“Oh, c’mon! How is this fair?”
“Not everything is fair, Starr.”
“But you always top.”
“Because I’m better at it.”
“How d’you know? You’ve never even given me the chance to—”
“I’m not having a dick up my arse, Quinn. That’s your job.”
“No.” He laughed, grinning at the other boy’s stubbornness.
Quinn pouted and flopped down onto the floor, his back leaning against the bed frame. Their clothes were rustled, their hair messy, their eyes full of sparkling lust. “Fine.”
“What?” Kit demanded, noticing Quinn displaying no signs to indicate he was about to move.
“If you won’t let me top, then we’re not having sex. Ever. Not until I get a go.”
"A go?” Kit laughed heavily and plopped down opposite Quinn. “It’s not a fucking swing set. You can’t just wait your turn. It’s never gonna happen.”
Quinn shrugged nonchalantly, “Suit yourself. I’m sure there are plenty of other boys just lining up to get a piece of d—”
“You are such a dork.” Kit rolled his eyes, sighing deeply. He reached underneath the set of drawers and pulled out a pack of playing cards. “You know how to play?”
Quinn stared at him in utter disgust, “What?”
“Well, since you refuse to have sex with me—”
“What? No! No, it doesn’t work like that. You’re meant to give in!”
“Kit.” Quinn moaned, sounding like a miserable child, waiting for their parents to finish chatting with a friend they bumped into in the street. “Please.”
“Oh, you’re begging now? ’Cause y’know, that’s kinda a kink of mine—”
“Why won’t you let me!” Quinn groaned. “We’re basically the same height—”
“You’re like a metre shorter.”
“Like an inch." He corrected bitterly. “We’re the same build—”
“I’ve got an extra, like...kilogram of muscles.”
“So? I’m perfectly capable of fucking someone. Maybe you’ll enjoy it.”
“Yeah, that seems pretty unlikely.” Kit scoffed, shuffling the cards absentmindedly. He knew that if he called Quinn’s bluff, he’d eventually give in. Kit always got what he wanted, especially with Quinn - he was the biggest pushover he knew.
Kit laid out the cards between them, and finally, Quinn snapped. He reluctantly brushed the cards aside and crawled towards Kit, climbing into his lap. “I hate you.” He grumbled, leaning down to close the gap between them. The kiss was short, but passionate. If Quinn had to bottom, then he’d do it right. He was going to have all the power, and whatever happened, he wouldn’t let Kit dominate him - no matter how much he enjoyed it.
But they couldn’t even get far enough to take off their ties before a loud, impatient knock vibrated through the room. They both parted quickly, smoothing down their clothes as Kit headed for the door, swinging it open in frustration. “Steel?” He rose his brows. “What’re you doing here?”
Sebastian didn’t even notice the other boy in the room, his eyes were fixed on Kit, full of urgency. “It’s your roommate.”
Kit gulped and turned around, searching for his jacket, “Where is he? Is he okay?”
“He’s fine.” Sebastian promised firmly. “You don’t need to come, I just need to pick up some pills for him. Apparently he’s got anxiety medication. D’you know where he might keep it?”
Kit shook his head slowly, abandoning his search for a coat, “Why would he need that?”
“He had a panic attack.”
“And you’re his designated caregiver?” Kit snorted.
“He was looking for Lucky.” Sebastian’s voice faded at that name. He still felt guilty. Like he’d completely betrayed Alex. “D’you have the pills or not?”
Kit glared threateningly before spinning on his heels and entering his and Benji’s shared bathroom. He swung the cabinet open and hastily scanned it for any pills. Once he’d found the little bottle, he popped the lid open and peered inside. Kit smiled faintly; Benji had mixed his pills with skittles.
Quinn pretended to be immensely consumed with the book he’d grabbed from the floor as he waited for Sebastian to leave - The Shinning. Steel was more Diesel’s friend than his, the pair of them had nothing in common. Take Diesel out of the equation and it was just plain awkward. When Kit finally returned, he shoved the packet into Steel’s hands, “You sure I don’t need to come?”
Sebastian rolled his eyes and left without another word. When he returned to his dorm, Benji was sat curled up on the bottom bunk, rocking back and forth and sipping on a glass of water Sebastian had offered him. He handed Benji the pills and he smiled weakly in gratitude. “Th-Thanks.” He whispered.
“Lucky said Diesel made you his prey. He can be a bit of a prick. Are you okay?”
Benji nodded, “Do you ever get used to this place?”
Sebastian sighed heavily, “Probably not. That’s not a bad thing. You shouldn’t get too comfortable in a place like this.”
“I-I wanted to be a lawyer.” Benji whispered. “I guess that’s never gonna happen now. Not with this on my application.”
