This one gets more than a little explicit.
“I kept some of your things. Memories. Some very important ones. Every time you’ve come here asking, I’ve provided.” A good salesman knew when to offer a substitute for what you really wanted. I wanted to know about Gabriel. I would not be so easily deterred, but I could already feel myself distracted. By the shape of him, his movement, his eyes, his smell.
“I don’t know what you could possibly offer.”
“A ticket out of this hell you’re in.” He walked into a bedroom and I followed him through the door. His kimono hit the floor as the door slid shut behind us. “Stephen,” he said, stepping forward, taking my stick away and undoing the buttons on the shirt I had taken from the house – Gabriel’s house? “I am so very glad to have you back.”
My dick stretched against my new jeans, struggling for freedom. He looked down the gap it was creating between them and my abdomen and smiled to himself. There was no helping the situation, certainly not with my extended stint of hermitry. I’d not gone without sex, of course. I’d been in the Outpost a couple of times over the months. His warm olive skin was smooth. You would be forgiven for trying to place him as Hispanic; from here it was plain to see he was half-Afro-Caribbean.
He paused, pushing me backwards. “We have lots to talk about,” he said. “Your family is dangerous. You are, too. So am I.” He said it all like it was part of a big tease. “The power you wield,” he said, kissing my neck. “Like the power of a picture.” He kissed me again. I was hearing the words, but my brain wasn’t really listening.
I felt my heart beating so strongly my entire body felt like it was pulsing a beat. For him, this was a return to a familiar place. For me, it was like déjà vu. Already seen, but in a slightly new way. “Incriminating photographs,” he said again, reaching his hands inside my jeans. “They can destroy everything.” He stroked my back, teased my skin in little circles. “Destroy people.” I was utterly distracted. “Like a breathless sentence. Like I love you. Like you’re mine.”
He pulled off my jeans leaving the two of us standing naked in front of each other. “We have so much more to discuss, you and I. But before we do, but I’d say you have a little earning to do, wouldn’t you?”
“Yeah,” I replied before my brain caught up, which it never did, because we were away and there were no more words for a while. They were to be replaced by kisses, groans, grunts, caresses, slaps, and thrusts.
I watched his facial expression as he encouraged me down onto my knees. It felt like a natural return to an earlier status quo. I had the brief impulse to stop him, several times in fact; a whispered voice in my head, pathetic and weak. Stop, you don’t have to do this, it’s not necessary. You’re stronger than this, you don’t need this, you don’t want this. No, I asserted. I did want to. I wanted to taste the salts on his skin, to let the sweetness of his perfume fill my lungs, my head, my senses.
He pushed my head back and rushed his hand through my hair, signalling for me to stand again with the gentlest press on the back of my head. He turned me so that I faced away from the bed, walking around with me, facing me, that smile again. I knew what was coming, but the excitement was in the when. A moment of him trailing his fingers around my nipples, a playful pinch, a stroke of my belly and down past my cock to my inner thigh. The voice telling me to stop had all but gone. I had forgotten what I was here for.
He pushed me back with both his hands flat on my chest, and obediently I allowed myself to fall backwards onto the bed. In seconds he was on me, over me, everywhere around. I could smell him too in his pillows and sheets, just as I would smell him on me later – a reminder of our entanglement.
He moved his hands over me expertly. He knew every pressure point, every location on my body; he was my Rachmaninov, producing complex chords to make me sing. He liked to frustrate me with imperfect and interrupted cadences, every now and then putting his cock back in my mouth while he played me. He didn’t want me to do anything in particular – my hands acted independently of my brain; they seemed to understand the job better than I did.
When I finally came, he flipped me over and came quickly inside me. He rested on top of me, the soft hairs on his chest touching down first before I felt his smooth skin all around me, encapsulating me, and I was safe, I wasn’t thinking about anything save for the present, the comfortable familiarity of our bodies fitting together just so.
