Part of Growing up Is Having Increasing Demands on Your Time
I’m doing okay. Mostly. I can’t wait until I can come home. I’ll try to bring Peter with me, you guys would like him. Love, Isaac.
Isaac sighed, sitting back and shaking the cramp out of his hand. He didn’t like lying to his parents, but he also wasn’t going to tell them in a letter that he was worried the academy was never going to let him leave.
Sighing, Isaac got up from his chair, sealed his letter and went to hand it off to Ariel. “Hey.”
“Hey,” Ariel said, smiling at him. She looked more tired than Isaac remembered seeing her before, but he supposed her classes were a lot harder than his. And of course, she had probably known Christopher and knew Oliver. “Letter home?”
“Yeah.” Isaac gave it to her, and Ariel took it and filed it away.
“And here I thought you were studying over there.”
Isaac looked away sheepishly. “I was at first. Then I stopped.”
“Uh-huh. You remember we’ve got a test in three days, yeah?”
“Yes, I remember,” Isaac grumbled.
Ariel winked at him. “How about we have lunch tomorrow. I can help with anything you’re finding hard?”
Isaac was going to see Yancy tonight for the same reason, but more help was never bad. “Sure. If you have time, you seem super busy.”
“That’s life as an apprentice, don’t worry about me.” Ariel gave him a smile. “I know it’s your day off, but maybe try to study just a little?”
Isaac snorted. Seemed like a waste of a day off to him. “I’ll do some more after supper.”
Chuckling, Isaac leaned against the desk. “How are you doing?”
“Oh…” Ariel shrugged. “The usual. All the stuff that happened in the Vault is hitting everyone hard, but we’ll make it through. We’ll all be happier once Oliver’s awake.”
“Tell me about it,” Isaac muttered, looking down at a scratch in the wood. “I hope he wakes up soon.”
“He will. I’m sure he’s got a lot to say to you, and he’s not the type to leave stuff unsaid.” Ariel leaned in a little. “I was super into him when we were students, you know.”
“Really?” Isaac had known that Oliver and Ariel had been his age not long ago. But it was strange to be reminded.
“Yeah, we sort of dated for two months.”
Isaac blinked, trying to picture that. The image of younger Oliver attempting dating was hilarious, and he had to hold back a laugh.
“Yeah, yeah.” Ariel grinned. “We mostly just held hands on the way to class and stuff. He was really cute, but I kind of realized after the two months that I wanted to be dating a girl instead, so that was that.”
Isaac was still chuckling. “What could have been. The romance for the ages.”
“Yeah, no kidding,” Ariel snorted. “Anyway. I hope he wakes up soon.”
“Me too,” Isaac sighed. “I should go.”
“Come visit me any time, Isaac. And I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Yeah, I’ll see you tomorrow,” Isaac agreed, turning and leaving the mail room.
The main foyer of the tower was never empty as far as Isaac could tell, especially during the day. There were always people coming in and out, heading for the stairs, and they always looked so busy. Isaac never felt quite like he belonged here, but it was getting less and less weird, at least.
“Fancy running into you here,” a voice said, and Isaac looked over to see Cameron emerging from the hallway that contained the lift, headed for him with determination.
“You too,” Isaac said, choosing to pretend it was a coincidence. Cameron was one of those people who made it seem like nothing as a coincidence just in the way she carried herself, but he had a hard time believing that she’d been lurking there in the hallway waiting for him to wander by. She was alone, Isaac noticed. “Whatever happened to that lady you had with you when you came here?” he asked. He hadn’t seen Cameron’s servant since before the banquet, now that he thought about it.
“I had some errands that needed running outside the city,” Cameron told him as she caught up with him. Isaac waited for her and then they started to walk out of the tower together. “I’m held up here, so I sent Tabitha to deal with them in my stead.”
Isaac nodded. “You’re in charge of all the witches, right? You must be too busy to be living here for so long.”
“I sit on the Grand Coven. We’re not as hierarchical as the academy with Gregory on his perch at the top, but we do oversee witchcraft,” Cameron told him, in such a way as made it clear to Isaac that she was in charge of the Grand Coven even if everyone else didn’t know it. “The good thing about being old is that at some point, you can just make other people do things for you, so you’re only as busy as you like to be.”
