Boring stuff: It would be a good idea to watch your back if you're not allowed to read homoerotic fiction because that's what this is. Go away if foul language and/or 'real people slash' offends you or stay and revel in disgust as you please. I don't know any of the characters in this story; their images just haunt my mind.
More boring stuff - response: Pathetic, really, I know... My inbox got so quiet that I signed up for a newsletter from the New York Times.
The newsletter is kind of alright, by the way. A little too sketchy but then there is always the links. Now, if any of you know of other decent newspapers (from countries other than Denmark) with that kind of service, then I would actually like to know. The newsletter has to be in English, Danish, Swedish or Norwegian - or not too complicated German. It's rather interesting seeing the news through 'alien glasses'.
And to those selected few who mailed me: Thank you and lots of hugs. Really! You shine.
I have no idea what the rest of you do since you didn't write me, but I sure hope it was fun.
Hope you enjoy the read. Even if you don't write me.
Tail of the Tiger, chapter 13, part 1
Tom was in some intermediate state when he came into the kitchen - half were-bear and half human.
I wasn't sure whether I should be relieved or run when he put a lot of attention into not paying me any attention. He sat down at the table to eat his cereal. I felt safer with a counter and cupboard between us, glad that I by pure chance had chosen the shielded end of the counter to work at. I stayed very quiet, making a breakfast-bag for Chris.
Chris was in the shower. He was late and would barely have time for a cup of coffee.
Chris in the shower - go, go, go. Kiss nice soft belly, nice wet Chris-belly. Rub me and Partner in Chris-belly.
Chris liked being woken by having his belly rubbed. It was a neat little secret I had found this morning, a treasure. His comfortable sleepy grunts were still stored in my memory and emitting small fuzzy shocks of warmth.
Make nice Partner spew, nice Chris-dick, rub, rub, spew all over, nice Chris-spew on nice sweaty Chris-belly. Again!
I had to stop myself from telling my dick to shut up in a loud voice.
Put me between nice slippery Chris-thighs with lots of lube. Push, push. Catch Chris! Want more, want again, nice thighs, make squish sounds, want now! Move, stupid!
Which was a large part of the reason why Chris was late and my dick really shouldn't complain and I wondered at the loud enthusiasm, or rather, at the level of energy.
My treasured cousin Tom growled and that shut the talker in my pants up nicely. I bit back a "thank you" and dared bending to look at him between the cupboard and the counter; Tom was scowling at the milk carton in his hand. I got another carton of milk from the fridge and put it on the table and then quickly withdrew to my work area.
Chris turned off the water. I got myself a fresh mug and poured coffee, then I added sugar and milk to my old cup of coffee. In a few minutes the defiled coffee would be just the right temperature for him.
Should I try a belly rub on the half-Tom? My survival instinct beeped. What an utterly stupid idea. Instead I checked the contents in the paper bag. What else could I give Chris? It was just sandwiches. Since he liked pancakes with ice cream in the morning, perhaps a piece of chocolate cake would do. We had that.
I considered believing in angels when Frida perked and wagged her tail, looking towards the door. The belief grew firmer when the backdoor was opened. By the time Paul came into the kitchen I was convinced that angels do exist and Paul was one of them.
He smiled brightly, looking shiny and clean, fitting my mental image of an angel perfectly. His "morning guys" was not a mere wish - it was a blessing.
The responding "morning, Paul" was a choir piece of my relief and Tom's human voice.
Paul's gaze flicked from Tom to me and back again. The amused but slightly accusing smile he then sent me was not hard to read. What have you done now, Mikkel? He might as well have said it aloud.
I shrugged and rolled my eyes. I really didn't know. "Coffee? Breakfast?" I got out a mug and reached for the pot.
"Coffee, thanks." He went out of my sight to do some Tom patting before he came over get his coffee.
The bathroom door opened and closed. A couple of quick footsteps later my bedroom door did the same thing.
"Chris?" Paul had stopped moving to listen; the second spoonful of sugar hovered over the mug.
"Chris!" grumbled Tom, sounding most of all like he was talking about something he just had found in his cereal, something with antennae, mandibles and six wriggling legs.
"Chris," I said - just to make sure that Paul knew we weren't talking about an insect but about a very fine specimen of man indeed.
Paul smiled and finished the destruction of a good mug of coffee.
Guessing why Tom was grumpy suddenly got a lot easier. I hadn't been aware that Chris and I made that much noise. There had been a lot of kissing going on last night and this morning; my lips were raw from it. I was sure that none of us had been yelling. Much.
Hopefully Tom wouldn't make house rules about noise. Gagging had never been a major turn on of mine and I really wanted to hear Chris make his stupid comments and little grunts and that-
yes, yes, that nice spew-sound, that nice little Chris-scream. Wanna hear, now!
"What?" asked Paul.
"Oh, nothing. You want a bag of something too?"
"Some of that cake?" Paul smiled hopefully.
"Sure." So I cut him a piece - and an extra, just in case my cousin had come down from his high horse by lunch time, and wanted something other than the lawless tuna salad he usually bought or the fruit and caked sawdust that I had put in his bag.
The surprisingly heavy tread of light feet made a drum roll out of a walk in the hallway.
"Chris!" Chris had barely made it down the stairs before Paul gave him a full-body hug and planted a wet kiss on his cheek.
What the heck is going on here? And that wasn't my dick yelling at me but something darker, something connected to the angry sting that took me totally by surprise.
"Hey, morning, man." A puzzled Chris hugged Paul back. "What's up?"
"Thank you, thank you," Paul planted his stupid lips on Chris' other cheek, smearing it with nasty Paul-spittle. "It was the best show I've seen ever!"
Chris' face cleared, confusion gave way to a huge happy smile. "You liked it?"
Idiot! He just told you so.
"Yes! It was really great. Dude. You guys are the best."
Chris, the little fucker, puckered his lips at Paul who laughed and gave him a loud smooch.
Now, if that isn't overdoing it!
A flicker of intelligence lit up my brain and convinced me to turn away. To do something... Pour orange juice? I did. Chris and Paul were still stuck together and chattering like lobotomized schoolgirls. What now? Drink it.
