Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Quarantine: Haze

Yuri, on time as usual, shovelled the coal into the blazing hot furnace. The belching heat flowing into the room, scorching anything close, he knew the very moment when the fire needed attending. Three large pech's, the furnaces heating the large tower block, hacked into the infrastructure as best they could afford, heated each room within the domicile.  He couldn't remember how long he’d been here, his daily routine fading into the next day, then the day after that.

Sitting onto the small stool, brushing away the sweat from his brow, with his arm, he gazed into the flame’s radiating, flickering, beauty and relaxed for another few seconds. He was a man of few words, a face as hard as the leather upon his broken shoes, but steadfast in his beliefs. He simply wished to keep everyone warm. He’d do more, if he could, but the flame spoke to him. He was the witness of keeping the fire alive, the ongoing perpetual heat that allowed them to survive.

Sitting there, on his own, day after day, his mind often wandering, but today was a special day. It was his birthday. Thirty-eight years old. No cards, no visitors, not even a moment to smile. This was his life and his life alone. He knew that he lived a singular life yet, in those moments where his mind wandered away from him, he often wondered what it would have been like to have experienced the world, travelled, seen the stars from the top of a mountain or more. He’d have liked children, even a супруга, but for that he would have to speak to a woman. Any woman.

Each day, he’d leave this place, walking a short distance to view food. He’d spend time, considering the many options yet, each time, every single time, he’d come away with the same selection. His only enjoyment was collecting the small little trinkets that sometimes appeared near the front of the shop’s window. He often thought that the shop keeper got them for him, ever so often, but he shook his head not allowing any consideration or emotion appear into his mind. He wanted to feel but feeling, to him, burned hotter the fires in front of his eyes.

He knew that he was lonely, but not intensely so, as his life was his life and the day was his day. His mind returned to the room, noticing the third furnace ask for his help. Standing, his strong legs pushing against his ripped trousers, he walked across to the coal pile. Grasping the large shovel, he quickly slid the blade under the coal, tilted slightly, bending his knees, to rise with the shovel and coal held above the ground. His muscles, wired, taught, from years of the same punishing routine, held the shovel in place as he turned, walked across the room, depositing the coal into the fire. Again, he repeated the same action. Clockwork, steady, resilient, he accomplished the task and returned to the stool.

He knew that his simple life would not sedate many, would not be for most people, but for him it was all he asked for or required. A simple life. A worthy life. A life where his task meant that people could sleep, stay warm, be loved and above all, cared for. He’d smile, if he could, but his chapped lips kept his feelings in check.

His thoughts, once again, moving through his mind, wondering if he should maybe read a book. Maybe he could listen to music, ever so often, or even walk a distance other than the shop. The same thoughts, week after week, yet nothing changed. He did want more. He wished for more, but deep inside he knew that he was meant for something. He had no idea what, or where, or how, but something was out there.

He remembered first arriving here, as a child, seeing the flames. His Father, before him, spent years in this room, keeping them warm, until the day that he left with no words, no goodbye, or any inclination that he would leave or be returning. He felt lost, alone, abandoned, yet the flame soothed him. Calmed him. Embraced the part of him that was thrown away and left behind. He felt no ill will, no anger, as he’d decided long ago that there were always reasons for such things. His world, this place, the flame, even the haze when arriving in the morning, were all wondrous to his beating heart.

Once again, as before, he left the stool, ready to provide the dark substance to the flame. His body, never weary of the same action day after day after day, enjoying the purpose and guile of the flame constantly moving in front of him. He arrived back to the stool as he heard footsteps. Standing, confused, while welcoming the chance to see people, he relaxed his taut frame and shaped his lips into a smile. Whether or not he felt the smile was another thought within his mind but, in this moment, at least he tried.

The large metal door, slightly open to allow further air into the room, opened and two men walked into the room. Their faces changed, wincing as the heat hit their soft skin, stepping back towards the doorway. “Tovarisch,” said the man closest to Yuri, “Vy gavareeteh pa anglisky?” Yuri, standing silent for a few seconds, thoughts once again moving within his mind, knew that the word ‘comrade’ was only for the military, or police. Long forgotten, a part of his past life. Thankfully he knew English, mostly small words, but enough to reply.

“Da, yes,” he replied, while nodding his head slightly. The two men looked at each other, smiling, also nodding. 
“Good, good. Brother Yuri, we have heard many stories about you, your work. We would like to take you somewhere to say, ‘thank you’. Pozhaluista?

Yuri, slightly worried, hesitant, looked across to the flames, the three furnaces, wondering what would happen to them in his absence. He did not wish for the flames to perish as that would mean many hours of work, cleaning, removing ash, the once weekly task pushed aside and the routine abolished. “Net, I cannot. We need fire!

“Do not worry Yuri, we have help!” Yuri, looked confused, as a young man walked into the room from behind the door. “Alexey will take over for a while. He too works like you!” Still hesitant, wondering why this was happening, Yuri reached over to the wall to grab his shirt and jacket. He would wash, should wash, but the two men in front of him seemed eager to leave. For once, just this once, he was glad that someone had noticed what he gave to the people above him. He nodded to Alexey, glanced at the flames, then walked towards the doorway. Stopping, just for a second, he felt the heat against his back and he felt sadness. He quickly pushed it aside, knowing that he’d return, the flame only a small distance away.

