Yaoi, lemon, drama



Goh leant back, one foot balanced against the fencepost and his hands in his pockets. His pants were snug around his legs and when he shifted his hands it tugged them down a bit at the waist, exposing a thin strip of browned skin between the denim and his clinging vest.  Some of the girls on the site said he dressed like a hooker; some of the boys didn’t say anything but he knew their hot, shifty eyes agreed.  On balmy evenings like this, he could care less.


The man walking towards the gate was still a few hundred yards away from Goh.  He looked tired but he walked steadily up the dirt track, carrying a couple of cases and another bag slung over his shoulder.  Goh knew it was several miles from the nearest bus stop, assuming you could afford a bus.  He always walked to and from the commune, well, when he had anywhere to go, of course – he was taller and fitter than any young man he knew his age.  He looked slight, but there weren’t many guys who’d offer a challenge once they’d seen him move.  He didn’t get complacent, though.


Maybe this guy thought he should be helped with his baggage, but Goh didn’t move from his vantage point.  As the newcomer got nearer, he glanced over at the watching boy, and they kept that look going between them, right until the man reached the gate and dropped his cases, sighing with relief.


“Hi,” he said.


Goh scowled, but it didn’t seem that the man was either going to complain about the lack of help or patronise Goh with that tone that many older adults used with him.  He liked that in a guy.


“You know if there’s a place here to stay a while?” asked the man.  His voice was low and sensual, lilting like music. 


Goh tilted his head involuntarily, trying to catch its echo.  He shrugged, his glance darting up and then away again.  The guy looked about ten years older than him; slender but wiry; bright eyes and a cautious expression.  He wore gloves.  Weird, thought Goh.  “I dunno,” he said aloud.  “You wanna go find Carson, he knows who’s around at any time.  I’m just a kid.”


The man didn’t move; he didn’t rush off to find a bed for the night, or complain that he was wasting time with Goh.  When Goh glanced up again, he was gazing right back at him.  There was a slight smile on his face.


“Thanks,” he said, that same sensual cadence to his voice.  “But I doubt very much you’re just a kid.”  And then he squared his shoulders, picked up his cases again, and strode past Goh through the gate into the commune.






Goh stood in the doorway of the battered trailer and peered over at the locked case in the corner by the bunk.  He wondered what the hell was in it.  He could take a look-see, of course – he’d learned plenty of that while he lived here.  No door or bolt was ever closed to him.  But there was something about the newcomer that piqued his interest beyond knowing what goods he peddled.


“It’s full of props for my magic,” came a murmur behind him and it took all his efforts not to jump with shock. 




The man stepped around him and into the trailer without another word.  He’d been for a wash; his long fair hair was dark with dampness and his shirt wasn’t completely fastened.  Goh realised he should have known he was a performer – it was in the way he moved, in the way he reacted when he knew people were watching him.  His body was lithe, like a dancer’s; his smile drew attention to him.


Goh bit his lower lip and watched the man move about the cramped room.  The trailer had been left empty for a month or so – the windows were still grimy, and where the noonday light sneaked through, it cast striped shadows around both of them.  There was an unidentified smell that lingered, somewhere between burnt cooking and the trail of a muddy animal.  The man finally put his towel down on the seat by the window and turned back to face Goh, still framed in the doorway.  He smiled at the boy as if he could read exactly what his thoughts were.  “No palace, eh?  But it’s better than I’ve been used to, believe me.  It’s dry, there’s a roof, and I welcome the audience.”


“Audience?”  Goh was wary of conversation with newcomers but he was curious, too.


The man smiled again. “Come in and see.  I’m happy to show you what I do; what I have.”


Goh frowned.  If Carson knew he’d been nosing around the new guy’s stuff, he might be in trouble.  But there was very little of interest going on around the site today and he wasn’t keen on the gardening work that he knew was waiting for him.  He stepped into the trailer too, his head dipping to avoid the low doorway.  He felt the guy’s eyes on him all the time.


“You said magic?”


The man held out a hand in greeting.  “I’m Reizo.  I’m a travelling magician.”


Goh laughed aloud.  “You mean for kids?”


Reizo’s gaze remained steady but his eyes darkened slightly.  His hand dropped slowly back to his side.  “Whatever.  Anyway, I never stay long in a place, so I guess you don’t need to worry about being polite.”  He started to move over to the small kitchen area where he boiled water for tea.  The place was tiny: Goh leaned back as the man passed him, anxious suddenly not to be touched.  He smelled a fresh scent, a lemony aroma in amongst the filth of the neglected trailer.  He put out a hand to steady himself against the wall and then gasped.  “What the fuck -?”


