The Following. Joe Carroll/Ryan Hardy, mentions of Joe/Claire/Ryan and Claire/Ryan. NC-17. ~6100 words. Dubious consent due to identity issues.
It’s 2003 and Ryan’s not always good at following the Bureau’s rules, let alone his own, including the ones about sleeping with potential witnesses. Joe is extremely persuasive, and talks Ryan into having sex with Claire. Things don’t exactly happen that way, but why waste an opportunity….
how utterly thou hast murdered thyself
“She’s lovely isn’t she.”
Ryan is a stray dog caught stealing scraps. “Yeah,” he says, gaze hanging on the framed picture of Claire longer than it should. He hasn’t been this buzzed since he and Joe had a date with that bottle of very good scotch. Claire’s smile in the photograph–parted lips pulled wide, eyes crinkling, her hand raising to push away a bit of hair–is clearly born of laughter and just the sort of expression Ryan has wanted to put on her face each time they’d crossed paths. She’s smart and bright, and wanting to make a woman smile is always marker one for Ryan down the path towards heartbreak. He should’ve compartmentalized her into “hands off” from the start, but he’s not always good at following the Bureau’s rules, let alone his own.
Case in point: making it a regular habit to share a drink or three with Joe Carroll and hoping to run into Claire while they’re poring over case files or playing games with thought experiments. There’s no good way for a guy to say sorry for thinking like that about another man’s wife. Ryan clears his throat and rises out of his chair, extending a hand and hoping that getting the hell out of here is apology enough. “I should go.”
“You really don’t have to hurry.” Joe clasps Ryan’s hand, his grip warm, smooth, and noticeably more firm than usual. “Even with the help, Claire doesn’t have much energy to spare these days, but she’ll be home soon. She’d hate to have missed you.” He shadows Ryan into the hallway, steps echoing a half-beat behind on the hardwood. “She likes you rather a lot. But then she’s always been fond of tall, thin, and quite shy.”
Blindsided, Ryan’s mind tangles like thread. Is this a compliment? A threat? He laughingly says, “You think I’m shy?”
“Her word not mine. I’d say…reserved.” Joe’s arm lands on his shoulder, draping around him warm and familiar. Ryan has never understood how people can just do this–to make friends like breathing. Not that he and Joe are friends, not yet, but he can tell the guy isn’t merely a clingy drunk and they’ve been working closely enough on the case that acquaintance isn’t the right word either. “I’d say guarded if I was being presumptuous.”
“Guarded,” Joe repeats, his mouth hanging near Ryan’s cheek, warm breath skimming across his face. “I say that because night after night, you enjoy my hospitality, and you fill my dining room with pictures of dead girls, and it takes–” He fills his lungs deep and his hand on Ryan’s shoulder tightens. “And you do a remarkable job of making it difficult to convince you to fuck my wife.”
Ryan chokes on his own tongue. Jesus, he’d read those signals entirely wrong.
“I’m no cuckold, Ryan, if that’s what is going through your head. Like many in my profession, pride is my sin.”
Ryan turns his head and triggers an unintentional kiss. He doesn’t jerk away from the brush of lips on his cheek, not like he might have when he was young and unsure about everything. And Joe, well, Joe doesn’t pull away so much as nuzzle against his face. It’s probably a good thing he’s a few paces beyond buzzed. “Joe I–”
When Joe cuts him off, each word rasps across a day’s worth of stubble. “What thrill is there,” he purrs, “in possessing the heart of so beautiful a woman if you can’t share that beauty with the world…. Or with handsome clever FBI agents as the case may be.”
The surreality of the moment gets undercut by the ever-present frustration of not being clever enough. Ryan’s mind is split–images flicker like an old classroom projector between the macabre tableau of the crime scenes, to Claire and her goddamn smile, to Joe who has pulled back just enough to watch him like a hawk, and who breathes a soft laugh at his not entirely disinterested hesitation. Ryan struggles to craft an excuse that won’t burn bridges. He settles on honesty. “I don’t know what to say.”
The corner of Joe’s eyes crinkle, his eyes lit with a similar spark of eagerness that Ryan had noticed all evening. Though now Joe’s passion isn’t aligned with dusty old authors but settles towards more of an electric, sexual thrill. “Since Claire isn’t here to tell you herself how irresistible she finds you, let me make my second confession of the evening–people must do that all the time to you I imagine, unburden themselves to you as an authority figure–” Joe clears his throat and leans in intimately again, his mouth working towards Ryan’s ear. His hand curls just a touch higher on the slope of Ryan’s neck. “I find you very…tempting…myself.”
