Because he is categorically an idiot, Zee had thought that after the eleven embarrassing takes of the first kiss, the love scenes would get easier.
In some ways, they do. Zee and Saint workshop and block and rehearse each scene nearly to death with Cheewin and Krukla. They talk about Tutor and Fighter constantly: in the dressing room, over dinner, during downtime on set—even when they're both so tired that Zee falls asleep on Saint's shoulder in the middle of a hilarious monologue about Tutor's childhood. They kiss all the time; it's the job, to be comfortable with each other, to build the chemistry that got Zee the role in the first place.
But it's different when the cameras are rolling and there are a dozen people in the room with them, all intently watching Zee lean in. He's always been a private person, shy and a little reserved. He'd been embarrassed during the first kiss, too—anxious with so many people watching him, even though that was the nature of the business. It was hard to stay in character, to lose himself in the scene. He was hyperaware of the sweat on the back of his neck, the shakiness of his hands, the plush pink of Saint's mouth and the hint of stubble under his makeup, barely there but enough that Zee knew he would be able to feel it if he cupped Saint's cheek in his hand.
Later, he told himself that it was his inexperience that made him break, helplessly dissolving into giggles each time they tried the kiss. It was probably true—Saint even said so, after they finally got the take. "We've all been there," he murmured, wrapping an arm around Zee's shoulders and squeezing. "Don't worry about it, P'Zee." He smiled at Zee, warm and reassuring. "We'll practice more, yeah?"
Zee had ducked his head, laughing sheepishly, and Saint had kindly ignored his flushed cheeks and patted him on the arm. The practice helped, and so did the encouragement from Saint and Krukla. Zee worked hard to get his embarrassment under control, and by the time they filmed the next kiss he was settled and focused, grounded by Saint's steady, bright-eyed presence beside him.
So he can nail a love scene in four takes, and he no longer breaks every time he locks eyes with Saint on camera, but Zee has other problems now. Bigger, harder problems.
For example, the way Saint is pressing him back into the couch and trailing his hand down to the waistband of his pants.
"Cut," Cheewin says, and Zee sucks in a breath as Saint pulls his mouth away. "Stay there, boys," he adds, and turns to wave one of the cameramen forward. "Can we get in closer on Tutor's hand?"
Zee swallows hard, and above him, Saint's lips twitch. He's wearing a clear gloss, no pigment to transfer between them, but enough to keep his mouth soft and lush and kissable. It is genuinely painful not to be kissing him. Zee registers the cameraman moving closer, crouching down in front of the couch, but Saint's hand is still resting on his stomach and the touch is going directly to his dick. It would be bad enough if it was just an automatic reaction, his body responding to someone kissing him; that would be unprofessional, but easy to explain. But Zee is only so good at lying to himself, and he knows better. They've done two takes already, and he's losing his mind.
"Okay, again," Cheewin calls, "take it from there, and then Zee, you push him onto his back, okay?"
"Yeah," Zee says, voice hoarse, and Saint laughs softly.
"Good, good," Cheewin says. "Action!"
Zee's opening his mouth to Saint's before their lips even touch. Saint's hand slides down further this time, almost to Zee's dick, and Zee is grabbing him and pushing him onto his back a little faster than the blocking calls for. If Saint gets any closer, he's going to be able to tell exactly how hard Zee is—and so is the cameraman. Tutor and Fighter stare at each other for a breathless moment, and then Saint is dragging Zee down into another kiss, his hand curling in Zee's hair. Zee kisses him as deep and hot as he wants to—as Fighter wants to, in that moment.
"Perfect!" Cheewin yells, which reminds Zee forcibly that he is at work. He tries desperately to pull himself together as he sits back on his heels.
They do two more takes, to make sure Cheewin gets all the angles he wants, and then, blessedly, they're given a fifteen-minute break. Saint stands up from the couch and stretches. Zee high-tails it to the bathroom.
In the bathroom, he splashes cold water on his face and then braces his hands on the sink, trying to steady his breathing and get his dick to calm down. In the bathroom mirror, he looks flushed and sweaty, and someone has clearly had their hands in his hair. It's what he's supposed to look like, what Fighter should look like. "You are in character," he hisses at himself. "Getting a boner is not professional."
"It is in character, though," Saint says, shutting the bathroom door quietly behind him. Zee jumps, startled; he hadn't even heard the door open. "Fighter would definitely have a boner after that." Saint's eyes are laughing, but his voice is gentle and only a little teasing, like he thinks Zee might spook.
Zee makes an inarticulate noise and covers his face with his hands. Saint shouldn't be here. Saint is the last person he wants to see right now—and also the only person he wants to see.
"Hey, it's okay," Saint says, coming over to squeeze Zee's shoulder. It's clearly intended to be comforting, but his touch sends a jolt of heat down Zee's spine, too much all at once. "I just wanted to check on you, make sure you were okay. That got pretty intense."
"Yeah." Zee forces himself to take his hands away from his face. Saint is looking at him in the mirror, a tiny furrow of worry between his eyebrows. He moves his hand to Zee's back, petting him in soothing circles.
"It's okay to get into it," Saint says seriously. "I did, too. Tutor and Fighter—they feel a lot, you know?"
"I know," he says. It's a good reason, if not the only reason. Zee's doesn't exactly want to jerk off in a studio bathroom, at work, but it's starting to look like there may not be an alternative. "Saint, I, um—don't take this the wrong way, but I can't—I need to—"
Saint's eyes widen. "Oh," he breathes. "P'Zee, really?"
"Yes," Zee says tightly. "So, um, please—"
Instead of leaving, Saint steps in closer and wraps his arms around Zee's waist. He hooks his chin over Zee's shoulder, and Zee watches the way Saint's heated gaze rakes over him in the mirror, from his flushed face to his throat to his chest, and down.
"Saint," Zee says, "what are you—" They're in the bathroom; anyone could come in. What is Saint doing?
"Shh," Saint murmurs in his ear, thumbing open the button of Zee's jeans.
Zee gasps when Saint slides his hand inside, tugging down the zipper and groping for Zee's dick through his underwear. He's a little clumsy at first, but it doesn't matter; Zee is too turned on to care. Saint—Saint!—is touching his dick. Zee thrusts desperately into his hand, even the awkward fumbling of Saint's fingers lighting him on fire. Saint hisses through his teeth, sounding frustrated, and then he's using both hands to shove Zee's jeans and underwear down and pull his cock out.
"Fuck," Saint whispers, sounding a little awed, and then they're both looking down at Zee's cock in Saint's hand. Saint bites his lip, and Zee's not sure if it's crossing a line—he has no fucking idea where the lines are—but he turns his head to do it for him, exactly the way he’s been dying to. He tugs Saint's lower lip between his teeth and Saint kisses him back, hot and open-mouthed and biting; they've gotten so, so good at kissing.
Saint breaks the kiss after a minute, though, and says breathlessly, laughing, "Stop, stop, I need to concentrate."
"Oh, you need to concentrate," Zee says, trying to lighten the heated tension between them. Instead, it comes out embarrassingly overwhelmed, like all he has ever wanted in his life is for Saint to concentrate on him. The air between them gets hotter, and then Saint finally moves his hand on Zee's dick and Zee moans.
"Fuck, P'Zee," Saint whispers, watching himself stroke Zee's dick. "You're so wet, and—big, too. I should've known." He rubs his thumb over the drawn-back foreskin, catching Zee's pre-come on his fingertips. "Do you get this hard every time we make out?"
"Not—every time," Zee gets out. "But—fuck." He's so close. He curls his hand around Saint's arm and hangs on. "Saint, I—"
"Yeah," Saint says, tightening his hand. "Come on, come for me."
Zee's entire brain goes white and staticky, his vision blurring; all he can see and hear and feel is Saint, telling him to come. He does as he's told, his eyes sliding closed as his head falls back against Saint's shoulder. Saint holds him through it, works him until he's spent and shaky, and then keeps his arms around him while Zee comes down. When Zee can bear to open his eyes again, Saint is watching him, dark-eyed and appreciative. Under Zee's gaze, Saint pulls his dripping hand out of Zee's pants and raises it to his mouth, licking Zee's come off his fingers.
Zee's dick gives a helpless twitch. He'd known Saint was a menace, but this is something else.
Saint finishes licking his hand clean and grabs a fistful of paper towels, running the water to dampen them before handing them to Zee. "Here," he says, smiling with his eyes. "You don't want wardrobe mad at you."
