Teller burst into his shared hotel room visibly upset. And if there is one thing that anyone knew about the famous magician is that an upset Teller is never a good thing. He threw his keys on the nightstand beside one of the twin beds and loosened his tie. He tore off his suit jacket and flung it over a chair. It left him clad in his usual short sleeved shirt and suspenders. Hovering in the doorway, silhouetted by the hallway back light stood his partner of over 20 years, Penn Jillette.
Teller paced the floor over to the large portrait window that overlooked the bright lights and big city of the Austin, Texas' landscape. He put his dexterously infamous hands on his slender hips and exhaled hot, hard angry breaths at the window, trying to calm himself but failing. Penn rested against the door frame and took out a coin, mostly out of habit, and expertly flipped it between his fingers. It tinked every time it came in contact with the ring he wore on his pinky finger in memory of his father. He was trying to maintain a sense of calm that was normally his diminutive partner's demeanor. He was the hot head, he was the explosive one...but he often felt, in times like this, that he needed to be the one to keep cool. There had been too many times in the past where this situation had a way of backfiring. He watched Teller from across the room reading the back of his neck as it progressively got redder. This was not good.
He cautiously entered the room and shut the door, trying not to make a sound, knowing that if he said the first word, there would be a war. The room was darkened once the light source was cut off from the hallway. The illuminating glow from the city below cast an eerie whiteness in the room but it was not enough to see or be seen. Penn slowly walked over to the double king-sized beds, keeping an eye on the form by the window. He sat at the edge of the bed and flicked the bedside lamp on. A small portion of the room lit up his face momentarily, the shadows making his face appear evil and sinister. He felt that way at that moment. Teller had now crossed his arms over his chest and brought one hand to his mouth covering it. He was slightly quivering trying his best to not say the first word. He was good at remaining silent...no he was better than good. This was his life. But this was the game that was played. He knew it and he knew the man on the bed knew this as well. All it would take would be one word to send the fireworks blazing inside of his brain. One audible snap and he would be at Penn's throat in a matter of seconds. Oh how he wanted that to happen. But he also knew that if he spoke first it would be his undoing. It would give Penn just the open door he needed to have the upper hand. Teller was older. Teller was wiser. Teller could wait.
Penn slid out of his suit jacket and laid it neatly across the bed. He loosened his tie, but kept it on as well. He kept his hair tresses pinned back, but took his glasses off and rubbed his eyes. It was a dangerous move because he needed to keep the figure in focus but he was tired. It had been a very long night, and a very bad show, to say the least, and now all he wanted was a very long shower and a very long sleep. He sighed. That was a mistake.
Mona Lisa smiled and the game was on. Flashing cerulean frost of fierce fire transformed instantly into placid peaceful serenity.
The door was wide open. "The fuck was that tonight??!!" Shy dulcet tones replaced by sharp edges almost glass cutting. There was no prelude. They didn't need any. They always merely picked up where it was last left off...days...months....years ago.
"I have no idea what you are talking about." Penn said with just the slightest twinge of amusement in his voice. He casually crossed his legs and leaned back on the bed propped up on one elbow. He knew he was giving a pose of submission, but he really didn't feel like getting into this tonight. Although, as often, he could never quite help himself from giving in completely. Somewhere deep in the fiber of his being from the beginning of the relationship, he knew who was ultimately in charge, but he was never going to make it easy on him.
Teller walked slowly from the shadows into the pool of light that had lit up enough of the area with enough intensity that he was felt before he was actually seen. The room was so quiet, so crackling with the threatening storm, the only sound was the inhale and exhale of breath between the two men. Penn looked at him with almost an air of childlike innocence, searching the ferociousness of his partner's face for some sort of clue to where this was leading.
"You pushed me out there."
"I never touched you."
"Shut the fuck up, you know what I'm talking about!"
"I haven't a clue."
"You pushed me and I swear I almost ripped your face off on stage."
"I was merely doing a bit, kind sir. I can't help you always take every goddamn thing so fucking personal."
Penn sat up now, the beginnings of his own anger rising, starting at his toes. Teller was in the younger man's face, rabbit quick. "You have no idea how fucking sick and tired I am of you always rubbing it in my face, you son of a bitch."
Teller pushed two fingers into Penn's shoulder. He wanted instant reaction, instant response. He was standing over Penn, only a few of the rare occasions where he towered over his much taller friend, he used this leverage to get his point across.
"I'm trying to get on board this train, buddy...but I have no idea where it's going." Penn said almost laughing, but the edge in the back of his throat was a warning sign that they both knew that there was absolutely nothing funny about the situation.
