Warning: This this chapter contains scenes involving
I'm in the process of changing the address of my site. The drawbacks of the web - well, if you couldn't get the link in the head of the earlier chapters to work, then it's because the old address has stopped working. And if this one doesn't work, whoa, you're going through the old archives at Nifty, and this was written a looong time ago. Bing! I'm a genius, right?
Note: this is the last chapter. There's an epilogue just gone to beta, so, yes, there'll be an epilogue too. Then the Tail will be done. Weird, freaking weird: like, I'm really going to finish this humongously long thing before Chris Kirkpatrick enters retirement age. Which he hasn't yet, according to the rumors.
Response/feedback? Oh, yes. Love it.
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Chapter 28 of The Tail of the Tiger
I woke up shortly before dawn. It took a disoriented second before I realized what had woken me: a pup whining, announcing its need of an airing. Per spinal reflex I rolled out of bed before the whole context was activated. It came online with: Chris! Chris is here. Chris! Chris asleep behind the wall at the head of my bed. Chris!
I pulled my briefs on and donned a T-shirt before hurrying to the next room. "Hi, girl," I whispered to the small furry fellow that came running, happily wagging her tail. The beam of light from the aisle didn't quite reach the bed, the outline of the lump there was blurry, lost in the dark.
"I'll take her out," I said quietly, and was answered by a sleepy Chris grunt of consent. Fondle and kiss! It's Chris! The room held the faint perfume of sleeping Chris. I wanted to bury my nose in the source, hell, bury all of me in it. The armpits were only a detail, really.
I picked up the leash from where I had left it on the dresser the evening before. "Wanna walk?" I asked Busta, phrasing the question Chris' way. She understood, and, yes, she did want, and would I please hurry.
Not long after, we were at the top of a dune, next to each other, pissing companionably. Busta tried to do it on three legs, then, for a very short time, and perhaps inspired by the company, on two, and lastly on none.
We walked along the beach, slowly, outside the reach of the hissing waves; Busta stopped to dig, and I stopped to watch the ocean and the rolling dunes. The gulls were flying inland, away from the sun rising from its wet bed beneath the horizon. It seemed like everybody was busy doing his or her own thing.
We met Bill coming out as we were going in. He smiled brightly, waved, and was off on his morning run. Morning was his favorite part of the day.
I fed Busta and made coffee; my belly was connected to the guestroom a warm, fuzzy feeling turned slowly over and over. He's right in there. Go, go, go! Which I didn't; instead, I treasured the comfortable fuzziness while I pottered around, preparing breakfast and making a snack pack for Bill, John, Tommy and, a bigger one, for Chris. Just in case he-
The whiteout hit, painfully, extinguishing the comfortable fuzziness. It took a couple of paper towels and a face wash before I could finish wrapping his lunch, and it took decided effort not smashing my fist into it.
The night before, Chris had fallen asleep while I was assembling the second gourmet hamburger for him. One minute he had been chatting with Tommy, the next moment he had been comatose on the beach, lying on his side with his head resting on his arm; even the braids had been asleep.
"He went out in mid-sentence," Tommy had told me, caught between concern and admiration.
Not even a "Zzzt!" to his forehead could wake Chris up.
He had been heavy and warm, dangling from my shoulder when I carried him, like a sack of the finest potatoes, inside the summerhouse. After I dumped him on the bed, I had still had to coach him awake to guide him to the bathroom so that he could take his contacts out. I had readied his bed and gotten his things from the car before I went to check up on him. He had been fast asleep sitting on the toilet lid; his contacts had somehow gotten into their little plastic box. I had carried the warm and slack Chris to bed.
If he hadn't trusted me to go by the new rules, he would have fought to wake up during the transactions. His evident trust had scared me; it made it both harder and easier to refrain from putting my lips on him. I had tucked him in without a goodnight kiss.
Not that my hands hadn't treasured the contact. They still tingled at the memory.
Not only had I found two empty wrappers of cheap chocolate cake in the car the combined weight of the cakes had been close to a kilogram I had also found a high number of sweet wrappers, and six paper coffee cups, size large, from a variety of fast food places. Chris had doped himself on what was at hand to keep going.
I pressured him into doing this.
The bout of very bad conscience was still eating at me, though I had stopped sniveling and kicking myself whenever I thought of the evidence in the car.
Oh, dad, he's a warrior I want him!
I might as well have wished for the moon in a basket.
Tom was asleep for an hour or so more, before he had to get up and hurry out the door for his game. A Tom-hug, even if it had to be delivered over the phone, would have been very welcome.
Chris came here, drove all the way, because I. Dared him. I'm a shit.
Maybe there is something else?
Oh, gods. I'm going to miss him…. I already do and it'll only get worse. I felt like I was about to be flung off a fast spinning carousel: the trajectory would take me right into a wall, a very hard wall. My head went into static whiteout and I hit the wall. Fuck!
"Hey, are you okay?" Bill, sweat dripping, was back from his run, and he watched me nervously.
"Yes. I'm fine." I tore a tissue off the kitchen roll, and dried my eyes.
"Uhm." Bill frowned. "Maybe I should get Tommy?"
I shook my head. "Did you close the door? The dog…."
"What? Yeah. Yeah, I did."
And it actually was kind of funny seeing Bill this flustered. "Relax, dude. It's just a crying jag. There's fresh juice if you want."
I crossed my bloodshot eyes at him, and he smiled tentatively. "Sometimes it's just damned frustrating that you can't have everything," I told him.
He nodded, hesitating as if unsure; maybe he was wondering whether he should consult Tommy on whatever it was before asking me right out. But asking Tommy was not a potentially fruitful idea Tommy was quite incoherent until shortly before noon. Bill made up his mind: "So, you're really into McZ-eh-Chris? It wasn't just a joke?"
"No, it wasn't. Well, it was but not really. It was damned funny watching you guys get all upset."
"Look, about what I said…."
"I'm sorry. I mean, I misjudged him."
"Got you good, didn't he?"
"Yeah." He smiled wryly. Obviously the getting still had effect, and luckily Bill wasn't one to carry a grudge. Much: "I still want to drop him on his head. Actually, I'd like to do it right now."
I checked the clock. "Let him have another hour or so of sleep first. Please?"
Bill raised an eyebrow at me, and didn't seem at all sure that he was reading me right. For a moment I was inclined to tell him that it was okay, and that, whatever he had in mind, it would be a nice "thank you" to give Chris for his joke.
Bill gave me a small wave and went off to have a shower, leaving me to wonder whether we had understood each other.
We probably hadn't: the hour arrived and passed. John and Bill pulled Tommy out of bed, and between us we kept him moving.
The breakfast in friendly, nerdy company seemed to do some kind of trick, and I felt almost strong when I, well hugged and patted, stood by the road waving the nerdy convention goodbye.
For some reason, seeing them depart set off patterns in my head the outline of an improved AntiLoke. Typical me. I can't think until it's too late. With a Chris-related whiteout at my heels, I jogged back inside to settle down with pens and a large piece of paper, losing myself in patterning.
When I was sure I had penned the more elusive ideas to paper well enough for me to pick up later, I powered up the computer, checking the mail. Tom had sent me the flight data as I had asked. He had put the relevant phone number in there as well. Home.... Rssch! like a Band-Aid, Chris had said.
Backed by Busta, I sneaked into Chris' room, and got not only another sniff of Chris' bedroom perfume but also my telephone, which was still in his bag.
I ignored the waiting phone messages, and punched the buttons; the phone was answered by a boring robot obviously put there to prey on people's sanity with deadly boring music like a digitized vampire sucking blood. Give me Nsync! Or bagpipes.