Zee cleans himself off and does up his jeans, and then washes his hands. Saint's eyes are still on him, but he's stepped away to lean against the counter, his hands in his pockets. He doesn't look unaffected, exactly—Zee can see the bulge in his jeans—but he does look calm, unruffled. Professional. Like jerking off his coworker in the bathroom is totally normal.
"Saint," Zee says, trying not to sound as uncertain and overwhelmed as he feels. "What—"
"Don't worry about it," Saint says warmly, leaning in to kiss Zee's cheek. "You're doing great, P'Zee."
"We have to get back in there," Saint says. "You go first, okay? I only need a minute." He grins at Zee. "This is fun, right? Tutor and Fighter."
"Fighter and Tutor," Zee counters automatically, and Saint laughs and gives him a little shove toward the door.
"See you in a minute," Saint says, sing-song and cheerful. "Bye, bye!"
Zee lets himself be propelled out of the bathroom, and it's only once he's outside that he remembers that neither of them locked that door—that it was sheer idiot luck that no one came in and saw them. He shivers, still a little orgasm-drunk. He can't think about it now, though; they have to go back to work.
The rooftop kiss comes at the end of a long day of filming, and Zee and Saint are both overtired and a little wired by the time they're up on the set under the lights. It's late, and Saint has been drinking coffee steadily since noon, which makes him bouncy and bright-eyed and dangerous. He flirts and teases circles around Zee, and then darts away when Zee tries to flirt back. Zee can feel the slow buzz of arousal under his skin, half anticipation, made worse by the fact that it's been a week since they filmed their last love scene.
Zee hasn't been able to stop thinking about that day in the bathroom, but Saint's behavior hasn't changed at all.
The kiss on the roof, when they get to it, goes on for a long time. It's intense—the eye contact, the count down. Fighter's feelings, when he looks at Tutor. Zee takes Saint's face in his hands and they kiss deeply, intently, and Cheewin has to call "cut" several times before they finally break apart.
Cheewin is laughing good-naturedly when he comes over to them. "That was great, boys," he says, taking Zee by the shoulders and repositioning him. "But if you kiss that much, we'll have to cut most of it for the viewers." He pats Saint on the back.
Saint hums his agreement, nodding. "Sorry, P'Chee."
"No, no," Cheewin says, grinning. "It's good, it's good—just save something for the beach!"
They kiss again and again, sweet and slow. Frankly, it shouldn't be enough to get Zee hard; they're standing close, arms around each other, but it's not meant to be as heated as the scene on the couch. That doesn't seem to matter to Zee's dick, which twitches in his jeans. Maybe it's just how Fighter feels, maybe it's the taste of Saint's mouth—but Zee can tell when Saint realizes, because his breath goes unsteady for a moment and his teeth dig into Zee's lip. Fuck, Zee thinks helplessly, and breaks the kiss to say his lines.
By the time Cheewin calls a wrap, Zee has managed to get himself more or less under control. He's still sporting a semi, but he tugs his overshirt down, hands in his pockets, and he doesn't think it's bad enough for anyone else to notice. Saint has certainly noticed, but he just keeps smiling at Zee with his well-kissed mouth, friendly and ordinary. Like there's nothing remarkable about Zee's arousal; like he's never held Zee's dick in his hand.
"Want to get something to eat?" Saint asks, as they're changing out of their costumes into street clothes. "Maybe a drink?"
Zee shakes his head. "I'm wiped," he says, which isn't a lie. "I'm old, and we've got an early call tomorrow." He does want to go out with Saint, but he's not twenty-one anymore. He needs to go home and jerk off and go to sleep.
Saint snorts. "You're not old, P'Zee, you're a baby." He finishes tying his shoes and then darts up behind Zee, wrapping his arms around him and kissing him on the cheek.
Zee hasn't put his shirt on, and Saint's hands are soft on his bare waist. "I'm older than you." His voice comes out sounding almost normal.
"A baby," Saint insists, and pats his abs. "A baby with a six pack." He squeezes Zee one more time and then pulls away, leaving Zee with a racing heart and a too-interested dick. "Get some rest, P'Zee. We have more kissing to do tomorrow." He grins at Zee, picks up his bag, and is out of the dressing room before Zee can kick his brain back into gear.
Zee gets dressed and goes home, but he can't stop thinking about Saint the whole way there. And when he's lying in bed with his hand on his dick, all he can see—no matter how hard he tries to lock down his feelings, to imagine other things—is Saint's smiling face, round cheeks and bright eyes and perfect, devastating mouth.
Zee is napping in an out-of-the-way corner of the set when Saint comes to find him the next day. Saint, who has long since accustomed himself to Zee's napping habits—Zee's philosophy is that one should nap whenever and wherever one can—pokes him gently with the toe of his shoe until Zee opens his eyes, and then flops down cross-legged on the couch beside him.
"Do they need me?" Zee asks, sitting up and rubbing sleep out of his eyes.
Saint shakes his head. "Not for another hour or so, but I'm bored, so I brought you coffee." He holds out a Starbucks cup; it has a swirl of whipped cream on top and is sweating with condensation in the heat.
"Fancy," Zee says, mock-admiringly. "Did you make a PA get that for you?"
Saint gives him an affronted look. "I went myself, asshole."
"Okay, okay," Zee says, laughing, and takes the coffee. It's sweet and cold, exactly what he needs. He smiles at Saint and knocks their shoulders together.
Saint lets him drink his coffee in silence for a minute—long enough for Zee to wonder if he should be suspicious—and then says, "So, I have an idea."
"Hmm?" Zee raises his eyebrows.
Saint glances around—clearly checking to see whether anyone else is nearby—and then, satisfied that they're alone, he puts his hand on Zee's thigh. Zee stares down at Saint's hand for a second, dubious; but Saint touches him casually all the time. It probably doesn't mean what Zee's body would like it to mean.
"Saint," Zee says, eyeing him. "What are you—"
"P'Zee," Saint says. "I know you get turned on during the love scenes." His fingers curl around Zee's thigh, stroking up his inseam, and Zee's legs fall open with no conscious contribution from his brain. "I don't mind," Saint adds casually, like this is exactly the same as every other acting tip he's given Zee. "But it can get awkward, with all of the cameras right there, not to mention P'Chee."
Zee looks away, toying with the straw of his drink. "I know," he says. "I'm sorry. It's really unprofessional."
"No." Saint shakes his head, and his voice goes low and smoky. "Zee—it's hot."
Zee freezes, caught off-guard. Saint thinks his inappropriate erections are hot? Is that why—no. He can't go down that path. But when he looks at him again, Saint is giving him a heated, heavy-eyed look, not unlike Tutor's bedroom eyes.
"It's hot, Zee," Saint says again. "But it might get in the way, when we're trying to act. So I think—" He takes Zee's cup out of his hand and puts it down on the floor, and then he pushes up onto his knees, bracing himself on Zee's thigh so he can lean in close and murmur in his ear, "I think we should take care of you before we film. Wear you out, before we do our love scenes on camera."
For a second, Zee can't breathe. Then Saint cups him through his jeans, and Zee exhales on a shuddering breath. "Saint," he whispers. Saint presses a kiss to his neck, behind his ear in a spot that makes Zee gasp, and then he sits back on his heels.
"I—" Zee starts; his body thinks this a brilliant plan, but his mind has doubts. "Are you sure that's—a good idea?"
It's a real question, but even to his own ears he sounds plaintive, needing reassurance. Zee is six years older than Saint, and sometimes he feels it in every bone of his body. But Saint is so much more experienced than he is, so much more sure of himself. Zee believes, most of the time, that he's really here: working with Saint every day, clicking with him faster than anyone he's ever known, much less dated. But sometimes it hits him all over again and he feels like the most undeservedly lucky fan on earth, thrown into the deep end, way over his head. He trusts Saint completely—trusts Saint to tell him if he's fucking up, to guide him through his first real role, to be his friend. But he knows he wants things he can't have.
Even now, Saint is just looking out for him.
Saint takes Zee's chin in his hand. Zee's lips part automatically, and Saint gives him a slow smile that is so dirty and so sweet that it takes Zee's breath away. "It's a good idea," Saint says, tracing Zee's lower lip with the pad of his thumb. "It might even take our chemistry up another notch. Tutor and Fighter can't keep their hands off each other, can they?"
Method acting, Zee thinks dizzily, and kisses him.
