He's gone, and I'm trying to be okay with that.  Of course I'm okay with that, only sometimes it takes a while to remember.  Brian's going to go on being Brian, and really, I don't want him to change.  Only I sort of wished he could have stayed home tonight.  We just had the hottest, most intense sex we've had in weeks, and I'd give anything if he was still lying here in bed beside me, holding me in his arms, dropping off to sleep together.  Instead, he's gone out to Babylon.

I know Brian can never get enough, but I wish it could have been enough for him this one time. 

He scared me tonight, he meant to scare me.  Just for the briefest moment.  I know Brian would never really hurt me, but just for the briefest moment I was scared.  Maybe not 'scared,' maybe just surprised.  Surprised that Brian could grab my throat in his hands and choke me.

Pretend to choke me, I mean.  He was making a point, teaching me a lesson.  All of Brian's lessons are complicated, you have to think about them for a long time afterwards to understand.  He is my mentor, he is my teacher, he's taught me so much about life, and a lot about sex and lust and desire.  I've learned so much from him.  But some of his lessons are hard to take.

Tonight for example. 

I haven't been able to stop thinking about the guy in the dumpster that Debbie found this morning.  I was staring and staring at that dead body, almost as if I couldn't stop.  Debbie told me to stop looking finally so I went over to stand beside her.  I never saw anybody dead before.   Then Brian showed up and I went to him.  I thought he might put his arm around me but of course he didn't.  The dead body didn't seem to bother him at all.  He made jokes about it.  My shift had just started but I was feeling sick and asked Deb if I could go home.  She hugged me and said sure.  I didn’t say goodbye to anyone else.  I didn’t want to explain.

Back at the loft, I tried to draw for a while but I couldn’t get into it.  Then I read a few chapters of the new Robert Rodi novel, but I couldn’t get into that either.  Finally I ate a power bar, then had a long shower and slipped into bed.  I don’t know exactly how long I slept, but the loft door opening woke me up.  Brian was home.  I glanced at the clock and was amazed to discover it was nearly eight.  I’d slept for hours and hours.

Brian stopped to put something in the refrigerator, then he came up the bedroom steps and said hey.  I sat up and rubbed my eyes.  He hung some shirts from the cleaners in the closet and dropped the evening newspaper on the foot of the bed.  “Gonna grab a shower,” he said, and I nodded, a huge yawn nearly splitting my head open.  I crawled to the end of the bed and picked up the newspaper.

There was a big headline about the murder, the boy in the dumpster.  They’d identified him, his name was Paul Randall.  They’d printed his high school yearbook picture, he was just a few years older than me.  I started feeling sick again, remembering that I’d seen him around Liberty Avenue a few times, danced with him once at Babylon.  When Brian came out of the bathroom and started getting dressed to go out, I tried to talk to him about the murder.  He really wasn’t interested.  Not at all.  When I said maybe we knew the murderer, maybe we'd even fucked him, Brian was nonchalant.  "That'd be hot," he said.

Then it occurred to me that the guy we'd brought home for a three-way a couple nights ago could have done things to us.  We didn't know anything about him.  Brian just smirked and climbed on the bed to stand over me.  "You didn't know anything about me the first time you came here," he reminded me.  "I could have done anything to you."

I rolled over and smiled up at him.  "I was pretty sure you were going to fuck me."

Brian knelt over me, straddling me, and I slid my hands over his knees, up his thighs.  "Then what?" he asked, raising his eyebrows.  I didn't understand and shook my head.  Suddenly he threw himself on top of me, catching my wrists in his strong hands, holding my arms prisoner on the bed, his body hard and heavy above me, pressing me into the mattress.

“What if. . .” he murmured, lowering his head to touch his tongue to my chest, run it up past my left nipple toward my neck.  “What if. . .”  I smelled his warm breath as he leaned his chin on mine and stared into my eyes.  Suddenly he whipped his hands up and circled them around my throat in one swift movement, closing tight over my windpipe.  “What if I’d started to strangle you?”

I gasped, I really couldn’t breathe, and for the briefest, smallest second, I was scared.

Not really scared.  I’m almost sure I wasn’t really scared.  I grabbed his hands and tried to pull them away, but his grip was too tight.  “I’d rather you choked me with your dick,” I tried to joke.

“You could’ve been dead,” he said, his grip tightening around my throat, his tongue darting into my open mouth like a lizard’s tongue.

“Brian. . .”  I grabbed his hands as hard as I could and pulled them off.  “Cut it out!”