"Well let me spell it out for you bright boy. I know you didn't go to anything but clown college, but even Bozo could figure this one out." Teller's voice had rose to an almost crescendo, his hands clenching and un-clenching at his sides. "I'm tired of you, every single blessed night, telling me and telling the audience that I cannot and will not get over the fact that I expressed feelings for you that you cannot and will not reciprocate."
Teller screamed these last words, his face contorted in rage, anger forming tears around the edges of his eyes. "I'm fed up with the inside jokes, the snubs, the innuendo, the blatant flat-out disrespectful exposure of something I told you in confidence five years ago. After you laughed me off and brushed me off and called me a fag to my face, I never mentioned it to you again. You are the one who obviously can't get over it, and you have been using it to your advantage ever since!"
Penn, who had been looking for a way to explode into this argument, was now left with his mouth hanging wide open, speechless. "When did I...."
"Shut up. Don't play this with me. I know you and I know all of your tricks..." Teller sneered. "Your off-handed comment to that broad I brought up on stage tonight, cinched it. You remember what you said." Teller paused, rapid breathing, his chest rising and falling he was mere inches away from Penn, ready to strike if necessary. Penn studied him for a moment, trying to think back to exactly what he had said. Most of his stuff was improv, whatever came to the top of his head at the moment. He was so full of bullshit he didn't know what was sincere and what was just ever happened to come out of his big mouth. "I said..."
"You said don't worry honey...he's not interested in you...he likes them tall, dark and handsome, with just a bit of the geeky thrown in for good measure."
"Yeah but I meant nothing by that you know I didn't! They don't even know what happened between us."
"BUT I DO!!! And that's the fucking POINT, PENN!!!" Teller ran a hand through his hair. "You know people already think that there IS something between us. I've tried to dispel that so many times I can't even count anymore. I don't need you prolonging the image. I'm your partner and nothing more. I thought that once, maybe on a whim that you felt the same way for me that I did for you and that it could actually be something. You don't know how long I fought to change those feelings. You don't know how much you fucking hurt me when you tossed those feelings aside. You don't know how stupid I felt because of it."
"You know...you talk an awful lot when you're angry...." Penn said not able to help himself. He could never keep serious when Teller got this way. It was always a defense mechanism with him. It was always like this because he knew Teller knew him inside and out. He knew that Teller knew which buttons to push to leave him floundering and which buttons sent him over the edge. He wasn't so dumb to realize though that his best friend was pouring out his heart to him despite the harsh words and mean tones. He also knew that Teller didn't know all of his secrets. He also knew all of Teller's defenses, all the lies he told himself.
"The problem with you Penn is you never know when to shut your big, fat face enough to listen to me!!" Teller said beyond all reasonable argument.
"And the problem with you, Teller is that you seriously need to get laid." Penn stood up and shoved his friend unceremoniously backwards onto his adjoining bed. Teller looked up at him, a mixture of rage, shock and a hint of fear at the overbearing power he knew his partner possessed and used when he wanted. But he was too far gone to catch any of the meaning behind the words.
"You still don't get it, do you?"
"I get that you're fucking mocking me....even now."
"I'm so far from not."
"You know I haven't.....or even wanted to.....not ever since...." Teller's voice was becoming softer, he swallowed hard.
"I know....that's what I'm telling you."
"Don't do this to me. Don't make me feel. I'm still very pissed at you." Teller noted the proximity of Penn and that he had not yet moved from where he had pushed him. The temperature rose a few more degrees in the already heated room. Only this time...
"Ya ever thought for a second, Mr. Teller, that after all that time, I might have been trying to tell YOU something, something that even your 'highly educated' mind might have overlooked? You...always rubbing into MY face how intelligent you are, how much more astute and clever you are, and how I only have my mouth to get me in and out of situations? Well my mouth isn't always so full of hot air and empty talk that you couldn't get my gist. I think YOU were the one too blind to see."
Penn dropped to his knees in front of Teller propped up on his elbows. He looked at Teller for a long moment, watching as the anger slipped, watching as the fire died behind his eyes to be replaced by a tired resolution, a returning to normalcy, a melancholy sadness...but maybe something more....a distant gleam of hope. He became aware of a tingling sensation on the back of his hand. Teller looked down and saw that Penn was absently rubbing soft circles into his flesh with a warm thumb. He swallowed hard again, feeling that warmth move throughout his body. He looked back at Penn who was intently staring into his eyes. Thrills of energy were moving up and down his arm and he was unused to the way it was making him feel. He had felt this way off and on in different situations when he was in close space with his partner. He often found himself in the past finding a way to lean into Penn, for photo shoots or otherwise, just to feel the electricity he knew was between them. Those dangerous feelings were threatening to quickly overtake him, especially if Penn kept doing what he was doing. But, as in the magic he forever practiced and trained and disciplined himself into, he had also done the same with his feelings for the man in front of him. He had made it an art to no longer be under his partner's magic spell. He knew the tricks, but he had never seen them played.