The car seat felt strange, especially when compared to his stool. His small apartment also had the same stool to sit on. Eating, looking through the window, stitching his trousers, enjoying the quiet time away from the flames, the same stool. This felt soft, springy, a feeling that he’d not felt since travelling in a car with his Father. Such a long time ago, years, so many years that he didn't actually know how many.

The two men, sitting in the front, hadn't said anything since Yuri left the building or since sitting in the car. It felt odd, especially as they’d appeared with such warmth and friendship. It didn't bother him that much as he wasn't used to chatting, or small talk, or saying much of anything. He, instead, simply liked to watch the outside world when away from the heat. It was a beautiful world, from what he’d gathered from the small area he’d seen. This part of town, a new part, he’d not seen before. Swings, tall buildings, grass patches and animals all in front of his very eyes.

The car stopped, with Yuri still taking in the surrounding area. Virtually vacant, one building, in the middle of a clearing. It was an odd place to bring him, especially as this was supposed to be where he’d be thanked for his work. Hesitant, but still enjoying the change of life, he exited the car and walked with the two men. He found it odd that they knew his name despite not knowing theirs. They seemed friendly, non-threatening, but something within him sensed that he wasn't here for what they’d stated.

The building, old, rustic, battered by the weather, didn't seem to belong here. As one of the men opened the door, Yuri placed his hand onto the bricks. Cold, harsh, weathered, unlike the warm bricks of his home. The door opened and Yuri, removing his hand from the bricked surface, walked through the door behind them. Whatever was happening, or about to happen, he would soon find out. He remained calm, despite the nagging feeling at the back of his mind.

The room in front of Yuri, clean, sterile, featured no furniture of any description. No paintings, no light fittings, other than the hanging spotlights, which didn't seem natural for a building such as this. Aged, historic, which did not appease itself when matched with modern decorative apparel. In the middle of the room sat a glowing blue light, surrounding a view that looked pure white. It almost looked like a mirror, yet the view did not show the room that they were standing in. To Yuri it all seemed bizarre, but to the other two men it resembled a portal to another place.
“Ya ne paneemau?” asked Yuri, confused.

“Brother Yuri, I know that you do not understand, so we ask you to walk through the portal!”

Yuri, suddenly feeling very alarmed, tensed slightly. His facial demeanour changed, signalling the two men to step back a few feet, as Yuri watched them both un-button their jackets to grab their side arms. This, to Yuri, was a little too much. He’d never, ever, been in such a situation that his mind started to race at a thousand miles an hour. His adrenaline spiked, nerves firing all at once, as he felt the heat rise from within his body.

The two men continued to step away, feeling the intense heat hit them. One of the men, covering his face with his arm, fell to the floor, “Please, Yuri, go through the portal. We mean you no harm!” Yuri, not knowing what all of this meant, walked forward, carefully, keeping both men in his sight until he stood just in front of the portal. He did not know why, or if he should do as they’d asked, but if it meant escaping from this place and returning home, he’d do anything. He wanted the fire, needed the fire to surround him, yet this place was nothing like what he knew. Yuri, looking down to his feet, read the letters and said them within his mind, ‘Quarantine area 20’. He did not know why the words were there but he was beyond understanding anything at this point.

Yuri stepped through the portal. All at once his view changed, glancing behind him as the portal closed, sealing him wherever this place existed. He blinked, a few times, adjusting to the view, as the racks of guns and provisions faded into view. He was used to a dark room, filled with flame, haze and comfort, while this place was cold, bright, with many people in front of him. As he adjusted, he noticed every person, hundreds, all wearing the same clothing, stop what they were doing to walk towards him. He felt the fear, wanted to run, to hide, to return to his safe place, but he couldn't. His frame tensed, his muscles on fire, fists clenched, until his eyes softened. His Father was here. In front of him, with not a day of age added since the last time he was with him.

“My Son,” said his Father with the largest smile Yuri had seen for many a year, “Welcome to your future.”  Yuri, confused, smiling, happiness swelling within his body, threw forward his arms and embraced his Father. Years of hidden grief welled within them, tears appearing from nowhere, as many hands placed themselves onto the both of them. A re-union, a brotherhood, the start of a possible new life.

“Yuri, we have much to explain to you, so much, but first, these men are all your Brothers and Sisters. We are the same.”  Yuri stood staunch, both hands being shaken, the many, many Brothers and Sisters welcoming him to wherever this was. He’d never felt so much before, the smiles, his Father being here, everything overwhelming him, yet comforting at the same time. “Come, Yuri, this way!” his father motioned.

They walked, for a small distance, reaching the end of a small rack filled with grenades and other items that all seemed so foreign to Yuri. His Father sat onto a stool, the same stool that he’d known from a child, as he himself sat down. Comforting, the familiar being just that, he waited a few seconds for his father to finish what he was doing. Slowly, with pause, Yuri could see his Father thinking about what he was about to say. Yuri did not mind how things were said, blunt or not, the words all eventually describing what needed to be said no matter the intention. He was still a simple man, an honest man, just like his father in front of him.