The kiss heats up fast. As Fighter and Tutor, on camera and in rehearsal, they have to think about angles and blocking and characterization, tread the line between sexy and viewer-friendly. It's hot—there is no doubt about how hot it is—but they mostly keep their tongues out of things, watch their teeth and hands. Here, on an abandoned couch in a corner hidden by set pieces, out of the way of the cast and crew, Saint sucks hotly on Zee's tongue and Zee bites down on the curve of Saint's plush lower lip. Saint wraps his hand around the back of Zee's neck, holding him in place, and then he makes a softly frustrated noise and swings himself into Zee's lap, straddling him on the couch.
Zee drags his mouth away from Saint's to gasp, "We're not—anybody could come to find us, and see—"
Saint wriggles his hand down between them to undo Zee's jeans and squeeze his half-hard dick through his underwear. "I'm not too worried." He smirks. "Besides, this is about as private as we're going to get on set."
He's not wrong, and in a minute, it's not going to matter. Zee's dick is hardening rapidly, responding instantly to Saint's touch. When Saint shifts his hips, grinding down against him, Zee can feel the hot press of Saint's own hard dick, and it's not remotely fair that he didn't get to touch him the last time, in the bathroom. He puts his shaking hands on Saint's ass and pulls him closer, trapping Saint's hand between them as he kisses him again.
"Zee," Saint says into his mouth, and then again when Zee starts kissing his way down Saint's throat, "Zee, P'Zee, Can I blow you?"
Zee lets out a heartfelt groan, and Saint laughs. "Do you like that idea?" He pulls back and strokes his free hand down Zee's chest. "I thought you might. You look at my mouth kind of a lot."
"Saint." Zee is staring, inevitably, at Saint's red mouth. "I—"
"Yeah," Saint says again, smug and satisfied, and slithers off Zee's lap and onto his knees. He spreads Zee's legs with his hands, and Zee lifts his hips to help Saint drag his jeans and underwear down far enough to get his dick out.
"You have a good dick, P'Zee," Saint murmurs, bending his head to nuzzle the hollow of Zee's hip. Zee is abruptly conscious, in a way he hasn't been in ages, of the wiry knot of his pubic hair, of the way his dick curves a little to the left and always gets wet when he's really turned on. But Saint doesn't seem to mind. He wraps his hand around the base and licks the head, rubs his lips down the shaft and presses his nose in, his whole face in Zee's groin.
"Fuck, Saint," Zee moans, when Saint slides his foreskin back and sucks the head of Zee's dick into his mouth, sloppy and wet and so good that Zee can barely keep himself from shouting.
Saint slides off and says, devastatingly, "I haven't done this a lot, so you should tell me what you like."
"Fuck," Zee says. He's leaking over Saint's fingers. "That's—what you're doing is really good."
"Hmm," Saint says, licking his lips. "You can touch me, P'Zee."
"Oh," Zee gasps, and puts his hands on Saint's head. Saint makes an approving noise and bends his head again, licking up the pre-come and then lowering his mouth down, sucking him in. Zee doesn't dare put his hands in Saint's hair—hair and makeup would kill him, if they ever found out—but he pets Saint's head, curls one hand around the back of his neck to urge him on as gently as he can. Saint makes encouraging noises, moaning a little as he sucks Zee off, and he's not practiced, but he's so into it that it's hotter than Zee can stand. Hotter, even, because he's so used to Saint being the one with more experience.
"Saint," Zee groans, his hand flexing and releasing against the nape of Saint's neck. "I'm going to—I'm not going to last."
Saint hums around him and sinks down until Zee's dick brushes the back of his throat, and Zee comes in a helpless rush, his hands gripping Saint's head. Saint swallows around him and then pulls off, coughing a little and clearing his throat. When Zee looks down at him, Saint's eyes are wet and he looks dazed and happy. He's also shoved down his own pants, and is stroking his dick with quick, rough motions.
"God," Zee says hoarsely, "come up here, please." He hauls Saint into his lap. Saint makes a frantic, desperate noise, and Zee kisses his throat and shoves his own t-shirt up to his armpits so Saint can come all over his abs.
"Fuck," Saint says, after, coming down in Zee's arms. He's still shaky with aftershocks, and he's tipped forward to rest his forehead against Zee's shoulder.
"Next time I am getting you off," Zee says into Saint's hair. He licks his dry lips, imagining getting Saint off on purpose—but even as he says it, he wonders if it's too much to ask for.
"You did," Saint says, muffled by Zee's shoulder. "That was so hot." He lifts his head, making a face at Zee. "Anyway, P'Zee, this is about you, not me."
Zee hopefully ghosts his fingers over Saint's spent dick. "Is it?"
"Well," Saint hedges, and then gives a little moan, shivering under Zee's touch. "Well, okay, I guess—I guess this is good for both of us."
"Good," Zee says, relieved, and kisses him again.
Saint is smiling when the kiss ends. He stretches a little, shaking out the post-orgasm languor, and digs his phone out of the couch cushions with a sigh. "Wardrobe wants us in fifteen minutes," he says, once he's checked the time. "We'd better get cleaned up." He gets to his feet and buttons his pants, setting himself to rights. He casts one long, appreciative look down at Zee—who must, he's sure, look utterly debauched with his shirt rucked up and his dick hanging out and Saint's come all over him—and then holds out both hands. "Come on, P'Zee."
"Yeah," Zee says, and lets Saint pull him to his feet.
As a strategy, Saint's plan has its merits. But it doesn't stop Zee from getting hard again a few hours later, when Saint deviates from the blocking to suck Zee's Adam's apple into his mouth. Zee has no idea what his face does, but it must be pretty hilarious, because everyone in the room laughs when Cheewin calls cut. They do it again—on purpose this time—but afterwards, when Zee drags Saint into a storage closet and hisses, "What the fuck was that?" Saint just looks pleased with himself.
"I wanted to," Saint says, laughing a little when Zee glowers at him. "P'Zee, it's just—it's right there, practically begging for my mouth."
"I'll make you beg for my mouth," Zee hisses, and then Saint's eyes go wide and his mouth drops open and the tension between them spools out into a rush of heat that makes Zee go weak in the knees.
"You think you can?" Saint demands, and Zee gulps and reaches for him.
When he staggers out of the storage closet half an hour later, with the taste of Saint's come in his mouth and his shoulders feeling bruised where Saint had clung to them, talking and moaning and gasping but never quite begging the whole time Zee had worked him over, he's not really sure which of them is winning—or if it's even a contest to begin with.
It doesn't get any less confusing over the next week. Saint drags him into the bathroom and they trade rushed, urgent blow jobs, and then an hour later, cameras rolling, Zee is pressing Saint down into the bed while Saint unbuttons his shirt, both of them half-hard by the end of the scene. It probably would be worse—certainly even more embarrassing—if they hadn't gotten off beforehand, but they still linger in the dressing room after everyone else leaves, making out on the couch and rubbing off against each other before getting back into their street clothes.
Filming at the school, they sneak into an abandoned classroom and Zee sprawls back in a chair while Saint sits on his thighs and jerks him off, fast and furtive because someone could come looking for them at any moment. While Jimmy and Tommy film the concert and they're waiting around in the theater seats, Saint sits close to Zee and gropes him under the cover of darkness. It's not enough to get either of them off, but they're both hot and bothered by the time they have to film the crowd scenes, and Zee edges himself for an hour thinking about Saint when he gets home, finally coming so hard he almost blacks out.
Saint, it is clear, does not have an enormous amount of sexual experience, but he's ambitious and imaginative and apparently committed to getting Zee off as often as possible. Zee knows, because he's twenty-seven, and it's not the first time he's lost his mind over a pretty face and a razor-sharp mind, that he should put a stop to it before one of them gets hurt. But the excuses are so easy; each one makes perfect sense. They're playing lovers, and their chemistry is off the charts—even more so now that they're hooking up semi-constantly. The success of a BL show depends on how well they sell the romance, and Zee is under no illusions that he got the part because he's a great actor. He got the part because of the way he looks at Saint.
In a month, they'll be done filming. Why not let it go on a little longer? Zee's the only one of them who might get hurt.
The next week, they go to Krabi.
It's work, of course, but it feels like a vacation—it feels, in fact, like the best date Zee has ever been on. He's been serious about some of the people he's dated, but never to the point of an all-expenses-paid weekend trip to one of the most beautiful places on earth. It's impossible not to get caught up in it; he can almost forget, cuddling with Saint in a hammock or riding a motorcycle or exploring the little seaside shops, that the whole crew is there with them.
