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Stalker Goes to Babylon

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Edgar Vargas arrives to a home that is exactly as he left it. There is nothing out of place. Why should there be anything out of place? He takes off his shoes at the door, pressing a hand to the plaster as he hooks a finger into the heel of each shoe and tugs them loose. He has no pets. The lamp by the window is on a timer, which is not set to click on for another few hours. The sun is low in the sky, throwing the slowly twining shadows of the window’s vertical blinds across his floor.

He makes his way to the kitchen. He pulls a glass down from the high cupboard and a bottle down from the low cupboard, and mixes himself a drink. He pulls a chair out from the little table and takes a seat.

“Would you like a drink?” he asks the silent hallways. “Or are you old enough?”

For a long time the hallways say nothing. And then the coat closet creaks open.

The young man who steps out of the darkness, brushing wrinkles from his striped shirt, seems put out by the whole affair. “What’re you drinking?” he says.

Edgar picks up the bottle of vodka and swishes it vaguely. “Screwdrivers,” he says. “The poor man’s mimosa.”

The young man snorts. “With a house like this one? Poor man my ass.”

“Is that what you’re here for?” Edgar asks him, clinking the neck of the bottle against his glass. “To rob me?”

“How’d you know I was there?” the young man says, instead of answering. “I covered my tracks and everything.”

The taste of orange almost hides the taste of alcohol. Citrus can disguise many sins, which is the first thing you learn when you arrive dateless and alone at the bar hop organized by your new friendly college acquaintances, you a respectable choir boy from a sober family. You learn to like the taste of citrus, if you know what’s good for you. The beer is unbearable.

“You know the little grocery on the corner of Manyard?” Edgar says, as he swirls clear alcohol into brightly colored juice.

“Yeah?”

“I thought you might. Do you also know the grocery across town, on Fifth and Main?”

“...Yeah?”

“I thought you might know that one too. It would be funny if you didn’t, considering I’ve seen you at both. And at the park. And outside of my office, in the parking lot. You’re not as good at this as you seem to think you are.”

The young man scowls fiercely at him, which on a face like his is more precious than intimidating. “Haven’t got any complaints till now,” he says. He eyes the drink on the counter speculatively.

Edgar tucks a finger over the rim and drags it back towards himself. “Are you here to rob me, young man?”

He makes a face, tongue flicking over his teeth in distaste. “Jimmy,” he says. “But my friends call me Mmy. Or they will, once I introduce myself and all.”

“That seems like it could get confusing,” Edgar observes. He lets go from the rim of the glass and licks the smallest drop from the pad of his finger. Jimmy’s eyes watch the whole thing, barely blinking. He seems to inch closer.

“Let me have one of those,” Jimmy says, although what he’s looking at isn’t the glass but Edgar, Edgar’s mouth, Edgar’s tongue tracing the outline of an imaginary drop. Of course his finger isn’t really wet, he’s not a fool.

“No,” Edgar says, simply. He moves to draw the glass back even closer, but Jimmy is whip-fast. Jimmy snatches the drink out from under him and draws it back against his chest like it’s something precious he needs to protect. He flashes Edgar a haughty look and knocks back the whole thing almost in one go.

Edgar smiles vaguely at him and says nothing.

Jimmy is all awkward angles, all big black circled eyes and grinning teeth. He looks like the kind of person who has fervent opinions about musical genres other people haven’t even heard of. He looks like the kind of person who sleeps on couches. He looks like the kind of person who pretends they aren’t hungry because they don’t want to be seen as hungry. He always seems to be leaning into the next moment, impatient for a change in fortune.

When Edgar sees him out the window of his office, as he has periodically for the last week, it is usually a flicker of movement. A face between faces. This is the first time he’s been able to get a good long look at the creature.

“You think you’re so respectable ,” Jimmy says, dropping the glass back onto the table with a sharp crack and rattle. “In your corner office with your silk ties and your fuckin… cute little suburban house. You think you’re so good.”

He lunges, palms hitting the tabletop as he leans in over Edgar. The air between them smells of citrus and paint thinner, and underneath that, cheap hair products, which are not dissimilar.

“I’m gonna show you a thing or two,” Jimmy says. “You’re not gonna be so fuckin respectable when I’m done with you, that’s for sure.”

One of his hands jams into the tight pocket of his pants and comes out with the cool round edge of a switchblade. It pops open in his grip, catching the light from the window which glows in the dark like a tv screen.

“I’ve been thinking about this ever since I saw you at the 7/Eleven,” Jimmy says, his voice becoming a low almost-purr, “with your fucking tie all tight against your throat, with that fuck me little hip-sway.”

Edgar keeps an eye on the switchblade, but he doesn’t flinch or draw back. “You use that word a lot,” he says. “Fuck. It’s not polite, you know, in a stranger’s house.”

Jimmy buries the knifepoint in the wooden table, fingers gripped tight around the handle. “Why aren’t you scared of me?” he says, visibly gritting his teeth. “I’m in your house! With a knife! I could do anything to you!”

“And you haven’t even asked me my name,” Edgar goes on. “After helping yourself to my drink and everything. That’s extremely rude.”

“I already know your name,” Jimmy says. “You’re Edgar Vargas, the guy who’s about to regret talking to me like I’m a stupid kid.”

Instead of replying, Edgar takes the glass back and stands, making his way over to the kitchen sink. Jimmy watches him suspiciously, from the table, unmoving.

Edgar runs the tap. “You seem to have already formed ideas about who I am,” he says, as he washes the last trace of pulp from the glass. “Before even meeting me.”

The knife, buried deep in the wood, gives a creak in Jimmy's grip. Jimmy is scowling again, but he’s not looking at Edgar. He’s looking down, at the grain of wood, at nothing at all really.

“But maybe that’s fair,” Edgar says, “because I’ve formed my own ideas about you.”

Jimmy’s weight sways onto his knife hand, his eyes going unfocused and fuzzy as he fights to get his balance back. “What--?” he says.

At the sink, Edgar fishes the clamshell packet of white pills out of his pocket and holds it up, displaying it between two fingers.

“I would have thought a man like you, ” he said, “would know better than to drink something prepared by a stranger.”

“What?” Jimmy says again. His hand slips off the knife handle, gouging itself deeply against the blade as it scrabbles directionlessly for support.

Edgar makes a little disappointed noise. “Now look what you’ve gone and done,” he says. “You cut yourself. That’s careless.”

As Jimmy slowly collapses onto the floor, arm hooked weakly over the tabletop, Edgar opens the drawer under the counter and takes out the box of zip ties. He pulls two free, one at a time, and turns back to the table. Jimmy is breathing hard, his black-smudged eyes wide and terrified. He looks up at Edgar, from the floor, from his struggle, kittenishly inept.

“Relax,” Edgar says, delicately lifting the hooked arm from the edge of the table. He takes Jimmy by the wrist and the chin and forces him back into the floor, pushing a knee into his stomach. Jimmy coughs, spasming, but all his resistance is as weak and uncoordinated as a dreamer’s.

“You may experience dizziness,” Edgar tells him, as he jerks the first zip tie closed around Jimmy’s wrists. “Possibly convulsions, and most likely a sensation of being outside your body. But you’ll also probably experience memory loss, so don’t worry about it. I’ve got you. Relax.”

Jimmy mumbles something, an uncertain slur, rolling his head back. His throat is so white, so delicate, the bobbing adams apple and the sharp collar bones, and despite all his ugly messiness there is something underneath that cries out for touch, for attention. It wants to be held and stroked. It wants to be savored.

Edgar draws his hand back just before it touches the slack, inviting line of Jimmy’s lips. Like the taste of coffee, bitter and uncomfortable and laced with the promise of addiction. He stands, and putting the moment from his mind, he begins making arrangements.

--

The world Jimmy comes awake in is dry and scratchy, and unfamiliar. He doesn’t know whose house this is. It sure ain’t his. The place he sublets doesn’t smell nearly this nice, and the mattress he sleeps on doesn’t have nearly this much give. His hand gives a dull ache, which he ignores. He blinks and licks his dry lips, and tries to get a decent look at where he is. This feels like a bad morning after. Did he get laid? Did he. Did he get a lay?

He was following someone. That--that stuck up guy, from the corner store, the one who told him not to smoke inside.

The light goes dim over him, and someone presses the plastic top of a water bottle to his lips, the kind that you have to suck to get the water free. He gulps down as much as he can, teeth digging into the plastic when that someone tries to pry it away.

“Come on,” a voice says, “don’t be greedy.”

Jimmy bites down even harder, just to make a point, but all that does is make it hurt more when the cap gets pried out of him. He licks his lips, glaring up at the shadow, and tries to roll away. He runs into a problem. The problem is that his hands are locked together in front of him. And he’s naked, but that’s a secondary problem.

“The fuck,” he says, lifting his bound wrists close enough to his face that he can get a good look at them. That’s plastic. Some motherfucker zip tied him.

“There you go again with that word,” Someone-- Edgar --says.

It comes back to him like a pipe cleaner being forced through his brain: the afternoon, breaking in, waiting, the conversation in the kitchen, and then the fuzzy unraveling of drugged delirium. There are a series of little white butterfly bandages up the sore red slice in the meat of his palm.

“You,” Jimmy says, but he doesn’t know what he means or how to finish.

“Me,” Edgar replies, and brushes a cool hand over Jimmy’s messy forehead.

His vision is coming clearer, as he blinks the sleep away. He can make out the walls of a wide room, artificially bright--there aren’t any windows, not that he can see. Is this a basement?

Edgar looks down at him with an expression of mild interest which is just--did Edgar do this? If you’d asked him yesterday Jimmy'd have said there was no way Edgar was this fucking hardcore but, holy shit, those are definitely zip ties and this is definitely a basement.

This is not going how he planned it, to say the least.

Edgar draws back and disappears from view, still in that stupid tie, with the diagonal stripes. How can anybody with a tie like that be capable of this?

“I’ve never been much of a philosopher,” Edgar’s voice remarks, and Jimmy rolls his head to follow the retreating figure across the floor. “I believe in justice, I suppose. I believe that people get what’s coming to them. If not in this life, then in the next.”

Edgar’s hands flick through the air as he sets a box on the counter, nothing special, and unlatches the top. There is a half-drunk glass of wine beside him, which he picks up absently and takes a sip of, his back still to Jimmy.  

“I’ve been thinking about what you were planning on doing to me,” Edgar says.

Jimmy wriggles in his bindings, feeling for a weak spot. A little bit of give somewhere. “Are you gonna kill me?” he says, working his wrists against the plastic. No dice. It’s the perfect sweet spot between not breaking and not cutting off his circulation. Begrudgingly, Jimmy is impressed.

Edgar looks over his shoulder. “Is that what you were going to do?”

Jimmy tries to bring his elbows back and break it over his stomach, but the damn mattress is too soft. “I dunno,” he says. “I didn’t get that far.”

Edgar lifts his glass to his mouth and turns away again. “Sloppy,” he says, and takes a sip.

Jimmy forgets all about getting loose. “The fuck I am!” he says. “I cased this joint like a fucking pro! You got no friends, no family, no regular meet ‘n greets, and it’s a friday so nobody’ll expect you back in to work until monday, by which point I’m gonna be long gone.”

“But you didn’t account for me,” Edgar says. He says it casually, lightly, but it makes something in Jimmy’s belly roll over. Man, he really did not account for that. The little white butterfly bandages are bugging him, they're trying to warn him about something, but he can't figure what right now.

Nothing in the room looks useful. It’s bare, mostly, with an ensuite bathroom at the back where the mirror has been deliberately and cleanly removed. It’s just the nice bed, the heavy table, and the two of them. Oh, and the TV. He doesn’t know what he can do with an old TV though, it looks way too heavy to pick up even if he could get his arms free.

Edgar tucks that box of his under his arm and comes back to the bed, glass cupped in his palm like they do in old hollywood films, all graceful. “You know what they say about being able to take what you dish out?” he says. His glasses catch the light of the overhead fixture.

Jimmy eyes the box.

It doesn’t feel that heavy when it hits the mattress. The bad news is: it clinks.

Edgar reaches inside and lifts up the unmistakable apparatus of a ball gag, one of the silver rings hooked over his finger. No. No way. That thing is not going in his mouth.

Edgar’s bland expression breaks into a sudden, sharp grin. “No?” he says. “That’s alright. We can ease into this. I don’t want to wear you out on your first day.”

Before Jimmy has time to wrap his head around the words “first day”, the ball gag has clinked back into the ominous depths of the box and Edgar has come back out with a totally normal, completely unremarkable silk scarf. He finishes off his wine, leaving red streaks on the inside of the glass, and sets it down on the floor. The black silk shimmers between his fingers.

“Say ahh ,” Edgar says.

Jimmy does not say shit.

Edgar’s hands on his body are relentless and they pack a wallop, not to mention his goddamn knees. The box hits the floor in the struggle, sheets bunching and sliding, as Edgar flips him onto his stomach and pins his bound arms beneath him. The pillow is cold against his cheek, growing hotter with each hard breath he makes. Edgar throws a leg over his back and straddles him, and no matter how Jimmy kicks, he won’t come off. There’s a pressure against the small of his back, unmistakably Edgar’s hard-on, and Jimmy is almost more offended that Edgar is just ignoring it there than the fact that he’s been rolled so fucking easily. But only almost.

There’s a snap of cloth somewhere behind him. Jimmy can’t see anything but silk weave, and the edge of the ceiling, but he can hear it and he can feel Edgar shifting against him, leaning in. The sheets smell like wine, sweet and sharp and too damn expensive. The scarf snaps tight over his mouth in a band that he could probably open his mouth around but then it would be in his mouth and wouldn’t Edgar fucking love to see that, his mouth all split open wide.

Jimmy gives an uncomfortable little wriggle as he notices for the first time that more than just his hands are pinned against the mattress. His dick is waking up, too.

“There,” Edgar says, sitting back from the knot. The rough fabric of his pants rubs against the tender part of Jimmy’s sides, below his rib cage, which is such a dumb thing to notice when there’s a literal gag on his mouth but he is really noticing it.

The wriggling doesn’t escape Edgar’s attention. Jimmy freezes automatically as Edgar’s hands smooth over his back, away from the dip of his spine. “Let’s start off easy,” Edgar says.

Every spare inch of skin that Edgar scrapes over as he slides back over Jimmy’s thighs and settles over his knees goes hot and hungry, nerves twisting up and throbbing under the surface. Jimmy twitches.

Edgar’s hand runs over his ass, cool fingers, a passing touch. “Are you getting hard from this?” he asks, sounding positively delighted, the bastard.  

Jimmy makes a noise that barely conveys how much he would really like for Edgar to fuck the hell off.

The cool touch slips down over the back of his thigh, lingers there in small maddening circles, and then comes to rest on his rousing cock. He shudders, burying his face in the pillow.

“Incredible,” Edgar says, stroking the almost-edge of his nails down buzzing skin. Jesus that feels good, why does that feel so good, it’s like he’s been plugged into an electrical socket. “You really are a piece of work.”

Jimmy’s toes push at the sheets and slide against silk.

“The very fact that you’re getting off on this,” Edgar says, rolling his thumb over the head, “just goes to show.”

For a moment there’s nothing, no sensation at all, and Jimmy groans in irritation. But then there’s a small wet sound, somewhere above him, and all at once Edgar’s spit-slicked fingers close around him.

Jimmy makes a noise like he’s been shot.

“Shh,” Edgar says, working him slowly, “shhh.”

Everything is flipped from what he’s used to, all those fingers tight around the delicate underside of his cock, the thumb hooked around the top, the cool sheet pushed away and then rising back. It’s only half because his hands are digging into his stomach that he keeps trying to lift his hips, knees digging into the mattress.

“This is so much kinder than what you were going to do to me,” Edgar says, “and I hope you’ll keep that in mind as we go forward.”

Jimmy is not keeping anything in mind except for how much he wants Edgar to give it to him faster, harder. It takes ages, god, it’s killing him, he’d be chewing the pillow if he could get to it. When the good stuff finally finally comes within reach, he almost cries out. He’s ready, he’s so ready, he’s never waited this long for anything in his life. He sucks in a breath, superstitiously afraid that one wrong sensation will mess this up for him, and as he seizes up in anticipation, Edgar makes a soft little “ahh”.

The grip is suddenly gone.