I'm going to miss Paul too. And Tom. And Mormor. And-
"I'd like to change my flight to an earlier one if possible, please," I told the woman that answered when I finally was off hold. My calm voice surprised me, not a rssch was audible in it when I should have sounded like a scratched vinyl record.
She offered me a seat on a plane, the first in a string of flights, leaving on Wednesday. I took it. That was the same day Nsync was leaving for Canada. If there was anything profound in that then I failed to see it it felt as if there should have been.
Disconnecting, having finished my note-taking, and putting the phone on the table, I looked up, thinking I had heard a rustle. Chris was leaning against the doorjamb; the sun bleached red T-shirt from "Ølby Tømmerhandel" reached to mid-thigh, a faded pink bruise was all that was left of the dick on his forehead, a couple of braids decorated with bird drippings hung in front of his face, unshaved and scruffy he's beautiful! His eyes with their trademark liquid clearness were quite at odds with the surrounding puffiness of sleep. I was sucked right into the hot mystery universe of swirling colors and darkness, a place to get lost between stars….
For a dizzying moment I had no idea where one of us stopped and the other began; boundaries were entirely without meaning. I don't know who was the first one to look away.
"Fucking mind melt," muttered Chris at the same time I said, "Coffee?"
And we grinned, shaken, but mostly sane.
He left. "Dude, where's the bog in this house?" Bog? New word. He found it before I had processed the possible meanings enough to answer. "You wanna watch me piss? Freak." Yes, yes, yes! He was talking to Busta, and yes, she apparently did.
Wonder how he wants his coffee.
Same as usual: when he was back he ignored the fresh cup I poured, picked up my mug, held it out to be topped it off with more coffee and proceeded to kill the contents with sugar and milk. Since the poor coffee was entirely without vocal chords I voiced its swansong for it. Chris grinned fleetingly and flumped down on the chair across from me.
"You're leaving early," he commented neutrally his leg was jittering.
"Yes. Kurt's way more exhausted than he's letting on. Yesterday, my mother had a hysterical fit at Sonja, and she called Mormor and upset her too. I've got to be there." My fight! His gaze prodded me on. "Dad wants a divorce she's going to go crazy, and so is Karla."
"At you? Still?"
I shrugged, trying to stay casual about it all but the anger was there to hear, my voice was tense. "I set dad up, took all his money too it's all my fault. I'm an evil man."
Chris grimaced into his dead coffee. "What're you gonna do?"
"Whatever I can with cops, lawyers, and legal threats. I'm not going to try to talk with her anymore. Or with Karla." I would just say or do things that made the fucked up situation even more fucked up.
He sipped his coffee, eyeing me speculatively. "Man, you're angry-mad."
"Damn right, I'm mad." Chris' steady gaze prodded me on: "What the fuck is she doing harassing my employees and Mormor like that? Damned bitch doesn't have the guts to listen to me, she tricked me to come here thinking that would leave Dad open for, I don't know, attack is probably a precise description. You know, the more I think about it the more I want to tear her blood and genes from my body. And I hate that I feel ashamed of having her for a mother. Fuck it! It's not my fucking shame it's hers!" I didn't like the dragon slithering around in my belly, spewing poisonous gases it felt too familiar, too powerful, and way too easy to aim at a target.
He nodded, solid and unafraid of my outburst I could have loved him for that alone. His eyes were glittering irony and dark humor, likely he recognized the beast inside me; it was, after all, akin to the beast that fed his voodoo its extraordinary power.
I took a gulp of coffee, scalding my mouth. "Piss." The pain helped me cool down somewhat. The dragon shrunk, and I breathed a deep breath in sheer relief.
He was looking around inside my head. He probably could see what I was thinking: that our angers were in some ways alike I was bound to the object of mine by ties of blood, and he to his by the ties of his dreams and the promises he had made the other four guys. The major difference was the dark, unholy streaks in his ties. If there wasn't an unbreakable tie, the beast probably wouldn't wake up like this, would never grow to this.
"Is there anything I can do?" he asked.
I shook my head. "Thanks, but no, I mean, you already did, and I'm not touching your offensive, here I mean offensive as opposed to defensive, magic, not even with a nine foot fire poker. It's way too wicked and chancy. Man, you should have seen Joey's house when I got there." When I thought of that night, cold would still take a race down my spine. I shivered.
"Yeah?" He perked right up, trapping me with his expectant attention.
"Oh, yeah. When I drove into the driveway the head lights sort of dimmed, like a slow transition from driving light to parking light, only I hadn't touched the light setting at all. The outdoor lights were yellow, like somebody had put five watt bulbs in them-"
Somewhere along the tale he absentmindedly poured the rest of my coffee into his own mug, and poured me a fresh one from the pot, spilling a small lake on the table because he was looking at my face while he poured.
"Oh, man," he muttered pensively when I had finished. "Litl'gator?"
"In a pocket in my jacket. Do you need it?"
He shook his head. "I've already neutralized the glass shard; it's safe now."
"Neutralized? You melted it?"
"Not quite." He got up and went to his room. When he came back he handed me a small lump wrapped in tinfoil. It was obvious from his stance that he expected me to open it.
The lump seemed warm. It was without any chilling, dirty presence. Careful, I unwrapped it, peeling away the tinfoil, taking pains not to touch the naked glass within. I recognized the glass shard right away. It held a new feature: a small, cut and inked pentagram and runes caught the light. It was a spindly, almost delicate, pattern. Whoever had done it had a really good control over a glass cutter. Chris and magic.
I let out a whoosh of air. "Good. I mean, you figured what I meant."
"Yeah. Wrap it up, man."
I did, and handed the evil thing back to him to put away.
"What's for breakfast?" was his first question when he returned.
My favorite question. The darkness inside fled before the warm happy feeling from chanting: "Sorbet, ice-cream, pancakes, baked fruits, salad, bread, cereal, toxic sausages, eggs whichever way you want them, bacon, cheese, hamburgers, steaks-"
"Bring it on, man."
"You want it all?"
"You figure it out."
The mountain of cocoa cake probably had probably turned his gut into concrete. Fibers, lots of fibers and liquids. And no few vitamins. And absolutely none of that puffed glue he calls bread. A gentle belly massage might help too, except….
Counter to all kitchen discipline, he sat on the counter while he drank his juice, refilling his glass from the jug I put next to him. He made a delightful nuisance of himself; raw greens disappeared nicely when I made sure to do the chopping for the stir fry within his reach.
His chatter was filled with the sound of teeth crunching vegetables; he didn't appear concerned that I was communing with his gut.
"Hey?" he said, leaning precariously forwards to look into the fridge when I rummaged for more ingredients. "It says 'Chris'. That's me!" He pulled out the lunch pack with his name on it. "Dude, are you sending me on a secret mission?" he hefted it. "Two months into the wilderness hunting sand yetis?"
"I thought that since you brought the antennae and Justin's teddy then you might be heading out for Morocco on a surf board. And, hell, cocoa cake? It's so not right for field rations for that kind of trip, dumbass. Not for sand-yeti hunting either."
He grinned, and put the pack back in the fridge; closing the door with a heel, he picked up another strip of carrot.
We talked about everyday nonsense, his voice caressing my skin and warming secret places that had been freezing. His presence filled the kitchen, and my soul, still starved for touches, was quite at peace now that I was allowed to feed him.
I almost sent the vegetables into "overdone" because of his hilarious rendition of an obnoxious interviewer.
His thighs jumped and moved when he swung his legs warm and strong, rounded just so, they invited touches highly forbidden, as my own sore and blue thigh reminded me.
