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Sunday, 31 March 2013

431



“When I came out to my father, he beat me up.  Locked me in my bedroom.  Told me he wouldn’t let me out until I promised I would be straight.  Well, I couldn’t see very well—he’d hit me on one eye—and there was blood dripping down my face.  My bedroom was on the second floor, so I suppose he thought I wouldn’t try to escape.  But I tied together the sheets on my bed and dragged the bed up to just under the window and tied the end of the sheet to one leg of the bed.  I didn’t know whether it would hold me or how long but, you know, I was beyond caring by then.  I thought … well I thought if I died it might be a good thing.  Best for everyone.”
He didn’t speak for many seconds.  Cody leant his head against Luigi’s shoulder.
“Go on,” he said.
“Yeah.  Well, just as well my ma has an obsession with quality.  The sheets were thick and they held and so did the bed.  I abseiled down the wall.”
“Abseiled?”
“You know, where you let yourself down bit by bit, using the wall and the rope or in this case the sheets.”
Abseiled?
Luigi turned to look at Cody, who was grinning slyly at him.  “Just because I’m a swishy queen doesn’t mean I’m not good at gymnastics.”  He grinned back then pulled Cody closer before going on.  “It helps to have a rope and a harness, but you can do it with two sheets.  Just.  They’re not as long as you think.  And the first floor is higher than you think, too.  I had to drop the last half a metre.”
“Then what did you do?”
“I walked to my grandmother’s.  I didn’t know for sure what she would do but she’s always been on my side.  She’s always loved me.  So I walked there.  10 k’s.”
“How long did that take you?”
“Nearly two hours.”
“Yeah, I think that’s how far I walked.  Yesterday.  Maybe longer, even.”



Episodes 1 to 260 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter

Will post ...

.... another episode of Majorca Flats tonight, Ozzie time.

Meanwhile, since this story is about love in all its guises  ....


430



Cody turned to look at him at last.
“It will never go away, will it?  I’ll always bear the scars, won’t I?”
“About the sex, well, we can try a series of butt plugs starting at small and working up.  To huge if you want.  They’re hot anyway, even if you aren’t using them to get used to … you know.  About the mental scars …. Well, they heal better than physical ones, I think.  If you have people who love you, who help you forget …”
“ … never.  I’ll never forget!”
“No, prolly not.  But … Coads love, it … we …. all have bad memories.  And we keep going.  We do.  One foot in front of the other.  And if we can find someone to love, someone who loves us … we … we recover.  Slowly.  We get better.  The scars hurt less and less until there are just twinges.”
“How do you know this?”
Luigi told him.

Episodes 1 to 260 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter


Wednesday, 27 March 2013

429





His reflections had distracted him for a moment.  He was startled when Cody pulled off him.
“What’s wrong?”
“I can’t.  It hurts too much.  He … he hurt me.  He didn’t prep me.  I dunno.  I don’t think it’ll ever be right again.”  Cody sat on the edge of the bed, deliberately avoiding Luigi’s eyes.
Luigi put his arm round Cody’s waist.  “There’s more than one way to make love, Coads.”
Cody ignored him, his regard steadily on the carpet. 
“Come, love, let me show you,” coaxed Luigi. 
Still Cody wouldn’t speak.
Luigi wanted to explain to Cody the insights he’d just gained.  But he didn’t have the right words.  His feelings were so sure, his perceptions so certain, and yet he found himself tongue-tied. 
“Cody, love, it’s about … well … love and caring.  Sex is … nice … but what really matters is whether you love or not.  
Cody muttered, “And I’m not very good at that, am I?  Look at how I treated you and Phillippa.  That wasn’t love, was it?”
He turned to look at Luigi and the anger and self-contempt in his expression made Luigi flinch.
“Whatever you said—and didn’t say—I knew you loved me.  I knew it when we made love, I knew it when you smiled at me, I knew it when you came through that door after work, and your face would light up when you saw me.”  Luigi sat next to Cody on the edge of the bed, his arm still round the other man’s waist.  “You did some things wrong, Coads, but only some.  Don’t beat yourself up, love.”
“I deserved what happened to me.  It was just.”
Rubbish!  No one deserves that.  No one!  To be tortured?  Nearly killed? To be drugged, attacked with a knife, have pieces cut out of you, and barely escape with your life?  No, Cody, you didn’t deserve any of that!  None of it, OK?”

