as promised, a one-shot Esperanza sequel. SF. Can stand alone, but shakily. Better off reading Esperanza first.)

Summary: Six months after first leaving, Coyo and Tesla return to Esperanza to resupply, paying Kevin a visit.

Warnings: Explicit m/m sex. Elements of D/s and light bondage. Advances plot, contains angst and conversation, not simply happy porn. ^^

Story and characters creation of and property of Ocotillo / Ocotillo Dawn and the real name hidden behind the romantic moniker.

Feedback: Crits and kudos, both, thank you.

A/N: you may not see me around for a bit. Am posting another story on LJ (friends only, I want to keep some control over how many people read this one, but if you friend me, and tell me you are of age, I will certainly friend you back -- see description on my author's page first--to see if it is worth your while--as well as a link to my LJ account). I do have another story in progress, that is where my attention is focused now. Back burner includes one more Esperanza sequel, plus I *still* think about Violet one-shots, but *sigh*. Only 24/7 and I still require sleep and a paycheck. Enjoy! - Oco

August Rain

Tacking open the curtain over the front door, Kevin heeled off his right boot, then stumbled as he tugged at the other, cursing under his breath. Too damn hot, and his feet were swollen, and could maybe just one thing go right, today of all days?

He grimaced, because listening to the whine of his inner conversation only plastered a layer of self-disgust over disappointment. Really, as days went, it hadn't been so bad, just a bruised ego and hurt feelings, and pessimistic moods had a way of making everyday annoyances seem grave personal vendettas. And the rest? Well, it had been a long time coming.

He lined his boots on the mat next to the wall—no companions there tonight—and dragged fingers back through his hair, scratching at his scalp. Still damp from bathing, because he'd ended up rushing through dinner, suddenly anxious to get out of the hall once he'd walked in, even though earlier the thought of an empty house had been depressing.

Too quiet. One of Maya's hair ties was on the floor, not far from the door, and Kevin picked it up—it must've fallen from Debra's overnight bag. Setting it on a shelf, he caught himself wishing it had mass so that he could feel the satisfaction of slamming it down. Express some of this…anger? Yeah, it sure felt like that.

But there was nobody to be angry at. Nobody to blame, was just how the die rolled, and if it wasn't how it used to be, well, nobody'd ever told him that life followed fairy tale rules, had they?

Since the Scourge, since losing damn near everything that had tied them together. The glue of a relationship based on fetish and convenience.

It was the house, Debra said. Haunted with the bodies of three, and she couldn't pass through the rooms without hearing them cry. Especially Brian. Brian, who'd lingered, and Christ, but didn't that destroy one's belief in a benevolent god—three days, long nights, watching a four-year-old clawing to breathe before drowning in phlegm.

But they weren't here, not for Kevin. For him, the house had been comfort, especially after, holding him in its arms when the days got too bleak. When he did see the children here, they were on the floor, learning their colors, scattering toys about, laughing…or indulging in the ear-splitting scream of a tantrum. Not sick.

Thunder grumbled in the distance and a gust of wind billowed out the thick fabric over the windows. Rain. Yes, Kevin smelled it coming, and thank God, maybe it'd cool the air down some. He set about to opening the curtains, working lose the knots at the hem and tying them back.

He stood at the sill for a moment, feeling the breeze on his face. He gazed over the other homes, up beyond the rock face, trying to spot the clouds that brought the moist air. Trying to think if there was anything to be done. Wishing the sun would just drop and be done so that he could sink into sleep and pretend the day had never happened.

"Kevin?" The voice came from behind him, male, tentative, familiar but not.

When he turned, his heart lodged in his throat, and his response came out hoarse, almost whispered. "Tesla…"

He stood just inside the door, a trailpack thrown over one shoulder, dangling a sealed bottle between the fingers of that hand. He'd grown a beard and mustache, trim and tight, burnished gold, not quite so much red in it as in the curls on his head. It made his eyes glow, bright and intense. Made him so…male.

"Can I come in?"

At a loss for words, Kevin nodded. Finally, past a tongue gone dry, he managed, "They said you were here." Implying a lie, and how pathetic was that? "How are you?"

"Dusty. Sweaty." Tesla grinned and approached, completely at ease, and Kevin felt something within him loosen. "But my belly's full. Best meal I've had in a while, let me tell you."

Nodding again, Kevin admitted, "I saw you at dinner. You looked—look—good. Fit. I mean." He'd been halfway through eating when Tesla'd come in, Lilith at his side. Kevin had frozen—like a frightened rabbit, the pain not one whit weaker for six months of absence. One would think he'd have healed by now, put the ache of what-might-have-been to bed.

"Why'd you leave?" Tesla's voice had softened, and he touched Kevin with his free hand, just a finger to his ear. "I looked for you."

"Don't know. Just." Kevin pulled away. "Where's Coyo?"

