Old Man's Fantasy
It was quiet.
Then, there was the metallic scrape of the key in the lock, followed by the soft sound of footsteps on carpet and after that the tapping sounds of fingers on the keypad of an electronic alarm. The alarm clicked off. Footsteps, again, down the hall to the closet. The door was well oiled and any noise the man made taking off his coat was lost in the sigh of the central heating as it cycled on.
It would have surprised many to see that the man did not immediately head for the drinks cabinet, but instead walked to the immaculate kitchen, put down the briefcase he was carrying, and made a pot of tea. He paid careful attention to the details; tea at the office was never precisely to his taste. There was a great satisfaction in ending the day with tea just as he liked it. Then, carrying cup and pot on a small silver tray, and the briefcase in the other hand, the man retired to his study.
His new desk had pride of place there. His new, old desk. Not the antique he had first chosen--he grimaced as he recalled the fate of that fine old piece of furniture--but another quite like it. The chair behind it was brand new, padded, adjustable. Designed for the comfort of a man who spent long hours at paperwork.
Another man might have turned on music, or even a television, and filled the apartment with sound. This man took a sheaf of papers from his briefcase and settled down to read. Now, only the light brush of paper on paper, the soft sound of a sip of tea, disturbed the utter quiet. Even the clock on the mantle did not tick. It did, however, chime on the hour, and when the long string of delicate tones indicated it was midnight, the man at last put down his papers.
He paused, lifting his glasses from the narrow bridge of his nose and rubbing the red marks there for a few seconds. Then, he stood up, carefully put the papers back into their place in the briefcase, which he then locked, and he took off his glasses and slid them into their brown leather case.
He stretched, drank the last of the tea, and returned to the kitchen, where he washed the cup and tea pot and then dried them with short, efficient movements. Each was returned to its proper place. Then, he began a tour of his home. Every door and window was checked, not only to see if they were properly locked, but for signs of entrance or other unusual use. All seemed to be well. Every curtain was straight, every shade pulled.
He turned out the lights, then, one by one, on his way to the bedroom. There, he undressed, hanging up the suit he had worn, depositing the laundry in the brown wicker hamper in the wardrobe, lining up his shoes with the other pairs. Naked, he went to the chest of drawers and pulled out a pair of pyjamas, white with blue stripes, which he placed upon the bed.
In the bathroom, he showered, a three minute affair, and then he brushed his teeth and took care of his other needs. The flush was loud to his ears. He washed his hands once more.
In the bedroom again, he turned down the bedding. Then, standing beside the bed, he paused. It was as if he were listening for a voice. After a long moment, he sighed and returned to the bathroom. From the cupboard there he pulled out a white towel. He took it to the bedroom and spread it out over the sheet, his hands smoothing it flat with quick care. Then he went to a cabinet where sports equipment was stored and he took something from a drawer there before he returned to don the pyjamas and to turn out the lights.
In the dark, standing next to the bed, he did a series of light exercises, movements learned more than thirty years ago to stretch the body and remove the kinks. He stopped. Soundlessly, he moved to the window of the bedroom, pulling aside the double layer of heavy cloth with one finger, which allowed him to look outside. All was quiet, all things accounted for. He listened. The rising wind promised rain later in the night. He let the curtain fall back, fingers twitching it to be sure the cloth closed properly and even overlapped. Then he closed and locked the bedroom door.
He returned to the bed, where he removed his pyjama bottoms with quick, no-nonsense movements, and then he quickly stretched out on the bed. His buttocks settled in the center of the nubby towel. One hand reached out and unerringly found the container resting on the bedside table. A twist of his hands and it was open. Fingers dipped out the required amount of salve, and then he closed the jar and set it back in the same spot it had come from.
