by Togi Kayako (土宜草子)
There’s a widower that lives in my neighborhood, and he has two sons. The older one, Andrew, is everything he wants in a kid: tall, blond, muscled, handsome, good at sports, gets all the girls, etc.
The younger one is me. I’m a bit below average height, lanky, I’ve got short, dark hair, and I enjoy things like books, which doesn’t endear me to my so-called peers. My name’s Theodore, which does nothing to endear me to my step-father. My mom picked it out; my step-dad, Kurt, says it’s a stupid name. If he’s drunk, he calls it a fag name, looking at me like I’ve done something wrong just by existing. I want to tell him that it’s not my fault he ended up with me, that it’s not like I had anywhere else to go, but I know he’ll never listen.
At least I pull my weight around the house, though. Since I’m not busy with sports and picking up the school bimbos or some mind-numbing office job, I do all of the cooking and cleaning. I’ve gotten pretty good at cooking, good enough that I’m thinking about going into a culinary school after I graduate. Sure as hell would beat living here.
“Here” at the moment is not actually the tiny house I share with my stupid family. I’m out for a walk, which is what I usually do when the macho men decide to go on a drinking binge. It’s better for my mental health if I let them destroy their livers in peace and, more often than not, they want me to go out and get them snacks.
Not just anything will do, naturally — they want take-out from this specific fish and chips place that’s at least a fifteen minute walk away. The place looks grimy every time I go in, so I never get anything for myself. I just stand around awkwardly in my school uniform — it’s really comfortable, okay? — and wait for the stoic, balding man to fry up some questionable fish.
I take the greasy, newspaper-wrapped food in a plastic bag, and start the trudge back to my house. Slowly. Hey, if they’re gonna get plastered and make me wait on them, I don’t see any reason to be nice about it.
My favorite place to dawdle around on my way home is in this overgrown garden in front of an abandoned house. There’s never anyone else there, because… okay, so I’m really skinny and I can slip around the edge of the bent and rusting front gate. It’s probably trespassing, but it’s not like it matters. No one lives there.
No one lived there, anyway. When I squeeze my way past the gate today, I notice that there’s a light on in one of the second-story rooms of the house, and someone has hacked a path through the overgrown bushes and trees.
At the end of the tunnel of dense greenery, the pale wooden door to the house hangs open. I freeze in place, staring at the line of carpet I can see through that tiny opening. I’m curious above all else, never mind that it tends to get me into trouble, and the invitation that slightly open door offers me is too much to resist.
My feet are taking me down the path through the garden before I even consciously realize I’ve made a decision. No one leaves their door open by accident, I reason, at least not around here. Maybe the person who’s moved into the house is hurt or something.
Halfway to the door, I manage to trip on something I didn’t notice because I was too busy staring straight forward. It turns out to be a basket, with a couple of bright red apples sitting in the bottom. There are a few more scattered across the path in front of me, and a small pile nearby.
It looks like whoever lives here stopped in the middle of picking apples in quite a hurry — maybe something is actually wrong. Besides the way I’m casually heading into someone else’s house, I mean. Despite coming to this conclusion, I feel compelled to tidy up a bit. It distracts me from the fact that my curiosity is almost certainly going to get me into a messy situation once again, and besides that, picking up after other people is as natural as breathing to me.
I set aside the fish and chips without another thought. A few minutes’ work and I have all the apples in the basket, which I decide to carry up to the house with me. Maybe I can use it to form some kind of plausible excuse for being here, or for going inside — I can’t possibly leave now, my curiosity would kill me.
The porch looks to be in shockingly good repair considering that this house has been empty, as far as I know, for several years. Not a single one of the steps creak as I inch my way up to stand in front of that tantalizing doorway.
Should I go in? Maybe I should just leave the basket and run like hell. Of course, I can’t bring myself to do anything like that once I’ve made it this far, so I ease the door fully open and slip inside the house.
If the rest of the rooms are anything like this one, the place must be almost completely bare. No furniture, no decorations, nothing but some dust motes dancing in the light coming through the open door. The carpet is thick, and when I reach down to touch it I find it to be the softest I’ve ever felt. Some stairs curl up to the left of the door, leading to a landing on the second floor made of the same pale wood as the door.
