Upon the hours and times of your desire?
I have no precious time at all to spend,
Nor services to do till you require.
-William Shakespeare, Sonnet 57
Mike’s thought his eyes were bleeding.
They roamed over the desk in front of him. Empty and half-drunk cans of lukewarm Red Bull were strewn over its surface: physical and mental exhaustion had prevented Mike from putting them in the trashcan which was placed three feet away. Even if he did get up to do so, the chances of tripping over the stacks of briefs and patents that surrounded him were rather high and he was pretty sure, that in his condition, he wouldn’t be able to get up again. Mike held a palm to his forehead; he was burning up. If the stress didn’t kill him, the inevitable caffeine poisoning would.
The glass door opened, and in walked a figure dressed in monochrome: Lagerfeld, to be exact. A silver Rolex hung from his wrist, a deep blue and silver striped Versace satin tie hung round his neck, and on his face he wore a smile, so fabricated that it hurt.
But Mike’s heart began to beat faster anyway.
“Good morning, Mike.” His voice was brisk and light; just as faux as his smile.
“So, Mikey, are the briefs finished?” he asked, grin widening, revealing even more immaculate pearl white teeth. Harvey knew the answer (pretty obvious, since the unchecked briefs were still piled on the floor), but Mike had to reply.
Of course he had to.
The grin disappeared; the senior partner’s face appeared without emotion. The expression on his countenance had vanished, but the eyes spoke volumes. They gave a deep, penetrating stare and roamed Mike’s face; but what frightened Mike most about them was the ill-concealed disappointment in the coal black depths.
“The case is tomorrow. You don’t want to disappoint me, do you Michael?”
He really didn’t.
Mike absent-mindedly ran his fingers over the arm of his sleeve: beneath the creased shirt lay a vivid reminder of what had happened the last time Harvey was disappointed with him. He felt the deep grooves made by the impact of the blade on his skin- grooves that ran down the length of his arm; about a centimetre deep.
Did Harvey know what he was making him do?
Maybe. Maybe not. Didn’t matter. Mike had thought about seeing a shrink- but he was way past the stage of chronic crying, anger and frustration an unhealthy infatuation brought with it. All that remained was a hollow numbness that permeated his entire body; replaced by a volatile mixture of lust and fear whenever Harvey was around.
It was going to take more than a half-arsed Freudian theory to sort out this fucked up pseudo-relationship, and Mike knew it.
Those eyes began to mock him, and Mike watched, hooked, as a smirk formed around his thin lips. His boss took a step toward him, and leaned over to whisper in his ear. He was so close that Mike could smell the tangerine-laced conditioner in his dark hair; as he spoke, hot, moist breath that smelt of bourbon and coffee hit his ear and neck, triggering a rush of serotonin and dopamine, counteracting the adrenaline which had built up.
His deep voice dripped with something Mike couldn’t pin down; and he shuddered involuntarily. There was something more than a hint of suggestiveness in those words, and Mike knew that if he hadn’t been sitting down, his knees would have given way. Harvey’s hand was on his shoulder. Tantalising warmth seeped through; and before Mike could come to his senses, his employer’s fingers brushed the back of his neck, just where his spinal cord began. Had Mike not bitten down really hard on his lower lip in time, he would have moaned, but instead he settled for a low, almost carnal sigh. He tasted blood. His hands were shaking now, and not just from the caffeine overload.
Mike’s body tried to arch into his touch; but too late-his fingers were gone.
By the way Harvey was just standing there, passively; it could all just have been a figment of his imagination. Harvey looked smugly at his work: surveying Mike’s bleeding lip, flushed crimson skin and hurting, bewildered eyes with unhidden pride.
Harvey turned curtly on the spot, and strode out of the office; whistling a tune that faintly resembled “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell. Mike watched him leave- he felt numb, shaken to his very core, mind still reeling over and over the events that had just taken place; like some beautiful nightmare carved into his brain. The back of Mike’s neck still burnt with Harvey’s imprint, still sending pleasurable shocks through his nerves, his hideously seductive voice still echoing in Mike’s brutalised mind. Mike watched him leave, the man who took up every moment of his life- both day and night; where he filled countless hours of restless sleep and sordid dreams.