He hummed while eating the yogurt I had camouflaged as desert; I recognized snippets of the melody but it wasn't until I heard him in the shower that I could place it as one of Kurt's favorite Monty Python songs. Chris's smooth voice was full of light: "Isn't it awfully nice to have a penis. Isn't it frightfully good to have a dong. It's swell to have a stiffy, it's divine to own a dick-"
Partner's got vocal chords! Partner's got Chris!
This may be the last time I hear him sing like that, playing with his voice….
Partner's a superstar!
The painful thought of "last time" flung its wrap around me, insulating my perceptions like a cold at its snottiest high, rushing me towards another whiteout, and, worse, it kept me from hearing Chris properly. I tried to smother the thoughts, to just listen.
Luckily for me he sang the short song over again, playing around with the rhythm.
I had my back turned, and was rinsing the last pan, when he bounded into the kitchen.
"Dude, the acoustics in-" He stopped abruptly. "Fuck, man I told you to stop that."
"You did?" I turned the tap off, and reached for a piece of kitchen roll to dry my face and blow my nose. It was a wet experience: the paper didn't work all that well when it was soggy from my wet hands.
"Yes. For a smart guy you can be damned stupid. There's no reason."
No reason? Wait what? I had removed enough water from my face to turn to him without risking giving him an heart attack, but he was gone. The door to his room slammed. A moment later it was torn open, and then it was my door that was almost dislodged form its hinges when it was opened and slammed shut in short order.
I found him in my room looking through one of my inspirational scrapbooks. For a split second he looked caught, a wide eyed kid in trouble, then he wagged a reproving eyebrow at himself, and returned his attention to the scrapbook.
"So, I'm stupid," I prompted. And you're beautiful.
"Why don't you explain things so that I understand?"
He snorted half a snort he had found the page with the garden gnomes and other ornaments, it made him forget about the other half of the snort. The collage had finally filled out its theme: extreme kitsch. He turned the book, viewing the collage from all angles. To Mormor's loud regret one of her favorite mail order catalogues of dogs' accessories had been liberated of several items in the name of creativity. "How much was the hat?"
"Forty nine and a half."
He whistled soundlessly. "No skates?"
"No skates." I had looked.
"Huh." Dismissing the fragments of the skate-less, hence useless, catalogue he closed the book, and resumed his search of the drawer, finally coming up with a set of briefs. "Ha! See?" He, the delectable shaman clad only in a towel for a skirt, held up the briefs, triumphing as if he had just returned from a hunt where he had caught a very fine specimen of boneless bird.
Catch me! Chris! "We can wash-"
"Don't mess with my lesson, stupid. I'll use these. Now, get out of my way."
I stepped aside. He frowned at me. I leaned against the wall. He frowned some more. I put my hands on my back and leaned on them. He zipped past me at a run.
"You fuck!" He ran into his room and slammed the door. It was a good thing that the house was of good quality.
One deep breath, two. Play run-and-catch-Chris! Three breaths and some more. Lesson? I slid down the wall to sit on the floor.
Catch Naked Chris, now!
Lesson in briefs? I mewed softly in frustration. My hands were knotted into fists. Which is very stupid since there's nothing to hold on to.
Make Partner sing!
Oh, shut up. And maybe I had just hit the wall, falling off the carousel. I was certainly dizzy. I had a sinking feeling that I was not done hitting the wall all over again.
Want Naked Chris. Superstar Partner in a chew-toy.
Don't wash the boxers because he can use. Briefs. Nothing to hold on to or maybe there is.... But what? I forced my clenched fists open. Briefs?
Stupid clothes. Stupid Mikkel. Naked is good.
He's probably got boxers in his bag already. Briefs for lessons. Briefs that will do when he can't have boxers. Which he could but then there would be no lesson.
Chew toy's better.
I think I'm going in circles.
Chris wants Me, go, go, go. Naked Partner, naked Me!
No, no, no, no! Want Chris! Need Partner!
Never again. Fragmented pictures of naked Chris-parts flickered across my inner screen. The arch of his shoulder had found permanent fixture hovering at a point to my left, just where it had been when I was on my back, legs around him-
Sniffling, I flicked the bulge in the front of my shorts. "You, my friend, will have to do with First Hand when Chris is around."
"Oh, yes." I rolled up to stand. Never again. My dick was crying in more senses than one.
Partner, I want Partner! And Chris!
I stopped by Chris' door. "Want to play volley?" Volley would keep us nicely separated by a net effectively bolstered by game rules. Also, my chance of staying sane around him would probably improve vastly from shared physical activities. Yes! Though not that kind. You idiot.
"Count me in. Just a sec."
"I'll go put the net up."
Chris found me in the shed: I was, frustrated, trying to liberate the net from the hooks and hooked items on the wall. "Boards," he said, delighted, looking the assortment of toys and equipment over. "Let's do Morocco today; we can ride camels, and smoke hookahs."
With the lot he just ate, sea games were out-ruled for at least an hour. "Later. You don't just stand there, goof. Help me! This thing is driving me nuts."
Grinning, he did his best to disrupt the net even more.
It took some doing but I got him nicely wrapped, like a two-legged ham, and didn't even get the bruise on my thigh topped off with another; as a favor he gave me some new bruises.
I had to watch out for the Kick while I, carrying the poles over my shoulder, pushed him towards where the net was supposed to go. He stumbled in the deep sand, showering me with bright flowers of English, kicking the ball along in-between sending a Kick my way.
He sounded okay. I had my audio perception carefully tuned on him, wanting to catch any hint of linguistic flowers breaking.
Never again! Beautiful! and Partner Superstar! disrupted any lengthy trains of thought. Despite all outward appearances, Chris was the one in control, knowing where we were going.
Not that control looked to be his strong suit when he was tearing at the net with his teeth, intermittently citing dire threats, and kicking the ball at me hard enough to lose his balance, following each kick with a "Fuck!" when he hit the sand ass first. In other words, he was being quite charming about wanting to be let loose, and I took my time placing the poles for the net, never mind the new bruises that I got from the ball when it slammed into me.
"Now," I told him when the poles were spaced and placed at their very carefully selected locations, and I had picked up the ball. "Now, we play 'harass the little guy'."
"What? Fuck, no!"
"Oh, yes. Stand still." I pulled my arm back, moved, feinted, not sending ball at him before he was off balance. I got him on the nice rump. "Yes! Ass shot that's max points."
"You don't like to play 'harass the little guy'?"
"Damned right I don't. Too fucking much social realism for a game, you brain-dead, unimaginative tech nerd. Let me loose, you barbarian freak." The last word came out with enough pressure for the recoil to push him backward hard enough to, once again, sent him down ass first.
"Own goal I get double points for that. You calling uncle?"
"Double points, my ass! I'm gonna bite your head off, you motherfucker." He stumbled upright while I retrieved the ball. He was almost secure on his feet when I shot him down.
I was by him before he could get up again. "You sure?" I held the ball high, threatening.
He grinned fiercely, but something was flickering across his face, something….
Take his pants off.
Oh, gods. So beautiful, wrapped in a net….
We would have enjoyed this kind of game too, me thinks.
I threw the ball up the beach. "Get up."
The darkness and mystery of Chris seethed around me. I closed my eyes, clenched my hands to keep them off him. Rub me in Chris! Never again. "Get up, you punk."
He grunted and moved.
"You up?" I asked, still with my eyes closed; my dick was talking loudly.
Realizing that something was very wrong, I opened my eyes just in time to see him coming at me, perfect coordination on muscular legs, and, with the precision of a seasoned buck, his shoulder took me in the belly while he yipped like some stupid cowboy. A warrior full of dirty tricks, he was.
