"You know I seriously considered taking you with me," Curt says, trailing his fingers down Arthur's back.
At first, Arthur is so spent and so tired that he doesn't know what on earth Curt is talking about, or where he had wanted to take him. The comment came out of nowhere and anyway, the feather light touch on the small of his back is highly distracting.
"What?" he asks.
"You're slow tonight," he says. "Have I exhausted you?"
Arthur opens his eyes, reluctantly.
"No," he says. "What is it?"
"I was just thinking about that night, or I should say that morning on the rooftop. You know I really wanted to ask you to - come be a hanger on for me and Jack instead of the Flaming Creatures."
Arthur is fully awake now, yet it still takes him a moment to register what he's hearing.
"Wow," he says. He thinks of all the fantasies he had had as a teenager - that he would leave his stifling middle class life under his parents' roof, and live openly, and become the lover and muse of someone just like Brian Slade or Curt Wild. That had all seemed to shatter when he woke up alone after an exquisite night and half day with Curt.
Curt props himself up on his elbow to look down at Arthur.
"Yeah," he says. "I really did like spending time with you - that's why you had me as long as you did." He sighs. "You could have been my rebound after Brian. We were touring Europe then. I could have taken you with me and shown you off to the whole world, or at least everyone I knew."
Arthur smiles at the thought. He can just see it - being at every one of Curt's shows, at the height of his success. Getting to see the world, or more of it, by his side. Above all, not having to wait ten years to get his reward.
"Wow," he says again.
"Yeah." Curt looks away then. He is silent for a moment, and when he speaks again, Arthur can hear the bitterness in his voice.
"But you shouldn't be smiling," he says. "I'd have wrecked your life. Knowing where I was back then, I'd have probably gotten you onto smack and all kinds of hard shit - and treated you like crap, too. It would have been a disaster."
Curt wraps his free arm around Arthur's shoulders, pulling him closer.
"And I wouldn't be able to have you now," he adds.
"You're probably right," Arthur says.
He is still smiling, despite himself.