Tesla took the rebuff with grace, retreating to the table where he set the bottle down. Set his pack on the floor. "He's busy." Kevin thought he detected frustration, but then Tesla shrugged. "Meeting. With Council…or whatever y'all are calling them these days. Afraid I don't pay as much attention as I should." He tugged at his boots, grumbling, "Hate these things," but then brightened. "Brought a ration of pulque. You up for a drink?"

Kevin had been standing, watching mutely as Tesla made himself comfortable. At the suggestion, he started, realized he was being a clumsy host, and said, "Yeah. I am," as he went to the kitchens shelves to find cups.

Tesla poured a healthy dose in each and handed one to Kevin. "To rain." He lifted his cup. "To it cooling the air enough to breathe, Christ, please."

It was raining, wasn't it? Kevin grunted his acknowledgement and drank, then stepped towards the window, and took a long gulping breath of cool air. Creosote. He shrugged his shoulders high, trying to loosen them. Relax. He tipped his head forward, stretching the muscles.

And felt a warm hand at his neck. "Kevin." Low and easy, Tesla's voice sent an electric chill down his spine.

The hand grasped his shoulder and pulled. Kevin turned, cursing himself for the tremble that took him. When he dared a glance up, Tesla was studying him, frowning a little as he sipped from his cup. He set the cup down on the sill, then took Kevin's from his fingers and set it down, too.

Tesla bent, burrowing his face into Kevin's neck, and Kevin's breath hitched at the feel of hot breath, warm skin, lips pressing against his pulse. But this wasn't—he couldn't…what in the hell? And, no! If there was trouble between Coyo and Tesla, Kevin didn't want to be a part of it—the last time had nearly torn him apart. But he didn't know how to explain the twist in his gut, so he said only, "Coyo…" and, stumbling back into the wall, "…you…he—"

The chuckle vibrated against his neck in a rush of breath. "Patience, baby. He'll be here." And then Kevin thought his heart had stopped, because what did that mean…?

Tesla's eyes captured his again, so blue, deep and liquid, laughing at him. When had he grown so confident? But this was Tesla, the man who'd always been there, suppressed maybe, but the one Kevin had thrilled to see glimpses of even back then…

Now hands found their way up Kevin's shirt, palms stretching across his abdomen, fingers reaching to splay along his chest, trace a line up the valley of his backbone. Torso pressed against him, wiry and hard, and Kevin felt a stab at his pelvis, Tesla's cock grown long against his own.

When Tesla began a slow grind, Kevin reached with what was left of his resistance to the last excuse he had. "Debra." More of a squeak than a protest. "Debra could walk in—"

"At her sister's. With Maya." Tesla's fingers tugged at the laces of Kevin's pants, now. "She assures us she'll be there all night."


Fingers, touching him, and Kevin's hips snapped forward—of their own will, it seemed, pleading. God, it had been so long…

Tesla kissed him, delving deeply, warm, wet, alcohol-sweet. Pure submission—Kevin yielded, lips given over, some small part of him horrified to hear the whimper that slipped muffled into Tesla's mouth. Accepting and tasting, reaching for the flavor of the man, straining forward as Tesla pulled away. Christ. Too easy. Far, far, too easy. But Kevin had been no better resisting Coyo back then; just something in him, something weak, needy. Ready to pitch it all in for a touch.

A nudge at his side, and Kevin raised his arms as Tesla pulled his shirt up and off. Dropping the shirt to the floor, Tesla pushed Kevin back into the wall, then tweaked at a nipple, twisting until Kevin squeezed eyes tight and groaned.

"You're out of excuses, Kevin," Tesla's words rode on a breath. "And you can't slip away." Speaking directly into Kevin's ear, hot like fire, he very nearly growled when he said, "Right now? You're mine." Then he bit.

Pain lanced through Kevin's earlobe, white and electric, sending a pulse straight down his spine and into his groin. "Yesss." God, so easy to shatter his defenses, but the best of his sense was a whisper by now, the throb in his dick the roar of a storm.

"Down." Tesla pressed at his shoulder. "On your knees."

Kevin caught his gaze, shocked, and his face flushed hot, but Tesla only leered back at him. He dropped, eyes locked on Tesla's, torn between stark desire and the anger of shame, because Tesla knew damn well what this did to him, knew that he wouldn't say no.

"I know you want this, Kevin." Tesla laid his hand on Kevin's head, brushing hair from his forehead with a thumb. "Go on. Suck me off."

God, yes. The last brain cell fritzed at those words. Gone, just like that. Kevin's fingers scrambled to get Tesla free of his pants, damn laces too tight, too fitted, until yes, drawing the fabric back down over his ass, cupping balls damp from the heat, pulling his cock up and out until it slapped into his hand, pink head already glistening with slick. Kevin went down, no hesitation, no coy licks, just tickled back the foreskin and sucked him in, relishing the salt of sweat along its length.

Two-thirds of the way down, a nudge at his throat, and Kevin drew back, letting his mouth adjust to the presence of cock again, because it had been a while, hadn't it, and Tesla was slim but so long. He ran the hardened tip of his tongue under the crown, inviting more blood in, and his own cock leapt up when Tesla's fingers tightened in his hair. Slipping back down, breathing deep through his nose, the aroma hit hard—the musk of hard travel, a man at the end of a southern summer day. Kevin moaned, inhaled again, and thrust his own hips, wishing to hell he had something besides thin cloth to grind into.