“Yuri,” his father began, “We have a gift. We have skin that can embrace the heat, beyond a person’s ability. We are all living explosives, we have a purpose and here, in this place, we are hidden and trained. One day, soon, we will leave this place and fight for what is right. This is all we do. We serve. We have served. You will keep the world free from cold. We will keep people warm. First, you will train. You will train again and again. Just as you shovel coal for one hundred and twenty years. You will learn to fight for another fifty years. Sixty years. When called for!”

Yuri, understanding, accepting the words, felt a new feeling within him. He’d felt pride at what he did at the building, keeping everyone warm, but this was truly a way to help the world. He wanted to believe that he was special, that he had a purpose, which involved this very moment. He would gladly die to save another. He would gladly use every scrap of fire within him to keep everyone warm, the simple requirements within his heart, finally finding a place that meant more. He would never forget his life. He would never forget the warmth he brought into the world. But this, this here, would remove the haze from his mind, his life, creating a reason for him to exist. Today was his Birthday. Today was the greatest day of his life. To him, this man, Yuri, he now had exactly what he’d always wanted. A purpose greater than his own life.

Monday, 28 January 2019


I miss you. I truly, understandably, honestly, miss you. It’s been one hundred and twenty days, seven hours and fifteen minutes before the hands of time moved along the path of reaching the eleventh second. In less time than those solitary eleven seconds, unfortunately, I lost you. To time, to the memories, to the life that’s now as empty as the sea within my heart. 

We’d met in the craziest circumstance possible. It was you, or possibly me, that made the first move. The eyes of another speak the volumes of time and words that need not be spoken. You, plus me, holding hands in the quickest time possible, until we’d actually realised what had happened through all of the laughter, the fun, the moments and more. There might be those fairy tales of old, the second of yore, but this was present life where the real world often stepped in. It scolds, it reminds us not to be bold, with the hearts that we embrace. 

The days moved as quickly as the silly moments. We were similar, completely different, the peas from other pods, yet strangely attracted to each other. It wasn't purely physical, as these things often meant far more than that, as those moments were hardly the things of majestic beauty. You brought the golden smile to my life. The kisses that lit that deep fire, embracing me for everything I am and I, me, this person here, grew stronger whenever you were near. Maybe I was selfish, maybe I was that little bit ‘kid in a candy store’, but you didn't mind as you felt the same. 

Life. This life. Our life. The hours spent on the phone talking, never texting, as that was far too distant. We knew that bonds were never formed that way. The need for more, to be close, abandoning such frivolously vacant communication. That voice of yours, the whispering words of naughty thoughts, the smile I could hear from the other side of an electronic touch, made me smile over and over again. 

Then, with each new day, arrived another chance to see you again. The life within my very bones, the bounce within my soul upon each morning, was evident to the entire world. Birds sang, dogs wagged their tails, cats looked on with less than a passing bothersome look, but that was the way of the world when all you could do was place your positive energy for all to see. This, right here, was special.  

It wasn't just the start of something, with the reveal to be a disaster, with neither of us filling a tick list of requirements to make each other safe within the world, as this was real and realised within the both of us. Appreciated, understood, with the days soon to be months. 

With life, with many things, the moments simply weren't to be. You had to leave. You had to go. The reason need not be repeated. It broke my heart but I understood. There might have been a million, or more, kisses between us. There might never have been an angry word spoken between the both of us. There might never have even be the moments we shared if we didn't turn to look at each other on that day. The might, within the been, being the only thing left for me to ponder upon. 

I miss you. I truly, unashamedly, truthfully, miss you. It's been such a long time since the clock chimed its ever moving chant. Within the moving of hands, I lost you. To time, to the moments, to history and, most of all, I miss your warm breath against my lips. 

Wednesday, 16 January 2019


Justin sat, perfectly still, just by the window feeling serene and weightless. His breathing, faltering, eventually descending his heart rate to a calm place. Relaxing, testing his mind for the worries of the world as he slowly breathed in through his nose, then out of his mouth. Lungs, the strong lungs that often helped with moments such as this, aided him with the task at hand.

He’d needed answers, the questions arriving thick and fast, unable to turn the hands of time towards the left of his life. He would turn them back, possibly, but not for the reasons the people he knew would expect. He’d erase, rectify, remove a few moments to reach the calm at an accelerated pace. He had no time, no real reason, to where he’d been for the last few months. The cliff, that mighty cliff, welcomed him and despite falling from the edge, he’d held and managed to climb back to the top. He had a parachute, as we all did, but that wouldn't be enough for someone such as himself.

He preferred the difficult path, the experience being one of grandeur, tears, faltering at moments, wanting rescue at others, with the end always within sight. Even if he had to bleed, he’d do so. The toughest people are the ones that are tested, destroyed, again and again, yet never actually reaching the very edge of the precipice of no return. Scratching, clawing, surviving, knowing that nothing, absolutely nothing, is far too much to destroy a person.

 Feeling the world around him fade, calming his mind, he felt the walls start to move and at once he cast aside the thoughts that wanted to invade his space. The evil of the world, the thoughts meant to wreak havoc, scratching at his defences and soul. It was too late for those thoughts, the moments of idiocy, as he’d forgiven, forgotten, cast aside his demons and knew that there was only one path to follow. The void.

