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Count Your Teeth

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Glam knelt there on the bed for what felt like hours.


We're going to have a visitor tonight.


We're going to—

In the darkness.

—ve a visitor tonight.

The nothingness.




With just him and his thoughts.

—a visitor tonight.

Visitor. His mind swirled with the word, spinning around and around like a leaf caught in a windstorm. What did Ches mean? Someone was actually coming here? But who? Could it be someone he knew? Or, vice versa, someone who knew him? The questions scrawled themselves in spastic lines across the blackboard of his mind, cluttering up every inch of available space. But he was no closer to finding any answers.

His hands twitched on his lap with the effort to remain still, and a jittery energy trilled beneath his skin, until he realized that his feet had gone numb. Carefully, he slid his bottom off his heels and onto the mattress but was conscious not to move any more than a few inches from where Ches had left him. To disobey him again was out of the question. Wiggling his toes, he waited for feeling to return to them.

A visitor. Ches' parting message continued its mystifying dance in his head.

The last time another person had been down here, he'd been strung up and gutted like a pig. Glam swore he could still hear the tic-tic-tic of Romeo's blood on the floor, and he shook his head to dislodge the horrifying memory. Yet the sound carried on regardless.

It took him a while to realize that it was coming from the sink's leaky faucet. Even from across the room, the drip of water boomed into the basin, loud as a drum. With his sight gone, his other senses seemed keen to pick up the slack:

Beneath the musk of sex that permeated the air, he could make out the fragrance of soap from his last bath. Unseen vermin skittered behind the walls on scratchy claws, and electricity hummed through the old wiring that powered the little lightbulb overhead. Winter's brumal gales whistled through a crack in the window frame, making his skin prickle with goosebumps.

He shivered.

We're going to have a visitor.

Was Ches planning to kill again? Given his unpredictable nature, it wasn't outside the realm of possibility. Maybe he'd found someone else that he deemed a threat. Maybe he just had a crazed bloodlust that needed quenching. Or maybe... Maybe Glam would be the one made into an example this time.

Terror of a new kind spiked his blood at the thought. He was now all but quaking.

He'd already surmised that he wasn't the only person to have been kept down here. The evidence was plainly written in the wear of the room—chipped paint and old bloodstains left by who knew how many other occupants. He obviously hadn't been the first, so who was he to think he would be the last? The thought that he would be replaced initially chilled him to the bone, but it was usurped by a stinging jealousy that flogged his heart. He was surprised to find himself on the verge of tears.

But no, no, no, Ches wouldn't do that. He wouldn't just betray him like that. Would he? He'd said he loved him, in fact, made a point of telling him nearly every time they were together! Sure, he'd seemed distracted lately, more withdrawn than usual before it'd at last culminated with his announcement of the visitor. Regret curdled in Glam's stomach for having ever disobeyed him this morning.

He fidgeted in place. A dollop of cum began to ooze from his rear, and his back went ramrod straight. He clenched his sphincter shut in a vain effort to keep from making a mess, suppressing a whimper as he felt Ches' seed drip out onto the linens. A little white shit. He balled the sheets in his fists, cheeks burning equal parts shame and arousal: he still hadn't gotten off, and his cock throbbed painfully. Its reminder tinged his thoughts with an amorous hue, as he tried to wrestle them into order.

Ches said he loved Glam, but as for how Glam felt about Ches, he—it was— The rest of that line refused to come together, and he was left without words. They hid themselves away somewhere in the wings of his mind, biding their time for their long-awaited debut. Until then, all Glam knew was that he wanted Ches in his time of need with the longing of a loyal devotee.

His prayers were answered as the first hints of Ches' return met his ears.

He held his breath, listening to the distant footsteps as they pounded far above him through the many feet of concrete. Blind to the world, he raised his face skyward and traced Ches' trek across the ceiling. There was the all-too-familiar clang of a deadbolt being lifted, the screech of rusty hinges. Then a voice—

No. Two voices.

—filtered down the stairwell, accompanied by a pair of footfalls, one light and one heavy.

Glam's heart began to pound. He sat rigidly back on his heels, bracing himself for whatever was about to come. His tongue went dry as, Ches—and whoever he was with—reached the bottom step.

"Ta-da!" That was Ches, cheerful and bright and so unlike how he'd been just hours earlier. "Home sweet home."

Somebody hummed in reply, and Glam detected the feigned interest of an otherwise unimpressed observer. "Very...nice." Deep, masculine, cultured, and with a hint of an accent Glam couldn't place. There was a short pause, then: "That him?"

"Yup. That's him, all right."

Sweat sprang up in a wave across Glam's skin, and he suddenly found it hard to breathe. Ches had told him not to move or make a sound, and until he was told otherwise, he would follow those directions. He pressed his lips together, resisting the urge to turn his head toward the footsteps approaching the bed.

He realized he could make out the subtle yet clear difference between the two by sound alone: Ches' sneakers scuffed against the floor when he walked, and his jaunty gait was shorter in length, loose at the edges and a bit bungling with nerves. The visitor, on the other hand, strode with confidence on leather soles, and, judging by the distance between each step, he had some considerable height to him.

