“This is intense!” Mercury said. He was sweating quite profusely, breathing hard as he put in every ounce of effort he could muster. The boy was trying hard, pleasing me with his efforts.
“I know. That’s why I love it! Put your hand,” I smiled, grabbing his hand. I pulled his body forward into a rather… cumbersome position, “…Here…”
“Oh my god!” Mercury moaned as I continued to pull him forward, “This feels sooooo damn good!”
“Good, now take it slow…Breathe.” I coaxed. He did. We locked eyes, exchanging heated grins of rather lustful intent. I could feels his warm breath on my neck…
“So this is how Illisian’s do it, huh?” He asked. I couldn’t help but laugh.
“This is for beginners, child. You haven’t seen anything yet!!!” I teased.
“Oh really?” He asked.
We sat face to face, legs splayed out with the souls of our feet connecting. There was only about five inches of space between our crotches.
“Pull me.” I said.
“OK…” He said, truly not believing just how dexterous my body was. He locked hands with me and began pulling me forward. Forcefully, he yanked me, thinking it would hurt. I laid across his belly, barely feeling the stretch, “Whoa…”
“I told you, this isn’t too hard.” I laughed, getting to my hands and knees.
It brought our lips dangerously close. Before they could connect, I tumbled over him, landing on the edge of the mat. Mercury, flustered, turned to face me.
“You’re going to get enough of teasing me like this!” He said.
“No, I don’t think I’ll ever get enough.” I laughed.
“Ok, show me some advanced Contortium de mal.” Mercury demanded. I turned to him.
“Are you prepared to see this?” I asked.
“This is nothing but glorified yoga combined with some hard ass gymnastics. I’m more than prepared.” He responded surely.
I slid into a middle split, finding my center of breath. I then popped my right thigh out of its socket pulling my leg upwards to make my toe point to the roof. I then leaned back, making my forehead and toes touch.
“This is a floor swan split. Need I show more?” I asked.
“Please!” Mercury begged.
I turned to face my left leg, making sure I held my right leg in the same position. I then twisted my left leg out the socket and pointed the toes to the ceiling. This position was incredibly difficult. I had to maintain my balance with no leverage at all. It seemed as though it was strenuous on my lower body but it was more of an upper body workout and a tedious balancing act.
“This is the trident.” I said.
“More!” Mercury demanded.
I popped every joint back into place standing up once again. I did a back arch but instead of stopping, I kept going forward until my head had gone several inches past my feet. I then popped the left leg out of the socket once again and pulled it up until my spine began to twist. Gravity pulled my left leg down until I was in a tight square shape.
“This is the cube.” I said.
“How the hell can you do this?” He asked.
“It started off as stretching to be flexible enough to not be sore after riding horses when I was a really young kid. Then my father began teaching me Contortium which is heavily Illisian influenced yoga.” I answered.
“So years of practice, huh?” He asked.
“So when will I get to this level?”
“Well, you can be considered intermediate as is, so let’s start with…maybe water wheels?” I said, grabbing two thirty pound dumbbells. I brought them to the mat, “This is how you do them.”
I placed the dumbbells beside each foot. Maintaining my grip, I went into a handstand, allowing the dumbbells to support my weight. With the added leverage I arched my back eventually allowing my feet to touch the mat. I took several tiny steps placing my feet firmly in a wide stance, taking several breaths. I then lifted the dumbbells off the ground, standing erect, holding them above my head and repeated, several times.
“Whoa, that looks difficult.” Mercury said to himself.
“It’s a full body workout. You’ll be pooped for days after you do about ten reps.” I said as I sat back on the mat.
“Well this already is proving to be a bit much for me. I’d have to take this rather slow. I didn’t know Yoga could be such a fun little challenge.” Mercury smiled. I lay down on the mat, staring at the ceiling. Mercury took a seat on the edge of the mat, leaning onto the footboard of his bed. He sighed.
“We still haven’t talked about much, ya know.”
“What do you want to talk about?” I asked.
“You still haven’t given me a good reason as to why you’re…why you’ve come. Someone like you with someone like me, I just can’t come to wrapping my head around that.” He said. I leaned up to look the gorgeous boy eye to eye.
