Sunday, August 10, 2014



*Story contains M/M relations, fantasy elements, and sexual scenes.*

"Just get in and get out," John whispered into the oppressive silence of the dressing room. He didn't know why, wouldn't have been able to come up with a reason if asked, but the space always made him nervous as hell. It was by no means the only semi-permanent dressing room in the casino that John serviced; they had half a dozen acts that performed five out of the seven days on a complicated shift that the gods-that-be in marketing had developed in order to draw in the attentions of folks already light-blinded, bell-deaf and star-struck. There was the prima donna with the husky French voice; the dancing, harmonizing quartet that performed the kind of music that even John's aging parents would have kicked off their shoes and danced in the aisles for; the acrobats with the long, lean bodies that drove John's brain mad with fantasy; the fire dancers; the hot troop of half-naked men that made music with the rhythm of their feet and various percussion instruments.

And then there was Albrecht.

The tension was ridiculous, really. John had told himself that over and over again. Yet while he was first in line to roll a cart of drinks or dinner into the double room shared by the dance troops, he all but cringed when this particular stop came up on his list of duties. Not that he had anything against magic; he'd actually been fascinated by Albrecht the few times he'd seen Albrecht perform. The man himself though … that was just … all kinds of creepy.

He'd tried to trade off the cart with Mia when she'd passed him in the hallway but she'd flat out denied him. Not that he blamed her. It wasn't like he held exclusive rights on that particular opinion of Albrecht. Hell, no. While the man was respected for his fantastic illusions on a worldwide scale, it ended there. The man was just too damn quiet when he was alone. It was a startling contrast to Albrecht's stage persona: a perfect guise of controlled flamboyance, an illusion of dominating charm and classic style.

Of course, that wasn't hard to pull off when one was dressed in a ridiculously priced, high fashion tuxedo and had a flair for growling one's consonants when one spoke, John thought as he slipped the freshly-dry-cleaned garments off the clothing rack of his cart and gave them a long, appraising look. He probably wouldn't look half bad in such a thing himself. John turned towards the mirror and held the plastic-draped suit under his chin. Hell, yes, John grinned. The black looked perfect up against his light skin and blond hair. Stunning, actually.

"And now, ladies and gentlemen," John purred at his reflection, "if you would be so kind as to direct your attention to the centre of the stage … " He caught the hem of one sleeve with his right hand and swooped his arm towards the door. The next sound that came out of John's throat should have been a roar of surprise, not the startled squeak of a toddler caught with his hand mid-cookie-grab. He choked back the mortifying noise, stared in unmasked horror, and words failed him as he stood in shocked silence, gazing at the set of eyes that watched him back.

Neither rage nor shock was displayed back at him, and still the look managed to all but liquefy John's knees as Albrecht stepped forward and closed the door as silently as he'd managed to open it. "The man moves like a fucking ghost," John had a moment to muse and then thought decided to join speech in its cowering fail as Albrecht stepped closer.

"I am certain," Albrecht said with a smooth smile, "that I did not order any treats with my tea." There was amusement in his eyes and a timbre to his voice that made John want to slink into the carpet and puddle there until body processes were able to regain functionality. "And yet, here you are."

John had seen Albrecht in passing a hundred times but almost always with eyes lowered and attentions diverted. Instinct, perhaps, John decided. Maybe he'd subconsciously known not to catch eyes. Because the man had eyes that didn't just hold someone else's gaze. Rather they had the unnerving impression of locking on, sending out grapple hooks, and forcing surrender.

"Do you serve yourself?" Albrecht continued. The tease was obvious but the tone was light. "Or I am to do the honours and just take what I need?"

"S-sir ... I ... " John lowered the suit slowly, colour creeping up his neck in a hot flush.

Albrecht waved the stuttered explanation aside. "It would look quite dashing on you I'm sure. Although ... " He tapped his chin and stepped fluidly around John. He reached and forced a garment off an overflowing rack with a flourish. "This one would look nicer by far."

Once again John found himself staring, yet this time his dumfounded state was confusion not panic.

"Please," Albrecht closed the distance between them and held out a white jacket. "Do put it on. Humour me." When John made no move to do it, Albrecht sighed and folded his forehead into a light frown. "It is, after all, a simple request. The least you can for disturbing me. Just ... "

Albrecht stepped forward yet again and John found himself all but choking on the oppression of proximity. Albrecht was way, way, way hotter up close than John had expected him to be. His black hair actually shone with reflected lighting. His dark eyes had an almost cartoonish glint of mischief in them. Skin was flawless, teeth were even and bright, even his smell: sandalwood and leather, cedar and sage, was perfect. How the hell, John wondered, had he not noticed this before?

