Mr. Crepsley goes off by himself when they reach the new fairgrounds. Darren goes to investigate. For the Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere Fuh-Q Fest.
The Cirque du Freak traveled by night when we were with them -- not only because that made it easier to avoid being seen, but also because in the daytime the rest of us would have had to carry Mr. Crepsley -- in his coffin! We arrived at the old amusement park around two a.m., breaking the rusty lock on the gates and slipping inside. The wooden roller coaster was rotting, falling down, but the Ferris wheel seemed mostly intact and some of the games were still in working order. There was even a kind of theater at the far end of the grounds, where they used to have special performances. It still had a faded old poster for The Amazing Zabini's Magical Marvels on the door. The Amazing Zabini glared out from it, wearing black robes and resting one hand on the head of a tiger.
Inside, the theater looked okay, better than some places we'd performed. The seats were in bad shape, but we had a whole truckload of folding chairs, and Mr. Tall said the Little People could tear the broken seats out the next day, no problem. I thought it was a great location.
Mr. Crepsley didn't seem to share my enthusiasm. He actually suggested that we go straight to sleep when we got our things inside. I was confused -- dawn was hours away, and Mr. Crepsley almost never went to bed early -- and I wasn't really tired, since I'd gotten used to his nocturnal schedule. But he got really insistent, and snapped at me when I suggested that maybe I'd stay up and read for a while longer, so I gave up and hung up my hammock in the corner by his coffin.
It was no good -- I wasn't getting to sleep. But I lay there quietly in the dark, eyes closed, until I heard a very faint noise from Mr. Crepsley's direction. I held still and listened carefully. He was trying not to make noise, but being a half-vampire has given me sharp ears, and I heard him slip out of the coffin and walk quietly toward the door. I counted to a hundred, then got up and followed him.
At first I was afraid I wouldn't be able to find him out in the park grounds, but then I saw a flash of red over by the old funhouse. That red suit he wears is a dead giveaway. So I followed, as sneakily as I could, trying not to be seen as I made my way past the carousel and the bumper car arena to the funhouse.
It had been boarded up, but the boards had been pried off -- tonight, I'd bet -- and the door was slightly ajar. I squeezed inside, trying not to move the door enough to make the hinges squeak. Mr. Crepsley was full of secrets -- tonight maybe I'd learn one or two of them.
The funhouse was really creepy. The whole place was lined with mirrors -- I was going to have to be really careful if I didn't want to get caught! The ceiling had caved in in a few spots, so there was some light from the moon, but most of the place was still dark. I listened for some kind of clue to tell me where he was.
"Larten?" someone whispered. The voice sounded familiar, but I couldn't quite identify it.
"Hibernius?" Of course -- Mr. Tall! But why would he and Mr. Crepsley need to sneak off to the middle of nowhere to talk to each other? They saw each other all the time. This definitely seemed suspicious.
Then Mr. Tall stepped out into one of the patches of light, and I almost gasped out loud. He had his shirt off, and he had a huge tattoo of some kind of monstrous creature wrapped all the way around his body. It was amazing, colorful and lively, and it seemed to move when Mr. Tall flexed his muscles.
Mr. Crepsley stepped out of the darkness to Mr. Tall's left. I wasn't sure where they were -- I could see them reflected in the mirrors, from different angles, and there wasn't enough light for me to be sure which one was really them. I didn't have long to think about it -- Mr. Crepsley stepped up to him and stroked the monstrous tattoo where it snaked down his back.
"Oddly enough, that looks good on you," he teased, "if I could just figure out what it was."
Mr. Tall snorted. "As if you wouldn't know a chimera when you saw one."
"Indeed." Mr. Crepsley's hands never stopped moving, and I couldn't look away. "Perhaps I was blinded by your sheer good looks."
That made Mr. Tall laugh. "Still such a flatterer, Larten! You're far too kind." He turned to face Mr. Crepsley, and started to unbutton his jacket. The look on his face was very serious, very focused.
When he finished with the jacket and started unbuttoning the white shirt underneath, Mr. Crepsley started to look nervous. "Hibernius," he said softly, "you don't have to do this. We both know what I look like."
