This was the first version of Josh and Ray finally sleeping together because they wanted to.
& version 1
He also didn't speak, which meant it was up to Ray, and fuck if Ray knew what to say. But he had to try.
“You know that therapy thing?” Ray asked as he fluffed up his pillow. "I think we both need to do it.”
“Yeah… I— Just tell me how—”
Ray leaned in and put the tip of his to Josh’s trembling mouth. Josh’s eyes were wide when he pulled back. “You are not going to hurt me,” he said. He was telling the truth, he’d said it before and he’d said it again, he realised. He’d tell Josh as many times as he needed to hear it. “You are not…” He allowed himself to look away from a moment. “You won’t hold me down.” Josh flinched and Ray glanced up, not sure if he should continue. His friend met his eyes like a man staring down a firing squad and nodded. “And you will listen when I ask for things. I know… I know I can say stop anytime and you will. I know. So… I get that it’s hard, and I don’t… I can’t ask you to just forget. But can you… I liked it when you kissed me in the Jeep, when you couldn’t…” He stopped, not knowing how to explain the difference between losing control and hurting someone and losing control and giving them a gift, of giving yourself to them.
He wanted Josh to give himself to Ray, to close his eyes and trust Ray to catch him.
Josh had said he was willing never to have sex with Ray again if it meant keeping their relationship and maybe Ray was just being greedy by wanting more… It wasn’t like there was a chance that he’d be lacking in sex ever again, was there? What right did he have to expect Josh to forget what he’d told him? It’d happened to Josh as much as to him, in a way. Josh hadn’t known he was hurting him so how could he be sure he wasn’t doing it again?
He glanced up. He’d been silent too long. Worse, he hadn’t managed to say what he wanted.
Josh looked calmer, though, more… focused. “I get it,” he said and brought a hand up and touched Ray’s face. They weren't going to do anything, so it was just that, a hand pressed against Ray's cheek, warm and comforting—steadying the world like it was his own axis. “You want it to be normal, like it… like it was supposed to be. If… if either us had been smart enough to say something before.”
Ray nodded, barely holding himself back from burying his face into Josh’s neck and clinging. Of course Josh got it. It was Josh.
Josh played with his hair, eyes wandering down Ray’s face and neck. “I don’t think it can be like that,” he said and it was the truth, too.
Not just something Josh believed, either, but the facts. He was right. Ray swallowed and pulled back and he didn’t know if was any better in the fact that it took Josh a second to let him go. That Josh didn’t want to let go. And that he did anyway.
Josh cleared his throat. “So maybe we have to make something up. I’m not sure how, and maybe it isn’t what you want—”
Josh had crossed his arms across his chest—he looked oddly hunched in under the moonlight. His hair shone almost white and he looked stupidly young with wide, scared eyes. Ray met his eyes and repeated, “I told you: you are what I want.”
Josh swallowed and straightened, less like he wanted to be upright and more like his body was straining to get closer to Ray’s. “Me too,” he said. “I mean. I want you. Any way I can have you.”
“Yes,” Ray bit out, suddenly angry. “Antarctica.”
It was a little crazy because it’d been such a sweet thing to say and he knew it meant that Josh loved him. And Ray could have said the same thing back: he’d kept his interest a secret for years for that very reason… But why did he have to make do with less than everything when just looking at Josh made him feel like he was burning up?
There was nothing wrong with being so adored that your lover was happy to smell your scent off paper or watch you longingly from a distance. But it wasn’t what Ray wanted: he wanted an actual person who’d touch him and mean it. Someone who try as they might kept looking back, kept coming back for more, kept begging with fingers and mouth and skin to be touched because they needed to feel him.
“Fuck Antarctica,” Josh replied, voice raw and eyes boring into his. “I want you to fuck me.”
"You didn't write that on your list," Josh said. "But I figured..."
Ray swallowed, mouth suddenly dry. It wasn’t that he’d never thought about fucking a guy—he was only human, for all the powers conceded by the moon—but Josh… “You… you can’t,” he pointed out and it was obvious Josh heard the lack of conviction in his voice as clearly as he did. He reminded himself that no matter what, they were not going to do anything that night. He'd promised. Josh was looking down at his own hands fiddling with the covers, body a little stiff on his side of the bed. His passion had simmered down like somebody had dropped a bucket of ice on him. Like Ray had... And he didn't speak. Ray couldn't understand why he wouldn't speak. He couldn't possibly think he had said enough... Ray wasn't even sure he'd heard right, let alone heard the truth. "Josh?" He asked softly. "Can you say it again?"
Josh tensed up, glancing at Ray almost resentfully. "Why?"
"I just—Did you mean it?"
"I know it sounds weird, but... You have never done that, so it would be... Special."
& version 2, where they actually get to the sex.
Josh frowned. “That’s not the question, Ray,” he said calmly. “Do you want to fuck me?”
