There was movement in the darkness and for a moment, Trellen thought the monster had left—but then the water’s scent turned acidic again and he knew the Unspeakable One was still near.
“You will come here,” said the monster. “And lower yourself to me.”
Swallowing back a mouthful of bile, Trellen did as he was bidden, slumping to the floor in front of the heavy bars, trying—and failing—not to tremble.
“You will not look up.”
Trellen merely nodded and lowered his chin, closing his eyes so that he felt rather than saw the arms that pressed between the bars and the hands—the fingers that seemed like his—that fastened something around his neck.
As soon as the hands left his neck, Trellen reached up to feel it. It was slender and made of some kind of metal, like the bars—but it was smooth, not corroded, and held in place by some sort of locking mechanism he couldn’t open.
“Hands to your sides, now,” the Unspeakable One said in a gentle, patient tone that did nothing to allay the shame welling up in Trellen’s heart.
But he did as he was told. “Can I see you now?” He hated the weakness of his voice.
“In time. First you must tell me if you have ever tasted another male’s cock.”
Trellen’s breath caught in his throat and he shook his head. Cetaceans didn’t—no one talked like that, asked questions like that! He was aware of his sex, but to speak of it aloud…? Heat coursed through his body. Even when his father had taken him aside to discuss the way of nature, of procreation and pleasure, he hadn’t been so blunt. So vulgar. All in all, the talk had lasted a very short time and left both Trellen and his father feeling uncomfortable.
“Has anyone ever tasted your cock, Pretty?” the Unspeakable One asked unabashedly.
Trellen shook his head again.
Long, thin fingers—fingers that ended in black, hooked talons—grasped his chin and tilted it so he was looking up into the darkness, toward where he imagined the Unspeakable One’s face might be. The glow orb was too far behind Trellen for its light to penetrate the water beyond the bars. All Trellen could see was that the Unspeakable One’s skin was pale, but it was impossible to tell its color because of the orb’s strange green glow.
“Have you known any pleasure?” the monster asked.
Yes. He knew the pleasure of the Blue, the joy of filtered sunlight on his back. He knew what it was to breach the surface and taste the air, behold the scintillating yellow glow of the sun—it was blinding, but then Trellen would dive back below the cool waves, which felt all the better for the few moments he’d spent in the unveiled sunlight.
But that wasn’t what the Unspeakable one was asking, so Trellen shook his head. He had not known the pleasure of another Cetacean’s touch. And it’s doubtful I ever will unless I find some way out of this place.
As Trellen’s eyes became more and more accustomed to the never-ending darkness, he thought he could make out the other male’s shape, a shadow against the greater darkness beyond, that was vaguely hominid except for the long, thick tentacles that grew where a Cetacean’s tail would be.
“Well?” said the Unspeakable One.
Trellen shivered as the monster slid his thumb along his cheek in a caress both pleasant and uncomfortable: the former in that it made his skin tingle; the latter for exactly the same reason. Because if I enjoy the touch of a monster, what does that make me? It was a mightily unsettling thought.
The Unspeakable One continued, “This is an interesting turn of events. I had not anticipated the pleasure of breaking you in.”
“Wh-what does that mean?”
He chuckled. “I’m sure you can figure that out on your own, my Pretty.”
A cold knot of fear congealed in his gut. The Unspeakable one might sound pleased by the prospect “breaking him in,” but Trellen was sure he wasn’t going to enjoy it at all.
Trellen was ordered to rise and did so numbly. The Unspeakable One reached attached a chain to his collar, further demoralizing his spirit. Then the hand was gone and Trellen heard strange sounds, metal on metal, and suddenly the bars swung open and there nothing between him and the Unspeakable One.
“Come, my Pretty.”
Trellen couldn’t move. “The glow—”
“Will not be necessary. Come.” He held out his hand—the one not holding the other end of the chain leash—as if he expected Trellen to take it.
“Wait. Please.” But he’d agreed to this. He said he would submit, that he wouldn’t fight. It’s the only chance I have to escape. Clearly the Unspeakable One meant to take him from his prison, and that meant he could look for a way out. If I survive that long. “Y-you never said, what am I to call you,” he said, stalling for time.
Trellen felt weak.
“Come,” the Unspeakable One repeated, gesturing with his outstretched hand, beckoning Trellen to lay his own hand within it. “You’ve given your word. You will submit to my pleasure or I will leave you here.”
It took all of his willpower, but he laid his hand within the…my Master’s hand. Master’s skin was cold to the touch and there was webbing between his long, barbed fingers that Trellen hadn’t noticed before. His breath caught yet again as Master twined their fingers together. The gesture was oddly intimate and sent a shiver of pleasure down Trellen’s spine. How could he hate somebody who excited his body with a simple touch?
