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Forget me, or Room 404

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You were in the wrong room.

You should have realized your mistake as soon as the door - as nondescript as only hotel doors can be - gave way under your absentminded push. It went slightly ajar, revealing dim light coming from the inside. 

Which was not supposed to happen. 

The pale-faced receptionist downstairs gave you a digital key: small rectangular of white plastic. You were supposed to use it. The idea about hotel rooms is that they remain closed until a guest inhabits them. This one was already taken.

You'd never try and nudge a hotel room door open if you were in a better frame of mind. But it was getting late – almost nine P.M, which in November means impenetrable darkness already, and it was raining. You had entered the hotel lobby wet from the nasty drizzle, hair in your face, owlishly dragging the small suitcase behind you and dead tired. It's been a long day, full of disappointments. Full of November-ness. Your brain felt as if stuffed with cotton balls. You craved for nothing more than some basic form of nourishment for the feeble body, and a bed.

Now you stood thoughtlessly in the half-opened door. The narrow ray of yellowish light flickered at your feet (which was weird in itself). Your numbed mind had painstakingly arrived at a revelation that there is someone inside in here. Had to be. Your nostrils filled with the tantalizing, wondrously familiar scent of cigarette smoke.

The overworked synapses burped out an answer which seemed solid: someone has been smoking in your room.

Had you been well-rested and had the whole mental capacity at your service, you'd just turn on your heel and leave. Grab that receptionist by the lapels and demand she gives you another fucking room, which would lead to the revelation that this wasn't your room at all.

But you weren't. So you didn't. 

Instead, you put one reluctant foot forward.

"Um...excuse me?" you said in a low voice, trying to sound polite. That was another mistake.

" Keine Zimmerservice, bitte,"  answered someone yet hidden from your field of view. A man, and one with a voice astoundingly deep. The words had a weary, flat cadence to them.

Oh, great,  you thought. Germans. Just what I need at the end of this fucking day.

You didn't excel at German. The anticipated hassle of communicating in the language made you angry. And anger always made you stupidly brash.

You marched inside; both of your feet dressed in practical travel boots sunk into the thick carpet. It was mostly dark in there, but you managed to at least localize the source of the faint, fluttering light. 

The German asshole who squatted in your room has lightened it up with candles.

Incredible.

"Es ist nicht notwendig",  the asshole ascertained in the same weary tone, raising the volume a little and also raising his hand. A sizable arm waved at you dismissively from behind the king-size bed. A milky ribbon of cigarette smoke followed it around. You could also make out the dark outline of his head – if you squinted - 

"Listen, you Teutonic smartass", you blurted out. "I ain't your Zimmerservice."

He froze mid-motion, snorted, and stood up. This took a while, and fairly so because there was so much man to reorganize in the first place. 

Blood drained from your cheeks, and feet took root in the nice carpet while you watched this mountain move. Broad arms, wide torso, firm legs, all clad in monochrome black; that's all you were able to see in this candlelight anyway. And he was tall. Not like, basketball player tall, but still would tower over you. 

You've just picked a fight with a perfect stranger who could probably kick you ass into next Sunday. Bravo you.

You froze in place, watching him approach you – slowly and wearily. There was no finesse to this man’s step, just a hearty promise of ass whopping.

He stopped half a meter away. Candlelight rendered his silhouette with a bleary frame, while the face remained in the shadows. Still close enough for your panicking brain to gather some intel.

A big guy. Stomps like a rhino. Strong as all hell, judging from the size of those arms. A prominent jawline. Long-ish hair, noticeably disheveled. Whites of his eyes gleamed ominously in the dark.

"Teutonic smartass?" said the man with mild amusement, checking you out from head to toe. "That's a good one. I've been called many funny things today, but not this." 

Dude sounds like Till Lindemann, you thought and mentally pinched yourself for being silly. Nah, he didn't. You were imagining things. After all, there was only one profound baritone like this in the whole German Reich. 

His accent was thicker than you'd expect from a keen-eared musician anyway. The words had this clunkiness to them of an unmistakably, well, Teutonic nature. 

