To love a beast
The dimmed light of late afternoon filtered through the shutters, painting Mickey’s body with gold. Majid brushed his thumb on his skin, running his fingers up and down his back, and receiving in response only a quiet hum from his sleeping companion. If he were an artist, he would immortalize Mickey’s body on canvas, he would carve his shapes on marble, he would write a thousand words on the sounds he made when he was screaming his name. But he was only a boxer, and he knew only two ways of using his hands: to give pleasure and to give pain.
Luckily for him, Mickey seemed to want both.
He peeked at the clock on the cupboard and groaned. It was time for them to part. He stood up and picked up his clothes, scattered around the room. Only then Mickey seemed to wake up, and he heard him babbling something.
“Are you leaving?”
“It’s five. You should go and clean yourself already.”
“And what if I didn’t?” he said. He was resting his head on the pillow, the arm bent lasciviously over his head, exposing his body for Majid to admire it. And Majid would have gladly gone back to that bed, he would have bitten that skin, left marks all over his body, covered him with his come. But he couldn’t. It was too late.
“Edward will be here in an hour or so. You don’t want him to find you like this.”
“You mean with my hole still stretched and covered in your cum?”
That sentence went straight to his cock and Majid struggled to stay calm. Mickey knew which buttons to push. Mickey knew him more than Majid was willing to admit.
“He would kill me. And then he would kill you.”
“Wouldn’t you save me? Wouldn’t you fight for me?” he asked, mockingly. “My strong and brave warrior.”
“Shut up. You wouldn’t even care if he killed me, would you?” he asked, coming close to him and grabbing his chin. He tightened the hold, but not too much. He couldn’t afford to leave any mark on that body. “You would replace me in a matter of days. You don’t care about people, Mickey.”
“That is not true!” he protested, without even trying to get rid of his hold. “I care about someone who fucks me so well.”
Majid kissed him, hungrily. He knew that, sooner or later, Mickey would be the reason for his downfall. He knew that he would be his ruin. But since the first day he kissed him, he knew he couldn’t escape.
Mickey was a masochist, but he wasn’t different from him. Because he knew that Mickey would make him suffer more than Majid could ever hurt him. They were two beasts, biting and clawing, fighting each other in their private, deadly dance. He often repeated that he was using Mickey for sex, but Mickey was doing the same. It was sex. Only sex.
Majid had stopped believing it months before.
When he parted from Mickey, he looked into his eyes, hoping to read something, a glimpse of emotion, the shadow of affection. But he only saw those two icy pools, cold and empty.
You should never love a beast , he told himself. They will never love you back.
“I will see you tomorrow,” Mickey meowed from his bed.
“It’s too risky.”
“Tomorrow,” he repeated.
Majid already knew he would come.
Edward came with a loud moan and Mickey rolled his eyes, thankful that he was done. He felt Edward’s heavy body pressing him against the mattress and his breath on the back of his neck. He tried to kiss him, but Mickey pressed his face against the pillow to suppress a groan. Defeated, Edward rolled on his side of the bed.
“That was fantastic,” he said.
Mickey nodded, absently. Edward was far from a good fuck. He would classify him as barely decent if he hadn’t had sex only few hours before with Majid. The shadow of Majid’s strong hands on his body, of how his kisses burned on his skin… he touched himself with the image of Majid taking him and he had to hold himself not to scream his name when he came.
“You seemed absent,” Edward said, seeking eye contact. “Did I hurt you, my dear? Was I too violent?”
Violent! Mickey wanted to laugh. He wished he would hurt him, just a little bit, at least it wouldn’t be so boring.
“I am just… worried.” Mickey was lying, as always, but Edward was blinded by his attraction for him and he couldn’t see beyond his lies. “My father…”
“You don’t have to worry about your father. I told you I will take care of everything.”
It was so easy to play with him. He just had to whine about being worried or displeased and Edward was immediately doing what he wanted him to do, too scared of losing him. Such a puppet.
“I care about you, Mickey. This is why I hired that boxer.”
