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It took Arthur a few moments to recognise the man mounted on top of the dark bay horse. The initial surprise was soon replaced by intrigue when he realised he had not been stood up after all, that the invitation he had received was not to a mutual observation of the dressage competition, but to a solo viewing of his host’s performance. Well, what else could he expect from a man like him…

The rider bowed his head brisky at the end of his turn and the sound of applause resounded in the arena and the auditorium.

“Wunderbar! Meine Herren und Damen... Ladies and gentlemen... A truly impressive performance by Dutch van der Linde on The Marquise....” The commentator then proceeded to enumerate the duo’s previous achievements before announcing a total score of 92.21 to the sound of a fresh round of applause. “And now Angelo Bronte on Saint Denis…”

“Arthur,” Dutch stood beside him, smiling, hand propped on hip.

He smiled back and stood up, moving to the isle so as not to block anyone’s view. “That was quite something...” The sheen of sleek black riding boots caught his attention just before his gaze returned to the handsome face.

“Come, let’s have a drink in celebration,” Dutch pronounced, turning on his heels and heading for the auditorium door.

Arthur followed, stopping once to cast a glance at the present performer. “Isn’t it a bit premature to celebrate?”

“You don’t believe in me?” Dutch came to a halt, turning his head in Arthur’s direction, only to the degree where a raised eyebrow was visible.

“I hardly know you,” Arthur lifted both eyebrows, walking through the doors the other man had held open for him.

“Well, in that case, would you like to meet The Marquise instead?”

Arthur’s countenance brightened. “Sure!”

“Super! The stables are that way, she’s in the western wing. I’ll go change and meet you there.”

Arthur watched Dutch walk away and wondered if it would be alright for a stranger to just stroll into the stables. He had picked up some German over the past year, but not enough to defend himself if someone accused him of trespassing… With a sigh he headed towards the western wing, on entering which he felt like Aladdin stepping into the treasure cave, only unlike the latter he didn’t have the willpower not to touch every single horse along the way, showering all the pretty ‘boahs’ and ‘gurrls’ with various praises. Finally he found The Marquise, who was as magnificent in person as she had been in the arena.

“There you are...”

He approached her. She was skittish at first and reared her head a little, but calmed somewhat when he let her sniff his hand and fed her some oats. He slid the stall door open and stepped inside, began caressing the mare’s smooth coat, her thick neck, powerful flanks and rump, moving on to the soft flesh of her breast just between her front legs, all the while murmuring soft words to her like a parent singing a lullaby to a child. He kissed the tip of her nose, which vexed her a bit and she snorted in objection, but let him unbraid her mane all the same. Arthur had just finished brushing The Marquise’s luscious mane when he heard the sound of footsteps nearing.

“You’ve already become friends, I see.”

Dutch had changed into a white polo shirt, but was still wearing breeches and boots. His hair was wet from the shower he had just taken. Now that the formal jacket was gone, Arthur couldn’t help but cast a glance at the other’s chest, a move which was unfortunately observed by the man.

“I don’t wear them here,” Dutch explained with a devilish smile, which widened as Arthur’s cheeks began burning. “She must like you to let you touch her.” He stepped inside the stall and patted the mare’s neck in a more authoritative than adoring manner. “Do you have horses of your own?”

“Two, both Quarter Horses… Is she a Hanoverian?”

“Dutch warmblood.”

Arthur tried not to smirk. Somehow the idea of Dutch on Dutch… Thankfully his amusement went unnoticed.

“I have an Arabian as well, The Count, he’s a sight to see,” The man remarked with obvious pride. “What are their names, your horses?”

“Boadicea and Wystan.”

“Wystan? As in the poet?” He asked and when Arthur nodded, intoned: “How should we like it were stars to burn, with a passion for us we could not return? If equal affection cannot be…”

Arthur of course knew the next line, but refused to say it. Beautiful as the poem may be, he had had enough of being the more loving one and made sure the sentiment was visible in his resolute gaze when he levelled it on Dutch, who stared back at him with a measure of assertiveness he had seen him exercise at the club. The effect of the exchange was such that somehow Arthur felt the other had stepped closer when in fact he hadn’t. The tension was broken when Dutch finally smiled, the crease in his brow relaxing into a soft line.

