“I do.” Oliver’s expression straightens and he bends to kiss me again, lips pulling at mine. With a groan, he’s over me again, pressing his nose beneath my arm, grating his teeth up over my bicep, sucking each of my fingers and biting the tips. His cock is already an urgent presence between us again, heavy and pressing.

He groans when I grab him, shaking as I squeeze and pump.

Already, again, it feels feral, grabbing and biting. Oliver flips me to my stomach, sliding his cock between the cleft of my ass as he bends and sucks at the back of my neck, hands coming between my body and the mattress to play with my breasts. His touch is frantic but somehow assured. There’s no Can I. No Do You Want. A million tiny fantasies play out with his teeth on my skin and with his hands full of me.

I hear the tear of foil again, the wet slide of a condom over him, and then he’s lifting my hips, thighs still bracketing mine, and he’s pushing back into me, groaning at the warmth, the softness, the view he has over and behind me.

With my thighs pressed together and the stretch of my body around his I’m pressing up and grinding and making these wild, desperate sounds, feeling like I might shatter. I am light shot into a prism, scattering in a thousand directions. Oliver is riding me, hands curled around my hips as he pistons forward and back, hitting deep.

I’m screaming into a pillow, arching at the sensation of his sweat hitting my spine, wanting to spread my legs to take him completely into me, but forced together to hold the pleasure in a tiny radius of contact.

Oliver smacks my ass hard, grunting at the surprised clench of my body around his.

I nod, pressing into him and feeling like I’m fraying at the edges when he takes my ass in his grip, short nails digging, hips moving wild and fast behind me. His hands spread me, thumb slides closer, circling and I don’t know . . . I like it but—

“Shh, it’s okay.” He reaches for my face with his other hand, cupping my cheek and turning me toward him so he can kiss the side of my mouth. “You’ve never . . . ?”

“It’s okay.” His kiss turns wilder, an urgent match struck somewhere inside him.

I press into his palm, desperate for more: for his kiss, his weight, the sound of him coming.

“Whatever you want,” he says, his breath warm on my lips. “I’ll give you whatever you want.”

“I want to see you.”

Oliver withdraws, rolling me onto my back again. His hands slide from my ankles to my knees and he cups them from behind, bending them to press them to my chest. His elbows come underneath, hooking, holding me open as he stares and then slowly eases back into me with a groan. The sound is pain and joy, his relief dragged along the edge of a knife.

He fucks me tender then brutal, hips circling to make me scream before my hands are pinned at the side of my head and he hits deep in tiny, sharp stabs that shove the breath from my lungs in these blissful forced gusts.

I am mesmerized watching him like this: my calm, gentle friend unleashed. My lover now, so tender with me, so brutal in his drive to make it good. He waits until I’m shaking, until my cries are cut apart by relief, and then he lets himself come again with his mouth open and groaning against mine.

As soon as he rolls me to my side and tucks in behind me, exhaustion hits me like a physical blow. His lips press to my neck, voice thick with the approach of sleep. “I’m fucking exhausted, but I don’t know how long I can sleep knowing you’re in my bed.”

I hum, smiling into the arm he’s tucked under my neck and wrapped around my front.

“I’ll wake up wanting more,” he whispers with a tiny catch in his voice, part preemptive apology, part warning. His cock is still half-hard, pressing warm against my thigh.

I fall asleep feeling my breaths synchronize to the easy rise and fall of his chest behind me.

THE WORLD INVADES first with the sound of a car horn, then the wind, then the distant sound of waves. I open my eyes and relish the slow appearance of the sun in the eastern sky.

I stretch in Oliver’s arms, too warm. Somehow I’m curled up facing him now. He was an octopus in his sleep, endless arms that gripped me deliciously when I tried to move even an inch away.

I feel when he wakes—that tiny startled twitch in his arms around me—and quietly wait for it to become awkward: we left nothing hidden last night. His room smells heavily of sex and still we’re entwined, completely naked. There’s a condom wrapper somewhere near my left foot, another visible behind Oliver at the edge of the mattress.

Last night comes back to me in scattered flashes of sound and sweat and sensation: the low hiss he made when he pushed inside. The rise and fall of his shoulders as he moved above me. The way his mouth covered mine, tongue skilled and urgent.

I ache between my legs. My skin still feels the friction of his hands and mouth all over me. I knew sex could be like that, I just never knew it could be like that for me.

He’s so solid beside me, so vital. The idea of moving out of the circle of his arms is almost as appealing as cutting off an arm or leg.

What happens when emotion is too big, when it fills the chest and the veins and the limbs? I imagine sunshine filling me until I shatter—leaving starburst-coated girl shrapnel strewn across this bed.