Ryan’s breath is locked in his lungs. He waits with a growing tightness in his belly to feel a warm lick chase the sizzle of Joe’s words. It’s a coin toss–the muscles along his back are knotted, equally ready to shove Joe away or pull him into a very filthy kiss–but the coin never makes it into the air. Joe breaks away and makes distance between them. “I apologize,” Joe says, still warm-eyed and smiling. “No hard feelings, I hope. A few too many years in this country and I’ve picked up the habit of being absurdly forward.”
“Hey,” Ryan says, trying to laugh it off though his pants are a touch tighter and the chill darkness outside the door no longer seems refreshing, “happens to the best of us.”
“Land of opportunity,” Joe quips. He hands Ryan his jacket and opens the door. “You’re sure you don’t want me to call you a cab?”
“Nah, buses are still running. I’ll grab my car in the morning.”
“Well, if you don’t find our arrangement appalling, the offer stands,” Joe’s voice softens to a whisper, “I do enjoy it when Claire takes a lover. I find it makes her all the more enthusiastic.”
If the bite of the air outside hadn’t already made his cheeks sting, Ryan’s face might have heated at that. He mumbles a goodbye and jogs down the steps, tucking the case folder under his arm as he hits the sidewalk. The front door doesn’t close while he’s still in sight, and he can feel Joe’s eyes burning into his back. It’s a difficult sensation to shake off, as much as the idea of Claire being “enthusiastic” that Joe not-so-subtly planted in his head.
After twenty minutes at the only stop in the neighborhood–just his luck that he arrived in time to see the bus’s lighted windows vanish around the corner–Ryan starts wondering what would happen if he went back to Joe and Claire’s house. Would Claire be home? Would she invite him inside like the start of a tawdry chapter in a dime-store romance and push him to the settee while Joe watched, cock in hand….
Ryan crams his hands deeper into his pockets. The air grows colder and colder.
A week later, Ryan and his case notes are back in their house. As with his time, Joe is generous with both his library and his suggestions, and gives no indication that anything out of the ordinary had passed between them. He kindly doesn’t push it when Ryan twice declines a drink, but being sober doesn’t help Ryan this time any more than being drunk had done him favors before. Joe draws him in as easily as he does his students, and Ryan finds that though he’d expected awkwardness and tension, it’s the opposite that happens. Tonight, working with Joe feels more natural than it already had: he doesn’t have to explain why he draws certain conclusions, and Joe offers his own biting remarks to follow Ryan’s occasional black sarcasm. Marker one, Ryan realises, when he catches himself reciting a passage by memory for the sole purpose of impressing Joe.
The smart thing to do would be to leave and sort out his goddamn priorities, but they’re onto something with William Wilson, both the story and as an alias, and at half-past seven the only thing telling Ryan he needs a break is force of habit. Once a case has its claws in him, he can’t really ever shut off, and he’s fallen down the rabbit hole enough times to at least do his level best to remember to eat, drink, bathe, and sleep.
The moment he sits back and rubs his eyes, Joe nods as if he’s read his mind. “Thanks,” Ryan says, for the unspoken understanding. Sleeping won’t be easy, not until it’s so late he’ll black out and avoid dreaming about the girls, but he definitely could use a few hours to let all the new theories sink in. Taking the long way home, then a nice hot shower, and, since his body will insist on it, forcing down a few mouthfuls of cold takeout is exactly what he needs.
Ryan sweeps up all the photos and notes back into the accordion file, and Joe starts to reshelve the impressive stack of books that had swallowed one end of the dining room table. He knows most of the books by feel alone it seems, and the fluidity of motion as he slots them back in order is as mesmerizing as his voice had been. After watching for longer than seems polite, Ryan moves to help and of course, its fucking classic, but they reach for the same volume. A current–a bold, stinging hum like licking a battery–seems to run between their skin where his hand covers Joe’s. The same jangle of nerves that warns him about narrow, dark places is telling him to pull his hand back and make light of the situation. Fuck, every damn cell in his body seems to be screaming at him that he’s about to make a bad decision, and if it isn’t for how this case screws with him he’d be stronger, he’s sure of it.
