The past few days, I posted things that I thought might be a balm or a comfort to folks reeling from these awful election results, and the subsequent violence and fear we are living under right now. Today, I thought I would share one of the sweeter moments in my current work in progress, Shocking Violet, a queer kinky polyamorous romance novel centering disabled and trans characters.
Jax is a trans stone butch dominant sadist who has multiple disabilities. Rickie is a femme trans guy submissive masochist who has PTSD. They are long time play partners. They have enjoyed a lovely and boundaried BDSM play relationship that is heavy on the D/s, much of which has been about doing edgeplay scenes in Rickie’s home, particularly ones that honor Rickie’s pretty boy identity, and that play with a particular edge of Rickie’s–he struggles to tolerate gentleness. This excerpt is about their first romantic date, and particularly, their first kiss.
(As a heads up, this excerpt includes kissing, D/s, and a bit of pain play. It also includes references to past emotional abuse around femme identity, and a description of a character experiencing a flashback and managing it.)
“You can’t wear anything with scent,” Jax had said. “Not just no scented soap or shampoo or perfume, but nothing. Zak’s place is scent free. His housemate’s boyfriend is really allergic.”
Jax had explained what scent free really meant. And whatever nervousness Rickie’d had about going on something that sounded like an actual maybe date with Jax to a party where he wouldn’t know anybody but Jax had totally disappeared because he was all worried about fucking up the scent free thing. No makeup, cuz he didn’t have the unscented kind. No nail polish, so he’d stripped his nails.
He was used to the no scented soaps thing, the no perfume thing, that wasn’t an issue, he did that already every time he had a date with Jax cuz the scent gave him migraines. But no makeup? No nail polish? That was a whole other thing to wrap his head around. It just felt…weird to have Jax ask him not to wear makeup and nail polish. Like what if this meant that Jax was embarrassed about how femme he was? What if that had been hiding under the surface all this time?
He was starting to feel nauseous, could hear Oliver’s voice, talking shit about him being too femme. His hands were shaking. His heart was pounding. Shit. His head was getting all fucked up, his breathing was speeding up, and he needed to do something, fast, before it got worse. He grabbed his Ativan, took half a pill.
He needed to put on music, to drown it out. Something comforting and familiar. Oh, yes. That would work. Just what he needed. Ok, breath slow and even, with the beat. Missy was telling him about the rain, and he could let that take over, drown everything else out with that. He closed his eyes, and just breathed, as one song flowed into the next, waiting for Oliver’s voice to get washed away.
Ok. His heart had slowed down, all he could hear was Missy now. Time to think it through. Should he cancel? He might be too fucked in the head to do this thing. But. Jax had sounded kind of…lost and tentative, on the phone. And he never sounded that way. Never brought that to Rickie. He usually seemed all tough and closed, all smooth marble coolness. He’d had these jagged edges in his voice this afternoon. Usually Rickie was the only one who brought his jaggedness, and then only in scene. So. This was new. This was a way that he could be strong for Jax, could hold space. If he could do it.
He’d wanted that, so much, when he was talking to Jax. Wanted this new tentative possibility with him. And now, as he breathed, he touched that want again. It was solid, and whole. He wasn’t tripping on the makeup thing because of Jax. He was tripping because Oliver had just left with Gilberto, had stood there with his big eyes and his dimples and had flirted. As if nothing had changed. As if this break up was fucking temporary. And it wasn’t going to be. It wasn’t. He needed to reach for something new, not let the past tug at him. He could do that. He didn’t need makeup to go to a party. He would sparkle in a different way.
Right. He needed to wear clothes that weren’t fresh from the laundry, cuz the scent from the detergent wasn’t as strong that way. Ok. He tugged up his favorite electric blue briefs, and pulled on the tightest jeans he owned, which he’d worn yesterday, luckily. Yes. With his FEMME belt. That teal V neck. His favorite amber ring. Neck, bare. Jax loved his throat. Ready to go. And Ativan had totally kicked in. He was going to be just fine.
