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Born Again

Title: Born Again: Stage I (Separation)
Author: bwenner
Band(s): The Birthday Party (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds)
Pairing(s): Nick/Blixa, Mick/Blixa, Mick/Rowland
Rating: NC-17
Warning(s): TRIGGER WARNING: consent issues, graphic violence, sex, drug use, language.
Word Count: 8,238
Summary: Nick cannot accept Blixa's rejection of him and lures him away into a break in his being.
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction with no basis in reality and no point of profit. I in no way endorse any of the behavior in this story, and would not wish any of the events described on anyone.
Author's Notes: I wanted to write a “real horror” story à la something out of Chuck Palahniuk's Haunted. Writing it through the Nixa fandom was an easy way to ensure it would be read by anyone and simultaneously feed my naughty rockstar infatuation, but otherwise it has no importance in the story. This is not meant to be erotic, and I certainly would hope it holds no reality for the people depicted. Hopefully my attempt ended with something more or less horrifying. I'm morbid but I mean no harm. This was only written as a test for myself to see if I could write something from start to finish with a uniform theme.
This reads just as well as a short story, but there are continuing chapters planned. It's just a matter of getting up the enthusiasm to write them out.



BORN AGAIN: Stage I (Separation)
Evil has no substance of its own, but is only the defect, excess, perversion, or corruption of that which has substance.



“I've wanted to fuck you since the first time I saw you.”

Blixa shut his eyes and grinned, half amused and half embarrassed. He laughed and looked at his feet, scuffing at the floor idly. The seconds searching his mind for an appropriate response passed in painful wait, slowed by his spiking nerves like some animal trapped in sludge. The late hour and effort of performing on stage had drained him of any social consciousness or wit. Smoke wafted through the dimly lit backstage, forming a hazy cage around Nick and himself that barred any escape. Anything not within an arm's reach took on a distant, foggy appearance. The club's hued lights played through the lowered curtains in strips—fog and particles drifting through the moody color changes in a dance.

“It's flattering, but I think you are having the wrong ideas about me.” The English left him awkwardly, but Nick's disappointment at the words reflected understanding.

“And why's that?” Nick spoke sheepishly. He seemed both offended and embarrassed at having put himself out as he did. With his eyes glazed and his speech slurred, he held the neck of a dark brown bottle in one hand and with the other played at the hem of his shirt. His confession had brought a charge to the conversation like repellent magnets meeting; neither of them could bear the field of the other's gaze for long.

“I'm not...” Blixa waved his hand theatrically, rifling through his vocabulary for the correct word. He was unable to help smiling all the while. The motions sent long spirals of smoke drifting seamlessly into the club's smog from the end of the cigarette Nick had offered and suavely lit for him. “I don't have sex with men.”

Nick's mouth pulled to a hesitant smirk at the phrasing. He retired his hand from its fidgeting and set to combing his hair back with his fingers instead.

Homosexual.” With the chiding emphasis of a school instructor, it was his turn to make Blixa feel awkward. With his head still inclined, he let his eyes fix onto the other man's face. “You're not homosexual. You don't sleep with men—I get it. But... neither do I. - It doesn't seem like it'd be terribly complex.”

They both laughed. Nick's wit was dry and scathing, and he was never anything short of being neck-and-neck with Blixa in thought. He was caustic like desert wind, but his charm was intoxicating—intellectually quenching, such that passive enabling of his advances was unavoidable.

Nick leaned into his ear. “Would it matter that much in the dark?”

Blixa furrowed his brow and let out a small, troubled noise: a primal expression of discontent at being the bearer of bad news. The euphemism from before there had been a word for it. He felt some guilt in leading Nick on. He took a long drag off the cigarette, puzzling over the method of extermination by which to graciously kill the idea. Nick's anticipation built all the while.

“Yes.” He spoke flat and matter-of-factly. Anticlimactic, he thought, but no reason existed for him to build chains and tug Nick along any further into the night. “It would.”

“See, but, I bet I could make you like it. Lemme buy you a drink--”

“I can't help you. I am sorry.” Smoke billowed from his lips into Nick's face as he spoke, now lacking his earlier good humor. He let the cigarette drop to the floor and ground it out with an air of finality. “Thanks for the cigarette. I will see you around.”

He took a step and angled his body, motioning one hand forward, trying to indicate both his need to leave and the direction, but Nick anxiously forced more words between the conversation and his departure.

“'Think I'm coming on a bit strongly, and I'm sorry for that. Really... just forget it. I'm a little'bit tipsy—forgive me?” He spoke with apologetic eyes and the hasty need to keep Blixa's company. He had gone too far and realized it. “How's about you come back and hang a bit with us, then?”

Nick motioned to another boy with a gaunt face and scraggly black hair standing by the building's exit. He'd been watching them lazily under a dark pair of glasses and the veil of smoke, appearing both disinterested and displeased at the notion of Blixa's company. He graced him and Nick with a shaded nod before returning his attention in whispers back to the equally lean (though somewhat cheerier) man at his side.

