Oakleaf had killed any glimmer of life a long time ago. But nestled on the very edge of the grounds, sat a rundown old greenhouse, disused for years, haunted with the ghosts of ancient memories.
The creaky floorboards had nails poking out and the shelves distributed splinters if you weren’t careful, but it was the one place nobody ever stepped foot in. Old plant pots lined the walls, nothing inside but a coating of dust while weeds crept through every crack. The glass above glinted dully in the sun, obscured by the coating of grime built up on each surface.
And occasionally, it’s where Kit and Quinn fucked.
They were sat side by side, Quinn’s head resting on Kit’s shoulder, using the boy’s blazer to keep himself warm (Quinn had forgotten his own). “Is it bad that I don’t wanna go home?” Quinn murmured, his voice monotone and sad, muffled by his position.
“You’re such a spoiled rich kid.” Kit rolled his eyes. “What’s so terrible about returning to your mansion for warm meals and your very own Butler?”
“I don’t know. Maybe the fact that said mansion is full of people that hate me.”
“See, that’s the type of thing that makes people dislike you.” Kit snickered. “You use words like said in such a weird context.”
Quinn elbowed him in the side, though his laughter didn’t cease. “You looking forward to going home for half term?”
“Don’t have a home.” Kit shrugged, “My parents got rid of me early on. I’ll probably end up here for the week.”
Quinn froze, then shuffled around to face Kit properly, “Come home with me.”
“I mean it. Come home with me.”
“No, don’t think that. It doesn’t mean we’re in love, or I want you to meet my parents or anything. Honest.” He spewed hastily. “I just want you to come home with me.”
Kit stared at him unblinkingly, trying to figure out the meaning behind his words, “Why?”
“Because I can’t be alone with these people, Christopher! We can be friends, alright? I can just say you had nowhere else to go, it’s the truth, right?”
“Well...yeah, technically, but—”
“Please.” Quinn begged, crawling into his lap and straddling his waist.
Kit peeked up at the pleading boy through heavy lashes, watching the desperation painted across his face with such longing. But it was an offer he couldn’t refuse. A week with Starr in a fancy mansion and clean sheets? He’d be an idiot to say no. “Okay.”
Quinn’s eyes lit up, a wide grin spreading across his face.
And he kissed him.
And it was the first time they’d ever kissed, for a purpose other than sex.
Their lips were attached for a short three seconds before Quinn recognised his mistake and frantically pulled away, his large eyes trained on Kit’s lips. “I-I don’t...I’m sorry.”
“I really wish you hadn’t done that.” Kit struggled to force the words out through gritted teeth, resisting every urge to tackle Quinn to the dirty ground and rip his clothes off all over again.
“I know, I didn’t mean—”
“’Cause now I wanna kiss you back.”
Quinn paused, his face falling into a blank, unreadable expression. He was aware that they’d been growing closer and closer recently, but he tried his hardest to brush it off. If he speculated about the meaning behind Kit’s change of heart, he’d drive himself crazy. But Kit was practically spelling it out for him, and yet, Quinn couldn’t let himself believe that he actually meant it. That’d be too devastatingly heartbreaking.
“Y-You...you do?” He whispered anxiously.
Kit nodded, his thumb brushing over Quinn’s pale skin, sending shivers of electricity through both their spines. Wordlessly, Kit hooked his arms around the back of Quinn’s neck and pulled him down, their lips meeting halfway.
Everything else turned to dust as the boys embraced, months of tension spilling into one single kiss. Sweet and short and unforgettable. Their lips moulded together, their hair tickling their faces, their fingertips caressing each other’s cheeks. It was so meaningless yet so powerful. Neither wanted to pull away.
“Holy shit, you wear glasses?” Lucky laughed, plopping down into the seat opposite his best friend. “That is a new thing, right? I haven’t just noticed those for the first time, because I’m seriously unobservant—?”
“Where have you been?” Benji questioned softly. “We always meet early before the canteen gets too busy.”
Lucky shrugged, digging into a pile of scrambled eggs, “Sorry. Just one of those mornings, y’know?”
Benji’s brows furrowed curiously, “Are you alright? You look kinda red.”
Lucky rolled his eyes and waved his hand to dismiss it. “You gonna explain the whole glasses situation?”
“I couldn’t be bothered with my contacts this morning.” Benji lied halfheartedly.
“Y’know, I actually kinda like it.” Lucky decided, swinging his fork around as he ripped off a mouthful of toast. “I’m getting the whole...dorky but cute kinda vibe. Like a preacher’s son who wants to break free and take shots with a farmer he met three towns over at a cattle auction.”
“W-What?” Benji asked in utter confusion. “It was...it was Diesel. He said I should wear them.”
“Really? That wanker?”
“He apologised too.”
“Yeah.” Benji shrugged, looking down at his toast solemnly. “You think...maybe...maybe he’d not so bad?”
“Don’t do this, Pup.” Lucky dropped his fork, his expression hardening in seriousness. “This is what he wants. He wants you to trust him, he’s only gonna use you again. He doesn’t care. This is Diesel we’re talking about.”