He’d heard about such a place, in writings, stories, moments when alone and more. He knew that he was surrounded by such a place. A room, a room full of furniture and people, was still so empty depending on the emotion. The mood. The people. Emotions flowed through each of us, all of us, into everything and everyone. Manipulating, expressing, controlling and simply changing us.

His mild cleared as he neared the dark room, that place he’d reached a few times and savoured. He felt his heart rate evaporate into the still sounds of nothing. One last beat, one more moment of being grounded, as he felt his mind finally let go of the world. Energised, the clarity of the void’s entrance, within his grasp. He could go anywhere, know the answers to so many questions, but all within reason. The void seldom asked for much, a simple question, a soul to visit, or anything else of worth. It cast aside the selfish incarnations, if they managed to reach such a place, as the mind of a normal person simply wished for answers. To explore. To feel, to escape, to hopefully manage to connect to another soul of worth.

He knew that darkness existed, out there, within the souls and minds of a million others, with the weight quickly being felt and defences raised. Most people didn't even realise the depths of their own darkness, their own quiet voice whispering descent into the ears of each person. The evil of the single, solitary individual, kept behind a prison of blood, tissue, bone and skin. He dare not envision contacting any such person such as that. He, instead, simply wished for something else. Something new. Something that he knew existed for the longest time.

Pressing his energy against the textured wall in front of his mind, gently at first, with increasing force moving the front of his forehead to generate heat. He relaxed a little more, closing his eyes that bit tighter. Letting his mind split into a million tiny fragments. His mind reached the other side, the image indescribable to such a frail being within the universe, as he glanced back to see his body slump forward. He smiled, his energy glowing all around every single essence of his being.
Floating forward he looked around, if he could now call such a thing, ‘looking.’ Others approached him, the colours vibrant beyond his previous imagination.

Finally, after such a life of struggle and suffering, he’d learned so much and used the most powerful muscle ever made. His mind, his spirit, all existing within the one space… his body. He, at last, had ascended to another world. Another existence. Beyond life, death, suffering or the earthly realm. He was finally, after all this time, free.

Thursday, 10 January 2019


Those moments, the very seconds that have escaped, that we’ll never ever see again seem to haunt me. Yeah, I know, we were so close at that one point in time but now, right now, that’s gone and never forgotten. What was it?  Ten years ago? Eleven? It doesn't matter as that was then and, right now, this is only the very ‘now’ that I’d imagined.

I walk through the night, alone, on my own, wondering if we’d ever actually imagine returning to that place again. It messes with my head, this mind, to think that I had you, touched you, pressed our skin together, only to quickly vacate the situation quicker than a forgotten moment. You know the one. You think the thought and then, the next second, it’s gone. You do, we did, try to remember but it’s far, far too late to return to ten years previous.

We talked, for such a long time, around the subject, about the subject, described the scenarios, laughed so much, then we… became foolish. We tempted the devil, embraced his type of grace. We indulged. We touched. Tasted. Caressed. Held. We pushed and pulled each other, until the very sweat ensured we’d done everything we’d always wanted to do, from the very second we first smiled at each other.

I needed. You wanted. We basically did what’s natural within the world. That night, the entire night, stretching for an hour upon another hour. Beautiful long hair, my hand in yours, fingers feeling that skin, making something from nothing and having the smiles upon our faces turn into expressions of pleasure. You were, I’ll admit, so damn good. Hooked. The line. The very sinker that kept me afloat all vanished that night.

I never survived. I lost a part of myself. Yeah, you've heard it all before, you holding the wine glass, looking at me in ‘that’ way, bright lips asking me to come closer, my very core not even being remotely close to saying no. The trap that neither of us wished to run from, so close, foreboding, the darkness closing in to embrace the deepest desires of two people.

Within each of us, the two of us, we knew that a place existed that needed freedom. A selfish place, an often forgotten place, just begging to free itself. That’s what we did. We poured every single want and need into that room, onto each other, without even thinking to stop for a single breath of rest. The train that never stops, the thunderstorm, the very animalistic nature of two people that had waited far, far too long. That was us. That was you, me, the two becoming one.

That was then. This is now. I thought that I’d forgotten about you, the moment drifting away into the echo of the world, but you’re here right now. In front of me. We’re smiling, reminiscing, skirting around the very thing that we both know we’re aware of. Within the first ten seconds I knew, I know, that I still want you. Same for you. It’s so obvious. I could step the conversation forward and admit all of this but that, that place, might just not be where I want to head.

You've changed, it’s in your eyes, which is the same for me. We've grown, realised a few things, the foolish nature of the youngsters within each of us. That’s okay, it’s perfectly fine, as we both know where this is heading even if we’re not ready to speak about it. It’s inevitable. There’s people that orbit each other and, once in that orbit, they gravitate straight towards each other. It’s life, it’s attraction, it’s the raw and bare reason why we’re all here.

Those moments, the very distant seconds that vanished, that could possibly be re-created to haunt me again. Yeah, I realise, that we were so close in those moments but now, right now, we have another chance. What was it? Ten minutes ago? Eleven? It doesn't matter when I met you again as that was then and, right now, this is only the very ‘now’ that I’d imagined.