“Maybe you’re caught on the looks side of things, but the way you made me look at things here is just momentous. You have a way of teaching and interpreting that I admire. Plus, I saw you were a realist and I consider myself one. In this gaziantep escort world, people like you are rare.” I said.
“Realist huh?” He asked with a smile, unsure how to take my little assessment, “I would have thought of you more of the type to get to where you need to go… I frankly feel like I’m the boulder on your stone path…”
“Why?” I asked.
“Because, there should be no reason you’re outside that upper ring! As much money as you’ve earned and you’re here with someone who barely gets paid…?”
“This is going over your head… I grew up with not a penny to my name. I had air to breathe and grass under my feet… and simply had to work with that. This…trust me, this is by no means any means to grow some dank debonair attitude…simply because I made money.” I said.
“What are you trying to say?”
“Money doesn’t matter to me and I like you for you! That’s what I’m trying to say!” I smiled.
“Yet, you’ve done nothing to prove it…” He said. The words were a slap in the face.
“Maybe by western standards… But by Illisian standards, I’d be disowned for simply accompanying you. In my home country, behavior such as this is beyond taboo. For you this may be equivocal to nothing but for me, it takes a lot.” I said.
“Oh…” He simply said. I got up and gathered my clothes.
“I should go…” I sighed. He scrambled after me, grabbing me from behind.
“You know sometimes I can be stupid and blind and inconsiderate.” He said.
“I see.” I said bluntly.
“Come on, I didn’t mean it that way at all. You don’t have to leave… I’m sorry!” He said.
“I mean…I’m taking a big gamble on faith here. Like…I haven’t felt this way over a single person in my life, giving all I know how but you’re just….”
“We’re from two different worlds. I just need to learn more about yours! Bear with me a little bit longer!” He begged.
“Ok…” I said, feeling reluctance. He took me back to his bed, taking my clothes and placing them in a basket next to the night stand. He then sat next to me, staring at me, full of intrigue.
“So, you see a future for us?” He asked.
“I see us taking this one day at a time.” I said bluntly.
“I understand…so would you name us a couple yet?” He continued. It was a tough question.
“I don’t know…I really like you but this is all so terrifying. I’ve dove into all kinds of stuff head first but never my feelings. This is…”
“It’s ok, we can go slow! I promise I won’t rush!” He said, hoping to reassure me. I couldn’t help but smile.
“So, what about this city, huh? I know so little about it and have so many questions… I mean I’m going to be living here from now on…” I asked.
“Well, I know every square inch of everything so I’m the one to ask.” He smiled.
“Ok so….how does a place this big run? Where does all the money come from?” I asked.
“Truth be told, it’s not pretty. This city is a slaver outpost, one of the largest in the world….” He said, truly not proud.
“Really?” I asked.
“Yes really… I’ve saw a side to this city that you just can’t un-see. It’s why I had to work so hard to make sure you didn’t get sold into slavery. I didn’t quite mention to you all the things I had to go through to cover your ass, boy.” He laughed.
“So slavery is prevalent here?” I asked.
“It’s not like slavery as in someone has to work hard and do someone else’s bidding. The rich tends to buy slaves for sexual activity and then…disposes of them when they get bored. Guess who has to do the disposing…us noblemen. I’ve been doing this since I was seventeen. I take no pride in this but ultimately, have no way out… I’m essentially trapped in this.” He said.
The urge to tell him my true intentions was growing. He didn’t know how much I knew about the sex slave industry in this state… or just how affected I was. I truly didn’t know what to say. My intentions were not to fall for him. I was only using him for information but to know he was not happy with this life changed the scope of my mission. However, including him in this mission would make several more problems arise that I wasn’t sure he or I were prepared for. Truly, I had to be on my own.
“That’s just….” I said, struggling to find the right words.
“I recalled you said you saw some things… some things not so great…” He pointed out. I then remembered our conversation at the Mediterranean restaurant.
“I did…” I said, unsure the direction this conversation would turn.
“Well, whatever you saw, I’m deeply sorry to have you experience it and if I could, I would change it!”
“It’s fine…” I said, still haunted by the thought.
“I mean… There are not only negative things in the city! There are some fucking great things to see such as the zoos, the parks, the grand lots, the restaurants, the concerts!!!! There are things to love here, and they aren’t too hard to find! I’ll show you one day.” He smiled, hoping to change my opinions.
