This story is based on the X-Men movies. If you are not at all familiar with the X-Men, you might enjoy reading about the sex, but there will be much that you will find puzzling. Fair warning!
This is the third story of a much longer story arc, which is best read in the order of the List at the end.
Translation of German words or phrases at the end. However, I have tried to make the meaning fairly clear in context.
PRAY FOR US SINNERS
“Hail, Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with Thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and in the hour of our death. Amen.”
Leaning over to the nightstand beside my bed, I take the rosary that Father Bauer gave me so long ago out of the top drawer and hold it in my hand. It is different from most Catholic rosaries in that it has an empty cross formed from four spikes, rather than a simple cross with the Christ on it.
Just the feel of the beads brings back memories of my younger days. Once I could believe with my whole heart that there was a God Who looked out for this world and its people, but that was a long time ago. Once I thought my God could only love, but now I am no longer so sure. Yet still the beads give me comfort and the prayers create a small corner of peace in my soul.
I desperately need that peace just now. Logan has gone off on another of his secret missions and I am once more alone. I do not know where he is or what he is doing, but I know it is dangerous and possibly cruel and vicious also. I do not know how much longer I can deal with this, but what is even worse is that I do not know how much longer Logan will be able to deal with this. He thinks I do not realize that it is tearing him apart, but I do, and I fear for him on many levels. Enough! Let me pray.
When I finally drift off to sleep, I am still holding the rosary between my fingers.
I am awakened by hands grabbing my hips. As I am turned ungently over onto my face, I catch a quick glimpse of Logan’s naked body. He smells of sweat and blood and gasoline, and there is a look on his face that I have never seen before, a crazy grimace of hatred, rage, or lust, I am not sure which. As he climbs onto the bed and pulls my naked rear up in the air, I am not even sure he recognizes me. His hard cock presses against my ass, roughly seeking to open me.
I must be lashing my tail in agitation since I feel it strike something. His hand grabs my poor tail near the far end, forcing it sharply upwards toward my head. I cannot stop a cry of pain as I struggle to get away.
“Hold still,” comes his voice in a deep and vicious growl.
“Logan, was ist los?!“
“Halt’s Maul!” he hisses, the crude form of “Shut your mouth!” No, this cannot be happening!
Shocked, I stop struggling, trying to pull my tail over to the side in the typical gesture of a female cat inviting entrance, hoping that will signal my intended cooperation, if he will just stop and tell me what is going on.
He releases my tail when he realizes what I am doing. With one hard thrust, he enters me. I concentrate on adjusting to this sudden penetration. My hands clench into fists in the sheets and I realize I still have my rosary in my right hand as the edges of the cross dig into my palm.
“Please, you are hurting me!”
“Shut up, you fuckin’ slut! You love it. You know you do. You were trained to love it.”
“I do not! Stop!”
That gets me a hard slap against the side of my thigh, along with a deeper thrust into my burning ass. I am no stranger to rough sex, but this is different. This is not just rough, this is vicious. It is deliberately meant to hurt, and certainly not what I want just now.
The initial shock has begun to wear off and I have managed to relax enough to accept what he is doing, as I must if I do not wish to be torn open. But it is like being fucked with a tire iron.
“Oh yeah, baby. That’s it. Take it. Show me how much you like me to treat you this way.”
He reaches around and takes hold of my cock, which is half hard by now. I am shamed that my body would betray me like this, but I know that it can happen.
He seems angry that I am not more aroused. His fingers wrap around my shaft, pulling as if he is trying to milk a stubborn cow. Why is he doing this?
Suddenly I do not care why anymore. I am only furious. In an attempt to stop him, I teleport us both across the room, then back again. Although under ordinary circumstances I can control whether or not I take someone, or part of someone, who is touching me along with me, I am not sure how it would work with him already inside me. Possibly I would take along only his cock. Even as angry as I now am, I am not willing to take that risk. However, Logan hates the feeling of being teleported, so perhaps I can use that alone to bring him to his senses.
We end up back on the bed, only now I am flat on my face. He has let go of my penis and is still for a moment. I begin to hope that it is over. Then I feel his fist press against the back of my neck and hear his claws extend on either side. Since I am still alive, I know it can be only his outer claws that have skewered the sheets on each side of my throat. That leaves the middle one, which is pricking slightly into the back of my neck.
“Do that again and you’re a dead man.” Very calmly spoken, which only makes me more certain that he means it. But how could he? This makes no sense. Am I having a nightmare?
I can perhaps still stop him, if I can teleport us faster than he can extend his claw, and then -- No! I have sworn never to do that again. It is far too dangerous.
He goes back to what he was doing, driving his cock repeatedly into my ass, with no lubrication, nothing to ease its way. All right, this is not the first time such a thing has happened to me. He will not last forever. No man can. I will deal with it as I have dealt with it before.
I picture again the basement door in my little House of Pain. In my mind, I push it open, and stare into the terrifying darkness at the bottom of the stairs. Plenty of room down there, Kurt. More than enough for this.
The blades on either side of my neck touch flesh as my body is pushed repeatedly forward by his thrusting. I feel his tongue lick at the fresh cuts. The taste of my blood only spurs him on to greater efforts, but I lie there limp and uncaring, my mind absorbed in imagining the pain as a nasty tight tangle of barbed wire the size of a soccer ball, nothing nearly as bad as most of what I have dumped into that loathsome cellar over the years. In it goes, to join all the rest.
But my indifference is not what he wants. His free hand gropes underneath me once again, searching for my penis.
“Come for me,” he commands, leaning down on top of me. I feel his panting breath against my ear. “I wanna feel your muscles spasm. Want that around me as I empty myself into you.”
He works my cock hard, his fingers so tight that I feel it more as pain than as pleasure. But there is pleasure, nevertheless, and I start to react.
“No, I vill not do this.”
“Yeah, ya will. I’ll make ya. You enjoy what I’m doin’ to you. I know it.”
“Nein,” I reply, through clenched teeth.
“Ja,” he insists, one finger now persistently rubbing over my slit. The angle of his pelvis shifts deliberately and he pulls back a little, which allows him to hit that delicious place inside me.
I suck in my breath and shudder, despite myself.
“You’re gonna do it, or I’ll make this last for a good long while yet. I wanna feel you come.” I have never heard such a gloating note in Logan’s voice. Is this what he sounds like to his enemies? But I am not his enemy. My heart sinks, as my cock stiffens further. He is right. I cannot even hold back this much of myself from him. If he can make me enjoy this against my will, then he has violated me far more deeply than he imagines.
At that thought, my anger flares again. No, this satisfaction he will not have. Two can play at this particular game.
For a few moments, I allow him to continue what he is doing without any response, then I gasp a little as I imitate the lovely wave of tension that normally would flow through my body when I am being fucked.
I start to move against him, contracting my insides tightly in time with his strokes, rocking my pelvis as I do so. It creates in him the sensation of being drawn deeper inside. This is something I can do very well and it never fails to get to him, just as it does not fail now. I feel the enthusiastic response of his body, and I rejoice in it, even as I push the pain it is causing away from me, rejecting it, refusing to recognize it as my own. Away, away, into the darkness, where the rats and insects will consume it, the screeching demons that hide in the corners will tear it apart and make it gone.
Away with any pleasure I may be feeling also. I do not want it. It does not belong to me. It is rejected, to die of starvation and loneliness in the terrible confines of that dank basement.
He is close to his climax, and he knows it. He cannot hold out much longer. His hand is jerking my cock so hard that I think he wishes to tear it off.
“Come, damn you!” he gasps. “I wanna feel it! I want to make you feel it!!”
“Aahhh!” I oblige him with a long gasp of ersatz ecstasy, convulsing my entire body, pushing myself forward on the bed so that his fingers are no longer near the tip of my penis, pretending an orgasm that does not exist as I jerk my hips and tighten my insides as hard as I can around the twitching cock in my rectum.
So tightly am I focused on this pretense that I hardly feel it when Logan does the same thing, filling me with his cum, with a long wavering moan that reminds me of a wounded animal. He is usually much noisier.
I smile to myself over the evident success of my deception.
His weight presses down on me briefly as he relaxes. I have to try hard to draw in a breath, but his claws still bracket my neck and I do not wish to say anything that might cause him anger. I am aware that I have made his claws press deeper into my shoulders with that last move, but I had to get to a position where he would not be able to feel my lack of ejaculation.
Blood trickles from the hand that still clutches my rosary, but even more is running down from the cuts on my shoulders. I can see it soaking into the sheet next to my face, where his blades have impaled our mattress.
He lifts his weight slightly, allowing me to breathe easier. The blades retreat into his forearms. Is it finally over? Yes, I think so. He pulls his softening cock out of my ass. I wince and bite my lip against the brief spasm of pain from my raw sphincter, then sigh with relief as the rasping pressure is gone.
In the sudden quiet, I can almost feel his eyes boring into me from the back. He still kneels between my knees. What will I see when I turn to face him? My lover or my rapist? Either way, I am going to beat the shit out of him.
In one smooth motion, I pull myself forward then flip over and up into a crouching position, glaring at him with eyes that would have been glowing red, not yellow, if I had any control over their color.
He kneels there, his gaze flickering over me quickly. He cannot help but see the blood running from my shoulders, just as he also cannot miss the fact that there is no smell of my cum, and no white smear on the dark skin of my belly.
His eyes narrow and he cocks his head slightly sideways, questioning what he has noticed. My frown deepens. I confirm his realization that I deceived him with a brief shake of my head.
I see a wild hatred cross his face and I am afraid. If I had any sense, I would teleport out of the room right now. But I am too enraged to run away.
“Vhy, Logan? Warum hast du das getan?” I demand of him viciously, ready to move if he so much as twitches in my direction.
He looks as if he has walked through Hell and somehow lived, but still is not sure he has survived. Dear God in Heaven, what has happened? The look on his face is something that I have seen only during his insane fighting rages, but why would he be that angry with me? Then I look closer and see the desolation. It is not me at whom his rage is directed; it is himself.
Fine. That’s where my own rage is directed just now.
“Do you think I enjoy being treated like that?” I hiss.
Finally, I get a response, a choked “No.” He covers his face with his hands. “Omigod, no!! No, no, no!! I can’t stand this anymore!”
As I watch dumbfounded, he grabs his genitals with one hand and stretches them out away from his body, while the blades on his other hand flash out.
The moment I realize his intent, I am in front of him, both of my hands grappling with his arm but barely managing to hold him. “Logan, no!” I scream. Then I remember the word he said would always make him freeze, no matter what, the Japanese command to stop, the safeword he gave me when he fisted me. “Matte!”
To my astonishment, it works. He looks at me as if someone has turned a fire hose on him. I think, I hope, that I see some sanity coming back into his eyes. The blades retract. He collapses forward onto me, catching me off balance. We topple sideways, to end up lying face to face but at least still on the bed. He curls up against me, trying not to cry but failing. His voice is muffled, desperate, pleading. “Help me, Kurt! You’ve gotta help me! I’m losin’ it! Please!”
I wrap my arms and tail around him securely. “I am here.”
Have you ever held someone like Logan while he cries? It is a painful thing to feel a strong man’s body tremble as he fights against the sobs that force their way out of him. It is heart-breaking, for you know there is no consolation that you can give, but only your arms around him.
It is not long before he starts to get himself under control. Meanwhile, I take some long deep breaths myself, in an attempt to get past my anger and hurt over what he did, in order that I will be able to speak about it more or less calmly and rationally. Perhaps I am somewhat at fault. After all, it was not long ago that I begged, no, I commanded, him to take me hard and with no consideration for my needs. In a crisis of self-loathing and disgust, I truly wanted it then. But now, I have begun healing after sharing my shame with Logan. I need love and support, and gentleness. But how could he know, if I did not tell him? And what is it that he needs now? Sex is not governed solely by reason and logic; I know that.
I must decide what is to be done next, and so I hold him and make occasional soothing noises, as my mind considers the available options. Of one thing I am sure; this cannot be dealt with in ignorance and silence between us.
Finally, he pulls himself back and away from me, even as I relax my hold on him.
His face is a wreck, so I grab an edge of the bedsheet and hand it to him. He wipes his eyes and blows his nose into it. Well, why not? The entire bed is a mess anyway.
Time to try Plan A, the direct approach. “Now you vill tell me vhat that vas all about.”
“I – can’t tell you.”
I frown at that. I have heard that sentence far too often lately, whenever I ask him about his solo missions. I go back into a crouch, to gain some distance from him. He looks at me, assessing the damage he has done.
“Are you all right?”
I nod my head. In all essential aspects, my body is not seriously damaged.
“Let me take you down to the infirmary,” he offers. “There’s blood on your shoulders.”
“Nein. I do not need that.” I make a negative gesture with my hand, forgetting about the rosary now tangled around my fingers.
He grabs my wrist to look at it closer. ”Jesus Fucking Christ, Elf!” he gasps, seeing the bloody beads.
“Logan, nein, bitte.”
“Sorry. I know you hate for me to say that. But were you holding your rosary the entire time I --?”
I jerk my wrist free from his grasp and untangle the string of beads as best I can. I set them down on my pillow, still keeping my eyes on him.
“Nein, Dummkopf,” I reply, my voice dripping with sarcasm. “I picked it up just now and cut myself on it. Happens all the time.”
Logan winces at the bitterness of my words. “You still need to go to the infirmary,” he insists, as if that will make everything all right.
“Do not worry. The cuts are not deep and will heal.” Time for Plan B, Distraction and Persistence. “There is something else you could do for me though.”
“What is it?”
Suddenly, he is anxious to make amends. Good.
“Five things, actually.” I hold up my undamaged left hand, unfolding one finger. “First, get me two aspirin and a glass of vater.” I unfold a second finger. “Next, help me into the bathroom and get into the shower vith me. Ve are both a mess.” I start on my other hand, unfolding the fingers more gingerly. “Three. Put clean linens on the bed.” He nods. “Four. Go downstairs and get us something to eat. I do not care vhat it is, but chocolate ice cream vould be nice.” He nods again. So far, so good. I run out of fingers, unless I wish to use one of my thumbs. “Five.” I look hard into his eyes. “Vhen you have done all that, you vill lie down beside me in our bed and tell me vhat is the cause for vhat you just did.”
“I already said I can’t do that.”
“If you expect me to ever share this bed vith you again, you vill do it.” And if he does not now realize that I mean it, he is deaf, dumb, and blind. I cannot deal with this if I do not know what it is.
Finally, he looks at the floor, takes a breath, and nods. “You got it, Elf.”
I smile at last, as he heads for the door that leads to our bathroom to get me my aspirin. Perhaps that will ease the hurt of my sliced shoulders and the pain from his brutal onslaught.
When he returns and holds out the tablets and the water glass, I reach for them with my uninjured hand, take the aspirins and pop them into my mouth, then gesture for him to give me the water. I drain the entire glass before getting up from the bed. My knees are suddenly weak and my legs feel shaky. Probably a delayed reaction to what happened.
Leaning forward, Logan scoops me up in his arms. “We’re goin’ into the bathroom to patch you up.”
I rest my head against his shoulder, reminding myself that I will keep calm and we will talk this over rationally.
“Shower first, or clean up your cuts?”
He sets me on my feet, one arm still around my waist to steady me as he fiddles with the water.
“C’mon, darlin’. Can you step over the edge of the shower stall?”
“Ja. I may be a bit shaky but I am not an invalid, you know.”
A short time later, I am back in bed eating the ice cream he has fetched for me, feeling much better for the shower and the bandages that cover my various small wounds. Logan has even cleaned up my rosary, and it is again in the drawer of the nightstand. My sore ass has given up most of its complaining. The only thing that still hurts badly is my heart.
Logan lies on his side of the bed in silence, looking rather contrite but saying nothing.
I hold out the ice cream container to him, as a kind of peace offering. “Vould you like the rest of this? It is really quite delicious, even if it is called Mouse Tracks.”
“That’s Moose Tracks, darlin’.”
I look closer at the container. “Du hast recht. But it is still not a very appetizing name.”
“No, it isn’t, is it?” Now he sounds only very weary. “You eat it all, Elf. I’m just not very hungry right now.”
Unusual, where ice cream is concerned.
“There is a case of beer in my study,” I suggest.
He shakes his head.
Even more unusual. I am no longer sure I want to hear the explanation I so viciously demanded of him earlier, but I know I must.
I scrape the last few spoonfuls of ice cream into my mouth and set the container on the floor. I move over until I am lying close to him, but not quite touching.