Episodes 1 to 260 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

428




Cody slipped a cock jacket onto Luigi’s boner and kissed it again.  He slathered it generously with lube and then lowered himself onto it, his head thrown back, his gaze on the ceiling.  Luigi loved the tight warmth of Cody’s body.  He’d always loved it, from their first time.  And it had always pleased him that Cody was prepared to let Luigi fuck him.  Luigi was used to straight-acting men who were of the opinion that bottoming was proof that you weren’t a real man.  With them, Luigi was always the one who had to act the “woman’s part”.  He didn’t mind the bottoming—he liked that.  But he realised now how much he hated the implicit assumptions behind it.  “The passive partner”  Fuck that!  What he liked about bottoming was the pleasure he brought to the man who was fucking him, even more than the pleasure he got himself.  He loved tightening his arse at just the right moment, pushing his partner over the edge, watching his eyes darken as he came.
 And all at once he knew that that was part of what drew him to Jason and Keith, that even when they were role-playing in bed, it wasn’t about some kind of poisonous self-hating internalised homophobia.  It was about love.  Maybe not la grande passion.  Not ‘in love’.  But a sort of fierce affection and friendship.  All the clichés of modern society were about love, het love, wedding dresses and rings and bridal showers.  But the love they had for each other was much more substantial.  It was a love which was neither blind nor self-deceiving but still intense and profound.
He wasn’t sure about what he had with Cody, though.  He had been in love with Cody.  But were they really friends?  Did they really trust and accept each other?  Would their love survive the loss of passion?  Luigi’s relationship with Richard had been passionless.  They had comfort fucks once or twice a week.  But they had all the same loved each other genuinely and totally, and though Luigi had often lusted after strange men, because he’d felt the absence of passion, towards the end, when Richard and he had become a couple, he’d not indulged his desires.  After Richard had died he’d gone back to the hunt, lust—and, now, he acknowledged to himself—also the need to connect driving him to the ultimately empty, sometimes dangerous, pursuit of a chimera.
Never again, he swore.  I have Keith and Jason and, Goddess willing, Cody too.  

Episodes 1 to 260 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter



Monday, 25 March 2013

427



Cody stretched and yawned, then lifted his head and smiled at Luigi.  His face was creased in that way you get when you have slept deeply, and his eyes, for the first time since Luigi had picked him up on Mt Macedon, were empty of horror.  Luigi knew that this was just a temporary respite, that the memories and the blame would return, but he was certain that Cody had passed the turning point and would get slowly better.
“You didn’t cum,” Cody said.
“It doesn’t matter.”
“It does to me!”  And he moved his head down to Luigi’s groin. 
Luigi was instantly rigid.  He remembered 6 o’clock winter’s evenings, when Cody would come round after work, and they would make love in the warmth of the tangled sheets, the rain teeming down outside, the streets wet and reflecting the lights, their bodies fitting together, their hearts open and filled with love.  Except, thought Luigi, bitterness like vomit in his throat, he went home to Phillippa afterwardsAnd lied to her.  And to me.  He pushed those thoughts out of his head.  The two of them were here, now, together.  It might work out.  He would try very hard to make sure it worked out.  Because he had promised himself and the Goddess that he would,
“Is your lube still here?” asked Cody, reaching for the top drawer of the bedside table.
Luigi nodded.

Episodes 1 to 260 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter

Friday, 22 March 2013

426




Cody drifted into la petite mort, which is what the French call that sleep after orgasm.  The little death.  Luigi held him in his arms, his eyes wet, gratitude in his heart.  He didn’t know who to thank.  Certainly not God.  God had made him what he was, had made him suffer the pain of being an effeminate gay, of being beaten up, of being despised and disliked.   Or maybe that was just the Christian God, always angry and judgmental.    Richard had believed in The Goddess, a loving Mother to the world, not nearly so cross and jealous and disapproving.  Luigi knew la nonna believed in Her too.  Or at least, she never prayed to Jesus or God but to Mary and the female saints.  Once she had said to Luigi that Jesus was too busy to care about the problems women faced.  But Mary cared because She was a woman.  She understood women’s hardships and their lives.  Maybe The Goddess Mother of the world was Mary and maybe something quite other, but Luigi didn’t care.  As superstitious as his Calabrian forefathers, he knew gratitude was necessary, or your luck could turn.  So he thanked The Goddess and promised that he would look after Cody.  And, as an afterthought, Keith and Jason too.    Gently, so as not to wake the sleeping Cody, he kissed the blond curls on the top of his head and settled in to wait until Cody woke up.