The mattress dipped to his right with someone's weight, and Glam's heart was in his throat before he felt Ches' hand on his. He scrambled for it, grateful for the reassuring warmth it offered. A riot of questions tangled on his tongue, but only one word slipped through: "Who—"

Ches hissed for him to be quiet. Burying his hand in the hair at Glam's nape, he pulled him close and whispered, "Stay cool, babe. He's my john tonight. Just follow my lead."


Whoever this "John" person was, he was evidently taking a leisurely tour of the room, picking up items before placing them back with a clatter or a clink. What he could possibly be looking for was a mystery, but Glam still felt a flare of resentment at having his belongings rifled through.

"Quite the little love shack you've got here. I'll admit, this isn't what I was expecting from Lucky's piece of heaven I'd heard so much about." There was the scuff of a heel as he turned in place. "They say you haven't brought anyone down here in months. Talk around town was that you'd given up your premium service. So to what do I owe the honor?"

"You had a special request. The price was right. And my buddy here was only too happy to help out." Ches' voice was silky, bordering on unctuous. "It's just business." He put an arm around Glam in a chummy way he hadn't done since—well, before.

Their fingers entwined, and Glam suddenly felt Ches' lips pressed against his. He balked, before submitting to the force of Ches' tongue and opening his mouth to the kiss. Ches tasted of alcohol, something minty and sharp, laced with tobacco. The hand at his nape buried deeper, angling Glam's head to his liking.

John whistled low, sounding impressed.

Ches ended the kiss, caressing Glam's cheek with the backs of his knuckles. “Now if you don't mind, maybe we can get this show started."

John stepped up to the bed. "You're right. Time to meet the main attraction."

Even with the blindfold on, Glam could sense John’s eyes on him. For every second he didn't say anything, the tighter the knot in Glam's stomach grew. Whoever this guy was, he seemed oddly at ease despite the bizarre situation. People would normally act more...alarmed at the sight of a boy chained to a bed, wouldn't they?

"Does he talk?"

"Only if you want him to."

John snorted a laugh and there was the rasp of a hand rubbing across a stubbled chin. "Oh, you're good." He paused. "So why the blindfold?"

Ches' shrug made the mattress bounce. "Thought it'd make things a little more exciting. Add some mystery, you know?"

"And the chains?" Whatever look Ches gave him in reply must've said enough, because John followed up with a knowing hum. Suddenly a pair of fingers closed over Glam's right nipple piercing and tugged. It didn't really hurt, per se, but the unexpectedness of it made Glam gasp. "You didn't say he'd be so...pierced." He let go and Glam hunkered over, his hands fisted on his knees.

"You didn't ask." There was a sharp edge to Ches' words. "Is that a problem?"

John hummed. "I'm not sure yet. I'll need to get a better look at him."

"But you can already see—"

"I'm paying good money for this, Lucky." John cut him off swiftly. "I like to know what I'm getting. It's just business."

There was a tense pause and then, "Fine." The mattress dipped as Ches leaned back on his hands, his voice still holding a dare. "Be my guest."

Glam swallowed, not entirely sure what was happening. Ches and John were obviously in the midst of some kind of transaction, but the exact whats and whys were still lost on him. Either way, it was clear that he played a central role in it. And why did he keep calling Ches "lucky"?

Before he could ponder over this any longer, he was suddenly yanked up by his collar until he was standing on his knees. His hands flew up, fingers closing over John's hairy knuckles as he lifted him effortlessly with one hand. The steadiness of his grasp spoke volumes of his impressive strength, and Glam shivered where he was drawn out on full display, for once thankful for the blindfold that kept him from having to see John's expression. He still didn't know what the strange man was hoping to see, but his gut told him he didn't want to know.

"You're sure no one else has had him?"

A proud snicker. "I'm sure."

Glam's strained breath hitched in his throat when John's other hand—large as a bear's paw and just as rough—cupped the side of his ribs. A thumb snuck across to rub at his nipple, too precise to be accidental.

"He's all skin and bones. And so soft." He murmured to himself, “God, I love them young." John's hand slipped down over his narrow hips, and Glam felt his cock give an ill-timed twitch. Humiliation heated his cheeks. John sniggered, no doubt at his erection. "He's already raring to go, isn't he? What did you say his name was?"

"I didn't."

The acidic bite of Ches' reply stayed John's hand midway through its tour of Glam's body. He let go of the collar, and Glam collapsed back down onto the bed where he panted.

"Relax, Lucky. I'm not here to steal your little boyfriend." That large hand ruffled Glam's hair, nearly knocking him over. "I told you that's not what I'm into."

"Whatever." Ches gave a frustrated sigh. "It's 'Glam.'"

"'Glam,' hm?" John chuckled. "I swear, you boys and your nicknames. Then again—" A puff of breath ghosted over Glam's lips, carrying with it the same minty alcohol he'd tasted on Ches, as John held his chin, grazing his bottom lip with his thumb. "—it's a fitting name for such a pretty thing like him."