“If you vould like to smoke a cigar, I vill rescind the ban against smoking in our room for one night.” It is the only thing I can think of that might put him more at ease.
“That’s not necessary.” He gives a resigned sigh. “OK, I’ll tell ya. But you’ve gotta do something first.”
“Vhat?” I ask suspiciously.
“I want you to swear that you will never tell anyone else what I tell you now.”
“Is this really necessary?”
“Yes, if you want an answer to your question.”
“Very vell. Before God, I svear I vill never tell anyone else.”
Tentatively, he draws me closer. I lean my head against his shoulder, scrunching down a little in order to do so.
“All right, Elf. This is what you wanted. Just listen. Don’t say anything until I’m finished.”
I nod, just enough that he can feel my head move. What happened next is something that I do not like to think about, but it cannot be avoided.
“There was this woman. Let’s call her Mary –“
I wince at his choice of names, but say nothing.
He goes on to describe what happened in a flat dead tone of voice that only now and then cracks and threatens to break with unshed tears. He recites the whole thing coldly and clinically, almost as if he were reading it from a police report. Perhaps that is the only way he can handle describing it.
“Mary was a teleporter. She was also the leader of a mutant terrorist group that had pulled off a bombing at a chemical manufacturing facility in Canada last year. At least 30 people died in the explosion and a lot more were seriously injured, not to mention the environmental damage from the toxic stuff that got spread all over the local area. That same group had threatened another attack, this time at a nuclear power plant, with Mary playing a pivotal role, once again. Given their past success, the threat was more than believable. We had to stop it, but we also wanted to get the names of the others involved. We had learned her whereabouts from an informer, and I was supposed to get to her, make her tell their names if I could, but either way, I was to kill her.”
I want to stop and ask him who the “We” was that he mentioned, but I had promised not to interrupt. I file that away for later consideration and say nothing.
“As you can imagine, it wasn’t easy to capture a teleporter, even though I had been given a collar that was supposed to be able to nullify mutant powers. If I hadn’t been so accustomed to dealing with you, I very well may not have been able to get close enough to her to get the collar on her. It took me awhile to figure out her boundaries and weaknesses, but it was a long and exhausting chase even so. Although she was able to jump into places without seeing them, her range was nothing like yours and she tired easily if forced to jump more than a dozen times. Once I knew that, I had her on the defensive. It was only a matter of time before I knocked her down and collared her, after having chased her into an abandoned warehouse. But we had been seen and followed for much of the way, so I knew I didn’t have much time before her fellow terrorists would figure out where we were and come to her rescue. I had her tied up securely, but getting the information quickly had to be my chief objective.”
“ ‘You’re dead either way, lady’,” I told her. “ ‘Give me the names and I can make it fast and easy. Don’t, and it’ll be much more painful. And you’ll tell me anyway. Your choice’.”
Abruptly, he extends the claws on the arm draped over my shoulder, then retracts them again, so fast I have no time to react.
“I showed her how my claws work, in case she didn’t know. I was trying to scare the information out of her, hoping she’d just talk and I could get this over with fast.
“She refused. I tried a few more times to convince her to change her mind, but she wouldn’t. I knew there wasn’t much time left, as I could hear people sneaking around outside the place where I had taken her. She, of course, didn’t have any idea that rescue might be near at hand.
“I held the knuckles of my clenched fist just above her pubic bones.” He demonstrates on me, his knuckles resting a few inches above my groin. I flinch, but he ignores that.
“I slowly extended my claws, doing my best to miss the abdominal aorta or other major blood vessels to avoid killing her too quickly.”
Before I let my panic overwhelm me entirely, I realize he has not actually matched his actions to his words this time, but is only pressing down hard on me with his knuckles.
“I dragged them up through her abdomen, still very slowly.”
Only his fist mimicked what he had done, but I am far from being reassured. It is both utterly impossible and entirely too easy to imagine how it would feel if done in reality.
“She had courage, I’ll give her that. She lasted until my blades were only an inch below her ribcage before she gave me the information I wanted. I ripped upwards and into her heart, making good on my promise to make it fast if she cooperated. As I saw the blood spurt out around my hands, anger flared through my mind. ‘Why didn’t you just make it easy, damn you?!’ I shouted, retracting the blades so I could grab her corpse and shake it in a fit of irrational fury.”
He hangs his head, his closed fist still resting heavily above my xiphoid process.
“There is something more?” I ask, as he remains silent. I refuse to let my shock at this confession show in my voice.
He shakes his head, but the hand pressing on my chest is trembling.
“Ja, there is. Say it.”
“You really wanna know?”
“My cock was hard during the entire time I was torturing her. In fact, after she died, I almost raped her dead body.”
I have no trouble believing that. My penis lies limply between my legs, but I can see the bulge his makes beneath the sheet, half erect even now. Besides, I have good reason to recognize that reaction.
“Vhat did you do then?”
“I had to fight my way out of the situation. But that was no real problem. In fact, it was a relief. All I could think of was how badly I needed to get myself off. I’ve never been that crazy with lust in my life. I was afraid I was going to rape the next person I saw. It was insane. I knew it, but I couldn’t stop it. Sex was all I could think of.” He shrugs helplessly, finally withdrawing his hand. “Maybe it was a way of diverting myself from the murder I had just committed.
“I rode straight here on my bike, stopping only to phone in the information I had gotten from Mary, to clean up as well as I could beside a lake, and to get gas, avoiding people as much as possible. I even stopped a few times to jerk off. But that didn’t help much. I needed to take someone, needed to feel them struggling against me, needed to know I was forcing them. The only thing I could think of was to focus that lust on you, convince myself it had to be you, no one else would do. I hoped by doing that I wouldn’t be tempted to go after some random stranger. It worked. It worked only too well.”
This is the man I have dared to love? This cold and deadly killing machine? Dear God in Heaven!
He doubtlessly detects a change in my scent as I struggle to process what he has just told me.
“Kurt, I had to. Innocent lives depended on getting that information. I had no other choice.”
“There is alvays a choice.” But I do not sound very convinced of what I have said.
“I had to,” he insists again. “But that doesn’t mean I feel good about it. You know that.”
I have never before heard him sound so defeated and hopeless.
For several long minutes, there is only silence, as I try to think of a reply.
“Ja, I know that. I also know that ve could spend the rest of the night arguing about vhether the end can ever justify the means, and get novhere, just as philosophers down through the ages have failed to settle that question satisfactorily.”
He nods, but says nothing. Neither one of us is in the mood for a discussion about philosophy.
So I ask my delayed question, trying my best to say the W correctly. “Who is the ‘we’ you mentioned?”
“I can’t – “ he begins, but he stops short when he sees the look I am giving him. “I’ve been working with a black ops division of S.H.I.E.L.D. that was established specifically to neutralize this group of mutant terrorists after their first attack. Nick Fury approached me to do this late last year.”
He hangs his head. “What I just described was the most recent mission. There have been others that involved killing, but this was the worst.”
Oh, no. Oh, no, no, no! But what did you expect, Kurt? You knew it would be something awful. Now what?
“But vhy did S.H.I.E.L.D. recruit you?”
“For one thing, I’m Canadian. For another, I’ve had very extensive military experience, even if I don’t remember it all.”
He takes a breath and glances down at the bed. “There’s also the fact that I owed them one for a favor in the past. Fury called in my marker. They needed someone who could work on his own, someone who could take out specific people with what they like to call surgical precision.” He shrugs. “If I’m not good at that, who is?”
“But the X-Men are not killers. Or at least, we try very hard not to be. This is nothing but assassination.”
“That’s right. Sometimes that’s the only thing that works.”
“And premeditated torture? The good guys do not do that.”
“Ever heard of waterboarding, Elf?”
I have no answer for that.
”Are you sure, really certain, that these people are telling you the truth vhen they send you to kill someone? Could they be lying, using you to do their dirty vork?”
“No, I can’t be that certain,” he admits. “Things aren’t usually that cut and dried in real life, you know. But S.H.I.E.L.D. is pretty decent, for a secret agency. After all, it works under the auspices of the United Nations, not just for one country.
“Be that as it may,” I persist, “is it not possible that your ‘Mary’ vas innocent? Or merely a suspect?”
“She knew the names, Kurt.”
“A person under torture may tell you anything she thinks you vish to hear. It is not a sure indicator of truth.”
“Elf, I can’t go there right now. I just can’t. Please don’t ask me to.”
“You vill go there, and further, before this is finally resolved betveen us.” If I had known then how very true that was to become, I may very well not have said it.
“I will. I promise. But not now, not here, not like this. So far, I’ve been able to keep my head together. It just seemed to hit me harder this time. I – I cracked under the strain.”
That is the understatement of the century.
“I do not know if I can accept this, Logan.”
“You insisted on knowing.” He shrugs helplessly. “This is the reality of the world. And of my existence.”
“Kurt, you know it is. You know what I’m like. You know some of the things I’ve done. Now you know about one more thing I’ve done, that’s all.”
I shake my head. “It vas not so long ago that you told me I did not have to be ruled by my past. Have you yourself not learned that lesson?”
“It’s too late for me. I’ll never be anything else.”
“Aw, darlin’, don’t do this to me. I’m the best there is at what I do. And what I do best is kill people. You know that. Hellfire and damnation, you’ve seen me do it! I’ve even killed the women I loved!!”
I could not meet his eyes, because I could not bear to see the desolation I knew would be there. Yes, in my heart of hearts, I knew all this. I just did not want to realize that I knew it. He has more blood on his hands, not to mention on his claws, than anyone has any right to have. He is a killer many times over, and he will not change just for me. I should not love him so much. And yet, I cannot not love him. There is too much that is good, and kind, and brave, and noble about him also. If I want the Wolverine, I will have to take him as he is, not as I might wish him to be. I cannot control him and I cannot change him, any more than he can control me or change me. So what do I do?
“I know what you’re thinkin’, Elf. You’re debating whether you want to stay with me.”
“I could never leave you.” But my voice does not carry the conviction needed to say those words, and he knows it.
“Sure you could. And I wouldn’t even blame you if you did.”
I glance at him sideways, not knowing what I should say. His head is down, his chin resting on his chest. He is the image of hopelessness.
“I don’t think I can go on without you here, darlin’, especially now. But I’m also not sure I have the right to even ask that of you, especially now.”
I consider my own many sins and misdeeds. In my mind, I hear Father Bauer’s voice reading the story of the woman
caught in adultery: “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her.”
A part of me wants to reach out to him, to touch him and reassure him. But another part is afraid to do that, so I only say, “Ve vill vork it out. It is OK.”
“No, Elf, it’s not OK. Things have been gettin’ to me in a way they never have before. Ever since I started doing these missions –“
He runs his hands back thru his wild hair, grabbing his head as if he fears it may explode. “Maybe this time was worse because Mary was a teleporter, like you. Maybe chasin’ her reminded me too much of trying to catch you. Maybe killing her somehow got mixed up in my mind with killing you. I don’t know for sure what it was. Maybe I’m just goin’ crazy.”
I gather my courage into my hands and touch him gently on the side of his face, which is still turned away from me in shame.
“I vould vorry more about your sanity if this did not disturb you so deeply.”
He takes my hand and touches it to his lips in a kiss, then sets it down on my own thigh. “I think I know now why Xavier didn’t just go ahead and restore my memories. He knew I wouldn’t be able to handle it, if I knew the full extent of my guilt.” He shrugs. “Maybe Charlie was right. I can’t face the truth of what I am.”
“Enough!” I say abruptly. “If I ever leave our bed, it vill be because you no longer vant me in it.”
This time I manage to sound as if I mean it. And I do mean it. I think.
“How can you still stay with me? Fuck, I just raped you!”
“You did not.”
“Whaddya mean I did not?! You didn’t want it. I knew that. You tried to stop me by teleporting, in case you’ve forgotten. I had your neck between my claws, and I know I hurt you. I don’t know what you call that, but I call it rape.”
“If there can be a distinction made betveen murder and manslaughter, can there not also be such a distinction made betveen rape and an act of desperation undertaken to spare others, especially if one is not entirely sane at the time?”
“I know you, Logan. I know vhat it takes to make you act that vay. This is not the first time you have used sex to rid yourself of the rage vithin you, after a mission that turned violent. This vas only the same thing, but vorse. It helps you to stay sane and in control.”
“I don’t exactly call what I did bein’ in control.”
“After vhat you had done, you came to me instead of attacking a stranger on your vay home, or raping someone. You did me no serious harm, even vith your claws at my throat and your mind on fire vith lust. Some part of you knew that using me vould defuse your rage over your own guilt. And it did. For that, you vill alvays have my consent. You vould have had it earlier, if I had known vhat vas happening.”
“I don’t consider it consent when you tried to fight me off.”
“Had I really tried, you vould not have had me.” As soon as I say that, I regret it.
“Hmph! You’re just tryin’ to make me feel better. You couldn’t have gotten away. If you’d been foolish enough to try, I might have actually killed you.” He says that last sentence as if it had just occurred to him that that was possible.
“Nein. If I had tried, it is also possible that I may have killed you. I know how you hate it vhen I teleport you. Do you also know that I can prolong the time I remain in between, if I try very hard to do so? I learned that a long time ago, but I do not use that knowledge now, as there is too great a chance it would leave the other person dead. Vould you like to imagine how you vould have felt had I done that to you?”
“Uh – no. But I seriously doubt it would have killed me even if you had. So why did you let me get away with it? You had every right to stop me, even like that.”
“Of course I did. I chose not to.”
He closes his eyes and nods. “But, Elf, I –“
I put my hand over his mouth. “Nein. Until the day comes vhen I tell you I no longer love you and am no longer yours, you cannot rape me. I vant you to come to me vith your rage and your guilt, because I can accept it and deal vith it. You must not feel bad over doing such things to me. The load you carry is heavy enough vithout adding that to it. The choice to share your bed is mine, and I now realize fully vhat comes vith it.”
“I cannot. Vhere there is no wrong, there can be no forgiveness. As for the murder of that voman, if you vould seek forgiveness, I am not the one you must ask.”
“Kurt, darlin’ – Aw, shit! Don’t you understand what I’ve been tryin’ to say? What I did to you tonight, I may do again, or worse. I’m not only crazy, but I really am the vicious animal they say I am!”
“No. You have dealt vith things in your life that I could never even imagine. Pain and suffering far beyond anything I have ever felt. Loss of loved ones by your own hand. And that is only the things you can remember. I believe you are far more sane than anyone could be expected to be, under the circumstances. Ve are all animals. And ve are all human beings. And ve are all sinners.”
I could feel him shake his head vehemently. “You’d never do the things I’ve done.”
This is exactly the direction I did not want this discussion to take. But I am the one who asked for the truth, so I must honor my own demand.
“Oh, Logan, how many times have you run your hands over the evidence of my sins carved on my body, and never realized what those scars meant?”
“How should I know what they mean? You’ve never told me.”
“I have said they are reminders to me not to ever commit those sins again, and still you do not understand?”
“What’s to understand? So you’ve done some things you shouldn’t have. What’s that list of Mortal Sins you Catholics have? Gluttony. Sloth. Envy. Wrath. What else?”
“Pride, Greed, and Lust.”
“What’s so awful about any of that, compared to what I just told you I’ve done? And what I still may do?”
I sighed. “Do you really think those are the sorts of things I meant vhen I spoke of my sins?”
“Well, yeah.” But his voice now holds uncertainty, as if he begins to suspect the truth. “But Elf, you’re the kindest and gentlest person I’ve ever known. You couldn’t have –“
“I don’t believe you.”
“Believe it. I have known the feeling of killing someone vith my own hands, and not by accident. In cold blood and by deliberate intent.”
He is shaking his head again, murmuring, “No.”
“I have never told anyone, and hoped never to have reason to do so. But I vill tell you now, if you vish to hear.”
I pull the covers down, exposing my genitals so he cannot help but see the small and delicate line of scars that runs along the top surface of the shaft of my penis.
“I have said I vould tell you about this one someday. It vould appear that the time has come.”
As Logan looks closer at my cock with sudden interest, I tell him, “It is not, as you are surely thinking from the location, primarily about sex, although there is a connection. But I am getting ahead of myself. You must know the background of this scar before it vill make any sense. I have cut many more designs over the years, but this first one is perhaps the most awful.”
PRAY FOR US SINNERS
“It is a rather long story, and not a happy one, for the most part. You may recall that it vas early vinter vhen I escaped from Herr Grüber by teleporting for the first time. I did not know vhat had happened to get me avay from him, and I did not realize I could do it again. But I did know that I could not just valk up to the first house I saw and ask for help, as an ordinary child might have done.