“You were in Berlin a whole year. Why didn’t you come and see me?” He asked, now stepping nearer, letting the knuckles of his right hand brush against Arthur’s left cheek. “It was by sheer luck that I heard about your exhibition from a friend. I could have lost you...”

“Lose me?” Arthur lifted his chin and tilted his head slightly to the right, enjoying the sensation of the other’s fingertips now stroking the shell of his ear, at times playing with his hair. “You never had me.”

Dutch closed the distance between them until their chests nearly touched. Arthur straightened his stance, trying to make himself look taller, even if the warmth of the digits gliding down his neck to rest on the nape made him melt a little.

“I have you.”

Came the confirmation and as if pulled by invisible threads, Arthur leaned in just as Dutch drew him close to kiss him on the lips, his other hand sliding along his flank to rest on the small of his back. Arthur returned the kiss, unhurriedly as his palms shifted to rest on the man’s sides, caressing the tight muscular outline through the fabric of the polo T-shirt. He had forgotten how it felt, kissing Dutch van der Linde, or perhaps had never etched the sensation in memory to begin with, a mistake he sought to rectify with a careful undulation of a curious tongue, growing more dominant when the other’s did, until he could no longer dismiss the danger. He was the first to pull back.

“Mmmm, I wouldn’t mind having a taste of that with my morning coffee every day for the rest of my life…” Dutch licked his lips.

Arthur mirrored the gesture. “You sound desperate, Dutch.”

“Not desperate, just hungry,” The man chuckled as stepped back slowly and turned to leave the stall. “What are your plans now? How about I take you out for lunch?”

Arthur stepped out as well and closed the door behind him. “I don’t like fancy restaurants, and you don’t look the type who’d be satisfied with anything but. Think I’ll head home.”

Dutch nodded. “I’ll give you a lift.”

Arthur hesitated at first but accepted the offer in the end. What he had not expected, however, was that Dutch would own a silver Mercedes Benz 300 SL Roadster with white lining...

“It’s Hosea’s,” Dutch explained as they climbed into the convertible, apparently having detected his surprise. “My ride is at the garage for repair.”

Having donned his Raybans and black fingerless gloves, Dutch reached with a hand and ruffled Arthur’s hair, making him back away in annoyance.

“Like your hair better like this.”

Arthur huffed and shrugged but said nothing. He had received enough comments about his mullet in various artistic circles to realise he had made a bad choice. His hair was now much shorter as a result... He gave the address to Dutch who admitted he hadn’t expected him to be an Ossi. Well, it was cheaper and the mood suited him better.

“Didn’t expect you’d be doing dressage in your free time,” He tried to get comfortable in the car, which was a bit difficult since it felt somewhat cramped compared to his Chevrolet. Not to mention everything looked so clean and elegant he was afraid to touch anything lest he made it dirty or broke it.

Dutch turned on the cassette player. “Why, you think I have no life beyond the club?”

“Your partner has good taste in music,” Arthur ignored the question. He liked Sting.

“My partner has good taste in general,” Dutch smirked and set off in a loud vrooooom. “Are you with someone now?” He asked just as they had left the equestrian centre.

“No,” Arthur responded, enjoying the feel of the wind in his short locks, the sense of freedom it gave him, to be on the move.

“What about that skinny fellow you were with?”

“He went back to the States.”

Funny it had been Marston’s idea that they should stay for a while, which Arthur had objected to at first. Even so, he ended up being the one who liked the divided city more once they had settled, while John suddenly decided he preferred a familiar and homelike atmosphere. By then, Arthur was already making plans for his first exhibition and so figured he should stay, at least for a while.

“So you’re alone, like you wanted to be.”

“You could say so,” Arthur hadn’t reckoned Dutch would remember the words he himself had forgotten. “Finally free.” He had meant to add the latter words merely to see the other’s reaction, but the tinge of bitterness that accompanied them caught him unawares.

Sumner seemed to think some people liked to be chained.

“You don’t seem too happy with your freedom. Are you looking for something more, perhaps?”

Sumner wondered if some people desired gilded cages.

“Is there anything beyond freedom?” Arthur smiled wearily as their eyes briefly met before Dutch turned to face the road. “I have my art, not much more I could want.”


For a while, they drove in silence, until it grew unbearable. Or perhaps that was an excuse and Arthur simply wanted to know more about the other man.

“Is Hosea okay with you going after other guys?”