"Let it feel real," Krukla says on the beach, gently shaking Zee by the shoulders. "Enjoy yourselves." Next to Zee, Saint's eyes sparkle with amusement as he nods seriously at each direction. "This is the first time you've been together, away from everyone else's expectations and doubts. Experience the romance, yes? Let yourselves open up to each other."
Saint winks at him lasciviously, and Zee laughs, feeling his face crinkling up with affection. Saint is ridiculous. "Exactly," Krukla says, pleased. He lets go of Zee and turns to Saint. "But remember, Tutor isn't quite as bold as you—most of the time."
Saint colors and ducks his head, suddenly bashful. "Okay, P'Kla."
Krukla snorts and pats Saint fondly on the shoulder. "You boys," he says. "Go on, go run around in the sand. It's nice to be out here, isn't it? A little vacation for everyone. But don't forget! It's about the romance!"
He waves as he stomps away, and for once Saint breaks first, throwing his head back and laughing. Saint glows golden in the sunlight, and Zee wants to kiss him so badly that he almost goes for it, right there on the beach with cameras all around them. But Saint sidles up to him and puts his arms around his waist, gazing up at Zee with a teasing smile. "Are you going to romance me, P'Zee?"
"Hmm," Zee says, playing it cool; he can tease just as well as Saint can. "I don't know. Do you think you deserve to be romanced?"
For just a second, Saint's gaze goes heavy and heated, his lids lowering until he's looking at Zee with a thousand dangerous promises in his eyes and the curve of his mouth. Zee swallows, and then Saint is breaking away from him, grinning as bright as the sun on the water. "Let's find out," he says lightly, and runs off down the beach.
Zee gives himself a minute to catch his breath before running after him.
By the time they wrap for the day, Zee has sand in all sorts of unfortunate places, but he's too happy to care. He laughs at every stupid joke Saint tells during dinner, and he's still smiling as he lets himself into his hotel room. He takes a long, blisteringly hot shower, reveling in the fantastic water pressure as he washes away the sand, and after he's dried off he pulls on the comfiest pair of pajama bottoms he packed and lounges on the bed, scrolling through Instagram on his phone.
When the knock comes, he knows it's Saint before he even opens the door.
"Hey," Saint says, holding up two bottles of beer, glistening with icy condensation. "Can I come in?"
Zee nods and ushers him inside, shutting the door behind him. Saint has clearly also showered; he smells like the hotel soap, and his hair is damp and pushed back off his forehead. He's also wearing comfy clothes: a pair of athletic shorts and a white t-shirt, worn thin and loose around the collar. His eyes skate down Zee's bare chest to his low-slung pajamas, lips parting on an indrawn breath, and then he blinks and hands Zee a beer.
"Thanks," Zee says, taking a sip. He can see Saint's nipples through the thin fabric of his shirt. Luckily, the beer is cold and refreshing, and toying with the bottle gives him something to do with his hands.
"Your room is exactly the same as mine," Saint says, wandering through the room and poking his nose into corners. He twitches the curtains back to look out at the patio overlooking the beach. "This place is nice." There's a kind of restless energy in the way he's moving, pacing around Zee's hotel room until he finally settles on one of the armchairs and takes a drink of his beer.
"It is," Zee agrees, perching a little awkwardly on the foot of the bed. He doesn't want to make any assumptions, but Saint's edginess has him on high-alert. "Not quite the honeymoon suite, though," he says, as casually as he can manage. He toasts Saint with his bottle, and Saint laughs.
"Well, we can enjoy that tomorrow," Saint says, but it rings a little false. He looks down, scraping at the label on his beer bottle with his thumbnail. "P'Zee, are you nervous?"
An hour ago, Zee would have said that of course he was nervous to film Fighter and Tutor's first time. It's going to be more intense than anything they've filmed so far, and it's Zee first time too, in a way—certainly his first time filming a sex scene. They might not get naked on camera, but it's close enough. There isn't meant to be any ambiguity about what happens between their characters.
But in the face of Saint's fidgety, restless anxiety, Zee feels suddenly calm. "Not right now," he says honestly, leaning his elbows on his knees. "We're going to be great."
"You think so?" With his face bare and his hair pushed back, Saint looks unbearably young. Like, for once, he's the one who needs reassurance.
"Yeah." Zee takes another sip of his beer, trying to figure out exactly what he wants to say. He wants to be honest with Saint—or at least, as honest as he can be. "Saint, you know—I was so nervous when we started. I didn't know what I was doing at all. But you've been such a good friend to me, helping me with everything, and now we're—" He shakes his head, a little ruefully. "It's silly, but I feel as close to you as Fighter does to Tutor. Closer." He can feel himself blushing, thinking about exactly how close they've been. "I can't imagine that it wouldn't—that it won't be amazing, tomorrow, when it's you and me."
Saint's eyes are wide. Zee is expecting him to laugh it off—kindly, of course, because Saint is kind and generous and good; he'll say something like, Wow, what a speech, P'Zee! Too bad Fighter doesn't have more lines, and that will be that. Except instead, Saint knocks back a long swallow of his beer and sets the bottle down on the side table with a deliberate clink.
"Zee," he says, looking at Zee across the narrow space between them. His voice is low and determined, and there's a flush climbing up his neck, stark against his white shirt. "Can we practice?"
Zee gets hard so fast that he feels dizzy. "Practice—" he gets out, before his voice completely fails him.
"Yes," Saint says. He doesn't look nervous now. "I'd like that. So things go more smoothly, tomorrow."
Zee stands up, and sets his beer down on the dresser, and before he even makes the decision to move, Saint has risen to meet him and they're kissing.
Saint's hands are hot on his bare back, and the kiss gets dirty fast—dirtier by far than they've ever been on camera. But there aren't any cameras, now; they've never been as alone as they are in this hotel room. Zee lets himself lick into Saint's mouth for long, hot minutes, and then kisses his way down his throat, nipping at his Adam's apple—turnabout's fair play—and pulling his shirt aside to mouth at his collarbones. Saint grabs Zee's ass through his pajamas.
"Okay, okay," Zee gasps. Somehow, his hands have ended up in Saint's hair, and he tugs until Saint arches into him and tilts his head back so Zee can kiss his neck again. Saint's dick is half-hard against his thigh, and Zee is pretty sure he's not wearing underwear. Of course, neither is Zee. "Okay—bed?"
"Romantic," Saint teases, squeezing Zee's ass. "You don't want to fuck me right here on the floor?"
Zee's hips jerk involuntarily, and Saint makes a pleased noise. "I—absolutely do," Zee says, with unfortunate honesty. Just the idea has his head spinning. "But you said, um, practice?" If it doesn't exactly feel like practice to Zee, that's his problem, not Saint's.
Saint looks up at him, sultry and dark-eyed, and pouts. It makes Zee feel completely unhinged, and he drags Saint even closer, both hands on his hips.
"Yeah," Saint says, the pout sliding into a smirk. He sucks Zee's earlobe into his mouth, tongues his earring until Zee moans, and then murmurs, "Why don't you carry me to the bed, P'Zee?"
"Yeah," Zee echoes, and grabs Saint's phenomenal ass. Saint pulls back far enough to smile at him and hook his arms around Zee's neck, and then Zee lifts him. It's not quite like it was on the beach. For one thing, when Saint's legs wrap around Zee's waist, his dick presses against Zee's stomach.
Zee wobbles a little, but Saint holds on tightly, a perfect weight in his arms; and anyway, what does Zee have muscles for if not to carry his—his Saint to bed?
Saint laughs when he says that out loud, and bites his ear. "They're very good, put them to work," he says, patting Zee's bicep.
When Zee drops him on the bed, Saint drags him down on top of him with his legs still wrapped around his waist. Zee presses Saint's hands into the bed and kisses him, slow and deep and languid, until Saint gets impatient and rolls them over.
"Oh," Zee gasps, as Saint straddles him. Above him, Saint is a vision—mussed hair and red mouth and blown pupils, and Zee stops breathing for a second, staring at him, until Saint starts taking off his shirt. "Oh," Zee says again, getting with the program, and pushes himself up so he can get his mouth on Saint's little round nipples.
"Fuck," Saint hisses, when Zee bites down. "Careful, don't—we have to be on camera—" He tosses his shirt off the side of the bed and curls a hand around the back of Zee's neck, keeping him there.