The tart juice not only cooled my throat but also partially quenched whatever it was that was burning inside me. Jealous! I'm fucking jealous! Shit, shit.
And of Paul of all people.
That took another glass of orange juice. Fuck, I, Mikkel, am jealous?! What a highly uncomfortable feeling. I never used to get jealous like that. Not with Peter. Not with... Oh.
A hand squeezed my shoulder and mercifully pulled me back. "Can I have some of that?" Chris put a glass on the counter in front of me.
"What?" He probably meant the juice. I was still holding the jug. There was only about half a glass left in it. "Sure." My hand was shaking.
Chris smoothly took the jug from me and finished pouring. "Don't wanna waste any." He looked more like a pirate than a shaman with that red bandana around his head. It was still a shaman behind the eyes, though; eyes that had suddenly grown frighteningly sharp, maybe sharp enough to read thoughts. "Ghost-riders?" he inquired quietly. Paul had gone back to Tom leaving a hollow quiet space around Chris and me.
"Yes." It wasn't untrue, really.
I shook my head. "I need a think space." Tell him this? I should have told him I didn't want to talk about it.
He studied my face for a moment before he nodded. "Okay."
I put my glass down in front of him, feeling bad that I had drunk almost all the juice. "Here, you can have the rest of mine. I don't want it." The juice was sloshing around in my stomach; one drop more could cause very disgusting upheavals.
Chris emptied his glass, then mine. I pushed the coffee in front of him.
Off to the side a plunk told me that somebody had put Tom's bowl in the sink. It was a very irritated plunk so the plunker probably was Tom.
Chris sent me a questioning glance asking what was up with him this morning.
"I think we made more noise than we thought we did."
Nice noise! Chris-noise!
Perhaps Chris heard that, he looked amused and I crossed my eyes at him.
Tom snorted and ran the water, turning it up high in one irritated move - which is not a smart thing to do when you have a bowl in the sink, not when the bowl is right beneath the tap. Getting drenched by the reflected solution of milk and water was not on Tom's list of mood improvers.
It happened anyway.
Tom turned the water off with a hard twist. "Fuck!"
And a sharp voice muted by a closed door responded immediately. "Language!"
I was reminded of Kurt's stupid rubber balloon; he would put it under a cushion of a chair and it would make a loose-lipped fart-noise when somebody sat down in the chair.
That was how Paul sounded when he tried to keep a laugh in check.
"You got wet," Chris told Tom helpfully. Sparks of suppressed mirth buzzed around him and tickled when they bounced against my skin.
"You," growled the were-bear and Chris stood very still, the cloud of sparks buzzing busily. Something about Chris must have defied further communication; the were-glare landed on me. Why does he always pick me? "And you..." Please don't, please don't, not that- "Addition to rule four." Shit! The were-bear moved towards me, the muscles rippling and tense. I was about to have my throat torn. "Move the fucking bed away from the fucking wall. Got that?"
I nodded, eager to please, hoping that was all the addition to rule four that he was going for. I would so not like to have to shake my head.
The were-bear growled and left.
Chris' eyes twinkled. "Rule four? I don't think I know that one."
Paul hurried after Tom. It was impressive how quickly he could turn red.
I didn't wait for him to be out of earshot. "Don't undress Tom or have wet dreams in Tom's bed. The new addition is: And move the bed away from the shared wall before having sex."
"Man, you had a wet dream in Tom's bed? While he was there?"
"Dude! Did ya hump him?"
Hump, hump - want to hump Chris! Nice thighs with lots of lube. Squish, squish. My dick babbled on. Another part of me wanted to flee; my center of gravity had already left. "What do you think - I'm still able to walk, right?"
Chris chuckled and checked the temperature of his coffee with a finger before he gulped it down, showing off his jaw line, butterfly lashes flickering. "Is Rose up?" He put the empty mug on the counter and licked his lips.
Me too, me too! Nice tongue, fine tongue. It's Chris'!
"Enough up to take offense if you don't poke your head in and say goodbye, I think."
He disappeared up the stairs. I took a couple of deep slow breaths, waiting for some kind of equilibrium to establish itself before I added an apple to Paul's bag and cleared the counter.
When Tom and Paul returned, Tom looked human enough to hug and I did, really needing it. Perhaps he did too, because he hugged me back and nearly broke my spine. "Fucker," he muttered and I nodded because it was true in at least one sense.
"Grump," I said and he chuckled and gave me another bear squeeze before he let go and put his hands on my shoulders, scrutinizing my face for moment. Then he let his arms fall. "You home tonight?"
"I'm not sure. Do you need me to be?" I hoped that was why he was asking.
"Not really." He grimaced. "But - tomorrow? We'll probably need a hand with math; there's a test on Thursday."
I resolved to remember to ask him the meaning of all those tests they had. There had to be some kind of purpose with them. Perhaps it was just Tom's school where testing seemed to have a higher priority than thinking. "Sure." I picked up the bags and sorted through them, making sure they got the right ones.
Chris bounded down the stairs like a rubber ball and I held his bag out for him. My cousin mock growled at him and reached for the bag. Chris snarled right back in his face, ferociously, beautiful, daring Tom to steal his breakfast.
Want, want, want! Beautiful Chris! Bite me!
My dick wasn't affected by a missing gravity center.
Tom grinned at Chris who jutted his chin at Tom and grunted in satisfied victory.
A Chris-grunt! Make more, rub Partner, rub Chris all over, make nice grunts.
Then the dark eyes were sparkling at me, and there really wasn't anything I could do - nothing I wanted to do, other than to keep falling; there was no need of a center of gravity for that. Madness, doom and hard landings held no reality.
The words entirely ceased to exist when Chris took a quick step forward. Warm, moist breath on my face, soft lips and a darting tongue... He shivered a little when I put my hands on his hips.
He sent me small grin before he stepped back. "See you." And he was off, our farewells floating in the air behind him; he moved so quickly that I wasn't sure they reached him.
The door fell shut and the kitchen was quiet, except for Frida snorting her protests at a human leaving Home. When I stopped trying to see the invisible blur Chris had left behind, I found two pairs of round eyes staring at me.