“That sounds nice,” Isaac admitted.
“It is,” Cameron confirmed. ‘And the unfortunate thing about being young is that you are as busy as your elders decide you are to be.”
Isaac frowned, waiting for Cameron to elaborate. But she didn’t, so he had to think it through. And he came to the obvious conclusion and sighed, maybe a bit more dramatically than he’d planned. “He told me he’d wait until I was ready.”
“And I wager that when he agreed to that he neglected to tell you that he would decide when you were ready,” Cameron said with a smile. “He has decided you are ready now. This shall be a lesson for you to be careful how you word your agreements in the future.”
Isaac made an agitated noise, but he just sighed again and nodded. “Can you wait three days until my history test is over, at least?”
Cameron nodded. If she was at all impressed or even curious about Isaac’s miraculous powers, she didn’t show it. “I suppose so. You will meet me that evening, right here in front of the tower.”
Isaac suppressed another sigh, thinking that three in a row might be pushing it. “Okay.”
“Not to worry,” Cameron smiled. “I will teach you some basics, but I have someone in mind who I will ask to be your full-time teacher. I don’t have the temperament for education.”
“You seem nice.”
“I suspect you will like my friend better. He’s your age.”
Isaac perked up at that, and Cameron laughed. “Yes, I had a feeling that would be your reaction. You shall have to put up with me for a few months first, however.”
With a nod, Isaac agreed. “Okay. I, um, look forward to learning stuff from you. Witchcraft seems cool.”
Isaac had no idea what witches did, but he thought it had something to do with plants, and he liked the plant class, so it probably wasn’t that bad.
“Hopefully you will still think that after a few lessons,” Cameron said, nodding at someone approaching them. “I’m headed off this way. I think your friend is planning to speak with you.”
Isaac looked where she was, saw that it was Nicholas jogging at them. He wasn’t doing a very good job of not being obvious. “I think you’re right.”
“See you in three days, Isaac.”
Chuckling, Cameron headed off, muttering something to Nicholas as she went by that had him straightening his back even as he slowed down.
He stopped in front of Isaac, jogging in place. He was sweating a little. “Come with me.”
“I’m running. You can run with me.”
Isaac gave him a look. “No. I really can’t.”
Who the fuck ran for fun?
“You promised that next time we talked, we’d do it on my terms,” Nicholas reminded him, giving Isaac an accusatory look.
Isaac looked back, momentarily distracted by the fact that Nicholas looked good covered in sweat, and then gave another sigh because Nicholas hadn’t been there for the first two. “Technically I promised that we’d be dressed, and if I’d known that included running, I never would have agreed.”
“Just come on,” Nicholas said, turning and jogging off.
“You’re insane.” Isaac followed him though, already hating Nicholas and himself for everything that was about to happen.
“Stop being a baby.”
“I’m not,” Isaac panted, doing his best to keep up. The fact that Nicholas was probably going slower than usual to let him was annoying. Isaac was the fastest runner in his village. “Running was only invented so we could get away from wolves and shit. There aren’t any wolves here.”
Wolves would make the academy pretty awesome, Isaac thought. He wished there were wolves.
“Running is easier if you don’t talk,” Nicholas told him, not breathing nearly as hard as Isaac was.
“I thought you wanted to talk!” But he hadn’t, of course. He’d wanted to torture Isaac. Like a crazy person.
Nicholas led them nearly to the wall of the academy, where he turned left, and started along it. “Even you should be able to do one lap,” he said, and Isaac heard him roll his eyes.
“One lap,” Isaac panted. “Of the whole academy.”
“It’s not that far, stop bitching.”
“Pretty sure that’s you.”
Isaac tried to take deep breaths as he followed Nicholas. “I liked you better when you didn’t have a personality.”
“No you didn’t.” At least Nicholas was panting a little too, but not nearly as much as Isaac and he’d been running for longer. Asshole. Isaac’s chest hurt. “And I always had a personality, you just pretended I didn’t because you didn’t like me.”
Isaac thought about that as he followed. “I guess.”