He nudged the tip of your shoe with his combat boot.

"So which kind of service are you?"

Excuse me?”

“You’re not the room kind. Then which kind?”

You gasped in indignation.

" What the hell!? You think I'm a prostitu - "

That question would probably raise to a high-pitched holler if the muscly giant didn't suddenly grab at your face. One arm curled around your torso, rendering your hands useless, while a heavy palm fell over your mouth. You wanted to cry for help, but no sound went out.

"No, no, no, no", he murmured pleadingly into your ear, pressing you towards his upper body. "Don't scream. Anything but screaming." 

You tried to scream - to no avail - and kicked your legs, terror-stricken, but he got you off the ground and swung you around as if you were a bouquet of dandelions. His hand smelled like nicotine and something else, something sharp and coppery. You didn't have the time to ponder over it, because you couldn't breathe. You were an animal, fighting for survival. You bit his hand.

"Fuck!" your assailant croaked and loosened his grip. You slid to the floor and sat there, panting. Your ribs needed a second to un-squish themselves.

He didn't pounce at you again. Instead, he plopped down with a grunt and stared blankly at his hand.

"What was that for?" asked the maniac, although there was no hurt in his deep voice. More like dull astonishment.

"For suffocating me!" You spat, trying to stand straight on those wobbly legs. Your heart was pounding. You had to leave this place and its murderous tenant, and soon.

"I wasn't suffocating you…" 

"Then what the fuck was that about?!"

You were in the fight or flight mode, so the growing hum of many steps and voices approaching down the corridor escaped your attention. The ruckus was already close when you managed to stumble away from your would-be murderer. You grasped shakily at the doorknob, finally registering the noise. People? Great, you needed people now, if only to escape the clutches of a demented bodybuilder who - 

Except that he lunged at you again. With less success this time, because you've anticipated this attack. It's hard to be lightning-fast when one is built like a bulldozer, so his outstretched arms met with your kicking leg. You thwacked him right in the kisser; the guy groaned, but still grabbed at you all the same. His hands clamped around your waist, their hold like an iron vise, and you both fell gracelessly to the floor. 

The buzz of the crowd was slowly passing by the room. Judging by the number of steps and sounds, it was a lot of people who talked hurriedly all at once. In different languages. Although you did catch up a string of words blurted out in German.

The crazy man didn't cover your mouth this time. He just held you close, huge hands pressed against your quivering back. So close that you could feel the tidal movements of his broad chest underneath. Breath in, breath out. 

His scent shrouded you. It was just the kind of smell that you liked best. Two parts Robust Male At The End Of A Long Day and one part cologne...you closed your eyes and sniffed more intently. Roses. Was it Egoiste?

Later you'd blame this weakness of yours for the glaring fact that you forgot to scream.

The click of many heels and the voices finally died in the distance. 

The burly man sighed and let you go; his arms fell idly to the sides. This prolonged forced embrace has somehow calmed you both. He abstained from further attacks and was lying idly on his back, eyes wide open (dude had such thick eyelashes!) while you nested on top of him, bizarrely uninterested in getting up and running away. The candlelight painted you both with warm, cozy yellows. You watched a drop of blood pooling at his nostril. You did that.

"Thanks for not crying out to them", said the man in a soft, weary manner.

"Thanks for not suffocating me", you quipped and bit your tongue. Out of all the opportunities to flash your wit, you've chosen a conversation with a would-be murderer?

"I wasn’t suffocating you. And I don't enjoy being bitten. Everything else, yes...but not that."

Again, this flat voice. As if he’s been awake for three days on straight and lost the ability to emote properly due to exhaustion.

The situation became absurd to the highest degree. You sat up.

"So...you inquired, looking around the dark room for your forgotten suitcase, "Are you going to kill, dismember or rape me?" 

The man let out a low chuckle. "It would be hard to rape you when you're dismembered."

"I meant this in no particular order!"

He sat up too, rendering the room a little smaller, sighed, and rubbed his wide neck. "No killing. Definitely no dismembering. As for taking you against your will? I’m not doing that unless you ask me to."