He was still inside me, and I felt him start to swell again. Out of instinct I arched my back, pushing him deeper into me, and so on and so on again until he was fucking me. Both of us came after two minutes, and we collapsed onto the bed, on our sides this time, his fingers tracing patterns on my back. At some point I must have drifted off, because I felt myself being woken up again by his insatiable appetite, and so did it go that we were one cell dividing and reconstituting, backwards and forwards, like we needed it to survive, we were powering the world with our frictions and our grunts, the powerful words of lust and love that had returned to us only to escape our mouths and thicken the atmosphere like so much sweat and heat and cum and longing and belonging.
It couldn’t end there. The more we did it the more we wanted to, until we were interrupted by an alarm. Had we not heard it, we would have continued forever, with each other as our only nourishment, until we had fucked ourselves into oblivion and stardust. I had entirely forgotten how and why I was here, so content was I that this was fine and I belonged here.
The Daimyo waved an arm somewhere to his left, stopping the ongoing chirping sound which sounded somewhere between a reminder and something more serious. For me it was a little late for intruder alert. But which one of us was the intruder? Did he know what I was here for?
“Thank you,” he said, unexpectedly. “I feel honoured that you felt able to share yourself with me again. It’s been such a long time.”
My head rested on his chest, where he held it, like an acceptance. I remembered a time when this acceptance was everything to me. I needed it like oxygen. And the times he denied it to me I couldn’t breathe.
He twisted and separated from me, getting up from the bed. “I know we still need to talk about a few things, but I have some things to take care of,” he smiled.
“Can I do anything?” The words were out of my mouth before I had a chance to stop them. Just watching him near me, both of us still naked, I felt a deep desire to get straight back to what we were just doing even though I needed food and drink, and answers.
He seemed to be thinking about my question as he put on a pair of loose-fitting black trousers and wrapped himself in a neat, short kimono with a scientific pattern on it. It looked like a diagram of a chemical, with cherry blossoms where the atoms should be.
“Yes, you can. But for now, why don’t you just stay there? You can borrow a kimono. Or you can wait in the tea room. I’m hosting a dinner tonight for four of the other Daimyo and their hands. Why don’t you attend in place of mine? Then we can finish our discussions.”
I wasn’t sure we’d really started our discussions. I still didn’t know his name – like it wasn’t important, like he expected me to call him by his title, like he expected me to already know, to never use it.
“Good,” he said, in a tone a teacher might use when grading a child’s work in front of them. I clung to the sensation, like a splash of cold water to bring me off my addiction to him.
“I’m your way back in,” he said, like it was a reminder of a known fact. “And once I have the specifics, I think that will work just fine for both of us, don’t you?” He walked over to me, still on the bed, still naked. Still at his mercy. He kissed me and stroked the inside of my thigh, and I responded just how he wanted me to. In one movement, I was high again, but I managed to withhold a ‘yes’. Even though I wanted back in. After all this time talking leave from what I’d helped to create. Despite Katie, who wanted me to survive this. A sister. I had family to think about. Another splash of cold water. The guerrilla assassination of the key conspirators was happening on both sides. Was she safe?
The Daimyo opened a cupboard and left the room. Like a curious child, I obediently hobbled over to see what he had left for me. There were a few of my old shirts, a pair of jeans. A couple of t-shirts with irreverent messaging that he never let me wear without something else on top. A kimono I had never worn, because I was never quite ready to.
Maybe today had to be that day, or was it too soon? The jig would be up for someone then, like rushing to the end of a novel to see how it turns out. Better stick to the familiar. Better play the character he knows I am.
I reached for a T-shirt that said ‘Play Along or Die’ over a scratched and faded image of a vintage games controller.
Something else, at the bottom of the cupboard. Another framed sketch – no, a design. Designs within designs. The trading house. A glass lift. The ravens. My signature.
“What the fuck…” I said to no one in particular.
I stared at the signature. Stephen Black.
We have so much more to discuss, you and I, his voice echoed in my mind. I’m your way back in.
I gripped the frame, and realised I had been sent, against my will, back in time.