Morning Has Broken

It’s quiet when he opens his eyes in a shaft of bright light.  He frowns, feels that the hollow next to him is barely warm, and that Drin must have tucked up the sheets around him.  He feels a hot coal of warning light up in his tailbone when he twists, and then something clicks down there, relaxes, and the pain goes away, just like that.  He frowns, stretches body parts in slow testing motions, and sits up, puts his feet down on the cold rag rug beside the bed.

There’s a clicking noise in the house, and lights come on.  Air starts moving.

“Ahh,” Dance says.  “You found the breakers.”


He starts to stand up when he hears a door close.

Drin’s talking to him from that other room before he gets three steps across the bedroom.  Just talking, not raising his voice to yell across the house, knowing exactly how well Dance can hear him.  “Sweetheart, it’s just me.  The breaker panel is in the garage.  Looks like everything is working fine now, huh?”

Dance nods, scrubs at his face.  “Come talk to me, tell me what you found.”

Drin is grinning.  “When I could be getting the coffee maker going?  Heating up the kettle for your tea?”

Dance yawns.  “Yes, you are right.  We need caffeine now.”

He gets swooped up naked into a hug made chillier by Drin’s puffy outdoor jacket and rough jeans, and he yelps.

“It’s great outside, you’re gonna love it.”

“You vicious cruel morning person,” Dance says, which is something Emma would say.

“Oh, yeah,” Drin agrees, hugging him tighter, lifting him right off his feet, and his whole spine gives absurd clunking noises and relaxes.  Drin releases him.  “Better?”

Dance stretches again.  “You are going to be good for us, aren’t you?”

“Yeah.  Okay, sleepy boy, have your shorts.  You’ll need your pants, a heavy shirt, jacket, good socks, your boots.  It’s cold out there, wind is going a bit.”

“Brrr,” Dance says.

“Where’s my hot jock guy who did that five am run every morning, huh?”

Dance sighs.  “Tired out from late night corrections.”

“Yeah, that’s why we needed a trip away.  So we’ll just walk a bit and look at the beach, and then we’ll thaw out with a nice hot shower.”

“After having your wicked messy way with me?”

He just gets a kiss from chilled lips in a spot which makes him yelp again.

Drin saunters off into the kitchen, laughing that maddening, superior, up-earlier-than-thou laugh.

red teakettle on stove
red kettle, source unknown

By the time Dance has laced on his hiking boots, there are mugs sitting on the kitchen counter, steaming.  “Ahhh,” he says, burying his nose in the warmth.

Drin perches on the next stool, unzips his down jacket, puts his nose in his own mug.  “Ahh, they gave us the good stuff.”

“Indeed,” Dance murmurs, and leans his elbows on the counter, blinking.

Drin ruffles his hair.  “You look like an owl!”

“Well, I am,” Dance says, and opens his eyes very wide.  “I am a night owl now, right?”

“I’d like to get back some of that five am jock back from Maestro Young’s evil clutches,” Drin says.  The man’s eyes are not joking at all.

“Yeah,” Dance agrees, and yawns again. Then he taps his own neck with two fingers, and beckons at his husband.

“What?” Drin says, but he unbuttons his shirt, he lets Dance pull the cloth down, and he lets Dance look in bright morning light at the bite marks on his trapezius muscle.

The bruises are just where Drin would sling a strap for a bag or a backpack, halfway between his neck and the tip of his collarbone.  That won’t be fun if he does try to wear a pack.

Purpling teeth-marks on either side of the muscle map out Dance’s upper and lower dental impression.  Two more marks, scabbed, sit in the middle of the ellipse on Drin’s back.  Nothing like that shows on the front side.  Two deep marks, bruised in a maroon red, obviously inflicted by something thin and sharp.  They look just like needlemarks from a blood draw or an injection.

Dance looks at them carefully, and attempts to use that to map where the “needles” came from.  When he runs his tongue over the inside of his own mouth, there is nothing new. No trace of extra holes, nothing hiding sharp bits.  There’s just the same bulges and ridges on his upper palate as ever, the same as they always felt.

“Did you look at these in the mirror?” Dance asks, staring at the two scabs.

“Yeah, in front.  When you bite, you don’t fool around.  But it’s not bad.  Feels a little stiff.  Reminds me of you, when I move my arm and stuff.”  He smiles.

Dance shakes his head.  “Did you see these holes in back?  Here and here.”

“Doesn’t hurt there.  I didn’t notice anything special.  So what’s it look like?” Drin says.

Dance says, “If our Drin was a beautiful actress, we ourselves must be playing the bad vampire.”

“Sweetheart, if you were a vampire, I’d invite you in and ask you to be especially bad to me,” Drin says solemnly, but his eyes are laughing.

“How bad?” Dance asks, unable to resist, especially with Drin’s arms hugging around him and the man’s mouth kissing his cheek, then his ear.  Dance helpfully tips his chin out of the way.

“Very,” Drin murmurs, kissing his way down Dance’s neck.  “Mmm, nice.”

“Is the actress supposed to– oh, yes, please,” as he feels a hand unzipping his pants.

“Is she supposed to do this?” Drin says.  He slides his fingers skillfully into Dance’s shorts, rubbing lightly at Dance’s balls.  “Or is she supposed to kneel down and plead for you to let her suck your dick?  Begging you to let her get it in her mouth?”

Dance looks down.  “No,” he says.  “She’s not supposed to.  But if she does it anyway, and gets the bad vampire all carried away and–” he sighs at the hot, moist mouth covering the tip of his cock, and drawing back coyly, “–and he gets very bad.”

Drin smiles up at him, licks his lips, breathes on the tip of his rigid cock.  “What if she wants that bad vampire to be really bad to her?”

“Oh, he might have to grant her whatever she wants,” Dance says, watching the mouth close onto his dick, draw him in.  “That is– making me really–”  he sighs as the heat draws back.

“Morning wood, gotta love it,” Drin says, stroking Dance with one hand.  Then he stands up, looks at Dance, pulls Dance’s hand down.  “Come on, show me how you like it.”

“Ah, no, I’ll come–” Instead, he reaches up and tugs at Drin’s shirt.

“Just like that?  What a hasty vampire!”  Drin pulls off the jacket and the shirt for him.

“I think our actress kind of knows something she wants, even if she’s a big tease and she doesn’t really know what she’s getting into right now,” Dance says, harsh and low, and he crowds Drin’s hips back into the kitchen counter, and grinds against him.  Kisses his nipples, tonguing them, nibbling at them.  Then he pulls his head away, and he says, “Oh, getting all wet, so these–come down–”

He unzips Drin’s pants, grabs the waistbands, yanks down shorts and jeans, frees the dick jumping to his attention.  He fists Drin, stroking up and down, stops to spread his hand and stroke the man’s balls instead.  With his other hand on Drin’s neck, he pulls Drin’s head down to kiss him thoroughly, taking the man’s mouth, shoving his tongue everywhere.

Drin moans a little, and Dance draws back.  “Yes?” he asks.

“Maybe she wants him to bite the other shoulder too.  Maybe she really wants him to fuck her until she comes, and bite the fucking silly daylights out of her.”

“Even if it hurts?”  He slides his hand along Drin’s hip, cups one buttock.  “So much fucking.  Maybe this is too rough.  We could get this coming a lot of times without putting a dick inside.”

Drin’s hand finds Dance, strokes his cock.  “Yeah?  What if we’re asking really nicely–”

Dance grips the man’s arms, turns him away, guides him over to face the table, pushes him down onto it, and says, “Stay.”

When he returns, he finds Drin slowly masturbating, pants around his ankles, with his chest down on the table and his face quite red with arousal.

He comes up behind Drin, slides his gloved hands onto the man’s hips, spreads the butt muscles apart, and looks at the man’s anus for any problems.  It moves, clenches and relaxes gently as the man breathes.  Beneath it, Drin’s balls are tightening, drawing up, knowing he’s being examined.  It turns him on.  Satisfied, Dance warms up lube on a latex-gloved hand, strokes lube across the pink tissue, and slides two fingers easily into the opening, sinking them in up to the base.

Drin gasps.

Dance says, thinking it out, “Telling about it really turns her on, and maybe she comes before bossy vampire allows it, doesn’t she?”  Another finger slides in.  He starts probing for that prostate gland.

Drin gives a little surprised wheeze.  “Fuck, yeah.”

Dance spreads his other fingers wide, strokes at the man’s balls.  More lube on his anus, drooled on cold, without warming it.  Drin gasps.

“Maybe the vampire puts both hands inside her, one in her cunt–” he slides his free hand between Drin’s thighs and starts stroking his balls and the base of his cock.  “–and the other one in her ass–”  He moves his fingers, making room.  “Maybe she comes twice, yelling names, and he will be very surprised who taught her so well!”  The little finger slides in.  His middle fingers stroke that spot he knows works so well for Drin.

Drin gasps.

“Or it hurts too much the first time, and no, she doesn’t like it.”  Dance slides out his hand, lets go of Drin’s balls.

“Jeezus fuck,” Drin gasps.