"I know," Zee says, licking Saint's other nipple. "I just—"
"Yeah," Saint says breathlessly. "Fuck, you're so hot."
It's nothing Saint hasn't said before, but Zee still likes hearing it, even if it's just the sort of thing you say to someone when you're having sex with them. He kisses his way back up Saint's chest to his chin, and then his mouth, and then pushes Saint onto his back again as they kiss, finally skin-to-skin. Saint scrapes his fingernails up and down Zee's back until Zee's hips are twitching restlessly against him, their dicks pressing together through their pants. Then Saint pulls his mouth away and stops Zee from leaning down again with a finger against his lips.
"Zee," Saint says softly. "P'Zee." He's smiling, and it is absolutely, one hundred percent sex. "Take your pants off, and then take my pants off, and then fuck me."
Zee nods frantically and scrambles off of Saint with zero grace. He strips out of his pajama pants as quickly as he can and gives his hard dick one punishing squeeze. When he turns back to the bed, Saint has propped himself up against the pillows with his knees drawn up. He's watching Zee steadily, and he's holding up a condom and a packet of lube, produced from—somewhere. Fuck, Zee thinks, the only word he can remember, and crawls back up the bed to kneel between Saint's thighs.
"You came prepared," he says, his voice coming out low and raspy.
"Mmm." Saint's eyes drop to Zee's dick, which is jutting out between them and fairly impossible to ignore. He licks his lips. "I didn't want to take any chances."
"You thought I was a sure thing?" Zee tries to pout about it, but his heart isn't in it; he wants Saint too much.
Saint strokes one finger along the vein of Zee's dick. "I kind of thought you might be."
Zee shudders, reacting to Saint's touch. "You were right," he says, and takes the condom and lube out of Saint's hand, dropping them onto the bed beside them. Then he hooks both hands into the waistband of Saint's shorts and drags them off, careful over his dick and then less careful as Saint lifts his hips to help.
Naked, Saint is almost too beautiful to look at directly. Zee compromises by looking at parts of him: his gorgeous dick, his golden thighs, his flushed chest, his smile. He rubs his hands up Saint's legs, and then bends down to kiss his ankles and calves and knees. They haven't exactly been following the blocking, but it's probably a good idea for Zee to try to remember why they're here. But Saint makes a soft sound and leans back into the pillows as Zee kisses his way up the insides of his thighs, letting his legs fall further apart and burying one hand in Zee's hair.
Zee wants to blow him, but he also wants Saint to come on his dick. "Saint," he says, into the hollow of Saint's hip, "if you want me to—you should turn over." He sits back, and Saint turns over onto his knees, resting his cheek on his folded arms.
The air in the room feels heavy, humid; Zee is sweating. He rests a hand on Saint's ass and suddenly can't catch his breath.
"Zee," Saint says quietly, seriously. "I want you to fuck me so good that I can feel it tomorrow night when we're playing it out on camera. I want you to fuck me so good that Tutor can feel it."
He can hear his own breathing, harsh and unsteady. He needs—he needs to concentrate. He tears the packet open with his teeth and drizzles it over his fingers, letting it drip down onto Saint's ass. Saint hisses, and Zee bends down to kiss the cleft of his ass as he circles his hole with one wet finger.
Saint is—extremely tight. Zee presses his first finger in so slowly that he feels like he might break. "Saint," he says, squeezing more lube onto his hand. "Have you, um. Done this. Before?"
He can see Saint smiling, where his head is turned to the side. "Once or twice," Saint says. "Not for a while. Keep going, P'Zee. I know what I want."
"I—okay," Zee says. He puts an admonishing hand on his dick, and then pushes his second finger into Saint's ass. Saint is quiet at first, but when Zee begins scissoring his fingers, he starts talking. "Yes, like that," he says, and, "Perfect, P'Zee," and, "There, okay, more," and eventually, "Give me another finger, and—yes, fuck, Zee." Zee's whole focus narrows down to how Saint feels around his fingers and what Saint is telling him to do. Getting it right, giving Saint what he wants—it feels better than anything else.
"That's enough," Saint says finally. "I'm ready."
Zee slides his fingers out and reaches for the condom, rolling it on with surprisingly steady hands. Saint turns over onto his back and smiles up at Zee with heavy-lidded eyes. "Like this, okay?"
"Yes," Zee says; he can't think of anything Saint would ask for that he'd say no to. He feels like he's in a dream—like even with everything that's come before, this can't possibly be real. They've never been together like this before, without someone in the next room, without the risk of interruption; they've never been this naked. Saint is still smiling as he hooks his legs over Zee's shoulders, but his eyes slide shut when Zee starts to press carefully into him. He goes slow, keeping one hand on Saint's ass as he pushes in, and he and Saint are both making needy, breathless noises by the time he's all the way inside.
"Saint," Zee chokes out, and Saint opens his eyes. The look he gives Zee is so hot that Zee feels like he's on fire, burning up from the inside as Saint reaches up to grab the back of his neck and pull him down into a kiss.
"Come closer," Saint says, when they break for air. "Fuck me. Zee—show me what you've got."
"Okay," Zee says, and does. He tries to go slow at first, but Saint won't let him, arching up into him and meeting him stroke for stroke. Saint keeps one hand on his neck, in his hair, urging him on. Zee fucks him harder, and deeper, and better, until Saint gets wordless and desperate, making gorgeous sobbing noises as he clings to Zee. He feels incredible around Zee's dick, hot and tight, but Zee can't come until Saint does; he won't.
"Zee," Saint moans, when Zee has lost all sense of time and place. His voice is rough and fucked-out, and his fingers tug hard on Zee's hair. "I'm close, will you—"
Zee wraps his hand around Saint's dick, stroking him as he fucks him; Saint's dick is wet with pre-come, his head tossed back against the pillows. Zee's hips stutter as he looks down at him, and when Saint's eyes blink open, hazy and dark, Zee swears and fucks him harder, jerking him off in time with his thrusts.
"Oh, fuck, Zee," Saint says, and comes all over Zee's hand. Zee tries to hold on, to fuck him through it, but as soon as Saint clenches around him, he's done—he thrusts into Saint one more time, and then he's coming too.
He comes back to himself in stages. Saint is loose-limbed and heavy-eyed under him, lazily petting Zee's back. Zee pulls out carefully, drops the condom into the wastebasket beside the bed, and falls back into the pillows. They're in total disarray—not unlike Saint's hair, which is sticking up in all different directions. Zee smiles at him, helpless to do anything else. Saint smiles sleepily back and curls into him, resting his head on Zee's chest.
"How—was that?" Zee says at last. His voice is shot. He should drink a bucket of water before he goes to bed, but he's not sure he can move.
"Mmm," Saint hums, pleased and smug. "Very good." He kisses Zee's shoulder. "I think you're right. We have nothing to worry about."
Zee laughs; his chest feels light, like it's full of helium. "Satisfied with the blocking?"
"Oh yeah," Saint says dreamily. "Now, shh. It's time to sleep."
"You're staying?" Zee is pretty sure he sounds as stupidly infatuated as he feels.
Saint lifts his head for a moment, narrowing his eyes. "We have the same call time," he says, like it's the most obvious thing in the world. Then he yawns and puts his head back down, burrowing into Zee's side. "G'night, P'Zee," he murmurs, and is out like a light.
Zee pulls the blanket up over them and tucks his face into Saint's hair. He's asleep in minutes.
One of the nicest things about the enormous, romantic, two-person bubble bath is that their erections are hidden under the bubbles.
Both Saint and Zee are wearing swim shorts, but Zee's dick is determinedly interested in the fact that Saint is more or less in his lap, held close by Zee's encircling arm and the confines of the bathtub. Zee has his free hand high on Saint's thigh under the water where no one can see, and Saint is as hard as he is. They play with the bubbles in between takes, blowing them into each other's faces; it's teasing, fun, light-hearted—but Saint's eyes are hot, and Zee remembers every moment of last night in perfect clarity.
Go with your character's feelings, Krukla says in Zee's head, but Zee can't always tell where his feelings stop and Fighter's begin.
Saint leans in, looking up at him, and Zee says, "I love you, Saint."
It's not his line. Saint blinks, and laughs. It's warm and amused, not malicious, but Zee goes cold all over, a rush of ice down his spine. "My name is Tutor," Saint says, grinning, and Zee flushes and backs away.
"Yeah," he says, "shit, sorry."
