Part Three

His body was shaking, but he didn't know why... All... All he remembered was the extreme sensation, the intensity of the feelings... It had been unlike anything he had ever felt with Marron, or in any of his other affairs, either... Unlike any pain, unlike any sorrow... Unlike everything else he had ever felt. Ever.
He could not lift himself from the floor... His body was shaking so much that the only way for him to keep from convulsing was to lay flat on the floor...
Oh, God...
He couldn't say that he was in pain... Nor could he say that he felt good. There was no afterglow, nor any lingering ache, either. There was simply numbness.
He couldn't remember what had happened. All he knew anymore was the floor, his trembling, and the lingering memory of that explosion of sensation...
Slowly, he became aware that the floor was not all that was beneath him. He was lying in liquid of some sort, face down in it, but he couldn't bring himself to open his eyes to see what it was. It was thick, viscous, a little tacky... Not hot against his skin, nor was it cold... It felt the same temperature as the air that was sighing against the back of his neck.
But, then, the breeze shifted, and he was hit by the coppery, tangy sent of blood. And, slowly but surely, it all came back to him.

Mille gasped in surprise. he asked, bewildered.
Gateau gave him a patronizing look. Yes, my dear. I'm willing to give you what you want.
Oh, my God... Mille felt suddenly dizzy, as though the floor were falling out from under him, and there was nothing but unfathomable blackness below.
Come with me into the back, Gateau said, closing a rough, calloused hand around Mille's thin arm. It's where I service my most favored customers.
But he couldn't think of any words of protest, even as Gateau pulled him across the space, toward the door at the back of the room. He felt fear welling up, like tears or bile, in the back of his throat. He tried desperately to slow them down, gain some traction. He dragged his feet and fought against their progression, but the taller man was much stronger, and Mille couldn't stop them. He tried to tear the man's fingers from his upper arms, but the grip was like steel. he cried.
Suddenly, Gateau stopped moving. He pulled Mille close to him, one arm going around the dancer's waist. He leaned down low, and Mille's breath caught when he saw the dangerous edge in his blue eyes. You say, Gateau said in a voice that might have been seductive, had it not been laced with a threat. His lips brushed the skin of Mille's cheek as he spoke. You think you can stop me with words alone...? There is no, No,' for you anymore, only what I want, do you see? To stop me, you would have to stop yourself first... He pressed a searing kiss onto Mille's mouth, and Mille felt caught between desire and revulsion. This man was compromising him, threatening him... tearing him apart, and making him feel... whole. He felt sick.
Before he could even understand what was happening, the blond had ripped away his mouth, and was dragging the other man through the store again.
Mille tried to scream, but he found himself mute, unable to cry out. He didn't know whether it was out of fear, or from something the taller man had done, but when he opened his mouth, he found he could make no sound.
Gateau turned around, and smiled darkly at the golden-eyed dancer. Isn't it beautiful...? You're totally trapped within yourself - and it's all your fault.
The violet-haired man's breath wouldn't come to him and he shook his head furiously, still trying to stall their descent into hell.
I didn't do this... he thought to himself. I didn't do this! I could never have seen this coming! I didn't know! I don't want this! Oh, God...
Don't call on Him, here, lover...
The voice echoed, shadowy, through his mind, and his body spasmed with shock. Gateau was speaking directly into his mind. Every man who deals with me has brought it upon himself... It is your very own fault.
The tall man flung open the heavy, wooden door at the back of the shoe shop, and pulled Mille into the dark room. He slammed the door shut behind himself as though the thick, intricately carved panel weighed nothing.
Mille continued to attempt to scream, coming up with nothing but hissing gasps. He felt as though his throat were completely empty, as though whatever magic allowed him to speak had been ripped from his body.
Oh, God... Why hadn't he felt this before? Where had this overpowering terror been in the bar? Under the tree? In the dance hall? Why hadn't he felt it then? What had he been thinking? Why had to even come to Gateau...? What had the man promised him that he didn't already have - that he actually wanted?
Poor little boy... Gateau crooned softly. So lost.
The room he had pulled them into was pitch black. Mille was beginning to hyperventilate in the suffocating darkness. He could feel the darkness wrapping its soft fingers around his throat, pushing against his eyes, daring him to close them.
If you close them now, who's to say that, when you open them again, this will all have been just a dream? Who's to say that, in this blackness, sleep if any different from death?
Oh, please...!
Gateau released his hold on the dancer's arm, and lit a match. Its light burned through Mille's entire being with its intensity. It felt like it had been a thousand years since he'd seen real sunlight... Even the cobbler's shop seems a distant memory.
What are you going to do? He worked his mouth to try to force the question from his quivering lips, but the words would not come... Would they ever come again?
I have found, lover, that it is better when those outside cannot hear you scream... That way, Gateau said, lighting a lantern, no one will disturb our echange.
Exchange?! No, there had never been any talk of exchange before - Only... Gateau had never wanted anything in return. That's why it was so... Oh, God... He couldn't think straight, couldn't put his thoughts together. It felt as though he were staring at a page in a book, just staring, and no sense could be made of the words before him because they were blurring together.
The illumination taken care of, Gateau turned back to the shaking dancer, a dark, menacing gleam in his blue eyes. He traced his fingertips across Mille's cheek in a gentle gesture. And you want me to give you what you want, don't you?
The moment Gateau's skin touched his, Mille felt some sick change in his mind, and all of his fear drained from his body. His body stopped shaking. Like in the cold... he thought to himself. When you stop tensing your jaw, you don't shiver any longer... He felt strangely peaceful.
Yes, my beautiful little boy... Gateau smiled slyly, leaning down towards Mille's face. Give in to me...
I'll give you what it is you want...

