by Eri Mori (絵理燃利)
I first saw him when I was fifteen.
I was working as a waiter at my grandfather’s restaurant; a job that had been forced upon me by my parents in an attempt to teach me some responsibility. I hated it at first, but eventually grew to like it–mostly because of the considerable pocket money it netted me. Not to mention I enjoyed the ever revolving reel of people coming and going: all types visited my grandfather’s restaurant, and it was always fascinating to observe them, especially those who became regulars. For example, every Saturday morning, an old Jewish couple would come in and argue with each other over their pancakes, always fighting to the point of threatening divorce, then making up and ending up leaving with their hands intertwined, praising each other and thanking them for decades of happiness. Or the large family that came in on Sunday evenings to study the Bible together and look the picture of conservative happiness–though the oldest daughter looked about ready to explode in a rebellious whirlwind of sin at any moment, particularly on the rare occasions that I was stupid enough to flirt with her.
But more than any of the others, there was one group that piqued my interest; every Thursday a group of Russian men came in for dinner. They looked shady, and always wore black, speaking quietly in their native tongue to each other over their food and going silent whenever I walked by, even though I had no idea what they were saying anyway. I asked my grandfather about them once, and he just told me to let it be. ‘Don’t ask questions,’ he told me in a cryptic tone, ‘just let them be and give them good service.’
I listened . . . until he showed up.
There were four of the men to start with, ranging from middle-aged to somewhat elderly, all with exceedingly serious, dark demeanors. I was always very polite and took their orders with care, making sure to listen extra carefully so as not get anything wrong because of their accents. It became routine, boring even, and soon I stopped caring about the men in black, focusing instead on school and life.
But then, one Thursday, about a week before my sixteenth birthday, a fifth man joined their group. He was younger than the rest of them (in his mid-twenties, I guessed), with black hair slicked back from his face, and eyes so blue it looked like someone had carved them directly from the sky on a beautiful day. His nose was long, with a bump in the bridge where it had probably been broken at some point, but it fit his face perfectly, and was complemented by his mouth, which was wide and full–pouty even. He wore a tailored suit, black, just like the rest of them, but it looked entirely different on him; it made him look sleek, dangerous in a way that the other men just couldn’t pull off. They might have managed such a look a few decades ago, but now they looked like businessmen on the verge of retirement. No, he still looked like a shark. He was the new employee, the one with great ideas who was going to climb to the top no matter who he had to step on to get there.
In short, I felt like my heart had stopped when he looked at me, and for the first time since my early waiting days at that restaurant, I fumbled my way clumsily through taking their orders. It was as if my ears were full of cotton and my brain had stopped working properly. By the time I’d finished, I was more than happy to flee back to the kitchen to hide for a few minutes, trying to calm down and catch my breath, all of my limbs trembling like I’d just finished with some grand, trying athletic feat.
It was then that it occurred to me for the first time that I might be just a little bit gay: the way he’d looked at me had made my heart pound in a way that it never had with a girl, and by the time I got to the kitchen, I was blushing like one.
Of course I spent weeks agonizing over this little idea, even spent my sixteenth birthday completely distracted by it. I tried to avoid working on Thursdays after that, but my grandfather wouldn’t hear of it. He told me I couldn’t shirk my responsibilities just because I was scared of someone. I wanted to tell him that I wished it were that simple, but instead I just nodded and told him I’d try, because I knew he wouldn’t understand.
Gradually my reaction to the man became muted, dulled by seeing him on a regular basis, until I was able to take their orders once more without batting an eye. But the butterflies never quite went away, and my breath would still catch every time he looked me in the eye, that brilliant, clear blue meeting with my own humble brown and making the bottom of my stomach drop out. The feeling was almost addictive in an odd way . . .
Eventually I began searching for someone else, trying to get the same reaction. I started with girls, still convinced that I wasn’t gay, going through them like tissues until I’d earned myself a reputation as a hopeless playboy at my school. None of them did it for me though, and eventually I settled on one, using her as a cover while I snuck out on the weekends, going to those clubs that no one talked about in ‘good’ neighborhoods; the ones where strange men danced very close and snuck off to dark corners to get even closer. I relished those shady retreats, and gradually I got nearer to getting that electric feeling from them, letting those men grope me while we danced and even sucking a couple of them off. But I never let any of them fuck me, and I never fucked them. I came close once, with a beautiful man with black hair and blue eyes, but I backed out at the last minute and he hit me in his rage and called me a tease, leaving me with a rather nasty black eye. I told my parents that I’d gotten in a fight and they simply gave me a stern lecture and told me to be more careful. I got lucky that time, since my parents weren’t usually so lenient.
