Note from the translator: It took close to 5h to translate this chapter.
15. The Blonde
"There is something.
Something that sits there... buried deep, very deep.
Covered by a layer of sand and silt. Covered by everything I was able to throw on top.
I'm pretending that it's not there.
That it never happened.
But despite that... I carry its stigma. Maybe it's not too noticeable, but it somehow shaped me... differently from how I wanted it to happen."
These words... could be said by both of them.
Him and Winter.
Marcin and him.
They both despite two different lives and different history, they have a secret.
A secret with deep roots.
And their small shoots are sprouting through their whole life.
To the surface.
I don't like to talk about it.
Besides, who would like to do that...?
Generally I was always... the runaway type. I had a big mouth, but when it came to a throw down, I never held my own. I never defended... myself, my dignity, my morality.
As long as Niv was there I felt safe.
I felt untouchable.
But when he left... new "needs" surfaced and I, hmmm... still wasn't able to face what I brought down on myself.
- Hi Niv! - the Blonde said even before his bum touched the chair. He adjusted the laptop a bit so that he could see the virtual reflection of Nivan better.
- Hey - the Redhead replied, smiling a little. Delicately, just like Marcin preferred it.
The Blonde returned the smile and looked at him for a while in silence.
- We won't be able to talk much today.... - he said letting his gaze fall a little.
- I told you a few days ago... that I'm supposed to go to that party.
- With Winter? - asked Nivan, rapidly losing his smile.
But Marcin was aware of the attitude the Redhead had whenever "This Vocalist" was mentioned.
Now he felt it more than ever. With every time Nivan pronounced his name it was with more aggravation.
- Well yes... with him... - said Marcin still not meeting his eyes, biting down on his lip.
He didn't like the way Nivan looked at him now. With criticism. Cold and what's worse... with distrust.
But Marcin wasn't aware that his body language spoke something totally different. Something that made the Redhead feel something strange, something that he had no control over.
- Maybe you could look at me and stop running away with those peepers of yours? - asked Nivan with a stern and a bit accusing voice.
Marcin looked to him automatically. And realised how silly he behaved... because he didn't want the Redhead to look at him the way he did. Because he didn't want him to think...that he himself... thought that way about Winter.
Because he didn't.
And he didn't want Nivan mad because of it. But he was.
- You're not jealous Nivan, are you? - Marcin asked as soon as he thought formed in his head.
The Redhead quickly shook his head in a silent disbelief at the question.
- You're kidding right? - he said frowning.
Marcin seeing him a bit lost, smiled playfully.
- So... you are then? - he asked grinning.
- No? Not even a bit? - Marcin asked still smiling.
- I said, - he said coldly - No. NOTHING - he added sternly. Looking at him with a dose of superiority.
Marcin was looking at him for a bit, with his lips parted a little bit. He was still looking for a confirmation that Niv was joking.
But he hasn't found it. He stopped smiling and let his gaze drop.
He didn't even know what to say.
- Well maybe a little bit... - Nivan finally said, interrupting the uncomfortable silence. He smiled with the corner of his mouth. Marcin looked at him frowning. Now he knew that Nivan was playing him.
- You... moron. You don't even know how that "nothing" of yours sounded - he said with disgust in his voice.
- Let's just say it was a punishment for your stupid questions.
- Malicious, redheaded moron... - Marcin mumbled under his nose, crossing arms over his chest. Looking offended.
Nivan smiled under his nose.
- I would say that you are cute when you are angry. But wait... how did you put it?... "You are more handsome when you get angry"? - the Redhead asked, repeating Marcin's words.
- Are you having fun?
- Yes, actually - Nivan responded smiling.
Marcin looked at him with the corner of his eye, because he was sitting sideways to him. He was silent and angered.
- OK - the Redhead interrupted the silence yet again - enough of that long face, silly.
The Blonde reacted by averting his eyes.
- I can't believe that you get offended at the tiniest thing - Niv laughed.
- I'm not offended - Marcin replied but with the same look on his face.
- Yeah... sure - Nivan added ironically.
Marcin didn't respond to that still looking at Nivan with the corner of his eye.
Nivan let out a long sigh.
- Marcin you silly thing, you know very well that I like you - he said weakly.
- How. Much. - Marcin asked sternly.
- If I tell you that I like you very much, will you un-offend yourself?
- That doesn't count.
- I really. REALLY don't like when you are angry for long. But in the first phase you are quite cute - said Niv.
Marcin tried to stifle his laugh.
- That doesn't count either.
- You are very demanding Mister I-get-angry- because-of-every-little-thing. In the first phase of you becoming angry if you got a kiss or a hug the offence would quickly dissolve from your face. But because I'm so far away, I get to look at the later phase. And then I have to talk some bull crap to resolve it.
Marin smiled and let his tense shoulders fall.
- It's not bull crap. It was nice.
The Redhead smiled back at him.
They were looking cheerfully at each other again.
- Will you let me know when you'll be back? - he asked.
- Will do - Marcin replied - I will be a good boy. You don't have to worry about me.
He didn't even know how wrong he was.
The moment of that kiss. My first kiss.
