Warning: Real people slash. Homoerotic romance. Foul language. Blind ducks.
Disclaimer: I don't know any of the characters, and on principle: I'm against the destruction of books - even school books.
(supposedly from Chris Kirkpatrick, context unkown):
Feedback: Greatly appreciated!
It took a long time to finish this. To help your memory, here's the last scene from part 2:
"That guy, Dan," Chris said and sat. "He was fucking irritating on a dance floor and he sounded like a fucking irritating chainsaw when he was laughing." He sipped his beer, careful of his lip, and dabbed gently at the swelling with the back of a hand, checking it for blood.
Buzzing from a recent joint, it took me a moment to figure out what this was about. "Sheryl... When she laughed she sounded like... like a donkey getting the hiccups during its own castration without anesthesia. Did you notice her fangs?"
Chris' eyes glittered. "Fuck, no. I missed that. Really, she had fangs?"
"Yes. And cockroaches in her hair."
"She probably got the cockroaches from Dan. He had a lot of weird things living on him."
"Paul," I said.
Chris blinked. "Paul is living on Dan?"
"Not that I noticed. I meant, this morning. When he tried not to laugh at Tom, he sounded like on of those utterly stupid fart-balloons you put under a cushion. Flapping balloon-lips, really disgusting, and he had been all over your face with them like a vacuum cleaner."
"Man, you drank almost all the orange juice." The glass had left a wet circle on the table and Chris was spreading the water with a finger, turning the circle into a solid circular splotch. Splotch completed he looked up. "I wasn't gonna leave with Sheryl."
My belly warmed, my whole body felt lighter; I hadn't been aware just how much I needed to hear him say it. "I wasn't going to leave with Dan."
He'd been watching my face and now he smiled without moving his mouth.
"I think we just made a promise."
"Yeah..." He bent his head, his finger pulled wet lines out of the splotch; it looked like a sun. "When are you leaving?"
"I go home in five weeks."
He looked up from his drawing. "That's when it ends - if you aren't worn out by the hot monkey sex before that."
I kicked him for being stupid. "I know. Erh - monkey?"
He kicked me, dipped his finger in the beer and finished drawing the corona.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
The Tail of the Tiger, chapter 13, part 3
I seriously considered killing the clock radio. Here I was, comfortably wrapped around Chris and floating around in the warm cloud soup of sleep. And then the blasted thing dragged me to the surface. Weed-damped processors be damned - I was wide awake before I figured out how to stop the noise.
Chris grunted when I disentangled us but stayed blissfully submerged. I spent a few seconds with my ear to Tom's wall; there was no sound from the other side. The cobra groped and I fed it a pillow. Chris pulled the pillow to his chest, sniffed into it, grunted and lay still.
A shower, a bite of bread and a mug of coffee later my mind was still woolen, would be for the entire day.
It's a Universal Law: chaos strikes on days when one has to be sharp but just isn't.
Two customers were having system breakdowns at the same time; Sonja was freaking out having to take over Kurt's meeting with a potential customer; one of our own servers was coming up with some very peculiar behavior; several boxes of hardware were lost in a lost warehouse in Nowhere. As the icing on the cake: a forgotten web-site. Luckily the customer was very nice about having been forgotten but the site had to go up a week ago... And for decoration of the icing on the cake: the tangle of routine jobs that needed doing to keep things running.
On any other day I would have been having fun, as it was I was barely hanging on by my nails, dangling behind a runaway wagon.
"You tell her," I said to Mormor when she came into the library. "You tell her what information company owners want in relation to data security."
She blinked and picked up the phone. "Yes? ... Sonja! Good morning-"
I pulled the head set off and went back to the web site. Mormor would support my opinion once she found out what it was all about. Sure enough, "- but you have to stay away from the tech talk, so there is nothing to worry about. ... No! I don't care what that Kurt says; that boy has no proper sense of judgement what so ever. Tech-talk is boring, deadly so. Sonja, they are customers and you want them to survive past the first presentation, not to kill them off-"
A wet haired Chris was watching me from the doorway, cradling Busta in his arms and scratching her on the top of her head with his chin. He grinned crookedly, favoring the wounded side of his lip. He was wearing one of my t-shirts and the black pants he had worn the night before. His toes peeked out under the baggy folds. My body sang beautiful Chris! and free fall tickled every nerve.
"What's up?" He walked over, still scratching Busta who snorted comfortably.
I turned the chair and pulled at him. He raised an eyebrow but sat down, and everything suddenly got much better when the heavy warm body pressed down on me. I put an arm around him and scratched Busta with the other hand. "Sonja is worked up over taking over one of Kurt's presentations. Mormor is giving her hints on how to ensure the customer's survival." Chris-fresh-from-the-shower-smell. He hadn't shaved. A Chris-speed shower.
The skin under the soft-worn t-shirt felt much more alive than my own did when I wore that particular shirt.
He scowled when I fondled the soft spot that was destined to turn into a handle some day. I showed him my tongue in answer to his scowl. He sneered threats at me; the gleam in his eyes and the wound on his lip made them very convincing ones, and I hurriedly put my hand on his hip.
Belatedly I saw that there was a red tinge to the tip of his ear and I squeezed his hip and pulled him against the swelling in my pants. He wriggled minutely, rubbing against the hard thing. Nice ass; want nice Chris-ass! Push me into it!
Chris blew air out through his nose and flashed heat through several layers of cloth. Then suddenly he stiffened as a freak attack hit him. I loosened my grip on him and for a heartbeat I thought that he was going to jump off me.
"Uhm." Hesitantly he let me take his weight again, as if checking the stability of himself the way one would check the carrying capacity of a frozen lake. Reaching his conclusion he relaxed. "You should've woken me up."
"Why?" I nuzzled the hair behind his ear.
"Don't wanna sleep my first day as a dog owner away." He shifted around, found a better position and snuggled purposefully. "I gotta get a new ID. Kirkpatrick, dog owner. I want them to list Busta in it. For a fee, of course."
"They are never going to get the spelling right no matter how big a fee."
"Young man, I'll not hear one more comment on Busta's name." Mormor replaced the phone. "It's a perfectly decent bitch's name."
"Lubianka-Bustaniana Gracehammer? That's a tongue kill-arhg." I lolled my dead tongue at her.
"Stop that, you brat. And that's Khayalinka-Bustaniana Gracehammer for your information and it's perfect. The rhythm in it." She smacked her tongue in appreciation.
I butted Chris. "I still don't understand why you didn't veto it while you had the chance. Beasty-Busta-Muffin Gracehammer sounded really nice. Or Grandslam-Busta Gracehammer - that one wasn't bad either."
"I like Khayalinka-Bustaniana Gracehammer. Especially the Gracehammer." It was well enough that Chris liked that part of the name - it was the one part of it that couldn't be changed. "You can tell that with a name like that he's gotta have special powers." His eyes were glowing.
Mormor took her time smirking at me before she spoke to Chris. "I got all the papers ready for you and packed a small bag."
"A bag?" Chris blinked his way out of the mental pictures of Busta exercising her special powers doing heroic deeds.
"Can't let her go without a dowry, can I. It's just few things I had laying around and a blanket I left in the den to soak the pack smell." She had had Rita and me stand on our heads digging through the overfilled cupboards in the dogs' bathroom. "You want to see?"
Chris transferred the snoring heroine to me and went over to open the small bag that Mormor put on the table. He pulled out the dog's coats in three sizes, glowing brighter and brighter. "His super hero uniform!" That was the red coat, current Busta-size.
"For your trip to Canada and for the bus. Buses can be so drafty. Those three should keep her covered until she's grown up."
"Yeah." Chris looked the coats over, put them aside and tore into the bag, pulling out the teddy cat.
"I got that one for Leika. I had it with me in when I was at the hospital."
"A partner. Great!" He wrapped the green coat around the heroic teddy cat and moved it through a series of air acrobatics. "This one's got a name?"
Mormor reddened. "No." She was lying through her teeth. Chris smiled expectantly at her, the super-partner hung upside down in mid-air. "Well, sometimes maybe I call it... Ah, Magnus." She was still lying.
Chris nodded without laughing and moved Magnus through another series of acrobatics before putting him aside. He pulled out the carrying sling. Mormor helped him fit it. Busta woke up when she was placed in it but seemed more intrigued than put off.
"He likes it." Chris scratched the pup behind the ears and Busta was content staying there with Magnus while Chris and Mormor fixed the papers and I wrapped things up so that I could take the new dog owner and his dog home.
The newly minted dog owner was squirming in his seat, more than he usually did. That was a lot of squirming and a lot of irritated tugging of the safety belt.
When Chris turned he could see Busta, who was in the transport cage strapped in behind us. "We're going home, boy. You wait till you meet the other guys, they'll be fun."
"You'll do just fine."
"Dude, what am I doing?" He picked up my jacket and started exploring the pockets.
"You are taking that little baby dog away from her mother, brothers, sisters, aunts and pack-humans, the only home she's known since she was born, her safe heaven, severing all her emotional ties. You bought her for cold cash and nobody asked her and now you're-"
"Fucker." He found my mints and ate a handful.
"Is the Ultimate Ruler of the Universe getting cold feet?"
"... Nope. Just a twinge of conscience." He crunched mints and pointed a finger at me. "Zap! It's gone. Ta-dah!" He turned in his seat, tugging irritatedly at the seatbelt. "You'll see, little doggie, fourteen years of hell - I'm evil fucking perfected."
"Here I'm going through a serious existential crisis of my evildom and all you think about is dick - you're one twisted fuck-up. Somebody ought to tell your-"
"Can I have dick now?"
"Not mine, man - I'm busy." He slapped me on the head. "It's okay boy, we'll be there soon. I got you lots of toys and we're gonna play little evil games all day." Yes! Evil little games with Chris! "I bought you your favorite food, too. And carrots, disgustingly healthy things. From JC's health store. Hey, Mikkel, how do you think healthified carrots goes with black magic?"
"Carrots and black magic must be like nitroglycerine in a blender. You know what? All that attention is-"
"Sermon number fifty-four on how to pay attention to your dog and how not - three different scenarios. Yeah, I remember."
"Fifty-four - the list just grew by seven?"
"Actually, it grew by nine. I reorganized the foot-notes and the numbering system. Some of the grossity factors needed tuning. Watch out!"
"There was a sleeping bird on the road."
"A bird - I saw no bird."
"Why do you think I was yelling, stupid? Fucking blind duck. You almost smashed it and it didn't even wake up."
"Do me a favor - entertain your dog."
"My dog is fine. My little dog is chewing a toy. Hi Chris' dog. Gnash and chew, good little dog."
"She looks unhappy."
"... No, he doesn't. Pups wagging and chewing toys are happy - footnote five of sermon twenty-eight. Get your mug out of the mirror and keep your eyes on the road. Lots of ducks in this area. They like to hang out in front of driveways."
"You ever had roast duck, stuffed with apples and prunes?"
"You know, I've eaten a lot of weird food-like substances - but roasted road kill with prunes? Don't think I could forget that one."
I wasn't in the mood to hear about the kind of foods that he would want to forget about. I would much rather serve him something that he would want to remember. "Busta still chewing?"