It’s Joe who moves first, rescuing his hand with a slowness that’s innately erotic; intensely so, with the way his thumbnail runs across every callus on Ryan’s palm and he doesn’t break eye contact. In for a penny, in for a pound…. “So the open thing, is it something the two of you do a lot?” Ryan asks, grabbing up the next two books in the pile and studying the spines. In the course of the job Ryan has seen a great number of permutations that folks end up in, but rarely has it overlapped with his own life. From the corner of his eye he can see the bright splash of color from a sweater left hanging on a chair in the next room.
“‘A lot’ is subjective. But no, not particularly.” Joe shelves the book and leaves his back to Ryan, a fairly blatant invitation to step up close and reach past him.
Ryan obliges, stepping right over the objections throwing themselves upon one another to shore up his conscience, the barrage of: This is bad. Joe’s assisting on an open investigation. When they catch the bastard, he could end up on the witness stand. Yeah, it’s bad, but the devil on his shoulder is riding shotgun as he soaks up the heat pouring through Joe’s tee. “I haven’t, uh–” Even committed to the idea, Ryan finds the words hard to say. “I haven’t done this sort of thing much. Outside college I mean, and I don’t think threeways with coked up coeds count. You think it’ll be okay if we–” He starts to laugh despite himself, no end to the sentence seems fitting. Lightly, he skims his palm down the length of Joe’s arm, gauging Joe’s reaction. There’s mutual attraction here, definitely, but if Claire really is game he’s not sure he can fuck another man’s wife without knowing exactly what the guy gets out of it.
“Shall I call Claire and see if the sitter has the rest of the evening free?”
“I’d like that.”
“Oh, Ryan, you have no idea how it makes me feel to hear you say that.” Joe twists in place, their faces drawing so close together Ryan can almost taste the kiss Joe offers him. He shivers when Joe’s fingers settle on his face. His arms erupt in gooseflesh, and he holds Joe’s gaze as he turns his head deliberately and just far enough to push a kiss to the heel of Joe’s hand. It’s ridiculous, the way so simple a kiss feels new and fumbling, as if choosing to be with a man is really that much different than choosing to be with a woman. He knows better, and yet, it’s been such a long time that it’s going to take a few minutes for the old just-like-riding-a-bicycle adage to prove true. Joe’s eyes go half-lidded and Ryan is relieved that yeah, it really isn’t a cuckold thing, not with the static crackling between them and the slow drift of fingers up the inside of his thigh.
“You can tell me how it makes you feel.” Ryan grins and slides a leg between Joe’s to nudge up against his thickening cock. “Or I can make an educated guess.”
“Let me ring Claire, and if you’ve changed your mind about a little liquid courage, you know where we keep the bottles.”
Ryan goes for the open bottle of red by the fruit bowl. He leaves the cork spinning on the counter and hangs around in the kitchen while Joe makes calls. It’s tough to not strain his ears as Joe’s voice drifts from the other room; a deep murmur, it’s a blur of sound, and eavesdropping is a bust. “Bad news?” he says, when Joe reappears, his expression rueful.
“Crisis management,” he says, dropping a shoulder against the jamb. “A close friend is going through a divorce.”
“Ah.” Ryan raises his glass. Messy breakups are somewhat his specialty. “I’ll take it as a sign. How about we just call it night.”
“Or, Claire’s idea: don’t wait up and have a little fun,” Joe says, “just the two of us.” With no more need for subtlety, his gaze rakes blatantly up and down Ryan’s body.
“I shouldn’t,” Ryan says, common sense having had a chance to creep back in. “Normally I wouldn’t even consider this– You know, with someone attached to a case.”
“You’re human, Ryan, flesh and blood. It is no great flaw.”
He stares into his glass, the dark surface of the wine rippling from small tremors he can’t control. If he agrees he can’t blame it on anything beside his own poor judgment. The way this case bears down on him something’s gotta give, and the hungry promise in Joe’s eyes seems safer in the long run than hitting the corner liquor store on his way back home. The wine glass makes a soft, fragile sound as he sets it down, and he doesn’t say a word as he goes to Joe. In some ways it makes him feel like he’s in his twenties again, prowling a room full of androgynous figures, never quite sure if he’d end up with a woman or a man at the end of the night. Mid-80s paranoia and joining the bureau meant going home with fewer partners and all women at that, but he still remembers the meat market, and with the tee stretching taut across Joe’s chest and the shine on his lip, Joe looks like he’d fit right in.