Jimmy thrashes in disbelief, eyes going wide, but Edgar holds him down. Edgar holds him still, until the last of the tight throbbing promise is evaporated away and there’s nothing left but Jimmy’s toes futilely sliding against the sheets, his hips rolling uselessly.  

You son of a bitch! he tries to shout, but all that comes out is a furious moan.

The bed creaks as Edgar leans over the side and fishes something else from inside that damn box. There’s a series of soft shifting cardboard sounds, and then a cap popping open. Jimmy’s heart claws up into his throat, he’d know that sound anywhere.

Edgar runs his palm up Jimmy’s unbearably tense back, like he’s admiring the shape of it.

“This is just to keep you warmed up,” Edgar says, like that’s supposed to be reassuring or something. “I can’t touch your cock again for a while, or you’ll get overexcited and ruin things.”

Jimmy kicks hard in protest, the bed jumping under him, his hands bruising against his stomach. He manages to push himself up onto his chest, but he can’t get up any farther than that, because Edgar has reached under him and grabbed his wrists tight, pinning them. The edge of the pillow flattens against his cheek.

Edgar isn’t so much as fazed. “Careful,” he says, “if I spill this stuff, you’re the one who has to sleep on it.”

Jimmy doesn’t give a fuck about that, but he was done making his point anyway. He might as well leave his ass in the air, it can’t possibly get any worse. He slumps into the pillows and waits for the inevitable humiliation, being spread and slicked up and fucked like a dry hooker, and hard for it too.

But that’s not how it goes.

Edgar pushes into him and fingers him slowly, gently even, taking forever just to move up from one to two. He fingerfucks Jimmy like he’s got all the time in the world, like it’s a leisurely sunday crossword and not a person he’s working over.

It’s not really getting him anywhere, but Jimmy’s absorbed by it, by the way it feels like a dream of being ground across the rocks of a seashore--has he had that dream? He thinks he’s had that dream, and forgotten it. By the time the third finger slides in, Jimmy is breathing in time with it, vision glassy and body rocking in little waves that he doesn’t notice until Edgar abruptly stops moving his hand and it’s just Jimmy, alone, fucking himself like he’s in a trance.

The fullness withdraws, and Jimmy lets out a little whine through the gag before he remembers where he is and who he’s with and he goes scarlet and furious with embarrassment.

His fucking cock is dribbling.

“Lets give this another try, hm?” Edgar says, and then he wraps his slicked up hand around Jimmy again.

Jimmy whimpers into the sheets and wonders if this is how he dies, skin screaming for mercy, body screaming for satisfaction. Edgar must not know the meaning of the word mercy , with his iron grip and his whispered urging, just a little more, just a little closer . He wants to fall onto his stomach again so he can feel less like an animal getting milked, but part of him is hot with it, with imagining how he must look to Edgar, fingered pink and slick and arched. Can he just-- can he-

When Edgar lets go this time, Jimmy almost sobs, pushing himself back in the dumb hope of finding that touch again. Palms close over his ass, pushing him back into position. Edgar’s hands are cold and hot, mismatched, and the sticky print of his right hand lingers even as he draws back.

“Come on,” Edgar admonishes him. “Smarten up. We’re just getting started.”

Edgar fucks him with three fingers, harder this time, and Jimmy cringes at the way those knuckles bump against the rim of his abused hole, curling and stretching. There’s no pause, no relief, just the relentless wet thrusting and Jimmy arched up, helpless against it.

The second Edgar’s fingertip so much as brushes Jimmy’s G spot, Jimmy shouts, his mouth cracking so wide that the damp silk band of the gag falls over his tongue. He pants, loudly, and it must give him away because in a moment Edgar has pulled out of him. There’s a tug from the back of the gag, and then the band slides back tight against the corners of his lips, between his teeth.

Fuck. Well there goes that last little bit of dignity.

Finally slumping down flat against the mattress again, face buried between pillows, Jimmy tries to wiggle his hands out from underneath him. He hates these fucking pillows. He’s certain they’re laughing at him.

“I need more wine,” Edgar says, like an afterthought.

The hot pressure of his slacks disappears. Jimmy feels colder than he thought he would, sweat and slick between his legs, as Edgar leaves him. He can just make out the soft fabric sound of Edgar bending down and retrieving his glass.

“Do you like wine?” Edgar says, presumably to Jimmy, although Jimmy has a fucking gag in his mouth so he can’t exactly answer. “You seem more like a Jack Daniels man.”

Jimmy succeeds in getting his hands up under him and, still hard, pushes himself up onto his knees. That’s as much as he can do with his ankles winched together, but at least he can get a read on what the hell is happening. He spots the one and only exit to whatever lays outside across the room, a perfectly normal door with its deadbolt on the inside.

When he turns back to where Edgar went, he finds Edgar leaning up against the bathroom door, glass at his lips, watching.

He feels so god damn naked, and it’s not because the bastard took his clothes.

“Jack Daniels,” Edgar says to himself, nodding like he’s reached a conclusion. “I never had a taste for hard liquor. But I bet you like all kinds of things hard, don’t you, Jimmy?”

Jimmy lines up the zip around his wrists with the bottom of his rib cage. This is gonna hurt like a bitch but it might just break if he can get enough power into it. And once he gets out of here--haha, once he gets out of this, Edgar is gonna wish he’d just gone pliant and easy the first time Jimmy had him.

“Oh, don’t do that,” Edgar says, not even bothering to put down his drink. “I’ll only add more on. As much as I’d love to see you try and wriggle out again, we’ve got a schedule to keep.”

Jimmy looks up, hands hovering in front of his stomach. “Schedule?” he tries to say.

Edgar takes a sip of his wine, radiating new and dangerous as he eyes Jimmy’s mouth. “Monday’s a work day,” he says. “I have to break you before that.”

Jimmy’s cock throbs at the same time that his brain starts to blare the alarm. You can’t break me, he wants to say, so good fucking luck. But he doesn’t want to try and talk around the gag again, not after the way Edgar’s eyes just went all narrow and hungry.

Edgar leans back and sets his glass on the sink. He hooks a finger under the knot of his tie and pulls, undoing it with a couple tugs. “Let’s get back to it,” he says.

Edgar takes him by the back of the head, fingers pushed into hair, and forces him back facedown onto the mattress. This time he’s not messing around, not taking his time easing Jimmy into it--he jerks Jimmy off like it’s a punishment, looming over his back, holding Jimmy tight against the mattress. Jimmy breathes the thin hot air between the cotton stuffing, unable to pull away, unable to do anything but jolt and gasp as Edgar’s grip burns him and chokes him.

This time, when it stops, he doesn’t know if he’s glad or not.

There’s a faint shake of the bedframe as Edgar maybe wrings out his hand. “Damn,” he says, “wrist cramp. What bad timing. Hold on a second.”

Jimmy is busy just getting clear cold air back into his lungs as Edgar finally eases off him and goes digging in that box, thumping and clinking.

“I was going to save this for later,” Edgar says, from over the side of the bed, “but needs must, I suppose.”

Jimmy has just enough time to start worrying before the cold metallic pressure of something inhuman pushes into his ass. He jumps, making a muffled gnnff noise into the sheet. Edgar forces the thing into him, bearing down as Jimmy’s hole clenches and fights against it. His fingers feel so much rougher as they push in after it, kneading around in search of-

Jimmy keens, burying his face in his elbow.

“There we go,” Edgar says, the satisfied fucker. “Nice and tight.”

There’s a little plastic click, different from the last one, and then an angry buzz lights up Jimmy’s insides, shaking him apart. The noises he’s making are high and reedy enough to embarrass even him, and he can feel spit dripping over the corner of his lips as the vibrator undoes him, he’s never felt this before, is it supposed to feel like this?

Somewhere in the mess of sensations, there’s Edgar, stroking him slowly, watching him come apart.

Edgar slides his thumb over the vein that runs under Jimmy’s cock, and he says, “You know you’re not going to come this time either, don’t you?”

Jimmy moans miserably, not surprised and also not able to do anything but take what’s being given to him, regardless of what it’s meant to do.

Edgar sounds thoughtful, now, as he says, “That isn’t even the strongest vibrator I have, you know. You should slow down. You’re way too sensitive.”

Jimmy is going to kill him, Jimmy is going to kill him.

Edgar stops touching him. All that’s left is the insistent buzz of the thing grinding at him from the inside, good but not good enough to carry him over the edge. The truth is Jimmy’s never used toys, he couldn’t afford them and he didn’t know anyone who could, and besides that the last time he got fucked anything remotely like this was in his roommate’s bedroom last week, a couple inches from his insufficient rent funds, gritting his teeth into the couch cushion. It barely even felt good. In this life it’s usually him, the one fucking other people, sometimes not even getting off on it.

His starved body doesn’t know how to handle this overload.

His thighs shake. He feels more than sees Edgar getting up, and he makes a noise that he doesn’t want to think about.

“It’s fine,” Edgar says. “I’m not going anywhere.”

It’s true, he’s not; what he’s doing is zipping Jimmy’s hands to the headboard above his head, doubling up for safe measure. Each little zip and click is methodical, neat, no lingering touches or fumbling with the ties. He does, though, reach out when he’s done, his fingers hovering over the wet line of drool tracing Jimmy’s chin. He hesitates just a hairsbreadth away, fingers curling inward, and then busies himself unknotting the gag.

Jimmy works his jaw, licking the worst of the spit from his lips. He looks up, glaring, at the cool specter of the man who’s reduced him to choking and drooling and rutting into a mattress.

“Why don’t you just fuck me already,” he snarls, even as his hips roll against nothing.

Edgar lifts a hand, and now he does wipe the spit from Jimmy’s chin, his fingertip warm and fleeting. “Be patient,” he says.

Patient ?” Jimmy says, livid, because it wasn’t like he was asking for it, why would he ask for it, he’d rather die than ask this cocksucker for anything.

“It’s only been a couple hours,” Edgar says, with the gall to check his actual watch. “We’ve barely gotten started.”

“You son of a bitch,” Jimmy swears, “you absolute mother fucker-”

“Hold that thought,” Edgar says, and slots the gag back into place.

Jimmy screams incoherently into the pillows.

--

It goes on for hours, sweating and shaking, coming up right to the edge and then cutting off mercilessly, over and over again. Every nerve in Jimmy’s body is sore and swollen, even the sounds coming out of his mouth are heavy and barely heaved out with each dry breath.

He’s losing track of what’s happening, of where he is. Edgar is rough with him, bruised and oversensitive as he is, rolling him and bending him and peeling him apart. Edgar cuts his ankles loose long after he’s too tired to fight and spreads his legs open, and Jimmy can feel the cock hard inside his slacks even now but Edgar doesn’t seem to notice or care about anything but forcing some new sound out of Jimmy’s ragged throat.

“Why won’t you just get get it over with,” he hisses, while Edgar is in the middle of switching out his current gag for something less soaked.

Edgar rummages through his damned box. “Maybe I’m worried about catching something. A little slut like you is bound to have something communicable.”

Jimmy probably shouldn’t be as offended as he is, he has been rawed more times than he’s had hot meals. “There’s still condoms ,” he says. “I call bullshit.”

That’s all he gets to say before a new gag is back in. Edgar fingers the loose tie around his neck, tugging it off with a little jerk, and wedges the fresh silk between Jimmy’s teeth.

Jimmy takes a little pleasure in chewing it hard enough to rip the seams.

He wants to know where Edgar got all his scary little toys. When he got them. It couldn’t have been during the weeks Jimmy was following him, Jimmy would have noticed something was up. If not the trip itself then the shopping bag, at least. If not the shopping bag, then the soft electric sound coming from Edgar’s windows, the telltale moans. He works himself up a little bit, thinking about what he would have done if he’d been sitting outside Edgar’s window the first time the vibe went off--the erection that had been flagging from exhaustion perks back up, just in time for Edgar to ignore it completely.

He would have--he would have--the sound of a vibrator through a closed window, a closet light left on, the unholy quiet as it slipped deep into a body--he would have--

At some point in the festivities, Edgar deescalates him down to just fingers, again. There's something about fingers that is just warm and unpredictable and ruinous. He gives Jimmy a couple good pumps against his swollen entrance, slides out, and then goes to get him some water. Jimmy, trembling and fucked out and raw, sucks the bottle so hard the plastic crackles, too hazy to think about anything but satisfying at least one physical need. Edgar lets him drink as much as he wants, and checks his watch again.

“Well,” he says, pulling away, “I think we had better call it a night.”

He cuts the zip holding Jimmy’s wrists to the headboard, and Jimmy just looks at him, uncomprehending, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Edgar undoes the knot behind his ear, hopefully for the last time, and says, “You’ve got about half an hour before the drugs kick in, so I suggest you use it wisely.”

Jimmy looks down at the water bottle. Fuck.

--

Jimmy dreams of the ocean.

The tide is breaking over him, pushing him against the rocky shoreline with each wave, dark stone the color of unforgiving brown eyes, a sea black and blue and inexorable. It aches, in a sort of sweet way, an ache that comes and goes as it rocks through him. He shifts, trying to open himself up against it, and all at once the dream dissolves.

The slow sweet rocking is the shallow thrust of a toy moving inside of him, inside the sleepy loose hollow of his body. He blinks, vision fuzzy, and moans.

“Oh,” Edgar says, “you’re up.”

Jimmy freezes. The heat against his legs, between them, that’s Edgar. That thing pushing into his body, that’s Edgar’s.

He licks his dry lips. How much more of this can he take?

Edgar keeps rocking into him, unperturbed by the waking up. Jimmy doesn’t understand him, or what he wants--what’s the point of fucking someone while they’re asleep if you can’t even feel it? What’s the point of any of this if Edgar isn’t even getting off on it?

Maybe if he sits still and lets Edgar do it to him, he can get a goddamn orgasm out of it.

“You’re so docile this morning,” Edgar says. He jerks the thing inside Jimmy sharply, making him jump. “What happened to that feisty attitude?”

Jimmy grits his teeth and keeps holding still, which is killing him .

Edgar sways in closer, fucking him deeper with that thing. “You don’t think that’s all it takes, do you?” Edgar says. “If you’re good for a couple minutes, you think I’ll take pity on you?”

Jesus fuck. Jimmy thumps his joined fists into the pillows, making a whumph noise that isn’t nearly as impressive as he hoped it would be. He can only figure Edgar wants to see him suffer.

“You’re still loose from last night,” Edgar informs him. “You took this one so easily--barely a murmur, didn’t even wake up…”

Like he’s punctuating his point, Edgar draws the whole thing out of him. It feels much bigger coming out, and Jimmy realizes belatedly that Edgar was only making the shallowest thrusts into him, already hilt deep inside. It comes inch by awful inch, leaving him empty. He hates how much he hates the loss.

“Late sleeper,” Edgar remarks, as the last inch slides free. “I was going to fix you breakfast, but you slept through it. It’s nearly noon.”

Fuck. He is hungry. He doubts Edgar was going to feed him, though, it’s probably just another fucking mind game.

Edgar reaches underneath him and feels his belly, the flat unprotected softness of it. When he squeezes up into it, Jimmy groans.

“Don’t worry,” he says, just over Jimmy’s shoulder, “after you cry, I’ll make you lunch.”

The gag that goes in this time is the ball gag, which he hates, because of how shiny and red it is and how dumb he knows it makes him look. His jaw cracks as he strains to accommodate it. The round silver links bite into his cheeks. Edgar tucks a finger under his chin and makes him raise his head for inspection, looking him over with something that resembles satisfaction.

Jimmy gives him a blistering glare. He’s not gonna cry , he doesn’t care how much Edgar hurts him. He’s not some teary eyed bimbo.

This time, as Edgar holds him down and edges him until he’s writhing, Jimmy keeps his head screwed on as best he can. He can deal with this. He was weak last night because he’s not used to being touched, not willingly, but he’s got it now. He’s dripping spit around his gag, but he’s got  it, okay, he can take this.

He shivers as Edgar finds his prostate and grinds into it.

The number of people who have ever fucked him is pretty small. Comparatively. Mostly he fucks other people, and sometimes they struggle, and sometimes they don’t. Either way, they sure don’t spend this kind of time lavishing attention on him.

Somewhere between the third and fifth denied orgasm, Edgar rolls Jimmy over on his back and bends over him, rolling precum absently over the head of his cock. His unoccupied hand cups the barely noticeable edge of Jimmy’s pec, squeezes, and traces over his ribs, pressing down to feel the hollow space between each of them. Jimmy watches, all hot and restless and horny, as Edgar feels him up, but wouldn’t anyone be if a guy was feeling them like that?