Saint pats his knee under the water, shaking his head and smiling. "Let's try that again, hmm? P'Fight?"
He gets it right the second time, staying in character, but there's a miserable feeling in the pit of his stomach. He didn't do it on purpose—the words just slipped out, in the heat of the moment, in the comfortable tub with the romantic lighting and Saint in his arms. He knows Saint doesn't feel the same. But when it comes right down to it, Zee is not a very good liar.
At least, by the time they climb out of the tub, his erection has flagged to acceptable levels and he can be seen in public.
Wrapped in a bathrobe and toweling his hair dry, Saint comes over to him. "You were great tonight, P'Zee," he says with a brilliant smile. "Get a good night's sleep, okay? Early day tomorrow!"
Like Tutor and Fighter, they're going to the island. He's been looking forward to it, but now he feels awkward and uncertain, more unsure of himself in Saint's company than he's been since they started working together.
But Saint just pats him on the shoulder and kisses his cheek, like nothing has happened. "We'll have fun," he says. "Don't worry."
Zee nods, warm where Saint touched him. He trusts Saint; if Saint is acting like nothing has changed, then—okay. Saint says they'll have fun tomorrow, so they will. No matter how hard Zee's heart is beating.
The next day is fun. They play around on the beach and in the boat, flirting and laughing, easy and comfortable and familiar. Zee wants to kiss Saint constantly, but since that's exactly what the direction is going for, it works out.
They break in the afternoon so the crew can eat and nap, and so Saint and Zee can shower off the sand and salt before the evening scenes in the sauna and pool—and eat, and nap. In the afternoon sunlight, they sit out on the patio with Cheewin and Krukla and Aoftion, devouring bowls of noodles and talking through their upcoming scenes.
"Why do you think Fighter needs to be persuaded to have sex again?" Krukla asks. It's exactly the kind of question Zee is used to from him, aggressively straightforward and intended to get under his skin, to make him think about every aspect of his character.
He finishes his noodles and puts down his chopsticks. "I don't want to scare Tutor away," he says slowly. "I think—I'm a little scared by how much I want him, right?" He looks around the table and catches Saint's eyes. Saint gives him an encouraging nod and mouths, "Boom, boom." Zee grins. "Yeah," he says, turning back to Krukla. "Fighter's—I'm still overwhelmed by my own feelings. I want him, but I also want him to want to be with me, no strings. It's not just about the sex."
"I'm into the sex, though," Saint says, tapping his fingers on the table. "I'm—Tutor isn't just putting up with it; he really wants it. P'Fight keeps backing off, saying he won't do it again. So I want to show him that I have power, too, and he doesn't get to call all the shots."
Cheewin nods and toasts them both with his glass. "Exactly."
"Sexy and romantic," Aoftion says approvingly.
Saint laughs, and takes Zee by the wrist. "On that note," he says, pulling Zee up with him, "we're going to go shower and nap. See you in a couple of hours. P'Chee, P'Aof, P'Kla." He bows, and drags Zee after him without even giving him time to say goodbye.
Inside, Saint uses his hold on Zee's wrist to pull him down the hall and into the bathroom of the suite they're sharing. "Saint," Zee says, caught between protest and laughter. "What are you—that was not subtle."
"They don't know we're showering together," Saint says, flipping the lock on the bathroom door and then pushing Zee against it, pinning both of his wrists above his head.
"Is that what we're doing?" Zee is still laughing, but it's growing increasingly breathless.
Saint gives him a smoldering look. "Things are going to get pretty heated, later," he says, leaning in to kiss Zee's neck. "We should get off now, so it's not too awkward in the sauna."
There is absolutely no way it won't be awkward in the sauna. Since they started this—no matter Saint's good intentions—Zee has gotten more and more aroused in every love scene they've filmed. He knows how Saint's mouth feels on his dick, how Saint's body feels under his hands. Even when he manages to lose himself in his character, it's all a little too real.
But Saint's hands are tight around his wrists, and he's sucking on Zee's earlobe. Zee knows he's not going to stop him, even if he should—and he really should, now that Saint knows how he feels.
"Sorry about—what I said last night," he blurts, and then winces. "I didn't mean to, like—" Accidentally tell the truth. "Fuck up my line."
Saint shakes his head, his mouth quirking. "Don't worry about it." He transfers his hold on Zee's wrists to one hand and slides his other hand down Zee's neck to curve around his throat. "It's not a big deal; it was a slip of the tongue." Oh, Zee thinks, his heart sinking. Of course. Saint really does think he just fucked up his line, an easy mistake for a rookie actor to make. He should probably be relieved, but instead it feels like the bottom has dropped out of his stomach.
"But I mean," Saint says, grinning up at Zee and pressing his hand just a little harder against his windpipe, which is so dizzyingly hot that Zee's better angels desert him entirely. "If you really love me, P'Zee," Saint teases, making it a joke, "you could put your tongue to good use."
"Okay," Zee agrees, helplessly. His dick doesn't care if Saint loves him. But he can't slide down to his knees while Saint is pinning his hands—or he could, if he broke the hold, but he doesn't want to. He kisses him instead, licking slowly into his mouth and then sucking on his tongue, letting Saint take his time.
Saint kisses back, squeezing Zee's wrists as they kiss. It goes on for a long time, Saint pressing Zee against the door with one hand on Zee's throat and the other pinning his wrists. Eventually, though, Saint lets go and steps back. "In the shower," he says, giving Zee a heavy-lidded look, and starts taking off his clothes.
Zee follows suit, and a minute later they're both naked and kissing under the hot spray. Saint loops his arms around Zee's neck, but he lets go when Zee pushes him against the shower wall and goes to his knees. Maybe Saint was teasing, but Zee knows what he wants.
Saint's dick is a little bigger than Zee's, thick and flushed. Zee kisses him first, trailing his tongue and lips along the length of him before sinking his mouth down. When Zee swallows around him, taking as much as he can, Saint groans and pulls Zee's hair, which makes Zee's eyes water and his dick jump. He lets Saint fuck his mouth, slow and careful and still wildly hot, until he has to pull off to breathe. Catching his breath, he moves his mouth lower, licking and sucking Saint's balls, and then behind them.
Saint's hand clenches in Zee's hair. Zee sits back on his heels and slides his hands up Saint's thighs to his hips. "Yeah, okay," Saint says, with a little breathless laugh, and turns around to brace himself against the shower wall. Zee stares at the perfect curve of his ass, and then, feeling feverish and desperate, he bends his head to lick around Saint's hole.
"Fuck," Saint moans. He sounds more overwhelmed than Zee has heard him before, less in control. "P'Zee, please."
Zee licks into him. He can't get enough—he loves eating people out, but it's been a while since anyone made him as hungry for it as Saint. Saint is so hot as Zee works his tongue inside, and the steam from the shower makes everything slick and wet and humid, dreamy and slow. Above him, Saint is making desperate, choked-off noises as pushes back against Zee's mouth. Saint's dick, when Zee reaches around to touch him, is so hard that it must hurt. Zee fucks his tongue into Saint and jerks him off as slowly as he can, dragging it out until Saint starts moaning his name and he can't stop himself from taking even more.
"That's it, baby, come on," Zee says, twisting his wrist and sucking a hot kiss over Saint's rim. Saint comes with a breathless cry, and Zee keeps stroking him through it until he makes a faint noise of displeasure. Even then, it's hard for Zee to let go.
He climbs unsteadily to his feet, wincing a little at his sore knees, and drapes himself over Saint's back. Saint leans heavily against him and turns his head to kiss Zee's jaw. "Amazing, P'Zee," Saint murmurs, his wet hair falling in his eyes. "Fuck me?"
Zee is shaking with how badly he wants to fuck Saint again, but he won't last. He kisses Saint's neck and grinds his dick against Saint's ass, wet and slick. "This is good," he says hoarsely.
"Mmm." Saint pushes back into him, curling an arm around Zee's shoulders while Zee rubs off on him. It doesn't take very long; Zee thrusts his dick against the curve of Saint's ass and the tops of his thighs, the head catching against Saint's rim, and pants hotly in Saint's ear as Saint rides it out with him. He gets a hand on his dick at the end, and comes all over Saint's ass and back and thighs.
"That was so hot," Saint says, dreamy and appreciative. He's still breathing hard as he pushes off the wall and pulls a shuddering Zee back under the shower spray. "I know what I'll be thinking about in the sauna."