"What?" It didn't come out nearly as snarky as I had intended it to and they both smiled. At least Paul had the decency to blush. "Aren't you two supposed to have left?"
They laughed at me and Paul for some reason chose to ape Tom's shoulder wrecking slap and I growled at both of them. They said their good byes to Mormor and left, Paul giggling and Tom chuckling.
"Mikkel! Coffee, please." That I could handle.
She kicked me out as soon as I had served her coffee and the paper.
Shortly after, Rita arrived to kick me out of the kitchen. She barely allowed me time to shove the cake that I had mixed into the oven.
I rearranged my bedroom and then there were no excuses left. I entered the part of my world that had its roots stuck into a different continent. Restless, slicing through the routine work that Sonja sent my way while she and Kurt kept all the fun stuff for themselves. Kurt was meeting Niller about - now. Sonja and Inga-of-the-bingo-nights would fix the paperwork. I wished to be there but it was probably better this way.
Sitting half way to the opposite side of the planet and realizing that the company appeared to run better without me was not exactly boosting my self-confidence.
Sorting the emails, flagging and responding - there should have been some sort of if not happiness then at least satisfaction with or panic over the increase in business that kept Sonja too busy for this. It shouldn't have felt this much like routine. Instead there was a constant buzz of thoughts - and stupid quirks from my dick feeding on my memory of Chris.
Him again. How much time have we spent on him now? He's not going to buy anything this time, either, I bet. Maybe he's working for the competition. If he's got time for this then his business hardly can be well off.
- matted hair on a pale Chris-belly. Lick!
Tested? Should I get tested? What if it's positive? There is always that. I really wish he-
Yes, yes! Naked Partner - lick, rub, and swallow! Eat nice Chris!
Not like I am going to ask him to.
We are not wasting one minute more on the phone with this guy. Maybe we should forget his emails. Or - double the prices? Heh. Now, what is he asking about this time...
So, it's just a crush. Just a small one. Okay, maybe not exactly small. A crush leading nowhere. Right? Right. Just a crush. Certainly cannot be falling in... Nope. It's like German measles - only happens once. I'm immune.
Besides, nobody gets German measles anymore. The vaccination program took care of that.
So I'm safe.
Jealous. No, it wasn't really jealous. Just... surprised. Yes, that was it. Just surprised.
Chris would understand about feeling stupid. Except - I can't tell him. He needs space.
Gods know what is going on between him and Justin.
It's pointless, anyway. No, not pointless, just... Our lives don't fit at all. Like, it's some prolonged random meeting in an airport. So, what? It's just a crush, anyway. And I'm immune to German measles. Eh... Right.
That guy is an idiot. I already spent an hour on the phone explaining him that there are no technical solutions that will solve his security problems. If he's in same field that we are - then he's a disgrace to the whole community. Sonja is going to kick me for writing this... Hope she doesn't find out.
Wonder what is going on with him? Is he panicking, trying to make up for 'lost time'? A little, I think. Or maybe he's always eager.
Now, the next one... A web-site...
He's beautiful. I wish he would believe me when I tell him. Is there a way to tell him that he'll believe? God, when he arched and came...
- nice, nice thighs. Chris-spew smells good.
Pity there wasn't time for a good snuggle. I think we had it just right. Never was good at that. He felt so good, all cuddly. Something about his morning stubble...
What does he feel about it all?
I could fix this site today. They know what they want, don't even need to fill out the 'questionnaire'... Target groups, text, logo, pictures... everything is there. Odd. They don't appear to wish to confer at all. Who are those guys? It isn't their first web-site, I bet. Wonder who told them about us and what went wrong with the other site. There are no references. Should I check them? Who's the next one from? Her. So, yeah, check them.
Why is my mother using this address? Did I forget to answer her last email? Hopefully she doesn't want to do business with us.
Just a crush. Right. Sex and friendship. A crush. It'll be over soon. Like measles. Maybe even before I have to go home.
All the more reason to just go with it. Not many like him around.
A crush. When was the last time I...
Uh. Back to that again. Why does Martin keep popping up?
It was just the surprise. Nothing, really.
They seem to be clean. Oh, right. Let me do this now. The stuff Sonja has put in my next pile is likely of even lower entertainment value.
Ha! Am I boss in this business? I hope she'll stay as confident when I'm back. She's so good when she forgets she's the secretary. Too good for the salary she's getting...
Which is kind of like when a computer is multitasking and I guess that is how things work in our heads a lot of the time. Only this was going high speed and it took forever to get into the work.
Still, things got done.
When Johnny arrived and was talking with Mormor and Rita in the kitchen I took the opportunity to go meddling in somebody else's business.
Mormor's "I'm not a rabbit!" was not a statement that either Johnny or Rita were inclined to argue against. She frowned at me. "You can go back to work, Mikkel."
"I know. I'm taking a break."
"You are not wanted."
Johnny and Rita both suddenly seemed uncomfortable and unable to decide where to look.
"What's the problem?" I sat down at the table.
"Nothing. Go to work." She waved for me to disappear.
"Your grandmother has put on seven pounds during her stay in hospital," Johnny said quietly. I wondered if it was his own or Mormor's verdict that he thought he was giving.
"Young man, I am right here," she snapped. "Of course I gained seven pounds at the hospital - they put ten pounds of nails and steel wire in my leg. At least!"
One could only hope she didn't come too close to any powerful magnets.
Johnny ducked his blonde head. "Sorry."
"Would it be okay if the weight stayed as it is? It's not like the dragon is really fat."
"Mikkel! You impertinent brat!"
"Well, you aren't fat. And besides - who's impertinent? You handed me over to a white slave trader. For a can of gasoline! I still think it should have been him giving you the gasoline and not the other way around."
Mormor smiled at that, like a satisfied dragon, and Rita grinned.
"You really should watch it, though," Johnny told Mormor, his clear blue eyes earnest. "A few pounds more and it'll interfere with your recovery."
"I'm not going on a diet."
Maybe she thought giving up the green box was a diet. I wasn't supposed to know about the green box that she had been hiding in the drawer at the hospital. She never offered visitors whatever it was that she kept in it. Well, maybe she would offer Christopher. Chocolate, most likely; there had been a faint smell of good chocolate around her on a couple of my visits.