“Fearful of pursuit, I ran as far as I could into the forest behind the village, fueled by fear and adrenaline, before I noticed that I vas stark naked, the sun vas setting, the temperature vas close to freezing, my gut vas aching badly vhere Herr Grüber had struck me, and I vas about to collapse from exhaustion. Taking advantage of the approaching darkness, I snuck into a barn on one of the many small farms in the area around Schönberg to take shelter for the night.”
I was lucky to find an old horse blanket, plus a rag pile containing a few usable articles of clothing. During the next couple of weeks, I continued to make my way further from the village, over the foothills and around the mountainside. I survived by hiding in barns or other outbuildings and stealing what I could to eat whenever possible, which was not very often. Once I came across a dead deer at the base of a steep hill. There was still some meat on the carcass, and I was beyond the point of being picky about food.
As the winter deepened, it became harder for me to survive. I had no way to light a fire, and the blankets and clothing I had managed to steal were not sufficient to withstand the freezing temperatures of the mountains. No matter what I did, I was always cold and miserable. It was not long before I became sick, coughing until my chest hurt, burning with fever one minute, then shivering with a cold even beyond that of my surroundings. Weak and exhausted, the day came when I knew I would die if I did not find some sort of permanent shelter soon, not to mention decent food. In my delirium, I started wandering around.
It was almost sunset when I realized I could see smoke rising from somewhere just over the next hill, which indicated the presence of a village, or at least a house, not too far away. Although I feared to go there, some part of my fevered brain knew that I no longer had a choice.
The building stood alone in a clearing, but there was a road running past, so I knew it could not be entirely by itself. It seemed rather deserted, with lights only in the windows of a smaller building attached to the side of the larger one. I went to the door of the big building, hoping it might be empty.
The door opened when I pushed on it, and I staggered in to a large room that was not very warm but was surely warmer than outside. It had rows of benches and something that looked to my uneducated eyes like an altar. The only light came from a few candles burning in a rack in front of a statue of a woman.
Searching for a place to hide, I saw a small sort of a closet off to one side of the big room, with a curtain next to the door that led to another tiny closet. With my last bit of strength, I tore down the curtain, wrapped it around me on top of my own ragged and filthy clothing, and went into the larger closet, closing the door behind me. It was hardly big enough for me to fit, but I curled into a tight ball on the floor and promptly passed out.
I awoke to the sound of someone moving around outside my hiding place. I was still exhausted and disoriented, but I forced myself to alertness, fearing danger. I propped myself unsteadily on one elbow, as the noises came nearer.
Suddenly, a strange creature opened the door of my closet. He was tall and rather heavyset, wearing a long brown robe with the hood pulled up around his head. The robe was tied around his waist with white rope, and a long string of beads hung from the rope. It looked like something out of a book I had once read about the Middle Ages, except that he was carrying a flashlight. As he shined the light upon me and leaned down, I pressed myself back as far as I could into the shadows, trying to make myself invisible to him.
Much to my surprise, the creature laughed, then pushed the hood back off of his head to reveal an entirely human face.
"Why, it’s nothing but a child," he said, staring down at me closely and then adding, “albeit a rather strange-looking one.”
I struggled to my feet, preparing to run away, but the world began spinning and I fainted. The last thing I felt was his arms catching me and lifting me up.
When I came to, I was lying on a pallet in front of a small coal-burning stove, wrapped in several wool blankets. My clothes were gone, but I seemed to be wearing a long flannel shirt, plus heavy socks on my feet. For the first time in ages, I was warm!
Carefully, I raised my head and looked around. Then I started coughing and could not stop for quite some time. The man in the brown robe squatted next to me and held me upright against his chest, until my coughing diminished.
"I have broth on the stove," he said. "Are you able to take some?"
I nodded, not trusting my voice, still wondering where I was and why I was being cared for so tenderly.
To make a long story shorter, as I later found out, I had stumbled into a small Catholic church and taken refuge in the confessional, where Father Josef Bauer, OFM, (Order of Friars Minor, commonly known as Franciscans) had discovered me that morning.
Even with food and shelter, it took time for me to recover from the pneumonia, so much of the first week or so that I was there was spent resting and sleeping. The priest told me I could stay with him as long as I needed to, but no one else must know about me. We had to hide my presence from the rest of the congregation, as they would not have understood that a blue demon was living in their church. It was relatively easy to do that, as he lived alone in the priest’s quarters attached to the church building and he had no housekeeper looking out for his needs. The church was located equidistant from the three small mountain villages that it served, so most of the time there were few people in the area, except on Sundays or Holy Days.
When I was finally feeling stronger, I did something that almost got me thrown out. I wanted only to show Fr. Bauer my gratitude for his taking me in, but it did not go as I had thought it would.
Late at night, I snuck into his bedroom and climbed into his bed stark naked, expecting from him the same reaction I was used to getting from other adult men. I snuggled up against him suggestively, and placed my hand on his pajamas over his penis. He woke up, totally surprised to find me there, and grabbed my wrist, pushing my hand violently away as he jumped out of bed, a thunderous scowl on his usually gentle face.
Expecting to be hit, I curled myself into a ball, covering my face with my hands and begging him not to beat me. Well, of course, he did not hit me, but instead asked me what I thought I was doing, which led to my explanation. At first, he found it very hard to believe.
After he had given me a stern lecture on Catholic priests and celibacy, and warned me that I must never do such a thing again if I wished to remain there, I was nearly hysterical with fear, sobbing uncontrollably and pleading with him to forgive me, even though I was still somewhat puzzled by his reaction.
He wrapped the blanket around me and drew me into his lap, trying to calm me down. I could tell he was aroused, of course, but that only confused me further. Gently, he began questioning me, which led to my telling him about my previous experiences, much as I have told you. As may be expected, he was horrified by my answers.
I swore I would not tempt him again, and eventually he made me understand that it was all right, he would not cast me out into the night, but neither did he desire the use of my body. Or rather, even though he might desire it, he would not allow himself to do it.
For the entire time that I spent with him, he kept that promise, and so did I.
Once I had fully recovered from my pneumonia, I had little to do that winter. Seeing my boredom, Fr. Bauer took me down into the cellar that ran not only beneath his living quarters but also under most of the church building itself. At first, I was afraid, having fresh in my mind the image of that fearsome basement from my House of Pain. Once I finally admitted my reason, he explained to me that a real basement was very different from my imaginary one and assured me that I would find it quite interesting.
Then he stood up and held out his hand to me. “Come, my child. Be brave and trust me.”
A shiver of fear ran through me, but I did as he asked. It took all my courage to go down those cold stone steps for the first time. Together, we explored the basement.
“This church was built more than one hundred years ago, Kurt. Many priests have lived here before me. During all this time, this cellar has been used for storage. I’ve never explored it completely, and some of it doesn’t even have electricity. I mostly just use this first part.” He gestured towards a wall, where glass jars full of preserved fruits and vegetables lined the shelves. “When members of my congregation bring me gifts of food, I store them down here. Anything that doesn’t fit upstairs usually finds its way here also. I have boxes of old clothing, used for distribution to the poor when needed. Many other possibly-useful items can be found, if one looks.”
He led me around the room, pointing things out. “There are books in many places, all kinds of books. Over here, theology texts. There, a collection of the classic works of literature. In this corner, an encyclopedia. You do know how to read, don’t you?”
“So do you think you could find something that would catch your interest?”
I nodded enthusiastically, glancing over the titles.
“Good. When we’re ready to leave, I’ll stay here with you while you pick some out. Now, come along and I’ll show you the old part of the basement.”
As we approached the far wall, I clung still tighter to his hand, my eyes scanning the dim room for danger. There was a dilapidated wooden door, now closed. Surely, some terrible thing lurked behind it. But no, Fr. Bauer pulled it open with a casual gesture. There was nothing to be seen except darkness. This was clearly the part without electricity.
“You can go in here also, if you like, but you’ll have to take a candle. There’s some on this shelf next to the door, along with matches. There are many more rooms with lots of boxes to look through and places to explore.”
“I do not vish to go in there just now, Father.”
“Maybe another time, then. Shall we look through the books?”
By the time we went back upstairs, I had so many books that I had to use both hands to carry the stack I had picked out. As the weeks passed, my fear of the lighted part of the basement gave way to my desire for reading material. But I never ventured any further than those shelves of books.
I learned a lot about the outside world that winter. I had read many books over the course of my childhood lessons, but they had been books meant for a child’s mind. These books mostly spoke to adults. I especially loved the ones Fr. Bauer had called the classics.
You have probably guessed that I also learned about Catholicism from Fr. Bauer, although he never pushed it upon me. I was always the one who asked him questions. He merely answered, to the best of his knowledge. By his own admission, he was not an exceptionally learned man, but just a simple priest far out in the country. Nevertheless, with his unceasing care and consideration, he taught me more about real love than anyone else had ever done.
Very quickly, I decided I wished to become a Catholic, mostly in order to be like him. But he would not accept that as a sufficient reason. Before he would baptize me, I had much more to learn, so he set about teaching me the catechism, as he would for any prospective convert.
While I could not attend Mass on Sundays along with the rest of his congregation, I was able to sneak into the small sacristy at one side of the sanctuary where the vestments and other articles used during Mass were stored. Safely out of sight, I could observe through a peephole we had bored in the door of the sacristy. It seemed magical and entirely awesome that a small piece of unleavened bread could be transformed into the Body of Christ, and a bit of wine could become the Blood of Christ. I felt the presence of God on the altar, transforming the everyday world into a place of holiness, and longed to join the others in partaking of that Bread of Life.
Several times, Fr. Bauer said Mass in the wee hours of the night, with just the two of us there, in order that I might better understand what it was like.
By the time he was sure that I had a basic knowledge of Catholicism and knew what was involved well enough to make an informed choice, it was late spring.
In the candle-lit darkness of midnight, I stood before the marble basin full of holy water in its little alcove at the side of the church and was baptized. Then we went to the confessional and I knelt in the small closet-like room with the curtain I had torn down and used for a cover that first night I had stumbled into the church. Fr. Bauer slid open the grilled window at the side of my closet.
“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned,” I began easily enough, but I did not know where to go from there. Now that I had learned a new perspective on sex, my sins seemed so many and so grievous that I had no idea where to begin. I thought about it in an uneasy silence. I could see Fr. Bauer’s silhouette through the grill. Seeing that familiar profile, I realized that I had already told him about most of my sexual experiences, and surely an omniscient God would know of them also. “I have sinned in thought, word, and deed far too many times to describe or to count. I beg forgiveness for all those things that I have done in my life that would merit the disapproval of Almighty God, and pray for the strength to resist them in the future.”
I bowed my head and listened as Fr. Bauer told me how many prayers to say for my penance. It seemed far too light a punishment for all that I had done, but when he said my sins had been forgiven, I actually felt a lightening in my heart. Perhaps since I had committed all those sins in ignorance, there was no need of an excessive amount of penance. In a sudden burst of enthusiasm, I swore I would never sin again.
That oath was all too quickly broken. I would never again be foolish enough to think I could live without sinning. For one thing, I was far too accustomed to sex to refrain from satisfying myself as best I could with my own hands. Although I strove mightily to follow Fr. Bauer’s example of celibacy, I found temptation impossible to resist. Seeing my guilty misery, he eventually confided to me that he had the same problem, and often fell victim to the same temptation I did. Yes, he was very ashamed, but he was able to reassure me that God understood the nature of man and would forgive us for our weakness in this area, but we must remember always to choose this solitary form of satisfaction as the lesser of the many sexual evils and never take it any further than this. I wanted so much more, but I was never to have it from my priest, despite my desire.
Be that as it may, after my confession, I knelt in a pew at the front of the church and said my assigned prayers. Then I simply remained there until Fr. Bauer came out of the sacristy and began to say Mass.
This was to be my First Communion. As I tasted the Wafer dissolve in my mouth, I felt for one short moment in time that I was filled with holiness. I knelt there, my head bowed down to touch my clasped hands, my eyes closed, as Fr. Bauer finished the Mass.
Around us were only a few candles, and the silence of the dark and empty church – and the presence of my newfound God.
Afterwards, Fr. Bauer offered me a simply-wrapped present to mark the occasion. When I tore away the paper, it was a rosary, the one I still have and use to this day.
Then, very diffidently, he asked me a question. “Kurt, your eyes – “
“Unless I have begun imagining things, they have been glowing from the moment I baptized you. Has such a thing ever happened to you before?”
“Yes, Father,” I mumbled, bowing my head and closing my eyes so that he could no longer see that shameful light. “It happens when – when I am aroused.”
“Remarkable! But surely you are not now --?”
I shook my head quickly, before he could even voice the question.
He put a hand on my shoulder. “Perhaps it also happens when you are very happy, or feel a strong emotion, or feel yourself in the presence of God. Is that possible?”
I had never thought of such a thing before. I nodded, grasping at the hope that he had evaluated me correctly, as indeed he had.
“Good. Then stop hiding your eyes like that, foolish boy, and accept it as a special blessing, not a curse.”
Even after that, the only time I could attend a service was still when he would say Mass very late at night, for me only, and offer me the Eucharist. At those times, I was even permitted to act as his altar boy. I very quickly learned how it all went, soon knowing the responses and what I should do.
As spring began to give way to summer, I noticed that I had recently begun to grow taller. Studying myself carefully in the mirror, I saw the way the shape of my little boy’s face was also changing subtly. I noticed hair growing in places it had never grown before. I started wondering what I would look like as a man. As a boy, I was rather a cute little demon. Would I be so cute when I grew up, or would my appearance instead become more terrifying, so that others would be afraid of me?
Along with the warming weather and the changes in my body came a sense of restlessness. Although I still read voraciously, I was thoroughly tired of remaining cooped up indoors. I felt the need to be outdoors, where I could move around and work off the new energies that were building up inside me.
Noticing my frustration, Fr. Bauer agreed that I could venture outside, if I took great care not to be observed.
I spent most of my time in the shadows of the nearby forest, in case anyone should come along the road. Even so, I took great pleasure in my new freedom, learning my way around the woods, watching the many animals, climbing the trees, and doing all the things a normal active boy might have done, in my situation. I could climb just about anything, and I never lost my balance.
I also practiced my circus acrobatics constantly, inventing new tricks, leaping from tree to tree, walking across slippery damp logs that had fallen over the creek running through the forest, racing against imaginary opponents over whatever obstacles I could contrive. Eventually I made up long adventures, acting out fierce battles and exciting escapes, basing them mostly on the adventure stories I had been reading.
When I had tired myself out with all this activity, I would sit in the shadows beneath a tree and read.
At night, I loved to crouch on the roof of the church and look up at the stars while saying my rosary, fancying myself a gargoyle that would protect the building from evil with my prayers and my presence. I should have known better.
By the time autumn arrived, I had grown quite a bit taller and I had begun to develop more muscle as a result of all my exercise.
The days I spent with Fr. Bauer were some of the happiest days of my life, but it could not last forever. In late autumn, it all came to an end.
I realized later that I must have been noticed despite my best efforts to remain out of sight.
One night I awoke amidst flames and suffocating smoke. Without thinking beyond the fact that I had to get away from the awful heat and pain, I teleported for the second time, suddenly finding myself not far outside the church. A mob of villagers surrounded the burning building, shouting about a demon, cursing Fr. Bauer for bringing it there. I looked around for my priest, but he was nowhere in sight.
I tried to run back inside to find him, but the people had gotten over their first shock at my appearance and attacked me. A few of them had guns, while others were armed only with knives or farm implements.
It was all I could do just to get away from them unscathed and escape into the shelter of the woods, swiftly climbing a tree and hiding myself in the darkness and shadows of its thick branches.
From there, I tried to teleport back into the building to rescue Fr. Bauer, but it did not work. Was it my fear of the fire that stopped me, or my ignorance of how to do it? I do not know.
Then the roof of the church collapsed, taking down the walls along with it. I knew there was no hope now of saving my protector and my dearest friend. Something snapped inside me. All the hatred and rage that I had had to keep locked away during my years with Herr Grüber burst suddenly upon me.
Screaming curses and howling like a wild beast, I leaped from the tree and attacked the villagers like the demon they thought I was, using every bit of the acrobatic skill I had honed so finely for the circus. I was crazed beyond caring about the wounds they inflicted on me, wanting only to get my teeth or fingernails into their hated bodies. I wrested a pitchfork away from one of them, and swung it furiously from side to side, keeping them from inflicting any serious injury on me.