Somehow the squeezing, searching fingers over his chest makes him hotter than the hand working his shaft.

“You’re very pretty,” Edgar murmurs, pinching a peaked nipple between his fingers.

Jimmy makes a choking noise, not sure what the fuck that makes him feel. He knows he ain’t much to look at. Passible if you’ve got a hard dick and need somewhere to put it, decent if you need someone to eat your pussy like a champ before he gets his. No Playgirl centerfold, for sure.

“I thought there was something about you,” Edgar says absently, “when I saw you in the park--I knew you were following me, of course…”

Jimmy doesn’t know where to look except at Edgar, who glances up and meets his eye. Nobody’s ever looked at Jimmy like that, like he’s the most interesting thing in the room, like they’re fascinated by every inch of him. Jimmy rolls his head, self conscious of the stupid thing in his mouth, watching Edgar out the corner of his eye.

“You don’t believe me,” Edgar observes. He takes Jimmy’s cheek in his hand and pulls him back, looking him over dispassionately. “You don’t need to. That’s not why we’re here, is it?”

Edgar keeps it up until Jimmy is back, again, on the precipice of relief, and then he disentangles himself.

“Let’s try the vibrator again,” he says, “we don’t have all day.”

Coulda fooled him.

The bravado lasts, like, a minute tops. Right up until Edgar pushes the vibe into him, one cruel shove, four inches long and ribbed like it was made for a woman, and Jimmy screams into the ball gag. The head of it is bulbous and it feels like it almost hooks over his G spot, and Edgar has to plant a hand in his stomach, to throw his whole weight into it, just to keep Jimmy from coming up off the bed.

He can’t take this he can’t take this, it’s too much

Edgar fucks him with the vibe, and it’s a relief when it withdraws but a living hell when it rolls over his prostate again, he just wants to come and this is torture, aren’t there rules against this? His thighs are twitching wildly, his toes are curling, if something doesn't give soon he thinks he's going to burst-

He knows he's making sounds but he can't stop himself, they keep coming up out of him like hiccups, bubbling out from under the slick knot of the gag. Edgar loves each of them, his whole mild expression goes hard and hungry as Jimmy hits a point so high in his vocal register he's not even sure it's his throat making the sound. With each keen, Edgar bears down like it's a punishment, or a reward, or it's both because Jimmy can't calm down and can't make it stop if he wanted to.

The room goes fuzzy, and it takes Jimmy a second to be sure he hasn’t been drugged again. There are tears in his eyes, as he bucks against Edgar’s iron hold, neglected cock knocking into his own thigh with each wriggle. He sobs wetly, struggling to take in air through his stuffed mouth.

He screws his eyes shut, trying to block out at least one sensation, and he feels a hand on his face again.

“Let me get a look at you,” Edgar says, somewhere above him, and Jimmy doesn’t have it in him to struggle. Edgar drags his fingers through spit and tears, not so much cleaning it as inspecting it, and compared to the angry white noise inside of Jimmy the clarity of that touch is almost steadying.

Edgar clicks off the vibe. Jimmy goes limp.

“Alright,” Edgar says. “That was pretty good. Let’s take five.”

Jimmy barely has the energy to lift his head as Edgar goes to unclasp the gag. It slides out of his mouth and lands on the pillow, shinier than ever.

The pattern he’s starting to pick up here is that every time he works his way through one torture he’s leveled up to another one, so Jimmy is honestly bewildered when all he hears is the door click closed. He sits up, slowly, panting, and looks around. The room is empty. He’s alone again. He doesn’t know what to make of that.

The silence lasts about fifteen minutes. In that time, he manages to get to his feet and walk off the last of his hard on, swing into the bathroom, and upend Edgar’s box of torture devices. Damned if he's not at least gonna know what's coming for him. He’s on his knees pawing through the contents when the door opens again, and for a moment they just blink at each other, caught in this weird moment of a mundane encounter. Edgar has a plate in either hand.

That smells really good and Jimmy is immediately wary. Where is this going. What is he gonna have to do to get that sandwich.

Edgar lays one plate on the heavy table across the room and brings the remaining one over to Jimmy, who is thinking a lot of wild thoughts about licking food off the floor and isn’t entirely sure he won’t do it. He’s really goddamn hungry.

Edgar holds out the plate. “Turkey,” he says. “Swiss. Pretty simple. I don’t know what you like yet.”

Hesitantly, Jimmy takes the plate from him and sits back down on the bed. His hands are still zipped together, so he sets the plate over his naked lap and finagles a half of the sandwich into his grip. Edgar retrieves his plate and takes a seat next to him. Except for the part where Jimmy is naked and tied up, they could be coworkers having a casual lunch on a park bench.

God jesus that tastes good. This is quality meat. Is that fancy deli mustard?

“I didn’t think you were actually gonna get me food,” he says, between voracious bites.

“No?” Edgar says. “I can’t very well starve you, can I?”

Jimmy shrugs. “When I get my hands on you the only thing I’m gonna feed you is my cum, right down your fucking throat.”

Edgar swallows a bite and flicks a crumb from his lips. “Don’t get ahead of yourself.”

Jimmy manages to flip him the bird while still clutching his lunch, because his mouth is too full for anything else. “I can’t remember the last time I ate something that wasn’t microwaved,” he says, once he can say anything again. “Or out of a plastic wrapper.”

Edgar makes a disapproving noise. “You could at least try to take care of yourself.”

“I’ll remember that when I suddenly have stacks of cash to spend on feeding myself,” Jimmy says, with a sneer. “It’ll just be fucking deli mustard and fresh meat every goddamn day, huh?”

Edgar looks at him. His face is inscrutable, bone and hard irises, but there’s something about the thin pull of his lips that makes Jimmy feel naked again. He bites into his sandwich to avoid looking at Edgar.

He wants to hold his silence, just to make a point, but the fact is he’s been gagged for the better part of two days and he’s not holding it in very well. By the time he finishes the first half of the sandwich he’s already launched into a biting critique of Edgar’s entire persona, starting with the fucking striped tie and ending with his stupid compact car. All those quaint little cardboard set pieces, the phony bullshit, this perfect empty house full of nasty little toys.

“Phony,” Edgar says, echoing Jimmy’s word choice.

“Mmfuckin phony,” Jimmy says, around his last mouthful of lunch. He swallows. “You think you’re fooling anyone with your cute house in the suburbs and your little desk organizer?”

Edgar seems to consider this for a moment, cocking his head to the side. “Who am I fooling, then?” he says.

“Not me, that’s for sure,” Jimmy says. He knew from the minute Edgar told him to put out his cigarette in the 7/Eleven, the way Edgar looked at him with those granite eyes, he knew there was something ugly and dark hiding under that starch collared shirt. Behind his placid person mask. And you know what? He’d been fucking right.

Edgar reaches down and lifts the empty plate from his lap.

“Do you want the ball gag or the spider gag?” he asks.

Jimmy looks down at the pile of toys forgotten at his feet. What the shit is a spider gag.

--

Jimmy finds out what a spider gag is just in time to regret it.

He squirms on the bullet vibe, hands cinched behind his back, and watches Edgar slowly fingerfuck his mouth. His fingers stroke over Jimmy’s tongue, threatening to choke each time they sink in, fitting easily through the open ring of the gag. Edgar parts his fingers around Jimmy’s tongue, in a V, and forces it up against the roof of his mouth. There’s no point to it, no goal being accomplished here, unless it’s just that Edgar wants to see the soft red underside of the delicate muscle.

His fingers taste like Jimmy’s precum.

“Do you wish I’d fuck your throat?” Edgar says. “Do you want me to use you like a doll?”

Jimmy glares at him. He’s pretty sure Edgar is fucking with him, from the tone of voice, and he’s mad that his cock jumped at that transparent bait. That’s probably not the reaction Edgar was expecting.

Edgar looks down. Edgar looks up. He lifts an eyebrow.

Jimmy wishes this damn gag would let him bite.

--

The monster Edgar brings back down from the upstairs is enough to make Jimmy wish he’d just been left to rot on the vibrator for the rest of his probably short life.

Before he left, Edgar unlatched the spider gag and put it away with an idle comment about avoiding permanent injuries. Just how that fits into all this, Jimmy’s got no idea. But he’s got his mouth free when Edgar comes back, either way.

Edgar closes the door behind himself, the latch clicking into place, in his cardigan and his round glasses, and he smiles. It’s not a good smile. In his hand is the monster. It’s a dildo, of course, but it doesn’t look like any cock Jimmy has ever seen. Not even on other species. It’s got ridges, for one thing, and segments, for another.

“What the hell is that?” Jimmy says, wriggling onto his side.

Edgar looks down at the thing in his hands blandly, as if it has nothing to do with him. “You wouldn’t believe the things you can buy in San Francisco, if you know the wrong streets. I’m not sure but I think it was a custom mold.”

“That’s not gonna fit in me,” Jimmy says, watching it with wide eyes. “I don’t care what you think, it’s not going.”

Edgar tisks at him, upending the bottle of lube all down the monster’s bulbous length. Jimmy watches in fascinated horror as Edgar perfunctorily jacks it off, spreading slick from hilt to head. “You’re as loose as you’re ever going to be now. You might as well embrace it. How many people can say they’ve had something like this inside them?”

“Haven’t you ?”

Edgar actually snorts, hiding his laughter in his sleeve. “Me? Goodness no. I just liked the way it looked. But I’ve always wanted to use it on someone.”

God he should be so lucky. Edgar pushes his slick left hand into Jimmy, three fingers deep at the first go, and Jimmy buries his face in the sheet.

“Why won’t you just fuck me?” he groans.

Edgar pauses, finally, in his work. He curls his fingers inside of Jimmy, as if holding him in place.  “Oh, Jimmy,” he sighs. “I would never take you without permission. Who do you think I am?”

The box rattles again, a sound Jimmy is learning to dread, and Edgar draws out something much worse than a vibrator. It’s the ball gag.

“Now,” Edgar says, “this will go easier for you if you work with me, so don’t get cold feet at the first knot, alright?”

Jimmy doesn’t know what the fuck working with Edgar entails, because from the first inch that breaches him, all he can do is hold his breath and take it like a bitch.

--

“In my limited experience with,” Edgar says, “erotica, I’ve heard people use the phrase made for this to describe a sort of person who has a… let’s say wanton way of debasing themselves for other people’s pleasure.”

Jimmy hiccups, eyes glassy, as segment by hard segment the monster inside of him withdraws.

“But you, Jimmy,” Edgar says, hooking a finger under the strap of the gag and pulling it, “you were made for this .”

--

Late into the evening, Jimmy discovers the place where he finally stands to lose that last little bit of dignity he didn’t even know he had.

“So this is it?" Edgar says, cocking a brow up at him. "This is where we hit the wall?”

Yes! Jimmy tries to shout, but the spider gag twists it into a wordless noise of fury.

Edgar rests his hands on his knees, kneeling beside the toy that he just finished suctioning tight against the floor. It’s just a regular dick-shaped dildo, thank god, but Jimmy doesn’t like the implication--you can hold him down and rail him like a train track, but you can’t make him bounce on a cock like a coked up porn star.

He’s not gonna spread his legs and fuck himself for Edgar’s amusement. He’s not gonna show himself off like that, like a sorority girl on spring break, like he wants Edgar’s eyes on him.

Edgar already called him a slut, he doesn’t want to prove the bastard right.

Edgar tilts his head. “But you get to set your own pace. You can fuck yourself as hard as you want, for as long as you want. I would have thought you’d find that autonomy appealing.”

I know what you want, Jimmy wishes he could snap back, and it ain’t to do me no favors.

Edgar pushes himself to his feet. He’s watching Jimmy, sharp and calculating, as he sidles closer. Jimmy feels a chill down his bare spine.

The light seems to change as Edgar draws in, to go dimmer. His hand slides into the pocket of his slacks and comes out with the familiar cool edge of a switchblade, its edges nicked from Jimmy’s careless handling over the years. It springs open in his hand. It glints.

“What I think you’re forgetting,” Edgar says, “is that I don’t give a damn what you want.”

Jimmy holds very still. He has a lot of vital parts that he would like to remain where they are.

Edgar cups one hand around the back of Jimmy’s head, and with the other, he pushes the tip of the switchblade into the open circle of the spider gag. It sits, clean and metal tasting, on Jimmy’s tongue. He looks up at Edgar, as saliva drips down the underside of the blade, and for the first time since he hit the floor of the kitchen yesterday, he is overwhelmed with the understanding that Edgar really is not someone to be trifled with. Edgar is ruthless. Edgar is cold, and Edgar does not give a fuck.

And some hungry, hidden, leashed part, some part of Edgar, that part wants Jimmy.

His breath speeds up. He feels dizzy. This is the hardest he’s ever been, with his breath fogging up the blade of his own knife and his hands cinched behind him. He doesn’t even know what he wants, but he wants it.

Finally Edgar pulls back and flicks the blade closed, and pulls Jimmy up by his hair. He shoves him.

Weak-kneed and stumbling, Jimmy approaches the toy. His heart is rattling like a vibrator in his chest. He sinks to his knees. He looks up at Edgar. In the guillotine sharpness of this moment, Edgar watches him, glasses flashing and inscrutable, waiting.

Jimmy lines himself up. There’s a bead of precum dripping from his slit, and he can feel Edgar’s eyes on him even when he twists away.

His body gives way easily. It’s taken way worse punishment than this today, that’s not what makes his throat tighten and choke as he sinks down. It’s Edgar, watching him, watching him spread himself open and submit to this, more naked now than he’s ever been.

He drags himself up. He pushes himself down. His cock sways and bounces between his legs, swollen and vulnerable under Edgar’s gaze. In the harsh overhead lights, he’s opened up like a dissection, like an anatomy study.

The feeling tears him open, infuriates him, makes his breath come out as a moan--he wants Edgar to do this. He wants Edgar to take him and have him, to come inside him, use him and keep him. That’s what he’s hard for. That’s what’s got him by the throat.

Edgar doesn’t look away as Jimmy goes and goes, thighs shaking and lungs burning, all his wants and hungers collapsing into a hazy fog of dissatisfaction. He wants something. Why won’t anyone give it to him?

Long after he’s wilted into incoherency, he’s led up by the chin, cleaned off, and laid down into blessed darkness.

--

The first time Jimmy killed anyone, it was messy and ugly and amateurish, not a clean kill at all. He got in there all high on his own confidence, swaggering and monologuing, and then when the metal hit the bone, he flinched.

Jimmy has spent the better part of his short career as a killer trying to make up for that first damn flinch. All the grit and trash of the world is sweet on his tongue, a gutter vein opened up just for him. He won’t ever flinch again. Whatever he is, it will be unrelenting. When he fucks the world, he’ll do it raw.

Butcher and baker, blacksmith and wife, they all tremble before his blade. If they don’t now, they will soon. Oh yeah, they will soon.

 

Chapter Text

The sound of a knock is both weird and unmistakable. Jimmy wakes, scrubbing sleep out of his eyes, to the sight of Edgar leaning against the wall, the backs of his knuckles resting against the wooden door. Under his argyle sweater, his collarbones are bare.

“Breakfast,” he says, and nods towards the long table.

The light is the same as always, down here under the ground, and Jimmy spends a disoriented second trying to figure out what day it is. Sunday, by now, right? It feels like it’s been ten years, and also like it might have been a couple hours. The days are getting away from him. He rubs his wrists against his forehead, with the dawning realization that he’s been sleeping unwatched all night, apparently. He could have made a break for it. Or at least gotten these damn zips off. 

Of course he was tired.

He picks himself up and makes his way to the table, where there are bright little folded omelets stacked on a plate. He picks one up and eats it in a single bite.

“These n’t half bad,” he says, quickly following it with another.

“My aunt used to make them,” Edgar says, in a way that betrays none of the knife-edge menace of the night before. Actually, he sounds amused.

My aunt didn’t make shit but other people miserable,” Jimmy says, between tiny omelets. “I lived with the bitch for a year and I think I was ready to eat sawdust by the time I got outta there.”

“That bad?”

Jimmy gingerly leans back against the edge of the table, avoiding the screamingly tender area above the thighs. “You wouldn’t believe,” he says. “I thought my dad was a mean old drunk, but that bitch was on another level. You know I came home from school one day and she’d thrown all my clothes out in the yard? I mean like, she straight up tossed the drawers out the window, into the dirt. I was picking my underwear up off the street for an hour.”