Your jaw dropped.

"The fuck does that even mean?"

He shot you a dismissive stare. "What? You wanted to know."

Your head felt like the inside of a kaleidoscope. Brightly coloured pieces, falling together and then apart at once.

"So, what was that...hand on mouth...thing?"

The giant man stood up in the flickering, muddy light. Again, it was like witnessing the birth of a mountain.

"If I'd let you scream or open that door, someone would come in here", he explained matter-of-factly. "And then they would find me. Besides, I just hate noise. " That last phrase oozed with quiet, yet desperate dismay.

You decided to let the disappeared suitcase be for now. 

"Why? What are you hiding from? If you didn't dismember anyone…"

He snorted again. "You seem really invested in that dismembering thing."

"Are you on the run from the Russian mafia or something?"

Instead of answering, the man walked right past you; you had to step back to accommodate his vastness. He meticulously closed the door.

Then he blocked it with his own rectangle of white plastic.

A supernova of understanding erupted in your baffled brain.

Oh.

"What does it matter now?" He said. "Let it be. Stay with me, we can drink the night away."

Oh?

He went back behind the king-size bed, rummaged there for a while, and held up two shiny bottles. "Are you a vodka girl or a whiskey girl?"

You gulped, mentally sorting through your options.

 

Perspectives for tonight, according to plan: 

A humble supper, consisting of some stale biscuits from your handbag 

(Hotel food was extra costly, and you would not have it in you to go outside and hunt for provisions at this hour.) 

Sleep. 

Later: A return home and into the rut of normalcy.

 

  Perspectives for tonight if you decide to stay with the Crazy Ripped Man: 

No supper. 

Crazy Ripped Man (who’s clearly crazy, but smells hella nice. Gotta give it to him.) 

Heavy-duty liquors. 

Later: Activities of yet unspecified character

???

 

It all felt so random and seedy and more then a little dangerous, but if he’d wanted to strangle you, he already had the chance, right?

And it's been ages since you enjoyed a one night stand.

"I am turning the light on", you declared. "I need to see the face of the man with whom I'm supposed to be drinking."

The giant extended his arms in an accomodating gesture.

"Oh, but be my guest."

After some random pawing around you've found the needed switch and flipped it. 

The walls were nondescript hotel white. The guy - who stood motionless, letting you ogle him to your heart's content - turned out to be something else.

He had brown, chin-length hair, cut shorter in the back; loose choppy strands fell across his forehead in disarray. As much as he rocked this boyish look, you could tell that he is not a young man. Not by a long shot. But age only hardened those features without taking away from their appeal. He had a long, sharp jawline, a perfectly straight nose, and a narrow, slightly pursed mouth which bore a peculiar expression; it made him seem eternally disappointed, pouting even. Stubble covered his steep cheeks.

He had the most striking eyes you’ve ever seen in a man or beast. 

They were big and heavy-lidded, framed with dark lashes and smudged residue of black eyeliner. Under this particular light, they seemed green. And sad. Unlike the tint, the melancholy was undeniable; it hit you like a bag of bricks.

He was clad in the simplest stuff. Black shirt, black cargo pants, mid-calf combat boots of the same colour. All just footnotes to his impressive physique. You caught a glint of an earring.

You inhaled sharply. Of course you recognized this mug. Your ears were telling you the truth from the beginning, but you wouldn't listen.

"You’re Till Lindemann", you stated, cursing that light tremble in your voice.

His lips curved. It was a polite attempt at a smile, even though those radiant eyes remained sad.

"So I've been told", he answered. "Come, Mädchen.  Now we drink."

The question of the suitcase has been firmly ejected from your mind. 

You walked to him through the soft, soft carpet on which – and that was a white-hot flash of a thought – you’d later probably be fucking.

Till Lindemann. A voice like burnished brass. A presence to behold. A body made for sinning. You’ve been spellbound by this man for years. 

