“Have you heard any word I’ve said in the last five fucking minutes? Huh?”
“What? I’m right here. I’m listening.” James licked his thumb and flipped the page of the magazine lying on the hotel bed. “Heard every word you said.” This was to be Mercury’s version of Ford Motor Company’s next-generation aero design, taking over from the very successful Torino Talladega….
Lars’s long-winded logistics discourse devolved into a mildly pleasant background buzz in his left ear as he read about Boss 429 engines and a car that never made it into—
“I’m taking my cock out.”
James paused in mid page turn. What?
“Should I take my trousers off, do you think? Or should I just push them out of the way enough to be out of the way? How would you do it?”
“The fuck are you talking about?”
“‘Heard every word you said’ my fucking ass,” Lars said. “I’m sitting here with my dick in my hand, and you’re la la la
, off somewhere fucking else. I was wondering if I was going to have to come all over the phone before you fucking tuned back in to the conversation.”
James’s face heated. With his mouth hanging halfway open and his eyebrows drawn, he was trying to work out what he’d missed. “Um. You can stop jerking off now. I guess.”
“Oh, you’re going to pay attention now?”
“Uh, either that or I’m going to hang up. I’m kind of caught between the two.” His face had that prickly feeling left over from ahit of heat. He rubbed at his cheek and forehead with his free hand. Then he switched the phone to his other ear. He could use a drink—of water. Maybe a gallon of it.
The other end of the phone rustled.
“What are you doing?” James asked.
“Putting my dick back away.”
James pinched the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger and rubbed. “So, uh, this logistics problem you were telling me about.”
“I’ve told you about it fucking three times. I’m done telling you about it.”
They sat in silence for a moment. James pushed the magazine aside. He ran a hand through his hair. He let out a quiet stream of air. “So. Uh. What are you up to?”
“Lying here on my bed wondering why I fucking bother.”
The guilt trip. Poor martyr Lars. James stretched his body out where the magazine had been.
“What have you been doing,” Lars asked, “that was so fucking engrossing?”
James thought of the magazine. He said, “Nothing.”
An aggravated sigh washed against his ear.
“I sure wasn’t jerking off.” His face heated again. He shifted his hips. Shit.
“Well, I figured if I was having a conversation by myself, there were other things I could do by myself that I’d enjoy a lot more than being fucking ignored by you.”
“I know I’m going to hate myself for asking this, but you weren’t really, were you?”
“I was going for authenticity.”
“Well. That’s. That’s some dedication right there.”
“I thought maybe the eventual ‘Fuck! Fuck! I’m fucking coming!’ would get through to your skull.”
James’s face managed to stay reasonably temperate, but he had to shift his hips again.
“So,” he said. So
. He had no idea where to go from here. He didn’t want to get off the phone yet. Suddenly. Lars had managed to nab his attention—but having nabbed it, he seemed content to just lie there in a suite in some other hotel, in some other city, and not say dick unless he was nudged into it. “So,” James said again.
With another, smaller sigh, Lars said, “Fuck. I should probably get off the phone and take care of what I started.”
“Do you need me to spell it out for you?” Then: “I blame you. If you’d been paying attention when you were supposed to be.”
“Please don’t ever draw a direct line from me to your need to pleasure yourself again.” He propped himself up on an elbow. “You’re not touching yourself right now, are you?”
“Just through my clothes. Rubbing a little. So it doesn’t shrink away while you keep me on the phone. It’s kind of gross, though, huh? Having phone sex with your bandmate?”
“Speak for yourself. I’m not having no kind of sex with nobody over here.” His fingers plucked at the thin folds of t-shirt across his belly.
“What would you have gone with, anyway? Clothes off, or clothes just shoved out of the way?”
“Out of the way.” Then: “Maybe. Off is good, too. I guess it would depend on what I was planning to do afterward—take a shower, lie around and watch TV? Go to sleep? If it’s the middle of the day, like this, and I’m already dressed, like I am—”
“What are you wearing?”
“Is your dick still in your pants? Because your voice got huskier.”
“Fuck off. What are you wearing?”
