PHIDIAS V: Tosha, the Russian boy- Part 1

'It's simply a marvellous story, sir...'

'If you ever call me 'sir' again and keep using that respectful tone with me, I will feel really, really miserable...' joked Phidias.

'Oh, sure, I'm sorry... Phidias.' Elias smiled, embarrassed. 'It's just that it isn't easy... Now less than ever, after listening to such an account. I'm still amazed...'

In their favourite sitting-room of the London house, Phidias, Elias and Tosha conversed comfortably and unconcernedly. The two elder vampires occupied the two ends of a big u-shaped sofa, upholstered in grey leather. The barefoot young Greek was sitting on the middle section, now with his legs flexed on top of the seat, now lying on his stomach, now resting his head on the Russian's lap. He had followed in awe the story of his modeller's mortal days and now he was trying to assimilate it, his beautiful face displaying an expression of genuine amazement. There was so much freshness and spontaneity in his attitude, in his relaxed pose, in the elasticity of his limbs, that the artist never grew tired of looking at him. Tosha, lazily resting on his spot, had devoted more time watching the other two than listening to a narration he already knew. It was obvious that his companion of former centuries seemed pleased with his young offspring, and nothing could procure him bigger pleasure: he had chosen wisely. The vision of those two alluring and smiling beings made him forget, for once, the stab of jealousy that he felt every time Phidias mentioned his Master. He savoured the moment, wishing it to last indefinitely.

'What about you, Tosha? Did you already speak to Elias about the days when you walked this earth as a mortal?'

'Just vaguely, I must confess. Moreover, my adventures will lack of interest for him after hearing yours. After all I lived in a humble home, compared to the magnificence of your life...,

'Do you mean the magnificence of a slave's life?' Phidias raised an eyebrow and the corner of his lips. 'Since I do not think I need to remind you, but that is right what I was. I did not even own the clothes I wore.'

'And yet I am sure they were more refined than anything I ever wore myself. Come on, you were raised in the Sultan's palace. You might have been a slave, but you had slaves to serve you in turn. Magnificence, I say, and I repeat.'

'Please Kyrios, don't keep me in tenterhooks,' intervened a hopeful Elias, approaching his maker and wrapping his shoulders in a seductive embrace. 'I'm dying to know...'

'All right, but it will take time and you have to listen without interruptions. And this goes for you both,' he added with a sneer.

Elias bent down with satisfaction and kissed his lips. Then he turned to his modeller, smiled and crawled towards his side to offer him the same treatment. Phidias answered to the courtesy, his fingers entangled in the young man's wavy dark hair. Elias rested his head on the vampire's thigh and prepared to listen to his mentor.

The natural affection displayed by the young Greek was one of his most attractive traits. That along with his looks and his frank and kind character made almost impossible not to feel attracted to him. Same happened with Phidias, although the reasons were different: his beauty (that day he was showing the appearance he had when he was a human); his hypnotic gaze, that seemed to pierce the people he was staring at and take pleasure in them as if they truly were unique and special. Without even trying they both drew you to love them, and they both made you feel loved. And yet, while Elias inspired positive, uplifting feelings, Phidias could arouse passions that would drive you to a fruitless yearning for possessing him, to frustration and suffering. Both so similar and so different... And there they were, besides him; and Goddess Fortune had smiled upon him to the point that they both had him in their hearts. Just another person had meant enough in his life to deserve joining them, even if only as the shadow of a memory...

'To entertain your ears, Elias, I'll tell you that I was born in the Autumn of 1633. I was the result of a moment of winter passion, wasn't I? Although in the place where I was raised any moment of the year was good to curl up under the blankets...

All my childhood memories took place in the same spot, a city called Arzamás, around four hundred kilometres East of Moscow. Then it was a small village of no importance that I wasn't even familiar with myself, since I only used to visit the church. My family had a big house, isolated by a grove. Were we rich? No; but my great-grandfather had undertaken a prosperous business as a saddler, and his descendants had been successfully maintaining it. Back in my day my father used to feel proud, saying that his saddles arrived to the very capital without even being on the back of a horse. Be that as it may, the business was prosperous enough to allow us to live more comfortable than the rest. I enjoyed the questionable privilege of receiving the parish deacon's periodical visits, who was trying to fill my head with a certain amount of education; without much accomplishment.

From Sergéy, my father, I think I only inherited my patronymic and my surname. I remember him as a frowning man, with broad shoulders and huge moustache, who wouldn't address me but to ask about the daily lessons and wish me goodnight. I guess his job absorbed most of his thoughts.