The man looked across at the boy’s slim wrist and smiled again.  He paused in front of Goh, a couple of inches taller and a whole lot broader.  The reluctant sunlight came through the window, casting a deeper shadow on the planes of his half-bared chest.  He lifted his clenched fist and slowly unrolled it.  A silver chain glinted in his palm.


Goh growled and snatched at it – Reizo didn’t resist.


“How the fuck did you get that off my arm?”  Goh was angry though impressed.  The chain had been on his wrist since he couldn’t remember when.  Since his mom put it there, or so he’d always thought.


“Don’t be upset,” Reizo said, softly.  “I just wanted to show you there’s more to magic than scarves up your sleeve and sawing gymnastic young women in half.  My style is sleight of hand.  It’s more… intimate.”  He put his hand on Goh’s arm, and for a second the boy glared at him, ready to lash out.


“I can show you more of it later,” said Reizo.  His voice was calm; encouraging.  “Like I said, I’d appreciate an audience.”


Goh shrugged off the hand, but he didn’t step away.  It was a quiet day, right?  He wanted to see more; he wanted to be entertained and amazed.  He wanted… the man’s company.


He clipped the chain back round his wrist, remembering the man’s fingers on his wrist.  Some other guy did that, he’d have been flat on his back with a couple of teeth loose.  Goh could look after himself well and he didn’t like interference.


But this man moved slowly and without threat, and his voice made Goh’s limbs feel warm and loose.  He’d never met someone like this magician; someone who could take him unawares like that.  Reizo had touched him and taken something of his and he’d never even realised it.


And it hadn’t been at all unpleasant.


“Sorry,” he said, abruptly.  For his rudeness – for his intolerance...?  And then Reizo looked at him in such a way that he relaxed again. 






Goh watched, fascinated despite himself, as Reizo rolled the coins between his fingers.  There was nothing but moonlight through the trailer window to illuminate it, though the sky was cloudless tonight.  Back and forth went the coin, flashing once then vanishing behind the palm, then reappearing just as suddenly.  Goh silently watched the deft fingers for a while and then he copied, flipping a coin on to its side between his own fingers, in and out, all along his hand, his eyes fierce with concentration.


When it fell on the table again he thrust back his chair with a loud, colourful curse.


“Hey, keep cool.  You’ll get faster,” Reizo smiled, his voice low, always steady.  “You have great skill, and I can’t fault your commitment to it.  You’ve come around almost every damned day since I arrived.”


“I wanna learn,” Goh muttered.  “I wanna do it properly.”  His head ached with the effort.


“You will,” said Reizo.  He stood up, stretching his shoulders under his thin, sleeveless vest.  “Goh, you need to go back to your own place now.  I have to get some sleep.  There’s a job in town I’m going for tomorrow.”


“A gig?”


Reizo shrugged.  He didn’t meet Goh’s eyes.  “Not exactly.  Seems there’s no call for magicians here.  It’s just a job in a store.”


Goh stared up at him, trying to understand the tone of the man’s voice.  It licked warmly around his senses: he’d come to consider it the most rewarding sound in his day.  He craved it like chocolate; drank it in like cool beer.  But sometimes there was a bitter edge to it that he was too young to recognise.  It frustrated him; he spent all his spare time with Reizo but he knew no more about him than he had on day one.  OK, so he didn’t push the guy with questions, but Reizo volunteered very little back.  Goh was cool about it usually, they seemed to find plenty to fool around with and talk about when they were together, without nagging about personal things.  That was what mattered, after all – the present.  Goh wasn’t particularly keen to wallow in his own history either, for God’s sake.  He just knew he wanted to be with Reizo, to meet him on his own terms, to be as good as him…


He glared at the coins on the table, their narrow shadow lengthening across the scratched top. Then there were days he felt that all that shit was further than the fucking moon.


A sound outside the kitchen window caught his attention and he looked over to it – Reizo passed behind him, walking that way himself.  He was carrying their empty glasses, drained of water some time ago, ready now for clearing away for the night.  He grinned back at Goh’s frown and flipped a spoon across the air to him, spinning on its axis, glinting in the dim light – the boy lifted a hand and caught it easily, the muscles of his strong arm barely flexing.  Reizo was watching him, his eyes startlingly bright.