“Well,” he said, seeing no sway in me, “What did you see?” At this point, there was no holding it back. My eyes welled up with rage filled tears as I tried to suppress the truth. It was taking all my will to hold it in but, I simply couldn’t.
“…I saw…” I began, “I gotta go….”
“Kijus…” Mercury said, worried about what I saw. I went to the basket, stopping to think. I had to compose myself before leaving, “We can talk about anything…”
“Man, Mercury, I’ve lost more than you could ever understand… This place is nothing but a reminder and it’s a struggle for me. I’m afraid there’s little you can do to help…not with this.” I said. He could hear the anguish on my tongue. The boundaries were set. He was not going to intrude any further.
“Just don’t let this be the last time you come to visit.” Mercury sighed. I said nothing. I put on my clothes and left, going down to the stable and hopping onto Rejon. We rode back to the upper ring. I directed Rejon into his stall, locking him up for the night. Turning around, Richard was standing there, startling me.
“Hey!” He said, full of enthusiasm. For whatever reason, the boy was rather clingy and…truthfully I didn’t really mind it. I was the only one here who cared for raptors the way he did. But I did notice something though… He was completely neglecting his friends.
“Hey.” I said back. He looked at me intently.
“Is something wrong?” He asked.
“No…” I sighed.
“Well, you’ve been gone for a few days. I thought you left.” He said.
“No, I still have work here to do. I’m not leaving for a while…” I laughed reassuringly.
“So what is there to do in the lower rings?” He asked.
“There is tons actually.” I said, making my way to the exit.
“Like what?” He continued.
“Well, there are soooo many restaurants, so many parks, so many venues and markets, so many everything…” I said.
“Well, my father doesn’t let any of us leave the ring without an escort. You’re lucky…Well he doesn’t really know you leave and he might try to stop you if he learns…”
“I mean, I won’t tell, Roi won’t tell but Brija will… Of course, the girl’s mouth just blabs on uncontrollably and today…she asked about you. She’s worse than Roi…” He explained.
“So…” I began, “She’s going to rat on me?”
“Personally, I don’t know what business you have outside these walls but please be careful. I’ll try to throw her off for as long as I can but…she’s spoiled rotten and will inevitably get her way.” He warned.
“Thanks for the tip… but, how should I approach this?”
“Like I told you, I’m here for you whether you wish for it or not. You may be blind to it but you’re doing my family a huge service and this is the only way I can repay you so…I’m willing to go to some pretty far lengths for you…” He chuckled, nervously. I turned to him, not expecting such sincerity or dedication.
“Thank you kid…” I said. He smiled, but the smile shrunk into what seemed like disappointment, as though he was expecting more from me.
It was then I made a stark realization. The boy was harboring some deep down feelings… feelings for me. They weren’t noticeable at first but they were becoming more and more evident. This was hard to process, let alone address. I couldn’t be terribly blunt like always this go around, because he was too precious to crush.. I for one, was equally as attracted to him as he was to me but… I had serious, serious other issues going on in my life! The feelings we shared for each other couldn’t be explored…
But I wasn’t completely blind to them. Richard’s bolder, borderline intrusive behavior was something I’ve been noticing, something I’ve been riding my hopes on. That day in the pasture with the torque course, when we were taining Silver, I knew he was in my room! My room door was left purposely unlocked. I put very fine talc crystals on the floor, crystals that glow in the light. Upon returning to my room and turning on the lights, tracks were visible on the floor, boot tracks. And I knew these boots. Richard was the only one in the palace who’d keep his riding boots on inside. Afterall, he was the only one in the palace who really was a riding jockey.
All and all, this was a silent cry for help! He needed to know the things going on in my life because I couldn’t dare tell him what I was going to do. It was just that fucking bad! Hopefully, he was able to piece it all together! If these were different conditions where lives weren’t on the line….then maybe, just maybe I would explore the possibility of a building a relationship with him.
But we could never be. I didn’t want to lead him on either! It was a terrible habit and one I’d feel incredibly guilty over, if I let myself get close to him. With all that was going to happen, it simply wasn’t wise.