"Yeah. Hey! That's my little dog back there."
"No kidding! We've got your dog in this car?"
"Yeah. Yeah, my dog, he's right back there, in a cage, chewing a cat. Hi, Busta!"
"Actually, the pup looked a bit like Samba when you put it in the cage. You sure you didn't mistake - aw! I guess you are."
"My dog. Watch the ducks. Look, there's a whole herd of them." He left his hand on my thigh after pinching me. I put my own hand on top of his and shut up to listen when Chris began humming. It was difficult to make out the words but there certainly were no few Bustas in it; what the duck sounds meant, I never figured out. Maybe they were just for decoration.
There were a couple of cars in Joey's driveway so I parked in the street. Chris got Busta out of the cage, fed her carrot bits for good behavior and put a leash on her while I collected her luggage, including the dowry. The walk to the house was a long one. Chris wanted to introduce the pup to every grass straw that took her fancy, and there were a lot of grass straws. When we reached the door he hushed her. "Listen, this is the sound of somebody at the front door." He rang the bell thoroughly and with great expertise. Busta barked.
The door was opened by Justin. He batted Chris hand away from the bell button, and stepped aside. Busta pulled Chris inside to get at this new and interesting human.
"I'm still not sure I like you." Busta wagged her tail expectantly at the new human who hunkered down and offered her a scratch and released her from the leash. "You look like a rat that had its nose punched in."
Chris was watching them with sparkling eyes. I slipped in and pushed the door shut before I put the luggage down on the stair case. A creak made me look up and there was Lance, watching us from the top of the stairs.
I smiled. "Hi, Lance."
He nodded without responding to my smile. "Hi."
At the sound of another human Busta eagerly began climbing the stairs, tumbling back down from the third step, she landed on the floor with a yelp.
"Don't laugh at him." Chris slapped Justin on the head before he could get started.
"You shouldn't let him on the stairs." Lance hurried down to save Busta who had taken another go at the stair case and had reached the second step. "Hi, little guy."
"I can't keep him in a cage, Lance. He has to figure the stairs out on his own."
"He's gonna get hurt."
"None of us can save him from fucking life, man."
"I'm off." I gave Chris shoulder a squeeze and reached for the door.
"But you just arrived." Justin? This pleasant edition of Justin was unexpected.
"I have to get back to work."
"Oh. Okay." Clear blue eyes searched my face, warily but with curiosity.
A quick touch to my wrist. "Watch the blind ducks."
That was not the top of my list of things to watch, rather the top stood in front of me and had left a warm echo of a touch on my arm.
"Bye." There were three of them. And a pup that whined when it lost sight of me.
A "fuck" floated through the crack before I could close the door.
"Just be your evil self. You'll do fine. See you." Running out on him again.
* * * * *
"It fits. Guess the hole is bigger than it looked."
"Of course they fit. They're made for each other. Will a twenty be enough?"
"Yeah." Ian opened the book and closed it again. "Man, I never thought I would see one in real life. It's cool. Could you make one out of my chemistry book?"
"Thanks." He opened the book and pulled the strap, freeing the cell phone. The Velcro separated with a tearing sound. "I'll make sure the batteries are fully charged by tomorrow." He strapped it in again.
"I hope it will work. You sure Maria is okay with this? From what Tom says she's under a lot of pressure." I put the twenty on the table. It was Ian's book of English literature that I had hollowed out, and he was going to take the blame for loosing a school book. "This must be like carrying a bomb around or something."
"Man, she'll be a wreck - but, this will be good too. She was really upset about not talking with Tom for the entire spring break..." He frowned. "Maria needs to fight back, you know. Like, she said that sometimes she can't breathe." He was worried about her. "It's like they are watching her all the time. Not watching over her but watching her."
"That's her dad?"
"She's scared of him. Like, really, really scared."
"Does he hit her?"
Ian shook his head, the tangled purple mop of hair didn't move. "She hasn't said anything about that. But he's a really mean fuck. Like, she can do nothing right. If she doesn't score high on the tests... The other day she cried. She got a B and it was a fucking hard one. If he got mugged - hell, sometimes I wish somebody would beat him up good. At least if he was in hospital she might be able to... Yeah. You know what I mean." He turned in his seat and listened. "Mum?"
A woman came into the small living room. "I thought you were out?" Her eyes were a little hazy. If it were drugs then the rest of the signs were too weak for me to see.
"I will be. Mikkel's gonna drop me off."
She looked at me. "Miguel? Oh." Her face lit up in a wide smile. "It's good to see thee well, my lord."
"Mum!" Ian rolled his eyes. "Mikkel is Maria's cousin."
"What a coincidence..." She smiled even wider. "Did Ian offer thee a drink?"
"I'm fine, thank you, madam." Belatedly I wondered it I should have said "my lady".
She made a curtsey and left.
"I'm sorry. She gets like that sometimes."
I was stunned having had a woman curtsey at me. "Is... is she okay?" From the kitchen came the characteristic sound of a fridge door being pulled open.
"Yeah. She just started writing another novel..."
"Ah." With understanding relief flowed through me. "She's in work mode."
Ian grinned and nodded. "We gotta go. I'll just put this away and put the phone and the battery in the charger." He got up and disappeared towards the back of the house, carrying the book and the note.
"I'm sorry." Ian's mother was standing in the door, her eyes much clearer than a minute ago.
"It's okay; Ian explained and I understand. Work mode sometimes takes me, too." I was curious. "Who am I?"
She laughed a little shyly and looked into the glass of milk that she was carrying. "I don't talk about the characters yet, sorry. They are still", she waved her hand, "growing, budding."
"Mum..." Ian walked up to her, carrying a couple of games, a Playstation and a chemistry book.
"Relax, I'm not being embarrassing." She stepped aside to let him pass. "Have fun."
"Yeah. Gonna beat their asses. See you."
She was standing in the window watching me with fierce concentration when we put Ian's bicycle in the van. Ian rolled his eyes at me, showering me with silent excuses and I smiled to tell him I didn't mind.
"In her last book she cast me as a dog." Ian said as we got strapped in. "She thought I wouldn't notice."
I turned the key and the van shuddered to life. "Well, you're a good friend. I think I can see where she's coming from."
"But a dog! Man, I was angry with her for days when I found out. She gave you a fucking title, and she doesn't even know you."
"What you said about being a good friend - I want to do something. But I can't think of anything. You know what I mean?"
"Yes. It's pretty frustrating... But, you are already doing a lot; you know that, don't you? You are really making a difference."
"Not enough, man. I just carry a fucking phone around and after I deliver the spy-book it's just gonna be batteries for recharging."
Busta discovering stairs... I didn't expect Ian to listen - I had been years beyond fourteen before I dared face this particular troll. "You can help but you can't cure other peoples' lives. It's not your fault, Ian. It's... just the way things are." I wished for Chris there in the van with us, somebody with buckets of that kind of common sense.
"But - there's gotta be more."
"I don't know. Just. Something. Turn left at the next corner."
"Okay. Let us analyze the situation and see if we can come up with something we can do other than what we are already doing. All right?" At least it might convince him that he was already doing a lot, if his own doings were put into words. And we just might stumble over an idea.
"Sure." The trust and expectancy in his eyes made me want to scream.
The drive was too short for that talk. We didn't get any new ideas but it did seem to help Ian, and it certainly gave me a clearer picture of what was going on. His three friends came out to see what was up when we had been parked in front of the house for a while, talking.
"This is Mikkel, Maria's cousin," Ian said when he introduced us, and that triggered a lot of curiosity in the three faces.
"So, you are going out with Maria!" a bright head concluded and all three grinned.
Ian's face turned red and his eyes rolled around in his face. "No! I told you-"
"You're like totally red in the face, man. Aw - you have the hots for her."
"Shut up," Ian groaned and slid out of the car. He gave me a wave to tell me that I didn't need to help him with the bike and a moment later he slammed the side door shut, patted the van on the roof by means of farewell and I drove off.
Ian's dream of Frank getting mugged and hospitalized stayed with me, wickedly trying to transform itself into a plan and blocking more constructive thoughts. Just how I was going to get Frank into one of the dark alleys that I remembered from the night before yesterday, I just didn't know. The alley would certainly have been perfect for a mugging. Spooky and smelly - there even were dumpsters to drape him over when the evil deed was done.
It wasn't before I had parked that I discovered that I had driven to the wrong store to do my shopping. I kicked my brain into a different gear, changed the evening's menu and did the shopping anyway.
I didn't tell Mormor about my bloody imagination. She might think that I was serious. Earlier in the day Bert the Vet had phoned, full of bad news about Aunt Green. Mormor was ready to join any action that caused somebody to lose blood in a messy way.
The menu I had chosen was a perfect object for her temper. Roast liver was near the top of her list of hate-foods.
Tom came home by the end of her anti-liver tantrum. He was carrying the catalogue I had gotten from the garden center and dumped it with the other magazines on the magazine shelf. It took him approximately two seconds to pin-point the real problem. "Aunt Green?" he asked me when the dragon had flown out of the kitchen to answer yet another phone call in the library. A lot of people had wanted to know the results of the tests and the phone had been ringing all day.
"Yes. Bert the Vet is almost sure it's a shunt. She's going in for more tests next week."
There was no dragon-bark from the library. I nodded. "Fuck." Still no bark. "You like roast liver?"
"Don't think I ever had it." He eyed the lump of dark meat. "Maybe you could have been just a teeny-weeny bit more sensitive when you chose the menu?"
He was right. The liver went into a couple of plastic bags and into the freezer. I dug around for some of the emergency supplies.
"You fixed the book?"
"Yes and I brought it over to Ian. It fit." I found the meat-balls, leftovers from the last batch I had made; there was just enough for the three of us. "Are we expecting anybody for dinner?"
"No. Some of the guys from the football team are coming over later. One of them got hold of a video with the team we are playing against on Saturday. We're gonna watch that."
"Okay. We're almost out of beers."
"We're not gonna drink beer." He checked the cupboard where the snacks usually were stashed but there was only a small bag of Doritos left. "Can we eat early?"
"Sure. There are snacks and cookies in the basement. Ice cream in the freezer." I got out ingredients for pasta dough.
"Good. You caught Ian?"
"Yes. We had a good talk. Plate armor, shield and lance would fit him just right. And flags and lace in your sister's favorite colors." A lance with Frank speared on it. Dripping blood. On the carpet. Ew!
"Yeah... Pink, white and gold - it would match his hair. Did he say anything?"
"He made a very good guess as to why you were thrown out. He and Maria have been talking about it a lot."
"She'd rather you were gay than that you'd killed anybody."
"She thought I might... Oh, fuck."
"Well, what do you expect? Apparently they've been lining up possibilities, including one about you joining a heathen cult and drinking the blood of live chickens. Having Ian's imagination working on the list probably spiced it up some. As it is, she thinks it's either a heathen cult, but without the chickens, or that you are gay."
"Fuck... I wanted to tell her myself."
"I know. I didn't tell Ian either or. But he isn't stupid."
"I liked that one. Ian should start one, he has some pretty interesting ideas."