First with a man. First altogether.
First with Niv.
...it was a turning point of sorts.
And it's not like from that moment on I became a faggot. No.
I think I was gay since forever.
But realising who I really was took me a long time.
When the fear was gone, and being disgusted with myself vanished as well... there came the time when I wanted to try everything.
Flat out, full on. Hard.
Not playing at the relationship games.
There came the times of gay clubs, toilets.
Now that I think about it, it was because of my own doing that I threw myself into this world too quickly and too deep. I was still a kid back then.
I was a little bashful in the beginning.
Then I took whatever wanted it quick with no strings attached.
But I never thought that something bad could happen.
I never thought that I could catch something. That I could get infected with something.
I was lucky.
But not all the way.
Ever since he was invited, he was surprised that he was meant to show up two full hours before the party started.
When he arrived, together with Winter's manager, it turned out that they were supposed to dress up and put on some make up and that "people who know how to do it will take care of it".
And there were a lot of people. Milling about, talking, shouting.
Chaos all around. But he liked it.
When the make-up artist started to work on him, he realised it wasn't a regular party.
Everyone will be dressed up.
Avant-garde, a bit scary and odd.
And he liked that too... until he heard that was meant to change his shoes.
Then he saw the costumes...
Nice, or not... he had to change his shoes.
So they started good ol' fish market bantering together with the stylist and the hairdresser.
There was a mix of words like: "professionalism", "competence" and "maturity".
And all this with the negative particle.
Long negotiations. Agreement.
Marcin changed the shoes, but kept his mohawk.
He changed the clothes, but chose the ones he liked. He accessorised.
Dark make up stripes accentuating his eyes, stretching up to his temples were highlighting his outfit.
Thirty more minutes.
He was bored out of his ever loving mind.
He was waiting for the manager, almost lying on the chair, sipping a strange beer.
He looked at the indistinct models, putting on anything that was shoved under their nose.
But only one pulled at his attention.
He had long, dark and straight hair that was thickly wrapping his shoulders.
Dark skin, glistening from some sort of a balm of cream.
He reminded him of Nivan a little bit.
He sent him a confident mile, when the other one looked his way.
When you were having sex with someone you just met, you couldn't be sure of anything.
I should already know that...
And I should know that the condom won't save me from all harm.
That I could meet someone with different tastes.
Someone that liked more dangerous games... someone... simply stronger.
I should know ALL of that already.
It wasn't a regular concert.
There weren't thousands of people and a massive stage. Everything was almost intimate. But strangely unusual all the same, making him shiver.
Standing among those weirdly dressed people, covered by the black masks, Marcin was listening to that strange unsettling music and Winter's voice.
To his whisper - vibrating.
He was looking at him dazed by the music and his sleepy but very attractive moves on the stage.
Marcin was swaying in tact a little, with his eyes on half mast.
He felt far away, light, free. As if he was one of the ghosts.
He was wandering what was Winter thinking about when he was singing. Where was he at that time?
What does his voice and music swim through?
What built what he was singing about...?
Winter's music so easily swam through his body.
His mind sedated in a dream like state.
Blue lights in darkness.
A flash of light. Blinding.
The strange feeling of being observed.
The Blonde felt his gaze. He saw him.
The same guy with the black long hair.
He stood far off, unmoving, looking at him.
Strangely separated from others.
Marcin looked at him.
They looked at each other.
Both of them.
Long... Long time ago...
I met a guy in a regular bar.
Nothing new, nothing weird, I know.
I chose him because he reminded me of Nivan a little. He smelled like him a bit too...
Hm... well actually he didn't look like the Redhead at all...
He wasn't build like Nivan was at the moment, but somehow I knew he was stronger than me.
Usually I tried to avoid guys like that. I preferred to dominate, to have everything under control.
But he... seemed nice, he bought me a few beers.
I felt differently when I was with him... I didn't have to take care of anything, he took care of me.
I liked the way he hugged me.
Somewhere deep I needed that.
Maybe more than all those games.
- Are you from here? - Marcin heard a male voice right next to him. The man asked in English.
The Blonde looked at him with the corner of his eye, but he already knew, that it was the guy.
- Maybe I am, or maybe not - he answered in English and turned a little on his bar stool.
The long haired man sat next to him with a slight smile on his face. He ordered two shots. He pushed one of them toward Marcin.
They drunk them without speaking.
- So where are you from? - the long haired man tried to pick up the conversation again.
- From Poland.
The man looked at him curiously.
- So what are you doing here actually? In this Sucker Assembly?
Marcin smiled with the corner of his mouth.
- Are you including yourself in that remark? Mister Model?
- Well I'm paid for it - he said, his tone blasé.
- Well I'm not. I'm here at Winter's invitation. But to be honest today I saw him on the stage only and hmm... I really don't know what I'm doing here anyway.
- Hmm... You are a very interesting crowd. You draw attention to yourself. Especially the important people. And besides... Winter likes to surround himself with interesting people. He doesn't like boredom - the man answered him leaning over the bar.
- For a model, you know a lot about him - Marcin summed up.
- And who said I 'm only a model?