Thursday, 3 January 2019


The hall, seemingly vast, filled with people all wearing the same black colours, embraced his eyes. All flowing, all moving, dancing to the splendid music. Grandiose, a spectacle that he’d never, in his entire life, witnessed until this very moment. Cautious, also wearing a black suit provided to him at the hotel, along with a card of instructions, he slowly walked through the dancing people. Watching, ensuring that he didn't miss anything.

He knew that she liked to play, to display her more adventurous side, but this, this right here, was truly unexpected. Everyone, every single person, wearing a lace eye mask. All perfectly presented, smart, dressed to truly impress with the various luxurious perfumes embracing his senses. He’d never dreamt that something like this would happen, could happen, to someone such as himself. He didn't often like to dream, as he knew what his dreams involved. He wanted the simple life, a partner, maybe some adventure, a place to call home, maybe the kids, maybe the moments, but that involved a healthy love between two people. He’d left his dreams to fade, many, many years previous, with this being what he had left in front of him.

Knowing, realising, that anything could realistically happen in life, he was happy to either forge his own path or to follow another, for awhile. He wasn't going to be led by anyone but in some ways, of course, he didn't mind what the results were, as long as there was fun to be had. The excitement fuelled him, pushed him, drove him to seek someone of a like minded nature. He needed his mind to be tempted and, right now, this really was temptation.

A masquerade, with the results being kept away from him. They’d talked, for hours, exploring, testing, exchanging, the appropriate way of things being explored in the most intimate way. Sure, of course, they’d kissed, but he wasn't in her life for the long term. He was transitory, a distraction, which he knew. In another world, another place, something could happen but for now, right now, this was all that mattered.

He reminded himself of what the card stated, ‘find the red feather.’ Minutes moved away from his eyes, as the many bodies danced around. Again and again, another face hidden behind the beautiful lace, the red lips, the many eyes, with his mind urgently trying to find that red feather. Another few moments escaped and, just then, he caught sight of a red object. Moving swiftly forward, dodging the many moving people, he gently placed a hand onto the shoulder of a woman dancing with her partner. As she turned, smiling, he could plainly see the small red feather attached to her lace mask. She gracefully nodded, looking into his eyes, only to then hand him a small envelope.

Seconds vanished as he reached the side of the dance floor, opening the small envelope, to find another small clue, ‘2nd floor, brunette & lace.’ His mind wanted to ask a hundred questions, but instead, his heart and emotions simply wouldn't let anything else speak. This was adventure, this was feeling alive, which to him was one of the most important aspects of his life. If he wasn't living, then instead, he wasn't even alive. The day to day of life haunted him, the drama trapped him, with escaping being the only safety within his thoughts.

Looking to the corners of the room, then to the middle, he caught sight of the main stairwell and made his way over. He didn't wish to look like he was rushing, tact and decorum being at the forefront of his mind. He knew, as always, that there were many eyes within this room and one should always, at all times, be polite and respectful. To the side of that, of course, he’d rather simply run to embrace her as fast as possible. That, of course, was the male within him. Always rushing, never thinking, but that wouldn't do. Not right now. He was more than that. Or so he hoped.

With a certain grace, a confidence within his very smile and walk, he ventured up the stairs to reach the second floor. Walking straight ahead, along the finely furnished walls and flooring, he reached the end only to look left, then right. Two women, one to his right, the other to his left, stood a few metres away from him. He smiled. A test.

He looked at each one, in turn, taking in everything about them. Their smile, their stance, the shape of their beauty, the clothing and, most of all, their hair. He did have a thing for hair. He adored everything about a woman, bathed in their majesty, knowing that he’d be nothing, not even a mere man, without such a presence within his life. He turned right, knowing, understanding, that he always preferred longer hair. It was obvious in the way he viewed a woman, the way his eyes softened, especially when tempted.

He could resist, always, to a point. The charmer, the naughty smile, the big blue eyes, all working for him and, most of all, the soft seeking voice. He knew that he had aspects that women liked, but not all of them. Many wouldn't even look at him twice but the ones that did, didn't regret the moments they shared. Feeling a moment of pain, within his heart, he recalled recent events but pushed them to the side. His history was just that. Right now, this second, he was creating a new history and he was enjoying every single second.

He stopped in front of her, looking into her stunning eyes and she, in return, simply placed her lips to his while embracing him against her. He kept his arms by his side, wondering what on earth was happening. The seconds escaped the both of them, his thoughts eventually giving way to what was happening. His arms held her, her chest and hips pressing against his, as he tasted her lips again and again. They were soft, careful, knowing exactly what they were doing. More smooching, tender, than aggressive or wanton. His favourite, exactly what he liked, playful yet with a point in mind.

She stepped away, the moment gone, over with, his body just about to respond in the usual way, despite his thoughts not wanting ‘that’ type of thing to happen in the middle of a random corridor. His breathing, shallow, affected, the heat within his world raised by just enough to start his mind on a perilous journey. He thought himself a man of control, that charm hardly ever fading, despite the words that could sometimes dare to escape from his lips. He held a mind, within this body of his, that contained such sin despite being the most caring man many would ever know. He held the thoughts within a small little cage, with the most obvious key imaginable. Words. Words would always, no matter the lips, the hair, the touch of a woman’s skin, be the most powerful key to his mind. His affection. He didn't care if a woman had the most beautifully sculptured body imaginable. Without the words, as well as the intentions behind them, no amount of play would ever, never, open that place locked within him.