He was up and crowing long before I got my breath back: "I am the master" and such along that line while wriggling his ass and jumping about in some kind of dance, making a provoking bastard of himself. His arms twitched, restrained by the net; it went quite counter to his usual victory dance when the cobras were held close to his body.
Wriggling Chris. In a net!
"You are so dead," I said, heat rushing through me, it wasn't anger and neither was it pure lust, it was something hot and wild anti-anger.
Happiness? Which was like hot-and-cold, mixing with the emptiness of loss.
His cheeks flushed when he watched me get to my feet. He turned and ran, screeching, the loose ends of the ropes trailing and jumping behind him with a merry movement much like that of the bunch of snakes dancing from the top of his head.
Without the free swing of his arms, he was relatively slow and, despite his twists and turns, it was easy to catch up with him. I grabbed ends of the ropes, wrapped them about my hand a couple of times then I dug my heels into the sand, braking as hard as I could. The knots popped, sending a jolt though my arms. Chris started a prolonged, spiraling fall, held upright by the net, carried forward by his own momentum, turning round and round like a top, or a very solid ballerina seriously on crack; he was screaming in sheer exhilaration. Once he was on his back in the sand, he was laughing.
Grinning, his exuberance was bubbling around me like champagne, I squatted to free him of the last ropes.
"No, no," he gasped.
I laid out the net and he rolled himself into it. I retied the knots. And we did the whole thing over. And over. And over. Until my arms and shoulders ached and he threw up.
"Enough?" I asked, supporting him while yanking the last knots loose. He gave me a heave for immediate answer, and didn't complain about the yanks even though the knots had gotten quite tight.
"Not," heave, "really." Heave and sputter. "Fuck." He was breathing easier now the rope was off. His naked arms were criss-crossed by angry rope burns; probably he had some under his T-shirt too. "Don't ask me fucking questions when I puke, man."
"Sorry?" Luckily there were things around that cooled down my instinctive reaction to a ropeburned Chris. "You don't chew your food a whole lot, do you?"
He snorted, and dried his mouth on the back of his hand before he, testily, straightened and sat back on his heels. I let my supporting arm fall.
Chris squinted at me out the corner of his eye. Puck. "Again."
"Mind if I wash your breakfast off first?"
He sparked one of his muted grins. "Okay. Share the tub?"
I slapped the back of his head and got up. We kicked our shoes off and waded out in the big tub that somebody conveniently had put up between Florida and Morocco.
Chris in a wet T-shirt! The Nipples!
Not to be touched.
My dick got really loud at the glimpse of round buttocks with wet shorts clinging to them, when Chris took off, diving like a seal into a wave. I got busy, very busy, looking anywhere but at Chris, pulling my T-shirt off and meticulously washing the stains away and doing some extra rubbing of material against material merely in order to do something.
"Fucking supertanker," Chris muttered, it was an odd pause in the sound of his splashes and the crashing surf that made the contents of his mutter audible.
"You, us, me, or the world situation in general?" I asked, holding up the T-shirt, inspecting it with a rebellious gaze that would much rather rest on Chris than on a boring old T-shirt.
Chris didn't answer; a bubbly hum told me that he probably hadn't heard me. I chanced a glance in his direction. As befitted the sound, he had submerged his head and was making sounds and bubbles. His back was bent in a nice T-shirt clung curve-
Impulsively, I put my head under water and did my own bubble show. The bubbles danced around my face, dizzying, distracting and oddly relieving. Still bent over and bubbling, I walked towards Chris.
Chris had to roar loudly to make himself heard over my sounds. I stepped up my own sound effects, and it ended in some kind of vicious sound contest, broken up for short periods as we raised our heads out of the water to gulp air before lowering our heads to do more bubble roars while we circled each other like dogs about to get into a fight.
Chris won: he switched to a motor sound; when he aped John's moped running amok, I broke down in the middle of powering my old Kawasaki up. Laughing is not a smart thing to do when your breathing organs are underwater.
"Man, you need a new engine," Chris informed me. "That one sounds like a goner."
"Fnatmide." I gasped.
He grinned and lifted his arms in victory. "I'm the Master Bubble-bellower of all bubble-bellowers! Hail me! Pay me your taxes!"
"Master Bubble-bellower, you puny, simple minded commoner. Kneel at my feet!"
"Surely, you mean you’re the Master Bubble-screech er of all bubble-bellowers. I am the Master Bubble-bellower."
He glared at me from under frowning thick eyebrows. "Did you hear me say 'screecher'?"
Forgetting myself, snuggling in the shroud of his threats, I said, "No" as firmly as I could. So beautiful. Kiss him! Hug him.
Not to be touched.
"Don't you think that if I meant 'screecher' I would've said 'screecher'?"
There was only one answer to that question. Luckily it was a short one; I was short of breath: "No."
His chin jutted at that, and I wanted very much to hear he was going to say, but something was moving on the beach, alerting me.
Two women were busy setting up the net. They looked like the Girls-from-up-the-road that had walked past us when we had done the summoning of the meter demon the evening before. Apparently they were in the mood for a game of volley ball. Help! The enemy is here.
"Chicks!" Chris quipped.
"Venusian acid breathers," I muttered before I could stop myself.
"Embrace the goodness, man. Playmates come on, Mikkel."
"You want me to embrace those? They're corrosive!" I followed him. Distract him how?
He punched my shoulder. "Ass."
"You've got puke on your shirt."
He stopped and looked down himself. "Where?"
"I don't know. I'm sure you missed a spot somewhere. There." I poked him at a random spot on his back. Inspired, I poked another spot in his side; it made him jump. "And there. And-"
"Cunthead," I corrected, still poking him, and, finally, provoking him into a poke-and-slap match. Yet, despite my antics, Chris made sure we ended up on the beach anyway.
"Hi," he said to the women, and elbowed me, mutely telling me to 'cut it out'. I don't know what expression he expected me to wear he wasn’t looking at me at all.
How far would Joey's tongue hang out if he met Pamela Anderson? Like this?
"Hi." They smiled, widely, like models do in tooth paste commercials.
"I'm Chris, and this oaf," he gave me another elbow, "is Mikkel."
Joey would probably lick his mouth a lot. There certainly would be drool at the feet of Ms. Anderson. Drooling, like peeing, is difficult to do when one has to do it on command.
"I'm Elisabeth," said the woman who had spoken to us from the dune the night before.
"And I'm Kathryn," said the formerly hidden phone wielder. "Do you mind…?" She waved towards the net that, not surprisingly was sagging. The sagging didn't surprise me: their arms were really spindly. Diet freaks. "I mean, I hope we weren't too forward putting the net up."
They had obviously been spying on us: how else would they know it was our net? I hope they skidded in Chris' puke.
None of them wore the tell-tale stains of close contact with a puddle of vomit, though.
"No, no, it's fine," said Chris. "You wanna play with us?"
No, no! Stalkers! Danger! "Chris, they're psycho bloodsuckers," I muttered while the dangerous creatures, looking deceptively innocent, expressed their liking for a game.
"Vampires?" he said, loudly. "Are you girls vampires?" He sounded all too foolhardily enthusiastic at the prospect.
They laughed, and shook their heads. "Sorry to disappoint you. It's too sunny for vampires out, don't you think?" Elisterine said gesturing towards the sun.
Which was not, I hoped Chris noted, an outright denial of his charges. "Can we see your teeth?" I asked, sure that once Chris saw the fangs he wouldn't be so upbeat about it all.
Colkate pulled her lips back, showing us her pearly implants. Elisterine grinned wolfishly, displaying the same perfect, artificial cover of acid dripping fangs.
"See?" Chris said to me. "Not vampires playmates."
"Corrosive Venusian combat troops disguised as dental hygiene ads."