When Goh glanced back down at the table he was startled to see that the coins he’d been practising with were now gone, replaced with five or six dollar bills, the edges creased and worn like they’d been scrunched up in a pocket, but now fanned out into the shape of a paper flower.  “Shit,” Goh said, stupidly.  “But when did you…?”  His hand brushed at the notes, scattering them.


“The art is in distraction,” explained Reizo.  He came back over, pushing the chairs in under the table so that Goh had to rise and move away, edging back towards the door. “You want your mark to look the way you direct, while the trick is happening in entirely another.” He started gathering up the loose bills, talking over his shoulder. “You know that, Goh, it’s one of the first things you asked me.  You must learn that before anything else…”


“Yeah, I know.  The art is in distraction,” murmured Goh, suddenly appearing close behind Reizo’s other shoulder.  Reizo gasped aloud, startled, his body tensing at being caught out himself.  He turned around slowly, a smile of grudging admiration on his face, only then realising how near Goh was.  But before he could say anything, Goh tilted his head forward and met Reizo’s mouth with his own. 


Goh’s heart was beating very fast.  He had the advantage of surprise, and a younger hunger, too.  He’d been wondering for a long time what it’d be like to kiss a man.  To kiss Reizo.


It was a delicious, intoxicating taste, he discovered with pleasure, and the lips were yielding under his touch.  Reizo’s body shivered with what was probably shock.  His mouth opened as if to speak but Goh thrust in his tongue and lapped at the warmth inside.  He slipped a hand around the man’s waist, holding him to him, and he kissed him harder.


They leant back rather clumsily, knocking against the table.  Goh didn’t want to lose the touch but Reizo was gasping against him, trying to speak.  His hands came up to Goh’s shoulders and pushed, hard.  “What the hell are you doing?”


Goh was panting very slightly and he felt dizzy.  “Kissing you.”  God, it was good! Reizo’s mouth was hot and firm and moulded itself around his tongue and he wanted more of it.  He was sure that Reizo welcomed it – he was sure he’d know the difference if he didn’t.  Not that he had much experience: he’d never been very interested in the girls on site, and there were very few boys who ever admitted they might be gay.


Goh assumed he must be gay himself, but it wasn’t really an issue, was it?  He didn’t have any problem with it.  What he did have a problem with was Reizo’s angry, twisted face and his strong hands pushing Goh away from him, out through the opening door.  There were words being growled at him, but he didn’t really hear them.


The door slammed shut in his face.  The night outside was cold and the sudden silence filled his ears like white noise.


What the fuck had just happened?







Goh sat in Reizo’s trailer at the small table, apparently passing a kitchen knife down through the table itself and out from underneath.  Then he reversed the process, pressing it up under the wooden base and drawing it free from between the folds of the tablecloth on top.


“Again,” said Reizo.  He sat on the chair beside Goh, though they didn’t touch.  “I saw the tremor of the cloth.  Practise it again.”


“I don’t need to,” said Goh, sharply.  “I’ve done this a hundred times today.”


Reizo glanced at him, a little startled.  “OK.  I guess you’re right.”  He sighed heavily.  He looked tired.  “I forget how good you’ve become in such a short time.  Hell, by the time I move on, you’ll be as good as I am.”


“Don’t patronise me,” Goh growled in return.  The atmosphere in the trailer was tense, but speaking for himself, he wasn’t entirely sure why.  Reizo had been preoccupied for several days now.  He’d packed many of his props and belongings back into his case and locked it away.  He had only the bare minimum of stuff around him when Goh came around, like he was just a casual visitor.  Like he kept talking about moving on.  Goh didn’t like to dwell on any of it; the thought made him nauseous.


“They’re just tricks,” he snapped.  “No-one employs magicians nowadays, anyway. What the fuck good will they be to me?” 


“For God’s sake, give it a rest,” Reizo sighed, rare anger spiking behind his words.  “That’s all you talk about nowadays, making money, making it big time–“


“Is that so bad?”  Goh was angry, too. “I want excitement – I want my own life.  I want everything that’s out there and I need to know what’ll help me get it.”


“Not everything has a practical purpose, you know?”  Reizo was staring at him: Goh couldn’t identify the emotion in his eyes, but it was dark and unfriendly.  “Not everything earns money – and it’s a damned sight harder to earn respect.  These might just be tricks to you now, but they’re teaching you skills you can use elsewhere.  They’ll become part of you, of your talents, of the whole man you’ll become…”


Goh stood suddenly, his chair rocking back on the worn lino.  His heart was beating very fast.  “So teach me it all,” he said, hoarsely.  He didn’t exactly know what he meant; where the words were coming from.  They spilled like blood from a cut - Reizo drew things out of him that he’d never known were there.