He was, however, still a man. He had physical limits, his body being one part of a two-piece puzzle. Open the door, play with that puzzle, complete the picture, without realising that there existed another level. He had desires. He knew this. As did the woman that had perpetrated the current moments. He ignored the growing situation, the turn-on of current events, instead forcing his mind to grasp hold of the current moment. He was looking for lace, anything lace. He had obviously found the brunette, who was still standing in front of him with a smile that could have melted the coldest heart. Another time, another place, he’d have simply wished to have taken her. Her lace mask, obviously not hiding a card, held nothing but her identity a secret. Her outfit, skin tight, slightly ruffled, held no keys which meant that there was only one place remaining. She obviously wore no bra, as her distinctive assets showed. He smiled a knowingly naughty smile. She knew him so well. So very well.

Gently, looking for any signs for him to stop what he was doing, he gently placed a hand either side of her hips. Slowly, very slowly, while still looking at those beautiful eyes and daring not to connect with her seductive lips, again, he started to move her dress. As it moved upwards, finally stopping at a suitable distance, he quickly placed another kiss onto her lips and lowered himself. His face reached the most mind-blowing lingerie he’d possibly seen and, underneath, sat a small white card just like the one before. he looked up, smiling, as she returned the smile and blew him a kiss. He removed the card, which sat just below her navel.

“Thank you for the card,” he said, returning to stand in front of her while lowering her tight dress. This was, if he were to be honest with himself, all quite a shock. He knew that she liked to play, knew his small secret, but he didn't truly know what the end result would be. Grandiose, shocking to him, but maybe not to many others, with his mind and now body no longer willing to stop. She’d caught him, embraced his mind, with the end result surely to appear.

He opened the card, read the words, knowing that the moment wasn't quite done. Yet. The third floor, the third room, with the word ‘endure,’ being the only word written upon the card. He nodded to the woman in front of him, moving away while keeping her gaze upon his. Another time, or so he hoped. Life had a mystery all of its own. A guiding hand if you allowed it to do so, directing you into trouble or paradise, depending on whomever you happened to meet.

After a few moments, finally giving in to form a quick pace up the stairs, he stood in front of the door. Breathing, noticing his heart rate being that of a person losing control, he closed his eyes to prepare for whatever was behind the door. Another challenge, another moment of madness, with the twist of a door handle being all that sat between him and the very next second. He turned the handle, the door moved, as he opened his eyes to walk forward.

He entered the room, taking in the surroundings as quickly as possible, stepping forward as the door closed behind him. On the bed, to his side, sat the most beautiful red-haired woman he’d possibly ever seen. Once again, hidden by a lace mask, the mystery being a constant in this playful dance. He placed the card onto the side of a cabinet, walked to the front of the four-poster bed, as the two gentlemen, each side, lifted his arms to tie them to the bed posts. He would have felt uncomfortable, maybe even opted to remove himself from such a place, but it was far too late for that. She knew him. Really, really knew him, from the simple conversations of honesty and discovery. He had a very, very special place for the women of flame. He’d wanted to be burnt for the longest time, to experience their fire, which was what this moment was probably for. Temptation, the masquerade of the truth, pretending, deception, the charade of a tender kiss becoming nothing more than a forgotten moment.

He simply didn't know what to think, at this very second, as she placed herself right in front of him, barely an inch away from his face, lips once again tempting him. Kissing, especially the first kiss, was always an experience that he adored. He could kiss the same person for life but, until then, he’d simply enjoy what he could. He, of course, being the ever-present contradiction of a personality. He, the one that believed in a happy ever after, yet willing to indulge himself with the passion and profanity of seduction, as well as the crimes of the heart.

She gently kissed his neck, moving her hair to the side. Her beautifully arranged hair literally filled his mind with such thoughts that should, maybe, never be spoken. As she kissed, as she moved, he tried to resist as much as he could. The two men, finished with their task, left the room. He couldn't help but be tempted by such a person wearing what she currently displayed. The imagination, his imagination, simply watching every single movement of the majestic woman in front of his very body. He did like to view, to see, to enjoy the fruits of experiencing new moments.  Looking at her, with a naughty playful smile growing upon his lips, he asked the simplest question he could think of, “What am I to endure?”  She smiled, kissing his lips a few times, as her hand moved downwards to feel,
“You can have me right now. She’d never know. I'm what you've always wanted, if you’re being honest!”

He could feel her hand, moving, holding him, teasing him, but this was all too easy. Too tame. He did want her, would have her right now if he could, but what would that actually do for him? A moment’s embrace, the quick meeting of two bodies, pleasing, enjoying, wanting, but that wouldn't sedate what he needed. He needed something else, he needed more, than what he’d had. The experiences of life left him feeling cold, alone, vacant, the switches and connections within him left to fester and die. Her hair, her lips, her damn body, right in front of him, might not ever be enough. His thoughts started to fade as her hand moved. His body, responding in the only way it would in such moments, cried out to him to have her. His head relaxed, his forehead resting against her shoulder, her movements enticing him to give in, to let go of his hesitation and inhibition.