According to everyone, I took after my mother, Nadezhda. I can't confirm it, because I don't remember her very well: she died when I was three years old. But I do remember a blonde mane and a beautiful yet determined face... She was a widow when my father married her and she brought a daughter to the family, my half-sister Lyubov, six years older than me. Did I say my father talked little? Well, she talked even less; she made do with staring at everything with her big cold blue eyes and walking under my father's wing when he arrived home.

That left me with barely anyone to talk to, but I didn't care much. Every time I could I would escape outside and run towards the edges of the forest, along with my dogs. There we had a small hut, formerly used as a leather drying place, then full with useless, dusty junk. My criminal career started soon enough, when I snatched the key and took possession of my new particular domain: I frightened the spiders away, tidied up enough to suit an undemanding kid and even piled up some wood for the fireplace. It was my sanctuary, my secret place.

When I wasn't there, my steps would lead me to wander among the trees. I took good care of not going deep into the forest. Even if we didn't hear of many animal attacks, my father had warned me of what he would do to me if I was caught roaming too far away. And my father's words weren't something you could take lightly...

On a certain day I ran into a man I hadn't seen before. I gave a start, because the dogs hadn't even bothered to bark, and in fact that man had knelt down to pat them. The despicable beasts were making a fuss of him... Wonderful protection they were! But I felt curious about someone that seemed to know my animals, so I studied him carefully. He wasn't a man, as I thought at first, but a boy older than me. However, as he was much taller and his shoulders much broader than the usual for his age, he could have deceived anyone. The boy greeted me with a slight nod and went on his way without a word. Strange...

From then on I saw him now and then, always from a distance, always in silence. He simply seemed to use that spot to go in and out of the forest. I wondered who he was, if he lived in the village, why he was always alone... I imagined stories in my head and told them to myself, and since my only public were my dogs, they had to suffer their own share of little tales...

Once I was thirteen my father decided it was time for me to come into contact with my future trade. I remember the first day he took me with him to the slaughterhouse, because he was interested in getting a batch of leather at a good price. What I saw there...

Now you can laugh as much as you want, but you have to understand I was a very naive child. I never went hunting hares or birds, as any other boy my age; I never went hunting with my father, either; I didn't even hang around the kitchen to see the women preparing the meat... The question is that it didn't take me long to dash out of the stinking building and lean against a corner to vomit my guts out.

I felt sick and above all, ashamed. And to cap it all a couple of feet appeared in front of me. When I looked up, there he was: the boy from the forest. Even taller, if possible, and looking at me not with a sneer, as I would have expected, but seriously.

'Are you all right, boy?' he asked me, and those were the first words I ever listened from his lips. I didn't answer at one, occupied as I was with wiping my mouth with the sleeve of my zipun. Now, since he squatted besides me, I had no choice but doing so.

'The slaughterhouse... I can't stand the smell and the...' I shut up, going as red as a beetroot. Now he would think I wasn't better than a girl.

'Take it easy; I don't think anyone can enjoy that. I wouldn't go in there for anything.'

'But...' I was feeling overwhelmed and at the same time, extremely grateful. How could such a huge boy, obviously strong and brave, say that? That loosened my tongue and I told him my biggest fear. 'I ashamed my father; I should be getting familiar with my trade and I'm not even able to..'

'You are Sidelnikov's son, right? Nadya Anatolievna's boy?' I nodded, a bit surprised that he addressed my mother with familiarity. 'Stay here and breath some fresh air. If you go back inside, wait for your father at the entrance. Not everybody is made for standing certain things. You don't have to be mortified.'

He smiled at me and left without even telling me his name.

Not that it would take me long to find out, after all. Only a few days passed until I met him again, and not in the grove, but in my house! There he was, casually chatting with my father and Lyuba, as we called my sister. My father was congratulating him on his fine looks and he was doing the same with Lyuba... and then my father noticed me.

'Come here,' he said, 'this is your cousin Andrey Anatolievich, your mother's brother's son. Greet him properly.'

'There are many Anatoli in the family,' he commented with a smile, because he shared my mother's patronymic. 'You are...?'

'Anton,' said my father, before I could even open my mouth. 'He is three years younger than you, but I doubt he will ever be as tall and have your back. I am a strong man myself, but obviously he took after your family's women.' And when I thought he couldn't humiliate me further, he added: 'I will send him away soon so that he studies, let's see if they can get something out of him. I have relatives in Nizhny Novgoród; the change will do him good, everything he's up to here is loafing around.'

Such news, dropped on me like a bomb... was I going to be sent so far away, with strangers? I tried to hide my disenchantment but I suppose I failed miserably, judging by my newly introduced cousin Andrey's gaze. As soon as I could leave without appearing impolite I ran away to my sanctuary.