Ray’s pulse spiked again and he swallowed, mind running in circles. Want… Want seemed like such a crazy question to ask about this.
Josh sighed. “You don’t have to. I mean, obviously you don’t have to, but you don’t have to want to. I mean, some guys just aren’t into it and—”
Words were still beyond him but when Ray raised his right hand, Josh stopped speaking. Ray met his eyes for the first time in what felt like ages and had to be less than five minutes. Josh looked uncertain again.
Not because he didn’t want Ray, because he did. And he cared about him too. He couldn’t stop being afraid of hurting Ray, not as long as things were so uncertain between them. Ray had wanted their relationship to go back to normal, but they hadn’t got to normal in a few months—it’d taken them years to learn how to be rough with each other without hurting each other in the process. It had seemed easy, but maybe it was just that it had been before either of them understood how badly you could damage another person not just with fists and claws but with simple carelessness.
That innocence of childhood was the one thing they were never getting back and now that they understood, neither of them could bear to risk hurting each other again.
And if Ray had learned one thing, it was that the truth might be uncomfortable, but it was the lies and omissions that stabbed you in the back.
“I do want to,” he told his best friend. It came out a little low but Josh’s shoulders slackened like Ray had removed a heavy weigh. “But I don’t get how.”
Josh’s lips twitched at that and he couldn’t repress his smile long. Ray huffed and rolled his eyes at him.
“Sorry,” Josh said quickly, cheeks a little flushed. “Um, you mean because of the alpha thing?”
Josh shrugged. “I don’t think it’ll be a problem.”
“You don’t think?” Ray echoed, stomach suddenly tight. Had Josh… He cut the thought off. He had no right to expect Josh to be faithful to him when Ray couldn’t offer the same. He glanced away, trying to calm his suddenly racing heart. He didn’t get to be angry about this. It was bad enough that—
“Ray?” Josh’s hand on his arm made him jump and he looked up to find they were close enough to kiss. Except it wasn’t kissing that Ray was thinking about as he watched Josh’s mouth. “Where did you go? Why—?”
“Have you done it?” Ray bit out. He had no right, he knew it, and he didn’t care. He was holding onto Josh’s wrist too hard and he couldn’t even remember reaching out, but he couldn’t seem to let go.
Josh’s chocolate eyes widened and he shook his head. “No. I— No, I haven’t. Just…” He hesitated. “Hands, and oral,” he admitted like a confession. “Before,” he added quickly.
Ray exhaled shakily, nodding a little and extended his other hand to clutch at Josh’s upper arm more gently and keep him close. “It’s none of my business. I know that, I just—”
Josh leaned in and blew the word against his ear. “Jealous?”
Ray shuddered, then tried to shake his head. But that was a goddamned lie. “I—yes,” he gritted out. “I know it’s stupid—” Josh kissed his neck, adding a little tongue to seal the deal, and Ray stopped. “You… you like that?” he whispered.
Josh nodded into his neck, then offered another kiss. “Do I like that the idea of me with someone else drives you nuts?” he asked incredulously. “A little,” he added with a mocking tilt.
Ray let go of his wrist and put his arm behind his back, bringing their bodies almost flush together. “But I can’t—”
“Shhh…” Josh told him gently. “It’s not about that,” he explained. “I just like that you want me that much.”
Ray’s hands clenched on his back at the words. It was true. For Josh. Knowing his other alphas were in the process of having a good time together in bed made Ray smile, but if it had been Josh…
“I do,” he confirmed. He’d told Josh himself but it was different to hear him say it, to know that he believed it. He was tired of holding back, tired of being afraid. “I—” He couldn’t find words beyond that so he tilted his head and captured Josh’s mouth into a kiss, biting at his lip and then pushing his tongue inside as if he had a hope in the world of getting enough of him, getting deep enough, staying long enough. Josh sucked on his tongue, clutching at him greedily and Ray stumbled back towards the bed until he could tug and push Josh down on his back.
Josh went but he pulled Ray along with him, refusing to let go for even a moment. Ray fell too heavily, making him gasp for breath and making his hand dig into Ray’s back too hard. No, not his hand. The baby monitor. Ray laughed out loud, twisting to pluck it off his hand and dropping it on the bed next to them. “God, man, you are such a mother hen!”
Josh rolled his eyes at him. “Shut up and fuck me,” he demanded and even with the way he couldn’t quite keep his voice from going lower towards the end, it made Ray’s cock twitch in his pants. He bent down and kissed him again. He had to, he had to lick at every molar and every ridge and taste Josh’s tongue deep in his own mouth. He had to press his dick to Josh’s stomach and grind down against Josh’s erection under his arse. He had to have everything, every little thing and all of it together and it could never stop. He couldn’t stop. He couldn’t bear to.