“Why on earth would she do that?”

Jimmy looks up. “Are you being sarcastic? Cause I’ve only been awake for five minutes and I can’t handle that shit.”

Edgar furrows his brows. “No,” he says. “I genuinely was asking. It seems like a nasty thing for a woman to do to her dependent, especially a relative.”

“...Oh.” Jimmy pops another half circle into his mouth and wonders why it feels so weird to have someone ask him about his life. Maybe cause nobody ever has before.

“Well she never wanted me there,” he says, at last, setting aside the empty plate. “It was only supposed to be for a week while my dad was out in Vegas picking up his girlfriend, but then the week was up and he just didn’t come back. I was sixteen, I coulda got emancipated I guess, but I didn’t know how and I didn’t have the funds to move out, so I was stuck.”

“Sounds like it.”

Jimmy runs a thumb over his nails, looking for places where the paint has chipped. He hasn’t thought about this in a while. “She was probably looking for something to snort,” Jimmy says, “with the drawers, I mean. She always thought I was on something. Like I had money for that stuff. Anyways, what kind of a sixteen year old has a regular coke dealer?”

“Child stars, perhaps?”

Jimmy grins. He flicks off a chip of paint. “Anyway, the old bitch got what was coming to her. Just like the rest of them.”

“So you do more than stalk and brutalize strangers you meet at gas stations?”

Jimmy glances up. “I’ve got other things on my mind than just you, you know. I’ve got irons in the fire.”

“Apparently.”

Feeling more solid with some food in him, Jimmy gets up from the table. The way Edgar follows the sway of his hips, it’s fucking unlikely that he’s forgotten what happened last night. Jimmy comes across the floor, narrow eyed, naked and uncaring.

“The list of people who’ve crossed me and lived to talk about it,” Jimmy says, “is dwindling fast.

He lifts his bound hands, and he presses one nail into the weave of Edgar’s sweater.

“I never forgive,” he says, “and I never forget.”

Edgar eyes the finger in his chest, and he smiles blandly. “That’s interesting,” he says. “Neither do I.”

--

In a 7/Eleven, on the south side of town, Jimmy met Edgar Vargas for the first time.

He’d been grinding through a massive hangover at the time, with his second cigarette of the morning (it was four in the afternoon) glowing between his lips. He felt like hell. He was pawing through the refrigerated section, looking for a hair of the dog that bit him, as the bell over the door rang.

All they had was beer. And those weird little cups of wine with the tupperware tops, very suspicious, but at least the alcohol content by volume was a little higher. He grabbed two.

He had a shift that night at the loading dock, and he was not about to show up there sober.

He was coming back out of the freezer, a jar of wine in each hand, when he turned and caught sight of the man bent over the edge of the next display, slacks tight over the generous curve of his ass. Whoever he was, he was deep in there, checking expiration dates one by one. One of his legs was slightly bent, giving his whole body a carelessly cocked attitude.

Ash dropped from Jimmy’s cigarette as his mouth went slack. The balls on that guy, bending over like a girl at a carwash in the middle of the fucking juice section. Maybe he was freaky. Those starch collar types are always the freakiest, weekend visits to Madame De Sade and the whole ball-busting scene. When the guy shifted, Jimmy could just make out a shape against his inner thigh that might be a cock.

Jimmy knew what he’d do with an hour to get acquainted with that ass. He could make this little exhibitionist scream.

The man drew back. His posture was unreal, jesus, was he always like that?

He closed the door to the fridge. He turned his head, and he met Jimmy’s eye. The air went tight, like fabric stretched across a chest, straining and breathless.

“You’re not allowed to smoke in here,” he said, giving Jimmy a cool once over. “Put that out.”

And then he went, hips swaying slightly, the plastic bottle of orange juice hung between two fingers. Jimmy burned his hand on the stub of his cigarette, standing there, dumbfounded, like an asshole.

--

With the cockring, the blasted piece of shit, they don’t have to stop for breaks between each near miss. Jimmy disintegrates into a miserable heap within an hour, rutting and wriggling and doing any damn thing he can think of to get some fucking relief.

If only Edgar would just fuck him already. Jimmy thinks he could come from that, from feeling Edgar inside of him, filling him up, getting off in him. If he could just get Edgar to break his cool nothing for a second , Jimmy thinks he could come from that alone.

Thinking about that, thinking about the sounds he could get Edgar to make--

Even with the cockring on, with just the curved vibe hooked inside of him, Jimmy comes. It won't calm his body down, it doesn’t do anything but make his balls ache, but he can feel it squeezing his guts, pulsing in him. He drags in breath like he’s being strangled.

He half expected Edgar to pull out of him, to be surprised or concede defeat or whatever, but the horrible reality is that Edgar only grabs him and shoves in deeper, battering the bundle of nerves inside of him that already feels like it’s wrung out and screaming.

Edgar clicks his tongue. “Look at you,” he says, “all done already?”

Why isn’t he turning it off why isn’t he turning it off

“Bad timing,” Edgar says, leaning in close. “I was going to fuck you soon, but now I guess we’ll have to wait.”

Jimmy doesn’t know if that’s true or not but either way it makes him feel like hell.

--

Over lunch, Jimmy talks a mile a minute. It’s soup today, really fucking good soup, and it leaves him plenty of time to detail the entire process of carving down and drilling out specialty knives from old steel, which is what he does when he’s not actively committing crimes.

“I’d kill for access to a smelting rig,” he says, scooping up an errant noodle with his fingers. “Can you fucking imagine the kinds of shit you could make if you were pouring your own steel?”

Edgar seems to think about this. “I’m imagining lots of vanity holes and squiggly edges.”

“Fuck,” Jimmy sighs, “what I wouldn’t give to make some squiggly edges. Pipe dream, though,” he adds, as he pops a slice of carrot into his mouth. “You’re a really good cook, man. Like, damn.”

Edgar pauses with the spoon in his mouth, like he’s caught off guard. “Thank you,” he says, after a second. “I don’t do it much anymore. It’s no good cooking for one.”

--

Edgar taps his chin, box on his hip. “Have we used the table yet?” he says.

Jimmy makes a peevish noise just to remind him about the gag.

--

“You know, you’re tougher than I thought you would be,” Edgar says.

Horny and hurting and horny because he’s hurting, Jimmy groans.

“That, or you just like torture. Hmm.”

The vibe inside Jimmy and the vibe taped to his cock buzz in completely different patterns, asynchronistic and maddening. There’s an ominous click , and Jimmy howls into the  gag as Edgar ratchets up the settings another level.

“Is that it?” Edgar says. “Do you just like torture?”

--

They stop for dinner around 8 pm, according to Edgar’s trusty watch.

“I’m making chicken,” he says, as the ball gag oozes out of Jimmy’s sore mouth. “Do you have preference between rice and potatoes?”

Jimmy manages to shake his head no , and after that he’s left to his own devices. His hands are behind his back this time, but he makes due. He’s getting real familiar with this room.

God, he thinks, as he rests his hot forehead against the cool television screen, he’s really gotta hand it to Edgar. He is relentless .

--

“So I told them they could go fuck themselves,” Jimmy says, popping a bitesized cut of chicken into his mouth. “And you know what they said?”

“I have no idea,” Edgar replies. There are little sage garnishes on their plates.

“Me neither,” Jimmy says. He sucks cajun flavored juice off his fingers. “I was kinda busy stabbing them.”

--

He’s not gonna beg he’s not gonna beg maybe he wants it but he’s not gonna beg

He’s got one thing left to him in this damn basement and he’s not giving it up

--

Over dinner, which is something green that Jimmy only agrees to eat on the grounds that it is also fried, Jimmy talks about his piece of shit landlord.

“Maybe he’s not my landlord,” Jimmy says, “does it count if he has a landlord too?”

“What do you mean?” Edgar says, as he slides another okra onto Jimmy’s plate. He ain’t sneaky.

“I mean I sublet from him,” Jimmy says, eyeing the new okra with suspicion. “He pays the rent and I pay him. I mean, in theory. Mostly he just takes it out of my ass ‘cause the CD store pays shit.”

Edgar pauses. “Do you mean that he sleeps with you?”

Something about that feels loaded. Jimmy gives him a sidelong glance, trying to figure out where the catch is. “Yeah?”

Edgar’s eyes flash hard and piercing. “Does he make you come, Jimmy?”

Jimmy’s cock twitches against his thigh. “That pig bastard? Yeah right. But it’s whatever, you know? I’m not doing it ‘cause I like it.”

Edgar reaches over, but all he does is lift one of the little fried bites from the plate and push it into Jimmy’s mouth. “Maybe I didn’t even need to wait for you to come to me,” Edgar says, fingertip lingering at the curve of Jimmy’s lip, not quite making contact. “Maybe I could have bought you from the beginning.”

Jimmy rolls his eyes as he chews the thing, which is kind of growing on him, not that he’ll admit it. “I’m not a prostitute ,” he says, when he’s done. “I’m just, like. I’m part of an economy of sex.”

“Do you even know what that means?”

Jimmy scowls at him. “I’m not stupid,” he says. He bats Edgar’s hand away, with both of his. “I’m just trying to survive.”

For a moment Edgar only looks at him, the inscrutable fucker, with his cardigan and his round glasses and his hands which only an hour ago made Jimmy scream. He thinks he’s so cool, doesn’t he. Or even worse--he doesn’t care if he’s cool, and that makes him all the deadlier.

Jimmy’s spent his whole life trying to be cool enough to make people pay attention to him, and then this CPA looking son of a bitch just blows him right out of the water without even trying. It’s infuriating.

Edgar’s gaze falls to the top of Jimmy’s shoulder where, after a moment of confusion, Jimmy remembers that he still has several hickeys fading to sickly green against his collarbone.

“Look at these,” Edgar says, and when his fingers press gently into a bruise it’s the first time he’s ever touched Jimmy during a meal break. The pressure aches, but not so bad.

Jimmy waits for a sign of where this is going. He’d got those from that bastard Richard during the rent transaction and they wouldn’t fucking go away. They just lingered in pinprick blue and watercolor green for fucking ever, because his pasty irish skin wouldn’t give it a rest. Normally Rich wouldn’t bother with that shit, but Jimmy’d had some even older ones on him when the rent came due and that pig bastard must have thought it was funny. He never believed that Jimmy could get laid, with this face, unless it was someone like himself, extracting his money’s worth from a convenient body. He's always real damn clear about that.

Edgar presses harder, and he lifts his other hand to Jimmy’s cheek, knuckles just brushing the skin. Jimmy’s breath seems to kind of fizz in his lungs.

“Aren’t you hard used,” Edgar murmurs.

The hand at Jimmy’s cheek falls away. Edgar takes the plate from his lap and lays it on the floor. The sound of it is soft. Edgar lays the flat of his hand on Jimmy’s chest and pushes him back, to lie on the sheet, and Jimmy goes. Willingly, somehow.

He watches as Edgar comes down to him, the long line of his body sliding along Jimmy’s. Backlit against the overhead light, he is as dark and radiant as he is inescapable. He bends his head, presses his lips to the slight ache of a bruise, and catches the skin in his teeth. He doesn’t bite. Jimmy breathes hard.

There’s the slight wet pressure of tongue, between lips, pushing out like something obscene and secret.

And then he sucks hard, teeth pinning Jimmy in place. He covers each of the old dying bruises with fresh ones, methodically, and then when he’s run out of spots to cover, he noses up into the column of Jimmy’s neck and breathes against it, the hard edge of teeth and the slick plumpness of his tongue just brushing skin.

“Wild thing,” Edgar says, “you wretched street creature. You babylon temple.”

Jimmy twists and arches as Edgar bites down, slowly and mercilessly, over the ragged pulse of his jugular vein.

--

As Jimmy lies there, panting, Edgar gets up. The room feels colder than it did before, although whether that’s because of night falling above them or just some fucked up thing in Jimmy’s head, there’s no way of knowing. But he can feel that it’s gotten late. Even his aching, needy body is heavy with exhaustion. He wishes he could see the sky. The stars. He bets out here in the suburbs you could see some of them.

“You surprise me,” Edgar says, somewhere across the room.

Although it takes more effort than he’d like, Jimmy props himself up and looks. Edgar is at the sink, in the dark, refilling the water bottle.

What the goddamn fuck Jimmy’s done down here in this basement to surprise a guy like Edgar is completely out of his ability to guess.

Edgar comes back, screwing the cap back on, and holds it out to Jimmy. Obviously, it’s drugged. That’s a given. Jimmy takes it anyway.

“Tell me about him,” Edgar says.

Jimmy pauses, his fingers just touching the bottle.

“The one you’re in love with,” Edgar says. “Who is he?”

The bottle crinkles as Jimmy closes his grip around it.

When Jimmy Euridge was born, his mother was too high on painkillers to hold him. She made it through the whole pregnancy sober, or so she said, but the second it was over she hit the morphine pump and never looked back. His birth certificate says Jimmothy , if you can believe that. Within five years she was gone, having put in her prerequisite term of parental labor. About his father, the less said the better. Aunts and cousins, teachers and parents, there was a whole world of people ready to pass Jimmy on like a hot potato when their term of service was up.

Jimmy gave up waiting for someone to love him a long time ago. If you can’t be loved, you can at least be feared.

Jimmy gave up on the whole shtick a long time ago, with one, slight, exception.

“You talked about him last night,” Edgar says, “while I was cleaning you off. Who is he?”

Jimmy takes a swig of the drugged water, slightly salty. “I’m not in love with him,” he says.

“No?” Edgar says.

A view through the window of the CD store, boots flashing their steel tips on the concrete--blood like the surf of the ocean, crashing against the rocks, the arc of steel through the air--I can make you love me, if I can’t be loved I can be feared and if I can’t be feared then I can make you--

“It’s not like that,” he says. “It’s--”

A thousand bloodsoaked lovenotes, unread, a city whose streets are overflowing with them, and Jimmy, alone in the darkness, reaching for the light.

“I’m not the kind of person you can love,” Jimmy says, cap of the bottle against his lips. “All I’m asking for is a little…”

He is passing his hand over all his torrid midnight fantasies, flipping through their pages, the stories he tells himself where he and Johnny are riding by night in a stolen Cadillac with their lips blood-wet and their hands intertwined over the gear shift, where Johnny sees the rotten thing in Jimmy’s heart and lifts it up to the light, blesses it, teaches it to grow.

Of all the dreams dead on the doorstep of his life, this is the one that he can force into becoming.

“Everything would be worth it,” he says, “if I could just show him what he’s made me.”

Edgar settles onto his heels in front of Jimmy, at his feet, crouched like a cat. He touches Jimmy’s cheek for the second time that night, but this time he doesn’t pull away. His palm is warm.

“Loveless thing,” Edgar muses. “You surprise me.”

--

Monday dawns bright and cool over Edgar’s neighborhood, still glittering where the rain in the middle of the night left its memory on windshields and the leaves of ornamental trees. Edgar wakes up five minutes before his alarm and goes about his morning routine in a distracted blur.

He hadn’t expected it to take this long.

During the process of locating and securing sleeping pills and such drugs (“Well if I was a cop I would have to tell you now, wouldn’t I?”) Edgar had laid out several possible endings to this venture. Most likely, he thought, was that Jimmy would make a break for it during the course of the first night, and in the process of the escape, there might well be a physical altercation. A final and irretrievable act of self defense, perhaps. And if not, there was enough horsepower in that little orange bottle to put someone fully and painlessly out of their misery.

If, furthermore, Jimmy proved too overwhelmed or intrigued to make a break for it during the first night, Edgar had been almost certain that the second day would yield the same eventual results. Realistically, he expected to be present for at least a first attempt at escape.

And if Jimmy should manage it in the end, and bloodlessly somehow, well then what of it? He was unlikely to approach the police, with the amount of skeletons hiding in his closet. In a way, this was Edgar’s preferred outcome--a catch and release, sportsmanlike and fair. A bit of a lesson learned.

And if, failing at all of that, Edgar managed to keep his guest in captivity for the fullness of the weekend, he would break the boy in two by the end of it. Vengeance, cold and hot, punishment appropriate to the crime.

Edgar flicks cream from his razor, and he regards himself dispassionately in the mirror.