Mickey had to keep himself from laughing. He knew very well the reasons why Edward hired Majid. Officially, he was a sort of bodyguard. But in reality, he was paid to be his guardian. Edward was so jealous of Mickey that he had put a lackey to control him, and he chose the most heterosexual man he could find in London.
Oh, the irony. Mickey appreciated that unexpected gift when he first landed his gaze on Majid, months before. He gave himself a week to seduce him. It took him three days.
He thought that Majid, being healthy and full of repressed anger against a spoiled brat like him, would be a good fuck, something to forget about Edward at least for some moments. He couldn’t imagine that Majid was going to give him so much more.
When he was with him, he didn’t have to ask, he didn’t have to tell him what to do. Majid knew. He played his body like an instrument, pulling all the right strings at the right moment, knowing where to touch and how to please him. When he was with him, his everlasting hunger was tamed, at least for some hours, only the time to let the shadows of Majid’s touch fade from his skin.
He wished Majid could mark him. He wished he could leave indisputable signs of what they did for everyone to see. But they couldn’t. Edward, dear sweet Edward who fucked him as if he was a blushing virginal wife, would have noticed.
“I know, Edward.”
“Is he good? Does he treat you right? I hope he doesn’t overstep.”
Oh, he does overstep quite often, and I couldn’t be happier, he thought, but simply nodded. “He does his job quite well.”
“You have to understand why I’m doing this. There are many men out there who would hurt you. And those women, those whores… they will never love you as I do.”
“I know, my dear,” he murmured. “I love you too.”
Mickey hasn’t always been a good liar. When he was a kid, back in Venezuela, it was impossible for him to lie to his father. Spanish words were heavy on his tongue, words had meaning. And when he used to speak to his mother, in Italian, she could immediately tell when he was lying to her. He would stutter and start mixing the two languages of his parents.
But since he moved to London, he found out that lying in English was as easy as breathing. In that foreign language, words meant little to him and there was no difference between the truth and a lie. It was only a performance. A little fake show for people to watch.
Mickey had hidden his true self so deeply that he wouldn’t know where to find it, buried somewhere in his past.
Edward wants me to love him, but I can’t. To love him, I should first be myself, at least for a moment. But I cannot be myself. You should never bother a sleeping beast.
He closed his eyes and dreamed of being somewhere else, with someone else.
Majid knocked at the door and waited only a few seconds. Then Mickey appeared on the threshold, wearing a robe slackly knotted on his waist that revealed a good portion of his chest.
“You are late,” he said.
“Shut up,” he replied, closing the door behind himself. He slammed Mickey’s back against the wall, trapping him with his own body and kissed him. He started playing with the rope of his robe, untying it. The robe slipped on the ground, revealing Mickey’s naked body.
“You couldn’t wait, could you?”
“I don’t like wasting my time,” was his answer.
Majid hated him. He hated the way he was treating him, as if he was an inconvenience as if he meant nothing. He hated his smug smile, he hated his pompous hair, he hated his posh tone with that insufferable accent. He hated the fact that he didn’t hate him. He hated how much power Mickey had over him.
“Oh, so maybe I shouldn’t waste time undressing, should I? Maybe I shall take you like this, with my clothes still on,” he breathed against his lips, his fingers closing around his neck without putting any pressure, his thumb brushing that soft spot under his ear that would make him whine.
“Maybe you should.”
Majid grabbed him by his waist and pushed him to the small desk of his room. He bent his body on it, pressing his cheek on the wooden surface, one of his hands still firm on his neck to hold him down. He didn’t need to use his force. It was like holding a cat. As a kid, he quickly learned that to tame a feral cat you simply have to hold them by the back of their neck. With Mickey, it was the same.
He shoved one finger in his hole, immediately followed by a second, finding it already stretched and lubed.
“I told you,” Mickey murmured, “I didn’t want to waste time.”
