when the music is done & the lights are low Who: Abel & Rafael What: After Nish's unintentional confessions, Rafe tries to find some comfort. Where: An L.A. gay nightclub. When: late night Saturday, March 11th Rating: NC-17 for groping, choking, and oral sex.
In the weeks since his last difficult shoot, Rafael had made it a point to take things a bit easier. His film work had slowed, focusing largely on solo scenes and still photography. He had adopted a slower pace, too, with his escort work, scheduling dates only with those clients who would not be particularly demanding. In fact, since his discomfiting session with Nish and the humiliating revelations that had followed, he had not slept with anyone at all, whether for business or pleasure.
Following one such quiet night out, rather than go directly home, Rafael stopped at a club he had frequented in earlier times. The clientele was a good mix, diverse in all the right ways, and the bartenders made strong drinks for those they knew well. Rafael, being one of those, lingered at the bar for a time, nursing a cocktail and watching the crowd. After his second glass he made his way out to the dance floor. He stuck to the fringes, never moving too closely to anyone; he seemed at once a part of the crowd and not entirely so, drifting in between bodies, fleetingly touched by everyone but held by none of them.
Lights flickered over the writhing bodies, hiding, transforming, transferring body parts and faces from one to the next. Myriad eyes watched Rafe move, and one pair detached itself from the rest, following the man through the crowd. The hotspot was new to Abel; the location, anyway. Its contents were nothing different nor interesting compared to the number of clubs he'd been in between here and Massachusetts. Only now his curiosity had been piqued enough that he found reason to leave his comfortable spot near one wall, dogging Rafe's steps at a distance.
Each beat of the strobe put his movements into stop motion; he seemed to glide forward like a ghost, one who was intent on haunting solely its target. Even in the darkness Abel could sight the man's presence; it wasn't just that his eyes could pick him out in the dark. It was his smell, the way he seemed to glow even among all the other damned patrons. He roughly pushed past others, taking no heed to their complaints or colorful slurs in his direction. They were as meaningless as the momentary pleasure others on the floor took from their gyrating bodies.
He swept forward, and terror followed in his wake.
Rafael continued to dance, though the crowd subtly parted from his oncoming stalker. A few brave or foolish souls remained close to him; they had touched him too much, tasted of the sweet pleasure that seemed to hang in the air around him, and they could not bring themselves to leave. Hands lingered on his hips; he turned his body square to them, smiling down at his partner for this fleeting moment. He did not see the man approaching, did not sense his ill intent. There was only this: only sound and touch and the taste of liquor still slick on his tongue.
Those few supplicants were soon as scattered as the rest as Abel drew near, putting hands on either side of Rafael's hips and pulling the other man's back against his front. Everyone else pulled away, creating a loose circle around the two men; Abel bent his head, bringing his mouth to Rafe's neck, biting at his nape in a strange animalistic mating display. His hips swayed with Rafe's, groin pressing into the other man's backside. Fingers moved forward, pushing over and under cloth to seek out fresh and slick skin, dipping and rising above Rafe's pantline.
Gooseflesh raised on Rafael's arms; smiling still, he leaned back into this new presence. He ground against his latest partner, his neck canting to welcome whatever kiss or bite or touch may come. The music surrounded them, too loud to be heard over, so intense it seemed to pulse through their twined shapes on the floor. His hands slid down his body, fitting neatly over the ones that sought his bare skin, holding them close against himself.
As he pressed down, Abel's nails bit into his skin, matching where his teeth now ringed his pulse in his throat; as Abel's hands moved, they drew furrows, taking pain along with every gyration to the beat. Abel pressed his bite deeper into Rafe's hips, his lower belly, the sensitive skin just above his member, making a patchwork of scars that floated above his pantline but were not so deep that they wouldn't heal easily. It was a taunt, a feint, his own hips pressing into into Rafe's ass as his cock swirled to life with each movement, each sweet lick tasting of sweat off of the bright man's skin. Abel wrapped his arms tightly around Rafe's middle, the nails of his right hand sinking so hard into the bone just under Rafe's hip that sanguine joined other liquids in the dark, lost just as quickly between movement and cloth, but the sharp prick of pain announced their crescent descent into his flesh all the same.
That hand carved down, diving into Rafe's pants, this time reaching far enough to brush over his cock, passing around to one thigh; his forefinger stroked up and down the length of the other man, his teeth unhinging from their place to leave lips pressed in a grimace to the outline of his jaw impressed on Rafe's neck.