“I fought like a madman, shrieking like a maniac the entire time. It vas probably that insane fury that saved my life, as it drove them all to run avay in terror.
“I – I – “
I am hardly aware that I have stopped speaking. I am more wrapped up in my story than I realize. My mind fills with the sight of the crowd surrounding me. I hear their curses and the sharp crackling of the flames, the smell of smoke is in my nostrils, the pain from my many small wounds tears at my body, the guilt rages in my heart for not saving Fr. Bauer.
All this and more assaults my mind, ripping it to shreds. My eyes stare wildly, but I am not seeing reality. It is as if it is all happening around me again. I see an image of Fr. Bauer standing inside the church as the roof caves in. He clasps something to his breast as he is crushed by the burning timbers falling upon him. I hear a drawn out high-pitched shriek of horror, and realize it is coming from my mouth.
Logan picks that moment to grab me by the shoulders. “Elf? What’s –“
I turn into a monster in his arms, a screaming hissing thing that struggles against his touch. I am ripping at his body with my fingernails, tearing at his flesh with my teeth. I feel my knee connect hard with his groin. I am fighting for my life, with the strength of a terrible hatred I have not truly felt since that night so very long ago.
My tail whips around, seeking a target. It wraps around the neck of my enemy, tightening as it wrenches his head back, in a way that would have snapped his neck, if he were a weaker man. I struggle to get my legs bent, in order to kick into his belly and rip him open with my toenails. My head darts at my struggling foe, my teeth taking a large chunk of flesh and muscle from his chest. His blood runs from my mouth, as I give him a vicious grin, my eyes a blaze of golden rage.
“Kurt, stop it! I don’t wanna hurt ya!”
“Hurt me?” I yell, spitting the mouthful of meat in his face. “You cannot hurt me. I am invincible. I am beyond pain, beyond feeling, beyond reason. I hate you! I hate you! I hate you! I vill kill you all!!” From there, I disintegrate even further, screaming vile insults and imprecations in German that I did not even realize I knew.
His fist slams into the side of my jaw. Dazed, I fall back onto the bed. In that brief moment, my enemy is free of my grasp and on top of me. Before I can recover, my wrists are pinned above my head with one hand, while my tail is held fast at my side in a painful grip. He is lying on me, his legs wrapped around mine, his considerable weight concentrated on top of my thighs holding me still. Even so, I fight on, struggling vainly to get loose until I run out of breath and can do nothing but lie there gasping. I could have teleported, but the thought does not even occur to me. It is as if I do not know that I can do it.
The red rage dissipates slowly. I see where I am and the damage I have done. Logan looks down at me as I look up at him.
“Are ya finished now?” he asks. “Is it over?”
I nod my head, so ashamed that it is all I can do just to whisper “Ja.”
The blood from the place I tore at his chest still drips down onto me, but the wound is starting to close already.
“Don’t worry about it. Ya can’t hurt me, darlin’. Not really.”
“Even if it heals, the pain still hurts,” I say in a small voice.
“Sure. But I’m used to that. This is nothin’ compared to some of the stuff that happens to me. You know that.”
“I know. But I did this.” I can look at him no longer. “Have I gone insane?”
“Nah. That’s what they call a flashback, darlin’. Doesn’t mean you’re crazy. Just means you’ve been hijacked by somethin’ bad that happened in your past. I got a pretty good idea what is it, considerin’ what you were tellin’ me.”
He lets go and rolls off me. I lie there trembling and hugging myself. Now it is his turn to hold me while I cry.
Eventually, I am quiet in his arms, my head against his chest.
“Entschuldigung,” I say softly, begging his pardon.
“Don’t worry about it, darlin’. I figure it comes with the territory.” He kisses the top of my head. “Now, do ya feel up to going on with the story or would you rather we just go to sleep?”
I take a deep breath. “I vill go on. But first I must go vash my face and pull myself together.”
He wipes one hand over the dried blood that covers his chest, even though the wound it came from is almost healed now. “Yeah. Looks like I’ve already pulled myself together, but I could stand a little cleaning up anyway.”
I give him a small smile as we both stand up. “You know, having to clean ourselves up tvice in one night is a bit too often for my liking.”
“Mine too, Elf. And if ya drive your knee into my balls that hard again, ya just might put a permanent kink in my love life.”
“Mein Gott, did I –?”
“Nah. I’m fine now.”
Putting a hand on my shoulder, he propels me toward the bathroom, where we do what we need to do and then return to bed. This time, I remember to bring a glass of water back with me. My voice is hoarse from all the talking I have done, not to mention the screaming.
“OK, darlin’. Next chapter.”
“Ja. Vhere vere ve vhen I fell apart?”
“You just chased the crowd away with your awesome display of ferocity.”
“Finally, I vas the only one there, standing in front of the burning church. With nothing more left to fight, the rage slowly drained out of me. I started shaking. My knees refused to hold me upright any longer. I sat on the ground, vatching my blood run from my numerous small vounds, vondering if I vould bleed to death if I did nothing to stop it. Part of me vished I vould, so I could join Fr. Bauer in heaven. There vas nothing left for me on earth.
“I vas dressed only in the old pajama top that I used for a nightshirt, and it vas ragged, scorched, and splattered vith blood. I usually kept my rosary in the pajama pocket, but now it was hanging out of a rip in the bottom of the pocket. I remember a brief feeling of joy as I clasped the beads in my hands. Now there vas something I could do for Fr. Bauer, even though he vas certainly dead.”
Glassy-eyed with shock, I just sat there as the remains of the fire burned itself out, reciting prayers that came automatically to my mind as my fingers ran over the beads. With every Hail Mary, I sent a prayer for the soul of my beloved benefactor.
I have no idea how long I sat there. I must finally have given in to my own exhaustion and fallen asleep, since the next thing I knew, the sun was coming up. Smoke still rose from parts of the rubble, and there were blackened timbers lying every which way. I would have searched for Fr. Bauer’s body in the ruins, but the ground was so hot that it scorched my bare feet when I tried to approach.
I stumbled into the shelter of the woods. Hiding beneath a tangle of bushes, I dozed on and off throughout the rest of that awful day. Once or twice I was awakened, to see small groups of people standing and looking at what was left of the church. None of them dared venture into the smoldering ruins nor into the shadows of the forest.
After darkness fell, I crept out of my hiding place, determined to at least try to find Fr. Bauer’s body, if there was anything left of it. I thought perhaps that he had run into the church to save the consecrated Body of Christ, rather than directly outside when he discovered the fire, so I began in the area I remembered to be the sanctuary.
My entire body seemed a mass of aches and pains, as I picked my way carefully through the mess, sifting through piles of ashes, lifting up chunks of blackened wood, squeezing into openings in the wreckage of the collapsed roof, and peering closely into every nook and cranny I could find.
In this way, I discovered a small section of the floor that had collapsed into the part of the old basement underneath the church itself. If I could clear a way into the basement, perhaps I could find some very useful things. But for now I was looking for a body, not a hiding place, so I left it for future consideration.
In the end, I found nothing. Of course, that did not mean there was no body, but only that I could not locate it. There were many places where so much wreckage had piled up that I could not possibly search through it all. Finally, I had to admit defeat.
I went back to the possible entrance to the basement, squeezing through openings barely large enough for me to fit. At last, I reached an open space where I could stand up. Feeling my way with hands and tail through the darkest parts and using what little light could penetrate the wreckage above me, I discovered that much of the basement was essentially undamaged.
Remembering the food and other supplies that had been stored in the newer section, I searched until I found the door. That night, I feasted on preserved fruit and vegetables, and slept comfortably on piles of old clothing and moldy blankets.
With no idea where else to go and the weather getting colder with each passing day, I set about turning the basement into a secure and very habitable place in which to spend the winter. I enlarged the entrance I had found, but only enough to allow myself easier passage, concealing the top of the entry way with a flat chunk of half-burned roof that I could manage to slide sideways enough to come and go. Wherever I could, I opened up small places in the wreckage in order to allow some air to flow into my hideaway. Using some of the candles and matches I found on their shelf by the door from the new part of the cellar, I explored the entire basement for long-forgotten supplies of food or other useful items. Before I dared light a candle at night on a regular basis, I went outside and searched for any places from which the faint glow could be seen, eventually locating an area where I could burn candles down below and see no light above ground.
This time, I would be very careful about being seen out of doors, venturing out during the day only when absolutely necessary. I knew I would not be safe here forever, but I had nowhere else, so it would have to do, at least for the winter that was swiftly approaching, if not much longer.
Ever since Fr. Bauer’s death, I had been living in a state of shock; on the surface, I did all the practical things that I had to in order to survive, but underneath, my mind was boiling with a vile mixture of sorrow and rage. At first, I could hardly force myself to believe that my happy life with the priest was irretrievably gone. However, as that reality sank deeper into my numb brain, the sorrow and rage began to combine into one hateful gnawing compulsion that would soon boil over and take control of my mind. But for a short time, I had it under control, just bubbling away quietly in the background.
Once I had finished with the basement, it occurred to me to explore the extent of my ability to jump from place to place. I had never heard of teleporting, so I just called it jumping.
It took quite a few weeks before I managed to duplicate my previous experiences, and that was only because a deer bounded suddenly out of the bushes in my direction, momentarily scaring me enough to make me desperately want to be safe in my familiar basement. And there I was.
Replaying it over in my mind gave me the clue that it was somehow triggered by my intense desire to be elsewhere. Conjuring up imaginary dangers, I tried to rouse that same feeling while picturing a place to which I could go. It quickly became much easier. Soon enough all I had to do was wish to be there and I would jump. Of course, I berated myself for not having done all this sooner, in order that I might have been able to save Fr. Bauer from the fire. One more layer was added to the pile of guilt that burdened my heart.
Once I found out I could jump at will, I spent much of my time experimenting, figuring out as much as I could about what it was and what I could do. Night after night, I wore myself out with these efforts. I jumped from place to place, trying for longer distances. How far could I go? How many times in a row could I do it before I had to stop and rest? Could I go up? Down?
The most important consideration seemed to be that I had to be able to visualize in my mind the place where I intended to go in a fair amount of detail and to know the approximate orientation and distance that place was in relation to myself.
I did not then and I do not now have any true knowledge of where I go when I teleport. I can describe it, but I cannot in any way explain it.
Subjectively, it is a horrible place, if I can even call it a place at all. It is a darkness so deep that even the concept of light seems to be impossible. It is an emptiness so full that it feels tangible. A silence so profound that it can be heard. A dead coldness so hot that it sears your soul. There is no air to be breathed, yet it is not a vacuum.
It feels as if your mind and body have been turned inside out, but there is no pain, only an infinity of distance over which you are spread. The only thing that makes it endurable is that it takes only an instant. Before it can be truly felt in all its totality, it is already over. That is what saves the sanity of those who feel it for the first time. Unless you are used to it, it can leave you with a fierce feeling of vertigo, which is why some people vomit. Others are disoriented, weak, or confused. The exact reaction varies. Some are terrified and try to stop it while it is happening, but that is the worst possible reaction. The harder you try, the worse it feels; the sense of terror mounts and expands within you. I know this very well, as I panicked a couple of times early on in my experiments.
I also tried to slow the process down, in order to have more time to figure out what was happening. I discovered that I could do that, if I willed it hard enough, but not for any significant length of time. The harder I tried, the worse it felt, as if something there willed me to be gone. If emptiness could convey hostility, that would be a good description. I would also often miss my target area by varying distances whenever I tried that, which meant it was dangerous. Nevertheless, I pushed it as far as I could, seeking to find my limits even in this. Often I returned with a blinding headache, so weak that I could do nothing but collapse.
However, I was beyond the point of caring how devastating it was to jump. All I wanted was to learn to do it and end up where I wanted to go. I am frankly surprised that I did not accidentally kill myself. It was a minor miracle that I never ended up inside a tree, or under the ground. While I never found out what would happen if I actually did teleport into something solid, I am very sure it would not be pleasant.
Still, I went on trying until practice finally made perfect. Within a radius of approximately 4 kilometers, I could appear wherever I chose.
As soon as I was sure of my skill, I closed off my hidden entrance to the basement and jumped in and out instead.
I grew bold enough to use my strange ability in order to steal things that I deemed necessary for my survival, but I only did it if I had no other alternative, since I knew it was both risky and wrong.
During this time, of course, I was still growing up. I turned 13 that November. I knew full well about puberty and what to expect, but it still astonished me as it actually started to happen.
When the snow began, I felt both safer and more vulnerable at the same time. The snow would restrict travel considerably, but I was also in danger of being snowed in and trapped. Of course, I could get out, but if the cover of snow became too deep, I would eventually run out of air in my hideaway. As it turned out, the church had been located in a fairly windy area, which was mostly free of drifts, so that only became a real problem once or twice. When it did, I simply jumped out to the surface and cleared the snow away from my air vents.
As is often the case in life, my worst problem turned out to be something I had not foreseen.
As the winter closed in on me, I found myself with little else to do beyond sit in my safe basement and think. Having been raised in the presence of other people, the solitude started to get to me. I could not help thinking about how much I missed Fr. Bauer, but as I did that, my hatred of those who had caused his death grew ever more bitter. Yet I did not know who they were, other than residents of some of the nearby villages. I could not take vengeance on them even had I wanted to, but I could not stop thinking about it either. Prior to this, I had been busy preparing my hiding place and learning to jump . Now, I had time to allow the rage to surface, too much time.
After several weeks of mulling things over like this, the hatred burned brightly in my heart. And the guilt for that was mine, because I chose to let it burn. It got so that I could not pray, could not even hold my rosary in my hand without feeling guilty, as I knew somewhere down inside that I should not be dwelling on such thoughts. And still, I wished only to let the hatred consume me.
Hatred of a specific person or thing can easily be turned into violence, but hatred without a target can be equally dangerous. Since I could not take vengeance for this wrong, my mind sorted grimly through other wrongs that I had experienced during my brief span of years and quickly came up with a different target for my rage, one that I became convinced was fully justified.
I imagine you will not be surprised when I say that my new target was Herr Grüber. I raked grimly through the ashes of my youth, adding each uncovered memory of his cruelty to my list, until I finally convinced myself that it would be a good thing if I sought him out and killed him. That would also allow me to save poor Anna from his clutches. Surely, no one could question the rightness of that motive.
I knew where Herr Grüber would be at this time of year, of course. I convinced myself that it would not be too difficult to find my way back to Schönberg, despite the cold weather. After all, I had gotten from there to here on foot and unprepared, had I not? It should not take too long to retrace my steps now that I could jump so well.
For days, I contented myself with planning how I would take his life. A gun would be too easy, and I would have to learn to use it ahead of time. Too likely to attract unwanted attention. Besides, I could not easily obtain such a weapon anywhere nearby.
Methodically, I searched the basement for something I could use, eventually finding an old hunting knife in a leather sheath behind a box of outdoor clothing.
Ah, yes, this would do very well. It would give the whole thing a personal touch, as I felt his blood run over my hands each time I stabbed him. He would live long enough to know who had done this to him, I would make sure of that. I might not be a match for an adult physically, but it should not be too difficult to out-maneuver him, given my new talent for appearing and disappearing unexpectedly.
For too many nights, I stared into the underground darkness, imagining how it would feel as the blade cut through his flesh, picturing him begging for a mercy he would not receive, as I had sometimes been forced to do by him. His screams would bring relief to my tortured soul. I would wash away my sorrow in his blood.
Or so I told myself. Meanwhile, I sharpened the knife as best I could against a flat stone, my mouth stretched into a dreadful grin and my glowing eyes narrowed to slits as I contemplated his imminent death.
I had lost track of time, but it was probably somewhere after the new year began that I felt myself to be ready. Gathering together the supplies I had scrounged from various parts of the basement, I left my hideout and set out for Schönberg to take my revenge on the world, in the person of Herr Grüber.
This time, my trip through the forest was much easier and quicker. Not only did I have food and camping supplies and heavy clothing, but, as I had planned, I could cover much of the distance in a series of short jumps; so long as I could see ahead to where I wanted to go, I did not need to walk. What had taken me weeks of wandering through the woods last year now took me only a few days. I did not always know the exact way I had to go, but I remembered much of my flight from the village of Schönberg, so it was not too long before I was in relatively familiar territory and could cover more distance in my jumps. Of course, I had to stop and rest every so often, but it was still much faster than normal hiking.
