Every morn and every night, some are born to sweet delight. Some are born to sweet delight. Some are born to endless night.
-- William Blake, Auguries of Innocence
Most nights, Rodgers enjoyed the sensation of his life slowly draining away, of being brought as close to the edge of death as he could stand. Most nights he enjoyed being bound. He enjoyed the feel of leather—cool against his clammy flesh—the disassociating feel of lost circulation in his hands and feet. Most nights he enjoyed losing himself. He enjoyed rough hands rousing him from bed to use him how they chose. He enjoyed ceding control, being pushed to the edge of his limits and maybe a little bit beyond. Most nights he enjoyed the dance between dominance and submission, suffering punishment at the hands of a stranger. Most nights he endured these tortures of his own will.
Most nights he pursued these things… but not this night.
It was late when they roused him from his slumber, from erotic dreams, those calloused hands. And for a moment he smiled before the truth of the matter snapped him into the moment. Those hands worked a hood over his head, and whispered, a low menace:
“Make a noise, and we end it right here.”
I’ve been found out.
He did not struggle, he did not protest his kidnapping. Resisting always made it worse. One lesson that held fast in both pleasure and pain. These faceless hands forced him into the back of a car, with great efficiency and never a word and they were off. Off into the shadows, off towards, he supposed, the end that had haunted him for so long. The end reflected in his lusts.
You’ve been found out. Boy, this is it. This is it…
Halfway across town, another man was roused, though not nearly so roughly. A light tapping at his door. The inquisitor woke immediately, accustomed as he was to callers at all hours of the night, gently extracting himself from the slumbering figure in his arms. He threw a robe around his nakedness and walked to the door. Through the peephole he saw his apprentice, Parsons, and he opened the door.
The young man, stuttered, eyes averted, but he could not hide the excitement in his voice. “Inquisitor? Sir. Er, sorry for the late hour, but… we got a live one.”
“So why am I being bothered? Arvan’s on duty tonight, isn’t he?”
“Yeah, but,” Parsons gave a never look around, “We’ve been requested specifically. *He* requested us.”
This revelation gave the Inquisitor pause. “Him specifically? Are you sure?”
Parsons nodded, in his eyes gleamed excitement… and also fear.
The Inquisitor sighed. “Give me five minutes.”
He closed the door and went back inside. The young man in his bed had woken, and still yawning, lit a candle. The flickering light twinkling in his green eyes. He watched, not speaking as the Inquisitor dressed: A humble homespun looking robe (one he did not mind getting dirtied), the wide-brimmed hat, with a buckle about the base that bespoke his station.
As the Inquisitor finished, the young man smiled. “Handsome, even in that get-up. I don’t know how you do it.”
The Inquisitor did not respond, instead reaching for his wallet. At this the young man walked over to him, put a gentle hand on his wrist. At this the Inquisitor started, but did not pull away. Not like he used to.
“I told you,” The young man sighed, “You don’t have to pay. Not anymore.”
The Inquisitor looked at him, with hard-dark eyes set deep in a brown face, pursing his lips. The young man met his gaze, unwavering and unafraid. Then the dark man reached into his wallet, grabbed some red and blue bills, forcing them into the young man’s hand.
“And I told you. I’m not ready for what it means when I stop. Not yet.”
So saying, he walked over to the door, opened it. Standing in the frame he turned back to the pouting man, still so much a boy despite his profession. Despite how ably he accounted himself in said profession.
“Lock up when you leave. Or… you can stay if you wish. I don’t know how long I’ll be. Hours, maybe longer.”
His back turned to the Inquisitor, so that he would not see the tears that threatened the corners of his eyes, the young man spit, “What kind of whore stays after the job is done?”
“Go, Tomas! I’ve done my job.” And at that Anthony turned, and the Inquisitor, Tomas, saw that he was weeping, “Time for you to do yours!”
Tomas tried to think of what to say to the boy—for that’s what he was, a boy—that would comfort him. But the one thing he wanted was the one thing Tomas could not give.
“I’ll call for you, later.” He said, hollow words for a hollow moment.
And Anthony, despite his tears, smiled. “And I will come.”
With that, the Inquisitor followed Parsons into the night.
Unbeknownst to him, ahead lay a collision with his secret past. One he thought long dead.
Alas, secrets rarely die.