“I think this bad vampire will keep coming back, fucking her on logs in the woods, swoop down in the big fancy maze and taking her on a bench at some night party.  Drag her out behind the mansion, in the stable at night, make the stable boys all lick her cunt and then she sucks them off, and then that bad vampire fucks all of them.  But he makes her use that dildo and peg him, too, he makes her happy about a lot of surprising things,” Dance murmurs, and rolls on a condom.  He squeezes more lube onto the condom, stands behind Drin, lines up his cock on the man’s hole, pushes into him in one long, slow stroke.  “And– what– what does the young lady say now?”

Drin swears in high stuttering gasps, breathes out hard, and growls, “Do me.”

“Right,” Dance says, leaning over the man’s back, pressing wet kisses along his spine.  His mouth is drooling cum already.  He licks it onto Drin’s back.  “How does that feel?”

More stuttery breaths.  “Oh wonderful.  Fuck me, Dance, please fuck me, please.”

Dance rocks his hips slowly out.  In again.

“Please,” Drin says, and tightens his buttock muscles down hard, pulling slabs of muscle tight against Dance’s cock.  Dance gives a sigh, jolted by that pressure, and the thrust gets a grunt, and a breathless chuckle, from Drin.

“Yeah–” and Drin is pushing back, hips rocking back and forth, impaling himself.

“You feel– too good–” Dance moans.  He’s pistoning away, losing it, and jolting to a stop again, coming back to himself with a horrified cry, gripping Drin’s hips to a stop, alarmed.

“I’m good,” Drin wheezes.  “Jeezus, Dance, you’re so fucking–long–feels like you’re way up in my lungs there–”

torso shot of actor Lee Byun Hun
torso shot, actor Lee Byung Hun

Dance leans on the man’s back while the man’s ribs keep heaving for air.  “Bend a little more, turn back this shoulder you want–I need to, I need to– do you really want me– to bite?  Oh yes, good.  I’m going, Drin, I’m going–”

He arches in hard, hips rocking slower than he really wants, and he closes his mouth carefully on the ridge of muscle that Drin offers him.  He feels the pressure building hard at both cock and mouth.  He tries not to grip down with his front teeth, he tries to just let it build up and happen, while they rock together.  Drin moans under him.  Drin’s pelvis is pushing back, rocking up at Dance just as fast as Dance is slamming down into him.

Then Drin tightens down his buttock muscles, clenches everything tight on him, too much.

Dance grabs on with his mouth, pushes his cock to the root inside Drin, and comes.

There’s the little clunk! relaxing in his head, mouth-cum slides out of his open lips and down Drin’s skin, but he doesn’t feel the odd little lock coming loose again.  Something pulses rhythmically in the back of his mouth, it’s coming as hard as his dick, but it just keeps going.  His bite is pumping whatever it is directly into open wounds in Drin’s body.  As it keeps pumping fluid, there’s resistance coming back at him, fluid is building in Drin’s muscle tissue, slowing down on accepting any more of that injection.

“Oh fuck me, fuck me,” Drin moans, pushing upward hard, almost lifting Dance’s boots off the floor.  Dance reaches around, grips Drin’s cock, pumps him twice, and feels spurts of hot fluid fill his cupped hand.  Drin’s cock twitches in place, his hips push Dance up once more, and then he’s poised there for a long moment, not even breathing.

Then the big man draws in a long breath, under Dance’s chest, and suddenly everything relaxes.  All the muscles slacken under Dance.

Somehow that makes the little click! of release happen in his mouth.

Gradually the pulsing in his sinuses stops, and Dance opens his mouth, releases Drin’s shoulder, feels himself drooling onto Drin’s back.  He licks the mouth-cum around wider on Drin’s skin.  He feels like it ought to be an apology instead.

Drin sprawls down onto his elbows on the table, gasping.

Dance licks cum onto Drin’s shoulder blades, down his spine, feeling how relaxed those muscles are.  “Hurting?”

“Fuck no,” Drin says.  He shifts one arm, turns his head.  “Dance–”

“Yes?” Dance murmurs, licking the man’s trunk muscles just below the floating ribs.

“–you could do that all day, if you want.”

“No hiking the beach for you, if I did,” Dance says, and resumes licking fluid across freckled skin, while Drin chuckles under him.  But he can feel the man’s ass twitch, starting to think about being stretched open for so long.  He reaches down to draw back, intending to grab the condom and pull out.

Drin reaches back, fumbles along Dance’s hip.  “Stay, okay?  Feels good.”

“Okay,” Dance says.

“Where the fuck did you get the idea for that whole amazing story?”

Dance smiles.  “Amalia was telling me to be more inventive, to use imagination, to make both of us think in different sexy stories than what we say at home.”  He spreads out mouth cum along Drin’s neck with his fingers, massaging it into the muscles as if he was using a massage oil.  “Is that feeling okay?”

“It’s totally excellent.”  Drin sighs, and his eyes close.  Then they blink open again.  “But that whole fantasy– how the hell did you guess that would get me rigid that fast?”

“Straight boy porn.”

Drin wheezes a little, laughing.  “Research.  Like Emma.”

“Oh yes.  You like women a lot, I see the way you talk to them, the way you touch them, the way you look at them.  It makes me feel good too, the way you look at Emma.  All warm and turned on and interested.  She needs that, too.  It’s so good, I really like watching you do that.”

“You’re stupid in love with her too,” Drin says, and he’s got a wry grin on his face.

Dance sighs.  “I think so, yes.  You know very well that she would make a truly excellent bitch-boss domme.  Boots, straps, cane–stockings, yes, a garter belt, something frilly at the back, I think–”

“Oh jeez,” Drin says, squinting.

“Yes?  A pretty good fantasy, huh?”

“Not fair,” Drin mumbles.

“I want to turn you over and suck you now,” Dance says.

“You– fucking hell–Jeeez, boy, that’s one helluva hose you’re got up me–”

“Sorry,” Dance says, hanging onto the condom as he drags himself out of Drin’s body.  Then he deals with the mess.  “Hold still, I will wipe you clean.”

“Not fair,” Drin says, with his ass flinching as a warm damp washcloth wipes him clean.

“Okay, that is looking okay.  Good.  Turn over.  Do you want a hand– okay.  Is that okay for your back?  Cushion?”

“No worries,” Drin says, sprawling back, knees apart as wide as the tangle at his ankles will allow.  It’s an Aussie phrase he’s borrowed from Emma.  That’s unfair of him, too.  “You’re really gonna– you are.  Well, damn, that feels good.”

“Good,” Dance says, and he kneels down on the tangle of the man’s pants, with his own pants still pushed down, and he starts licking mouth-cum onto Drin’s left shin, where old scars have left damaged, swollen tissue.  It hurts him when he has been up on his feet for too long.

Drin’s hand flops down beside his knee, and he strokes the top of Dance’s head, threads his fingers into Dance’s hair.  “Guess I should tell you a story while your mouth is all busy.”

“Mmm,” Dance hums in agreement.

“Okay, our little actress doesn’t know half what’s going on in that mansion.  Her boss is a lady in black leather everything with lots of dildos for bad girls.  Her mean boss has a giant mirror.  It’s one-way, with a nice big room behind.  Madam likes to take these poor straight schlubs of clients back there for the show when she has her wicked way with that nice young thing.  Or any of her other girls. And she’s totally pegging all those burly pink boys who work on the grounds, they all beg her for it.  Me now, me now, please Mistress.”

Dance hums appreciatively.

Drin pats his hair.  “But sometimes she throws queer parties, very hush-hush, everybody wearing masks and throwing down their furs to reveal they’re naked underneath, lots of fumbling in corners–it’s all terribly Victorian, all lace and Edward Gorey–”

Dance finds himself smiling, making it harder to keep his tongue moving on Drin.

Drin must be able to feel it, because he pats Dance’s head and goes on, “Now the strapping gardener’s lad gets a lot of attention, you know, lots of oiling up and posing in a jock strap down in the parlor downstairs until he gets to lick the ladies and suck the men off, but there’s plenty of action upstairs too.  There’s a bathtub where the guests can wallow around and get bathed by the footmen in soapsuds, there’s a nursery where the baby contingent get diapered by male nannies and given milk bottles and fucked if they beg for it.  In the kitchen they play with food, the guests get fucked with shortening, or they get sucked off by cooks with nothing on but aprons.  Stop laughing!”

“Hentai?” Dance murmurs.

“Oh yeah– yeah, of course, gotta please the tentacle-kinksters.  Okay, there’s a kinda lab place.  Weird scientist guy has a dark basement room with tanks gurgling for exotic saltwater critters like nautiloids and squid–but no actual octopi, they always crawl out of the tanks and they’re very delicate, way too hard to keep–”

Dance has to pull back for a moment to let the giggles escape.

