The last of the daiquiri was sliding down his throat when Ian's fingers closed around his cock. Draco swallowed without choking, a particular talent of his, and lowered his gaze to his lap. The cheeky lad was working him with all the grace and subtlety of an erumpent; how he'd managed to slither under the towel unnoticed in the first place was a mystery.
Blunt nails scraped across his skin, and Draco shuddered. If the boy had any talent, which he hadn't, Draco may have allowed the clumsy hand job. Fortunately (as Ian was pawing at Draco's bollocks like a foraging bear), overt sexual activity was verboten at the resort. Molesting Draco so openly was a bold move, but Ian probably thought a bit of Malfoy spunk on his fingers would elevate his status to 'friend'. That wasn't a risk Draco was willing to entertain.
His empty daiquiri glass was the nearest blunt object. It made a lovely sound when connecting with Ian's forehead.
Ian howled and retreated faster than an asp. Draco made a show of adjusting his towel over his limp cock, then lowered his sunglasses and glared. "Were you trying to claw it off? If so, cheers. Your form is near perfect."
Ian gaped, red-faced, and rubbed the rising lump on his head. A twittering off to their right exacerbated his angry flush. "Shut up, Pansy," he hissed. "Why do you think he put the towel over his lap? He wanted it. He liked it."
Draco used one perfectly manicured finger to push his sunglasses back into place. "The purpose of the towel was to protect some of my more sensitive assets from the sun, not to give you permission to molest me." He brandished his glass again. "Animal! Have you even washed those hands since having that wank in the hot tub?"
Ian sputtered. "I—how did you know about that?"
Draco yawned and patted his bits. "There, there. The bad man's gone."
"I did wash them, I'll have you know. And I've been in the pool as well."
Pansy's twittering became a horrified trill. "Remind me to stay out of the pool, Draco."
"I'll add it to the list." It had become lengthy over the past few days. "Fussy brat."
"Understatement of the year," Ian grumbled. Pansy added her glare to Draco's, and Ian melted even farther into his plush lounge chair. Whispering something unflattering under his breath – something Draco prayed Pansy didn't hear – Ian grabbed his wand off the glass-top table that separated their chairs and waved it in the air. "Drink! I need a drink!"
"Among many other things." Pansy fluffed her dark hair. Her pert breasts received the same treatment, then she unfolded her legs and stretched them open. "You're staring at me, Draco," she cooed.
"Morbid fascination, nothing more. You excite me even less than Ian, impossible as that may sound. I simply wish you'd remember—" Draco glanced surreptitiously around the pool deck, "—that being at a nudist resort does not mean you're to flash your cunt at every warm body in the vicinity. Getting fucked as often as possible is not what being here is all about." This last remark he aimed at Ian as well, but any hope that the oaf heard the admonishment was soon dashed. He was paying them no mind whatsoever. Instead, he sat hunched in his lounge chair, paper umbrella crushed against his nose while he slurped something red and frothy. His cheeks were hollowed around the straw, which accounted for how quickly the level of liquid was dropping. The Neanderthal was actually smacking his lips whenever he came up for air. Grudgingly, Draco awarded him points for enthusiasm.
"That is truly a sight," Pansy said, watching Ian openly. "Where did you find this one? Are you sure he isn't some poor Transfigured dog that someone forgot to return to its natural form?"
Draco considered. "He does speak."
"Well, no. But he manages full sentences."
Pansy harrumphed. Together, they settled back on their towels. Draco closed his eyes and focused on the murmured hum of voices, the gentle lapping of the pool, and the cry of tropical birds. Oh yes, and Pansy's occasional gasp of appreciation – with commentary. "Gods! Hung like a horse with a mane to match. Saddle up, cowboy."
Draco kicked her chair, even though chastising her would be as useless as trying to teach Ian how to use a knife and fork. And he had to admit, he hadn't seen so many cocks on display since his twenty-first birthday party. That event had been Pansy's doing, come to think of it. "Stop staring," he said out of the corner of his mouth.
"Fuck off, darling." She waggled her fingers in a dismissive wave and readjusted her sunglasses. The huge lenses and bright white frames, not to mention her irregular patches of sunburn, made her look like a skinned kneazle.
Animals on both sides of him. Draco's dream of a stress-free holiday was disappearing faster than Ian's strawberry colada. "Cock-obsessed minx," he muttered.
"Pretentious slut. Pretentious cock-obsessed slut."
"You're both acting like babies," Ian said around his straw. He'd finally hit the bottom of his glass. His obscene slurping complemented the paper umbrella glued to his cheek.
"Why did you bring him?"
Draco turned to meet Pansy's stare. Her curiosity sounded genuine, her tone playful instead of nasty. He shrugged. "Because I knew the resort would be full of degenerates looking for a quick fuck, such as yourself, and that's not what I'm here for. Ian's job is to beat off the miscreants, such as yourself, so I can enjoy my holiday. That was the plan, at any rate," he added under his breath.
"So he's hired help? You never said, and I'll admit I never cared enough before to ask."
Petulant witch. "I found him in a bar on Knockturn. He's solid and pretty. What else could possibly be required? I just want to be left alone."