Perhaps these were all just sadistic tests, which Mike would one day pass. Perhaps one day, Harvey would smile at him; a true smile- no pretence, no sarcasm, no smirking. Perhaps, one day, Harvey would be friendly – make Mike feel he was worth something; treat him as an equal, even. Perhaps, one day, Harvey would care for him; comfort him when he lost in court, dark eyes eager to console, not abuse.
Perhaps, one day, Harvey would love him.
One thing, however, was for certain: Mike was in chains.
And he had no intention of being set free.
So, the time had come. Irwin glanced up at the clock on the mantelpiece for the eleventh time in the past ten minutes. 3.50. He had 10 minutes left. The TV was on, blaring in fact, but none of it was being even remotely registered.
He was watching, as it were, a re-run of University Challenge- the one that had been on the preceding Monday. It was Bristol versus Balliol College, Oxford. You’d think Tom would feel rather uncomfortable watching this, but instead he merely felt slight resentment and indifference- any feelings of guilt had long since vanished: Time really was the best healer. One could spot the team that would win at a glance; but that wasn’t why he was watching. He was doing it to exercise his knowledge - at least, that’s what he told himself.
He tried to focus his attentions once more on Bamber, who had just started asking Bristol a question on Plato:
“In Plato’s Symposium, who gave the third speech and was the only physician in the group?”
The group huddled and talked in frantic whispers, setting off bouts of exaggerated shrugs and pointing. Finally the long defeated captain gave a glum murmur:
Bamber, still grinning, answered:
“The answer was Eryximachus.”
Tom swallowed dryly, and switched off the telly, giving the “off” button a vicious jab, as if it were one of Bamber’s eyes.
He should have known that. He owned a copy of it, for fuck’s sake. Christ. Sometimes he felt like he was the only person who got vexed by little stuff like this, anybody else would have let this go by now. But not him. No, he made a mental note to re-read The Symposium- properly this time.
God, he was sad.
He looked at the clock again. 5 minutes. Should he be doing something? He felt like he should. He picked up Schopenhauer, stared blankly at the paragraph he was reading, and dropped it again. He couldn’t concentrate. If misanthropy wouldn’t take his mind off life, what could?
That was his problem. Doing stuff had never been his forte; the present had never been his strong point. The past- well, that was the past. The future was all speculation, all talk. But where action, decisiveness had been needed- well, he failed miserably. It was the reason he didn’t get into Oxford. It was the reason he was still single. It was the reason that in 5 minutes, he was going to completely ignore the ringing of the doorbell, and let the best thing that had ever happened to him walk away.
Then he heard him. He continued to sit.
Twice more it rang.
His damned notebook lay in front of him. “Sunday, four o’clock” was circled in menacing red biro.
Again. And again. And again.
Then he heard Dakin.
“Please Sir. Please.”
Of course, the heart-wrenching, pleading tone in the boy’s voice had nothing to do with the reason he opened the door. Nope, nothing at all. And it definitely did not conjure up an image of the boy with his back arched and body slicked with perspiration, crying out “Sir!” with the very same intonation.
He unlatched the front door and swung it open to reveal Dakin, hands firmly buried in the pockets of his leather jacket, raven hair somewhat dishevelled by the fierce wind and most importantly, that damn smile on his face. God, Tom could almost hear the smugness.
“Hello Sir! Thought you’d lost heart in our drink.”
This kid never failed to make you look down at the floor in bright pink embarrassment, which Irwin did.
“No, no…just….didn‘t hear you. Come through.”
Thankfully, Dakin didn’t ask why.
The flat was a mess, Irwin shamefully (and too late) realised. Well, not mess exactly, but more…ordered chaos- a system suspended in entropy, if you will. Books were placed in precarious stacks on any available surface, and the cushions were misplaced, but the room looked clean enough.
“Nice place you’ve got here, sir. Like what I’d imagined it would look like.”
“Yeah. Full of books. And it looks…very…cosy, for want of a better word.”
Irwin chucked the cushions back into their rightful places on small couch. He then proceeded to take their euphemism literally: that is, actually get Stuart a drink. A bottle of opened champagne, he thought, would be okay- a “thank-you” from the headmaster. Nothing to do with the fact that it was an aphrodisiac.
Whilst he did this, Dakin helped himself to the bookshelf. Wilde, Byron, Douglas, Forster, Auden, Isherwood. All there.