So I gave up on the clubs after that: no one came close to my Russian Adonis. Instead I simply enjoyed the butterflies every Thursday and continued dating the girl all the way through my senior year of high school. By the end of it she was convinced we were going to get married, gloating to her friends in secret, and giggling at the bets they started amongst themselves about when I would propose. I let her keep the happy ideal for about a month after graduation, but sometime at the beginning of July, I just couldn’t keep up the charade anymore and broke up with her. She cried a lot and pounded on my chest with her pretty, delicate fists, but even then all I could think of was how his hands were so much more beautiful: fine-boned but strong, the right always sporting a finely crafted silver ring, shaped like a wolf’s head. I felt terrible for having led her on for so long like that, and even spent a couple days moping in my room, as if I’d been the one that had been dumped. Only the thought of seeing him again was enough to stir me from my pity-party, so when the following Thursday came, I dutifully got out of bed and went to work.
But he wasn’t there. None of them were. I stayed all the way until closing even though I was supposed to get off at nine, but they never showed up. So, incredibly worried and still depressed from my breakup, I went home and crashed hard, not waking up until nearly noon the next day. I continued to mope about the house, going to sit on the couch and watch TV for a while to numb my brain. I was hardly paying attention when I saw on the news that a warehouse down by the pier had been blown up and several men killed. A few pictures shown and names were recited, catching my ear as I noticed that they were all Slavic. But then came two pictures that I recognized, and I finally started to pay attention, feeling a terrible sinking in my stomach as I stared hard at the grainy photos on the screen. Of course I recognized them! I’d seen their faces once a week for the last three years–how could I not? One was the oldest of the group, and the other one of the middle-aged men. But he wasn’t there, thank god, wasn’t mentioned at all really, save for the slim possibility that he might be one of the ‘several people injured and currently receiving treatment in the hospital’ whose names the anchor wasn’t supposed to disclose.
I couldn’t help myself; I pulled on my coat and grabbed my keys, dashing out of the house without even acknowledging my family’s demands to know where I was off to in such a hurry. It wasn’t until I was already at the hospital that I remembered how little I truly knew about this man. Let’s see . . . he was Russian, went to my grandfather’s restaurant every week, always wore suits, and . . . well, that was it. I didn’t even know his name. How the hell was I going to get them to let me in?
I had to try though, so I took a deep breath and squared my shoulders, summoning up my courage before I strode in and did my best fake Russian accent ever to the nurse at the counter. I pretended to know very little English, gesturing and stumbling over barely understandable phrases like ‘you show me visit now!’ until the nurse was just too flustered to handle me anymore and let me through. We peered in each room on the floor with the victims of the explosion, until I finally saw him sleeping peacefully in one of the beds. Relief made my knees weak, and I nodded eagerly at her, going, “Da, da!”
She ushered me inside and fled, shutting the door behind her. I simply stared at him, uncertain what to do now that I’d made it this far. I’d just been going forward without thinking ahead . . . Then his eyes opened and he looked at me. I froze mid-fidget, lips parting faintly as he raised an eyebrow at me, those beautiful, intense eyes curious.
“You . . . you are de boy from de restaurant,” he said, voice harsh and raspy–smoke inhalation, I found out later, though at the time I was certain he was dying.
“Y-yes,” I replied, blushing a little and shaking as I forced myself to step forward, “I–I heard about the explosion on the n-news. I r-recognized some of your friends.”
“Why you come here?” he asked, shifting and wincing a little, a hand pressing against his side, making the hospital gown gape enough to reveal intricate tattoos on his shoulders. “Do you show dis much concern for your other customers? You must be very busy eef you do.”
“N-no,” I shook my head, fussing with my coat and shuffling my feet, not meeting his eyes anymore. “It’s just–um–you guys have been coming in s-since I started working there. I was–was worried.” I hated the way I was stuttering; it made me feel even more like a girl than I already did. But his accent sent chills up my spine and made the butterflies go pleasantly nuts in my stomach, which manifested from my mouth in the form of a temporary speech impediment.
“Worried.” He wrapped his lips around the word as though it were one he hadn’t spoken often in the past, eyes calculating as they swept over me, “Why? You do not know me. I em just customer.”
“W-well, you know, I just–” I looked away, feeling stupid now, my face so hot it made me feel a bit dizzy. I finished lamely, “I don’t know.”
Again a sleek black brow lifted and the man stared at me for a few moments, still with that unreadable look. “I see,” he murmured finally, tone indicating that he’d come to some sort of decision, then nodded towards the door. “Lock that, then come here.”
I gave him a somewhat skittish look, but did as asked, flicking the lock then dutifully shuffling over, forcing myself to stop picking at the loose thread on the bottom of my coat and let my hands rest at my sides instead. He struggled into a sitting position, grunting with pain and brushing off my attempts to help, then tugged me closer by the coat, a move I had to try really hard not to pull back from on instinct. He took my chin then, gripping harder when I actually did try to pull away, and forced me to bend down, bringing our faces level, which sent an unexpected thrill through me that I’d never experienced before. He turned my head this way and that, examining my face closely while I just stared at him with wide eyes. I was certain he could feel my racing pulse, and it just made me blush harder, my whole body quivering under his firm touch.
“You are . . . what’s the word . . . queer?” he asked, forcing my chin up so I would look him in the eye.
“Yes,” I breathed; I couldn’t lie to him like this–he was a wolf: he would see through it in a heartbeat.