Tom shook his head. "I really need to talk with her for more than a few minutes. I want to see her face and - she's gonna have questions. Did Ian say anything else?"
"Not really, not anything that you don't know. Your parents not telling Maria where she is going for the spring break really had him riled."
Tom got himself a bottle of industrial waste from the fridge. Then he paused, put the waste back and took the root beer I had just bought. "Bible school is my best guess."
"What's that like?"
Tom shrugged. "I went to one a couple of times. It was okay. She'll probably have a better time there than at home." He opened the can. "My parents will tell them not to let her have visitors."
"We'll figure something out once we know where she is. There has to be a crack in the wall somewhere."
"Yeah." He nodded decisively and made a motion with his hand. "I better..."
I nodded and he walked off to see how Mormor was doing. He was back shortly after, a growl searing the air at his heals. He started fixing the salad and asked why I had left a catalogue full of hideous garden monsters in the car.
A much improved Mormor came out in the kitchen after another phone talk, looking wickedly satisfied. "Hamhead Fraser is an idiot," she declared and began setting the table.
"Another idiot maculated to shreds," muttered Tom under his breath and I sent him a grin. The Maculator of Idiots barked a wicked laugh and Frida barked merry dog talk in response.
"Can I watch it with you?" she eagerly asked Tom when she heard about the video tape and the visitors.
Later, when the four guys from the football team had arrived and they all took over the library, I was working in my room. Sara and Karen had been around for the entire afternoon, and I already had moved everything in there in order to work undisturbed.
I was reading through a half forgotten and half finished paper for one of my classes at the university and was trying to recapture the ideas that had burned brightly more than a month ago. But a quiet evening's work was not in my star chart for that night.
"She is coaching the football team," I distractedly told a Hamilton Fraser who called and asked for Mormor. "If you want, I can ask her to call you back?"
"Erh... Football team. Right. Can you take a message?" he asked, with hope evident in his voice; that was when I realized which Fraser it was.
"I'm afraid it's rather long..."
"Just a sec." I called up a fresh document and adjusted the headset. "Okay. I'm ready."
"I found some of the information She wanted. The photocopies will go in the mail first thing tomorrow-" he began and a moment later he had me writing names that made Lubianka-Bustaniana Gracehammer a feather on the tongue by comparison.
"Do you have a fax or an Internet connection and a scanner?" I asked him after the umpteenth time I had asked him to spell a tongue-wrecker.
And once he found out that one could send pictures I had first to take him through the settings of his scanner program and how to choose file formats and later the steps of attaching a file - but that was less frustrating than being dragged through intricate spellings.
"Did it work?" was his first question when he called back. We had had to disconnect so that he could send the mail.
"Yes. I got it."
"You sure She got it too?"
"Well, as good as. The address you wrote looks alright to me. I have no way of checking her mail."
"It is so much, ah, easier this way than by phone. I wrote down everything you said. You can tell Her that I will email the rest of the information as soon as I get it."
"Sure. Just leave me out of the cc-field and it will go to her only. If you forget how to do it you're welcome to call and ask."
"Thank you and thank you so much for your help. You are a very patient man-" He spent another five minutes thanking me before saying good bye.
I cut the connection with a feeling that I had forgotten something but my musings were interrupted when the phone rang again.
"Rent a Raindance, how may I help you?"
"Dad." Slam, wham, I tried in vain to close the doors on all the bells tolling panic and alarm. Dad should have been in his bed hours ago, sleeping sweetly and snoring like a bear. I leaned back in the chair, seeking the support of the backrest, preparing for the worst. "Hi."
"Uhm. Did you talk with your mum?"
With your mum - oh, fuck, not Johanne but your mum. I'm in trouble. What did I do? "No. Why?"
"I, we, were caught. Your mum and Karla... I had to tell them."
"Caught?" Caught? Oh, no! "Our summerhouse scheme, huh? What happened?"
Back before I started university he had put up the money and I had put up the labor, buying ruined summerhouses, fixing them up and selling them. It had been supposed to stop after the fourth, but we ended up keeping two of them, renting them out at an overprice.
"Karla has her eyes set on an establishment that has been put up for sale. She and Johanne want to use my house as security for a loan... Things just took off from there. Karla's pissed and Johanne... They have been yelling at me for hours. I told them that there was nothing to be gotten from the house and Karla guessed that it had to do with you... Not that she was interested in the details. She... I've never seen her like that..."
Amazing how sane he sounds. A session like that would have broken me. Did. "Oh, fuck."
"You can say that again."
"You're sleeping in the office tonight, I take."
He sighed into the phone. "I'll be doing that for another couple of weeks is my guess.... They'll probably call you. I thought I'd warn you. Karla left a while ago, she'll be home about now."
"Thanks. Ah, do you want to-"
"No! No. I'm going to keep telling them - I don't want my house tied to Johanne's restaurant. And Johanne is deeply involved in Karla's project.... Domino effect, you know? I could do what they want if I mortgaged my part in the summerhouses." He sighed. "They were too upset to figure that out, but they will."
"You'll keep saying no?"
"Yes... You don't happen to have an appetite for another summerhouse? I'm willing. Very interested, actually. Stretch me thin, please! That way it's easier to keep saying no."
"Hm. No. The business is in dire need of housing. Kurt has moved most of the servers and the photocopy machine to my room so right now I'm homeless. I'd rather take a loan for moving shop than start paying you out."
"Then you can't pay me out. I'm glad."
"They must have been pretty bad. Are you okay?"
"I'll live. It's a load of piss, Mikkel. I mean, this is my house. Sometimes... Okay, maybe I was wrong in not telling Johanne everything before, just because I didn't want to listen to her going on and on. But Karla... They just came in here and - like..."
I could imagine. "Like they had right of way because they run the family flagship, and the likes of us counts for nothing so they rolled right over you and they see no wrong in that, no matter how flat you get."
He sighed. "Yes. Exactly. Say, how much do you want me in for?"
"What? Oh. Nothing. We'll rent some office space."
"Why not buy a place?" He sounded a lot brighter at that thought.
"It's too expensive to buy a place that meets our needs. As it is, I don't dare count on having the time to fix a place up myself. Even if I did, we can't wait that long."
"You want me to look into it? You can ask me these things, you know."
"The dragons are going to give you hell, if they find out you're working with me on another project. You'll be in for a lot of chewing..."
"They'll have to accept that they do their thing and I, we, do ours."
" I..." I was breaking all my principles, had done that already back then when my dad and I started out with the summerhouses. And just recently, I had broken them again calling on Niller to do the cabling. Don't mix family and business. Ha.
Ah, Niller - family? Friend? Yes. Friend.
"I told you - I'm exiled to the office for weeks. I've plenty of time. Might as well make myself a project. Real estate is fun. I can check the possibilities - no hurt in looking into the cost of rented office space and do comparisons."
"It... Thanks. I'd very much like to have you look into this. But - I want some kind of contract on your work."
"Of course. Clear lines as usual... Mikkel?"
"You were right."
"Right about what?"
"What you just said when you ran away. About them, how they can be when they are together."
I hadn't expected him to remember, to want to remember. "... What did she say to you?"
"Just - it was ugly. She accused you of cheating her of her rightful inheritance. She used that word! As if I'm dead! I'm not even old. Who the heck does the little fool think she is?"
"You're not surprised."
He sighed, noisily blowing air into the phone. "I want to talk about something else. When are you coming home?"
"The twenty-fourth. I really should leave before that, things are going crazy at work, like, good crazy, and I want to be there. But... I've been trying to make excuses for not leaving before. Mormor is doing okay, Tom is fine and, well, there is nobody here that needs me."
"If I were you, I would stay away for a while yet... Until I'm back in the bedroom, at least. I'm glad to hear you're having a good time, good enough for you to want to stay for a while. Have you considered that you might be able to return for a visit later?"
"Not... Well, there's this guy..." A warm squirmy body; black eyes glittered, laughing behind see-through curtains of soft dark hair.
"A guy! Somebody I get to meet? Ah... You're not thinking of staying over there?" The last was said with absolute distaste.
"No and no. None of us are prepared to give up our careers, and our lives don't overlap at all. It's going to end when I leave." Ouch! It stung. I didn't want to think about it. Or talk about it. It's a long way off. A month and some. A long-
That's not long.
"Oh." There were a lot of comments in that little sound. "He's nice?"
Nice Chris! "Yes. Yes, very. He..." feels so good naked "He's..." beautiful on both sides of the skin.
"Yes. That too."
"Interesting, challenging, fun, sexy-"
Tell him about Partner, talk about Partner, say nice things about Partner! "Yes. You're teasing me. He beat me at basket ball."
Dad was grinning; I could hear it in his voice. "Beat you at basket ball, huh."
"Yep. And he took me out for dinner." And he's probably totally broke now. That fence hadn't been a small expense and Busta had a price too.
"You made him dinner?"
"Not really. Not yet. I have come up with something different from the usual ones." Burgers and tacos would work. Ouch! My food snob gland!
"Oh, you can't go home before you've made him one of your dinners. I'd like to meet him. Preferably over that dinner or one like it."
"Well, book a flight. I'm sure you two will get along very well. He'd probably beat you at bowling."
"No way! I... It might not be such a bad idea...."
"Things will cool down." Watch Karla! "Eventually." I think.
"I know. Only... They never were good between you and Karla to begin with. And..."
"Look, I knew something like this was bound to happen at some point in time - you want a guilt contest? You lose."
"Can't we at least come out even on the guilt? That would fit our sacred principle."
"Okay. It's a tie - guilt complexes nullified."
"Mikkel - I was thinking that if you want to take out another loan, it may be a good idea to reschedule the loans in the same go. We probably should do that in any case."
"I know. I've been thinking about that too."
"I'll look into it."
"About that office space - what do you need? Or should I talk with Kurt?"
"Yes. And Sonja. Both of them are going to be in on it. And don't forget to keep count of your hours. Straight lines - even if mum and Karla aren't going to believe it."
"Oh, Johanne will believe that - once she cools down. Trust me."
"Sure." Want Chris! Now! Before it's too late.
The phone was barely disconnected before it started ringing again. I was not in a hurry answering. It was my mother. It could have been worse. It could have been Karla.
"You - I thought we had a deal not meddling in each other's affairs-" and she was off on that theme. Apparently dad's house was part of her affairs. I tried listening only with half an ear while writing emails to Kurt and Sonja, warning them that my sister might be up to something spiteful, and would they please not let her or my mother in, or provide any of them with any kind of information should any of them call. The wording of the emails going to lawyers and bank advisors was a bit trickier.
"Mikkel! Are you listening?"
"I'd rather not but yes. Are you finished yet?"
"Is that all you have to say?"
"No. But I'd rather wait." I wanted to yell at her, and my hands were shaking but I wasn't going to let her have it, not this time, didn't want to give her the satisfaction, didn't want to take the risk of saying something that shouldn't have been said.
"Wait!?" she sputtered. "What happened to I'm sorry? Do you know what this means for Karla? She might never get this chance again! You-"
My mouth was running despite all my intentions of staying quiet. "Nonsense. And I'm not sorry and I don't think I owe you or her one. If anybody owes somebody anything it's you owing me", too much to repay, ever. Shit! I want to forget it! "at least trying to get your facts right before you throw shit at me. Good night." I cut the connection, sent the emails and pulled the plug out of the wall as soon as they were sent and hurried out to the kitchen to do the same. The phone was ringing when I got there.