The hickeys were a step too far. That was sentimental, unnecessary. When the time comes to see this through, how will he do it with the shape of his own mouth black and blue over the boy’s throat?

Edgar fixes himself breakfast. Just himself. Coffee bubbles through the percolator as he throws together some toast and nearly burns it, for the first time in his adult life. At the table, he picks off the blackened edges with a frown. Today he has a meeting with the tech team to discuss the new servers being implemented next month, but he already knows his mind will not be on it.

With the lone dish resting in the rack far behind him, Edgar goes down into the basement. He stands in the doorway. Jimmy’s restless sleeping has tangled the sheet around one of his legs like a figure from a renaissance painting; Hermes, perhaps, thief and liar and swift footed, naked and unashamed.

Edgar crosses the room. He’s got half an hour before he needs to leave for work, but he’s loathe to break this silence. There’s a good chance that Jimmy will try something this morning, while Edgar is away, so to even the odds Edgar needs to switch the bindings to behind his back and do something about the ankles again--he hasn’t bothered with the ankles in quite a while--

Jimmy’s chest rises and falls so slowly, his fingers twitching against the pillow. Edgar meant what he said before, nothing about Jimmy was made for pleasure, but now, like this--

Edgar dips down, and before he can think better of it, he presses his lips to Jimmy’s. It was unkind of him to imply that Jimmy was meant for suffering, although it might be true. He doesn’t know why it matters that he was unkind.

With a little unsure sound, Jimmy comes awake. Edgar pulls back before the film of sleep can fully go from his eyes. There’s so much to do.

“Good morning,” he says, as he gathers up his supplies and begins to sort through them.

Jimmy mumbles something back at him.

Edgar selects the battery vibe and the plug from his collection. It’s going to be a long morning, he should keep Jimmy entertained. He pushes Jimmy’s legs open, to a little fuzzy protest, and presses the vibe into him. The friction is dry, he doesn’t bother slicking up. From the way Jimmy’s body shrinks back at his touch, it probably burns like hell. It’s so sweet, the way that tight little hole gives under him, the way it accepts his demands. Every muscles has learned to obey Edgar’s touch.

“Fff-fuck,” Jimmy says, as his inner walls roll hot over Edgar’s fingers.

Edgar clicks it on, taking in the whole spectacle of Jimmy whimpering and tensing up under the onslaught, not awake enough yet to filter himself. The plug, fresh and shiny and unused, sits on the sheet beside him. On a whim, Edgar picks it up and presses its tapered tip to Jimmy’s parted lips.

Jimmy’s tongue flickers out, testing the nature of the thing, before his eyes even shift down. He squints.

“That’s not a gag,” he says. God bless his stupid morning fugue.

“No,” Edgar says, “it certainly is not. But it’s going in you in a moment, so you’d better give it a suck. Unless you want it to go in dry like the vibrator just did.”

Jimmy looks down at it, and when Edgar pushes it in between his teeth, Jimmy doesn’t spit it out. He closes his lips around it, and in the faint movement of his jaw, Edgar can see that he’s tonguing it, rolling it over in his mouth. His cheek hollows.

Edgar thinks of taking a moment to satisfy himself, but there’s just too little time. He has a meeting at 9.

“Come on,” he says, and pulls it free with a pop, “now that’s just showing off.”

It goes in easier than the vibe, by a little. The round hilt glints between Jimmy’s spread thighs, a minimalist but inescapable reminder of what’s inside of him. Edgar runs his fingers over the circumference, admiring the effect. The cockring slips on with just as little fuss. Then he goes about the cutting and rezipping process, manhandling Jimmy into the correct positions. The boy goes so willingly, so pliant. Maybe it’s the early hour. Edgar’s been letting him sleep in much later the last two days.

Either way, it’s clear he’s not afraid of Edgar. Maybe he never has been.

The tv comes on for him with a burst of static that crawls over its glass screen like insects, tangible and fuzzy to the touch. Edgar loads a video into the VHS player.

“What’s that?” Jimmy manages, lifting  his head from the sheet for a moment.

“You’ve got a long morning ahead of you,” Edgar says, as the video clicks on, “and I don’t want you to get bored without me.”

“You’re,” Jimmy says, tongue flicking over his lips, “going somewhere?”

The tinny built-in speakers of the old television crackle to life with the tape’s first breathy moan. Edgar steps back from it, satisfied that everything is in order, and turns to the door.

“It’s Monday,” he says. “I’ve got other things on my mind than just you, you know.”

--

Naturally, Edgar spends the rest of the morning thinking about Jimmy. The senior member of his tech team is saying something about server space, but Edgar is thinking about his own fist tight around Jimmy’s red cock, the way he must be rutting into the sheets by now, the damp place where the angry tip is weeping against the silk. If Edgar pressed his ear against the boy’s stomach, could he hear the buzzing deep inside of him?

The powerpoint slides come and go, and Edgar looks at them just long enough to keep in mind where he is and what he’s supposed to be doing.

Where must he be in the tape now? It’s a bootleg, spliced together from several other tapes, just the parts that Edgar liked. He’s picky about his pornography. He doesn’t like it when he can tell the actors are phoning it in. There are a few scene on that tape that aren’t even from an adult video store. Scenes from hollywood blockbusters where the light catches someone’s lips just the right way--where someone pulls back, trembling, from the camera.

Edgar is hard, underneath the table, and is very deliberate about putting his files together after the presentation, ensuring that he will be the last one to leave the room. He scolds himself for his unprofessionalism. He has a job to do.

A person fashioned for the sole purpose of suffering, he thinks. To suffer or to inflict suffering, if not one then the other.

When noon comes, Edgar takes his keys from the dish and excuses himself from the office. Home is only a fifteen minute drive away. He might as well see whether the whole episode has broken bad yet or not.

The house is quiet when he unlocks the door. It would be, the basement is very nearly sound proof with all that concrete. Still, nothing looks smashed or broken up here on the main level. Edgar does a quick and cursory circling of the exits, fully aware that his house may not be empty even if Jimmy is out. But it’s all silent. Nothing is disturbed. It’s a different sort of silence from the silence of Friday afternoon.

He doesn’t expect the lock on the door down there to give easily, but still, he could have been more thorough. Chains and injuries, a more spartan room, a more solid set of locks on the door. He’s left myriad holes in his plans, partly from the limited amount of time he had to prepare, and partly because--because he doesn’t like those things, the ugly reminders.

He wanted this to be clean and pure, a penance exacted on its own terms.

He goes down the stairs. In the dark, his heart gives the smallest lurch. What if Jimmy didn’t even bother staying long enough to have his revenge?

What will he do if Jimmy is just gone?

He pauses at the heavy door to the basement apartment, a hand on the cool wood. He can’t hear the murmur of the television, but that’s probably just because the tape is finished. What will he do if it’s over, just like that, and he doesn’t even have the chance to see the boy go?

He pushes open the door. Inside the light is the same as it always is, yellow and dim, and the television fizzles mutely on the floor, and on the bed, the terrible beautiful vision--

Jimmy’s breath hitches. With his chest against the sheets, his hips spread so wide that his cock is flush against the mattress, he whips his head around to get a look at Edgar. He licks his shining lips.

“Well,” Edgar says, as he tugs his tie loose, “what a warm welcome.”

--

Jimmy made it through the whole morning just fine , thank you, although the video is kind of mesmerizing. Is this what Edgar likes? It reads almost like a hypersexual art film, although not the trippy weird ones that Jimmy sometimes likes to catch at the indie theater. It’s a lot of scenes with men and women, and at first he thought maybe Edgar must like women, maybe that’s why he won’t fuck Jimmy, but then he started noticing how they’re all these particular kinds of moments where, like, maybe someone is being held and shaken, looking away from the camera. Is that Casablanca? What the hell?

So now he’s not sure about anything.

Without Edgar’s tyrannical hands all over him, Jimmy comes three times. He ruts messily through the second and into the third, hellbent on getting some satisfaction, until his cock is too raw from the drag of silk to bear anymore. And then he is left throbbing and heavy and useless with the stupid vibe driving him absolutely crazy. All the cum that his body hasn’t been able to get out is oozing slowly from him, making the already rumbled sheets sticky under him. His thighs twitch miserably.

He wants someone to fuck him. God damn this fucking vibrator and this fucking plug, he wants someone to bury their dick in him and fill him up and give it to him hard. To hell with this relentless teasing. He is wallowing in his own post-orgasmic misery when Edgar opens the door and pulls his tie loose.

Edgar comes through the basement like he’s checking the progress on a prize animal or something, testing the hardness of Jimmy’s cock ( christ!) and gently squeezing his balls, running his hands over Jimmy’s ass, and Jimmy has to sink his teeth into his lip to keep from just out and out begging.

He’s got one damn thing in this place and he’s not gonna give it up, no matter how bad he wants to-

Finally, thank god, Edgar turns off the vibrator. He doesn’t cut Jimmy loose, or take out any of the sadistic bits and pieces, but he does help Jimmy sit up.

“How are you feeling?” Edgar asks him, absently kneading his balls like that isn’t going to change the answer. Jimmy winces and wriggles, but he can’t shake that grip. Maybe he’s not trying that hard. It kinda feels good. He’s at a point where everything kinda feels good.

“Hungry?” Jimmy tries, although he’s more horny than hungry.

“Sorry, I’m afraid we’re short on time today. We’ll have dinner, when I get back.”

“When you get back,” Jimmy repeats, like a dumbass.

“After five. I need to make a grocery run. Around six. You can last that long, can’t you?”

Jimmy sneers at him. “Yeah, I think I’ll fucking manage.”

“Good boy,” Edgar says, and pats his cheek.  

Jimmy snarls and snaps at him but Edgar only squeezes him tighter, until he can’t stand it anymore and has to give it up. The hand on his shoulder isn’t that tight, but it’s inescapable.

“How did you like the movie?” Edgar asks him.

So Jimmy tells him, and Edgar listens, and then Edgar thanks him for the Colorful Feedback, and Edgar pushes the gag into Jimmy’s mouth. In the muffled rage that follows, Edgar leaves. The bad news is, he turns the vibe back on before he goes.

Jimmy sits there, kneeling and slumped, and he does not wish he’d just begged for it when he had the chance. He can handle this. He’s got it.

--

Jimmy does not got it.

The fucking truth of it is that he could handle all this when Edgar was with him, close over him, paying attention to him--lavishing gentle cruelty all over Jimmy like a real lover almost, listening for the sound of his every whine.

Now that he’s alone, he feels like he’s going to die.

He plays the memory of Edgar’s hands over and over, the way they slide over and into him. That slow fingerfucking the first night, like they had all the time in the world, like Edgar was trying to savor him. That’s the closest Edgar has been to being inside of him, and he’s thirsty for it now, for all of it that he can get.

He feels like a desert where the rain has fallen for the first time in years, and he is crying out for more but only the cracking heat of the sun answers him. Blooming cactuses, he thinks in a miserable haze, flowers in the desert. He wants to be touched.

Five hours is such a goddamn long time. Small mercy: the battery dies inside of him at some point.

When he hears steps on the stair, he almost tumbles off the bed. It takes him a second to wriggle back up to sitting position, but it feels like he’s racing the clock. He watches the door, wide-eyed, his heart kicking against his ribcage. The world narrows down to just that sound, to just the dull white pane of the wooden door.

The door creaks open. Edgar, in the middle of ducking through, catches Jimmy’s eye, and stops altogether.

They stare at each other.

Slowly, Jimmy rolls his shoulders back. He pushes his chest forward, turns his face away. Lifts his chin.

“Oh,” Edgar says. He sets whatever bag he was holding down by the door and forgets it immediately. He comes across the floor, Jimmy watches out the corner of his eye, the toes of his dress shoes sliding silently over the carpet.

Jimmy’s pulse is hot in his throat, but he fights a shiver. With the damn gag he doesn’t know how else to make himself clear. He just has to wait.

“What is this?” Edgar asks, although it’s soft enough that he might be thinking out loud. Edgar touches him, but it’s only a palm to his sternum. When he glances up, Edgar is looking down at him with a hard, thoughtful expression. Whatever he’s thinking about, it’s really giving him some trouble.

Jimmy arches up into his touch, makes a pleading little sound. He doesn’t know how much clearer he can be.

Edgar draws back his hand. He makes a decision. With a quick flick and snap, he cuts the ankle restraints. The knife sits forgotten in his grip, as he takes Jimmy’s face in both hands and holds it.

“Do you want me to do it?” he says.

Jimmy digs his heels into the mattress and parts his thighs, bares himself, unable to do anything else. His heavy cock bobs, the delicate head wet and swollen.

Edgar makes a sound. It’s only a little sound, as faint at the wind in the park, but it makes Jimmy’s frantic heart stutter. He’s never gotten a sound out of Edgar before. He can’t believe this is what it took.

“Hold still,” Edgar says, and then moves quickly through the room, gathering up his things.

Jimmy does hold still, air shaking in and out of his lungs, watching Edgar go. For once he’s glad about the gag, although it is making this more difficult--if he could talk he doesn’t know how he would answer the inevitable question. He’d embarrass himself, he bets. Say something dumb and transparent. He just wants to be fucked like a--like an animal, like Edgar seems to wanna make him, hard and heavy, on his knees.

Edgar comes back with just the lube. None of the sadistic bits and bobs. He sets the bottle down on the sheet and reaches for Jimmy, cups his hand around the back of his head and lowers him back onto the bed, like the effort is nothing.

“Gorgeous,” Edgar says, when he has Jimmy all laid out the way he wants, arms pinned under his back. Jimmy widens his eyes.

“Willing is a good look on you,” Edgar tells him, running his hands whisper light up Jimmy’s side. “I’m so grateful to be able to see it.”

His touch is supreme relief, balm on the whole raw hunger of the dragging day, and Jimmy does what little he can to make himself available to it. He pushes up into it, opens himself. Edgar caresses all the taut panes of his stomach and chest, squeezing the spare flesh, heel and palm, kneading whatever he likes.

He’s not naked though, still, and that’s irritating. Jimmy pokes a toe through a belt loop and tugs pointedly, hoping to get the message across.

Edgar looks down, in the middle of groping Jimmy’s chest like he’s got tits, and makes a thoughtful noise. “Hm,” he says. “Fair point.”

The tie comes off first. Then the line of little white buttons, the sleeves undone and shucked, and then oh so neatly, the slacks peel right off. Jimmy makes a sharp little I knew it noise into the gag, as the bare skin of Edgar’s hips comes into view. He called it in the damn 7/Eleven, there’s nothing under there but dick. That fucking bitch.

When Edgar’s done away with the last of his clothing, he pushes his glasses back up on his nose and turns to Jimmy. “You should be able to change your mind,” he says, and reaches under Jimmy’s head to unlock the gag.

Jimmy watches it go with a little trepidation. Without it he feels weirdly more naked, like he’s under a spotlight.

Edgar comes down to him, settling back in. He dips in close, and he takes Jimmy’s nipple in his mouth. It’s like a static shock, Jimmy flinches, as the rough-soft flat of tongue rolls over the hard tip. Edgar sucks gently, worrying it with his teeth, and it’s such a little thing but it goes right to Jimmy’s dick.

“Mmph,” he says, and remembers belatedly that his mouth is free.

Edgar pauses, the nipple slipping shiny and swollen from his mouth, and looks up over the top of his glasses. “Do you like that?” he says.

Jimmy looks anywhere else. “I guess,” he says.

Edgar lays his head against Jimmy’s chest and toys with the dark peak, petting it with the pad of a finger. “What do you like, Jimmy. Tell me about it.”

His skin feels like it’s sizzling under Edgar’s touch. “What do you care,” Jimmy says, trying not to wriggle.

“I can’t help you unless you tell me,” Edgar points out.

“You want me to tell you ,” Jimmy says, letting everything that Edgar is hang between them unspoken, “exactly what makes me tick?”

“It’s true,” Edgar says, “that’s a conundrum. Maybe I’ll use it against you. Maybe not.” He pinches the peak and rolls it, just hard enough to hurt, just hard enough to make Jimmy want more.

He works his way up Jimmy’s chest with his mouth and his teeth, up to the clavicle, and lays kisses there soft enough to make the skin tingle.

“Ask me for it,” Edgar says, against Jimmy’s neck. He rolls that same abused nipple hard between his fingers.

Jimmy hisses. “I think I already made it pretty fucking clear-”

“With your words,” Edgar says, like a fucking school teacher.