He never left it open all night. At every step or stage he made sure that if a call should come, if he should be interrupted, there would be a minimum of effort required to hide the evidence of his...habit. Completely. This was as important now as it had been almost fifty years ago. What was to be more feared, his father's cane, or a KGB camera? Too, he was called out of his bed at least once a month on CI5 business. It would not do be killed in the line of duty and have those later entering his home see clear evidence of his private peccadilloes.
He had long ago come to terms with what sin there was in it, arguing it out with his conscience when he was just a lad, so that the question no longer rose to bedevil him. This was the invention of necessity, the requirement of his body that allowed his soul to be his own. Not for him the ladies of the evening, with their attendant costs and risks. No prostitute would ever gift him with disease or betray him to the legion of those who desired to control or disgrace CI5 or the government. Nor did he keep magazines or films to inspire him towards his goal or mock him should they be discovered by the opposition or the cleaning woman. He had learned quite early that his hand, imagination and memory were sufficient for his purpose.
Flat on his back, eyes closed, hand smoothing the lubricant on his lax genitals, he opened the corridor of his mind where he kept the memories and dreams which were the province of these secret moments.
Memory. He paused, seeking deep inside himself for what he needed, wanted, at this moment. In his mind's eye he saw doors of polished wood, solid, with brass handles or knobs. They stretched out before him in chronological order; the memories behind the first door were the earliest, and the memories behind the furthest door were too fresh to hold close, to reach out to hold.
Often, he peeked in the first door on his way to one of the others. Fiona was there, with her red hair in a long untidy braid and her blue eyes laughing at him. She had been seven, and he had been six. The older woman, the temptress, the second cousin who had lured him up to the room at the top of the house the one summer's day and offered to trade a glimpse of what was in her knickers for a glimpse of what he had hidden away under his short trousers.
He'd hesitated, confused, wanting it keenly but knowing all the while that it was something they should not be doing. Forbidden fruit. He had given in, taken off his clothing as she had shed hers, and they had gone further, touching. She had giggled when his fingers had touched between her legs. He had lain on top of her, but ignorance had insured that nothing more occurred.
Fiona. Married now, with children and grandchildren. Did she even remember? He remembered, and sometimes he stepped through that door and lived it again, while his hand rubbed himself to orgasm in the quiet of the night. He never entered that door as an adult. As in all his visions, it happened as it had happened. The boy who came to Fiona was six.
But he did not open the door to Fiona's dusty attic this night. He walked on past Nancy, whom he had kissed at twelve, and Agatha, who had taken his carefully saved money when he was sixteen and given him in return the loss of his virginity. He had wanted to go off to school with that experience beneath his belt, wanted to be a man of the world in the city. It had been money well spent. To have the knowledge, to be able to joke and add to the talk of boys and men, had served him well.
Women. The waitress in France. The few girls he had dated in school, who, knowing the value of what they held, permitted only touches above the waist, and few others who had been more bold--he remembered them all.
There had been the tiny Chinese woman he had known after he had joined the service. She had shown him that women were not all alike 'down there'. The folds which guarded her treasure had been like the petals of a flower, to be opened up and drawn aside before he had access to the way inside.
Tonight, he hesitated outside the door to that memory, yearning a bit to recall fully how it had felt to seem large. To be, for once, a big man--easy enough when your partner was not even five feet tall! She had made a tiny sound, half startled, half appreciative, as he thrust into her. In his mind, he had replayed that sound a hundred times.
But not tonight. He went on, through the years, remembering, one by one, the women who had, if not loved him, then at least shared the delights of a physical union with him. There were not so many. Not even one per year. He had never been a handsome man, although he'd been a clever one. By the time he had real power, had become attractive to the type of woman who wanted more than looks, he had become too smart, too wary, to take up all that was offered to him. Yet, he had, upon occasion, given in to his masculine urges, ignored his church-guided conscience or his career-minded practicality. There had been a dancer, once, for a week, and the daughter of an American diplomat....