Tom was piling mugs onto a tray. He frowned at the wire in my hand. "Did you just put the entire house off-line?"
"Yes." I let the wire fall. "I'm not talking with my mother or with Karla. Not today and not tomorrow - not for another damned week. I'm going over to Chris."
"Okay, okay." He held up his hands, palms forward. "Mind telling me what's up?"
"Mum and Karla just found out about some investments my father and I did years ago. Now they think they lost something by it and fat wet lumps of bullshit are flying fucking all over the place. I'm fed up with tiptoeing around those two bitches."
"I'll tell Granny. Are you alright?"
"I want to hit something."
"I'm not sure Chris will stand for that."
"Idiot." I slapped him on the head. We horsed around the kitchen and afterwards I felt somewhat better.
I must have looked calm enough for Tom not to be too concerned about letting me loose in a car. All I got was a: "Take some fucking care with the speed limits and the lights. Red is stop - and so is yellow, the one in the middle. Got that?"
I assured him that I did and he let me go.
When I arrived at Joey's house, Lance's car was the only one in the driveway. For a tiny moment I considered driving on to find a phone booth and call the house to see if Chris was there. Only I wanted to see him now. So I parked and went in.
It was Justin who answered the door. He blinked at me and cleared his throat. "Hi, Mikkel." The frost zone was missing like it had the day before when I dropped Chris and Busta off.
"Hi. Is Chris in?"
"No." My belly clenched. "He just left to pick up a video, he'll be back in a few. Wanna come in?"
"Please." I followed to the living room. The TV was on low and the house seemed very quiet. "Are you alone?"
"Yeah." Another clearing of throat. "You want a beer or something?"
That's a peace offering if I ever heard one. Wish Karla would... She is never going to. "Please. A beer would be nice."
He smiled and disappeared. Busta was on a cushion on the floor. She had raised her head and yawned, wagging her tail at me. "Hi, girl." I knelt and petted her and she lay down again, snuggling against my hand. "You are one tired little pup. Been busy playing?".
"Yeah. He went out like a light," said Justin and put the cans on the table and sat down. "Chris said he's okay."
"She is fine." I made sure the pup was going back to sleep before I got up.
"She's got all the makings for a she, no male protuberances what so ever."
"Man, I've been playing with him for hours and I didn't even notice."
"I think Chris is planning pulling a major one on the world press." Chris! Come home! I tried telepathy but got no response.
Justin smiled and popped his beer open and I sat down across from him and opened the other can, like a delayed mirror image.
I lifted my can. "Cheers." The peace ritual was coming along beautifully. And the beer was cool and soothing, even if it was a bit watery.
There was nothing watery about the clear blue eyes watching me with open curiosity. "So you and Chris are... What are you?"
"Something. We haven't put a name to it. My grandmother calls it a fling. I don't know..."
"Your granny knows about you and Chris?"
"Sure. I live at her house." Will he ask what my income and career prospects are? I hope he doesn't ask what kind of family I come from.
"You're having sex with Chris. In your grandmother's house." He seemed to find it funny.
"Oh, yes. We do try to keep it to my bedroom when there are others in the house, though." The stairs could be fun. And the couch, the couch in the library has some interesting dimensions-
Justin grinned. "Is he good?"
"Chris in bed?" Skin glistening with sweat, smooth movements, bunching-
So did I and something about my expression made Justin laugh.
The grin was gone when we finished drinking on the closing of that particular subject. "There's something you should know. About us."
"Yes?" Precisely which us he was talking about would probably be clear in what he was going to say next.
It was. "If you hurt Chris, if you hurt him we're all gonna come down on you. Hard." It was said fiercely and with all the drama of youth. But - he meant it. The thought of JC having another go at me was daunting, let alone JC leading a pack with a Justin and a Lance and a Joey in it.
The peace talk had definitely moved on to shaky ground. "I have no intention of hurting him." But! There is a but... Why does this keep popping up? "It's not going to last long, though."
I had all Justin's attention weighing down on me. "What do you mean?"
"There's a deadline. I'm not going to stay."
"Chris knows this?"
"Yes, of course."
"When are you leaving?"
"April the twenty-third. I'm going back to Denmark."
"Oh." It was said with the same inflection that my father had used. Justin frowned. "You're not gonna try..." He waved his hand.
"Oh." Again. But the accompanying calculating stare was very unlike any of my dad's expressions. "Why not?"
"Even if... Neither of us believe in a long distance relationship. And it's not like it's relevant as we are now."
"Oh." This was a sharper oh. He cleared his throat. "It's just sex?" The question was like a small glittering ball barbed with glass thrown at me.
Sex! With Chris! "Not to me." And this is where this part of the interrogation stops.
Justin nodded and sipped his beer, looking at me over the rim of the can and not thinking entirely happy thoughts.
"My turn." Surprised? Heh.
"Ah. Right." He hesitated, then he smiled and cleared his throat. "Okay."
What did Lou do to JC? "You and Chris - are you good now?"
Justin nodded, looking earnest but not too earnest. Whatever was going to come out of his mouth was interrupted by the front door being opened and a loud "It's mee! I'm ho-ome!"
Chris! Which was likely also the content of Busta's excited barks because I had to squelch an impulse to bark along with her and run to overtake her on her sleep befuddled run towards Chris.
He came through the door. Live Chris. A crate of champagne bottles detonated, almost without a sound, my inside was seething with bubbles. Chris grinned to me and hunkered down to greet Busta. "So, you're awake now! Hi, boy!"
Justin caught my eyes and grimaced. Chris looked up, catching us at making faces. He jumped up and yes, there's a hug of some kind coming my way jumped on top of me almost overturning the couch.
I didn't know what to do with myself but sit still, seething with champagne.
"Hi! You wanna watch videos with Justin and me?" He rested his forehead against mine. His breath smelled of chips.
"Sure." It could be horror! "What kind is it?" My hands had found out what to do without the help up my brain. The hips, feel the hips, nice Chris-hips.
"Gay porn. The Bobbing Dick Parade Four. It's got donkeys and rollercoasters in it."
Phew, gay porn I can watch.
Erh. How do I get rid of Justin?
"Chris!" Justin was laughing. "Man, that's not what we agreed on!"
"It's karate gay porn. Hai!" Chris cut slices of air with his hands and I had to duck. "A classic!"
"A classic? Man, you're in trouble if it's not in color." Justin picked up the cassettes from where Chris had dumped them on the floor. "What's the other one?"
"A scream. A gay scream."
Which was a relief. I really prefer to watch fun movies. If Chris thought this one was a scream then it had to be funny indeed. Realizing why Chris was filling his lungs, I slapped my hand across his mouth. He was way too close to my ears for my hearing to survive one of his loud ones. The scream was damped somewhat; the air rushing between my hand and his cheeks made a super fart noise.
Justin had been laughing at us while he opened the first cassette. He stopped laughing to groan painfully. "Man, we've seen this, like, a thousand times."
"So? It's good." Chris made karate noises and I ducked slicing hands again and didn't quite evade the flying karate-sound spittle.
"You watch a lot of gay porn with donkeys?" I asked and was rewarded by Justin looking at me as if he wasn't quite sure if I was serious. "Donkeys are one of my favorite kinks. Have you seen the one with the motorized wheelbarrow, the ski lift and the painted monks in aprons?"
He grinned and shook his head.
"What are you waiting for? Stick it in," demanded Chris, setting off my dick - yes! yes! yes! So I slapped him on the top of his head.
Justin rolled his eyes. "What about chips?"
"Chips? I forgot them." Chris must have known that innocent just didn't work. One had to admire him for his persistent tries.
"You forgot chips? And beer? It's about the only stuff you remember to shop for."
"Forgot beer too. Getting old, you know." Huge liquid eyes - beautiful.
"Fucker. Gi'me the keys."
Chris dug into his pocket and came up with a set of car keys that he threw to Justin. Justin plucked them out of the air and jogged off.
"I'm in trouble, man, this is deep shit," muttered Chris. He was gnawing his finger nervously.
"Did you eat all of them? The chips, I mean."
He sighed pitifully. "I will Busta to my mum, my turntables to my mum, record collection to my mum, my autographed - you're supposed to take notes, dude. I got a lot of stuff."
"Do you have any records with bagpipes?"
"No. I just-"
"No! Now, listen. I just will everything to my mum. Got that?"
"Your porn collection and kinky sex toys, too?"
"Of course. I said everything. She can sell it on the black market. Or to Joey. It's worth at least two hundred. Tell her that. She can probably get five hundred from Joey, he's easy."
I nodded. "She'll probably want to watch the videos with your sisters and think of her sweet little boy when big, fat, glistening dicks-"
He slapped me on the head.
Justin's yell made it quite clear that putting as much distance to Chris as I possibly could was the thing to do if I wanted a chance of survival. He protested loudly at being shunted to the floor. I jumped over the back of the couch before he could grab me and try to use me as a shield. Justin was on him like a whirlwind.
I picked the much confused Busta up and took her with me to the kitchen. My "It's a human male bonding ritual", didn't do much to reassure her. She whined when there were peaks in the yells and curses from the living room. I continued talking to her while I hunted through cupboards, freezer and fridge hunting for snack relevant ingredients.
When there was a lengthy lull in the sounds of torture I got the scissors from their drawer and went into the living room. Busta ran with me and climbed on top of her master who was spread out on the floor, playing dead next to Justin who looked equally flattened.
"Are you cooking?" Chris blinked up at me when I came back in from the outside with the fresh twigs of herbs.
"Justin wanted snacks. Right?"
Justin grinned and nodded.
"See? I'm cooking." I headed for the kitchen, feeling a lot less bad for wishing Justin out of there.
Shortly after they were looking over my shoulders. "None of us really likes olives," Justin informed me.
"I do. You can stick to the pepperoni ones." Not that there was much hope of that. Greek kalamatas, when they were served like this - roughly chopped and mixed with minced garlic and fresh herbs on a small thin slice of bread and covered in thick melted cheese, just had to be irresistible. "What about beer? This takes a lot of cool beer." I finished putting the cheese on, Justin opened the oven and I put the two sheets in. There was room enough between the bits for the cheese to flow onto the sheet and get bubbly and crunchy at the edges. I just hoped that this kind of cheese worked like I wanted it to.
Chris checked the fridge. "I suppose we have to get the ones from the trunk."
"You freak. What with all the empty bags on the floor in front?"
"Got them out of a trash can."
Justin looked like he might throw up. "You fucker! I ate from those!"
Chris pouted. "You mean I didn't get it all?"
Justin sneered, left and slammed the front door behind him.
Chris smiled and suddenly, with a Honda-clonk, we found the same gear and the same speed. Kissing is much easier when you are at approximately the same speed.
"Mmm." And there was more groping of hands, and warm wet slides and dips of tongues. I had to take little steps backwards; he kept squirming into me and the power in my knees was red-lining. Then there was a wall at my back and the squirming Chris kept pushing and I pulled him in tightly, wrapping my heart around him.
