There were too many people in the room, and Orlando was drinking to try to get to that state where he wanted people around him, wanted to be crowded wherever he sat, wanted to have to concentrate to pick out a single voice from the chatter around him.
These are your friends, he said to himself. These are the people you wangled a weekend away from Ned Kelly to see. All together again at the end of the Two Towers reshoots.
But the only person he wanted to spend time with had disappeared, and he had nothing to say to any of the others. Not Viggo, who came over and dropped down beside him on the floor and talked about horses, smiling that shy smile with his hand on Orlando's knee. Not Cate, who'd promised earlier to show him her baby photos. Not Dom, who was sulking beside an ugly potted plant, half a bottle of Guinness in his hand.
If it had been someone else, Orlando would have grabbed a bottle of tequila and gone over. "Bottled Guinness? That stuff's pants, man. Better get onto the hard shit 'fore it's all gone." But Dominic was an unknown quantity these days, and Orlando never knew whether he was better off feeling guilty, or threatened, or just plain irritated.
Where the fuck was Elijah?
Orlando watched Dom stand up and pour the rest of the Guinness into the plant-pot. He headed in a straight line, more or less, for the bathroom at the back of the suite.
"Good to see you, Elf-boy!" said Bean cheerily, plonking himself down beside Orlando. "For a while there it looked like you weren't going to make it back."
"Yeah." Orlando shrugged and smiled. "Just took a bit of sweet-talking. Couldn't let everyone party on without me, now could I?"
"Wouldn't be the same without you, mate." Sean took a healthy swig of Becks. He was smoking, and Orlando wrinkled his nose: sure he'd stopped, but he was still at the stage of wanting a fag when he was drunk, and hanging around with smokers didn't help.
"Cigarette," Lij kept correcting him, sucking suggestively on one of his nasty cloves. "Don't call it a fag, for fuck's sake!"
Orlando grinned. He wanted a cigarette, and he wanted a piss. Maybe by the time he came back from the bathroom, Bean would've finished his cigarette and temptation would be removed again.
"Back in a mo, mate," he said, getting to his feet. "Just got to make more room."
The bathroom was down a short corridor at the back of the suite, beyond the bedrooms. Dom was coming out of the bathroom: his eyes met Orlando's, but it was too dark back there to read Dom's expression. Then Karl tapped him on the shoulder to ask where he was staying, and by the time Orlando turned back Dom had disappeared.
Good. He didn't feel like talking to Dom anyway, even though there was nothing to be upset about. It wasn't Dom's fault that Elijah (where was he?) wanted him. Elijah wanted Orlando too: he'd proved that last night. And Orlando was in love with Elijah: he was pretty sure it was mutual. The Dom thing wasn't anything to worry about.
There was someone two someones in one of the bedrooms. Orlando could hear gasps, and the sound of hands moving over clothing, and he grinned. He'd bought a new camera, a digital one, in duty-free. If he could only remember where it was, he could get some priceless shots of whoever was fooling around in there. While he pissed, he tried to work out who'd been missing from
Orlando flushed the toilet. (Dom. Elijah.) He stared into the mirror above the sink. His face was red, but he could blame that on the beer. He could pretend he'd heard, seen, suspected nothing. Pretend to everyone else, at least.
When he opened the bathroom door, he could hear Elijah's laugh over the other voices. He was over by the window, clear on the other side of the room, talking to Miranda and Viggo. Both of them were laughing too.
Orlando exhaled, and stood still for a moment, trying to relax the tension that he could feel knotting between his shoulder blades. There was no sign of Dom, but he could be anywhere talking to someone else at the party, or sulking in his own room, or sitting in the dark bedroom, thinking about kissing Elijah. Thinking about doing it again.
Orlando walked past the open door, and it took all of his willpower not to turn, not to switch on the light and confront whoever he found in there. Maybe he was tired. Maybe he'd been worrying too much or drinking too much. Thinking too much. Maybe he was wrong, and Lij hadn't been gasping in the dark with Dom after all.