Yet still he moved down the hallway, his feet silent on the carpet of memory. There were some doors he passed quickly. Those were doors closed to him, nailed shut by pain and betrayal, by the shards of emotion which are all that are left when a relationship was torn asunder.
Behind one door Eleanor stood, dressed in lace, with tears on her cheeks as she told him that her father was right, they were not suited to each other. Oh, they had been suited well enough, he had known that despite having done nothing more with her than hold her hand and kiss her on the cheek. What had not been suited had been her father's expectations. His bank account had been inadequate, his breeding only barely acceptable. Behind her door, Eleanor stood alone. She had married a banker and had not been happy. No doubt he could have seduced her into an affair if they had met in later years--but he had been very careful to make sure their paths had not crossed.
Behind another door, Annie. Sweet Annie. He tore his mind away from the very memory of her. Behind that door, Annie made love to--someone else. Annie, who had preferred all things foreign, all things opposite, to the offer of himself. At times, he tortured himself with the memory of the slim girl he had remembered, her pale perfection and her whispery laugh--in the arms of her business manager.
He had always been an honest man, a fair one, he believed, and his prejudices were not even the normal ones of his age and class. But he could not be honest with himself if he did not acknowledge that it hurt. It hurt that her religion had meant so much that she would not marry him--and yet she would bed others in her hypocrisy. It hurt that she would choose to bed a man who was morally bankrupt, while he--he had offered her his trust and his honest soul, and had been rejected, twice. Once while young, once while old. It was quite true that there was no fool like an old fool. He had never seen Annie as she was--only as he had, so much, wanted her to be.
And while he hated to admit it, while he shied from the very thought, he was hurt that she had chosen someone of another race over him. It hurt so, yet there were times when he chose to torture himself, imagining those white limbs wrapping around a broad dark back, imagining the thick black cock nuzzling up to the gateway to her body and being given entrance. In his mind he saw it, thrust up into her, deep and hard, while she cried out and encouraged him, panting and praying and wild with it, until they arched and he poured his thick sweet darkness into her. It was like cutting himself with his own knife, to imagine such a thing. Yet, it fascinated him.
But not tonight. Tonight he ignored her, turned his back on her pale ghost in favour of...what?
He knew. He knew, and yet he fought against it, struggled as his steps passed doors which represented many an old and sweet memory, and stopped in front of...a new door.
A door which had not been there a month ago. A door which should not be there at all.
Behind the door was a bed. A bed in safehouse 2, a double bed, with crisp white sheets and lace on the pillow cases.
He turned and walked from the door, frantically opening other doors, one after another, looking for a memory, any memory, for the woman who could tear his mind from the crystal clear recollection of what was behind that last door. His effort failed. He had known it would, had known he would walk back to that door.
But at least he was still on this side of it. Could still see it, painted white, closed firmly. He didn't have to open it. Didn't have to see what he had seen that night. It was quite possible to nail it shut, as he had permanently closed other doors in his lifetime. He didn't have to stand here, trembling and angry. Angry at himself. Angry at them.
He had come to rouse them out of a comfortable bed at dawn; he had needed their help to stop a ship from sailing, to search the rooms for a man who had, with plastic surgery and a false passport, managed to slip past all the other guardians of what was right and just. They had been nearby, sleeping off a hard night's work, a firefight with terrorists through the midnight streets of London. They had prevailed, stopping the three men and their stolen car--and for once, they had not killed, not robbed him of his chance to interrogate, to find the others of the group, to stamp this wicked fire out once and for all.
Because it had been so late, and because they were so very tired, he had allowed them to stay at the safehouse that night. It had served his purpose as well, to have them nearer to HQ, near to hand when he wanted them, his best team.
To allow them as much time to sleep as he could give them, he had not called ahead, but stopped by himself to wake them. Using his key, he had quietly entered the house, listening for sounds which might indicate that they were already up. He had heard laughter and been gratified that they were awake, even as some part of him regretted not being able to wake them and watch them scramble to be ready. Responding to their master's voice? How arrogant he was, at times, he acknowledged to himself. How much he prided himself on the men he had hand-picked to work for him, on their loyalty and spirit and predictable virtues.
