Being your slave, what should I do but tendUpon the hours and times of your desire?I have no precious time at all to spend,Nor services to do, till you require.Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hourWhilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you,Nor think the bitterness of absence sourWhen you have bid your servant once adieu;Nor dare I question with my jealous thoughtWhere you may be, or your affairs suppose,But, like a sad slave, stay and think of nought,Save, where you are how happy you make those.So true a fool is love that in your will,Though you do anything, he thinks no ill.
It was hot, it was humid, it was goddamned sticky and everybody in the city seemed to be simmering and tense as hell trying to contain a rage that would bubble over at the slightest added friction.
julian wasn’t free from it either, even though he could usually maintain an even emotional temperature and a charming composure.
The studio of course was air-conditioned, but everyone was edgy. Billie, his dresser was particularly bitchy, and there were more than the usual number of changes today. It was Friday and the whole series had to be finished by five if it was going to get into the next issue of Vanity Fair, and it was.
The worst was Kurtin. He was a great photographer, or he had been. He was still damn good. But he was an incredible letch, and julian was his morsel, so the kid spent the day fending off his pawing without surrendering his affability. Maintaining a seven figure income can help you learn to keep a smile on your face even when.
It was a posh Caribbean spread, and he had to pose in everything from a beach bikini and scuba gear to evening lounge and formal wear. There were some solo shots. There were a few romantic scenes with Angela. he could handle that. In one they were in an embrace on the verge of kissing. In another—just posing against a tropical backdrop gazing at each other over parrot-colored cocktails. And there were a few ensemble settings, at a bar, at a gambling table, in an airport lounge.
he pulled at his collar after the last shoot and let the jacket fall from his hand once it was off him.
Aren’t we the Star? Billie mocked.
i need a shower, julian said.
Sorry, honey. Water emergency. It seems a bunch of kids from Spanish Harlem have been opening fire hydrants all over the city, and the water level is dangerously low. There’s a three hour water moratorium.
A what? Said julian.
A water moratorium. All the water is turned off at the reservoir from four to seven.
It was five-thirty.
Uh-uh. It’s true. Just turn on the radio. Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.
It’s not gonna work that way, Richard said quietly to the director.
You got to try it. Mel was working hard to make it sound like he was just being reasonable.
It’s my face they look at on the screen, not your name.
You won’t do it?
I’ll do the scene, but not in the cockamaimie way you want it. And you’ll shoot it. My way.
To the chagrin of any who find self-assurance arrogant or uncompromising assertion distasteful, it must be reported that Richard, with the uncompromising intelligence of a spontaneous artist, was right, and even Mel wept at his brilliance, and apologizing, conceded he was no match for Richard when it came to putting a movie together.
julian had gotten soaked through by the surprising and welcome summer downpour. So it might have seemed unnecessary to huddle under the awning of a fashionable men’s store with a bunch of strangers likewise drenched. But it was good to have an excuse to loiter, and julian let his eyes scale up the facades of the skyscrapers. Water moratorium!
The stormy crepuscularity was transforming into a diaphanous atmosphere, pale gold in the evening sun. Everything was lighter. julian took a deep breath, and noticed how smoothly it rushed through his nose.
You’re quite wet.
julian turned. The Man who addressed him had a rugged physique and sandy blonde hair, and He was so good-looking, it was hard to look at Him and also hard not to look at him. His eyes were captivating, warm, inviting, but solid, determined, assertive. The rain had hardly wet Him. julian smiled.
Even in the summer you can get a chill.
He pointed to a brown brick building. At each corner, scroll-like trim was wrought in stone, meander patterns ran across the first several stories of the façade, and the great edifice rose to four crowning peaks.
I live over there, Richard said. Come with Me. I’ll give you some dry clothes.
Sure, julian smiled.
Let Him think i’m a pushover. For Him i am.
Richard groped julian in the elevator. julian sighed and parted his lips until feeling Richard’s lips pressing against them, he responded, shivering at the intensity of His energy.
His palm pressed against julian’s chest and He cupped julian’s breast as if julian were a woman and then with thumb and first finger tortured the nipple under the cloth of julian’s t-shirt. julian lost his balance. The elevator swooshed to a stop.
Get out of those wet things, He said, handing julian a patterned silk burgundy robe.
Yes, Sir, julian said, responding jokingly to Richard’s commanding tone, but it didn’t sound the way julian had intended it to. There was no irony in it.
julian quickly stripped to nothing and then slipped into the robe, tying its tasseled belt loosely.
Richard took julian squarely by the shoulders and looked him in the eye.
