Exit Wounds

by London Lampy

Chapter 1

"Shut that fucking thing up," comes the muttered grumble from beside me. I sit up and stop the alarm clock from ringing. Not because Topher wants me to, but because I'm awake now and it's pretty loud.

"You have to get up for work too," I point out, "you can't be late on your first day."

"Yes Mama," is his sarcastic reply.

I slide out of bed and head to the bathroom, and it's at least ten minutes later by the time I've finished showering. I come out wrapped in a towel to find that Topher is still in bed, and what's more he appears to have gone back to sleep. I stand by the bed and shake the water out of my hair over him.

"I hate you monkey." He opens his dark eyes and glares at me.

"Have you already forgotten your little "chat" with Tippit about calling me that?"

"Tippit is a pain in the ass."

They encountered one another in Caddy's father's pub. When Tippit heard Topher calling me "monkey" he decided to give him a lecture on exactly why he shouldn't.

"Ha! You're lucky it was him not his sister or Barney, they'd have had you swearing an oath never to call anyone a monkey ever again, at gun point. Now get out of bed or you'll get the sack before you've even started."

"It is too fucking cold." He sticks a single foot out from under the covers.

"It's summer," I laugh. "It's not cold."

"This is not summer. It rained all last week and it was cold rain, how is that summer?"

Topher has lived his whole life up to now in hot places, so he's finding Parnell, where it's rarely properly hot, a bit hard to get used to. I do have a tiny bit of sympathy for him, when I first came back from Nightport it was autumn and for the first few weeks I could swear that my bones were cold; but it's not cold right now, it's just not as hot as he's used to. I dread to think what he's going to be like in the winter, maybe he'll just hibernate until spring.

He finally sits up and the covers fall from his body and settle around his waist in a puddle. I look at his body, his smooth dark skin, his nipples even darker against his chest, his smooth hollow stomach and in the centre the silver navel ring that's a twin to mine standing out brightly against the dark.

"Perhaps instead of me getting out of bed you should get back in?" he suggests, seeing me looking at his body.

"Then we'll both be late," I say, but I don't stop looking.

It's been four weeks since he turned up unexpectedly on my doorstep, and I've been late for work almost every day because of him. But today needs to be different, he has to get to work too. He found the job by himself, although he did that because I had been dropping hints about how we always need cleaners at Municipal Works. I wasn't being that serious, he'd make a terrible cleaner, his idea of tidy is not the same as most people's, but he needed to do something. Even he admitted that he was getting bored. Doing nothing all day on a ship full of people that's always off to somewhere new is very different from doing nothing all day in a small flat alone, and he's running out of the money that Quint had given him too. So last week he found himself a job in a small bookshop a tram stop away from here, which isn't a bad job for him because he likes reading. According to him the only downside is that the old man who owns the place has a whole lot of cats, and cats don't like him. When he first told me that I thought that he meant he didn't like cats, but if the Costa's cat Jinks is anything to go by he's right. Every time it sees Topher it fluffs up its fur and spits at him, but then Jinks is a bit of a psycho cat, and Topher is a newcomer to his territory.

I decide to go and make tea and toast to distract myself from temptation, and Topher finally gets out of bed and heads for the bathroom. I make toast for Topher too as he knows even less about cooking than I do and the one time he attempted to make breakfast we had to put the grill out with a bowl of water. There's still a black scorch mark on the wall behind the cooker. Fortunately Mr Costa hasn't been up here in quite some time or he'd be fining me for the damage. As it is he told me that since there's two of us living here now I should be paying more rent, I can't really see why, but if he does decide to charge me extra now it can come out of Topher's wages. When Mr Costa first met Topher and found out that he was staying here he pointed out that it was a very small flat for two people to be living in and asked which one of us was sleeping on the sofa. Topher happily explained that neither of us were as we both shared the bed, which caused Mr Costa to clear his throat loudly several times and rub his moustache with his blunt fingers, but he didn't actually say anything other than mutter about a rent increase.

I put all of the toast onto a single plate, balance that on top of the mugs of tea and then take it all into the other room where I find a naked Topher towelling himself dry by the bed.

"Couldn't you have done that in the bathroom?" I ask.