Rickie turned off the music, let silence fill his home in preparation for Jax to arrive. He had ten minutes to kill, so he texted VJ: Going to a birthday party with Jax. Do you know this Zak guy? Ze responded immediately: What? A regular party? Where you’ll keep all your clothes on? When did this happen? Fuck if he knew. Just today. A last minute thing. Ze was quick: Ok, honey. Be spontaneous like that. I’m gonna want to hear all about it. He wasn’t even thinking. His fingers just typed: You know I never kiss and tell. Then he stared at his phone. In all the time they’d been playing they had never kissed. Not once. VJ knew this, too. Damn, ze was going to be relentless. He put the phone in his pocket, ignoring the buzzing. Jax would be here any minute.
His heart wouldn’t stop pounding. He walked the familiar blocks to Rickie’s place, slowly. Not sure how he’d gotten here. He’d left shul this morning and had felt all overwhelmed and too damn open. The idea of going to Zak’s party alone was just too much. He wasn’t up to putting that much energy into trying to talk to strangers. That’s why he’d invited Rickie.
Eh, he wasn’t even fooling himself with that story. Sure, of course, going alone would be a lot, and he’d hate it, and he didn’t feel up to it, felt like his skin was way too fucking thin right now. But that wasn’t why he was doing this. That just gave him the nudge to do it today, gave him an excuse to push past the fear and take the risk.
Pretending that it was the whole reason, or that it had happened to him, instead of him making it happen, him taking the step…that was bullshit. And if he was going to risk the very good thing he had going with Rickie to see if it could be something else, he owed himself and Rickie more than thin excuses and avoidance of responsibility.
He could at least be real with himself about why his heart was pounding. Because they were going on a date. Like a romantic date. Because he hadn’t been able to stop thinking about kissing Rickie. Because he didn’t want this thing to be so very boundaried and limited anymore. He wanted something different. He wasn’t sure what, but he knew he wanted to try to figure out what else they could be to each other. This date was a beginning. It scared the shit out of him. That seemed to be the theme these days, to reach for things that scared the shit out of him, because he wanted them.
He’d brought Rickie a present, even. He’d never done that before. He’d never done most of this before. They’d had such clean lines, and now he was muddying them all over the fucking place. He could feel the adrenaline running through his system, as he rang the bell. He was grinning, and he didn’t even hide it. Nothing like his old friend adrenaline.
Damn the boy looked good. No surprise there. Something worried about his eyes, though. Not just fear, worry. Almost a flinch. Ok. He’d heard it in Rickie’s tone on the phone when he explained about the more intense scent free rules at Zak’s place. That was part of this, he was pretty sure. Then he should start with the present, shouldn’t he?
“Hi there, boy. Don’t you look delicious. I brought you something.”
He pulled it out of his pocket, eyes on Rickie’s face.
“This is safe to use tonight. I thought you might like it.”
He could see Rickie’s shoulders ease, see the nervous joy in his eyes. Was that awe that he saw in his face?
“What do you think?” he said a bit nervously. And saw Rickie’s eyes well up. So he gathered his boy close, and held him, felt the tension in his body ease and the boy curl into him, his face buried in Jax’s shoulder.
Rickie was saying something that was too muffled for him to make out, so he pulled back a bit, smiling into the boy’s eyes.
“What was that?”
“I thought maybe you didn’t want to take me out if I was wearing makeup,” Rickie whispered.
“No, that’s not it at all,” he said firmly. “You’re my pretty boy, and I adore your femmeness. I’d never want to change it.”
“I brought you this because I know how much you hate going out with your eyes naked. And you look so damn good in eyeliner, boy.”
“Thank you, Sir.” Rickie smiled softly. “I’ll just be a minute putting this on.”
“Take your time, boy. There’s no rush.”
Jax took off his coat, and let himself sink into the couch, savoring Rickie’s response to the gift. He’d done good, made the right choice. He was glad he’d stocked up on scent free makeup as Chanukah gifts for his femme friends. It had made this possible on a day where he simply didn’t have the spoons to get scent free makeup at the last minute. He had needed that nap way too much. He’d just get Ivy something else. Colorful tights, perhaps. She seemed to favor those.
