“Kill me.”
“Why on Earth would I do that?”
“Because I feel like it. Because you want to.”

The bedroom all of sudden seems too large, too cold, too empty. Aristeles remains silent, his hand still on Mark’s, Mark who is now looking at him with his odd grey eyes, his odd little smile, his odd dreamy expression. Mark whose lips were on his barely a few seconds ago, whose voice uttered those strange words to his ear.

“Kill me, now.”
“I won’t.”
“Why, don’t you like it when I come back?”
“Of course I do.”
“Then kill me.”

Already he can feel it, the insane logics, the whirlwind that threatens to sweep him away as well, down to the cesspool of twisted ideas, down to the bottomless pit that is their relationship. The Alchemist cannot forget—Mark won’t let him—the very first death, the growing pain, the blood, and the light slowly obscured in those eyes he knows so well. He will give in, because, deep in his heart, he has always wanted to defile that smirk, that face, that life whose weight is only his own  responsibility.

“Right now, I hate you.”
“That’s fine. Do it.”

Mark is still smiling; he is always smiling, no matter the circumstances. Straddling him on the bed, Aristeles lets his hand wander on his friend’s chest. Friend, lover, ally—Mark has been all of these, and likely more, his oldest friend, his only friend. There is  madness in those eyes and in those thoughts, he knows it. He does not care anymore. Mark’s antics enthrall him just as often as they tick him off.

His fingers find his lover’s throat, closing down on the pale skin. You are mine, they say in a silent language only the two men can understand. I can possess you whenever I want. I can do anything I want to you. Aristeles’ hands start to tighten around Mark’s neck, imprinting the Alchemist’s will into flesh, blood and sinews. You are mine, now and forever. I won’t let you go.

But who is he kidding? Who is controlling who? Who is holding sway over the other? The one who truly wants it is Mark, Mark who does not say a word, who keeps on smiling, silent, even though he is now labouring to catch his breath, in a reflex ingrained in his body by the very stream of life. He does not, will not resist, clenching at the soft sheets with both hands, and Aristeles knows what it means, that pain is his pleasure, that the drowsing feeling of asphyxy is filling him with ecstasy. It would not take much for the fragile balance of power to shift; all he would have to do is stop, stop the killing, stop that deadly game. He could still do it; it is not over yet. If he wanted to, he could.

He does not stop, for his desire to stifle that voice, to put an end to that smile, is overwhelming. Mark must have known it, read it in his eyes, in his gestures, in their caresses. Tighter, tighter, until he feels that one last push will crush that throat for good; without a warning, he leans towards his lover to kiss him fully on the lips, to possess that last breath of his, like he could not possess his innermost thoughts.

Now it is over.

Panting slightly, he stares at Mark, at his glazed eyes the sheen of life is deserting more and more with each passing second. He knew it. He know he would not, could not resist.

You are mine.

His hands slide away from Mark’s throat, reaching for his face, for the dark curls of his long hair, and another kiss unites them, the living man and the dead one. It will not last; it never does. In a few seconds, the momentum will pass, and the sheer magic of that unique instant will decay. In a few seconds, everything will change again, will be different.

Aristeles closes his eyes. He had stolen Mark’s last sparkle of consciousness; it is time to reap the first one as well. His body pressed against his lover’s, he kisses him a third time, muffling the moan on the latter’s lips—pain or pleasure, once again, it is hard to tell, because Mark usually revels in both. Of course, he cannot stifle the lifestream in that immortal shell anymore; of course, killing is just a game for them; of course, Mark is already reciprocating, raising his arms to clasp them around Aristele’s waist. You are mine, too. Of course.

“You’re sick,” the Alchemist whispers, his face so close to his friend’s that the slightest move would bring them together again.
“So are you.”
“I will not die for your pleasure.”
“I’m not asking you to.”
“Then why?”

Mark only smiles, this peculiar smile of his that does not mean anything. There is no need to ask; Aristeles already knows the answer. He just wishes that for once, his old friend would stop taunting him with his twisted desires.

Because I love you to death.

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©Yzabel Ginsberg 2010