Pansy signalled for her own drink. A wide-brimmed glass sailed over, enough fruit speared on the rim to keep an entire army of nudists regular. "Oh, that's right! I'd nearly forgot about your unhealthy desire for a relaxing and freeing lifestyle experience. An experiment in self-acceptance, I believe you said, completely absent of any sexual pressure."
"No, thanks, if it's all the same. The thought of having some sort of Zen experience with your sexually absent cock is—"
"Is—?" Draco prompted after a few moments of silence. "Apparently so exciting an idea that it's rendered you speechless." His snort became a hiss when Pansy's pointy nails dug into his bicep.
"Look at him."
Draco yanked his arm loose, then inspected the marred flesh. "You've marked me, you cat!"
"No." He squeezed his eyes shut. Peace. Self-acceptance. Harmony.
"I think that one must have the most perfect cock I've ever seen. Wonder how that would feel sliding in."
"That's it!" Draco launched himself off his chair. "I'm leaving. Ian! Stop licking your glass and collect my things."
"But there's still some strawberry stuck at the bottom."
"Leave it!" Draco glared at him, hands on naked hips.
"I'm staying," Pansy said with a purr. She writhed in her chair like a cobra. "I wonder if Mr. Perfect Cock likes banana daiquiris."
He really needed to get past this obscene hatred of anyone being more perfect than himself. It didn't matter. He took a deep, cleansing breath. He was peace. He was harmony. He was….
"Which one?" he asked, turning to scan the pool deck.
Pansy slurped the last of her drink, then used her straw to point. "Right there," she said, stabbing it in the air. "Someone's giving you a run for your money."
"I highly doubt that." Draco followed the line of the dripping straw. He'd judge for himself just how well put together Pansy's newest obsession was.
There were several people between them, and a large umbrella obscured the other man's face, but Draco could still make out most of the necessary details. He squinted, and two feet came into focus. They were average-looking – not huge – which didn't bode well for the rest of the package. Despite what people claimed, Draco knew that big things tended to travel in packs. Still, they were graceful feet, tanned, with a high arch, and the nails looked refreshingly well-manicured.
"Heh," he muttered, then scowled when Pansy took up her amused twittering again.
"Keep going. It gets better."
The passably acceptable feet took up a nervous scuffling, turning first one way, then the other. Draco snickered. He'd seen the ah-hell-I’m-surrounded-by-naked-people waltz quite a bit this past week.
"He's a new one," Draco said.
"Mmmm," Pansy replied.
He carried on with his inspection, lingering over the two muscled thighs. Again, quite average, and they didn't necessarily warrant such a prolonged inspection, but it wouldn't do to rush to the best part. After all, something above the waist was bound to disappoint, no matter how pretty the man's bits were. When the legs finally got boring, Draco's gaze floated upward to the alleged perfect cock. He'd prepared a suitably scathing review of the goods, but when he opened his mouth, all that emerged was a grunt.
"Was that a sound of delight or disgust?" Pansy asked.
"Both." Delight because if Draco was anything, it was a connoisseur of beauty. Being in error on any point, however, left a bad taste in his mouth. He shifted his weight back and forth. "Well." There. That was appropriately understated.
"I told you." Pansy nibbled at the straw with her sharp little teeth.
The man finally moved, taking up an even stride around the pool deck toward the bar. His cock swung back and forth in a gentle arc as he walked.
Pansy sighed. "Poetry in motion."
Draco bit back a bolt of irritation. He was poetry in motion. That was nothing more than an impression of a metronome. He ducked to the left, then the right, but still couldn't manage a good look at the other man's face through all the palms and umbrellas.
Irritated, Draco continued his appraisal, more determined than ever to find flaw. His eyes roamed upward, over the man's stomach. Flat as a pancake, the bastard. Still, Draco didn't worry. Nature had a habit of balancing things out; the bloke probably a face like a bulldog, complete with pug nose and drooping jowls.
Ian whistled. "I wouldn't kick him out of bed. For once, I agree with Pansy."
Pansy patted Ian's arm companionably, and they shared a secret smile. Draco wondered how much stranger the day could possibly get. Irritated at them both, and nursing a growing lust-laced hatred of Mr. Perfect Cock, Draco spun back around with a growl.
The man had finally entered the open space around the bar and was padding toward a stool. When Draco saw his face, the world tilted.
He ripped off his sunglasses and stared, speechless, as the man finally reached the bar, spread a fresh towel across one of the stools, and planted his pert, perfect arse – damn it – on a stool.
Draco's hands curled into fists. Removing his sunglasses hadn't changed the horrible truth. In fact, it'd brought it to life in blazing colour. He stumbled, off-balance. Heat sizzled up his spine. Livid, he realized he was close to hyperventilating. "It's Potter!"
"What?" Pansy's shriek drew stares. She ripped off her own sunglasses. "Bastard!"
Draco seethed. "Yes, he is, isn't he?" And very naked. And also stupidly, stupidly almost perfect.
"Not him," Pansy cried. "You!"
The world titled another few degrees. Draco turned to her in confusion. "What?"