Episodes 1 to 260 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter


425



“But that’s the point, see, Co.  Jace and Key have shown me that … well, it doesn’t matter if I’m a clothes-obsessed queen.  What matters is that I’m me.  And they are my friends for me, no matter how I dress or swish around.”
“If you weren’t so beautiful, would they be so forgiving?”
“I dunno.  But there’ve been lots of men who despised me even while they were fucking me.  ‘Cos I wasn’t manly enough.   Oh they came beautifully.  Great orgasms.  Just … I wasn’t quite up to it.  You know.  Being a real man.  Even though I am ‘so beautiful’.”  He would have put air quotes round those words, but he had to convey his sarcasm in his voice, because ever since he had seized Cody’s cock he had been gently massaging it, and as it was now starting to firm up nicely he had no intention of stopping.  “So, it’s not that.  They like me for what I am.  For me.”  He leaned forward and put his mouth on Cody’s cock and kissed it.  Cody’s body twitched, and Luigi took that for assent.  He swallowed the head of the other man’s cock deep into his mouth, and was happy to feel it swell to its full extension as he caressed it with his tongue.  Yes!  I will make him forget, teach him to love again.  
He brought Cody to the brink of orgasm twice, pulling back each time he felt him start to tense.  On the third time, taking pity on Cody’s incoherent pleas, he kept going.  Cody groaned in ecstasy and jetted his jism into the soft warmth of Luigi’s mouth.
They kissed, Luigi’s mouth flavoured with cum.  Luigi pulled Cody into his arms. 
“You like?”
Unable to speak, Cody simply hid his head in the space between Luigi’s head and his shoulders.
“I’ll be here for you Co, love.  Any way you want.”

Episodes 1 to 260 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter

Thursday, 21 March 2013

424



He kissed the back of Cody’s neck again.
Cody turned to look at him, his eyes immeasurably sad.
“I do love you Cody.  And I’m here for you.  We’ll get through this time, and things’ll get better.”
Cody didn’t answer.
Luigi kissed him on his lips, but Cody remained passive beneath him.
Luigi kissed him again, with resolution.  He lifted Cody’s T-shirt and began to kiss his nipples and the line of hair trailing towards his groin.  He ran his tongue down the indentation in the middle of Cody’s stomach until he reached the button of his jeans.  He undid the button and pulled down the zip.  He pressed his nose against Cody’s trunks and breathed in the rich odours of his groin.  He nipped Cody’s cock through the soft fabric of Jason’s trunks.  He moved back up Cody’s torso, back to his mouth.
Cody remained inert.
Luigi sat up, and tugged Cody’s jeans and undies down to his knees.  “Never,” he said, grabbing Cody’s cock, “never have I failed to give a man a hard-on yet!”
Luigi looked so indignant that Cody gave him a watery grin. 
“It’s just … Lou …. It’s not you … but after …”
“I know, love.  But … I want you to enjoy love again.  What he did wasn’t love.  What he did was a perversion.  Something loathsome.”  He stopped for a minute, still holding Cody’s cock in his hand.  “I’ve had my bad times.  I whored around.  Some of it for money.  Some of it for companionship.  I hated myself, see.  Being gay and swishy.”
“Don’t hate yourself, Lou.  You’re a top bloke.  And anyway, I haven’t exactly been a saint.  And I hate myself too.”

Episodes 1 to 260 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

423



Cody sniffed and hiccupped all the way home, and Luigi noticed the tax driver’s eyes in the mirror looking at them, judging and censorious.  He felt like shouting at the man, at abusing him.  He didn’t give the driver a tip, though, and in return the driver didn’t say goodbye but roared off in his taxi, making the tires squeal.
Needless to say, there was no space in Luigi’s cupboards for Cody’s clothes, but Luigi was sick of half the stuff he had and he was glad to have a clean out.
Cody didn’t help, but sat on the bed and then lay down with his face to the wall.
Luigi lay down next to Cody and put his arms round him.  Cody remained unresponsive.  Luigi kissed his neck, but didn’t speak.  He was at a loss how to proceed.  No matter that Cody had hurt him, Luigi still loved him.  But Cody had been so damaged by the abduction and rapes, by the sinister violence, by the close brush with a horrible death.

