The gentle lull of birds twittering beyond the window and soft purrs beside his ear woke Tyler. Followed by the dull ache of his head. Tyler raised a hand, stroking his temple as he tried recalling how he got to bed. With no recollection, Tyler brushed it off to the wine the night before.
As Tyler moved, he disturbed the cat who stretched and gracefully jumped from the bed and walked towards the door. Tyler raised himself on his elbow and glanced down at what he wore. Still in his clothes, Tyler recalled nothing; surprised he made it to the bedroom without injuring himself. His mouth dry and crusty and the need to use the bathroom, he rose and let the cat out as he made his way across the hall. After relieving himself and washing his hands, the bath became appealing after not bathing in days.
Tyler turned both taps, and the pipes hammered and water spluttered until a steady flow ensued. Warm water washed over Tyler’s hand and he looked forward to the comfort the bath would bring. Attached to the foot of the bath a large wooden shelf on a metal bracket with an assortment of old, dusty soaps sat clumped together with a small cracked plug. Dry and crumbling, Tyler looked the plug over and deemed it worthy to work long enough before water seeped through. With the plug in place, Tyler filled the bath.
Crouched on the floor, arms draped over the edge of the bath, Tyler watched the water rise. The size of the bath meant it used a lot of water and Tyler weighed up whether to conserve water. The fact he hadn’t washed in two days swayed his decision towards a big bath but settled for half way. As the bath continued to fill, Tyler removed his pyjamas and stuck a toe in the water.
At that moment, out of nowhere, the cat jumped up onto the wooden shelf attached to the bath.
Tyler gripped the edge of the bath one-foot teetering above the water, the other on the floor.
“Don’t do that!” Tyler growled at the cat. “You’re going to cause me serious harm sooner or later if you keep sneaking up on me.”
The cat settled itself on the shelf where the plug had been and stared at Tyler.
“I’m concerned about your behaviour? I’m not sure cats should behave the way you do.”
Tyler didn’t take his eyes from the cat as his climbed into the bath. Once submerged in the water, all thoughts vanish as he closed his eyes and listened to the fall of the water. When the water reached chest height Tyler’s guilt insisted he turned the water off. Once more lying back, Tyler marvelled at the bath. Large enough for two people, Tyler imagined Damien in the bath with him. Fantasy engulfed his imagination as memories of his time with Damien tantalised his wet, naked body.
Tyler’s fingers laced over his chest and nipples as visions of Damien’s body filled his mind. Damien had been his everything. The complete opposite to Tyler’s blond hair and fair skin, Damien was Tyler’s Greek god. Memories of the time they first met two years prior returned. The moment their eyes met across the grounds of one of his mother’s afternoon tea parties. It was love at first sight. Damien charmed him with his deep husky voice and alluring brown eyes. Tyler knew he had found his everything, yet it took months for him to confess. Doubt brought conflict in his mind, but over a few drinks the atmosphere had relaxed enough for both to confess their feelings.
It had been a dream come true. His first and only love, Tyler could not see his life without Damien being in it. Yet, here he now found himself alone. Tyler’s fingers now clawed at his chest, nails digging into the flesh as he fought to quell the pain.
“Damn it.” Tyler murmured as he sank under the water removing the tears on his face. Silence met him as he held his breath and floated beneath the surface. Could he do it, stay submerged long enough for the pain to end?
Lannor’s fascination with Tyler had become something of an obsession. No matter how much Lannor argued with himself he could not keep away from Tyler’s company. There had been a time any man in his presence would have incurred his wrath, yet Tyler’s was different. He fascinated Lannor and caused conflict. The longer Tyler remained in the house the more confused he became. The silence of the room interrupted Lannor’s thought, and he stared down into the bath. It was then he realised Tyler remain submerged and old memories resurface and a tightening in his chest grew as panic set in. Where Lannor had known pleasure in the bath, he also knew sorrow. Visions of finding his lover dead, drowned in the bath long ago triggered feelings he hoped to forget. Heart constricted in fear, he considered transforming before spying the soap beside him. In desperation, he pushed the soap into the bath hoping Tyler would emerge; it hit Tyler’s leg as it fell and he came up gasping for breath.
Lannor didn’t know if he was angry, relieved or ready to kill Tyler. Heart beating erratically, Lannor vowed to keep a better eye on him. Whatever reasons brought Tyler to the house, there was no way he would watch him take his life. Not while he lived there. Now livid, Lannor wanted to transform to discuss with Tyler his stupidity. Yet, as he glared down at Tyler, he found his angry thoughts wiped from memory as Tyler’s next actions had Lannor entranced.
Tyler found the soap Lannor dropped in the bath and used it to clean himself. That was the intent for soap, yet as Tyler reached between his legs, his hands fondled his erection and Lannor was too shocked to look away.
In disbelief, Lannor watched as Tyler’s slow moans echoed around the room and the gentle lapping of the water washed up the sides of the bath. The smartest move would be to leave the bathroom, but he didn’t. A new set of emotions engulfed Lannor, bewilderment and curiosity touched with uncertainty left him dumbstruck.
Never had Lannor known for any man to want to touch himself. The idea was absurd. One did not find pleasure alone. Lannor struggled with what he was seeing. Tyler’s breathing became shallow and his back arched, his eyes closed tight as he continued to rub his hand up and down his erection. Lannor wanted it to stop. It was unheard of. Lannor knew real pleasure came at the hands of another. He’d never touched himself in such a way and he could not comprehend why Tyler would want too. The sheer pleasure spread across Tyler’s pale complexion as he continued to touch himself had Lannor wondering why? Did he have problems that cause the erection in the first place? Was it necessary for him to touch himself? Tyler’s moans grew louder and longer similar to the sounds Lannor might make when he was making love. What was happening? What Tyler was doing was unnatural; such a pleasure should not be done alone. And then Tyler’s entire body arched up out of the water as he ejaculated.
Lannor sat in shock, frozen in place. There was nothing that could have moved him from the scene he witnessed. Lannor never heard nor saw Tyler getting out of the bath, nor the water being drained. His eyes stared unfocused into the bath where Tyler had been too shocked to move.
Tyler wrapped the towel around his waist the aftermath of the bath still fresh on his mind. The aftertaste of disgust left Tyler ashamed. Fantasies of Damien were now bitter rather than pleasurable and Tyler found no satisfaction in getting off in the bath. As Tyler reached for his clothes lying on the floor, he spied the cat, staring into the bath.
“Sorry about that. I forgot I had company.”
Tyler reached out and ran his hand down the cat’s back. It was only then did the cat move its head to glare at Tyler. For a moment Tyler thought the cat would attack him, the narrow of its eyes indicated something sinister. Yet, the moment passed as Tyler continued to scratch the back of the cat.
“You’re nothing but a big softy. Come on, I’ll get dressed and then we’ll do something about breakfast.”
The cat followed Tyler back into the bedroom and Tyler wondered once more whom the cat belonged to and if they missed him.