The touch was batted away. "Hands off the goods!"

"All right, all right," John replied, surrendering sweetly. "No need to get your panties in a twist."

"So? We got a deal or what?"

"Just one more thing." Glam's blindfold shifted as fingers pinched its edge. "I want to see his eyes."

"Wait, don't—"

The world flooded with light as the blindfold was lifted off his face. Glam blinked quickly against the brightness before his eyes adjusted to...

Ice blue.

Ice-blue eyes seared into his own. They were framed by dark lashes and set in a handsome, swarthy face: straight, sloping nose, chiseled jaw, cheekbones sharp enough to cut. The man could have easily been in his late 40s—John smirked, and crow's feet crimped the corners of his eyes. Scratch that. 50s. Gray peppered his temples and the chest hair peeking out from the open V of his button-up. A simple crucifix dangled on a gold chain around his thick neck.

John was clearly on in years but had a striking vigor to him. He was big. Broad-chested with cords of muscle that bunched beneath his shirt sleeves, he was a man who looked like he took pride in his physique, a certain amount of polish in his otherwise roguish good looks. His hair was slicked back with scented pomade, any loose hair placed just so. Even his jawline was shadowed with designer stubble.

Straight, white teeth with a hint of gold flashed as he spoke. "Very nice."

Beside him, Ches' expression was a disconcerting mix of fear and anger, as though unable to settle on a single emotion while he glared at John. Glam tried to meet his eye, but he couldn't as his face was pinched in John's fingers.

"Where did you find such an angel?" Another gust of alcohol-laced breath unfurled across Glam's face as he sighed out the last word. Suddenly, something like suspicion colored his gaze, and he arched a brow as he turned Glam's face side to side. He peered closer, and from the corner of his eye, Glam could see Ches hold his breath. Then the moment passed, and John let go, turning to Ches with a nod. "He'll do just fine."

Ches visibly relaxed, his relieved sigh whooshing out of him. "Like I told ya." Resting his head on Glam's shoulder, he slipped back into his role of the cheeky rascal, a hand petting Glam's thigh. "And remember, double the product means double the price tag."

"Of course. Just as we agreed." John had already turned on the heel of his bespoke Italian leather shoes and was walking away in the direction of the room's only chair. He lifted it from where it had been set by the stairs and plunked it down a few feet from the bed. Satisfied with his new vantage point, he glided into the seat, crossing one long leg in its perfectly creased slacks over the opposite knee. "You've already got the first half upfront. My money's good for the rest." He took out a fat wallet from his pocket and waved it in the air. "That is, once you deliver what you promised."

"Oh, I'll deliver all right." Ches made it sound like a challenge. He stood and shrugged off his jacket, dropping it dramatically at the foot of the bed. Turning to face Glam, he whispered, "Undress me."

"Ches, what's going on?" He matched his conspiratorial tone.

Ches just curled his fingers under the hem of his shirt and peeled it up and off. "I said undress me. He likes it when there's a lot of foreplay." He crawled onto the bed, toeing his shoes off behind him. They thudded to the floor one after the other. "Come on, babe," he said loud enough for John to hear, lifting Glam's hands to his belt. "Let's have some fun." He wriggled his hips and wrapped his arms around Glam's neck.

Glam kept flicking his gaze between Ches and John. "B-but he's right there, watching."

"And that's exactly what he paid for," Ches hissed back to him, disguising his message by kissing Glam just beneath his ear.

"Paid for—" A tantalizing suckle made him gasp, but he fought past it. "Paid for what?"


Glam's blood turned to ice in his veins.

"But it's just to watch us get off," Ches continued quickly. "You can do that, right?" He mouthed at the corner of Glam's lips. "Just pretend he's not even here, and it'll be over before you know it."

Glam didn't have the opportunity to argue the point any further, because Ches dove in for a deep kiss, his tongue silencing him as effectively as a muzzle. He could only whimper under the assault, feeling suddenly inept, unsure of where to touch or what to do. They had done this countless times before, but he felt as if they were doing something illicit this time, their intimacy put on full display for someone else's entertainment. It felt wrong.

He caught a glimpse of their visitor from over Ches' shoulder and could see John's approval in the blush tinging his cheeks and the massive bulge at the front of his slacks. When he met Glam's eye, he winked, running his finger along its length.

Ches' hand closing over his cock tore his attention away from the sight and put it right back where it belonged. His erection had threatened to take its leave, but Ches' touch never failed to ignite his lust, and after having been suspended on the cusp for hours, it didn't take long for him to be reduced to a prurient puddle in his hands.

He was gradually eased down onto his back. Ches followed. It was getting harder to concentrate on anything outside of where the two of them touched. He tried to hold onto his resolve, to keep his wits about him, but Ches just felt so good where he held him: his hands branding his passion into his skin; his kisses, like magma. And with the last wisps of his hesitation going up in smoke, Glam's fingers at last wrangled open Ches' belt buckle before fumbling with the top button.

