The Fall of Judas: Wrath
“My name is James; I’m a friend of Mortimer’s.” A pause, not long enough for Judas to respond even if he could place that man just from a first name. “Grouse with a paunch, you, ah, met with him a couple of times.”
Oh. Judas did remember Mortimer. The man had wined and dined him considerably better than he would’ve dared to ask if he’d had a license, much less without, and had insisted on Judas bringing home both their leftovers. He was almost as old as Judas’s father, divorced with two children half Judas’s age if that, and he’d almost, almost, managed to get the polecat to feel like an equal. A good man. One of very few he would’ve even entertained the notion of giving his blessing when asked if he could share his number. So this was the friend he’d had in mind?
“Yeah, he mentioned he might…” He looked up, ears tilting back when he saw his roommate sitting across the room, scrambling for words that wouldn’t sound so businesslike. “Introduce a friend of his.”
“And you’re willing? I’m glad.”
Judas almost-frowned for a second at the man’s peculiar choice of words, then shrugged it off. He supposed it was a reasonable thing to double-check, even if the way the check was worded seemed strange. He thought he did a reasonable job of pushing his own tone into the cheerful. “I’m free today, if you’d like. Where did you have in mind?”
“Excellent – today suits me very well.” The man on the other end of the line read off an address, barely giving Judas enough time to note it down. He deliberately did not repeat it back as he wrote, only double-checking the house number. The last thing he needed was for Ian to have that address; the less the polar bear knew about his whereabouts the better. “Can I expect you in an hour?”
A brief pause for thought. “I’ll try,” he finally offered. “I’ll be on the next bus.”
Then the call was over, just like that, and he let out a deep breath. This was a new step, one he had never taken, not even intended to consider, before. Hurrying without trying to seem like he was in a rush, he picked up his books and notes and stacked them neatly on his side of the room. Ian looked up as he laid one hand on the door handle.
“Out to see a friend?” was the friendly inquiry. Polite interest, Judas thought.
“Something like that,” he agreed, trying to keep his ears from pinning back against his head. He could lie to clients, but this was… different. Harder. “Don’t think I’ll be out more than a few hours.”
The bear smiled, nodded, and turned back to his own studies with a friendly well-wish: “Have fun; I’ll see you later, then.”
“Yeah, later,” Judas mumbled as he disappeared through the door.
He’d realized from the address itself that he was headed toward what had probably been the better part of town since its founding, but there was still a hint of a nervous shiver in his stomach as Judas looked from the road and up the driveway to an old, well-maintained colonial house well away from the road. He’d known Mortimer had been well off, and should probably have concluded that the likelihood of his friend being so as well was high, but this was still well beyond his expectations, and the stone columns flanking the driveway made him feel very small.
With a sort of dull dread that had nothing to do with unpleasant expectations, he walked up that driveway, self-consciously pulling his thin, worn jacket tighter around himself as though doing so would mask him from any curious eyes. At least his hand only shook a little as he lifted the knocker on the house’s front door and let it fall against its plaque.
The man that opened the door had the strong-jawed, almost bear-like brown-black face of a Tasmanian devil, and those strong jaws parted in a smile as he saw his guest. The man, James, stepped aside to allow Judas to pass him and step inside, and the polecat was only too grateful to accept that silent offer and get out of the open that some part of him imagined was full of eyes. Eyes that would realize he didn’t belong here. When the door was pulled shut behind him, it became a great oaken shield protecting him from curious stares that only existed in his jittery imagination.
“Glad you could make it.”
Judas bowed his head, smiling somewhat hesitantly. “You… you have a nice house, sir.” It wasn’t the most inspired response he could have made, and it certainly wasn’t sexy, but he was still feeling a little shell-shocked.
“So it is,” the devil agreed, studying Judas slowly. “You don’t have somewhere to be, do you?”
This time, the desperate student shook his head. “No, sir. My roommate isn’t expecting me back for some hours, at least.” A short pause to gauge the man’s reaction, and when he couldn’t quite puzzle it out, he added, “And that’s a very loose sort of expectation. He’s not going to call the cavalry if I’m gone a while longer.”