They’d gone what felt to Isaac like a good distance before Nicholas spoke again. “Tell me what happened in the Vault,” he said as they passed behind the museum.
“I told you already,” Isaac said, and he had. He had gotten into something of a rhythm with the running. It was one that was going to kill him when he stopped, but it was something. “I told both of you.”
“Tell me what you left out.”
Isaac looked at him, swallowing air, his urge not to keep secrets warring with his worry about what might happen if people started to find out about him. “The archmage thinks that I might be able to learn to use other types of magic. Besides the Pillars.”
Nicholas looked over his shoulder, slowing down. “Why does he think that?”
“I don’t know,” Isaac lied, slowing down with him. “Something to do with that stone Christopher was after. He thinks the chosen one might be connected to all five of them.”
Nicholas watched Isaac for a long time, then he nodded. “Okay. Let’s keep running.”
“Because you don’t exercise enough.” Nicholas had already sped up again, taking off and forcing Isaac to do the same or be left behind.
“I exercise plenty!” Isaac protested when he’d caught up again. Who the fuck cared anyway? Isaac had better things—and people—to do than run around in circles all day.
“It doesn’t count as exercise if you’re on your back,” Nicholas called.
“You only think that because you’ve never done it! Sex is a lot of work.”
“Hm,” Nicholas said, and with that, he picked up the pace, making Isaac do the same and making it impossible to talk.
They ran, and ran and ran, for a long time, way too long. Nobody should have to run this long. Nobody should have to do this on their day off. Nobody should have to run. Isaac didn’t know how long they ran or how far, but he was trusting Nicholas to tell him when they’d gone far enough.
A misplaced trust, obviously. Isaac only noticed that he’d been lied to when he looked up and realized they were behind the museum again. “Hey! You said one lap, you asshole!” To make his point, Isaac slowed, came to a stop, hands on his knees. Then he lay there on the ground, looking up at the sky and trying to breathe.
Isaac was maybe a little out of shape.
Nicholas appeared in his vision, grinning down at him. “I wanted to see how long before you’d notice,” he said, sitting beside Isaac, sweat coating his face and soaking through his shirt. Isaac was all sweaty too. Now he needed a bath.
“I hate you,” Isaac said, a moment later when he’d gotten some of his breath back.
“You seriously need to get more exercise.”
“Fuck you.” Just because Nicholas was right didn’t mean he wasn’t an asshole.
Isaac lay there for a second, still trying to breathe. Wait. “What?”
“I said okay.”
Isaac looked over at Nicholas, who was watching him. He was red in the face, but Isaac was pretty sure it was from exertion. “Thought you weren’t interested.”
“Maybe I changed my mind,” Nicholas said, the forced nonchalance in his voice the only thing that gave away his nerves.
Isaac narrowed his eyes. “What did the changing?” He had a feeling it wasn’t him.
“Um…” Nicholas was definitely blushing now. “I kind of started seeing Bianca a while ago.”
Ah. Isaac knew this story. “And you’re ready to start seeing her without clothes on, but she’s not.”
Nicholas nodded, not quite making eye contact. “I may have…poked her a bit by mistake yesterday when we were kissing. She laughed at me and suggested I poke you instead.”
Isaac laughed too. “Help me stand up.”
Nicholas did, and when they were on their feet, and Isaac was sure he wasn’t about to topple over, he grabbed Nicholas by the shoulders, pushed him up against the museum wall, and kissed him, rough, fast and just once before stepping back, smirking at Nicholas. “I’m not wrong that you’ve never done this before, right?”
“No,” Nicholas muttered, still not meeting Isaac’s eyes.
“Okay.” Isaac’s hands wandered down, finding Nicholas’s belt. “Don’t worry, I know what I’m doing. Tell me if you want me to stop.”
When Nicholas nodded, Isaac dropped to his knees, pulled Nicholas’s pants down to his knees and gave him a feel through his smallclothes. He was already most of the way hard, and Isaac tugged his smallclothes down as well, taking Nicholas in his hand. Nicholas gasped and made a little noise, and Isaac looked up at him and smiled. “You’ve literally never done this before.”
“I told you that…”
“Never even traded handjobs with a friend?”
