You haven’t had a heartbeat since –
You’re not dead. (Might as well be. Boy who lived, you’re not a boy either.) Just cold. Still. Can’t feel it. The heat. The heart.
But here – you don’t need one here. No one needs one here. There’s the beat. One heart, and it pumps through your feet and moves through your veins and sticks in your throat and who needs a heart when there’s this.
This moves and squirms and pounds and strobes and it’s not dead but it does not live and you get that. It gets you.
You come each week to move and sweat and be. There’s no one here you know and no one who knows you. There are men and you meet them and you suck them and you fuck them but to meet is not to know. To fuck is not to know. You like it like that.
Next to the bar. You won’t learn a face but you know that hair, that walk, know the jut of that hip and the smirk on those lips, and though it’s been ten years he is no less to you. You feel him the way you feel your own hands, your feet, the thrum of the room.
You know what to do with him. Your hands know, at least, and you’ve come to try to trust them. They move.
Your hand goes for your wand. You shrug it from a sleeve and cast.
It takes no time at all for that blond head to jolt from the sting of your hex. For that pale hand to drop a drink so it spills down his shirt, down his jeans.
You won’t learn a face but you’ve known this one for years and you see that squint as he scans the room.
See it when he sees you. Shock, the arched brow, the mask that falls in place. Just like then. Like then.
You see him smile, if you want to call it that. You don’t. His lips pull up, twist, and his face is harsh and starved and known. He goes for his wand, too. Stops. Shakes it off and drops his hand. Sets down the glass, slides it down the bar. Takes a step.
You watch his head weave towards you through the crowd. And his chest, shirt soaked through and stuck to the arch of lean ribs. And his legs, long, lithe, the denim hung off slim hips and stuck, damp, to his thighs. And his eyes, grey, with a look you think you know. It might be rage and it might be want and it is a dare.
You feel a jolt. Not in your chest. It’s low down, it’s in your cock, and it’s not how this was meant to go (spells or fists or not at all, but not…) but it’s there and he’s here, now, in front of you, with his brow raised and his lips quirked and it’s clear, it’s so clear.
His shirt is wet in your fist. Damp and cool, the cloth is thin and it’s in your hand and you can pull or you can shove and it’s the same as it was, it’s there, he’s there and he’s
He pulls back. Looks at you. Steps back and pulls free and you’re left with your fist in the air.
You don’t get it. Why he’s left like that. But he has, he’s gone to the floor and found boys who strut and purr and buck against him.
You don’t get it, but you can watch it. He moves with grace, with them, on them. He is in the beat too, but it is not in him. He owns it (like he used to, like he was made to own it all). He makes it his with each turn of a hip, the roll of his neck, the hand on a chest. The way he drags his palms up a strange man’s arse and throws back his head and laughs.
He does not look at you. You can’t say the same.
It is fine to look at a leg or an arm or a cock. But that is not what you watch.
He has closed his eyes but not his mouth. He can’t see what he takes in: a sweet pink lip in his teeth, his tongue at the pulse of some boy’s throat. He licks and sucks and grins with the beat and you would not watch if you could help it. You would not know this face if you could help it.
You can’t help it. So you can’t help but see it when he turns to you. His shirt hangs to the sides of his chest now, he sweats, he glows, he gives you that smirk and a look and this one asks, “Scared?”
You’re not. You have to live to be scared, so you’re not. Can’t be. It’s impossible.
This is impossible.
You shake your head. You mean to say no, that you can’t be scared, can’t.
It’s no use. He tilts his head and starts to walk, twelve steps towards you, a sharp right, and he’s out the side door, with just one last glance your way.
You do not go out. Not out there. Some men do but it’s the beat for you. That’s why you come here, the heat and the press and the sweat and the noise.
Out that door you know it’s cold and damp and when you walk through it you find it’s hushed and hard, too. You don’t like hard. There’s too much hard out there. You come here for easy.
This will not be easy.
This will be the smell of wet streets and the late night chill, come for your bones.
The door clicks shut. There’s a trace of the beat, of the bass. It’s as loud as your steps in the pools of last night’s rain. It’s as loud as the cars that roll past out of sight. It’s as loud as his breath against your neck. It is as loud as the click, click, click of his flies.
No, this will not easy.
This will be a hard shove to the wall and brick at your back and a tug at your wrist. This is going to be your hand pressed to his groin. This is going to be the heat of his cock and the cold at your back, your spine tensed and arched towards him like it wants him and fuck what you think. You’re not here to think.
The beat. You’re here for the beat. You can still feel it at your back. When you push him off you and to the wall, when you brace one hand at each side of his head, you can feel it in your palms.
When his hand grasps your neck, you know this was his plan. When he starts to push you down, you go, and then feel the beat through your knees. His cock’s in your face and you feel the bass through your shins when you slip your mouth around him.
Salt and musk. He pulls back once. Looks down. A ring of light cast back from the curb hits his hair, makes him blaze.
He thrusts. His eyes close and open and close and open and they’re grey-ringed black now. When he looks at you, you want what he wants. You want what he is, the way he owns. You will suck it out of him and the next time you see those eyes, black with lust, you swallow.
Who gasps. Who jerks and groans and throws his head back like thirst, like need. Who thrusts once, twice, thrice, the fourth time on the last beat of the bar, and the next, and the next, and you lose count. Just go until your throat burns, till you choke and gulp and grip his cock deep in your throat. Till he throbs from his thighs to his prick, through his chest. Till he comes. Till you let him go with a wet pop.
You close your eyes. Rest your hands on the brick. It hums. You can still feel it. The beat. It’s there. You’re there.
He starts to slide down the wall, his shirt bunched up at his back as the brick scrapes the skin at the top of his arse. He keeps on, slips down till his half-clad bum hits the ground, till his mouth is in your view. He wipes it with the back of his hand and then you see him, his jaw dropped and his lips pink and, when you look, his eyes grey and glazed.
He looks towards the light that’s thrown back from the curb. You don’t look with him. You look down. You won’t learn a face, and that you know his by heart does not change a thing.
You feel his breath ghost over your cheek when he turns back. You don’t move, don’t care that your legs ache, don’t look, don’t see. Not when he leans in. Not when he waits for you to turn. Not when he pulls back. Not when he stands and zips his flies.
You feel the heat where his knee was pressed to your chest. You feel the ache in your hands, in your mouth, in your cock. You feel his eyes on you. You jolt at the force of his gaze and this one’s not just in your prick.
You stand. Your knees twinge, your head swims. He holds out a hand, one blue vein pulsing at the base of his palm.
It still smells like wet streets, and now there’s sweat and come at the back of your throat and it’s not why you came here, it’s not what you come for and it’s all too much and
You reach for him. Slide your hand over his, clasp his wrist. You find it. Feel it. The pulse.
You push up and step towards him. The beat just laps at your toes now. One more step towards the curb and you’ll lose it.
He’s got your hand in his. He’s pulled you towards the curb, towards the street, towards the cars, towards the lights. The door is behind you, the club is behind you, your flat sits empty not three blocks away and when he tugs again you let him, let him pull you, with his pulsing wrist pressed to yours and the echo of your footsteps left behind.