I was in a sombre state of mind, walking down the long street towards AR’s house, with my thin blue cotton jacket pulled tightly around me for warmth against the chilly evening air. It had been so long. I had been through so much since we last met. I felt I could think of him now as he really is, removed from the petty discrepancies which had pushed us apart. I remembered the depth of his feeling, his emotional intensity, not only evident from the way he gazed into my eyes while fucking me in the missionary position laid down on the arm of his sofa, but also from those late-night conversations propped up on the pillows of his bed, his photographs, his taste in music and literature. I remembered how impressed I had been when I first saw he read Eliot. But then I had started to to think of him as one of my inner circle, where, of course, a love of Eliot and deep conversation is no strange thing, and so I stopped appreciating these things about him, and just took them for granted.

His house smelt lovely, as always – like incense – with the usual mood lighting and classical music softly playing in the background, nicely juxtaposed with scenes of heavily tattooed porn stars being double-penetrated on the giant TV screens in every room. We kissed deeply, at the door, then he laid me down on the sofa edge as always before. He gave my pussy a couple of tentative licks, and then, straightening up again, slapped me angrily. I gasped in pain.

“You remember the last time we met?” he snarled, slapping me again, so hard! “I told you I adored you. And then I never fucking saw you again!!” He half-laughed then. It did sound almost hilariously cruel, the way he put it. (But I can explain!) He slapped me again, so hard that time, I couldn’t bear it, and raised my arm to ward off the blows.

“Don’t you dare,” he hissed. “I’ll shove my cock right up your arse…”

He undid his trousers and moved towards me, but I slammed my legs shut.

“Come on, baby,” he said, his tone changing. “You know I can be careful.”

“No… “

“Well… I don’t have any condoms handy,” he protested, moving in again.

Didn’t have any condoms “handy”? I knew at once what that meant. If he really didn’t have any, there would have been no need to qualify that statement with a “handy”. And, after all these years, I do know him a little. He always has condoms.

“Well, I do,” I retorted, marching off down the hall to where I’d left my purse. He grabbed it from me and reluctantly sheathed his turgid cock, and then plunged it into my pussy. I winced in pain.

“Have you fucked another man today??” he asked with sudden suspicion.

“No,” I sullenly replied. Because so what if I had?

“Get into the bedroom,” he yanked me to my feet. I trudged into the bedroom, where he pushed me down onto the bed, on all fours, and, suddenly producing a lengthy ream of condoms, entered me from behind. A few moments later, the flogger came crashing down upon my back. He began to beat me mercilessly. I scowled and tried to squirm away as best I could while being fucked.

“Hold still,” he told me. “You know I can’t fuck you without beating you a little.”

He tried to shove it in my ass, as he had threatened, but it wouldn’t go in – I thought guiltily of the Viking, two nights earlier, and how I had so obligingly held myself open with both hands so he could force his huge cock up in there, but then, the Viking had asked so politely, he had thanked me afterwards, so sweetly… and it was his first time, and he had paid me £80 for the privilege – so in the end he just came in my mouth, and then we lay side by side, with his come on my lips, and spoke with human voices, of all that had happened since we last met. I told him about my awful nightmare of the last six months, and then, my most recent escapade, and that whole thing with Willow.

“Well, there are some strange people out there,” he commiserated. “At least you haven’t had someone call the police on you!”

“Oh yes, that reminds me,” I said gleefully. “There’s a whole horde of girls now, on Saafe, saying that you’ve anally raped them.”

“What the fuck?? I am NOT an Anal Rapist! I never raped that girl, the one who started it all…”

“Yes, well they’re all saying it now,” I went on merrily. “And one of them even reveals that you apparently admitted to having found out about the discussion from ‘another escort’. So now they’re all cursing my name, too. I mean, not that they know my name, at least…”

He fell silent, and then I noticed a gleam in his eye.

“There’s a thread about you too, on one of them punting websites,” he said.

“What??” I cried, instantly intrigued. “Saying what?”

“Oh, just that you’re the most submissive escort ever. I think it was that Primrose Hill guy. The one with the cats.”

“The Primrose Hill guy?? But nothing even happened with that guy. Why would he say something so nice about me?”

“‘Something so nice’? He only said you were the most submissive escort he’d ever seen.”

“Exactly!!”

He smiled at me – a somewhat indulgent smile – and I watched the shadows cast by the flickering candle-light across his features, which I had always found so fine and handsome. It was getting late, but for once, I wasn’t surreptitiously glancing at the clock behind the bed, worrying about my parents waiting up for me, for there was no-one left now, to wait up for me, no home to go back to. But still, he offered to drive me home.

I followed him into the spare room, with the same old photographs on the wall, and it felt so familiar and friendly, for I had been there so many times before.

“I have a confession to make,” he said. “The skirt and shoes you left with me here, the last time we met… I threw them away.  You know how it is, I couldn’t risk the cleaning woman coming across them…”

Cleaning woman! Oh well, what do I care? I only bought them for him, anyway, and his damned fetish for stiletto heels and pencil skirts, now fodder for the mocking-birds of Saafe. We climbed into his car, which felt just as warm and familiar as the spare room, and drove slowly down the high street. I felt so far from the girl I had been before, the last time he had driven me down this street. I gazed at him, surreptitiously, behind the wheel, where I so love a man to be. He seemed different too – changed, somehow, the frenzied energy I remembered transformed into a kind of controlled calm. I thought of everything we had shared, and not just his bed and sofa – the books, poems, cakes, birthday gifts and baby photos. Our innermost regrets and desires. We knew each other so well.

The car slowed, we were almost at the end of the road.

“I missed your friendship,” he said, and my eyes filled with tears when he said that. “But I knew you’d be back someday. If I just let you go… so what could I do? I just let go.”

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