The Tuesday after he’d met Rod in the VIP room above Depot, Samuel had given him a call and said he wanted to talk about his offer. He’d intended the meeting to be short–long enough to turn his deal down, and maybe throw a drink in his face. Samuel had never wanted to be bought. You couldn’t get anywhere in the art world without selling your work of course, but there was selling the work you made, your unadulterated vision distilled, and then there was commission, creating for someone else, with your own voice. Advertisements, really. Marketing. He found it distasteful, and after that strange vision in the bathroom of Depot, he also found it terrifying.
Yet, once Rod had stepped into the studio, and begun probing at the art in the revolving process of ideation and disintegration around him, Samuel found his plan already falling off the rails. What unnerved him the most, was that Rod understood. Understood what he saw, what his art was, why he did it. Samuel was obsessed with flesh. Many reviewers misunderstood when he said this to them, and translated his precise word of ‘flesh’ to the more palatable ‘bodies’. Bodies were composed of flesh, of course, but it was not the body itself that drew Samuel’s attention. It was what comprised it. Muscle, fat, sinew, tendon, bone, blood, organ. Rod had used the precise word, without prompting. “I love your depiction of flesh in this one,” he said, holding up a canvas, looking back at Samuel with those steel grey eyes.
“It’s not right, that one is no good,” Samuel had said, attempting to deflect.
“Oh, none of them are good. None of them are anything like what you’re really capable of, Samuel,” Rod had said, and he’d struck his second weakness, that fine line between backhanded compliment and earnest encouragement. They’d chatted a bit more, then Rod had left, and Samuel stared down at the check in his hand, astonished that he’d taken it. Astonished that he’d wanted to take it. For a moment, after cashing it, he was flush with inspiration, but as soon as he’d sat down to work some of it out, it vanished.
Since then, he’d spent over a week trying to recapture that moment of inspiration, but it hadn’t returned. Not a single idea that, as soon as it was down, didn’t feel like the most insipid, self-satisfying bullshit he’d ever considered. Normally, when faced with a block like this, he’d found that his best solution was a good fucking at the hands of whatever muscle bound man he was with at the moment. Something about being pounded by a mountain of flesh could provide insight, but Parker, currently filling that role, only terrified him now.
Terrified was the wrong word. Disgusted was the wrong word. He’d yet to find the correct one, in any language that he knew. He could barely stand to exist in the same space as him, and he’d hoped that a few days of distance from that scene in the bathroom would help settle his mind and let him get back to fucking, but the vision refused to fade away. It was always there on the edge of his sight, that beast, those sucking thralls at his monstrous feet, beckoning him. He’d considered telling Parker what he’d seen, asking him about the new steroid that Hugh was apparently selling him now, but neither of those things could cross his lips. He told himself that Parker was far too simple to grasp what he’d witnessed, but he was also afraid that perhaps he would understand perfectly. Perhaps Parker’s ignorance of the beast behind him was the only thing keeping it from bursting free at any moment.
Parker, on the other hand, spent the early part of the week following his night at Depot feeling great. Every workout was phenomenal. He broke through his plateau in a matter of days, packing on a solid five pounds of mass, even as he could tell he was cutting fat, giving his body the sort of definition he’d only been able to manage after a few days with minimal water. His energy was up, his libido was definitely up, and after trying a couple of times to get Samuel interested in a good fuck, he gave up, and started fucking anything that moved–and there were a lot of things in Pigtown that wanted him, day or night.
But as was usually the case with steroids, the effect wore off a few days before it was time to shoot up again, but that first week, the relief was enough for Parker to push through to Friday, get another dose from Hugh, with the usual discount of a good fuck, and then enjoy the rush again. That second week, however, the high dwindled away quicker, his impotence was back by Tuesday, and he was left feeling frustrated that the drug wasn’t delivering what Hugh had promised him.
Thursday afternoon, he’d returned home from the gym to discover Samuel there. He hadn’t been spending much time at their apartment for the last few weeks, for some reason. He seemed…afraid of Parker, but wouldn’t tell him why, and the two of them hadn’t fucked since before that night at Depot. They ended up fighting about money, of course. Without the fucking to distract them, there was nothing to hide the fact that the two of them were completely at odds with one another. Much to Samuel’s surprise, however, Parker ended up getting rough with him, something he hadn’t done before, pinning him up against the wall, grinding his cock against him–it was only the fact that he couldn’t even get it up that made Parker retreat, leaving Samuel with just a few slaps and a lighter wallet before storming out of the apartment, and heading for Hugh’s, to get his next fix.
