| The sky was flaming, all purples and golds, reds with the
brightness of a child's watercolor, running into the water of the
lake. Lake Union was beautiful under the sunset, and we were
walking along the beach at Gasworks. I had taken off my shoes
and socks and strung them up on my shoulder, turned up my cuffs
and waded in the shallows. Morgan had worn shorts and was happi-
ly splashing his way through the water at about knee level. His
REI sandles were built to take the water and the rocky bottom.
For a long while we just walked. I enjoyed feeling of
the water on my feet, enjoyed seeing him relax and the power of
his body as it moved. A Irish Setter came bounding over the
lawn, and I hastily retreated when the dog shot for the water,
splashing everywhere. Morgan laughed, at me, at the dog, and
called it with his warm, deep voice. It splashed over to him.
Morgan looked around for a stick. I tossed one to him from the
shore, and he tossed it out for the dog. The dog went wild with
delight and streamlined it for the stick. Morgan watched the dog
as I watched him and his brown-golden hair.
He turned to smile at me, his eyes bright. I grinned back.
The dog brought back the stick and dropped it at his
feet. Just as Morgan bent to pick it up, the dog shook out his
coat. Water EVERYWHERE. For an interminable second, Morgan just
froze and then he cracked up, laughing so hard that when he threw
the stick again it only went half the distance it did before.
I doubled up laughing.
Before the dog got back with the stick again, Morgan was
up on the shore, heading towards me with a big grin.
"Look out!" The dog barreled straight for him, tail up,
ears up, and stick hanging half out of its mouth. Water streamed
from its body.
Morgan whirled and said, "No" in a tone that made me
freeze. The dog stopped, surprise on its face. Morgan looked
right into its eyes, and flung a hand to the left, "Go on, out of
here." in no uncertain terms. Not loud, simply certain. It's
ears and tail went down, but it turned away. "Good pup," I heard
the caress in the voice, and the ears cocked in his direction,
but the dog kept on going away. Suddenly it took off in a red
streak of effort, perhaps back to its master.
"You ever tried training dogs?" I asked in some curiosity.
"Yeah...but it got boring. They're great at doing what I
could teach them, but they've got a limited capacity," The green
eyes met mine lazily, "unlike some people."
I cocked an eyebrow, "Some?"
"Fishing for a compliment?"
A chuckle. "Well, I do find training humans to be more
rewarding." He came close and put an arm around my shoulders. I
put mine around his waist and leaned a little into him. He
kissed me, not nearly as long as I wanted, but it was good.
But walking got to be a little bit cumbersome this way,
so we broke apart again as we walked up the hill. I liked the
feeling of the grass under my feet. A boy struggled with a
dragon kite in brilliant colors, snapping and fluttering in the
Horse was watching the kite in open fascination, his face
open and wondering. He still had his shoes over his shoulder,
his pants rolled up.
"What are you thinking? What are you feeling?" I asked,
His face shuttered closed and he looked confused for a
moment. "Hmmm...not thinking anything, really. Just watching
the kite flying."
"What does it remind you of?" Prodding a little, wondering what
had opened him up like that. I might be able to use it,
later. Hardest part about all this is always having to think up
new things, new ways to touch him, to affect him.
"I..." I could see him catch the 'I don't know', knowing
that I dislike hearing it. "I guess I want to fly like that. To
feel that wind like that." Suddenly his face opened up again, in
wonder, as his voice softened, "The string is what holds it in
the wind, isn't it? Binding it and making it possible for it to
fly at the same time." He grinned at me, "Maybe I should take
up hang gliding."
For a moment, I just looked at him, surprised. He's
always interesting, always new, always trying things that scare
the hell out of me, willing to take things, suffer things that
most people wouldn't even believe they could do.
"Maybe," I said, even as I wondered what it would be like
to hear that he's gone down with his glider. "I used to own one
of those acrobatic kites..."
"Yeah!! Me too. Loved to watch it fly, especially with
the long tails doing figures in the air after it. Did you do any
combat with them?"
"Just a little. I loved how well they could be con-
trolled, how responsive they were to every twitch. Frustrated
the hell out of me at first, though." I love his laugh.
"Yup. Touchy suckers. Kept nose diving my first one
until the nose cracked, Dad was pissed off a little, but got me a
new nose for it. After that I was pretty careful to keep it off
We got to the top and laughed together over the sundial.
A sundial in Seattle...useless most days of the year; but, at
that moment it was showing 9:20pm on the summer months scale. It
was about right. We wandered to the city side of the hill and
watched the sun make its slow way down, saw the light glitter off
We sat down on the grass. Horse between my legs, leaning
back against me. The broadness of his shoulders against my
chest, his head back on my shoulder. It felt wonderful to just
be near him, enjoying his company, his laugh, and the random
thoughts. It took a while for him to feel comfortable showing
affection in public like this, he almost craves it, now. I
hugged him around the chest, and his face turned to kiss my neck.