Majid looked around and found the bottle of oil resting on the desk and he took a second to wonder if Mickey had already foreseen the whole scene if he was merely a puppet in his hands. But he decided that he didn’t care who was pulling the wires. He opened his pants and lowered them just enough to let his cock free. He started teasing Mickey with the tip, making him moan, while he grabbed the bottle and poured a good amount of lube on his cock.
He pushed in in one smooth movement. He would never get used to the sensation of Mickey’s body welcoming him in the way his heart would never. He wished to stay like this, to imagine a reality where they wouldn’t need to keep an eye on the clock all the time, where they wouldn’t have to fear being caught. But then he felt Mickey moving his hips to seek his own pleasure.
He smacked his ass, hard enough to make it redden. He was sure Mickey would find a good explanation for Edward. He was a good liar, in the end.
“Did I say you could move?”
Mickey didn’t answer but panted heavily.
“I asked you a question.”
“That’s right. Who is allowed to give you pleasure.”
Majid awarded him with a thrust. “And who is allowed to give you pain?”
The answer was the same. “You.”
“Correct.” He smacked his ass again, on the same spot. Mickey whimpered. His eyes became dark and liquid. “So will you behave?”
“I will, I will,” he promised.
“Good boy,” he whispered. He fucked him at a brutal pace, shifting the angle from time to time so that Mickey couldn’t adjust. If at the beginning Mickey was playing his part, trying to drive him mad, he wasn’t anymore. That whining animal that cried his name under him was probably the closest he could go to the true Mickey.
The armour that he got used to wearing to protect himself from the rest of the world was lying on the floor between them and Mickey was finally truly naked in front of Majid. So Majid could finally seek his own pleasure in the warm, welcoming body of Mickey. He dug his fingers into the flesh of his hips, wondering if that would leave a mark, if Edward would brush his thumb against that spot if he would ask him where he got that. But he didn’t care. He wanted to brand Mickey, wanted to sign his body as if it was his masterpiece.
And when he felt he was close to coming, he pulled him by his hair and made him rest his back against his chest. The rough fabric of his shirt brushed against the smooth skin of that spoiled brat and Majid ran his hand through his chest, reaching his neck, holding him firm.
“Beg me as your life depended on it.”
“Majid, please, fuck me, make me come to as only you can do.”
“I might consider it.”
“I’ll be good. I’ll be good for you, I’ll do anything you want.”
I wish I could believe you, he thought. But he knew that the moment he would loosen his grip, the moment he would let him go, Mickey would be back in the dark wood where his soul lay.
“I’ll be yours, Majid. Yours to kiss, yours to hold, yours to fuck. Yours to do anything you wish.”
Mickey’s words were like needles in his heart. He wanted to believe him, he wished he could. But Mickey was not his. He could kiss him, quickly and hungrily against the wall, he could hold him still and bend his body as he wanted, he could fuck him roughly in that room, one eye on his body, one on the clock. But he couldn’t kiss him on their bed, lying next to each other, he couldn’t hold him in his sleep, wondering what he was dreaming and he couldn’t fuck him properly, as he wanted to, forgetting about the time and the place, forgetting about the world outside, until he could really call Mickey his.
So he tightened his grip around his neck and he heard a quiet gasp. He could feel Mickey’s heart pounding against his thumb, as he was literally holding his life with his hands. But Mickey was not scared. Mickey trusted him with his life.
He thrust into him once, twice, three times, seeking his own release. He reached the orgasm and sank his mouth in the crook of his neck, as he spilt inside him.
He stood still inside Mickey, embracing the sensation of being so close, so intimate. But then the overstimulation was too much and he pulled out, glancing at Mickey’s hole, spent and used. He made him turn to face him. Mickey’s eyes were fogged and his cock was still painfully hard.
He pushed him down and Mickey fell on his knees, in complete submission, Majid’s hand still lost in his hair. Mickey rested his nose against Majid’s pubis, teasing his soft cock and Majid wondered if he could get hard again and fuck his mouth before having to go.
“You want to come, don’t you?”
Mickey nodded, desperately.