“Good. The wife was called out of town on business, so we have all the privacy we could wish for.” There was something about the way the devil pronounced the word ‘we’ that seemed to almost-exclude Judas from the collective, or at least render him marginal to it. That, however, wasn’t what caught his attention, what made his ears fold back and his body start to twist to turn and walk back out the door.
“I’m sorry, sir, I wouldn’t… your marriage….” He shook his head. “I’m sorry for wasting your time.”
“Stop!” It wasn’t a request, and the man was about as far from pleading as one could be; there was no way to mistake that single barked word for anything but a command, an order. One uttered with enough force it would take someone with a lot more confidence than Judas possessed to disobey.
He froze, stiffly, ears facing back though he didn’t dare move further than that. His heart raced, startled into a mad chase by the force of the man’s voice.
Judas complied, looking almost fearfully up at the devil, at the strong jaws that dominated the man’s face. “S-sir?”
“You came to sleep with me, didn’t? Don’t mind her; she’s not here, and what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her. When I’m satisfied, I’ll give you your ten and send you on your way.”
The polecat pulled back a hair, wary now. He needed the money too badly for someone else to dictate his prices. “For ten I’ll blow you. Sir.” And that only because he’d already paid the bus fare to get here; ten was lower than he’d gladly go.
The man took a step forward, and then another, reaching past Judas when the polecat backed up in response and locking the door behind him. “And here I thought your field was to please the customer. I’ll pay you what I think you’re worth, when I’m done with you.” His grin showed teeth, teeth that seemed to Judas to be unnaturally sharp, as though honed by the underlying edge in his voice. “Do we have a deal?”
Judas started to shake his head, the motion changing into a hesitant nod when the Tasmanian devil leaned a little closer. It appeared this man was not one who’d take no for an answer. “Y-yes, sir,” he near-whispered, feeling the door against his back when he ran out of space for backing up. He felt foolish, now, for agreeing to come at all, for telling the man Ian wouldn’t worry overmuch if he came home later than projected. Never before had he stood face to face with a client who made him worry, however fleetingly, for his own safety.
“Good.” Some of that sharp edge disappeared from the devil’s face. His next words, as he was reaching somewhere outside Judas’s field of vision for something that rattled metallically, were soft, possibly not entirely intended for the polecat’s ears. “You’re all the same, all hungering and dirty. Like dogs.”
“Sir?” Judas’s ears lay flat, still, half from unease and half in response to his confused indignation. Hungry, he might go, more often than he cared to, but that hardly made the man’s words any more sensible. “What-?”
“Quiet.” Another barked word, a word that demanded obedience from some half-conscious part of Judas’s brain. One of the man’s rough, wide, black-furred hands came up while the devil held his not-entirely-willing guest’s gaze, staying close to Judas’s body where it didn’t even touch the edge of his field of vision. Then, in one quick, smooth move, he slipped something over Judas’s muzzle, over his ears, to cinch tight around his neck with the soft tik-tik-tik of a metal chain through a ring.
“Wh-?” Judas didn’t even think before he raised his hands to the dog’s choke chain that now lay snug around his throat, eyes darting with wild desperation to try to spot an out. This was wrong, it had been a mistake, and now, too late, he could sense that with every fiber of his being. “No! No!” That was the only thing he could think to do or say in protest, when the man’s hand held the chain’s end too tightly to offer him a shadow of a chance to remove it, to make clear that he wasn’t up for this sort of game.
Especially not for the measly ten dollars he’d been offered and was rapidly losing faith he’d ever see even a cent of.
Tik. The man’s fist clenched a little firmer, the chain slipped a tiny bit tighter, another link through the metal ring. “Quiet,” he repeated, with ill temper almost visibly teeming under the surface. “Make me happy, and you’ll be alright.” There was a new emotion on the devil’s face, now. Something like distaste, something like fascination.
James was bigger than he, stronger than he. Judas wasn’t certain what choice he had but to hope that the terse reassurance was truthful. Swallowing a whimper – something that was slightly more difficult even with the relatively light pressure currently exerted on his throat – he inclined his head as much as he could. He’d try to cooperate. If it was the difference between the current situation and some dire, unspoken threat that he almost guessed at somewhere behind that gleaming-white half-grin, cooperation was better than fighting. If he fought, he could never hope to win.