"Hey. Guys?" It was Joey pulling at our attention; he might have made a couple of tries. He was right next to us, holding a lamp and existing in a reality that didn't make much sense. The only thing that really made sense was standing in an air shaft, floating on hot air with Chris' arms around me and his strong body pressed against mine, Chris shivering where I touched him, his hands groping me...
"What?" muttered Chris huskily.
"Uhm. Nothing. Too late."
Maybe Joey's intervention had to do with the quick steps that just then reached the top of the stairs and the door that quickly opened and closed again.
Justin was standing behind Joey, holding a carton of beer and two huge bags of chips. Going by the totally stupefied way he was staring at Chris, he had lost all awareness of his hands; what he was carrying could fall any second.
"Your feet are in danger." I told him and he stared at me like he had the same problem with clashing realities that I had.
"Lance?" ventured Chris and Joey nodded.
Chris sighed and buried his face in the crook of my shoulder. "Fuck Lance and his fucking sensitive sensibilities."
Joey didn't like to hear that. "Chris."
"Yeah, yeah. I'll talk to him in a minute." He raised his head. "Why the fuck do you sneak around like that, anyway? Give the gay and bi guys a chance, man."
Joey smiled. "We didn't sneak."
He was still holding that lamp and it was getting to me. Had it evaporated with a flash then it wouldn't have made more sense - or less. The chips and the beer, that still hadn't fallen and looked less and less likely to, since Justin was on his way back in his head, those I could understand the presence of. "Joey, why are you carrying a lamp and how did you get here?"
"By car." He looked at the lamp as if its presence was a surprise and fear rose its ugly head - the lamp could be cursed. "It kind of stuck to me."
Stuck? Oh, no. Must be a curse. And - by car? Since when did cars get to be teleport devices?
Chris glowed at me, amused.
"It doesn't make any sense," I told him.
He grinned. There were still kisses in the wet swollen lips so I plucked one, he gave me more and maybe there was no end to the supply. There was only one way of finding out...
The air was carrying us again.
Far away Joey said, "I need a beer", dispelling the curse, and Justin was laughing.
A series of persistent plings announced that we had reached the top floor. "I have to check the snacks."
"I have to check on Lance."
"Turn the fucking oven off!" Justin was in the living room. They must have teleported. This is a really weird house.
I turned the timer off. "Chris?"
"Yeah?" He turned in his track, took one look at my face and knew what I was going to say. "I'll tell you if I think it's better that you leave."
Reassured I nodded and Chris ran upstairs.
While I waited for the snacks to cool a little, I tidied up the kitchen. My hands carried the imprint of jeans clad round buttocks and warm skin - the belly, the nice, nice belly with sproing. Every time my hands moved or touched something, the memories jingled like little bells. I really enjoyed tidying up and arranging snacks on a platter.
The cheese had done exactly what I wanted it to. The olive snacks tasted better and the pepperoni ones less well than I had hoped.
Justin and Joey were curled up on the couch, talking, a bowl of chips between them.
Joey's voice was serious. "If you really think a NDA would help him... Kelly still has that copy laying around somewhere."
They looked up when I came in.
"Carrots?" Justin eyed the platter and took a pepperoni snack.
"Yes. They clean the taste buds. You may want to start with one." He nodded and picked up a carrot stick, appearing to buy the half truth as a whole one. The other half of the truth, it really was closer to nine tenths of the truth, was that the carrots were an important part of my escape plan. I could close my eyes and crunch carrot sticks and I would be safe if the karate gay porn movie go too scary.
Joey didn't offer the carrots a glance. He was munching on an olive snack and had that soft haze in his eyes that people sometimes get when they eat something they really like. It always makes me happy to see that haze.
The cursed lamp was on the floor next to Joey, hopefully neutralized by the presence of beer and snacks. It wasn't glowing, if that was any indication.
"What films did he pick up?" Joey asked Justin who didn't answer but just kept chewing, looking steadily at Joey. Who groaned. "Not Space Jam!"
Justin shook his head and waited.
Joey was visibly relieved. "Mad Max?"
Justin, the epitome of patience, shook his head.
"Oh. That one."
Justin nodded. "And a gay scream."
"That's okay. Mikkel, you gotta tell me how you made these." He picked up a pepperoni one.
"Sure." He didn't look like he meant now.
"Hey, those are mine. You stick to the other ones."
Justin squinted calculatingly at Joey and took one of the ones with olives. Joey raised a talking eyebrow at him.
Justin nibbled the snack. "Say, Mikkel, don't you get beard burn a lot?"
I touched my jaw. It was burning. Chris did that. More Chris. "With Chris, yes. He has a good scratch in him." I popped my beer open. "I don't mind. Actually, I really like having them on my thighs; you know, on the inner side where the skin is thin."
Justin went absolutely still, searching my face and looking slightly sick. "Ah. Right." He stuffed the rest of the snack in his mouth.
Joey's eyes crinkled at the corners. "Making them there isn't bad either. Erh, I mean..."
Lick and suck, make Chris' thighs burn!
"Did I really ask for this?" muttered Justin.
I nodded. So did Joey.
Justin rolled his eyes before he changed the subject. "Say Mikkel, Chris didn't have you sign an NDA, did he?"
"Non-disclosure agreement. That's-"
"I know. Mormor told me to expect one of those. No, he didn't. And no, I wouldn't mind signing it, not if it is what I was told to expect. Is it because of JC?"
"Yes. He's..." Justin shrugged.
"Scared out his mind of the wrong people finding out that Chris is having sex with men. I noticed."
"Yeah. You gonna rat on Chris?"
I shook my head. "It's okay, Joey. No, I'm not."
"So, we just need to get Kelly's copy so that we can make our own." Justin popped a snack in his mouth and nodded to Joey, ordering him into action now.
I didn't like all that talk about copies. Maybe it was my earlier talk with dad that had me alerted. "Wait a minute. What's the usual procedure for this?"
Joey looked steadily at me. "Usually the suits take care of it. But we're gonna copy the one that Kelly signed and use that."
"And do what with it?"
"Show it to JC."
"Keep it somewhere, I guess. Probably with Lance. Is there a problem in this?"
"Stepping on the turf of management? Well, you guys likely know better than I do."
Justin spoke up. "It's not like we were gonna tell them."
"Where I come from we have a very dangerous word for faking legal papers."
Joey stared at me in alarm.
"What?" asked Justin.
"I think your word is fraud?"
Joey swallowed. "Actually, it's forgery."
"But... but it wouldn't really be a fake... Not if we made it something between us and you. Would it?" Justin asked Joey who shrugged helplessly.
"You would probably be breaching contract - at a minimum." I said. "I wouldn't sign it."
Justin and Joey exchanged glances.
Justin opened his mouth and Joey shook his head. Justin's lower lip shot out and he looked like a dissatisfied child.
A cannonball of a caliber of half a meter or so rolled down the stairs. Busta recognized the gait and got up from her cushion, wagging her tail.
Look, Chris is coming through the door. The horsetail streaming out from the top of his head bounced with his moves.
"You ate all of them!" Chris pulled the platter, a beer and the remote control to his end of the table, sat down on my feet, slipped Busta onto his lap, started the video winding through the trailers, opened a beer and shoved a snack in his mouth in one complicated smooth move. I'd like to see that in slow motion.
"Chris?" Justin bit his lip.
Joey closed his eyes. It worked like a button on Chris who sat up straighter. "What?"
"Do you think it would be breach of contract if we copied Kelly's NDA and had Mikkel sign it without telling management?"
"Are you out of your fucking mind? You'll do no such thing. Okay? It would probably be forgery or something."
Justin nodded. "That's what Mikkel said."
"Why the fuck would you want to do it, anyway? It's not gonna get JC out of his freak."
"But he said..."
"Look, I heard what he said. It was my fucking throat and Mikkel's he was chewing - I was there for every show, man. Look - JC's biggest problem is not with me and it's not with Mikkel either, we just happened to be in his fucking path. No NDA is gonna cure his fucked up mood, so forget it. And I don't think a nice little piece of forgery is gonna calm his nerves a hell of a lot, either."
"Then what is it? Lou?"
"I don't know. Could be." Chris checked the trailer flickering on the screen before he took a draught of beer.
"How's Lance?" I asked.
"Okay. He'll be down in a few minutes. I promised we wouldn't smooch." Chris leaned against my leg and looked up at me. "We made a deal. From now on, when he comes home he'll ring the door bell a lot before he comes in, even if none of your cars are the driveway."
Joey hid his face in his hands asking his god questions about Joey's own whereabouts; he must have been very confused not to know the answers to those questions himself. Justin patted his back, grinning.
"I could use a bit more than that to go on," I told Chris.
"He's worried. You and I, we have hot seat reservations in the deepest hell and he doesn't like that. It's okay; he'll work his way through it." Chris sent me quick glance, picked up a snack and looked at the TV.
So there, no more talk about Lance's shaking foundations.
Chris ate another snack and stopped the video. "Ready guys? I'm not stopping this for exploding bladders or-"
"I think we can survive missing a few minutes," said Joey mildly.
"It's Bruce Lee! You can't miss a few minutes of Bruce Lee, that's sacrilege, you dumbass. That's why I can't stop it, either."
Joey rolled his eyes.
I wonder if Palle still watches Bruce Lee films. "In gay porn and with donkeys? I don't think I have seen that one." I settled deeper into the chair, relieved that I probably knew the film and that it wouldn't give me nightmares. Still, I was glad there were carrots handy.
Chris smiled and started the video.
When Lance came into the living room and silently sat down in the other chair, I went to the kitchen and refilled the platter. Upon my return I found that Chris, Busta and Magnus had taken over my chair so I sat on the floor leaning against Chris and petting Busta. And Magnus, but that was by accident. During a couple of the scenes I was so enmeshed in the film that I didn't notice when Chris substituted Busta with Magnus.
By the time the film ended I was pretty stiff and I had had enough of being trapped by a flickering TV-screen; I went outside while the others fought over access to the bathrooms. It was drizzling and there was a fine smell of dust and wet grass and mystery flowers in the air.
I found a spot out of the rain, and, when Chris and Busta came out to play, I spied on them. Neither of them seemed bothered by the rain, except Chris when he tripped and swore at the grass that was slippery with the water.
Busta disappeared out of my limited line of sight.
Chris' "Don't you wanna play with me?" was so full of mock hurt that Busta may have caught it. It certainly didn't change her mind. Chris looked around and decided looking for on the next best thing. "Mikkel - where are ya?"
"Up in the tree by the shed."
"Up in a tree doing what?"
"I was trying to find out which flowers it is that I can smell. Then you came out and I spied on you instead."
I could see him as a deepening of the darkness below me. He was out of the reach of the light from the windows. "Not many flowers up there."
"I think it's those little white fluorescent ones on the bushes in the neighbor's garden. I'll have to climb the fence to find out for sure."
A pale splotch floated in the air - Chris' hand. I touched his arm with my foot. He grasped my ankle. "Hey."
"Hey. Want to come up?"
"No thanks, man."
"I can pull you up. It's not far."
"It's okay. I'll come down."