I want to climb them, to go see who is in the house and if they’re okay, but I get distracted by a fantastic smell coming through an archway ahead of me. Basket of apples still in hand, I step into what has to be a kitchen, though I’ve never seen one so incredible in my life.
There’s a huge stove with six burners and an oven beneath it, all of which look to be gas-powered. On either side of the stove are counters covered in gray marble that come up just past my waist, with cupboards made of more pale wood above and below them. The fridge is taller than I am, and there’s an island with all manner of tools on and above it in the center of the room. Everything is spotless, so neat that it looks like it’s never been used.
It must have been, though, because the oven is on and the unmistakable smell of baking bread fills the room. There’s even a wire rack on the counter to the right of the oven, with a pair of oven mitts next to it.
Shaking my head in vague disbelief, I set the basket down on the island and ease open the oven door just a crack. There are five loaves of bread inside, just the perfect shade of golden-brown — any longer, and they’ll burn. I waste no time in taking them out and setting them on the rack to cool.
With my natural desire to get things straightened up satiated, I can go back to exploring the house. I’m up the stairs in seconds, in utter silence. At the top, I pause, listen — but there’s nothing to be heard.
There’s a door to my left, recessed, and not open far enough for me to see inside. I get the feeling that this is my chance to turn back, like if I step over the threshold the door will slam shut and lock behind me or something. The thought is almost enough to make me laugh, and I shrug it off as quickly as it came.
Like everything else in the house, the door is eerily silent as I slide it open, expecting another unfurnished room inside. To my great surprise, the room is furnished, quite lavishly, and all in white. There is a tall wardrobe made of that pale wood, with little knobs shaped like clouds. The top drawer is open and I can see snowy white linen inside it, with such perfect folds and in such neat stacks that I can hardly believe human hands have touched them.
A massive four-poster bed takes up the bulk of the room, with almost opaque white hangings suspended all around it, tied up so that the fabric falls in little waves and curves in seemingly random directions. The bedding all looks massively thick — my bet is that the pillows, the comforter, and even the mattress are all filled with feathers.
Somehow, my eyes missed the most interesting feature of the room until last: on a divan, white like everything else, a man is sleeping. Even sprawled out, I can tell he’s at least a head or two taller than I am. Where I’m kind of scrawny, he’s got broad shoulders, solid, muscular arms and legs, and large, long-fingered hands. One hand is resting across his stomach, and the other is stretched out on the floor like he just fell back and was asleep instantly.
He’s wearing some loose pants and an unbuttoned shirt, both white, of course. This guy must love that color; either that, or he’s colorblind and it’s just cheaper to buy fabric that hasn’t been dyed. His skin is pretty pale, and he doesn’t have any hair on his chest.
The weirdest thing is his hair, which hangs unevenly around his shoulders. It’s gray, even though he looks way too young for that. Then again, it’s not the right shade of gray to be caused by age; it makes me think of the sky before a storm. Maybe he dyes it. Maybe he’s an albino. If I could see his eyes, I could tell, but for now all I’ve got is conjecture.
This is good, I remind myself. The guy whose home you’ve broken into is asleep. You’ve seen him, you’ve gotten to take a bit of a look around, now get the hell out and never come back.
My legs aren’t so in favor of this plan. They are very much in favor of walking into the room I should be leaving, and taking me right over to the man whom I should not under any circumstances be waking.
Something about him is just fascinating to me. It’s like he’s the pinnacle of strangeness in this house, which is saying something considering how much weirdness there is going on around here. Is he even real? Maybe I’m just imagining all of this, while in reality I’ve fallen asleep in the garden and am slowly freezing to death with my head pillowed on fish and chips.
When I touch the tips of my fingers to his chest, he feels real enough. Smooth, and a little bit cool to the touch, like he’d been outside just recently. I can feel his breath faintly on my other hand when I trace the line of his lips. No, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, but I had to make sure he was real, or something like that.
He feels even more real when his hands snap up and grab my wrists, and I find myself looking directly into some of the palest blue eyes I’ve ever seen. There’s no anger in them, at least not yet. Just sleepiness, confusion, and maybe just the smallest touch of amusement.