A bone-deep shudder raced through Rafael's body, but at no point did he move to pull away. He had already been judged -- and so publicly -- for these pleasures and been found wanting; what reason was there to deny himself now? He turned in his partner's arms, feeling the sting of opened flesh against his clothes as he moved. Sweat beaded and pooled in his wounds, a constant reminder of their presence.
It took a moment for Rafael's eyes to adjust in the dark. He searched the face before him and found he recognized it. But even then he did not withdraw. He only pressed himself to Abel's chest, their hips shifting together with the beat, their stirring bodies flush and warm. His arms slid low around Abel's waist, too gentle for a demand, too firm for a question.
Abel's hands removed themselves to Rafe's hips, heavy-lidded eyes expecting some form of recognition from Rafe and was pleased to see that he didn't immediately turn away. That in itself piqued a number of questions, but now was not the time for verbal communication. Instead, he pulled Rafe's hips tighter to his, the hard length of his member pressed to Rafe's own. His mouth hovered near Rafe's but never descended to the man's lips. Instead, one hand detached from Rafe's hip, sliding up the man's ribcage and over his front to curl fingers around his throat, pressing only hard enough to leave lightly bruising indentations on the man's windpipe.
Rafael's hesitation showed only in a slight hitch in his movements. He stayed close to Abel all the same, a heavy sigh falling from his parted lips at the insistent press of his partner's stiffening cock. His hands slipped lower, fingers splaying against Abel's backside. The song began to wind down, thudding its way into a slower beat. The faint bow in Rafe's back and his exposed throat both straightened, and he began to drift away, back toward the edge of the dance floor and the bar beyond. As he went he let his hand slide down Abel's arm; he looked back over his shoulder, his every look and touch a wordless invitation.
A roaring sound pounded in his ears, engulfing all else. He neither saw nor heard anything outside of the man's fleeting form, and Abel followed without hesitation. The hand Rafe touched last was extended, not pleading or grasping, but reaching, for he knew it was only a matter of time before he closed that distance between himself and this new prey. Oh, one thing Abel would say was that Nish had excellent taste; that was one thing they could agree on. He wended through the crowd, this time others clearing a path before he had to move them, their blank, black forms in the blinking darkness stoic and nervous. Abel paid none of them any mind, instead too intent on where Rafe was leading him; usually he wanted to be the one to place the setting, to choose how it would happen, but there was a curiosity here that demanded to be filled.
Rafael rapped his knuckles at the edge of the bar. The bartender barely looked up, sparing Abel only half a glance before pouring two generous shots of Patron Silver. Rafe swept his up, raising it to Abel in toast. The thrill that passed through him, raising the hair at his nape, felt more like anticipation than fear, though there was something of both in it. He edged closer to Abel, clinking their small glasses together, and tossed back the shot in one quick, clipped motion.
One hip rested against the bar; the other drifted close to Abel once more, his body angled toward him and away from the crowd. At this distance from the dance floor and its massive speakers, they could almost be heard over the din of the room.
"You don't look like the club type," Rafael said, leaning forward and into Abel's space.
Abel plucked up his shot, mimicking Rafe's motion. "I'm full of surprises." He downed the shot in one swallow, grimacing as he put the shot glass down on the bar counter. His body drifted closer to Rafe's, his hand reaching out to rest on that jutting hip angled toward him, creating a closed bubble of space where only they existed.
"Surprised you're here without your girlfriend. Or did it not work out?"
Rafael was grateful for the darkness of the club; it concealed the faint flush that crept up his neck and dusted his tanned cheeks. Every word of her exposed journal was so easily recalled, each one written in the forefront of his mind. Humiliation made a thick knot in the base of his throat.
"It's complicated," he said. "Don't worry about it." He nodded to the bartender, and another two shots replaced the empty glasses. His hip pressed harder into Abel's hand; said hand moved around the bone, to Rafe's back, his thumb tracing the line of muscle he could feel beneath Rafe's shirt. Rafael raised his shot glass and waited for his companion to match the small gesture.
Abel complied, raising the shot to clink the glass against Rafe's; an inaudible sound in the dark and loud interior of the club. He tossed the alcohol back easily, discarding the shot without a second thought. His body drifted closer, the drumming sound between his ears growing louder.
"I don't intend to." He brought his hand up to Rafe's throat again, resting it gently on his clavicle, fingers kneading the warm flesh between throat and chest. There were a lot of things he'd like to do to a body like that. "If you're looking to relieve some stress, though, I've got an idea or two. Preferably without an audience, but I've heard you're into some kinky shit."
"Who hasn't," Rafael muttered. His voice was a low vibration against Abel's fingertips. Carefully he placed the empty shot glass onto the bar, then slid it over to join Abel's own. He closed what little distance remained between them. Leaning forward, his lips nearly brushed the other man's. For all the liquor humming through his system, his gaze was sober and steady when he spoke. "So tell me about these ideas."