He couldn't get the zipper down fast enough, and when he finally took Ches in hand, Ches' groan almost sent him over the edge right there and then. Soon, there was nothing between them, and Glam was so caught up in the moment, he didn't notice John approach until he was standing right over them.

"Just look at you." His voice rumbled deep in his burly chest.

Glam startled with a yelp, and he hid beneath Ches. Even Ches seemed perturbed to see John so close, and he shot him a warning look, which John either didn't notice or just didn't care to acknowledge.

His eyes roved up and down their bodies. "Now, now. Don't stop on my account. Just thought I'd help myself to a better view. You don't mind, right, Lucky?"

Ches' sneer was privy to Glam alone, before melting into a simper—a perfect blend of cherub and minx as he tossed over his shoulder to John: "Go right ahead."

He began to unbutton his opal cufflinks. "It's not every day I get to see such fine-looking boys like yourselves going at it." A thick, gold watch flashed on his wrist when he peeled back his sleeves, silver rings gleaming on his fingers. Scars riddled his knuckles, mementos of a disreputable past. He cocked his head. "And don't forget I’m paying for the privilege. I don't want to miss a moment of it. Understood?"

Ches seemed to weigh his options, before silently acquiescing. He nodded to Glam and rolled onto his side. "It's okay, babe," he said against Glam's lips, guiding his hand down to take hold of him again. "He wants a show, so let's give him one."

Glam was coaxed onto his side so that the two lay opposite each other, arms crisscrossed between them. He circled his fingers loosely around Ches' cock, heart beating fitfully against the inside of his ribs, as he wondered just who this man was that held such sway over Ches.

As far as Glam was concerned, Ches bowed to no one—a maniac who'd sooner murder a man than let him near his prey. But when faced with this apex predator, he'd seamlessly changed tactics, still as manipulative and dangerous as before, only now he relied on charisma instead of cruelty to get his way. There was more flair to Ches' movements: his looks were sultrier; his touches, more theatrical. Ches was playing up every gesture, making a spectacle of their union.

Ches licked his own palm—much to John's satisfaction—before working Glam with firm and grounding strokes. He knew every one of his partner's weaknesses and used them to his advantage now, rubbing his thumb beneath the head of Glam's cock in a way that had his toes curling.

"What a pair you make. Like a regular angel and devil." John's hungry leer moved from one to the other, and Glam averted his eyes.

He could only imagine how they looked right now: Glam, rail thin and fragile, with his sorrowful blue eyes and halo of blonde hair; Ches, glaring daggers at his side, fiendishly rough and dark and strong in all the ways that Glam wasn't.

"If you like this, then just you wait." Ches leaned in and scooped Glam close by the back of his head. He crushed their mouths together with a fierceness that stole Glam's breath away, marking his territory with every lash of his tongue. Glam succumbed to his firestorm of stimulation, panting and pliant beneath Ches' touch. Ready to cast himself into the hellfire.

John seemed to get the message and he took a step back, chuckling to himself as he hefted his erection. But his eyes never left them, and Glam could practically feel them tracing their own paths over his bare body like a pair of unwelcome hands.

Ches was frenzied, tackling Glam down onto his back again so that he could devour his neck. Glam tried to match his intensity, desperate to escape John's piercing scrutiny—more frightening than any judgment or accusation because his was a look that spoke of craving. He shuddered to think what would happen if John got his hands on him but knew that as long as Ches was between them, he'd be spared.

"Don't be shy, boys. Let me hear how much you enjoy it."

And so it went on.

They moaned, stroked, suckled, and even bit at John's instruction, every action specially catered to their audience's preference. John made no effort to hide his vicarious enjoyment, as much a member of the performance as Ches and Glam were themselves. It dragged on and on, every moment of this carnal exhibition moving them toward their final goal of release—release from this intruder in their sanctuary.

Glam was just fitting two fingers inside himself, when Ches locked his lips over his nipple, rolling the piercing around with his tongue. He buried his free hand in that nest of hair, biting back a keen. His entire lower body smoldered and when he felt Ches nudging at his entrance, he wrapped his fingers around his cock and guided him in. Heat enveloping heat.

Ches' contented sigh was echoed by John, and Glam blushed twice as hard, clenching his eyes shut. He cast an arm across his face, wanting to block out John, as Ches pushed in, merciful and sublime, until he'd reached the deepest part of him, an encore of what they had done just earlier that morning. Glam wanted so desperately to return to that time, when it had been just the two of them. As though reading his mind, Ches began to move in earnest, and before long, his thighs were quaking where they framed Ches' pistoning hips. A well-aimed thrust jostled a moan from him.

It deteriorated into a warbled yelp as he felt John close one fist around his ankle. He blinked his eyes open to see him sitting on the edge of the bed—as casual and serene as if this were his own home. Another one of his shirt buttons was undone.

"Beautiful," he murmured to himself, his hand stroking up and down Glam's calf.

This did not go unnoticed by Ches who bristled like a cat and snapped, "H-hey! That's close enough!" His rhythm stumbled when John's meaty paw rose from Glam's leg up to his ass, squeezing appreciatively. Now Ches looked scared.

