No Fairy Tale

Posted on August 10, 2009


Sometimes I write things I never mean to have published. A couple of stories in Alison Tyler anthologies, specifically, Me, When I’m With You in H is for Hardcore, I just wrote for me, probably published on Livejournal and intended to leave it at that. But, then, as happened with this story, I like something enough that I’ll try and track down a market for it. 

And some things I write just for me and they stay that way no matter what I think. There is a story I wrote about 2 years ago, Holding Out for A Hero, about an Anglo-Asian Hollywood action hero who thinks there has been an alien invasion and ends up trapped in his mansion with a rent boy having more and more dangerous sex. That, story, I’ve tried and tried with, but nowhere seems to want it. The combination of aliens, m/m and death seems to put off most markets. The last place that turned it down was Violet Blue’s Best Women’s Erotica. I think the guidelines for that prohibit science fiction and ask for an emphasis on female pleasure. Ah, it is hard to have the emphasis on female pleasure when there isn’t a woman in the story.

Course, if this was a post for cover watch I might start asking who all this emphasis on women’s pleasure is really for, but this is my blog, so I’ll save that.

Anyway, Holding Out is something I might post here another time, but meanwhile, here is another stray of a story.

This started as a piece I was hoping to submit to Stephen Elliott’s book Sex for America. But I never finished in time for the deadline for that book. I liked it enough to keep going with it though. Originally it was about a CIA Agent who starts a relationship with an informer who may or may not be a terrorist. I kept tinkering with the story, giving Duke, the main character a wife, taking her out again, moving various scenes around. It was one of those stories where the scenes drift in and out and don’t necessarily follow one from another. (That’s a style I associate more with fanfiction – but that might just be me.) 

Then, back in the days of Lust Bites, I posted a little snipped from the story as a piece of flash fiction. Alison Tyler liked it and asked to include it her her flash fiction collection called Flash Fucking. But the Flash Fucking changed its name to Frenzy and my story didn’t really fit. So poor Special Relationship (that’s the name of the story) had no home. 

But it doesn’t end there, a while later, maybe around a year ago, Alison Tyler asked if it could be included in another book – an anthology of Fairy Tale inspired stories. I said yes. But, well, remember this is a story about a CIA agent and a terrorist. So Duke sat in the manuscript for that book for a while, but then, at the last minute the publisher said no. Or the publisher said something about liking my style but it not fitting the book.

I don’t know exactly what the real reason for the story not being included in the book is but I think it’s fair to say there are numerous possibilities. The story, like Hero, is m/m. It’s also not really a Fairy Story. In many ways, it’s not really a story.

But anyway, as Duke is probably never going to rise from his knees again I’m going to let you read it here. There are many, many versions of this story on my hard drive and this isn’t the one that was due to be included in Alison’s Wonderland (or the version that was going to be included in Frenzy) but it is my favourite – for now. So, in case you were going to say, oh damn, this story is so good, I can’t believe anyone didn’t want it – no one has ever actually turned this version of the story down.


Special Relationship
Mathilde Madden



Duke has fantasies all the time. Not all of them are about sex. Hardly any, in fact.

But sometimes he feels like he lives more of his life in his head than in reality.


Asif comes to Duke’s office. Secretly in the small hours of the morning for a meeting with Duke’s superiors.

And later, just before Asif is ushered to the underground car park and a car with tinted windows, he’s there when Duke turns around, louche and beautiful in Duke’s office doorway.

Asif says, ‘Is that you?’ He’s pointing at a picture on the wall. It’s of Duke taken during Operation Desert Storm. He’s smiling; teeth and sunglasses and sweat glistening on his forehead. A soldier fighting in a conflict zone, but he looks a hundred times happier and more relaxed than he feels right now with Asif looking at him – brighter than the desert sun.

Duke nods. The picture is obviously of him.

‘I like you in that uniform.’ Asif says.


Duke is a big man and Asif is smaller, but not much. An inch or two shorter and an inch or two slighter. Asif’s skin is a shade or two darker than Duke’s, but it’s a shade or two that is a world of difference. A shade or two that makes the difference between a tan, buff, ex-marine and a dark, threatening, towel-head.

Duke wonders if Asif’s dick is bigger or smaller than his. If the skin on Asif’s dick is darker or lighter than the skin on the rest of his body.

Duke wonders what Asif’s dick would taste like. What Asif’s ass would taste like after Duke had come inside it.

Except that Duke doesn’t think about any of these things. Not really. Because Duke is straight. And Duke likes soft not hard, wet not dry, smooth not rough. Most of the time.