"That's what I said playmates. Now," he pushed me towards the net. "Go on, play."
Go on? Oh. I felt mulish, like a supertanker it was hard to brake. "I'm sure they eat puppies for lunch."
"And mouthy boys for dinner." Some words sound really odd in Chris' mouth.
"Mouthy? You said mou-"
He propelled me forwards with a kick to my backside. "Just behave and they won't bite."
"Do you have rabies?" I asked, once I was parked on one side of the net with Colkate, waiting for Elisterine and Chris to take up position on the other side.
She smiled, deadly threats barely hidden by the sparkling. "That depends on how you taste."
"Uhm. I had chili, garlic, elderberries and holy water for breakfast?"
"Oh, boy - yummy."
That's North American women for you. Or Venusian combat troops. Same thing, really.
At least Chris couldn't see much of Elisterine's hypnotic chest attachments when they were playing on the same team she was by the net and he was behind her.
Of course that gives him a view of her buttocks. Better keep him occupied.
Unfortunately, she had a tendency to face him whenever they played each other. It seems like a no-win.
It took me a while to figure out that he had a pretty uninterrupted view of Colkate's bouncing balcony. When Chris was off picking up an escaped ball, I looked. The balcony was decidedly larger and bouncier than Elisterine's, more reminiscent of water balloons. Wonder how he likes them.
With jam, probably. The visual gave me nausea.
Colkate caught me checking her out, and raised a plucked and painted eyebrow at me. Then she sent my crotch a cursory glance. Even I could catch that pickup line. That, or she's making fun of me. Confused, I decided to get busy keeping an eye on Chris. It was not a second too early he served hard; it had been his intention to hit me.
Keep him occupied, is what I should do. Focus, Mikkel.
When we lost the next ball and Colkate ran to pick it up, I spent a couple of seconds gathering my wits, taking a timeout from watching the interplay on the other side of the net, doing the breathing exercises that sometimes worked, narrowing my attention to one thing: the game.
Then I proceeded to get what performance I could coach from my team mate and myself, using every trick in my book both as a team player and a boss. Apparently, it fit right into Colkate's aspirations: she reacted to the slightest encouragement, and began flinging her own encouragements at me. We worked each other into quite a fighter's mood. A couple of times I caught her inspecting her hands disbelievingly.
I was almost not paying attention to the way Elisterine would eye Chris' prime backside when he picked up a ball, or the stupid little grin that would plaster itself to her face when he yelled indignant but inventive insults at Colkate and me.
At some point I got to where I had aimed to get at: there was just the game, them and us. It came quite easily once Elisterine had gotten too busy and winded to notice anything than the ball.
When I met Colkate's gaze, she was glowing with excitement. "She usually wins. This is great," she muttered. "You think we can beat them by ten points?"
"Let's go for it." I smiled and maybe it was my own bloodlust that was reflected in her answering grin.
We were well on the way to succeed when the game was broken off: Elisterine sat down and refused to get up. Maybe she was dizzy from the knock-out caliber cannonball Colkate just had fired at her. "You guys!" she said and glared at both Colkate and me. "You guys are crazy!"
Chris was beaming lightning bolts at us. "You cheating, evil scum!"
"What he means is," I told Colkate. "Congratulations, you’re the beach volley champions of the East Coast."
Chris sputtered barbed protests. Colkate grinned and lifted her hand for a high five, and we exchange hand sweat. "I definitely have rabies," she muttered.
Help! "Anybody up for a drink?" I asked the first question that popped up in my mind, for a moment hitting the voice range of Chris. Of course they were as parched as I was, and there was no way I could take it back, so we ended up on the seaside porch fighting of the thirst, cooling down and conversing.
Once the aliens had been properly introduced to Busta, the conversation eventually went along a Chris style tangent: "Have you seen any sand yetis around?"
Which they hadn't and no thanks, they felt no inclination to come yeti hunting with us tonight. In fact, they didn't believe in sand yetis.
"What do those two things have to do with one another?" I asked.
"Why go hunting for things you know don't exist?" Elisterine asked, smiling.
"How can you be sure sand yetis don't exist if you don't look?" countered Chris, and I nodded agreement to the undeniable sensibility in that. There was really nothing to discuss, it was just one of those basic ways of viewing life that you either get or you don't.
And later Elisterine asked about what we had been doing with the net before we went into the water.
"You were spying on us," I said.
"You were screaming. Ms. Thompson next door thought it was murder."
Colkate nodded. "We told her it was just you guys, and promised to go make sure all was all right."
"Impressive hearing she's got your Ms. Thompson," Chris said brightly. "Think she's into yeti hunting? We could use a set of super powers on the team-"
"Really, we're ornithologists from Greeenpeace, and we were practicing bird catching," I said, casting about for a way to distract Chris from bringing any super-sensor endowed, nervous Ms. Thompson on our yeti expedition. "He was stand-in for the missing experimental duck to be caught."
Chris sputtered. "You shit! You said eagle!"
"Did I? I meant to say duck. Sorry." Chris! Naked in a net!
Once Elisterine and Colkate had left, I couldn't help: "Yeti hunting?"
"Yeah, man. Why else do you think they put a reserve here?" He made a motion towards the dunes. "Gotta be because of the sand yetis, there's gotta be hundreds around here."
"Shouldn't we go look for tracks while it's still light?"
He blinked. "Point."
"And something else."
He squinted warily. "What?"
"Look, let's. Just two minutes okay?"
Chris was pure suspicion. "Two minutes what?"
"Lets be boyfriends for just two-"
"Shut up. Two minutes."
His arms came up in an offensive looking defense. "You ain't touching me."
Chris checked his watch. "Okay, two minutes." He made a chop with his hand. "Go."
"The fuck are you doing wagging your rump-"
"What the hell? I wasn't-"
"-wagging your little rump like a rabbit with a wasps' nest up its ass-"
"Ha! That's stupid. No rabbit with a wasps' nest in its ass would wag-"
"-up its ass and fawning all over those loose-chested, Venusian mutants-" and this time he let me roll on uninterrupted, merely keeping an eye on his watch.
"You've got thirteen seconds left," he said when I wound down.
"Just time enough to break up with you. Klaptorsk."
"Okay. Let's go windsurfing."
"Put a shirt on."
Oh? He's watching us!
He frowned. "Hate to sound like your, eh, like my mom, man, but have you forgotten to put your sun blocker on?"
I had. "Oh, no! Yes I have."
And when he was sitting behind me, liberally smearing my back with aloe goo, my soul was sucking up his touch the same way my skin was swallowing up the goo. "I'm still confused," I told him. I'm not! Give me goo!
He grunted, unsurprised.
"Why no sex?"
"Huh?" His hand didn't break its rhythm smoothing the soothing substance over my skin. His rough paws could be very gentle. "Oh. Man, it's… noisy."
"Yeah." He took another glob of glue, spread it in his hands, and waited for it to heat up. It still felt uncomfortably cold when he applied it.
"You don't mean like in grunts, screams, complaints and creaking beds."
Noisy? Nice Chris grunts! Oh?
Chris continued: "I don't mean your talking dick, either. Like, sex fucks with the head and the gut it's great but it's like a possession. And you, man, you've got the fucking stupidest gut around. It still doesn't get it, does it?"
"Supertanker." I was beginning to understand.
"What I said, yeah. You got a supertanker gut."
"Well, listen to me fart."
"Don't man, not while I'm behind you. I'd pop my ear drums, and end up in orbit or something." He prodded my shoulder gently with a finger, decided it could take another layer, and started all over. "You know back in the seventies-"
"When in the seventies?"
"Lets just say around the mid-seventies."
"Okay. What about then?"