“A plain t-shirt, a pair of jeans, no socks or shoes.”
“They’re under there.”
“What color? What kind?”
“Like I remember what underwear I pulled on this morning. I’m lucky if I remember which morning it is.”
“Unzip a little and look.”
“You’re trying to drag me into your sick game.”
“Just tell me that you’re unzipping your pants and looking at your underwear.”
“I’m unzipping my pants and looking at my underwear.” He rubbed the cupped palm of his hand slowly over his zipped-up fly.
He bit off And they’re green with pink polka dots
before it could come out. That would be the end of it. He thumbed the button of his fly free, pushed it open enough to make a check, and then dropped his head back on the pillow to make his report: “Dark gray boxer briefs.”
“The fuck? You’re unbelievable. Does it really fucking matter?”
“You have a pair of Calvin Klein dark gray boxer briefs you looked good in.”
He felt a rush of heat in both his face and the crotch of his boxer briefs. His fingers pushed farther in under the zipper of his jeans. “Well, then, fucking pretend they’re Calvin Klein.”
“You could have just said, ‘Oh these are those.’ Why can’t you ever just do that? It’s some kind of psychological greediness you have. I think you should talk with Phil about that. Or I should talk with Phil about that. One or the other.”
“So what’d you decide to go with?”
“Strip down or work around?”
“Oh.” There was the soft clink of metal. “I took them off. Just a sec.” James heard a rustle, then “Okay. Everything’s off.”
“Are you laying down on the bed again?”
“I am now.”
“On your back?”
“Yeah.” James’s fly had come unzipped to make room for his hand.
“It’s surprisingly hard, considering I’ve been sitting here talking with you the whole the time. Oh fuck. I can’t believe I almost said you should come here and feel how hard it is.”
“I’m just gonna take your word for it, if it’s all the same.”
In the momentary silence that followed, James massaged himself through his Calvin Kleins, thinking about Lars stroking his cock, not knowing what on earth to say while they were both doing this.
Lars said, “Well. So. I should probably hang up and, you know.”
“Now that you’ve gone and dragged me into it.”
“Have I? What are you doing over there?”
“Nothing I’d admit to.” He pulled his hand out long enough to work his fingers beneath the waistband of his briefs, then pushed his whole hand inside.
“Christ, I’ve even got a shitton of precum today. What is up with that? I thought that stuff was going to dry up in my old age.”
“Good thing you took your clothes off, then.”
“Fucking tell me about it. There’s a big enough puddle of my stomach that I could fucking fingerpaint with it or something, uh?”
James squeezed his dick, thinking about it. He slid his thumb across the head, skating the pad of it right through a healthy dribble of his own. He worked it around, using it to aid in lubrication. “So what are you painting?” he asked.
“Fucking nothing yet, but give it a little bit. I’ll be spraying shit left and right.”
“I didn’t near to hear that.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t have time to write better fuck lines for you.”
“Are your nipples hard?”
“What am I, a chick?”
James ran a hand across his t-shirt. “Guys get hard nips, too. Mine are hard,” he added.
“I know they fucking get hard nipples. It just seems like something you’d ask a chick. Next you’re going to want to know if my pussy is wet.”
“Dripping. I already told you. Also….”
“My nipples are hard. I just pinched them to make sure.”
“That’s what I said, fucker.”
“No, I mean did you pinch them hard?”
“Just a little tweak each. Do you want me to pinch them harder?”
“Do you like it when your nipples are pinched hard?”
“If I’m horny enough, I guess. But then if I’m horny enough, I like anything—”
“How horny are you?”
“Fuuuhck.” He laughed. “Horny enough to jerk off while I’m on the phone with you. How’s that for horny, uh?”
“It must be some kind of bug going around.”
“You got it, too, huh?”
“I should have just listened to your logistics bullshit.”
“Push up your shirt and tweak your nipples for me.”
“What?” Lava roiled in his groin. He hoped Lars couldn’t tell from the sound of his voice.
“Push up your shirt and tweak your nipples for me.”
He’d only thought his face had felt hot before. Now he had an urge to pull a pillow over it to hide the flush—from what? The empty room?