“You have served me well, today. You can get your release.” Mickey moved instinctively his hands to his cock but Majid stopped him. “Not with your hands.” He stared into Mickey’seyes. For a second he looked lost and it was the most beautiful sight. Then he understood and he started moving his hips, brushing his cock against Majid’slegs. Majid tightened his grip on Mickey’s hair and he heard him moan as he started moving his hips frantically, desperately.
He finally came with a loud moan, resting his cheek against the rough fabric of his trousers, and Majid passed his hand through his hair, playfully. He would have to clean his pants before leaving. He couldn’t care less.
He got rid of his dirty pants and his shirt. Then he invited Mickey to stand up and led him to bed. They lay down, next to each other and Majid held him close, trapping him with his arms.
“You should go,” Mickey said, his eyes already closed.
Majid didn’t even answer and sunk his nose in Mickey’s hair, breathing his scent. The clock on the desk was quickly forgotten, as they fell asleep.
When Majid woke up, the light of the afternoon was long gone. But they were not alone in the room. Majid jumped on the bed and saw Mickey, staring in the door direction. Petrified.
“You!” Edward’s voice was shaking, as were his hands, holding the gun in their direction. “I can’t believe you betrayed my trust like this.”
“Edward, dear, put that gun down,” Mickey murmured. He was pretending to be calm but his voice was shaking.
“I paid him to protect you!”
“Oh, Edward, be honest. You paid him to keep me in a cage, like an animal. Like a pet.” Mickey stood from the bed, naked, and moved close to Edward. The other man was still holding the gun to his face, the shaky finger on the trigger. “Am I your pet, Edward?”
“You cheated on me with him ,” Edward yelled, moving the gun from Mickey to Majid.
“He means nothing to me,” Mickey said, gesturing at the boxer, still lying on the bed. “He may have fucked me, but I don’t belong to him. He’s poor and dirty. He was merely a good fuck.”
Majid felt as if he was shot. But not by Edward, who was still pointing the gun at him. He knew that he meant nothing for Mickey, but hearing those words coming from him was more painful than he ever imagined.
“And what should I do then?”
“You should let him go without a penny, let him go back to the slum where he comes from. We will forget about him quickly, won’t we?”
“And what about you?”
“Me?” he asked, and Majid- oh God- he could spot a smile on his lips. “You should take me to the countryside, in one of those villas that your family own, keep me there for a week, where I can be only yours, and punish me. What do you think, my dear?”
Edward hesitated, lowering the gun. He looked at Mickey, seeking his eyes. “Just the two of us? You promise?” he asked, and Mickey nodded. Edward turned to him and froze, his eyes stuck on the marks that Majid had left on Mickey’s body, still well visible. Edward raised his gun again, pointing it at Majid: “You! You did this to him, you animal . You touched him with your filthy hands!”
“Edward, he doesn’t-”
“No! Don’t tell me that he didn’t mean to do it. I told you that men, out there, are beasts. He was supposed to protect you and look at what he did to you. He must pay for this.”
This is it , Majid thought. This is how I will die, naked on the bed of a spoiled brat, killed by a fucking cuckold who believed the lies of a demon.
He had always known that Mickey would have been his ruin. He closed his eyes, waiting for death to come. And then he heard the shot. No, not a shot. A hit followed by a thud. When he opened his eyes again, Edward was lying on the floor and Mickey was holding one of those fancy pieces of furniture he kept on his desk. The object was covered in blood.
Mickey looked at him, cold and focused. Majid had never seen him like this before. “You have to help me. We don’t have much time.”
Majid remained still, processing what happened. He saw Mickey moving in slow motion, collecting their clothes from the flood and dressing quickly. “Majid, wake up!” he yelled. But Majid could not move his eyes from the body of Edward. Was it ? Was it a body? He didn’t dare ask.
Mickey climbed on the bed with a loud snort and reached the boxer. The slap hit Majid and pulled him back to reality. “Majid, listen to me. We don’t have much time. Edward’s mother… she knows he was coming here, it will be the first place she’ll be looking for. If they find us, they will put us in jail for sodomy and then they will sentence us to death for murder. Do you understand?”