“–I mean, he really is trying to get his own work done, between these tiresome visits by sex kinksters, but darn it, that’s who pays the bills, even when they do kick over the test tube racks sometimes.  Anyway, he doesn’t use any real animals for sex.  No, he has lots of floppy silicon toys in wild colors that he coats in really thick lube, no matter where he sticks it into you.  Yeah, when he’s upstairs on display for regular days, this poor guy is doomed to fuck busty girls with teeny little silicon toys that make them scream.  The voyeur clients love that–I mean, have you heard those girls screaming in hentai anime?  It’ll burst your eardrums.  Jeez, you’re laughing again.”

Dance quiets himself by spluttering into Drin’s knee.

“I mean, that’s all upstairs straight stuff, by the mirror.  Our skinny lab-coat guy is downstairs for queer parties.  He spends hours on end servicing kinky queers in his very own lab with his silicon toys, like the octopus arms.  And none of them appreciate how much work went into being accurate about the number of suckers on the giant squid arms.  You’re not laughing again, are you?  He’s quite an artist with the silicon, you know.  He can let the twinks crawl up under that lab coat and suck him all day, too, he never gets off on it.”

Dance mumbles a sympathetic noise into Drin’s calf muscle.

“Yeah, poor guy.  He is seriously lusting after one of Madam’s more interesting employees.  But his love is not requited, of course.  He pines after a heroic-looking artist’s model who turned out to be transgender, and she sits all naked and elegant in an artist’s atelier with a couple of dykes in bike leathers and a few men in gowns who are transvestites. They pose for guests, they have these very slow beautiful orgies together, until the dykes get impatient with the whole thing and fuck everybody very hard with strap-ons.”

Dance makes a surprised noise.

“Yeah, me either.  I really wouldn’t mind getting pegged by a big tough bike-riding dyke with a strap-on, would you?  But you know it’d never work out, she’d never settle down with some nice boys like us.  She’d get bored and she’d always be running around to bars and getting in fights and having to find new jobs.  Which is why the transgender gal will never pick any one of the dykes Madam brings for her to look over.  Yeah, there’s probably way too many tattoos going crazy there.  Madam likes to hang up all this artsy erotica, like photographs where you can’t make out which body part belongs to who– yeah, there’s a gallery, too.  A gallery of parts fucking other parts in closeup.  Peppers and tomatoes getting it on.  Are you laughing?”

“Never,” Dance says solemnly, and resumes licking.

“Right.  So, this transgender model doesn’t even notice how the scientist guy might wear glasses and look funny but he’s an expert on making sex toys and he is really quite strong from hauling around tanks and changing water all the time–”

“Shortsighted,” Dance says solemnly, which makes Drin laugh instead.  When Drin is done spluttering, Dance goes back to licking the man’s other knee.

“So every day at breakfast, our scientist guy has to look at Madam’s pictures of this beautiful object of lust who doesn’t want him, and he starts to hate the whole idea of oatmeal, and he even hates having to go get coffee.  I think I better stop talking about him, you keep laughing at him, it’s really very heartless and cruel of you.”

“Sorry,” Dance mumbles.

“I should think so.  Well, poor guy, he’s only happy when he gets to hang out upstairs with his friend the Professor, who has a lewd picture gallery and illegally stolen Indian sculptures where you can’t even tell how many people came to the orgy.  Oh yeah, and a lot of Greek pottery plates with really elegant whorehouse pictures of older men with boys.  The Professor brings in all those rich posh undergraduates who wanted to learn Latin for the naughty bits.  Hey, it’s not that funny!”

“It is, Drin!  But does the Professor–” Dance trails off uncertainly.

“Oh, he picks out twinks among the queer party guests, all legal age, students.  He only likes them in real academic gowns, too.  He feels them all up first, lubes them up, jacks them off, each one in turn.  Then he picks out two of the weediest, skinniest, youngest-looking kids in the lot and sucks one off, while he pets the other one a lot.  Then he lets that one screw the daylights out of him.  He likes getting done in front of everybody, but he doesn’t mind going into his office and getting done on top of his desk, either.  Those skinny little guys have the most stamina, he’ll get the best ride.”

“No punishment first?” Dance asks, stroking his wet fingers along the inside of Drin’s thighs, shifting his hands up toward the man’s hips.

“Oh, they have a proctor for the undergraduates who are begging for that, he switches them a good number of times and makes them lick his boots before he lets them sit on the Professor’s lap for a good fondling.  The Professor tells them they’ve been naughty and makes them wear a big butt plug that sticks out the back of the gown so everyone knows they got switched.”

Dance slides his fingers in the damp fluid he’s licked onto Drin’s knees.  The drip from his sinuses is steady enough that he could start coating both the man’s thighs with it.  “Does Madam punish them for being bad boys?”

“Yes, but she delegates that job to her pretty gardener boys.  The students get whacked off by her staff, they’re not interesting to her.  Not enough of a challenge.  She only takes over on the odd ones, the disabled ones, the truly horrible-looking ones, what you might call the neglected ones.  She likes to take her time with them, study them, trace out how their personal issues work with their kinks.  Those guys, they love her.  Downstairs, where Madam presides during her leather parties, there’s a caning room and a rope suspension room and she’s hired the local leather club.  Lots of bulky tops like Madam’s butler, a very stern bald guy who’s all muscle under that suit and really strict with his subbies–I mean, all these plump Tom of Finland types he picks out to pinch and prod and fuck the hell out of, they never know what hit ‘em– you’re laughing again!”

“You are too funny,” Dance protests.

“Oh, never!  You can never be too funny.”  Drin flips one hand nonchalantly, and strokes Dance’s hair as Dance resumes lapping fluid from Drin’s knees upward.

“Okay, Madam’s dungeon crew make toys, all the toys you could imagine.  But the real attraction is up in the parlor with that mirror.  The blacksmith– are you giggling again?– he’s in an apron and nothing else, the hairy bastard, he’s strapping down frail undergraduates in front of Madam’s mirror, he jams big dildoes up their spoiled pansy asses, and he only lets them come when the other guys watching, the guys wearing those big butt plugs that stick out at the back of their robes, when they have all sucked each other off.  What’s so funny?”  His head pops up, looking at Dance.

“Every student’s wet dream, the way you tell this story,” Dance says, and licks his lips.

Drin reaches down and slides his fingers through Dance’s hair.  “God, look at that mouth of yours.”

“Look at this mouth licking cum on you,” Dance says, and starts licking the ticklish spots at his hip joints.

Drin watches awhile, stroking his hair back from his face, touching his ears, cupping the back of his head.  Mouth cum gleams along the man’s body hair, all across his belly, when Dance lifts his head and says, “When you get me excited, that makes me leak more mouth cum.”

“That’s the idea, yeah.”  Drin grins at him.

“Who makes the blacksmith happy?” Dance asks.

“Oh, well, he loves this beautiful slim curly-haired boy who’s a contortionist and likes to have sex with everybody else first, right in the same room, on display where his daddy can see him  The boy has lots of them at once before he finally lets the blacksmith touch him.  The boy likes to have three guys doing him at once, one for each hole and his dick, and more coming on his back, before he will even kiss the blacksmith.”

Dance makes a sympathetic noise.

“Yeah, but it’s not all sad.  After this boy has got his jaw muscles stretched and his ass fucked wide open, he’ll suck the blacksmith all hard. Then he’ll get in some weird position and sit right down on the blacksmith’s cock, and fuck himself onto it until the blacksmith comes.  Because he knows the blacksmith just loves sliding in all at once, boom, and he’s a pretty thick cock, and the boy gets all stretched open for him by these other guys.”

Dance lifts his head and says, “Such a slut, huh?”

“But he’s got a reason.  The boy likes to get him all jealous and hard and excited from watching his boy performing, getting fucked by all these other men first.  He’s so jealous, you know, he puts these dildos in all these fucking weedy undergraduates after they’ve been fucking his boy where he can see it.  The boy is leaking lube, he’s all stretched open from these other dicks, and then the blacksmith has to cover him and fill him up.  See, his cock is so thick, the boy tells him how much he wants to feel it, his big cock is fucking him the way none of the puny little guys can do.”

“Is that how you like it, all wet decks and stretched for you, like a pirate captain taking the greedy cabin boy after the rest of the crew has fucked him wide open?” Dance asks, spreading a puddle of mouth-cum with his fingers up onto the base of Drin’s cock.

Drin starts to laugh.  “Meanwhile, back at the mansion–”

Dance smiles at him, and purrs, “Pirates.”

“Okay, okay, your pirate captain guy visits every time he’s in town.  He brings Madam stuff like–oh, I don’t know, brandy and sex toys and ex-whores running away from France–but he likes queer parties the most.  He shows off his great big whanger after everybody else fucks his boys.  He always has three of them play with each other for Madam’s mirror.  And the blacksmith’s boy gives the captain’s boys lots of personal attention.”

“For him to watch?” Dance says, spreading cum with his fingers along his husband’s balls.

“Jeez, I keep forgetting you’ve got your hands on some pretty raunchy Internet porn yourself.”

“You were right, though.  Like the pictures, most of it is pretty sad.”  By then, Dance is licking down onto the seam of his husband’s balls, down behind them, then taking the entire sac into his mouth, feeling them twitch and stir.