"Oh, not nearly close enough," John purred. He stood behind him, his hands making themselves at home on Ches' hips, guiding them back into a steady tempo, his eyes on Glam.

Ches tried to shrug him off as he fucked Glam harder. "I thought you were just going to watch."

"I was." John started, sliding his gaze to Ches. "But, damn, if I don't feel a little left out now."

"This wasn't part of the deal."

"Well then, what if I were to sweeten it?" He leaned down to whisper something into Ches' ear.

Ches shook his head. "No. I don’t care how much," he bit out. "Anyway, I told you he's off limits." He resumed his pace, making a show of wrapping Glam's legs around his own waist as he rutted into him with rough, purposeful thrusts.

But John wouldn't be dissuaded. He walked his fingers up Ches' spine, pursing his lips as he considered something. Whatever he whispered next made Ches’ eyes go wide.


John nodded solemnly.

The internal debate raged across Ches' face. He worried his bottom lip, looking quickly at Glam and then to the side. "Five," he finally conceded in a huff, a soldier who had simultaneously dodged a bullet yet lost the war. "But just me."

"Knew you'd see things my way, Lucky." John's voice was honey, as he slipped away behind Ches, out of Glam's view. "Don't worry. I'll be gentle."

"Ches?" Glam reached his hands up to smooth them over Ches' chest, collar, up his neck, trying to look him in the face. "Ches, w-what is it? What did he tell you?"

Ches' only answer was another passionate kiss as he continued his unrelenting pace. He poured all of himself into it—his lust and fury, his love and tenderness—as though these were their last moments on Earth.

Somewhere behind him came the telltale record-scratch of a zipper being lowered, as John settled into place.

Ches suddenly broke off the kiss, arching his back and spreading his legs wide where they were still hooked beneath Glam's thighs. He let his cock slip out until just the tip remained, and Glam whined at the threat of its leaving. He kissed fretfully at Ches' jaw.

But Ches had gone stock-still, brows knit in concentration, as a large hand wrapped around the back of his neck.

"All right, Lucky, let's see if you can take as well as you give." John's fingers gripped tighter for leverage. Then there was the squelch of lube, the creak of mattress springs, and at John's strained grunt, Ches was shoved forward with a wordless gasp. A deep-red blush spread like wildfire up his neck. With a hand pressed down on his back, crushing him against Glam's chest, John came into full view, looming over him like the great Mountain King himself.

His shirt hung open, baring his expanse of grizzled chest hair. A goat's skull done in black ink sat center at his breastbone, its large horns coiled around his pecs, and muscles flexed and rippled across his sculpted abdomen. Just below his jugular, the gold crucifix gleamed.

"Now this is more like it." A snap of his hips sent Ches tumbling deeper into Glam, and the two boys moaned in unison. John's hands came down around Ches to caress Glam's chest. "Fuck, you feel amazing." Those eyes, eclipsed by arousal, were now dark as the sea. When he began to move, Ches was jostled between them like a ragdoll, Ches' thrusts becoming John's, and John's becoming Ches', the two indistinguishable in their mission to fuck Glam into the mattress.

"Ches, Ches." Glam's hands flitted about Ches' face, confused and scared and so traitorously turned on. His brain went hazy with lust as he watched—heard and felt—his captor being violated above him, used in the same way that he had been so many times before. Ches had always been in the position of power, but the role-reversal had Glam's cock hard as steel. It pulsed against his stomach, and he groaned his appreciation with each balls-deep drive of Ches into him, feeling the force of John behind every one of them.

The sheer depravity of the scene stoked his arousal to a fiery blaze. He shut his eyes, this time choosing to leave the seeing world and reenter the realm of sound and touch alone. Here, he could experience pleasure unadulterated. Here, he could be wherever he wanted, with whomever he wanted; all that mattered was whom he chose to share it with. Amidst the chorus of moans—John's, Ches', his own—he honed in on Ches' music, tuning himself to it like a tonic note. Closer and closer still. His muscles tensed, twitched a millimeter to the side, held, and—


His climax crashed into him like a tidal bore, long and all-encompassing, flooding his senses. He was buoyed on it, lifted heavenward, crushing his chest to Ches' as though their hearts were meant to be one. His ass clenched spastically around Ches' cock in time with his release as it tumbled into him, over him, away from him. Retreated.

He let out the breath he'd been holding and melted back onto the bed.

No sooner had he spiraled down from his high, than Ches was summarily dragged off of him. Glam groused pitifully at his departure, already missing his warmth, both inside and out. Dazed, he could only watch dimly as John hoisted Ches upright against his chest. The two still connected.

With an arm hooked beneath each leg, gravity bore Ches down lower onto John's cock that stood as thick as Glam's forearm. He caterwauled with the change in position, bucking and trying futilely to squirm free, but a few more jarring thrusts from John made him sag boneless onto his throne. Moans dribbled freely from his slack lips.

Desire thrummed in Glam's blood as he looked up in wonder. For so long, Ches had been an imposing figure, infallible and unshakable. But now, when at the mercy of a fully grown man—especially one as powerful as John—Glam saw him for the vulnerable boy he was. He was humbled by the realization that he had sacrificed himself for Glam’s salvation.