And then it had happened. It was the single most intense, excruciating thing he had ever experienced... Pleasure so long-building that it was agony, a wave that continued to swell, refusing to break, sunlight so bright it blinded, sorrow so great he felt he would shatter.
He thought of the moment where, minutely, he had felt as though he couldn't keep living for another second. It was an strong, brief sensation, a mixture of ennui and desperation. Now he felt it, magnified a thousand-fold, pulsing through his entire body, his skin thrumming with its power. He felt, every second, that he would die the next moment, and yet, through some terrible power, he was sustained.
It was Gateau. This force was Gateau. Gateau was holding him up, keeping him alive, and, at the same time, he was the one killing him. A great tremor went through Mille's body, and he suddenly looked down.
A long, narrow sword had been pushed through his chest, right through his heart. He could feel, suddenly, his heart contracting wildly around the cold blade, and it sent chills up his spine. He was sweating, crying, panting, shaking in Gateau's arm.
He wasn't dying. He was continuing. He was changing... He could feel himself shifting, feel things bleeding out of him and other things flowing back in to take the place of what he was losing. He couldn't stop himself from shuddering. His mouth was shaking and gaping as he continued to try to form words...
It didn't hurt, it wasn't pleasurable. It was just so much that it was unbearable.
Oh, God! Please... Just make it end...!
It's coming, Gateau whispered seductively in his ear.
Then blackness filled him, hotly, totally. He fell back and ceased to feel.

Ah, lover... You're awake. It's about time.
He felt the shuddering subside as the man neared him. It was like a drug that he craved, this man's presence. He sighed, and let his body go blessedly limp.
Do you feel it now? Do you feel your potentiality... for... everything?
He stopped reveling in the man's deep, soothing voice and obeyed the unspoken command. He listened to himself, searched within himself to find it. And there it was... What he had always wanted -
Safety. Love. Promise. Happiness. Every sunset to come. Every sunset past. Every thought, every scent, every husband, every wife... Every life...
It was everything he wanted and so much more. He hadn't known he could feel so full... This was what it is like to be God.
Yes, lovely... This... is...