"No! I'm not scared. Where's your hand?."
I gripped in the branch above me and reached down with the other hand. "Here, right above you. Stretch a bit..." I grasped his wrist, he grasped mine and I pulled him up.
"Whoa! Are you holding on to something?"
"Yes. Sit sideways and swing you leg over..."
"Shit! Don't let go don't let go don't."
It took a bit of fumbling about before he was sitting astride the thick branch with his back against me and my arms around his middle.
His pulse was going fast. "You're supposed to hold on to something."
"I'm leaning against the trunk."
"You can't hold on with your back. No gripping instruments. I've seen it."
"We're fine. Relax." I kissed his neck.
"Don't do that."
"Don't breathe on me either."
"You want back down?"
"No... Gi'me a sec. The dark is fucking with my sense of balance."
"Okay. Look, just hold on to me." He already had a vice-like grip on my arm. "I have pretty good sense of balance, several branches within easy reach and my legs have a very good grip on the branch that we are sitting on."
"Don't let go of me! Fucker."
"Sorry, my nose was itching."
"Well, don't itch it back, idiot." His fingers were digging in hard.
"You'll be less dizzy if you relax."
"Dude! I'm working on it. Don't breathe on my neck."
"Can I bite it if I hold my breath?"
"No." He was slowly settling against me.
I nuzzled his neck, reveling in his scent.
He sighed and shivered. Then he stiffened a little. "You're not closing your eyes, are you?"
I opened my eyes. "No. Of course not."
"Good. See, I'm fine. Don't do stuff your finger in your nose."
"I won't." I had one arm around him and slowly rubbed his belly in circles with the hand of the other, soaking warm comfort from him and trying to give him some too.
"So, what's up? You missed my sexy body and couldn't wait another day to grope me?"
"But I'm right - something's up?"
"Yes. I had a row with my mum on the phone. Those summerhouses I told you about?"
"Yeah. Your start capital."
"Dad and I have been keeping our little project from my mum, because we wanted peace and quiet. My mum doesn't understand why he won't gamble everything on the restaurant. She just found out about dad having mortgaged his house for that business adventure with me, and she gave birth to a horse."
"So she's taking it as an insult and she's angry because you and your dad kept it quiet."
"Yes. That's understandable enough. She's also angry because - don't ask me about the logic in this." It's Karla's kind of logic. "Since I was involved when dad mortgaged his house, then it follows that I'm the one that robbed him of his savings, which equals robbing mum and Karla of their money for buying Karla her own restaurant."
"The sister I don't want to talk about, the chef. I ran away from her call after I had listened to my mum." I pulled him in tighter. "This is a major family crisis, I tell you. And they just aren't going to listen. It's arrrgh! frustrating. So - when I wanted to hit something, I came here."
"You're gonna hit me? Man, that would be expanding the crisis."
I laughed and gently bit his ear. "What? You don't want your naked ass on fire and decorated with my handprints?"
Chris shivered and stiffened, holding on tight to me. "Don't say that," he snapped.
I held him, rubbed his belly and didn't breathe on his neck until he relaxed again.
"So, are you gonna do anything about it?"
"Your bottom or the family crisis?"
"I was asking about the crisis." He shivered. "But I kinda got an interest in the bottom, too."
"I really would like slapping your bottom until it's all burning red and quivering. The skin is going to be so soft and hot on my tongue when I-"
Slam. His hands locked on both my arms. "Fuck. Don't scratch your nose don't scratch your nose."
"... Maybe we should stick to the other subject?"
He breathed in deeply a couple of times and slowly loosened his grip on me. "You're reading my mind, man."
"There isn't much I can do about the crisis right now. Not when they don't want to listen. I already did too much. I sent really panicky emails to people warning them against my sister stirring things up. I know of at least one bank advisor who's likely to take offense that I dared think the email was necessary, and a lawyer who's going to think I really lost it this time. Kurt - man, Kurt..." I groaned and nuzzled calmness from Chris' neck. "He's so not going to let me forget about this." More nuzzling was definitely in order.
Chris patted my hand. "You have some fun explaining to do tomorrow."
"Don't remind me. And - it's going to get worse. Dad is really angry with my mother and he's set on setting hard against hard. His way. He's pushing for us to buy another piece of real estate. If I refuse he'll probably do something on his own." And Karla will fault me in any case.
"Oh... Are ya gonna take an earlier plane home?"
"I don't know. Things are likely to get more complicated if I'm around but I just hate leaving dad alone to man the front."
Chris had become very still.
I hugged him. "I'm not going to take off on a whim and without talking with you, if that's what you are asking."
He rubbed his cheek against mine.
"Skvadderhoved." English probably has several times more words than Danish. Yet, compared to Danish, it doesn't have that many words for fool. Now, what does that tell about us?
His cheek made a bubble shape - he was smiling. I kissed the bubble. Grope him, make Partner happy, free Partner, rub, fondle and tickle-
Better not. That would send him straight into dizziness and panic.
So - small fondles, slow ones, nothing to startle him, and long steady hugs when he tensed up.
"Man, I'm horny."
Find Partner! My hand wanted to go south but I kept it in check.
There was a yelp and a bump from the porch and for a while we watched Busta play with the fringes on the cushions of the chairs on the porch.
Justin must have heard Busta too, he came out from inside. "Hi, little guy-girl. What ya doin'? Summersaults! Clever little doggie." He sounded almost as bad as Lance doing his baby-dog talk. "Oh, aren't we yummy-yummy! We need a baaath. A biiig one." He lifted Busta up, holding her at arms length and carried her inside, disappearing under the roof over the porch. His pensive "Lance?" was audible before the screen door banged close and he disappeared out of hearing range.
Chris' belly was jumping with suppressed laughter.
Justin came back outside, empty handed. "Guys?"
"Where are you?"
"Sitting in a tree."
"No. My evil twin. What is it, Just?"
He came over to the tree. "Are you stuck?"
"What! Of course not. Why would I be stuck? That's a really stupid question, Dude."
"Do you want to come up?" I asked.
"No." said Chris.
"Hello, Stupid, your bike is on the phone. I was asking Justin. You already are up."
"He'll shake the tree, you idiot. We'll fall down, I tell ya, he'll shake us right out of it."
"Sounds like fun."
"You think breaking your neck is fun? Well, I don't think breaking my neck is fun. And don't tell me what kind of substance they gave you for brains." He was getting seriously worked up. "It's probably really smelly when your scull cracks open, like skunk juice or something."
"Okay." I hugged him. "Do you want to go down?"
"Down?" The word had him knotted up with the speed of light.
"I'm ready. Just throw him. I'll catch."
"Fuckers" If he tensed up the slightest bit more he would turn into a piece of wood. "Eeek! Stop that!" He held on to my arm, hard. "Mikkel! Hold on to fucking something."
I couldn't, not when he had both my arms trapped like that. "We are fine."
"It's just me," said Justin.
"Let go, you goobrain. Shit, he's using my leg for a fucking swing!"
"Okay, okay. I'm not touching you any more."
I rubbed Chris' belly and waited for him to relax somewhat. "I have a couple of ideas how to do this - or do you want to tell us about yours?"
"Plan A, then."
He settled some more. "You gave them letters?"
"Of course. Plans have letters."
"Justin finds a ladder-"
"I don't need no fucking ladder. What's plan B?"
"You lean forwards, hold on to the branch, pull your self outwards a little to make room for your legs, lay down, hug the branch, slide off to the side, let go with your legs, and when you are hanging from the branch Justin holds you, you let go and Justin puts you down."
He grunted. "Plan C?"
"Justin fetches a light so that we can see the ground. I make sure you don't fall anywhere while you pull your leg over so that you sit sideways - and you, ah, jump."
"Jump? Jump? Fuck! Ya wanna kill me?"
"I'd rather not. Plan Y is kind of a modified edition of plan C. You want to hear?"
"Justin hands me a rope. I get up-"
"Let's hear plan D."
"We sleep up here, wait for daylight, and go through the plans again."
"That was all of them?"
"Basically." I kissed his cheek. "Plan Z - we call the fire department."
"I like that one."
"I don't," said Justin.
Chris leaned forwards. "I want the fire department." He pushed at my hand and I let go of his hips.
"What? No way. Mikkel, if he brought his phone make sure he doesn't use it. He just might do it. Chris - the ladder, where is it?"
"It's lost in the holy burial grounds somewhere." Chris wriggled, moving forwards. The branch shivered faintly with his moves. "And I don't want no fucking ladder. I want the fucking fire department." Another shiver in the branch. "Tell them - one of the big trucks." He kept inching forwards. "And the one with the long hose."
"And tell them to hurry. Can't you see them, man, here in Joey's yard? Charging through the bushes at the front, crashing through the fence, plowing up the lawn, lights blinking and sirens on full power... Weow-weow! It would be great." I could see the outline of him against the spy window in the foliage; for a talking Chris he was moving very little. Actually, he wasn't moving at all. "No lawn mowing for weeks."
"Isn't that going to extremes just because you lost a bet? The ladder - where?"
"Plan B coming up," I muttered, realizing that Justin was unable to see what was going on.
A low "got ya" floated up from below.
Chris continued as if he hadn't heard us. "You should light fires first. Lance could set fire to some of the junk in the basement. I mean out here, in the yard and around the pool. Big roaring fires."
"Burning junk in the back yard. Brilliant. Let's add Lance's chemistry set, the enhanced one that you gave him."
"Too bad we used up all the gun powder." Chris sunk down and I no longer could see his outline. The trunk was very still, there was a Chris-sized spot that seemed darker than the rest but I wasn't sure whether my eyes were playing tricks on me. "Hey! The explosives - you sissies never used them."
"I still say it's the left-over wax from your chest job."
"Dude! You just have to rig it right. Like I told you. With the timer."
"My mum's still asking me if I've seen her alarm clock. It's the best one she's had."
"Of course. I wanted the best; it's high quality explosives." He started on a thunderous sound of a roaring explosion but stopped in the middle of it. "Did you call the fire department yet?"
"I'm still trying to figure out what to tell them. Fires in the back yard, a pound of explosives that smell like wax and a crazy guy in a tree. What else?"
"What crazy guy?"
There was a tremor in the branch and a rustling sound. The dark spot had disappeared. "Justin?"
"Yeah. Heard him."
There was a long pause. Then the branch jerked faintly.
"Eeek! What the fuck are ya doing?"
"Sorry. It's okay, Chris. Let go of the branch. I got ya."
"It was an accident. Let go of the tree."
"No way! It's my pet tree. I'm hugging it."
I moved out on the branch, trying not to shake it, and feeling for Chris' hands before each move.
"Hugging it! Trees like this need a lot of hugging. Did you ever hug it?"
"No. Let go."
"See? Did Lance? Did Joey? Did JC?"
"How the hell should I know if they hugged the tree? You want me to go in and ask?"
"No. My point is - nobody fucking cares about the trees. Not on a deeper personal level."
There. One more move and I lay down, slipping my fingers around his wrists. He was shaking.
"Nobody ever even took this poor little one for a walk, I can feel it." He released his newfound pet, gradually. "Joey should care more about his trees; they are really nice trees. Hell, we all should." I lowered him, held on as he lowered his arms and let go when he wriggled his hands. "Watch my nuts!"