"You know him? That is so unfair!" She stomped her foot. "You've fucked him, I suppose."
Draco had an overwhelming urge to lap up the dregs of Ian's colada. He resisted. It was possible this surreal conversation could be blamed on too many fruity drinks, in which case it would be unwise to exacerbate the situation. He placed a finger on Pansy's chest, dead centre between her breasts, and leaned in close. "It's Potter. Harry Potter. Harry Potter!"
Pansy slapped his hand away. "Stop babbling. I heard you the first time."
"Is he into threesomes?"
"Is he—?" Draco spun round and grabbed Ian's arm. "Ian. Harry Potter. Ring a bell?" he asked snidely.
"Never heard of him."
"Never heard—?" Draco gaped most imperfectly. "Have you both gone mad?"
"Was he a Slytherin?" Pansy asked. "He has that look."
Draco hadn't been this traumatized since his premature baldness scare. Without answering, he turned and stalked off across the sun-speckled patio. He circled behind the rows of lounge chairs, ducking in and out of alcoves stuffed with potted palms, all the while keeping a close eye on Potter and his fucking beautiful body. Surely all that smooth skin and muscle couldn't be natural.
The resort forbade appearance-changing magic of any kind. It was rather difficult to learn self-acceptance while pretending to be something you weren't, after all. (Not that Draco had to worry over such things.) Of course, if anybody could get the rules bent to his will, it was Potter. Draco gasped as the truth hit him. Potter's perfect cock was a fake! The knowledge filled him with glee.
Draco watched Potter tap his fingers on the bar. He started to cross his legs, then changed his mind. He wriggled on the stool and cleared his throat repeatedly, struggling for that casual "I run around naked in public all the time" pose.
He failed miserably.
Draco gloated, secure in his own nonchalance. The urge to make Potter upset and even more uncomfortable was too difficult to resist. Surprise was the ticket; quite possibly, he could even get Potter's pretty cock to shrivel up a bit in fear. He cut in between a pair of matching pots, each spilling over with purple flowers, and stepped up to his prey.
Potter yelped and jumped off his stool. His towel started to slip to the ground, and he grabbed for it, all the while glaring at Draco.
Draco let him fumble around while surreptitiously checking for shrinkage. There was none. Draco's lip curled. It figured the hero's prick would be as fearless as its leader.
Draco enjoyed how Potter's eyes bulged from their sockets – all from the effort of keeping them focused above Draco's waist. That wouldn't do at all. Draco Summoned a towel and took the next seat over, positioning himself at the best angle for Potter to admire him. He cheered on the inside when Potter's eyes dropped to his crotch for a brief moment.
"Join me for a drink, Potter. Let's reminisce about our carefree school years."
Potter hovered next to his stool, towel pressed self-consciously to his groin. "You shouldn't be able to recognize me." He shook himself like a lost puppy. "I don't understand."
Draco clapped him on the shoulder. "That's the spirit! Just like the old days."
"This can't be happening."
Draco could barely contain his grin. "Would you care for a colada?"
Looking like a lamb to the slaughter, Potter placed his towel back on the stool. "Is there anything stronger?"
Drunken Potter. The day was coming up roses. "Of course." Draco snapped his fingers at the bartender. "Two whiskies! No fruit."
The whisky arrived just in time for Draco to test his theory. He caught the bartender by the elbow. "Bill these to Mr. Potter, if you please."
"Who?" The bartender glanced back and forth between them. "Which one of you is Mr. Potter?"
"Never mind." Draco waved him off and slid Potter's glass toward him. "As I suspected. They've bent the rules for you. You're using a spell to protect your identity."
"I'm not breaking the rules," Potter shot back. His fingers curled around the glass like it was a life-preserver.
Draco raised a sceptical brow.
"It doesn't alter my appearance," Potter added. He swallowed the whisky in one gulp.
Draco beat back his thrill at those words. He shouldn't be happy about Potter's perfect, and apparently all-natural, endowment. Still, his body appreciated the idea. Traitorous flesh. He held Potter's eyes for one second, challenging, before dropping his gaze to his lap. "It doesn't change anything?"
That was good for two minutes of shocked silence, which Draco used to flash intermittent evil smiles in Potter's direction.
"Why are you here?" The words exploded from Potter's mouth, clear challenge in the tone. But before Draco could answer, Potter shook his head. "Never mind. I'm sure I already know."
The barb stung. He was growing tired of everyone always expecting the worst from him. True, those who did were the weak and jealous sort, but somehow those words didn't fit Potter. Draco tried again, projecting "weak" and "jealous" in Potter's direction, only to have his mind reject the idea all over again. Unsettled, he downed his own whisky. Let Potter think what he would. His opinion meant nothing.
"Very well," Draco said, setting his glass down and signalling for another round. "Since you've already made up your mind about me, why not explain what you're doing here?"
"Why do you care?"
"I'm curious." He met Potter's incredulous stare with a frank one of his own. "Is it so surprising? After all, a nudist resort isn't exactly your usual style." He raised an eyebrow at Potter's dry laugh.
"No. No, it's not." Potter scrubbed his hands over his face. "I’m… oh, fuck it. You wouldn't believe me."