“We have an understanding,” Dutch answered instantly, pushing the fast forward button, skipping a couple of songs, stopping at ‘Fortress Around your Heart’.

Considering the man’s stern and somewhat morose tone, Arthur didn’t request further clarification. Instead, he thought about how the song fit him; he hadn’t known the man for long, but he sure seemed the type to surround himself with walls, perhaps even higher than his own.

Arthur lit a cigarette and relaxed his back against the seat, until Dutch motioned for him to lit one for him as well. Looking in the packet he found it empty, so he gave the other his own cigarette, which he took a drag from and returned to him, the exchange going on for a while.

“Have you been to the States?” Arthur asked at length.

“Many times, but not to Montana.”

“You should, it’s very pretty.”

“Do you miss home?”


“And the boy?”


“Does he miss you?”

“John?” Arthur chuckled. “Who knows what goes on in his head… He’s probably turned the ranch into some guitarist haven...” He was glad he had entrusted the horses and the cattle to Mrs Adler, though he had had to overcome many internal conflicts before he could find the courage to ask for such a huge favour.

“You didn’t tell me you have a ranch.”

“Nothing to brag about. What are you laughing at?”

“You’re a real cowboy, aren’t you?”

“So what if I am?”

“It’s cute…”

Arthur blushed, from anger, he told himself, and turned his head away. What the hell was that supposed to mean? Who in their right mind thought cowboys were cute!? He remained brooding for the rest of the journey while Dutch maintained an infuriating grin, until finally they arrived at their destination.

“Come up for a cup of coffee,” Arthur suggested as a way of thanks.

Dutch shook his head in the negative. “Better not leave the car alone.” He thought for a moment, then continued: “There is a party tonight. Henri Lemieux of the Le Mew Productions and his partner are celebrating their twentieth anniversary. You can come as my guest.”

“I’ll think about it.”

“You do that,” Dutch wrote down the address and gave it to him, adding: “It’s animal themed. Cats and Dogs only.” He winked and opened a brand new packet of cigarettes, lighting one for himself and throwing the packet for Arthur to catch just before leaving.

Bastard… Arthur grinned, lit one of the cigarettes and headed back to his apartment. Peeking from under the door, he found a postcard from John, who hadn’t even bothered to put it in an envelope though he’d asked him to many times. He sighed and picked it up before opening the door, made some coffee for himself and plopped down on an old Arne Jacobson armchair to read the card, or rather decipher it, given Marston’s handwriting. The content was the usual: asking for money and how to fix broken things around the ranch, excitement about the band, complaints about Uncle and Swanson and Abigail, a small drawing by Jack - which made him smile - and a little ‘I miss you’ squeezed in a corner with the ‘u’ missing on account of lack of space. Arthur brought the card to his nose and inhaled; the dust made him sneeze.

Having finished his coffee, and having stared for a long enough period at the moving clouds, he decided to paint a little. Turned on the radio, but didn’t let O’Connor finish singing about all the boys she could put her arms around. The radio was immediately turned off. He went to take a shower...

Hours later, Arthur was running with all his might towards a costume shop that would be closing in five minutes. Four… Three…He burst through the door, shocking the poor shopgirl, and apologised before explaining in broken German that he needed something that would make him look either like a dog or a cat. The girl pointed at a corner where he found some suits and finally some animal headbands. He picked one, paid for it and headed out quickly. About an hour or so later he stepped in through the doors of a lavish mansion house on the outskirts of the city.

“Look, a stray just slipped in.”

“Now now, be nice, Javier…”

The endearingly mild warning had come from Dutch, dressed in a casual black suit, jacket sleeves rolled up to reveal an orange lining, high-collar white shirt, white tie, and a tiger print vest, with a few tiger stripes drawn on the edges of his face. The guy who’d been addressed as Javier was wearing a designer leopard print suit and had his face covered in a meticulous cheetah makeup. There was another man with them, whom he recognised as the bartender at VDL, and he had dyed his mohawk grey and was wearing yellow eyeliner, otherwise his getup was all grey with a wolf face on his T-shirt. None of them were wearing ears… If Arthur had felt out of place on entering the house, now he felt positively alien in his paint-stained blue jeans, plain faded black T-shirt and black cat ears. Instinctively he pushed out his chest and lifted his chin, tail in the air much in the same manner as described by the Stray Cats.

