The Epiphany of Paul
I was no connoisseur, far from it, so when Michel—I’ll be your server, tonight, gentlemen—tipped the cork into my fingers, they moved dutifully to waft the essence of pomegranate and lavender and the stink of unwashed socks under my nose.
Paul’s face twitched, the slightest uptick to acknowledge me being stupid, pretentious, and out of my depth. That look spoke volumes of how the evening would go.
Michel backed away. The sound of liquid kissing crystal usurped Paul’s attention, directing it to neutral ground and the first sip of displeasure in my choice.
Dinner had all the promise of a monumental cluster fuck, but I had to try.
“Pleasant bouquet.” This was directed to Michel, not me. It would take more than him being surprised at anything I might get right to acknowledge my participation in that choice. Best to foist it onto Michel who bloomed under Paul’s casual scrutiny.
He had that effect. On everyone. Including me, especially me.
Delicate hands, fine-boned and pale, reached for the bread, fondling it with his thumb. They were too light, too gossamer for a man that size, a stratospheric six-four, anorexic slim and tailored like skin stretched over canvas.
Paul was a work of art, a brittle presentation of inner light cloaked in cashmere, a vision and a promise.
The vision spoke, his voice sultry and smooth, and I wished I’d ordered the bourbon and been done with it. Neat. No ice, just hot scorching liquid to cool my anxiety. I missed what he said, the wanting so cruelly delicious it distracted me from all rational thought.
It’s not good to feel, to sensate with desire, to pound with it, your blood spurting in an eternal hemorrhage of self-loathing and doubt.
He asked again, “What are we celebrating, Grant?” as if he didn’t know or couldn’t care enough to track the days of him, me… Us.
If I told him, reminded him, did that make me less or more? The inconsequential weighed against significance. I felt strung out, teetering on a balance so fluid there was no chance I’d avoid the tipping point that would set me free, finally, irrevocably.
There are bridges too far, too precarious to cross, so I mumbled, “No reason. I just thought…” and winced as he ducked his chin toward the salad and away from my fumbling attempts to engage.
He reached for the salad fork. Stressing, I followed suit, mimicking him as I must. I had no clue as to what or where, how or why, or the tradition… The goddamn fucking orderliness and precision of his world mocked me at every step. I waited, implement poised, hoping for the nod of good boy, you did good, boy.
Boy, boy, boy-child, boy-man…
Days weighed light, months weighed heavy, years marked the absence of history and worth. He’d smiled once, called it—me—humble and admirable in how I’d broken faith with myself to break further faith with him.
I mumbled, “It’s just…”
He took a bite, set the fork down and chewed in a metronome of obligation. He needed fueling, but he hated that cage of temptation, eschewing it but for moments like this. Appearances, especially his own, were paramount.
He’d taught me well, mentored me into speech so unnatural the patterns stuck inside my head until acquiescence supplanted upbringing, the transition not nearly so smooth that it didn’t leave scars. And regret.
Inside, I sounded like him.
Outside, I failed on every level, except for one.
Paul shrugged. It was a signature move, elegant, transformative, the simple twitch of lean, sinuous muscle translating into an epic saga of disdain and forbearance. He suffered. It was a good look on him.
Michel appeared on my right, a wraith bearing gifts of ratatouille, the steaming plate supplanting my salad, untouched, unsullied, virgin in its purity. And like all things virgin and pure, it’d be cast aside in careless disregard. Paul murmured a word. Michel preened, his cock pressing against shiny black cloth, the outline delectable and available at a word, a gesture.
Paul had that effect…
I looked up, acknowledging our mutual submission—Michel and I—sweat droplets beading the small man’s upper lip, but on me the beads drizzled in lazy trails down the ridged vale of my back, soaking my one good shirt into a stain on my soul.
Watching the exchange with veiled, hooded interest, Paul licked his upper lip and the ghostly memory of his tongue chasing my cum settled deep, so deep I clenched ass cheeks in despair. He stared, the direction uncertain, his chest rising and falling…
Kindly, Michel positioned the plate and nudged the next fork in line, silently guiding me in my humiliation.
Did everyone know, did all those arrayed about me in this house of horrors recognize me for what I was?
I picked up the device, fingering the cold metal, grasping at the subtle refinement in the pattern, admiring its heft and balance. That small movement screamed to the rafters my naiveté, my unworthiness. The metal worked magic in my fingers, seducing me into believing the lies and the secrets unravelling in motion repeated, over and over and over.
My belly cramped under the assault of savory, the fragrance a column of sensation, of everything I was: home, dusty dirt, grey and black settling in the creases, greased and limned with drudgery and pride. And everything I wasn’t.
Paul reached for the wine, the movement sure, sophisticated, bespeaking pleasure and entitlement. The hand settled, rigid, palm flat on the white cloth, tailored, like him, my fork tined into his flesh. He lifted brows gone interested, eyes the color of granite soaked in amber, watched the first beads rise, four, just four dragging against the pale, thinned skin until it pressured in a wave of parchment.
He hissed as the surge of flesh braked against prominent knuckles gone shelly and brittle. The trailing lines, raggedly parallel, turned russet with the flavor of iron and copper. Savory and bitter warred in the back of my throat, the sensation too fulsome to keep. I swallowed as he raped my throat with his arrogant eyes.
Locked in a rictus of hate, drowning under the wash of lust, I pierced his flesh, driving metal bone deep as his pupils glazed over with the hint of fear. Fisting his right hand, he reminded me of our singular darkness and the pain of enduring his pleasures until I screamed his name and took my own in vain.
Shivering with adoration, I rocked at the precipice, willing the journey to its irreversible end. The implement tumbled to the cloth, leaving streaks of crimson and the promise of later.
“Fuck me, whore.”
His voice, pitched low and sultry, was the answer to my prayers…
He had that effect on everyone, especially me.