The hood surprised him.
He didn’t like the idea, she could see that right away. She stroked his chest to gentle him. “You’ll like this,” she assured him.
“Shutting out one sense heightens the others.” And, when the hood was on and fastened, covering his eyes and mouth, covering everything but his nose, she said, “Besides, there’s nothing you can do about it.”
The sense of empowerment she felt was remarkable. It was beyond sex, it was a new energy that surged through her entire being. She could do anything to this man. She could hurt him. She could kill him. He couldn’t do a thing to stop her. He could, if he wanted, make a snorting noise through his nose, but it wouldn’t carry beyond the room. He was helpless, and she was all-powerful.
She knew he had to be coming to a similar realization, and she watched his penis soften as the perception drained his excitement.
That gave her an idea, and she fitted him with a leather cock ring that circled the base of the organ. It was, the clerk at Pleasure Chest had explained, a sort of Roach Motel for penises. The blood got in, but it couldn’t get out—and neither could the semen.
She played with him for almost an hour, using her hands, her mouth, her breasts. She said, “Franny, Franny,” and sucked his nipples. She did all the things she’d thought of in recent weeks, and other things she’d never thought of until now.
She touched herself, too, and rubbed herself against his leg, but she stopped short of letting herself come, waiting until she was seated astride him, riding his cock, rolling and thrusting, moving however she wanted to move, until she came with a fierce word-less cry and collapsed upon him.
C H E E K W A S O N E I G H T H Avenue at Twentieth Street, next door to a Cuban-Chinese restaurant and downstairs from a travel agency.
The top three floors of the building had apartments, four to a floor.
The bar was gay. Or, more accurately, the bar’s clientele was gay. He’d determined as much right away by noticing the men who went in and out of it. There were no women patrons, which was an indicator in itself, but you could tell just by looking at the men. While a good many of them were not discernibly gay as individuals, collectively they couldn’t possibly be otherwise. They were mostly young, and they were mostly slender, and even the older ones tended to look young, at least from a distance.
He might well have suspected Cheek was a gay bar without seeing any of its patrons, simply because it was in a neighborhood where most of the bars were gay, and because you couldn’t see in the windows. They looked to have been painted black on the inside.
It didn’t bother him that they were gay. He didn’t know that he’d ever been in a gay bar, but he felt comfortable enough at the idea of going. He supposed that he could even have sex with one of them, if for some reason it should be necessary to his purpose.
He’d been able to have sex with Clara without feeling the slightest bit of desire for her. He could probably have sex with anyone, or anything, and his body would perform while his mind remained apart, the disinterested observer.
He wasn’t dressed right, though. He was older than everybody else, and he looked his age in a way that they did not. He could choose more appropriate clothes than his black trousers and short-sleeved sport shirt, he could dye his hair, but he didn’t want to do any of that.
He didn’t absolutely have to get inside the place, but it seemed to him as though he ought to. It would be good to know if the windows were opaque from within as well as without, or if they were like one-way mirrors. And it would be good to have a beer there, as he’d had one at Harrigan’s.
Men turned to look at him as he came in, and stared at him candidly in a way he wasn’t accustomed to. They wouldn’t have looked at him that way on the street, but he had come in here, and was thus available to be looked at and appraised. Eyes sized him up, then looked away.
There was only one open seat at the bar, and when he took it the man to his left (young, blond, tanned, wearing a black silk shirt with the top three buttons undone) said hello, and that his name was Leo. When he didn’t respond, Leo looked amused and turned away. He said something to the fellow on his other side, and Herbert Asbury (or George Templeton Strong, or what you will) heard the words tourist and uptight.
You couldn’t see out the windows. The black paint was thick, and no light got through it.
He ordered a beer, left it untouched. When he didn’t come back, Leo drank it.
H I S C O C K W A S S T I L L in her, still fully erect. The tip was a deep brownish purple, and she knew it wasn’t safe to leave the ring on too long. Nor was it possible to get it off other than by cutting it, which she did with a pair of blunt-nosed scissors.
“Poor Franny,” she murmured. “Don’t worry, I wouldn’t leave you like this.” She cupped his balls, planted a light kiss on the tip of his cock. “Now it’s going to be your turn.” She told him not to move, then unfastened the cords that held him in place on the bed. He was still cuffed and hooded. She told him to roll over on his stomach, and fitted a bulky pillow under his middle before once again fastening the cords. The pillow elevated his hips enough so that she could reach around and get hold of him.
First, though, she got out some more of her toys. She put them within reach, then stroked his buttocks. He had a nice ass, small and well muscled. She cupped his buttocks, drew them apart, pressed them together.