Why was he hanging out in some hotel room? You’d expect a rock star like this to spend his Friday evenings with more panache. Surrounded by people and sounds, dragging the glamour and the clamor and the booze-induced frenzy behind him like a peacock’s tail.

But he was here, and you were here now, too, and only that mattered.

You sat down on the floor next to him, back pressed to the side of that enormous bed. After some fidgeting you got the urge to get rid of your heavy winter coat. Your hands felt as if made of clay, so it was challenging undoing the buttons while Till eyed you from this close. That pout of his gave way to mild amusement.

“What are you doing?”

“Dropping my inhibitions”, you panted, wrestling with stiff fabric. 

Till chuckled and for a moment there his face looked...approachable. 

“Kick those to the curb! So, whiskey or vodka?”

 At last the damn garment gave way. You tossed it onto the bed, sat down furiously, and moved a sweaty strand of hair away from your face, which you could tell was already burning.

And then there was no other thing left to do but to openly look at this man.

“I’m a beer girl, actually”, you confessed. “And most of the time it’s mid-strength anyway. I suppose you have a lot of experience with this sort of mind-wiping concoctions?” You pointed at the bottles standing around, and there were numerous. Mr. Lindemann surrounded himself with a small glass fort.

He blinked. “I have a lot of experience.”

“And I suppose you don’t happen to have juice in here...don’t you?” 

His mouth formed a straight line. You felt as if you’ve just offended his dear mother. 

“Oh, okay, don’t get mad. I’m only talking this much because I’m nervous...”. You wanted to facepalm yourself with a spade. Who the hell even admits to things like that? 

Till leaned over; this tantalizing scent shrouded you once more. You could feel the control lights in your brain flicker.

“I am not mad. Are you afraid of me?” he asked, brows furrowed.

Dude, you’re the one who started this with physical assault, you wanted to say but somehow didn’t. Till hovered over you, but his face bore no intent of malice; if anything, he looked serious now. Focused. As if your emotional state was a theorem for him to crack.

You swallowed and said: “Afraid...no. As reckless as it is of me, probably. But I’m like, super concerned that I’ll do something stupid. That I'll ruin this. I’m - “

He shook his head; the choppy hair strands bounced a little. “You won’t. And as for being nervous, vodka helps with that.”

You got handed Bottle A. 

The man beside you unscrewed the one of his choice – which was already only half full, by the way - and took a generous swig. You followed suit. It felt like being transported to your high school days, back when you’d try to mingle with the Cool Crowd.

The coolest boy of them all sat mind-blowingly close, oozing with warmth, long legs outstretched between all the glass and tealight candles. The fancy dark wood floor had already been stained with stearine. What was it with the candles anyway?

Suddenly your mouth went on fire. This shit tasted like industrial grade cleaner and probably had the same effect on your grey cells. Any cells. You employed a tremendous effort to actually swallow and gave out a shaky “Gack!” while your innards pleaded for mercy.

“Huh?” He glanced at you without letting go of his liquor. “Don't choke on me now.”

“This thing...is disgusting”, you professed, flinching all over.

His lips formed that flat line again. Maybe that was just a smile. Of sorts.

“Sometimes disgusting is just what you need to get you through the day.” You realized there will be no mercy.

The second gulp hurt a little less. 

The fourth one found you prepared. Or it could just be that your taste buds have abandoned all hope. 

You cast a bleary-eyed look at the strapping specimen next to you. He had gleefully emptied his bottle while you struggled. Now he threw his head back, sighed in content, and reached for another.

“I might be very much out of my depth here”, you mused.

He shot a glance at you. Who knows how much alcohol he devoured before you stumbled in here? But it clearly did its job, because the man seemed happier already. His eyes were glinting. 

“Look, don’t feel like you have to keep up with me”, he said jovially. “People always try doing that, and then…”

“They die?” You prompted with a smile. 

Till chortled. Impressive how fast the liquor melts through the iceberg, you thought.

“No one died yet, but most of the time they end up face down on the floor. And there’s nothing you can do with them at this point, except for bringing in the wheelbarrow.”