“I wanted to be a doctor.” Sebastian added. “An oncologist.”
Benji glanced up at him. Neither said a word, but both knew their dreams were far from realistic. This school wasn’t capable of gifting them the grades they’d need to pursue their fantasies. Plus, what university would accept a student from Oakleaf Academy? “Maybe you can still do volunteer work. Y’know...with cancer patients.”
Sebastian took a deep, laboured breath, “True. But it’s not the same. There’s curing cancer and there’s making people with cancer temporarily happy.”
Benji shrugged, trying to soothe his trembling hands, “What’re you in here for?” He murmured.
“I got caught up with the wrong people.” He replied truthfully. “I got into drugs, mostly cocaine, a bit of ket, whatever I could get my hands on really.”
“Shit.” Benji whispered, his voice was soft and gentle, just like his mannerisms. Nothing about Benji was hard or rough or angry. He was just plain sweet and caring.
“I eventually ended up in rehab and...well, what school would want to accept a kid fresh from hospital for drug misuse? No one would take me.”
Sebastian didn’t mind spilling this entire tale to Benji. Telling people about Alex was definitely not on the agenda, but telling people about the scars Alex left behind? Well, that wasn’t so bad. Sebastian spiralled out of control after Alex died — after he killed him. Drugs seemed to be the only thing keeping him afloat, saving him from sinking into the pit of despair Alex had left behind.
Everything led back to his dead boyfriend. The drugs, the rehab, ending up in Oakleaf. Everything.
“Are you clean?”
Sebastian knew what Benji was hinting at, “Don’t worry about the drugs circulating this school. Just try not to get involved.”
“I think I already am.” He said dulcetly. “Hey, does Diesel hold grudges?”
Sebastian stared at him unblinkingly, his lips parting as he tried to muster the correct answer. “Pretty sure.”
Lucky was sat in the counsellor’s office, his cheeks wet with tears, his eyes laced with deception.
He’d overheard some kids saying that Ms Shawl was susceptible to manipulation. Apparently if you pretended to cry for long enough, she’d give in and let you borrow her phone. Lucky had been sat in her office for half an hour now, forcing tears to blossom in his cold silver eyes as he spewed nonsense about how much he missed his family. He was a good actor.
Eventually, she handed him her mobile and busied herself with some paperwork. Lucky knew she was still paying close attention, presumably eager to hear what he had to say. So, once he dialled his Mother’s number and heard her familiar voice, he decided to speak in another language. “¿Mamá? Hola, es Felix.”
“Felix?” She gasped in pure shock, “Oh Dios mío! Are you okay? We haven’t heard from you in weeks!”
“Estoy bien, Mama. I just needed to talk to you. Is everything okay? How’s Mum?”
“She’s good. How’s it going up there? Those boys treating you alright?”
“Sí.” He chuckled lightly. He’d forgotten how much he missed hearing her voice. it almost made him cry for real. “I miss you guys.”
Lucky wasn’t Spanish himself — he was too pale to even be considered Spanish. But one of his Mums was, and ever since he was adopted at the age of four, he’d been speaking a foreign language. It was natural to him, like blinking or breathing.
“I’ve got something I need to ask you guys.”
“What is it, mijo?”
“Can my friend come home with us for half term?” He pleaded. “I mean...I haven’t asked him yet, but I’m not sure he’s really got anywhere to go and staying here is a bit miserable.”
“Of course, Fe. What’s he called?”
“Benji.” Lucky told her, ignoring the counsellor’s eyes lurking over his body. “I could be wrong, but I think he’s from an abusive household. He’s always flinching and stuttering, like he’s scared to put a foot wrong.”
He could already picture his Mum making up an extra bed for Benji and feeding him until he couldn’t eat another bite. His Mama was a bit more relaxed; ‘The Cool One’ as she called herself. She wore leather boots and red lipstick, mismatched piercings and jagged rings. Her hair was shaved at the sides and tattoos ran down her arms, curling like thorns claiming its victim. His other Mum, however, was the polar opposite. Knitted jumpers, freshly baked cookies and lavender perfume. And Lucky loved them both more than anything, and he knew that’d never change.
“We’re happy to have him, Fe.” His Mama told him plainly.
“Gracias. Is Mum home?”
“No, she’s watching Penny’s ballet show.”
“And you’re not?”
“Dog sitting, mate.” She teased, knowing full well that our Dalmatians needed little to no supervision.
“Alright, I think that’s enough.” Ms Shawl smiled encouragingly, “Are you feeling better?”
Lucky sighed heavily and nodded, “I gotta go, Mama. I’ll see you in a few weeks, yeah?”
“Stay safe, Fe. We love you.”
“Yo también te amo.” And with that, he hung up and handed the phone back to the impatient counsellor.