“Are you doing it?” Lars asked.
“I’m thinking about it.” His hand had sped up. He had to use his other hand to raise the front of his jeans and underwear out of the way so that he had room for his hand to move. But that left him with no hands to do what Lars had asked.
“Don’t fucking think about it all day. I have places to be, you know, things to do.”
“Just a sec.” He struggled to keep the phone clamped between his ear and his shoulder while he pushed the waist of his jeans and underwear down to his thighs. “Still there?” he asked, catching the phone as it slipped free and bringing it back to his ear.
“Still here. Still waiting for you to pinch your nipples.”
“Shh. Stop saying it. I’m never gonna be able to do it if you keep fucking saying it.”
“Come on. You know you want to.”
His fingers were at the hem of his shirt, caught in indecision—hike the shirt up till his chest was exposed? Or just push a hand underneath, so he didn’t have to see himself do this ridiculous thing…that he wanted to do…very much…because he actually did like to have his nipples tweaked.
“Okay,” he breathed, as cool conditioned air skated over his bare rib cage, and then his left nipple. He brushed his fingers over it first, the little nub already sticking up. “Okay.” He took it between his thumb and forefinger and rolled it a little, gently, before rubbing the pad of his thumb over it again, more roughly this time.
“Yeah?” Lars asked.
“Yeah.” He had his eyes closed. He pinched again, tugged a little this time, and a silent moan caught in his throat. Fuck. He flattened his nipple against his chest under the palm of his hand, then curled his fingers, dragging his fingernails across skin, and caught it again, pinching harder. Hard. This time there was a noise, but a soft one—air more than anything.
“Shit,” Lars said softly. “You’re doing it.”
“Shut up.” His hand moved back down to his cock, past his cock, which was already being taken care of by his left hand, and down to gather his balls into his palm.
“God, this is so hot. I don’t fucking know why, and I don’t really want to think about it, and when it’s over, I hope we never ever talk about it, but despite all that, this is so fucking hot, isn’t it? Are you finding it hot, James?”
“You talk a lot.”
“It’s a phone call. What the fuck am I supposed to? Make faces? How effective is that?”
“You just go fucking on, and on, and—”
“Did you hear that?”
“That.” And then apparently Lars did it again. James dragged all of his attention up away from his dick in order to listen, and he heard it, a smack of flesh against flesh.
“That’s how fucking hard it is,” Lars said. “Listen to that.” Smack.
This is ridiculous, he thought, and: It’s not like it’s sex. There’s no way this counts as sex. So it was safe to do. In theory. As long as he didn’t go as far as visualizing himself explaining to Fran why this didn’t count, because he had an inkling that it wouldn’t hold up. Even though…there was no way this could count. This was just guys being stupid.
“Hey, let me hear your dick,” Lars said.
“Smack it on your abdomen. Let me hear how hard it is.”
“Should I be worried that you’re interested in my dick? Is there something you need to tell me?”
“Fuck you. Who’s the homo pinching his nipples, huh?”
“You did it first, fucker.”
“Yeah, but not because some guy on the other end of the phone told me to. So just shut up and smack your dick for me.”
“I’m not smacking my fucking dick.” He did pull on it harder, though.
“Hey, when’s the last time you did something like this?”
“I don’t do shit like this. Fuck. I’m getting a fucking crick in my neck from holding this fucking phone.”
“So put it on speaker.”
There was a second or two of silence, during which James imagined Lars’s dirty talk broadcasting to the whole room. “Just give me a sec to get comfortable.”
“Yeah, I know what that means,” Lars said, a leer in his voice. “Shucking the fucking clothes off.”
“Uhn-uh. Just a sec.” He sat up and stretched his neck to one side, then the other, then did the same for each shoulder and finished up with a shake of his head before turning his attention to how he could reposition himself so he’d still have the use of his neck over the next few days. He wound up on his side, the phone between his ear and his pillow. He had to hold it with his left hand, so there’d be no more nipple pinching or ball squeezing, but the position gave his right elbow plenty of freedom. The cell phone was warm to the touch. It was about to get a lot warmer, he figured. “Okay. I’m back.”