He went over to where the three of them were standing. Miranda was in the middle of a joke about Australians, and he laughed when everyone else did.
"Are you all right?" Viggo said quietly to him, and Orlando fought back the urge to swear at him.
"Fine," he said. "Too many long days. You know."
"Yeah," said Viggo. He might have added something else, but Bean came over to them all then, and he leant on Viggo's shoulder and whispered something that made Viggo crack up.
Orlando looked over at Elijah, and Elijah was watching him gravely, without a trace of a smile.
He knows, thought Orlando. He knows.
* * *
"Then why won't you look at me?"
"Okay. We kissed."
"I'm not sorry."
"So it's over?"
"Fuck, no! No. I love you."
"You kissed Dom."
"So what? I'm in love with you. It was just "
"Just what, Lij?"
"Just a 'what if'. What if we weren't if we didn't love each other."
"Do it," said Orlando abruptly, and there was a wicked twist to his smile. Elijah looked at him, and bit back whatever he'd been about to say.
"Do it, Lij!"
"One night. One time." Orlando rolled over onto his stomach. His smile didn't reach his eyes. "I want to watch," he said.
"That's sick, man!"
"That's like ... like you're my pimp," Elijah said slowly.
"Turns you on, doesn't it, Lij?" Orlando guessed: and knew, from Elijah's blush, that he was right. "Okay, man. Here's the deal. Think of it like any other job, right? He pays you, and you act the part."
"Dom's not paying me anything!"
"He will if you ask him to," said Orlando. "Ask him, Lij. Tell him to pay you. Tell him to hire you to be his lover. His whore. You're an actor, for god's sake!" His voice dropped. "And you want him."
"What about you?" said Elijah eventually.
"I'll be there. Got to test out my new toy, after all," said Orlando. He squinted, pointed, clicked. His smile looked more natural now. "See if it's any good with flesh tones."
"Wanker!" said Elijah, outraged.
Orlando grinned, and raised his eyebrows, trying to hook the smile that twitched at the corner of Elijah's mouth. C'mon, he thought. Laugh. Laugh it off, so we can forget about it.
Elijah didn't laugh. His eyes were very dark. "Orli "
"Lij?" Orlando rolled over and wrapped his arms around the other man. Elijah was trembling slightly, and his cock was hard against Orlando's thigh. He kissed Orlando aggressively, biting his lower lip, hands clawing at Orlando's back.
"Orli..." he whispered against Orlando's mouth, pushing against him urgently. "Orlando."
Was Elijah's arousal really for him? Was he chanting Orlando's name as a reminder? It didn't matter. Orlando couldn't help responding, whispering encouragement into Elijah's ear as they ground together on the bed, trying not to imagine his lover with someone, anyone, else.
* * *
Dom's room was at the back of the hotel. He hadn't unpacked, and his clothes were spilling out of the open suitcase on the counter. It'd been easy, too easy, to bribe the maid to let them in. "Surprise party!" Orlando carolled, smiling that open friendly smile at her. Beside him, Elijah stood silent, staring at his trainers, pretending to be shy.
"Make sure he leaves the lights on, Lij," Orlando said. "I don't want to miss a moment of this." He made a show of checking the battery meter on his camera.
"I don't want you to..." Elijah mumbled.
"Don't want what?" Orlando snapped. "It's not too late to change your mind. We can just go."
He was standing next to the window, with its thick floor-to-ceiling curtains. Elijah was at the foot of the big bed in its alcove. Orlando could see the tension in his back.
"No. Let's do it." Elijah did not turn to look at him. He undressed methodically, folding each item of clothing as he removed it.
"Where do you want me?" he said calmly, as though this really was a film set and he was asking the director for instructions.
Orlando swallowed. He felt immensely powerful. His to command ... "Sit on the bed, Lij."
God, just looking at Elijah was turning him on. Every light in the room was on, and his lover's skin seemed to glow. His eyes, pupils dilated against the brightness, were very blue.
