?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
10 November 2010 @ 11:59 pm
Numb3rs Fic: Approaching Infinity Part 1  
Written for kink_bigbang Big Bang 2010
Crossposted to numb3rs_slash


Title: Approaching Infinity Part 1 (Prequel to The Far End of Infinity)
Series/Universe: The Far End of Infinity
Pairing/Characters: Charlie/OMCs, OCs
Rating: NC17
Spoilers: UP, Counterfeit Reality
Summary: Young Charles Eppes heads to grad school in Paris where he gets an education in more than just math when he falls in with a group of libertines (AU)
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

Other comments are housed at kink_bigbang.



Charles remembered 1933.

He'd been up to his elbows in flour, working - as always - in the family bakery. His older brother Don had been put in charge of their newly opened second bakery so where there had once been two of them helping their parents out, now it was just Charles and cousin Abrahim from down the road who'd been brought in as an apprentice baker.

His mother had rushed in waving an envelope excitedly, not even waiting until he dusted off his hands before she shoved it into them, urging him to open it.

The envelope was on thick expensive paper, creamy ivory stock with an ornate crest on it.

It was postmarked from Paris.

Everyone had known he would be accepted; every university in Europe was open to someone of his mathematical genius. But paying for his baccalaureate degree had put his family in debt, so much so they had to borrow quite a bit of money from relatives to open the second bakery, spreading themselves thin knowing the extra profits were the only way to get everything paid off.

He needed a scholarship if he was going to get a doctorate.

Times were tight all over; the American stock market crash had been felt around the world and it was only the need for daily bread that kept his family solidly in the middle class. Other vendors had closed down their businesses since no one was spending any more money than they had to.

With trembling fingers he opened the envelope, staring at it so long his mother finally plucked the folded paper from within to open and read.

Charles watched her face and saw tears forming in her eyes. He was ready to hear the bad news when she turned it to him to see, a smile breaking through her weeping.

A full scholarship at the most exclusive university in all of Paris.

She wasn't crying because he failed to get in, she was crying because her son would be leaving Poland to live over a thousand kilometers away in France.

So cousin Saul took over Charles' job at the bakery.

And Charles packed up his scant belongings and bought a one-way train ticket to Paris.

Don traveled with him - by orders of Alan and Margaret - ostensibly to help him get settled. But when Charles stepped off the train at the station he felt like an explorer greeting a new discovery. This was a whole new land to explore. For the first time he was away from his parents' influence - a grown man looking to make a mark on the world.

Don helped him find a sixth floor garret apartment, one with a rare if rickety elevator, and carted two duffle bags of Charles' books there for him.

The books looked lonely, not even filling up the sole bookshelf in the open loft space, but Charles was determined to spend whatever he could spare of his monthly stipend on books. There was so much to learn here, so many disciplines applied mathematics could be applied to... The finest minds in all of Europe were there for him to discuss science with.

It was like a dream come true.

Charles remembered 1934.

He was paired up on a project with a slightly older post-doctoral mathematician named Ari. Shy and Jewish like himself, Ari and he were fast friends, but Ari had the advantage of having grown up in Paris so he not only showed Charles around the city he helped him learn the local slang and intricacies of the French language Polish schoolbooks had missed out on.

It wasn't long before Charles realized he was attracted to Ari on a physical level as well. He'd pushed aside his interest in other boys growing up back in Poland, but since Paris had a notable homosexual community he was finally able to put aside the shame and allow himself to be who he really was inside.

Ari was patient with him, warning him not to get attached, but they fell into a brief yet intense affair where Charles got the sex education denied him growing up younger than everyone else around him. Ari was open about wanting to date other men and Charles' was smart enough not to cling too hard, afraid to scare him away for good, so he pretended it didn't bother him. Ari pronounced that they would just stay friends and not try to take the relationship further. Charles hid his hurt and agreed, grateful for whatever part of Ari he got to keep.

So Ari became an infrequent visitor to his bed past that and Charles dated off and on, but the bond between them stayed strong. When Ari met someone new though he almost entirely disappeared from Charles' life for a couple of months, worrying him. When they finally reconnected, Ari admitted he'd fallen head over heels for an older man and moved in with him - the man formerly afraid of commitment completely smitten.

Charles never forgot 1935. That was when Ari introduced him to Randolf.