"Come on, angel," John huffed, readjusting his hold so that he could spread Ches' thighs wider. "Why don't you give your boyfriend a little attention? He looks like he's aching for it."

Glam crawled toward Ches, entranced by the sight of him. Hand over hand, he climbed up John's thighs until he'd reached the level of Ches' leaking cock. It bobbed in front of his eyes: a Eucharist of flesh and blood, and Glam opened his mouth, ready to receive his communion.

"Glam, wait—ah!" Ches' cry devolved into a gasp as Glam closed his lips over him whole. He tensed, toes splayed as Glam sucked him with fervor. His hips thrust on automatic into Glam's eager mouth then back onto John's cock, back and forth, caught in this gyroscope of unceasing pleasure. Words were beyond him. He could only speak in tongues, as he writhed and blubbered in delirium: a body that had been pushed past its limits.

Eventually, he seemed to accept there was no escaping this, and he surrendered, lifting his arms to hang them weakly around John's neck like a second crucifix. And Glam, his ever-loyal disciple, knelt before him—this boy, this devil, this god—and laid his hands on him in worship.

He'd prayed at this altar so many times that the ritual came easily to him, and he recited his creeds with every swirl of his tongue, every hymnal hum. He kept his eyes on Ches throughout, reading the scripture of his pleasure as it wrote itself across his body that undulated as if possessed.

The dual stimulation proved too much, and before long, Glam recognized the signs of Ches' imminent ascension. When it overtook him with a final lilting groan, Glam was there to drink down every drop of his sweet ambrosia.

Sucked dry, Ches was dumped from his perch, falling in an ungainly heap onto the mattress. Even Glam's gentle soothing couldn't seem to reach him, as he lay panting and vacant-eyed.

In the next moment, however, he was quickly whisked away from right under his nose. Glam looked up to see John yanking his limp form clear off the bed—discarding him like a used condom. Ches fell to the floor with a pained grunt. And in the span of a heartbeat, Glam's pleasant afterglow fizzled in a bluster of adrenaline as he came face to face with John. He'd barely tumbled back, trying to put some distance between them, when a hand snagged him by the wrist.

"Now it's time to have our own fun, little angel." John tugged Glam close. From the floor came Ches' flimsy protests, a hand reaching up to stop him, but he was promptly put down with a swift kick to the ribs, and he groaned miserably as John took his place on the bed, towering over Glam.

"Ches—" His cry for help was smothered as his face was crushed against John's belly. It felt like hitting a brick wall. Ches had been strong in his own right, but John was a titan. Every inch of his build was carved from flesh-clad iron, and his hand dwarfed Glam's head as he shoved his face down against his cock. It still glistened with lube, far from satisfied.

Glam tried to twist free, shutting his eyes and lips tightly and giving a closed-mouth scream.

"What, you can suck your boyfriend's pecker but not mine?" John hooked a thumb into Glam's cheek and tried to pry his mouth open as he growled impatiently, "You have any idea how much I've put down for tonight?" With a frustrated huff, he pushed Glam onto his back, pinning his thin wrists above his head in one hand. "I expect to get my money's worth." A savage twist wrenched a cry from Glam as his arms were bent at an unnatural angle.

Glam tried to kick, but only managed to get his ankle caught in John's other hand. He was then yanked toward him until his bottom was flush against John's engorged club, and his breath caught in his throat.

He froze, watching it all unravel before his eyes. Somehow, he felt as if he knew this would happen, the inevitable betrayal that had been in the works from the very start, and a subdued resignation came over him, quieting his mind so that he could see everything with crystal clarity.

Things seemed to move at half-speed: John's lips curling in a self-satisfied grin, his hand wrapping around Glam's waist, the lightbulb flickering overhead. Glam couldn't help but stare at it, trying to read the SOS in its silent Morse code. It quivered and warped as tears flooded his eyes, and when its light was eclipsed by John's shoulder, he turned his face away, readying for darkness to fall.


But it was too late. There was a scalding pressure at his bottom, flesh threatening to give way, and then—

"Get the fuck away from him!"

Glam snapped his eyes open.

John was still poised above him, but his grin had twisted into a scowl, as he turned to face down whatever sorry soul had dared to interrupt his conquest.

That sorry soul was Ches.

Teeth bared and eyes blazing, Ches looked like a demon set loose from Hell, claws ready as he threw himself bodily at John with a roar, determined to knock him off his mount.

His efforts were in vain.

A single vicious backhand sent Ches flying. He crumpled to the floor, curling onto his side as he cursed and cupped his bleeding nose.

Glam scooted back on his elbows to safety, watching in horror as John stepped off the bed and crouched low over Ches. His shirt billowed around him like Lucifer's wings, and his cock hung lewdly from his open slacks.