“I’ve got plenty of other flaws to fall back on,” Ryan says. He grabs Joe at the waist and tugs him a step closer like a dance partner. If Claire could see him now she might revise that opinion on his shyness.
He leans in to take Joe’s mouth, savoring the harsh drag of stubble against his lips, and waits for the competitiveness to kick in; Joe’s body language is receptive but not passive, and Joe’s bound to decide he’d rather take lead. For the moment, he seems happy to let Ryan set the pace, the kiss building lazily until the first real swipe of his tongue against Joe’s kicks things to the next level. Joe’s arms circle around him, and the space between them narrows paperthin.
“I look forward to learning about all your flaws. Particularly if you count kissing amongst them,” Joe says. His lips drag across Ryan’s once again before he tips his head back, baring his throat like an offering that Ryan is only too happy to accept. Christ, he tastes good, brimming with warmth and life. “How far do you want to take this?”
His tongue rasps over Joe’s throat, and he slides his hands up, muscle memory urging him to seek out the fullness of a breast. Tentatively his thumbs graze over the swell of Joe’s ribcage, sweep higher over firm pecs to tease nipples to hardness with the edge of his nails. Joe’s voice resonates through lips and fingertips both, urging him to answer. “How far do you want to take this?” he asks, turning the question around like a coward.
“Oh, Ryan…. Ryan…. The things I’ve thought tonight.” Joe toys with the hair at the nape of Ryan’s neck. “If I had my way, I think I’d like to take you upstairs and have a shower. I have the feeling you’d make the loveliest sounds with a proper tonguefucking.”
A punch of lust shortens his breath. “Jesus. That’s a little fast for me.”
“It’s risky to ask questions when you aren’t prepared for the answers,” Joe says, amused. His hands slide to brace on the column of Ryan’s neck, thumbs pressed to where he could easily measure the rise in Ryan’s pulse. “Let’s begin here: come upstairs with me.”
And he does. He follows behind Joe, each step underfoot passing dreamlike.
Let me not say with what unworthy motive.
It isn’t until Joe is shirtless and reaching beyond a wall of glass to turn on the taps that Ryan swallows the hard reality that he’s ready to make a whole host of bad decisions, and fuck, maybe letting Joe have his way isn’t too fast at all. The bed in the master is made up neatly, and Ryan can’t look at it without picturing what could have been: Claire in the center, her hands up over her head and wearing the last dress he’d seen her in, a mile of river-blue cotton with a row of buttons waiting to be undone. And beside her would be Joe, nuzzling a kiss near her elbow while his eyes stay fixed firmly on Ryan.
Ryan rolls his neck as he unbuttons his shirt bottom to top, finishing up with the cuffs in time for Joe to return and push everything straight from his shoulders and onto the floor. He strips off his undershirt and says, “Hey there,” when Joe’s hand, damp from the spray, strokes lightly down his chest.
“Hey there yourself,” Joe responds. His knuckles graze along the waist of Ryan’s pants. With a lopsided grin and a complete lack of hesitation, he proceeds to shuck the rest of his clothes. Joe’s cock hangs thick between his legs, stiffening visibly in the scant time that Ryan glances there, and it gets his own blood going, settling hot in his groin. Joe nods towards the master bath. “Come along, you won’t regret it.”
“You sure about that?” Ryan laughs quietly as he shakes out his slacks and flings them across the foot of the bed. He scrubs a hand over his head; he’s not embarrassed that he’s hard and so obviously eager but the expression on Joe’s face affects him a whole lot differently than if he’d been facing the same desire written on a woman’s face. Frankly, he’s off-balance and nervous.
Joe laughs in turn, the playful sound dissolving some of the awful tension in Ryan’s shoulders. “Now, what did I say about asking questions when you aren’t prepared for the answers?” He gaze drops to linger at the hard jut of Ryan’s cock before he reaches out, pausing only for a roughly whispered, “May I?” and grasping the length when Ryan nods. Regret swiftly becomes the last thing on Ryan’s mind, his attention focusing on how to kiss, walk, and make a clumsy grab at Joe’s cock all at the same time.
It’s not that many steps to the shower, yet Ryan is breathless when they get there. All the competitiveness that had been missing rears its head when his back hits the tile first. A quick spin puts Joe there instead, pinned to the slick chill of the wall by Ryan’s hands on his shoulders.