I was startled by some knocking at the door, and whoever caused it just awaited outside. Clearly it wasn't my father, so I went to have a look. I didn't expect to find him there, patiently waiting for me to let him in. And I did, when I reacted.

He inspected the place with distrust, but gave his approval to the fireplace and sat in front of it. As always, the dogs pounced on him, delighted.

'It seems they like you,' I commented shyly.

'All animals like me. It's a gift.' He winked and stared at me. 'I thought you'd be Nadya's son because you have her eyes. I should have said hello before, but my people weren't pleased when my aunt married your father. As you can see, there isn't much contact between the two families.'

'Why?' I was amazed. 'My father's standing is good, and I remember he loved Mother very much. Also Lyuba; in fact,' I tried to sound indifferent, without succeeding, 'I believe she's his favourite. He clearly wants to get rid of me by sending me to Nizhny.'

'Don't you want to leave? It looks fun. This village is small and barely anything happens. You can learn a lot in a big city, I would swap places with you.'

'Then do it!' I replied very rudely. It wasn't typical of me, but I guess I needed to release the frustration I was feeling because of my father. 'Surely Father also likes you more, because you're tall and strong and don't run to throw out when you see blood and don't take after your family's women...'

I shut up at once and bit my tongue. Just a little bit more of whining and I would make a complete fool out of myself. But Andrey didn't say anything offensive: I think he was giving me time to let off steam. After a moment he said:

'If I were you I'd take advantage of the situation to become a hardworking man, taller and stronger, as you say, to show Father what I am capable of. That way he would run out of arguments to pick on me. You'd like that, wouldn't you?' I didn't reply, I was busy weighting up his advise. 'And about taking after the family's women... there's nothing wrong with it. I remember your mother: she was a very beautiful woman. You look like her.'

I didn't reply back to that either. What was I supposed to say? I didn't know if he was complimenting me or making fun of me... I looked down, my cheeks burning, and stubbornly concentrated on the toes of my boots. I could almost feel his cheerful eyes fixed on the crown of my head.

'We should make the best of the time we have before you leave. There are many places around you surely don't know and I'd like to show you. Let's go!'

The optimism in his voice was infectious. Besides, I can't deny how flattering was that such a grown-up boy was bothering to talk to me... I stoop up and walked outside the room after him.

'By the way,' he added, 'you can call me Andrey, or Andryusha, as you prefer. I'll call you Tosha.' I opened my eyes wide. 'What's the matter? Do you hate it when I call you that?'

'My father always calls me Anton. Only my mother... called me Tosha...'

'I know. But it's better, isn't it?'

That's how Andrey and I became friends. It didn't last long before I had to leave for Nizhny, and I bitterly regretted it. My only consolation was that I would follow his advice: I would return as someone my father would find difficult to criticise.

What can I say of the time I spent in Nizhny? I felt inhibited in that city, and never was completely at ease, even if my father's brother treated me well. I learned useful things and a lot of useless stuff; I exercised; I made some friends; I escaped to drink for the first time and to listen to the other guys making obscene remarks about girls. I was nearly sixteen when I received the first interested looks from the opposite gender...

It was then when I discovered that I wasn't like the other boys in that area. It happened an ordinary day, while I was getting undressed to wash myself. One of the maids, a young woman that had just arrived to the house, came in for the dirty clothes, or whatever. Since I was used to have the maids coming and going as they pleased I didn't even paid her attention and kept doing my stuff. The sudden silence that seized the room was so loud that I had to turn around... to find the girl's eyes piercing me in a strange, feverish way. She approached me, took my right hand, and before I could react she lifted her skirt and placed it against her crotch. She was excited, or at least that's what I thought after hearing my friends' conversations: my fingers easily slipped along that moisture... Taking my other hand, she pulled it towards her cleavage, so that I could feel the bare skin of her breasts...

I reacted by moving my hands away, shaking my head and turning my back to her. The girl, probably confused, left the room like a bat out of hell. Then I noticed my own reflection in the mirror as I never did before. I had certainly grown up, and my build was manlier; my face was attractive, with that harmony we call nowadays symmetry but then was just perceived by the ordinary mortal like something vague, undefined, but appealing; I had let my bronze-coloured hair grow; and my eyes... I left my eyes to the end. They had the same honey colour as my mother's; everybody said I was like her, specially my eyes, and I remembered Andrey had told me the same. I thought of him, of how he would look like now, what he would be doing. He surely was a grown-up man already. Would many girls offer themselves to him as it had happened to me? Would he be in bed with them, doing the things my friends used to talk about? Why couldn't I do it? Maybe the girl wasn't pretty enough... But she was, with those dark curls escaping from her headdress and those big blue eyes... And yet I wasn't excited at all.