Zee chokes on a breathless laugh, reaching for the soap. His laugh sounds a little hysterical to his own ears, but Saint doesn't seem to notice. He's smiling at Zee, dark-eyed and warm. "I don't think that's going to help with my boner problem," Zee says, without much hope.
"Maybe not," Saint says, giving Zee a once-over that is not remotely clinical. "But if it gets really bad, I can always blow you again."
Zee wants this to be real: the beach, the romance, the fancy hotel, the sex-addled vacation where they can't keep their hands off each other. But as much as Saint is clearly enjoying the sex—as much as it is not, obviously, only to solve Zee's particular problem—Zee knows better than to think it means anything.
"Sounds good," he says; he'll take what he can get.
They have a few days off after they get back from Krabi. Saint texts a couple of times—casual and friendly, with the exception of one selfie from the gym that almost makes Zee swallow his tongue—and Zee texts back in kind. He also jerks off to the gym selfie and tries not to feel too embarrassed about it, even after he's come all over his abs and is lying there thinking about sending Saint a dick pic. He's not a total idiot, so he resigns himself to sending a string of meaningless emoji with one eggplant in the middle, and smiles down at his phone when Saint replies with a laughing sticker.
Their first day back on set, they're scheduled to shoot the first breakup scene, a night shoot outside the school. Saint's been filming scenes with Tommy, so he's already there when Zee arrives, but they don't have a chance to do more than hug hello before Zee's being whisked away to wardrobe and makeup.
Everything goes fine during filming. It's certainly intense, watching Saint pull away from him, hearing Saint tell him to leave him alone. There's the crying, too, which means people keep pressing more water into Saint's hands so he doesn't get dehydrated. Saint is quieter than usual between takes, but it's a serious scene, and Zee is focused too, working hard to land Fighter's confused denial.
But after they wrap, Saint disappears. Zee gets caught up talking to Cheewin and doesn't notice at first, but when he goes to look for him, Saint isn't anywhere on set, or in the dressing room or the makeup trailer. His bag is still in wardrobe, so he hasn't gone home. Zee frowns, worried in spite of himself, and then does a lap around the building.
He finds Saint sitting on the ground with his knees drawn up and his head down, back against a wall. Zee almost misses him, but he's looking, and there are street lights casting pools of illumination on the sidewalk. "Hey," Zee says, jogging up to him. "Are you okay?"
Saint raises his head, and it's immediately obvious—even without the light catching on the tear tracks on his cheeks—that he's been crying. Zee sucks in a breath and throws himself down onto his knees beside him, pulling Saint into his arms. Saint makes a wet, miserable noise, pushing against him, and then all at once he relaxes, clinging to Zee and shoving his face into his shoulder. He starts crying again as Zee holds him, and it's only after he's finally stopped, sobs petering out as Zee's knees start to go numb on the concrete, that Saint sits back and rubs the back of his hand over his eyes. Zee doesn't want to let go of him, but he does.
"Fuck," Saint says, waterlogged. "Sorry. Character bleed is a bitch."
Zee is surprised into a laugh. "It got pretty intense back there, huh?" He brushes his thumb under Zee's eye, wiping away a tear.
Saint catches Zee's hand before he can pull back. His eyes are red-rimmed, but there's a familiar, determined look in them. "I said that to you, didn't I?" Saint says. "In the bathroom."
At first Zee isn't sure what he's talking about, and then all of a sudden he remembers Saint coming to find him in the bathroom, that first time. That got pretty intense, Saint had said, and It's okay to get into it, and then he'd jerked Zee off without batting an eye. Taking care of the problem—taking care of him.
Zee takes a deep breath. "Yeah," he says carefully; he's not sure where this is going, but he'll be there for Saint, whatever he needs. "And—you told me that whatever I was feeling was okay. You took care of me. It can be your turn, now. Can I help?"
Saint is still holding his hand. He bends his head and tenderly kisses Zee's knuckles. "I'm a fucking idiot," he says. "I don't even know what I'm feeling. What's me, and what's Tutor?"
There's a lump in Zee's throat, and his heart is beating as fast as a hummingbird. Is Saint saying—what is Saint saying? "I mean," Saint says in a rush, "who thinks it's a good idea to just jump their coworker? With all those excuses? Our chemistry, your boner problem. How are we supposed to know what's real?"
"My boner problem is definitely real," Zee's mouth says. He has no idea how his voice can sound so level when his brain is melting. Saint called them excuses; they've been excuses the whole time.
Saint snorts. "Yeah, okay." He shakes his head, and then rubs his eyes with his free hand, looking not only exhausted, but very young. His grip on Zee's hand is firm but gentle, a caress. "It got to me more than I thought it would," he says quietly, like a confession. "I've been, you know, very carefully not thinking about what we were doing. And then there I was, breaking up with you over and over again, and I—"
Zee kisses him. Saint makes a shocked noise into his mouth and kisses him back.
"That doesn't—" Saint gasps, pressing his forehead against Zee's. "That doesn't—exactly—clarify things."
"Don't break up with me," Zee says recklessly.
"I'm not dating you," Saint says. He sounds breathless.
"I know," Zee says, but he can practically taste the possibility, like ozone. He curls his hand around the back of Saint's neck. "But do you want to be?"
Saint makes a frustrated noise and leans into Zee's touch, pulling back to look at him. "I don't—" Zee's heart starts to sink, and then Saint says, "I have the biggest fucking crush on you, P'Zee."
Zee stares at him, feeling his eyes go wide and shocked.
"I want to fuck you all the time," Saint says, and Zee swallows hard and desperately wills his arousal to calm down. "I want to fuck you so much that I made up the most stupid, ridiculous excuses, and you just went along with them. I don't know. I missed you this week." Zee leans in again, and Saint holds him back with a hand on his chest. "But I still don't know if it's real."
Zee opens his mouth, and then closes it again. Saint is looking at him steadily, teeth digging into his lower lip. He's twenty-one; it's easy to forget how young he is, when he's so much more accomplished than Zee, so much sharper. But Zee knows what it's like to love someone, to be vulnerable, to be scared.
"Can I take you home?" He takes Saint's other hand in his and folds their fingers together. "I think maybe—we can figure it out?"
"Oh," Saint says, dark eyes sparkling. "Okay. Yes."
"So you have a crush on me," Zee says, when he's taken Saint back to his apartment and sat him down on the couch and made him tea.
It's hard to say aloud, when he's spent so long certain that it would never, ever be true. He sits at the opposite end of the couch from Saint, leaving space between them, and curls his hands around his mug of tea so he won't reach out and touch.
Saint makes a face. "Oh, for fuck's sake." He's tucked a blanket around himself and is mirroring Zee, holding his steaming mug with both hands. "My crush is visible from space."
"I didn't know," Zee points out. He pokes Saint's bare toes with his, which feels safe until Saint pokes back, and then their feet are just resting there in the middle of the couch, touching. Zee swallows and says, a little hoarse despite the tea, "You're a really good actor."
"Sure," Saint says dryly, "I just feel everything my character feels."
Zee considers this, studying Saint over the rim of his cup. Saint looks conflicted, uncertain in a way Zee isn't used to; he's used to Saint being blithely confident, to Saint knowing—or at least seeming like he knows—exactly what he's doing. "Look," Zee says, feeling his way around the edges of the tension between them, "I'm new to this, you know that. But was your last BL drama like this?"
"I—no." Saint looks down into his tea, and Zee watches the flutter of his eyelashes. "I felt a lot of the things my character felt; it's always like that for me, at least a little. I do get caught up in the feelings of the performance." He exhales, long and slow. "But no. I didn't come up with increasingly stupid excuses to bang my costar, if that's what you mean."
"More or less," Zee says, and laughs when Saint gives him a mildly affronted look. "No, I mean—" He bites his lip, and then says cautiously, "obviously things have been very—heightened, because of the show." He takes a sip of his tea, tries to keep his breathing steady. Heightened is putting it mildly. "But," Zee continues, and it only feels a little like jumping off a bridge into the ocean, "I was into you from the beginning. Before we even started rehearsals. I wasn't getting inappropriate boners on set because my body was confused, Saint. It was always you."
"You were my fan," Saint objects, too gently.
"I was," Zee agrees pointedly, frowning at Saint, "and then I actually met you."
"Hey," Saint protests, but he holds up his hands, laughing and brushing off Zee's outrage; it soothes the tension, warms the room. "Are you saying you're not my fan anymore?"