Isaac actually felt kind of bad for him. “You’ve at least jerked off before, right?”
“Of course I…shut up.”
Isaac smiled, trying not to laugh. “Alright, you’re going to love this, then.” Isaac leaned forward, slipped his lips over Nicholas’s dick, slurping it into his mouth most of the way at the same time.
“Oh, fuck!” Nicholas gasped, and he swelled immediately, filling to full hardness in a matter of seconds. It didn’t matter how much he liked girls, Isaac had never met a boy who didn’t like a mouth to put his dick in, no matter whose mouth it was. Since he’d also never met a boy whose dick he didn’t want to taste, things had always worked out pretty well.
Nicholas tasted and smelled like sweat, and Isaac sucked him down about three quarters of the way, not wanting to overwhelm him too much. Both Nicholas’s hands ended up in Isaac’s hair, holding his head in place as he leaned forward a little bit, breathing more heavily now than he had been when he was running. Isaac pushed his hips back so his butt hit the wall, sucking hard and lapping at Nicholas’s head with his tongue. Isaac wasn’t as gentle as he might otherwise have been with a first-timer, going hard on him until after a disappointingly short time Nicholas tensed, cried out Isaac’s name and tried to pull away. Isaac wasn’t about to be cheated out of the best part and he followed Nicholas, keeping his dick in his mouth and tasting the first spurt, then the second, swallowing as his mouth was filled. Nicholas came more than Isaac expected him too, but he swallowed it, enjoying the sharp taste, and when it was done he suckled a little on Nicholas just to make sure he got it all before finally pulling back, smiling up at him.
Eyes out of focus, Nicholas was looking down at Isaac as if he’d never seen him before. “Oh…” was all he said.
“You liked that?” Isaac asked, not really needing the obvious answer. Everyone liked blowjobs.
“Yeah, well…I see what all the fuss is about now,” Nicholas said, breathless still. “It was better than I imagined.”
“That’s because I wasn’t there when you imagined it,” Isaac told him, tugging Nicholas’s hand to get him to sit down.
“You were last night.” Nicholas did as Isaac made him. Isaac had a feeling he wouldn’t normally have admitted that. Sex tended to make guys more talkative than they usually were.
Smiling, Isaac kissed him on the cheek. “Anytime you want another one.” Even if he hadn’t cum himself, Isaac was pretty satisfied that he’d made one of his fantasies happen just now. Nicholas was still hard, and Isaac gave his sensitive head a poke. “Or anything else.”
Nicholas nodded, catching his breath now. “And you really like doing that?”
“Yeah, I do. Oh, a tip,” Isaac said. “If you convince Bianca to do that for you, don’t be pushing on her head like you did with mine. Kind of not cool unless someone likes it.”
“Oh.” Nicholas looked away. “Sorry…”
“It’s okay,” Isaac told him, patting his hand. “I like it.”
“I just really…liked that. Is it true that it’s even better up…”
“The ass?” Isaac asked, when Nicholas didn’t finish. “Yeah. You want to give it a try?”
Nicholas looked indecisive for an entire second, before nodding again. “Yeah. Please?”
Isaac grinned and took off his shirt, mostly because it was sweaty and gross. When he got it over his head, Nicholas was doing the same, and it was obviously because he was taking Isaac’s lead on what to do. The idea of having Nicholas totally naked out here where someone could potentially see was very appealing, so he said nothing as Nicholas stripped out of the rest of his clothes, while Isaac himself did the same. Nicholas’s dick, pointing straight up, was the only thing redder than his face as he sat there on the grass, cross-legged and exposed, waiting for Isaac’s instructions.
“It’s your first time, so I’ll do all the work and show you how it goes, okay?” Isaac asked, trying to look reassuring.
Nicholas nodded, and Isaac crawled forward, pushed him a little to encourage him to get on his back and let Isaac straddle him. While Isaac did that, he licked some fingers on his other hand and reached back to finger himself open. “I expect you to do this part next time,” he said as he did. “Stretching is important.”
Nicholas swallowed a sudden laugh, and Isaac paused, amused. “What?”
“You sound so different than usual,” Nicholas snickered. “Like a teacher.”