"We do," Mr. Tall agreed. "But you don't seem to know that I like how you look. This is no hardship." He undid the last button and pushed the shirt off Mr. Crepsley's shoulders. I had to bite down on another gasp. I should have expected that the scar on Mr. Crepsley's face wouldn't be the only one, but this was still a shock -- he had patchy scars on his back that looked like burn marks, and deep gouges down his front like he'd been clawed by a tiger. Mr. Tall touched the marks gently, the way Mr. Crepsley had touched his tattoo before, and then leaned in and kissed him on the mouth.
By this point I was pretty sure I shouldn't be watching, but I was also a little afraid of trying to leave and making enough noise that they would catch me. And I did kind of want to see what they would do.
They kissed hard, like they really meant it and they hadn't had the chance in a long time, which I guess was probably true. It wasn't soft, like a guy kissing a girl in the movies -- it almost looked like they were wrestling, they way they grappled each other, except that they were joined at the lips. I'd always been kind of bored by kissing on TV, and now I knew why. It wasn't rough enough to be exciting. /This/, I was completely certain, was the way it should be done. This was the way I wished someone would do it to me.
I couldn't take my eyes off them. Mr. Tall's hands moved, down between them, and something he did made Mr. Crepsley growl, a little, in the back of his throat. It was a good sound, hungry and almost threatening, and it sent shivers down my spine. God, I wanted somebody to touch me in ways that felt like that.
"You need to take these off," Mr. Tall said, very firmly.
Mr. Crepsley smiled, which looked really creepy because of his scar. "I suppose I do, don't I?" He stepped back enough to have room, toed off his shoes, and skinned out of both trousers and pants at one go. His legs were marked up, too, more old ropy scars like claw-marks, dark against his pale skin. And... he was hard. Which I'd never seen before, on a grownup.
Mr. Tall licked his lips. "You look good enough to eat."
"Well?" Mr. Crepsley's voice was harsh around the edges, and he was touching himself, slowly, making it a show. "What are you waiting for, then?"
And hell, what was I waiting for? It was exciting, watching them. I unbuttoned my trousers as Mr. Tall sank slowly to his knees.
He took Mr. Crepsley's... you know... in his mouth, sucking on it, sliding the whole thing into his mouth and I could barely imagine what that must feel like, all warm and wet, much better than using my own hand like I was. And how did he manage not to choke? How did that feel, to have your mouth filled like that, to try to find room for it all, to taste it?
Mr. Crepsley had closed his eyes, and let his head fall back. His mouth was open, and I could hear him breathing, deep shaky breaths with little moans at the end. I bit my tongue to keep silent, but I wanted to be making noise too. This was incredible to watch; my heart was pounding and I was so hard, but I didn't want to finish as long as they kept going.
Then it got even more amazing. Mr. Tall pulled back, and he looked up at Mr. Crepsley as he reached down to undo his own trousers, and his lips were shiny and wet and he said, "I want you to fuck me." Just like that. My breath caught. I would never have expected him to even use that kind of language, much less to say something that meant -- well -- /that/.
It made Mr. Crepsley smile again, but it was a different smile. It took me a minute before I realized that he was surprised, and flattered. "You never cease to amaze me," he said quietly, getting down on the floor with Mr. Tall. "The fact that you find this battered old carcass attractive..." He trailed off.
"None of that." Mr. Tall grabbed him by the throat and kissed him again, hard. "You'd expect another vampire to be impressed by your battle scars. Why can't I be the same?"
"Ah, but you're not the same. There's nobody like you." Mr. Crepsley reached for his coat, and spread it out on the floor. "Here. It's not much of a cushion, but..."
"I don't need much." Mr. Tall took something out of his pocket and handed it to Mr. Crepsley -- a little bottle, it looked like. For some reason that made Mr. Crepsley laugh.
"Planning ahead, Hibernius?"
"Always." Mr. Tall looked an awful lot like a wolf when he smiled. I don't know why I'd never noticed before. He lay back on the coat, propped on his elbows, and Mr. Crepsley moved up to kneel between his legs. He was hard, too, which meant he must have liked what he was doing, before, and that made me really want to know what it was like. I licked my lips. If it felt that good...
