The Antique Dealer and the Beggar Boy
Simon almost vacated his skin, dropping the journal he was reading, as the sound of a throat being cleared came from somewhere to the left of him. He slyly slid his right hand down the side of the couch, then turned towards the throat clearer, who was leaning against the doorframe with arms folded in an enquiring manner.
“Hello, Ez, you scared me, creeping up on me like that.”
“What the hell are you doing down here at this hour, Simon?”
“I woke up and I couldn’t get back off. I didn’t want to disturb you,” he gave a charming smile, “so I thought I’d come down and read for a while. He pointed at the book he’d dropped on the floor. This diary thing is interesting, where did you find it?”
“I didn’t, you did when you were stomping about in the attic. It came down with the ceiling,” Ezra un-leaned himself and walked over to the couch. Heaving Simon to his feet, he lifted up the couch cushion where he’d been sitting and gathered something up.
Simon was dead. He knew he was dead, but he still made the attempt to dodge the funeral. Gazing into Ezra’s brown eyes he gave one of his angel smiles and a shrug. “They’ve probably been there for ages and ages. I’ll try to stop doing it. I know it’s a bad habit, stuffing rubbish under the cushions.” He began to edge towards the door. “I’m feeling sleepy again now, think I’ll...EZ!” He let out a howl of protest as his partner pounced. “I’m tired. I want to go back to bed, can’t we talk about this in the morning?”
“It is morning, three in the morning to be precise.” Holding a clutch of chocolate bar wrappers in one hand and Simon in the other, Ezra transported them all into the kitchen. He dropped the yellow wrappers into the pedal bin, counting them as he did so. “Six!” He gave Simon a fierce stare and repeated the number. “Six!” Keeping a tight hold of his hand he dragged him over to the kitchen drawer where he’d hidden six bars of Cadbury’s chocolate Flake. All were gone.
Simon’s stomach fluttered nervously as he noted the look on Ezra’s face. It was the look of a killer. “It wasn’t my fault,” he tried desperately to free his hand and find an excuse that would save him. “Honest, Ez, they threw themselves into my mouth. They made me eat them, it was chocolate suicide.”
Ezra obviously didn’t believe a word of it. Pulling out a kitchen chair he sat down, tugged down Simon’s shorts, turned him over his knee and at lightening speed delivered six blistering smacks to his bare backside, deepening the pale pink that lingered from earlier to a fresh bright red. He then returned him to his feet and pulled up his shorts.
“I only meant to snaffle one,” Simon squirmed, slipping both hands down the back of his shorts to rub his burning bottom. “I just got carried away. There was no need to kill me. I was going to replace them.”
“Oh that’s most kind of you I’m sure.” Ezra glared at him crossly, “but it’s hardly the point. It’s a wonder you haven’t been sick.” He stabbed a finger at his greedy little lover, “apart from the issue of avarice, I will not have you taking things in such a sneaky thief, unnecessary way! There’ll be no chocolate for you of any description for a fortnight.”
“That’s not fair,” Simon scowled, “stopping my chocolate isn’t fair not when you’ve just killed me. You can’t torture AND kill me!”
Ezra’s craving for a shouting fix overtook him. “I’LL BE THE JUDGE OF WHAT’S FAIR. NOW BRUSH YOUR TEETH AND GET BACK TO BED!”
Simon glared at him, “you’ll have a stroke or a heart attack yelling like that and you’ll wake the neighbours up.”
“I’ll have a stroke or heart attack living with you. As for the neighbours, they’ve woken me up often enough with their bloody lawn mowing and car washing activities on Sunday mornings. Now get moving up those stairs.” He elaborated the point with another firm slap to Simon’s bottom. “You’d better be minty fresh and in bed at least feigning sleep by the time I come up or that little rump of yours will really know what an act of murder feels like.”
Simon fled. Ezra saying things like that at two thousand decibels was not to be taken too seriously; it meant there was room for wheedlement. Ezra saying things like that in a normal voice was to be taken very seriously. It meant do or die and he’d died enough for one day!
Ezra went back into the sitting room in order to check that the fire was safe, muttering as he did so. Simon’s nocturnal pilfering in order to satisfy an extraordinarily childish greed annoyed him, not least because it was unnecessary. He would not deny him any of the things he liked but Simon just couldn’t seem to help himself, or at least he couldn’t seem to stop helping himself, and always furtively, hiding the evidence in the strangest places. Ezra had once found the wrappings from multiple bars of chocolate stuffed into the lavatory cistern, which explained why it was overflowing. He took chocolate biscuits, entire packets of them, chocolate ice cream, litre tubs of it, as well as the chocolate bars he adored, often gorging himself until he was sick. They’d talked about it and agreed that it was unacceptable behaviour. Ezra punished, Simon promised, but still the habit resurfaced from time to time.
Ezra shook his head, six full size bars, why the heck would he want to eat that much chocolate at any time, let alone at three in the morning. It was an obsession beyond his understanding. A sudden surge of guilt washed over him as he thought about Monday again. Perhaps he’d been too harsh. Perhaps it was a response to anxiety? He sighed, it was done now, he couldn’t un-spank Simon, and when all was said and done it was a disgraceful thing to do, regardless of the reasons.