We stared at each other, both breathing hard.  There was cruelty in Brian’s eyes, I’d never seen that before.  And something else.  Anger?

He sat back and stared down at me, his eyes like cut glass.  “You came here not knowing what was going to happen.  That was part of the thrill.  That’s what made you hard.  You’re hard now, just thinking about it.”

I stared back at him, wanting to deny it.  Wanting to tell him he was full of shit.

His left hand was rubbing his dick, and he reached behind with his other hand to rub mine.  He was right; it was hard.  He was still murmuring to me, his face still reflecting a strange cruel expression.  “The danger. . .  the excitement. . . “

Gasping for air, I grabbed hold of his hair and forced back his head.  “Fuck me!” I demanded, hardly able to breathe.  Choking on my own lust, my own desire.

Brian pulled my arm free and pinned me once again to the bed.  He lowered his head and kissed me, not with sweet gentle kisses, with brutal forcefulness, pressing my open mouth as hard as he could, shoving his tongue down my throat.

“Let me – “ I gasped, struggling against him, struggling to get my hands free, to rip off his clothes and feel his hard flesh press against mine.

“No,”  he whispered.  Just one word, but his eyes told me the rest.  Oh, he was going to fuck me all right.  But he didn’t want me willing.  When I realized what he was going to do, a shudder shook my whole body and I moaned, overwhelmed with desire for him.  It was going to be rough, maybe rougher than we’d ever done it.  And I was glad.

We play rough sometimes, but only when we’re alone, and we have safe words to use.  I knew if I used those words tonight, Brian would stop.  I knew it, and I trusted him, I’ve always trusted him.  But I didn’t want to be safe tonight, so I didn’t say the words.

***********

I’ve never been so rough with Justin before, I kept waiting for him to stop me but he didn’t.  Most of the times we’ve played rough, he reaches a certain point and can’t cross over.  We crossed some lines tonight and it was fucking hot, but in a way I’m almost sorry.  Afterwards I wanted to hold him, kiss him till he stopped shaking, but I couldn’t.  I don’t know why.

Liar.

Holding him would have been forgiveness.  And I won’t fucking forgive him. 

He was freaked this morning at the diner.  I didn’t realize how upset he was about seeing the dead guy till I noticed him talking to Debbie, removing his apron, grabbing his jacket and heading out the back door.  I thought about following him but Christ, life is full of bad experiences like this, he needs to get over it, not be coddled.  He’s not a little boy any more.

Strange how I once thought of him as a little boy.  My little boy.  That thought makes me laugh now.  Or it should make me laugh, instead I just want to get away from him.  Grabbing my clothes from the floor I begin to get dressed.  I really need a shower, but I can’t wait that long to get out of the loft.   I need to get away from him, before I start to weaken.  Before I break down and pull him into my arms and hold on to him so tight he can’t get away.

I take a piss and then rinse my face in the sink, rub my face hard with a towel to clear my eyes, clear my head.  He hasn’t moved from the bed and I feel him staring at me as I sit down with my back to him and pull on my boots.  I think he might slide over beside me and wrap his arms around me, beg me to come back to bed.  Luckily, he doesn’t move.

Not that it would have mattered if he did.  That’s a trap I won’t fall into.  He’s not irresistible, nobody’s irresistible, we had our fuck and now I’m ready to go out and look for the next one.  There’ll always be a next one, and if he thinks differently, it’s time to get over it.  Tonight I reminded him that I’m in control. 

Reminded myself, too.

*******************

When we were finished and lay gasping for air, soaked with sweat and twisted in the rumpled sheets of the bed, I wanted Brian to hold me.  Always after the rough times Brian holds
me, covering my body with sweet, gentle kisses, slowly bringing us back to reality.  When he didn’t pull me into his arms, I slid across the bed and reached for him but he pushed me away.  Not harshly, but a push nevertheless.  He rolled over and sat on the edge of the bed, facing away from me.

”Brian?”

He cleared his throat.  “I’m going to Babylon,” he said.  “You coming?”  He didn’t wait for an answer, just stood up and moved around the bed, retrieving his jeans and his shirt.  He didn’t bother to put on underwear, which meant he intended to head for the backroom a few times.  I watched in silence as he got dressed, never looking at me, then he moved into the bathroom.  I heard him take a piss, flush the toilet, and he must have washed his face, brushed his hair. 

Brian came back to the bedroom and sat on the edge of the bed, pulled on his boots.  “You coming?” he asked again, still not looking at me.