Other times – in dark parks, on wastegrounds, moments of kneeling on the grass, the dampness seeping through the knees of his jeans – they don’t count. Moments lost to the smell of the musk cloud as the man in front of him unbuttons. Moments of cock. Of dick. Of the feeling of the blunt point of a man against his closed lips. Of hands in his hair.

Just moments of anonymous men, of anonymous dicks.

There was only ever one man before who was more than a moment. Whose face and name Duke knew. And that was just a crazy mixture of longing looks and heart-pain and wantwantwant, that ended in a series of furtive sessions of mutual masturbation – after which neither of them ever spoke to each other again.

But now there was Asif.

So if it hadn’t been for the CIA and his new desk job and Iraq and the liaison duty and the war on terror, Duke would never have met the only other man that had really made his dick pulse and throb. If Duke had let himself think about these things, he knew he’d think about how no one on either side in this particular war would approve of him pressing his big body naked against Asif’s in a dark bedroom.

Not even Duke himself. Because Duke’s straight. Duke’s married. Duke loves his wife. No kids yet, but they’re trying.


Asif and Duke are sitting in Duke’s car. It’s night. They have been working together on covert ops for four months. Nothing has happened between them yet. This is the night that something does.

One of Duke’s colleagues has passed on some information from another source. A suspected plot to fire mortars at a British motorway. Or something. When he was told about this Duke was slightly surprised by how little he cared.

Asif’s role is to infiltrate certain groups that have been identified in London. Listen in. Report back. Asif had some connections before this began, some relatives that were thought to be militant. No one has explained to Duke how they know that Asif is on their side. How if he has these terrorist relatives how come he is good guy? Maybe no one knows how to explain.

In four months, Asif has reported only wild claims and pipe dreams. No one, it seems was planning anything serious. No one who was talking to Asif.

Duke knows the source on the mortars entirely is untrustworthy. But he still uses it in his head as an excuse as he moves over Asif threateningly, straddling his lap. He puts one big hand over Asif’s mouth, pushing his fingers between Asif’s teeth. Asif only opens his mouth enough to let Duke’s fingers in and then he lets his teeth close a little so Duke can feel the pressure of his bite. Duke puts his face close to Asif’s and says, ‘Why didn’t you tell us about this?’

Asif shrugs.

Duke looks tight into Asif’s black eyes. ‘You need to tell me that you didn’t know.’ Duke pulls his hand away. Asif doesn’t open up his mouth any further so as Duke pulls away Asif’s teeth graze the skin of his fingers all the way along to the pads of his fingertips.

Asif shrugs again, moving his lips around in odd shapes. ‘I didn’t know,’ he says. ‘Tell you what I do know, though, Sergeant Wellington. I know your dick’s hard.’

Duke’s straight. He likes soft not hard, wet not dry, smooth not rough. But on top of Asif in the cramped space he is hard – like a horny teenager. Asif makes him crazy. He knows – knew when he did it, knows now – that straddling Asif has nothing to do with mortars. And everything to do with the caramel-velvet nap of his skin, the black-brown of his eyes, the puffy fullness of his mouth.

It turns out that Asif is much better at sucking Duke’s cock than Elle.

Not that that was any kind of a justification.

Duke didn’t really do justification anymore. A little extra curricular cocksucking, was hardly going swing your moral compass after what he’d done. Where he’d been and what he’d seen.


Three days later, as he gets it out of the bag, Duke wonders if his uniform will still fit. It’s his dress uniform and he hasn’t worn it since his passing out in 2002. But it’s fine, just a little loose across the shoulders where he used to be bulkier.

When Asif walks into the motel room and sees Duke in the uniform he closes the door and then takes off all of his clothes. Just stands there, barely in the room and strips. Without speaking. Without breaking eye contact.

He walks over to Duke and gets onto his knees. He takes out Duke’s dick and sucks it. Duke comes in his mouth while Asif jerks himself off onto the carpet. Asif stands up gets dressed and leaves without either of them having spoken.

But Duke wants to talk to Asif. Wants to ask him what this is, why this is happening. Put they barely have time to fuck. It’s a risk being together at all. Asif is risking everything every time they meet. They can’t talk and fuck.

Not really talk. Not talk, talk. Not talk that goes beyond ‘uh’ and ‘yes’ and ‘there’ and ‘suck it’ and ‘I want you’ and ‘it feels so good when you touch me like that’ and ‘harder’ and ‘more’ and ‘fuck me’ and ‘I want to feel you inside me’ and ‘harder’ and ‘harder’ and ‘harder’ and ‘harder’ and ‘pleasepleasepleaseplease’.

