The noise is a drowned-out thing outside the bedroom door—a steady thrum against the wall, a commotion happening somewhere else. It doesn’t muffle the crinkling sound the man’s pocket makes when he reaches into his jeans.
Richie blinks through the fog of the party downstairs. Eddie. His name is Eddie, flushed and pretty above him, the pink in his cheeks daring Richie to forget his name again. But the crinkling. He puts a hand to Eddie’s wrist, stopping him with an apologetic smile.
“I have a latex allergy,” he says, not meaning to sound as embarrassed as he does, but unable to keep it out of his voice.
Eddie fixes him with a look, bemusement in the arch of his eyebrows. “Just how hot do you think you are?”
Not, Richie wants to say, completely earnest. But he knows that’s Svedka talking—two shots and a half, interrupted by a cute boy with brown eyes and a frowning smile.
“I was hoping the charm would convince you,” he jokes instead. Then tries to sober his face, pale and perpetually stuck in a near-comical grin, adding: “Really, I do.”
There’s a long pause, Eddie shifting uncomfortably in his lap. He sniffs. “Latex allergies aren’t real.”
Richie just barely manages to stuff the startled laugh that makes its way to his chest back down. The look on Eddie’s face is doubtful but so serious, and there’s a story there. Richie’s curious, but not looking to get himself kicked out of bed.
“Well, you’re a funny guy.” His voice is fond, sincere, and he watches Eddie settle a little, shoulders relaxing. Pins and needles begin to prick his thighs.
“Wish I could say the same about you.”
“Youch,” Richie murmurs, letting out a laugh he really can’t hold in this time. “Careful if you don’t want me going and falling in love with you.”
Eddie doesn’t respond, and there’s a look in his eyes Richie can’t decipher. He lifts his hips a little, wondering, but Eddie’s wearing jeans and it’s no use. He can’t figure him out. He’s wearing sweatpants and they give everything away, just like his dazed smile and open hands.
“Left pock,” he says after a moment of silence. “Cons of having a latex allergy: you learn real quick that you won’t get laid if you’re not prepared.” Eddie slides a hand down from Richie’s chest to his pants pocket and pulls out a condom. Richie grins. “Pros: you’re always prepared.”
Eddie presses his thumb into foil packet and turns it over, studying it skeptically. Richie huffs, but he’s more charmed than frustrated.
“I don’t…know you,” Eddie says slowly, voice soft. He sounds sorry, and Richie wants to melt into mattress about it—give him his open heart and tell him not to worry about it.
“You don’t have to trust me, baby, just,” he bites down on the inside of his cheek. “Think logically. You think I poked a hole in the wrapper? For what? To knock you up? You think I’m one of those freaks that gets off on endangering strangers? Don’t you have better taste than that?”
“I thought I did,” Eddie mumbles, seemingly without thought, and then blushes and looks away. “I don’t think you’re a freak. I just. You probably pulled that off a bulletin board of a sex ed club.”
“Oh my god,” Richie says, realization striking. “You think I’m stupid.”
“Holy shit,” Richie laughs. “Never mind that I haven’t stepped inside a university in three years.”
“I didn’t say you were stupid,” Eddie insists stubbornly. He softens. “You just seem a little, um. Careless.”
He looks deeply embarrassed, like he’s spiraling, the blush in his skin darkening, changing meaning, and Richie is careless—careless with his words, careless with his voice, careless with his stupid, stupid heart, and he is in love. God help him, he is in love. And Svedka doesn’t know shit about love.
He rubs a thumb over the rough material covering Eddie’s knee, pressed into the still-made bed. They’re both still fully clothed, the sheets are straight as a board, and it’s been almost thirty minutes. He takes a breath.
“How masochistic of me is it that this is the most turned on I’ve ever been in my life?”
Eddie’s expression shifts into something more hesitant, thoughtful, then determined. He puts the condom down beside them gently and runs his hands up underneath Richie’s t-shirt, cold hands against the heat of his chest, and dips down to kiss him. It’s their first kiss, Richie is pretty sure (the getting-upstairs is a bit of a blur), and it’s kind of dizzying. Eddie kisses like…well, like he wants to fuck. Which is not exactly how he dresses, and the whiplash makes Richie’s toes curl.
“Take your pants off,” Eddie says as he pulls away.
“You’re sitting on them,” Richie says dumbly.
But Eddie’s already moved on to the buttons of his own shirt, of his own jeans, and Richie settles back into the pillows, feeling weak. Content for now to wait, to watch, to guess how many hours of the night he has left to mess sheets and rough up hair, and learn about the man he stumbled into at a party.
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Excerpt from the summer love AU I’m working on:
“No, no.. you should always be honest.. Go on, elaborate.”
“You’re really gonna make me spell it out, huh?” Richie chuckles. “All I’m saying is that you don’t need to check into some random hotel for your entire vacation.. Sooo.. what if you stayed? And I do mean for the rest of the time you’re here.”
“Well how can I say no to that? Especially with who the company will be.” Eddie grins.
Richie smiles. “Then it’s settled. Now, let’s go put your shit back in my room. Speaking of which, I’m not sleeping on the floor for the next sixty days, so like, you can fight Stan for the couch when he’s here, or you can share my bed with me-”
“-I have no problem with sharing,” Eddie tells him. And maybe a little too fast at that. Oops?
Richie raises an eyebrow. “Oh?” He jokes, “Eager much?”
Eddie is reminded of the party they went to earlier, and how much sexual tension was flowing between them, and yeah, maybe he wants to bring it back.. Just to see if it was just all in his head. He shrugs nonchalantly. “Maybe I am,” and then promptly gets to watch Richie’s face flush as red as the sunburn he’s sporting.
“Maybe I am, too, then.”
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