Water and Dust: Chapter 1

The dogs at the perimeter fence barked; rough, ringing sounds reaching the house, a distant warning. Marc and Brendan shot out the door, time only pull on rubber boots, and grab lanterns, and their rifles.

Ahead of Marc, Brendan’s bathrobe flapped and snapped, his slender body a dart through the trees. Marc cursed, not slowing down but wishing he’d thought to pull on a shirt, as the twigs and branches and sharp leaves scratched his bare skin. Brendan wouldn’t even break a sweat by the time they reached there, while Marc’s ribs were already heaving from exertion.

At the fence, once pasted the gate, Marc lifted the the lantern up, casting the light outward from them and the three dogs going still going wild, a ring of yellow in the darkness. Brendan, leaving his on the ground, ventured further into the night, towards the long grass, rifle held forward but not at the ready. The hairs on Marc’s chest stirred in the hot night air, and even though he needed the air, he held his breath, and his rifle, tight.

A rustle through the grass, and Marc’s body stiffened. Brendan’s rifle went up.

The dogs barked and leapt around, one making a dash for it from behind Marc, only to be jerked back by the leash. When a flash of furry ears bounded above the line of grass, Brendan snickered.

“Fucking rabbits.” He put the rifle to his shoulder, and sauntered back to one of the dogs, bending to rub its head with his knuckles. “Daft mongrels, this lot.” Brendan cupped the dogs jaw, shaking it with mock sternness. “Be the death of us one day.”

More barking, until Marc, his voice cranky and harsh, barked himself.


The dogs whined, but reluctantly obeyed, and the barking gradually ceased, giving way to heavy panting, and large doggy eyes peering up, eager for praise.

Marc shook his head, and exhaled, lowering the lantern. The shift in light played with the shadows on Brendan’s face, making his cheeks seem gaunt, and his eye sockets hollow. Until he turned his face back to Marc, and smiled. The serious, suave features always became shy when he smiled, and it still, after all this time, burned at Marc’s belly.

Brendan reached out to Marc’s shoulder, brushing over his skin, frowning as his fingers found the scratches. “You’re hurt.”

Marc’s eyes fell to Brendan’s fingers on his shoulder. Holding the rifle and the lantern, Marc couldn’t touch him back. He shrugged. “Just scratches.”


Brendan’s gaze shifted up to the night sky. Marc followed it. In their hurry, they hadn’t noticed the moon, not quite full, hanging in a cloudless sky.

Brendan grinned. “Now there’s a thought.”

Marc looked back at Brendan, whose eyes were still on the sky.


Brendan indicated back onto their land with his head. “This way.”

As the dogs settled back to their post, Marc followed Brendan into the trees, he said, “We should be getting back.”

Without turning, Brendan said, “For who?”

Marc started. The usual excuses came to his mind: it’s late; we should sleep early; the lights and the radio are on. He didn’t need to voice them, though, for in his mind he heard Brendan flick each one of them off with a solid, reasonable rejection. This land was theirs. They didn’t have to ask anyone’s permission, or wait on expectation. They’d built the fence to protect their sanctuary. Now they could enjoy it, and live their own rules.

Shaking off the old ways of thinking though was, for Marc, like trying to step out of his own skin. While Brendan walked with an assurance, whistling as his lantern swung, Marc couldn’t rid the tension from his chest.

They weren’t long back in the trees when Marc realised their destination, and he smiled.

The pool lay like a bright shield, silver in the moonlight, quiet and undisturbed. So bright that they almost didn’t need the lanterns. The trees, long black fingers, stood like silhouettes against the shimmering light.

When they came to the water’s edge, Brendan put down both the lantern and the rifle. The yellow light behind the glass seemed to vanish with the brightness of the moonlit water. Brendan yanked off his boots and tossed his bathrobe aside, Marc catching his breath as the light made Brendan’s pale skin glow.