"Open relationships, man."
"In the mid-seventies?"
"Yeah. People were doing it, like it was all out in the open."
My imagination flashed a series of pictures that was not in sync with my impression of the present US at all. "You mean in parks and-"
"No, meathead, they knew about each other. Like, it was okay doing it with the neighbor and your mechanic's wife. Every gated community was a rabbit coop, man."
"Oh. Oh, that."
"Yeah. I never dug it."
"Well…. Say, when did you start grade one? Seventy seven?"
"No, I mean. Will you stop that? I'm trying to tell you something."
"Yeah. What was I saying?"
"That you didn't dig open relationships back when you were, what, five-seven years old."
"Yeah. Yeah, I still don't dig 'em. And. Celibacy, man now, celibacy...."
"Yes?" The confusion in my voice was quite real. He's going into celibacy?
"Is way overrated."
Phew. "Oh, yes."
"You've done it?"
"Not willingly. Like, if we were playing one of those association games and you said 'celibacy' then I'd probably say 'gonorrhea'." Or 'severe heart confusion'.
"Ouch." There was a grin in his voice. "Your back's done. Maybe you should do your front and legs again; your skin just gobbles it up, man."
While I gooed myself, Chris fired up my computer. "Wanna show you something," he said and then my phone rang. Nonplussed, he picked it up from the table: "Intergalactic Pizza Delivery, this is D Alpha One at beam four. How can I help you?"
The other person spoke, and suddenly Chris looked like somebody was force feeding him raw killer snails. He swallowed. And swallowed and finally he got a chance to speak. "Uh. Hi, Tom. … What? No he's all over in goo, got a sunburn- … Well, I did. Fuck, will you stop putting me on the defensive- … It's none of your frigging business. And, yes, he's fine, it's just a light roasting. What's your fucking problem, dude?"
As Tom spoke, the tenseness seeped out of Chris; he made little noises to keep Tom going, and totally ignored my curious questions.
Finally: "Well, you know what Mikkel will tell you to do? … Yeah. Exactly. And serve it in bed, use the nice china-" His eyes widened, and he held the phone out a good hand's width from his ear. I could hear Tom ranting. When the noise fell to a lower level, Chris warily put the phone back to his ear. "You know, they can probably hear you when you're yelling like that."
The nice china? In bed? "Leroy or Richard?" I dried my hands in my T-shirt, wanting my hands on the phone.
"He asks: Leroy or Richard? … I see. You sure it's a man? I mean, it could be a woman or a goat or- … Well, go look, we wanna know-" Chris rolled his eyes at me when Tom threw another fit. "Man, I don't get it why shouldn't your granny have a sex life in the afternoon? Sex is healthy- … What do you mean don't say granny and- … Grannysexgrannysexgrannysexgrannysex- … I mean it: you should be happy that she gets some. Besides, what do you want Mikkel to do about it? … Man you're such a girl. Grannysex!" He grinned and passed me the phone.
"-a fucking girl, you fucked up, bionic songbird."
"No, no you're a not a girl. A girl would probably have way more control than you have right now."
"Mikkel! She's got a fucking man in there," he hissed. "I left her in bed with a bottle of painkillers, all in good order, and when I came back home she's got a man in her fucking bed room. It's not right!"
Chris was back to mucking about with my computer. The modem started its merry little song.
"Are you absolutely sure they are fucking?"
"What? Don't…. Argh! Fuck you."
"Check the shoes, please."
"Shoes. He may have left them by the door. Leroy's are really worn. Richard's were, I don't know, very white."
"O-okay. Just a sec." He was walking while talking. "How are you doing? Are you okay with Chris there?"
"Fine and yes. My gut's still a supertanker but I'm figuring it out."
"Sometimes your English is fucking weird. Guess now I know why Justin was really interested in where you were I thought he was just being a dork. Ha! They're worn. There's a hole in the right one. Christ, what am I gonna fucking do?"
"Leave the doing and the fucking to Mormor. I believe she's quite capable without your help. Go have some fun it's Saturday. How did your game go?"
"We lost." Mormor would have started a rant about the right attitude if she had heard the missing depth of his regret.
"Well at least you don't have Mormor analyzing your every move of this one."
He snorted. "Coach promised her a copy of the video. Say did you get your ticket changed?"
"Yes. I have to be at the airport Wednesday morning at five."
"That's not morning that's night. Okay. Party's on Tuesday evening. Chris coming?"
"I'll ask. Will you be okay?"
"Man, I feel so fucking stupid freaking like this."
He would be okay he sounded okay by the time we said goodbye.
Chris had been following the phonetalk, his lively attention split between the computer and me. "Who's Leroy?" he asked when I put the phone down.
"Mormor's apparently no longer quite exed ex." The long version could wait. "What did you want to show me?"
"Dani sent me the plan of attack for the last proof reading, I want your eyes on it before I return it."
"She is going to hit the banks soon?"
He nodded, the excitement was quite visible in his smile. "This week, finally."
"That's," I didn't know what to say. But my grin was enough. "Great."
"You're the non-paid communications advisor. I'd like you to play at being the bank's guy for a moment."
Wait what? "I. Okay. Sure."
He pushed the computer at me, and I sat down in the sofa to read. If he sensed my reeling mind he didn't say anything. His request of my opinion seemed profound. He'd hardly ask me for this if….
If this unquestionably was the last time we met or talked then he'd want to play. And play. He'd want to do stuff that does not leave loose ends flapping into the future.
He wasn't looking at me, he had left the sofa to crawl around on the floor, looking for Busta's toys Magnus the teddycat had disappeared.
I dried my eyes, quickly. I swallowed the lump in my throat. He wants to talk again, later. We're going to meet again. Later. Meet again meet Chris meet again-
My gut twisted as understanding finally hit deep. I dried my eyes some more, and tried to keep the sniffles really quiet.
Chris was wriggling around behind the TV, the nice curves of his ass pleasantly in sight, talking loudly with Busta and Magnus.
And while I read, he played with Busta; it was quite distracting the way he would roll on the floor, nimble even when moving around on his back.
At some point he found the pile of maps on the shelf, and with obvious delight he pushed my computer aside to make room for the map of the neighborhood. The map was quite large and detailed, the yeti reserve was clearly marked. He was humming, kneeling on the floor by the low table, sometimes he would follow a detail with a short thick index finger, muttering to himself. The ahas sounded quite promising.
"Are you sure sand yetis are nocturnal?" I asked him after an especially pointed aha. I was adding my comments to the document. Not that there was much for me to do; it appeared to be a solid piece of work.
"Yeah, man. Did you bring your compass?"
"Yes. I have a small torch, too. Do we need Litl'gator?"
He shook his head. "It isn't that kind of monster. Like, it totally belongs to the Material Plane. But your camera?"
"Okay." He had read the same Tintin albums I had and would have no trouble following my reasoning: "Maybe we should bring something for a plan C in case this one is used to flashes? I mean, this is not the Tibet, maybe it takes more than a flash to scare it off."
The solution arrived in his brain before his frown had settled. He nodded. "The can of air freshener from the bathroom. Fzzz!" He sprayed at invisible monsters in the air; Busta barked and jumped for his hand.
I was satisfied: a fzzz from that unholy stinker ought to send anything with a properly working olfactory sense into a panic. Bill had used the spray several times, sending me into a panic when I afterward had to go to the bathroom. The trick of air fresheners is not that they cover the stink of shit no, the air freshener stinks far worse than shit, thereby making the shit smell a downright positive experience by comparison.
There. Finished, I tapped in my last comment.
Chris stopped fzzzing the hapless, flying monsters. "Why C?" he asked.
"A: your screech, because it'll work on anything."