When he pulls back this time, Drin says, “You do know how to get a guy going.”

“So do you,” Dance says, smiling up at him.  Then he looks at Drin’s cock thoughtfully, looking at how it’s stiffened upward over Drin’s belly, studying how the slit is welling up with runnels of semen, drooling onto the red fur.  It’s impossible for him to tell where it has already mingled with his own mouth-cum on the man’s pubic hair, dripped down onto his balls.

Drin gives a little moan, hips stirring, watching Dance merely look at his cock.  Dance leans one elbow on the table next to Drin’s hip, and lifts the stiffened cock with his other hand, and lowers his face very close to it, not touching.  “I love how you smell.  I want to taste you coming.”

“You want to suck me off bare.”

“I do.”

He hoists himself up on his elbows, looking down his own length at Dance.  “Oh fuck, Dance, don’t look at me like that.  You’re asking if being married to me is enough protection from whatever dumb shit I did when I was younger, even if it’s something they don’t even know to test for yet!”

Dance tilts up an eyebrow.  “This from you, who’s letting me bite you when we don’t even know the least thing about whatever this stuff is–” he gestures at his own face.

Drin flops back on the table, folds his hands under his head, and sighs deeply.

“Drin, those bites went into your muscle, the little holes bleed when I bite you.  Those– whatever they are–when those biting things come out of you, they come out of your muscle and they go back up inside my head.”

The big hands slide around on Drin’s face, scrub at his temples, cover his eyes, press there.  But he doesn’t say anything.  Dance is about to move when Drin lowers his hands at last, and reaches out, and covers Dance’s forearm with his hand.  “I know.  Goddammit, sweetheart, I know.”

“Okay,” Dance says.  He lowers his head, starts licking on Drin’s ribs, nowhere near that much-desired cock.  But he pumps his hand slowly up and down the length of Drin’s shaft.  Drin’s knees stir wider, his grip tightens on Dance’s arm, his hips strain upward, and he turns his head restlessly.

Dance lifts his tongue away, leans in closer on his elbow, and murmurs, “You know something about it, don’t you?”

Drin tugs on his arm, pulls Dance in across him, until Dance consents to lower his weight onto Drin’s body on the table.  Their bellies meet, their cocks rub together.  Drin cups his hands around Dance’s ears, around the back of his head, down onto his neck.  Drin says, “You’re so goddamn fierce sometimes.  I’m just– sometimes I’m not very brave, you know?”

Dance props himself up on his elbows, rocking his hips very slightly, and he looks straight down into his husband’s eyes, waiting.

Drin lowers his eyelids, he looks aside, he fiddles with Dance’s necklace, he strokes Dance’s face in both hands, and finally he lifts his head and kisses Dance on the forehead.

“Like pulling teeth,” Dance says, which is another wry quote from Emma.  He lowers his mouth and kisses his husband on the mouth, deeply.  He finally draws his mouth back, having said what he wanted without any confusion.

Drin’s eyes fill up, glitter.  He blinks hard, and lets Dance lick him on the forehead and the nose and the cheeks, and down onto his neck, and then onto his chest.  “Sweetheart, I told you a long time ago– goddamn bad dreams, right– you saved my life.  You did.  You came down on a belaying line and gathered me up and they hauled us both in, and that’s all– that’s all I could say, for a long time.”

“Mmmhhm?” Dance goes on licking his nipples.

“How could I tell you that you– I couldn’t say a damn thing before– before this happened– but I always–”  He gives a little groan.  “Dance, I dreamed you bit me, just like you did tonight.  Oh God, Dance, you bit me and it made all the pain go away.  I was fucking dying of burns, Dance, and you bit me, and made it all go to sleep.  I was never, ever afraid of you biting me.  Never.”

Dance tilts his head.  “You knew all this?  And you never–”

“Hell, it’s this recurring dream, we know none of the equipment is really there in Afghanistan– not the way I saw it was– those fucking damn bees, and the bugs– who knew what parts were real?”

“Mmm,” Dance says, and resumes licking the man’s chest while he thinks about it.  He nudges Drin’s nipples into tight points, pulling on them gently.  It makes Drin’s cock stir against his, makes it twitch and stiffen harder.  He lifts his head.  “And the bees?  You said you told bees where to go.”

“Oh yeah.  Hell.  If anybody knows how to command bees, it’s probably classified so deep we’ll never fucking find out.”  Drin’s belly heaves a deep sigh against Dance’s weight.

Dance rocks his hips gently, aware that the table is very sturdy but even it might have trouble under their combined weight plunging around.  He’s feeling a bit ridiculous, with his pants tangled around his ankles and his knees losing purchase on the table between Drin’s thighs.  But then Drin puts down his big hands and grabs Dance’s butt muscles and hauls him up higher.

“Slippery,” Drin says, hanging onto Dance’s butt, with some of his fingers digging in, already halfway to sliding inside Dance’s hole.  Dance rocks his hips up, pushing up into that grip, rocking downward to push his cock against Drin’s.  “Easy, sweetheart, I’ve been giving your ass a hard time the last few days–”

“I like it,” Dance growls.

“Uh huh.  And you want to suck me bare.”

“Oh yes.”

They rock together a moment, making the table creak.

“Are you afraid of my– my teeth– biting your cock?”

Drin chuckles.  “No.  Oh hell no.  But I’m afraid I’d never come down again from that kind of high.  Or I’d never want to.”

“I’d think your mouth would feel it even more–” Dance pushes hard with his hips, takes the man’s mouth, delivering over the drool sleeting down the back of his tongue.  He paints the inside of Drin’s mouth with it, and feels the man’s ribs move, breathing harder, deeper.

He puts down his hands, pushes himself up, lifts his weight off Drin’s chest.  Then he slides off the table, stands up, and grips Drin’s cock firmly on both hands, and looks down at him, waiting.  “Roll on your side.”

“What?  Why?” Drin says dazedly.

“I’m going to bite your ass.  That’s where I should– where I know– where you need me to bite this time.”

Drin pushes himself up on one elbow, staring at him.  “You’re really– Right.  Okay, if you’re sure.”  And he turns, pulls up one knee, belly muscles drawing tight, cock bobbing stiffly onto the table.

Dance reaches down, pumps the man’s cock a few strokes, leans down, and starts licking Drin’s hip, and then down onto the meat of his buttock, and with his other other hand pushes up under that muscle, pushing it into his wide mouth.  There’s the click! in his head, and he’s spasming, locked in place with his jaws hung wide open, his front teeth not biting closed at all.  Something in his sinuses pulses, and the pressure drains from his head in huge sucking bursts.

“Ahh, there–yeah, that’s good, don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt at all,” Drin murmurs, and his hand fumbles around and strokes Dance’s arm.  The man’s body relaxes under him, and he gives a little happy sigh.

There’s a barely perceptible release somewhere inside Dance’s head, that click, and then he’s free to move his jaws.  He presses his lips down on Drin’s butt muscle, kisses it, lifts his head.  Then he licks across the wounds he’s just made.  At least this way there’s no bruises from his regular teeth.

“Okay,” Drin says, and slowly rolls onto his back.  “Wow.  Just… any time you want, you just… That was… really nice.”

Dance looks down at the man’s cock, and up again at his face.  A hard pulse throbs down in his own groin, making demands.

“You want it?” Drin asks.

“I want it,” Dance says.

“Take whatever you want, sweetheart.  Anything you want.  Suck me bare, yeah, you’re right.  Biting me, you’re already getting exposed to my stupid germs.”

Dance looks at him.  “You’re not just saying that because biting made you too happy?”

“Well, it makes me think I’d really like getting sucked, but if you’d rather do something else–” he shifts his knee, offering to roll around in other positions.

“No, this,” Dance says, and starts licking the man’s cock.  Puts his mouth down on it, gets the taste onto the back of his tongue.  Those drooling spots flare hotly in his mouth, making things pulse like his cockhead, and he groans.   He draws up again, gets his hand onto the shaft of Drin’s prick, pumping it.

“Yes, oh God please yes,” Drin says, chest heaving.

Dance works his tongue around the tip of it, gets his lips wrapped around it, and pushes it in as far as he can, until his nose is pushing down into wet pubic hair. Get that taste of musk and salt and Drin down into his throat.  There’s another ecstatic throb from those tender spots on his upper palate, and he moans, bracing out his feet, and he starts bobbing his head up and down, thrusting it in, pushing the tip up against those drooling spots.  He wraps his hands around Drin’s hips, gets his hands down onto the man’s butt muscles, grips them so he can work with the rhythmic clenching of the body working under him.

“Oh fuck, oh fuck oh, oh,” Drin gasps, his gut heaving in and out with each breath.  “Oh God, I’m coming, I’m going to– “

“Mmmmmm,” Dance hums, holding it in place against those tender spots, feeling fluid spurting, the man’s penis stuttering into him, pushing into his palate, shoving into his throat.

Drin’s body holds that position, arched up, belly taut, for a long time.  Then he grunts, his hips jerk, and he falls back panting.  The man’s body finally relaxes, the butt muscles slacken, his knees sprawl limp.  One hand flops wide on the table.  His belly balloons and caves with each breath.

