming every inch of the younger boy; the tightness of his muscles as he holds himself upright. His flop of brown hair, his wide blue güvenilir casino eyes.
Footsteps and laughter sound in the corridor and Darren starts to panic. He doesn’t want anyone to see him like this.
Connor waits until the last second, then calmly steps into the room and kicks the door shut behind him, leaving Darren shot full of adrenaline.
Connor comes to stand in front of him, the younger boy’s hair haloed with gold from the bedside lamp.
His eyes glide over the Darren’s body, and he tilts his head slowly to one side. Then back again.
Over the last three weeks, with Stan’s help, Connor’s trained Darren in the art of pleasing him. Now Connor barely needs to speak a word.
He steps forward, placing his crotch obscenely close to the other boy’s face, and rests a hand dressed with silver rings against Darren’s hair.
Darren looks up into Connor’s ink-dark eyes and pulls the other boy’s jeans open.
His pants pulled wide open against his bony hips, Connor closes his eyes as Darren takes him into his mouth. Darren’s come a long way from the nervous kid Connor first took to his room, and as the kid starts slurping on his cock, Connor lets out a groan and pushes both hands into the other boy’s hair.
“You have the most beautiful mouth,” he says, gathering Daren’s floppy hair in his hands then releasing it, gathering it again.
Stan’s been working on Connor’s ‘reinforcement’, which means phrases like ‘worthless whore’ are now banned from his vocabulary. Well. For the most part.
He pulls Darren to his feet and the other boy puts nimble fingers to the buttons on Connor’s shirt, pushing it open.
The younger boy runs his hands over Connor’s chest, teasing at the sparse hair that surrounds his nipples, tracing his flat pecs, then running fingers down the older boy’s ribcage to the sensitive skin at the top of his hips.
Darren’s expecting to be thrown onto Connor’s bed, but tonight Connor wants something different.
His touch is gentle, almost tender, as he kisses Darren, his long fingers wrapped around the back of Darren’s neck, the cold of those wide silver rings hard against the back of the boy’s neck.
“You reeeally like Stan, don’t you?” Connor asks.
Darren’s surprised. His lover doesn’t usually invite him to speak once he enters the zone, but tonight he sounds genuinely curious.
Darren shrugs. He’s learned being effusive only pisses Connor off when it comes to talking about their mutual lover.
Connor considers him, staring inside the other boy for his answers. He increases the pressure on the back of Darren’s neck, forcing him to stumble closer.
Darren just gazes at him. How can he explain the awe he feels at the beauty and brutality of an electrical storm? How his stomach clenches with fear and excitement, how his palms go sweaty, how he loses his sense of self completely when Connor looks at him, how every part of him comes alive when Connor touches him. How he’d do anything Connor asked him to when his mind goes numb, lost in the noise and the silence.
Connor chuckles, saving Darren from having to say out loud what can’t be spoken.
He knows. Knows the effect he has on guys like Darren, like Stan. He knows because he feels it in himself, his own magnetism. Every glance he draws, every man or woman who falters and takes a step his way before righting themselves. Every straight man who sneers at him, then adjusts himself as he walks on. Every woman who rolls her eyes at him, then casts a backward glance… just to remind herself again how awful he truly is.
There’s a noise at the door and Darren freezes. Connor frowns past him and then draws himself up straighter as a key turns in the lock.
Stan pushes open the door, a duffel bag over his shoulder. He’s in a puffer jacket and jeans, a beanie pulled down over his short hair.
He gives the two boys a grin and shuts the door behind him, dumping his bag in the corner.
“Evening.” He tugs off his woollen gloves and rubs his hands together.
“You’re back,” says Connor.
“Yeah. I texted you.”
No inflection for Connor to take offence at. Connor casts an accusing look at Darren, who avoids his gaze by watching Stan collect and then dump his bag on his bed.
Stan stops abruptly. “Sorry… am I interrupting? I’ll go take a shower. Leave you to it.”
The other two are silent as Stan collects a pair of pyjama pants and heads into the bathroom.
For a long moment, Connor and Darren stand in silence, listening to Stan undress, the water start, the sounds of soap in its holder. Then Connor pushes past Darren and shoulders the bathroom door open. He leans against the vanity and watches Stan soap himself.
“Did you have a good trip?”
Stan keeps his tone light. “Yeah. A good group of guys. And girls, of course.”
Darren senses tension in Connor. “You had fun then?” Connor asks.
Stan pauses. “Yeah. Yeah, I did.”
He turns his back to the other boys and chooses to stand under the water to rinse shampoo out of his hair.
Arms folded, Connor considers his lover’s arse. “How much fun?”
Stan laughs as he turns back to the other two, slicking the water out of his hair.
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