It pleases Me to look at you.
julian was blinded by the brilliance of his gaze and could only gasp, Thank You, Sir. he felt himself being possessed and transformed, slipping away and dissolving into this Man.
you’ll stay, Richard said. We’ll clean up first, and then I’ll take you to eat.
julian began to speak, to accept the invitation, but Richard stopped him from speaking, laying a finger across his lips and saying, julian, I want you to be quiet now and do what I tell you.
julian realized that whether he accepted or not was of no importance to Richard. he had, he realized, nothing to say in the matter.
Richard threw open a closet.
All the world is before you, He said with a flourish.
There was candle light in a teak-paneled restaurant. There was a squadron of perfect waiters. There was filet of salmon, and there was champagne.
There julian was, sitting across from Richard, wearing a suit from His closet, a shirt from His drawer, a foulard from His collection. The low-heel boots that hugged his calves were from Richard, as were the rings on his fingers. his underwear was a thong and a wife beater Richard had handed him after the shower. And the silver cock ring that no one could see but which kept a continuous light pressure at the base of his longing came from Richard’s jewel box.
Richard looked at julian solemnly, raised His glass, and whispered, a toast.
julian. following his example without breaking eye contact, raised his glass.
you are mine, julian. Do I make myself clear? I own you.
Richard put the glass to His lips and drank.
julian did likewise.
Setting His glass down, Richard said smiling, you offer no resistance.
i feel comfortable, julian said.
Richard covered julian’s hand with his own.
Do you know why?
i think so, said julian. The candle light, the teak wainscoting, the tulips, this damask tablecloth, the rose blush of the plaster above the wainscoting, the group of graceful serving men, this exquisite cuisine and this wonderful champlagne...you see i am tipsy, but what i say is true nevertheless...these handsome suits we are wearing—all this makes sense, feels not only right but essential, because of You. You are at the center of it all. It glows because of You. It’d be all flat, ridiculous, absurd without You.
Because I recognize that you are a slave and you recognize that I am a Master.
julian nodded in agreement as he spoke.
Yes, he said.
you understand that I am your Master.
julian felt his knees weaken. his lips parted slightly. his eyes closed involuntarily.
he said the words tentatively.
Richard pulled julian closer to him. The carriage rolled slowly through the park. The tlot tlot of the horse’s hooves induced a dreamy languor. Julian swooned under his Master’s deep kisses.
Do not mistake this, julian. I’ll have you as my slave. I have no intention of taking you as My lover. I will use you at My pleasure, as I need you.
He paused as disappointment clouded julian’s visage.
Richard continued, almost sternly.
I understand; you have a romantic fantasy about two becoming One. But that is not the present case. you, julian, look for—he paused, as if the word he was next to say were not the one which properly ought to have followed—love—another pause, to frame the word—by way of dominance and submission, but having achieved dominance, julian, I am not looking for love, just your submission. I assert My possession. I take what I want, deeply convinced it is owed Me. Undoubtedly you will find Me less available than you might wish. To me you are an object to use as I choose, He smiled, which I may keep in the closet untouched for years, or only occasionally, or maybe never. And you will find Me less concerned about how you feel than you will want Me to be. But it is all a matter of indifference to Me. Do I make myself clear, julian.
Yes, Sir. i must discipline myself to accept the situation however it is.
As I said, it is a matter of indifference to Me, julian.
The scorching days of July became the gloomy days of a disappointing August. Richard had been entirely forthright about himself, and after several weeks when julian was continuously in his presence, He began to feel a renewed desire to acquire new possessions, and with a feeling of fond satisfaction, of satiation, He wished to put julian aside.
I will not be seeing you for a while. I can’t tell how long, and I don’t try to control these things.
Quietness spread over julian. he bowed his head. He had flourished as a slave and he dreaded to imagine that his blooming season had now passed and the time for wilting had come.
A pose extended indefinitely, if it is successful, turns into a general vacuity, and if it fails becomes a neurotic expression of its opposite, of the thing it veils and, simultaneously, represents. Deprivation breeds desire, make no mistake, never contentment.
julian became distraught. The pleasure of his life’s good fortune vanished. The glamour of his work left him indifferent. But despite his gloom, or, perhaps, because of it, the elements of carelessness and boredom eating away at him were compounded into a cool suavity that made him more in demand than ever as a model.
Socially too. He had taken off, and nowhere he went were there not people, men and women who tried to pick him up, to engage him, to bring him into their orbit, offering themselves to him. But in none could he find delight. He had no use for them, and, he knew, they had not the beginning of an idea about how to use him.
Yes, he said, pulled from sleep by the ringing telephone.
Be here within the hour.
But he knew who it was, and suddenly he was awake,
Without thinking he pulled on a leather jock, a pair of tight jeans with a wide belt, a form-tight wife beater, motor cycle boots and a leather jacket.
he did actually have a motorcycle. Helmeted, now, he mounted it and sped through the park over to the East Side.