Dance resumes sucking him gently, finally sliding off his cock and licking those mingled fluids down onto the man’s gut muscles and onto the cords of his thighs at his hip joints, returning over and over to lick and suckle at his husband’s penis.  It is oddly intimate, feeling the rigid penis slowly soften, the skin crinkling.  His balls slacken very gradually too.

“You…” Drin says.  “God, you weren’t fooling… what you wanted… that’s a helluva thing, Dance…”

“Not ticklish yet?” Dance asks.

“No, I just… I’m just floating off, man… best of all possible worlds.”

“I think so,” Dance says, deeply pleased.  He surveys the supine state of his beloved.  He worries that the bite marks might hurt like hell in a few hours, considers distractedly whether it would do the slightest bit of good to put some antiseptic on them, and takes himself firmly in hand.  “Drin,” he says.

“Yeah?’  Drin turns his head, blinking.

“You said you wanted me to show you how I jack off, but you’ve seen me do it.  Why now, what’s different?”

Drin’s eyelids relax.  He smiles.  “Everything’s changed, sweetheart.  C’mere, let me touch you, get my hand on your balls while you make that man of yours happy.  Not so little, either.”  His touch is as languid as he is, brushing up and down Dance’s belly and thighs, cupping his balls and sliding fingers up behind them, stroking lightly into his ass, then pushing his palm firmly onto the head of Dance’s cock.

Dance leans on the table, leans into Drin’s supporting hands, crawls right up onto him and pumps the tip of his cock into Drin’s leg, groaning.

“Yeah, sweatheart, I know, I know you like to be held when you come, it’s good.  C’mon, give it to me, let it happen, just let it go and lose it for me.”  He hugs those long arms around Dance, kisses his forehead, and slides one hand under him, cupping all of his cock and balls and jerking it in his big hand.  Dance shudders and feels Drin’s fingers finally, finally stroke it out of him, and he groans, and he comes, at long fucking last.

“You know, these damn beach hikes are so tiring,” Drin murmurs, and strokes his hair.

Dance huffs out a laugh.  “Hard on your back, too.”

Snakes & Ladders

“I don’t believe it!” Emma exclaims, laughing.

Dance looks at her unhappily, hands up in front of him, ready to fend it off.

blue snakes, by lesfourmis
blue snakes, by lesfourmis

She grabs a wad of garish rubber creatures out of the bin, and just holds it up, and watches him flinch.

“It makes me get confused,” Dance mumbles. He’s much happier when she lets go, lets the floppy things drop back into the pile. He’s acutely relieved when she reaches out and rests her hand on his arm instead.

“Poor baby,” she says, instantly contrite.

“They don’t smell so great either,” Dance says, making a face. He’s glad suddenly that it’s five am, that there’s nobody around in the booths but some grumpy truckers at the back, that Emma and he have been horsing around for five minutes and no waitress has showed up.

He’s still not sure of himself, walking around in public with his pants pinned oddly and half his body weight draped around his shoulders like a big hot fur coat, and the tip tucked into his armpit trying to crawl away and hide somewhere safe and warm and dark. The restaurant lights seem excruciatingly bright.

He knows the hotel room isn’t safe at all. But he still wants to crawl away back in there, maybe hide under the bed or something.

He looks at Emma, thinking that he’s nowhere near brave enough to face what she’s looking at when she reaches up and kisses him on the cheek. “Poor baby,” she says again, and her eyes are still laughing. He leans into her, feeling her arms go around him. Then she whispers, “Your pants are falling down again.”

He sighs. “I know.”

“Want me to pin them up again?”

“Please.” He ought to be able to pin sixteen things at once now, but he hasn’t mastered picking up things that small with his tail, and his fingers feel stupid and clumsy and hopelessly thick. What he needs is to put in at least three hours of fingering practice on a decent instrument, he thinks, feeling her hands finish with the safety pins and rub up and down his back.

“Your back doing okay?” she murmurs, touching him.

“I’m okay,” he says.

“Ready for some waffles?” she says, smiling.

He makes a face. The truckstop smells are a little strong by the front door, and here by the kitchen, the cooking oil smells a little too far gone on the old side. He doesn’t feel hungry in here, but he’ll make an effort.

Then he turns his head and nods as Drin comes out of the restroom door.

What he doesn’t expect is the thick odor of sticky, stale honey that rolls out of there, or the two dark-coated men that follow Drin out and stand looking at them.

Dance opens his mouth, silently closes it. He didn’t smell it before, he’d have warned Drin. Not a clue. How in hell did they keep that smell from blanketing the whole place?

“Well, shit,” Emma says, and her arm blurs around, and there’s suddenly a whole swarm of rubber things in the air.

Dance’s tail suddenly figures out that it knows exactly what to do with a bin full of rubber toys.  And a couple of thugs who smell of drying honey.

“Easy, easy,” Drin’s voice says into his ear. “Don’t gag them any harder than that.”

Emma says then, “Here, guys, I hate to tell you, but we got company.”

Dance thumps the bigger guy on the head, and watches the body sag, and makes a face. He doesn’t like touching them or their clothes or the stinking things in their hair.

When he turns his head, he can see the truckers standing around Emma. Grumpy truckers. Smiling, some of them, at Emma.

“These guys bothering your lady?” the biggest one rumbles.

“We’ve got it,” Drin says.

“Never doubted you for a minute,” says the big guy, scratching at a thick wiry black pelt that pokes up out of his shirt. “Ahh just don’t like getting left out of the fun. Here, Cado, you want to take the little one off the lady’s hands? Bruce, get the big ‘un, that’s it.  Tell Mike to pick ’em up with the reefer, keep that stink down.  We set up a new place to clean bugs, make sure we get everything they been meaning to broadcast.  Make sure they don’t bother anybody else.”

One of the shorter guys steps forward, grinning, and tells Emma happily, “They sure cry when you pull their wings off.”

Emma’s face freezes into a crooked smile.

A tall thin trucker with really thick glasses pushes past and lifts the bigger of the dark pair out of Dance’s grip as if the considerable metal armoring under the clothes weighs nothing.  The thin guy nods once, politely, at Dance, murmuring, “Ma’am,” and carries the inert thing away through the kitchen.

Dance leans back a little, releasing the second one into the support of the guy whose comment made Emma’s face blank out like that. The trucker looks directly into his eyes, and grins. “Preeeetty lady.”

“Out, Efrim,” Fozzie growls.  The guy just grins wider when the leader cuffs him on the back of the balding head.

“Thanks,” Drin says, looking at the burden being carried away after the first one. Then he looks at the economy-sized guy who’s been doing the talking. “I appreciate the help taking out the trash.”

“How’s it going, Drin? Been awhile.”

“Yeah,” Drin says quietly. “Too long, what with one thing or another. Fires to put out.”

“It has,” the black-haired guy grunts. “Wanna sit down and get some food? You guys look like you could use some feeding up. I think we got a cook round here somewhere, if we can get ‘m to pull his face outta the honey bottle this morning. Poor thing’s got no head for his bug likker, gotta tell you.” He waves a long arm toward the back booth.

“So let me introduce you,” Drin says then, walking ahead of them. He turns, at the table, and puts one hand out to Emma, and her fingers curl up with his. “My lady here, Emma, is a librarian.”

The big furry guy puts out a hand, and Emma takes it lightly, and the trucker lifts it and kisses the air just above it, politely. “Ma’am,” he says gravely. “Always a pleasure to meet Drin’s academic friends.”

Emma inclines her head to him as precisely as she would to a Japanese guest at the symphony, as if she’s been doing this at every library soiree in her life. “Sir, you have the advantage of me,” she says.

He grins. “Oh, well, people call me lots of things, but I ain’t gonna burden your lovely ears with most of that stuff. Fozzie Bear is my CB handle.”

“Fozzie,” she says, looking up into his eyes. She has to crane her neck to do it.

He’s smiling down at her. “I do love seeing a good strong girl throwing southpaw, I surely do. Nearly as much as I love watching my roller derby gals, and that’s saying something.”

She turns red.

He chuckles. Then he looks at Drin, one furry graying eyebrow lifting.

“And my other lady,” Drin says then, putting out his hand and touching Dance on the arm lightly, “is not a lady in any other sense of the word.”

The big guy bends a little, bringing his face down to Dance’s eye level. He holds out a hand gravely, palm open. “I’m very pleased to meet you,” he says. “I do admire a lady who can knock down Turner’s boys without harmin’ ’em, so we got something to work with. I do purely like that.”

Dance looks at the face, at the hand, and then reaches out with something that is not a hand. Hanging out of nothing, it is about two feet of bright lime-green with white belly scutes. It looks exactly like the snarls of rubber snakes in the bin, down to the awkward mold lines. The tip rises slightly, extending toward the trucker’s big hand, and poises there as if waiting to see if he’s going to respond.

Emma stares at it, and starts to laugh.