He made a quick but convincing test of that theory. "Yeah. That's true."
I rubbed my ears, it didn't remove the ringing, and nodded. "B: the flash on the camera in case the yeti is deaf it works in Tibet so maybe it'll work here. C: the air freshener, in case the yeti is both deaf and blind. I put it after B because, man, the poor environment will suffer irrevocably if we use it. D: all of them at once, but that's going to be damned tough to time."
He nodded. "E: Mikkel farts the yeti into orbit."
"I'm not good at farting on command. Sorry."
"I put it as E to avoid the timing issue. It would work, man."
We spent a moment making fart noises. I nodded. "Suppose a half-yeti like you would know."
"Okay. Good. I'm finished commenting, and I have a couple of questions. Want to talk about it?"
He picked up Busta and toy, and came to sit next to me on the sofa. The lacy, purple woman's underwear was no longer whole that didn't deter my dick: it still wanted Partner dressed up in the Chewtoy. Holes were just a plus.
We sat closely together in front of the computer. Kurt was right I needed a new laptop, one with a better screen and better everything else. But, alas, with this one we had to huddle if we both were going to see, and I really liked having Chris close, gently rubbing shoulders and exchanging bodyheat, while we talked, and never mind my sunburn. It wasn't a really bad one this time, anyway; Chris had caught it before it got really serious. A good layer of sun blocker and a long sleeved shirt windsurfing was definitely something I wanted to do. I might even be able to sleep on my back tonight. Alone. But Chris would be there if I woke up screaming.
He gazed at me out the corner of his eye, his muted smile washed over me. Light caught in the soft, glittering dark; for a blink his eye was almost yellow. Like a cat's.
"Good, huh." He was talking about the jumble of words on the screen, proud on behalf of the people who had written it.
"Yeah." I wasn't talking about what was on the screen.
He grinned, knowingly, and, in agreement, bumped his shoulder against my arm.
I drew a large lungful of air, something inside me loosened: there was nothing to regret and lots to treasure. And really, I couldn't wait to go yeti hunting in the dark.
Whatever we would be we would be fine.
"Mikkel you can't leave Orlando without having been to Disney World or-" Paul had to stop for a hiccup. He was tipsy, maybe even drunk: Tom had solved Paul's panic at playing the bagpipes in front of Lance by pouring liquor into him. It had worked: at my request Paul, in kilt and showing very delectable knees, had played several tunes. Liquor is a wonderful substance.
I was sure, though, that it wouldn't get Tom entirely off the hook for not informing Paul beforehand about the presence of Lance, Justin, JC and Joey Paul had had severe trouble working up the courage to perform knowing Chris would be there. The surprising addition of "the other four" had almost sent him running out the door.
Once Paul became sober Tom was in for it.
But right then, Paul wasn't sober, and that made for a very agreeable and gently persuasive Paul who snuggled against me when I gave him a hug. "Next time, next time you can take me to that water theme park thing, okay?"
He nodded into my shoulder, and didn't appear quite ready to let go. Over his head I could see Tom tidying up the living room. He sent me a fond grin.
I mouthed "You're in for it" at him, and he smiled wider and nodded, and didn't growl protests when I buried my nose in Paul's hair.
"Paul your mum's here," Tom called all too soon. And then, for the last time, I stood in the driveway, awash in pain, waving to shrinking, blurry tail lights, wondering about promises and the way life has of twisting them.
Chris had hugged me fiercely before fleeing to Lance's car and diving into the back seat. God, Chris!
"This is the last time I accept to be the subject of a goodbye party, it's worse than a birthday party," I told Tom in the kitchen when I needily pulled him in for a hug. "I hate tail lights."
He held a paper tissue up for me before he hugged me back, crushing a bone or two in my spine which made nose blowing rather difficult.
One of the really precious moments of the evening was seeing the interplay between Tom and Chris when Tom had tapped his glass and gotten to his feet. He had sent Chris a stony look before he painstakingly had opened a pack of paper tissues, and placed it in his breast pocket, one tissue pulled out a little, very handily ready for use. A tag-teaming, shy but determined Maria had walked around offering paper tissues to all. Chris had looked horrified but taken his tissue when it was offered. As usual, Chris had received no reprimand for his language even though he, distinctly, while looking at Tom, had said, "You fuck!" at the table.
Tom, on the other hand, had received several whip cracks from Mormor during his speech. He could hardly be expected to deliver the explanatory comments to his recitation of the house rules without a bit of temper popping up. The bad part had come when he had explained why it was easy to forgive me for stuff like setting off the smoke alarm before sunup on a Sunday: it had made me really want to slip under the table to hide, Paul style.
"Man, I can't believe I'm gonna miss your stupid ass," muttered Tom and crushed another bone in my spine. I crushed a couple of his in return, and he chuckled wetly.
In the library somebody had put on a CD, the soft music blended with the murmur of Mormor and Leroy's voices. The music got louder. Mormor squealed.
Tom groaned. "They're fucking dancing again."
Leroy had his own ways of cheering Mormor up. I had come to like him in the short time we had had together. Once the shell cracked, he turned out to be a very gentle person with a lively sense of humor.
All that pain from the upcoming separation could only mean one thing: I'm rich! Tom, Mormor all the wonderful people. And Chris. Rich!
Tom growled, not entirely in agreement, when I took him for a swing around the kitchen. "Shouldn't you go to bed," he prompted when I tried to convince him that we could do one of those flip things that Nsync had going in their show though they hadn't jumped around a lot when they sang a homemade, and notably out of tune, even to my ear, "goodbye song" in the living room. JC insisted that it was a jingle, I still wasn't quite sure what the difference was.
"I have a bit left to pack." The operative word really was lots. I had ended up looking at pictures when I should have been hunting down the items that were scattered all over the house, and that time I had started in on gathering and folding clothes there suddenly had been a lot of phone talks to be taken care off. The one from the Texas Ranger had been a pleasant surprise. Somehow the packing refused to become a dynamic process.
"Well, I haven't thought of staying up. Up before fucking four man, you gotta make sure I wake up."
"Oops. Do I see my life coming to an untimely end fast?"
"Probably." Tom grinned, and swatted me on the head, meaning good night. "Not. I'm gonna drive us to the airport."
He walked off. There was still dance sounds coming from the library I started my item collecting tour in the dogs' den.
My stuff, sorted in piles on the flat surfaces in my room, had quadrupled during my stay. If not for the proof right in front of my eyes, I would have foresworn that dead items have breeding capability. Mormor had offered up a suitcase for my use. Even then, it was a tight squeeze.
"Will you get any sleep at all?" Mormor asked when she came to my door.
"Probably not. I can sleep on the plane." Or not. It didn't really bother me.
There were fine lines of pain edged in the skin around her mouth and eyes, but she was glowing from the inside she was quite different from the woman I had met when I arrived. My job here is done. Not that I had done much but at least I wasn't leaving a mess greater than the one that I had arrived in.
I refused to think more about the one that was waiting for me.
"We're off to bed," she said and we exchanged good-nights.
The house fell quiet. I collected the rest of my things from the library. This will never do. Looking over the piles that had to fit into the available space, I finally accepted the verdict. All the worn T-shirts that weren't Chris' had to be exiled. What else am I going to trash in the near future? Ah. Inspired, I got opened my computer. The hard disk would be enough; the rest was merely a soon to be trashed and damned heavy container for that small item never mind the less ideal casing: I had already mailed myself a backup of the vital files as a precaution. Ha. I'll get there.
The sound of claws on the screen window made me jump. The accompanying squeaks of killer zombie alligator babies made my hair stand on end, just like they had when they were rendered during the "goodbye song". "Chris?"