"I'm better at showing," Abel returned, hot breath moving over Rafe's face. "And don't pout too much about what happened in the lobby. Not like anything ever stays a secret forever, right?" Rafe's earlier words were lost, but Abel could read lips well enough; that combined with the expression on Rafe's face, Abel could easily pinpoint the cause of the other man's dissatisfaction. He brought his hand up to the man's throat, over his Adam's apple, preventing him from moving closer and joining their liplock. He squeezed just a touch, his other hand pulling Rafe's hips forward against his own. "Bathroom? Or does this place have a playroom?"
Rafael swallowed hard against the grip on his throat. His body stirred in answer, and though he silently cursed it for doing so, he did not move away. "Don't they all?"
His gaze darted up toward the ceiling. There, at the back of the room, a wrought iron staircase led up to a well-appointed VIP suite. Officially each room was intended for bottle service and private parties only. Unofficially, Rafael had conducted no small amount of business there, in various states of undress. It had been more than a year since his last visit to such a room, but lingering embarrassment and waxing intoxication assured him this was, without caveat, a perfectly good idea.
"This is why it's always good to get advice from the locals." Abel's face moved closer to Rafe's, his eyes closing as he inhaled deeply of the other man's scent. Then he pulled back, both hands resting fingertips on Rafe's hips. "What're we waiting for?"
Abel followed the bright man through the dark, into the thick of the crowd once more. Bodies thrust against them, shoving and pushing and living and dying all in the same moment. Abel's hand was linked with Rafe's through the barest of touches, a binding that felt like steel even though it was a butterfly brush of fingers against one another through the onslaught of movement they carved a path through. Then they were out of it, moving up the stairs, past bouncers and hosts, taken down a hall and shown a room.
He looked it over, pleased, though those contents were not as intriguing to him as Rafe himself was. Abel pulled away from the other man for a moment all the same, moving in a slow circle around the room, orbiting around Rafe in slow, jagged swirls that he punctuated with glances as though he were trying to decide where to start. "Comfortable? Familiarity tends to breed that."
"I thought that was contempt," Rafael said. He moved away from Abel's gaze, but he felt it on him all the same, as tangible as a touch. A plush sofa sat against the back wall, thickly cushioned, with overstuffed pillows resting against its arms. A television played on the opposite wall, displaying a view of the crowded dance floor below. It was muted, but the heavy thud of the music downstairs filtered up to them regardless, pulsing through the floor. Rafael folded himself into the corner of the couch, watching Abel with an openly appraising look. He made no effort to hide the hunger on his face, though he seemed content, for the moment, to wait to act upon it.
"So is this business or pleasure?"
"Which do you think?" He stopped on his last circling, physically following Rafe to the couch. One hand went to his pants, held by a thin belt that might work for his purposes. He stopped just in front of the furniture, his stomach eye-level with Rafe.
"If you're waiting to be told something to do, all you have to do is ask." His gaze caught Rafe's, holding it as his hands undid his belt, pulling it free from around his hips with one slow, smooth motion. Rafael shivered.
"You're the one with ideas," he said, though there was no force or even certainty behind his words. Even his body betrayed him, the hard line of his arousal already straining against the thin fabric of his pants. He looked up to him, thick lashes darkening his deep brown eyes. "So tell me what you want."
"Get on your knees," Abel replied, "in front of me." He popped the top button of his pants, thin lines of flesh visible from where his shirt was pulled back by his arm movements. His left hand held the belt, the leather looping out and around in a lengthy sphere.
Rafe's hesitation lasted only a moment. Then he shifted off the sofa, kneeling as he was bid. The only testament to whatever anxiety he felt was a quick darting of his eyes toward the belt, a faint shifting on his knees as he edged closer to his would-be partner. With flirtation done and only the act itself remaining, his blush had faded to nothing. He was perfectly attentive, perfectly still, awaiting whatever might come.
Abel's lidded eyes followed Rafe down to the floor, the belt gently lapping at his side like an excited dog as he flicked his wrist casually.
"Take your shirt off."
His right hand fell to his side, watching Rafe go through the motions as he was bid. Just as in the tape, he was complacent, even eager, and the sight made Abel harder. "Take my pants off."
His steady hands made quick work of buttons and zipper. His fingers splayed as he pulled Abel's pants down, following the hard lines of his thighs as he pushed cloth down to pool at his feet. His lips parted on a sigh. Though he was only a breath away from what he knew would be demanded of him, he did not move again, instead keeping his hands resting neatly atop his thighs, his gaze turned up to hold Abel's own.