Zee gives Saint a slow once-over, letting his gaze get hot. "I'm your biggest fan," he says, and then, when Saint reaches out to smack him on the arm, he relents, grinning. They smile at each other for a minute, easy and comfortable, before the smile on Saint's face begins to fade. Zee puts his tea down on the coffee table and leans forward, reaching out to lightly brush the back of Saint's hand with his fingertips.
"I think you're amazing," he says quietly, earnestly, "you have to know that. We're friends—Saint, you're honestly one of the best friends I've ever made." Saint nods, his eyes serious again. "I'm not some star-struck kid; I'm older than you, and I know you." He takes a deep breath. "I told you I loved you last week."
Saint looks away, but he also turns his hand over, capturing Zee's fingers. "It was just the scene," he says, but it sounds like he's trying to convince himself. "You were caught up in the moment. In Fighter and Tutor. Anyone would have made the same mistake."
"I forgot we were filming," Zee says flatly. "It wasn't Fighter and Tutor, Saint. It was you and me."
Zee can hear Saint's breath catch. He's blushing, color climbing up his neck, and Zee wants to put his mouth all over his flushed skin.
Saint reaches across Zee's knees to put his mug down on the table, and then he takes both of Zee's hands and drags him down on top of him. The blanket gets tangled between them, and Saint won't let go of Zee's hands, but somehow neither of them falls off the couch before their mouths meet, and they kiss sweet and hot and a little frantic; Saint tastes like salt and tea, and Zee thinks that maybe, this time, he won't have to pretend that he's gotten enough of him. Eventually, Saint lets go of Zee's hands so he can put his arms around him, and Zee breaks the kiss to turn his face into Saint's neck and breathe him in.
"I have no fucking idea what I'm doing," Saint says into Zee's hair. His hands are stroking up and down Zee's back. "Sex just seemed—easier."
"Oh, thanks," Zee says, mock-outraged. It's hard to actually be offended with Saint in his arms, on his couch, in his home.
Saint shoves him off his shoulder. "You went along with it!" He looks embarrassed, but also a little proud. "Just, like—oh, yeah, it totally makes sense to control my boners by having more sex."
"I was following the advice of my acting mentor," Zee says, with all the gravity he can muster. "P'Saint has so much more experience—"
Saint shuts him up with a kiss, grabbing Zee's face in both hands and dragging him back down. Zee settles on top of him, too comfortable to ever move again, and they make out for a long time, with nobody there to interrupt or call cut.
"I meant it, okay?" Zee says, into the space between kisses. "It doesn't have to be a big deal, but I do love you." He kisses Saint again, like punctuation. "I'm pretty sure it's real." He props himself up on his elbows and looks down at Saint. "Do you want to give it a try?"
Saint looks up at him, steady and gorgeous and disheveled and dazzling, and smiles. Maybe, just maybe, Zee can have everything he wants. "Yeah," Saint says, brushing Zee's cheek with his fingertips. "I think I do."
"Thank god," Zee says, breathless and heartfelt; he's hard against Saint's hip. "Because if you don't fuck me, I might honestly die."
Saint gives him a slow smirk. "So what you're saying is that I have to fuck you for the good of the show?"
"Yes," Zee says, grinding his dick shamelessly against Saint's, which feels amazing even through a blanket and two pairs of jeans. "You can't lose your costar at this point, can you?"
"Hmm." Saint slides his hand into Zee's hair. "No."
"No?" Zee demands, honestly shocked.
"Oh, I'm going to fuck you," Saint says, low and husky. Zee's dick pulses; he's dizzy with arousal. "But not because of the show." Saint sucks on Zee's Adam's apple, lingering. "I don't need an excuse. I'm going to fuck you because I want to. Not Tutor and Fighter—just you and me."
"Fuck," Zee groans, and drags Saint off the couch and into his bedroom so fast he sees stars.
In the bedroom, all Zee can really focus on is the way Saint is looking at him, hungry and intent as they strip each other out of their clothes. Saint looks at him, and touches him, and kisses him, and the next thing Zee knows, he's on his hands and knees on the bed and Saint is biting kisses into his shoulders. He hasn't let himself think about this more than once or twice; it felt like crossing an invisible line, even with all the other lines they'd crossed. But now, with Saint draped over his back and biting the ridge of his ear, he can't think about anything in the whole entire world but getting Saint's dick in him.
"P'Zee," Saint murmurs, his voice hot in Zee's ear. "I really, really want to fuck you."
"Yes," Zee gasps, arching against him. "Saint, please." He's willing to beg; he's more than willing to do anything Saint wants.
"Lube?" Saint asks, kissing the back of Zee's neck.
Zee shivers. "Nightstand."
"Stay here." Zee misses Saint's weight on top of him, so he turns his head to watch him dig through the nightstand until he finds the lube and condoms. Saint holds them up triumphantly, and then bends down to kiss Zee's nose, incongruously sweet. "Good," he says warmly. "You'll tell me if it's too much?"
"I've done this more than you have," Zee points out. Then he moans, shocked and extremely turned on, when Saint slaps his ass. "Yes," he gets out, after a moment. "Please. Please."
"Good, P'Zee," Saint murmurs, and opens the lube. He takes his time, opening him up so slowly that Zee clenches his fists in the duvet and cries out, pleading with Saint to go faster. Instead, Saint leans down and kisses Zee's hole while he fingers him, which is much worse. Saint's fingers are careful, delicate, like he's feeling Zee out, learning him. Like he wants to take his time. Zee is a little too desperate to fully appreciate it, but in some tiny corner of his mind that isn't given over completely to lust, he feels—cherished. Saint is still taking care of him, but Zee likes it; it's a good feeling, without any sharp edges to cut himself on.
Saint is also a quick study, and it doesn't take him long to find Zee's prostate, and then to work out that Zee will moan and beg and jerk his hips every time Saint twists his fingers.
"Saint," Zee groans, eventually, "if you don't want me to come like this, please—"
Saint pulls his fingers out. "I've got you," he says, and his voice is flatteringly unsteady.
Zee lifts his hips and spreads his thighs, listening to the sound of the condom wrapper. Then Saint's hand is back on his ass, holding him open as he pushes into him—just the head at first, carefully, and then inch by slow inch. Zee is breathing hard and sweating by the time Saint is all the way inside him. Despite what he said, he hasn't done this that often; it feels new, and a little impossible, and so good that he never wants it to end. Saint in him, pressing him down into the bed, is better than all of Zee's fantasies.
Saint rubs his palm up Zee's spine and wraps his hand around his neck, and then he starts to move. Zee pushes back into him, but Saint goes faster like this, fucking him hard and deep. Zee doesn't even try not to make noise; instead, he moans and gasps and shouts Saint's name, and feels Saint's hips stutter each time. He grinds into the mattress—not quite enough, even with Saint nailing his prostate—until Saint's other arm comes around him and hauls him up against his chest, changing the angle.
Like this, Saint can't fuck him quite as deeply, but he can mouth kisses into Zee's neck and get a hand on his dick, and each sharp thrust sends Zee reeling. He jerks Zee off hard and fast, and then he says, devastatingly, "P'Zee, next time, do you think you can get off just from me fucking you?"
Zee moans and leans his head back on Saint's shoulder. He's out of words, but he turns his head to kiss Saint, wet and sloppy and open-mouthed, while Saint fucks him and touches him and drives him straight over the edge into orgasm.
"Can I?" Saint whispers in his ear, as Zee is still shaking in his arms. Zee can't really move, but he kisses Saint again—his jaw, this time, what he can reach—and lets Saint press him down into the bed and fuck him through the shivery aftershocks, almost to overstimulation before Saint cries out and comes.
Zee's world goes a little hazy, for a while, and when he comes back to himself he's still on his stomach, melted into the mattress. Saint is lying next to him, watching him with his cheek pillowed on his folded hands.
"Hey," Zee whispers.
"Hi." Saint smiles. "When can we do that again?"
Zee laughs breathlessly. "I need at least an hour. I'm old. It's late. We have work tomorrow."
"You're a baby," Saint scoffs, and then, softer, "my baby."
"Oh my god," Zee says, and kisses him. Saint laughs into the kiss, and then they're both smiling too hard to really make it work. Zee puts his hand on Saint's hip instead, pulling him in a little closer.
Saint puts his arms around him and says quietly, "I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to say this after sex, but—I love you too, P'Zee."
Zee's heart does a crazy somersault in his chest. "That's not your line."
"Yeah," Saint says, "it is."