"I'd rather not, man... There. That's ground under your feet. Headwards is upwards and footwards is-"
"Say when you two are out of my way."
I swung down. They were standing just inside the reach of the light from the house. Justin had flung his arm around Chris' neck.
"What the fuck took you so long?" asked Chris.
I walked out of the deep shadow. "Sorry. The bridge was up."
"About time." He flung his free arm around me as we walked to the house, pulling both Justin and me in tight. Then he tried to walk by putting his feet on top of ours.
Justin and I had some trouble finding room for our arms around Chris. Justin gave me grin and a slap on my head - telling me what he thought about me goading Chris up in a tree after dark.
Chris bumped Justin with his hip and I showed Justin my tongue.
"What have you been up to now?" was Joey's question when he saw us, reminding me of Tom. It may have been the tree bits and green smears that made him ask. Chris was carrying quite a lot of hug-residue on his damp person.
Lance came into the room carrying Busta wrapped in a towel. He stopped and frowned at our feet. Chris and I kicked our footwear off.
"They were up in a tree."
Chris glared at Justin the Tattle-tale, who had kicked off his sneakers outside and now pulled out the piano bench to sit down next to Joey.
Joey stared at Chris. "How did you get down?"
"Climbed, of course. Don't be stupid." Chris walked over to Lance who stepped back with a, "You'll just dirty him again."
Chris pulled his shirt off.
The belly! The nipples! Nice brown nipples with a pink tip. And the champagne bubbled.
He dried his face in his shirt, making sure that the smear was all over his face, and dumped the shirt on the floor. Lance let him have the squirming bundle.
Joey was still processing what Chris had said, picking confirmation from both Justin and me. "But Chris - that's great!"
I wanted to hug Joey.
Chris sent Joey a small smile and bent his head over Busta. "Why are you guys demolishing that lamp?"
"Well," Joey eyed the bits and pieces on the floor in front of him. He was sitting cross legged on a cushion. "Lance wanted the arm extended and it just sorta fell apart."
My blood froze. They mucked about with a cursed random teleport device! At least it looked dead now.
Everybody looked at Lance who looked wryly at Joey.
"Let me guess," Chris was unwrapping a slightly damp Busta wriggling to get down now. "Mr. Bass - armed with a screwdriver that he doesn't have a permit for."
Good going, Mr. Bass. Thanks! I didn't think Lance would want a hug from me but that didn't keep me from wanting to give him one.
Lance met Chris' eyes. "Don't call me Fred."
Chris joined him on the Fred and Lance smiled, a pale smile but a huge improvement considering the shadow he had been when he sneaked in to watch the gay karate movie.
"Do you think you can fix it?" Joey asked but not before Justin had stolen all Chris' attention with, "Who's Fred?"
Joey's eyes fell on me and he held out the screwdriver for me. He blinked. It wasn't a begging blink just a very Joey blink.
I can't refuse those eyes. I'm doomed. It was my voice saying, "I can try." Joey smiled. That's it. No backing out now. We're going to end up in the middle of a jungle or something.
Chris would probably like that.
I sat down next to Joey. "Can you remember what was stuck together how?"
Lance sat down across from me and crossed his legs. He didn't quite meet my eyes but he was talking with me and pointing out the bits whose placement he could remember.
After a few reattachments of lamp pieces, Chris managed to steal our attention from the project. "- and the bitch went like "get in here, come in, come" and Fred went like zap between the bars. You know, like Joey that time in Hamburg."
"Hey!" Joey's protest was drowned by Justin's and Lance's laughter. I put down what I had in my hands to watch Chris.
With all our attention on him, Chris expanded visibly, glowing. "Now, Fred he was just a little guy and he looked up and up at this huge, huge piece of sexy bitch, and man, did she smell good." Chris looked towards the ceiling, wideeyed, sniffing and licking his lips.
"And the bitch went," now Chris looked down and spoke in a woman's airy bedchamber voice, ""Hey, you're a really cute little number. You got a dick?""
Chris got up and moved into the middle of the room. He waited for Joey's laughter to subside before he continued. "And Fred looked at himself," Chris looked down and groped himself with a sure hand. My dick lost the ability to speak. That didn't keep it from yelling, though. "And he found something! "Yes! I got a dick, I got a dick! Oh, man, I got a dick!"" Chris raised his arms in victory and squirmed around in a circle, wriggling his bottom. It was quite easy to imagine where the wagging tail was.
And the dick! He's got a dick!
He straightened up. "The bitch was still there, looking really happy because of that dick, and Fred he went, "Oh, you smell good, wanna smell you." And Fred was sniffing her and, you know what? She was like smelling good all over." Chris sniffed loudly, obviously catching the scent of something wonderful indeed; he had to dry saliva off his chin. "And he wanted to rub his nose in this good smelling bitch, and he wanted to rub his little pink poodle dick in her and, and - oh, man, what a bitch." His manly grunt sent shivers up my spine.
Chris spoke in the bitch's voice. ""Now, look here little poodle-man."" He swung about and presented his ass to us, hands on his knees, eyes glittering as he looked over his shoulder. ""This is where the action goes."" Chris wriggled enticingly.
Joey and Justin whooped.
My dick was going crazy.
""Come on, gi'me your dick, little poodle-man.""
Chris frowned, shook something off his head and swung nimbly about, presenting his ass in the opposite direction. Next he shook something from his shoulder and swung about... Joey roared and perhaps that was what gave the others the clue. Lance leaned against Justin, laughing and quite red in the face.
Chris the Bitch made another couple of tries, then his face cleared of the frown; the tongue of concentration came out, folding around his upper lip; his eyes narrowed as he took aim - and with a quick move he lowered his ass towards the floor. Joey started another gale.
Chris the Bitch danced a couple of flicks, swings and misses with his ass close to the floor.
For a fragment of a second Chris the Chris trapped me with his dark gaze; glowing with laughter and promises.
Chris the Bitch flicked Fred off his hip and changed the angle a bit.
Chris the Bitch flung back his head with a deep-throated grunt and arched his back when Fred's dick finally slid inside.
I nearly came in my pants.
Joey slapped my back so perhaps I had made a sound. It could just have been a convulsion in his arm, though - he was laughing so hard.
Chris the Chris grinned mischievously and rose to full height. He shook his legs, waiting for us to fall silent. My belly hurt. Lance's color had deepened to a nice deep crimson and he was biting his lip; there were tear streaks on his cheeks.
"There's more?" Justin asked, drying his eyes, and Chris nodded. Justin grinned and patted Lance on the head. Lance elbowed him.
"Fred, little Fred finally figured out what it was about. And you know what - it was good, it was so good. Little Fred was happy!" Chris raised his arms, holding a pair of wide hips between his small square hands. He curled his fingers in a strong grip. "And he went, like this, with his little pink poodle dick inside the warm, wet bitch cunt hng-hng-hng-hng-hng-hng," Chris grunted deep in his throat and moved his hips with quick hard thrusts.
Chris straightened. "Now, Fred's mum-" He had to wait for Joey and Justin to quiet. "Fred's mum had come back to the car and she couldn't find Fred. So she began looking for him. She was running around all over the gas station, and she was yelling. I tell you she was yelling, "Fred, Fre-ed, Fred baby, where are ya? Where's mamma's sweet little baby boy? Fre-ed, munchkin, honey, sugar where aaare ya?" But Fred? Little Fred didn't hear his mum. He went", Chris grasped the hips again, "hng-hng-hng-hng."
I want that! Take his pants off.
"But - you know mums. I mean, stupid Fred, he hadn't locked the bedroom door. And Fred's mum saw little Fred. And he was going hng-hng-hng-hng. Right in front of his ma - hng-hng-hng." The sproing shivered delectably when the muscles in his ass bunched.
"You think Fred's ma was happy? I mean, munchkin-sugar-baby Fred was happy, the big good-smelling bitch was happy. Fred's mum should have been happy too. But no. She wasn't happy. She went," Chris opened his mouth wide and screamed. The lamps shook, everybody jumped in their seats and Busta began barking. "And Fred-" he paused for effect. "Fred still didn't hear his mum! He went hng-hng-hng like an animal hng-hng-hng-hng."
That was about where Lance got the hiccups. It could have been the scream that did it.
"She ran over to fence and she reached for Fred." Chris went through the motions of Fred's mum with powerful but feminine exaggeration. "She pulled him off the bitch and she threw him, threw poor little Fred high up in the air, and he flew, Fred flew through the air," his arm and hand traced a high spiraling path.
"While he was flying, while Fred flew through the air, Fred went hng-hng-hng-hng." Chris pumped with his hips again.
"And Fred's mum, while Fred was up there in the air, Fred's mum she went like this." He stretched out his arm, shaking his hand and jumping frantically on the same spot, knees coming up high. ""Eeeeee! Help me gawd, please, please, help me. Take-it-off, take-it-off, oh-my-gawd please take it off!""
Joey flung his head back; his laughter was booming through the house, drowning anything Chris might have wanted to say next. Lance was holding his belly, leaning forwards, none too comfortable with hiccups and convulsive laughter going on at the same time. Justin had slipped down from the chair and was going through a palette of sounds ranging from very strangled ones to high pitched laughter. I wasn't much better off; my belly was hurting and I was trapped in a sprawl I couldn't get out of.
Chris picked up his confused and upset pup. Grinning and looking very proud of the devastating effects of his tale while he nuzzled and calmed Busta, he came over and sat down on the floor by us.
"Fuck, Chris," gasped Justin.
"Chris, man, you make a kick-ass bitch." Joey dried his eyes and shook his hand. "Did Fred's mum really..." He ran out of air.
Kick-ass bitch - Chris.
"True story, Joe. Ask Mikkel, he was there too. We had front row seats for that show, I tell ya."
I nodded when Joey looked at me, and made another try at getting upright but my muscles were still out of commission. The only one that worked was just in the way. Joey offered me a hand and pulled me up into a sitting position. "She even got a stranger to wash her hand with an sponge and the suds they use for the car windows."
Justin frowned. "But that stuff has dead bugs and all sorts of yucky things in it."
Which set the rest of us off laughing, though somewhat weakly, except on Chris' part, and Justin grinned sheepishly.
"Shut up," gasped Lance. "I can't-" He hiccuped. "Not anymore. It hurts." He hiccuped again. "Water."
Chris slipped Busta onto my lap and left to fetch water for Lance who did look to be in pain. Justin rubbed Lance's back.
"Man, when he gets going..." Joey sighed happily. "I just don't get why it would bother you when Chris calls you Fred, Lance. That little fellow is a hero."
Lance stared at Joey. After the next hiccup, he grimaced, "A hero?"
"Yeah." It was obvious it was obvious to Joey. "He keeps trying; he's damned focussed. And he gets there."
"Fucking the air," muttered Justin and smiled with Lance.
"Yeah, but he does."
Chris came in, balancing a glass of water, a glass so full that the tongue of concentration was out. He let me take the glass before he sat down and I handed it to Lance. He waited until after the next hiccup before he took it from me and downed it all in impressive gulps.