"It is cold in there." He flashes me a grin as I put the tea and toast onto a small table.

"You said it was cold in here."

"It is even colder in there." Topher throws his wet towel onto the bed and walks toward me. "You made breakfast," he looks at the table.

"Yeah," I say as he wraps his arms around me. "Put some clothes on."

"Why? You are not wearing any."

"I'm wearing a towel." He kisses me as I say this so I end up saying it against his lips. His reply is to tug at the towel from the back so it comes undone, I attempt to catch it with my tail but it slides down its length and falls to the floor. Topher's body presses against mine and I give up, not that I was fighting him much in the first place. He most likely won't be late for work as the bookshop isn't that far away, I will be because my office is. Hell, one more late morning isn't going to make any difference.

I kiss him back, feeling his lips part under mine and his tongue slip inside my mouth. Topher really is very nice to kiss, he has a full mouth that is soft and giving and he never tries to take things too fast, or is too aggressive; but then he's very good with his mouth altogether.

I put my arms around him, my hands resting on his back. He has the smoothest skin of anyone I've ever been with, probably because he's a stranger to all forms of hard work. I let my fingertips slide over it all the way to his ass, which is firm and round and I can't resist squeezing and playing with it. In return Topher makes an appreciative noise, then steers my hand to his crack.

"We really don't have time for that," I stop kissing him to say.

The last time we fucked before work I was so late I ended up lying and saying that my tram had broken down on the way in. I'm not sure either Vin or Vio believed me, but they didn't pull me up on it either, although if Vin did and I had told him the truth he would have most likely wanted to know all the details. He's met Topher a few times in the pub, and has made several remarks to me about "wanting to get to know us better as a couple", which I'm pretty sure actually means he wants to go to bed with us. I'd completely forgotten that Topher had seen Vin before, it was when Vin and Vio were posing as sailors so they could get taken by the pirates and find out what had happened to me. Topher had actually pointed out the "sexy redhead" to me, which at the time felt really strange. Topher hadn't forgotten though, and of course it took him hardly any time to find out that I'd had sex with Vin, quite a lot, but there is no way I'm telling Topher that Vin wants a threesome because he'd like the idea, and that's not ever going to happen, for all sorts of reasons.

We find ourselves back on the bed in much the same position but horizontally now rather than vertically, with Topher lying on top of me, my hands on his bottom and us still kissing.

I like Topher living with me, even if he's messy and lazy and has too much stuff. I like him being in the bed at night, that was one of the things I missed most when I came back to the city after I was "rescued" from the pirates. I hadn't even realised it but I'd become used to sleeping with him and for a long time after the bed felt far too wide. I like having someone to talk to, Topher's always entertaining, and I just like having someone else around. And of course it's good to have someone to have sex with whenever you feel like it too.

I move a hand up and bury it in his thick soft hair wishing that neither of us had to go to work and that we could just stay in bed and do this all day, but as we do and we can't I use my hand to push on his head and tell him what I want.

He stops kissing me, props himself up by resting his hands on my shoulder blades and looks down at me. "You could just say you want me to give you a blow job."

"Your tongue was in my mouth."

He kisses a path down my chest and stomach and I'm torn between enjoying his actions and telling him to hurry up because we don't have much time. I've never known anyone else who could give head like Topher does. He can swallow a cock without it making him gag, he just takes it all the way down his throat as if it's the easiest thing imaginable. I remember the first time he did it to me, it was just the most incredible sensation and I couldn't quite believe what he was doing. He's been trying to teach me how to do it using bananas but I always end up coughing and feeling sick. According to him his mother taught him how to do it when he was fourteen, this doesn't seem very likely to me but Surosians are strange people so maybe it's true. What is true is that at one point in his life it was a skill earned him enough money to keep both him and his mother alive, but now I'm the only person he does it to.

"Oh yes," I hear myself sigh as he swallows me. He stays completely still for a few seconds and I can feel him breath. I can actually feel the air he's taking in moving over my skin while I'm in his mouth.

My balls tighten, before he even moves I'm close to coming and when he swallows and makes his throat constrict I let out a long groan. All thoughts of work and time and anything that's not Topher or me disappear from my head as I lie on the bed and let him do what he does best. He's not just sucking me but he's also using a hand to stroke the insides of my thighs and then up higher to my balls and just behind.

