Thursday, July 30, 2015

WIP Thursday: Thick as Ice, Chapter 2c

On Thursdays I post excerpts from a novel I’m working on. This week, Vorgell asks Madd to explain what just happened between them in bed. Also, I’m away this week—attending GenCon in Indianapolis! Fun and games… literally.


Thick as Ice, Chapter 2c

Vorgell sighed. Much as it helped to know he had not hurt his friend, Madd’s answer did not ease his heart. “But you didn’t like what I did.”

“You’re right. I didn’t. Now will you stop talking?”

Tears thickened Madd’s voice. The ragged rise and fall of the man’s chest was that of something wounded… or broken.

“I can’t stop talking. Not about this. Not when you’re—”

“I’m not crying!”

Crying had not been the word on Vorgell’s lips. In pain, he had thought to say. He sighed and pressed his lips to Madd’s thick, heavy hair. There were things he could not rest without knowing. “You’re hurting. And I cannot bear it. Just tell me why.”

“Maybe there is no why. Maybe I just don’t like it, all right?” Madd drew a stuttering breath. Vorgell knew the sound of a man fighting for control. The darkness itself wrapped around them. There was no moonlight, nor direct light of any kind, in the alcove now. Madd was visible only because his pale skin caught even glimmers of moonshine and magic. Vorgell stared at the curve of a shoulder until his friend’s breathing grew quiet and Madd spoke again. “You’re the first man to touch me there—shove his finger or anything else up my ass, all right—that I haven’t wanted to kill for it.”

The body in Vorgell’s arms remained tense, a knotted thing. All feelings and pain. Perhaps talking wasn’t the best idea. “You don’t have to tell me.”

“Are you fucking crazy? You’re the only one I have to tell. You’ve wanted to screw me since the day we met.”

That was true. Even now, prompted by the thought…. Vorgell winced and wished he had better control of his cock. Madd surely felt the push of his erection. “I still do. But I would never—”

“Don’t you think I know that?”

How could any man ever know what another man thought? “I hoped you knew.”

“I know. You could overpower me with one hand, hold me down on the damn floor or against a wall, and laugh while doing it. I’d be nothing against your brawn. You scare the hell out of me sometimes. But you never use it against me. Ever. I trust you, you big oaf.” Madd snuffled before he continued. “I trust you more than anyone. I even sleep in the same fucking bed sometimes—don’t I?—if we’re not at home. That’s why I’m so fucked up about this. Tonight I let you do that, and”—Madd drew another heavy breath—“and I don’t even know why, all right? I just knew that I could, and I did. I let you see that.”

What had he seen? Vorgell tried to craft a full meaning from words Madd was speaking in fits and starts. All he had seen was his finger in Madd’s ass. He had also seen Madd’s craving.

“I thought you wanted it.”

“I did. Gods! I hate this!” Madd tried to wrench away but Vorgell locked him closer and did not let him go. He didn’t speak but simply kept his arms around the tight body, arched spine pressed to his chest, legs cradled on his. “Let me go!”

“Never. Not until I know you are no longer in the grip of demons.”

“I’m always in the grip of demons!”

“That’s not true. Not anymore.”

A shudder shook Madd’s slender frame, but his body uncoiled within the arms that caged him. He wiped his face, wet with tears, against Vorgell’s bulging bicep. “I told you I was covered in shit. Bad shit. Flemgu’s fucking shit, all right? I can’t escape what he did, no matter how hard I try.”

“Are you saying that’s why—” Vorgell frowned and knit his brows, a look that would have caused fear in his enemies, though Madd faced away from him and could not see it.

“Hells, yes.”

Though Vorgell heard frustration in Madd’s voice, he also heard reason. For that alone he relaxed his hold. But only a little. It reassured him to hear that soft voice continue speaking.

“Liking men used to be fun, not ugly,” Madd confided. “Screw me, but I began sucking off other boys when I was just a kid, because I liked that and they did, too. And older men as well. Witch men get urges, don’t let them fool you. So when I came to Gurgh, I made coin that way, sucking off fools and stealing their purses. Tagard could probably even tell you how many cocks I sucked by how many coppers I gave him. But I never sold those men my ass… never gave any man the use of me, no matter how many times I might have promised it just to lure them in. I had control and, believe me, it’s better that way.”

Madd gave another great sigh, his body loose now within Vorgell’s embrace. It was best to let him keep talking. Wounds only healed if the festering came out into the open.

“You know how Flemgu got me, right? Killed my Gran and made off with me? Well Flemgu took me that same night and used me hard, and when he was done and I was screaming how much I hated him and would kill him someday, he told me I would learn to like it. He wanted me to like it, wanted that more than anything. He fucked me every night and he did it with skill, I’ll give him that. Remember how I said it became a game? That was the game. He learned me so well, he could make me come every time, and it did feel good… it felt fucking great.” The laugh that came next bore no joy at all. “I didn’t tell him that, of course. I never fucking gave him the satisfaction. But I hated him for making me feel. Hated feeling his filthy cock in my ass… hated that it felt damn good sometimes—and I hated that I couldn’t stop those good feelings from happening. I didn’t want those feelings, but I couldn’t escape… they just happened. And that fucking Flemgu… he laughed and said my body proved me a whore. I came for him, Vorgell. What he did to me… I don’t know how he did it, but sometimes I came on command, like a slave. How could I let him do that to me?”