But, most likely - she didn't want to have to admit to her friends that she was on a diet.
"What's a diet to you?" I asked her.
"Subsisting on rabbit food, carrot juice and fiber pills."
"That's not a diet, that's torture. Besides that much beta-carotene isn't good for you. Can I see that?" I pointed to the pile of papers in front of Johnny and he pushed them over to me. It was a diet plan; I flipped through it. "It's not that different from what you are already getting, it's mostly just the salad that needs boiling... Some of it looks a bit boring... Hey, this actually looks good. Look, this chicken-"
Mormor looked at the picture and snorted. "I want Mexican food."
"Sure." I knew next to nothing about Mexican food but Rita was good at it. "I want to try this chicken, though."
"I have a different plan for people with a Spanish background," offered Johnny.
"Dirty burritos, I haven't had a dirty burrito in ages. Rita, can you make dirty burritos?"
"I don't know about dirty burritos. I can make burritos." And they were off from there, Rita speaking accented English in that soft, hoarse voice of hers.
I smiled to Johnny. "I guess diets are out. But I'd still like to see the Spanish one as well; you can never get enough inspiration."
He smiled back, his white teeth lighting up his tanned face. Maybe he would refrain from using forbidden words like 'diet' in the future. "Sure. You can have them both." He dug it out and put it on top of the other pile. "There's-"
He broke off when the backdoor opened. "Anybody home?" Chris came into the kitchen.
Chris! "Hi." A nuclear process had started in my chest and I got warm all over. Just a crush.
A minor meltdown; it's nothing.
He smiled guardedly. "Hi. I came for the keys." His eyes slid over the others and stopped for a moment when he got to Johnny.
Ha! Knew it was a freak incident. No sting now, huh.
He'll be watching guys a lot now, I bet. And Johnny is kind of cute. If you like very processed food.
I got up and excused myself. "I packed the tools. Let's see if there is anything else that you need."
Chris followed me down the stairs to the basement, noisily and closely, bumping into me. "Stop watching the scenery and move your feet, slug."
I stopped at the foot of the stairs and of course he slammed into me. I intended to turn and face him once I had taken a breath or two. He wasn't going to let a roadblock stop him though; he climbed right onto my back before I finished the first breath; my arms having a mind of their own hooked his legs. Chris began making the click noises that are supposed to get a horse moving.
It was a good feeling having his heavy warm presence wrapped around me. It also put me outside the sight of his powerful gaze; while I missed it I also wasn't quite up to facing it.
Just a crush. Right. German measles.
He stopped clicking when we reached the workshop. "Turn a bit; I can't see," he said when I showed him what I had put in the toolbox. His legs were squishing my hips and when he shifted I could feel his muscles flex, pushing against my arms.
He held on with just one arm and used the other to poke about in the box. "Got a measuring tape, a long one?"
"There was one..." I tried to remember where I had seen it. Nuzzling the soft hairs on his arm across my chest didn't help the thinking but it felt and smelled very nice.
"What are you doing?"
"Yep. Thinking is supposed to do that."
"Well, stop doing your thinking on me."
"Mhm." I bit him, hard enough to make him jump.
"Fucker." He bit my shoulder but didn't move his arm.
I had recalled the sight of the measuring tape. It was in one of the drawers and I found it in the first try. "Is this what you were thinking of?"
"No. Let me see it." He took the flat box out of my hand and turned it over so that he could see what was written on it. "Good enough."
I walked over to the table so that he could dump the measuring tape into the toolbox. "Anything else?"
"No." He tried to close the box, which wasn't easy with just one hand. I freed my arm and helped him close the toolbox. It made him squeeze my hips harder. "Oh, right - string? Ah... fifteen meters or so."
I transported him to the drawer that held a selection of rolls of string in different lengths and qualities.
"Man, this is like a hardware store. I just want string."
"Well, pick one."
"Mikkel?" Johnny's voice floated down the stairs.
"See you later."
"See you, Johnny."
"Who's that guy?" He made his selection - cotton and nice to touch.
"Mormor's physiotherapist." I wondered if he recognized the kind of string that he had found in the pocket of my jacket.
"Can I have an axe?"
"Sure. What kind?"
"Just - that little one." He pointed and I walked over so that he could pick the axe off the rack. "It's for Lance, he wants to chop up the bushes."
"Watch out; I sharpened it."
Of course he had to take a lazy but well-angled swing at the worktable. "No kidding," he muttered when the axe slid deep into the wood. "You planning on a massacre or something?" He pulled at the axe and I shifted to counter the pull.
"I needed a shave. You have a piece of wood to do the chopping on?"
"A chopping block. Yeah. Got an axe, too, but it went missing when Lance started shaving. Man, this thing is stuck." Chris released my hips and slid his feet to the ground. He wrenched the axe loose and felt the edge with a finger. I opened my mouth and closed it again before I repeated myself. Chris hissed, put the axe on the worktable and stuck his bloodied thumb in his mouth.
Ooh! I want that. Ooh, all the way in too. And sucking! There is sucking! Want! Want!
"Skvadderhoved," I managed. Then I shut up, my vocal apparatus going into immediate shutdown when the dark gaze wrapped me in velvet.
There's only one Chris. The revelation cut through all my stupid doubts.
And - he is. Right. Here. Right. Now.
Chris' eyes widened and he looked surprised and a little panicked for a heartbeat or two, thumb still stuck in his mouth.
I wouldn't want this thrust in my face either.
"Do you want salt and pepper or sugar on that?" I asked.
He relaxed visibly. His lips quivered when he fought off a grin. He began sliding the finger in and out, eyes gleaming wickedly.
Falling, Mikkel? Plummeting is more like it.
I slapped him on the top of his head to make sure he knew that his little show worked. His lips relaxed into a smirk when he pulled out the wounded finger with a small wet plop. He checked the damage; the small gash was still bleeding very red blood. It wasn't serious but it would be an irritating distraction for a couple of days.
"Told you to watch it."
