Albertane: After Dark
14 - Scars (Sequel to Sparkles) - Stephanie
Wyatt stared blankly across the water, pulling his worn, black leather jacket tighter around his frail body. The noise and bustle of Chicago was buzzing in his ears, and Lake Michigan looked cold and cruel. To his extreme distaste, the water was littered with trash. McDonald’s bags floated alongside used condoms, reflecting the city’s many facets of humankind. The water was an intense, moody blue, and seemingly familiar, even though Wyatt had never been in Chicago before in his life. He closed his eyes, trying to recall the thought that was creeping around the edge of his marijuana-hazed brain.
Slowly, a form began to take shape behind his closed eyelids. A boy as beautiful as himself, with long, silky black hair. And suddenly he realised what he had been trying to remember. Those eyes. Those eyes were the same color as Lake Michigan, and infinitely more beautiful. Taylor. The boy was Taylor. Slowly, in broken, purposely-forgotten chunks, he remembered the few short hours he had spent with Taylor. He remembered the way it had felt to have Taylor’s hot, nimble little tongue sliding across his chest. The way it felt to lay in his arms, inhaling Taylor’s rich, sexy smell. With all those memories, the other ones also came tumbling back. The lines of coke he had done the next morning. The way it had felt to watch Taylor’s skinny, pale, beautiful form retreating out the door. The way it had felt when that single tear had traced its way down his cheek when he found himself alone in his apartment, with only Taylor’s t-shirt left behind.
Wyatt sighed and opened his caramel eyes. The water was choppy and harsh, but still as blue as sin. The night he had spent with Taylor had been over a year ago. He wondered vaguely where Taylor might be now. Six feet under, dead of a drug overdose. Laying in a culvert somewhere, his only sin being too pretty a boy to hitchhike. Nodding off in a homeless shelter, wondering where his next fix is coming from, the more morbid corners of his mind screamed. While all of those scenarios were very likely possibilities, he shook his head firmly. Not Taylor. Taylor was too beautiful for any of that. Too good. If anyone deserved a fate like that, it was himself. Not Taylor.
Wyatt shrugged. There was no use drudging up the past. It wasn’t as if their one night together had meant anything. It wasn’t as if they had grown attached to one another. It was nothing. And should be treated as such. With one more fleeting glance at the water, he stood up, lit a clove, and walked slowly away, back to the city, with all of it’s cheap carnival thrills. He considered catching a bus, or a cab, but on second thought he glanced in his tattered wallet, and realised that the rumpled ten dollar bill it held would be better spent on a few bottles of cheap, sweet wine when he finally made it back to his seedy apartment, where you rented by the week, not the month.
He stared at his boots as he walked, trying to keep his mind off the biting wind. It is the Windy City, he thought to himself, flicking his cigarette butt into the street. It was almost evening, and as he progressed through the steadily declining neighborhood toward his apartment, more and more women graced the street corners. He tried not to look at their faces, for he knew what their expressions would be. Robbed of youth, their bodies on display, in fishnet stockings and mini skirts despite the cold. Garish makeup and empty eyes, looking for a trick, someone who would throw them twenty bucks after a quick fuck. He shuddered and walked on. Past the old man on the sidewalk parading back and forth with a sign proclaiming, “God Calls It Murder,” past the bars, past the bag ladies, past all of the madness and into his apartment. He threw himself onto the shitty little couch, not bothering to remove his jacket. There wasn’t much of a heating system, and even his tattered jacket was better than nothing.
He recalled his old apartment, where he had entertained Taylor. It had been his home, a reflection of himself. A few months after Taylor, he had left for the evening with some incense still burning, consequently burning the entire building to the ground. They had never been able to trace it back to him, but he knew what must have caused it. After that, he had left, roaming from city to big city, trying to lose himself once and for all.
It wasn’t that hard. Losing himself, that is. When one has no belongings except what is on his back, and what he can steal, and no money except what he can make selling the occasional bag of pot, or hit of acid, to a desperate user, then it’s hard to remember who you are. And that was how it was with Wyatt. He knew exactly what he was. But who he was...that seemed to have escaped him.
He sighed, looking around the trashy apartment. He didn’t even know how he could bear to live in it; it wasn’t fit for humanity. He decided it would be best to go out again. He couldn’t decide which was more depressing: the bleak walls of his crumbling apartment, or the B-movie horror thrills of the city humming around him. He finally chose to face the latter, and got up slowly, not bothering to lock his apartment behind him. No one would bother his things. There was nothing of even remote value there, anyway.
He ambled down the half-rotten stairs that led to the street, and huddled into his jacket, coughing his chronic winter cough. He was pale and half-sick, and the pot he had smoked earlier was making him dizzy, but he was still strikingly beautiful. He headed toward the liquor store on the corner, almost tripping on his unlaced boots as he stepped inside.
He walked slowly through the store, eyeing the bottles of vodka and rum, gin and bourbon. He finally settled on two cheap bottles of strawberry wine. He could already taste it on his tongue, could taste the strong, cloyingly sweet flavor of it, as if it were half-rotten. Terribly sweet, it was wino wine, he knew, but he didn’t care. He paid for the bottles, shoving the few dollars worth of change into his pocket and stepped onto the street. He walked back to his apartment quickly, trying to avoid eye contact with any of the people on the street. It hurt to look at them. But a curled figure on the curb caught the corner of his eye, and he couldn’t resist looking. A painfully thin boy was curled there, pulling a black raincoat around his frail bones. His dirty hair was in need of a dye job, the blond roots betraying the phony blue-black. Before he could even think, Wyatt found himself stopping. “You okay?” he asked, before he even realised he was going to speak.