“I never knew you were so in touch with ‘the love that dare not speak its name’, sir,” Dakin commented in his usual brazen way.
“No? Should I have been more demonstrative, perhaps?”
“Well, for a start, asking you for this would have been a hell of a lot easier.”
Irwin chuckled. Stuart never faltered in making him do that.
They sat, stoically, on the small sofa for a while; sipping champagne, and pondering the future. Well, pondering the future may be a stretch for Irwin. Wishing he was anywhere else was more like it.
He was scared, yes, but the question was why. It wasn’t the sex. Definitely not. He wasn’t virginal, far from it-Bristol had taken care of that: even though, at times, he would have felt more loved being fucked by a piece of cardboard. It wasn’t even what Hector had told him; he was a fool, he’d known it for most of his life, there was nothing new there.
He’d lied about Oxford, was that it? So he’d lied about his alma mater, so what? Loads of people had. There had to be something more.
His mind reeled back to the conversation he’d had with Mrs Lintott.
Don't you ever want to go back?
To Oxford? I'm not clever enough.
I'm not anything enough, really.
He’d been on the verge of crying when he’d said this. His throat had ached with the knowledge of this- he’d known it for a while but it never ceased to make him upset. And Dakin knew. His words still rang in Irwin’s ears.
Reckless, impulsive, immoral.
How come there's such a difference between the way you teach and the way you live?
Why are you so bold in argument and talking,
but when it comes to the point...when it's something that's actually happening - I mean, now you're so fucking careful!
How he fucking hated the gerund-Dakin was right. It had taken the boy a couple of months to work out what Tom should have known long ago.
Does that make any difference?
To what? To me?
Tom had never got a proper answer to that one, and it scared it him. Was he enough?
“You still look scared shitless, sir.”
Tom was dragged back to the present, screaming, kicking and cursing. He’d have to open up and be honest, be emotionally vulnerable for the thousandth time.
He cleared his throat.
“How do you know?”
“For one thing, you have the same, tight, forced smile on. For another thing….your beautiful blues look like they’re screaming.”
There was genuine concern in Stuart’s voice now, no sarcasm or flippant banter.
“Is it me?”
There was pain in his voice now, true hurt, and Irwin thought maybe, just maybe, Stuart cared.
“It’s…just…am-am I enough?”
He felt silly just saying it, but he needed an answer, like he needed to breathe-otherwise he’d get hurt again. And he didn’t think he’d be able to take it.
Dakin didn’t look at him, and didn’t answer for a few seconds.
Then he spoke, but he sounded less measured than before.
“What do you dream of sir?”
Something told Tom this was a rhetorical question, not that it mattered- he was nowhere near coherent enough to reply.
“Do you know what I dream of? Crave? Long for?”
Irwin shook his head, but Dakin was looking away from him.
“I once had a dream. You pushed me over the desk in our General Studies room and fucked me senseless. Your fingernails left tracks on me, like your red ink on my essays. Only it wasn’t just a fuck.”
"When you collapsed on me, you whispered a little Auden into my ear. Can't remember what exactly now...I think it was,'Lie your sleeping head my love, human on my faithless arm'...anyway, I woke and I knew that I didn't want anything else. Somehow my desire for your praise had morphed into something different...."
His voice had now been reduced to an unintentional sotto voce; he was speaking the ingenuous truth like only someone young could.
His voice was very nearly cracking under the weight of his emotions.
“Love. Why…won’t you give it to me?”
He turned to face Irwin now, and looked him dead in the eyes- not with challenging boldness, but with pure, visceral frustration. A hot red flush had crept across his high cheekbones.
He tentatively reached for Tom’s hand and clasped it- cold sweat and clamminess greeted them both.
“Of course you’re enough for me. More than enough. Please sir.”
That was all Irwin needed. He suddenly pounced on Stuart, pinning him to the sofa, pulling his head back and kissing him ferociously. His glasses knocked against the bridge of Dakin’s nose, their teeth clashed, their tongues fought: it was inelegant, haphazard, juvenile-so fucking good.
When Irwin pulled back, they were gasping for air, or gasping for more contact; Irwin couldn’t tell which. Tom’s glasses had steamed up during the process, and as the condensation melted away, he could see something akin to sheer awe in Dakin’s chestnut eyes.