Isaac grinned, positioning himself over Nicholas and removing his fingers. “Maybe I could teach a class.”
“You’d be the most popular faculty at the academy.”
“I’d make sure of it.” Isaac lowered himself a little, letting Nicholas press against his entrance for just a second before sliding down a bit.
Needless to say, Nicholas didn’t feel like continuing their conversation, settling instead of gasping as Isaac sat on him.
Isaac went slowly, but not so slowly as to torment Nicholas, at least not too much. He wanted this too, after all, and as Nicholas filled him up, Isaac thought more and more that they should have done this months ago. After too long, he seated himself fully on Nicholas, his fellow chosen one buried all the way inside Isaac. Isaac smiled down at him, hands on Nicholas’s chest. “How’s that? Better than my mouth?”
Isaac took the fact that Nicholas nodded, mouth moving as if to talk but no sound coming out, to be a yes.
So he started moving bucking back and forth, taking the middling speed that he liked to use with first-timers. Nicholas seemed to like it too, throwing back his head a little, eyes closed. As he moved, Isaac subtly repositioned himself once or twice, reaching back and using his hand to aim Nicholas in the direction he wanted, trying to get him to hit the right spot.
He was sweating again by the time he found it, gasping as the shock went through him. Isaac rode Nicholas harder after that, looking down at his flushed, sweaty face, mouth open in a silent cry. He had figured Nicholas for a screamer, but apparently not.
Or maybe he’d been right after all. Nicholas found his volume really suddenly, making a lot of noise in a breathless way as he started to get close, and Isaac used both hands to keep Nicholas pinned to the ground as he thrust his hips, Nicholas moving a little in tune with him as he vocalized his approval.
Nicholas shouted wordlessly as he came, and Isaac closed his eyes and felt Nicholas fill him up, holding still as he did. When Nicholas was finished, Isaac used his hand to get himself the last few inches and he gave a content sigh as he squirted on Nicholas’s chest.
They sat like that for a minute, until Isaac opened his eyes again and looked down at Nicholas, who was watching him. “How was that?” he asked.
“It was…” Nicholas swallowed, nodded. “Thank you.”
Isaac leaned down, kissed Nicholas on the cheek, and smiled. “Anytime.”
He got off, eliciting a quiet groan from Nicholas, and stood, stretching. “Next time you can do the work, though,” he said, working out a kink in his shoulder. He smirked at Nicholas. “It’s really good exercise.”
“Fine,” Nicholas said, sitting up and watching Isaac. “How…”
“How?” Isaac prompted, when Nicholas didn’t finish.
“How long do you normally wait for next time?” Nicholas asked, still red in the face, but a lot more confident than he’d been a second ago. Learning how to use his dick did that to a guy.
Isaac’s eyes moved down, saw that Nicholas was perfectly ready to have a next time, and he raised his eyebrows. “I normally wait until my partner can get hard again.” He got back down on his knees, turning around so Nicholas could see his leaking hole. “You want to drive this time?”
“Uh, sure,” Nicholas said, and Isaac listened to him approach, felt his hand on thigh. He pressed into Isaac with a thumb, making a thoughtful noise. “I never even thought about putting anything up here until I met you.”
“Give it a try sometime,” Isaac suggested, clenching a little around Nicholas’s thumb. “It’s fun. Pairs well with having your other hand on your dick.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.” Nicholas removed his thumb, looked at it for a minute, then wiped it on the grass. “I’m going to put it back in now.”
“Go for it, big guy,” Isaac said, spreading his legs a bit.
“Show you big,” Nicholas muttered, his head pressing against Isaac for a second, then inside. “Here you go.” That came as a grunt as he slid all the way in in one motion.
“Ah,” Isaac nodded, enjoying the feeling. “Yeah, that’s big.”
“You like that?”
“Yeah, I do. You know what to do with it, Nikky?”
Nicholas squeezed Isaac’s thigh with one hand. “I told you to stop calling me that little boy’s name.”
“If you’re not a little boy, then fuck me like a man, Nikky,” Isaac teased. Nicholas was too predictable. It was very charming.
Nicholas grunted again, and he pulled out, thrusting into Isaac hard. “Like that?”
“Yeah, just like that.”