Josh pulled his shirt off and Ray ripped Josh’s a little and he knew they had to stop rubbing against each other if they wanted to get the rest of their clothes off—thank god they had discarded their shoes earlier before cuddling—but how did one just stop?
And then Josh found the strength to push Ray away by the shoulders. Ray panted down at him, feeling like he was on a ledge and Josh the only thing keeping him from falling. “Trousers?” Josh said and for no logical reason it reminded Ray of Josh’s request, of…
Oh, moon, Josh wanted Ray inside him. He shuddered, and almost fell in his haste to scramble off the bed. It didn’t help much with unhooking and unzipping his own jeans but Josh was clearly determined to take advantage of his freedom of movement while Ray was distracted because when Ray glanced up from kicking off his boxers, he found his friend had beat him to it.
He was sitting on the bed. Completely bare. Not just naked, that would have had Ray throwing himself into his arms without hesitation. But he was looking at Ray openly: lips parted as if he was about to speak but his thoughts were too fragile to voice, eyes dipping to Ray’s shoulders and lower still but returning to his face as if searching for something there.
Ray didn’t what there was to find, but if it was in him… Josh had to see it. He swallowed, suddenly afraid. Because this was the only way to express what he felt, to finally reveal himself to the man he’d loved for as long as he could remember… And he already knew too well that their bodies were dangerous and prone to overwhelm their minds.
“Ray?” Josh asked softly.
He exhaled, held himself still a moment longer. “You will tell me if I…”
Josh nodded. “Yeah,” he promised easily, and leaned back on his elbows, exposing his torso and legs and drawing Ray’s eyes inevitably to the rise of his erection.
It was crazy. He remembered choking, and the sting in his eye was long gone but the memory wasn’t, and he still wanted to taste him again. He took a step closer, his knee bumped Josh’s and somehow he was straddling him, no time in between and he was blanketing Josh’s body with his own, the warmth of their skins becoming sweaty and they pressed against each other too hard and too fast, as if deep down they could not believe that there was such an absurd limit between them as skin.
“Josh,” Ray begged quietly. He was clutching too hard at Josh’s forearms and he couldn’t… he couldn’t stop pushing his cock against the hot skin of Josh’s hip, his stomach, it wasn’t enough. And he…
Josh’s hand tightened on his arse, pressing their groins even closer together, a sweaty, sticky mess and then he arched into Ray and their dicks slid together—silky and raw and perfect and Ray couldn’t breathe.
The taste of blood came first, only then did Josh’s hands rubbing his back register. He blinked, rolling his head to get some air into his deprived lungs and then he smelled it too and he finally understood what he’d done.
He tried to get away at once and he’d have fallen right off the bed if Josh hadn’t locked both his arms and a leg around him. “No,” he demanded and there was no alpha will in it, but it was a command of sorts, so Ray stopped, freezing in Josh’s hold instead as his mind raced.
He’d… he’d bitten him. Josh helped him sit up, rolling him over and touching his face softly. “Ray?” he asked. “Please don’t freak out.”
Ray met his eyes, then immediately had to look away. “I—I” He risked a glanced down at Josh’s torso. At Josh’s neck.
Where there was blood, Josh’s blood. His hand was shaking as he raised it to clean away the worst of it, already drying… On skin that had already healed.
Oh, thank fuck. And the Moon and the Starts and the grains of sand. He hadn’t… He sagged forward and let Josh hold him up and rub his back.
“You got a little carried away,” his mate whispered. “I don’t mind. It was hot.”
Ray shook his head. “You didn’t—”
“You can bite me, you can mark me as your mate,” Josh interrupted. “I’m ready now. I’ll be your First Alpha.”
Ray didn’t try to object, just held on to him. “I’m sorry,” he said anyway. “This is…”
Josh cupped his face and made him look up. “Hard?” he suggested with a little smile.
Ray snorted. He couldn’t manage the energy to roll his eyes. But the idea was too intriguing for him not to try and sneak a look at Josh’s lap. Josh snickered and used his hold on his face to prevent him from peaking. Ray stopped trying and met his eyes.
Josh looked serious again. “Do you still want me to be?”
“Yes,” he said, not doubt in his mind. “What… We just…” He stopped because he couldn’t quite put his finger on what was different about what they had just shared.
But Josh nodded like he knew what Ray meant. “Okay, so… You should do it. Bite me.” He swallowed and Ray could feel the blood rushing to his face. “When you fuck me. You can—”
But it was too much, the offer, the confession, the promise. Ray put his hands on his neck and pulled him forward into a kiss so desperate it was more a crash of mouths and teeth than a coordinated effort. It didn’t matter; Josh pulled him down on top of him again and maybe because he hadn’t come yet, it was he who took one of Ray’s hands and put it on his belly where Ray’s come was still warm.
He bent his own knee to his chest and guided Ray’s hand to the trail behind his balls.
[end cut scene 4]