“Ooh, stronger than you look, Agent Hardy.” Joe says, levering himself off the wall in mock struggle. Dampened by steam, his hair swiftly clumps and curls. Before he can shake a gathering droplet away, it falls and skates down his temple; Ryan catches it with his tongue.
“Not so bad yourself, Professor,” he mumbles. After a mix of slow kisses, Ryan feels loose and easy. He releases his hold on Joe to brace his forearms on the tile. The spray hits him as he crowds closer, more heat than he finds comfortable, and the air clouds up like a sauna. The angles of their bodies slot together, and Joe’s just barely taller than him, but the difference in their body mass is something Ryan can’t ignore. He misses the feel of breasts pushed up against him, nipples peaked and eager, but bulk of Joe’s shoulders and the hot nudge of Joe’s cock lining up against his own is…good.
They kiss for long minutes, hips shifting in tiny fitful motions that play in time with the way their mouths learn to mingle. The damp heat sneaks in between licks, stray water drops dissolving sweetly under their tongues. His lips will be raw later from the scrape of Joe’s stubble–the five o’clock shadow harsh as sandpaper in places. A little sizzle of dark pleasure hits him when he realizes that the same will be true for Joe.
Joe’s hands wander restlessly, alternating between skidding and sticking on Ryan’s skin until he snags a thin bar of soap. He lathers it on Ryan’s chest, the slickness dripping down between them until their bodies and cocks turn slippery.
“Changed your mind yet?” Joe asks, and his soapy fingers draw across the dimples on Ryan’s back.
“You mean about your tongue up my ass?”
Joe’s mouth crooks at the corner. “I wouldn’t have pegged you as the type to think it too dirty, but I’ve been wrong before.”
“It’s just– Mostly I fuck women.”
Damn, but Joe has a skill for making Ryan question his preconceptions; it comes from being charged with shepherding the minds of the best and brightest, he supposes. He almost says, “Ask me next time,” but catches himself before owning up to having considered a next time. “Different women than you, from what it sounds like.” He needs a bit of room to breathe, and steps under the spray fully for the first time. Accustomed now to the heat, the water feels amazing on his skin, and the cascading warmth drains any lingering tension left in his muscles.
A bit of lather forms where Joe rubs his fingertips together. He runs the bar briskly over his skin, tiny bubbles trailing across his abs and getting caught in the scatter of his chest hair. His eyes grow heavy, and his touch is light as he reaches for Ryan. “What a pity,” he says, pulling Ryan back to him. “All the women I’ve had experiences with have been extraordinary. None moreso than my wife, of course.”
This is Joe’s game, Ryan guesses, to remind him when he seems hesitant of Claire–who is desirable, and willing, and more his speed. “So I’m a little vanilla these days,” Ryan says, purposefully exploring Joe’s body now with greedy hands. “What’s that say about me, huh?”
“My armchair analysis said repressed bisexual more interested in my wife than me, but you’re here now, and your choice of vocabulary indicates you’re not so much repressed as, well, out of the game. Unaccustomed to non-heteronormative acts, let’s say.” Joe’s eyes have drifted shut, his muscles quivering in the wake of Ryan’s touch. “How am I doing so far? Accurate? Wildly off the mark?”
Ryan breathes a soft laugh into Joe’s mouth between kisses, and Christ, it’s good to be this close to another human being. He closes a hand around Joe’s cock, soap-slippery fist gliding along its length with no friction whatsoever. “Ever consider that you’re in the wrong line of work? Too bad it was a rhetorical question. Still, A for effort.”
“Mmnn,” Joe responds, “serves me right for trying to further show off my detective skills. I should’ve jumped straight to the dirty talk.”
“Well then, let me tell you that I’m still thinking about eating you out. Once we’re nice and clean and dry, I’d lead you back to my bedroom. I’d kiss my way down your spine, making sure to leave a few love bites along the way,” Joe’s voice is rough, and he fucks into Ryan’s fist. “I’ll have you on the bed, Ryan, push you face down where Claire likes to sleep with your legs spreading wide as they can. You’ll smell her on the pillow as I lick into your tight little hole.”