“And what are you doing in my house, young sir?” His voice is as strong as his body looks, and deep, with a faint accent — German, maybe? I can’t place it.
I try to pull back, just a little, but his grip on my wrists feels like it’d be impossible to break. “I’m sorry, sir. I… I’m not entirely sure, to be honest.” With halting words I explain about my trips into the garden in the past, then today with his door open, the apples, the bread — everything comes spilling out.
“That is quite the tale!” His eyes aren’t so narrow now, and my story got a little laugh out of him, so I feel a bit safer. He’s not gonna call the cops or anything, at least.
I’m beginning to realize I may have bigger things to worry about, because he still hasn’t let go of me, and shows no signs of planning to soon. Even weirder, I find that I don’t really care. Having his hands wrapped around my wrists is kind of… nice.
So is the way he’s looking at me. His eyes are a little narrowed again, but now he looks more speculative, watching me so closely I start to squirm under the scrutiny. “What is your name?” he asks, after a long and increasingly uncomfortable silence.
“Theodore,” I say, and then remembering the manners that someone must have taught me: “It’s, um, nice to meet you, Mister….” Okay, so the manners need some work.
“You may call me Hall.”
His words come out more like an order than an introduction, and I know better than to disobey. “Nice to meet you then, Mister Hall.”
“And a pleasure to meet you, strange and helpful Theodore. Would you be willing to do me one more favor, since you are so serendipitously here to do so?”
He’s still holding on tight, and I nod before my brain even processes what he said. Something about him is just overpowering — it’s like how my curiosity gets the best of me, but even more so.
“Sure, I mean — yes, I’d be glad to help you, Mister Hall. What can I do?” When did I get so obliging? And when did I start to fidget while he looks at me? I mean, he is kind of staring, but somehow I can’t hold still all of a sudden, like he’s making me kind of nervous, or… I push the other options out of my mind for now.
Finally, finally he lets go of my hands, easing up his grip and then sliding them off in a way that lingers along the inside of my wrists. I think I felt his nails graze the skin there for a second, and I shudder.
“Cold?” he asks, tone all polite concern in spite of the fact he’s watching me with that intense look still. He falls silent, and I can’t bring myself to lie convincingly or blurt out the truth. There is no way I am gonna tell this guy he just turned me on a little.
“What did you want me to do?” I ask at last, ducking my head a bit to hide the way my face is starting to get red.
Mister Hall gets up off his divan in one smooth motion, and winds up standing mere inches away from me. He raises his arms in a stretch and his pants slip just a fraction of an inch lower, drawing my eyes to the edge of the line where his leg and torso meet.
I know my face is red now and I jerk my eyes away from him way too fast to be subtle. He doesn’t mention it, thankfully, but he doesn’t move back, either. The difference in our heights didn’t seem like much when he was lying down, but now it seems like he’s looming over me.
“I need an extra set of hands to help me shake my bedding out and make the bed again.” He gestures toward the giant bed, like I could have missed it somehow. “It is the work of only a few minutes, but it is awkward to do by myself. The mattress needs to be shaken until the feathers fly.”
Seems a little nuts to me — don’t you want the feathers to stay in the mattress? — but I’m in no position to argue. Together we take all of the pristine white bedding off and make a pile in the middle of the floor, then shake everything out.
It’s fun, actually, shaking around all the bedding that seems like it should handled with care. Tiny white feathers fly everywhere, so much like snowflakes that I expect them to melt on my skin when they land there. I’m out of breath when we’re finished, more from laughing at the drifts of feathers than from the exertion.
“You’ve done me three favors now,” Mister Hall says, catching my gaze and holding it as he strides leisurely around the end of the bed toward me. “I think I should give you three in return.”
He walks right up to me and slides his hands down my arms, grabbing my wrists once again. I feel like he’s looming again and I take a step back, the back of my knees bumping into the edge of the bed.
With a gentle push, he has me on my back on the bed. He’s straddling one of my thighs — there is no way he is coming on to me. More than that — at this point, even seduction seems a little bit too weak of a word.