The big guy’s eyes start smiling. He closes his hand gently around the length as if he is shaking hands with it, and he brings up his other hand and pats the upper curve of it with thick fingertips. “My,” he says, fingers open as if ready to support it, if Dance should wish it. “Now that’s a compliment I don’t get every day.”

Emma is glancing away around the coffee shop, nervous, but everyone else is staring at the rubbery loop draped across Fozzi’s palm. Dance feels a flush come up in his face, and he glances up at Drin apologetically.

Drin just smiles wider. “Dance has style.”

“Oh, why didn’t you tell us your lady here just unpinned this,” the trucker said, palm open, with a curl of the tip resting on his palm. Little agitated flickers of blue mar the illusion of the rubber snake. “Look at that beauty, feel those tiny little keels moving on my hand. You haven’t even been up and walking around for a week, have you?”

He turns his hand, admiring the very fake-looking rubber snake.

“My God, Drin, when was the last time you saw one of them solid slidecoats like this? You could take an air-hammer to this and only piss it off a little. It’s enough to bring tears to your eyes, it truly is.”

Dance opens his mouth, and says, “How do you know–”

“Oh, I’m an antiques guy from way back,” Fozzie responds. He’s still looking at the visible tip closely. “Oh, such a young baby, too. Let me tell you, Dance, you did great for somebody who’s still tripping over their own feet.”

Drin still has his hand lightly on Dance’s shoulder. Drin nods at Fozzie’s hand and says, “That’s just the first shedding there.”

Fozzie nods. “I can see that. I’ve never seen the first shed on an old school slidecoat like this. Awesome. Just like you always claimed. It’s like anybody else’s ninth shed, at least.”

Emma looks at the two men communing solemnly over the tail-tip, and her sense of the absurd gets the better of her. She says to Dance, “So, do you feel like a Harley put up on the rack for a tune-up?”

Dance smiles at her wryly.

Fozzi puts out his free hand gravely in Emma’s direction, and touches her arm with a fingertip, warningly. “My dear,” he tells her, “it’s much more like we are looking at a mint Aston-Martin, kept in a museum, with provenance, that was filmed doing stunts in the first Bond movie. It can actually do mountains just fine, but it’d give you a heart-attack to take it out the door.”

Emma frowns. “What if the Aston-Martin wants to get out of the museum sometimes?”

Fozzi smiles at her. “Drin, I’m in love. I wanna kidnap both of them and take them home to the wife and kids. Of course, with a back-fang boy like Dance, and knowing my kids, it’d be about like bringing home a snapping turtle for my three-year-old to play with, but that’s been known to happen too.”

Emma shifts her weight against the edge of the table. “Back-fang?”

Fozzie lifts his bushy eyebrows at her, and then glances at Drin. “You haven’t tried to poking any fingers down in Dance’s mouth, I hope.”

Drin shakes his head. “I knew we’d need a herp specialist.”

Fozzie draws in about a bushel of air and sighs it out over the curl of tail across his palm. “Okay, Dance, you got my scent now?”

Dance puts out a hand rather blindly, and Emma is right there, supporting his arm, steadying him. Dance blinks, shakes his head, and blinks again. “When did you go fishing?” he says, bewildered by the odors of motor oil and drying weed and mud and algae and chopped bait.

Fozzie grins. “This morning. Got my guests to think of, don’t I?  Bet you ain’t feeling like chowing down on pancakes. I got you some nice feisty alligator gar out in a cooler, kept it in batches of good clean water in the cab of my reefer. Get some prey movement going, in case you need provocation to feel hungry. Yeah, you like that idea, don’t you, baby?  Hey, Drin, you got any idea how much protein Dance needs right now? I know how many new beef sides we send over for Ringling’s tigers, and that adds up quick, let me tell you. Chickens are nice and cheap, but some folks got to have more gamey smell to their meat.”

Dance looked at the big guy in horror. His stomach rolls queasily. “I don’t want to– to grab live things and–”

He grunts. “Yeah, it takes some folks that way, too. Can’t live on sushi tuna your whole life either, you know. You probably need more live-bone calcium in your diet.”

Drin grabs his other arm, props him up a bit. Dance’s stomach gives another queasy turn. He feels hot and blind and either he’s going to faint or he’s going to hurl, right there on the floor. He doesn’t think it would be a new experience for this floor.  He surprises himself by putting out a longer green length of snake and leaning more of the weight of it onto Fozzie’s supporting arm. It makes Fozzie look like he’s raided the toy bin.

“When the last time you ate?” Fozzie says.

Dance shakes his head, unable to remember anything.

“Cinnamon,” Emma prompts him. “You had the last of the ginger root this morning, remember?”

“Yeah, I can smell that on him,” Fozzie agrees. “Those two are a real good idea, settle you right down. Billy Dean, run back to the kitchen and see if they’ve got a knob of ginger back there, you know that stuff my old lady likes when her stomach is giving her gyp.”

The medium-large guy with the long ZZ-Top beard nods once, twirls his fingers in farewell at them, and slouches away without a word. As he turns, Dance sees that he’s wearing huge padded headphones, with a cord running down into his coat pocket. He shouldn’t be able to hear anything through it, but clearly he does.

Dance looks blurrily back at Fozzie.

“Yeah, I thought so,” Fozzie says, moving one finger back and forth, watching Dance’s eyes snap to it, track it. “It can take awhile to get the new body reflexes sorted out.  My old lady was sick as a dog for a month, the last really big shed she did.  Puked whenever she turned her head too fast. Got migraines if she went out when it was light, took her ages to get over jumping at loud noises. Buncha country boys get rowdy out there, you’re gonna get loud noises.”

Emma looks at Drin, points her chin at the bench seat in the booth, and Drin nods. Fozzie puts out both hands, lifting something he can’t see, and then Dance is sitting down with one side against Emma and the other against Drin.  The cool table is holding up a long loop of bright green silly-looking rubber snake. Dance takes a deep breath. The coolness feels good.

Emma reaches out among the trucker’s dishes, grabs a water glass, holds it out to Dance.

white cups and plates
stack of white dishes, source unknown

Dance reaches up for it, knocks it clumsily out of her hand. Water splatters across the table and the length of green tail, making him gasp, and blink.

Drin grabs another glass, grabs out a handful of ice cubes, and slathers it against the visible length of tail. Dance slumps back in the booth, leans his head back against Emma’s support, and blinks at the ceiling. Emma wets her hand and puts it against his forehead, and he sighs, closing his eyes.

“Overheated,” Fozzie says. “Goddamn bug-boys stressing him out.”

Drin nods, rummaging for more ice. He yanks open Dance’s shirt and scrubs cool wet palms over Dance’s chest.

Fozzie looks at Emma and remarks, “Slide coat isn’t fully developed yet, it’s probably reflecting all that heat back into his muscles, instead of venting off some of those IF frequencies. Modern coats, you’ll see them splattering all over the spectrum, they’re not invisible if you’re really watching for it. Not like these old-style surveillance specials. Button this up tight and you won’t see anything in your hunting goggles, even if it cooks the poor thing who’s wearing it. I’m real glad you turned green for me, Dance. That probably kept you from fainting.”

Dance looks at him blearily. He doesn’t move when Billie Dean’s long arm comes down in front of him and sets down a knob of ginger, several cloves of garlic, a bunch of parsley, and some elderly celery. It’s Emma who glances up and nods once at Billie Dean, saying, “Thank you.”

Billie Dean nods gravely back at her, and slides into the booth on the far side. Then he reaches into his coat pockets, frowns, rummages, and smiles. He holds out a bandanna, and points at Dance.

“Cover his eyes?” Emma asks.

Billie Dean nods.

boy's profile against white and gold bokkah blk, color photo by Alex Stoddard

“Dunk it in the icewater first, cool him off,” Fozzie advises her.

“Should we take Dance back to the hotel and throw him in the bathtub?” Emma says, leaning around Dance to tie the wet grubby cloth around his head.

Dance doesn’t move. The wet darkness feels better.

“Well, if them two bugboys got here so quick, it mighta been because some others are covering ground over there too,” Fozzie says. “Reeks of the hive, I must say.”

“That weird stale honey smell?” Dance says, eyes shut, and hears the silence.

“They smell like honey to you?”

“Like honey and oil that’s gone bad, rancid,” Dance says.

“Well,” Fozzie says. “How far away can you smell ’em coming?”

“Two, three blocks away, if they’re on foot,” Dance says. He rolls his head toward Emma, draws in a deep reassuring breath, and sighs it out. “But those two in the restroom, I don’t know how– I got no warning smell.”

Emma says sharply, “There should have been something.”

“Yeah, these new surveillance bugs, they go get dunked in some kinda chlorophyll bath to tone it down, but it wears off in a couple hours.”  Then he says, “I appreciate you trusting me, telling me.”

Emm is fumbling with something. “Here,” she says, putting something in Dance’s hand. “Strawberry jam. Eat.”