He wiped fresh tears on Vorgell’s arm. Vorgell already knew he would never speak of them. He pressed another kiss to Madd’s dark hair. “He took away all choice. He wasn’t giving you pleasure. He was taking a privilege you would never have given him. He wasn’t a lover. He was a torturer.”

“I know that. It’s just… I think I could have handled the pain. I could have felt some pride, resisting it. But making me feel pleasure killed me inside.” His voice hardened. “I hated it. I hated it every time. And I let him know it, too. After a while he started giving me to other men, just for the fun of watching them do it too.”

The man had been a monster. Of course Madd knew that already, so Vorgell simply remained silent… though he took great satisfaction in mentally revisiting his last sight of Flemgu, lying on a bloody floor with his head separated from his neck.

“I never liked it.” Madd placed a hand on Vorgell’s encircling arm and pulled it closer. “Not one time. Not ever. Not even just now.”

“I believe you.”

“When I get drunk, sometimes, or in dreams… my body gets confused. It starts wanting that again and I… I can’t seem to make the wanting stop. It’s like I become something else. I become that... that thing. How can my body want something I hate?”

“What you felt… what you feel… it’s not something evil. Our bodies do not understand the world the way our minds do. You showed me a part of yourself you think is ugly because another man used it against you. Maybe you trusted me to see you that way and not think ill.”

“It wasn’t some damn test, Vorgell.”

“Trust is never a test.” He wished he had words to explain what he knew to be true. “Like the time you and I were drinking and I got raging drunk. I wasn’t testing you. I don’t like being drunk. I don’t like the man I become.”

“Drinking? That’s not the same thing, not even close.”

“Isn’t it? Maybe you like how good fucking feels—but you don’t like being fucked.”

“Do we even speak the same language?”

Vorgell pulled Madd tighter into a good snuggle. “You have said enough, and so have I. I think we both know what happened tonight.”

For a long time they lay in silence, though Madd remained subject to sighs that filled Vorgell’s arms. At last Madd turned to him. “What you did to me… for me—it felt good, Vorgell.”

Not as good as it felt to have Madd tucked against his body, sharing hard won confidences. He had just been entrusted with a key, a misshapen bit of a man’s soul, which he hoped might someday unlock a treasure. That treasure lay in his arms—a man slightly damp with perspiration, shame, and tears—little by little relaxing toward sleep. Darkness and the close summer heat pulled him toward the same.

“You have only to let me know what you want,” Vorgell promised, “and I will give it to you freely.”

“I know that, you thick-headed oaf.” But he felt Madd’s facial muscles form a smile and if it would have been possible for him to pull his precious witch closer, he would have.

“Sleep,” Vorgell said. He kissed Madd three times. His hair, his cheek, the fetching curve of his right shoulder. He was certain Madd would sleep well now, carried off to dreams by drink, sex, and spent emotions. Of his own rest, Vorgell was less certain.

His heart ached to know his friend was so at odds. Did Madd really see his body as a traitorous vehicle, a thing apart from himself, infested with obscene desires? Such a burden would be terrible. It would break most men. He had carried his own forbidden longings for too long not to know how doing so put a distance between a man and the world. For a long time Vorgell lay on his side and watched shadows, feeling the rise and fall of Madd’s ribcage under his arms.

A light bump on the bed told him Petal had joined them. Vorgell caught a glimmer of scales as the basilisk climbed onto Madd’s shoulder and coiled her sinuous body in the slight space between the two humans. For all her baleful stares at Madd, Petal liked to feel the witch’s heartbeat.

“He’ll feel better tomorrow, but I might not,” Vorgell murmured and looked for a moment into Petal’s eyes before both her head and her outer eyelids lowered. “I just want to kill something.”


I enjoy feedback and am always happy to discuss readers’ thoughts or answer any questions. 


  1. Oh gosh, poor Madd :( I really feel for him, I hope with Vorgell's help he can find some peace! Can't wait for the next part!
    I'm so jealous you are going to GenCon, I hope you have fun!

    1. Hi Kasha. I just got back from GenCon, so apologize for the late response. :-/ I tried to respond on my iPhone, but couldn't get the reply to post. Frustrating. But GenCon was great fun! Met up with Lexi Ander (if you haven't read her books, give them a look) and played lots of games. And Madd is turning a corner. He's trusting Vorgell with his issues, which for him is a huge leap. It might lead to him being more open to his feelings. Maybe. ;)

  2. My heart is breaking for Madd but I love how Vorgell cares for him.

    1. Vorgell would do anything for Madd, and he's demonstrated that often enough even Madd believes it. :) Might be time to turn those tables, eh?

    2. You, my dear, are a TEASE! :D

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  4. The worst torment: being shackled and taught to love it. You've done an astute job of capturing Madd's conflict over his own desires. I'll be looking forward to watching him learn to overcome them, even if it's in gradual steps.

    I still want a Vorgell of my own :) (Hope the hubby doesn't see me type this...)

    1. I believe in gradual steps, having had to take so many of my own. :) And wouldn't it be lovely to have a Vorgell? My husband has resigned himself to my having literary quasi-lovers. It helps that he has co-workers who ask if my hunky heroes are based on him. LOL