Ryan’s knees buckle. A hard rush of blood goes straight to his dick and makes it jump. He shudders as he pushes up against Joe, thinking maybe he’s not so vanilla after all. “I’m on to you,” Ryan says, needing to acknowledge the situation to keep from doing…something. “You dangle the promise of a woman in front of me–of Claire–in order to get past that hurdle of being ‘unaccustomed to non-heteronormative acts’ as you so kindly put it.“
“Guilty as charged,” Joe says, far from chagrined. His fingers trail down Ryan’s back once again, a soap-slippery path that pauses at the base of Ryan’s spine. “Is it working? Tell me it is and we can be one step closer to that bed.”
“Yes.” Ryan fairly growls as he seizes Joe’s arm at the wrist, guides his hand towards a more intimate touch. He presses Joe’s slick fingers under his own into his crack, shuddering to think of the softness of a tongue there instead, and wondering too if Joe does that for Claire. Does he start at her clit until she’s dripping and then tongue her ass while she’s throbbing and on edge? If she’d come home, would she lower herself on top of him, and let him suck at her clit while Joe flicked his tongue at the clench of her hole?
Joe makes the sound that Ryan has been imagining, a throaty moan that the acoustics of the tile amplifies beautifully, and he guides Ryan under the water again. Trickling down from his back the water is soft and teasing, gliding over him as Joe holds his ass spread and murmurs another string of filthy promises. With the weight of those words, the scale tips all the way and Ryan has to fight not to press Joe down to his knees right now to make good on his promises. He doesn’t act on the impulse, and things progress precisely how Joe outlines them, and just how he wants. Outside of the shower, dripping water everywhere, Ryan stands awkwardly as Joe wraps a towel around him. Joe refuses to let him towel himself dry, stopping the attempt with a soft but insistent: “No, please, let me do this for you.”
Part of him can’t help but dissect the offer into its parts: despite the servitude, Joe very clearly likes to set the pace; he enjoys manipulating Ryan’s body, the situation, and may also enjoy making Ryan feel slightly unsettled now that he’s proved to be compliant; and he’s not affected by the filthy things Ryan says back to him, it’s more about instigating a reaction…. Ryan breaks it all down unconsciously, but he doesn’t try to fit the pieces back together again. He just can’t do any more of that tonight, not if he wants to stay sane, and so he just rolls with it, mutely letting Joe move them back into the bedroom. His skin is flush with heat, damp enough to stick to the duvet as he lays himself out for Joe with a saucy, “How’s this? Nice view?” and fuck, he feels dirty and excited in a way that he hasn’t since, hell, making out behind the grandstands.
“Practically a work of art.”
A week ago– an hour ago–no one could’ve convinced him that he’d be in another man’s bed with his ass in the air. He props his forehead on his fist and shivers as a push of air chills his skin. Joe’s weight hovers over him, cock rubbing against his leg, mouth descending to the nape of his neck. It’s a certain kind of torture being exposed like this, more naked than he’s ever felt in front of another person, but Joe’s hands are gentle, and he asks before each touch, before the kiss that drops at the very base of his spine. Soft words of praise wash against him like the steady ripple of lakewater on shore, and though he resists at first, eventually Joe succeeds in pulling Ryan in.
At the first swipe of Joe’s tongue over his hole, Ryan draws in a deep breath that’s scented with pomegranate from the pillow, and he knows that the rest is going to be just as Joe had promised. “Got me right where you wanted,” he half-jokes, needing to break the silence and override the harsh sound of his own breathing. Each flick of tongue and every sucking kiss makes his legs shake, nerves overloaded from the slow teasing licks. He can feel each thud of his heart like too-loud bass reverberating through his bones, his pulse ramped up like he’s just run a seven minute mile.
I was frantic with every species of wild excitement…
Tenderly, Joe kisses his flank and sweeps a hand over the curve of Ryan’s ass to slide between his thighs and brush over his balls; they hang heavy and sticky from the heat of the shower, and Joe tugs on them as his mouth drifts across the meat of Ryan’s ass. “I do,” Joe agrees, squeezing harder. The near-ache and the graze of Joe’s teeth on Ryan’s flesh makes him feel as on-edge as the flutter of Joe’s tongue had been; a bit more and it would be pain, something far more easy to deal with than this precipice of sensation. It’s so much and not enough, and Joe makes a soft whuff of amusement before he spreads his hands over Ryan’s ass again and holds him open. “Make some noise,” he says between one wide, lapping lick and the next. “You’re far too quiet.”