Reizo’s eyes narrowed. “I didn’t come here looking for a pupil, Goh.  For a child.”


Goh leant forward, slamming his palms on the table top. “And I’m not looking for a father figure!” he snapped.  “I’ve got a family here, whatever combination I like.  But you’re… something else.” You’re special… “You can show me what it’s like outside here, what I need to survive, how I can be different.  Like you.”


Reizo was shaking his head.  “You want to grow up too fast –“


“I’m grown up already!” Goh’s voice was twisted tight, shouting, hurting his throat.  He looked down into Reizo’s eyes and he felt frustration grip his gut.  “Look at me!  I’m not a child.  No-one looks after me now – I’m part of the community here.  Why won’t you see that?”


He wanted to shake the man’s calm; he wanted to rip apart his complacency.  Dammit, he wasn’t used to opening his own heart to others, but there was something happening that was changing him and it hurt


“What is it you want from me, Goh?”  Reizo’s voice sounded strange, like it was a long way away.  He leant back in his chair as if he was trying to put space between them.  His eyes opened wider; his pupils looked dilated.  “All this talk of excitement – of being different.  Do you know how dangerous that can be?  How lonely?”


Goh shook his head, his blood hot all over, the pulse beating in his neck.  All he could see were Reizo’s hands laid carefully on the table in front of him, trying to hide the tension that shuddered through his body.  Reizo kept those hands protected in his gloves whenever he went out.  They had to be protected because whatever manual labour he did to get by in the daytime, they created illusions at night; they caressed dreams.  His magic shows were only ever for the commune, but his audience there – though small – was loyal. 


Reizo had arrived at the commune for a few days’ sanctuary, he’d told Carson – but those days had turned to weeks.  Goh knew people in the nearby town and he’d found Reizo work, the best he could, though it never used the skills that Reizo had.  Goh had got him introductions and contracts and the occasional run of good money – then when Reizo had returned to the commune at night, often dirty and exhausted, Goh had kept the kids away from the trailer while he rested.


Goh had seen the evidence of Reizo’s genius, day after day, night after night. He pursued the man’s talent; pursued the man himself.  Reizo had wanted an audience – he craved it – but in return, Goh had proved a demanding one.  The magician demonstrated tricks for him; taught him so many secrets; held his wrists, bending his hands to create the shape and distraction that a trick required; supported his body as Goh struggled to master a movement.  Reizo would be laughing; encouraging; breathing against him a fierce, strong, masculine intimacy…


But there’d never been another kiss.  They never even mentioned it afterwards, and Reizo had made sure never to be caught out again.


Goh stared at the man in front of him.  He felt the ache of physical need wrap itself around him.  Sometimes he felt like he’d choke from it.  When had it happened, this desire that overwhelmed everything else?  What the hell did it matter?  He knew who he was, what he was.  Didn’t Reizo know, too?


“I don’t mind danger,” he hissed, and suddenly he grinned, watching the surprise reflect in the other man’s eyes.  “Or loneliness.  I’ve been on my own for a long time, even amongst the others here.  And I guess I already am different.  Like you, right?”


Reizo looked as if he wanted to argue, but he sighed instead.  “I guess so.”  He swallowed carefully.  Something was changing for him tonight, too, Goh could tell.  He’d wanted to disturb the man… but he didn’t know how he felt about succeeding. 


“You’re very strong, Goh, both physically and emotionally – but you know that already.”  Reizo’s voice sounded strained.  “You’re a fine, arrogant, intelligent young man and you’ll make yourself great chances in life.  From the day I arrived…”


“You saw me,” Goh interrupted.  “You saw me and called over to me, and you’ve been doing that every day since.  And now we’re here.  Right?”


“Goh… I told you before...”


“No you didn’t,” Goh interrupted.  He didn’t know what the hell to say to this man to make him understand.  Fuck, he didn’t understand it himself!  “You told me shit – all you did was let me kiss you then push me off.”


The man thrust back his chair and rose swiftly to his feet.  For a second Goh thought he might hit him. 


“So that’s what this is all about.”  Reizo’s voice was low: harsh.


“Like you didn’t know!” growled Goh.  There was a tense silence for a second.


Then Reizo smiled, surprising Goh.  His body seemed to relax a little.  “Well, you’re right,” he said, slowly.  “You’re definitely no child.  In some ways you’re more honest than I am – maybe even wiser.  But you need to think carefully about your choices, Goh.  You can’t let yourself care too much – you can’t let yourself be too vulnerable in this life.”