“Let me show you around,” Dutch took hold of his arm and pulled him away, into the colourful web of elaborately designed people and furniture.

Arthur soon realised he shouldn’t have worried about his cat ears, seeing as they were the least conspicuous animal protrusions he was to see that night in comparison to the other guests’ far more exotic choices. He couldn’t help but wonder how each individual present must have spent a fortune - or what he would consider as such - on a costume for just one night...

Dutch guided him into a multitude of grooving bodies and suddenly they were dancing, and he was being whispered to, of his own ‘wildness’ and ‘goneness’, in tune with the music as the other man bent and planted a peck and a lick on the side of his neck, sending shivers down his back.

Before Arthur could even think of a retort, he was drawn away from the swinging swarm and led to a less crowded spot, next to a giant purple plant. He watched the other take two cloudy white drinks served in mini milk bottles on a trashcan door by a girl dressed as a mouse. Dutch threw away the straws, dropped two red pills in each glass and handed one to Arthur, himself downing the other in one go. Arthur was by no means a square and so he did the same. The taste was strange, milky-soft, laced with a strong quantity of alcohol… And when Arthur tried to wipe his mouth with the back of his hand, Dutch stopped him.

“Let it be, looks good on you,” He grinned, wiping his own moustache clean.

Apparently he changed his mind since he abruptly leaned forward and licked the periphery of his lips clean for him. By the time a grumpy Arthur had pushed Dutch away, the song had changed to Zeppelin’s ‘Black Dog’, as had the mood, which became less playful and more sensual as the feline flock were shoved away from the dancefloor by the canine crowd.

Arthur could feel the temperature rising, or perhaps the pills were having their effect. What had they been called? He couldn’t recall, and didn’t care as he found himself rocking gently to the rhythm and wondered if there was anyone in the dancers who wasn’t high on something or the other given the increasingly sensuous nature of the moves. There was one man in particular who was almost face-humping the poor puppy-boy he held down against his groin. The nasty look on the dom’s face looked familiar… At the same time, he felt Dutch’s hand on his waist, stroking softly, and leaned against the touch.

“That’s Colm O’Driscoll,” He explained, no doubt having followed the line of his gaze. “And the boy’s Kieran, his pet. You saw them at the club, remember, the man leading the boy on a leash in a dog suit?”

“Yeah…” Arthur secretly congratulated himself for not having chosen dog ears.

“Despicable man,” Dutch grimaced. “Owns a club, keeps trying to steal my clients. We used to work together once…”

Arthur continued listening to the man go on about the Driscoll fellow, but his attention was focused on his hand’s manoeuvres which, minute as they were, had quite an impact, especially when his T-shirt was hitched up slightly on the side and ringed digits began gliding along his skin, almost not touching, but definitely touching.

His eyes coming to rest on someone who reminded him a bit of Marston, Arthur let his hand wander to Dutch’s crotch which he began kneading, goosebumps forming on his skin to feel the man’s dark chuckle very close to his left ear. He could feel the outline of the rings.

“Getting frisky, boy?” Dutch murmured, tugging on his earlobe with his teeth. “How about you go home and toss off to your portraits, hmm?”

Damn, the man was vindictive, Arthur reckoned and gasped when his ear was bitten viciously and had scarcely twisted his head to give him a piece of his mind when the other’s mouth crushed against his, demanding and merciless, even as his hand was pushed away from Dutch’s growing length when he moved to stand behind him.

“You know, I assumed you’d be more of a dog person,” Dutch laughed low, thrusting his hips, pressing himself against the curve of his rear insistently.

“Shows you don’t know me very well…” Arthur spun around, unbuttoned the man’s collar slowly and gave his neck a long, deliberate lick, enjoying the delectable taste of heated skin, which he began nibbling on as he shoved Dutch against the wall.

“Come, I want to introduce you to a friend,” Dutch smirked and withdrew abruptly, leaving Arthur to follow this time, no longer pulling him physically.

The friend in question was standing on the terrace, dressed in a normal suit, with no feline or canine decorations, wearing a round pair of glasses, hands in his pockets, looking rather pensive as he stared at the stars above.

“Müller, I thought I saw you earlier,” Dutch smiled politely. “This is Arthur, an up and coming artist.” He then turned to Arthur: “You must have heard of Professor E. Müller, brilliant philosopher, one of the first to predict the fall of the wall.”