Elias Black, Benji thought. “But what if he’s serious?”
“Yeah? And what if he’s not?”
Benji sighed sadly, “I just can’t believe it, Lucky. I can’t believe that people don’t have hearts anymore. There’s gotta be some good in this place. It can’t be all bad...right?”
“I robbed shops, you stabbed your father and my roommate killed the love of his life. And we’re meant to be the good guys here. Imagine what the bad ones have done. Diesel probably murdered a baby or some psycho shit!”
“We don’t know that—”
“And we don’t not know that.”
“Okay.” Benji whispered. “You’re right. He’s probably mental. It’s just...he offered to protect me...and you. That’s gotta count for something.”
“Yeah, that’s true. It probably means he wants to rape you in the showers.”
Benji paled, gulping down his last mouthful before losing his appetite entirely. “Don’t say that.” He murmured.
“I’m sorry, Pup, but you’ve gotta face facts here. You’re vulnerable. If people think you can’t stand up for yourself then—”
“I can stand up for myself.” Benji said quietly. “And this time, I’ll make sure they bleed to death.” And with that, Benji stood and walked away without a backward glance, leaving his plate and tray exactly where they were.
Sebastian’s eyes followed the boy out of the canteen, and then snapped back to Lucky. He was sat by himself, watching the door, guilt and sadness ghosting his expression. Sebastian didn’t like the idea of Lucky sitting alone, it opened him up to predators — he was a target. So, as he finished his own breakfast, he kept a close eye on him, watching his every move six tables away.
He wasn’t sure what had happened this morning. One minute they were walking to the canteen, the next minute, Sebastian had Lucky pinned against the wall in a storage cupboard, his tongue down his throat, his hands in his hair. And the next minute, they parted ways like nothing had happened.
It gave him a headache just thinking about it.
And he knew he liked Lucky, for reasons exceeding the fact that he reminded him of Alex. Lucky was sarcastic, bold, loyal, independent and possessed a fierce ‘I don’t give a shit’ attitude. Plus, he was pretty, and sometimes, his features looked feminine, sometimes they looked boyish. But he was always attractive, whatever light you put him in.
Sebastian knew he was allowed to move on with his life. But he couldn’t help feeling guilty. He’d never even thought about someone intimately since Alex had passed, and now, he was getting off with Lucky in a closet. It felt like betrayal. As if he was cheating on a living, breathing person. Not someone buried six feet under cold soil, never to wake up again.
Lucky glances up from his food glumly, only to find a pair of almond eyes staring right back. Once their eyes locked, it was difficult to break the contact. Lucky was so caught up in his temporary eye fucking session with Steel, he didn’t even notice the strangers approaching menacingly.
“We haven’t met.” A thick scouse accent snapped Lucky out of his trance. Two boys were looming over him, dark eyes and evil smirks. “Jake Wesley.” He filled Benji’s empty seat, as the other slid onto the bench beside Lucky, glaring threateningly. “This is my mate.”
“Kieran Porter.” He nodded.
“What you in for?” Jake asked. Lucky could barely understand him with such a heavy accent, barely deciphering his words.
“Uh...theft. I used to rob gas stations.”
The boys exchanged grins, “Aw, sweet.” Kieran cooed sarcastically. “Y’know, some of us committed real crimes.”
“Well, good for you—?”
“If you haven’t killed someone or at least seriously injured them, then—”
“Seriously, what do you guys want?” Lucky finally snapped, his eyes drifting between them curiously.
They smirked at each other, as if Lucky had pulled the trigger on their cue. Kieran grabbed the back of Lucky’s shirt and yanked him onto the floor, just as Jake hopped up to help.
Lucky groaned in pain, his back aching against the hard, dusty floor. Though he soon discovered real pain when a fist collided with his face, sending ripples of agony shuddering through his body. He could barely tell who was who at this point, it was a blur of pain and bruised flesh.
A small crowd had gathered around the scene, laughing and cheering as the strangers continued their assault on Lucky, hitting and scratching and kicking. He was quickly losing consciousness, drifting into darkness as he received punch after punch, stabbing at his lungs and cracking his ribs. His eyes watered with the sharp sensation, wincing as he tried to cradle his head.
Sebastian shoved his way through the crowd, trying to reach Lucky and save him from the torment. He was friends with Jake and Kieran — they were smoking buddies. He was sure he’d be able to get them to stop. All he cared about was Lucky, getting beaten repeatedly for no reason, other than to satisfy the needs of a couple of compulsive fighters. However, the second he neared them, he found that someone had gotten there first.
Diesel had made a promise to Benji. He’d protect him and Lucky, no matter what. Diesel wasn’t the best guy, but he followed through on his promises.
In seconds, he yanked Kieran off and dragged Jake away. He was about to beat them to a pulp, but the guards had already stepped in, pulling them away, kicking and shouting. Took your time, he thought bitterly, but guards turning a blind eye wasn’t anything new — it was merely expected.
He turned to check on Lucky, but Sebastian was already on it, carrying his roommate’s limp body back to their dorm, holding on for dear life, as if he was scared to lose another one.