Jimmy shifts his thigh against Edgar’s cock, the swell growing in size as it grows harder, already plenty substantial. “You’re gonna act like you’re doing me a favor?” Jimmy says.

Edgar hums. His teeth almost close over Jimmy’s adams apple, and for a second he feels like a deer the moment before the wolf tears its throat out. The grip is as delicate as it is deadly.

“Beg me for it.”

Jimmy swears under his breath, but he’s too deep in now to pull back. “Fuck me,” he says. “I want you to.”

“That’s not begging,” Edgar says.

Jimmy tips his head back and stares at the ceiling. He can’t do this with Edgar watching him, looking up at him from the hollow of his throat. “Do it to me,” he says, “please.”

“Better,” Edgar says.

It takes Edgar a moment to retrieve the toys he left inside of Jimmy, who winces and whines at the mixed sensation as they come out.

“You’re not gonna do this dry are you?” Jimmy says, one eye winced shut.

Edgar spares him a glance, as he places the vibe back in the box. “Do you want me to?”

Actually, the idea makes his dick kind of twitch with the brutal callousness of it. But he knows he can’t handle that, maybe on a good day but not after everything he’s been through, and not with a dick like Edgar’s. It’s a hell of a piece, at its full length, enough to make your mouth water.

He shakes his head. Edgar makes a little “Ah,” and goes for the lube. Edgar’s touch is gentle and slick against his oversensitive insides, and he doesn’t need much of anything in the way of prep after having the plug in all day, but Edgar doesn’t seem to care.

“You don’t have to-” Jimmy says, “-do that, I’m fine.”

“I want to,” Edgar says, like it’s obvious. “I like the way you look when I’m touching you.”

What the fuck that’s supposed to mean-

Edgar must notice the look on his face, whatever it is, because he twists his wrist sharply and while Jimmy is digging heels into his back, he says, “Do you always open yourself up like this, when someone violates you?”

Jimmy’s teeth click together as he snaps his mouth shut.

“That’s alright,” Edgar says. He pulls free and looks up at Jimmy, glasses flashing. “You don’t have to tell me. I can see it in the way you move.”

When Edgar thrusts into him, he doesn’t stop until he’s hilt-deep inside. It’s a long, slow grind, not at all the kind of thing Jimmy’s used to, that Jimmy imagined. He’d been picturing something fast and hard. Something out of a violent pornography, where he’s used like a dishrag and dropped, leaking cum, back onto the sheets. Edgar is his captor, Edgar’s got Jimmy at his mercy, why should Edgar put off getting his now that he’s made it this far?

And Jimmy was ready to take it too, because he’s taken that kind of thing before from guys who didn’t make him half as hard as Edgar does.

But Edgar is as slow as he is relentless, running his hands over Jimmy’s sides, mouthing at the little sore spots along his collar bone. When he pulls back and holds Jimmy’s hips, he surges up like the tide, something that no one can rush and no one can hold back. One of his hands comes to rest on the edge of the cock ring.

"Gffk," Jimmy says, like that means something.

"You didn't ask me to take it off," Edgar says, breathy as he rolls himself against the vice of Jimmy's body. 

Jimmy cracks one eye open. "Would you--would you do it?"

"I don't know," Edgar says, and his voice is as serene as a dream, absent and unhurried. "You're so sweet when you're suffering. Can you make it worth my while?"

Jimmy's thighs tighten around Edgar's sides, involuntarily, everything between them pulsing with desire. "What the fuck else do you want from me?" he says. "I don't--I got nothin else to give you--"

"You don't?" Edgar breathes. "Have I taken everything?"

"This is all I," Jimmy says, "all I had left-"

Edgar sighs, shaky, almost like a shiver is passing through him. His nails with their blunt filed edges, too short to cut, dig so hard into Jimmy's ass that bruises break and swim underneath them. 

"Alright," Edgar says, "alright. I won’t touch you, but I could take it off.”

Jimmy doesn’t have to think twice. “Holy god shit yes, do it.”

Edgar makes a little sound, almost like he’s laughing, and obliges. The relief just about overwhelms.

Jimmy’s been through a lot over this hell weekend, but none of it quite like this: the warm, thick glide of cock filling him up; the sound of Edgar’s breath getting sharper and sharper, the way he moans low in his throat when he sees Jimmy trying to pull him in deeper; the glinting bridge of Edgar’s glasses slipping down his nose.

If he could get his goddamn hands free he wouldn’t even bother jerking off. He’d just dig his nails into Edgar’s spine and rip him open, make him bleed, make him scream.

He wants to see this man come apart. He wants to see that bare second in the middle of orgasm when everything he is breaks.

He wants to be the one who made it happen.

--

Tuesday morning Edgar actually does bring him breakfast. They sit on the edge of the bed and eat toast together, while Jimmy tells him about the one manager at the CD store who slept with the only female employee and got his ass whooped by the other manager, who had his own eye on her, and how in the middle of all this she made off with the whole contents of the cash register and never came back. She’s Jimmy’s current hero, after Johnny, of course.

That day Edgar leaves Jimmy’s hands zipped in front of him and his ankles free, and he leaves another tape on the table without really saying anything about it. After an hour of wondering, Jimmy finally just puts the thing into the VCR.

It’s some weird old movie from the sixties, maybe, where the guy dies at the end. It’s ugly and claustrophobic, but it’s weirdly real. Despite the title, it's got nothing to do with cowboys. He watches it with morbid fascination, the whole gritty downward spiral, the train ride to nowhere. It’s not sexy. It’s just a long thought, black and white, rolling down the line to disappear into midnight. He thinks about it for a long time after it ends. When Edgar comes home, he wants to talk about it.

Tuesday night Jimmy lets Edgar fuck him again, and when he gets his hands around Edgar’s neck he digs in with his nails until blood comes, and the sound that Edgar makes is as sweet as he ever imagined.

Wednesday Edgar wakes him by sucking his cock, leaving lingering hot stripes with his open mouth, something only one other person has ever done to him before and it was nothing like this, not like this scorching slow sweetness. He feels as if he is dissolving under it.

Edgar leaves him a couple tapes. One of them is Clockwork Orange, which Jimmy loves the shit out of already, and the other one is some weird teen movie about blowing up a school which he does not like, because the smart kid in that cast doesn’t even come out on top. They talk late in the evening, in a sweating heap, and for the first time Edgar takes off his glasses as he lays his head on Jimmy's chest. Tiny red mark sit on either side of his nose. In the one remaining light pouring out of the en-suite bathroom, the thin gold frames glow.  

Thursday morning Edgar does not wake him. Thursday morning he wakes up all on his own, sprawled over the bed, and--as he sleepily rubs grime from his eyes--realizes that his hands are unbound.

--

It is bright and clear as Thursday goes by, a true spring day. Edgar stops by the break room around noon and makes small talk with Debbie from Implementations as he fixes himself a salad. She is flipping through a travel brochure her husband left in her bag, she wants his opinion on Paris vs Venice for a second honeymoon. Under her fingers, the Eiffel tower and the Pons des art make their sundrenched springtime promises. She makes a sly comment about the dark mark on his throat that his collar doesn’t quite cover. He touches his hand to it, but says nothing.

Those servers all need to be Ok-ed before they can move forward on the switch over, so he spends most of his afternoon doing that. He opens a window so he can hear a bird that lingers for a while over the parking lot. His boss Sandra wants to know what their timeline is on the installation, and he resigns himself to talking her through it like a child for an hour, since she refuses to understand anything he tells her unless he tells it excruciating minute detail.

“I don’t like the timing,” she says, as he sorts his folders, trying to demonstrate with body language that he’s ready for her to go. “Can’t we put it off for another couple weeks?”

Edgar slides a folder into his cabinet. “We’re in too deep,” he says. “It has to be now.”

“At least another couple of days-”

“It’ll be too late then,” he says. “It’s all gotten out of control.”

“What?” she says. “What has?”

Edgar pauses, his finger on the spine of a worn paper folder. “I’m sorry,” he says. “No, that didn’t come out the way I meant it to.”

There are locks that hang from the fence along a bridge in Paris, hundreds and hundreds of locks along the Pont des Art hung by lovers, glinting and tarnished above the slow water. What are they locking in, on that fence to nothing, along that Parisian bridge?

Something about the way he looks up at her puts her off like his heavy-handed silent dismissals never do. She takes a step back, her hand on the door, discomfort in every line of her body, and excuses herself to some meeting which--if it exists--she is well late for already. Edgar watches the empty doorway for a long moment. And then he returns to his work.

Locks along a bridge. Keys in the river. If they dredged that river and opened all those locks again, what would they open upon?

Edgar Vargas lives a simple life. He makes good money, he tithes appropriately, and he pays his taxes. If he dreams of a future, it is with the vague consideration of a man flipping through brochures in a hotel waiting room, doubting that he will ever go to any of these places but willing to admit that they exist. He is good because he has carefully considered his alternatives, selected his options, and committed himself to his selection. He has always thought himself as much capable of evil as good, which satisfies him, because it means that his choice has a significance of some kind.

A week has come and gone, and he is no longer certain of anything. If he waits any longer, he fears that he will lose the thread. 

He drives home with the radio on, but he doesn't hear it. "Your big empty house," Jimmy said. "Your phony bullshit," Jimmy said.

Although he knows better than to take that sort of Holden Caulfield rhetoric without a grain of salt, more and more as this week goes by, he is losing his grip on his goals. He has rarely ever been reluctant to leave his home in the mornings. He has never particularly longed to come home from work, in all the years that he has worked--first one job and then another, neither particularly important to him. He has simply gone home when the time came to go home. If Edgar was someone who considered his life an irreplaceable commodity, he would never have tried to capture and keep the creature that stalked him through the city. 

Last night they talked about Clockwork Orange for so long that Edgar forgot everything except for the sound of Jimmy's voice, the soft creak of the mattress as he almost bounced in his enthusiasm to talk about the inevitability of violence, the mundane horror of simply being a human with human desires. We grow up, the film proposes, and we become good members of society not because we are better people than we were as bloodthirsty children, but because that way of living no longer provides for us. Jimmy's eyes light up as Edgar tells him about the novel, about the careless cruelties that may or may not remain below the surface of the Cured villain-hero. His eyes glitter. Even now, as Edgar flicks on his left turn signal, those eyes are glittering. 

It's all gotten out of control. This will be the end of it, however it ends. If he dares to imagine Jimmy can pardon him for the liberties he's taken, then there will be only silence. If not, then it will be what it will be.  

This was not what he set out to do, he thinks, as he jerks on the parking brake in the safety of his own driveway. Unfortunately, he no longer remembers what he set out to do.

In the silence of his house he does not circle the doors. He does not search the floor for broken glass. In the silence of his house, Edgar goes to the kitchen and makes himself a drink--vodka and orange juice, to cover a multitude of sins.

He lifts the glass to his lips.

"You drug that one too," a voice says, "or d'you just save that for guests?"

Edgar looks up.  

On the couch, with a stack of VHS tapes overflowing from his lap, Jimmy is dressed in a pair of Edgar's flannel pajama pants. In his hand is a copy of The Shining. "This is a bullshit horror movie," he says, waving it irritably, "it's just two fuckin hours of hallways. How is this the only horror movie you own?"

The glass slips out of Edgar's hand and cracks on the counter, spilling juice and alcohol over the clean white tile top.

Jimmy eyes him. His hair is wet, it shines slightly in the light of the window when he moves. He went upstairs and took a shower in Edgar's room, and then put on Edgar's clothes, and came back down here and went through his tapes. 

"You've at least gotta buy a copy of Scream," he says, returning to his search with a sniff. "It's gotta be out on video by now."

"Do I?" Edgar says.

"Yeah, it's great, I laughed like the whole way through. Christ, what is this bullshit? Come over here and tell me what movie this is, I can't read the label."

"That's porn," Edgar says. Juice drips from the edge of the counter, one tiny bead at a time.

"No duh, it's porn," Jimmy says, "I wanna know if it's a good one. Whatever you cut that clip from with the couch and the big window? I wanna try that. Need another look at it."

Slowly, Edgar reaches for a dish towel. He lays it across the orange-soaked counter and comes across the floor of the living room, one step at a time. As he reaches the back of the couch Jimmy sits on, Jimmy reaches back over his shoulder blindly and hooks a finger under Edgar's tie. He pulls him down, to look over his shoulder, and he says, "Is that the title or what?"

He smells like Edgar's shampoo, like green things and lightning. His shoulder is black and blue with the memory of Edgar's teeth, the methodical markings, the fantasy of ownership over something he should never have wanted to own.

"That's not the one you're looking for," Edgar says, hearing himself as if from a great distance. "This is the one with the threesome."

 --

There's a word for the opposite of Stockholm Syndrome, and by the end of Blade Runner, Edgar has remembered that it's called Lima Syndrome but not actually what the diagnosis entails. He is thinking about locks on a bridge as Jimmy sits curled against his chest, drinking a screwdriver that is more than 40% alcohol. He is thinking about what those Parisian tourists are trying to lock in.

The moment that he saw Jimmy in the park, the whole picture of him for the first time after days of half-glimpses, it was because Jimmy dropped his guard for the space of a heartbeat. Edgar was eating lunch on a park bench, watching the clouds move across the sky, and when he happened to glance down, there it was--

Across the dusty parking lot, between the lime-pale cars, Jimmy was reaching up for something caught in a tree branch. The wind-whipped sun was flashing in the sky, casting all of them in a flicker of unearthly light, the dozens of faceless bystanders and Jimmy, stark and strange and pretty-ugly in the middle of it. All of him was thrown forward, toe-tips and fingertips, his lip caught between his teeth as he stretched up like a child for something just beyond the brush of his hand. Whatever it was, it glinted in the light. Some magpie treasure, maybe, a bird's prize that proved too heavy to keep. Something insignificant and useless, almost certainly, but there was Jimmy straining up to reach it like it was the most important thing in the world, like if he could just get his fingers around it, everything else would fall into place.

A key maybe. Edgar might believe that it was a key.

Sometime around midnight, Jimmy cracks his neck, stretches, and then remarks to the room at large that he's crashing. He picks himself up and he makes a line for the hall to Edgar's bedroom, where the door is cracked invitingly. He pauses at the edge of the hall, casts a pointed glance back over his shoulder, and disappears around the corner. 

Beyond the window, which Edgar forgets to draw curtains over, the hitch and murmur of breathing is most likely not audible.

-- 

Big empty house in the suburbs--trees that flower in the spring--quiet evil like a stream that runs beneath the ground--

There are all sorts of things that hide behind the windows of stranger's homes. There are glass bottles shattered against the walls, Jack Daniels running down the peeling wallpaper, angry children who never bruise and never hide but learn how to take their licks all the same.

There are happy families. There are silent dinners in which no one speaks, because happy families are not always happy when the shades are drawn but they are always, at least, silent. There are boys who walk along the sweet spot in the floorboard to reach the midnight kitchen, ears pricked for the sound of trouble at all times. 

There are dramas unfolding at all hours of the day, and they are terrible, but they are at least self contained. 

Behind the glass of another window somewhere in the world, Edgar hangs his keys up on the coat rack. Before the jingle has even died, Jimmy swings right past him and plucks them off the hook.  

"Can you give me lift? I gotta pick up my stuff from the apartment before Rich hocks it for weed money." 

Edgar pauses. His keys hang in the dim afternoon like slivers of sunlight between them, swaying ever so slightly. "Sure," Edgar says.

Jimmy catches him by the tie and pulls him close, even as he dangles the keys over his open palm. "You gotta change out of that first," he says, giving Edgar's whole up and down a disapproving onceover. "Put on one of those dumb sweaters or something, just get this thing off your neck."

"Jimmy, we've been over this, I can't just not wear a tie to work-"

"I followed you for two weeks, babe, you definitely can. Those other pencilnecks do it all the time."

Edgar allows himself to be talked into changing mostly because he doesn't actually enjoy wearing his work clothes. He is thinking hard, but he is keeping it to himself. He grabs Jimmy a t-shirt from the little pile of things Jimmy has deemed acceptable for himself to wear and brings it back, and they go, out into the daylight and the smell of exhaust fumes from his car not even begun to cool down after the last drive. 

Downtown isn't that far from his neighborhood. The city always seems to be growing, swallowing up the surrounding country year by year. They're going in the opposite direction of most traffic at this point, so it's a quick ride. Jimmy talks the whole way, toying with the switchblade that Edgar quietly left out on the table the day after Blade Runner, the better part of a week ago now. The tip of the knife presses a divot into Jimmy's fingertip, not quite hard enough to draw blood. 