Justin was looking back and forth between Chris and me, speculatively biting his lip.
"I met a girl like that once," Joey said, elbowing Justin and speaking quickly.
Chris reached over and scratched Busta, I turned my head better to catch his smell. "Like the bitch?"
"Yeah - that was later and on a lucky day. No, I mean one like Fred's mum."
Justin spoke with a trace of alarm in his voice. "She screamed when you came?"
"No. She went "Yuck! Not on my bedspread, you pig." And then she pushed me to the floor. It hurt. I landed right on my butt. And I wasn't even finished!"
"What a wicked girl, man."
"She wasn't a bad person. She was just more fond of her bedspread than of me."
"Joey." Chris rolled his eyes. "A bedspread."
"Yeah. It was a very nice bedspread."
"Sounds more like one of yours than one of Joey's," Justin said to Chris.
Chris grinned and shrugged and met my eyes for a split second. Pang. All nerve endings went online at once.
He looked away quickly. The tips of his ears were burning red. My breathing pattern had lost its rhythm, my head was swirling with the instant re-ignition.
"How fond are you of your bedspread?" Was that me asking? It sounded like my voice.
"Not that fond," Chris took Busta from me and got to his feet. He was halfway to the door before he sent me an amused glance over his shoulder and I finally understood that the beautiful creature wanted me to follow.
I was lucky. It had to be the central part of the teleport device that had been reconstructed, leaving out the curse module and the randomizer - I was by Chris in a wish.
He stopped at the door and handed me Busta. I could feel the eyes of the others at my back like an itch. I watched Chris pick Busta's cushion and Magnus off the floor, kept watching him as he came over to me.
He grinned and pushed me into motion, calling out "night, guys" and receiving a hoot from Justin and a Joey gale.
"Want your dick. Now."
His widened, became big black pools that eyes sucked me right in.
I was horny. Way too horny for smart and Chris was too.
He was able to get something akin to a grip on the situation after I made a jump in the air and banged my head against the head board of his bed. "Are you sure that you've done this before? I mean, your mind could be playing tricks on you, like, false memories and stuff."
"Just - get on with it."
"Man, you're a bitch. How many?"
"Dude! You're not pulling that one on me again."
"I'm offended here, wounded, I tell you. Look at this - you looking? Good. Four would be more like my size, see?"
"Actually, it's closer to five. Maybe a fist... No, no, hands off me, man; you're so not getting control, you fucking amateur."
"Three. Stick them in."
"Okay, three. One at a time."
"You - oh..."
"Heh. Found it. Fuck, it's hot in there. You could be running a fever."
He kept chatting but I stopped listening. The hand caressing my balls and the wriggling intruder set off too many lights flickering in my head for my ears to function.
When I could hear him again, it was because he let me lie there full of frustrating nothing.
"- don't think their fur come your kind of dark red. Of course you could dye them. Or shave. Now, that would be something, shaved cat's balls. ... Ready for two, Mikkel?"
"Where the fuck did I put the lube?"
"Chris - your dick. In me. Now."
"I'm not listening. Try - this."
"... yesss. ... Please? Dick."
"No dick until after three."
"Three. I rule. ... Whoa! Can you do that again? ... Heh."
He pushed his fingers in deep, sending me off line one more time. When I came to again, once more left frustratingly empty, the air felt cool on my balls and they were wet. The wonderful velvet heat, that also wickedly had disappeared, must have been his mouth and tongue playing with me.
"Where the fuck did I put the rubber?"
Rubber? He needs rubber - now. I fumbled under me. "Here..."
He was fumbling even more than I had with the small package.
Partner! The slippery hard-soft head butted against my palm, slid, his soft vulnerable skin against my rough skin. Beautiful Partner!
Chris shivered, and watched his dick getting dressed in tight rubber.
He squeezed a good helping of lube on it, hissing, "Fuck, it's cold." I spread it and he hissed again, a different hiss, punctuated by a grunt.
When I gave him a suggestive push, he blazed a smile at me and lay down on his back, arms folded under his head, black eyes glowing expectantly at me. He wriggled his hips and licked his lips when I straddled him. Slipping down his dick there was no real pain this time only a fiery stretching and my insides moving to accommodate the knobby intruder.
"Yeah." He had been watching his dick disappear. Now he laughed, glowing with that mysterious universe of darkness and light that he kept inside - meeting my gaze, he let it loose, and it flowed around us; there were more than enough for us to dissolve in.
His hands held on to my arms and his hips rose to meet me.
Again the soft laughter, and Chris came alive, thrusting with focused abandon. Yes! We were movement, strong and hard, up and out.
Until the edge, surprising and comforting in a swirling place that seemed to have no end, and then there was the long fall through clouds.
If I move I'll know whose skin is whose.
This is quite comfortable, thank you.
Something moved. I didn't think it was me. Chris?
"Man, you're squashing me."
I managed a minor contraction of a couple of random muscles, trying to determine what parts of the sluggish body that belonged to me. The hot flattish part closest to the mattress appeared to be a separate unit. Probably Chris. It fit; it was where the voice had come from.
Stretch the leg... right, then what? Roll? Something's missing... a push. A push. Bend the arm... Like that? I think it bent. Ready? No.
"Mikkel? Hello, skvatnakke. Get off me."
Who taught him that kind of words? I pushed and rolled off him, the roll stopped on its own when I was on my back. The air cooled the sticky wet skin on my front. My ribs were cracking, slowly stretching, finding their usual shape. Wonder how he feels. Hope he's okay.
When I turned my head, I found Chris, still on his back, watching me. The hair at his temples was glistening with sweat; his lip had bled a little. A lazy smile pulled at the corners of his mouth and his eyes crinkled warmly. "Dick enough? Or do I call in the army?"
He chuckled and rolled his head to stare at the ceiling. Nice nose, cute. He grunted and hefted himself up on his elbows so that he could look down himself, and the eyebrow went up. He did look slightly flattened and the soft black hair was matted to his pale skin.
Chris prodded his belly and, finding everything in order, freed himself of the soiled condom and threw it in the general direction of the wastebasket before he settled back on the bed with a grunt. The condom hit rustling plastic with a wet slap. A puppy bark was followed by a sound that could be that of a wastebasket being tripped.
"Stop it, Busta." Chris groaned and raised his head.
"Your dog," I reminded him helpfully, just in case he had forgotten.
"Fucker." He rolled stiffly out of bed to separate Busta from her new toy.
Watch Chris move - naked.
"If Lance knew about you chewing my used rubbers then there'd be no more juicy Lance-smooches for you," he informed Busta and sat down on the bed to clean her face with my t-shirt. "How did you manage getting spunk all over your face, anyway?" I rolled onto my side so that I could fondle him. His skin was soft, soft like it would only be after he had just come.
There was still a small smear on his forehead. The rest of the hug-residue was on the pillow case and sheets and probably on me too.
"What are you laughing at?"
"The question. Coming from you."
Chris grinned. "Wanna shower with me?"
I got to wash him all over and with soap too; he was a slippery seal between my hands. Except when I tried to wash the green grass smears off his knees - then he was more like a kicking mule with a dirty mouth.
Having his feet washed did funny things to him, hence to me too. I did that stupid thing again - licked a good mouthful of hypnotic foam off him without thinking. This time it was his instep that I licked; his wriggling toes made me.
When I asked to borrow his toothbrush, he offered me a finger with a dollop of suds while singing the Zoap-zoap Zong, that I had never heard before. He called me names, Zoap-ztud was one of the nicer ones, when I wrestled the toothbrush from him.
As it was, I fled to the bed and pulled the pillows over my head. Still, the persistent singsong "zoap, zoap, zoap," that came flying through the door, carried on puppy barks, could not be kept out by mere pillows. A heavy body landed on my back and the pillows were torn out of my grip.
A bottle of shampoo appeared in front of my face. "Zzzoap!"
I had no trouble imagining Chris with the bottom of a shampoo bottle sticking out of his mouth. "Chris?"
"Do you know how they force feed geese?"
"Zoap." He nodded.
I bet that geese are much easier to feed shampoo than Chris is.
They don't kick you or poke your tickle spots with hard fingers or pull your hair or call you things like zoaping zoap-zit. They don't sprout cobras that grab your balls, or grow long fangs and snarl threats with said fangs around your dick.
And geese don't salivate on you, moving on all four above you like a dangerous big cat, growling and biting each time you make the tiniest move. Of course they don't touch, lick and suck either. Or roll you over to chew your buttocks or fuck you senseless once you're one shivering and begging mess.
All in all I was pretty glad Chris wasn't a goose because he did all those things that geese don't do.
Descending through the clouds, I was still trapped on my belly between him and the mattress. We were rocking a little with his movements; his arm was hanging over the edge and he was petting Busta.
"How did you get that scar on your ass?"
He poked my side.
"Karlo's cock did it."
I got another poke. "Tell me about it." He wriggled his hips, pushing his soft dick deeper into the cleft between my buttocks before he relaxed again, molding to me like liquid.
"Ngh. He had this... feathered monster. Whenever he got the chance he would exhibit it. It won a lot of prizes."
"Man... Must have been something."
"It was stark raving mad, was what it was. The bloody thing attacked me whenever it caught me with my back turned. Never the other guys - it was just me it went for like that."
"Yes. One morning I was collecting eggs and I was standing with my naked ass in the air. Suddenly I had this wild monster stuck to my ass; it just dug its claws in and started hacking. Man, it hurt... I got so shocked that I lost the eggs and peed on myself. I still have dreams about roasting the feathered beast."
"You ate it?"
"No. But I tried. There was a time when I came really close; I had the stupid bird on the chopping block and was just about to swing the axe when Martin came and stopped me. I had it all planned and had shopped for one of my favorite dishes - young rooster in an orange sauce with almonds. All that was missing was the frigging rooster."
Chris laughed; his belly jumped and warm breath tickled the skin on my back.
"Today - I mean, the reason I ran over here."
"You wanted to hit something. Erh... Ya wanna - now?"
"No. I told my dad that I had met somebody and suddenly it seemed such a short time that we have. I panicked."
He was quiet for a moment. "You never were with anybody for less than two years, right?"
"Right. The thing is - I don't want to hurry, like, I would like to forget about the deadline."
He stopped petting Busta and with a finger started stroking my shoulder. "If we stick together until you leave, it'll be close to a record for me. The longest, if we count from alligator-day."
"Commitment scares the shit out of me, man. Three weeks and I usually get the hell out of there or turn into a complete bastard."
Which was odd, considering his commitment to the group and the other four.
"Actually, I kinda like that there is a deadline."
Something loosened in my chest and I could breathe easier. "I'm glad to hear that."
"I'm gonna hurt you."
"I know. I may hurt you too."
"Yeah... Hey, you really wanna slap my ass?"
"Yes. Do you think you'd like it."
"It wouldn't hurt to try." He yawned. "You better tie me up first, though."
"Sure. You got handcuffs?"
"Mhm. I'll show you my kinky-bag later."
"Yes." A yawn almost wrenched my jaw off. "Turn the light off?"
He grunted and flicked the switch.
* * * * * * *
End of part 2 of chapter 13
© Morgenfryd 2002