"Now, is that any way to treat a paying customer?" He tsked, lifting Ches easily to eye level by a fistful of hair. The very temperature of the room seemed to plunge, turning as frigid as John's glower. He slapped him lightly, one cheek and then the other, brushing away Ches' feeble attempts to defend himself. "And I was really looking forward to this too. Everyone told me you can make any guy's 'lucky' night." His tone went dark. "But I gotta say, you're not living up to the hype. You weren't even worth the gas money it took to get here."

"—!" A kiss from his fist shut him up.

The smack of knuckles meeting flesh and Ches' cracked groans filled the air, as John continued over the sound of his own brutality. "The only luck you've had is that no one's snuffed out a two-bit tramp like you yet. I could kill you right here, right now, and no one would give a damn. What's one more cocksucker dead in the gutter?" He drew back his fist and rammed it straight into Ches' face. Again. And again.

Glam flinched with every blow as though feeling them for himself. He recoiled as far as he could go, but he'd already run out of mattress—and he tumbled over the edge of it onto the floor. Right onto Ches' jacket. His fingers felt something solid within the fabric.

"And once I'm finished with you," John was saying, "I'll take my time with your boyfriend. Show him how a real man does it." His prey had long since given up, hanging slack in his grasp.


In a flurry, Glam dug through the jacket's pockets, coming across the ring of keys and tossing them aside in favor of what lay deeper within its folds. His fingers closed around a metal handle, and he pulled it out. The butterfly knife. The last time he'd seen it, it had been held to his heart. Now the dread he'd once felt at the sight of it had been replaced by an unexpected serenity.

Slowly, he folded back the handles to reveal the blade and caught his haunted reflection in its shiny surface: wild-eyed and pale, hair all askew, he looked as crazed as he felt. Sweat dripped down his forehead, and he wiped it away, slicking his hair back in one movement. Grasping the knife in both hands, he turned in the direction of John and Ches.

"Enough." His voice was eerily calm.

Immediately, the sounds of Ches' beating paused as John looked up, his expression morphing from annoyance to surprise to wariness as his eyes settled on the knife. Slowly, he raised his hands. "All right, angel. What do you think you're doing with that?” He dipped his head, looking up at Glam with a disarming smile as though daring him to make a move.

Glam met John's gaze, unflinching.

But then a flash of something new crossed John's face. He squinted at Glam, taking in features that had previously been obscured by loose hair and distorted by despair—and his eyes went wide with recognition. "Holy shit..." he whispered to himself, a lopsided grin quirking his lips. "You're—you're that Schwagenwagens kid!" John snapped his fingers. "Sebastian Schwagenwagens!"

Glam froze. He hadn't heard that name in a long time.

Still pinned beneath John, Ches reached for him weakly. "Ghlmm..." he slurred around a mouthful of blood. A molar lay on the floor.

"Glam my ass." John cuffed Ches hard. "So this is who you've been keeping down here. Can't believe I was about to..." He shook his head in disbelief, muttering to Ches. "Sneaky little fuck. Almost got me in big trouble there."

"How... You know me?" Glam swallowed, readjusting his grip on the knife which suddenly felt unwieldy in his hands.

"Who doesn't? 'Wealthy Family's Heir Goes Missing.' News story played nearly every night for weeks. The bars have been crawling with PIs looking for you since summer! Can't go anywhere without having your photo waved in my face. I'll admit, it took me a while to see the resemblance, but there's no doubt about it. You're Gustav's boy."

Gustav...? His father!

Old circuits that hadn't been used in months flickered to life, matching names to faces and faces to memories: his room, his home, his family. He almost forgot that he'd once imagined returning to his old life. It was a secret hope that he'd long since abandoned, but now, the reminder that the world outside this basement might still have a place for him reawakened that hope. It stepped from the shadows, hobbling along on unsteady legs that had never had a chance to heal properly. The knife lowered to his side. He hadn't been forgotten after all! His parents were still looking for him! He took a tentative step.

The rattle of his chains stopped him. He looked down at himself. Bruises painted his skin in watercolor bursts, alongside a collection of scars he'd amassed over the past few months. He clutched at his bony shoulders, feeling suddenly exposed. His nipple piercings pressed against his crossed arms, and long, unkempt hair fell over his face as he bowed his head.

Sebastian had changed so much, Glam barely recognized him.

"Way I remember it," John was musing to himself, "they're offering a fat reward for any leads. Even more to anyone who brings you home." He pinched Ches' cheek playfully before smacking him hard, eliciting a pained groan. "Would you look at that? Guess you really did make my lucky night, Lucky!" He then flipped Ches over onto his belly so that he could hold his chin, the two—three, counting the goat skull—now facing Glam as he crowed, "Never said a word about offering anything for the kidnapper, though." To Glam, he snapped: "Well? What are you standing there for?"

Glam looked up, confused.

"You're not honestly going to let this freak just get away with what he did to you, are you?"

" me?"

John rolled his eyes. "Jesus Christ, kid, did he fuck your brains out too hard?" He gestured at the room, voice pitched high with incredulity. "Look around! He's got you chained to a fucking bed! Locked up like an animal in a basement! I can't even imagine what other fucked-up shit he's put you through."