We watched the dying of the sun together. Horse relaxed
against me. Remembering all his stories, I suddenly chuckled.
"Have you ever wondered where the Sun goes when it's done with
His face brightened, "Uncle used to say that the Sun and
the Moon were two brothers, the Moon was the ugly one, who went
too slow to be the Sun. He tried it once, but crisped the earth
because he didn't move fast enough and the heat drank up all the
water from the earth."
"Sounds a lot like when Apollo's son tried to drive the
chariot for the sun and blew it."
"Yeah...I wonder if that was something that really did
happen in the past, some huge drought that burned everything up.
Why else would all those different cultures have the same story?"
"Sounds like what happened to parts of the Californias,"
I said, frowning at old memories.
Horse sighed and moved against me. I hugged him. He's
usually the one that comes up with the tales, perhaps he'd like
this one. "Hmmm...mother used to tell me that the moon was
washed away by the ocean every time it touched the horizon, and
three sisters would pull out the light that dances on the ocean
waves. When the moon was utterly gone, they would spin it up on
their curved spindle until the ball of yarn was once again the
full moon. Then they'd put the ball of yarn up for the moon,
and, once again, the ocean would wash away at it."
Horse laughed softly, "Nice story, love."
I grinned, "Thanks. After all the ones you've given
me..." I hugged him close, again and felt him move in closer. I
closed my eyes to just better enjoy him being near.
"What are you thinking?" his voice was soft.
"Mmmm...perhaps that I would like to never let you go."
"Never?" his voice was teasing, he didn't think that I
was serious. I suddenly realized that I was, but I spoke quietly.
"No, never. Never let you go out to get shot, never let
you go out scuba diving, never let you take orders from someone
else, never let you jump off some stupid cliff, never let you
chase psychopaths that want to carve you up, never let you be a
target's shield, never let you ever get hurt ever again, except
by my hand." He was shivering. I made him shiver without even
A long silence.
"I'm kidding," I said, but it sounded unconvincing in my ears.
He turned around in the circle of my legs and his dark
eyes met mine. "I love you," he said as if it were some kind of
promise and maybe it was. After a long moment his dark eyes flicked
to the side.
He said softly, "I love you enough to say that I will not consent
to that. That I will not give over all responsibility for my
life to you. That I will keep that for myself. My body, my
heart, my soul, they are all yours to do with as you like, however
you like; but my life, my mind, my consent those I keep for myself."
Relief and rage all mixed together incomprehensibly. I
watched my hand go out and slowly gather his shirt at the neck
and felt my body wrench as I threw him to the ground to the side
of me, on his back. He didn't resist, at all, and it made the
rage all the hotter. I straddled him and looked into his dark
eyes. I saw his fear, his panic, the knowledge that he was going
to be punished. Seeing it, I calmed, knowing I had no right to
hit him for telling me the truth. He gave me the fear, and the
truth in him. Knowing Horse, he probably could have hidden it in
his dark eyes and his impassive face.
I released his shirt. It was his choice to go down in
the first place. He has far more combat experience than I ever
will. I almost don't doubt that if he ever really fought me, he
would come out on top. He did in a situation I should never have
been in. He gave all this to me. And I don't really understand
why, only know that over and over, he's shown, in no uncertain
terms, that he will do anything for me.
Anything except give up his life into my care.
"Thank you," I whispered. And, seeing his eyes, I knew
he understood, both that I must ask and that I would accept the
gift in his answer.
"HEY!" A couple of men with women hanging back behind
them shout belligerently, their fear and their courage written
plain on their faces, "Hey, buddy, what the fuck you doin'
"It's O.K." Horse said, as I got up off of him. I felt
his body shaking, but it wasn't in his voice at all. "Just a
little wrestling, he was showing me a throw." His face was a
mobile mask. Behind the smile and the quick reassurance, he
They went away.
He came into my arms. "Damnit, Morgan, I hate you some-
times," he said, softly.
"Yeah...I hate me sometimes, too."
For those that have gotten this far, a little trivia about Horse
I'm putting together an SF-mystery with Horse as the protagonist
(first time *I*'ve ever seen a SM type in a sympathetic role),
and I'm wondering if this gives the right balance of love and
'differentness' of those that pursue SM activities. I guess I
think each SM relationship is unique to the individuals that are
involved in it.
Timeline says this is probably five years into their relation-
ship, the Lisa story is about two years into it, the David story
is about the same as this one. The long adventure is about seven
years into their relationship.
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