I don't know if that incident had anything to do, if the girl had made comments, but my father sent for me shortly afterwards. I thanked my uncle for his attentions and said goodbye. I didn't know if I would be able to get used again to the monotony of life in Arzamás, or to Father's silent criticism. The truth was that I had grown up and hadn't been wasting time. I couldn't help but smiling: we'd see if Andrey seemed so huge by my side anymore.

When I arrived home I had the feeling that only a couple of days had passed since my departure, so strongly I was struck by the familiarity of the house: everything seemed the same. Everything but Lyuba, who was already twenty-two years old and quite a woman. It surprised me that she wasn't married, not even engaged... As for my father, maybe he was a bit older, but his severe look hadn't changed. He wasn't impressed by the servants' congratulations, who praised my good looks and how much I had grown, nor by my new vocabulary, more refined, nor the presents I had brought from the city. He asked about my studies and nodded gravely when I answered. I felt disappointed. Some things, I said to myself, never change: that house was frozen in time and Father seemed to be a part of it, like the wooden furniture of the living room or the fireplace.

Lyuba told me we'd be holding a special dinner to celebrate my return and many people would be attending. So, the agitation in the house wasn't only because of me... or it was, depending on how you looked at it. The thing is that I judged it would be a good moment to run away from the racket and resume my walks through the grove. The dogs greeted me with the kind of joy you reserve to meet up again with someone you have given up for lost. I took them with me and we headed to my sanctuary.

Once there I remembered I didn't have the key: I had left it with Andrey. I let out one of my recently learnt curses and placed my hand on the door knob, without hope. But to my surprise it opened, and watching the inside was even more stunning. Any similarity between that and a former drying place was gone: instead, someone had made the junk disappear, aired the room, cleared a window and arranged some simple furniture in front of the fireplace. I specially liked the huge seat and the rabbit fur blanket that covered it, and smiled, because I knew right away that was Andrey's doing, although I didn't know his reasons. Andrey... I found myself longing to see him again...

It was almost dinner time when I returned home and my wish was fulfilled: there, quietly sitting by the fire, was my cousin. I approached him with self-confidence, expecting a compliment for my new aspect and the chance to look at him right in the eye, instead of having to tilt my head up. But when he stood up...

I guess it's a good moment to introduce a small description of Andrey. As I said, he was a tall, well-built, fine-looking young man. His long hair was brown. His face wasn't the most attractive but no doubt it possessed a remarkable personality, with a beautiful pair of hazelnut eyes under the thick eyebrows and a slightly round nose. His large mouth with full lips fit inside the angles of his decisive square chin, and when he smiled he shared with the world his white and perfect teeth. Maybe his canines were too sharp to be reassuring, but they spiced his smiles with a charming shamelessness. Unfortunately for my expectations he had kept growing: he was still a head taller, and the width of my shoulders couldn't compare with his. He had turned into the kind of man that had to get attention wherever he went, with his size and bearing. I remained quiet, torn between my admiration and my envy.

'I say, Tosha,' he broke the silence, 'you changed a lot; you are...'

'Spare me the mockery, I was expecting to surprise you and I find you reach the lintels of the doors...'

'Mockery?' Andrey smiled. 'Why? Yes, I grow like weed. But you also grew. When you left you were a child; you aren't anymore, cousin. I assure you you aren't anymore...'

Then I noticed something different in his eyes... admiration? But why should he admire me? It was very obvious I could never compare to him. I was delighted to see him, but disappointment had erased part of that happiness. Although not for a long time, I must say. Andrey seemed to understand my inner conflict and updated me with everything that had happened during my absence, in such a sparkling way that I had to break out laughing.

We had to sit for dinner and put off our conversation, with so many questions I had to answer about my life in the city, my studies, Nizhny Novgoród, news from the capital... I was a bit overwhelmed, and when I could finally leave the table I did it with pleasure. Andrey walked towards me with an understanding look, and together we reviewed the guests that were still sitting around the table: the priest and the deacon with his wife; the son of one of Father's suppliers, who apparently had been courting Lyuba for a long time, without results; the former magistrate's widow with her daughters, who had been peeping at me while their mother gave my father loving looks... I realised my sister was sitting at a corner of the table, besides my father, and I smiled. I pointed it at my cousin and said in a low voice:

'That guy that is crazy about Lyuba might as well wait seven years: look where she is sitting.'