“Fine, then.” Nicholas did it again, and a third time, and found a good speed, much more than the one Isaac had been going at before. Holding Isaac by the hips, Nicholas fucked Isaac inexpertly but with such great enthusiasm that Isaac couldn’t bring himself to tell him he was doing it wrong.
Instead, Isaac reached back and grabbed one of Nicholas’s hands, guided it down and around. “Give a guy a hand,” he said, between breaths, as he put Nicholas’s palm right on his erection.
Nicholas grunted and gripped Isaac, jerking him off to the tune of the fucking, which at least he was good at. He had a strong, firm grip that felt great on Isaac’s sensitive dick, and between that and the strength of his thrusts, Isaac could feel well and truly like Nicholas was in total control of his body. That hand wrapped tightly around his erection, jerking him with dedication and power, the dick hammering in and out of his slippery hole, Nicholas’s grunting and the free hand squeezing his thigh…yes, Isaac like this a lot.
So much that, when Nicholas hit him in the right spot, once and by accident, that was enough for Isaac to tense and cum, Nicholas helping him pump it all over the grass as he whinged with it.
Nicholas wasn’t done yet, but it was only a moment after Isaac had finished that he let go of Isaac’s dick, grabbed his hips with both hands and thrusted like crazy for a minute, before slamming into Isaac with a low yell and filling him with more cum.
Nicholas pulled out after a moment, and collapsed on his back, panting and trying to breathe. “Fuck…” he whispered.
“Yeah.” Isaac lay down gingerly, also trying to get his breath back. “That was good.”
“It was,” Isaac confirmed. “You’re a natural.”
“I bet you…say that to all the boys,” Nicholas gasped.
“Not all the boys can go three times in a row on their first try,” Isaac told him, shaking his head. “A little practice, and you’ll be really good at that.”
“Huh.” Isaac could hear the smirk. “And you’ll provide the practice?”
“I hope so.”
“I do too…Izzy.”
Isaac glanced at Nicholas. “Careful what you start.”
“You started it. You’re the one who asked me to fuck you like a man.”
“So I get the little boy name now?” Isaac teased. “You want to fuck a little boy, Nikky?”
“I’m perfectly happy with the guy my own age, thanks. You are kind of scrawny, though.” Nicholas sat up and started looking around, for his pants, presumably.
“I’m slender,” Isaac corrected, sitting up and stretching again. Time to get dressed, sadly.
“You should start running with me.”
“Only if we’re going to fuck at the end,” Isaac muttered, grabbing his clothes.
“Only sometimes,” Nicholas said, reaching out for his own, scowling when Isaac stole his smallclothes and started to put them on. “Stop stealing those. You don’t even like wearing them.”
“I do when I don’t want stains on the back of my pants,” Isaac told him. “It’s just to the baths, don’t worry.”
He wasn’t planning on giving them back after that either, but that was a different story.
Nicholas gave a sigh that was entirely too dramatic for someone who’d just lost his virginity, and started to dress in the remainder of his clothes. “I’m serious about the running.”
“There are easier ways to get in my pants, you know. Like asking.”
Nicholas rolled his eyes. “I just think we should spend time together sometimes. It’s a thing that people who are friends do.”
“Are we friends now?” Isaac asked, watching Nicholas as he did up his pants.
“I…think so.” Nicholas was red.
Isaac had to stop from rolling his eyes. “Fine,” he said, hiding a smile. “I’ll run with you.”
Nicholas brightened. “I usually get up early in the mornings. I didn’t today, but…”
“I usually sleep early in the mornings,” Isaac interrupted. “How about after supper?”
A frown. “It’s not great to run after eating. How about before supper?”
“Fine.” Isaac really didn’t want to run ever, but that was fine. Nicholas wasn’t giving him much choice, and at least it wasn’t going to happen when birds were still sleeping. “Nicholas?”
Isaac wasn’t sure what he wanted to say. “You’d make a really good chosen one.”
Nicholas looked at him a bit funny, but he nodded. “So would you, Isaac.”
That wasn’t true, but it was the way it was, so Isaac nodded back. “Come on. I’ll race you to the baths. Loser can wash the winner’s back.”