Not talk, talk. Duke wonders if one time he should ask Asif if he’d rather talk than suck dick and fuck for a change. But he decides not to in case Asif says yes.


Duke has fantasies all the time. Not all of them are about sex. Hardly any, in fact.
Sometimes he feels like he lives more of his life in his head than in reality. When he walks into the living room and sees look on Elle’s face it’s just like the one in the fantasy where she finds out about Asif.

But she isn’t talking about that. She’s saying, ‘Baby, I need you to drive me to the hospital.’

Elle hadn’t told anyone about this pregnancy because of what had happened the last time and the time before. So when they get home from the hospital there’s no one to call with bad news.

One of the doctors had told Elle that the reason she kept having miscarriages was because of all the abortions she’d had. Back at home, when Elle tells Duke about this she cries and cries and says, ‘Only two. Is that so many?’

Duke knows that, whatever he says now, Elle will believe that doctor.

Duke goes into the kitchen and while he’s there making tea he fantasises about going to that doctor’s office and slicing him open with one of the knives in the block on the counter. Then he thinks about flipping the doctor over and opening up his asshole with the blade. Showing him what a D and C feels like. He thinks about cutting his own wrists – but only very briefly. He thinks about Asif’s skin. He wonders what Asif’s blood tastes like.

He thinks about curling up in Asif’s arms and crying out all the pain and the rage and the shame while Asif holds him in his big arms.

Elle calls out him from the sofa, asking him why he’s so long with the tea. Her voice is all broken up and he feels like the biggest shit alive.

After that, Elle doesn’t want to have sex with Duke anymore. Duke thinks that this is because if she doesn’t have sex she can’t get pregnant and if she doesn’t get pregnant then she’ll never have to lie awake every night scrutinising ever sensation in her belly wondering if she’s going to lose this baby too. If she doesn’t get pregnant then nothing can hurt her. Duke understands this. He probably understands it better than Elle does. But he doesn’t say anything to her and he doesn’t know what to do.

He jerks off in the shower. He tries to think about Elle. He thinks about a night not long after they met when they danced until the night was almost over and then, laughing drunk, they had twirled into an alley way and Elle had leaned up against the dirty wall and Duke had got on his knees in front of her and pressed the flat of his tongue against the closed lips of her pussy.

He had fucked her in the alley too. He’d fucked her and they hadn’t used a rubber because they didn’t have one – and it didn’t matter that one time – and they were standing up.

Elle got pregnant. But he didn’t find out until he was in Kuwait. She already had the abortion – her second. She said she did it because she was scared he might never come back.

When Duke thinks about that he decides he can’t come while he thinks about Elle anymore. He imagines Asif on his knees in front of him. He ends up imagining that every morning, jerking off in the shower.


One afternoon, Duke kisses Asif as they’re getting dressed. This isn’t normal. Normal is kissing in bed. Part of the sex. Kissing is for initiating the sex, for prolonging the sex, or for talking about penetration without using words. Kissing is for tasting your own come in the other man’s mouth. Between Duke and Asif, kissing isn’t for affection. This is affection.

This isn’t normal.

When Duke sees the photographs he looks at them for a long time. Mostly, when Duke looks at the images of naked Iraqis being abused by American soldiers he thinks about himself, in his uniform, with Asif naked on knees in front of him.

That disturbs him.

He wonders what he would have done. If he had been told to participate in something like this. Duke wonders if he’d followed orders in the past that were unlawful and violated his own moral codes.

But Duke can answer to his conscience because one of the things he believes is that without men obeying orders there is no military. Duke believes in the military. Duke thinks that if he’d been asked by a superior officer to torture prisoners, he probably would have.

That disturbs him.


Asif is sucking Duke’s cock. Duke is lying across the backseat of the car and Asif is tightly curled between his legs.

When Duke comes, Asif pulls back, lifts his head up. Duke arches his back a bit and pulls out the kitchen knife that he has down the back of his pants. Asif doesn’t even notice. He doesn’t even notice when Duke’s hand moves and he shoves the knife clumsily into Asif’s neck. Asif crumples between Duke’s legs.

Some blood comes out of Asif’s mouth. Blood that must have Duke’s come mixed in with it somewhere although it only looks like normal blood. Duke’s crotch is covered with it.

This never really happens.

Duke has a lot of fantasies. Not all of them are about sex.

The End


So that’s that. This might be quite a long way from the version that was rejected, but I think I agree with that editor. This really is no fairy tale.

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