Blixa craned his head back to his desired route, locking eyes on Mufti's silhouette still moving on and off the stage. He was engaged in collecting equipment from the show, working diligently to clear the remainder of wires and various bits and pieces of scrap for the next band. Blixa sighed deeply, frustrated that he couldn't silently conspire an escape plan with his friend, and yet falling victim to Nick's charm once again.

“How far is it that you live?”

“We're just crashing for now about ten minutes from here.” Nick's voice concealed any excitement, but his upright demeanor spoke in volumes. “Rowland's already got a cab waiting outside...”

---


The apartment was dismal. It was one large, open room with soiled wallpaper and gritty tiled floors. Save for a ratty old sofa in the front area and a mattress down at the far end of the room, it was empty. Nick said they had been squatting, but this was below Blixa's expectations. The open space gave the impression that the walls of a vacant building had simply been taken out. Other than the front entrance, the only other door to be seen was down at the end—a few feet from the mattress—and it looked as though it might fall off its hinges at any slight touch. The temperature inside was not too different from the snowy weather on the outside, doubtless attributable to the lack of glass in the windows.

Nick cleared his throat. He strode past Rowland, stretching his arms out as he walked. His elbow caught the other man in the back with a show of purpose.

“Oh. Right.” Rowland sneered in a way that coiled his face to something serpentine. He rolled his eyes. “Well, I'm starving.” The stress on the last word came out awkward and contrived.

They both shared an air of mischief—eyes passing over one another briefly and lips curling at the corners of their mouths in some knowing smugness.

“I'll have to leave. I hope you two don't mind being alone, of course.” Again, every syllable dripped with an artificial undertone. Neither of them said anything more as Rowland slipped into his coat and made a cartoonish face of disgust, poking his tongue out and pulling back his head in the motions of one about to be sick. Nick's gaze had fixed onto Blixa, unwavering as his friend made his dramatic exit.

“I'll see you two a little later, then.” Rowland gave a terrible laugh and exited the apartment. The silence he left behind wasn't broken until the door had eased itself shut with a frigid click.

“You look uncomfortable.” The words left Nick mechanically, as though he spoke from somewhere distant. His gaze broke. He stepped closer, smoothing back his hair distractedly. Drawn out moments passed before Blixa could put together anything to say back to him. An unnamed irritation was storming in his head.

“When you had asked me here, I was not thinking that we would be alone.”

“Relax.” The word left Nick as a command, half-mumbled as he took a casual drag off of his cigarette. His response was so hasty it begged the question of whether he'd heard Blixa's words at all. He threw his cigarette to the floor and stepped forward to rub his hands over Blixa's shoulders—kneading his thumbs back and forth to grind circles into the material of the shirt.

“I thought that you understood... You said...” Blixa loosed a frustrated breath and knitted his brows as he recoiled from Nick's touch. He left the half-expressed thoughts hanging, wary of his amateur English. Worried he had miscommunicated, he spoke now with a cautious sincerity—careful of his inflection on the words. “I don't like men. I do not have sex with them. Do you understand? Verstehst du mich?

“Yeah, your English is fine. Ich fer-shtay-st, or whatever. You are not homosexual. We had this conversation earlier.”

Mouth agape and reeking of his choice drinks of the night, Nick crept forward into Blixa's face. Blixa instinctively pulled back in response. Nick inched further to compensate for each step he took away, almost predatory as he stalked after him.

“But seeing you perform, you look so... ill. So perfectly destroyed. - 'Can't help myself. You are a very beautiful man.”

Something in Nick's presence made him wary. Blixa's eyes remained wide with the alert of pursued prey, calculating every word and every move. Nick stood upright and pressed his knuckle under Blixa's chin, nudging his head upward to force his attention as if correcting a small child.

“When I see you up on the stage bearing your fucking heart—how broken you are—it just goes straight to my dick.” Nick was laughing softly. He cupped the side of Blixa's face with his palm, his fingers curling under his chin. He depressed Blixa's bottom lip with his thumb until teeth and gums showed. Blixa slapped the offending hand from him as though he removed an insectile pest.

“I really don't like for where this is going.” He made sure there was a note in his voice that suggested he had no intentions of seeing their meeting out to its end. Inflection had a way of weakening language barriers.

Nick made no notice that he'd heard him speak.

“I like that about you. You're ruined and beautiful and all I ‘wanna do is take you and share that misery... The nihilism-hedonism corollary, I guess? See you down on your knees, bruised and dirty, with your lips around my cock? Finding the words is difficult...” Nick spoke as though he were being contradicted and needed to testify to the truth of his words. He cleared his throat. A vein in his neck rose, beating visibly--almost to signal a warning. Blixa could see the detachment from reality in the dead sheen of his eyes, either from internal or external chemicals acting on his mind. He was either ill or wasted.

Nick reached to take his jaw in his hand again, but Blixa caught his wrist mid-air. Hissing an irritated breath out through his teeth, Nick stepped forward tauntingly, moving directly into Blixa's face.

“I made a mistake coming here. I need to leave.” Blixa spoke with a restraining hold on his emotions, venting his thoughts more than trying to relate them to Nick in his empathetically-crippled condition.. His frustration grew by the second, so that the reasons for remaining civil dwindled in his mind with the passing of the time. He took another step back from Nick despite himself. Nick made no delay in the move to return to his position, barely an inch from Blixa's face. The steps continued in a dance until he had caged Blixa against the wall.