Abel stroked the side of Rafe's face with the belt, his member curling up and out, jutting away from his hips. His tongue traced the curve of his lips as the belt moved over Rafe's profile, over his hair and down one cheekbone. Then it looped over Rafe's head, circling loose around Rafe's throat. Abel wrapped the belt around his hand once, twice, pulling the makeshift noose tight around the burnished bronze of his skin.
"Suck me off."
Rafe's knees parted on the carpet. He felt the heavy weight of his own arousal stirring, but he left it untended. Some small, rational part of him had questions to ask, precautions to take. But that voice grew quiet as leather creaked on his skin, as he felt the cold buckle press hard into his flesh. He sat up on his heels, taking Abel into his mouth one slow inch at a time. His tongue swirled small patterns over his length, slicking flesh soon swallowed down. He pressed forward, his hands on his own thighs, until the tip of his nose was buried in a thatch of wiry hair. Then he withdrew, and started again, every motion as slow and languid as before.
Abel's head tilted back, his wrist tightening the noose's hold around Rafe's neck.
"Faster," he said, voice low, hips jutting forward into Rafe's mouth. His other hand went to Rafe's head, fingers grabbing thick swathes of brown hair; the beginnings of what Abel was aiming for, though he still allowed Rafe some small measure of choice in the pace of the situation. His legs parted slightly, moving himself down, pushing himself deeper into Rafe's mouth; over his tongue, deeper into his throat. His head canted to look down, to watch the display unfolding beneath his feet.
Though tears stood unshed in his eyes, Rafael did not look away. He gasped a breath around Abel's cock, but even that small bit of air seemed to catch in his throat, somewhere just beneath the metal buckle. His short nails dug into the cloth at his thighs. But he moved as he was told, lips and tongue passing quick over every inch of his partner's body. He opened his mouth wide, pressed his body lower as his throat opened to each rough thrust.
Abel's grip tightened on Rafe's hair, taking the thrusting motion away from the prostrated man and shoving his thick arousal as deep as he could into Rafe's throat. Likewise, the belt drew taut around the man's neck, making it more difficult to push as far as he wanted, but the slowly changing color of Rafe's face spurred him further to combine both opposing options into one. He felt a dark swirl in his groin, his body close to coming as he pushed harder and harder into the dark recess of the now nearly nameless and faceless person before him. His head tilted back, a groan rumbling through his chest and throat, his knuckles whitening as he nearly ripped Rafe's hair from his scalp.
"Fuck," he muttered, looking back down, the minutes drawn out longer and longer as he face fucked the man on his knees before him. Just watching Rafe's face change from its normal, sunkissed bronze to something closer to a deep blackberry, watching him dance on the tight line between consciousness and unbeing, was enough to push Abel over the edge. He felt himself start to peak, and withdrew enough to make himself come by hand on Rafe's face, the hot, white liquid leaving one last, demeaning mark. The hand holding the belt kept Rafe on his knees long enough for Abel to finish the job; then he let go, finally releasing Rafe from his bondage.
Sparks danced in front of Rafael's eyes. He fell to his hands and knees, dragging in one ragged gust of air at a time. He shuddered. His shirt was near enough: With one trembling hand he wiped his face clean, scrubbing until he regained feeling in his viciously darkened cheeks. At some point hot tears had tracked down his face. He cleaned these, too, and let his ruined shirt fall to the carpeted floor. His fingers swept through his sweat-damp hair, feeling a few pinpricks of blood streak through dark locks in their wake.
It had indeed been a distraction, though not the sort he had hoped for. Already intrusive thoughts were worming their way back to the fore. He slipped a hand beneath the belt and pushed, loosing it, then letting it fall. He coughed, and even that hurt.
Abel watched the display with no small amount of humor, tucking his softening member back into his pants before squatting next to Rafe to retrieve his belt.
"You know, I don't know what Nish is so hung up about. You two are a fucking pair. Maybe if she could learn to loosen up a little, you two wouldn't be so fucking complicated." He didn't wait for Rafe's response, or to even note the look on the other man's face. Rising to his feet, he made his way out of the room, leaving Rafe to sort himself out.
Rafael watched him go. He had expected no more, but it stung all the same. Visions of the last such embarrassment came all too easily to mind, and he was blushing again as he rose unsteadily from the floor. Too late, understanding dawned on him. He recalled so many conversations with Nish, where she had talked around but never named this other suitor of hers. His shoulders slumped; exhaustion flooded his limbs. When he left the little room, shirtless and damp, the look on his face was such that none so much as touched him as he made his way to the chilly night beyond.