"Kevin…you give the best damn blow. You know that? God." The words came soft and low, and Kevin hummed his pleasure around the silken flesh on his tongue. Tesla began to pump, slowly, and Kevin knew it was caution, waiting to see how much he could take. More. Much more. Fuck me.

Closing his eyes, Kevin tumbled into that space, sensing nothing but Tesla, his taste, his violence, his smell…his breaths, punctuated every so often with a grunt. With one hand gripping tightly to Tesla's hipbone, Kevin let the other wander down to his own ache, rubbing against the fabric, pressing against his balls…

"No lo tocas, mango."

The words splintered his reverie, as a hand drew his sharply away. He knew those words, from memories he'd buried…don't touch it…

Coyo. Kevin's eyes shot open and he balked, tried to pull desperately away, not because he was thinking, it was just guilty instinct. Coyo's cold anger, he remembered, it had always lurked just under the surface.

But Tesla's hands gripped tighter, kept him in place, cock in Kevin's mouth, not softening, but harder, as if he'd even thought that possible. Kevin froze, clamping down on the panic, and listened—to get some idea of what was happening. If the spat might get violent…

A laugh. Mocking, but only just, so familiar. "Ay Pecoso, you don't waste time, do you?"

"Been waiting all day…" They kissed, above him. Kevin could see no more than a shadow, but the sounds he knew, wet and luscious, and as Tesla reached forward to meet Coyo's lips, Kevin's nose pressed into his pubes. Coyo moved, too, leaning forward, unconsciously twisting Kevin's wrist up behind him, and at the pain, God help him, but any stiffness Kevin might've lost came back in full force. Such indignity, to be sucking a man's dick as he kissed his lover, but God, Kevin ached, his base instincts loving it, pulse pounding in his balls.

No lo tocas. No. He wouldn't. Because Coyo had always made it worth it, this denial. A release worth the wait by the time he said, Ahora, in that lilting accent. Come for me, mangito.

"You bring the bottle?" Coyo's voice was husky, pitched deep.

"Mm." Tesla moved his hips, just a little, sliding along Kevin's tongue. "The shelf there…hand me my drink, would you? —on the sill."

Responding to Tesla's motion, Kevin resumed a gentle suck, listening as the cup changed hands, as Coyo's boots echoed to the far side of the room, acutely aware of his own ignoble position, on his knees, waiting, mouth still stuffed full.

"I told you he'd get here." Tesla stroked at Kevin's cheek, and there was laughter in his voice. "Let's give him a show, hmm?" Then he thrust forward, and Kevin accepted, drawing Tesla back to his throat.

Tesla set a rhythm, slow, but insistent, and it was easy to immerse again, eyes closed, focused on this, before him, heat humming through his blood. He glanced up once, towards the table. Coyo was there, sprawled into a chair, feet bare now, legs stretched long before him. He combed fingers through his hair, black in its dampness, and watched them through half-lidded eyes. Looking content. When he caught Kevin's eye, his mouth crooked in a smirk, then he lifted his cup in a toast and drank.

Closing his eyes, Kevin flushed, cheeks burning hot, and he knew Coyo read the humiliation burning through him. But God, it was luscious, wasn't it, being on display—his needs and desires exposed to an audience. As if to bury himself further into the sweetness of shame, Kevin took Tesla into his throat, massaging the glans with a hard swallow.

"Kevin…!" Tesla exhaled in a throaty gasp as he clutched a fist of Kevin's hair. His balls drew up tight, and when he groaned, Kevin braced. A blink, and then he felt the slick rush, spurting hot and bitter on the back of his tongue. He swallowed, again, nursing each burst, eyes shut tight, knowing that Coyo watched, but unable to make himself know.

Breathing deeply through his nose, Kevin teased the last of the fluid from the tip, Tesla's scent still overwhelming him, making him weak with need. After a moment, Tesla pulled away, and with a tug at Kevin's arm, coaxed him to stand.

Tesla touched his forehead to Kevin's, mumbled, "God," took a breath, and then "Fuck," drawing out the 'u' into a moan. Then he kissed Kevin, lazy and slow. It was good, that kiss, soothing a rough spot in Kevin, the one that still wondered exactly what had just happened, and what role he'd played.

"Jesus Christ, I've missed you." Tesla had broken the kiss, and now he hugged Kevin tightly, breathing the words into Kevin's ear. He pulled back, grinning, then took a drink from his cup and offered it forward.

Kevin took it and glanced into it, as though it would tell him how to respond. What to say. That he'd missed Tesla, too? Of course, except that the phrase didn't begin to describe what he'd gone through last spring. Missing Tesla. Missing Coyo. As though they were buddies, no more.