“Nick.” The name left Blixa sternly, cautioning some unnamed action they both knew well he wouldn't follow through with. He searched his mind and tried to think back to times he'd been physically threatened. The only things he could remember were making a run for it or getting hurt.

“You're awfully passive for the attitude you put up earlier. Y'know that?” Nick placed a hand on Blixa's waist, as if to simply show him he could. His smile didn't falter. “You act differently when your friends aren't nearby. Or mine, I should add.”

Blixa hesitated, scowling in an attempt to feign some courage, before pulling Nick's hand from him once more. Nick's other was squeezing his thigh, however, before the first had even left him. He laughed at Blixa's reluctance—maybe at his silence. Blixa seized his wrist but he wouldn't budge. The muscles in Nick's arms tensed and he grabbed roughly at Blixa's hips. His excitement was visible as he looked the other man up and down, waiting for the next move.

“I am leaving now.” Blixa spoke gravely, meeting Nick's mad gaze. His voice directed command but his eyes pleaded. The words were a request.

“Then do it.”

Blixa attempted to move forward, but Nick shoved him back with open palms up against the wall. He dug his fingers into Blixa's waist, disapproving of the other man's movement.

“I don't want to fight.”

“Then I don't think you're leaving, darling.”

The force of Nick's arms pinning Blixa to the spot were an invitation to violence. He stared Blixa down, veins throbbing in spite of the chill of the room, feeding on whatever weakness he was shown. Blixa flit through the personal and vicarious experiences in his mind in a panic, looking for any quick answer out of the situation.

“The way I see this, there's two outcomes open here.” Nick's grip tensed. Blixa's waist felt tender under the pressure—ready to bruise. The emotions grew anxiously in his chest and the pit of his stomach. They fluttered and lurched, crying to escape. Nick leaned in to whisper the rest of his words into his ear, his cold nose brushing Blixa's cheek. “You can try and have a nice time along with me... or I'm simply going to have a nice time with you.”

Nick had pressed his body up to Blixa's. His crotch was resting against his hip—the stiff bulge at the front of his pants now made obvious. He pecked at Blixa's lips tenderly, his breath corrosive with the stench of alcohol.

Adrenaline pumping, Blixa hesitated, knowing that he would not get another chance. He forced his body's tension to ease, allowing his limbs to nearly go limp. Nick sensed the change in his bearing and relaxed his grip. He ran his hand up the curving path from Blixa's thigh to the small of his back. Blixa permitted his touch. He leaned in to Nick's face and pressed his lips to his cheek. Nick's guard fell completely at the change in will. His breathing had become labored, almost electrified by the intimacy. No sooner than he had backed away, Blixa bolted from the wall and headed for the exit.

“Hey! FUCK. HEY!” Nick's startled yell and footsteps followed suit.

Blixa flung open the door and ran blindly out around the corner of the complex to some stairs. It would have been pitch black outside if not for a few scattered street lights. The darkness seemed as though it threatened to extinguish them more than they appeared to be illuminating it. As he realized Nick was pursuing him, he found himself leaping down the frosted steps two at a time and vainly screaming for help at the top of his lungs in both German and English.

Nick slammed into his back at full speed, knocking the both of them forward to slip down the stairs to the ground. He hooked his arms under Blixa's shoulders and dragged him back to the bottom of the steps. The ice-slicked cement scraped through the leather of Blixa's pants and scoured his knees to a raw red.

ARE YOU FUCKING INSANE?!” It seemed every time he screamed, his voice grew weaker, until he finally couldn't force himself to make more than a hoarse whine. He fought with an impossible force, with failure trailing behind his actions like a shadow. Using every ounce of strength he could muster, he strained his neck against the hold and dug his teeth into Nick's arm. Nick shrieked and recoiled. Blixa broke free and tumbled away blindly. As soon as he'd gotten back to his feet, Nick leapt at him again. Nick's knuckles smashed into the side of his face, splitting the skin open underneath and sending him reeling. Before Blixa could recompose himself, Nick had clamped both hands over his throat.

“That's quite enough of that.” Nick spoke between heavy pants—the condensation of his breath distinct against the night's air.

Blixa pulled at his hands, but Nick stood solid. The more he struggled or strained to scream, the tighter the grip would close in on him. He stared into Nick, penetrating past the drunk luster of his eyes, and found himself horrified at the rage swimming underneath. He could feel his own heartbeat thumping in his throat and ears now. He saw bright spots on dark, blurred images before his eyes, and with muscle turned to rubber his mind seemed incapable of communicating with the rest of his body. He crashed sideways on the cold ground into an explosion of blackness, with Nick following after, and the strangle-hold never breaking even as his struggle subsided.

---


Blixa's head throbbed. The stale aroma of old sweat flooded his nostrils. There was a heavy weight pressing on his thighs. Cold hands were brushing against the bare skin of his stomach, digging under the waistline of his pants. He forced open his sleep-anchored eyes. Like a living nightmare, he was greeted with the image of Nick half-dressed before him, straddling his hips and pulling the belt out from the loops of his pants. They were back inside now on the beaten mattress. Nick had stripped the rest of Blixa's clothes and was straining to tug down the stubborn leather material of his pants.