When Rickie came out of the bathroom he seemed so damn light on his feet. Those jeans were such a temptation. Rickie practically danced over to Jax. He pulled the boy toward him, to straddle his lap. Yes, that’s where he wanted him.
“You look delicious.” He reached up to stroke Rickie’s cheek. “Such a pretty boy.” He could see Rickie trembling, working to take the gentle caress. He didn’t want to wait another second.
“I want that mouth of yours, boy.” He ran his thumb along Rickie’s lip. “You alright with adding kissing to the agenda tonight?”
Rickie’s eyes got huge. He gulped, then nodded, frantically. Like he didn’t trust himself to speak.
Rickie’s heart was racing really fast. He couldn’t even really believe they were here. But Jax was staring at his mouth and he was looking down at him and Jax’s hand was at the back of his neck drawing him close and was he even breathing he didn’t think he was breathing anymore.
His hands, he didn’t even know what to do with his hands they just kind of floated behind Sir’s head near the back of the couch oh that was a place they could go the back of the couch yes he would put them there ok now. The leather was cool under his hands and it was good to have something to hold onto and now he was so so close to Jax’s face he didn’t think they’d ever been so close.
His brain was going so fast and he still wasn’t really breathing and then Jax had his hair all twisted in his hand and there was pain and it was good and helped and maybe he could focus on the actual kissing that was about to happen. Yes the pain was good. Rickie took a breath, finally. Sir’s lips were so close. Rickie found himself trembling. It was like his body couldn’t hold all of the anticipation and the feelings and they just shimmered out all over.
Who could have thought that it would take forever from when you said yes to kissing, to when kissing started. It hadn’t really worked that way before, but he’d never been with someone a year and a half before he kissed them before, either, so maybe this was regular for this situation? What was this situation? He wasn’t sure, he just knew that he really wanted Sir to kiss him already, and he might even be whimpering right now and squirming on Sir’s lap because he wanted it so much. Which made him extremely aware of the fact that Sir was packing. Which oh fuck that was so fucking hot and he really felt like his whole body was shuddering and Sir hadn’t even fucking kissed him yet.
And then the forever before the kiss changed into the forever of the kiss which started out deliberately soft until he thought he would lose his mind because he couldn’t fucking stand how soft it was and he growled into Sir’s mouth in his frustration but he held his head still and took it, his hands digging into the back of the couch and the softness of it fucking killed him. The only thing that made it tolerable was his hair twisted in Sir’s grip in this pulsing pain that kept him steady. The interminable torture of the soft kiss went on and on until he really thought his eyeliner must be running down his face, and he just didn’t know how he was going to take it he could not stop growling.
Then Sir was growling right back at him into his fucking mouth and the kiss turned ferocious in the best way ever. It was like Sir’s tongue was thrusting the word “Mine” into his throat and he opened to it, wanted it, took every last bit of that claiming down his throat, wanted Sir to mark him with this kiss so much. Why had they never fucking done this before? Rickie was grinding down onto Sir’s cock and on the edge of coming just from this, the pain in his hair and all of the everything trembling inside him. He was going to burst and then Sir’s hand on the back of his neck gripped him hard and his nails dug in. It was the most delicious searing yes of a pain that Rickie could not hold it in anymore and he came right there, Sir wrapped all around him and inside him and every pore of him was bursting in this long glorious spasm. He must have screamed into Sir’s mouth because he got an answering laugh that was throaty and satisfied, and then the kiss ended.
Sir’s eyes were gleaming and his arms wrapped around him, tugging him into a hug. He buried his face in Sir’s neck. He was floating on that kiss that was a scene all into itself, and he felt Sir wrapped into him so close, like they had this chord connecting them now. It was new and tender and he decided not to think about it too much, just to let it be what it was. Their first kiss.
Were they actually supposed to go to a party now?
Note: Rickie is navigating going fragrance free in this excerpt, which is more complex than it might seem on the surface. If you are interested in learning more about going fragrance free, here are a few resources:
EBMC’s How to Be Fragrance Free (downloadable PDF)
Peggy Munson’s How to Be Fragrance Free (downloadable PDF)