He had to pound the door for most of a minute before Hugh finally answered. It was early afternoon, but judging from the fact all he had on was some boxers and heavy bags under his eyes, it had been a late night for him–but then, dealers didn’t get to work normal hours. “Fuck Parker, what is it?”
“I need another dose.”
“You shouldn’t dose again until tomorrow, once a week. Like I said–this shit is real experimental.”
“Real fucking worthless you mean, the stuff doesn’t even last a whole week!” Parker said, pushing into the apartment, “Now I got your money, give me another vial.”
“It has to fully cycle out before you can take another–”
“Trust me Hugh, it’s fucking cycled out, now give me the shit already.”
“Ok ok, calm down man,” Hugh said, shut the door and went into his room, dug around in his stash, and pulled out another vial of BHB. “Are you doing alright? You seem a little agitated.”
“I’m not here asking you to be my therapist,” Parker said, grabbing the vial out of Hugh’s hand, threw the wad of cash he’d taken from Samuel’s wallet down on the dresser, looked around until he found a syringe that seemed clean, and drew out his dose.
Hugh just watched, just wanting to get Parker out of here. He was obviously agitated, but whether that was a side effect of the drug, or whether he was just frustrated that the drug wasn’t perfect, he couldn’t tell. He had a few other guys testing it out, but he hadn’t seen any of them react quite like this before. Hugh injected himself, junked the syringe, and heaved a sigh of relief, and set the vial down on the counter of the bathroom. “Now, how about that other part of the payment?” he said, and dropped the gym shorts he was wearing.
“Fuck Parker, not right now, I have a hangover the size of Texas. I don’t even know how I got home last night.”
“Well nothing helps a hangover like a good dose of protein, you know?”
Parker stepped closer to him, and Hugh noticed something strange–he smelled different. He was used to Parker smelling–he didn’t exactly shower much after the gym, and Hugh didn’t mind a little musk. This was different, it was sharp, and drew him in with a moan. Parker lifted up his arms and let Hugh clean them both out for a few minutes, before he could feel the same rush of horniness as before, and pushed him over to the bed.
“Seriously Parker, take it easy,” Hugh said, but Parker was aching to fuck now, climbed up, and literally tore to boxers off his body, shoved the slick head of his cock against Hugh’s hole, and pushed it inside. Hugh moaned, that same sharp scent, that need now somehow inside him, suffusing him. He moaned in pleasure as Parker drove in deeper, reaching around his neck with one muscled arm and pulling him back, choking him lightly and also keeping him from moving too much.
“I don’t do easy, slut,” Parker said, and slammed his cock the rest of the way in, and Hugh gave a howl of pleasure. He lost track of how many times Parker came over the next hour, as he fucked him non-stop. Each time he did, he would feel that same sharpness leech into his body, making him feel weaker, making him want it more and more, until Parker, sated for the moment at least, hauled his cock free, and watched the cum drool from Hugh’s well worked hole, onto the sheets below him, the dealer still moaning. “There we go, that’s better, isn’t it?” Parker said, got up, and fished around in Hugh’s good for another vial of BHB. “A tip–you don’t mind, do you?”
“Wait, Parker…I think something’s wrong…with you…” Hugh muttered, but Parker either didn’t hear him, or didn’t want to hear him. He was out the door and back on the street, heading home to finish what he’d started with Samuel–but when he got there, he was nowhere to be found. The coward had probably run off to his studio. Parker considered tracking him down, but that long fuck with Hugh had mostly fixed the frustration he’d been feeling. What he wanted now was a good long workout, and then maybe he’d hit a few clubs to find a few more holes to plow. Before he left though, he took out the partial vial from Hugh’s place, drew the rest of it out, and injected himself again–a booster, he told himself. By the time he got to the gym, he was riding high, pumping more than he ever had in his life. Even if there was a risk, he was willing to take it–he could take anything he wanted, as long as he felt like this forever.