There is a superstition about single girls in my country, according to which they should never sit at a corner of the table. Andrey gave me a curious look, and placing a hand on my shoulder he made me bend to take a peek under the table. And then I saw it... My father's hand was resting between Lyubov's thighs in an intimate way that wasn't paternal at all... I quickly lifted my head and noticed my cheeks blushing. Andrey didn't remove his hand.

'I think that guy will have to wait more than seven years,' he whispered. 'Didn't you know? Your father has been in love with my cousin for years, and she feels the same about him. But they can't get married. It must be so frustrating, to be close to the person you love and being unable to openly show it.'

I think I started to understand Father's feelings: his sullen eyes, his constant bad temper, his character, only softened in the presence of my half-sister... It wasn't easy to accept, but I couldn't condemn it either. After all, I had my own disgraceful secret to keep... But I didn't ponder it any longer: in the confusion, Andrey took me out of there and we went for a walk.

'You tidied the hut,' I asked when we were alone, 'and put a great effort. Why?'

'I imagined you'd still want a place to be alone and the city would have made you more refined. Besides, it's a kind of reward for allowing me to use it. Sometimes when I'm back from the forest I use it to rub my dirt off. I hope you don't mind and you like the result.'

'I like it a lot, thank you.' I remained silent for a minute, trying to make up my mind to ask him something. 'In fact I am curious about what's your business in the forest. They say there are wolves and other beasts...'

'It's much quieter than they say,' he answered reservedly. 'Though it might be a good idea for you to keep back, as always. I know the paths very well but you could get lost.'

'All right, but that doesn't answer my question...'

'I'm... some kind of warden. I keep the roads safe; I protect the houses from the vermin.'

'Sfânful Gheorghe! That sounds dangerous.. I bet you get by in using weapons...'

'It's a family tradition.'

'Did you ever bring down a wolf? Father has customers that ask for works with wolf fur, but those are hard to find. It may be cause you and your people do a very good job.'

'Wolves keep their distance from humans. They know what's good for them, and I'd never raise my weapon against an animal that isn't a real threat to anyone's life. And I hope you wouldn't either.'

His tone of voice was different, serious, slightly accusing. I remembered the incident of the slaughterhouse and knew my cousin wasn't joking.

'I didn't even kill a rabbit in my whole life... You have my word...'

'I know. Look, your sanctuary.' His tone became much more benign. 'It's starting to get very cold. Shall we go in?'


Andrey lit a light and the fire. I was wondering if Father would miss me at such a late hour, but I didn't mind: I was burning with the desire to make up for lost time with my cousin. When the room heated up I could remove my shuba and get comfortable under the rabbit fur blanket. He fished a bottle of herb-flavoured vodka out of a secret corner and sat in front of me, his back to the fire. His huge, dark silhouette was outlined against the light, blocking a half of the fireplace. It was a bit intimidating, and at the same time, reassuring. And there was something else... I didn't know what it was but I couldn't get my eyes off him.

'Have you been with girls already?' he suddenly asked; he almost made me drop the bottle and spit the alcohol. I wasn't a novice drinker, but neither an expert one. I started to cough and Andrey took the bottle from me and slapped me on the back. 'My, my... Either you became a real scoundrel or you didn't make your debut. Tell me Tosha, which of my suppositions is correct?'

I notice my face burning with the heat, the alcohol, and now, embarrassment. I hesitated before I answered: I didn't want to look like a brat but I couldn't lie either.

'No... I had the chance but...' I didn't know how to continue.

'Why didn't you do it then? Wasn't she pretty?'

'Yes she was. But I didn't...'

'Didn't you dare?'

'You're going to think that I'm a... I didn't want to do it.'

'Why?' he insisted, and I sensed my anger growing rapidly.

'Because... because I didn't felt anything! Because I am a weirdo. You must think it's funny: I bet you have all the girls queuing up at your door but I am simply not interested in...'

'I don't have girls queuing up at my door,' he interrupted me, more seriously than I would have expected. 'And even if I had I'm not interested in them either. If you are a weirdo, you aren't the only one.'

'Huh...' The new took me by surprise. I wouldn't believe something like that from a man like him. I reached for the bottle and took a swing; he did the same and placed it on the table. 'Well, now that's strange because I'm nothing special, but you...'

'Nothing special? You might have ignored how those girls at the table were looking at you, but I didn't.'

'I don't know why they should... I don't have your height, nor your muscles...'

'You don't need them: you have this.'

