He talked. I asked questions. Words and thoughts were never the same, but for him I felt I didn’t need to read his mind to know the truth. I ate. Oh god, did I eat. I ate like there was no tomorrow. He kept asking if I wanted more and I kept saying yes. I didn’t need more, but I wanted it. “I’m going to have to careful around you.” He was going to make me fat. I sat on his couch lounging with an overly full stomach. I knew from his reaction that rubbing my stomach, was making him hot and bothered.
I hadn’t done it at first to tempt him, I really was full. But he kept staring and I knew where his mind went.
He asked, “Why’s that?” His eyes never leaving my hand rubbing my stomach.
“I keep eating like this I’m gonna get fat.” My shirt slid up my a little and his mind was distracted from the chaos inside. I don’t know how he lived like that. I could make out his thoughts but it was always tumbling. So busy. So much processing. There were small commands running through his head. I had no idea what they meant, didn’t understand them at all.
“I’ll make sure you don’t get fat.” He said looking up at me. I heard his breath catch before he could speak again. “I can help you work those extra calories off.” He slid off the couch and moved between my legs. His mind was iron sharp focused on one thing – me. It was peaceful in his mind. And it made me wonder if that was why he fucked those girls on the dancefloor – for the quiet in his mind.
He bit his bottom look as he looked at me. “May I?” He asked. He had one desire in his mind and that was to touch me.
But I played dumb, “May you what?”
“Touch you.” He was almost begging. His hands were at his side and his fingers were clenching and unclenching with his desire – no his need to touch me.
I wanted to know why he felt he needed permission. Why he could be bold and then shy all in the same moment. “Are you always going to ask for permission?”
He shrugged. “Probably. I have a tendency to touch too much. Margo says it’s my undeveloped need for comfort and safety by someone I trust and I’ve gotten this shit kicked out of me for innocent touching more than I have for gropping the wrong guy’s girl.”
“Margo your girlfriend?” He spoke in so many first names like he was close to so many people, yet I knew he didn’t have a girlfriend.
“My therapist.” He said. It was a sigh of relief. I don’t know why knowing he wasn’t doing this alone made me relax a little, but it did. Maybe he wasn’t as broken as he could be.
“So you are just fucked up not dating someone.” I joked.
He laughed. God I loved that sound. I had missed it all these years. “Yeah. I’m fucked up.” He agreed.
His hair was falling in his face and I had the urge to move it for him but he did it himself but I wanted to touch him. I sat forward and touched my finger to his temple. “So why do all of you wear this tattoo. Says hey look there is a cult of psycho killers living here.”
“Only people attuned to the occult can see the tattoo. Normal humans just see a human. It’s the only defining feature between a Venatori and a Human. At a visible level. Genetically there is a big difference. Blood type, cells that sort of thing. But it’s part of our ceremony at graduation. A test of sorts. You’ll see kids running around without the mark, we don’t get them till we are 18.”
“Has anyone ever told you you talk too much?” I asked. I knew someone had to have said something. But maybe he didn’t speak so much around others he kept it to himself. His thoughts had returned to the chaos of before, the moment of clarity gone.
“All the time.” He grinned at me with a playful smirk on his face. “But there is an easy way to shut me up.”
“What’s that?” I asked. And the chaos turned into another direction. One moment after another of what I could do to shut him up. And every single scene in his head was making me hard. “Take your pick.” he said. All I heard was the desire in his voice.
“None of those ways actually help me work off those calories we were talking about.” I quipped back at him. I had to divert my own libido for the moment. He was a one night stand type guy – a player – I couldn’t fall into his bed and hope to return not if I wanted to do what Poet needed. I needed to make sure he wanted me back over and over again. I knew I was good but I didn’t think sex was going to get me asked back for another steak dinner.
He laughed and my efforts to derail myself vanished with his words. “I have a name now I can scream out if you wanna go with what I suggested at Aspect.”