+

Paris, 1935

"Charles? Oh great, he's moping again."

Charles turned his attention away from the front window of Restaurante San Pietro and back to his dinner companions, frowning slightly at their mockery.

"I'm not moping," he protested. "I just thought I saw someone I knew pass by."

"Ari doesn't really come here anymore." Claude poured the last of the wine from the bottle into his own partially filled glass, ignoring Charles' empty goblet.

"That's not who I thought I saw," Charles lied blithely. "But you're right. I haven't seen Ari around much."

"It's the new boyfriend," Michel complained, clearly put out. "He likes Le Cheval Bleu better than this place."

"And where he goes, Ari follows," Claude added.

"Like a puppy dog." Michel polished off the last of his own wine. "Time for another bottle?"

Charles looked around the table: Claude had drunk most of the evening's wine and paid for none of it, Michel had spent the evening ranting about how unfairly he'd been treated at the university, being passed over to speak at an upcoming symposium and Yves had barely said two words, still moping over his girlfriend dumping him. He didn't just miss Ari because he still had feelings for him. He missed how exciting the conversations were when he was around.

"I think I'm going to head out," Charles said, rising. He pulled some bills from his wallet and left them on the table - more than his share and enough that no one would fuss. "I have an early morning tomorrow."

"Suit yourself," Claude responded, scooping up the money and counting it. "We'll see you next time then."

"Yeah, next time," Michel echoed then turned to flag the waiter.

"Good night, Charles." It was about the only thing Yves had said to Charles all night, but he still appreciated it.

"Good night," he replied with a forced smile, putting on his coat as he headed for the door.

His feet turned towards home, but didn't cross the street like they should have. The Quartier Latin was bustling until late every night; it was one of the reasons he loved living in this part of Paris, not just the proximity to the university. People passed him on the street, mostly students, some couples... The city had a heartbeat and this is where it felt most alive to him.

He knew where Le Cheval Bleu was. He'd been there once or twice in the past and liked it though being one of the youngest in the group of academics he hung around with he never felt like he could suggest a place to meet up.

As he neared the restaurant a voice rose up amongst the din at a cross street, calling his name.

"Charles!"

Charles turned to find a fellow post-doc, Marc, flagging him down.

"Marc!" He greeted the man with a friendly pat on the arm. "It's good to see you! It's been a while."

"I've been in lecturing in Nice, I just got back a few days ago." Marc gestured down the street towards Le Cheval Bleu. "I was just going to pop out for a drink, say hello to the old crowd. You're not going home are you? If so I'm commandeering you." He took Charles' arm playfully. "You're coming with me. Going home is boring."

Charles laughed, amused. "It seems the choice has been made for me!"

"Indeed! No use fighting it!" Marc led him to the restaurant and held the door open for him, gesturing him to a table further back. There was no need though. Charles had already spied Ari.

And Randolf beside him.

"Look who I found!" Marc said as he waved his greetings to those assembled: Ari, Randolf, Etienne - another post-doc, and Paul - who'd taken a job teaching at another university after getting his doctorate. "I absconded with him. He's not to be allowed to go home without at least two glasses of wine in him."

"Etienne, Paul, Randolf," Charles greeted them all with a nod. "Hello Ari." While a round of masculine nods were the normal response from the first three it was Ari who beamed with delight and pulled out a chair beside him for Charles.

"Sit! Sit! Where have you been keeping yourself?" Ari asked, as if it wasn't him who'd been making himself scarce lately.

"Too much work," Charles offered as explanation, sitting as Marc pulled up a chair as well. "So I suppose it's a good thing to take a night off tonight."

"Hear, hear." Randolf raised his glass in salute. "The daily labors are for naught if one doesn't revel in hedonistic delights each night."

Paul beckoned for a waiter and two more glasses were brought, Etienne taking over pouring from the table's bottle of wine.

"So," Paul said, as if picking up the thread of the conversation they'd been having before the others arrived. "Are we to expect further hedonistic delights this coming Friday or must we wait a week?"

Randolf didn't bristle, but he gave off the slightest air of displeasure. Charles was surprised he even picked up on it, but then he had become slightly obsessed with the man who replaced him in Ari's bed.