His head span, his thoughts no longer his, he listened as she started to say words that would surely break him, “Let me fu… .” He interrupted her, lifting his head, his lips shaking, his body no longer his, as he simply spoke the word,
“Endure!” He knew that the person that controlled this play had selectively picked the woman in front of him. She knew his vices, his needs, his very wants and deep urges. She knew all of the moments that could sustain him for the short term. That sedation of his inner-male craving. He wanted more than that. He wanted absolute desire to rule him. Each day, every single day, that fire beckoning his every action to be all he could be, for himself and, of course, to serve her every need and want within both their worlds.

Removing her hand, she smiled, while looking ever so remorseful, that he didn't go any further. No matter the desire, no matter the moment or situation, every woman deserved to be wanted. He did want her but, right now, this room wasn't for him. The men returned, untied him, as another card was placed into his pocket by the red-haired perfection in front of him. Calming himself, knowing that he was losing his mental ability to think coherent thoughts, he backed towards the doorway wondering if he should stay. He’d probably regret this moment. One day. Or, at least, he hoped that he wouldn't. The door closed behind him, the envelope opened, with the words, once again, simply stating, ‘4th floor. Be a good boy!’

He read the last four words a few times. ‘Be a good boy!’ That, to him, said in the manner that he knew she’d say the words, echoed through his mind. This play, that he was within, all seemed so elaborate, a test of many moments, despite knowing that he’d never be with her. For once, in his life, he’d found a woman that knew exactly what buttons to push. She didn't need to include the two other women, the location, or this event, but he appreciated the grandiose spectacle. He’d reached a place that he didn't even know existed. His mental mindset, or current suffering, had embraced his thoughts more than any other moment within his life. He wanted her. Truly, more than deeply, madly needed her.

He walked to the fourth floor and, at the end of the corridor, sat the only door. His legs, his strong legs, barely able to carry him, as his will and strength reached an arousal of unimaginable intensity. His entire body, knowing, wanting her, knew exactly what it needed. He, himself, just wanted to see her, kiss her, to witness her hair move and to place his hand against hers. He knew that thoughts such as these were tame compared to all of the other things that he truly, deep within, wanted to express. Awakened, that deep place within any man, animalistic, the very thought of finally becoming the creature that he knew existed. It wasn't enough to be brought to such a place within his body, as he knew that this was all acceptable and normal, but the words and way she’d manipulated him were exemplary. He’d give her a gold star, but he had far more important things to give her.

He pushed those thoughts to the side. He didn't like thinking that way, the way men often thought. She was a living, breathing, thoughtful, intelligent and beautiful woman. He was more than this, despite feeling the very real sensations flowing through his body. She’d teased him, directly or indirectly, she was the one in complete control. She knew that he’d endure, that he’d reach this doorway. If you’re going to play a game then surely, obviously, you always wanted to reach the conclusion. Obvious or evident enough, that’s exactly what was about to happen.

He turned the door handle, pushed, walked inside and, once again, embraced the view of the room in front of him. The roaring fire, the classic scenario, the lighting set low, with the woman in question pouring a drink over to the corner. His heart adjusted to seeing her, moving that bit faster for the briefest of seconds, as his self-control embraced his entire body. The male urge, that motion within, calling him, begged him to simply let go and to have. The devil, as he knew, was a gentleman such as himself, but right now, he didn't plan on being an angel.

He started to walk towards her, keeping his calm firmly in check. She turned, head slightly down, her seductive eyes looking up towards him. She sipped from the wine glass, placing it onto the table to the side of her, her red lips calling him. Feeding his imagination. He wanted to find the words, to describe how she looked, with his mind instead basically faltering at each step. He, this man, the man of words, lost for them, forgotten, reduced to a place that he didn't even know existed. He would speak, he would and should have said a thousand different words but, once again, failed. He stood in front of her, her dark hair and devilish eyes tempting him. She knew exactly what was happening, to him, with him, her seductively intelligent gaze damn well revelling in the physical weaknesses currently being embraced.

She would laugh, if she found all of this funny, but to her it was more than this elaborate play. She needed to please, to understand, to hold, to feel and be wanted. It was more than that. Far more. She might feel sorry for him, standing there, with his blue eyes, crisp white shirt, along with everything else, but if she were being truthful, this man in front of her deserved her respect. He was intelligent, wise, knowing and accepting that it wasn't all about two people doing what they usually did. He wanted more from life, he wanted intrigue, that deception of emotions to play with each other, to tease, to hold with as much provocation as possible. He could stop this, all of this, if he chose to do so, but he wouldn't. She knew what he most certainly wanted and, in a few moments, she’d let him have her. That, to her, was simply delicious. Her decision, her desires, her needs, met in every single way despite the mundane life that she lived outside of moments such as this.

He watched as she slowly started to smile. A dark, naughty, almost evil smile appearing. At that moment, at that second, he could no longer hold anything back. He was a damn man, his weaknesses exploited, his desires served to him, her silent words speaking volumes and she didn't even need to say a damn word. He stepped forward and kissed her in such a way that the very walls should have looked the other way. Wanton, the reckless desire spilling from him, his mind no longer able to function or to form anything other than this moment. He lifted her from her very feet and carried her over to the large bed, placing her gently onto the crisp beautiful sheets.