How cold it was, to be wrong.
He had thought he knew them. The ex-soldier, laughing and brash, solid, strong. The very image of masculinity. The ex-policeman, honest and moral, tough in spite of his curls and fashionable chains and bracelets. His best. His very best.
He had opened the door to speak to them and had frozen where he stood. Mouth agape, no doubt, and all he felt in his eyes. Not that they had seen him. No, the bed had been directly across from the door and they had not known. He had been behind them.
Even in the dark of his room, after midnight, he flushed, his blood rising at the memory of what he had seen. It had been a high bed, with four posts--high enough to give him a view he could have had in no other circumstances. He stood there less than thirty seconds, a mere wisp of time, and then he had closed the door again, swiftly, silently, and he had run, actually run for the front door. Only when out in the crisp morning air had he been able to breathe, to take hold of his impulse to keep running. He had walked back to his car, eyes on his polished shoes, hands clenched and in his pockets. Once there, he sank gratefully down onto the plush upholstery and waited for his heart to slow. He stared straight ahead, but every man and woman on his most-wanted list could have walked by his vehicle and he would not have seen. His eyes were still full of the memory of what he had seen.
Bodie. Big Bodie, naked, his pale skin flushed to rosy pink, had been on his knees, his face buried in a big white pillow which he clutched fervently. How erotic it was, to see all that strength presented so vulnerably. The arse, all white curves and solid muscle, thrust up. Not that much of it could be seen, covered, as it was, by Ray Doyle's...Ray Doyle's....
Doyle. Upright on his knees, hands hard on Bodie's hips, holding them both in position. Curly head bent down, the better to see where his own cock sank between the two halves of Bodie's buttocks as he repeatedly thrust into him. Hard. Hard, and with every shove Bodie moaned and cried out for more or cursed in strained delight, so that there was no doubt his subjugation was voluntary, and with every snap of his hips Doyle groaned and sighed and gloried in it.
And the watcher had fought to breathe, one hand braced against the frame of the door because his legs could no longer support him, because from his angle he could see even more. He could glimpse beneath the sweat sheened bodies, balls, two sets of round shapes swinging wildly, almost but never quite touching, he could see the pubic hair, moist with their loving.
And he could hear!
He could hear the rising note in each male voice, the sounds which meant that it would come to them any minute, any second now one or the other would reach the peak and explode, to spray out a rain of seed, either onto the white sheets or into the dark clenching depths. He could hear the slap-slap of bodies coming together. He could hear them call out each other's names as they begged for the heights even as they rocketed up and....
And he had run. Closed the door with icy hands, his chest in pain from the effort to make no sound as he turned, almost staggering, one arm out to catch himself should he fall. He scarcely remembered getting to his car, or driving off. The morning traffic caught his attention, forced him to think of something else besides the carnal encounter he had glimpsed. On automatic pilot, he had reached for the radio, asking HQ to contact 3.7 and 4.5 and have them ready to meet him at the kerb in front of the safehouse in ten minutes. He had stopped at a kiosk and purchased a terrible cup of tea, savouring the bitterness and the heat and knowing that the two men were on the pavement, waiting for him and glad enough to make them wait.
He was stern and brisk when he picked them up. They did not look their best, dressed in yesterday's clothing and he did not care. He was only glad he could not smell it on them, only glad he could hide his thoughts under the pounding urgency of the job. He drove to the dock and he loosed his trained hounds, dealing with the officers himself while his men did their job and returned to drop their prey at his feet an hour later.
It was easy to bury half a minute of...that, under the happenings of the day; easy not to think of it, to go on as if it had not happened. Easy to pile on one day and then another, easy to ignore it. Until night. Until he went walking his own corridors and found there, this incredible, horror-laced vision.