Marcin shrugged and finished his beer. The man was looking at him intently.
- What's your name? - he asked.
- Marcin - was the short reply.
He felt oddly embarrassed by the man's presence.
He knew he couldn't allow himself anything, although... he wanted.
His head was buzzing pleasantly and his crotch was screaming out to him. Loudly.
- Lovely name, interesting. My name is Niklas, nice to meet you - the man smiled and stretched his palm to him.
Marcin hesitated for a moment before he returned the gesture.
- Nice to meet you too... but I think that you need to go now.
- Why? - the man was surprised.
- Because I need to keep myself in check - he said with a sad smile.
- In check? Why?
- As not to land in someone's bed - he replied quickly. Deep inside he knew that was a wrong thing to say. And the smile on the guy's face only confirmed it.
That man... I was talking about, he had needs.... and I couldn't... I didn't want to satisfy them.
We got to his flat very quickly...
To a trap I had no escape from.
He was stronger... at least that was what I thought.
I didn't defend myself because I always run away...
I was afraid what he would do to me if I said "no".
Meekly, obediently. I did everything he wanted.
Seemingly agreeing to everything.
Deep in my soul disgusted and loathing myself.
I was week.
I still am...weak.
They walked embraced. In a drunk, wavy line, stumbling every now and then.
They were drinking cheap champagne.
Their laugh was reverberating from the building's walls in the empty streets.
Marcin didn't know what time it was. He only knew that he had a few shots and three beers.
He wasn't thinking. He was just enjoying the moment and the company of a person that understood him.
With whom he didn't have to pretend anything.
A few hours later he even didn't remember how he found himself in the longhaired model's flat.
He didn't know what the impulse was and when they started kissing.
Why he said "no".
The snake hissed.
He woke up.
He came to from the stupor, alcohol induced coma and severe arousal.
He was already out of his jacket and belt.
The man was kissing his neck. He felt his hand stroking him under his tee.
He felt the coldness of the wall on his back and the warmth of the naked torso.
Finally he felt that he wasn't supposed to be here.
He came to with a start.
An unpleasant shiver went down his spine.
He pushed the man lightly away from him. Still dazed he looked in the man's confused eyes.
- Forgive me, sorry, really, but I can't... I now it's stupid, I don't like when things like that happen either, but I really can't - he was talking fast and gesticulating all the time.
But the man didn't back off, quite the opposite, he came closer and held him tighter.
- Come on, we both know you want it. I can feel it - he murmured in his neck, pressing his leg up against his groin.
Marcin pushed harder at him.
- It's not about that. I can't - he said trying to get past the guy.
He tried to be as nice as his drunken state would allow him, because he himself didn't like situations like that.
He took his jacket of the floor, leaning heavily against the wall. He was really drunk.
His head was spinning.
He pressed his palm against his forehead and closed his eyes for a while, trying to get to the door.
He closed his palm on the doorknob and turned.
But he didn't manage to open the door. A hand bigger than his made it impossible.
Astonished, he looked to the man standing in his way.
- Don't even dream about it. I won't have my whole evening wasted - the model said with a cold had stare.
Marcin smiled nervously.
- You are joking, right? - he asked with dread rising in his voice.
He wasn't joking.
Marcin tugged at the doorknob. Panicking.
Wanting to get away as fast as he could.
Suddenly he felt a sharp pain in his cheek. Unexpected. Strong.
He flew back and landed on the floor.
He lifted a shaking hand to his face and looked to the man standing above him.
He wasn't that the same funny and nice model, no.
He closed his eyes and frowned.
"I'm so stupid. So fucking stupid".
He knew that sort of situations very well.
He went into the trap himself.
He cursed himself, he cursed his karma.
- And now you'll be a good boy and you will do exactly what I tell you to do - the man said firmly standing directly in front of him.
"Here we go again".
Marcin inwardly laughed at himself, and the man took hold of his neck.
The Blonde grimaced.
- Do you understand? - the model hissed through clenched teeth.
The speed and amount of thoughts that went through the Blonde's mind in that moment is hard to describe.
Agree to it. Live though a few hours. Without any "major damage".
Without "traumas"... Just like it was then.
He didn't want to. He really didn't want to.
Fear was filling him from inside out.
He felt small.
But now... wait...
He had something more to lose.
A lot more.
He wanted to be a part of the Redhead. He wanted to be only his.
He fought so long to be with him. He wanted so badly...
He promised something.
Something that he already screwed up.
But... despite that...
- Fuck you, asshole - the Blonde hissed, looking at him with a terrified but disgusted nonetheless look in his eyes.
He spat in his face with pure satisfaction.
He knew he will be punished for that. He knew that type well... so very well.
This time it hurt even more.
He tasted copper in his mouth.
He smiled arrogantly looking up at the man.
He wiped at the blood with his wrist.
He was still afraid but his gaze was different.
He finally had to learn.
For himself. His dignity.
He had to pay for his mistakes.
- Is that everything you have to give? Go ahead, don't waste your evening...
He said it with the same challenging smile and blooded lips.
He looked confidently in the eyes of the angered man standing above him.
With his red teeth he grinned at him evilly.