My arms are eased up above my head, where he can pin both wrists with just one of his huge hands. He’s rubbing his thigh between my legs with just the right amount of pressure, and his free hand is starting to unbutton my uniform jacket.
I’m taking really shallow, quick breaths now, and it’s got nothing to do with his weight on top of me; he’s being really careful not to rest on me too much. It has everything to do with the way I can’t look away from those pale eyes and how helpless I feel and how fast I’m getting hard.
He is too, I can feel his cock pressing against my thigh, and that makes me feel like the sexiest guy in the world. This fucking gorgeous man wants me. I arch my back a little, grinding up against him, and he lets out a low, soft chuckle.
“You’re very eager, aren’t you, Theodore?” He’s got my jacket undone now, and starts tugging my plain black tie loose. Quicker than I would have thought possible, he has it off, then retied around my wrists… and one of the bed posts.
Very firmly tied, too, I discover as I try to wiggle free. He just laughs quietly at me and eases back onto his knees so he can run his hands over my chest. My nipples were already hard, and he finds them in no time through the thin white fabric of my shirt.
Then he leans down and sucks one into his mouth, and I arch off the bed with a gasp that would have been a scream if I’d had any air in my lungs. I glance down when he pulls back and see the wet, almost transparent spot on my shirt with my nipple right in the middle. It looks obscene.
“These are exquisitely sensitive,” Hall says, tracing the pad of his finger in tiny circles almost but not quite where I want it to be. “Even with a layer of clothing still in the way.”
He untucks my shirt and slides both hands up underneath, easing it up inch by way too slow inch. With my hands tied, there’s no way to get it off, so he just pulls it up over my head and leaves it rumpled around my upper arms. A wicked grin is on his lips as he grazes them over the center of my chest, just barely touching.
“Please,” I whisper, not sure what needs to follow that lone word. There’s too much that I want and I want all of it at once, right now. I’m not used to anything but my own touch, quick and furtive in whatever small privacy I can find, so this is me out of my element and then some.
Thankfully, he seems to know what I can’t manage to put into words. His tongue flicks over my nipple, the feeling even stronger with nothing in the way, and his hands undo my belt and pants in quick succession. I kick off my shoes, leaving me almost completely naked.
Hall’s fingers are cool as they dip under the waistband of my boxers. I’ve never had anyone else’s hand there or anywhere near it before, and the difference between it and my own touch is dramatic. Even just the tiny mystery of not knowing where he will move next or how he will touch me makes it a thousand times more intense, and that’s without factoring in any skill on his part.
He’s good. He’s got to be, or I’m just more on edge than I would have thought possible. With only a few light strokes down my cock, I already feel like I’m going to come any second.
“Mister Hall– I mean, sir, please don’t — I can’t, fuck, I’m going to come!” My hips buck up into his hand, lifting off the bed as I come across my own stomach. I go limp and focus on just breathing for a moment, trying to stop gasping for air.
My face is bright red — I know, I can feel how warm it is — and I desperately want to cover it with my hands. I had managed to forget the position I was in, but now I’m all too aware of it: clothes half on, hands bound to the bed post with my own tie, and cum in sticky lines across my stomach.
I glance down at Hall; he leans in and starts licking across my stomach in broad strokes, moving down. Cleaning me off, and turning me on all over again. By the time he reaches the bottom of my stomach, I’m as hard as if I hadn’t come at all.
With his lips just barely brushing the base of my cock, he speaks. “That is one favor repaid, Theodore. How would you like the rest?”
My mind just flat out stops and refuses to comprehend what he’s offering — anything I want is a temptation to great to wrap my brain around. Instead, I notice that he’s still hard against my leg, and I say the first thing that springs to mind: “Don’t you need to get off too?”
This nets me the biggest laugh I’ve heard out of the man so far, plus his hand cupping my cheek for a brief moment. “Is that an offer, Theodore? I would not be adverse to taking you up on it, if it was, but I am also not minded to release your hands just yet.”
One swift mental calculation later leaves me with two obvious options for ways to get someone off without using my hands, and both are more than slightly daunting. “I…” How do I phrase this so I don’t sound totally immature? “I’ve never done this before,” I blurt out, and quickly realize that isn’t quite what I had in mind.