Randolf was older, around thirty, and well established in his career as a chemist. Ari had told him that he'd recently taken a position with the government that he couldn't talk about. Apparently whatever he did was quite important since it allowed him to purchase an extremely spacious and luxurious apartment in the diplomat's quarter, San German des Pres. Charles had only been there once for their housewarming, but he'd been impressed by the antique furniture, the expensive décor and Randolf's family heirlooms. An only child, he inherited everything when his parents passed away so he even had a summer house in the country to escape to.

Charles thought about his parents' modest house back in Poland and about how Don wasn't going to even try to get a place of his own until either the new bakery took off or until he got married - whatever came first. Used as he was to living with family it had taken a while to get used to living alone. Seeing Ari already so settled into Randolf's place it made him jealous, wishing he could share his space with someone he loved.

After a long pause in which it became clear Paul had made a faux pas - the awkward pause more punishment for Paul than a real delay on Randolf's part, Charles thought - Randolf finally spoke.

"Yes, there will be festivities," he proclaimed with a grand air. "There is a charity ball at Le Tourneau. I'm sure everyone will be there."

Charles wasn't normally the most perceptive person when it came to social situations, but he knew with absolute certainty in that moment that Randolf had no intention of going to that ball.

He waited a while for the conversation to move on to safer subjects then tugged Ari over for a whisper.

"What's really going on on Friday and why won't Randolf talk about it?"

Ari pulled back and gave Charles an inscrutable look, almost as if sizing him up anew, then leaned into whisper back. "It's not allowed to speak of the parties in public."

Parties. Plural. Apparently Ari had this whole social life that purposefully excluded Charles. He tried to ignore the pang in his chest; Ari was with someone else, this shouldn't bother him so.

"So no talking," Charles agreed. "How about I just see for myself?"

Again Ari looked at him closely, this time longer. He opened his mouth to speak then stopped himself, clearly having some sort of internal debate neither side was winning.

Finally he tapped Randolf on the arm to get his attention to whisper in his ear.

Randolf's eyes flicked to Charles mid-whisper and Charles fought down the urge to squirm under the older man's unblinking scrutiny.

They broke apart, Ari looking to Randolf only to be answered by a curt, almost imperceptible, nod. Randolf produced a matchbook from his pocket - only to inspire Ari to light up one of his trademark clove cigarettes - and after lighting his lover's cigarette wrote something down inside the matchbook.

He slid it over to Charles and went back to his conversation with Etienne.

Charles opened it under the table.

It read '11 Rue Cler, Friday night, midnight' in Randolf's block printing. Underneath was one word in quotes: "Perdition."

He turned to Ari, eyes already questioning, but before he could say anything Ari just subtly shook his head no, warning him not to say anything.

It seemed his answers would have to wait for Friday night.

+

Rue Cler wasn't much of a hot spot as streets went in Paris. It was mostly known for its produce markets during the day, stalls filled with fresh fruits and vegetables brought in daily from the countryside.

Charles located 11 Rue Cler between two such produce markets, long closed for the night. It wasn't much more than a broad door, fairly plain save the rather ornate number eleven carved into gilt wood and hung on the door.

After a moment's hesitation Charles opened the door, expecting what he wasn't sure, but all he saw was darkness, only a hint of light further down the hall allowing him to see anything at all.

"Welcome, guest." A woman's voice floated down the hall, but he saw no one. "Do you know where you are headed?"

"I, um..." He faltered and then it hit him: there had been quotes around the final word on the matchbook. It had to be a password. "Perdition," he said and waited for some response.

Out of the dim light appeared a woman, clad in carefully draped fabric of a deep blood red, her tawny skin barely covered by the minimal garment.

"Follow me into hell..."

She beckoned with her finger, luring him into the side chamber she apparently had come from. When Charles entered he found it was like a small parlor with two chaise lounges yet lined with hooks and racks on each wall, one containing what looked like street clothing and another garments of the same red cloth as she wore.

She took his hat from him and placed it on an empty hook near a vacant portion of the rack. She next helped him out of his coat. This wasn't that unusual, but it took Charles' brilliant mind a second or two to recognize some of the clothing on the racks were shirts. And pants.

She sidled in front of him, standing close enough that he swore he could smell her hair, working on the buttons of his vest.

"This is my first time here," he admitted, swallowing hard. "I'm not really sure what to expect."