His eyes remained unreadable, his face cool and calm, even less of a clue to his thoughts other than to let me know that he was indeed thinking. “And you are . . . attracted to me?” he pressed, squeezing my jaw, as if warning me against lying.
“Yes,” I closed my eyes, shame and arousal mixing confusingly in my system.
He let out a throaty chuckle that went straight to my core, leaving me completely helpless, trembling in his grip like a rabbit in a wolf’s jaws–which was exactly what I was, even if I didn’t know it at the time. He murmured something in Russian, then leaned forward, not to kiss me like I so desperately wanted, but to bite my lip. Hard. I cried out softly, my cock leaping to attention in my pants at the sharp spark of sensation. He tugged on the abused flesh for a moment, then smoothed his tongue over it and let go.
“Are you certain you can handle me, krawlek?” he asked, those beautiful eyes staring intently.
I swallowed hard, feeling his fingers still firm against my jaw. “I don’t know,” I answered honestly, voice a little breathless. He gave me the eyebrow again and I added quickly, “But I’d like to find out.”
Those wide lips split into a predatory grin and he laughed, the sound full but cold, making me shudder with anticipation. He had to stop to cough lightly, then gave me a hard look. “I like you, boy,” he said, sliding his hand up to pat my cheek. “You may suck my dick. Let’s see eef you are better than a woman, eh?”
I sputtered for a moment, then calmed under a firm look from him and moved down obediently, lifting his hospital gown with trembling hands. I winced at the bloody bandages wrapping his stomach and chest, but he fisted a hand roughly in my hair before I could say something. “Don’t pity me, krawlek,” he growled, “just suck. Make eet good.”
I nodded mutely and swallowed, bringing my eyes down to his considerable length. Suddenly I was glad for what little experience I’d gained, hoping that what I’d learned would serve me well now. After a moment’s hesitation, I leaned down to take the head between my lips, sucking lightly and getting a feel for him with my tongue, working to make him hard in my mouth. He let out a pleased noise and massaged my scalp encouragingly, watching me with hooded eyes. I looked up at him for a moment, then back down, blushing all over again as I slid my head lower, taking as much as I could before lifting back up. I set up a slow rhythm like this, bobbing my head, cheeks hollowed with suction on the up, and tongue swirling slow and wet on the down, hand continuously working what I couldn’t fit in my mouth, feeling the length gradually swell until it was like velvet-covered steel under my touch.
He didn’t make much noise other than the occasional soft sound or grunt of pleasure, though I did make him moan once when I slid my tongue hard along the ridge under the head and gave a particularly sharp suck. After that, he fisted a hand in my hair and forced my head down until my gag reflex was triggered and I choked. But he didn’t stop for that, instead fucking my mouth until I could hardly breathe and tears were streaming down my face from the pain of having something so large shoved down my throat over and over again. But through the whole thing I was ragingly hard, my cock straining in my pants, begging for attention. I was just about to reach a hand down to do something about it when he suddenly pulled out of my mouth and came on my face with a deep groan, his seed bursting all over my lips and cheek, some of it dripping down to land on his thigh.
“Lick eet up,” he commanded, voice thick with lingering pleasure, “All of it. I want to see you eat my seed like de queer you are.”
I shuddered with shameful pleasure and did as I was told: lapping at his thigh until it was clean, then using my fingers and tongue to get it off my face. I’d gotten the worst of it when his hand shot out, firm grip clamping around my erection in my pants. I cried out and stopped for a moment, but he growled warningly at me so I kept licking, trying not to get too distracted as he groped and stroked me through my clothes.
Once it was all gone, he leaned forward to bite my lip again, sucking sharply on the hurt as his hand deftly flicked my pants open to reach inside and stroke me for real. I moaned loudly, helplessly, and he laughed, murmuring something to me in Russian that sounded entirely filthy and only served to turn me on even more. He stroked me hard and fast, and in an embarrassingly short amount of time I came, clinging to his arm and crying out like a girl while spilling into his palm. He held the creamy handful up to my lips, and I drank my own seed up as well, our two flavors combining gloriously on my tongue. I was flushed and panting, my knees shaking and barely holding me up as I came down from the pleasure-high.
He let out another of those deep chuckles and I whimpered. “You are a good leetle whore, aren’t you?” he purred into my ear, sounding quite satisfied and running a hand through my hair, smoothing where he’d mussed it.
I nodded mutely, still too dazed to form words, and he bit my ear, then pushed me back to stand up straight. I swayed a little and blinked at him. He tucked me back into my pants and fastened them for me, asking absently, “What is your name, krawlek?”
“Blair,” I replied softly, tucking some hair back from my face, oddly pleased that he’d done that for me. “Blair Damiano.”
“Blair Damiano,” he repeated and I swallowed at the sound of my name on his lips, his accent making it sound so much richer. “I em Ilya. I like you. Come back tomorrow.”
I took the dismissal with grace and, after a skittish little nod, fled back out to my car, shaking and panting, barely able to believe what I’d just done. I felt used, a whore, just like he’d said. But god it had been so intense!
I couldn’t wait to go back.