“Spoilsports”, you assessed, discreetly putting the booze down. The label read SMIRNOFF. You made a silent wow to avoid this brand at all costs.

“So...what’s the deal with them candles?” you asked, trying for a carefree, casual tone of voice. The whole situation was preposterous, but you’d be damned if you didn’t try and make it more normal. “You like the flames so much, you gotta have pet fires with you wherever you go?”

Till looked at you – this time really looked at you, not just glanced over. You felt like a fly caught in the green amber of his stare. Celadon green. With copper speckles.

“Pet fires. That’s well worded”.

“I always thought about them like that”, you murmured. 

“A mark of the poetic mind”, he chimed, put his arm around your back, and pulled you close. Your heart performed a triple axel. 

Girl, don’t lose your head just yet, an inner voice implored, but it was no use. That damn man was a walking, talking biological weapon.

“You like me, don’t you?” He muttered into your temple, his bangs rustling over your burning ear. “You have all those neat little ideas about me in your head.”

You exhaled shakily and slowly pressed both palms into the firm plains of his chest. The control panel of your brain emitted elevator music. Till oozed with warmth, burned your fingers through the crisp black shirt. 

“I do like you”, you whispered into the fabric. “Damn it, I did since I was a teen...”

His whole body shook with soundless laughter. “But that’s way too young.”

“I know! You think my underage ass had any say in the matter? You just have this effect on people...”

His other hand crept up your nape. Large fingers weaved into your hair – and you lost the ability to form sentences for a while.

“I need you to stop doing that. Thinking so much, worrying about every possible outcome. Being stuck in your head like a bird in a cage. Just let go. Just feel. There is no other way.” He cradled you in his arms, wrapped you in his scent, whispering into the top of your head. 

It was intoxicating - being held by this big, strong man. You felt cozy like a walnut in its shell. Pleasure flooded your synapses. On the other side, he might’ve been a rock star, but who was he exactly to tell you how to run your own cognitive process?

Thinking had saved your skin countless times. This might yet be one of them.

“Does all the booze helps with not thinking?” you murmured defiantly and glanced up. But he wasn’t listening anymore. 

Dude stared somewhere over your shoulder, eyes glazed with sudden melancholy. The source of it you were never about to know. 

He held you close while remaining infinitely away.

“I do like the, as you put it, pet fires. But I also can’t stand damn hotel lights. They’re always so harsh, it makes me feel like I’m in a hospital.”

His accent made the words jagged and metallic, but the voice itself was plush. This ennui of his went to your head, nested in your bones. Made it hard to believe this is the same man who could crush concrete with his trilled r’s.

You wanted to slip your eyes shut and dive headfirst into the softness. Instead, you sat up and untangled yourself from his embrace.

“What is it?” Till’s eyes refocused on you.

“I’m going to turn the damn lights down.”

“Huh, that? But it can be done remotely”. He snapped his fingers and the room became dim again. There was just you and him and fluttering candlelight, reflected in the shiny bottles.

“You made me grope around like a blind idiot, trying to find the switch!...”

Till pulled a face. “You looked dedicated.”

You sat down, swallowed your embarrassment, and watched him help himself to another bottle. This took a while. Pieces of the kaleidoscope in your mind sifted and rearranged. But mostly you just stared at the stubbly curve of his Adam’s apple. 

Finally, he wiped his mouth and shot you a grin.

“I like you.

Aaaand here we go.

“But you’ve just met me”, you observed. 

Till shrugged those transatlantic shoulders.

“I always know right away whether I like someone or not.”

“Right on the spot?” You leaned closer, taking in his face, suddenly so much more relaxed and open. You knew this was just vodka magic - but wanted to cherish the moment anyway. Cherish this strange man with sorrowful eyes.

Till was game. He drew nearer, too; now your noses were almost touching. You could see the deep pockmarks covering his cheeks and briefly wondered if this demigod might’ve once suffered from something as trite as acne.

“On the spot.” Damn, that rumbling voice sure got under your skin.

“So you knew the moment I went in here?” That was pushing it, but you’ve had about a glass of Satan’s pee today. It made you bold.