"Fuck you repaired the window." The repair obviously was an insult to be taken personally.
Chris! Chris! I ran to open the window. He dumped his Spiderman bag on the floor, and let me help him clamber inside. "Chris." It was him and he was grinning at me, eyes puffy and red rimmed.
"Yeah, it's me. You know me, Chris."
He looked around the room, amused. "This reminds me. How do you fit four elephants into a Volkswagen?"
"Two in the front seats and two in the backseat. The fishing rods have to go on the roof, though."
He sparkled at me and nodded. "That's good. You're the smart one."
"Yeah, you know about German cars." He touched my arm, a light touch of a finger that set my blood singing. "You better be, because I'm about to be damned stupid." His warm, liquid gaze caressed my face.
I shook my head, slowly. "You're even more effective than Justin the Intelligence Damper."
"I am?" He smiled. "I rule."
"Yes. Absolute rule by supreme stupidity, my lord. The universe belongs to thee." He didn't lose the smile when I cupped his shoulders in my hands. He was warm and welcoming under the thin cloth. "What does Your Royal Sexiness wish?"
"You, naked in bed," he breathed.
Kiss-fondle-rub-Chris-smell-nice- He what? rub-fondle-lick-Chris-KISS. I kissed him, a light touch of electric lips. He shivered. What are we doing? Chris frowned when I pulled back. Don't-stop-don't-stop-don't-stop-
With an impatient grunt he grabbed me by the hair, and pulled me in for a proper Kirkpatrick Kiss. It wasn't exactly stupidity that ruled my mouth then, but rather His Royal Sexiness Lord Chris' lethal tongue of submission. Partner restated its rule over the southern premises, rubbing against the Magnificent Dick through layers of cloth.
"Let me," I managed to gasp, wanting to get naked right now! "Just clear the bed-"
"Finish packing," said Chris, and, with him to supervise the process and fold the clothes, things just seemed to teleport into the suitcase and the rucksack. "Ta-daah. Plenty of room," he stated as he zipped up his own bag. "We didn't even have to sit on it." The exiled T-shirts and probably a couple of other items had made their way into his sports bag. I had seen him slip a couple of worn books from his bag into my hand luggage.
It was a snug fit but it was a fit.
Chris started stripping, a fast-forward, swirling dance that was over almost before it began, leaving his clothes strewn all over the room. The Super Strip!
"Dude," he said impatiently, and tore the blanket loose. "Get moving." I was quite stunned by the sight of flashing pale buttocks and expanses of golden skin as he climbed onto the bed. His shoulders were a little red: I wasn't the only one who had been forgetful about protective lotion while at the summerhouse.
Once His Royal Wriggling Sexiness was on his back, and making impatient monkey faces at me, I was able to move and, even better, remove. I had a way to go before I could match Chris' strip speed but the clothes came off all the same.
"Hey," Chris said softly, and I stopped with one knee and both hands on the mattress. Chris ran a finger along my side, reverently, his dark gaze following his finger; I wasn't quite sure what part of the touch was the gaze and what part was the finger. Not that it mattered. I shivered at the electric lightness.
His hipbones were frail and somewhat at odds with the solidity of him, yet not. Harmony in contradictions that's Chris' kind of beauty. I stroked the soft skinned sproing of his belly, the curly hair tickled me, and Partner lightly kissed the edge of my hand.
Chris finished mapping me, and started tickling the inner side of my hipbone, causing my joints to short out.
"Come here," he said, pulling me down with rough hands.
What better way to reacquaint ourselves than a quick little wrestling match? I could think of none, and did my best to be a nuisance. Chris fell right into line, nuisance-ing right back at me.
Something was different though, and when it hit me what it was, I nearly flew off the bed in outraged fear I was caught by the traitorous sheet before I got that far. "Help! Sand yeti! In my bed!" I knew I should have brought Litl'gator. Chris is possessed!
The bloodthirsty sand yeti crawling towards me on hands and knees growled deep in its throat. "Sand Yeti meets Were Tiger, the final battle," it rumbled ominously, causing my heart to sting and swell.
Rrrroar! Were Tiger? Rrrr! Bite and tear! I'm the Magnificent Were Dick! Eat Little Yeti!
The universe shook in its foundations, and empires were crushed to dust during the ensuing battle between the roaring, evil monsters fighting teeth and claws for world domination.
It was a close match: Were Tiger was the stronger and heavier of the two, but Sand Yeti was unquestioned the wiliest and meanest fucker of all fuckers and twisty to boot.
In the end it was Were Tiger that pinned Sand Yeti to the ground, mighty paw on Sand Yeti's golden back, fearsome predator's teeth buried in the yeti's delectable neck. The roars, clawing and wriggles of Sand Yeti didn't grow any less merely aimless as Were Tiger, purring and growling, chewed hungrily. Recalling the hard lessons at were-school, Were Tiger finally remembered the usual placement of a throat, and rolled Sand Yeti over to cover the vulnerable spot with its drooling maw.
Sand Yeti keened pitifully when it realized its end was near. The evil Were Tiger, programmed to torture its prey same as any other cat, spread its heavy body over Sand Yeti to hold it down while Were Tiger licked and nibbled at the throat, drawing out the moment, enjoying the hammering pulse covered only by thin, glistening wet, and flushed skin, revelling in the pungent smell of sex fear and sweat.
Sand Yeti, writhing, offered up its throat, pushing it between Were Tiger's jaws, begging for a quick end.
Were Tiger, quite happy with the situation and sliding around on top of the increasingly flattened Sand Yeti, purred on in satisfied triumph, nipped and licked-
Sand Yeti arched, groaning and mewling, flashing heat while its hips moved rhythmically; then it shuddered and lay still, lifeless and slack.
Oops? Little Yeti spewed!
A shiny, black eyelash fluttered, lifted. The darkness peering out at me glowed, covering me in a warm blanket of a virtual hug. Not beaten, definitely not beaten.
Chris quirked ironic humor at me.
"The Magnificent Were Dick says Little Yeti spewed," I told him and he grinned a sated and slow grin.
Lick Little Yeti, lick, lick-
My dick was full of good ideas, but I wanted a kiss first, one of Chris' generous, hot and soft ones that imprinted themselves in my heart. Then, like a proper cat, I took great pleasure in cleaning him up, licking the sweat and semen off him while he watched and lazily pointed forgotten spots out to me. I apparently forgot his nipples and balls a lot. And his neck I had to be gentle with that, though; somebody had mangled it terribly.
Later, when we were on our sides and I was spooning him, moving slowly inside him, we both tried hard not to look too often at the clock counting down.
"This is one stupid fuck," muttered Chris and sniffled. "Shit."
Hoisting myself up on an elbow I picked up a couple of paper tissues from the night table. "Want one?"
He took it without a word. When we had blown our respective noses, I offered him a story, and along the way we forgot that we were fucking. Or it just became unimportant compared to lying close, touching slowly, reaching under the skin while talking nonsense, reminiscing, laughing and collecting our little pile of crazy memory jewels.
I held the window for him when he left. "Hey," he stuck his upper body inside. Looked at me, sparkling, he smiled with everything but his mouth. "Love you." Then he was gone.
"You fuck!" was all I could think to say when the impact of his words had receded enough for me to form words if not thoughts.
From somewhere out in the darkness came a muted and slightly wet chuckle. Bushes moved when Chris made a shortcut, heading towards his life at a run. A moment later I could hear Joey's voice calling, "over here, man" as a car started.
When the car had left and all was quiet, I dried my face. It was time to get Tom and Mormor out of bed, time to take the flight back home to my life.
End of Chapter 28
© Morgenfryd 2005