He placed the palm of his hand on my cheek and sat besides me, slightly moving the blanket away. I assure you I was burning and still could feel his heat on my skin. His hand was wide and hard, the hand of someone who used to live outdoors; it wasn't at all like the girl's hand, yet its contact didn't leave me unmoved. I noticed his warm breath so close to my face... His was in semi-darkness, but two small flames danced on his hazel eyes.

'Do you hate it when I touch you like this?' he asked with a soft voice. I couldn't say a word, just shook my head. The hand slid then to one side, and dived into my tresses towards the nape of my neck. 'And like this?' A new shake. I think he had had to be deaf to overlook the beating of my heart, increasing its volume over the background sound of the crackling wood.

He didn't keep asking because his lips rested besides my earlobe and started to fondle the skin of my neck. They were caresses at first, true: sweet and gentle as I, in my naive youth, had imagined the contact of a lover. I didn't complain; I didn't try to move him away; I just... let myself go. It was as if my body had released the tension of all that past time, of the wait, the unsatisfied desire, the vague yearning for something I couldn't have defined but was able to recognise the moment it had been granted to me: Andrey's hands, and his lips, and his breath. It couldn't have been that girl, or any other. It had to be him and only him.

I think I started to moan softly. Maybe that was the signal he was expecting to abandon that gentleness that, as I found out later, wasn't his true nature. His strokes turned into passionate kisses, and his tongue joined his lips on my skin, kneading it, moistening it. His breath became heavier, or at least that's what I thought, as my own panting barely allowed me to hear anything else... For the first time in my life I experienced the feelings of having another person awakening my sleeping sex, and that heat and pressure inside my trousers. I fidgeted, afraid that Andrey could notice it and think I was a deviant of the worst kind. You can smile but, what could I know?

When his mouth reached the South of my chin, his hands decided it was time to take care of other business and started to unfasten my zipun. I must say that, from my actual perspective, he wasn't exactly an expert in dealing with clothes. I should have felt flattered that he hadn't been training with many partners before he came to me... Nevertheless he managed to strip my chest, still smooth and free of hair, and my nipples immediately seized his attention. He stared at them and brushed them before closing his lips around one and licking it with relish, almost painfully. I suppose my excitement made up for it and allowed me to keep enjoying that roughness. There was something enervating in the way his tongue had to explore and taste everything, every corner where his hands had been before.. I desired, oh by Cain, I desired so desperately that his mouth could relieve the almost unbearable craving that grew under my waist... But of course I wouldn't have dared to ask him for anything in the world...

Was it possible that Andrey knew what was in my mind right then? Of course: you didn't have to be a telepath to guess what was crossing the horny mind of an almost sixteen years old boy, a virgin who wouldn't even notice he was thrusting his hips against the big, muscular body that trapped him. The question is that he reached for my trousers and untied them. I tried to shift, embarrassed that he could see the state I was in, but I might as well have tried to free myself from a brick wall. He simply held me tighter and pulled my trousers down to my knees, revealing my swollen sex, wet with pre seminal fluid, under my incipient bronze pubic hair.

And of course his tongue had to taste it... It was too shameful, but when his lips rested on my erection I don't think I could have gathered the strength to push him back, nor the willpower. That long, wet tongue, from the base of my member to its sticky end, sliding between both halves and penetrating inside the opening... I think I let out a moan that sounded almost anguished. I think I arched my back and pushed my groin against his mouth, looking for its warmth... Because that's what I got, his lips pressing my crown, slowly going down, while his tongue was wrapped around me and his long canines brushed my flesh, without hurting me, tickling it in the most exciting way. But then I did the inconceivable...

I ejaculated. I came. I had an orgasm that curled my toes and left me panting like a helpless little animal... and I had done it after five seconds of being inside his mouth. Once I calmed down he lifted his head and stared at me. A trickle of whitish liquid ran down his chin and my eyes fell upon it, hypnotised. And when his tongue licked it, with an expression of pure animal lust, my cheeks went so red that I thought my face would ignite.

I raised my arms and covered my face out of sheer embarrassment for what I had dared to do. How could I ever look at him again? I just wished the land would open wide and swallow me. But my wish wouldn't be granted, because Andrey grabbed my wrists and trapped my arms at both sides, and leaned over me, his gaze so intense that I almost started to whimper.

He kissed me. He stuck his mouth to mine, forced my lips apart and invaded me with that demanding, greedy tongue. He explored every corner; he drank from me as he had already done between my legs: my saliva, my sighs, my breath. At some point I thought he would devour me, and frankly, I didn't care. I wouldn't have denied him anything he had asked from me, so lost I was in his intoxicating embrace... He started to pant inside my mouth, heavier and heavier...