But those first couple of months—they'd been hell. Trying to find his place again, wondering what the hell he was, where he fit in to Esperanza. If he had any place here at all. Because what Tesla and Coyo had forged, a true pairing…Kevin hadn't thought it possible. He'd have taken it with either of them, in a heartbeat. And when they'd left—together—it'd torn something vital in him, so much deeper than any simple breakup could ever have.

Did I miss you? Well, yeah.

But there were no short words to say all of this, and by the time Kevin looked back up, wanting to search Tesla's eyes, Tesla was across the room, pants back up around his hips, pulling a towel from his bag. He gave Coyo a brief kiss, and said, "He's all yours, Amato; I'm going to go bathe."

Then he walked out the door and into a break in the rain.


Kevin stood with his back to the wall, breath shallow, watching Coyo closely. His chest was bare, brown and smooth except for the puckers of scar tissue that sprawled across it. Nipples dark and taut, abdomen flat and defined, the paired hollows along his pelvic bone begging for the stroke of a tongue.

Dragging his gaze back up to Coyo's face, trying to read his expression. Kevin was still a little bemused by the implication in Tesla's parting words—hell, by the implications of all of this strangeness. Well, yes, of course, it seemed obvious in one sense. But with the state of mind that Kevin was in, arousal thrumming through his veins, he honestly didn't know that he wasn't reading into this what he so badly wanted it to be. Instead of…

Instead of what? Being roped into some jealous game, a particularly grim test of wills between them…God, please. Tesla wouldn't do that, would he? Would Coyo?

With another swallow from his cup, Coyo stood, set his drink down, and padded over to Kevin. So light on his feet, in fine-tuned control of even the most trifling of muscles. Kevin swallowed hard, backed up a little, instinctively, and smacked into the wall, digging gritty plaster into bare shoulders. So long since he'd laid hands to the man, but he'd never stopped wanting him. There'd been those cold mornings, sweltering afternoons—when, with Debra elsewhere, he'd begin touching himself, languid, then desperate, musk and hard body filling his senses.

"How you been, Kevin?" Coyo traced a finger along Kevin's ear, a thumb along his jaw. Kevin shivered and looked up finally, into Coyo's eyes. He studied them, the faint lines at the corners, the dark glimmer in their depths, looking for some sign of latent anger. But there was none there, he didn't think, not a trace of annoyance in that smile.

"'m okay." Kevin hated the meekness of his voice, the tremor in it. Unsteady. "Missed you." Eight years, missing that touch, the low voice directed at him.

Coyo smiled, palmed Kevin's face, and kissed him. Unhurried, warm, wet. Coyo's mouth, at once new and familiar, and his taste, there, hidden behind the pulque, a flood of memories so real, so present, that Kevin's head swam.

"Andale," Coyo prodded Kevin, pushed him forward with hands on his waist, speaking low into his ear. "A la cama, mangito."

Still dazed, Kevin moved towards the bedroom, reaching back to clutch at Coyo's wrist, twisting his head to request another kiss. Mango. Years since he'd heard that word spoken aloud. He'd asked once, what it meant, and Coyo had answered between nips, voice husky and rich: …a tropical fruit…juicy…sweet…you eat it warm…and ripe…let the juices run sticky down your chin…

Never before had it occurred to Kevin to wonder, but was the pet name Kevin's alone? He'd always thought so…and realized now with a thrill—he still did.

In the back room, he let Coyo turn him, feeling docile and entirely consumed. He ran palms down Coyo's biceps, fingers along his hip, down the soft line of dark hair that vanished into the cotton of his pants, cream against sun-darkened skin. Rapt, as though touching him now for the very first time. So quick to succumb—Kevin, you're a pathetic excuse for a man.

Pulling at laces, Coyo loosened Kevin's pants, then slid his fingers inside the waistband and drew them down, fingers trailing down Kevin's ass—a touch that was firm, but gentle, too, and somehow that was different, not like Coyo at all.

When Coyo pushed, Kevin stumbled onto the bed. And when Coyo flicked fingers in gesture, Kevin scrambled back towards the headboard, kicking his pants from his ankles as he did.

"Tan bello, todavia…" Coyo drew a palm down Kevin's body, from shoulder to thigh, thumb nudging the head of his cock where it lay against his hip. "More beautiful than ever, you know?"

A gust of cool mist flicked through the window, raising goose flesh on Coyo's skin, pricking his dark nipples tight. He stood again, loosened his pants with a tug at the drawstring, and slipped them down over his hips, the sinew of his legs, and, oh, fuck. Yes.

Tip peaking out from its sheath, purple and glistening, and God but Kevin could taste him already. But as Kevin made to sit up, reaching for him, Coyo pushed him back down, dropped a knee between his legs, and took Kevin into his mouth.

He suckled and licked. Nothing powerful, just gentle and easy, dropping a finger to flirt along his crack, press lightly at the muscle of his pucker. An aggravation, really, and Kevin whimpered frustration, bucking hips up, asking for more. Because Christ, he was far past the stage of sweet foreplay. He ached, balls blue from kneeling at Tesla's feet. Coyo teased, God have mercy, and it took for fucking ever, but Kevin finally arched his back and groaned, getting close…

Coyo stopped. Just pulled away, smirking, giving the swollen head a final swipe with his tongue.

