Kai-stern never could say no to Rath.
"If it's not you, it'll just be someone else, you know," Rath says as he climbs into his lap. He smells like the brandy Kai-stern let him drink earlier, and his eyes gleam. He puts one hand on Kai-stern's hip and the other on the back of the couch and presses his body close. "You really wouldn't mind?"
"You're old enough now. What you get up to is your business," Kai-stern says, doing his best not to move. Rath's skittish like a wild animal sometimes, startling and dangerous if provoked, but ride him out, leave him alone and he wouldn't hurt you. Rath hums a little and insinuates a thumb along the edge of Kai-stern's jeans.
"What if I wanna make it your business?" Rath challenges; old enough to be an adult but not enough to avoid the cheesy lines. He ducks his head next to Kai-stern's ear, lips just touching his ear. His hair's glossy in the candlelight and he smells clean like soap. He bites, not gently.
Usually Rath gives up here. Kai-stern's always been too smart to take his bait, because while Rath will flirt with him and sometimes he'll flirt back, he's not absolutely insane. Usually Rath pouts and yells and bangs around and then he goes back to his room to be moody and jerk off (there are days Kai-stern wishes that despite their pact, Rath wouldn't be quite so honest). Usually. He's been more difficult than usual lately. He's growing up. Kai-stern still remembers him the size of a kitten, small and soft in his arms, not the almost-man in his lap who's all long legs and dark eyes. Kai-stern's not sure how he feels about that.
"Don't tell me you never wanted to," Rath nearly purrs, his tongue in his ear. He's clumsy, but it's a little sexy and Kai-stern's in a little trouble.
"Don't be stupid, I'm practically your father," he says and pushes lightly. Rath's knocked off balance and one of his gangly knees digs into Kai-stern's thigh. Rath gives him the kind of look he used to give him when he said he couldn't have any more sweets, somewhere between I hate you forever and ever and I'm going to cry now, only darker and more serious.
"If you were my father I'd kill you," Rath says very seriously, and Kai-stern really wishes Rath wouldn't say things like that. "So it's a good thing you're not." He plucks Kai-stern's glasses off his face with one hand, and they land with a metallic clink on the table. "You'd be a crappy father anyway."
Not his father, then; he's enabled Rath far too many times to claim rights to that label. But Rath's growing up now, and they won't ever be friends or co-workers. Rath grinds in his lap a little, and Kai-stern can tell he's hard. He's breathing a little heavily, but he stares Kai-stern in the eyes and doesn't look away, and Kai-stern can read the challenge there.
He's done a lot, a lot of stupid things in his life, but sleeping with Rath would be the most ridiculously self-destructive thing he can think of off the top of his head. That's why he should laugh and tell Rath to go back to bed and that he's never letting him drink with him again, but Rath stays right where he is. He sways a little, and Kai-stern puts a hand on his back instinctively to steady him. He can feel right through his shirt how hot his skin is.
He should push Rath away, but that's the one thing he's never been able to do.
"This is silly," he says, and hates himself for the hitch in his breath when Rath shifts against him like he's trying to get even closer, climb inside his skin. And, damn it, he can feel himself getting hard as well. He knows Rath can feel it because he smiles triumphantly and presses his mouth against Kai-stern's.
It's not the first time Rath has kissed him. It's not even the first time he's kissed him on the mouth--Kai-stern remembers mistletoe; the first time they let him have wine; tears and crushing hug--but it's the first time with intent, Rath's hand curving around his jaw like he's been practicing on girls. It's the first time he's wanted it.
"Just a little bit," Rath says, mouth shining. He rubs the pad of his thumb over Kai-stern's mouth where he'd just kissed, and looks a little proud of himself when Kai-stern's hand tightens unconsciously in his shirt. Touching turns into a sharp nip as Rath starts to get impatient (still so much a child, what was he doing?) and Kai-stern sighs.
"You're sure this is what you want?" and he sounds resigned even to himself. He'd taught Rath too well, or maybe he'd just always been easy for Rath to manipulate. Probably the latter as Rath smiles, all teeth.
"I'm not a kid anymore," he husks to prove it, and Kai-stern feels himself give in, like it's a physical sensation of moving somewhere, the world rearranging itself for Rath like it always has. Rath can tell, he knows, because he smiles, fangs glittering points of stars in the candelight, and pulls his shirt over his head in one fluid motion. His skin's all pale and he's way too skinny and despite his bravado he starts when Kai-stern touches him, and Kai-stern knows he hasn't done this before... and still Kai-stern's the one who's lost, his heart catching in his throat as he spirals down into that sweet crazy whirlpool that is Rath, all dark and light, bitter and sweet—the way Rath always does so easily to him.