I shook my head but he wasn’t looking.  “No,” I said at last. 

He stood up.  “Okay.  Later.” 

I watched him grab his keys from the counter, slide open the door and close it behind him.  I lay still on the bed, my breathing not quite back to normal, wondering what exactly had just happened between us. 

Brian had seemed almost. . .angry.  Not almost – definitely angry.  But why?  He hadn’t been angry this morning when we blew each other in the shower.  He’d kissed me goodbye when I left first, for my morning shift at the diner.  Was he mad that I’d left the diner without telling him, that I’d walked out without saying goodbye?  No, that was silly; Brian wouldn’t care about that.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that Brian had been acting kind of different for a while.  For quite a while, for a few weeks now.  Why, why, why? I asked myself.  I’d been aware of something lurking just under the surface, or anyway, I imagined there was something just slightly wrong but I didn’t know what it was.  And Brian can’t stand to be nagged or asked what he’s thinking or what’s wrong – he won’t tolerate what he calls emotional shit.  I don’t blame him, I’m kind of like that myself, at least with some people.  Like my mom.  So I try not to nag Brian about feelings and stuff.

When did this strangeness start, I wondered?  It seemed like maybe Brian had been getting a little distant with me ever since we started sharing tricks.  But that was his idea, not mine.  To be honest, I didn’t even like it, not really.  When Brian first started suggesting it, I’d thought it sounded kind of hot.  The very first time, he took me to the baths.  Naturally I’d always wanted to go there, I mean, come on, I’m a gay man.  It’s part of my culture.

It hadn’t been hot, though, not really.  I pretended to like it because Brian wanted me to.  I could tell he loved it, all the groups of guys fucking and sucking and whacking off in the crowded hallways and tiny rooms and in sweaty clumps in a larger room.  Brian found a couple guys for us and we fucked them, side by side, leaning over to share kisses from time to time.  It had been pretty exciting.  But in reality, I’d rather have been home alone with Brian in our own comfortable bed.  Naturally I didn’t tell him so.

After that, we started picking up guys at Babylon and bringing them home.  Not every night, and Brian made sure we always agreed on the guy first.  And he loved it.  You had only to watch him, to watch his face as he got off, fucking, getting sucked.  His favorite thing was to have some guy lying under me on the bed, sucking me off while Brian fucked me.  It was okay.  And it was only a few times.  I pretended it was really cool and I bragged to the others about our arrangement.  But now that Brian thinks I like it, I don’t know how to tell him I don't.

The thing about Brian is, he doesn’t want to talk about important things.  About feelings.  I’ve tried hard to get inside his head, I want to know all about him, about his family and his childhood and college and all his experiences.  But he won’t tell me, and he doesn’t really want to hear about mine.  He used to, but lately he’s not interested any more.  In fact, the last time he wanted to hear about school was when he was pressuring me to go to Daphne’s party.  He wanted me to ‘enjoy my youth,’ he’d said.  I only went to the stupid party because he insisted.

It was at that party that I met Eric.  My first virgin.  It had been fun seducing him, dragging him into a bedroom, locking the door, ripping off his clothes and fucking him.  He was scared, so I was gentle with him.  Then afterwards, when I tried to brush him off, he got upset.  That made me feel bad, to think I was his first time and he didn’t enjoy it.  So I kissed him.  I didn’t mean to.  And I never thought that Brian would find out. . .

Shit.  It was after Brian found out I’d kissed Eric that things started changing.  Shit.

I sat up in bed and hugged myself.  Jesus.  Brian was mad at me.  The morning after the party, when Brian somehow guessed I’d fucked a virgin and then guessed that I’d kissed him, he didn’t seem upset.  He was smiling, smiling.  I’d been scared, suddenly scared what his reaction would be, and I remember that I’d leaped off the bed and ran into the shower.  Brian never asked me about the party again, about Eric again.  I assumed he didn’t really care.  It didn’t mean anything. 

And it really didn’t mean anything, not to me.  When Eric found me next day at the diner, I almost freaked out.  I got rid of him, but I had to be mean and harsh to do it.  It made me feel like such a jerk.  Such an asshole.  I never meant to hurt him.  And I never meant for Brian to find out.

Rubbing both hands hard over my face, I got up and went into the kitchen, pulled a bottle of water from the fridge and drank half of it in one gulp.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized that that was the moment things started changing with Brian and me.  I remembered Brian’s face tonight as he crushed my naked body beneath him on the bed and fucked me hard until I cried out against his roughness.  Still I hadn’t said the words, the safe words, somehow I could tell he didn’t want me to feel safe.  It almost felt like he was. . .punishing me.