Bending down he picked up the leather bound journal that Simon had dropped when he’d been caught out and put it on the coffee table. Straightening up, he swayed as an ice cold wave of nausea swept over him. Gripping the arm of the couch, he lowered himself down, his heart racing. Taking slow deliberate breaths he calmed himself. As the desire to be sick receded, it was replaced with something worse, the most abject feeling of despair and unhappiness that he’d ever experienced. He wanted to put his head in his hands and weep. Monday was obviously getting to him even more than he’d realised. Taking another determined deep breath he collected his wits and stood up, almost flat-lining as he saw an apparition standing in the doorway.
“Simon,” he growled, when his heart once again lurched into activity. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but haven’t I just told you to go to,” his voice changed tone, “what’s wrong, baby?” He hurried across to him. “You’re as white as a sheet. Are you feeling sick? It’s all that bloody chocolate. I swear, Simon, I’ll spank you until you can’t sit down if you do it again. How many more times do we have to go through this?”
“It’s not the chocolate,” Simon, trembling, moulded himself to Ezra. “I’m scared, I know it’s stupid, but I’m really scared.”
Ezra pulled him into a tight embrace, “everything will be fine, I promise.”
Simon twigged at once that they were on different paths. He shook his head impatiently, “not Monday. I’m not scared about Monday,” he wisely kept internalised the end of that train of thought. He wasn’t scared about Monday because as far as he was concerned it didn’t exist. “Ez, there’s someone upstairs in the attic. I heard them moving around.”
“Was that with or without the accompaniment of music,” asked Ezra, speaking over the top of Simon’s head. He kept his arms around him, but there was grim warning in his voice. “It’s late or rather it’s early and I’ve had enough of your games for one day. We’re going to bed, we’re going to sleep, is that very clear?”
“Don’t be angry, Ez, I promise I’m not trying to wind you up. I did hear something. I did!” He found himself suddenly held at arms length being observed by very cold brown eyes. How could a colour like brown look so chilly?
Simon gave a combined cry of fright and pain as a tremendous bang suddenly echoed through the house, fright because the sound came from above them and pain because Ezra’s hands painfully squeezed his upper arms.
“What the hell was that?” Ezra headed for the door only to be halted as Simon grabbed the back of his bathrobe.
“Don’t, don’t go up there. It might be burglars. They might be armed. They’ll hurt you.” Simon’s face was stark white, the pupils of his eyes dilated.
“It’s okay, sweetheart, don’t panic,” Ezra soothed him. “I very much doubt that burglars would enter via the attic. You probably disturbed something when you were skulking about up there earlier. Stay here while I go and check it out.”
“No,” Simon mulishly shook his head. “I won’t stay here. I’m scared, but I’m not a coward. I’m not letting you go alone...it’ll look bad in the newspapers if you get murdered.”
Ezra kissed his cheek, “all right, my chick,” he gripped his hand reassuringly. “Let’s go and have a peep.”
Simon gave a small smile. “I bet you didn’t mean to make that pun.”
“What pun?” Ezra confirmed Simon’s suspicion.
Simon shook his head, “doesn’t matter.” He followed Ezra upstairs, standing on the landing watching as he climbed on a chair and flashed the torch up through the loft opening. He thought of their earlier conversation, about why they loved each other and smiled. Right now he loved Ez because he was reassuring him and had called him his chick. He liked being Ezra’s chick, amongst other things. He and Ezra were many things to each other.
Ezra flashed the torch up into both the official and unofficial attic opening. All was still, no sound, no movement. A fresh sprinkling of dust and plaster on the landing carpet seemed to verify the idea that something had been disturbed earlier and had finally toppled over. He stepped down from the chair. “Shame you left the loft ladder up there and came down by the unconventional route otherwise I could have had a better look. I’ll look tomorrow. I’m not hauling ladders out of the garage at this hour.” He waved the torch in Simon’s direction, “let’s get to bed and grab some sleep while we can. Have you brushed your teeth yet?”
“Let me smell your breath, see if it’s chocolaty!”
Simon sighed and moved towards the bathroom. Honestly some people were obsessed with dental hygiene. He brushed his teeth thoroughly with Ezra looming over him like the threat of rain.
Simon awoke first next morning. He’d dreamed. He tried to recapture the dream, but it was gone leaving only little blurs of sound and movement in his mind. He stretched and then turned on his side towards Ezra. Early sunshine streamed into the room, highlighting the chestnut depths in the brown hair. He studied his face admiring the strong jaw line shadowed with fine stubble, the straight prominent nose, the dark eyelashes and brows. He gently kissed and then nibbled the lobes of his ears, whispering, “are you awake, Ezra?”
“No.” Ezra lay still, eyes closed, one arm flung back over his head.
Simon kissed his mouth, teasing the tip of his tongue between his lips, “you awake yet, Ez?”
Simon moved down to Ezra’s chest, kissing and tonguing his nipples, teasing them into small peaks. “You awake now?”
Stifling a giggle Simon turned attention to Ezra’s naval, kissing and licking before moving down.
Ezra arched his back as Simon’s tongue and mouth began to work magic on his cock. He gave a husky moan. “Now I’m awake!” Seizing hold of Simon he turned him onto his back, straddling him, seeking his mouth and kissing him hard before pulling his t-shirt up and off.
Sex was good, hard and fast paced. Afterwards, supporting himself on his forearms, Ezra rested for a moment and then kissed Simon’s flushed face, “that was quite some wake up call.”
Simon grinned and reached to cuddle him.
Ezra gave a sharp cry of shock as the cuddle became a stranglehold and Simon’s nails dug painfully into his back.
Copyright Cat/Fabian Black 2010
Chapter six coming soon...