Intriguing. "Why not give me a chance?"
Potter chewed that over, jaw moving restlessly like he was masticating the proposition enough to make it palatable. "Okay," he said after a while. The second round arrived, and Potter grabbed on to his glass and held tight. "I will."
Draco tapped his foot against his stool as he waited. His curiosity was growing by the second. What on earth could turn the hero into a fumbling, blushing schoolboy?
"It's not all about sex. Not for me. I know why people like you come here, though."
Draco clenched his jaw, but held his tongue.
"I was told. Well… some close friends told me that I take things – life – too seriously."
"And is it any wonder that you do?"
Potter blinked, and turned surprised eyes to Draco. "That's what I told them."
Draco shrugged. So he'd thrown Potter a bone. It didn’t mean he fancied him or anything. "And…."
"Oh. Well, Hermione thought coming to a place like this might help. She made all the arrangements, actually. Including managing the spell so no one would recognize me."
"Then why do I?"
Potter frowned. "I don't know."
Typical. Draco waved for Potter to continue, which he did, after downing his second shot of whisky. "I don't remember everything she said. Something about increased vulnerability and the openness of the experience. It's supposed to help me accept myself. Stop hiding… things."
"Things?" Draco licked his lips. "What kind of things?"
Potter's eyes darted to Draco's lap again, lingered, and suddenly Draco understood. Potter's sideways glance wasn't the sort men share in the loo – not the one that said, "Look, I have a cock, and I see you have one too. Good show!" No, there had been intent in Potter's gaze. Intent and want.
No wonder the situation had gone sour with the Weaslette. At least it had according to the tabloids. Not that Draco paid attention to that sort of tripe.
He began to see the possibility of a mutually beneficial accord. The day was suddenly ripe with possibility. He could convince Potter to stop hiding "things" – sucking Draco off might help with that – and Potter could reveal all his faults to Draco (there had to be at least one), thereby securing Draco's place as the most perfect of all.
A shallow, yet alluringly foolproof plan.
"Excuse me, sir? You have a firecall."
"Me?" Potter asked. He pushed his glasses up his nose and squinted at the slip of parchment the bartender had handed him. When his lips pressed into a thin line, Draco cocked his head, hoping for a glance at the note. Potter slipped off his stool and threw Draco a distracted glance. "I'm sorry. I have to take this."
"I'll be waiting."
Potter shot him a baffled look, but nodded and hurried away up a winding, palm-lined path.
Draco spent some time turning his plan around in his head until, somewhere off to his left, palm fronds began to rustle. When the bushes started shaking hard enough to herald the Second Coming, Draco rolled his eyes. "What the fuck are you two doing?"
Ian stumbled out first, Pansy on his heels. Her usual coiffure was mussed with purple rose petals, and Ian had acquired a bramble of leaves in his pubic hair. "Adam and Eve," Draco drawled. "How nice of you to join the party. And how appropriate for the venue."
"We were just on our way to the restaurant," Ian said.
"Unoriginal," Draco said. "But almost believable, if it weren't for the fact that Pansy's on a liquid diet. Rum and fruit punch."
Pansy brushed the petals from her hair. "Don't knock it till you've tried it."
"No, thanks." Draco spun back to the bar – a clear dismissal. "Now go away. I don't want you here when Potter gets back."
"Why not?" Pansy sidled closer. "I thought you didn't like this Harry Potter chap."
"I don't." Draco tried to wring another drop of whisky from his glass. "And neither do you."
"Yes, I do." Pansy clapped her hands together. "I think he's yummy."
Draco shuddered. "No, you don't. Say, 'I hate Harry Potter.' Say it for me."
Pansy ignored his missive. She really was a peevish brat. Draco scowled at her, then entertained himself by watching Ian deforest his pubic region.
"So if he's so annoying," Pansy asked, "then why are you still here talking to him? Why are you drinking with him?"
"Because I hate him. And I'm trying to come to terms with that."
"Fine." Pansy grabbed Ian's arm, drawing startled looks from both men. "Ian will keep me company."
"That's fine with me. I did inform him there might be some unpleasant tasks associated with his position."
Pansy stuck out her tongue. Disgusting wench. She and Ian were suited to each other. Without another word, she spun around, dragging Ian with her. They meandered off, arm in arm, and not a moment too soon. Potter came huffing up the path a second later. He stopped in his tracks when he saw Draco, who would swear in front of the entire Wizengamot that Potter's cock perked up a bit when their eyes met.
Potter adapted a more sedate walk for the final few yards, abandoning his hungry toddler impression, and returned Draco's nod of greeting. "I didn't expect you to still be here," Potter said, calling for a fresh towel and taking his seat.
"I said I would be."
"I know. I just—" Potter shook his head. When he didn't seem inclined to continue, Draco did so for him.
"Who was your firecall from?"
"Oh, that." Potter shrugged and scratched at the scar on his forehead. "Hermione."
"Oh? Making sure her investment was paying off?" Perhaps checking to see if Potter had pried the broomstick from his arse yet.
"Very funny. I told her about you, by the way. About you seeing me and recognizing me for… you know, me."