"Do you want to stop by your job?" Edgar asks him, at a red light, as Jimmy flips off the car in front of them on Edgar's behalf.  

"Shit," Jimmy says. "I forgot to pick up the schedule. They probably think I'm dead by now."

The sunlight coming in sideways through the passenger window lights up Jimmy's skin--translucent, red like a flashlight pressed to a child's palm, dotted with acne and flecked with freckles, all his odd and ungainly angles glowing. He's probably thinking about his jobs, whether he still has either of them

"You gonna make me pay rent?" he says, watching the blade dig into his fingertip, a grin on his lips that is all teeth and unhappy memories. 

Edgar has to look away when the traffic light changes. This is the first time they've come close to talking about what they are now, what they are becoming. Each day that goes by where Jimmy doesn't leave, he wonders. He thinks he knows enough about Jimmy to say that Jimmy doesn't bother asking for things anymore. He's never had a place in his life where he was welcomed. When Jimmy wants something, he takes it.

"I have the mortgage under control," Edgar says, as he pumps the gas. "You should buy your own food, though, and if you're going to be making tools it would help to have the money to purchase supplies."

He can feel Jimmy looking at him. 

"Which turn is yours?" he says, gesturing to the forking path in the street ahead. 

Jimmy's apartment is a wreck of a place, which probably hasn't seen hide or hair of the landlord since it was bought. Jimmy swings up out of the car and doesn't wait for Edgar--whether he expects Edgar to wait for him or not doesn't matter, because Edgar has already committed to going along. He follows Jimmy up the stairwell, a few steps behind, stepping over the jumbled remains of old cans wired into a poor man's intruder alarm.

The door swings open on a living room whose primary aspect is 'grey'--from the threadbare sunken sofa to the cast of the air escaping dry lips, the light filtering in through the grimy windows. In their circle on the floor around some specific glassware that Edgar absolutely recognizes from the four years he spent in college dorms, at least two young men throw themselves backwards, cursing and scattering across the floor.

"Can it you wastoid fucks," Jimmy says, coming through the chaos like a truck ramming through a roadblock, "it's just me. I'm back."

One of the smokers, unworried and holding an actual joint to his lips as well as the other business, eyes Jimmy lazily. "You were gone?" he says.

Edgar narrows his eyes, leaning a hip against the door frame. "He was gone for two weeks," Edgar says.

That one looks back at him. His nose ring curves through the septum, but he has more of the weasel than the bull about him all in all. "Shut the door already," he says, "you're gonna get the cops called on us."

"Nobody in this complex gives a shit what you're smoking, Rich," Jimmy says, and kicks the door to his room closed behind him.

In the ensuing silence, order starts to slink back into the upset. Edgar pins the young man with an appraisal that clocks every single wrinkle and button of his long-legged person. He's about as big as Jimmy, maybe a little thicker around the middle. Weak arms. Weak chin. Edgar draws the door closed against his shoulder and leans back. 

"You're Rich?"

"Yeah?" Rich says, "And who're you?" 

Edgar says nothing. He's decided that the less these people know about him, the better his options will be.

Rich squints lazily at him. "You his john or something?" he says, blowing acrid smoke. "Hope you didn't get overcharged on that one, he's a slutty fuck, he'd probably blow you for free."

"He was gone for two weeks," Edgar says. "You didn't think something strange might be happening?"

Rich scoffs around a throat full of phlegm and smoke, coughs a bit into his curled fist, and settles back. "Rent ain't due til the first," he says. He gives Edgar a newly speculative look. "Should I up his share?" he says. "Could be good for both of us, tighten the screws a little."  

Edgar thinks that if he ever so much as hears of Rich laying a finger on Jimmy's person again, he will take decisive measures. Edgar thinks that he might remove those fingers personally. Edgar thinks that he still has a little orange bottle full of enough sleeping pills to put someone out of the world's misery once and for all, and possibly to have a little time in the middle to get creative.

"Do you have family in the city?" Edgar asks him. 

"Uh," Rich says, scowling. "No? Who the fuck is asking?"

"My mistake," Edgar says. "When you go missing, I hope someone is kind enough to give them a call on your behalf."

"What?" Rich says, just as Jimmy comes out of his room dragging an oversized trash bag along the ground. Edgar wonders why he had that on hand. Edgar draws his own gruesome conclusions, and stops wondering. In his other hand, Jimmy has a small suitcase covered in band stickers.

"Everything else is shit," he says, heaving the bag over a pair of sneaker abandoned in the hall. "Forget it."

"Do you want a hand?" Edgar says, lifting a brow.

Rich squints at the bag as it passes him by, all shiny and bulging. "Are you moving out or something, fruitcup?"

Jimmy jerks the bag and knocks over the bong, spilling filthy water all over the grey carpet. Various other boys swear at him and fumble with the fallen glass. 

Edgar takes the little suitcase, a heavy thing, as Jimmy heaves the trash bag up into his arms. He's surprised that Jimmy isn't saying anything back, he's never struck Edgar as being the type to hold his tongue.

Is it possible--maybe he isn't sure where they stand either? Edgar wonders if... Edgar wonders if Jimmy might have thought his gesture of freedom amounted to disinterest. Edgar wonders if Jimmy believes he is now carving out a place for himself from ambivalent rock. Just the way he always has.

"C'mon," Jimmy says, "lets ditch this hellhole."  

"With pleasure," Edgar murmurs. In the hallway Jimmy kicks at the cans they pass, launching one of them straight across the landing and into the far wall. A ragged cat in the window flicks its ear, but doesn't rouse. 

Edgar watches Jimmy out of the corner of his eye, as they descend. Edgar had looked at him that night as well, the night before he unlocked the basement door, and he had understood then. He couldn't keep the boy captive. Having that in his hands, having everything that Jimmy is and was at the beck of his blackest whim, was a depth from which there would be no rising. It would eat him. It would dissolve him one bruising kiss at a time, because he was weak to the way Jimmy begged for his touch, because he was weak to the warmth of a human body and the snide whip of a human mouth, and because he wanted. There was nothing clean about this.

As Jimmy takes the stairs, a little sideways because of the burden in his arms, the collar of his borrowed shirt shifts over his bruised shoulders. Each black mark in the shape of Edgar's mouth, new and old, evidence of a hunger that it would be pointless to deny now. 

Make me your home, Edgar thinks. Whatever ugly thing you are, lick the flesh from my bones and make a home for it inside of me.

On the landing, Edgar pauses with his hand to the door, palm flat against the ancient wood, and he turns back to Jimmy. 

"Would you like to kill your landlord?" he asks.

Jimmy looks at him. His eyes are almost luminescent in the light that throws itself over him, the lowering sun that manages to hit the window just right.

"God," he breathes, "would I ever."

Edgar pushes on the door, and the evening breaks over them in sweet motes of glowing dust. 

Chapter Text

“Alright,” Jimmy says, hopping up to sit on the counter as if he is an item about to be rung up, “Raven’s cigarette break is up in five minutes, and then it’s open season.”

Edgar steps closer, coming to a stop between Jimmy’s knees, his arms loose crossed over his chest. Underneath Jimmy’s thigh, countless lottery tickets are laminated and peeling at their edge. Get Lucky, they entreat. Jimmy’s hand comes down to cover the words as he leans back.

“The company you keep,” Edgar murmurs, eyeing the barred windows and the softcore covers not quite hidden behind the cash register.

“Don’t even pretend to complain,” Jimmy says, “you snobby fucker.”

There’s a growing hum from one of the machines along the wall, the spinning and cooling all coming out in a low insistent whine. As Edgar shifts, cocking a hip, the loose drape of his slacks whisper over his skin. He ignores the low buzz building at the crux of his thighs. 

Jimmy watches the whole shift and angle of his hips with hungry eyes.

“Gimme your hands,” he says.

“Why?” Edgar says.

Jimmy shoves a hand into his pocket and drags out the tight coil of a zip tie, binder-clipped closed. Edgar’s zip tie, Edgar’s binder clip. The odd juxtaposition of his carefully collected supplies and Jimmy’s everything for a minute actually does not compute. Edgar blinks at the thing in front of his face.

“Surprise,” Jimmy says, “I know where you keep ‘em.”

Faintly white and clamped down tight, it almost glows with the light from the window.

“Gimme your hands,” Jimmy says again,

Edgar gives him a sideways look. “Make me,” he says.

In the same moment that Jimmy pulls Edgar against the counter, his fingers squeezing Edgar’s ass through his slacks, the door to the back room swings open. Raven, all glinting nose ring and pocked skin, stares at them. His hand flat on the door is painted the same cheap black as Jimmy’s. “Uh,” he says. “Are you guys fuckin serious right now?”

Edgar doesn’t say anything. He watches dispassionately as Raven reacts to whatever Jimmy is snarking about over his head – Raven’s glance keeps jumping back to Edgar, every couple seconds, like he’s a trap waiting to be sprung and in need of puzzling out as quickly as possible.

The way that Edgar is given to understand their situation, this is only happening today because Jimmy agreed to watch the counter during Raven’s technically unsanctioned hour-long cigarette break. To his knowledge, Raven has not asked questions about why Jimmy would agree to do this.

“Whatever,” he finally says, letting the door fall closed behind him. He comes across the room, irritably shooing Jimmy down from the counter, and fishes out one of his magazines.

Jimmy slithers down and doesn’t quite let Edgar go. The grabbing hand slides up proprietorially over the small of Edgar’s back, where the nerves light up hot and interested. He pulls Edgar close, swinging away from the counter.

The second the door falls behind them, Jimmy grabs Edgar by the collar of his shirt and throws him against the wall, surging close and pressing himself against Edgar’s body from ankle to chest. His clove-bitter heat holds Edgar tight, his hands closing around Edgar’s wrists and pinning them back. Edgar parts his lips, just enough to draw Jimmy’s eye.

Jimmy dives into a kiss, harsh and pushing and sharp against the soft inside of Edgar’s mouth. Edgar curls his fingers to feel the way Jimmy tightens his grip, fingers squeezing the rushing pump of the veins beneath the wrists.

He looks over the rim of his glasses as Jimmy pulls back, black-shadowed and messy and raw in the dimness. With a series of quick motions, Jimmy brings both wrists together and zips them mercilessly shut. The skin under the plastic protests.

“There,” he says, in a mockery of Edgar’s voice, “nice and tight.”

“Nicely done,” Edgar says, giving them an unnecessary tug, just to feel the static that races up his back. “It appears I’m at your mercy.”

Jimmy grabs him by the arm and drags him along, toward the door to the alley, slamming it open with his free hand. The brightness blinds. It’s a sandy unpaved space between three buildings, the ground littered with odd juts of half-buried white concrete. At the end, veiling the street, there is the twisted wire of an old fence strung with poisonous red vine. Edgar runs his tongue over his teeth as he watches the vague and broken motion of someone moving on the other side. The sky is so open. So bright.

The grip on his arm pulls him and his bound wrists over the earth. Jimmy backs up against a wall, smooth white-painted cement, and then forces Edgar to his knees in the dirt. He takes Edgar by the chin, thumb digging into cheek, and draws him close. In the cup of Jimmy’s palm, Edgar’s breath comes back to him hot and fast.

“Look at you, huh,” Jimmy says. “What should I do with you?”

“Whatever you like,” Edgar says, quirking a lip. He is thrumming with anticipation down to his very bones. “I’m all yours.”

“Yeah, I think you are.” Jimmy’s fingers dip under his own waistband, a ripple in the fabric sliding down to where his cock lies tucked against his hip. “Christ I love you on your knees,” he says, “in those nice pants, too. You’re gonna give me the good stuff.”

Edgar is half gratified and half distracted by the idea of dry cleaning tomorrow. “This is awfully public,” he says, instead of letting himself get sidetracked. “There’s absolutely no sound buffer.”

“You better keep it down then,” Jimmy says, showing all of his shark teeth. His fingers flash and catch as he undoes his belt and pushes open his fly. “I got just the thing for it.”

His cock comes out half hard, dark blush already gathering at the head. He offers it in his cupped hand, expectant. Edgar tilts his head and sucks delicately at the side of it. With his hands bound up under him, he has to press down into Jimmy’s hand to get any purchase, an open mouthed kiss dragging closed over and over as he buries himself between palm and cock. He licks at the swell, catching the pads of Jimmy’s fingers on his tongue. It’s so charming, how Jimmy shudders when the flat of a tongue runs over his fingertips.

“Open your mouth,” Jimmy says, almost vibrating with how bad he wants it.

“You know I can’t deepthroat you,” Edgar says. And with his hands like this, he’s not going to be able to work the shaft, more’s the pity.

“Relax,” Jimmy says, stroking his thumb over himself, “I got it.”

The thumb is moving faster and faster, so close to Edgar’s face, almost frantic. Edgar opens his mouth, waiting patiently for Jimmy to feed him that heavy heat. It slides over his lip, as Jimmy twists a hand in Edgar’s hair and pushes him on. There’s the hiss of pleasure, the shuttering eyes. Edgar closes his mouth and sucks, watching the flutter of Jimmy’s eyelashes - even looming over Edgar and holding him in place, Jimmy is needy and impatient.  

Jimmy works his fist over the hilt of his cock, not pacing himself at all. Edgar rolls his tongue over the slit, lazily, over and over again, all his relentless attention fixed on that one delicate spot.

He can feel the throb against his tongue, the twitch of flesh that always betrays the master. Jimmy makes a hungry sound, lost in the sweet attention of Edgar’s mouth, his fingers twist - isn’t he pretty when he’s almost there - and then Edgar pulls off all at once. With his hair tangled in Jimmy’s fingers, Edgar tips his head back and licks his messy lips. He buries a shiver at the sound of Jimmy’s snarl, at the wrenching pull of his fingers.

“You fucking-” Jimmy says, “I was so close, you-”

Edgar pulls forward just enough to give the bobbing florid head a single, slow lick. The moment stutters, the pupils dilating above him, the stillness exploding into rage. Jimmy drops to his heels, catching Edgar’s face in his other hand, and holds him tight. “Alright,” he says, almost panting, “Fine, you won’t give it to me, I’ll take it.”

Jimmy reaches down between Edgar’s arms with unsteady fingers and jerks open his slacks. This close, there is a glitter of sweat under the black smudge of his eyeliner. He looks like he’s rattling apart, and the unfed hunger makes him rough. Edgar lets himself be handled like a doll, nerves glittering and twisting with each grab and tug.

When he’s down to his elbows in the dirt, Jimmy pulls back. Edgar rests his forehead in the crook of his elbow, his spine sparking with the desire to be hurt and handled ruthlessly, the anticipation of touch.

“There,” Jimmy says, still half-snarling. “Not so fucking smug now.”

“Still a little smug,” Edgar says, pushing his ass up just a bit.

Jimmy grabs his hips and jerks him back, bare skin flush against insistent cock. “See how long that lasts,” he says, “when you’re the one bouncing on a dick for me.”

“Oh,” Edgar breathes.

“Fucking right oh,” Jimmy says. His fingers leave bruising trails around the sides of Edgar’s thighs, his cock twitches between Edgar’s legs. “I’m nice, I’m even giving you the real thing.”

He pushes his fingers inside of Edgar, into the ready give, coaxing him open. His hard press lights up the low level ache where less than an hour ago Edgar had touched himself thinking about this. Deep inside him, he’s still slick with the memory of that slow preparation.  

“How about a thank you,” Jimmy says, and splits Edgar open on three sudden fingers.

Edgar moans softly for him, grateful and still more grateful as Jimmy forces his cock inside with just as little warning - a sweet burn, a sudden fullness - the throb of something that wants so badly to be touched - Edgar listens for the sharp sound of Jimmy losing his breath.

The heat that pushes into him is exquisite, blunt, and demanding.

“You oughta go around like this all the time,” Jimmy says. “Slicked up in your work clothes, ready for somebody to bend you over the desk. Have you any time I want you, pull you into a conference room and fuck you on that big shiny table.”

“Oh, my boss would love that,” Edgar says. He can almost imagine the pure, delightful horror. A man can dream, he supposes.

He can tell it’s taking all of Jimmy’s self control to stop as he bottoms out, nails scrabbling at Edgar’s thighs. “Fuck yourself,” he growls. “Put on a show for me.”