I had to be more careful as I got close to the town, since the farms and houses became more numerous. I did not want to be seen, so I made the last part of the journey on foot, after hiding my things in the underbrush for retrieval after this was over. Sometime around midnight I was finally at the edge of the town itself. Keeping to the shadows, I moved silently down the cold and empty streets until I stood outside Herr Grüber’s house. As I had hoped, there were no lights on.
I recall standing below his bedroom window, leaning back against the wall of the house, asking myself if I was really going to do this. It all seemed somehow unreal. Flakes of snow drifted down around me. Everything seemed so peaceful here. Everything except my own soul.
Deliberately, I stoked the fire of hatred that burned in my heart, recalling that final night I had spent inside these walls. How he had forced me to help him hurt Anna; how he had beaten me so cruelly with the riding crop. I tried to think only of that, but other thoughts intruded, thoughts of how he had trained me to service my customers, the remembrance of the feeling of his hands on my body, the pleasures I had learned to crave all somehow mixed up with the pain that had also been inflicted. He had made me the sinful, depraved creature that I had become. He had taught me to want this so badly that I could not even refrain from sin now, when I wanted desperately to please and obey my God. Surely this man deserved to die. He was evil, a predator on helpless children. He had not only destroyed my innocence, but he had made me complicit in that very destruction.
Maybe it was my fault that God had allowed Fr. Bauer to be killed, because of my many sins! Maybe it was to punish me. But I was only what Herr Grüber had made of me. Did that not mean Fr. Bauer’s death was also his fault?
Anyone outside of the situation could have seen that I was not thinking clearly, but I had no one else there to show me the way, so my fevered brain spun out its crazed logic, ultimately convincing me that I would be doing God’s Will by killing Herr Grüber. I was His avenging angel, even if I looked more like a demon than an angel.
I took the knife from its sheath and jumped into the bedroom, where I expected to find my victim helplessly asleep.
The noise of my entrance wakened him. He sat up, blinking and confused. I could have stabbed him right then and there, but I had made other plans. I wanted him to know why this was happening, and who had done it, so I simply stood there next to his bed, waiting while he realized the situation.
Much to my astonishment, his initial surprise turned immediately to joy.
“Kurt! You’ve come back to me! Where have you been? How did you do that trick with the smoke?”
Throwing off the covers, he stood up and switched on the light beside his bed. Then he noticed the expression on my face and the knife. “My dear boy, what’s wrong? I’m so glad to see you. And you’ve grown so tall!”
I had not realized until then that I was looking straight at him, rather than up to him. Herr Grüber was not a particularly tall man, but I was now at least as tall as he was.
“I am not here to be in your freak show,” I said coldly. “I am here to kill you.”
He backed up a few steps. “You can’t mean that, child. I took care of you. I raised you.”
“You used me for your own profit. Vhere is Anna?”
“Anna isn’t here.” He backed towards the door. I jumped behind him, blocking his exit and scaring him even more.
“Vhere did she go? Vhat happened?”
The guilt on his face made me suspect the worst even before he said it. “She’s dead. Last summer she – uh – she killed herself.” Without missing another beat, he went on. “If you hadn’t gone away, she would never have done that. She missed you so, and she was so lonely without you –“
I shook my head, cutting off his explanation. “How?”
“We were near Landsberg, at a small town on the Lech River. She snuck out of our trailer one night and must have thrown herself into the river. We searched everywhere. Two days later, her body was found downstream.”
Oh, Anna, Anna! Could you not have waited for me to rescue you?
No, of course not. How could she have known I would come back?
Then an even worse thought struck me.
“Are you telling the truth? Or did you simply kill her yourself and dump her body into the river?”
“Me? Oh no, Kurt, I swear it! Why would I do such a terrible thing?”
“Because she vas not very useful to you,” I went on mercilessly, “and you vanted to be rid of her.”
“No!! No! You’ve got to believe me!”
Much as I wanted to believe he was a murderer, I could not convince myself that my accusation was true. It had been a shot fired in the dark. He seemed honestly shocked when I said it.
He backed away from me, holding his hands out in front of him as if to protect himself from the knife I held. I think he must have seen me wavering, because a gleam of hope came into his eyes.
“If you want to blame someone, blame yourself,” he said. “If you had stayed, everything would have been fine. Between us, we would have taught her the skills I expected her to learn and Anna would never have taken her life.”
For a moment, I almost believed him. A wave of guilt flooded over me. The hand that held the knife trembled slightly.
Seeing my hesitation, Herr Grüber came towards me, his arms out as if he would draw me into a hug. “I know how upset you must be, dear child. Come. We’ll mourn together.”
I was tempted. Even then, it was such an ingrained habit for me to want his approval and love that I was almost willing to accept the guilt for deserting poor Anna. Then I remembered what had been happening that last night I had been here. Anna’s screams as she struggled against him, my pain and desperation.
“No,” I replied coldly, the knife once again steady. “If it is true that she killed herself, then it vas still your fault. The only guilt I vill accept is for obeying you and adding to her suffering.”
“Ah, but you did obey me, didn’t you? Come, boy, you don’t really want to do this. You want to be back here with me. We can make money together. I can arrange for you to perform in the circus. You wouldn’t have to entertain any customers, unless you wished to do so.” He gave me a conspiratorial smile. “You know you enjoyed some of the sex. Have you been getting that sort of thing where you are now? I don’t think so.”
Again, I was tempted. He spoke only the truth. I often craved the exotic sex I had been subjected to when I was with him. Not everything was pleasant, but many things had been. I could have that again, only now at my desire, not someone else’s. No more guilt-ridden nights trying to satisfy myself with nothing but my own inadequate hand. And I could be a performer. The trapeze, the high wire, the crowd cheering for me, applauding my skill and courage. All I ever wanted. And I could have it. I could –
Herr Grüber smiled more widely as he saw me taking the bait. In his eagerness to further convince me, he said exactly the wrong thing. “Here, let me introduce you to the two boys I’m training now. They’re very cute little freaks and already quite skilled at pleasing their customers. You can try them out yourself.”
That did it, and he knew it from the look on my face. He turned to run for the window, but I wrapped my arms around him and teleported us both out of the house, intending to take him to a deserted spot in the forest and kill him there, where no one would hear his cries for help.
In that eternal instant before we re-appeared, I felt his terror of the sensations he was experiencing. It pleased me to make him feel so. I drew it out a bit longer before pitching us both back into reality.
I was still clutching him around the waist from behind, the knife held upright in one hand with the point angled toward his breast. He sagged back against me, struggling for breath, the terror of nothingness still vivid in his mind.
“Did you enjoy that?” I whispered into his ear. Sudden inspiration struck me then. It might be that I would not need the knife after all. “I hope so, since I intend to do it again.”
“Nein!! O Gott nein! Kurt, bitte —“
I felt a dreadful grin spread my lips. This time, he was begging me, just as I had so often begged him. “Ja, mein Herr,” I replied sarcastically. “Oh Ja.”
I threw us back into that emptiness that I knew so well, and again held us there longer than was necessary. Of course, that meant I had to endure the horror also, but I was used to it, and I knew that I was in control. Herr Grüber had no such consolation. He struggled against me, but I held him fast, my arms strengthened by the exultant power of vengeance satisfied.
We re-appeared further up the mountainside. I was thoroughly enjoying this now, as a cat enjoys playing with a mouse. I released him, and he fell to the ground, gasping and vomiting. Sheathing my knife, I stood over him, watching until he had recovered enough to stand. Eyes wild, he stared at the trees surrounding us. He ran. I let him go just far enough to give him hope of escape, then jumped in front of him. He turned and raced to one side. I followed. We played this game for a short time. I could hear myself laughing insanely and screaming vile insults at him. I chased him through briers and thorns, pushed him into tree trunks, appeared in front of him with a kick to the face. When he finally collapsed from exhaustion, I knelt beside him. One hand reached for his crotch, my fingers closing hard around his genitals, getting a tight grip even through the fabric of his trousers. I pulled down hard as I squeezed, ignoring his shrieks of pain.
“This is your introduction to Hell, mein Herr, and I am the Devil that you have created,” I said viciously.
My other hand reached around his waist, pinning him against me as I threw us once again into the cold and echoing silence, determined to hold us there as long as I possibly could in order to prolong his suffering.
Enclosed by the hideous darkness, I could still see my victim as a ghostly outline. I could feel him struggling vainly against me, but he could do nothing to truly free himself. Here, he was at my mercy, and I had no mercy to give. It was bliss. His eyes widened as the intolerable instant stretched further into the future, as if it might last forever. His mouth opened in a silent scream that I could hear only within my mind. I savored his terror like a fine liqueur, holding the taste in my mouth and reveling in it. Satisfaction at his suffering swept through me with a physical pleasure that transcended any orgasm I had ever felt. I threw back my head and howled with laughter. His body went rigid against me, as if he were having a convulsion.
Exhausted by my efforts to keep us pinned where we were, I had to give up at last. We were catapulted into reality several meters above the ground and fell from there onto a rocky outcrop of the mountain, landing side by side not far from the edge. For a time, neither of us moved. I lay there trembling, breathing, trying to comprehend the fact that I was alive. Herr Grüber did not move at all, which eventually gave me the impetus to haul myself to my knees and lean over him.
He was lying on his face, so I rolled him over. If I never see such a grimace of horror again, it will be too soon. I checked for any sign of life, but there was nothing. Slowly, I smiled. I had set out to do murder, and murder I had done. My enemy had been defeated, and had died even more gruesomely than I had planned. I had quite literally scared him to death. I could not have asked for more, but it was then that I realized I had gotten it anyway.
My pants were wet on the inside. My first thought was that I had peed myself in the intensity of the moment, but my exploring hand discovered there was not enough moisture for that, and what was there was sticky and showed up white against the blue of my fingers.
I had had my first ejaculation when I felt the intense pleasure of my enemy dying in my arms. The irony of the situation was not lost on me. I had resisted Herr Grüber’s attempt to teach me to take sexual pleasure from hurting others, but killing him had resulted in my doing exactly that.
I rested for a while, trying to make sense of what had happened and what I should do next. I did the best I could to push my roiling emotions aside and think clearly. That imposed practicality bore fruit.
I pushed his body over the edge of the cliff and watched it hit the rocks below. If anyone ever found it, they would be likely to assume he had fallen to his death. I returned to his house in two long jumps. I knew he always kept a good amount of cash hidden in a secret compartment in his study, so I took it. I felt it was my due, as I had been the one responsible for a big part of his wealth. Seeing the little plaster model of the house he had given to me sitting on the corner of his desk, I took that also, telling myself that it had been put there to be given soon to one or both of the new freaks he had mentioned that he was training. Maybe I had at least arrived in time to keep them from having to learn the lessons of the House of Pain. If so, that would be of some consolation to me.
I went back to my hideout, returning as I had come, but faster now that I knew the way. Exhausted, I collapsed on my bed of blankets and slept for a day and most of the next night.
I had expected to feel some sort of relief after the murder of Herr Grüber, but that did not happen. Yes, the rage had been washed out of me, but now I felt guilty, hideously guilty. Yes, Herr Grüber perhaps deserved to die, but that did not automatically give me the right to kill him. I had thought of myself as God’s avenging angel, but God needs no avenging angels. I had done evil, fooling myself into believing it was good simply because I wanted it to be.
And how could I justify the crazy way I had taken his life? I had done it deliberately, and worse, I had enjoyed it. Not only enjoyed it, but actually got sexual pleasure from it! That served only to confirm my own depravity. I had turned myself into an abomination: not just a torturer and a murderer, but someone who actively enjoyed it in an obscene way.
Now, I see that violence and sex do have many things in common and are often intertwined, and I am no longer surprised at such a reaction. But then, I was a child, and all I had was my own confusion, with no adult to understand and help me cope with it. I thought I was the only one ever to have these feelings. To be sure, I had been raised to connect sex and pain, but I had resisted being the one who caused that pain. Now, it seemed that I had lost the battle, while Herr Grüber had won out in the end. He had made me into a monster, a vile thing offensive to God by its very existence.
When it occurred to me that Fr. Bauer would have been deeply ashamed of me if he knew what I had done, despair crashed down upon me on top of the guilt. It was almost a palpable thing, as if a curtain had fallen cutting me off from the light, destroying all my hope, despoiling every ideal I had lived for, damning me before my God, and turning my carefully-nurtured hatred of Herr Grüber back onto my own self. I lost something that day, something I can never get back again. Ironically, I might even be able to call it my innocence.
For several weeks, I could do nothing but lie in my makeshift bed and sink deeper into this hideous morass of worthlessness, barely able to bestir myself long enough to care for my basic needs. I could not care about anything anymore. It was all hopeless. My past had been a big mistake, and I had no future. My very existence was a disaster. I had no energy, no motivation to carry on. My life seemed nothing but a bad joke. Not only did I look like a devil, I had proven myself to be no better than a devil. And I had done it to myself, by giving in to my fury over the loss of Fr. Bauer.
During that dreadful time, I was literally obsessed with what I had done, turning it this way and that way in my frantic mind in an effort to understand why I had done it and what I should do now. I think I was closer then to being insane than I have ever been in my life.
At one point, I asked myself what Fr. Bauer would have said if he were here. Perhaps that repentance is the first step toward forgiveness? So was I sorry? I wanted to be sorry, but there was another voice in the back of my head, whispering to me. No, you are not sorry at all. You hated Herr Grüber, with good reason. You enjoyed what you did to him. You gloried in it. And you responded sexually to it. Oh, you may now try to say you are sorry, but your body knows differently.
All right, if I could perhaps not quite qualify as repentant, what could I do? Again, Fr. Bauer’s teachings came to me. The sinner must change his ways if he wishes forgiveness. It was possible I could do that. I surely had no further plans for murdering anyone, not even any of the villagers who had been involved with burning down the church.
Yet that was still not enough of an answer. It was somehow too easy; all I had to do was resolve not to do something I no longer felt like doing.
I tried meditating on the essence of my sin, dissecting it and studying it, in order that I might fully understand it. It had begun with rage at Herr Grüber. No, that was wrong. It had begun with the shock and sorrow of Fr. Bauer’s death and the destruction of the only real home I had ever known. Where had I lost track of that connection? Had the rage and hatred become my way of pushing that overwhelming sorrow aside? Was that even possible? Yes, I concluded, yes, it was. I had made a bad choice, even if I had not fully realized what I was doing at the time. I had taken the easy way out, being afraid to face and feel the sorrow and instead turning it into destructive and violent rage.
Another facet of my failure was the murder itself. But I had already thought much on that, and had concluded that vengeance was not mine to take. There were other things I could have done to prevent Herr Grüber from victimizing others, short of killing him.
That left my unexpected sexual reaction to the murder. True, there was no choice involved in that, and I could not have known it would happen. But I did know now, so it is not something to be forgotten. Considering the way I had been trained, the idea that causing pain to another person can be sexually arousing and pleasurable is something I must remember in order that I might avoid falling prey to just such a temptation in the future. To deliberately inflict agony and even death upon someone else in order to gain the sort of ecstasy I had felt could not be anything but a hideously selfish perversion of the essential joy inherent in our sexuality.
So what then had I been guilty of? Cowardice in not facing the pain of sorrow and loss directly. Weakness for giving in to rage and fury instead. Premeditated murder. Deriving pleasure from that murder, however unexpectedly. And finally, despair over the consequences.
Cowardice and weakness, while not desirable traits, could not accurately be classified as sins in and of themselves, so I ruled them out. That left the remaining three: Premeditated Murder, Illicit Sexual Pleasure, and Despair.
You may think that a child of my age could not possibly have analyzed his behavior so closely, but I was not an ordinary child. In many ways, I knew far too much for my own good, while in other ways, I understood far too little.
No sooner had I decided on the individual components that made up my sin, than I recalled an article I had read not long ago in an encyclopedia that described a strange sort of alphabet given to humankind by the Angel Gabriel. Did I honestly believe that literally? No. But the letters themselves had haunted me, seeming somehow fascinating in their odd unworldly shapes and flourishes. I wondered how it would look if I wrote out my sins using that script. For the sake of brevity, I reduced them to three words: Murder, Pleasure, and Despair.
Obviously, I used the German words: Mord, Vergnügen, and Verzweiflung, so the letters do not correspond to the English words. I also took a certain amount of liberty with the forms of the letters, since there are already several variations on this alphabet in existence.
I held the paper up in my hand in front of my eyes. As I stared at it, the sharp-edged spiky letters almost seemed to glow. And then they turned red and blood welled up from the lines, running down the paper and dripping onto the floor. They seemed to be showing me what I should do.