A short leash, at most a couple of feet long, was hooked to the collar, and after stripping down on his client’s demand he was led further into the house. As they passed an archway, Judas cast a glance into what seemed to be a living room or reading room, and spotted a large dog, its head shape not terribly far from that of its master, though its ears were narrow triangles that perked straight up as it spotted them and lifted its head. Once, twice, its tail thumped against the rug it lay on, then it returned its chin to its paws and resumed what must have been an interrupted nap. Judging by the size of it, it was the rightful wearer of the collar that currently adorned the unwilling houseguest’s neck.
The bedroom he was guided into was gloomy, lit only by what light sifted through the drawn curtain. Even in that low light Judas could tell his arrival had been prepared for – in a fashion. The covers were neatly folded up on a chair in one corner, leaving the double bed clad in only white sheets looking almost as exposed as he felt. The style of the furniture did nothing to help that impression, full of strict, straight lines in unadorned, dark-stained wood.
When he undressed, James left his clothes as neatly folded up as the bedclothes, on top of them, somehow managing to be efficient about it despite never releasing the leash that kept Judas within easy reach. The polecat had a steadily growing lump of dreadful anticipation in his stomach, his worries about what might come only reinforced by that effort to keep him where he was. He found himself unable to take his eyes off the man, seized by the irrational idea that if he did, another unexpected, unpleasant twist would befall him. On the man’s chest, the black fur was interrupted by a lopsided white ‘V’, like a giant checkmark starting around the height of one armpit and just barely crossing the other collarbone.
He lay down on the bed when directed to, moving carefully, deliberately, too-aware of the short leash that connected the chain around his neck to his captor’s hand, and watched the devil produce a half-full bottle of gel lubricant out of a nightstand drawer.
Threading the end of the leash over his wrist, the larger, older, stronger male flipped the bottle’s lid open and sloppily squirted some of that clear gel onto his palm, sitting on folded legs across Judas’s slightly frizzed-up tail. Then, with a grin at the frightened polecat, the man started to stroke himself to attention, spreading the lube onto the brownish-pink bare skin of his cock and lending it a wet gleam in the low light. When he, grunting, got more into it, his motions started yanking, just barely, on the leash, and Judas reluctantly responded by squirming slightly closer.
It was only when the man’s hand lifted from his cock to reach for Judas’s knee that it quite clicked for the frightened college student that his not-so-gracious host had no intention of rolling a condom onto that freshly-slickened flesh, and he pulled away as much as he dared in response, bringing his knees together and twisting at the waist. “I don’t do-”
“Would you like me to cover up?” that looming mostly-black figure asked, his teeth and the bent line across his chest slashes of white in that intimidating darkness. Something about his tone, about his posture, suggested there was a right answer to the question, but they didn’t give any clear tells as to what that answer would be.
Long-term self-preservation was permitted to answer, when he couldn’t figure out what would benefit him in the short term. “Please, sir, yes.”
Suddenly the chain tightened around his throat and the man was leaning into his face, supporting some of his weight on a palm planted squarely in the middle of Judas’s chest. “Don’t lie to me! You’re the same; you’re all the same! I know what you want!”
Desperately, Judas nodded, gasping words he hoped would soothe the sudden outburst and let him breathe normally again, “Your… cock?”
“I knew it!” The devil straightened up, removing the pressure on Judas’s chest and giving the leash some slack. “All your sort wants, isn’t it? Well, you’ll have it, and how!”
James’s words were only all the more chilling for coming out like the ramblings of a madman, and it was all Judas could do to attempt to relax at least somewhat as the man’s arms hooked under his knees, pulling them up and apart. Faced with the realization that this man would do, and take, whatever he wanted from Judas and give the polecat no say in the matter – at least no say that didn’t follow his twisted script – surely passivity would be safer than any active attempts to resist. When he felt the tip of the man’s rigid flesh nudge against him, he squeezed his eyes shut, sending a disorganized, desperate thought heavenwards. Deliver me, Lord, from this evil.