And then he reluctantly came unstuck from me and darted out of the room into the cold night. I stayed there, still, not knowing what had happened, wondering if I had done anything wrong. I don't know for how long I waited until I realised he had left the door open and the cold was slipping into the hut, and I was almost naked, lying on a wooden seat. I wrapped myself into the rabbit fur blanket, trembling, without daring to stand up and close the door. Just waiting.

He came back later. He made sure the icy wind wouldn't enter and squatted in front of me. He was more relaxed; reaching for my cheek he stroked it again, smiling. His touch on my skin was strangely warm.

'My you got cold,' he told me, looking at me with his honest, again reassuring eyes. 'I'm an idiot, I shouldn't have left the door open...'

He toiled at reviving the fire and came back besides me, his eyes shyly asking for permission to share the blanket with me. I was still confused, but I let him cuddle up against me. His body was warmer than the fire or the fur. He buried his face into my blonde mane and there he remained, calmly, until he asked:

'Did you like it?'

I reddened again, but managed to nod and ask in turn:

'But... what about you?'

'Don't worry about my. I took care of it... out there.'

'Huh... why? Don't you want me... to do the same to you?'

I felt his smile against my neck, although he seemed to be keeping his lips away from my skin on purpose.

'Maybe later on. Now... it's better like this. It am unable to control myself yet and I don't want to hurt you.'

'Why... why would you hurt me?'

I swallowed. He felt my concern, because he held my cheeks and rested his forehead against mine, to calm me down. It worked: he could be harsh, and dominant, and no doubt it would be impossible for me to escape from his arms against his will... But he was also sweet and soft like the fur that was around us.

'Because you're beautiful, and kind, and I'm mad about you and you didn't even realise. You can laugh if you want, but I desire you since that day at the slaughterhouse. I held out patiently to give you time to ripe; I suffered, thinking you could reject me or another person could take you away from me before I... And now that I finally have you under my hands, I'm not going to risk it by rushing it...'

What can I say? That we kept meeting in secret in my... our sanctuary. That it didn't take me long to lose the annoying initial shyness, and soon my fingers were the ones raiding under his shirt, and my lips and tongue the ones searching for his. That I looked at my image in the mirror and started to see those things Andrey was talking about, that attracted him and others, and made him feel jealous and torture him to the point of wishing to lock me away from the eyes of the world. Those were his words, not mine... It might look sickly but you, Elias, could never meet him; you could never have a glimpse of that hazel gaze and see his honesty, devotion and passion.

There was only one thing that worried me: I was always the one in the pleasure receiving end. He enjoyed stripping me, slipping his tongue along every uncovered portion of skin, sinking his head between my thighs and making my member penetrate those rough yet skilful lips. He liked to feel how my pleasure gushed inside his mouth. He liked, he said, my taste, the taste of my creamy semen, my saliva, my sweat... I hardly had the chance to entangle my hands in his untamed brown mane, or walk them across his muscular chest, where some scars could be seen here and there.

The day of my sixteenth birthday the family went to the church and my father presented me with a special lunch. Not that I was ungrateful, but I couldn't wait for the moment to escape and be alone with Andrey. He had promised me a birthday present and I knew very well what I was going to ask him...

It was getting dark when we met in the sanctuary. We barely had closed the door and my clothes were already being torn away from my body, and my partner's lips were starting their ritual of greeting every part offered to them. I was already naked on the fur blanket when I planted the palm of my hand on his face and moved him back.

'You promised me a present, and I told you I would tell you what I wanted today, right?' he nodded, slightly frustrated with the interruption. 'Then this is what I want: you will do as I say, without discussions. You will obey my orders.' I saw him nervously licking his lips, and I think it was my turn to show a disillusioned expression. 'You promised... You...'

'All right, all right,' he conceded, sighing. 'I had other things in mind for you, but I will try to please you the best I can. So tell me, what do I do?'

'Strip. I want to see you naked.'

Resting my head on the seat I waited for Andrey to please me. It may seem strange, but apart from some fleeting images I had never had the chance to contemplate that body that promised to be splendid under his clothes. He stood up slowly and removed his zipun and his shirt. His silhouette shone in gold against the fire, and it was delightful to look at as it became gradually exposed: the wide and athletic chest, the arms with big biceps and long hands, the extraordinarily developed abdominals... My eyes tirelessly ran across each curve of each muscle and stopped at some scars; some of them were very apparent, as if he had had to face a fierce animal and had received a permanent souvenir of his fangs of claws. My hair stood on end imagining how he had got them, but I couldn't deepen that thought because my eyes were seized right away by the line of dark hair that started under his navel and got lost inside his trousers... As he had stopped, I cast an interrogative glance upon him, urging him to continue.