"You will need a cast-"
"Shut up." Chris frowned at the wounded body-part. "It's not like it's gonna fall off."
I thought he was trying to convince the finger. "No, no. Is it coming lose yet?"
He wriggled the thumb experimentally. "Maybe a little. You got any super-glue?"
"Will waterproof plaster do?"
"Yeah." The wriggling was getting out of hand, a couple of blood-drops landed on my shirt. The finger had begun fighting for its freedom. "Shit! Man, we got a Situation here. Fucking aliens!"
I grabbed his hand, circling his thumb with my thumb and index finger. He followed more than willingly when I walked quickly upstairs, the finger squirming madly and dripping blood in all directions.
I held our joined hands under the tap and let the cold water run. "So JC knew what he was doing when he wanted to attack the nest with the scissors and anti-vermin spray."
"Don't you come near me with scissors and bio-weapons." He poked my side with his free hand. "JC didn't know shit." His arm slipped around my middle. "Really, I don't believe you can drown it. No breathing organs, see?"
I ignored the spray the treacherous thing flicked at me. "I was hoping this would work like cold water works with dicks."
"Retraction and shrinkage?" He caught a spray and dried his face on my shoulder. "Dude, I don't think so."
"Plain motionless would be okay. Perhaps if we stuffed it in a bowl of ice... Heh, see it works."
"My whole arm is out of commission. Man, that water is cold."
I licked a drop of water off his forehead. "You up for getting plastered?"
He grinned. "Plaster me, please."
The alien thumb thief stayed dormant during the drying and the taping. Suspiciously dormant.
Mormor rolled into the kitchen and broke off the unexpected sneak attack before it got started. "Christopher! What happened to you?"
"Mikkel chopped me with an axe."
I stepped on his foot, hard.
"Ow!" He elbowed me.
Mormor's glare pressed my back right up against an invisible wall and I suffered an irresistible urge to defend myself. "I told him it was sharp and he went right on and cut himself."
"That's what I said!" He clenched his fists indignantly. "You chopped me - by provocation!"
Mormor wasn't the slightest bit mollified and snapped, "You sharpened the axes, too?" She had nicked herself on one of the kitchen knives. "He needs all his fingers for the guitar!" Come to think of it - I had warned her about the sharpened knives shortly before she cut herself. Human nature...
This was just the kind of story that may work when explaining Jens Peter and the 'may be competition' about data security and the human factor. "Hey, come on, you two lame-brains projecting much?"
Chris grinned and Mormor gave me the Glare.
"You deactivated the anti-virus program, didn't you?" I asked her out of pressing curiosity and suddenly the room got very quiet.
"Have you been mucking about on my computer again and spying on me?"
"No. Just guessing."
"Well, it was interfering," she snapped and that ended that discussion so I tried to keep my imagination from running amok. "Shouldn't you be taking Christopher to see the doctor."
"No," said Chris.
Mormor thin-lined her lips and studied us. The bloodstains hadn't grown smaller with the addition of water. "You look like you've been slaughtering chickens."
"No," I said because I knew about that and this wasn't like it at all. "He only talks like one."
My stupid mouth. Guess I'm suffering from human nature, too.
My poor head. Ouch!
I tried to get a hold on the arms attached to the fists that kept knocking on my head.
"I know, I know. Christopher needs his arms for the choreography." I let go off Chris who straightened and smirked haugthtily.
"Clean up the kitchen. You can't leave it like this for Rita." Mormor sailed out.
"What am I? Ashpot?" I said.
Chris looked utterly puzzled.
"Cinderella." Mormor corrected my translation from the living room and she sounded like she was smiling. "And, Mikkel - we'd like drinks served on the porch in the back." The ramp rumbled under the wheelchair. "And a snack."
"That's it. I'm taking the first ox-chart home to civilization."
Chris grinned. "Ashpot?"
"Askepot. Guess direct translation didn't work with that one." I pulled my t-shirt off and dumped it in the sink and ran the cold water. "If you don't want stains on your clothes you should rinse them in cold water before the blood dries up." I had learned a lot about bloodstains without finding anything that could remove the ones on the carpet in the living room.
His shirt landed in the sink. "You do it. Askepot."
This time I ignored all his groans, ouches, fucks, my-jewels and stop-its - doing what took to drag the mouthy cat-fighting grizzly-get over to the kitchen sink and dunk his head in cold water and bloodstained shirts.
He began laughing in mid-dunk so I had to let him go. He moved away from me, doing a horizontal climb along the edge of the counter, coughing and laughing, water dripping from his face and running from his nose.
"Okay - let's talk about family relations - come on, give it to me." I was over him before the coughing fit was over. No sense in missing out on that advantage.
Chris shook his head, the perky and very wet horsetail sprouting from the top of his head was swinging and spraying water. "Bastard!" he gasped sending me a fiery red eyed gaze. It wasn't the fight that had gone out of him - just the wind.
"True but not the one I wanted to hear." I grasped him by the front of his jeans and dragged him towards the sink, my knuckles digging into his wet warm belly.
He tried to pry himself lose and I tripped him, following when he took quick steps backwards to catch his balance, his hands instinctively grabbing my arms. "Fuck, Mikkel!" He slammed into the counter next to the sink.
"No, got a headache." I didn't, but I certainly had acquired a lot of bruises. I tightened my grip, trying to assess whether the pants would hold if I lifted him up by them. They probably would; it wasn't a high lift to get his ass into the sink.
"What - shit, no!" He began coughing again so the writhing wasn't very powerful. "Shit. My nuts! Uncle, you sheepfucking barbarian dimwit!"
I let go and he adjusted his pants, twisting nicely, pulling at the seat and showing off his compact body.
The Neck! The Belly! Oh, and Nipples. Wet, so nice.
He finished saving his poor little nuts. I tightened the muscles in my belly when he dried his nose on the back of his left arm.
Eat Nuts! Lick and fondle.
The punch of his right fist got caught if not in rock hard muscle then in something hard enough to keep me from buckling.
"Uhm. Hi?" The red eyed bear cub hadn't gotten better at 'innocent' since the last time he went for it. It still made me tingle.
I grabbed him by the neck and growled at him. "Uncle, huh?"