"Penn...don't." Teller's voice, barely audible. Penn put a finger to his partner's lips, almost comically silencing the silent magician. Teller closed his eyes to the touch. He moved forward and nipped at Penn's finger, a final resistance before gladly giving up the fight. Penn growled low in his throat and instantly replaced his finger with his mouth forcefully pushing Teller back into the mattress. Momentarily shocked beyond belief, it took a fraction of a second before every micro-cell of Teller's being was replaced by vibrant, coursing, pulsating blinding passion, like a dry well springing forth with life saving water. He whimpered desperately as he reached up and grabbed the back of Penn's head losing fingers into his thick pony-tailed locks, tugging at the confines and freeing his hair. Penn worked his way down the column of Teller's neck hoarsely whispering things he would love to do to the rest of his anatomy. Teller's eyes, half-lidded, watched his younger partner tease the flesh along his jaw line and softly moaned his appreciation. Penn loosened Teller's tie further and tugged it from around his neck and deftly opened a few buttons at the top of his shirt. Teller watched in rapt amazement at how easily this was accomplished.
The amazement burned into lust as Penn put a knee between Teller's legs and urged him further up the bed. His knee brushed against the aching hardness that only took mere seconds to come alive after a life-time of yearning and years of discouraging. What a fool he was to believe it could ever be different from this moment right now. Penn stopped his exploration momentarily and looked down at Teller who was in the middle of the dizzying spell that was cast from the expert way Penn's tongue was swirling patterns around his clavicle. His mouth was open barely forming syllables, barely making sounds, all the more sexy remaining mute. He lazily opened his eyes and looked up at Penn. Penn smirked at him.
"What....." Penn held up the tie.
"You know that will do you no good." Teller said with mock exasperation and real frustration. Penn's heat had left his body the moment he moved and Teller desperately wanted the contact again. Penn shrugged still waggling the tie in front of Teller and pulling off his own in the process. Teller was suddenly thirsty, it seemed he couldn't quite catch all of his breath. Penn undid the top few buttons of his own shirt and proceeded to tie the twin ties together. It took less than five seconds and if you blinked you missed it. To keep Teller on the edge he purposefully brushed against his erection and created a delicious tension between his knee and the older man's slacks. There was an incessant keening in the air and it took a moment to realize that the sound was coming from Teller. Penn reached over and closed Teller's mouth and Teller blushed, embarrassed at his juvenile response.
"It's ok....I know it's been a while." Penn said as he maneuvered Teller into a sitting position and slid the combined ties down his arms, around his back. Teller gave him a quizzical look and shook his head, whatever kept this going, and it was decidedly the most hottest thing that had indeed happened to him in a very long time. Teller watched as Penn knotted the tie securely around Teller's wrists behind his back. He nuzzled his head, and his baby soft fine hair into Penn's forehead as Penn worked the silk ties in and out and over his partner's wrists. Penn's breath whispered across the back of Teller's neck and sent even more shivers and thrills down his spine.
"Hurry..." Teller whispered.
"You know I'm nothing if not thorough....you taught me that."
"And you know how easy it is for me to....." He was stopped by a tongue being thrust roughly into his mouth. All thoughts were lost as Teller tasted his sharp-tongued cohort and he leaned back down on his arms pinned securely behind his back. Minutes turned to what seemed like hours as they ebbed and flowed the heat between them, so much to be said, so much having been said without saying a word at all. Teller arched against Penn's leg desperately seeking more contact, and Penn was good at making his partner wait. He laughed each time and continued his maddening torture at Teller's neck and pale chest, sometimes stopping to pop another button or two with his teeth, showing it to Teller like the magic bullet trick. His eyes flashed mischievously each time Teller cried out for more.
When he bent down again for another kiss, Teller caught his very full bottom lip between his teeth and gave a substantial tug. Penn gasped and realized how easily it was for Teller to turn tables on him. With only the slightest move, Penn was captivated and putty in his figurative hands. Teller sucked Penn's lip slowly into his mouth and did incredibly intricate things with it with his own tongue. He showed him everything he had wanted to show him in years. The built up wall of emotions and feelings and tension that had kept them distant but respectfully close for so long were being systematically tore down. Penn whimpered as Teller bit him once more and that was all it took to send the electricity sizzling to Teller's brain.
With strength Penn didn't know he possessed, Teller flipped him and straddled him and in two seconds loosed his restraints and brought them over his head. "And now for my next trick....." Teller said, coyly dropping the silken ties to the floor with flourish. He snapped his fingers and the bedside lamp went out. Penn smiled up at his deceivingly demure little friend and wondered what was to come.
If arguing with Teller was this good, he couldn't wait till the next one.