"God, no." Kevin's voice came out hoarse, guttural. "Coyo…" Kevin reached between his legs, not really thinking that Coyo would allow it, not thinking at all, only wanting a couple of tugs.

"Ah-ah-ah." Coyo snatched at Kevin's wrists. "No touching." He smiled and stroked Kevin's side with his tongue. "You belong to us, tonight."

"Us," Kevin managed. Panted. The confirmation sent a charge up his spine.

"Mmm." Coyo agreed with a straight face, bending to pick up his pants from the floor. He fished in the back pocket and pulled out a set of handcuffs. Withdrew a key from the front.

Oh…Jesus. "Coyo…" Those were the same ones, Kevin'd bet his ass on that. Those cuffs had held Tesla for half the last year. "What're you—"

"Nice bed. So glad you have taste. So big." Coyo grabbed again at Kevin's wrist, tugged it behind him, and snapped one ring closed around it. "And such a fancy headboard. Here. Scoot up. You'll be more comfortable." He snapped the other to one of the posts, and tucked a pillow under Kevin's shoulders.

Then Coyo left the room. No explanation, only a devilish grin as he slipped beyond the door. Inhaling raggedly, Kevin leaned back into the slats of the headboard, shut his eyes, and working on calming his pulse—on settling down enough that he wouldn't grab himself to finish the job. God. One touch and he'd come. Right here, right now.

His breathing hadn't even settled before Coyo returned with his drink in one hand, in the other, a small painted crock—the kitchen cooking fat. Coyo stopped in the doorway and drank from his cup, raking dark eyes over Kevin's frame as he swallowed. Looking predatory—hungry and calculating. Kevin's erection twitched, and he caught himself gnawing at his lower lip as fire licked up his ears.

Coyo approached, and if Kevin hadn't known him so long, he might have missed the smirk on his lips. He sat, hip touching Kevin's, setting the pot by the bed as he did. He stroked fingers up Kevin's side, sending an electric ripple through his skin. "I told you. You never believed me, how…" He paused, resting his thumb at Kevin's lip, and Kevin sucked it in. "…how pretty you are. Beautiful." Struggling to express himself, Coyo did that sometimes, a kind of frustration with a language not his own. "Like a man is. Bello.

"Spread your legs." Coyo prodded with a hand until Kevin complied, flushing hot again but obedient, yes, and God, Coyo's voice. "That's it, mangito, open…yes. Muy bien."

Coyo's finger lifted Kevin's sac, cupped it, ran a finger back until it reached his sphincter. Not entering yet, just running tight circles in a slow massage. When Coyo reached for the pot, Kevin bit his lip, waiting. A slickened finger pressed, slipped in, and Kevin let out a breath he hadn't known he was holding. So good. Regulating his breath, he forced the relaxation as Coyo toyed with him, stretching him slowly, and God, but Kevin was glad for that, because he'd always been tight, and now, after six months of virtual celibacy…

"Uhnnn." Kevin arched his back, let his eyes roll back. Yes. There. Oh fuck.

"Nice?" Kevin heard the grin in Coyo's voice.

"Yeah. It's…nice."

With his free hand, Coyo took a drink from his cup, then put his mouth to Kevin's, sharing the liquid, warm and sweet. Kevin moaned deep, then swallowed the gift and offered his mouth back, let Coyo rape it, explore, bite. Coyo's fingers continued to probe him, crooking come-hither until Kevin thought he'd bust a nut, and—God!...but the stretch was erotic—

"Holy fuck."

Kevin's eyes snapped wide to find Tesla standing in the doorway, eyes bright, a brilliant smile splitting his face. Damp hair, curling red and wild, locks plastered to his neck and cheek. His skin gleamed from a dash through the rain, highlighting every plane, every angle. Beads of water clung to the spray of fine hair on his chest, and God, but Kevin wanted to taste them.

Tesla crossed the room in three quick strides and flung himself onto the bed, sending stray droplets of water onto Kevin's skin. Running an eager hand over Kevin's abdomen and chest, he said again, "Holy fuck," in a voice gone raspy. "God, Coyo, he's gorgeous like this. Holy fuck."

In the wake of Tesla's entrance, Coyo'd broken the kiss, but his fingers still moved, had to be three of them by now, not letting up, so that when Kevin opened his mouth in response, the only sound that came out was a groan.

Coyo chuckled at that. "Think he's ready for you, novio." He turned back to Kevin, spoke low in his ear. "You ready to get fucked, baby? Got enough ass for us both?"

A thrill ran through Kevin's body, cold and sharp and electric. He said, "Yesss," realizing then how tightly he was gripping Coyo's arm. "Please."

Tesla laughed, light and easy. "One at a time, don't worry…"

"To start…" Coyo agreed. "…but later? Quien sabes?"