“How do you do.”

Arthur thanked the man for asking after his health and asked him the same question while reaching a hand which was not taken when the professor didn’t remove his hand from his pocket. Soon the two men were engaged in a passionate conversation in German and Arthur got bored so he found himself wandering off until he had gone back inside.

He roamed for a while in the darker corners, bleak as words repeated in ‘All Cats are Gray’, trying to avoid the crush of the ever-moving bodies, and successfully evaded two men who were accompanied by a woman and kept asking him to do something while pointing at their crotches.

He snatched a milk drink or two and finished them in quick succession. The more individuals he saw from closeby the less he felt he belonged there, though probably he wasn’t unique in that respect, since he came across a dude dressed as a bee or something, choking on an olive. He helped him and was given a card, learning that the man was a haute couture hat designer.

Finally he found his way outside again, this time to a swimming pool surrounded by a good quantity of people but certainly not as claustrophobic as the place he had escaped from. Guests were swimming, floating or dancing in the water. He immediately thought of John and smiled to think how frightened he would be if he threatened to throw him into the pool, like he had done as often as they passed by an expanse of deep water. Suddenly he wished he was back at the ranch...

“Hey pussycat,” A voice hissed in his ear. “You’re Dutch’s new pet?”

Arthur turned around to see three sneering dogs, one blonde, another thin, and the other thick, all wearing red spiked collars with black leader garbs. ‘Dogs of War’ playing in the background.

“No denying it,” The alleged leader spoke again, looking him up and down. “Saw you pawing at him. Needy kitten, ain’t you?”

“And who might you be,” Arthur snickered, getting a bit excited to smell an imminent brawl. “A cur in heat?” Not the best of comebacks, but alright as long as it riled up the man.

The trio cackled and woofed and the two minions started circling him so that he ended up being surrounded. He could feel his heart pounding.

“Oh, I’d be more careful if I were you,” The blonde snarled, yapping his jaw in a pathetic attempt to scare him. “You’re rattling the wroooong cage!”

“You mean the wrong doghouse?” Arthur growled back, shifting into a fighting stance. “Cause that’s where you seem to be now, whelp…”

Waters validated his dark side.

“You asked for it, puss...”

The blonde lunged at him. Arthur was quicker and expecting it and so in a swift move he grabbed the man by his dog collar and flung him into the pool, where he started splashing and yowling that he couldn’t swim. Unfortunately Arthur was too amused by the sight to be able to dodge the other two mongrels when they pounced on him, one grabbing his arm as the other punched him in the jaw. He kicked one away but the other was lifted off him by no other than the wolf man from earlier, accompanied by a plaid wearing bearded man with German Shepherd ears. The two of them threw the small dog and the big dog into the pool, uniting them with their comrade.

“Are you okay?” Wolf asked, smiling in a friendly manner as they moved away from the pool. “I’m Karl, VDL’s bartender, we met before and if I remember correctly you ordered whiskey neat.”

Arthur greeted the man and smiled back, eyes lingering before moving to the other guy.

“And this is our bouncer-”

“There you are!”

Karl didn’t have a chance to finish the introduction, however, as Arthur was unceremoniously forced away from the duo by an irked Dutch whose expression morphed into that of concern as soon as he saw the bruise on his jaw.

“I’ve been looking all over for you...” The man inspected him closely, raising a hand to touch his wounded lower lip. “What happened?”

Bowie sang of green eyes. Cat green.

He swatted the hand away. “Got visited by one of your mutts gone rabid. Blonde guy, limpy hair...”

“Micah?” Dutch raised an eyebrow.

“Didn’t have the pleasure of receiving an introduction.”

There was silence for a moment during which Dutch wouldn’t take his frowning regard off him. Again he lifted a hand and this time Arthur let him brush the scraped corner of his lips.

Bowie sang of eyes so red. Tiger bright.

“Let’s get you fixed…”

Dutch took hold of his wrist and led him into another room, a bit darker with a more relaxed environment, where guests were mostly lounging on sofas and gathering around coffee tables, the reason for which Arthur soon discovered when he saw the heaps of cocaine piled here and there. Dutch rolled a Deutsche Mark and took two sniffs before handing the bill to Arthur.