With either hand he removed her stilettos in one fluid motion, throwing them to either side of the room. His body, teased, able, his strong arms removing his tie and shirt within mere seconds, he knew that he, at least, had to show her everything that he had. It would, of course, be foolish not to do so. She was simply spectacular, a moment to behold, but saying that, he wasn't really himself at this moment in time. Lost, engaged, his body and heart all working together for a change, he felt his eyes soften, emotion rising.

She watched, her eyes wide open, as he stood in front of her. Naked, exposed, a man that had taken the time to look after what he owned. He noticed her gaze, her hair ruffled, that look of desire calling him, asking him, to do what a man should do. He stepped forward, taking her from the bed, her legs wrapping around his waist. Her legs held him against her as her hips moved in such a way to invoke a certain reaction.

Her lips found his, taking every emotion, every feeling that seemed to be bellowing from his very frame. He hadn't felt like this before. He desired her, wanted her to a level that he didn't know existed. Each kiss drove him deeper into whatever he was becoming. Her lips, so damn soft, pressing against his, her nails digging into his firm backside, enabling a small amount of rage within. A healthy rage, a strong rage, the kind of emotion that this moment required. You couldn't become lost within each other without every single emotion being caressed and tendered.

He turned and sat against the bed, as he felt her hips do whatever they simply wanted to do. With one fluid motion, as she raised her arms, he removed her dress. His eyes and body greeted the sight with a rise in heart rate. No lingerie. The mark of a woman that knew what and where she was heading. Assured, confident, willing to give no thoughts to decorum or grace. All of that be damned as this wasn't a moment of finesse or frailty. This, right here, was a woman commanding a man’s body, as well as mind, to a point where he was firmly, completely, without any doubt, all for her. No other woman, on this earth would have done what she had done. No woman in his life, would find his very weaknesses, to exploit them in the most beautiful way imaginable. It was all her. Everything was her.

He, once again, span her around onto her back and pressed his body to hers. Every part of his skin, upon her, screamed with delight as his emotion cried in ways of happiness. Every single movement, of her body, brought him closer to her. She held his arm as he kissed her stomach, his tongue finally being put to use as he moved her onto her front. She arched her back, placing herself into a position that fired his desire to have her in that very second. Instead, wishing for more from the moment, he held her arms and lifted her, placing her against him. Wrapping his arms around her, with one hand upon her breast, he kissed her neck as she gently moved herself up and down. Just enough, not too much, to keep his desire firmly in check.

Then, no longer able to withstand the moment, the hours, the very days of words thrown towards his mind, he reached down and placed himself within her. Gently, barely moving, his arms once again holding her against him. Her skin, so soft, flowed over his fingertips as he moved them along her stomach. He watched as her mouth murmured a few words, his hands softly doing what he wanted to do, pleasing her, teasing her, knowing that despite what he wanted, he needed for this to be more.

She pulled away from him, falling onto the bed, turning, pulling him onto her as she, once again, wrapped her legs around him. He paused, for the briefest moment, knowing, realising, that although she did this for him, it was also for her. Seeing him this way, the power, this second, truly was a moment that probably could never be recreated. Once again, he watched as her eyes closed as he continued. Moving, feeling, using his lips in such a way to tease her, to make her know that this wasn't going to be as easy as she thought. He knew that he had but moments, her body willing him to give her everything, to let go of his feelings and to finally be hers, but he couldn't and wouldn't let that happen. Just yet.

They moved each other to a new place, with her resting on his lap, holding his head to her shoulder, holding him as close as she possibly could. She just wanted to feel, to enjoy, to indulge in this very moment. She could feel him, all of him, against her skin, against her lips, his fingertips slowly moving along either side of her back. He felt so damn good, looked good, smelt good and she simply wanted everything. Her body knew what it wanted, even needed, despite all of the elaborate ruse, this play she’d created. She wanted something more than two people in a room. She wanted to feel, really feel, for just this moment.

He could hardly even speak, his words being torn apart by her movements. Her skin, so very, very soft, teased his very touch, asking him for more. Looking at her, looking into her, he could see so much through those eyes. If he could take this moment and have the seconds, forever, he would. But that, that very thing, wasn't meant to be. He pushed the thoughts aside, destroyed them, realising that the only moment possible was right now.

“What do you want?” she asked, whispering, not really understanding why she wanted to ask such a thing. His thoughts escaped him as the words settled, still not quite able to even think, let alone speak.
“I want you,” he replied, “just you!”
“…because you know me!”

With each word spoken she moved that little bit faster. Edging the both of them closer,
“Why?” she asked again. Somewhere, within, for all of her decadence, the imagination that rested within her, she still troubled herself when believing that someone, anyone, this person in front of her, would want to be attached.
“because of this… ,” he replied as his soft eyes expressed what the words could never say. He placed his hand against the side of her face, kissing her like it was the very last day of his life, placing as much emotion he had into the kiss. Feeling every single second of her upon him. He didn't wish to give this much, he didn't want to possibly fall for anyone, but if this was the way it was supposed to be, then to hell with everything.

As the kiss lingered, still feeling her move the way she did, he could feel her start to let go, to succumb.

To be continued?