He slowly unfastened his trousers and slipped them down his hips; they were as nicely shaped as the rest, but I must confess that I didn't noticed it until later, because my attention was focused on one thing only. And what I wished to see was revealed, little by little, starting with his curly, dark pubic hair, until his crotch, where a long, thick and beautifully chiselled member rose. That's what I thought, at least, since I couldn't compare it with any other but mine, and same as the rest of my body... there was no possible comparison. That ram was standing at attention and its head shone with excitement. I thought of all the occasions in which that flesh had been rubbed against me, yet never directly but through the fabric of his clothes, and I wondered why he had never wanted a more direct contact. I reached for it; I was intimidated by its size but couldn't stop staring in fascination... I had the feeling that Andrey wanted to walk back and avoid my touch, and at the same time he was craving for it, because when my fingers brushed the fold South of the slit I could notice him shivering expectantly. It seemed to call my lips that, hypnotised, approached the thick, pulsing rod and surrounded its end, making way for my tongue to try some drops of its transparent nectar...

I couldn't continue. With a throaty moan, Andrey grabbed my wrists, lifted me as if I were a puppet and threw me face down on the table, forcing me to spread my legs. I trembled, startled by such a violent reaction, but didn't think of resisting: I had a vague idea of what was coming next and I think that, subconsciously, had been waiting so long for that moment, and desired it.

But still, the contact of his tongue between my buttocks was strange for me; and when it made its way inside my virgin entrance, with the help of his anxious fingers, I think I fidgeted. Then again, it was too late. Nothing could have stopped Andrey in that moment, I was sure about that.

I'm not going to lie: it was painful. That huge ram, taking over from his tongue inside my narrow passage, and not exactly in the gentlest way, forcing the flesh to surrender, going deep inside my heat, flooding me with his... I got hold of the table so strongly that it would have been impossible to separate my fingers from it. He didn't wait long before starting to pound me; all my body was shaken with every thrust, and the table creaked under me, slightly quietening my own moans.

It was painful but I wouldn't have traded it for anything. I couldn't get rid of a slight sense of fear, yet it was him, Andrey, finally inside of me. I could hear his almost animal panting and feel his burning skin against my back. It was me the one who had provoked someone who had been self-restrained and had been maintaining control, the one who had caused that burst of uncontrollable desire. That filled me with a strange sensation of pride and power: me, who no matter how hard I had tried, would have been unable to move a centimetre under the body that was trapping me...

My insides became aware of the sensation caused by the brushing of that thick rod against my pleasure spot... My hips started to follow his pace, and I guess he managed to keep his head cool enough to notice the small change of tone of my moans, because his wide hand surrounded my own stiff member and started to rub it...

Oh, that was too much for me... I splashed his hand with my essence and regaled him with the satisfaction of feeling my body shaking and jolting. That spurred him even more: he placed the slippery palm of his hand on my stomach and slid it slowly towards my hip, while his own climax seized him. He froze inside of me, panted even louder and flooded me with his seed... and nails like claws scratched my thigh as he did.

I have a blurred memory of his heavy body falling down on me, breathing heavily, as if sending some oxygen to his lungs were a matter of life and death; trying to regain control, to snatch it back from his instincts. I found myself back on the fur blanket, and when I opened my eyes I felt the wet sensation of his tongue licking the scratches on my thigh, and his hands fondling me in silent apology. He gently made me lay on my back and wrapped his arms around me, planting small kisses around my mouth, avoiding it... maybe so that I didn't have to taste my own blood. Then he whispered, close to my lips...

'Do you understand why I tried to keep my cool so far? I still haven't learnt to hold back when I am with you... If you push me that way, I...'

'It's fine,' I whispered in turn. 'It's what I wished: we both reaching it...'

'I hurt you...'

'You gave me pleasure too.'

Andrey remained still on top of me; he didn't care anymore about making me taste his tongue, because he sank it into my mouth as if he were lost in the desert and that were the only source of water for a thousand kilometres around... His hands tightly held mine over my head, his body surrounded me completely, leaving me no escape... Once he was satisfied, he whispered again, this time with his eyes fixed on mine:

'You have no idea of what you provoked, Tosha. But you have to know that now you belong to me. You are mine... If anyone else dared to lay a finger on you... If I ever smelled but the shadow of someone else's scent on your skin... I swear to you I don't know what I would be capable of...'

A shiver ran down my spine. Fear? Pleasure? Both, no doubt.


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