It felt somehow right. It would show my determination never to do it again. It was not penance so much as proof of my sincerity. Sometimes it is not enough just to say you are sorry.
Once I had made up my mind, I considered where on my body such a design belonged. My sexual response to killing played a large part in my collapse into guilt and hopelessness. At first, I rejected the obvious location that presented itself to me, but after more thought, I realized that the organ which took pleasure in killing would be the best place for a reminder, since it was also something I would see several times in the course of each day for the rest of my life whenever I had to urinate. And, as a more powerful reminder, whenever I had sex.
That presented me with a new problem: there was not enough space to fit all those letters, especially considering the elaborate detail of the angelic script.
I solved it by taking the first letter of each word. That resulted in a design that I could engrave length-wise along the top of my shaft, if the letters were done very small and carefully. I chose the order of the letters to be such that I could read them from top to bottom as I looked down upon my penis, since that was how I would normally be seeing them. Thus, the M is closest to the end, while the final V is closest to my body.
Of course, the cuts would have to be very shallow in order not to slice entirely through the layer of skin, since such a thing could easily cause more damage than I intended. Only three letters. It did not seem beyond my capacity to endure.
But I needed something sharper than the knife I had intended to use on Herr Grüber. I returned to Schönberg; specifically, I returned to the pharmacy in that town, jumping into the building late at night and searching for something suitable. I would have settled for a packet of razor blades, but as it happened I found something even better in one of the many drawers containing medical items: a collection of needles meant to be used with hypodermic syringes. They were conveniently marked by diameter and length, so I chose what I thought looked best for my intended use and took six of them, plus a bottle of alcohol and a box of gauze pads.
In an attempt to make up for the fact that I was technically stealing these things, I figured up the price and left some money on the counter. Let the pharmacist puzzle over it as he wished. I had at least paid for what I had taken.
The following day found me sitting in the brightest part of the basement, naked from the waist down, with numerous candles burning around me in order to give me the best view possible of what I planned to do.
I had thought it all out in advance. I should start my design well clear of my foreskin, as that could rip too easily if I cut too deeply. In order to have a surface firm enough to make the letters in sufficient detail, I would have to be fairly hard. That was not very difficult to accomplish, even knowing what I planned to do.
I had pubic hair now, dark black but sparse, and my penis had begun to grow larger in comparison to my body. Nevertheless, at thirteen years old, I was still more boy than man.
I rubbed some alcohol over the area I planned to decorate, then unwrapped and uncapped one of my needles. The end was delicately tapered off to one side, resulting in a razor-sharp point. I had tried cutting a small line on my thigh earlier, so I knew it would work.
I took a breath, then firmly drew the point over the top surface of my penis, not even daring to wince at the pain for fear I would move enough to mar the design. I do not think I need to tell you that it hurt. Pain is not something that can be easily described, in any case.
I tried to think of my skin as being just something on which I was marking a design, letting the pain fall away into my imagined basement to join everything else that was already there. The irony of the situation was not entirely lost on me: here I sat in a real basement, trying to escape from the results of something I willingly did to myself by dumping it into an imaginary basement.
Every so often, I had to stop and blot away the blood so that I could see what I was doing more clearly.
As I drew the equivalent of M, I forced myself to remember the look on Herr Grüber’s dead face.
Eventually, I completed the first letter and, taking a fresh needle, I began the second.
For this V, I first visualized Anna’s eyes, glazed with pain and hopelessness as I helped Herr Grüber with her “training”. Then I made myself recall the intense orgasm I had had at the time of his death: a hideous desecration of what should be a beautiful thing.
Often during this process, I wondered if I might have gone crazy, but something stronger compelled me to continue.
To an extent, I suppose I did welcome the pain, as it allowed me to feel that I might in some way be paying for what I had done, but I never felt that God had told me to do it as a condition of being forgiven. Maybe I just felt as if it was only right that I should suffer for what I had done, to somehow strengthen my resolve not to do it again.
Once I even pictured myself throwing all those memories and feelings down into the basement along with the pain, but I could not. They loomed so large and awkward in front of me that I was not able to push them through the door, much less down the steps. I decided that was just as well. What good is a reminder if you try to destroy the memory of what it is meant to remind you of?
At last, I began the second V, this one for Despair.
I imagined Fr. Bauer, falling beneath the flaming roof, burning to death. Compared to his suffering, my own was as nothing.
Almost finished now. The hand that held the needle was beginning to tremble. What if I do not have the strength to finish? I am a coward. I am a fool, thinking this silly bit of self-torture will accomplish anything. It is hopeless –
No! Never again must I give in to this feeling. It is the very same Despair this design is meant to warn me against. Never again must I give up hope. Yea, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Never must I even think of suicide. Never again must I give in to the darkness. Never must I listen to the voice that tells me all is worthless. Never must I listen to the voice that tells me I am worthless. Never must I give up hope. Never may I give up on the world. Never may I think of myself as beyond God’s mercy. Never again must I despair. For without hope, there can be no life, no love, no good, no happiness, no laughter, no way of getting through the inevitable sorrow. No joy, no ecstasy, no beauty, no chance of better things to come. No light in my eyes.
Every time I look at these scars, I must remember. Every time I feel them when I hold my penis to urinate. Every time I step in front of a mirror naked, every time I look down at myself, I will remember. Every time my penis hardens in my hand as I seek pleasure by myself. Every time it swells with desire, I will feel the slight pulling of the scarred flesh and remember. Every time I feel it slide into someone’s body, I will remember. Every time someone touches me here, I will remember. Every time I open my eyes and watch as my seed spurts from me, I will remember all these things.
Despair is Death.
Nur nicht verzweifeln.
Above all else, thou shalt not Despair.
I finished. I laid the needle aside. I picked up the bottle of alcohol and poured it liberally over my gruesome work of art. I fainted, holding onto consciousness only long enough to make sure I fell onto my back, rather than the front of my body.
I fall silent. To cover the momentary awkwardness, I take a long drink from the water glass next to the bed. Stricken with a sudden attack of shyness, I pull up the covers around me. Logan’s hand covers mine before I can let them go.
“Don’t do that, darlin’. There’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
I turn my face away.
“What’s the matter? Me seeing you naked never bothered you before.”
“Before you did not know the meaning of what you saw. Now it is different.”
“No, it’s not.
Still holding my hand, he lowers the covers again, exposing my almost erect penis.
“Just telling me about it did that?”
All I can do is nod.
He frees my fingers from the fabric and sets my hand down beside me on the bed. “Lie still. I want to look at you.”
He takes the little LED flashlight from his nightstand and turns it on.
I cringe. “Nein. You can see well enough in the dark, you do not need –“
“It’s difficult enough to make out small details on a dark blue background in the daylight, much less at night.”
He shines the flashlight directly onto my crotch, leaning closer to examine the intricate tracery of the raised scars.
I have to stop myself from pulling away in shame. How could he so totally embarrass me like this? Can he not see how it is making me feel?
Of course he can. I can tell by the expression on his face. I look down at myself, trying to see the scar as he does. Is it a further disfigurement of my already unattractive blue skin, repulsive for what it represents? Or are all my scars only fascinating because of their connection to wounds and blood and pain? Or perhaps he is envious, as his body does not scar and so he can have no vivid reminders of the violence he has endured? Is that all I am to him: an obscene sort of fetish?
“Stop it, darlin’. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. You don’t have to get all freaked out.” He leans down to kiss the scar. “Don’t start feelin’ ashamed of it. Shame,” he says, each word spaced out between a series of soft kisses, “--- ain’t --- sexy.”
Then he covers my penis with his hand, tenderly, reverently, but not particularly sexually. “I can see how it’s really three separate sections, not just one design. You did a good job. It must have hurt like hell.”
“Only because of vhere I did it,” I point out. “On a less sensitive part of the body, I am told such cutting is hardly more painful than getting a tattoo, and many people do that nowadays merely for decoration.”
“You don’t need any decoration, Elf. This is beautiful, because you are beautiful.”
My foolish imaginings evaporate, and I can finally meet his eyes and smile. Because he accepts what I am and what I have done, perhaps it will be possible for me to do the same.
Putting the flashlight away, he pulls the covers up around us both.
“So what happened to you next?”
“You really vant to know that now?”
“Uh – well – if you’ve got a short version, maybe –“
“Ja, I can do a short version.” I settle myself comfortably against him and begin.
”My life after that time vas better. As soon as the veather began to moderate, I left my basement behind and traveled across the countryside in search of a circus that vould hire me despite my youth. I had the money I had taken from Herr Grüber’s house, so I could pay for lodgings and anything else I needed along the vay. I knew vhere many of the local circuses spent the vinter, so I vas able to get to them before they began their new season.
“Vhenever I had to be around other people, I could manage to disguise myself fairly vell vith makeup and an overabundance of clothing. However, in order to show vhat I could do for a prospective employer, I had to reveal my true appearance, at least to a certain extent. To that end, I came up vith a costume that made me appear rather like a devil, vith a tight black bodysuit that had red detailing and falsely pointed red shoulder pieces. My tail had to appear to be part of the costume, so I could not use it for any of my tricks. Instead, I had to keep it still and out of the vay. That vas not too difficult, as I had learned to do it as a child.”
It was not long before I found a circus that was willing to hire me as a performer, once I showed what I could do. A kind woman who also worked there took me in to live with her and her two children, treating me as an adopted son. Of course, I had to reveal what I truly was to the circus folks, but everyone was all right with it once they got to know me and became used to my appearance. I have never been accepted so well by any other group of people in my life. Until I joined the X-Men, of course.
As I got better and better at my performances, I soon became a star in the show. My foster brother and sister joined me in a performance that covered acrobatics, the trapeze, and the high wire, with a scenario where I was a devil (What else?) who kidnapped the girl away from her lover. The lover then chased me around through various obstacles and up onto the trapeze, until I ended up trapped with the girl in the middle of the high wire. At the point where the lover was about to slay me with his sword, I would laugh demonically and jump from the wire, carrying the girl with me and falling into the net below, which was all lit up by red lights as if we were falling into the fires of hell. The audience loved it.
Although I was not too happy over having to play such an evil part, I eventually made my peace with it, telling myself that wearing the false costume of a devil was somehow a symbol of my own true appearance, which is really nothing more than a false costume for my soul.
Our act helped the circus to prosper and grow, and I was happy there for many years. Yes, there was sometimes sorrow and unhappiness, but that is only normal for human beings.
And then one day William Stryker captured me and took me to his base, to try to turn me into a weapon that he could use to start a war between mutants and humans. You know the rest of the story.”
“There. Vas that a short enough version?”
“Yeah, Elf. Pretty succinct, for you.”
“Vhat do you mean by that?” I reply, feigning insult. “Are you implying that I talk a lot?”
“You might say that, darlin”.”
“Hmph! In that case, I think I need more vater. My glass is empty.”
“Oh, and I suppose ya expect me to fill it up for ya, huh?”
“Vell, that vould be very kind of you, Liebling,” I say, giving him a saccharine-sweet smile. “After all, my shoulders are still very sore and I have just barely recovered from the vay you mistreated me the other night.”
“Awright, awright, I get the point. Gimme the damn glass. Ya sure ya don’t want more chocolate ice cream while I’m at it?”
“Vell, now that you mention it –“
He takes the empty glass. “Don’t push it, bub,” he says, mock-menacingly and then laughs.
“Ya know,” he begins when he returns with my water, “to my way of thinkin’, you didn’t need to get all that upset over killing Herr Grüber. I’d say he deserved it.”
“But it vas revenge, not self defense, by the time I did it. And it vas far too late to have prevented Anna’s death.”
“Yeah, but even so, you repented, Elf. I’d do everything all over again, if I had to.”
I think that over for a moment, covering up my hesitation by drinking several mouthfuls of water and replacing the glass on my nightstand before I answer. “I vish I vere sure that I vould not.”
“You wouldn’t. You’ve changed since then. You were young and confused.”
“Ja. But perhaps now I am only older and yet more confused.”
Logan shakes his head. “No, darlin’. It’s me. I made you dredge up all this shit from your past and got you questioning yourself.” He turns away, as if he’s ready to get up from the bed. “Leave me, Elf. I’m no damned good for you, and you know it.”
I lay the end of my tail over his shoulder before he can move any further. “Can you look me in the eyes and tell me you truly vish me to leave you? If you can, I vill do as you say.”
I am taking a desperate gamble saying that, but I can think of no other way to get past his present self-loathing.
Logan spins around and grabs my head, holding my face in front of his, meeting my eyes directly. I look at him with all the confidence and love that I can muster for several long seconds. When he opens his mouth to speak, I wonder if I have lost my bet.
Unable to force himself to say those words of dismissal, he releases me abruptly and turns aside, shaking his head and saying miserably, “Maybe I should just go away from here and leave you in peace.”
I grab his shoulder and turn him back to me. “I do not vant peace. I vant love, I vant sex, I vant to feel your body next to me and you inside me!” I stop, trying to calm myself enough to speak rationally. “And beyond that, you must not leave the X-Men. If anyone is to go, it vill be me.”
“You need to be here. It is your salvation.”
“As an X-Man, your rage at least serves a good purpose. I do not mean that it is good, only that it may sometimes be necessary. Far better you should use vhat you are in this vay, than merely for your own survival and pleasure. I, on the other hand, can manage vithout being an X-Man, if I must. And they can manage vithout me.”
“Is it, Logan? Is it truly?”
He cannot answer. Yet he looks so forlorn as he sits on the side of the bed, his usually square shoulders drooping in silent evidence of his sorrow and distress, his head angled downwards. I reach out to lay my palm against his face, but feel the bandage still wrapped around that hand. I use my left hand instead, placing it flat against his cheek, the familiar heavy stubble tickling my palm as I do so.
No more talking, no more weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. I resolve to turn his thoughts to more pleasant things before we go to sleep.
Slowly, I slide my palm down his face and onto the front of his body, beginning on his chest and following the centerline of hair down over his abdomen to the thick pubic hair at his groin. I take his penis into my hand. It is just starting to become hard and stiffens even more as my fingers slip into place around it. At first, all I do is hold him. Then I begin squeezing gently, alternating the pressure between my two fingers as I do so.
I press lightly, almost lightly enough to tickle, only gradually increasing the pressure. It seems awkward to be using my left hand, but that merely causes me to pay closer attention to what I am doing.
He reaches down for me, but I push his hand away.
“Nein, not this time,” I tell him softly. “Just let me do you. You are so often buried inside me. This time I vant to see and feel and taste your orgasm.”
Gradually, the squeezing changes to a sliding motion, up and down. He is moving with me now, as I pull harder and tighter.
I slide off the bed and down onto my knees in front of him, switching the position of my hand as I do so in order to get a more comfortable grip.
Even in the darkness, I can see his penis quite well, the veins swollen and standing out, his foreskin sliding back and forth with my hand but entirely clear of the head by now. I would like to take him into my mouth, but I dare not. I do not think my jagged and very sharp teeth could avoid doing damage. But my tongue can do no damage, so I lean down and use it to lick the exposed glans, tasting the moisture that is gathering there at his slit. Each time he thrusts forward, I give him another quick lick.
I wish I could prolong this, but I know he will soon be ready to come and I do not wish to tease him now. Instead, I run my tongue hard against the underside of his glans, into that notch just below the slit where I know he is very sensitive.
My hand moves faster, harder, drawing him towards the mouth I must not use.
“O god, Elf! AAHH!”
As I feel his muscles begin to spasm, I cover the end of his glans with my lips, denying him any further entrance between my parted teeth, while sucking as hard as I can. His semen comes into my mouth in thick spurts. I swallow it greedily, wanting to take some small part of him inside me and make it my own, even if only like this. When it stops and he relaxes, I try something that does not always work, but can be well worth it when it does.
Starting at the base of his shaft, with my fingers curled firmly around the upper side and my thumb pressed against the lower side, I gently milk the small amount of cum that remains in the urethra up and out into my mouth. I feel him shudder as another brief spasm of unexpected pleasure runs through his groin.
“Jesus Fuckin’ Christ, Elf! Where’d you learn to do that?” he exclaims. “No, don’t tell me. I already know.”
When we break apart, we lie beside each other crosswise on the bed, trying to catch our breath. The night is almost over, and neither of us has slept. Logan has to be even more exhausted than I am, since he has been short on sleep for several days by now. I am wrung out, frazzled, sweat-soaked, and both physically and emotionally exhausted. Briefly, I consider getting up to take a shower, but I am just too weary.
“Elf, my brain is totally fried. No more talkin’, OK? Can we just go to sleep now?”