Till’s half-lidded stare glid all over you. His lip quivered sidewards, stretching in the un-smile. You felt an urge to bite it.

“I made my mind when you kicked me in the mug.”

“Ah!” You flailed a little, struck with a wave of absurd guilt. “Sorry about that. You see, it was dark, and I seriously thought you were going to - ”

He held your face, cupping it in those enormous hands, pressing his thumbs into your jaw - and kissed you with such force that your foreheads smashed.

You saw stars, but the pain was an afterthought while his wet lips burned yours. He tasted like cigarettes and liquor, like blood and bad decisions. That primal hum in your veins rose to full volume while his tongue claimed you in the most inconsiderate way possible. You tried – and failed – to regain control, but this was not a kiss. This was a takedown.

His stubble rubbed your chin raw. Once again with this man, you could hardly breathe, except that this time you also got wet.

“...murder me”, you finished thoughtlessly when he let go. 

Till’s head fell backwards. He glanced at you from under those dark eyelashes, mouth half-opened. Gods, he was gorgeous. Feral, but gorgeous.

“I just might if you won’t stop talking.”

“I’m a talkative person”. You ran fingers over your mouth, recollecting the taste.

Man, smokes, nasty vodka, and a tinge of blood.

Wait. What?

“Till”, you said. It felt oddly ponderous to call him by his name for the first time. To see the man’s eyes flicker in reflexive recognition. You felt as if you should celebrate this moment more...but there were pressing matters on your mind. 

“Till, why are you bleeding?”

He raised those unruly eyebrows and patted at his mug with way less reverence that you’d employ. “I’d say it’s because you roundhouse kicked me. ”

“No...not that”, you answered promptly and quietly, gripping at his right hand. “It’s your hand. Your hand is bleeding...”

Till grimaced and stared along with you at the offending limb. Man got paws of a construction worker. You ignored the subdued sheen of a silver Tagheuer and focused on the long, clean gash running across his inner forearm. It didn’t look that deep, but the blood has been drawn all the same. And it flowed downwards, staining his palm, his fingers - and later, your face.

Your own blood froze over. So did the thoughts in your head.

He must have realized you’re struck by horror. His lip curled in displeasure. He yanked his hand away from your weak grip, turned aside, produced a pack of cigarettes, and stuck one into his mouth.

“It will heal”, he stated, clicking the lighter. Offered the package to you, not really looking in your direction. “Smoke?”

“Thanks”. You took one, even though your throat has cinched up. The kaleidoscope was now a noisy blur. “Till...”

He lit up your cancer stick, the gentleman, puffed and exhaled a strand of milky smoke into the night air. You watched him throw his head back, and sigh.

He had an exquisite profile, he did. Eyelashes so thick that they threw a shade. That perpetually unhappy mouth, which was growing on you fast. Nose long and straight. 

Like a knife. 

“Look”, you breathed along with the smoke, mustering all conviction.

“If you intend to cry, let’s get this over with.” His eyes locked with yours, big and tragic, but the face was expressionless. Again, he sounded deeply exhausted, way past the point of caring. 

Cry?”

“Girls always cry when they notice.” He inhaled some more and gestured the cigarette around. “They fuss over me as if I was dying. Or worse even, they ask if I could cut them. It’s a nuisance.”

You extinguished your barely used cig by pressing it into the chic dark floor. Living like a rock star.

Something rose in you and it wasn’t pretty. 

“Till Lindemann”, you uttered slowly, every syllable like grit in your mouth. “You are an idiot.”

“Huh? Tender words, so early in the evening.” The hand which held the cig stilled. That at least was a reaction.

“If the girls cry, that’s because they feel bad for you. Because they give a shit about what happens to you! And maybe asking to be mutilated - ” (Till rolled his eyes hard at this one, muttering the word under his breath) “- is not the sensible reaction, but it comes from a place of empathy, even if misguided. Maybe they want to make you feel like you are less alone in this! Maybe -”

“A man is always alone in this”, said Till flatly.