" ... slip it over your shirt."

Rabbit fur, John's fingertips confirmed with John's eyes. Shorn short, almost like velvet under John's touch ... and why, John's conscience begged reply, was the garment already in John's hand? And why, it continued, was John actually considering following the instruction being provided?

"It's quite lovely, isn't it?" Albrecht continued, stepping past and snapping a button on a monitor to the left of the dressing table. "Very warm. Cozy, even." He gave John a sideways glance and a small smile. "Comforting."

John's eyes were drawn to the screen as it flickered to life. "Oh," the sound came unchecked from John's throat. He moved towards the monitor as though being drawn on a tether. A single tiger paced the cage beyond the camera with a stride that was somehow lazy and powerful all at the same time. "It's beautiful."

"He is indeed," Albrecht said, leaning towards the image of the animal and cooing at it. As if sensing their attention, the tiger turned towards the camera and advanced. Gold eyes bored into John's. A massive head was tossed, paws were drawn out in front of and the cat stretched its body, leaning chest towards floorboards, its muscles shivering as they were flexed and stretched. And as easily as it had descended, the tiger raised itself again, staring into the camera with an almost pleased expression.

"Silly boy," Albrecht chuckled at the tiger, turning to smile at John. "I think he's flirting with you."

John paid little mind to the coaxing of sleeve towards his right hand. "Can he see us?"

"Of course," Albrecht replied. "He likes to watch." Intonation and smirk turned simple statement into tease. He waved at the jacket once again, his expression eager. "Please do try that on for me, yes?"

"So you're saying you have a gay, perverted tiger?" John asked, slipping one arm into the jacket.


The answer made John giggle like a schoolboy and he found himself swallowing the sound in an attempt to regain composure when Albrecht didn't follow suit. "I mean, that's cool," John said, feigning casual.

"Quite," Albrecht agreed. "He does wonders for my act. Such a crowd pleaser."

John nodded. "I've seen it. And I don't doubt that in the least. He's remarkable."

Albrecht moved alongside John and rested a hand on his shoulder. "I know you have. Can I give you a hand with that other sleeve?"

"You know?"

"I've seen you see me," Albrecht replied cryptically. "And while I agree with you on Sevastian's remarkability, I must say that I do miss the quieter ones." He stepped back and drew an appraising look down John's body. He reached out for John's arm, looked up quickly when John reacted with a flinch, and pasted a patient smile on his face. "That looks simply marvellous on you. May I?"

"I ... wh ... I should probably go ... " John looked at the cart, back at Albrecht, at the cart once again. "I have work ... "

Albrecht began to stroke the sleeve of the jacket as if John's words hadn't been spoken at all. "It's been a long time since I've had a rabbit in my show. Sevastian does a wonderful job at sparking the flame of fear but there is something so sweet about a furry little beast, no? They're just so ... " Albrecht pursed his lips and caught John's eye, "alluring. Enticingly timid. Eager to please." He stepped behind John, still stroking the fur, finding John's eyes in the mirror and holding them with his own. Albrecht's palm rose from sleeve to shoulder but instead of falling away, he dropped the hand down John's chest in a slow, smooth slide. "And you, John?"

John swallowed hard. He tore his eyes away from Albrecht's refection and instead found Sevastian's. The tiger watched the two of them with the kind of intensity only a predator of its stature could know. "I ... I like rabbits. I guess. I mean, they're okay?"

Albrecht's responding chuckle was deep, husky and too close to John's ear. "No, John. Dummer Hase."

The unknown words sent a shiver through John's blood that started in his toes and fingers and trembled their way to the utmost core of him. Trying to swallow the dry lump out of his throat only seemed to increase the pressure in his belly that was, paradoxically, as hot as hell and yet insidiously discomfiting. It took everything John had not to swoon against Albrecht when he pressed his lips against John's ear and whispered, "I meant ... do you like to please?"

Without waiting for his answer, Albrecht's hands dipped into the front pockets of the jacket, pulling the bottom corners down and towards one another. Then with all four fingertips of each hand, through silk lining, Albrecht dragged a web of fingernails parallel to the zipper in John's slacks.

