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not real, made up, purely intended for entertainment

Chasing the Dragon

by Sola Fiamma

It’s past two in the morning when he hears the faint beep of the alarm code being entered and the clunk of shoes hitting the floor. None of his usual posse, he knows. He’s given strict instructions that he’s not to be disturbed for the next week so he can catch up on his sleep and X-Boxing. JC, he thinks, blearily, although he knows it can’t be because he watched JC boarding his flight back to L.A. less than four hours ago. It can’t be Justin, either, because he talked to Justin earlier and he’s with Cameron in, where was it? Curacao? Tobago? Sri Lanka? The Pocanoes? Somewhere that isn’t here, anyway. It won’t be Joey. He and Kelly are in New York.

He must have imagined it, he decides. He must have.

When he opens his eyes again an hour or maybe only ten minutes later, there’s an arm around his chest, a dick pressed against the small of his back, and the overwhelming fug of stale whiskey wafting over his shoulder in irregular waves.

Lance, then.


He tries to ease his way out of Lance’s stuporous embrace, but Lance tightens his grip until his arm feels like a steel brace and he makes an irritated snorting sound in his sleep. The last thing Chris wants to do is wake him, so he stops struggling and lies still, praying that Lance will stay comatose until he’s had a chance to sober up. It’s never happened before, but there has to be a first time.

The whiskey smell is making him thirsty. Or hungry. Something that he can’t do anything about, anyway. He inhales deeply, wondering how long it would take to get any benefit from the second hand fumes. Forever, maybe. Right now, it’s just making him want to pee.

Floating under the scent of alcohol, there’s a tang of sweat, which it takes him a couple more sniffs to identify as Lance’s rather than his own. It’s faint, so it’s not three-day bender sweat. Or sex sweat. Maybe he’s been dancing? Chris leans his head back, closes his eyes and sniffs again. No, not strong enough for that. Probably just staggering-to-the-cab sweat, then. That’s good. That’s okay. Chris can live with staggering-to-the-cab sweat. Dancing sweat’s okay too. He can totally get behind dancing sweat.

Three-day bender sweat is scary; he never knows if it’s going to lead to screaming arguments or chilly silences or. Or something else. Sex sweat is the worst, though. Sex sweat means Lance is pissed off enough, or sad enough, or wounded enough to drag his drunken ass and his bed hair out of someone else’s bed in the middle of the night and come all the way over to Chris’s from whatever part of the city or state or country he’s been slutting it up in. Sex sweat means that someone’s going to pay, and it’s not going to be the person who got him all sweaty to begin with.

But, no. Not sex sweat. Not three-day bender sex. Chris relaxes a little. However bad it’s going to be, it’s been much, much worse.

He can do this. Whatever “this” turns out to be.

It’s been a long, long time since he’s thought about telling Lance to fuck off back to wherever it is he’s come from. There was a short period of time when he tried to end things, after he finally realized that this was going to be it, this was all Lance was ever going to be able to give him. He’d changed the locks on his doors, programmed a new alarm code, started asking people he hadn’t particularly wanted to sleep with to spend the night. None of it worked. Lance had bullied or blackmailed keys and codes out of someone—probably Joey, Chris suspects—because he’d kept showing up in Chris’s bed every few weeks, reeking of alcohol and sweat. When he’d found someone else in the bed, Lance had either shoved them onto the floor, or threatened them, or mocked them nastily until they’d left.

Even on those irritatingly rare occasions when Chris was in a relationship, he wasn’t safe. Even when he’d been with Dani, all those years ago. She’d take one look at that shut down, zipped up, don’t-fuck-with-me face as Lance knelt at the foot of their bed, and she’d get up, stroke Lance’s cheek with infinite tenderness, and leave the room. “It’s okay,” she’d tell Chris the next morning, when Lance had walked out without stopping to shower or have breakfast, or even to say hello or goodbye. “It’s okay, I don’t mind. It’s not like he’s ever going to stay. And whatever fucked up thing you two have going on, he really seems to need it.”

Yes, indeedy. That fucked up thing. The one they’ve had going on since sometime in Germany. The fucked up thing that means when Lance has whipped himself into a venomous loathing for the world, or himself, or both, Chris will be there to soak up the poison and yell at him and screw him into the mattress until he’s ready to snap the lid down tight again.

That fucked up thing.

Back in Germany, Chris had hoped—had believed—that Lance’s visits meant something else. He hadn’t been sure what they meant, but he’d assumed that the vicious arguments, the furtive blow jobs, the quick, urgent fucks when the other guys were out for the afternoon or evening, well, he’d assumed they were no more than unpleasant but necessary steps in the long, winding journey that would lead, eventually, to the tossing around of words like “boyfriend” and “relationship” and, what the fuck, maybe even “love.”

He’d thought a lot of things back then. He’d thought Lance might even wake up in his bed one morning and say “hey” instead of lunging for his pants and the door.

When he’d had an epiphany one afternoon during rehearsal and realized that wasn’t going to happen, not soon, probably not ever, he’d dragged Lance into the bathroom, slammed him up against the wall and hissed in his ear, “That’s it, Bass. That’s fucking it. Don’t you ever, ever come into my bed again. You want to get screwed, find some other masochistic bastard to put up with your shit. This divorce is final. Got it?”

Lance hadn’t moved a muscle or said a word; he’d just leaned passively against the wall, staring at Chris like he was bug juice on a windscreen.

“I said. Have. You. Got. It? Answer me, you little shit.”

Nothing. He hadn’t even blinked. Pushing himself off Lance, Chris had stomped out of the bathroom, giving the door a punch on the way out to drive his point home. Lance hadn’t shown up for the rest of the rehearsal. He hadn’t shown up until five minutes before their show that night, and when he did, Chris had been shocked to see that his eyes were red and his face all splotchy and pink. Chris had followed him after the show to straighten things out, Lance had spun around and shoved Chris so hard he’d actually fallen on his ass.

“You shut the fuck up,” Lance had yelled him, eyes bright with tears and rage. “I don’t want to hear it, alright? I don’t want to talk to you, I don’t want to see you and I don’t want to hear a fucking thing you have to say. Ever. You got that Chris? Have you fucking got that?

Two nights later he’d shown up in Chris’s bed again. They’d fucked. They’ve never talked about it again. The closest Chris has come to trying to end it since then was changing the locks, and that period of rebellion only lasted a couple of months.

He’s given up trying to understand it. What’s the point? Where Lance is concerned, Chris is a junkie. It doesn’t matter how crappy the high, how wretched the trip, or how fucked up the hangover, Lance is in his blood, like a drug, like an incurable disease.

Behind him, Lance stirs and moans, and the shifting heat of his body sends little prickles of anticipation up and down Chris’s spine.. He’s waking up. Chris can feel him getting hard against his back, feels his own dick twitch in response, like Pavlov’s pooch when the dinner bell rings. Like a junkie’s itch when the smack comes out.

Chasing the dragon, that’s what they used to call it, those old time junkies who smoked their heroin from porcelain bowls and bamboo tubes. Chris wishes he was strong enough to walk away, to break free, to quit Lance once and for all. That’s the thing about chasing dragons, though; there’s always a part of you that believes you can catch one. There’s always a part of that can’t stop yearning for that fierce and fiery ride straight into the sun.

With a smothered sigh, Chris rolls over and smiles at Lance.

“Hey,” he says, and waits for the ride to begin.


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