Brendan slipped in the water. It rippled, a distorted mirror, fracturing and wavering the trees in the reflection. Marc lowered what he carried to the ground. Once, the sight of Brendan naked and wet, his skin reflecting the moonlight, would have sent blood rushing straight to his cock. Now, as he watched Brendan glide through the water to the centre of the pool, his body filled with the warm hum that comfortable and familiar bring when they surprise you with an image of stark beauty.

Brendan glanced back, face serious. “Are you coming?”

Marc started to take tentative steps over the rocks to the water, when Brendan laughed.

“Jeans off, you fool!”

Marc chuckled, but his face burned as he peeled off the jeans, his cock shyly slipping out and hanging loose once he’d unbuttoned. No one was around, and yet his nakedness felt all the more stark outdoors, no walls to protect him.

As he kicked his jeans away, Marc said, “Remember the water hole near Broken Hill?”

Brendan stopped moving, and the lapping of the water stilled, the silence compressing the night air.

Marc frowned; he could see the glint in Brendan’s eyes, a darkness concealled by their apparent shine. “Brendan?”

Brendan sank under the water, and suddenly emerged, shaking the water from his hair.

“There’s a lot to remember about Broken Hill.”

The water Brendan shook around him was quiet compared to his words, deafening for all their softness. Marc sighed, and entered the water. The coolness encased him, silky, soft, like a glove, or a balm, soothing the scratches on his shoulder.

The water enveloped his cock. It rose and fell easily between his legs as he stepped over the smooth pebbles, heading to Brendan who now hovered with his nose at the water line, peering at Marc with glimmering eyes. Marc reached him, and stroke his hand over Brendan’s curls.


Brendan rose, his head lilting into Marc’s palm, like a panther allowing itself to be tamed. Marc never wanted Brendan tamed, yet somehow, he’d done just that.

“I try to forget,” Brendan said, a confession, and a scolding aimed not at Marc but at himself.

All Marc did was nod. He swept his hand around Brendan’s cheek and jaw, thumb finding Brendan’s lower lip. Brendan’s eyes fluttered, and he sunk his teeth into the pad of Marc’s thumb.

Marc’s hand stiffened, knowing if he flexed he’d gripped Brendan’s face too tightly. As he let the sharp yet delicate sensation spread across his hand and down his arm, Marc evened his breathing, making himself gentler, softer, before he allowed his fingers to fall back so his nails glided down Brendan’s cheek. His thumb was still captive in Brendan’s mouth, and Brendan’s eyes were on him, bright and full of promise.

Marc breathed, “Love,” and took a step closer, but Brendan released him, backing away, and holding on hand to Marc’s forearm.

“Wait,” he said, and Marc’s chest filled with thwarted desire, Brendan so close, yet stopping him and just such a distance.

It was always this game between them. If in life Brendan was bolder than Marc, when their touches went beyond tender affection, he turned between wild and seductive, to cautious with his back up like a hunched cat backed into a corner.

But Brendan smiled, fingers brushing away the water on Marc’s arms. “Let me look after you.”

Marc remained very still as Brendan took a step backwards, and scooped his hands into the water. Brendan cupped the water, raised it like an offering, and let it spill over Marc’s shoulder. His hand followed, a soft and soothing touch on the scratches on Brendan’s arm. He did the same for other. An anointment, a blessing. Marc’s whole body swelled with humble gratitude, and quiet arousal.

The moonlight caught the parts of Brendan Marc would rarely have noticed; the glean of his fingernails, the brilliant whites of his eyes. And the water, drops like diamonds on his collarbone, and across his shoulders. Marc would have touched each drop, tried to capture each one in his hand, if Brendan would have let him. He wouldn’t, of course. You might tame someone, but that means you let them have their way, at least sometime.

It caused Marc little pain to do so.

Brendan reached around to Marc’s back. Once more, he cupped the water, and for a long moment, let his hands hover at the point where Marc’s neck began. He met Marc’s eyes, gazing up at him with such power, that Marc almost swayed in the water. He could have caught Brendan to him right then, but he would not.