“You thinking you’ll hurt me, then?” Goh hissed.  “I’m tougher than that.”


Reizo sucked in a breath, unable to reply.  He watched as Goh leant back away from the table, his hands curling around the hem of his vest and peeling it up over his head.  He stared as Goh flipped open the button of his jeans and slipped a hand inside to caress himself.


Goh felt the excitement stirring in his groin, but that stimulation was nothing compared to the flame that lit suddenly and fiercely in Reizo’s eyes.  Goh felt his mouth go dry and his legs start to tremble.  He backed up to the table again, his thighs bumping against the edge, and he shifted his ass so that he was sitting up on it, facing Reizo.  He kept stroking himself, amazed at how swiftly his cock was swelling, and how very painfully.  It had never been like this on his own, in the shower block, in the back of the garage at night…


Reizo made a small sound in the back of his throat, like an animal.  His whole body was rigid.  His eyes were glazed over, fixed on the place where Goh’s hand vanished under the denim of his open jeans.  “You’ve never done it before, have you?  Been with a man.”


Goh’s heart was hammering in his chest but he kept his voice steady.  “So you’ll teach me how.  Won’t you?”


And then he stared back, eyes stretched wide, as Reizo’s body shook itself back to life, and the man began to walk towards him.






The bunk creaked underneath him as Goh crawled back in.  His back felt stiff and his ass hurt.  He’d run quickly to the washrooms in the pale early morning light and he was pretty sure that no-one had seen him.  Now that he was back in the trailer he’d shucked off his jeans and boots and he felt chilled through again.


An arm stretched out lazily and curled over his waist, tugging him in against the other body in the bunk.  The sheets were crumpled underneath them both, but the other man’s skin was warm.  As soon as he rolled back against it, Goh felt his tension seep away.


“Very… very… good,” Reizo murmured, sleepily.  Goh could see the smile on his bedmate’s face, even though the light still struggled to pierce the dark corners of the trailer.  He grinned back, the memory of the night’s excitement racing through his veins.


“Yeah, it was a good distraction,” he whispered in the older man’s ear.  He bent his leg, nudging his knee in between Reizo’s thighs.  “A damned good trick to learn.”


Reizo laughed softly, the bunk shaking under him.  “You were a fine pupil.  You’ll go far.”


“Don’t want to,” muttered Goh.  “Gonna stay here and learn some more.”  He was suckling at the other man’s shoulder, savouring the taste of his sweat and wrinkling his nose when Reizo’s stray blond hairs tickled his lips.  Reizo had hair over his chest and legs, too - a fine, comfortable down that rubbed goose bumps along Goh’s bare skin.  It made Goh feel young in comparison, though he thought he might always be smooth-skinned; it was the way he’d grown.  It didn’t bother him.  Besides, the contrast with Reizo’s naked body was part of the thrill.  The man was taller than Goh, broader, thicker-set.  The hair on his head was fine and smelled of lemon.  His skin was softer along his arms; his feet smaller.  But his strong, adult cock was thicker than Goh’s and more purplish in colour – now it was swollen with early morning need, rearing out from his groin, curving upwards.


It had tasted good, Goh remembered.  His own cock stirred eagerly between his legs at the memory.  Reizo’s dick had been firm and hot inside him, too, even though Goh had sworn more than a few times when Reizo first pushed in.  It had been weird; painful; amazing!  And then there’d been a few times when they got too enthusiastic, when they’d nearly fallen out of the bunk.


Goh moaned softly, a self-satisfied smile on his face and his own cock getting uncomfortably heavy under his belly.  He rolled around again and clambered astride Reizo’s thighs, nudging the damp head of Reizo’s dick so that it pushed up between his thighs.  He lowered himself on to it, wincing with the repeated invasion of his already sore ass, but welcoming it too.


Reizo groaned deeply and began thrusting upwards.  Goh let his head drop back and he rode the cock, slowly, rhythmically, greedily, until he felt Reizo’s hips tense underneath him and felt the new warmth up inside him of Reizo’s cum.


He listened to the man’s panting as his breathing slowed.  Then he lifted himself off Reizo’s softening cock and sat back on his heels.  “Watch me,” he whispered, taking his own arousal in his palm and starting to pump it. 


Reizo wriggled up on to his elbows, his eyes on Goh, the sweat on his chest starting to dry in silver shadows.  “You’re astonishing,” he said, so very softly that Goh had to lean forward to hear him.  “You’re so bold.  So gorgeous.  I’ve never… been with someone like you.”  He laughed gently, as if embarrassed at saying such things.