"Expect..." She paused as she slipped his vest off. "Expect to have a memorable evening." She hung up the vest then went to work on his shirt. "Expect the unexpected." She caught his eye, a little smirk escaping her polished demeanor. "Expect not to remember much the next day. And never..." She slipped his shirt off, hands far from bashful against his skin as she did so. "Never talk about what happens here."

She made short work of his shoes and socks and Charles only flushed a little as she removed his pants. She graciously selected a red robe for him to wear before removing his underwear, leaving him nude for the minimum amount of time. Even though there was no one else around to see, he still appreciated the small gesture.

She arranged the robe to her liking, the garment not much more than a open chested sleeveless bathrobe that barely went down to the middle of his thigh, held together more by the sling of a train of cloth over his shoulder than any buttons, of which he could see none.

Satisfied, she took him by the hand and led him to the end of the hallway. A door opened to a curved staircase leading down, walls the same deep red as his robe. Hung on the wall were masquerade masks, like one wore to balls, only these were meant to be worn over the face and head instead of just held over the eyes on a stick.

Music and a hint of voices floated up from the basement as well as a wave of heat; the scant garment more than enough to keep him warm. Even the floor bore no chill to his bare feet.

"Take a mask from the wall," she told him. "Whichever suits you is fine. You must wear it at all times. No exceptions." Once he nodded his understanding, she continued. "There will be another hostess like myself at the bottom of the stairs. Tell her you are new and she will prepare you." A flush of adrenaline fear went through Charles and it must have been visible because the woman laid a consoling hand on his arm. "She will prepare you for what to expect," she clarified. "Remember you can leave at any time and you will not be harmed. Our host takes good care of his guests. Don't worry."

"Thank you." Steeling himself, Charles took a deep breath and headed down the stairs. As he went he perused the selection of masks. Many were animals or animal inspired, some more biblical - angels and demons. He halted in front of a midnight blue mask of fairly simple design that was speckled with stars that he recognized were in actual constellations. He plucked it from the wall and continued down to the base of the stairs where a second similarly attired woman awaited him.

She stood next to a black curtain behind a black furnishing that resembled a podium, greeting him with a seductive smile and an even more seductive voice.

"Welcome to hell. What is your pleasure?"

Hell. Perdition. Charles wasn't sure what he was getting into, but it kept sounding worse as he went.

"I'm new here," he told her. "The woman upstairs said you'd help me figure this all out."

She came out from behind the podium and took the mask from his hand.

"This is a place where the normal rules of society are cast aside as we cast aside our real life faces. We do however have a few rules of our own." She placed the mask on Charles and he found he could see well through the eye holes and that the mask was very comfortable, not binding or itchy at all. "One: You must not take your mask off. When you are ready to leave go back upstairs and it will be removed for you when you get dressed to go. Two: No one speaks of what happens here once you leave this place. Not even in private. Three: To walk through the door is to give consent, however you must honor our color coding."

"Color coding?" Charles asked.

She pulled three colored strands of what looked like silken cord from the inside of the podium.

"Black..." She held it up for him to see. "Means no boundaries: both men and women are welcome to approach and engage. White means only women are welcome; it can be worn by men or by women, but it always means the invitation is open to women only. Red..." She pulled out the one that matched his outfit. "Red means overtures are only welcome from men. Again, either men or women may choose to wear red."

"I choose red," Charles said.

Putting the others aside, she tied the red cord around his neck - loose enough to not bind, but tight enough he couldn't take it off easily.

"There you are."

"So what happens now?" he asked, trying not to sound nervous.

"Now? You pass through the curtain and seek your pleasure."

She put her hand on the curtain and paused, as if waiting for Charles to give her the go ahead. He took a deep breath, uncertain of what he would find on the other side, and nodded to her. She drew the drapery aside and Charles stepped into the lion's den.

Whatever he expected, the resulting impact was far less than anticipated. All he saw in the dimly lit space was people dressed like himself, all in masks, drinking out of tiny cocktail glasses. A bar. He could handle this.

No one seemed to acknowledge his entrance so he stepped forward, trying to get an idea of the size of the room. It was then that he noticed the space was ringed with sofas and beds and that men and women - in varying combinations - were engaged in all manners of touching and kissing, some even in the midst of coitus. Others stood around talking in small groups or watching the action on the periphery as entertainment.

