Like Cinnamon
by Liberty

What you see as permanent is regressing into the back of your head.

A chalky pile of metaphor that crumbles beneath your fingers when you try to grasp it. Some stays, spicy and bitter between your teeth and when you breathe it blows out the back of your head. All that's left now is a sprinkling of freckles down your spine.

Don't you see? says the breath on your back, You were wrong.

When you first met Marcus you already hated him. You hated his name and how it cut off in the middle like it couldn't stand to have you say it and came out like a hiss at the end.

You hated his father, who once hit you on the back of the head when you collided with him in Diagon Alley, seething worthless and bastard. When you told your own father later that day he had chuckled, dryly, and said, "Don't take everything so seriously, Oliver."

You hated that his family could make your father's laugh cold and empty.

Most of all you hated him because everyone told you he was your competition, your downfall, and you couldn't afford to lose.

Don't you see? says the air that curls up your spine, This is permanent.

Marcus will talk at you without looking you in the eye, saying marvellous things that stretch along your skin and under your fingernails with shivering warmth.

"You wear you heart on your sleeve, Wood."

He will push at the red, malted fabric of your robes and won't speak until his tongue is licking across your stomach in long, rough strokes.

"Like a bloody Narcissist."

When his breath hits hot and shocking against your hip bone you bite the loose skin off your lips and taste him there, smokey and orange.

"You're not alone, Oliver. Don't forget that."

You're not sure you ever could, even if you were told to.

Don't you see? is carved into the delicate skin on the small of your back, You're like cinnamon.

When you first met Marcus you'd been hating him for so long that it was a permanent resolve in your mind. For years afterwards it was all that moved you. You're still not sure when things went from being teeth barred and rigormortis on your hands and lips, to him brushing up against you in between classes, smirking with amused intensity.

Things always have to change and Marcus pressing you to the cold metal of the bathroom stall and hissing words in your ear as your teeth clang against the chipped metal, feels like something that shouldn't last.

He kisses a line down the freckles of your spine, brushing them away his lips and his breath, and bruising the skin. And you feel really fucking stupid because you can't hate him at all.


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