One should not take advice from Bowie, Arthur contemplated, especially when it came to putting out fire… But eventually followed suit. They squeezed next to each other on an already half-occupied sofa, basking in the euphoric confusion, watching it wash away any remnants of what was generally known as sanity, for Arthur felt at that moment as if he could experience the high through the other’s body as well as his own when Dutch bent over him and started tracing his hands all over his relaxed frame, hot fingers taking possession of every inch of giving skin as he slid them beneath his T-shirt, kissing his neck all the while, a thigh rubbing against his half-hard member.

It had been a long time since he’d felt someone touch him like that. He hadn’t allowed himself the pleasure since Marston had gone. Not out of some sense of idiotic loyalty, but just that he was tired. And so it felt good to be explored now, to be savoured and probed and bent and licked like a lifeless prey hunted and played with by a half-hungry beast.

Arthur opened his eyes when he felt Dutch retreating. He was being looked at, intensely, not without a measure of appetite, but also with curiosity. He suddenly felt naked and looked away.

“Dance with me,” Dutch stood up, held a hand before him.


The hand clasped his and pulled him up and in the direction of the dancefloor, but not before they’d snorted more lines of coke. On the way they dodged a woman with deep-red hair whom Dutch described as an ex he wanted to avoid at all costs. At that point, Arthur didn’t even care to think about the implications.

He let his hands rest on Dutch’s shoulders, allowed him to transport them as he wished to the rhythm of ‘Rain Dogs’. A crazy breed, he reckoned they were. Reminded him of Kafka. Of that beautiful paragraph. What was the name of story? Something with a dog… Are you perhaps my fellow after all?... You see it’s... alone I howl over it...

“The deal you mentioned,” He heard himself whispering. “What are the particulars?”

Dutch stared at him for a moment, then grinned, moving his hand from his ass to his back, caressing tenderly. How black his hair was, raven black.

“You’ve lost your ears, Arthur,” He murmured as he drew him closer into his embrace. “Did you lose your mind along with them?”


“I assume you have pen and paper in your flat?”

Arthur nodded and a quarter of an hour later he was straddling Dutch’s BMW motorcycle, a hand loosely holding the man’s waist while the other remained suspended beside him as they rode in the autobahn, eastbound.

Clothes were ripped apart rather peeled off during the ascent towards his apartment, and Arthur had to apologise to a startled Châtenay - his downstairs neighbour - when he came face to face with the two of them, half-naked and making out furiously just outside his door. They ignored the man’s excited suggestion that they should model for him while fucking and scrambled up one more floor, Dutch almost kicking the door in before Arthur could open it. In his defence it was damn hard pushing the key into the keyhole when his prick was being jerked off by expert hands…

“Bohemian, I like it!” Dutch commented, chuckled low and pushed Arthur onto the bed.

His boots and jeans were gone in a second, briefs followed, and to his surprise Dutch climbed between his thighs, which he pushed farther open, mouth wasting no time to capture the glistening head of his raging stiff cock, ripples of pleasure radiating straight from the teasing tongue through Arthur’s entire nervous system. He cursed and gripped the man’s head, forcing it down, but this displeased Dutch apparently since he got up immediately, slapped him hard twice, tore away his own skewed tie and used it bind Arthur’s hands tightly behind his back. He was rolled him onto his back once more, primed to endure the other’s whims as he cruelly carried on leisurely licking his weeping shaft while rolling his balls in a hand, moans leaping from Arthur’s lips as his toes curled, panting, not begging, never begging, never, never, begging, begging for more now…

“Hmmm...” Dutch lifted his head and licked his lips, strands of dark hair sticking to his forehead, black paint smeared on his cheeks and above his eyebrows, giving him a villainous expression that fitted his words: “Love it when you plead, Arthur… Each time you do it my life extends by a year…”

He was still laughing when he lowered his head and the vibration almost made Arthur come, but suddenly the base of his cock was clasped in a vice-like grip and he mewled and moaned when Dutch’s attention shifted to his balls again, licking, kissing, nibbling, then going further down until he felt wetness on his entrance. Oh fuck…

“Where do you keep your stash?”

“The box... in the drawer,” He panted, both relieved and shattered when the delicious torture had ceased. Not for long though.

“What’s that?” Arthur asked when in the dim light of the moon he saw Dutch returning with not only lube and condoms, but a thin brush dripping with black paint.

“I wanted to fuck you with your cat ears on,” Dutch began, drawing something on his face. “This is the second best.”