“Oh, don’t give me this macho crap -”

“I don’t mean it like a man in particular. I mean a human being. You can surround yourself with people all you want, use them as band-aids to dress your wounds, but at the end of the day what is tumbling in your brain is on you.”

He sidled up, blocking out the faint light - and you remembered what a hulk this man is. A nasty chill licked at your spine.

But tonight was the night of living dangerously.

“So you hide from the world, bunk out in some hotel room like an edgy jackass, drink until you drop, and cut yourself ?” 

“Yes.” His chin made a slow, grinding motion. His eyes bore in you, wild and dark because of the enlarged pupils. “And I told you it will heal.”

“Until it doesn’t!” It felt like throwing words at a brick wall, but sorrow and anger have formed a vicious knot inside your stomach. You wanted it all out. “Until someday it deals real damage! That’s no way to regulate your emotions, Till! But it doesn’t have to be like this. You don’t have to hurt like this. You should lay off the booze and drag your ass to therapy -”

He lunged at you mid-sentence and pinned you to the ground. One moment you sat there, hips touching. The next - you were lying on your back with arms held above your head. He straddled you, broad and heavy, and oozing with that disarming warmth. Commanding the space. Commanding you. 

His grip around your wrists felt ironclad. You didn’t even try to free yourself, and most importantly you didn’t want to. Your inner voice went offline and your bones were jelly.

The man eased himself over you. His pupils expanded, eating up all the greenness. You stared into the dark eyes of an animal.

“I will drag your ass all over this floor”, he promised. “I will fuck you until you cry.”

“Yes.” It tore out of you.

“Yes what?”

“Yes to everything.”

Till chuckled into your collarbone. “That’s more like it.”

He kissed your neck and dragged his tongue along the curve of your jugular. You gasped soundlessly, taut like a freshly replaced guitar string.

“You taste good.” The low rumble of his voice reverberated in your bones.

He let go of one of your wrists; you immediately used the freed hand to hold at his nape, entangle fingers into that messy hair. Till buried his face in your cleavage and bit at the edge of your top, throwing his head back. That didn’t do much. He let out an impatient growl.

“You might wanna use both hands for this... ” you murmured drowsily, grasping at the stiff brown strands of Le Coif. There was a lot of product in there, something scented, mixed with his sweat. You wanted to burrow your nose in his hair and find out exactly what it is. Crack every little puzzle.

Till looked up, eyes ablaze. “Still talking?”

He did let go of your other arm - and you embraced him immediately, digging your fingers into his shoulder blades, feeling at all the dips and crevices of that well-built back. It was like chartering the plains of an unknown land. 

“What am I going to do with you?...” he mused. You gave out a startled Ah! when two large hands dived under your shirt, unceremoniously pushed the bra out of the way (those durable straps moaned in protest), and grabbed at your breasts.

You choked on your breath while he covered you with future bruises. This man either didn’t know how to be tender, or he didn’t give a shit.

“That hurts”, you complained when he pinched at your nipple.

Till looked up at you, lips contorted in a smirk. He was breathtaking like that; hair even more tousled than usual, eyes glazed over with dark mirth.

The pieces of the kaleidoscope in your mind fluttered and whirled around once more. 

He pulled the top over your head. The bra has also been yeeted into darkness.

You were a big girl, used to shedding clothes in a merry company. Yet now you felt strangely exposed and vulnerable. So small and helpless before this man of a beautiful, bitter mouth.

“Not fair when it’s just me who’s naked”, you murmured, tracing the black fabric of his shirt. 

Till barked out a chuckle.

“Girl, you’re not even fully naked yet.” He sat up and procured a jingly-jangly noise which could only mean your favourite song: The Unbuckling of Pants.

Blood rushed away from your head. It had other, more interesting places to go.

“...but you will be”. He fell back to you and held you down with that long, bulky body of his, burning your skin with his heat. You trembled in anticipation when his hand sneaked underneath your skirt and found its way past the wintery obstacles. He slid two thick fingers along your tender, wanting slit - and let himself in. 

He held your gaze while he fingered you.