Draco nodded. "Eloquent."
"Nothing. Please continue." Draco asked for two more drinks – water this time. It wouldn't do to be anything less than completely sharp and sober when dealing with a sexually repressed, in-denial Gryffindor. They were quite dangerous; he knew from experience.
"She said the spell was designed so that only people who have very strong feelings for me would see through it. She had assumed it meant only positive emotions, but she says now—" Potter cringed. "—it could encompass the negative side as well."
Draco gave a low whistle. "Shoddy research."
"Yeah," Potter said. He sipped his water.
Unbelievably, Potter was even more boring to talk to than Ian. Time to close the deal. "Right. Potter." Draco spun the stool to face him. "Any plans to attend the luau this evening?"
Potter fumbled with his water, then jumped when some of the ice-cold liquid splashed onto his leg. Draco made a point of watching it drip down the inside of his thigh before refocusing on Potter's face. "You should come," Draco said, enjoying Potter's blush. "You're allowed to wear a bit of clothing, if you desire."
Hope flared in Potter's eyes. "Really?"
"Absolutely. They have grass skirts in every style." Draco nibbled on the last of his ice. "You should consider it."
Potter's hand hovered over his leg where the water had spilled. It trembled a bit. "I just might do that."
Draco slipped off his stool. He trailed one finger over Potter's damp thigh as he slid past. "Excellent. I'll see you there, then."
Draco arrived at the luau thirty minutes late, though he'd left his suite in plenty of time. The swish of the grass skirt against his thighs was pleasantly distracting, but the way the soft fronds caressed his cock was sinful. He'd enjoyed it so much, he'd taken a detour around the grounds. Twice. Score one for hedonism.
He stood at the top of the stone stairs that led to the drunken revelry and searched the crowd. Most had foregone the grass skirt option, no knowing why. Imagination and anticipation were the torchbearers of good sex. And quite honestly, the miles of sun-burned skin were beginning to give him migraines.
For himself, Draco had chosen a loose grass skirt that hung low on his hips and ended just above his knees, though he'd ripped at least half of the grass from the braided waistband. Why fully obscure one of his best features? Just enough green fronds remained to hint at the perfection that lay beneath. Rounding out his wardrobe was a pair of woven leaf ankle bands. He called the ensemble (since everything exquisitely simple deserved a name) Ode to a Polynesian Prince. The mirror in his room had taken one look and cried with joy.
Perhaps he'd missed his calling.
He descended the steps, scanning the crowd for Potter, but spotted Pansy and Ian first, damn rotten luck. They were huddled together at the bar, giggling, which was a bit like watching a wild dog cuddle up to a snake – fascinating, yet wrong. With a shudder, Draco grabbed something wet and fruity from a passing waiter and reconnoitred.
He circled the area twice, checked the bar and the dance floor, walked the dim, torch-lit paths that surrounded the dining area, and although he saw his fair share of interesting things (the pair of blokes up the palm tree, for one), he never found Potter.
The bastard wasn't there. And just when Draco had been ready to violate his 'no-sex on the self-acceptance holiday' rule.
Angry, on the verge of pouting, he started back to his suite. And that was when Potter arrived, looking like a bronzed, nearsighted Greek god. His only adornments were matching leaf ankle bracelets – unless one counted the glasses, which when paired with the anklets, did strange things to Draco's libido. Potter did know how to accessorise.
Draco glided forward, taking no pains to mask his interest. His eyes raked over Potter. "It's minimalist. I like it."
"I thought you might."
Draco smirked. Cheeky, but then he'd expected that. Potter probably thought he had the situation in hand, pun intended. Poor, deluded little lion. Draco had given him the entire afternoon to plan, but as most Gryffindors strategised like rabid dogs, there was little to worry over.
"And mine?" Draco held his arms out and turned in a circle, shivering when the grass skimmed across his arse. He finished rotating in time to see Potter swallow heavily.
"It's very nice."
"Yes, it is, isn't it?" Draco took his arm. "Now, don't be shy. Let's have a drink."
Potter let himself be led, though Draco didn't imagine the hero would go anywhere if he didn't really want to. "It looks crowded," Potter said. "I don't think we'll find a seat."
"I've arranged a place."
They squeezed through the press of people, and Draco made sure to drag Potter across as many willing, male bodies as possible. He appreciated the short journey himself, revelling in the brush of shoulders, the occasional steadying hand that slipped around his waist, the stray fingers that danced across his hip, then lingered on the small of his back. He knew Potter was enjoying the same treatment. By the time they reached the bar, close to where Pansy and Ian were sitting, Potter's eyes were wide, and he'd taken to pressing a fist against his stomach. His cock, however, was still napping, which was all the evidence Draco needed to identify which potion Potter had dosed himself with before arriving.
Subisto Erectus. A good choice under normal circumstances, yet so easily counteracted. It didn't stop the arousal, only the physical response to it. Really, Potter was making this too easy.
Potter swallowed three times before croaking out a question. "You said you had seats?"
"Yes, they're right here." Draco tapped Pansy on the shoulder, and she turned around. Potter went stiff beside him – not in the good way, but the night was young, and Draco was patient. At the moment, Potter's tension was all for Pansy, waiting to see whether she, like Draco, would see through Granger's spell.