"Good boy." He grinned cheekily and rubbed my belly. "Now give me the rest of it."
I bit his lips and gave his nose a lick. "Of course, Your Horniness." Chris' eyes sparked and I continued. "I bow to the exquisite sloppiness of you mouth and cross my eyes at the outrageous pendulous swing of your hairy ball sack, Overlord of Sticky Dreams in Wrong Beds and Foot Enhancing Accessories, Ultimate Ruler of kinky sheep, goats, llamas, watermelons and camels and little purple furry five-legged aliens with lots of sharp teeth."
He waited a moment as if making sure that I had finished before he let the smile break all the way through the surface. And then he kissed me. I wondered briefly what I had done to get such careful and sensuous prodding. Then I wised up and forgot about questioning, just going with it until we both were out of breath.
I had transmogrified into a jelly pudding, plummeting in free fall with my heart for a parachute and my hands engaged in an exploration of Chris' ass. It wasn't a very big ass and my hands aren't small so the land was quickly covered. Only I kept having this doubt that it really had felt as fine as I remembered so I had to stroke it again in order to make sure it was true and it felt even better and then the doubt was back and so on.
Chris shivered and made a small sound in his throat and there was a hunger in his hands on my back when they sought out the hot spot at my lower spine.
In a moment he would have to leave and we both knew it. So we just stood there working one another up and taking the joy in that.
Want nice Chris-thighs, squishy, hump, rub and squish.
"My greedy dick is going on about your lubed up thighs again."
Chris chuckled and wriggled his hips. The response was immediate.
Free me! Free Partner!
"Free me, free Partner."
"Your dick has a nick-name. Didn't you know?"
He laughed silently and shook his head, rolling his forehead on my shoulder. "Sounds like your dick is trying to start a militant environment movement. Free the dicks, man."
I had a sudden mental picture of half the population walking around with their dicks dangling from unzipped zippers and it looked really stupid.
You're killing the mood, idiot!
"Imagine what it would look like if they succeeded," I grinned. "Bet you zippers would go out of fashion real quick. There would have to a whole new kind of warning signs, too - with seagulls on them."
Chris hugged me and laughed, eyes showering me with amusement when he stepped back.
He pulled my hair as he went past me. I could hear him make a detour to my room to find a dry shirt. The rest of his sounds got lost in the splashing of water as I wrung my t-shirt to use it for cleaning up the blood.
Mormor and Rita got their drinks and snacks and I saw Chris off after he had said his hello to Busta. Then it was back to work and this time it went more smoothly.
That is, it went smoothly until I opened my private mail and found several emails from the guys on the water polo team. They had beaten our archenemy. All of them wanted to point my attention to the fact that I had not been there. Just like the last time we beat them, which was more than two years ago. There even was an email from one of the archenemies wagging his virtual tongue at me.
Good bye self-esteem. The guys wouldn't let me live this one down in quiet.
It was no surprise that I was an easy victim of a magic surprise attack later when I was shopping for flowers. Low self-esteem really undermines the resistance.
I had been running around the huge store that Joey had recommended, looking for plants akin to those that I had destroyed, when suddenly I was surrounded by hobbit sized monsters. Nothing had prepared me for finding a wide-open gate to hell in Orlando. Or maybe it was just a simple case of illegal import from deep down. They definitely could not be of this world.
Fat dwarves with false grins, bambis with eyes so huge that the bodies must have been added as an afterthought, pastel colored rabbits, Easter eggs... I can't believe this. I closed my eyes and opened them again. The monsters were still there. The pastel pancake house too. And the pink flamingos...
The spell dug its hooks into me and pulled me into the display and I was overtaken by unreal delight. Look at that frog! Oh, there's a smaller edition too. I squatted, knocking on the incredibly ugly green frog with my index finger. It was some kind of ceramic.
"Can I help you?"
I looked up and saw a member of the evil priesthood smiling at me; they all wore green uniforms, which was how I knew what he was. This one was cute; he had brown eyes. I really appreciated brown eyes even when they weren't almost black.
"Perhaps." I got up, eyeing the chance of a guided tour. "I'm looking for a birthday present for my grandmother." What did I just say? "Something for her garden, max a couple of hundred dollars." Stop it right there, Mikkel.
I got my guided tour, which included fountains and water monsters, and he gave me a nice catalogue and pointed me in the direction of the flowers. Still slightly stunned I picked up what I wanted, paid for my passage into freedom and left for Joey's place.
The bushes in the front had been cut since I was there the day before, just enough to leave the pathways free. The last stretch of lawn had been mowed, too.
Lance and Chris were in the back yard, erecting fence posts. Lance was wearing his yellow hat and the garden gloves with blue flowers on them. Chris looked cuddly in my big faded red t-shirt and with the perky horsetail dancing when he moved his head.
Then I noticed the tense set of his shoulders and the unsmiling eyes.
Have they been fighting again?
"Mikkel!" Lance stopped working the soil drill to send me a smile overflowing with relief.
Chris waved, face unlit and eyes evasive.
Uhu. Fighting again. Is he freaking?
"Did you get what you wanted?" Lance came over to look into the box that I was carrying.
"I think I found the right kind. That place was big. Did you know they have a section with evil stiff dwarves?"
"Yeah? Thyme." Lance smiled. "And..." He pulled off a glove so that he could pluck a leaf of one of the herbs; he crushed and smelled it. "Hey, this is... oregano, right?"
"Yes. I thought Joey would like those."
Lance nodded and smelled a crushed leaf of the last kind of herbs. "I know this one..." He frowned and smelled it again. "It's good. What is it - no don't tell. I know it." His eyes unfocused as he dug around in his mind. The frown looked out of place on his smooth face and yet not. He broke into a toothy smile, pale green eyes clearing. "They use it in that yellow sauce... Uh... Tarragon?"
I nodded. "You know, you have those large gardens and nobody use them. Like, I haven't seen patches with potatoes, beets or anything. The citrus bushes are nice, though."
Chris had come over, moving silently, now he snorted. "You wouldn't want to base your diet on something that has grown in a garden, man. The soil is more toxic than an Iraqi battlefield."