The first rough sound that Ryan makes for Joe doesn’t feel natural, it’s playacting and false. The push of Joe’s thumbs near his hole draws a far more real sound out of him–the noise halfway between surprise and pleasure. His body naturally resists being spread wider, spread there, and the push of Joe’s tongue straight into him makes Ryan so fucking hard that this time making a bit of noise isn’t difficult at all. He moans as Joe’s tongue wriggles into him, the hands on his ass gripping hard, nails digging in near his hips.
“I’d like to put my finger in you, Ryan,” Joe says, a question phrased as a statement. His voice is raw, hungry in the same way that Ryan feels.
“I was hoping you’d say that.”
Ryan’s legs skid further apart, the head of his cock rubbing now against the bed. He’s tensed up again, body fighting even the thought of something pushed up into it, but Joe goes right back to using his tongue. Joe laughs quietly when after the eventual easing of his muscles again he clenches up tight; he’s left anticipating, wanting, and if Joe wants him to beg the most he’s going to get the fitful rut of his cock against the covers.
Finally, after he’s pierced time and time again by the point of Joe’s tongue, there’s a firmer push, a thumb by the spread of fingers still gripping his flesh. “Finally,” Ryan pants. His mind jumps ahead, remembers what the push of a cock feels like, the hard slap of hips against his ass. He tightens reflexively around Joe’s thumb, nearly forces it out again, his body only easing once Joe swirls a slow kiss at his tailbone.
“Relax,” Joe drawls, his thumb slipping free, brushing over slick skin made wetter still by another pass of his tongue. Ryan can feel spit dripping down to his balls, messy like the precome smeared on the covers that he can’t stop fucking against, each twitch met by the reward of a kiss or the slight dip of Joe’s thumb. He can feel Joe fucking against the bed too, though, one leg on the floor, hips rocking against the edge of the mattress. “Is it good? I can’t see your face; the least you could do is keep making noise.”
The pad of Joe’s thumb rubs against his hole, circling as insistently as his tongue had, and Ryan shudders hard, the headboard rattling from the quaking in his legs. “It’s not easy, you know.”
“Sure it is,” Joe says. He massages the low of Ryan’s back, mouth drifting along the backs of his thighs gently until he sucks hard enough to raise a mark that will last for days. “Just open your throat and let go.”
The first sound Ryan makes is more like a sob than anything, a raw noise that’s cut short by his own sharp inhale.
“That’s it,” Joe urges, kissing his way up again as his hand snakes under Ryan’s body to find his cock. There’s no fist to fuck into, no strong grip, just the cradle of Joe’s fingers as light and teasing as his tongue, and Ryan lets his frustration out in a low groan that builds and builds. He angles his hips, finds a place where the tips of Joe’s fingers rub against him just right and moans again, louder when Joe tongues him harder for the effort. It’s good, fuck it’s good, sharp-edged and tingling at the head of his cock and slick and dirty where Joe licks him out, and he can’t say it, not in words, so he muffles the a sound that’s almost a howl into Claire’s pillow. The noise pours out of him, and he’s not sure he can stop it, not while Joe sounds out his own pleasure as he pushes Ryan step by step towards the edge.
When he comes, his throat is raw, and there’s nothing left in him but a whisper as Joe crawls up to lay beside him. Joe pulls him close, arm warm against his own skin, cooled now and dry. He’s too exhausted to do anything other than curl into the hold. The stillness only lasts so long, and Joe’s chest shakes with silent laughter as Ryan’s brain kickstarts itself and he starts to fidget. “Is there somewhere else you need to be?” Joe asks, eyebrow arched at him from across the pillow.
“No. Sorry.” Ryan closes his eyes, but it’s not like he’s going to just drift off and fall asleep. He settles his attention on the weight of Joe’s hand on his side and marvels, as he always does, at the comfort of human touch. It’s not like they’re in a relationship, but he needs to make sure to back off and make sure this doesn’t end badly. “Just thinking about finally seeing the guy’s face, you know. Being able to put a lid on everything and be done with it.”
“Put a lid on it now.” Joe rubs at his side. “Just for the night. You can do that, can’t you? Just one night?”
“Honestly? Not really. If you were me, could you?”
“I can only imagine,” Joe says, and drops his voice into the measured cadence of his lectures, “I would fain have them believe that I have been, in some measure, the slave of circumstances beyond human control.”