There is one small place at the Taskmaster house that Alex loves best. It’s tucked away in the dark, right at the back, a dark shadowy void only he can see. He’s made excuses, of course, that he just finds it the quietest place, where he can think, or just breathe if he needs to. But what he really craves is the shadow.
It’s almost imperceptible. The blackest of black shadows that somehow you can see, and yet not see, a black hole that seemed to sit just in this one small spot beside a tree. A shadow. But it isn’t just any shadow. It’s Greg’s shadow. Greg is always here, Alex knows that very well, even if he never sees Him.
He’s standing before it again. It isn’t a filming day though. He’s just here, seeking solace. Seeking Him. Needing Him. He can see the shadow moving, rippling the air. It always moves when Alex gets close, as if He can read his heart and know when Alex wants Him.
All he has to do is close his eyes, and breathe, ‘yes’.
He never knows how to describe it. The shadow simply swallows him, and Alex is simply only aware of the very fringes of his body, and the warm presence of his master as His hands hold him close. Time doesn’t exist here. Sound doesn’t either. There is no sound except for His voice. No light. No weight. No gravity. He just is, in this place, surrounded by Him.
He sometimes thinks it’s like being underwater. It’s that feeling of having something close to you, surrounding you, always touching you, in a way that air doesn’t do. Floating, drifting, in a way, surrendering to the water to let it move you. Except instead of water, it’s Him. This warm, loving, intangible, textureless presence that just holds him. He’s being held by nothing, and by everything.
He can feel His hands on his shoulders, slowly moving across his chest from behind. He’s so warm. So present. He feels a kiss on his shoulder, and then, His voice, rippling, ripping, making sound waves that he can feel on his body.
‘How’s my little boy today?’
Alex never has to speak. Simply fills his mind with his answers and feels Greg understand. He couldn’t speak anyway. He’s tried. It doesn’t work. This isn’t a place for the body, but for the spirit. Even now, he feels his body fading out of his mind, as if he’s moving out of it and into a form of existence he can hardly comprehend.
But this is when Greg’s touch is the most powerful. It’s a different kind of touch. It’s energy. It sparks from His fingers, even though he sees nothing. He just feels it. Alex craves it like nothing else. This – this is what he comes here for. This spark, this touch, that is hot and cold and sharp and fills him with nothing but pleasure. Not just sexual pleasure, though that is there and very strongly felt, but every kind of pleasure that exists. He doesn’t know the names for them all. He just knows what he feels, and it feels incredible.
He never feels so happy as when Greg moves in front of him, and it’s like their spirits are melting together. Alex sees flashes of things in his mind, things from Greg. Moments where Greg’s been watching him. If he’s done something wrong, this is usually when Alex is punished, but he’s done nothing wrong today, and all he feels is a love so bright and hot and overwhelming he can’t sense anything else.
His body returns to his consciousness, just a little, as he finds himself crying. It’s just too much emotion. Too much sensation. And then Greg’s hands are just holding him, stroking him, and pleasure fills his body in ways he’s never been able to replicate outside of this space. His orgasms, if that’s even the right word for them, are simply indescribable. They feel like nothing he has ever experienced before. It’s nothing like how he feels it in his body. It’s like crashing waves, over and over again, so intense he knows his body would not be able to handle them. And it’s always more than one, so many he can’t count them, never tries to, can’t even decide if it’s one or many. He just lets them happen. Greg keeps touching him, filling him with pleasure, and it just keeps on going.
And then, at their peak, there’s one brief moment where he and Greg are one. Greg fills him entirely with sensation. There is a moment where he simply ceases to exist, and Greg ceases to exist, and they become Something Else. A brief moment where Alex kisses the limitless, and catches a tiny glimpse of the true fabric of the universe.
Greg says so many things to him today. His words echo so loudly in his head, seared there for all eternity, for when he has to leave the shadow, and go back to the real world. Words he will be repeating to himself for the rest of the day as everything slowly begins to fade.
He simply feels warm now. Greg feels like He’s cradling him in His arms, and Alex grabs onto His neck, and lets his master hold him. He never feels so safe than when he’s here with his master. Nothing can get him when he’s with Greg. Here, there’s no pain, no hatred, no worries, no problems, just love.
‘You’re such a good boy, Alex,’ He says, the words gently cascading over him, filled with heat.
Alex breathes, thinks, his gratitude, doesn’t want to leave this space, but knows he has to. He can’t stay here. He desperately wants to, though. For a moment, Greg feels much more solid, and that’s when Alex knows his time is up.
The shadow slowly fades back into the house as Greg holds him. He slowly begins to hear birdsong, traffic sounds, the wind moving through the trees, someone teeing off nearby. There is light and touch and gravity and taste and all the senses that don’t exist in the void. Seconds have passed, if that.
Alex notices that Greg seems to hold him a little bit longer today, as if He doesn’t want to let him go just yet either. Gently, He puts him back on the ground, but He doesn’t immediately fade away. Alex grasps His shirt, and Greg can’t help kissing him, and it’s a kiss that’s filled with everything, Alex can feel it.
But it’s also filled with a deep loneliness, and Alex tries not to think about it, because he knows that’s why he keeps coming back. He can’t bear the thought of Him being lonely. He’ll let Greg consume him completely, take him into His shadow, and make him feel things he can’t describe, because the overwhelming sensation he feels from Him is love. Even when he’s being punished, Greg still loves him. He’s strong, but tender, and that’s what makes the punishments work. His tenderness is too much for Alex to bear.
“It’s going to be so long before I can come back and see You again,” Alex murmurs, not wanting to let Him go.
“I’m always with you, Alex. You can be with me anywhere you like,” Greg said.
“But I can’t see the shadow anywhere else. How can I find You without Your shadow?” Alex said.
Greg moves apart from him as He closes His hand and then opens it, revealing a small glass bottle, stoppered, on a leather cord. “You wanted to bottle my essence, didn’t you? Use this. A little piece of me, if you’re having trouble finding me.”
“Oh, no, Sir, I can’t, I-“
Alex begins to protest but then Greg gently places the necklace on him, and Alex can immediately feel what Greg means by it containing a little piece of Him.
“Oh. Oh, wow. So how do I use it?” Alex asks.
“Same way you always do. Find the shadow. Call me. I’ll be there. I’m always there. I never leave your side, Alex. You just need to learn how to find me out there in the rest of the world,” Greg said.
Alex clutches the little bottle in his hand as he closes his eyes. “Thank you so much, Sir, I-“
When Alex looks up again, Greg has gone. But he isn’t really. Alex can see the shadow at the base of the tree, and he smilea, tucking the bottle under his shirt. He kneels down to say goodbye, kissing his fingers and then reaching his hand to touch something that isn’t really there. But he knows it is, because he sees a ripple of bright light, just for a fraction of a second, cross the shadow where his fingers touch it, and Greg’s voice echoes in his head.
‘Come back soon, boy. I’ll miss you.’
“I will, Sir, I will,” Alex whispers.