Dance takes another deep breath. It’s the last thing his stomach wants to do. But he trusts her, he puts out his tongue and licks a little of it out of the coffeeshop packet, and lets it sit on his tongue for awhile. He takes another cautious lick, and when he puts out his hand, she doesn’t need to be told to put a water glass in it. He sips, and rests his head against her, and feels like falling asleep.

“Close your eyes, I’m going to wet down the bandanna again, it’s dried out,” Emma says.

Dance puts his head down on the table. “I just want to sleep,” he mumbles.

“Yeah, I get that,” Emma says. “Keep your eyes shut.”

Drin’s big warm hand comes up on the middle of his back, strokes his spine gently.

Emma puts the bandanna around his head, dripping water down onto his neck. “Okay, lean back now,” Emma says, and he leans back into the support of Drin’s hand, resting his head against Emma’s shoulder as before. She puts her hands on either side of his face and tells him, “Now, open your mouth, baby, I’m gonna put some more jam–”

Everything happens very fast. Something that tastes of rubber slams into his mouth, and Drin’s hand is pushing down on the back of his head, shoving him into it, and Emma’s hands are steady as rocks on either side of his face, not letting him jerk away to either side unless he’s willing to hurt her, and he isn’t.

“Maamaahah,” Dance gags it out, and then things are pulsing hotly in the sore spots in his sinuses, and then something gives, and fluid is draining out of his upper palate, he can feel the pressure easing somewhere within his cheek bones, and it feels like he’s peeing in his pants too. “Aaarggh,” he says, gagging.

“It’s all right, it’ll be all right,” Emma is crooning at him, “Just let it go. You’re all right, love, let it go.”

“Just about done,” Drin says grimly, “on my count of three,” and then the hands all leave him, the rubber jerks away out of his mouth, and Dance flings off the bandanna and blinks at them blurrily with tears in his eyes, gasping.

“What the hell was that?” he gasps, blinking at Drin.

“That was us making sure your venom glands weren’t impacted,” Drin says quietly.

Dance keeps on gasping. “You could have just fucking told me what you were going to do!  I could have lost it and really hurt somebody!  Emma’s not strong enough to hold me if I really thought you were suffocating me, and that’s goddamn near what it felt like.”

Drin looks into his eyes. “Yeah,” he says.

“I might have fucking bit you,” Dance says, and feels the absurd tears well up and spill over. And somehow it’s just the final straw that, yes, he really has wet his pants.

“Probably hurt a bit,” Fozzie says, squinting at the fluid he’s swirling around in a water glass. “It’s a little cloudy. He might have a bit of sinus infection going on there.” He looks at Dance and smiles. “I do surely like a civilized gentleman who won’t lose his temper and bite his friends accidentally.”

Dance blinks at the big man, breathing hard. It’s just all too much suddenly, and his body jolts the table, gripping it, ready to fling it aside so he can get out of there. Drin and Emma on either side of him won’t be able to block him then, if he’s willing to yank the table over.

It’s bolted into the floor. The floorboards give an ominous creaking noise.

dark scarred wood floor
hardwood floors

Fozzie sighs, and reaches prosaically into his pocket, and pulls out his wallet. “You know, if it’ll make you feel better, we’ll buy Jessie a new table.  She just hasn’t had the dough to fix this place up, and if you just rip the table up then we’ll get started on it this weekend– I think maybe you’ll want some more of that ice, like, soon. Billie Dean–”

Dance can feel the heat flushing up into his face, making his head ring. He wants to tell Drin angrily to move, he wants to stand up in a dignified manner, and march out of this place in his wet clothes, and he wants to walk back to the hotel room and crawl into a nice cool tub of ice water. He knows none of those things will happen.

He sits rigid, afraid the top of his head may explode, unwilling to turn his head and look at either of them. He’s afraid that if he does move, he’s going to grab each other in turn and give them a bare-assed spanking they’re not going to forget in a hurry. He’s never done anything like it in anger. Rage pours through his whole body. He’s not going to start now, either.

Emma says, “He’s burning up.”

“Don’t,” he says, when she wants to touch him.

Drin reaches for him, opening his mouth to say something, and the tip of Dance’s tail disappears and flicks through the air with a whirring noise. They look down, eyes wide, when the cuff at the end of Drin’s long sleeve flops open. The button of the cuff is gone, vanished, the threads that held it in place are severed, and tiny wisps of smoke rise from the tips of thread.

“Try asking next time,” Dance hears himself say. He looks at Fozzie. “So I remember there’s a difference between you lot and the bugs.”

Somebody else would have left it at that.

Dance is too much of a performer to let it go.

He reaches out, picks up the ginger root, and bites into it, rolls it around in his mouth, letting the hot taste soothe the swollen ache in the roof of his mouth. When he’s eaten that, he makes himself pick up the parley, and the celery, and eat that too.

When Emma grabs a full glass of icewater from the far end of the table for him, he’s not too proud to accept it. He thanks her. He is, he tells himself, a gentleman. Even if his sinuses are killing him and his back is throbbing and there are icepicks going up the bones of his sorry damp ass.

He brings up the main length of his tail and asks, civilly, for Drin to help him lay it on the table and slather more cooling ice on it.

When he can think a little bit again, he opens his eyes and stares up into Fozzie’s thoughtful gaze, and asks, “In exchange for your help, what do you want us to do for you and yours?”

For some reason, that makes Fozzie throw back his head and roar, laughing until there’s tears in his eyes.


Challenge: Cornered

Dramatis Locae

The place we’re talking about, Bayou Rainette

Possible locations

Since the setting is practically a chara in its own right… I didn’t check on whether the Chitimacha tribe was in this area, I know that Tina had a spot in mind there.
ETA later:
The Chitimacha Reservation is located in LA, St. Mary’s Parish, which is about 45% water. The Parish seat is Franklin, which has a major sports/high school war with neighboring Morgan City. Franklin has an elevation of 10 feet and a lot of well-preserved grand mansions from the plantation era.

This whole area is west of New Orleans, on the other side of the main peninsula from it, probably a little more sheltered during storms; on the east bay side more towards Galveston. Much further west compared to my earlier locational comments below. Along Highway 90 there’s a lot of cleared land fanning away from the highway. Beyond that on either side looks like heavy tree cover and canals. There’s some interesting land in heavy cover and lots of little canals west of Franklin, but a lot more of it runs east and north of Franklin.
It looks like it is less urbanized and has broader wild areas than the area I noted below, I like it better for the story’s purposes.,-90.027466&spn=3.380916,4.943848&z=8

The area I talked about in an earlier edit is north and east of New Orleans, below:

I was surprised recently checking on Goolemaps how urbanized the area NE of New Orleans looked; it was *exactly* like views of the big ricefield towns of the Central Valley here, which is not exactly low population.
I know we discussed the setting a little when Hal’s athnicity was decided.
In addition, a friend of mine with some map expertise suggested the following for “a larger wilderness area with waterways in the track of the storm paths”

…I’d say it depends on how much wilderness you’re looking for. If you want to stay in the immediate New Orleans area, go north and west to the area around Lake Maurepas, west of Interstate 55 and south of the town of Ponchatoula. This isn’t an official wilderness area (and it’s popular with boaters) but it does have a lot of undeveloped bayou.

North of Baton Rouge in Mississippi is the Homochitto National Forest, at about 300 square miles, but it’s not very “wilderness” (and it’s a fairly long drive from New Orleans).[It’s closer to Baton Rouge–would match well with teh description of the area around Fozzie & Lacie’s ranch, though] If you want a larger area of wilderness (or semi-wilderness), you’ll probably have to go further to the east. In Mississippi you can find the De Soto National Forest (nearly 600 square miles). However, it’s not all wilderness; there are two designated wilderness areas, the Black Creek Wilderness and the Leaf River Wilderness. The Leaf River area is about 40,000 acres; the Black Creek area is only about 5,000.

Google map links to the area:,-90.027466&spn=3.380916,4.943848&z=8

[for a bayou near Ponchatoula, I kind of like the area with the name Skulls Creek, but there’s plenty of highways and towns nearby. It also looks like there’s artifical ponds further south, which *may* be fish farms.]

I’d say it depends on how much wilderness you’re looking for. If you want to stay in the immediate New Orleans area, go north and west to the area around Lake Maurepas, west of Interstate 55 and south of the town of Ponchatoula. This isn’t an official wilderness area (and it’s popular with boaters) but it does have a lot of undeveloped bayou.

North of Baton Rouge in Mississippi is the Homochitto National Forest, at about 300 square miles, but it’s not very “wilderness” (and it’s a fairly long drive from New Orleans). If you want a larger area of wilderness (or semi-wilderness), you’ll probably have to go further to the east. In Mississippi you can find the De Soto National Forest (nearly 600 square miles). However, it’s not all wilderness; there are two designated wilderness areas, the Black Creek Wilderness and the Leaf River Wilderness. The Leaf River area is about 40,000 acres; the Black Creek area is only about 5,000.