Goh shrugged but he was pleased in return.  He grinned as he stroked himself, knowing he wasn’t far from orgasm this morning.  “It was great for me too,” he grunted.  Will be great… gonna be with you, help you find what you’re looking for, what’ll please you…”


When he looked down at Reizo again, the man looked startled.  He was shaking his head.  “Goh... God, no, I can’t do this.  I have to keep moving on, I can’t put down roots.  I shouldn’t have let this happen… it was…”


“It was what?” gasped Goh, too far gone to stop jerking off but suddenly alert to Reizo’s mood.  What the hell did he mean?  “This was just some fun, you mean?  Well, OK, that’s fine by me, and we’ll have plenty more.  You want to, don’t you?”


Reizo’s eyes fell away from Goh’s face.  He flushed, watching the muscles tense across Goh’s young belly as he teased at the tip of his cock, watching it throb in the boy’s fist, watching a single bead of sweat trickling down under Goh’s ear.  His hand lifted involuntarily from the bed, reaching to join Goh’s, to link together around his cock, caressing him.


“God, yes, I want to.  You know that,” Reizo groaned.  “But it won’t be enough for you, in the end.  It shouldn’t be!  You’ll have your fun but one day soon you’ll know you need something else.  You deserve it.  You’ve worked for it, dreamt about it…”


“Do it together –“ moaned Goh. 


If Goh’s vision hadn’t been marred by the poor light, he would have seen Reizo’s stricken look.  “No, I can’t be here for that.  And I don’t want to be here for that and not be part of it.  To disappoint you.”


Goh groaned.  He was close and the added heat of Reizo’s hand was pushing him over the edge very swiftly.  He’d never been so sensitive; never known such a sensual thrill through his whole body.  “Worry about it later, OK?”  He didn’t know what Reizo was worried about, and he was afraid to consider it any more deeply.  They could sort it out in the morning, couldn’t they?  In another couple of mornings - whatever it took.  This was just too magnificent to waste, right now.  “Fuck me,” he hissed through clenched teeth.  “Fuck me, now.”


Reizo sucked in a breath and shifted on the bed so that he was sitting upright.  His cock was still only half erect but he slipped his hand down under Goh’s balls and his fingers stroked over the young man’s entrance.  Goh cried aloud as Reizo slipped a finger into him.  It took just a few thrusts by Reizo and a speeding up of Goh’s hand until his climax shuddered through him, spitting out his cum over Reizo’s legs, making his head swim and his body collapse down on to the bunk again.


There was a hesitation between them for a moment, but eventually Goh felt Reizo’s arm slide around him and hold him until he drifted off to sleep again.






Goh stirred once again before the day started properly, feeling Reizo moving beside him.  “Don’t go,” he said drowsily.  He’d make breakfast for them both; he’d go into town with Reizo, later on in the day, looking for jobs.  Whatever he wanted.  “Got lots still to learn,” he mumbled.  “Lots of tricks… gotta be sharp to get on in life, right?”


Reizo laughed softly.  “You’re a sharp guy already, Goh.”  His mouth touched at Goh’s shoulder, making the boy arch gently on the bed.  “You’re sharp, and bright… and you care, too.  It’s a great combination.  Don’t lose that edge, you hear?”


Goh shrugged and yawned.  “Can’t be vulnerable, you said...”


“Be what you are,” whispered Reizo. “Then nothing will ever disappoint you – nothing will ever defeat you.”


Goh felt the chill air of the early morning nagging at his skin.  He tugged the sheet back over himself, snuffling into the thin pillow.  He groped a hand out to see if Reizo was willing for more sex, but he couldn’t connect with any flesh.  He rolled over, grunted, and slept again.






When Goh finally woke properly, he was curled at the edge of the bunk and his aching muscles complained that he should go back to sleep, he’d stirred too early.  He heard birdsong and the playful cries of the children on the commune, overlaid by the sound of distant traffic.


Something told him he’d stirred too late, too.


When he turned awkwardly in the narrow bunk, with the fresh air from the open window tickling his naked flesh, he knew what he’d find in the trailer.


Nothing.  Reizo – and all his cases - had gone.  No warning – no explanation.  Just two of the practice coins lying on the table, presumably forgotten in the rush of departure.


Goh turned his face to the wall, unable to make sense of anything, unable to feel anything beyond the tightness inside his chest and the aches of his own body.


He’d worry about it later.  OK?