Episodes 1 to 260 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter


Tuesday, 19 March 2013

422



They spent the rest of the morning shopping.  Suit (to be collected on Saturday), undies, socks, jeans, work shirts.  Everything was charged to Luigi’s credit card.  Luigi didn’t care that the shop assistants immediately assumed that the two of them were lovers.  Cody didn’t even notice. 
Luigi might permit Cody to wear Target trunks and shirts but he flatly refused to allow him to buy Target neckties and so he took Cody to his own favourite clothing shop where he chose for Cody two silk ties.  Which cost more than the suit and the shirts together. 
“Lou …. They’re so expensive!  I can’t afford them.”
“They’re a gift.  You can pay me back for the rest when you can.  But ties maketh the man.  A beautiful Italian silk tie makes you look like a prince.  A nabob.  A tycoon.  Somebody to be reckoned with.  A Target tie makes you look like a loser.  A present, Coads.  You’ll look so handsome in them.”  His smile was so beguiling that Cody gave in and accepted.
The last thing on the list was a new mobile phone.  As soon as it was activated they exchanged numbers. 
“I’ve only got one number in my phone!  I’ve lost everything!” said Cody, and then, in the middle of Bourke St mall, he began to blub, great racking sobs which shook his body. 
“C’mon,” urged Luigi, putting his arm round Cody’s shoulders, “come, let’s go home,” and he flagged down a taxi.



Episodes 1 to 260 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter

Monday, 18 March 2013

421




The doctor’s medical certificate was in the Luigi’s letter box at the flat.    It said that Cody Williams was unable to work for a week, backdated to the day he had been abducted.  It didn’t say what his medical problem had been.   When Luigi thought about it, it was obvious that a doctor couldn’t and wouldn’t breach the confidentiality of a client.
“Can I use your phone?” Cody asked Luigi.
“Yeah.”
Luigi listened to Cody’s side of the conversation with his employer.   Cody explained that he’d had an accident, that he’d hit his head and had been unconscious and that his memory had only just come back.   There were exclamations of shock and dismay from the other end, and the conversation ended with Cody saying he’d be in to work the next day. 
“So far, so good,” he said as he closed the phone.
“Do you wear a suit to work?”
“Yes.”
“We’d better get you one, then.”
“But it will have to be fitted.  It won’t be ready till tomorrow or even later.”
“Then we’ll go and get one from your house.  And some other clothes too.”
“I can’t.  I just can’t.”
Cody looked so disturbed that Luigi immediately dropped the suggestion.
“Well, you’re more or less the same size as Keith.  A bit thinner, maybe”—he smiled—“but it’ll do for now.”
“Jason’s clothes might fit me.”  Cody was thinking of Jason’s trunks which he was wearing.  It was oddly erotic.  Jason had been so tough and firm but also kind.  He seemed such a good bloke.  Ridiculously, wearing his underpants gave him a connection to Jason. 
“He prolly didn’t bring a suit with him.  I mean, he’s backpacking.  Why would you?  So … we’ll ask Keith if we can borrow a suit from him and then …” he stopped, considering, “ …Target to get jeans and undies and stuff.”  He knew Cody would have no money.  The sort of gear he, Luigi, wore was far too expensive for the other man.
“I haven’t got my credit cards or drivers licence or anything.”
Luigi snapped his fingers.  “We’ll tell that cute policeman from Macedon.  Maybe he’ll try to use them and then they’ll catch him.”
“Why not the detectives?”
“I suppose them too.  Arrogant homophobic pricks!”
But it turned out that the killer hadn’t used Cody’s phone or credit cards, except that first time just after the interview with the police in Macedon.