"Pesticides?" I asked.
"Yeah." He plucked a leaf of one of the flowers and sniffed it, frowning and still not looking directly at me.
"Try that one, it's really good." Lance pointed to the tarragon.
Chris did, taking only a brief sniff; then he grunted and dropped the crushed leaf as if the last thing he wanted was something that was good.
Uh oh. Definitely freaking.
I put the box down in the shade. "How is the fencing going?"
"Okay," Lance said, watching the back of Chris who was leaving us and picking up the drill. "Kind of," he added under his breath.
When I arrived, Chris had been holding the maul and leaning on a pole, waiting for Lance to finish drilling the hole. Chris in this mood and in repetitive waiting situations had to be a very bad combination indeed.
I shuffled the original plan around. "I'll fix the gate first thing. Do you mind painting it?"
Lance shook his head. "I like painting. Chris found some paint the same color as the poles. Do you need a hand?"
"Well, you can show me where to find the wood and help empty the car."
He did. When we were by the car and well out of Chris' hearing range I asked Lance what was wrong.
"I don't know. It's not like - I mean, I don't think I've been pushing him, I've really tried not to. He's just in one of his moods, I guess."
"This happens often?"
"No, yes. Well, in periods."
"And this is one of his periods?"
"He was okay when he left our place." Still, I wondered if something had happened at Mormor's place.
"When he got back from shopping he wasn't. It's okay Mikkel. These spells just happen. We usually give him a bit of space and he works himself out of it. He knows we are there if wants to talk."
"Sometimes. Mostly with Joey and... Well, mostly with Joey."
And Justin? "So, you think we should just work around him as well as we can until his mood improves."
"He's been like this since he got back from shopping?"
Considering how well Chris had taken to dunking a few hours earlier I wasn't sure that Lance was right. "Maybe we should dump him in the pool."
Lance's eyes grew very large and it looked like he was about to bolt at the mere thought. "No, no! He would tear our heads off. Like, really."
"Okay, okay. Diplomacy it is." At least for now.
Maybe we should have told Chris what our plan was. He was definitely working against us, drilling holes and erecting fence posts instead of just sticking to drilling and creating some work space for when Lance joined him.
Perhaps he was asking for a dunking.
Lance helped me set up shop on the lawn, which was easier than clearing out the shed to make some room. Also it was much nicer outside in the shade than inside the small dark shed. Then he went back to help Chris.
Not surprisingly they had a little trouble with the good old team spirit.
Lance had a mantra - "Don't call me Fred." It sounded like he had been saying it a lot.
Chris' eyes rolled around in his head and he made snarky comments when he had to wait for Lance. Which summed up to a lot of eye-rolling and snarkiness since Chris was much quicker getting the posts in than Lance was at making the holes. He would not let Lance use the maul.
After a while Lance's temper began fraying at the edges.
Chris made a mean face at me when he caught me watching. Then he got back to sighing, grumbling and going through impatient poses, which irritated Lance almost as much as his new nickname.
Never mind the dark cloud, I really liked seeing the movement of Chris' ass when he shifted his weight from one hip to the other.
He's kind of cute when he's mean.
"Don't call me Fred" finally evolved to "Don't. Call. Me. Fred! Give me the fucking hammer!"
This time Chris gave Lance the maul, being surprisingly civil about it, and picked up the drill. Things seemed to work out.
I had almost finished the gate and Chris and Lance had gotten another two poles into the ground when the team spirit suffered again.
"Don't like you fingers much, Fred?"
"Don't call me Fred." Lance was sucking on a finger, a look of pain on his face. "Go on." He waved at Chris to continue drilling. Chris shrugged and started on a new hole.
He did keep an eye on Lance, though. So did I, biting my lip to keep myself from interfering. Lance obviously didn't have much experience with mauls. Right then he was being just as stupid and stubborn as Chris was. And Chris was willing let him use an axe... I would rather not imagine that, this was bad enough. Oops.
"Man, you almost smashed your kneecaps with that miss. Give me-"
"No! I can do this." It was amazing how Lance could speak succinctly through very clenched teeth. "Just stop breathing down my neck."
"Hey! My livelihood is threatened here! Your knees represent a major economic interest to me." Chris glared at me. "What are you doing?"
"The frames for the gate are finished. You wanted to paint them before the wire goes on?" I asked Lance.
"Yeah." Lance dumped the maul on the ground and left.
I turned to Chris. "I'm setting up the corners and the posts for the gate now." The night before, that part had been delegated to me once I started explaining how to shore the posts. "That means we're going to share the maul and the drill until the first two corners are in. After that, we can suspend the first stretch of wire and you can start fastening it while I finish using the drill and the maul. Okay?"
Chris blinked and almost looked me in the eyes. "Sure."
Maybe he doesn't need a dunking but a hug. Now, that would likely get my head separated from my body.
I could use a hug.
As it was, we went about our things without touching and without talking, the work going smoothly despite the dark cloud Chris was dragging around. When we got to suspending the wire, I thought I had felt him looking at me a couple of times but I wasn't sure. Perhaps he was coming out of it like Lance had predicted that he would; the dark cloud did seem thinner.
Lance came out on the porch when I was setting up the third corner. He put a jar of brown liquid down on the table. I could hear ice cubes ringing against glass. It was warm and I was sweating; ice cubes seemed a very good thing right then.
"Iced tea, guys."
"Thanks." I finished what I was doing. When I looked up Lance was standing next to me, watching me.
"It looks so easy when you do it." He said. "I'm such a klutz." There was loathing there, too much for health.
I picked up my t-shirt and dried the sweat off my face, while thinking about what to say. "Do you want to hear me sing?" What did I just say?
Lance smiled hesitantly and nodded, obviously not at all sure why I was asking.
Look what I just got myself into.
"Ah, right..." I held on to the corner post to keep myself from running away. It'll be over soon. Two lines and he will cover his ears and yell for me to stop, I'm sure. It wasn't difficult to choose which one. There is only one song made for a voice like mine. "I like traffic lights, I like traffic lights, I like traffic lights-"
By the first 'lights' Lance's eyes had widened in disbelief and the steady beat of Chris' hammer had stopped. By the second 'lights' Lance was biting his lips. By the third he looked like he wanted to laugh but wasn't sure whether it would hurt my feelings if he did.