The response I get isn’t what I had in mind either: Hall looks utterly startled for a moment, but I feel his hips arch hard against mine and see his eyes light up. “Do you wish to do so now?”
He’s managed to damper his enthusiasm just a little, but his body tells me loud and clear that I have suddenly become twice as desirable as I was already. He’s looking at me like… like girls at school look at my brother, as if I were some kind of unobtainable treasure.
That bit of awe in his gaze is all it takes to give me my answer: “Yes, I would.” Somehow my voice rings clear and strong, and I manage to meet his eyes without blushing or wanting to hide under things, like the covers we were shaking out just a short while before.
Then he leans down and kisses me. His mouth is slightly cool, just like the rest of him seems to be, but his lips are smooth and just a little soft as they press against mine. Nobody I’ve kissed before has kissed me like this. This is no quick, tentative darting in and backing away, it’s slow and thorough and leaves me gasping for breath when he pulls back.
Hall slides his lips down to my jaw, then my neck, and burns a slow trail of sensation all the way up to my ear. “Will you allow me to use your mouth, Theodore? I doubt that I could wait much longer to sate myself — you leave me aching.”
Every word is spoken in a low tone that is as effective in turning me on as reaching down and stroking my dick. I can’t even speak, just nod my agreement and wonder at what I’m getting myself into.
One of the feather pillows gets dragged into service to prop my head up, and then Hall rolls off of me for just a moment to slide his pants down and toss them aside. I’m guessing that staring wide-eyed isn’t the correct etiquette in this situation, but I can’t help myself.
The pale hair on his head is obviously not a dye job, or else he is very serious about matching. The coarser curls around his cock and the thinner trail leading down to it are all the same steely gray — not that I spend a lot of time looking at them. I get distracted by some quick comparisons. He’s bigger than me, length and girth, though not by enough that I’m going to worry about it.
It’s just that when he straddles my chest and looks down at me, it looks kind of huge. I gulp, and notice his eyes flick down to my throat, and then up to linger on my mouth.
He reaches down with one hand and traces a finger across my lips. When I part them he slips it inside, sliding it ever so slightly in and out of my mouth, just far enough that I get a feel for what’s coming next.
Our eyes meet as he eases his hips forward and braces one hand against the bed post I’m tied to. His other hand is wrapped around his cock and guiding it to brush over my lips, leaving a little trail of dampness that I lick off almost instinctively.
It’s salty, but not unpleasant. His skin is the same where the tip of my tongue flicks over it, and I lick it again, slower this time. The shaking breath he draws in at that makes me grin with the sudden delight of success, knowing that I can give pleasure as well as get it.
Spurred on, I close my eyes and lean forward just enough to get the head of his cock in my mouth. That earns me a real gasp, and his hips jerk forward so that he slides a few inches deeper in my mouth. Not far enough to be uncomfortable, but enough that my mouth feels really full.
I glance up, trying to see if he’s enjoying himself as much as it sounds like, and I’m treated to the sight of Hall with his head thrown back a little in clear ecstasy. His eyes are shut, his lips are parted, and a faint flush has risen in his cheeks.
His hand bumps against my lips and I realize that he’s sort of jerking himself off while I suck on the head of his cock. With how turned on he was before, he can’t possibly last that long and he’s going to come in my mouth. Oh, fuck, that seems hot all of a sudden, but all I can manage is a load moan around him.
That seems to be enough to get the feeling across. If my hands were free, I could probably be doing a better job of this, but he sure as hell doesn’t seem to mind. He’s not quite fucking my mouth now — if he goes any faster, I don’t know if I can handle it.
He doesn’t go any faster. His hips jerk forward once, twice, and I feel a rush of thick, hot cum in my mouth. It’s not the greatest tasting stuff, but the fact I managed to get a guy off makes me swallow it all and suck on him just a little to make sure I get every last drop.
It’s not until he shifts so he’s kneeling next to me rather than over me that I realize I’m still hard, really, really hard. Hall seems to notice just as I do, because he glances over at me through the edge of his hair and asks, just a little breathlessly, “Shall I return the favor?”