Comprehension took a moment to set in. Blixa's whole body rebelled as he absorbed the situation, going off into a panic of helplessness. His heart galloped in his chest, throat burning and clenching, while his stomach wrenched into sick knots. Cold sweat seeped out of every pore and built up a clammy film over his skin.

Geh runter!” He flailed wildly without any direct intention or thought other than to dislodge Nick from him. To distance himself from the man on top of him was his only conscious goal.

Nick cracked him hard across the face with an open palm and rekindled the sting of broken skin. The punch he'd taken earlier reiterated its presence.

“Fucken' calm down.” Nick spoke in hassled breaths more as though he narrated his thoughts than he addressed Blixa. Underneath the words, his voice teemed with excitement.

GEH RUNTER!” Blixa tried to lift his legs from under the weight of Nick's body, but there was no use in it. He sat up and shoved at Nick's bare chest, exposed through his unbuttoned shirt. He swung his arms wildly, banging at Nick's shoulders and face. Nick shielded himself with his arms, blocking the blows until he felt confident enough to grab for Blixa's wrists. He threw all of his body's weight against Blixa and pinned him down to the bed, both wrists secured in one hand.

Blixa squirmed madly. With Nick restraining him, it was as though he fought against an immovable weight. He screamed. He called for help at the top of his lungs in his native tongue, petitioning wordless prayers in his primal fever that someone would hear him. Nick slapped him again in the same wounded spot. Reveling in the struggle, he balled his hand into a fist and took another swing at Blixa's nose. Blixa yelped and recoiled in pain. Warm blood spilled down his chin and smeared over Nick's knuckles. Nick released his hands to tug Blixa's pants down to his knees—underwear dragging along with them. Blixa's body thrashed beneath him in response, subdued only by the weight and gravity of Nick on top. Naked and beaten underneath Nick, his panic peaked.

Nick set to undoing his slacks and relieved his erection through the zipper. He replaced one hand on Blixa's stomach and grasped a fistful of his hair with the other in a further attempt to hold him. His knee forced its way between Blixa's thighs, prying his legs open. Blixa fought like a threatened animal, thrashing violently—punching, clawing and biting at Nick. They struggled along the mattress until his back caught against something sharp and sliced open to a warm ocean of red. Before he could make a sound, Nick had grabbed at his neck and pushed his thumbs into the lump of his throat. No noise would come. Just as the pressure in his face was growing to an overwhelming throb and his vision had begun to leave him, Nick let go. Blixa gulped in the air hysterically. Nick's hands seized his shoulders and pulled him back to the center of the bed, crudely dragging out whatever had caught him in the back. A rusted spring stuck from of the bed's thinning material where he had lain, now dripping with a thick coating of blood. The mattress underneath was stained in a wet path of dark, reddish splotches and skids.

Nick grabbed Blixa's knees and tore his legs apart. He forced his erection against him and pushed with several violent shoves until the skin and muscle gave way. Tears welling in his eyes, Blixa emitted a howl of pain and dug his nails into Nick's arms. Nick flinched at the noise but paid no other notice to the struggle. The tightness was too much for him to move with any ease. He forced in and out awkwardly while the man trapped beneath him sobbed with shame and clawed to get away.

Blixa banged his fists against Nick's back, forced to hysteria, gripping on to any other sensation or action he could to block out the painful sting and pressure. Nick had torn him and was thrusting and grinding pitilessly into him, the only reliever of friction being the blood that spilled down the inside of his thighs. Nick did his best to keep him restrained, ignorant to his tears. His hands were cemented at Blixa's waist—his body's rhythm unrelenting.

Frantic and crying, Blixa pushed at Nick's shoulders, attempting to sever their bodies. He twisted violently beneath Nick, trapped on his back, using what felt like his dying strength to escape. Nick held him down simply and forced on with a building pace, entranced by the sensations and the smell of skin and blood. He responded to every protest with a harsh shove, using gravity as his advantage to push Blixa down into the ratty mattress. He leaned close to Blixa's ear, breathing heavy, careful of his flailing arms.

“You can fucken' cut it out now or I will wring your goddamn pretty neck again.”

Blixa resigned to the pain and lay motionless beneath Nick, humiliated and whimpering. There were no words for the violation he felt. The loss of the blood seeping from his back had begun to make him faint; it harmonized with the dignity leaving him, both adamantly draining away his vitality. Somewhere distant to what his mind would allow him to take in, Nick's cold hands searched his exposed body, groping and caressing him without warrant. He stared beyond Nick at the water-stained ceiling above, unconsciously chewing his lip to keep from crying out. Nick moaned in his ear, forcing inside of him with a growing pace. He fixed his gaze onto one of the stains. It was a repellent, unclean rusted color, faded with sun and age. It bled out into various, grotesque rings, all connected and yet after a distance all suddenly destroying themselves, drowning in narrow, splotched angles.