You had no words, no quips, there was no thought process anymore, only him, claiming you from the inside with rhythmic, measured movements. It was his right hand, the one with the wristwatch. The one which had bled.

Now his blood was probably inside you, too. 

You arched upwards, mouth agape, legs apart, pushing yourself away from the floor like a woman possessed. Welcoming this intrusion, his ruthless touch. You wanted more of it. More of him. He lit a fire in your innards and it was spreading.

“Don’t stop. Go deeper...” you begged, pressing your eyelids shut. As not to have to look him in the face.

His hand stilled. You opened your eyes.

“Why did you stop now?” You whined.

The look he shot you could curdle milk. He might’ve been furious – or crazy into it, you had no way to know.

He held the tainted hand against your face, rubbed it over your lips, smearing the wetness, forcing you to taste yourself. You grinned and licked at this butcher’s hand. Till inhaled audibly; he dug the other hand into your hip with such force that you could feel the bruise blooming already.

“You told me...to go deeper”, he said in a stifled, guttural voice, and did just that.

That first thrust was vicious. You gave out a yelp.

“Shhhhhhh”, he held your chin, fixated that darkened, manic stare on you, and thrust again.

It hurt. 

You could not see for sure through all those scrunched up garments; thanks to him gripping at you like that you could not see much at all. But two things have been established; one, that this guy had A LOT of dick at his disposal. And two – you weren’t ready.

He didn’t seem to care or notice for that matter. Plunged into you with sharp, abrupt movements, his still more or less pant-clad hips bucking against yours. In the beginning, it felt as if being split in half. But you could already tell your body is adjusting. Thankfully it would.

It went softer with every thrust. That fire in your tender insides lit up again and you could feel your hungry insides expanding. Meeting him halfway. Accommodating for this onslaught.

Till’s eyes lost focus while he fucked you, deep and hard, as if he wanted to punish you for something. His whole impressive body was going at you like a machine, but apart from somewhat rushed breathing, he made no noise.

“Hey”, you panted, tracing his taut forearm with unsteady fingers. “Kiss me.”

“Huh?..” He stilled mid-thrust and blinked. Those were seriously thick eyelashes. This was one seriously beautiful man, if clueless, and he was buried in you to the hilt.

“I need you to kiss me”, you whispered, smiling with a trembling mouth.

He did. 

The moment his lips covered yours, it got so much better. You held at his broad, scruffy neck and submerged yourself in the taste, your tongue engaging his. He let out a grunt and went at you again.

Your tongues and hips found a common rhythm.

Suddenly you were full, but not painfully so anymore, just wondrously filled to the brim, and it felt sweet. Pleasure seeped through your whole body. You moaned under your breath.

Till broke the kiss but didn’t lean away. You nipped at his lower lip. 

“Good?” He asked into your half-opened mouth.

“Good”, you whispered back.

“Good.”  That was the whole exchange.

He continued to rail you, leaning in for occasional kisses, and you could tell that he’s driving himself closer to the edge. And so were you. He repositioned into an angle that sent you reeling. You held at his face and moaned quietly, and that moan just poured out of you to no end.

“You’re. So. Good ”, he grunted, his voice hard and stuttering as you haven't heard it before. Then your loins lit up and the light spread like an explosion, the pervasive sweetness claiming your fingers and toes and the very ends of your hair - 

Till”, you choked out a cry. 

“I know.” 

You were already in the throes of orgasm when a powerful shudder went through him; he rolled his hips harder, almost breaking you in half, and came with his face buried against your neck.

You moaned for so long that shame struck you. “Till...”

He exhaled slowly – at a glacial pace. His long body became limp in your arms. His scent, his taste got etched up your nose, your mouth, and probably your whole brain. You’d need a glass of bleach to get yourself free of Mr. Lindemann.

Not that you actually wanted to.

“Hey...”, he mumbled, eyes green again and already closing. “What’s your name?”

You told him. He drowsily tried out this alien sound.

“Nice name”, he stated, and then his head fell onto your chest and he was asleep.