“Oh my god,” I say, eyes suddenly locked onto those large, soft lips and wondering what it might feel like to have them wrapped around me. The transition from imagining to experiencing is exactly as long as it takes Hall to slide down the bed and lean over.
His mouth slides down around me, warm and wet and his tongue seems to be hitting every single sensitive spot I knew I had and several I didn’t. If I hadn’t come not that long ago, I would be right now, but the recent orgasm lets me hold out a bit longer. Every second brings the most intense pleasure I’ve felt in my life, and I’m happy to take as much of it as I can get.
Still, I can’t last forever, especially when I look down and see my dick sliding in and out of Hall’s mouth. That and a little hum of pleasure from him sends me over the edge, arching up with an incoherent yell. If it was possible, I would have come all over again when Hall simply takes me all the way into his mouth rather than stopping me with a hand.
I feel a little dazed as I relax back into the bed, totally spent. My whole body feels light, like it could float away in even the faintest breeze, and I can’t even begin to form sensible thoughts, let alone words.
Hall is stretched out beside me now, and manages to untie both my hands with only one of his own. He brushes some of the hair clinging to my sweat-soaked forehead back and gives me a smile that holds a very demure sort of satisfaction. “That’s two returned, Theodore, and the third will have to be given in another form, unless you are far less exhausted than you appear to be.”
I shake my head, still not quite up to the task of forming words. Hall laughs and runs a gentle hand down my cheek. “Well then, you can have your choice. You may either use your last favor to balance out your entering my home without permission, or you may use it to return here whenever you wish.”
Coherence makes a sudden swift return at the thought of another afternoon like this, though my brain manages to catch the implications before I open my mouth to agree. “If I decide to come back, how do I make up for barging in?” My voice is a bit quiet, but not quite hoarse, thank goodness. That would be awkward to explain to my family.
“By accepting a small punishment, or doing me a favor of my choice.” Hall says it like it’s the most natural thing in the world, this crazy system of debts and favors.
My brain latches on to the word “punishment” and I have a brief vision of me stretched across Hall’s lap. In my mind I’m moaning as his hand comes down on my bare ass, over and over. “I’d like to come back again,” I murmur, “If that’s okay with you.”
“It is very much so,” Hall says, lips against my temple. “Your return would almost certainly bring me a great deal of pleasure.”
That seems to be the end of our conversation, but the silence that follows doesn’t feel awkward at all. We get dressed, with me tucking my tie in a pocket after I realize it will need a pretty serious ironing to smooth out.
Hall stretches out on his divan again as I pull on my shoes, and by the time I’ve tied them he seems to have drifted off to sleep again. If it wasn’t for the memory of orgasm and how tired I feel, I could almost believe I had just stepped into the room and he had never been awake at all.
I trace my steps back as quietly as I can, thankful for how silent everything is as I’m creeping down the stairs. When I leave the house I make sure to close front door tightly behind me. It’s not until I step off the porch that I realize it started to snow while I was indoors, and the ground already has a thin layer over it.
The bag of fish and chips is easy enough to spot, and to my utter surprise, it’s still faintly warm when I pick it up. Maybe the guy at the shop just wrapped it really well. I eye the bag with suspicion, and hold it a little further away from me as I make my way home.
I’m barely inside the front door when my brother greets me with, “Geez, Theo, you took fucking forever getting here. What’d you do, stop to smell every flower on the way?”
I thrust the food into his hands and climb the stairs to my room without a word. The memory of this afternoon is enough to insulate me from Andrew’s usual show of stupidity, and the thought of what might have happened to him if he’d been in my shoes today actually makes me grin.
He probably would have stepped on the apples, let the bread burn, and said something retarded to Hall. Andrew would probably have gotten himself beaten until he was crying and whimpering worse than anyone he’s ever picked on. Not that I’m ever going to tell him about the garden, or the house, and especially not the incredible things I did with Hall.
I glance out the window and notice that the snow’s coming down really hard now — if it keeps up like this school will be canceled tomorrow. It won’t be too deep to walk in, though, so I’m betting a trip through a particular garden will be in order. Something tells me I’ll be seeing a lot of it.