Episodes 1 to 260 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter


Sunday, 17 March 2013

420



On the tram ride home, Luke didn’t speak, but instead stared out of the window at the passing city.  When they got home, he said,
“Nice bloke, your Keith.”   He seemed a little melancholy.  You might get someone to love, even if he is gay, but I won’t get anybody ever, was the subtext.
“Not mine, Luke.”
“He likes you.”
Esmé shrugged.  “He’s gay,” she said.  “He’s a friend.”
Luke had watched how Keith had looked at Esmé, and he wasn’t so sure.  But he didn’t want to raise her hopes so he let the subject drop.
“Are you working tonight?” he asked.
“No.  Well, I have an assignment.”
“How does pizza and a beer and a DVD sound to you?”
“Which DVD?”
“I dunno.  I bought some new gay movies from Amazon.”
“Do you think I’m turning into a fag hag?” Esmé had read that term just that morning and it had terribly depressed her.
“That’s a horrible word, Ezz.  Just because you have two gay friends.” 
One of whom gets a hard-on when he dances with me.  “Yes, but, I’ll prolly never get a man, you know.”  She sensed Luke’s sadness and all at once she shared it.
“Why ever not?”
So Esmé finally told him.  It felt as if a wound was torn open and scraped with salt.  But afterwards—though there was still a throbbing ache—for the first time since it had happened, she believed that she would be OK.  Things would get better.

Episodes 1 to 260 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter


Saturday, 16 March 2013

419



At the concert, Luke managed to get through the piece without too many mistakes.  Even to Esmé’s jaundiced ear, his playing sounded better than it had that morning in their house.  The audience, mostly music students and their friends, well aware just how hard it is to play the French horn, applauded him warmly.
Afterwards, she, Luke and Keith went to the pub down the road.  They took a table on the pavement and ordered coffee.  Esmé had introduced the two men directly after the concert and had watched with increasing dismay as they circled to each other like two toms.  The two people most important to her simply had to be friends.  Almost as if they sensed her feelings, they both made an effort at the café, and became more relaxed.
“I work at The Lord Grey,” offered Keith.
“Yes, I think I’ve seen you there a few times.”
“I’ve prolly seyn ya too, but there are so many customers.  Unless you’re a regular …”  Keith apologised.
“No problem.  I don’t go there that often.”  But Luke looked disappointed.  He found Keith nice-looking, and rather sexy.  But then he found almost all men attractive.
Keith glanced quickly at Luke and then smiled, “Bit of a hot-house really, isn’t it?  All those precious flowers.  And everybody trying to find Mr Right and in the end settling for Mr Right Now.”


Episodes 1 to 260 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter

Friday, 15 March 2013

418




Esmé wasn’t at all sure that Keith would like classical music.  He seemed such a bogan with his strong ocker accent and his daggy clothes.  When he mocked his “conquests” for dressing daggily he was making a little joke at his own expense.  He himself wore “Target jeyns”.    He didn’t care, really, what he looked like.  That had been one of the things which had drawn her to him.  It made him seem so … real man.  So … genuine.  But now she was worried that he would think her stuck up.  Superior.  Middle class and judgmental. 
Luke had given her a pamphlet with the concert program on it.  He was playing the Mozart piece he’d been practising for hours at their shared house.  She knew it off by heart.  She knew where he stopped, where he broke a note.  She knew that she’d be on tenterhooks for the whole performance, waiting for him to make a mistake.  But … to go out with Keith, even if they weren’t going out.  That would make it all magical.  Not quite a picnic on the beach or in the park.  But nice all the same.
When she gave the pamphlet to Keith she was astonished and a little shamed by his response.  “Oh, that’s a lovely piece.  He wrote it for his friend, you know, who was a horn player,” he said.  “I’d love to come.”  

Episodes 1 to 260 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter


Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Monday, 11 March 2013

417



“Tell you what,” offered Luke.  I’ve got a recital on Sunday arvo at the Conservatorium.  Bring him along.  Might as well meet Mr Right.”
Esmé punched him on the shoulder.  “He is not Mr Right!  He’s just a friend.”
Luke smiled in a knowing, superior way which made her want to smack him.
“You are such a pain, Luke Spencer.  I’ve a good mind not to come at all.  Or come and throw rotten tomatoes.”  They both knew this was an empty threat.  She always went to his concerts, and always applauded vigorously.
“There’re some off tomatoes there, if you need any,” Luke pointed out, gesturing to a plate on the sink. 
“Yuck.”  They were disgusting.  Blackened with pale grey-green mould growing over them.
“Thing is, you’re going to have to carry them in a plastic container because they’re falling apart.  And throwing them could be difficult.  Newton’s third law, and all that.”
She looked at him darkly.  “You don’t impress, you know.  I’ve met smooth-talking men before.  Shallow things, they are.  All baff and bombast.”
“So it’s settled, then?”
Esmé reached for the tomatoes.  “Why wait until Sunday?” she asked rhetorically.
Luke grinned and fled.

Episodes 1 to 260 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter


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