When Brendan released the water, it cascaded down Marc’s back, between his shoulder blades, and crashing back into the pool, rejoining the particles it was once part of. Brendan swept his hands down Marc’s back, and, finding his hips, pulled Marc to him for a kiss.

Marc fell into the kiss, while at the same time capturing Brendan to him, bring their bodies skin to skin, the water diverting around them to allow their hips and stomachs to slide next to each other.

Their cocks eased together – both had grown hard while in the water. After all this time, how much Marc still wanted Brendan, still felt the rising sensation in his belly. The serene comfort of being together, the familiarity and knowledge of each others bodies…it should have a dullness to it, Marc was sure. Yet Brendan’s coaxing mouth, and his splayed hands that caressed Marc’s hips, and then buttocks, rendered the comfort a new excitement.

The water made Brendan’s skin soft, slippery. Marc ducked his head, away from Brendan’s mouth, and planted a kiss where his neck met his shoulder. There was the slightest rise and fall of Brendan’s chest; it took Marc months to realise that this was a sign of arousal, that he was touching him the right way, that his lips had found the exact places would, if teased, would drive Brendan wild.

And of course, Marc knew that the spot he was pressing his lips to, once he begun with his teeth, would have Brendan rolling his head back and crying aloud.

When Marc did sink his teeth into Brendan’s shoulder, Brendan gripped his forearms, his own trembling, the water drops shuddering down his back. He would have melted into the pool itself, gasping for air as he sank.

The sound and feel of Brendan quivering against him was enough to make Marc catch him closer, pull his teeth away, and bury his face in Brendan’s neck.

They say blood is thicker than water, Marc mused. But water, when it enters the body, and is absorbed, becomes blood.

Brendan was both his water and blood, and Marc ached to absorb him through his skin.

Brendan must have sensed Marc’s impending desire to collapse into him, and scooped his hands under Marc’s buttocks, making him bring his legs up around Brendan’s own. Marc’s feet left the bottom of the pool. They could never have done this without the buoyancy of the water; Marc was taller, broader, and heavier.

“You fucking amaze me,” Brendan breathed.

Marc exhaled, knowing it was him he should have said that. Jesus, what the hell would Marc do without him?

Been in Hell, no doubt.

From where Brendan held him, Marc gazed down on Brendan’s face. The water had made his hair flat, though the curls tried to reassert themselves. Brendan features were placid, almost gentle. Unusual for Brendan, so much that Marc grinned, slipping his hands up to frame Brendan’s jaw and cheeks, like a cup for libation.

“Who made you?”

Brendan sighed. “You know.”

There was a pause as the memory of the desert threatened to dry the pool with harsh winds and sand. Marc quickly leaned down to kiss Brendan’s forehead, and said to his skin;

“Remember that harmony was born of love and war.”

Brendan chuckled sardonically. “Never thought I was that harmonious.”

Marc brushed his hand down Brendan’s wet hair. “Just saying that people can come from the most unlikely of places.”

Brendan pulled back, and met Marc’s eyes, curious, a little puzzled, but soft and warm too. His fingers clutched at Marc’s back, adjusting him so he sunk a little further down. Marc was grinning until he realised his cock, stiff as an arrow, brushed against Brendan’s own.

Marc had to swallow his moan. The touch of his cock against Brendan’s, the press of their heads, sent a feeling as if someone had scooped away his insides, and left an aching chasm. A deep drawing intensity. Brendan still held him steady, but Marc saw through his now hooded eyes that Brendan was biting his lip, the way he always did when he was trying to hold back, to keep the pleasure going for just that little bit long.

Brendan pulled him forward, and they pressed to each other, their cocks sliding against each other. Marc thought of water eels, and would have given anything to twine around Brendan like that, interlocked and coiled, unable to see where each began and ended.

But Brendan held him back, their chests apart from each other, hips together, and he said, all too calmly;

“Tell me more about harmony.”

Marc would have laughed had he not been so bloody turned on.

Photo by mira66, found on flickr and used under the Creative Commons License.