Oh, well, Edgar can do that. He drags himself off Jimmy’s cock, inch by inch, until he can just feel the tip inside of him - hears Jimmy’s strained little noises - and then arches back onto it.

Edgar closes his eyes, rolling his hips like he’s supposed to, and lets himself fall into the rhythm. He can’t quite line up his sweet spot, no matter how he tries - he aches, but there’s nothing to rub himself against. It’s a luxurious torture, a low buzz that spikes every time he hears the distant echo of motion on the street.

“Are you going to touch me,” Edgar asks, breathless at the hard weight in his belly. He wishes he could make Jimmy feel the way it pushes into him, how overwhelming and strange it is against the raw sunlight.

“No,” Jimmy says, “you’re my bitch, Vargas, you get this or you get nothing.”

Edgar half-laughs, half-moans into his bound palms. “Am I?” he says, as he draws off and repeats the thrust that makes those desperate little sounds choke in Jimmy’s throat. Each time the slide goes a little easier, a little faster, as he gets a handle on the sensation. He can feel the bounce of his own cock with each surge.

“You don’t think this is what a bitch does?” Jimmy says - Edgar can feel the way he’s watching, there’s a hunger even in the sound of his lips pulling back.

Interesting question. Edgar takes Jimmy’s cock with deliberate slowness, savoring the thought. “Ah,” he says, “because you’re using me for your pleasure. That’s fair.”

“Jesus,” Jimmy mutters. His nails skate up over Edgar’s shoulder with a chill that makes Edgar twitch from his neck down to his pelvis, and close around Edgar’s throat. His fingers are curved, clawed, and he forces Edgar to lift his chin until the stretch is so tight that when Edgar swallows he can feel the strain all the way down into his clavicle.

Even held like that, bent and arched, Edgar doesn’t stop moving. His cock aches, a heavy weight under him.

“You’re making yourself my bitch,” Jimmy says, curled over his back, “I’m just watching. How’s it fucking feel?”

Edgar bites his lip, lit up with a throb he can feel down to his toes. It feels like he wants it harder than this, he wants it taken out of his hands, he wants to submit to careless cruelty.

“It’s not - enough,” he manages. “Jimmy, please - take what you want -”

“What happened to be patient, huh?” Jimmy says, fingers stroking Edgar’s throat as Edgar fucks himself in little captive jerks. “You oughta know how to be patient, Vargas.”

“I am patient,” Edgar breathes, “I just want to feel you tear me open.”

The hit lands - the full concussive payload - Jimmy clamps down on him with a hiss that’s all teeth and want. He bears down on Edgar in the middle of pushing back, ramming deep inside, the wings of his hips slamming against Edgar’s ass.

“Oh thank god,” Edgar whispers, where Jimmy can’t hear him, and slumps forward.  

When Jimmy moves inside of him it’s unforgiving, it forces the breath out of him. His hands cinched together in a parody of prayer, Edgar struggles to hold himself up against the vicious demand. This is it, this is what he wanted - the only person who could give it to him, the only one that he would let -

sometimes he wonders how on earth he’s gotten away with so much -

You take what you want, that’s what he likes about Jimmy, he takes what he wants. With each slam against his body Edgar pants, the air driven out of him, and he can hear the edge of a moan growing in each breath. Jimmy is the only thing Edgar has ever wanted, the only thing he’s ever taken, and every jolt of this ravaging is the sweetest fire inside of Edgar.

It’s never far from his mind - it hasn’t been since the first day he glimpsed a sun-shadowed stranger in the park. He’s ready for Jimmy to come inside him, to make him something that he has never been before, something much stranger and more terrible than any territory bitch might cover, although he’s not entirely opposed to that either. 

All those long dark hours, beneath a pretty suburban dream house, Edgar was pouring out something dangerous and raw. There’s something about Jimmy that strips him back to that shivering rawness, if he lets it and still even if he doesn’t.  

“Jesus,” Jimmy pants, “you’re something else-”

The sound that was supposed to be a hum of neutral agreement comes out as a wrecked burning thing, something he can’t stop or swallow down. He can feel the flinch hard against his thighs -

“G-god,” Jimmy says, “what the hell was - do that again.”

His hand closes around Edgar’s cock and Edgar doesn’t have to think about it, really, the touch is electric, it’s horrible, it’s lovely, the sound in his throat shudders over his tongue.

The sound means something, although Edgar doesn’t try to place what.


 

Jimmy comes home late at night, all worked up about the assholes at the DMV who won’t just give him a new license when he asked them, and nicely too, which he needs if he’s ever going to convince Edgar to let him drive that cute little car of his across town to see Megadouche perform. He’s literally going to snap if he has to ride the B bus one more time, he was this close to gouging the eyes out of this redneck bastard who wouldn’t stop talking about how anybody dressed like that must like to take it up the ass, as if how hard Jimmy likes to get plowed has anything to do with his fucking t-shirt. 

So anyway, he comes into the house at, like, nine or something, spiteful and wound up and tearing his headphones off his neck like they were trying to strangle him actively. He kicks the door closed behind him.

Edgar looks up at him, from where he’s laid out on the couch, and says, “Leave your boots on.”

That’s enough to make Jimmy pause. He hangs his keys up on the coat rack and turns around. Edgar’s a complete tightass about shoes in the house, and Jimmy is only just getting to where he doesn’t have to be shouted at to take his boots off at the door.

Edgar is on the couch, like he said. His bare feet are up on the cushions, there’s a drink in his hand and a bottle of whiskey on the coffee table, but—and this is weird, for him—he’s not dressed to be out in the middle of the house like this. He looks half put together, or maybe half taken apart, with his bare thighs and dress shirt loose over his lap. Jimmy blinks. He knows Edgar doesn’t wear underwear, which means that under that solid white linen–

“Aren’t you worried about the carpet or some shit?” Jimmy asks.

The whiskey hovers at Edgar’s lips. “I’ll vacuum tomorrow, it’s not the end of the world.”

There’s a book on the floor beside him, whatever he was reading before Jimmy got home. It looks old and worn. Cheap. The curtains aren’t quite closed, and Jimmy knows Edgar too well to believe for a second that the gap is a mistake.

“What’s going… on?” Jimmy asks. 

Edgar runs his thumb in small circles over the back of the couch, calculated casualness. “Do you remember the day we met,” he says. “Not when I drugged you. The first time. In the store.”

Jimmy licks his dry lips. “Yeah,” he says, because how could he fucking forget.

He’d squeezed and fondled that memory for weeks before he even stepped foot in this house, running his fingers over the exact sway of Edgar’s hips, the exact shadow of his inner thigh, the exact look in his eye the moment before he opened his mouth to dismiss Jimmy in one ruthless swipe. He wasn't even sure Edgar remembered it until now.

“What were you thinking about, then?” Edgar asks him.

“I was thinking about whether I could get you bent over in the alley,” Jimmy says, narrowing his eyes. “I was thinking how good you’d look face down in the dirt.”

Edgar’s eyes flutter shut, and—Christ, that must not be his first drink tonight, there’s no way a sober Edgar would let himself telegraph that kind of interest.

“Let’s try something else,” Edgar says. “Let’s say we met somewhere else.”

On edge and keyed up, Jimmy is too lost in this conversation to contribute anything until he knows where the fuck it’s actually going.

“Let’s say you asked me to get a drink with you,” Edgar says. “Let’s say you looked at me like that, the way you did, and I didn’t notice what you were doing.”

“Okay,” Jimmy says, slowly, because he always kind of suspected that Edgar had read him like a book that first day, but they’d never come out and talked about it before.

“I want you to pretend like-” Edgar knocks back that shot of whiskey and quickly refills it, “like you took me on a date. You picked me up, so I’d have to go home with you. You got me drunk. You were– handsy, possessive, but I didn’t notice.” 

Jimmy stares at him, across the room. 

“You spent the whole night feeding me drinks until I could barely stand up, and then you took me back to your place, and, in the car-”

Jimmy comes forward, all of a sudden, catches Edgar around the neck. His thumb closes over the pulse just below his chin. 

“In the car,” Edgar says, breathlessly, “you reached over at every stoplight and felt me up, through my clothes, until I was hard, and then you hauled me back into your house.”

Jimmy looks hard at the skin pulsing under his grip, his heart hammering, and says, “Then what?”

Edgar licks whiskey from his lips. His eyes are dulled, a little, but not so much that it doesn’t burn when he looks up at Jimmy.

“You push me down on the couch,” Edgar says.

Jimmy throws a knee up on the couch and shoves Edgar down, hard against the upholstery, spilling what little whiskey remains in the shot glass over Edgar’s shoulder. Edgar takes a sharp breath, sound catching in his throat. Jimmy takes the glass out of his hand and drops it on the floor.

“I say no,” Edgar says. “I don’t want it, I don’t want to have sex on a first date.”

“But you’re wasted,” Jimmy says, grabbing Edgar’s crotch artlessly, squeezing to feel the outline of that heavy cock through the shirt. “You can’t stop me.”

“I can’t stop you,” Edgar says, arching against Jimmy’s grip. “Ah! I can’t do anything at all, you can take whatever you want from me.”

“You’re so easy,” Jimmy says, “you’re so-”

Edgar makes a little sound, just a little sound, but for him it’s absolutely fucking wanton. He shifts to give Jimmy better access. His shirt rides up on his thighs, he’s hard already, or maybe he was hard the whole time and good at hiding it.

“Do you want me naked,” Edgar says, “or are you going to fuck me with my clothes still on?”

Jimmy groans. He rips open the bottom two buttons of the dress shirt, and then he presses the flat of both palms to Edgar’s stomach and pushes it up, over his stomach. “This is good enough,” he says, “just enough to get me off.”

“No,” Edgar breathes, “please, don’t do this. There’s still time.”

“The fuck there is,” Jimmy says, and drags Edgar tight against him, so that the warm skin rests against rough black jeans. The skin here is so soft and light, like cream spilled across coffee. The bare cock against his clothes makes him so hot he almost can’t stand it. 

“Didn’t we have a nice time?” Edgar says, as breathlessly as before. “You don’t have to do this.”

Jimmy pumps Edgar’s cock, just to see his breath hitch and his shoulders roll. He does that thing Edgar likes, pushes both his hands up along Edgar’s middle and digs in over his chest with bruising fingers. He dips his head down and catches a nipple in his teeth, shirt and all, and Edgar jolts.

“Ah,” Edgar says, and clutches at Jimmy’s arm.

When Jimmy pulls back, the translucent wet spot his mouth has left behind shows the promise of the peaked nipple underneath. 

“You left the curtain open,” Jimmy says. 

“Did I?” Edgar says, cracking one eye open. “What an embarrassing state of affairs.”

“What if your neighbors spot you like this,” Jimmy says, flicking the dark peak with a nail. “Giving it up for me like a drunken slut, out in the open.”

Edgar lets out a dark, heavy hum. The fact that his cock is twitching like that and he’s not even making a move to touch it really says something about his self control. 

“Please,” he says.

Jesus. Jimmy fumbles with his belt, the buckle clinking and finally coming open as Jimmy shoves all of it out of the way. 

“You filthy fucking exhibitionist,” he says, fishing himself out, “I knew you were, the first time I saw you, I knew you were horny for it.”

He grabs either side of Edgar’s ass and spreads him open, pushes a thumb into the slicked up clench of him. How long ago was he working himself open, waiting for Jimmy to come home-?

“How d’you wanna play this?” he says, playing with the edge, pulling at it. “Were you ready for me before I even picked you up?”

Edgar’s heel thumps against the couch as he presses into Jimmy’s touch. “I touched myself,” he says, “thinking about you-–thinking about the way you looked at me–-I was touching myself when you pulled up, I didn’t even have time to get off–”

“Don’t worry babe,” Jimmy says, nearly burning with how hot he is, “I’m gonna give it to you good.”

He hasn’t fucked Edgar that many times. He can tell Edgar likes it, but it’s hard for him to give up control like that. When Edgar gives up control, he gives it up completely, he throws himself on any and all of Jimmy’s careless mercies. As he pushes into Edgar now, panting and impatient, Edgar comes open under him as easily as pulling the string of a knot. 

“Don’t,” Edgar says, “I can’t take it-”

“Sure you can,” Jimmy hisses. “I’m gonna teach you to love this.”

He bottoms out, tight against the butterfly bend of Edgar’s legs. It’s so good; he loses himself in how good it feels, this thing he hasn’t had a chance to get used to yet, this reckless delicate thing Edgar is letting him do. 

“Shit,” he mutters, “you’re so goddamn tight.”

“Am I? I don’t generally let men top me,” Edgar says, and he says it in such a dry way that Jimmy knows it’s got nothing to do with the fantasy, it’s just Edgar, being Edgar. 

“Huh,” Jimmy says, lips skinning back from his teeth in gritty satisfaction. “Just me?”

“In recent memory,” Edgar says, “yes.”

Jimmy draws out and slams back in, fingers clutching at hips. Edgar’s body grips and drags at him, like it doesn’t want to let him escape.

“What d’you think is worse,” Jimmy says, “if I fuck you like this and make you come, or if after all of this you don’t even get off?”

“Oh,” Edgar says, “I think it’s– much worse– if I come despite all my– protestations–”

“’Cause you’re a greedy whore, huh, under all that prim upstanding shit?” Jimmy licks his palm and grabs the swollen cock pinned between them. He can’t really do this and hold Edgar in place at the same time, but it’s worth having to stop for a second just to watch the way Edgar’s eyes go hungry and dark at the sight of Jimmy’s tongue.

“Yes,” Edgar hisses.

Jimmy lets go, lines himself back up, presses the head against giving flesh. “You do it then,” he says. “Make yourself come.”

“Would I do that?” Edgar wonders, fingers twitching with interest.

“If you don’t,” Jimmy says, “I’ll pull out and throat fuck you until you pass out.”

Edgar’s breath hitches. His fingers flick down to his stomach and slide between his legs, where the skin is dark with want. 

“You don’t need to do that,” Edgar says, closing his fist around himself. “I’ll comply.”

Jimmy’s lips twitch up. “Drunk people don’t talk like that,” he says. “C’mon.”

“Clearly you need to spend more time drinking with me.”

Edgar tugs on himself, loose-fisted and unhurried, as Jimmy drives into him. Edgar's cock is so big and heavy, Jimmy loves the idea of completely ignoring it, just leaving it useless between them. Jimmy's the one who gets what he wants, takes what he wants. The couch is new and accommodating—it doesn’t even creak under them as Jimmy pounds Edgar into it. They’re probably not visible from the street, but part of him viciously hopes that they are.

“I like the idea of you fingering yourself,” Jimmy says, “in your room, watching me pull up. On your knees at the window, knuckle deep in yourself. Bet I can see you from the street.” 

“Probably,” Edgar says. His knees dig into Jimmy’s sides. 

“You wanted this.”

“Probably.”

“You wanted this in the store,” Jimmy says, his voice rough with heavy breathing. “You wanted—you wanted me to hold you down and make you take it.”

Edgar pushes his glasses up onto his forehead, one eye disappearing behind his palm. Every inch of him is raw edged desire, seething like a black sea under his skin.

“Probably,” he whispers. 

The wolf grin that splits Jimmy's lips is a fire that tears through him, right from the tight corners of his lips to the pit of his belly. Edgar is weak beneath him, loose and easy, with his glasses on his forehead and his shirt half-buttoned, all of him laid out at the mercy of Jimmy's every whim. He rocks with the force of Jimmy's thrusts.

"Give it up," Jimmy pants, "give it up for me you slutty bitch, I know you want to."

Edgar flinches, lip splitting under the bite of his teeth, and makes a sound Jimmy's never heard before--like a whimper, almost, something desperate and broken. His hand twists and pulls at his cock, like he's trying to hurt himself, his frantic fingers glowing with precum in the half-light, and then it's not just precum. White spills over his stomach, over the soft bare skin, over the stiff edges of his shirt, as he arches and digs his heels into Jimmy's back.

"Th, there," he manages, chest heaving. 

He is wrecked and ruined and cum-splattered, nothing like the dark avenging angel who first took Jimmy apart piece by piece, and the sight of it wets an appetite that Jimmy didn't even know he had. He wants to see Edgar painted with cum, bruised and used and hungry for more.

"Don't get comfortable now," Jimmy says, eyes narrowing with anticipation. "I'm not done with you yet."