I shifted closer to him and his thoughts were focused on me, on kissing me but he wasn’t touching, he wasn’t doing anything but kneeling there – waiting.
“Why don’t you just touch me?” I asked so close to him that I felt the shiver run through his body.
His “I can’t.” came out weak and breathless.
“I know you want to, it’s the only thing on your mind.”
He met my eyes, I wanted him to touch me. His hands stayed in place He wanted to but he stayed himself. “You didn’t say I could.” He needed permission. His mind was chaos again. I felt his need for permission and his confusion as to why I didn’t give it to him.
“Why do you need permission?” I asked as I slid off the couch forcing him backwards. The only place I had to go was onto his lap. I rested my thighs around his and I felt his hardon. I wanted to twist and grind against him but I trapped him against the table completely immobile and asked again, “Why?”
He dropped his eyes to my chest and the words were just a whisper, I only heard him because it was in his head too. “Because it was what I was taught.”
“You were taught to have sex?” I laughed. It wasn’t funny. It was tragic. It made me angry and I needed to move. My anger was enough to derail me. I moved suddenly from him, he felt lost and cold and hurt in his head.
He gasped. “Not to have sex. I was taught I had power even though I was a bottom.” The last part of his statement came out a growl that i wasn’t sure was more anger or frustration – probably both.
It took me a while to register what he’d said. How much he was like Janice and Jared. Did this whole fucking town have a kink in that vein. “You don’t look or act like a bottom.” I paced at first then stopped when I noticed the cat lying on his pillow. He’d been angry at her for doing that before. She lay there doing nothing, listening to us. Did she really have all his secrets? I would need to find out.
“Looks can be deceiving.” He said as he got up from the floor with the dishes in hand and headed into the kitchen I assumed to wash them. Another piece of his compulsions – he can’t let shit be dirty? But I was distracting myself from the problem.
“”Why did you need to have power?” I asked him. I needed to know. I needed to know how fucking deep this went. Was he another fucking sub?
He shrugged., “Why do you think?”
“I don’t know.” I said. I didn’t have to look far inside his head, he gave the the answers I was looking for. I got the play by play of the first time he had sex. How old he was. With a man who could break him in half.
I saw the images playout in his head, bent over the crates getting fucked until the man came. The things the man said to him echoed in my mind. But I knew something he didn’t. I knew that wasn’t his first time, it may be when his body felt the physical touch of a man, but I had been inside him first and he didn’t fucking know. He didn’t remember and I couldn’t take it anymore. He didn’t remember me. I was done with him. And now he was back in my mind, in my heart and for what? I growled, “I gotta go.” I was already on my way to the door as I spoke those words.
“We still on for tomorrow?” His voice shook as he asked and I stopped.
What? I blinked at him “I…. ” Were we?
“It’s not a problem. I’m used to people treating me like shit. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.” He raised his hand and the door opened. He had dismissed me.
His thoughts were narrow, it wasn’t clear like before, but they all said the same thing. Monster, Not worth it. He hated himself. He expected everyone to treat him the same, and here I was doing the same thing. It jabbed at my heart. I should have gone, but that small voice in my head said I’d hate myself in the morning. I growled at myself as I turned back towards the kitchen instead of the door. Poet better thank me for this later. I put my hands on the counter trapping him beneath me. He couldn’t escape me anymore than he could his spiralling thoughts of self loathing.
“Why are you still here?” he asked.
I didn’t know what to say. It took me a while to find the words. “I wasn’t angry with you. But I couldn’t listen to how you let people hurt you.” And to my surprise they rang true.
“You were the one who pushed.” He sighed. And I knew. I knew I had pushed to find the answers. I broke him. “Please back up. I don’t like feeling trapped.” he said catching me off guard.
My entire body froze. “That wasn’t the vibe I got earlier.” but I backed up anyway. It wasn’t far but he breathed a sigh of relief.
“That was different.” He said. The chaos was building in his head.
“How?” I asked.
