image of women sitting in armchair writing

Cooling

We've got this gig in some downtown dive full of wannabe Goth kids and overweight guys playing air guitar without irony. At least the crowd is mildly enthusiastic, back in Seattle last week we nearly got bottled off stage. Instead, our van got its tyres slashed and we had to fork out what little money we made from the gig to replace them. Gotta wonder if Bowie had to suffer through this.

I try not to think that we'll be playing some equally trashy place tomorrow night, and the night after, if we're lucky. Not for the first time I wonder why I do this. I've got no pretensions of getting rich and famous off playing bass guitar with this band or any other band. I know I'm not that talented. But with these guys - Trey on vocals reminds me a lot of Dev, Matt on drums is a headcase but in a good way, and Suze on lead guitar - I *belong* in a way I haven't for a long time.

They don't know about the wolf though and that'll always keep me distant from them. Why do I always refer to the wolf in third person? The wolf is me, and I am the wolf. There is no real distinction any more. It's always there, rippling below the surface, like a haze of pin pricks just behind my eyes, a hot-and-cold pressure uncoiling from within. Sometimes, when I'm angry, the wolf steals across, hiding, waiting for my composure to crack.

But it never has, not since Sunnydale. Maybe because I haven't been back. Maybe I just have more control than I credit myself with. Not that it isn't a struggle but I learnt several meditation techniques in Tibet and mostly they're enough to control it.

Tonight, I lose my cool for a split second. Out of the stench of sweat and stale beer, magnified by my sensitive sense of smell (a perk wouldn't you know), I detect him. An omen or a saviour, I can't decide which. He's standing at the back, unfazed by the putrid types that dance before him and he looks completely out of place. Whatever, the surprise at seeing him here is enough to make me drop a couple of chords but I never let it show on my face.

When we decided to leave the club and go to his place - what is it with him and high profile real estate? - I don't remember. Details are sketchy. In my head it seems like one minute we were standing at the bar, bodies pressing against us from all sides, not talking; the next we were cruising down Sunset in the Plymouth, still not talking. And that line from a song slipped into my head, 'words are very unnecessary, they can only do harm.' What do two laconic guys say to each other anyway?

We pull up outside this Art Deco style. I'm gonna say it looks like a hotel. Sure enough, when I look up there's a sign - 'Hyperion Hotel.' So I glance at him sideways, my eyebrow raised, and ask, 'you own this place?'

He just nods once.

"Cool."

Inside the lobby, I feel like I'm underdressed in my baggy pants and Velvet Underground T-shirt. I should be wearing a tux or something. And there's gotta be some great irony about a vampire living here by himself. All these rooms to be alone in and it's still not enough.

I don't know why but I reach out, pull his head down and kiss him. Actually, I do know why. He's beautiful. His guilt burns like a naked flame and I want to comfort him in some way, to assuage his pain and maybe even my own. We're a lot alike and nothing alike. He distances himself because he has to; I do it because I choose to. Right now, I don't want to be alone. Mostly, I want to feel his cool, powerful limbs wrapped around me.

He hesitates, draws away. His lips are like ice and I shiver at the thought of them gliding over my skin. "I can't," he says, turning his massive back to me.

I'm thinking it's not because he doesn't do guys because I'd felt his tongue pushing against my lips. "At all?"

He looks at me again, dark eyes glimmering with equal parts lust and shame. Still the Catholic boy after all these years. He's struggling, I can see it, but he forgets that I know what it's like. His head droops a little and I can barely make out his muttered words. "On one condition."

***

We're in his bedroom now. Sparse and dark, like him. He's lying on the bed. In silence I watch him reach over and close the handcuffs around one bedpost before settling on his back. I'm distracted by the way the shiny metal catches the dim lights, reflecting my tiny, distorted face back at me. He looks at me with a level gaze and I'm spurred into action. I cuff his free hand to the other post and he flexes his long fingers.

He's bare except for his boxer shorts - black cotton, naturally - and he's aroused already, his cock swelling before my eyes. I'm mesmerised by him, his so pale skin, paler than my own fair complexion, like alabaster, like vanilla, snowdrops, whiskers on kittens. I almost laugh. Then I remember that lurking inside that white bulk is Angelus, the demon that could be ripping out my guts pretty soon if Angel enjoys this too much.

I shed my clothes slowly, peeling off layers until I stand naked before him. I can't wait to have those cool velvet lips around me, so I don't wait. Straddling, moving up his body, I ease my swollen length into his straining mouth. And, god, I shudder, buck hard and his mouth engulfs me. Clutching the headboard, I move with him and the sounds of our animal grunts and the continuous rattle of the cuffs fill my senses.

I reach behind me, my hand slipping inside his shorts, freeing his erection and my fingers curl around the considerable girth. Tracing the tip of his cock, I smear precum around the head, my fingers dancing back down the shaft. I feel rather than hear him groan around his mouthful. With my hand I match the rhythm of my thrusts, losing the pace a few times but persevering.

His tongue traces me, paints me with saliva and my own stickiness before immersing me once again. I wish he could touch me, I want to feel his hands like cool satin moving over me so I close my eyes and pretend.

As I fuck his beautiful mouth I can feel the surge of pressure that means I'm nearly there, so close, and my hips lunge faster, harder against him. So I move to pull out but he grunts and takes me deeper. Too late. I arch and orgasm rips the breath from my throat. Angel hangs on for all he's worth, his tongue lapping and licking me clean, his lips glistening with me.

I almost forget that he's waiting, still hard, and I moved down the bed. He's panting heavily as I drag his shorts down slim hips, exposing the thick down of hair leading towards his cock. Slowly, I trail kisses over his navel, his member pressing against my chest, dabbing my skin with his fluid. His eyes are half-lidded as they stare at me, desperate, and I relent.

Pushing his hips down onto the mattress, I kiss and lick my way up the engorged length of his penis before closing my lips around the head and sliding back down. I hear him groaning above me, pushing against his restraints and I realise that I'm hard again. When he bucks his hips this time, I'm nearly thrown off him but I dig my nails into his skin, scoring flesh red.

It isn't until I trace the tiny puckered opening some way past his scrotum with my finger that he comes. Sitting back on my heels, I swallow and wipe the salty liquid away from my lips. He looks faintly apologetic now. "It's okay," I smile.

He stares up at the ceiling for the longest time, as if he's going to say something. He doesn't. After a few minutes, I'm pretty sure that it's Angel and not Angelus lying on the soaked sheets. I also figure that if he'd really wanted to get out of those cuffs, he could have. So I release him from his confines and I reach for my clothes.

He's watching me, I can feel his stare prickling my wolf senses as I pull my shirt over my head. "We could, y'know, do this again. Sometime."

I shake my head. "You can't give me what I need."

There is nothing he or I can say to change that. So I leave and he doesn't stop me even though part of me is willing him to. Because I'd like to feel his lips on mine again and I know it won't happen.

The End