Once he made a circuit of the room he headed down a hallway to see what else was there. Another chamber revealed a formal bar, except the bartender only seemed to serve one thing: absinthe.

Charles had heard of the green fairy yet not tried it yet. The glasses seemed tiny and so many people had them he felt he should at least carry one around to look normal.

He didn't even have to ask; the bartender just handed him a glass as he approached. Not sure of the etiquette of speech here yet, he just nodded his thanks and got a smile in return.

It seemed the three women working there were the only people allowed to go without masks. Everyone else's face was covered, even though otherwise naked on the beds.

Further explorations showed him rooms set up with walls on three sides, large groups of people crowding the open area as if watching a show. Short as he was it took a while before Charles was able to weasel his way into a spot to see what was going on.

When he did his eyes widened in shock, glad to have the mask to hide his reaction.

A woman was on her hands and knees on the bed, impaled by the man behind her while simultaneously sucking the cock of another man in front of her. And then the crowd pulled away enough that Charles could see that the man fucking her was in turn being fucked by another man.

This final man appeared to be setting the pace, thrusting hard into the first man and in turn forcing the standing man's cock deeper down the woman's throat.

He turned away, blinking in surprise and found himself facing the next room across the way, one less populated. He was able to see easier this time and found a woman on the bed being serviced by a man whose head was between her legs. At the same time another woman crouched over the supine woman's head, moaning as tongue and fingers teased her towards completion.

Unthinking, Charles downed his tiny drink as a way to strengthen himself. A few rooms of gaping later he regretted it though as the effects all but slammed into him, making the room spin and his head feel woozy.

Feeling a rising panic - what would become of him should he pass out in their midst - he searched for and found the black curtain, the exit back to reality he so desperately needed right now.

He almost pulled his mask off, but in passing the attendant downstairs he recalled her warning of the rules and left it on.

He made it up the stairs and was greeted by the woman who'd undressed him.

"Do you wish to surrender your mask for the night?" she asked.

"Yes," he answered, a bit too quickly.

She removed the mask and put it aside then proceeded to efficiently dress him, almost as quickly as he could himself.

"Would you like me to save your mask for next time?"

Until that moment Charles hadn't considered there being a next time, still stunned from what he'd seen.

A voice he didn't recognize came out of his mouth and answered as he made his way to the door out to Rue Cler.

"Yes. Next time..."

+

The following week was almost alarmingly normal, but Charles haunted it like a ghost, not feeling part of the real world anymore. He'd been shown a slice of the libertine lifestyle he'd heard about since he moved to Paris, yet never really encountered. Stories abounded of wild heathens who held naked orgies and took drugs. He had figured the truth was closer to someone a bit more open about their sexuality than the average puritan, but it seemed the tales were at least mostly true.

Based on how he felt when he came home - and the day after - Charles wondered if the absinthe was drugged or just particularly potent. He'd grown up drinking wine and despite his small stature he could drink quite a few glasses before he became affected by the alcohol. Yet this tiny glass rendered him drunker than he could remember being.

And yet Friday came around again and there he was on Rue Cler, staring at the broad door with number eleven on it again.

Despite a few passing conversations with Ari Charles was determined not to break the rules and risk being denied access by talking about the parties above ground. Now that he'd recovered from his initial shock, a fact occurred to him: Ari came to these parties. If he showed up he might be able to figure out which one was him.

The process was much smoother the second time around. The attendant upstairs had saved his mask for him so he went downstairs to get his red cord with far more confidence than he had before.

"Enter and seek your pleasure," she said to him, sending him off with a smile.

This time a different sight met his eyes. A mob of people appeared to be attacking a man only instead of hitting and hurting him they were touching, kissing and licking him. A dozen hands at least had to be caressing his body and the man seemed to be in a state of bliss at the overwhelming contact.

Just watching the action got Charles aroused and he reddened at his inability to hide evidence of his erection in the scant toga he had on.

And then the mob shifted - coming right at him.

There was no time to protest, to decline their attentions. All at once a man was kissing him, swallowing his voice as another man swallowed his cock. Fingers tweaked his nipples, skated up his thighs, ran through his hair... One even snaked its way into his ass, slicked by what he wasn't sure, but between the talented mouth sucking him off and the stimulation of his ass he came hard with a strangled shout, totally out of control.