“Before it was about sex. Now it’s not.”
“Who says it’s not?” I needed to make sure he was still on board, sex seemed to clear his mind. Make him think straight.
“I’m about to have a fucking meltdown, and it is hardly sexy to watch me break.” His voice cracked on the edge of crying. What the fuck? A minute ago he’d been trying to seduce me and now this? This was going down hill faster than I could swim.
“This why you see a therapist?” I whispered into his ear as I wrapped my arms around him pulling him against me. He thrived with touch. He’d said so himself. I pressed my face against his neck and just pulled him against me. Safe is what he needed. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to do this. He was broken into so many little pieces I didn’t see a way to keep it all together. Poet was not paying me enough.
He lost what little control he had over his emotions and tears dripped from his chin to my arm. “Among other things.” He said, and I felt him trying to keep from listing all the things that were wrong with him. And from the thoughts I could manage to make out there was a lot.
I turned the water off and pulled him away from the sink. I didn’t know how to fix it. I hoped he’d fix himself with enough warmth and care so I took him to his bed. The cat looked up at me and after stretching she jumped down and the door closed after her. That was handy I thought as I sat down on the bed and kicked off my shoes before shuffling into the middle of the bed pulling him along with me.
“Jesus Fucking Christ, Nox. You need to calm down.” I jammed my fingers into my hair and grabbed. I pulled in frustration. He didn’t curl towards me choosing to wrap himself around his pillow, that wasn’t going to work, if he was going to do that why the fuck was I lying in bed with him. “No. Turn around, come here.” I pulled at his arm and his shifted willingly and curled against my side pressing his face against my neck. Inside he tried to calm down by counting backwards. The litany of numbers was the only thing in his head. Well that and how much my scent felt safe and calming and like home.
His thoughts drifted in and out. I don’t know how long we laid in bed. I tried not to think about it. And he didn’t seem bothered by lying in bed with a virtual stranger. I remembered doing this so many times before. So many times of just holding him while he talked to me. So many…
There was a loud blaring sound and Nox bolted upright. “Fuck. That’s Ant, trying to get in.”
“What?” I asked.
“I told you my friends were coming over, He’s a vampire he’s trying to shadow walk into the apartment.” He waved his hand and his phone floated to him. I watched awed and a little freaked out. He tapped away on his phone, and then looked at me. “You can stay. I can tell them next week.”
I sat up and looked at him and didn’t even have to try to read him. If I stayed he was going to worry about the change in his routine and upsetting his friends. If they came he’d settle down, all the anxiety I’d somehow caused would go away and maybe he’d be easier to read the next time I saw him. It really was a no brainer. “You need some fun in your life right now I think.” I said. I scooted to the edge of the bed and stood up. “We’ll see each other tomorrow. I’ll pick you up here at 3 and we’ll take the train together.”
Nox sighed with visible relief, thoughts of routine and free time spinning through his head. I wasn’t sure if he was glad I was going or that we were still on for the next day, but he was grateful
He looked up at me with those big brown eyes and I knew he’d do anything for me in that moment. Another time he’d looked at me like that flashed into my mind, when he’d told me about wanting more with Ant, when he’d had that fucking bite mark on his neck. Just like that time jealousy roared through me and before I could stop myself I was asking him for a favor. “Just… can you not let the vampire bite you? Please?”
“But..” He said looking into my eyes and I could hear him thinking Ant will be hungry. Thank fuck his need to obey me was stronger than his need to help his friend and he nodded quickly. “Okay.”
“Just like that?” I asked, hiding my relief with a satisfied smirk.
He nodded and strands of his blue tipped hair fell into his face and I pushed them back. His head leaned into my touch and he said, “Just like that.”
I dropped my hand and found my shoes to slip back on. “Tomorrow.” I said.
He gave me wry smile and nodded. That was all I needed I really needed to be away. I needed space, my space – not that posh apartment I stayed in for Janice – my space.