Google map links to the area:,-90.027466&spn=3.380916,4.943848&z=8

I was envisioning a place closer to Houma, a little further south and a lot more watery. I was looking at actual swampland. Hal doesn’t have to be near the res to be a Chitimacha. *shrug* I do think I need to figure out where they are, because where I was figuring was wildly different from where you were. I can change the places I’ve referred to easily enough. -Tina 8/24/09 6:24 PMActually, I’d rather go with your idea for more swamp/water, just haven’t checked it out yet for ideas or pix. -Heather Gladney 8/29/09 11:49 AM

Added a note that Keisha is related to Lacey -Heather 5/6/09 5:55 PM

I love the diagram!! cute!! Which one is the clinic, and where’s Tee-Pom and Coral’s house, and Steve’s, and the Trio? Dance and Emma walk over tot he clinic, so they must be on the same side with Steve.-Heather 12/30/08 7:46 PM

Thanks, I’ve been sick this week, so I’ve had a lot of time to futz around with wierd stuff. -Tina 12/30/08 9:58 PM So Jackie’s at five has a chicken coop(s), right near by, there’s an “empty” slot at 3 where the neighbor lady said Dance could grow stuff on her land the other side. Also, one of those is Tee-Pom and Coral. It looks great! who’s in the one at Seven? I an’t help but the think having an empty place next to you would really be right up Turner’s sort of alley! -Heather 12/30/08 8:05 PM Yeah, I figured the coop is probably inside one of the smaller fenced areas. -Tina 12/30/08 10:07 PM had to revert again, that grab-delete trick drives me bonkers. Are you feeling any better? -Heather 12/30/08 8:09 PM Heh. Not really, but I saw the doc today and didn’t get put in the hospital over New Year’s, so that’s good. I have a respiratory thing – repressed immune system is one of the lovely things about fibro. I’ve been thinking about having a tender romantic bit about Dia getting sick *snerk* Thanks for asking, tho — I have drugs now, and I’m not afraid to use ’em! -Tina 12/30/08 10:10 PM better living through chemistry! Yaya! -Heather 12/30/08 8:13 PM Yup! If you’re looking for empty lots, there are some across the dirt track, and more across the bayou — there’s a road there somewhere, I’m sure. It can’t have a name, since it’s not there…. Not officially, anyway -Tina 12/30/08 10:13 PM Which means the empty places must be zoomorphs or weres with summer places?? The road probably has a community name from its history, like the name of the family who usd to own all the land there, or somebody who lived on a dirt track at the end of it backin teh twenties or thirties(like Steve’s Mom! Or Mama Gigi’s family!), or the name of that with some feature in the landscape, so-and-so’s well, etc. -Heather 12/30/08 8:15 PM It might just be Rainette Road after the bayou name, or we could think of something else. Gigi is from NOLA, and Steve is from Arkansas (I had to cheat and look) BTW, a Rainette is a tree frog… maybe Frog’s family was there first??? It could be -Tina 12/30/08 10:17 PM -Tina 12/30/08 10:22 PM Thanks! a frog? How perfect is that? Yes, I bet Frog’s family were there first! that works! I bet th road is on the “empty” side of the levee, on the side with Seven. -Heather 12/30/08 8:18 PM -Heather 12/30/08 8:22 PM
I still have the program file, so if you would like some changes, like an empty lot (which I forgot about, frankly) I can futz some more. -Tina 12/30/08 10:24 PM well, the space between 4 and 5, with the tree on it, could be another lot, or between 3 and 4. I don’t want to make you have to work on it again! It’s a great graphic, I love it! -Heather 12/30/08 8:25 PM Thanks! XD Now I want to do moar!!! Have you heard anything from Stella about the State of POM? -Tina 12/30/08 10:28 PMIt’s interesting,w hen I was working on text, the empty yards were just there, obvious, but I didn’t think about them much. Just how it is, yeah? And then when I see it here, I’m thinking, that’s a zoomorph group of folks, there’s money in there, they wouldn’t let just anybody move in there. Haven’t heard from Stella. I did see lj post from kiya awhile back talking about extra shifts from the snowstorm (sounded nasty) so that’s gonna delay her getting in gear with us, but at least she’s working on Antler pr0n, a good sign! Haven’t heard from Gj. -Heather 12/30/08 8:31 PM Yeah, like sixteen hour shifts with 7 hours in between, and then more. I was exhausted just reading it! It’s too cold by the door to read Antler prOn, but it’s on my list of yummy things to do when I feel better. -Tina 12/30/08 10:33 PM yep! -Heather 12/30/08 8:33 PM Hopefully I can stay up later soon, but I’m dead right now. I’ll try to write something newish tomorrow! 😀 -Tina 12/30/08 10:35 PM okay, hope you feel better soon–and I love the drawing, it helps! -Heather 12/30/08 8:36 PM

One = Aunt Frog’s house (with workshop and shed)
Two = the other two Wyerd Sisters, Penelope and Steve
Three = Tee Pom and Coral
Four = DD&E
Five = Rene and Jackie
Six = Miss Hester and the Tiggers
Seven = beats me *shrugs* probably the Bienvilles. Think there’s a road there, but it’s not drawn in.

The clinic is totally portable — not in the picture. Probably moored at the dock next to Six.

More book sections up

Yup, it’s a 3-day weekend, so I slammed up a bunch of posts today from some of our older googledocs work, also some re-edits.

Mostly some minor edits where I caught continuity issues or typos or phrasings (gotta catch Dance when our pretty brown guy forgets his in-scene accent and starts talkin’ that colloquial ‘Merican stuff again.) Or *cough* where I could add some *cough* pf those minor little pr0nnish details we all love.

How Did This Happen?

It’s really, really odd for me to think of where I was last year at this time. Celebrating my sixth wedding anniversary, I had no idea that my little brindle chi was going to pass away on Halloween.

I remember sobbing to Wolf about wanting a puppy, but one that would never die. Don’t know how we settled on a doll, but I had been lusting after them for a while. So I bought a 60cm girl, Toriana. Then I won a Floating Head at a doll meet, and bought a body for him because just a head is kinda creepy. 🙂 Then I wanted a hot Asian guy for Tori and got Chris, Daniel the Head’s best friend. And then…

Well, Wolf pointed out to me last week that I have nine dolls. I said, “I do not have nine dolls. Well, maybe seven…” and felt sheepish about the seven. Then I counted:

Toriana Brown-Bishop (BB normal skin Ophelia 60cm)
Daniel Sullivan (Minimee normal skin 60cm)
Chris Bishop (BB tan skin Apollo 60cm)
Gordon Bishop (BB normal skin Apollo 60cm)
Belladonna (BB lilac skin Sprite 46cm)
Joan Bishop (BB normal skin Isabella 27cm)
Rosemary Bishop (BB normal skin Erin 15cm)
Delphinium Sullivan (BB blue skin Elfkin 15cm)
Briar Rose Sullivan (BB pink skin Moony 15cm)

Oh, crap, she was right!! I have nine dolls!

Update: And I won a 40% coupon from Bobobie for winning second place in their photo contest. Two more dolls will be arriving by the end of October —

Claudia Cross (BB normal skin Elena 60cm)
Joan Bishop (BB normal skin Tiah 46cm)

Then Joan’s shell will become Rosemary, and little Rosemary will become Lorelei, Daniel’s newest daughter. (Time to go wig and eye shopping for everyone!) There will also be a B&G 45cm boy coming home for Lucas at Christmas time, as a joint present to ourselves. Then no more, I think, for quite a while. Unless I stumble across someone who looks like Hal! 😉 (I think I’m pretty safe there.)

recent posts

I am just letting everyone know– a link to a complete list of every new activity, forum or blog or story page, is now at the top of the right hand column.
It should really be us core writers’ front page…

Update, edited research

edited to add:

–Added another old lj copied page with embedded YouTube links to Research/Music, however, I have not figured out how to use code or nw text editor (thank you!) for embedding it. So code for it hanging out raw on Research/Music page, “Mostly Fogarty”.

–Added a bit of doggerel for Bennie that may have got lost in the shuffle from lj. –Added YouTube links to earlier Research/Music postings. –Added Research post on Dance’s Korean names; did not do a good job of yanking over from googledocs the pix that belong with it–didn’t stop to figure out the html to embed the pix from Wiki, and couldn’t figure out how to grab the last picture, or find where the original comment on my lj is. Side-note, must crash soon. Have been seriosuly neglecting lj–hope your nose feels better soon, kiyo!!

New chunk posted –Family Snapshots

Slightly edited from the chunk on googledocs. It looks different here than there!
Also, interesting point, when I rearrange book outlines in “A Rather Baroque Trio”, no problem, it saves.

But when I just tried it again in the main section, “Be Here Now,” it doesn’t save my rearrangements. The order of things there is still way off on the end.
So I’m wondering if some default is set slightly differently between the two.
Or if it has anything to do with the ownership/authorship of particular pieces, or just more stooof at greather length is posted there??

Adjusted timeline

I’ve gone through and re-worked The Frog Prince and Hurricane Princess to better reflect the timing of the eye and other stuff. My description of the OTHER eyewall is much paler than NV’s great tornado cell-eyewall on the other side, but that can be fixed.

Edit at will, of course. I’m reaching here.