The mobsters laid him down on a nearby bed then moved on to the next solo man nearby, attacking him with similar vigor.

Allowing himself to rest, Charles relaxed on the bed, not caring about his robes in slight disarray or the fact that he felt in an altered state of mind without anything to drink.

Resting his head on his arms a body came out of nowhere to sidle up behind him and start massaging his neck and shoulders.

"Shh..." was all he heard and barely that above the din.

He'd come here to sample the pleasures and if this was one of them? Why not?

So he sighed, letting the tension loose as hands slowly kneaded his back and eventually his ass and thighs.

He was almost ready to drift off when his partner moved the fabric aside to bare his ass and abruptly ran his tongue up the crack of it in one smooth move that gave Charles a fresh jolt of arousal.

Hands parted his ass cheeks and a tongue speared him deeply and repeatedly. The teasing was so effective Charles' hands were balled in the sheets of the bed in no time, craving more.

He began pushing back against his partner to signal them to move on and they finally did, shifting to rub their slicked cock against his entrance.

Anonymous sex... The idea flooded Charles with both fear and exhilaration. Nothing but taking pleasure. No names, no boundaries, no repercussions.

As his lover sank inside, Charles' mouth fell open in a wordless expression of desire. He hadn't realized how much he wanted this, needed this, since Ari had left. To be filled so completely, to chase away all the doubts and worries in his mind and replace them only with bliss...

Gentle hands held his hips steady as stroke after stroke drove his ardor until he was near desperate with need.

Shifting again, his lover moved closer pressing his front against Charles' back.

A sense memory hit Charles like hitting a wall just as his lover murmured a low "Yes, yes, yes..." in his ear.

Cloves. Clove cigarettes.

Ari.

All at once the stranger became familiar: his scent, his whispers, his touch, his body...

Memories flooded Charles all at once: their tentative first time in Charles' loft, waking after a long night of experimentation in Ari's bed only to start over again less rushed and more tender, the insanity of an indiscreet coupling in the alley behind Restaurante San Pietro after Ari had been away for weeks... The last time he was sure that would be their last only now wasn't...

Wrapped tight in Ari's embrace, Charles fell, spiraling into ecstasy even as he felt Ari shudder and stiffen as well.

Drained, he felt both contentedly sleepy yet sparked at the prospect of kissing Ari again. All he had to do was turn around.

Once they separated, Charles turned to kiss his lover in appreciation - as he assumed many might do there. Ari tasted of absinthe, but the hint of cloves beneath it remained as familiar as his kiss.

He wore a cat mask that evoked a household tabby cat with orange and cream markings, whiskers drawn over its cheeks. The furred ears and head covered much of Ari's dark hair - so like his own, but hints of the curls escaped at the bottom and back. The eyes he already knew by heart. There was no mistake. This was the man he'd come looking for.

Ari smiled at him, saying nothing, then kissed him one last lingering time before withdrawing.

It was then that Charles noticed they'd had an audience. Several people stood nearby facing them, one of whom - taller than the rest by far - standing by himself with a glass of absinthe. He wore an elaborate tiger's mask, echoing the orange and white in Ari's only marrying it with black stripes.

Ari rose and went to him, delivering a similar lingering kiss as hands possessively reclaimed his body.

Randolf.

As the others wandered off in search of more action to watch Charles gazed at the two of them, re-establishing their bond. Slow tender kisses, long caresses, whispers for each others' ears but not for his.

Eventually Randolf took him by the hand and led him away.

Ari went without looking back.

Charles sat on the bed for a while, surprisingly unaccosted, and tried to hold onto the fleeting bliss that he'd experienced.

Finally he got up, went through the curtain and headed upstairs to dress and go home.

He'd got what he'd come for.

He just realized it wasn't enough.

+

Le Cheval Bleu had become their de facto meeting place. Ari and Randolf attracted visiting scientists from all over Europe so their table became the place to be for erudite discussions and making academic connections. Charles was repeatedly assured that once he got his doctorate he'd be swamped with requests to speak all over France and probably the rest of Europe as well.

It seemed, after a while, Charles was the only one at the table who didn't already have a doctorate. He'd gone from the group of his peers to those who were more his intellectual peers - the geniuses of the continent - only in the bargain he'd jumped almost a generation. Many of the guests at their table were Randolf's age or older, though many were like Ari - fairly fresh from university and a few years into the exciting post-doc research phase.