But I could think about that later. Right now, Mr. Crepsley was pouring some wet shiny stuff from the bottle onto his fingers, looking very pleased with himself, and Mr. Tall was watching him just like the Wolf Man watches people bringing food out to his cage, hungry and completely focused.
"Open up for me, now," Mr. Crepsley encouraged, and he reached down with his wet fingers, and even with all the mirrors, I couldn't quite see what he was doing. I could guess, though. The thought made me kind of squirmy -- wouldn't it be uncomfortable?
Except Mr. Tall didn't seem to think so. He moaned as Mr. Crepsley did -- whatever he was doing. "Gently, Larten," he said. "Slowly. It's been years."
"I'll go as slowly as you like. It's still hours until sunrise."
"Aaah. Good." Mr. Tall closed his eyes, looking totally content, and Mr. Crepsley moved his hand in slow little motions. "More," he said hoarsely after a minute. "I'm ready for another."
"Yes? Here, how's this then?"
From where I was, it didn't look any different, but it must have felt pretty intense, from the sounds Mr. Tall made. Just listening to him was getting me so excited that I had to slow down what I was doing with my hand so I didn't finish right then.
"God, yes. Right there." Mr. Tall squirmed against Mr. Crepsley's hand, and he was hard as a rock even without either of them touching him there. "I can't wait," he said, spreading his legs apart wider. "Give me your prick, Larten." Mine jumped, hearing him say that.
Mr. Crepsley smiled lazily, like he does right before feeding in front of me. "I thought you'd never ask." He pulled his hand back and poured out more wet stuff, spreading it all over his -- his prick, making it slippery and shiny. He moved in closer, leaning over Mr. Tall, and I could sort of see him guiding it with one hand, and he pushed with his hips as Mr. Tall raised his legs, and then they both moaned together. They held still for a minute, just staring at each other and grinning, and then Mr. Crepsley started to move.
I was mesmerized. Watching the way the muscles shifted in Mr. Crepsley's shoulders, watching the expression on Mr. Tall's face -- I couldn't get enough. I was trying to memorize every detail, even though I was so excited I was going to go off any minute. Mr. Tall reached down between them and started to stroke himself, and I realized I would get to see it happen when he came. I had to stop touching myself for a minute so that I could hold off, so I could see him finish before I did.
It didn't look like it would take long. They were both sweating and flushed, and I could smell them faintly on the air, a dark earthy smell of sweat and musk that made my mouth water. It was nothing like romance, nothing like what you see on TV -- it was so much better, rough and hard and so, so hot. The way they focused on each other, Mr. Crepsley's fingers digging into Mr. Tall's arms, Mr. Tall's teeth bared as he threw his head back.
I couldn't stand it anymore. I wanted to get off, now, right now, my hand moving frantically, the same speed as Mr. Tall's, and then I was watching him, seeing it, he was coming and shaking and Mr. Crepsley was snarling, his sharp nails raking red tracks down Mr. Tall's arms and I could smell the blood and my knees gave out as I came so hard I saw stars.
When my eyes would focus again, they were done, and Mr. Crepsley had bent his head to the scratches he'd just made, licking them closed. He went slowly, obviously enjoying it, savoring the taste and the tenderness. The smell of blood made me dizzy, and hungry, and the closeness between them made me jealous.
I must have been hungrier than I realized, because I blacked out for a few minutes. When I woke back up, they were already gone -- there was just me, a lingering scent of blood and sweat, and the moonlight reflecting off the funhouse mirrors. I put myself back together as quickly as possible, and hurried back to the theater.
Too late. Mr. Crepsley was already back, and looking a little alarmed that I wasn't in my hammock. Then I slipped in the door, trying to be quiet, and he looked up at me. He sniffed sharply, made a face, then inhaled more deeply. He raised an eyebrow.
"Have an exciting evening, did you?" I blushed, and he smirked at me. "I see. Well. Reaching that age, are you? I suppose this is something I should have thought of, before I blooded someone so young." He yawned, and I imagined I could see traces of Mr. Tall's blood still staining his teeth. "I have no energy for it tonight, but tomorrow we'll have to discuss --" he waved his hand vaguely -- "all that. Good night, Darren."
"Good night." I climbed into my hammock, and I heard his breathing settle quickly into sleep, but I stared at the ceiling for a long time.