By "but only when they're green" several traffic lights later, he was giggling and I stopped 'singing'. "So, do you want me to show you how to use a maul?"
"Please." He didn't need to add, "Anything to make you stop"; it was perfectly understood.
"Let's regard you, the hammer and the pole as a mechanical system-" made him perk up. He had a fine grasp on mechanical physics so I stuck to that approach. He got better with the maul, not faster but definitely safer. He just needed to set up about two kilometers of sheep fence to get the routine and I really couldn't bring myself to wish that on him.
Lance wanted to erect posts in the last two holes. I left him to it and went to get something to drink and some shade.
Chris was sitting on the edge of the porch, sideways, one foot on the ground and the other leg stretched out in front of him, resting his back against a wooden pillar and drinking a beer. He too had shed his t-shirt and I had to fight myself not to eat him with my eyes. I poured a glass of iced tea. He met my gaze impassively; I chose to take it as an invitation and sat down on the other side of the pillar, in a pose that almost mirrored his.
"Monty Python, huh."
"They've made some pretty good stuff."
"Yeah." Was that a smile in his voice? I hoped so.
Lance inserted the last pole and picked up the maul.
Chris grunted. "He's never gonna get it."
"Probably not. That's not the problem."
"... I know. Still, he'll be bad with an axe."
"Your idea. Does he know you brought it?"
"Yeah; I showed him. What can I say? Sometimes I'm stupid."
He shifted and I did too, twisting to look around the pillar and, hoh, there Chris was, his face just a hand's length from mine.
"Fuck." He pulled back, out of view.
Lance had finished with the pole. Even from where we were sitting it was obvious that he was considering the drill. "Aren't you going to get a drink too?" I asked him.
He smiled and came to the porch. "It's just - you know, suddenly making a bit of progress."
"If you forget we'll just repeat it. There's still another seven or eight holes to go. And afterwards there's the hammering."
"You don't mind?"
"Would you mind spending ten minutes teaching me a bit about singing?"
"Of course not." He got himself some iced tea and sat down on my side of the pillar. "Do you want me to?"
I smiled. "I don't think so."
"You could show him how to play ball instead," muttered Chris.
"You're that bad?" asked Lance.
"No. Actually, I'm pretty good. It's just, well, the US-rules are different from ours."
Lance blinked. "Really?"
There was a snort from the other side of the pillar. "Like - depositing team mates outside the court is okay?"
"Sure; he was yelling at me."
"Holding two opponents by their necks while tripping a third?"
"Of course. You guys kept interfering with Paul."
"Covering the opposite team's basket with a shirt?"
"So? It would have worked fine if you hadn't removed it."
Lance laughed and shook his head. From inside the house came the sound of a phone ringing and Lance got up and went inside, kicking off his shoes before going in. Chris shifted. I did too, twisting and looking around the pillar. Hi, shy Chris.
This time he could stand the sight of my face for about five seconds before he turned away and hid behind the pillar.
Shy? I thought about being twelve years old and about the games I couldn't remember playing, perhaps because I hadn't.
I surely would have remembered something that tickled this much in my belly.
What was up with him, Mister Do-you-still-want-my-hot-and-handsome-body?
Too much, too fast? Or - maybe he's no longer sure that sex with a man is worth the risk of the danger to his career. Or another conflict with his band mates. It was the only reasons I could think of that made sense.
He moved a little, hope flared and I was in mid-twist when I heard him drinking and the disappointment stung; I really wanted to see his face even if it was only for five seconds.
"Do you think we'll finish?" His voice was light, so light it had to be a cover.
"You mean, will we finish the fence today?"
"I'm sure we'll get enough done for you to finish the rest tomorrow during one of Busta's naps."
"Good." His voice was soft. Perhaps he was thinking about Busta napping in the living room of her new home.
"Pee on the rug. Justin's sneakers in tatters. Lance talking baby-talk at the dinner table. Your favorite pillow flat and the filling all over your room."
Chris chuckled; it wasn't hard imagining how cuddly he looked right then - it was quite apparent by the sound of that chuckle. I twisted to look around the pillar and, yes, he did too.
Hello! "Up at five to air the dog. Loosing every competition for the attention of the girls. Pup vomit in your best shoes."
He smiled. "I'm gonna love it."
"Well, when you walk the dog and a hangover at five in the morning, call me up and tell me that again."
He grinned mischievously, eyes glittering with the light that had been missing when I had arrived. "Sure. I'll tell Tom you told me to."
Disconnecting the phone in Tom's room in the morning was a top priority on my everyday Must-remember List. Sonja would usually call as soon as she saw that I had been online. I stuck my tongue out at Chris; if he bothered to think then he would know that.
He gave my tongue a lick and I stopped thinking all together.
And zap! - Chris was hiding behind the pillar again, leaving me with a blurred impression of soft brown eyes widening behind the glasses and a retreat at a speed close to that of light.
Heart beating, thoughts buzzing madly. Help! What's going on here? I wanted to shake scary explanations out of him, to bite him, hug and fondle - and kiss him.
I wanted to run.
Likely it was way better for him, for us, if I just dunked him in the pool.
Is he okay?
How to ask? I tried to string words together but they kept slipping.
Throw him in the pool.
What is he doing with his arm? Oh? Oh.
The heat of his skin touched mine. Yes? Our hands brushed against one another, there, pinky-finger snaking around mine.
The world stabilized somewhat, though the rate of my heartbeat still was breaking speed limits and specifications.
His hand didn't run away when I wove my fingers with his. There was air in my lungs again; I hadn't even been aware that I had been drowning.
He deserves a dunking for this and I don't care if he's wearing glasses. Little bugger.
Muted sounds inside the house told that somebody was moving around. Lance had finished with his phone-call.
Fuck! I need more of this. Chris and I let go. My hand was tingling and empty.
The wood creaked when Lance walked upstairs. Chris slapped my thigh and I slipped my hand back into his.
* * * * * * *
End of part 1 of chapter 13
© Morgenfryd 2002