Grinning, Tesla said, "Who knows?" and then bent for a kiss. Kevin lunged to greet him, crushed hard to Tesla's mouth, hungry for his taste, his heat. The air was thick, the atmosphere surreal, and he'd have probably been mortified by his eager assent if he weren't so fucking turned on.

One more twist and then Coyo's fingers left him. He swatted Kevin's ass. "Over."

Tesla moved and Kevin flipped onto his stomach, following orders, ready to consent to whatever they wanted. Tesla drew his pants down and his erection popped free, already stiff and swollen, youth overruling the earlier slaking.

"Vamanos." Another slap. "Up. On your knees."

Drawing himself up, Kevin scooted towards the head of the bed, giving his cuffed arm enough slack to bend. Coyo slipped in front of him, leaning back into the headboard, and then drew up his knees. Thighs spread wide, his cock jutted high, long and brown-skinned, the dark flare of the head glistening with slick.


Need spiked in Kevin's gut on hearing the command in that word, and he went down, fast, mouth enclosing Coyo in a close, ravenous suck. Christ, two in one evening, feeling sluttish and unsure whether his reaction to that was deep pleasure or shame.

And as if that weren't enough, now he felt the dip of the mattress behind him, the heat of skin at his thighs. Hands cupped Kevin's balls, then spread his ass wide, and nothing in the world could have stifled Kevin's cry at the burn of Tesla's shaft boring into him.


The downpour was long over and the night quiet except for the low chirp of insects. A cool breeze drifted through the open window, raising hairs along Kevin's arms. The warmth of Tesla's skin pressed behind him, the sparse dusting of his chest hair tickling Kevin's back as Tesla breathed in the low rise and fall of sleep. Behind Tesla, Coyo snored softly, and though the sound was light, it filled Kevin's ears with memories, inviting him to yield and let it lull him to sleep.

But sleep eluded Kevin. Mind his own again, the fire of lust banked, and there was too much raging within him—confusion, he guessed. Anger, too—mostly self-directed. All those years, learning to stand up for himself…all blown in one evening—dignity scattered at the slightest temptation.

When he'd left Coyo, he'd sworn that never again would he play the role of fucktoy. It'd been hard, yeah, sticking to his guns, but the whole relationship had fucked with him so badly, needing so much more from Coyo than Coyo'd ever been willing to give.

He'd thought he'd grown since then, learned his lessons. Self-respect. What a laugh. Nothing had changed; he was as weak willed as he'd ever been. Relaxing his vigilance, he'd tripped on a pebble.

He tossed the sheets from his legs. Feeling hot. Sticky. The residue of sex, the presence of two men within him, on him, their residue slick on his buttocks and thighs, his own semen stretching his stomach tight as it dried. And it stank. Shouldn't stink. He liked the smell, usually—of sex, of men. Didn't he?

Kevin scooted forward, gingerly, trying not to rock the bed overmuch, but Tesla's arm dropped to Kevin's waist, drawing him closer again with a sleepy grunt. Kevin stilled, needing free, but not wanting to wake anyone.

Once Tesla's breathing evened out, Kevin lifted his hand and slid towards the edge of the mattress—got his legs over the side before Tesla shifted, tightening his grip.

"Kevin…?" A low whisper, some trace of concern maybe, but mostly just sleepy.

"Have to piss." Let me go. Go back to sleep.

"Mmm." Tesla brushed his lips against the nape of Kevin's neck, not quite a kiss, more a nuzzle, and then let Kevin go with a mumbled, "'urry back."

Kevin dropped to the floor, stood, and when he reached the bedroom door, turned to look back. To remind himself, he guessed, to hammer it into his heart so he'd remember it later. Dark skin against pale, Coyo's nose against Tesla's back, fine black hair entwined with curls. Spooning, the thin sheet outlining their torsos from the waist down, showing clearly the drape of Coyo's leg over Tesla's. Holding him close. Christ, but they were beautiful together, so clearly a pair, and a hollow ache wrenched in Kevin's chest, like a tightening fist.

He threw a spare blanket across his shoulders and left. Heading for the latrine, because he needed the fresh air, and anyway, he hated using the corner pot. After emptying his bladder, he stopped off at the baths and washed the dross from his skin, scrubbing with soap, twice in some places. The cold water helped, sobering him, shocking the dull gray from his vision and clearing his mind.

When he got back, he brushed his teeth and tongue, then slipped on a clean pair of drawstrings, finding ease in their familiar comfort. There was a cup on the sill in the front room, half-full still. It had been his, he remembered. He peered into it, aiming it so that the moon aided his sight, checking for drowned moths. He took a sip, then a mouthful, and swallowed, grimacing at the sting of the alcohol, then leaned into the wall and gazed out the window. At the next row of buildings. The mesquite one door over, the breeze tickling its leaves. Pearl moonlight dappled among them, the light shifting patterns on his skin.

Steps sounded behind him, light and cautious, stopping and then coming on. He ignored them, wished them away. A hand brushed against his shoulder, fingers touched his hair.


Tesla. His voice soft, so as not to wake Coyo.