He felt his skin tearing. It felt like a hot bar of iron had pierced him and was threatening to come out the other side through his guts. He was being split in half. He blinked away forming tears and held his breath, shifting his focus to anything but the pain, repeating and building with Nick's every move.

Nick dug his hands underneath Blixa, feeling up and down from his shoulders to his thighs. He pressed his hands against the freely flowing cut along his spine. He forced Blixa's back to arch upward, centering his weight from underneath the wound and pressing their stomachs together. Blixa hung like a wilted plant in his arms while Nick's pelvis slammed into his hips. His skin was tender to the point of numbness.

The stains above seemed to grow and mutate, taking on menacing shapes that bled out into scabbed flecks of paint. Bits of the rotted dermis had withered in peeling flakes and fallen to the floor, leaving dark, rusted scars behind.

Nick ran tongue and teeth all along his navel and chest, lingering to suck hungrily on sensitive spots, marking his territory wherever he could with small bruises. Blixa felt him gnawing on his neck, his nipple. In an instant, Nick had grabbed a fistful of his hair and pushed their lips together. Blixa fought, but there was no use in it. The other man wouldn't even echo his efforts with gasps.

He mocked Blixa, not bothering to recognize the struggle—not missing a beat. Nick had seized him like a captured animal. He was forced into the kiss, shutting his eyes tight while Nick's open mouth locked onto his and his tongue pushed its way in, dragging along inside the metallic taste of his own ripped flesh and blood. The defeat, all the pain and shame, made his veins pulse with hatred. He cried uselessly, lying tense and motionless while Nick thrust into him, using his body as he desired, humming sounds of pleasure over his hurting. The noises of pain escaped him now, muffled by the kiss. He bit at Nick's invading mouth until a warm gush of blood leaked down his chin. Nick gasped sharply and froze. He pulled away until the bite linked them together, stuck by his lower lip like a dog at the end of its chain. He pressed his thumb and fingers into either side of Blixa's face, driving the skin of his cheeks between his teeth to pry open his mouth. No sooner than they had broken apart, Blixa spat blood and chewed skin into his face. Nick shut his eyes almost expectantly, breathing with a shuddering frustration. He wiped Blixa's chin with the back of his hand, cleaning up the mess of blood and saliva.

“I'm going to make you regret that.” He spoke with a frightening release of emotion—a rage folded and forced into the confines of his shaky movements, brimming over before the final release. With one quick motion, he drove violently into Blixa. He paused to watch the other man writhe beneath him before shoving against him again. Blixa yelled out to the empty room in breathless agony, certain that he was being torn apart. His cries broke the droning of flat, hard packing sounds as Nick's body slammed against him.

“You're being punished for a reason...” Nick rolled a thumb over either of Blixa's reddened eyes, halting forming tears with a surprising affection. Blixa simply stared on at him in hatred and pain so pure he could find no area of his mind sized to contain them. The emotions teemed over and spilled out of him in every frustrated breath and noise. Nick pressed his lips to Blixa's jaw and kissed away the collecting tears on either side, none of the sadism of his actions lessened for it. He moved down to Blixa's neck and began nibbling and sucking once more at the skin. He grabbed Blixa's legs from behind the knees and brought them up to his sides, forcing him open further as he moved against him with an agonizing excitement. Nick sunk his teeth into his neck. The skin broke easily under his impassioned movements, but the sting was nothing more than a hollow echo next to his thrusts.

“Why don't you roll over onto your stomach for me, hm?” Nick spoke in shuddering breaths into Blixa's ear, unable to contain his thrill at the notion. He ran his hand up and down Blixa's raised thigh. Blixa lay immobile beneath him, crying and convulsing, staring off at the ceiling.

“That wasn't a suggestion.” Nick had moved to face him. He let go of Blixa's legs and spaced himself to allow the other man room to turn around, but Blixa remained lifelessly in the same spot.

Nick's exasperation grew with a daunting visibility. He grabbed Blixa by the shoulders, breathing heavily, and attempted to move him by force. Blixa struggled against the pull, turning over no further than onto his side. Nick shoved violently at his back, pushing him along the mattress as they fought. In one brutal movement, Blixa was driven to the end of the bed and his arm caught on the rusted spring fragment penetrating through the worn fabric.

It happened so fast that neither the pain nor the realization of what had occurred hit him until moments after. The jagged metal had dug into the fleshy underside of his bicep and poked through to the other end horizontally, piercing skin and muscle. Nick climbed on top of him, straddling his stomach. He bore his knee down onto Blixa's skewered limb, scrambling forward to meet his face. The lower half of Blixa's arm sounded with a sickening crunch as it was forced down, anchored to the spot and yet strained to move by the weight of Nick's body.

The cry that came from him was inhuman. It was a theatric sound Nick would've expected to hear him make on stage—an epic of agony. Nick lifted himself up away in shock, startled and confused, unaware of what he'd done to invoke the noise.

Blixa could find no way to contain himself. He writhed and screamed. The pain had gripped him completely. It shattered his mind, downpoured over and drowned out his struggle with Nick. He tried to stifle his cries, but it was as futile as attempting to subdue a storm. Nick crudely wrenched his bicep from the spring, unaware of the break in bone lower down his arm. Blixa shuddered and wailed, biting open his lip and tightly shutting his eyes while Nick examined him. Nick trailed down his arm to where the bone had broken and ripped through the skin in an oozing gash. He ran his thumb over the flow of blood, feeling the uneven break just underneath, and halting over the serrated tip.