Majid nodded and jumped from the bed, picking up his clothes and getting dressed. He looked at Edward and asked: “Is he-?”
“So, what now?” he asked.
“Now you go away and you wait for me under the bridge close to the hotel. We’ll meet in an hour. Bring a sack, a big one. And ropes.”
“And what about you?”
“Don’t worry about me.”
Majid finished dressing and gave one last look at Mickey. He thought he knew him but the one in front of him is another man than the one who, only a few hours before, begged him to be fucked, or the one who, months ago, seduced him and tricked him into their affair.
He wondered if there was something true under all those different layers. If there was a hidden core to be found, or if Mickey was a house of cards, built on lies, held together by his hunger.
Majid waited. And waited. An hour passed and Mickey didn’t show up. He waited half an hour more.
He sold you. I bet at this moment he’s at the police station. He will blame you, say that you killed him for his money or something like that. They will find you here and put you in jail. Mickey doesn’t know how to say the truth. And you were an idiot for trusting him.
He was about to leave, when he finally saw him leaving the hotel and walking in his direction. He was holding another man who looked drunk. When he passed under a streetlight he finally understood. No, not drunk.
It was Edward. Mickey was dragging him, pretending to help a friend who drank one glass more than he should have. Edward’s hat was covering his wounded head. Majid ran in his direction and helped him with the body.
“Did you bring what I told you?” he asked, and Majid nodded. The streets were mostly empty. From time to time someone was passing by, minding their own business, and Majid tried to ignore them.
They placed the body in the sack and filled it with the rocks they found next to the river. Then they used the rope to close the sack. Mickey’s hands were moving methodically, as if he wasn’t handling a dead man. Majid couldn’t help but wonder if he did it before.
Finally, they threw the body in the river.
Majid looked at Mickey and asked: “And now?”
“Now we part. We have some days before they understand what happened. That should be enough to fix my business here before leaving.”
“Where will you go?” Majid asked.
Mickey laughed: “You worry for me?”
“I worry that you will blame me to get away with murder,” he replied.
Mickey smiled. “Don’t worry, my wolf. You will never hear about me again. You have nothing to fear.”
But this is what I fear the most , he wanted to say. That you walk away from me. That I will never see you again. That I fell in love with a beast and that I have now to pay the consequences.
“Come to my place,” Majid said. “Just for tonight.”
Give me one last time, before we part. Hurt me one last time.
“I guess I could.”
The door closed, leaving the world behind. And maybe had they been different people, they would have kissed sweetly and dearly on the threshold and Majid would have taken his hand and led him to his bedroom, he would have laid him down and undressed him, while kissing every single inch of his body. And then they would have made love and fell asleep together.
But they were Majid and Mickey and things had always worked differently for them.
As soon as the door closed behind them, Majid grabbed Mickey by the waist and shoved him on the table. He grabbed his pants and got rid of them, leaving the other man bare. Before Mickey had time to complain, he fell on his knees, between his thighs. He teased his perineum with his thumb, brushing it against his soft skin until Mickey was basically crying and only then he started using his mouth. He had always wondered what he would taste like, down there, but they never had enough time to find out. Now they had all the time.
He moved down, circling his hole with the tip of his tongue while holding his cheeks apart. The moan that left Mickey’s lips was enough to repay his waiting. But he knew what Mickey wanted and that for him, pain was only the other face of pleasure. He bit the flesh of his cheek when he was least expecting it.
This will leave a mark , he thought. That thought alone thrilled him.
He went on like this, alternating the sweet dedication to Mickey’s hole to the playful bites until his ass was covered in red marks. Majid looked proudly at his canvas.
“Majid,” Mickey murmured. His name on his lips had never been so sweet.
“What?” he asked, standing from his position. What a view, Mickey laid on his table, all flustered and needy.
“Do you deserve it?” he asked.
He saved you , Majid thought. He could have let Edward shoot you and walk away with him. They would have found an excuse and the police would have done nothing. But he killed Edward, knowing that sooner or later they would go after him. He did it to save you.