But how can I take any pleasure from a monster who wants to use me, break me in? Because he knew what it meant—or at least he suspected. He will make me lie beneath him. He will force his…. He swallowed hard. There could only be one reason why Master wanted to know if Trellen had ever tasted another male’s member.
Master gave a gentle tug to Trellen’s hand, coaxing him forward into the darkness. “Tell me what you fear,” he said, his tone as gentle as his touch.
But it didn’t matter how gentle his tone, Trellen felt sure the Unspeakable One would use his fears against him if he admitted them. He shook his head, refusing to speak.
“Unless you wish me to become cross with you,” Master warned, “you must answer me when I ask you a question, and honestly, at that.”
Trellen swallowed hard and forced himself to speak. “I fear the dark.” It was true enough, especially when he was being led through the darkness by a monster—it just wasn’t what he feared most.
But Master snorted out a laugh. “All Cetaceans fear the dark, my Pretty. What do you fear?”
He opened his mouth but then shut it again. But he didn’t have a choice, he had to say something. “I fear what you’re going to do to me.”
“Yet you accepted my offer.” He sounded intrigued. “And if I am not mistaken, you don’t find my touch wholly unwelcome.”
“I can’t help the way my body reacts.” He sounded defensive even to his own ears.
“There is no shame in taking pleasure in another’s touch, Pretty.”
Trellen tensed as he felt the other’s hand—the one that held the end of the leash—snake around his waist.
“The passage narrows. You must let me lead you through the darkness you fear so much. Besides, one thing you must never fear is being close to me. Another is speaking your mind—especially when it comes to pleasure. I’ve never understood the Cetacean propensity to repress sexual desire.”
“We do no such thing!”
He laughed again. “You blush at the mere mention of the word ‘cock’.”
“That’s because it’s a disgusting word.”
“Says who?” he asked, continuing to sound amused.
“What do you know of…?” But the angry words died behind the lips Trellen shut tight. It would in no way be wise to anger his Master by calling him a monster and demanding to know what he knew of common decency. If Trellen was going to survive this, he would have to learn to curb not only his curiosity, but his tongue as well. “How do you know what Cetaceans think?” he asked in a more civil tone.
“I know what I see. Your kind are a sad, repressed lot who take no joy in the beauty of the open sea, but rather hide behind your coral reefs, afraid of boogie men in the dark. All but you,” he added, and stroked Trellen’s chin.
It was all he could do not to recoil away from the unwanted affection. “I am afraid of boogie men in the dark.”
Master pulled him closer. “So you are, my Pretty. But fears can be unlearned.”
Trellen doubted that, but kept his thoughts to himself. He felt another door open, but the chamber beyond was as black as the one they’d just passed through. “What is this place?”
“My home. And yours, too.”
“Do you never light it?”
“I have no need to.”
So you really will use my fears against me.
Master led him a short way farther and then stopped, turning Trellen to face him, making Trellen wonder how much the Unspeakable One could see. It seemed to be a great deal. “Stay still, just where you are,” he instructed and dropped both Trellen’s hand and the long chain. Then he moved away and Trellen was suddenly very alone and very cold. He wrapped his arms around his midsection, wishing more than ever that he could see something—anything—in the darkness, just so he would know what was happening.
There was movement, the clinking of metal against metal. He felt the currents change again as Master moved around the chamber, and the knots tightened in Trellen’s gut as his imagination began to run wild. “What…what are you going to do to me?” he asked, when he couldn’t take it a second longer.
Out of nowhere, he felt Master’s fingers stroking his cheek and much to his shame, Trellen leaned into the cold, alien touch.
Master’s answer, however, chilled him to the bone: “I’m going to teach you something of pleasure, my Pretty, because it seems to me that your education has been sadly lacking.”
A number of people have asked me why I'm not charging any money for Tentacles and Chain and have suggested putting out a virtual "tip jar" for donations.
What I'd really like to do is ask anyone who is so inclined to donate a couple of bucks to my fundraising effort for AIDS Walk Detroit. (CLICK HERE to go directly to my donation site and hit the big red "Give Now" button; unfortunately, they only take credit cards *sigh*)
Anyone who knows me, knows how important HIV awareness and education is to me. In the past few years, our funding has been seriously cut (along with everyone else's because let's face it, the economy has seen better days). That means that fundraising efforts like this are more important than ever. I know I always feel like my $5 or $10 isn't enough to make a difference, but believe me: every little bit counts, because those small donations (even $1 and $2 donations) add up. If you're enjoying this story and both want and are able to support me, please support a cause I believe in.
And if you're not in a position to give money (and believe me, I get that, too!) give some time. It doesn't have to be a big commitment, just take the time to make sure you understand HIV and AIDS, because the more people who understand it, the better off we'll be, not just in terms of stopping the spread of the disease, but in ending the stigma that goes along with it.