I struggle to push myself up on one arm, so I can look down at his face. “I have only one more thing I must say, Schatz. My heart and soul are yours. But you are not the keeper of my conscience, nor am I the keeper of yours. I do not have to agree with your ethics in order to love you.”
“Can you live like that?”
“I must, if the alternative is losing you.”
He does not answer, but he reaches up to me and I go into his arms. So what if we’re a mess, the bed is a mess, the room smells of sweat and sex? It does not matter.
We scrunch ourselves around until we are lying beneath the covers. I snuggle against him and lay my head on his shoulder, sighing with relief. My eyes close and my body begins to relax against his.
I think we have settled it, that we have agreed to disagree.
I could not have been more wrong if I had tried.
PRAY FOR US SINNERS PART 3
INTERLUDE: IN THE BASEMENT
When I awake again, I hear the shower running so I know that Logan is already in the bathroom. That is somewhat unusual, as I am generally the first one to get up. Fortunately, it is a Saturday, so I have no classes to teach. I turn over and try unsuccessfully to go back to sleep.
The shower is turned off. Shortly after that, the bathroom door opens and footsteps approach the bed. Still exhausted, I do not feel like dealing with anyone just now. My muscles ache and I am sore in several places. I just want to be left alone, so I feign sleep, slowing my breathing and taking no notice of Logan, even though I know he is standing there looking down at me.
I may or may not have fooled him, but he turns away after a couple of minutes, and I hear the door next to the bathroom door open and close. Good. He has gone into his own room to get dressed without disturbing me, as I hoped he would. I snuggle deeper into the covers, pulling an edge of the blanket over my eyes to keep out the sunlight that is shining in our window. I go back to sleep.
By the time I wake up again, it is past noon. My body is still stiff, but my mind is now more alert and focused. Mein Gott, what a night that was! I am only glad that it is over. There are no more guilty secrets for me to hide. Logan knows it all. I am ashamed, but I am also relieved, as if a great boil on my soul has been lanced and all of the pus has been squeezed out. It hurt dreadfully, but it is done. What is left is a dull ache, nothing more.
The ghost of a smile bends the corners of my lips. I yawn, then stretch luxuriously, enjoying even the protest of sore muscles, the sting of the cuts on my shoulders. I lift the qauze bandages, just to see that I haven’t opened them again. No, they are healing nicely, but are still rather painful if I move wrong. I open and close my right hand a few times. Still stiff, but not aching much anymore.
All right, I am in good shape, considering. But where is Logan? He should have come back long ago to roust me out of bed. It is most unlike him to let me sleep so late.
When I go down to the kitchen to scrounge up a sandwich, I run into Storm also eating lunch and ask if she has seen Logan, only to find that he has taken off on his motorcycle several hours earlier. Oh well. He does that sometimes. I am sure he will tell me about it when he comes back.
A handful of the students are in the lounge watching a movie on the television. I join them for a while, but grow bored quickly. It is a silly comedy, and I find I am not in the mood for such a thing just now.
I am unaccountably restless. I consider going for a walk, but it is cold outside, with low gray clouds blowing across the sky. In early March, it is not too late for snow, but that will probably not happen for hours yet, if at all.
I end up in the reclining chair in my study, trying to read a book. Often, my concentration flags and I sit staring out the window. Where is he? Why is he not back by now? Is he out drinking somewhere? What if something has happened to him?
No sooner do I dismiss these worries as foolish than other thoughts take over my mind. Memories of Fr. Bauer, Anna, all the things that I never wanted to remember because of the pain they cause me. And I have told all of them to Logan. Maybe he has gone away for good, after learning that I am as much a monster as he thinks he is.
Then come worse memories. The things he told me last night about killing that woman. What he did to me. All the doubts I had felt, and still feel. Yet I have promised not to leave him, to love him anyway. Will I be able to truly do that, next time he goes off on one of his missions, now that I know what may be happening? Would it even be right for me to try to do so? How do I love such a sinner? God may be able to forgive such things, but I am not God. How will I do this? Do I even want to do this?
My thoughts go round and round in my head, in an endless circle that gets nowhere. Outside my window, darkness and snow begin to fall together.
I stare out the window for a moment, then close my eyes and say a brief prayer with what little remains of my wavering faith. Sweet God of my youth, in Thy Infinite Wisdom and Endless Love, forgive him, for he knows exactly what he is doing.
I hear the sound of a motorcycle coming down the road, then turning in to the mansion. No, I will not get up and run down to see if it is him. I will not even throw myself at him and ask where he has been. I will wait right here and let him come to me, if that is what he wishes to do.
It is not long until the door to my study opens. As if nothing untoward has happened, Logan glances at me.
“Hey, Elf! Let’s go rustle up some grub. I’m starved.”
“Sure. Be right vith you.”
As we walk down the hall together, he drapes one arm over my shoulders, withdrawing it quickly when I wince.
“Sorry. I forgot.”
He says nothing else all the while we are down in the kitchen, even though I try to start a conversation about what he did today. Well, that is not terribly unusual. He is often not very talkative. I will let it rest until later, when we are alone together.
Storm comes in while we are there and takes a bottle of juice out of the fridge. She looks at us strangely, as if she expects us to say something. Logan just sits there eating and looking rather sullen. I smile at her and give her a tiny wave with the tips of my fingers.
His attitude is starting to get to me. I feel a tension between us that is not usually there. I thought we had gotten past all of that and things would now be better. When I try to meet his eyes, he looks away. My stomach ties itself into a knot and I am no longer hungry. What is it now?
I am still tired from last night, and the food has only increased my sleepiness. Judging by the sunken look around Logan’s eyes, he is not much better off than I am. There is a silence between us that should not be there, a fear of each for the other. If we have any sense, we will turn in early tonight and just sleep. I am not in any mood for sex.
On the other hand, sex may be just what Logan needs to get him to open up. The conflict inside me grows as we climb the stairs and go into our room. Please, let there be no emergency missions tonight. I am just not up to it.
Logan glances at our bed, folding down the comforter. “I see ya changed the sheets and all, huh, darlin’? Good. Sure needed it. I woulda done that after I got up this morning, but you were still layin’ there.”
I tilt my head aside and shrug, then wince at the stab of pain in my shoulder. I have got to stop doing that.
“Ja. I am fine.”
Our words are stiff, too formal. There is an invisible wall between us, and neither of us knows how to break it down. This is not a good thing.
Logan goes into the bathroom. I can hear the water running. He is doubtlessly brushing his teeth and washing up in preparation for going to bed. Good. That is all I have the energy to do right now. The wall dividing us will just have to wait for tomorrow. I begin shedding my clothing. Maybe if I keep my underwear on he will take the hint. I can hear him pissing now. The bathroom will soon be mine.
I head in quickly as he comes out. In a few minutes, I am back.
He is lying in bed on top of the covers, naked and posed rather lewdly with his legs spread apart. Only a small bit of the comforter is folded over so that his crotch is covered. Under ordinary circumstances, just the sight of him like this would turn me on. But these are not ordinary circumstances, so I find myself rather annoyed.
“C’mere, Elf. I got somethin’ for ya.”
Scheisse! Can he not see that I am not interested in what he has to offer tonight? Do I have to come right out and tell him I do not feel like sex just now? Can he not smell my lack of arousal, if nothing else?
Logan leans over to his side of the bed, fumbling around in the nightstand for a moment, undoubtedly to make sure he has some lube handy. Ja, I am right. He wants to screw me.
“C’mon, darlin’. You’ll like this.”
I doubt it. I am really not turned on at all, after last night’s experience. I stay right where I am, hoping he will take the hint.
“Damnit, Kurt, take off the damned underwear and get your ass over here!”
I heave a loud sigh. After all the times he’s had me already, does once more matter? Do I really want to argue about it? I sit on the edge of the bed and strip off my undershirt and briefs, then turn resignedly towards him.
Only to find myself looking directly at a large bar of Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate being held out practically in my face.
Judging by Logan’s laughter, I must look very surprised indeed.
“You thought it would be somethin’ else, didn’t ya?” he says, after he manages to control his mirth. By now, I am laughing also. All I can do is nod, and take the chocolate bar.
As I tear off the wrapper and break off a large chunk, I tell him, mock chiding, “You are sometimes a most exasperating man, mein Schatz.”
“I try, Elf. I try. Hey, ya gonna devour it all without even giving me any?”
“Here.” I break off a piece of the chocolate bar and hand it to him with my tail, the rest of it held tightly in my greedy fingers. I could eat it all myself, but fair is fair.
When all the candy is gone and every bit has been licked off of each one’s sticky fingers by the other’s tongue, he looks at me steadily for a moment.
“Aw right, darlin’, the fun is over. Now comes the hard part. I’m gonna ask you to do something you’re gonna hate even more than the way I raped you last night.”
“Nein, it vas not –“
Logan’s hand covers my mouth before I can protest further.
“Yes, it was. No matter how you may want to justify it. Now just listen, OK?”
I nod, already dreading what I am going to hear.
“I’m goin’ away for a while. I can’t tell you where, or when I’ll be back. After you fell asleep, I spent what little was left of the night thinkin’ about some of the things we said, and what I’ve been doin’ lately. I went off on my bike to think some more, away from the School and all the people in it. I’ve gotta get away from everything to really work through this and make some decisions. I guess it might be what you’d call soul-searching. I’ve lost my way, and I have to find it again.”
I can no longer keep quiet. “Let me go vith you. I can help –“
“No, Elf, ya can’t. You’ve given me all the help you can already, just by makin’ me know you ain’t perfect either. I have some idea exactly how much it cost you to do that, too. But this is somethin’ I gotta do for myself, and by myself. I need to be alone, where there’s nothin’ around but the cold and the snow, no people, only wild animals and wilderness. That’s what I do when I don’t know what to do. That’s where I go to search for my path when I’m lost. Sometimes I need to have the essential simplicity of wildness around me in order to see the reality of my life clearly.”
“No buts. I’m sorry, darlin’. I know this will be hard on you, but I’m no good to you like this. I’m no good to anyone.”
“But the X-Men –“
“Storm is doing a find job running things here. She doesn’t need me.”
“But if I vere vith you –“
“Do I hafta spell it out for ya? Where I’m goin’ isn’t somewhere you could survive. I’m goin’ north, darlin’, way north. Where there ain’t no people, no civilization. I’m gonna live up there for a while, outside, catchin’ my own food, and howling at the moon, if I damn well feel like it. I’ve done it before, and I’ll probably do it again, when I need to. I’ll be huntin’ and killin’, and taking a delight in doing it. There’s a rage inside me that I’ve got to let out, a bloodlust that builds up that I can’t get rid of any other way. This ain’t somethin’ I want you to see, and it sure ain’t anything you’d want to see, believe me.”
I know he is right, but I do not want to admit it. I shake my head.
“I shoulda done it after I murdered that woman, instead of coming back here. I should never have laid this on you. No normal person could understand.”
“I am hardly vhat one vould call normal.”
“Compared to me, you are. I could never ask you to understand.”
“I vill try, if you vill let me. Please do not leave me here alone.”
“I’ve got to, Elf. This is for me to do. You’ll have your own work to do while I’m gone.”
“Vhat do you mean?”
“I mean this: while I’m away, I want you to take stock of your own life also. Have I lifted you up to where you want to be, or have I dragged you down into the filth that surrounds me?”
“I do not need to do that. I know I vant you to stay here.”
“No, ya only think ya do. If you love me, Kurt, let me go.”
I bow my head and let the tears slip from my eyes. He is right, and I know it. “How long?” I ask, trying to keep my voice steady.
“Maybe as long as six months. Probably less.”
I open my mouth to protest, then close it again. There is nothing I can say.
“I will come back to you, Elf, if only to tell you of my decision. If I live, I will return. If I’m not back by a year from now at the very latest, stop waiting for me because I’m dead. But I’m pretty hard to kill, so I expect to be back long before then. And when I return, I want you to have made a decision also. Do you really want to stay with me, despite what you know full well that I am? Can you live with it, when you’ve heard the results of my soul-searching and know where my life will be taking me? Or does your path lead elsewhere?”
“Vhere else vould I be, other than by your side?”
“That’s what I want you to consider, darlin’. But you can’t do that while I’m here with you. I want you to look into your own heart, without regard for mine. Can you promise to do that for me?”
He has gone too far. My resolve to accept this wavers and shatters. “Nein!! I already know the answer to that! I could not leave you willingly. Do not ask this of me! Bitte, Logan, nein!! It is the one thing I cannot do!”
“Why not? What stops you? What are you afraid of?”
I shake my head, trying to deny everything he has said.
“You already told me you could live without being an X-Man, if you had to. Are you afraid that you might find you could go on without me perfectly well also?”
“If you do not already know the answer to that, I cannot tell you.”
His face and voice turn suddenly gentle, and I am even more afraid. “No, Kurt. I think it’s yourself you can’t tell. C’mere.” He pulls me into his arms, so that I’m lying on his chest. “We’re going somewhere.”
“Remember that little house you showed me, where Herr Grüber taught you to store all your pain in the basement?”
I nod warily. “How could I forget?”
“I think you’ve stored more than just physical pain down there. We’re going to see.”
“Nein!!” His arms tighten around me even as I try to pull away. His mouth touches my lips in a gentle kiss.
“Close your eyes.”
I feel the slight pressure of his lips as he kisses each of my eyelids. “Please, mein Schatz –“
His finger presses against my lips. “Shh, darlin’. It’s OK. I promise. Now picture that door, solid, strong, with an iron bolt holding it closed.”
Against my will, his words conjure up that long-familiar door in my mind.
“Now open it.”
I hear myself whimper.
“Open the door, Elf. You can do it. You’re not that scared little boy anymore.”
“I am not so sure of that.” But I slide the bolt and push on the door.
“Now go down the steps. I’ll be right behind you.”
“No!” He is rubbing my back now, as I curl up into a tight ball against him.
“The steps are old and rotten. They vill collapse and trap us down there.”
“So what? You can teleport us out.”
“I do not vant to go down there.”
“It’s necessary, darlin’. You trusted Fr. Bauer once. Be brave again and trust me now.”
I start down the stairs. They do not collapse, even with his weight behind me.
“What do you see and hear and smell?”
“Skeletons of old pain, picked clean by the years. Whispers of memories. Bits of painful stuff floating around, like moldy dust. Dark shadows in the far corner, shadows into which even I cannot see.”
“Go closer to the shadows. What do you see now?”
“Anna! No, no, dear child, you cannot be here. You are dead.”
I am on the edge of screaming when she opens her eyes and reaches her hand out toward me.
“What is she doing, Kurt? Tell me. Tell me!”
“She is holding my hand, looking up at me with longing. I pick her up in my arms and hold her small body against my chest. She wants to tell me something. What is it, Anna? She says that what Herr Grüber told me is not true, she did not kill herself because I left her, although she did miss me a lot. She would have done it anyway. She says –“
“Go on. What else does she say?”
I hear the voice of a lost little girl coming from my mouth as I answer him. “It was all Herr Grüber’s fault, and his is the blame and the guilt because of how he treated me. I have waited here for all these years to tell you this. Now I am free to go.”
“Anna, no! You do not have to go.” My arms close more tightly around her, but she slips through them as if she were made of dust. Nothing but a soft whisper remains inside my head. “Auf Wiedersehen, lieber Kurt.”
A tear runs down my cheek, but I do not know if it is made of sorrow or of joy.
Again, Logan speaks to me. “Go further into the shadows.”
I do not want to, but somehow I know I must. I shuffle forward a bit, as dust swirls up in front of me from my reluctant footfalls. It coalesces into vague shapes in the darkness before me, shapes which form themselves into a series of vignettes.
Logan, lying dead, his body torn to pieces and decapitated. Logan, happy in the arms of another man. Logan, killing viciously and without compunction. Logan, never returning to me, leaving me alone, with no knowledge of his fate. Logan, torn and bleeding, being held up in the claws of a demon before the Prince of Hell, about to be punished for his many sins. Logan, smiling down at a woman with a baby at her breast.
“What do you see, Elf? Talk to me.”
“Vhat do I see?” My voice sounds dead, defeated. “You. Possible futures. Some good, some bad. All vithout me.”
“Uh-huh. Now go on. Go all the way into that corner. What’s there?”
I brush the swirl of dust aside and step forward, then stop abruptly when I see what lies on the floor in front of me.
“What is it?”
“Me,” I whisper, “as a little boy, sobbing my heart out, alone and deserted, bleeding, ravaged, heart-broken.”
“Why is he crying? What’s wrong?”