He leant in towards Dakin again; hand still in his jet black hair, unconsciously stroking it;
“Has Poland been taken by surprise?” he breathed, against Stuart’s ear.
A ragged-“yeah” was all Dakin could manage before Irwin’s stripping, ridiculously fast. Dakin takes this as a signal to get his kit off too and god Irwin had never wanted anything so badly, this boy, this fucking Dorian Gray of boys is sitting stark naked in front of him, pale, lithe limbs sprawled across the crimson cushions, mouth agog at the figure in front of him.
Irwin stared at the boy’s erection for a few moments, a smirk on his face that could rival Dakin’s;
“Poland may have been taken by surprise but my god, was it ready.”
He knelt at Stuart’s feet, but didn’t touch the throbbing member-not yet. He caressed the boy’s inner thighs, the feel of calloused fingers on smooth muscles made Stuart stifle a gasp- Irwin’s hands were warm, almost too warm, energy coursing through every fibre in his skinny frame.
He blew warm air on Dakin’s length, and then ever so slowly, circled the gleaming pink head with a crafty tongue, earning him a far more audible reaction. He was just about to place the whole shaft inside his mouth when-
“Almost forgot something.”
Dakin gave a pissed-off groan that would put any angry pupil to shame. Irwin chuckled and reached up to remove his glasses, dark blond hair somehow falling to the front.
Irwin flashed a grin at the boy, who was completely undone, skin sheening with delicate moisture, lips flushed and parted, eyes wide with lust and aching need.
“Thank you, Dakin.”
He bowed again and swallowed whole, mouth closing around the searing flesh; salt and musk and Dakin filling his nostrils. The effect on him was immediate, a moan that simultaneously gave complete satisfaction and raised the pale hairs on Irwin’s slender neck. Irwin looked up and saw hands knotted into the fabric of the sofa, eyes screwed up in uncontainable ecstasy- sheer bloody perfection.
This urged him on; he continued his administrations by pulling the boy further into his mouth, all of him, wrapping his arms around the boy's spread legs with a strength only those as skinny as a rake can muster- Dakin meanwhile- sweaty hands twisting in Tom’s hair, increasing his moans in both frequency and amplitude until they became hoarse shouts of pure, unadulterated pleasure.
It was then that it hit Irwin. Time had lost its meaning, worries had gone, cares had been ripped asunder. He really was living in the moment-the present felt fucking right for once.
Maybe the gerund wasn’t so bad after all.
- Current Location:The Matrix
- Current Mood: sleepy
- Current Music:The Clash- Rock The Casbah
I enter the drab hotel room to find him asleep on the single bed: shabby leather notebook still in hand; a bottle of lousy, cheap Israeli champagne on the withered side table, a ring of condensation forming around its base. The cork was out, and half a slightly chipped mug was full of its tacky innards.
A mug. Morrissey probably laughed at the irony of drinking champagne out of one; he'll probably use it as a lyric-compare it to class in society, or something.
Champagne-what was he celebrating? "Himself" is the most likely answer. I screw up my eyes and peer at the unintelligible squiggles that form his handwriting. Something about a light not going out.
I've never really understood where Steven gets his lyrics from. He tells me they come from the five-minute windows he gets listening to someone's conversation with somebody else, while he's at the park or pub. Bullshit. He gets them from himself-people are like puppets in his mind- the lyrics are the strings; he can do whatever he wants with them.
I'm one of his puppets, I reckon. Although, I am fortunate enough not to be pulled- none of his lyrics are about me, so far as I can tell. Yeah, well, he can take his silent hubris and his covert narcissism and cram it up his arsehole, for all I care.
But I do care. "Fame, fame, fatal fame" indeed. He loves the stuff, although, naturally, he'd never admit to doing so. He's the "Handome Devil", he's the "Charming Man", he's the centre of the whole fucking universe, my fucking universe. And in this Morrissey-centric galaxy, all I ever hear is his silken, honeydew voice and all I ever see is his stupid, awesome hair, his silencing indigo eyes, his vain good looks, and his flashy, deviant grin.
But none of them ever see me. I'm just a nice-sounding accessory to his egotistical wonderland; and that's all I'll ever be to him.
I press a small kiss against the forehead of my wasted Narcissus, sigh, and exit the room.
Because, Steven, my light for you will never go out.
- Current Mood:productive
- Current Music:Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now- The Smiths