She slipped a finger between them, felt his sphincter tighten to resist the intrusion. She said, “Franny? Think of all the men you sent to prison. Do you know what happens to them when they get there?”
She dipped two fingers into a jar of lubricant, worked it into him. She talked to him all the while, telling him he was her little Franny, her little girl, and she was going to fuck him. She got her other hand underneath him and held his cock while she probed him, and she felt it grow in her hands.
Then she let go of him and strapped on the harness. It was tricky, she’d had trouble when she tried it on the first time, but now she got it right, and attached the dildo. The smallest one, because she didn’t want to hurt him, not more than a little.
Just as she was about to enter him, a thought came: Wait, am I allowed to do this? She registered the thought and overrode it, slipping easily into him, and the thought went away.
She became the man, somehow, and he the woman, and the rubber dildo became her own stiffened flesh. Every thrust stimulated her clit and sent tremors through her whole pelvic area, but that was the least of it, really. It was the idea of it, the reality of it: he was helpless and she was fucking him, fucking him, fucking him like a girl.
D E A T H R O W W A S G O I N G to be a problem.
He could see that right away. The bar was on Nineteenth Street near the Hudson, not far from the facility where he had his storage locker. It was a gay bar, too, but of a different sort from Cheek.
A huge man stood at the entrance, his arms corded with muscle, his belly hanging over his belt. He was wearing black leather pants, a black tank top, and studded leather wristbands, and his head was shaved, with a large hoop earring hanging from his right earlobe. He was letting some people in and sending others away, and a pattern was not hard to discern: the ones permitted to enter were all wearing either denim or leather.
He didn’t own appropriate clothing. He could buy some, though not at this hour, but sensed that he wouldn’t pass muster no matter how he dressed.
Nor was there a window, blackened or clear. The ground-floor facade was whitewashed brick sporting spray-painted graffiti and, over the door, the name of the establishment. A drawing on the black door showed a skeleton, a ball and chain on one ankle, within a prison cell.
He positioned himself so that he could get a glimpse of the inte-rior when the door opened, but all he saw were dangerous-looking men entering or leaving, with no indication where they got to once they entered, or where they were coming from before they left. He went around the corner and sat down in a doorway and thought things over.
When he returned, he walked up to the doorkeeper, who sized him up, called him Pops, and told him he couldn’t come in.
“You’re not dressed right,” he said, and pointed to a sign that spelled out the dress code, in addition to banning weapons, haz-ardous materials, and illegal drugs. The dress code, he somehow knew, was more rigorously enforced than the other provisions.
He let his shoulders slump forward, heaved a sigh.
“Pops,” the fellow said gently, “do you know what kind of a place this is?”
“I think so.”
“Believe me, you wouldn’t feel at home here.”
“My son did.”
He drew a breath, let it out. “My son used to come here. He was . . . he liked the company of men, he liked to dress in leather.”
“And you’re trying to find him?”
“He died of . . . that disease.”
“Yeah, well, lots of people did. I lost a lot of friends.” It was interesting, he thought. The man looked so intimidating, with his big shaved head and his muscles and his dress, but underneath he was gentle.
“I just wanted to . . . to see some of the places he liked. That was a whole side of his life I couldn’t share with him, and I just . . .” He let his voice trail off, waiting.
“I can’t take you downstairs,” the fellow said. He drew the door open, motioned for him to come over and look. Inside, a flight of stairs descended, lit by low-wattage bulbs. Downstairs, music played, almost drowned out by the sound of men talking and dancing.
“That’s the best I can do, Pops. I’ll tell you what you’d see downstairs. There’s a big room with stuff hanging on the walls, and a lot of men in leather and denim drinking and talking, maybe dancing a little. And there’s a back room, but we don’t need to get into that.” And what were the hours?
“He said sometimes he would stay all night,” he said. “The sun would be up by the time he left.”
“Yeah, well, maybe we don’t always close when we’re supposed to. But we’re usually locked up by six, anyway.”
“Thank you,” he said. “Thank you very much. I’m sure my son would have liked you.”
“Maybe I knew him. What was his name?”
“Herbert,” he said. “Herbert Asbury.”
“Doesn’t ring a bell,” the fellow said, “but there’s a lot of guys I know by sight, that I never get their names. So maybe I did know him. One thing, I’ll bet he was a nice fellow.” H E W A S LY I N G O N his back, his arms at his sides. She had removed the hood and the restraints, and he’d been entirely passive during the process, neither helping nor resisting.
She asked him how he felt.
He thought it over, then told her he didn’t know.
Then he said, “You know, I thought I’d been around. I’ve never experienced anything remotely like this. If anybody told me I’d consent to this, I’d have said they were crazy.”
“And if they told you you’d love it?”