“Bout fucking time.”
“You didn’t finish, did you?”
“What, before you?”
“Oh, we’re going to compete on that too?”
“Maybe I’m competing, maybe I’m just being a gentleman. It could happen, couldn’t it?”
“Not without prior brain damage. Just remember, I need my wrist for this tour.”
“Oh, and I fucking don’t?”
“Right—you should keep that in mind, too.”
“I guess, being a drummer, my wrists are more conditioned to hard work. I could probably keep this up till dinner time.”
“Don’t bait me or you’ll be whining that you can’t keep up come breakfast time.”
“Oh! Big words from James! Do you think he can live up to his boast, huh?”
“I guess you’ll have to wait and see, fucker.”
And then came a moment or two of silence—or near silence. James could hear the sound of his own jerking off efforts, and he imagined he could hear Lars’s over the line, too. And the occasional habitual sniff in his ear. He found pictured himself and Lars like a split-screen gimmick in a movie: two men lying on hotel beds in separate rooms in separate cities doing the same thing, but in their individual ways. James imagined Lars still on his back, maybe a bare foot hanging off the side of the bed, the tip of his tongue poking out of the corner of his mouth.
“Fuhck,” Lars said. “You know, I haven’t done this in fucking I don’t know how the fuck long.”
“On the phone.”
“I didn’t realize it was a thing for you.”
“Kirk and I used to do it.”
James’s hand slowed. “What?” His hand came to a stop.
“I mean, not like fucking all the time or anything. Maybe twice, three times. Four. It might have been four. And then I guess we forgot about it and it never happened.”
James’s hand had let go of his cock and flattened itself against his lower abdomen. He could feel the base of his cock against the outer edge of his hand. He pushed downward, pushing his cock downward as well. It was getting more wobbly. Pretty soon it would just lie there, like a deflated inner tube. “I think that’s kind of killed my mood.”
“What? Because of Kirk? This was, like—forever ago. Like, fucking Load era.”
“Of course. When else would it have been?” He’d rolled onto his back again, and he pinched the bridge of his nose again with the hand he’d just been jerking off with. The other hand still held the phone.
“You’re fucking serious? Are you fucking kidding me?” Lars asked. “Just like that, you’re not playing anymore? Because I mentioned Kirk?”
“Mentioning Kirk,” James said, “would be, ‘hey, I saw Kirk this morning and he said to say ‘hi.’ Revealing that you used to manhandle yourselves on the phone together is a little more than a mention.” Propriety would dictate getting to one’s feet at this point, in order to pull up and refasten one’s jeans, but James just pressed the heel of his hand against his forehead and squeezed his eyes shut.
“Well here’s something else that’s a little more than a mention.”
“I think I’ve had enough—”
“After I did that with the person whose name I won’t mention again during this call, I started to wonder what it would be like to do with a completely different person, who is in fact on this call. And is not me.”
“You really should have shut up when you were ahead.”
“I’m fucking serious. I probably jerked off at least as many times imaging what it’d be like trading filthy talk with you as I did actually trading filthy talk with him.”
“Not what I want to hear right now, Lars.”
“What do you want to hear? Wait. Did you stop? Have you stopped? Am I jerking off alone?”
James sighed and sat up—the first step toward getting to his feet and yanking his Calvin Kleins up where they belonged. But first he sat there with his feet on the carpet, raking his fingers through his hair. This had been a bad idea anyway. He shouldn’t have been doing it. He really needed to say that out loud, commit to it: “I shouldn’t have been doing this anyway. I made a commitment.” This hanging on, this keeping the wrongness to himself, it was just enabling it to keep going.
“Hello, earth to fucking James Hetfield again. We’re having a conversation here, in case you’ve forgotten.”
The afternoon sun hazed through the gauzy curtains that spanned one whole wall of the suite’s bedroom. “No, I’m here.”
And for a long moment, there was nothing else. No chatter in his ear, no nothing. His shirt was still shucked up. He slid his fingers under it, up past his chest to cup his neck. He bent his head. Then he slipped his hand free and tugged his shirt down. And let himself fall back onto the bed, his toes skimming the floor. He didn’t have the energy to stand up and put his clothes straight.