The sudden, violent intrusion as the devil plunged into him made him clench his hands into fists, knuckles white under his fur, and drove what breath he had out of him in a ragged gasp. There was no pause to allow the pain to fade, no slow first few strokes to let him get used to the stretch of the man’s meat inside of him. Each hard stroke drove another whimper from his lips, and he could only hope that the man’s sexual stamina was as short as his temper. He couldn’t even cling to good memories to distract him from the harsh life lesson that was being pounded into him, lest those few bright thoughts be soiled by the current situation, too.
A yank, tik-tik-tik, and he was gasping for air, staring with wide eyes up at the man who had sounded so… normal… on the phone.
“Look,” was the short, harsh, barked command, punctuated by another rough shove into the slender-and-more-than-slender mustelid.
Judas obeyed, watching the man’s face, twisted up with concentration and pleasure, because he feared the alternative might be worse. Even when his eyes started tearing up and burning, he barely dared blink. When the man leaned forward and planted a hand on either side of his shoulders, at least that let the choke chain around his throat slide a little looser, but it also left Judas’s muzzle only inches from the man’s chest when James started on a series of even more vigorous thrusts.
The damp soaking into the fur on Judas’s cheeks when the devil drove into him a final time and practically collapsed on top of him could have been from trying too hard to keep his eyes open. It could also have been an effect of the lump in his throat, the one that made breathing even harder than the weight of the man on top of him alone. In the moment, it barely registered; the wet warmth his host had planted in him was, for Judas, a far more immediate concern.
There was, of course, nothing he could do about it, though it drove home the realization of what he had lost by this encounter that much stronger.
“You enjoyed that, didn’t you?” James mumbled, in a lazy, almost normal tone. The faint reproach in it could possibly even have been read as playful.
If Judas hadn’t witnessed the man’s volatile temper earlier, he might actually have been tempted to respond honestly. “Y-yes, sir.” It wasn’t the sort of lie he thought there was anything wrong with – all he was doing was trying to save himself more pain. Pain he didn’t think he’d done much to deserve.
The devil pulled up straight with a sneer, every hair on his body seeming to radiate superiority. He let the leash lie on the bed when he pulled out of his temporary lover, and used the polecat’s tail to wipe himself at least visibly clean. “You sorry thing. You would.” A snort, and then James stood up, stepping away from the bed and walking towards his folded clothes.
Judas, trembling, remained roughly where he’d first lain down, curling up on his side. He knew he’d have to get up soon – at least unless this man had more unpleasant surprises in store for him – but he needed to gather himself for a few moments, first. He was only beginning to start to unfold, to shift towards the edge of the bed, when he became aware of James standing there, looking impatiently down at him, the claws of one foot tapping against the floor.
“Get up,” the devil barked, impatiently, his rounded ears tilted back in warning, though not actually flattened. Yet. “I won’t have filth like you napping in my bed.”
Though napping had been about as far from what he’d intended as was possible, Judas didn’t protest, just forced his limbs to move faster and clenched his teeth against the renewed discomfort the movement brought. It’d pass, the soreness. Looking at James, he tried to keep his expression inoffensively deferential, while trying to figure out what thoughts were churning in the man’s head.
“You sorry thing,” the devil muttered, reaching out and taking hold of the leash trailing from Judas’s collar. “Covered in filth, and I bet you want more, don’t you?”
Judas kept quiet, starting to realize that any response he could make would just lead to more abuse; all he did was bow his head and accept the insult. Apparently that was the wrong response, for his tormentor yanked on the leash, making him choke and stumble forward.
“I asked you a question!”
“I-I-I…” Judas stammered, ears flat and eyes wide. What response did the man want? He seemed to think Judas, for the simple crime of being willing to sell himself for a man, was insatiable, so… “Y-yes, sir?”
Yank. “‘Yes sir’ what?”
The marbled polecat barely recognized his own voice, so shaky was it. “Yes, sir, I want more.” But not here, now, or from you. He wasn’t even sure what this situation was supposed to be, anymore; the man seemed to get almost as much satisfaction out of dragging coerced admissions out of him as he had from the fucking itself.