He pressed down on it. Blixa screamed again. The pain haunted his body; his soul split and splintered along with his cracking bones. He attempted to fling himself to the side to escape Nick's touch, throwing all of his body's weight, but Nick held his arm securely. He was trapped in a nightmare, fighting an impervious force in vain. He shut his eyes and fell defeated onto his back, contorting his face in pain and sobbing with wild abandonment until Nick saw fit to release him.

“This hurts, does it?” The words were a slurred taunt, drunken stupidity or another demonstration of power. Blixa's anguish was touchable in front of him and he preyed upon it. His casually resting hand was a loaded threat.

Blixa forced himself to shake his head up and down, fighting back more tears. The haze of his breath appeared and dissipated rapidly before his eyes. Nick gave the break another press with a casual curiosity, enticing an ear-splitting wail. He waited, letting the pain course, and then released Blixa. His hand hovered threateningly over the wound still, with blood now coating his palm.

“Why don't you give me a kiss?” Nick kept one hand ready over the splintered bone and gripped Blixa's waist with the other. Blixa looked him in the eyes, tears streaming, silently pleading with him. Nick balanced his weight and forced slowly back into Blixa inch by inch, the penetration met with the friction and resistance of before. Blixa screwed up his face in pain. He was pressed down by the storm of suffering, panting and sweating in spite of the cold of the room. Nick brushed a mess of hair from Blixa's eyes to behind his ears. He cupped Blixa's face in his hand and stroked his thumb back and forth across his cheek in mock consolation, smearing the spilled blood in streaks.

“Please...”

“Was not very nice of you to bite me. And then to spit in my face.” Nick's voice trailed off effectively. His thumb pulled at Blixa's pout, dribbling the blood from his broken lip down his chin.

“Please, I'm sorry... I'm so sorry.” Blixa was repeating the words in a whisper, over and over, begging deliriously, searching for any glint of mercy. His eyes were dilated—hardly a strip of color left bordering the pupils. The pain throbbed. It shot through his arm, deep in the bone in an agonizing ache, made its way up his shoulder, and then down again into joints of his hand. He was trembling hysterically. Beyond Nick, the circles of the water-stained ceiling had become more pronounced. The splattered trails of rust leading from them leaked out to the corners of the room, dissipating through the distance like divers thrown themselves off buildings. The splotches' peeled edges hung there yellowing and accusing like an aborted painting.

“I think I told you to roll over. Of course I'd like that kiss first.”

Blixa swallowed hard against the lump rising in his throat. He leaned up into Nick's face and kissed him stiffly. Nick's response was conservative. Pecking the corners of Blixa's mouth and moving his hand to the back of his head, he forced him forward. They hovered shakily less than an inch from one another, Nick grinding gently into him, waiting for Blixa to take it farther. Blixa parted his lips, and in immediate response Nick's mouth locked onto his, deep and devouring. Nick pulled at his hair, damped with sweat, and kissed him violently. His teeth grazed Blixa's lips and tongue. Blixa complied resentfully with every motion, tears streaming. Nick was feverish with passion, excited more than ever by the forced cooperation. He called out encouraging obscenities against Blixa's mouth, throwing one of his ankles over his shoulder and pinning both wrists delicately above his head, further agitating the broken bone. He drove harder into him, rocking their bodies back and forth, encouraged by the stifled exclamations of pain and pleading.

Torturous minutes disguised as hours passed before Nick broke off the kiss. He seemed to pause for a moment, shaking in the pleasure, before he slowed his pace and wrapped his arms about Blixa's blood-stained ribcage. He nuzzled Blixa's ear consolingly as pulled out of him. He raised himself onto hands and knees above him, surrounding him in a cage of limbs.

“Get on your stomach.” Nick commanded him with a stern compassion, giving the man turned child beneath him ample room.­ Blixa let out a strangled sob—a tragic noise that bore into Nick's conscience like a drill. He carried his injured arm like some lifeless, foreign appendage—careful not to touch anything—and turned over to present his back beneath Nick.

Nick wasted no time rowing with morals. He grabbed at Blixa's thighs, leaning low to drive back into him. He dug his fingers into the skin, gripping on for dear life while ecstasy threatened to wash him away. Blixa wailed facedown into the bed, muting his cries. Hysterical noises escaped him in spasms as though someone ripped them from him, pausing only to gasp for air. He couldn't stop himself. He wanted only now to shut his eyes and wait for Nick to be done with him, receding into some mental safe-haven in a deep corner of his mind.

Nick's hand grabbed between Blixa's legs and closed over his shaft. He rubbed him gently, contrary to every other action so far. The violation was beyond comprehension. Nick moved over him in a practiced way learned from nights alone, massaging the tender flesh. He could feel how much Nick wanted his humiliation, and restrained himself with all his will not to let his cries escalate.