"Feels too good," I tell him.

I close my eyes. Sometimes when we're together like this it's as if we're back on Nightport or together in our small cabin on the Firebrat. I can almost smell the salty tang of the sea and imagine that after we're going to eat fresh mangoes for breakfast then I'm going to spend my day in the rigging with Tallis, the wind in my hair and my bare feet feeling every mood and movement of the ship, then I'm going to spend my night with Topher and Quint...and...and...

"Oh gods!" I exclaim as I ejaculate hard into his mouth. I feel him swallowing my come as the last spasm runs through my body, and when I'm spent he slides me out of his mouth then wipes the back of his hand across his lips. "Thank you," I say, and he flashes me a grin.

"You can thank me by doing the same." He pushes my shoulder to get me to move so that he can take my place in the middle of the bed. "But not exactly the same because you are not as good at it as me."

"In that case I might as well not bother," I tease him, rolling onto my side as he lies down.

"Don't you fucking do that again monkey," he says as he gets comfortable. "That was not fair."

One day last week I was very late for work, I had let him blow me and then when I noticed the time I put my clothes on and ran out of the door without returning the favour, obviously leaving him very unsatisfied. I couldn't really blame him at the time for being annoyed about it, but being Topher he won't let me forget it either.

I slide down his body and move my mouth to the head of his hard shaft. "You're going to have to be quick." I say. I flick my tongue out to lick up a small bead of pre-come that's forming.

"Then you are going to have to be good," he replies as I take him in my mouth and suck. I know he won't take long, if he's having his cock directly stimulated he has no staying power at all. Quint used to often stop him from coming by using his fingers or something attached tightly around the base of his erection, and Topher always hated it. When he wants something he wants it now, and orgasms are no exception.

I can tell when he's close to coming by the way his muscles tense and the small moaning noises he makes with every breath. He takes a deep gasping breath, bucks his hips and fills my mouth with warm liquid. I swallow and then sit back on my heels and look at him. He smiles at me in a contented way that makes my heart happy and I very much want to lie back down beside him and kiss him again, but I don't, I jump off the bed and start to get dressed.

"Put some clothes on," I say as I strap down my tail. "We need to go."

Topher lazily rolls off the bed, ambles over to the chest of drawers, opens it and pulls something out. "I am going to wear your blue shirt," he says, holding it up.

"Why? What's wrong with one of your shirts?"

"I like your blue shirt, and all of mine are dirty," he says as he put it on.

"After you've finished work take all of our dirty clothes down to the laundry." He hasn't quite worked out that I don't have a maid, and that you need to take stuff to the laundry before you run out of clean clothes.

"Why can you not take our clothes to the laundry?" he protests.

"Because I finish work later than you will, and I work further away...for the gods sake will you hurry up?" I'm dressed now but he seems to be trying to decide which pair of trousers to wear, he has three pairs laid out on the bed and is standing staring at them.

"I need to look good on my first day."

"You need to be there on your first day." I pick a pair for him. "Wear them, they go with the shirt."

He brushes his hair while I push my still damp hair around so that it doesn't stick up too much. Brushing it is a waste of time, it makes no difference. All other adult echobacks I've ever met wear their hair long, most of them keep it in a single tidy braid down their backs. I understand why, it keeps it neat, but I kind of like mine messy.

Once we're both fully dressed and ready to go I stop at the door to give Topher a quick good luck kiss for his first day working at Lustrum's books. I then open the door to let him out, step out myself, and turn to close and lock it behind us. As I do I catch sight of the photograph of Jack and me that lives on my mantelpiece and seeing it causes a now all too familiar feeling of worry and guilt to gnaw at me again.

I love Jack, and I love Topher. Topher knows everything about Jack and me, and doesn't care. Jack knows nothing about Topher and me and is going to care very much when he finds out. I haven't told him in a letter because I don't think that's fair. I need to tell him face to face, it's the only way I can explain things properly, and it's going to be happening soon. At the end of this week he will be coming to visit me, and I'm almost certain that I'm going to loose him again once he knows what's been going on in his absence, and that thought makes me feel utterly horrible inside.

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