Draco leaned forward and whispered in Pansy's ear. "There are six men over in the hot tub doing unspeakable things to each other. Take Ian, he needs to broaden his repertoire."
He endured a high-pitched squeal, a crushing hug, and a grumbling, suspicious Ian, but a moment later, the two stools were vacant. Draco Summoned two clean towels, spread them on the seats, and gestured for Potter to take his pick.
"Is there really an orgy?"
"I think you'll find my company far more titillating." He snapped his fingers and two tiny shot glasses appeared. Potter eyed the red liquid, but Draco didn’t give him time to protest. "Cheers," he said, raising his in a toast. He drank it in one gulp, leaving Potter to either follow suit or abandon propriety. True to his brave, idiotic nature, Potter drank.
Draco couldn't contain his grin. Farewell, sleepy cock.
Potter choked as he set the glass down. "What was that?"
"Just something to perk you up." The sudden flush crawling up Potter's neck, not to mention the furtive grab for his groin, verified that the potion had done its job. Draco slipped off his seat and stood behind Potter. He spun the stool round until he was flush against the bar and Potter was facing the dance floor. Draco gripped his shoulders. "Look," he said, pushing his chest against Potter's back. "Those two have captured the spirit of things, wouldn't you say?" He pointed to the men dancing a few feet away. Though, honestly, the two were more interested in each other's bodies than the music. Shameless. Draco hoped their behaviour got them evicted from the resort. After he was done using them to drive Potter insane with lust. "That dark-haired one looks to be running the show," he murmured in Potter's ear.
Potter gave a clipped nod and cupped his hands over his lap.
"Controller or controlled? Which would you rather be?" Draco asked.
Draco rewarded Potter's breathless answer by licking the shell of his ear. Potter jerked and let out a low moan. Short of breath himself, Draco pressed closer. The dancing couple began to frot shamelessly, and despite his resolve to stay aloof, Draco found himself thrusting against Potter's back, matching their pace.
Potter began to pant. His shoulders knotted under Draco's fingers, trembled, and Draco threw up a silent cheer. Victory! He glanced over Potter's shoulder, expecting to find the saviour working himself into a frenzy. Instead, Potter's fingers were curled into the muscles of his thighs, leaving his hard cock with nothing but the cool night air as comfort. His eyes were clamped shut.
Discomfited, Draco stepped back. "Granger's right."
It took a moment for Potter to catch up. "What?"
"You need to stop hiding this."
"Why?" Potter's voice was stoic, but sincere.
"Because it's making you miserable."
Potter's bark of amusement made Draco jump. "I fail to see your logic, Malfoy. You love it when I'm miserable."
That was true. Disturbed and conflicted (two things no one should have to grapple with while on holiday), Draco fell silent. The music slowed and stopped, and so, finally, did the two men they'd been watching.
"Why are you really here?" Potter asked.
The couple swayed together while they waited for the next song. When they started to kiss, Draco finally looked away. He stroked Potter's back, using his thumb to trace the line of his spine. "You already guessed."
Potter shook his head. "I jumped to conclusions. I'm sorry."
Be that as it may, the real reason felt suddenly too intimate to share. Draco flattened his palm against Potter's skin. His hand dipped lower, riding a thin sheen of perspiration, and Potter's chest heaved once, then again when Draco's fingers slid over the curve of his arse.
"You can't distract me," Potter said, a definite quiver in his voice.
Draco rolled his eyes. "Of course not. And the earth is flat, have you heard?" He stepped in front of Potter, placing them face to face. Potter was still erect and straining, despite the turn of discussion. The eroticism of the scene – Potter's last, hopeless grasp at denial as well as his potent arousal – had pushed Draco to his own limits. He was hard and aching.
He stepped forward until the tip of Potter's prick pushed through the curtain of grass around Draco's waist and bumped against his own. Potter's eyes fluttered closed, and his hips jumped forward. Still, he managed a gentle shove to Draco's chest. "Tell me. Please."
Hell, Potter wasn't one of those people who needed an emotional connection before orgasm, was he? Draco allowed himself be put off, but he kept his weight against Potter's restraining hand. "Fine. It was my mind-healer's idea."
"You have a mind-healer?"
"Is that so surprising? Considering everything."
"I… suppose not." Compassion crossed Potter's face, and Draco looked away. When Potter's arm relaxed, Draco pressed his advantage. He closed half the distance between them before Potter stopped him again. "Why did he want you to come here?"
"She," Draco corrected, then sighed. Potter wasn’t giving an inch. "She thought I needed to learn—to accept—"
"Yes?" Potter was unrelenting.
"—that I don't have to be the best. That I don't have to be perfect."
"It's been harder than I anticipated," Draco said, frowning.
Potter lowered his arm. "I actually understand that. I understand it very well." He bunched his hands in the grass fronds circling Draco's hips and pulled him in.
Draco squelched the overwhelming urge to yell, "Finally!" and settled for an approving grunt. But just as he stepped forward, Potter disappeared. Off-balance, Draco stumbled into the bar stool. He righted himself in time to see Ian yank Potter forward and punch him square on the jaw.