The boy turned his head slightly, keeping his eyes on the pavement. “I’m okay,” he muttered.
“Yeah,” the boy said, finally raising his gaze to meet Wyatt’s. When he did, Wyatt started, and almost dropped his wine. The piercing eyes were the color of Lake Michigan. They were ringed in what might have been makeup, or might have just been black bags, and he looked as if he might not have eaten in several weeks. The boy opened his mouth and spoke. “A club. Over a year ago. Sex in an apartment. Cocaine.”
“We fucked, we got high...that was where we said goodbye,” Wyatt finished effortlessly.
“We were a lot prettier last year,” Taylor commented, standing up.
“Shall we go back to my apartment again this time?” Wyatt asked. He remembered how they had been coy and flirty and teasing in that club. Now there was a hint of desperation in their voices that had not been there a year before. Then their love for death had been born of amusement. Now it was painfully real.
Taylor shrugged. “Why not?”
Wyatt didn’t reply, but started walking again, and Taylor fell into step with him. “How did you get here?” Taylor asked.
“Apartment burned. I left. Now I’m here,” Wyatt replied vaguely. “How did you end up sitting in the gutter of the slummiest part of Chicago?”
“Long story,” Taylor replied. Neither of them wanted to talk about where their lives had gone wrong. As Wyatt pulled open the door to his apartment and pulled out the wine, they made a silent pact. For that one night, they would be beautiful again. The angst and the jadedness would all be an act, as it once was. Wyatt placed a Cure CD in his stolen stereo, and took the first sip of the sweet-rotten wine, splashing it around on his tongue. Taylor followed suit, and soon they were tangled together, sticky with wine and makeup and sweat, Wyatt pressing Taylor against the crumbling wall, grinding his hips against Taylor’s. Taylor groaned, and their lips met, hot and desperate and maybe a little lonely.
Taylor ripped off his raincoat and dropped it to the floor, kicking off his pixie boots and begging Wyatt to do the same. Wyatt drained one of the wine bottles, slipping out of his unlaced boots and pushing off his jacket, revealing a ragged, tight black t-shirt and tight black leggings that rode low on his hips, just above his line of pale white-golden pubic hair. Taylor pushed his jeans down and pulled off his t-shirt, standing naked before him, and began to tug at Wyatt’s leggings, until they were both completely undressed. They were thinner than before, and both of them were decorated with curious, angry red scars that had been made with razorblades or broken bottles or hypodermic needles.
They wasted no time, and immediately clung to each other, drunken and beautiful. Wyatt tugged Taylor into his tiny bedroom, and onto the dyed-black sheets of his bed. They rolled around wildly, taking turns going down on each other in hot, desperate passion, sucking and struggling against one another.
They explored each other intricately, and once, in a moment of temporary insanity, Taylor realised that he wanted to see Wyatt’s blood. Immediately he sucked hard at a fairly fresh scar on Wyatt’s chest until it finally split open, leaking hot, silver-metallic blood into Taylor’s mouth. Taylor smiled and sucked harder, wanting suddenly to eat his lover whole. Wyatt searched out Taylor’s lips, kissing him hard, and tasting his own blood there, hot and rich and full of life. Taylor offered Wyatt his own wrist, where fresh scars stared up at him, angry and red. Wyatt understood immediately, and bit and sucked at them until they opened, spilling hot red blood across his lips. They kissed again, their blood and come and sweat mingling in a hot, sticky, bloody kiss that left them both reeling.
“You are...so beautiful....” Taylor murmured, kissing a silvery-white trail down Wyatt’s achingly gaunt abdomen. “I want to eat you alive.”
Wyatt grinned, entangling his thin, artist hands into Taylor’s brittle, dirty dyed hair. “Do it,” he encouraged.
Taylor sighed, anointing Wyatt’s thighs with warm tongue-kisses, grazing his cock with his teeth.
“Don’t tease,” Wyatt groaned.
“As you wish,” Taylor mumbled, slipping his hot, lush mouth over Wyatt’s cock, relishing the sensation that the silver foreskin ring created against the back of his throat. He slid back and forth, a skill born of practice. He had done that so many times, and he knew instinctively when Wyatt was near the edge, and he would purposely pull away, making Wyatt groan with disappointment, and scratch up Taylor’s neck with his long, pointed fingernails.
When they finally grew too exhausted to move, they fell asleep in a tight embrace, both vaguely afraid that they would ever have to let go.
Hours and hours later, Taylor woke up, groggy and hung over. He was afraid to look beside him, but he forced himself to. To his relief, there next to him was Wyatt’s sleeping form, stretched out like a cat. He reached over and bit his nipple with abandon. Wyatt opened one eye lazily. “Morning,” he murmured.
“You were awake?” Taylor asked, disappointed.
“Of course,” Wyatt said, sliding out of bed. “Shall we do things differently this time, dear?” he asked, a hint of sarcasm in his voice. “Shall I make breakfast?”
“More wine?” Taylor asked hopefully, knowing it would ease the pounding in his forehead. Killing a hangover with more alcohol. Deadly cycle, his mind warned him.
“Certainly,” Wyatt said, appearing a few moments later with half a bottle of the wine they had shared last night. He crawled back into bed beside Taylor, and smiled. “I’ve never gotten back in bed the morning after.”
“Me neither. First time for everything, I guess,” Taylor said, smiling.
“I can handle this,” Wyatt said, pleased. “But I’m not taking you home to meet my parents anytime soon, so don’t get your hopes up, boyfriend.”