"You all right?"

Kevin shrugged, then nodded. No. But yes, really. There was nothing truly wrong, was there? Only in his head, not Tesla's problem at all.

Tesla wrapped arms around Kevin's shoulders, clasped his wrist at Kevin's chest. He put his nose to Kevin's skin, trailing from shoulder to neck, into his hairline. "Hey," he said, then fell silent, resting his chin on Kevin's right shoulder—looking out the window, maybe. What did he see?

"Sit with me. C'mon." Tesla tugged at Kevin's arm, inviting him to drop to the floor. Kevin followed, thinking he shouldn't give in to the comfort, but he was weak, right?—he'd already figured that much out. And just now, being held was a much-needed balm.

Tesla sat with his back to the wall, knees drawn up, and pulled Kevin back between his legs. He wound arms about Kevin's waist, and Kevin surrendered, leaning back into the warmth of Tesla's chest. Knowing the comfort was false, but thinking that God, just for now, maybe he could push the pain away. Deal with it when they were gone again, in their little paradise.

Except that he couldn't submerge, couldn't pretend. Physically, it felt good, right—as if he belonged in Tesla's arms. But his mind kept darting, the chattering reminders growing more insistent until finally he inhaled in a sharp, ragged breath that was far too loud to ignore. Christ.

"Kevin…" Tesla's voice, wrapped in dismay.

Pinching the bridge of his nose, squeezing eyes shut, Kevin forced his breathing to even. "I can't…do this."

Tightening his hold, Tesla touched his forehead to Kevin's nape.

"I just…" Kevin heard the crack in his voice, and stopped. Didn't want to go there, didn't want Tesla to know just how bad off he was.

There was silence in the room for several long seconds before Tesla ran fingers through Kevin's hair and said, "Kevin. I'm sorry. God, I hate seeing you like this. Did we do this to you?"

"Why? Why did you come here?" Do you like rubbing it in, or do you really not have a clue?

"We missed you."

"We?" He'd not meant to voice the question, but there it went, flying out of his mouth, spraying his neediness into the air. Pathetic.

"Yes." There was question in Tesla's tone, as though he thought the answer would've been obvious.

Kevin chewed on that, then said, "Whose idea was this?"

Tesla didn't answer right away, and Kevin heard his light breathing in the silence of the room. Finally, speaking slowly, he said, "Hard to say. In the end, mine, I guess. I was the one who finally just said, 'so let's go.' We'd talked, you know? About you. Fun things and serious things, and…"

Tesla went quiet, and Kevin waited, knowing he was searching for words. "God Kevin, we just missed you is all. But I'm sorry. I didn't think…I mean." He paused for a heartbeat. "You don't want this?"

Bitter laugh. "God. I want it so bad. But I can't go through this again. Tesla. Christ. We talked. I told you why I left him. Don't you remember? I don't—"

"I remember. But Kevin, you had it all wrong. He told me, it wasn't like you thought…and he didn't know. You said it yourself…we're both shit at talking." Tesla let out a small laugh, "But I don't care what you say, he's worse than I've ever been."

Kevin smiled, but that was all he could manage. He just couldn't find the levity within him. They were silent for a time, and Kevin's thoughts wandered. Trying to figure what Tesla meant, what that conversation had been, what chances Kevin had missed for not seeing them. Thinking how for all he'd tried to do right, he'd seemed destined to fail. Loving men. Maybe you just had to be damn lucky to end up reasonably content.

He spoke finally, voice low, half figuring that Tesla had probably nodded off. "Debra…we've decided to split."

The hand returned to his hair, carding fingers through it. No words, just a touch.

"She's taking Maya. I mean, that's okay, I guess. She's the only one survived the virus, and—you know—mothers. Debra needs her more than I do. I guess." Kevin examined his fingers, pushed back a cuticle. Trying to convince himself that it really was…okay.

"But she's due any day now…" Tesla spoke it as a question, as though that changed the equation.

Kevin let a breathy laugh go. Not of amusement. "Yeah." More of irony. "With yours, Tesla." Bitter. "What claim do I have to that?"

"But Maya?"

"Yeah. Maybe. But I can't…by then Maya'll be settled. I just can't…don't want to…" Kevin let out a long breath. "Can we not talk about this?"

"Sure." Tesla pulled Kevin back against him, ignoring the stiffness with which Kevin complied. Whispering, "shh," into Kevin's ear. Then, "Can I tell you about Lilith?"

"Yeah." That had been her at supper, such a huge belly on such a small frame. She carried Tesla's, too. All the Tesla babies, coming at once. Someone should throw a big happy party. "Tell me."

"Lilith…she asked if I wanted the baby. After it's weaned, you know?"

"She doesn't?"

"Well. Harsh wording, but no. I don't think so. She said she'd make a horrible mother. But really? She just…she moves, you know? Doesn't want to be tied. She likes doing trade missions; she's on the security force. I think she'd be happy to be a mom from afar."

"Christ. Wish I'd known. Wish it were mine."