"Get him, darling!" Pansy yelled.
Potter stumbled back, hand to his mouth. A moment later, blood began to drip through his fingers. Ian the Terrible lumbered forward, ready to launch round two of the offensive, but Draco caught his arm. "You do realize you've just assaulted the most powerful wizard of our time, don't you?" he asked, twisting Ian's arm cruelly. "And no less importantly, my partner for the evening."
Ian stared slack-jawed at Draco. "I'm only doing what you told me to. Keep the pathetic leeches off of you, you said."
Potter went statue-still.
Draco vowed to poison Ian at the first opportunity. "Potter is not a leech."
The unearthly stillness continued. Even Pansy didn't move.
"Or pathetic," Draco hastened to add.
Ian jerked his arm loose, and Pansy rushed forward to coo at the bruise before rounding on Draco. "Why did you do that? Is this Harry Potter truly more important than our Ian?"
"All you care about is this plan to get the best of Potter. It's the only thing you've talked about all day. Well, I'm sorry. This absurd quest you have to be the most perfect isn't worth hurting a friend."
Draco blinked. "What friend?"
"Ian!" Pansy shrieked.
He clamped down on the laughter; a Malfoy knew how far to push his luck. Still, he had to refute Pansy's mad pretension in some way. As a matter of principle, if nothing else. Before he could even try, however, Potter moved. He bent and retrieved his glasses from the ground. With a few murmured words, the damage to his cheek and lip was repaired.
Draco shivered when the wave of non-verbal magic rolled over him. "Wait," he said.
Potter took his time adjusting his glasses before gracing Draco with a bitter smile. "Your point, Malfoy." He turned and walked away.
Well, this wasn't any fun. Draco abhorred having his playtime interrupted. "Pansy, take our Ian back to the suite and have him pack."
Pansy gasped. "If he goes, I go."
Now that was an unexpected bonus. Draco shrugged. "Oh, if you must."
He didn't wait for her answer, opting instead to chase Potter. It took several minutes of brisk walking (the grass skirt made the unexpected exercise bearable) before he saw him ahead on the path, passing a group of bungalows. "I didn't take you for a coward, Potter," he called. "Afraid you won't measure up?"
Harsh laughter drifted back to him. "I'm not interested in competing with you. You win, Malfoy. Now leave me alone."
Draco stumbled to a halt. Nobody told him when he won. True victory was earned. Potter understood nothing about perfection, the ignorant, stunning prat. Livid, Draco raced ahead, catching Potter's elbow before just before he ducked inside a small, thatched bungalow. "We're not finished," he hissed.
Potter turned with a growl. There was a split second, the one when Potter's hand closed around his throat, when Draco considered that he may have miscalculated. What a shame he'd just rowed with Pansy. It was just the type of excuse the witch would use to skip his funeral.
Draco found himself forced back a half a dozen steps and pushed against the fence that circled Potter's private spa. He had less than a moment to admire the steaming pool before his head snapped against the bamboo poles. Water droplets splattered over his head and dripped down his face, and Draco risked a glance upward. "A private spa and an outdoor shower? Why wasn't I told such accommodations existed?"
"Malfoy—" Potter dropped his head and stared at the ground, breathing hard. His grip on Draco never eased. "Malfoy," he began again. "Listen to me. I'm about to save you a vault's worth of Galleons, though I'm positive your healer will miss how your insecurities have been padding her Gringotts account."
Draco did his best to look bored. No easy task with Potter's fingers curled around his windpipe.
"You," Potter said, pointing a finger between Draco's eyes, "are not perfect. You're so imperfect, I'm not even sure where to begin. For one, you're too thin. Your nose is pointy. Also, you're selfish and cruel and manipulative. And that's just the tip of the iceberg."
Draco resisted reaching for his nose, though just barely. Potter didn't pull any punches, the bastard.
"And let me tell you something else," Potter said. "It's lonely, being the best. You don't want to be the one who stands out. You don't. Do yourself a favour; make the best of what you have and be happy with it. Get over this. Just be yourself."
They stared at each other. Warm water dripped from the shower head onto Draco's face, but he barely felt it. His body vibrated with tension; he could feel the adrenaline pumping through his blood. He hated that Potter's words rang true, but worse, he hated that Potter looked so bitter when he said them. What he didn't hate, though it confused him, was how his cock was still rock hard and nestled against Potter's thigh. And also how Potter was equally aroused and pressed into the tangle of Draco's skirt.
Potter gave a shuddering sigh. He released Draco and stumbled away. "Goodbye."
Draco yanked him back. "Take some of your own advice, Potter."
Draco drew him close. "Get over this. Be yourself."
Potter shook his head. "I can't—"
"Oh yes," Draco said. "You can."
Potter still looked reluctant, so Draco captured his hand and pushed it against his cock. Potter's whole body jerked. His fingers curled and flexed around Draco's erection. "Malfoy," Potter gasped.
"Don't stop there."