“Please, Majid…” he moaned.
No, not here on this table. He grabbed his arms and made him sit on the table, before kissing him. “I want you on my bed. Fully naked. On your hands and knees.”
Mickey nodded, jumping down from the table. He walked in the direction that Majid showed him and disappeared into his room. Left alone in his kitchen, Majid took a deep breath.
Don’t think about the fact that this will be your last time. Don’t think that you will never see him again, after tonight. Just take everything he can give you.
Then he got rid of his clothes, leaving them on the floor. When he walked into his room, Mickey was where he ordered him to be. How he ordered him to be. Majid reached the bed and crawled on it, placing his hands on Mickey’s hips. The other man turned his head to look at him.
He reached out a hand under the bed, finding the bottle he was looking for. He was sure that his oil was not of the same quality as the one Mickey was using, but he didn’t care. He poured some liquid on his fingers and pushed two in, unceremoniously. Mickey sunk his face on the mattress and his back arched, pushing his ass against Majid’s hand. He started to prepare him, pushing the fingers as deeply as he could. Then he pulled out, getting a gasp from Mickey.
“I won’t touch you. If you want to come, you better do it on my cock. Can you do it? Can you come just on my cock?”
“I will take what you give me.”
“Yes. Yes, you will.”
He poured more lube on his cock and pushed in, slowly, making sure that Mickey was feeling every centimetre. When he was all in, he bent to rest his chest on Mickey’s back. He bit those shoulders, leaving his marks and staring at them proudly.
Then he thrust in him, sinking his fingers in his hips to keep him steady. From Mickey’s moans, it was clear that he was desperate to be touched, but he knew the rules. From time to time he was trying to lower his hips to brush his cock against the mattress, but Majid’s hold was stopping him.
“You are really desperate, aren’t you? You took my cock six hours ago and you still want it. You really can’t live without it, can you?”
“I said that I won’t touch you. But I can help you in other ways.” The first spank hit hard and unexpectedly, but the effect on Mickey was immediate. Majid felt him tightening around him and he could spot a drop of precum leaking on the mattress. He gave another thrust and another spank, mixing pleasure and pain in the way Mickey liked. His cheek started reddening and he knew that every spank was more painful than the previous, but that was the aim. He kept alternating the thrusts and the spanks until he felt that Mickey couldn’t hold it anymore. “Are you close?”
“Yes,” he murmured, barely able to speak.
As if Mickey was waiting for his permission, those words seemed to have an effect on him. With one last spank, he came, moaning his name. His smirk was long gone, his bratty attitude merely a shadow. On that bed, he was only Mickey.
Majid pulled out and grabbed his waist, making him turn to face him. His eyes were blinded by waves of pleasure, his lips puffy and sore. His hair, usually so curated, was a complete mess. Majid knew that at that moment he could do anything to him and he would accept it. He knew that Mickey was his, at least for that night.
He moved and pulled him closer. Standing on his knees, Mickey was taller than him. Majid opened his mouth to speak, but Mickey was faster and he ate his words from his lips, cupping his hands on Majid’s jaw, brushing his thumbs on his badly-shaven cheeks. He could feel Mickey’s fingers burning his skin, wishing that even his gentlest touch could leave an indelible mark.
Majid placed his hands on his hips and led them closer. Mickey obliged. Majid hesitated when he felt the tips of his cock teasing Mickey’s hole, seeking that warm, welcoming place again. But when Mickey sunk back, so deeply that his cheeks were resting on his tights, Majid felt as if air had been pulled out of his lungs, as if someone had taken his own soul with their hands and ripped it from his chest.
During their afternoons together, Majid had often acted as if he owned Mickey, knowing very well that it wasn’t the truth, that he could not own Mickey’s body nor his heart except for few minutes during sex.
But at that moment he realized that he belonged to Mickey. He realized that he could have died like this and he would have left that world with a smile on his lips.