Tesla opened his mouth, said, "If…" and then shut it again abruptly. Stayed silent for a moment, as though he were thinking. Finally, he said, "The next one could be. Should be. Talk to her. Or I can."

Kevin nodded. Not so much in agreement as acknowledgment; it was just too much to think about now. "So? What will you do?"

"Don't know. Talk to Coyo. To you." Tesla scrubbed Kevin's head with fingers. "Don't feel so much like dad material myself, not like you." His voice lost its grin. "Just need to think about it is all."

"You'd have to stay here."

"Yeah." Tesla chuckled. "Yeah, that'd kind of be necessary."

Kevin didn't know what to say to that, so he said nothing, just let the conversation pass into the night. He realized suddenly that he still held his cup, and brought it to his lips for a sip. "How long are you here this time?" They'd been back twice before, each time staying only a night. Barely enough time to restock.

"Tomorrow afternoon was the plan."

Kevin nodded. Of course. Hope I was entertaining.

"Should we stay longer? We can."

Pulling away and twisting around, Kevin sought out Tesla's eyes, tried to read him through the dark. "Why?"

"To…be here. Is all. With you, I mean. For you." He seemed to run out of steam, confused, maybe. Or unsure.

A frost ran through Kevin's limbs. What the hell? "I don't need you. I do fine on my own."

"No…Kevin!" Tesla snatched at Kevin's wrist. "I didn't mean it like that. Christ, we all need people sometimes. What, it's okay if someone needs you, but you can't—?"

"Nobody's ever needed me." Don't bullshit with me. Words clipped and pissed off, and where the hell had that come from anyway? Self-pity. But raw truth, too, goddamnit.

But Tesla was only staring at him, as though Kevin had become suddenly alien. Their eyes held for a moment until Tesla finally blinked, and said plainly, "I did. You kept me sane."

"Bullshit," Kevin hissed. "I kept you fucked." He regretted the harsh words as soon as he'd spoken them; Tesla was only trying to be kind. But he didn't see that things were the way they were, and Kevin didn't need to be trailing after their crumbs.

"Listen. I can't…" Kevin touched Tesla's hand, trying to communicate apology. He didn't need to take this out on him. "…playing these…games. I need to be more than a…a sideshow. I fall deep, and—"

"You aren't a sideshow, Kevin."

"No!" Kevin yanked his arm from Tesla's grip and stood. Frustrated. "Don't. Don't try to make it sound right. It's the same situation all over again. Nothing's changed. Nothing. And I—"

"No, Kevin." Tesla had risen with Kevin, and now he gripped Kevin's shoulders, looked him straight in the eye. "You're wrong. Everything's changed. I am not him, he is not who he was, and neither are you." He touched Kevin's hair, brushed a strand out of his eyes. "I think maybe you've never understood just what you mean to us. Not to me, not to Coyo. You know? So could you just relax? A little? Trust that we love you?"

Kevin froze. Snapped his mouth shut, eyes locked onto Tesla's. He slumped, finally. Defeated. He just didn't know. There was no anger now, just profound confusion. Maybe he was just exhausted, wanting to believe sophistry. He dropped his head onto Tesla's chest, remembered how much he'd always loved how it fit there, tucked under Tesla's chin.

"We'd meant for tonight to be a thrill for you, you know?" Tesla pitched his voice deep, dramatically sinister. "The fulfillment of your darkest fantasies…"

Kevin couldn't help but smile. "It was hot," he whispered.

Tesla chuckled, then raised his head, and Kevin could tell that something had attracted his attention.

"Hay problema?"

Kevin turned to see Coyo, standing in the bedroom door in all of his naked glory. Looking sleepy, concerned, and more than a little confused. He glanced up towards Tesla, held his gaze for a moment. Then he looked back to Kevin and beckoned him with a lazy wave of his arm.

"It's late, Mangito. Come back to bed."


When Kevin tried to claim his previous spot, Tesla nudged him towards the center of the bed. Tesla caught Coyo's eye, and Kevin supposed he should have been annoyed at the obvious communication that passed between them. He felt warmth and reassurance instead…that they'd take care of him. That somehow, in their minds, he merited that.

Kevin scooted inwards obediently, his eyes itching with fatigue and an overdose of angst. When Coyo reached for him, he nestled backwards, spooning his ass against Coyo's soft cock. Tesla pulled up a sheet, and then rolled over and squirmed closer, moving down until his nose was at Kevin's chest, and his legs wove into the tangle of the rest.

It was warm. Nice, being surrounded by them, sandwiched in between their skin. By morning they'd be sprawled, trying to escape the heat, but for now this was good.

"Mmm." Coyo twitched once, seemed to awaken. Lifting his head, he reached to nip Kevin's ear. "Almost forgot…Happy Birthday, Mango."

Tesla's laugh came as a warm breath across Kevin's nipple. "Right. We were supposed to say that, weren't we? Happy Birthday, Kevin."

Kevin laughed, a quick and light sound that surprised him, his heart swelling a little. He was still smiling as he dropped off to sleep.