It got so that Charles rarely spent an evening in his apartment. There was too much going on to miss.

He worked as hard as he could during the day so his nights were free and budgeted his stipend carefully so while he barely ate breakfast or lunch he often spent his food money eating and drinking with the others. He considered it an investment, part of the education he'd left Poland for.

Ari showed no change in their friendship despite their reunion at the party. He was still devoted to Randolf and treated Charles as a close friend and nothing more.

Randolf, for his part, became a bit more talkative, more interested in Charles and his work than he had been before. He often made room for him in conversations so tactfully only Charles would have noticed he was being purposefully included when he might otherwise have been overlooked.

A note slipped under his apartment door warned him of a break in the parties: a simple slip of paper saying "Hell is closed. Hell returns to earth in two weeks."

Those two Friday nights he went to Le Cheval Bleu, but didn't find Ari or Randolf there, just the usual crowd.

He snuck out before midnight and headed over to Rue Cler, unsure if the party really was off or if he was being told that so he wouldn't show up.

But when he arrived the door was locked. Apparently the parties did take breaks.

By the time the next party rolled around he was more than ready. He knew now what Ari's mask looked like. His challenge was to engage him in sex again now that he knew that Ari knew his masked identity.

More emboldened this time, he went straight to the bar and asked for, and got, a half glass of absinthe. He drank it straight off, sure that slow drinking wouldn't make any difference, and joined a roving band of marauders. He made sure to pick one that was all men with red cords targeting other men with red or black cords. Most of the mobs were blacks - omnivorous - but he wanted only men.

It was electrifying, touching random bodies without preamble, permission or even purpose. His hands sampled skin of all kinds, finally getting bold enough to jack one man off as another reveler tongued the man's ass.

He finally broke from the group, head spinning from the alcohol and sexual contact, to wander into the stage rooms and watch a few shows.

He found one that was a pretzel of about five men all sucking each other off in a tangle on the bed. Another was a man blindfolded and bound, hands hanging from a hook in the ceiling as a woman bent before him, guiding him into her, and a man speared him from behind.

The man's face was mostly covered by his mask - white ostrich plumes behind a black silk band - but his mouth was open as he moaned loudly, clearly undone by the overwhelming stimulation.

A hand closed around his bare arm and tugged gently, drawing him away from the crowd. It took the crowd clearing to see that the arm belonged to a body wearing an orange and cream striped cat mask: Ari.

With his other hand Ari motioned to him not to speak and tugged him towards a room further down the hall.

Charles followed happily, not needing any encouragement.

The tugging continued as Ari broke through the crowds in the hallway, their hands only breaking apart once Ari flopped down on the bed in the room.

Charles' smile dimmed when he saw the bed was already occupied.

He stood watching as Ari curled into Randolf's side, cat to tiger, looking almost purring happy.

A hand reached out to beckon to him, but it wasn't Ari's.

It was Randolf's.

When he could manage no more than a single step forward Randolf rose and came to him, hands alighting on his shoulders in a skimming caress before he slipped the fabric from his shoulders.

Ari crawled over to him across the bed and knelt in front of him, and then both their hands were on him, touching, feeling, disrobing him until he was naked before them and the crowd that had begun to assemble to watch the goings on.

As Ari's fingers dragged up the underside of his cock Randolf's mouth latched onto his neck.

He could do this. He could have Ari if he could share him.

Randolf was an extremely attractive man and very sexually appealing.

It just felt strange being their plaything - and Charles realized with an odd moment of clarity that that's what he was. That's what the parties were, recreation for Randolf. He might love Ari, but this was where the appetite that could not be sated by one single man was fed.

Four hands, two mouths, two skilled lovers enticing him to join them.

Surrendering, Charles let go and let Randolf and Ari pull him down to the bed with them.

+

Part 2

 
 
 
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on November 13th, 2010 05:33 am (UTC)
Confession
Please see Part 2 for Confession post.
fractalmoonfractalmoon on October 30th, 2012 07:41 pm (UTC)
This is fun, especially the part where the club becomes the gathering place for Europe's finest scientific minds. Not my usual association with a sex club.;-)