Moments later he’d been shoved against the wall, and the collar was slowly tightening around his neck. Tik, tik, tik, every time a link passed the ring the chain was run through. Had he guessed wrong, given the wrong answer?
“I decide when you get more, you sly son of a bitch!” James snarled in his ear, his chest pressing against Judas’s back, his hand on the leash keeping the polecat’s air supply restricted enough to make the younger male feel light-headed. “Don’t you try to work your shit on me; I don’t need a man!” A final shove, the man’s free hand against the back of Judas’s head, sending his nose into the wall hard enough to make it bleed. “I’ll call you if I want you.”
Judas staggered as he was released, covering his nose with one hand and supporting himself against the wall with the other, gasping for breath. A few terse moments passed, then the devil cleared his throat, and he forced himself to stand up straight. A small hope had been kindled, now, that this was the end of the nightmare, that he was going to be allowed to leave before much longer.
Paper was pressed into his free hand, a crumpled bill. He unfolded it, looked at it, and swallowed hard. When he looked up at James, his eyes held only a cautious query, one he didn’t dare voice.
“Be glad for what you get,” the Tasmanian devil told him, starting to walk him back out towards the front door. “You whine too much, and you’re dripping on my floor.”
At least coming back to where his clothes had been left, Judas was finally relieved of the choke chain, and after some agonizing he sacrificed his undershirt to soak up the slow but stubborn flow from his bloodied nose. The money, stuffed into his pants pocket, wouldn’t even be enough to replace that article of clothing after he took bus fare out of it, should he find himself unable to wash the stain out.
Passing out the door lifted some of the burden from his shoulders, though it couldn’t do anything about the lingering fear, or how dirty he felt – dirtier than even the dried-up soiled tangles in the fur of his tail could justify. Feeling vaguely sick, he walked with short, slow, careful steps, keeping his eyes on the ground as he followed first James’s driveway, and then the sidewalk. At some point he must have taken a wrong turn, or passed the bus stop, because while he couldn’t remember passing one on his way to the house he was now coming from, he found himself stopping to rest a moment outside a small church.
The building was old, and the signs outside identified it as from another branch of faith than his own, but it was still God’s house. And God, God was the same everywhere.
He didn’t return to his dorm room until it had started to get dark outside; a bit cleaner thanks to the kindness of the clergyman in charge of the church he’d stopped by to think, though the shirt would be ruined without a soak, and maybe even with one. Ian looked up as he entered the room, worry melting away into relief on the bear’s face before Judas’s eyes.
“He just turned up, sorry for the inconvenience,” Ian said, quickly, then thumbed his phone and put it down. “I was starting to get worried.”
Judas forced the corners of his mouth into a smile, for Ian’s sake. “I went to church. Hadn’t planned to. Sorry. Who were you-?”
“Oh, campus security. Just in case they happened to see you, I figured…” The polar bear seemed embarrassed. “It was probably unnecessary, wasn’t it?”
“You were worried.” Judas shrugged, and shifted his grip on the ruined shirt a little. Had he managed to ball it up to hide all the bloodstains? “I’m fine, now.”
“Now?” Ian’s eyes were drawn by the movements of his roommate’s hands, and he looked back up at Judas’s face with some alarm. “Is that… blood?”
“Just a nosebleed,” the polecat said, trying to de-dramatize the stains and finding a suitable half-truth to avoid worrying Ian. “A guy who thought I was hitting on him. Looks worse than it is; I don’t really want to talk about it.”
Ian grimaced, but nodded. “I’m glad you’re alright.”
A shadow of a smile crossed Judas’s face. “So am I. I think I’m going to sleep now.”
Their conversation ended, Judas undressed, leaving his clothes in an uncharacteristic mess on top of the covers when he crawled in under them. There, curled up, his thoughts only grew louder, chasing one another faster and faster without ever reaching anything that could be termed a conclusion. He tried to relax, to clear his brain, to let sleep take him somewhere he could not think about James for a few hours.
But he couldn’t help but try to reconcile the fact that all his pain had only been worth five dollars to the man who’d been so eager to cause it.