“Alles ist weg. Everything I cared about, the only one I loved, all that I believed in – gone. All gone.” I shake my head and the image changes. “No, it is no longer a little boy. It is me now, my eyes dead and blank, lying in our bed alone and naked, a gun held to my head. Vhat do I have to live for? I vill end it here, vhere I have experienced my greatest happiness.”
“Kurt, no! Don’t!”
I seem to hear something, a voice shouting at me, but I close my eyes and shake my head. My finger tightens on the trigger.
“Elf, you damn idiot! Look down! Touch your cock!”
I hesitate, but do as the voice tells me, curious about such a strange request at a time like this.
“You’ve been here before, darlin’, and you survived.”
Bemused, I feel beneath my fingers the part of the scar that means Despair. I remember once again how it felt to carve the designs. The sharp pain as the knife slices through my skin. The firm resolve that I must never commit these sins again.
But that no longer matters. The past is not important. All is lost. The future is without hope.
I shake my head. “This time, I do not vish to survive.”
“Then live because I wish you to, my own dear love.”
I feel Logan’s fingers take hold of my penis, dislodging my hand, taking the scars into his grip. He pulls and squeezes me gently, rhythmically. My cock swells, the head emerging from the foreskin, which is being drawn back further with each stroke. His tongue touches the tip of my glans and I shudder and cry out. Then his mouth covers my aching cock and he draws it inside.
In the end, I find that it takes more than just an esoteric design carved into my penis to convince me not to give in to despair. It takes the words of the man whose mouth now holds and sucks my cock so avidly to truly teach me that lesson.
The gun drops from my hand.
I open my eyes and see the reality of what I felt. His head at my groin, moving up and down. The gathering waves of desire surging through me. He pulls me deeper into his mouth, and that is all it takes. I arch my back, and thrust upwards, emptying myself into him as my insides convulse in delightful spasms and my mind blanks out with the overload of pleasure and release that is orgasm.
He takes me in his arms and kisses me deeply. I can taste my own cum in his mouth. And I know I must face this trial and endure it, for his sake. And for my own.
This may well be the hardest thing I will ever have to do. But is it as hard as burying your claws in the body of the woman you love the way he did, because that is what must be done? No, it is not. If I must, I can do this for him.
“I vill be here vhen you come back, I promise you.”
“I’m not worth it, Kurt. I’m really not.”
“You are. I vill be here vhen you return to me.”
PRAY FOR US SINNERS, PART 4
For several long minutes, we lie there in silence.
“Vhen vill you leave?”
“Tomorrow, after I get up. It won’t take me long to gather my things.”
“Why should I wait? That will only postpone the inevitable.”
He is right. I nod my acquiescence.
“Elf, if at any time while I’m gone you change your mind about wanting me –“
I shake my head and hold up my hand to stop whatever it is he will say, but he pushes it gently aside.
“No, listen. If you change your mind, you’re free to go. You don’t have to stay here just to tell me that. If you meet someone else –“
This time I manage to get my hand over his mouth before he can go any further. For a few seconds, we just look at each other. Then his hand reaches behind my head and draws me forward into another kiss, which deepens quickly. I know where this will inevitably lead. I pull away as gently as I can.
“I – I am not sure I vant to do this again,” I begin. “I mean, I just came and I –“
“I can understand that, Elf, and I won’t insist if you truly don’t want it. But I’d like to, if you’ll allow me. That blow job was nothing, just a way to get through to you. This time I want to show you that I can be very different from the creature who raped you last night.”
“I know that. You do not need to prove it to me.”
“Maybe it isn’t you I need to prove it to, darlin’.”
I am still not sure. I am so miserable that I cannot even imagine becoming aroused again so soon. I just want to lie here and cry in his arms, and continue to beg him not to leave me. But that will gain nothing for either of us. He does not need to see such a thing right now. If I ever hope to bring him back, I must let him go without leaving him with such a tearful and depressing memory of our parting. I will be strong.
He is still looking at me hopefully. “You’ll like it, Elf. I know ya will. I know you’re still hurtin’ some. I’ll make it nice and slow and gentle.”
I give him a tentative smile and nod. Seeing my acquiescence, he grins broadly then stands up. I can see that he’s already fairly hard, so I doubt he’ll last very long, despite what he just said. Given my present mood, that might be a good thing.
Somewhat to my surprise, he takes two candles off of one of our shelves and lights them, placing one on either nightstand.
“I want to see better what I’m doin’ than I usually do,” is the only explanation I get.
I am not too sure I like that idea, but I say nothing.
He sits down on the bed and leans forward over me. His lips barely touch mine before they move on to the rest of my face, licking my eyelids with a soft flick of his tongue, kissing my forehead, my cheeks, my ears, my chin with the gentleness I imagine that a woman might use when kissing her baby: slowly, carefully, with a patience uncharacteristic of most of our sex. My lips part slightly and I take in a soft breath.
Then his mouth touches mine again, just briefly. I hear his hoarse whisper. “I’m gonna make love to ya, darlin’. Not just fuck ya.”
His mouth covers mine, his tongue seeks to enter my parted lips, not with the usual urgency of our coupling, but hesitantly, as if asking an invitation. I cannot help but open my mouth wider, mindful of the sharp points of my front teeth. He takes my invitation. The only part of our bodies that are touching are our mouths, but I feel the renewed stirring of desire in my crotch.
When his tongue is finished playing games with mine, he works his way down across my throat to my chest. Then his mouth comes down over my left nipple, drawing it in, sucking on me gently with a rhythmic pull and release. It is as if he is connected to a taut wire that runs through my body and connects with the base of my penis, making me twitch and jerk in time with his sucking. So sweet is this feeling that part of me wants to urge him to hurry on, while another part wants him to stay where he is forever.
Abruptly, he releases the hard nub of my nipple, kissing his way rapidly across my chest to the other one, then teases it unmercifully using his tongue, sometimes a hard lick across the entire tightened bit of sensitive flesh, sometimes just a quick flick across the tip with the end of his tongue. This frustrating and wonderful teasing seems to go on for hours, as my body begins to writhe beneath his ministrations.
“Logan, please,” I gasp helplessly.
I hear a low chuckle as he stops what he is doing. “Now, Elf, you’re supposed ta be lyin’ there and enjoyin’ yourself, not squirmin’ all over the place. Behave yourself. And while you’re at it, make your tail behave itself too.” He catches my tail with one hand and carefully unwraps it from around his thigh.
“But I want –“
“This from the man who just said he wasn’t sure he could do it again so soon? Be patient. I’ll get there – eventually.”
And his mouth goes back to work on the front of my body. Leaving my throbbing nipples behind, his tongue follows the vaguely pitchfork-like design that covers my lower chest, going first down the middle and then criss-crossing from side to side several times, moving upward further each time as he follows the outline of what would be the tines of the pitchfork. When he reaches the starting point again, he retraces his path straight down the middle and goes on to the symbol that stretches across my lower abdomen. Here, he switches from tongue to tenderly teasing fingertip, following each curlique and pointy flourish from one hip to the other.
“Someday you’ve gotta tell me what all these other designs mean,” he says softly. “Ya know that, don’t ya?”
“Many of them -- are not -- very interesting.” It is becoming harder for me to talk, my breath catching more frequently as his finger works his way further down my body.
“Spread your legs for me, darlin’.”
My lust only increases at those familiar words. Now we will get down to some real action.
He shifts position, moving between my legs. I expect to feel his fingers at my anus. But no, not yet. Instead, he grabs a pillow, lifts my pelvis and props me on top of the pillow, giving himself better access to my genitals. Avoiding my stiff cock, he takes hold of my sac. With a touch so delicate that one would not believe it could come from his large hands, he works my balls deftly with his fingers, until they have loosened again and retreated from their tight knot against my groin.
I am not sure I like this. “Logan –“
Before I realize what he is doing, he has both of my testicles enclosed in his mouth. This feels strange and almost threatening, but also good. I dare not move, even as I make a sort of a choking noise somewhere deep in my throat. His tongue plays with my trapped balls, but gently so as not to cause pain.
I can feel the insistent twitching inside me somewhere in the vicinity of my bladder, an itch that I desperately want to be scratched, and soon.
He releases me. One hand cups my tingling scrotum and lifts it up, pressing it against my cock, while his mouth moves to the crack of my ass. His other hand spreads me open, allowing his tongue access to my anus. I usually find this hard to endure, as I am very aware of his exquisite sense of smell and it disturbs me, but this time I do not care. This time I want to give him access to any part of me that he desires.
He spends an indecently long time working on me like this, while I lie gasping and trying to keep still beneath his ministrations. With the fingers of his other hand, which still holds my cock and balls, he taps lightly on the shaft of my penis. My body seems to be dissolving in sensation; aching, yearning waves of desire wash repeatedly over me. His tongue seeks entrance, probing at my sphincter until it gains admission. His tongue is not enough, of course. I want to be opened further, stimulated more deeply.
As if he has read my mind, he slackens somewhat, one arm stretching out, reaching for something, causing his body to shift slightly. His tongue retreats and the tip of his finger takes its place, covered with the Crisco we prefer to use as a lubricant.
“Yes! Yes! Now!” I beg. But he spends an inordinate amount of time smearing it on to me and in me.
“Ya sure, Elf?” He cannot be serious. I slit my closed eyes open to look at him, only to see that he is barely restraining a grin. I do not know how he himself has held off for so long, when I want it so much I am barely able to keep from pushing myself onto that erect and dripping penis that juts from between his legs as he sits there Japanese style, with his feet folded beneath him, his finger still delicately stroking my asshole.
A wide grin spreads over my face, almost a grimace, stretching my lips back from my teeth. To anyone but Logan, it would appear fearsome indeed.
“I’ll take that as a yes,” he says. His hands grasp my pelvis, drawing me onto his folded knees and towards that welcoming rod. No longer being held pressed against my abdomen, my cock juts up sharply, the foreskin now entirely retracted from my swollen glans and a bead of moisture gathering at the tip. My tail curls around Logan’s waist and my own knees find their place bent over his ample shoulders as I try to pull myself onto him.
“Uh-uh, darlin’. Slow and easy.” His hands lock me down against his legs, preventing any motion.
“All in good time.”
I have no choice but to give in, with only a strangled sort of sob giving voice to my frustrated desire.
At his own speed, he moves me up the slope of his thighs and toward my target.
My head thrown back, my lips partly open, I force myself to allow him to do this as he wants to. Finally, his right hand releases me, while his left presses flat down on my belly.
“Stay!” he says. I can detect a hint of laughter in his tone.
Guided by his hand, the tip of his cock touches me, directly centered on my alternately clenching and relaxing hole. I close my lips on the scream that rises in my throat at that delicious contact. Even now, he will not rush, entering me ever so slowly. The tiny convulsive spasms in my groin become stronger, more frequent, until it is a sweet thrill burning within me each time.
“Oh that feels so damn good, darlin’! Clench tight on me now. Yeah, like that, that’s it. I’m gonna pull back against ya, just a little. No, don’t move. Hold still. Oh yeah, yeah! Now relax. Ummm.”
I cannot know how it feels to him, but the small, precise movements he makes, the lack of any hurry on his part, only heightens the pleasure I feel inside me. There is a kind of exquisiteness to be obtained from focusing on these tiny bits of sensation, so different from the hurried frenzy of desire more common to male coupling.
We deepen our joining in increments. There is no thrusting, no pushing, no panting effort to reach final ecstasy, since we are not seeking that ecstasy but merely allowing it to move towards and over us. It is as if our spirits are flowing together to form one being, so slowly, so imperceptibly that we will never notice when we become one.
I move the tip of my tail, softly rubbing it against the inside of his calf, no hurry, no pressure, just a tender caress. The hair on his leg tickles my tail deliciously. All the multitude of tiny sensations that would normally be ignored in the usual frenzy of sex are now noticed and appreciated. A half-breathed sigh. A quiet “mmm” now and then. Perhaps an intake of breath.
He presses in more deeply, touching that sensitive spot inside me. Even so, there is no rush, no frantic striving, only a tighter longer-lasting spasming inside me, a growing pleasure that comes by itself, without any effort on my part.
His cock twitches. He is feeling it too, this pressure that is not pressure, the rhythm flowing and building seemingly by itself. My balls are pressed tight against the base of my twitching yearning penis. My entire consciousness contracts down to focus on this tremendous need for release.
Relax, relax. No hurry, I tell myself. This wanting is itself a sharp sweet pleasure of its own.
“Touch yourself, darlin’,” he says. “I wanna watch you do it. I wanna see you come.”
Eagerly, I obey, ready to set my own rhythm and get myself off immediately. But his hand closes over mine before I even start. “Slowly, Elf.”
I groan, but do as he asks. The awareness of his gaze upon me in the flickering candlelight no longer causes me embarrassment or shame. Instead, it only serves to increase my lust. I want his eyes upon me. I want him to watch. I want him to see how he is making me feel.
When finally my release comes, it is hardly more delicious than what it has been all along, except that now I am aware of the swift slide of fluid through the inside of my penis, not with the usual hard jerking spasms but only as a flow that ebbs and strengthens over and over as it runs out of my body. I squirm just a little, my back trying to arch as my tail tightens around Logan’s waist. He sucks in a breath, his groin pressing harder against me, his balls just below my opening, as if they want to be inside me also.
I can feel the spasms run down his cock, can almost imagine I feel his seed flowing copiously deep inside me. I will it to soak into me, become a part of me, but I know that is nothing but fond fantasy.
Neither of us move, just resting there as our bodies recover from what we have done and our breathing returns to normal. He sags forward a bit, his shoulders resting some of his weight on the backs of my thighs. He releases my hips and uses his arms to prop himself up. His head droops forward as his cock softens, gradually retreating from my body. He has to be exhausted, but we cannot sleep in this position.
My mind insists on reminding me that we may not do this again for a long time, if ever. Somewhere inside, I cringe at the thought that Logan will soon be leaving. I cannot bear to think of watching him prepare to go, much less that final moment when he walks out the door. But what else can I do?
A few moments of thought provides me with an answer.
I stretch ostentatiously and begin to extricate myself from the tangled sculpture we have become.
“Aw, Elf, I was about ta fall asleep when ya moved,” comes a groggy protest.
“Even you cannot sleep upright and vithout support,” I point out cheerily.
I laugh a little. “No. Get up, or at least get into a more comfortable position. I am going to the bathroom.”
He lies down and curls up facing me. “I’ll be waitin’ for ya right here, darlin’. Make it snappy. I need to grab a few hours of sleep while I can.”
I do make it snappy, but before I go back, I swallow two of the blue sleeping pills from our medicine cabinet, knowing I will lie awake for what is left of the night agonizing over the coming morning otherwise, while he will wake up at sunrise and be anxious to go.
I sit on the side of the bed. “Logan?”
“Do me one last favor: let me fall asleep in your arms and do not avaken me vhen you leave.”
“Good idea. But are ya sure that’s what ya want?”
He opens his arms, inviting me to lie beside him as usual.
As I curl up with the front of his body against my back for what might be the last time, I lean close and whisper into his ear. “Go, my beloved. Gott sei mit dir.”
God be with you. And I beg You, dear Lord, guide him back safely to me.
For what seems ages, we lie there together in silence. Everything has already been said and we have run out of words. Eventually, the sleeping pill takes over and I drift off.
When I awake the following morning, Logan is gone.
GERMAN TRANSLATION Part 1
Was ist los? What’s wrong?
Halt’s Maul! Shut up!
(Vulgar form. Maul means the mouth of an animal, not a human being.)
Warum hast du das getan? Why did you do this?
nein, bitte no, please
Dummkopf Dummy. Stupid.
Du hast recht. You are right.
GERMAN TRANSLATION Part 2
Entschuldigung. Pardon me.
Mein Gott My God
“Nein!! O Gott nein! Kurt, bitte —“
“No!! O God no! Kurt, please –“
mein Herr Sir/Master
Mord, Vergnügen, and Verzweiflung
Murder, Pleasure, and Despair
Nur nicht verzweifeln. Only do not despair.
GERMAN TRANSLATION Part 3
Mein Gott My God
Mein Freund My friend
Auf Wiedersehen, lieber Kurt. Good-bye, dear Kurt
Alles ist weg. Everything is gone.
GERMAN TRANSLATION Part 4
Gott sei mit dir. May God be with you.
STORY ARC – In Order
Something a Little Different
As the Twig is Bent
Pray for Us Sinners
With Nothing on My Tongue
You Win, Elf
Hell Hath No Fury