John tried for words, managed only a nasally, "Hnnngh ... " but didn't stop Albrecht from pulling his hands out of the pockets and drifting them teasingly towards John's button. And when Albrecht wrenched the button aside and pushed his hand into the front of John's pants, the grab John made for Albrecht's arm was merely to keep himself upright, not an attempt to stop the process. Warm fingers wound around an excited cock and John dropped his chin to his chest to watch.

"No, no, John." With his free hand Albrecht lifted John's face back to level. "Sevastian wants to watch you."

Damned but if the beast didn't look like it was too, John thought – with its great muzzle shoved against the bars and its eyes locked as if it were indeed looking directly at the two of them. He had only a second to question the oddness of that, to wonder if he should be uncomfortable, before Albrecht's lips brushed John's ear again. "Do you believe in magic, John?"

John attempted to speak, opened his mouth but sound didn't come. Rather, a low groan tumbled from John's lips and his hips began to work in opposing movement to Albrecht's palm. "I mean, really, really believe?" Albrecht breath was hot over John's skin, his manipulations of John's body salacious. "Not just in the trickery of hand slights and mirror, but in the existence of actual illusion? The cloaking of reality through artifice, manipulating appearances; drawing truth from fantasy by no more than the insistence of its existence? Tell me, rabbit ... " Albrecht's body was getting hard behind John's, "do ... you ... believe?"

He wanted to say something ... as least verbalize the fact that Albrecht was as much of a crazy fucker that John had thought he was going to be, but at the same time Albrecht was mighty good at what he was doing. Good enough, in fact, that the grip of need in John's belly was all but suffocating him. He didn't know whether to start huffing a warning that he was about to cum, or just keep his mouth shut and let it happen.

"Tell me you believe," Albrecht grumbled, squeezing John's cock with enough pressure that John let out a yelp. The sound was pathetic, weak, and John wasn't quite clear if it driven by pain, or pleasure.

"I ... " John parted his lips to speak. Fuck it, he thought. If it made the crazy bugger happy and kept him doing what he was doing, John would say it. The words didn't come though. They stuck in a throat that refused to transform air into sound. He looked up at Albrecht, confused, but too close to orgasm to give much of a bother about it and tilted his head in further uncertainty when Albrecht nodded his agreement.

"Then look back at Sevastian, John," Albrecht smiled. "He wants to watch you as you cum."

John was already moaning the sensation of release, his orgasm still gathering in his balls as he lifted his eyes to the monitor. And though his body was too far gone to pull back, John's eyes widened and shock forced his brain to attention. No tiger watched John shoot over Albrecht's fingers. Rather, a man; own cock in hand, muscles rippling underneath coffee-coloured skin as a human arm parroted the motion that Albrecht performed on him. Still with the gold eyes, the man smirked a feral grin at the camera, forehead pressed against the cage, his free hand gripping one of the bars so tight his knuckles had whitened.

John gasped an unheard cry. He slumped back against Albrecht. "Don't fret the smile, pet. He looks far nastier than he is. He's actually quite pleased, you see. Sevastian always gets excited when he has a new toy to play with." Albrecht spoke into his hair, fingertips wandering through the slick mess of John's cock. "Or is it the illusion that causes your panic, Hase? Does it frighten you? Or is it merely the fact that you have no idea if the illusion is the man behind the tiger, or the tiger behind the man?"

John had no reply. But the lack of thought was a moot point. Speech had fallen away from him.


"Sir," the stagehand popped his head into the dressing room and offered Albrecht a disinterested smile. "Stage call; five minutes."

"Excellent," Albrecht said, wiping his hands on a towel before dropping it into the laundry bin, calling the assistant back as the man walked through the doorway. "Oh, Felix? Bring this too, please."

Instantly the stagehand's eyes softened. "Aw, sir! Look at it! It's so cute!" He stepped forward and
Albrecht smiled down at the little white creature and nodded. "Indeed." He reached for his tuxedo jacket and watched himself dress in the mirror. "Ah, yes." He picked up a small black box from the dressing table and handed it to the stagehand. "I believe one of the staff has forgotten their communication device when they were in my dressing room. Could you turn it in to the casino manager for me?"

"Of course, sir."

As the stagehand left the room, Albrecht fastened his bow-tie. He nodded at his reflection, brushed a single errant hair back, and tsk'd when his eyes were drawn to a single flaw on the spectacular jacket. With deft fingers and a fluid grab, Albrecht caught the single blond hair and drew it off the fabric. Whistling, he reached out his arm, dropped the hair and let it fall, forgotten, to the carpet.

The End

Copyright © 2012 AF Henley

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