"I'm keeping the money," he said softly.
"Hang on," said Orlando, grinning. "If I'm your pimp "
Elijah didn't smile. "No way. This is mine. I'm earning it."
Orlando wasn't sure if Lij was really just talking about the money.
A sound outside the door interrupted Orlando. The scrape of a keycard. He stepped back into the space behind the curtains, wishing he'd spent longer making sure he had a good line of sight. He could see Elijah, naked and cross-legged on the bed. But he couldn't
The door clicked shut. Elijah focussed that cold, burning gaze on whoever had come in, and Orlando heard an intake of breath. Dom's breath, he thought, almost panicking. He kept his own breathing as soft and steady as he could.
"Shut the fuck up," Elijah growled, though Dom hadn't said anything. Elijah's lips, very red in his pale face, parted. Orlando itched with wanting to see Dom's reaction.
"Do you have any money?" Elijah asked. "Pay me." His tone was sweetly reasonable.
Orlando was desperate to see Dominic's face. He wanted to see the expression that reflected onto Elijah's as a snarl.
"I'm an actor. People pay me to be someone else." Elijah's fingers slid through his hair, clenching and squeezing as though he had a headache. He looked ... afraid, thought Orlando, almost dragging back the curtain and stepping out to end this farce. No one's going to fall for this.
"Pay me, Dom," Elijah said, jaw tight with the words he was holding back. Frustration? Desire? Guilt?
Orlando could hear Dom moving: greasy-dry sound of bills sliding out of a wallet, dull thud of something dropping to the floor, small regular noises ...
Unbuttoning his shirt, Orlando realised. He watched Elijah watching Dom strip, and wished that he were somewhere else, after all.
Where would this stop? How many other half-serious crushes would Elijah want to consummate? How would he look, watching Karl? Billy? Liv? What was he going to do, anyway? How much did Dom pay? Is this a hand-job, a blowjob, full sex? Just once or all night? Any funny business? Maybe, thought Orlando on the edge of hysteria, maybe Dom will want
Elijah's kneeling up, watching Dom, and Orlando can't pretend to himself any longer that this is only a game. Elijah wants Dom, and whether or not he loves Orlando, he has never looked at him quite like that.
Then Dom's suddenly, shockingly there, grinding down against Elijah. Orlando should be fighting back the urge to laugh at Dom's white buttocks, at his graceless haste and the high-pitched noise he's making. But there is nothing funny about the way that Elijah's chanting his name: and there's nothing remotely amusing about Orlando's own traitorous cock, instantly and painfully hard at the sight.
Dom's hands are all over Elijah, and Orlando can hear them kissing, wetly and messily, gasping together. Maybe Elijah has forgotten that he's there. Maybe he doesn't care. Maybe it's turning him on even more.
"Want you," Dom groans.
Elijah laughs, and it sounds unforced. "Doesn't anyone say 'please' any more?" His voice is hoarse, but maybe that's because Dom is still kissing and licking and pawing him. Orlando needs to see Lij's face, to reassure himself that this is all an act, that this is nothing serious. He can't see anything but Dom, covering Elijah: Dom's rougher, darker skin against Elijah's white limbs. The contrast is making Orlando ache.
"I don't have to say 'please'," Dom growls, and the growl covers the noise of Orlando's zipper sliding down. "I already fucking paid you."
Orlando's cock leaps in his hand, and he almost drops his new camera. He doesn't need it. There is no way he'll ever forget an instant of this.
"Yesss," hisses Elijah from somewhere under Dominic. He sounds like Gollum: he sounds like he did the first time that Orlando fucked him, back when sounding like Gollum was still a joke.
No way they'll be able to hear Orlando's hand move on his erection, not between Elijah saying Dom's name and the bed creaking and Dom groaning, gasping, sliding. Orlando wants to sneak out while they're fucking. He wants to watch until they fall asleep, still sweating onto each other. He wants to be there too.
He comes before Elijah does.
back to the remix archive