On some level, he became aware of the door squeaking open across the room and low voices drawing near. Nick either didn't notice his friends' entrance or did not care. He continued his motions as if deaf and blind to everything else. There was no strength left in Blixa to protest again—to call out to be saved. Fighting against another strangling, another beating, with more pain inflicted and struggle thwarted, only to prolong the humiliation. He realized now that he'd been trembling uncontrollably. He took involuntary shuddering breaths, trying to mask his hysteria like a child recovering from a fit of tears.

Nick's mouth was at the back of his neck, leaving more marks as he continued into his body. All the bruises, cuts, and bites were left as inscriptions of the struggle. The both of them were messed in his blood. Nick lay over him, snugly imitating every arc of his spine while he thrust purposefully against the tense opening slicked with blood. Blixa buried his face in his uninjured arm and lay in wait. He let out a small noise of defeat—hardly an audible cry under Nick's panting and frantic movement.

At the other side of the room, Rowland had returned, joined now by the boy he'd been accompanied by at the club. The both of them were speaking casually and averting their eyes to the floor, aware of the labored breathing and sounds of flesh on flesh echoing off the walls; Blixa's moans for mercy mistaken for expressions of overwhelm and pleasure. They'd seated themselves on the beaten furniture and carried on their talk in hushed tones.

The conversation slipped into a curious silence. Blixa grew aware of his own strangled cries, rising in volume like a dying creature petitioning a last rite of pride.

“...Mick? 'The fuck is that?” Rowland's voice whispered, breaking the new silence with a beg for dismissal of his imagination.

A horrible sound pierced the air like a gunshot. Mick was nearly screaming in hoarse disgust. He was leaned over the sofa's back staring at Nick and Blixa wide-eyed, stilled completely in his disbelief. Rowland looked around wildly after the exclamation, peering over the top of the cushions to survey the scene. He resembled a frightened raccoon peeking out of the brush with his darkly circled eyes.

Blixa broke into heavy sobs, hiding his face in the crook of his arm. Nick had flinched at the sudden outburst and turned his head to face his friends, but showed no comprehension for what was going on. He seemed irritated, as though some pact of privacy had been broken. Mick found himself after the shock and leaped from his seat. Rowland was still frozen to the spot, startled stupid.

What the fuck are you doing?

“Piss off!” Nick barked back at him, scowling hideously. It felt as though he dug claws into Blixa's back, hoarding him territorially from rescue. Blixa had long since gone into shock. He was hysterical—delirious with pain. Hair matted with sweat and face contorted in his hysterics, he breathed in shuddering sobs and spasms. He was coated in red. His body had been a veritable feast for Nick. Nick had skinned and shot him down, and devoured him ravenously—dignity and all. Blixa was stripped to hollow bone. He felt empty and used up; somehow it had become his own fault for ever coming here—for ever having been idiotic enough to have been lured in by Nick.

“For fuck's sake! Get off of him!

Nick seemed to pause for a moment, shaking in the agonizing pleasure, before his teeth left Blixa's neck and he wrapped his arms about his stomach. He was a terrifying distortion of himself to the other men. Like a masquerading demon caught by light, the evil seemed to flee. The lines in his face relaxed and he rested his grip, with Blixa's skin still raked under his nails. He nuzzled Blixa's ear warmly, slowing his pace. The other man could only weep louder beneath him, all reservations now cast aside.

“Get the hell off of him. I said leave him alone! SHIT!

Rowland now sat on his heels with one hand planted over his open mouth, beyond the grasp of belief. A mix of emotions had cemented him to passivity, onlooking the scene in horror. By his face, he could have been at the side of a car wreck, lamenting a massive pile-up.

What the fuck is wrong with you?

Mick rushed over to the bed, violently motioning his commands. Nick held tighter to Blixa. He'd recessed back to the role of charming seducer. Blixa was too faint to get up. He trembled beneath Nick. A chilling sweat seeped from his pores and his body's every nerve went numb. Pins and needles. The room was spinning. His vision had blurred and a muted ringing in his ears was drowning out the surrounding conversation. He heard talking but couldn't make out who it was coming from. He was being closed off somewhere distant. The only touchable thing left was the pain, emotional and physical, and Nick's breath on his neck.

“It's not how it looks, alright?”

“Not how it fucking looks? There's blood everywhere!” Mick was rattling off expletives. Unconvinced, he gestured towards the ghostly carcass beneath Nick—bone white and bloodstained. The mattress had been dyed red beneath them. It was a crime scene.

“Look, you don't fucking understand.”

“Get the fuck off!”

All of the words had lost meaning to Blixa. He tried to hold onto the conversation, but it moved sluggishly through his ears, stalled in passing through the maze of his head before it could reach him. It had all become cryptic, alien noise. The voices raised and the pressure of Nick's body soon left him. He squirmed onto his side, pulling his knees up to his chest. He wrapped his able arm about himself, aware on some level that he was still whining and convulsing. The spotted ceiling had warped into something atrocious above him. The rings took on the layout of flowing faces, sobbing and laughing at their spills and peeling skin. They were loathsome to bear the sight of. He flinched as Nick approached him again, abated by both Mick and Rowland. Nick pulled his arms out of the sleeves of his shirt and draped it over Blixa's naked form. The blood still flowing from his back and arm seeped quickly into the white fabric in growing prints of his wounds. It clung wet to his skin.