Almost all the doors in this place opened upon his own experiences, his own sexual adventures--but not all. Behind one door lingered the sultry flickering of a French film he had once seen with other soldiers, and behind another the earthy reminiscences of a squad of men at rest, regaling each other with the exaggerated tales of their exploits. He had not opened those doors often; the memories were dim.
But not this one. This one was never dim. This one became, somehow, sharper every time he dared to think of it. Doubts assailed him. What did it say about him, that it was so profound to him? What was the implication when he found his mind spiralling out of his control, adding scenes which he had never seen, imagining the moment when climax came to each of them, or the foreplay in which one thick cock plundered the mouth of the other, or one square hand pumped size and heat and urgency into the other's masculine part?
The keen, frightening moment when he imagined he did not close the door and run, but stepped into the room and.... But no. He was not a homosexual.
A voice whispered, you would have said the same about them.
Did he want them? Bodie? Doyle? Or the both of them together? No. No, he was sure that was not it. He did not wish to supplant either of them, and he had no desire to join them. Did he just wish to watch? Was he, in his old age, to become a voyeur?
No. That wasn't what he wanted.
The voice asked, what do you want, then? What did these two men have that he could possibly want? Not the gayness. Not the trouble which he was sure would come to them, one way or another, because of it. Not the risk and excitement?
Well, perhaps there was an element within him that was tired of the constraints forced upon him because of his job. Tired of being moral and upright and an example to all. Tired of retiring alone at night to hidden self-abuse after cautious inspections and paranoid checks.
Yet, while he was head of CI5, could he court, or love, or marry? What woman deserved the life he led, what woman, if he loved her, could he put in peril?
Was he jealous, then, of their answer to this riddle, to the way they flaunted convention and the risks and found for themselves a safe haven?
Had they found love?
It could be. Recently, they had seemed different. Tiny things. Jokes which were less harsh. Agreement without argument. Something in them had been muted, and something else set free. Together.
Is that what he envied? And if it were so, why, when he opened the door to that memory, was the vision so sharp, the sex so powerful that it could lift his genitals at the very thought?
Love, with perfect sex to compliment it? Two people, so evenly matched, so balanced that one could never think of one and not also think of the other? Two powers, yoked together? Slamming one into the other, yet not destroyed by the strength of the sweet and intimate pounding?
His eyes were closed, his senses pinwheeling as yet again, for one more time, he was swept away into the vision. The bed springs echoing the rhythm of their mating, the heavy swing of those balls, which he could imagine flailing against each other as the hips pumped and the slick and engorged cock plundered the darkness of the arse.
Arse! How could they? How could any man allow...how could they be so brave, so stupid, so masculine, so open, so hard, so accepting? How could it not hurt? He clenched his own muscles as if to cut off entrance to the very idea, and only then was aware of his fist on his own stiffness, the blur of it as his body thrust up, wanting more and more, while his teeth clenched and his breathing came fast and harsh and his mind played the same scene over and over in a film loop he could not control or stop. It was only Bodie, arse in the air and only Doyle, fucking him hard, and the balls which swung and danced beneath them and the sound of them and the....
And the moment came and he did as well, his cock spitting out the white strings and droplets saved within him for the past month or more; the world slowed to its usual spin and the night held only his breathing and the slowing of his heart.
Cold practicality commanded him. As soon as he could, he wiped himself well with the towel. He got up, needing no light to do what was needful. The small pot of salve was slid away in the drawer. The towel was taken to the hamper. He unlocked the bedroom door. Then, he washed his hands with care and dried them. He only groped a moment when he returned to the bedroom and reached for his pyjama bottoms, which he pulled on quickly. He stopped, and listened to the night before climbing into bed and pulling the covers up to his chin. He wondered if he could sleep now.
It was quiet.
-- THE END --
Originally published in Open All Night, Noel Silva