He didn’t need to see the man’s handiwork in the mirror, from the movements of the brush he could very well guess he had painted whiskers for him…

“Say it.”

“What?” Arthur asked, his grump only lasting for a second when it was swept away by the sting of a slap across his cheek. He was pushed down and slapped again when he glared and spat at Dutch, trying to buck him off.

“You’re a cat, act like one.”

Arthur remained adamantly still, eyeing the other man who was obviously enjoying himself too much. He was momentarily distracted by the tiger pattern on the now open vest, so he was caught unprepared when the man started playing with his nipples, still sensitive and puffy from being bitten and sucked on at various points on the staircase. He closed his eyes and bit his lower lip in an ineffective move to prevent sighs from escaping his throat.

“Say it, Arthur…” Dutch’s tone was much softer now, almost in tune with the gentle strokes of his moist thumb circling his opening. “No one else can hear it, it’ll be our secret…”

He felt his belly coiling and his abandoned cock twitched. He wanted to resist, but… “Mew.”

He said it in his lowest voice, the manliest mew ever articulated. Even so, he almost died of shame when Dutch started laughing, not exactly in a mocking manner, but with an audible and oddly contagious hunger. Suddenly Arthur wanted to kiss the man so badly he pushed himself up on his elbows and was met half-way by Dutch who began kissing him savagely as he tore off his own clothes. The touch of the nipple piercing on his skin was simply electrifying. He struggled to untie the tie while a slick finger penetrated him, followed by another, and he only succeeded in freeing his hands when the third digit had found its way into his wanting passage. He wrapped his arms around his lover - for a night, and only for a night, he would think of him as that - and held him in his tight embrace, licking his tongue, lips, the hollow of his neck, and finally the nipples, playing with the fascinating rings, pulling on them, and now remembering the other rings, he snaked a hand between their bodies to grab Dutch’s length, humming in anticipation to feel its delicious hardness.

The man growled and wrestled him down and beneath himself, staring into his eyes for a moment with a hand fixed on his throat before flipping him onto his stomach, hips propped up, head pushed into the mattress when the same hand shifted its hold to the nape of his neck. Arthur moaned loudly to sense Dutch’s cock sliding between his cheeks, pressing against his hole every once in a while but not entering. Not yet. Damn, fuck… He almost said it. Had even opened his mouth to say the word. It began with a ‘p’... But the other’s impatience got the better of him and he was in, spreading him, inch by inch, until he could feel the heat of his loins against his buttocks.

Arthur closed his eyes and inhaled deeply, his mind whisked away by a strange sort of rapture to register a mixture of the scent of Dutch’s sweat with the fragrance of thinner, enhanced by the grip of the man’s fingers on his hips as he slowly pulled back to plunge in, violently, repeating the sequence, then reversing the tempo, each thrust angled perfectly to hit his prostate, until his entrance had lost the will to resist. The bedding below him was completely wet when his belly was pushed onto it by Dutch’s weight pressing over his frame as the man’s movements became more urgent, his grunts less composed. The slightest of friction against the sheet was enough to send Arthur over the edge, without even having touched his cock, whose persistent throbbing he could feel against his abdomen along with hot bursts of cum, as his vision went white and his body was encased in that delightful sensation of utter peace, so rarely experienced.

Dutch’s climax coincided with a kiss which was probably aimed at his mouth but landed on his jaw as the other man clutched his hand in his, squeezing tightly. Arthur tilted his head to press his lips against the other’s, as they lay panting, exhausted, one on top of the other in a perfect fit. Eventually, Dutch moved away and reclined on his side next to him, naked, smiling as their eyes met. Arthur couldn’t even remember when or where he had lost his trousers, etc...

“Pen and paper,” Dutch demanded in a low voice, releasing his hand.

Arthur stretched a hand and opened the nightstand’s drawer, took out a fountain pen and his journal, tore out a piece of paper and handed them to Dutch, chuckling when he sensed and saw the man using his ass as a desk. The tip of the pen tickled as the other began scribbling on the paper.

“You done, Monsieur Valmont?”

Dutch chuckled and gave his bum a sharp spank and a kiss before lifting the paper and blowing on it for a second or two.

Arthur took the paper when it was offered him and read.

“Is that it?” He asked, raising an eyebrow.

“I like the way you think, Arthur Morgan,” Dutch handed him the pen.