Air came back, burning his lungs. He wrapped his arms around Mickey’s waist, holding him close, and sunk his face in his chest so tight that he could only hear the sound of his heart pounding against his ribcage.
“Are you mine?” he murmured, knowing very well how pathetic he sounded.
“I am yours,” Mickey murmured, and Majid could not tell if he was still playing a well-known part or if he was sincere. But he decided to live that illusion until the end.
“And am I yours?” he asked.
He saw Mickey widening his eyes, caught by surprise. And then he nodded and murmured: “Sì. Tutto mio, solo mio.”
Majid didn’t fully grasp the meaning of those words but Mickey started moving. He knew very well how to please a man and Majid was soon reduced to a stuttering mess. Suddenly everything was too close, too intense, too much to bear and Majid came, harder than he could ever remember, while Mickey’s arms held him close.
Breathless, he raised his eyes and met Mickey’s, and everything else disappeared.
When he woke up, he thought he would be alone in his bed. He was wrong. Mickey was right next to him, still awake, staring at the ceiling, completely caught in his thoughts.
Mickey snorted and commented: “Since when you are such a sap?” But he didn’t wait for an answer and, suddenly serious, added: “Tomorrow morning I will go to the bank and take my money. Then I will leave.”
“How will you do with everything else?”
“I don’t know, your belongings, your goods, your properties… whatever rich people spend their money for.”
Mickey laughed and shook his head: “It’s lovely that you think I am rich. Do you think I would have depended on Edward if I were?”
“What I had was a pretty face and a good education, thanks to my mother and my father respectively. The rest was a facade. My father did everything in his power to send me to a good school not because he cared about my education, but because he wanted me to meet rich people, to blend with them. A little bit too much, probably. I lost count of how many brats I fucked and I’ve been fucked by. But behind this mask, I am far from their world, and I am reminded constantly. I am but a player who’s good at this game.” He stared at his hands, stretched towards the ceiling, grasping on nothing. “Or at least, that’s what I thought.”
Majid wanted to grab those hands and pull them close to his chest, kiss the knuckles one by one, murmur that everything will be okay, eventually. But Mickey would have laughed at him, making fun of his naiveness. So he asked: “Where will you go?”
Mickey shrugged. “Who knows? Paris, or Berlin maybe, a big city where a pretty face and a convenient mask can open many doors.”
Mickey darkened when he heard that name. “I have nothing left there. My father would send me back here before I could even unpack my luggage.” He hesitated then, taken by a thought. “Italy, maybe. My mother’s family is still there, somewhere in the South. Some aunts and cousins I have never met might welcome me and let me stay, at least for some time.”
“Those words that you said before,” Majid said, without specifying. Mickey knew what he was talking about. “Those words were in Spanish or Italian?”
“They were Italian. My mother’s tongue. The language she used with me when we were alone before she passed away.” Majid felt as if Mickey was about to add something, but then refrained himself.
So Majid said: “My family moved from Tunisia to Amsterdam to seek a better life. I moved to London for the same reason. Now, after three years in this city, I wonder if I am living better, or if I’m still hanging on a dream of a better future.”
“If you are not happy here, you should move. Leave everything behind, let people forget your face and your name and start again.”
“So I should keep moving from a city to another, like a restless beast that never finds its place in this world? Is this your brilliant plan?”
Mickey smiled. Not a grin, not a smirk. A genuine gentle smile. And for a second, Majid saw behind his mask.
“You know, even beasts sometimes find a place to rest. Even beasts can find peace.”
Majid let his hand slip under Mickey’s head, and the other man leaned in his direction, accepting that contact so unnecessary, so intimate.
Maybe this is possible. Maybe two beasts like us can find peace in each other’s arms.
“Amsterdam is a beautiful city,” Majid said, after a long pause. “I think you would love it.”
Mickey looked at him, holding his gaze while Majid got lost in those blue eyes. And then he murmured: “I think I would.”
He moved closer and rested his head on Majid’s chest. Majid passed his fingers through his hair and brushed his lips against his temple. Finally at peace.