Glam looked around, for the first time in a long time seeing the evidence of his captivity behind his new "home." He'd grown so used to the place, he'd forgotten that the display of torture tools on the walls and bloodied sheets were supposed to be a source of terror, not comfort.

"But now's your chance to set things right," John said, flashing Glam a serpent's grin. "Don't you want to get your revenge on this piece of shit?" He held Ches' head up next to his and shook it for emphasis. Blood oozed from a nasty gash across his forehead, courtesy of one of John's rings. "Here, I'll even make it easy for you. I'll vouch to the police that it was in self-defense. And no one will be the wiser. Besides, who are they gonna believe: the poor victim or some trailer trash with a criminal record? Hell, the kid's already taken enough from you, hasn't he? It was just a matter of time before he took your life too."

Ches gave a broken sob just then, but John shut him up by slamming his face once against the floor. "This world is full of really fucked-up people. You never know who you can trust. And this guy?" He practically spat. "He's a fucking thief."

Glam blinked. His mind flew back in time to the night he'd been brought here, when he'd first heard those same words spoken to him. It'd been a warning, a lesson he'd never forgotten.

He looked down at Ches. From deep inside him, something began to pound like a tribal drum. It was true, Ches had taken so much from him. He'd lost his innocence, his identity, his sense of self, his very humanity—everything that had ever held him back.

Now, with nothing left to lose, he was truly free.

The plane of his mind tilted subtly, sending his sanity sliding off into oblivion. Regripping the knife, he stepped forward again.

John crooned his approval. "That's it. Knew you'd do the right thing."

Glam knelt in front of Ches, the knife gleaming in his hands, one fist closed over the other in prayer.

"It'll all be over soon."

Ches was shaking his head, his lips forming words as he looked up at Glam through tear-stained eyes. But Glam couldn't make out whatever he said over the pounding in his ears. Louder and louder. He looked at Ches, looked at John, back to Ches, down to the knife in his hands.

A vacuum of silence fell over him as he took in a long, centering breath.

"Do it already!" John roared.

With a shout, Glam dove, plunging the knife in with all his strength until his knuckles made contact with flesh. His eyes never left Ches', watching himself in their watery depths, a kaleidoscope of emotion passing over his face: revulsion, rage, regret, and finally relief. Glam dropped his hands, staggered to his feet, and stepped back. The room began to spin.

Right beside Ches, John went still, his smile frozen on his face. It quivered, twitched into a snarl. He gave a cough, and blood spurted from around the knife sticking out of his neck. "What...the...fuck?" More rivulets of blood trickled out when he spoke, his voice gargling through the new hole in his trachea. He dropped Ches, who went down like a stone. It looked like he was trying to get to his feet, but he only got as far as one knee. His hands reached up, fumbling for the handle, as he locked eyes with Glam. "You...little..." He pulled out the knife.

A torrent of blood gushed free, spewing like a fountain from his severed artery. It spattered across Glam's stunned face as John stumbled. He wavered for a moment on his hands and knees, then fell face down, like Goliath before David, into a puddle of his own blood. He didn't move again.

How much time passed after that moment, Glam couldn't tell. Seconds felt like minutes and minutes felt like hours, as he watched John's honey-gold tan fade to a sickly ash right before his eyes. A red crown spread out beneath his head, darkening from rich ruby to dull garnet.

The echo of Glam's heartbeat in his head stretched like an ocean around him, distancing himself from everything. Nothing felt real anymore as he stared, unseeing, at the body—John—the body—he was going to kill him—the body—kill me!—the body—I had to do it—the body—Ches was about to be—the bo

A hand came to rest on his shoulder. He turned his neck stiffly to the side, joints rusty with disuse, and saw Ches.

He was a mess: split lip, busted nose, one eye swollen nearly shut, swaying in place as though it took all of his strength just to remain standing. The sheet had been pulled from the bed and now draped over him. He spread his shaky arms.

They had no need for words. Glam stepped silently into the folds of his white wings, Ches' head tucked comfortably beneath his chin.

He swore he'd never find a more perfect fit.

His arms encircled Ches, and he held him close as emotion surged in his chest. In that moment, he wished for nothing else outside of this—just the two of them adrift in a world that made no sense to them. A world that would never make sense of them in turn.

After a time, he asked, "What do we do now?"

Ches' shoulders lifted then sagged beneath a sigh. At first, it seemed he wasn't going to answer, but when he did, his voice was small and trembling: "You smile."

Glam's throat pulsed, words catching in a knot.

"You smile," Ches said again. "Because if you don't smile, you’ll cry."

Tears burned at the seams of his eyelids. But he merely turned his face skyward, ignoring the pool of blood creeping its way across the floor, and the body that was once a man now growing colder by the minute. Seeing past the ceiling and the layers of concrete far above, further and further, right up to the night sky that hung blissfully silent over frost-glittered fields.

Glam peeled his lips back—a sneer, a snarl, a show of teeth that stretched so wide his cheeks hurt. He opened his eyes.

The flimsy lightbulb cast its rays on him, bright as the sun.

And Glam smiled.