Fass mich nicht an!” Blixa screamed hoarsely, his eyes wide in anxiety. He one-handedly gathered the shirt into a ball and tossed it across the floor. As Nick reached to touch him consolingly on the back, he shrank away and gave another piercing cry.

Rowland was yelling something now. He couldn't catch anything more than every other word. Mick approached and sat down beside him, speaking calm and soothing noise. He grabbed Blixa from under the arms and pulled him carefully into his lap. The warmth of his skin was shocking. Blixa relaxed to his touch and rested his head limply against the other man's chest, drawn to his heat. He felt frozen. Mick rubbed his bare shoulders, trying to generate some body heat through the friction.

The door slammed from the other side of the room. Mick took him by the waist and leaned him gently forward, exposing his naked back. The comforting sounds disappeared, and were replaced briefly after with distressed calls to Rowland. The blood dripped from Blixa's arm in long, thick streams down to his fingertips and pooled onto the bed. It leaked visibly down the inside of his thighs and spilled from his back. The bone was still jutting out from his skin like the caught tooth of some attacking animal. The brief embrace had left Mick damp and stained red.

Rowland was standing before Blixa with a length of belt between his teeth like a rose. Mick pulled Blixa closer, speaking hushed and frantically. He grabbed for the unimpaired arm and forced it out to Rowland. The room swam in front of Blixa's eyes. Everything danced in and out of focus behind colored trails of light and spots of dark. He opened his mouth as if to say something, but his voice failed him. The belt was wrapped firmly about his bicep. Confused, he strained once more to speak as Mick pulled it uncomfortably tight, but his stomach lurched and rose to the back of his throat, threatening to spill its contents.

Rowland fumbled with something out of his sight, working diligently at whatever purpose. Mick stirred behind him, peeling off his coat as best he could with Blixa trembling in his lap. He tucked the coat about Blixa's torso, leaving just the tied off arm exposed, and started in once more with his soothing, unintelligible speech. He hushed Blixa as he groaned in unconscious pain, his actions breaking all language barriers. Blixa made an effort to reverse himself and face Mick, but the other man held him in place. An erratic clicking echoed frigidly through the room. Mick whispered into his ear and the words finally shot through to him.

“Only a minute more...”

The discomfort in his gut grew. He fought with Mick, feeling the nausea rise, but his mind had little command left over the movement of his limbs. Secured to his seat, he jut out his neck beyond the mattress and retched. Eyes watering, the sick rose from his stomach and erupted out of him, burning his throat and nostrils as it left in waves. It gushed wet onto the tile in sulfurous splatters, streaming out through the slated lines to Rowland's boots. The other men gave noises of sympathetic disgust.

Too late, Mick pulled what hair he could out of Blixa's face. Blixa gagged and spat the remains of the offensive, scorching matter from his mouth. It had flooded into his nose and now dripped acridly down the back of his throat. It felt as though a flaming phoenix had ripped through his esophagus. His stomach now relieved, the gastric stew, blood, and tears dripped to the puddle below, all collecting to some pattern of rejected rebirth on the floor.

“Hang in there.” Rowland spoke comforting platitudes, extending Nick's discarded shirt out to Blixa. Too disoriented to act on his own, Mick instead took the blood-soaked garment and wiped the mess from Blixa's face. Blixa clung helplessly to him like a child to a parent.

With a shining syringe in hand, Rowland took Blixa's tied arm. His fingers trekked the ghostly blue veins, searching for an appropriate entryway. Like a lover's bite, the needle pierced Blixa's skin without warning and delivered warm consolation, circulating through him in a euphoric rush. The intensity gripping him, he sighed blissfully, arching in Mick's lap. His senses were bolstered over with the warmth—a pleasant numbness washing through to every nerve. Ambrosia was pulsing in his blood, carrying the comfort back to his heart and pumping it outward again. All thought and feeling left him; his violation and broken body were discarded.

He sunk into Mick, losing all connection to the world around him. Lying motionless now, his eyes anchored with bliss and fatigue, he faded in and out of dreams, unable to separate his perceptions from the unconscious imagery. The rotted ceiling had opened up to the black sky. Above, a blinding, gaseous sun was paling rapidly into the dead rock of the moon. Waxing in the night, it left lingering flashes of radiance and color in his eyes wherever he looked about him. Numbed from scalp to heel, he vaguely felt fingers combing back his hair. He was surrounded with endless space in the dead dark, yet enclosed and shielded from it by the veil of intravenous silk. His broken, stained body sunk lower away from the infinite abyss, deep into velvet warmth. Somewhere beyond his shell, a door had opened and slammed shut. He strained to raise his heavy lids, hearing distant yells, but found he couldn't respond. He felt he was being moved, but it was something dead containing him—something severed from him. He was outside of himself. Nick's face haunted his vision. Quiet roars of air passed by his ears now, while strips of light danced along where he lay, penetrating his shell. He strained to observe from the inside, until he was gone, away into his worn mind in rest.

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