He WAS punishing me.

Now it seemed clear; the past few weeks started to make sense.  Brian was mad at me.  Not just mad.  Different than mad.  Larger than mad.  Was he feeling like I’d cheated on him?  I didn’t fucking cheat.

Yes, I did.

No-kissing was the rule I made.  I’ve totally trusted Brian to keep his promise not to kiss anyone but me.  Yet I broke my own promise.  I broke the rules.  Kissing Eric meant nothing to me, but maybe Brian didn’t know that.  Maybe Brian thought I was kissing lots of guys.  Maybe Brian thought. . .

I had to talk to Brian.  I needed to make him see that it was nothing, nothing.  And that I’d never ever do it again.  I needed to see him right away, to make things right between us.  Hurrying into the bathroom, I washed my face and ran a comb through my hair, pulled on some clothes and ran out of the loft.  I remembered to set the security alarm, all I needed to do was get Brian’s place robbed a second time, he’d kick me out forever if it happened again.

Running through the streets toward Babylon, I wished for the millionth time that I had my own car.  But I need all my earnings from the diner for school.  Brian won’t let me pay for anything at the loft, but I bring groceries sometimes, and Debbie lets me take food home from the diner.  Mom's always giving us food, and she buys me clothes and shoes.  Still, Mom's working hard to support herself and Molly, my dad pays child support and I know Mom bought the condo with her share of the money when they sold our old house.  But she doesn’t have money to buy me a car.  That’s okay.  I don’t really need a car, but I wish I had one, anyway.  Especially for times like this when I’m in a hurry.

Finally I arrived at Babylon and began searching for Brian.  I didn’t bother to take off my jacket, I was hoping he’d come home with me so we could talk.  I made my way around the club, waving at Emmett and Ted at the bar but not stopping to talk, and by the time I got halfway round, I saw Brian.  He was just going out the back door.  With a trick.

“Brian!”

He turned and gave me a look.  The look that said,  ‘I’m busy.’

“Where are you going?”

“Tommy – Tony? – Timmy here,” he gestured at the trick, a good-looking but harsh-faced guy in a leather jacket, “Invited me over to his house to see his stamp collection.”

Suddenly I was scared.  “You don’t even know his name!  What’s your name?” I demanded of the trick.  The night after a guy was killed on Liberty Avenue, Brian’s going off alone with a stranger.

“What’s it to you?” the trick responded nastily.

I grabbed Brian, gave him a desperate smile.  “Let’s go home!”

Brian smirked.  “Afraid I’ll be murdered?” 

“Brian, please!”

“There’s never been a hotter time to fuck a stranger.”  Brian was enjoying my worry, he was almost sneering at me.  Then he softened, but only slightly.  “I’ll be all right,” he sing-songed, waving his fingers in the air, giving me a spooky look, almost laughing.  He turned away, turned his back on me, and swaggered off with the trick.

I watched them walk away, disappear almost eerily into a thick red fog at the end of the alley behind Babylon.  The world seemed to tilt, and I had to lean against the brick wall by the exit, catching my breath.  I wanted to talk to Brian, get him alone and talk to him about how things between us were not right, and about Eric, and about breaking my promise, and how I’d never do it again. 

Instead, I have to watch Brian walk off with another trick, probably the millionth trick of his lifetime, and I won’t even know till he comes home at three o’clock if he’s alive or dead.  When he gets home, I bet he still won’t talk to me about things.  And maybe I’ll lose my courage before then, anyway. 

Brian Kinney is such a difficult man to love.  Debbie says loving Brian is like humping a porcupine.  She is so crude sometimes, but in this case, she’s right.  Whichever way you try to hold on to Brian, you get hurt.  I used to think I could change him.  I used to think I understood him.  Now I wonder if I will ever understand, if I can ever get close to him. 

Christ, I’m so depressed.  Guess I’ll just go on home now and wait.

“Hey.”

I turn around and see the young guy with dark hair that Brian passed over last weekend.  He was my first choice, but Brian said he was too tall.  He’s majorly hot.

“Hey,” I smile back at him.  “Wassup?”











3/22/02  






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Gap-Filler for Episode 2-10

Thanks for inspiration to
Katy, Endgame, QOE
Photo Copyright Showtime 2002
Lessons