If Potter had been anyone else – anyone else – it wouldn't have been this way. It wouldn't have been Draco opening his arms and legs to Potter and coaxing him to kiss and touch. It certainly wouldn't have included a slick, inexperienced tongue in his mouth, sloppy with enthusiasm, and a lover who was likely to go off like a rocket the first time Draco's lips touched his cock.
He wasn't sure where it had come from, this deep hunger. From Potter's idealistic advice, maybe. Or perhaps from something much older. Regardless, Draco let Potter take what he needed, gave in to his brutal, desperate kisses, then steadied them against the wall when Potter's writhing threatened to throw them off their feet.
It took an embarrassingly long time to divest himself of his outfit – such as it was – but soon the grass skirt rustled to the ground, and Draco pulled Potter close. "Do you want me to suck you?"
Potter shuddered so hard, the bamboo fence rattled. "No."
Potter nestled his face in the crook of Draco's neck. His hands never stopped roving over Draco's body. "No. I want to—to suck you. Please. Oh fuck, please."
Honestly, there was no need to beg, and Draco would have said so, if he'd been given the chance. But Potter dropped to his knees so quickly, he nearly took Draco to the ground with him. And when he lifted shaking hands to Draco's hips and teased his lips along the hot skin of his prick, Draco forgot what he'd been about to say. Determined to regain control of the situation, he stopped Potter before he could start sucking properly. He placed two fingers under Potter's chin and tilted his head back. "How long have you wanted this?"
Potter's whole body shook under Draco's fingers. "This exactly?"
Draco wanted the answer to that question as much as he dreaded it. In the end, he shook his head.
Potter licked his lips, then nuzzled Draco's erection. "This in general, then?" His gaze never wavered. "A long time."
"Oh," Draco breathed. Then that would have to be good enough for the both of them. Not perfect, but acceptable. "Well, all right, then. Carry on."
Potter did so, savouring Draco's cock like it was his last meal. He had little finesse and no technique whatsoever, but it wasn’t every day that Draco was the focus of so much honest, repressed lust. And Potter was making sounds, the sort of needy whimpers that drove Draco insane. Within seconds, he was gripping Potter's hair in his hands, begging him to slow down. Potter didn't, and Draco wondered if he'd even heard. "Too much," he panted.
Potter answered with another desperate groan. He stroked himself in short bursts, stopping every few seconds to molest whatever parts of Draco he could reach – which was almost everywhere, as luck would have it – and it only took Draco another thirty seconds before he was shouting Potter's name and spilling down his throat.
He was just about to congratulate the performance when Potter surged to his feet and pinned Draco back against the fence. "Please," he said, choking on the word.
"Easy, Potter." Knowing it wasn't the time to tease, Draco guided Potter into the vee of his spread legs and pinned his cock between their bodies. Potter cried out, but Draco shushed him. He wrapped his arms around Potter, cupped his neck in one hand and twined his fingers through his damp hair. The heat coming off Potter was intense. Draco guided Potter's face to his shoulder and coaxed him into a steady rhythm. "It was good," he whispered, still breathless himself. He slid his hand down Potter's back, encouraging him to thrust hard and fast against him. "So good." He nipped at Potter's ear. "Come on, then. Fuck me."
Potter did, rattling the fence with the force of his movements. His moans grew louder and louder, echoing in Draco's ears. A few seconds later, he gasped, then stiffened, muscles seizing several times before he finally sagged in Draco's arms.
More than passable, Draco had to admit. "Well done," he purred.
Potter's answer was unintelligible.
Draco drifted for some time, enjoying Potter's solid weight against him. When he finally pried his eyes open, a metal chain, floating just within the line of his vision, caught his eye. He'd always found shiny things irresistible. Unable to quell the impulse, he pulled it, and a cascade of warm water spilled over them both. The instant deluge made Potter jump, then sigh. "What are you doing?" He lifted his head and glared at Draco through the miniature waterfall.
"Rinsing off, you heathen. You perspired all over me."
Potter grinned. "I know. I'm sorry."
"No need to apologise. At least you didn't say, 'that's not all I did all over you.' You have my eternal gratitude for that."
Potter burst out laughing. His gaze slid to the door of his bungalow, then back to Draco. "So… how does this normally work?"
"You mean the awkward after orgasm part?" Draco asked. He pulled the chain again and the shower shut off. He toed at his sodden grass skirt, then glanced up at Potter. "However you like it to."
"All right." Potter swiped the water from his face and shook out his hair. Draco admitted defeat. Potter even dripped beautifully. "If it were up to you, how would it work?"
The ankle bands were easier to slip off than the skirt had been. Draco deposited them in the corner. "Well, I've just realized that my healer is taking me for every Galleon she can. My best friend isn't speaking to me and, even more upsetting, has managed to forge a bond with a man whom less than twelve hours ago she thought dumb enough to be a Transfigured dog. Also, apparently, I'm quite flawed. Even on top of a mind-blowing orgasm, that's a lot to come to terms with. Frankly, Potter, I've had a hell of a day." He slicked the wet hair off his forehead. "I'd like to go to sleep. We can deal with the rest in the morning. Is that acceptable?"
Potter smiled. He pushed the door open and waved Draco inside. "That sounds perfect."
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