“Kijus!” Richard called out. He sounded frantic. I turned to him; half knowing what this would be about, “I respect you! I respect you soooooooo much! And if it was anyone else,” He said gearing to make another confession, “I’d run up to them and take the gamble…and kiss them! But with you, your beliefs, your self-views and governess it’s just… How could I ever approach you when you just radiate such a high level of being…. And you constantly leaving all the time… I feel like I stand no chance. I feel like… I’ve already lost.”
“I’m not good with expressing feelings, never was… Interpreting other’s feelings, is another thing though… All I got to say is that, if these were any other circumstances, I’d try it with you. I mean…” I said, not wanting to go into very deep details.
“And that’s supposed to make me feel better?” He asked, annoyed by my response.
“I’ve thought about it a lot, actually. My little mind has taken me to some depths I never thought I’d have the capacity to think of. I’ve imagined…a lot. I’ve dealt with… a lot.” I said, making my own little confession. He looked at me peculiarly, arms folded, seeing I was holding back information.
“Yet I’ve never thought of you that way. I aspired to be something like you before you started holding all these secrets, meeting up with random guys in the city.” He hissed.
“What?” I said back, caught off guard.
“Yeah, I was there at the restaurant when you and that Illisian had you little date. I heard every word… Here I was thinking you were this pure little being when you probably gave in to him. You probably got weak for him…”
“It’s not what you think…” I said.
“I’m supposed to believe a guy like that didn’t make a move on a guy like you? If you expect me to think that’s true, you’re wrong…”
“Why does it matter?”
“Because, I never stood a chance and this guy, someone who’s a tiny fraction of my worth comes in and swoops you away! I’ve been trying and trying and you’ve been pushing me away so hard, and I’ve had my limit….”
“I’m using him…” I said.
“He has information I need and I plan on getting it. I’m willing to do anything to get it…” I said.
“So you’re just going to lay yourself on the line huh?” He asked. I was getting extremely angry.
“At this point, I have nothing to lose! I’m nowhere near home, don’t know how to get back home, and this city is just disgusting! I….”
“And what makes you feel the need to get down to that same level?” He interrupted.
“You want to know why I’ve been disappearing every day?” I said, my eyes welling up tears of anguish. Before I could even utter a word, I realized what I was doing. My hands flew up in surrender as I shook my head. I refused to argue any more. The only respectable thing to do was walk away.
“KIJUS!” Richard yelled out. Seeing I wasn’t turning back to continue this argument, he went after me grabbing me by my arm. It took all my might not to retaliate in a way that would result in blood. I turned to face him, his passion filled eyes meeting my raging ones. I snatched out of my grasp, so upset.
“I don’t at all want to fight with you! We’re both too mature for that. I shouldn’t have opened my mouth… I’m sorry.” He said. All I could do was stare at him. Words found trouble manifesting on my tongue…
“…And you said I could trust you, huh?” His eyes lit up with joy as he felt I was about to come clean. I chuffed, rolling my eyes and continuing on.
“Oh my god…” He said running in front of me, “Please don’t do this to me! I’ll stop! I won’t prod any further, just don’t shut me out… Please, I’m begging you.”
Now how the hell was I supposed to respond to his…adorable heartfelt pleas? Before an ounce of sympathy could be seen on my face, I brushed past him, heading up to the balcony. The guilt of holding this against him though, was intense…a more intense feeling than how his aesthetics could move me. This night would be long and restless.
Richard was the only thought on my mind. I just couldn’t forget that promise I made to him. The plans I had for tonight were to fulfill them. Though, that too had its own hidden motives. I needed some experience before I dove into this foreign world. Yes, I was going to lose my virginity in this town. Surely, I did not want to lose my virginity to someone I didn’t know. I’d much rather lose it to someone I was familiar with and who was just as inexperienced as I was.
It served also served a purpose. Two consenting virgins were an eternal loop hole in the front of my religion. An exchange in purity was even more sacred than marriage. Fundamentally, it allowed both to still be able to walk away…not virgins but on a path to paradise nonetheless. It was…security, temporary security. This world I planned on diving into was definitely vicious. I was going to go into the slums, sell myself if I had to, in an effort to get closer to my goal. But, once I got in, there was no way out. I would be a slave, property to the highest bidders of the night. The idea was terrifying but what other choice did I have?
I sat on the sectional, looking at a picture I kept for years. Bazahra, watching me weep my eyes out, tried figuring out what was upsetting me. I walked over to her, showing her the picture.