There was a stream of air released in his ear, followed by a “I’m sorry. ”
“For what? There’s nothing you need to be sorry about.”
“Well. Sorry I missed hearing you come.”
“I’m sure you’ve heard that before,” he said, thinking about early days of banging chicks with any number of other people in the room—Lars, more often than not, being one of them.
“If I did, I was too fucked up to either notice or remember. Shit that was a long time ago, wasn’t it?”
James stretched his free arm over his head, arching his back, grabbing hold of the edge of mattress behind him. He said, “Like it was another lifetime.”
“I got naked for this,” Lars said.
“Should have shoved instead of shucked, like me.”
“Are you still shoved?”
“Nope.” He made a token effort to tug up his Calvin Kleins.
“You fucking chicken.” Then: “You know, it’s actually nice lying here in a sunny room in the middle of the day, just sprawled out on the bed with nothing but skin on. Not worrying about a thing, even though I’ve got another call to be on in—” A small grunt came over the phone. James pictured him lifting his torso up enough to see the clock. “—twenty-three minutes. And we still haven’t even discussed the logistics issue that that call’s going to be about.”
“Whatever you want to do with that, I’m good with.”
“So that’s that then.”
“So that’s that.”
And then: “So I guess I can just throw on my fucking clothes then and pick my nose for the next twenty-one minutes.”
“Hey, whatever floats your boat.”
“Oh not this again.”
“Just hush over there. Shut your eyes.”
His eyes were already closed. His hand rested comfortably on his bare belly, his shirt having slid up a little again.
“I know what your cock looks like,” Lars said. “I haven’t ever had in my hand, but I can imagine how it feels. I have my fingers circled, like I’m holding your cock in them. My fingers and thumb barely fucking touch, you know—in my memory, your cock’s that thick. I bet it’s heavy as fuck, too.”
James touched his cock with his own fingers, exploring the thickness of it.
“Is it hard?” Lars asked.
“No.” Yes. He lifted it and let it drop against his belly.
“I could make it hard. I’ve never done it before, but I bet if I wrapped my lips around it—I have enough experience getting blowjobs, I know I could fucking give one. With my eyes closed.”
“With a hand tied behind your back?”
“With a hand tied behind my back! I’d suck your dick so hard you’d think you slipped and fell on a Danish vacuum cleaner.”
“Do the Danish vacuum cleaners suck harder than the American ones?”
“You better fucking believe it.”
“I’m not actually picturing you sucking my dick.”
“I’m not actually picturing sucking it.” There was a sniff over the line, then a distant smack. James heard he wasn’t the only one who was hard.
And maybe he was picturing it a little, Lars’s head bobbing up and down, his cheeks hollowed, his lips pursed snugly around his shaft. He climbed up from the bed, holding his jeans so they didn’t drop and trip him up, and made his way to the bathroom.
“But if I were picturing sucking it,” Lars said, “I would be picturing myself gagging on it as I tried to take it down my throat.”
Conditioner, shampoo…body lotion!
“I think I could do it, though. I’d probably have tears springing from the corners of my eyes from trying, but I think I could take it down till my nose flattened against your stomach.”
Grabbing both the small bottle and a handful of jeans into one hand, James made his way back to the bed. His dick bounced with each step.
“Is that you breathing heavy?” Lars asked.
“Sorry. I had to get up and get something.”
“Something? Something what? Am I fucking talking to myself again?”
“No, I’m listening. Believe me, I’m listening.” The body lotion was momentarily cool, and then it didn’t feel like anything but slick. “Keep going,” he said.
“You want me to keep going, huh?”
“No, I just said that for my health.”
“What are you going to do for me, then?”
Pulling on his cock, James said, “What do you want from me?”
“You still owe me a dick smack. For starters, I mean.”
“Oh Christ. You want to hear my dick smack? Hold on.” He shifted and pulled the phone away from his ear. Holding it down by his navel, he smacked his dick against his thigh. Then he did it two more times for good measure. Bringing the phone back up, he said, “You get that?”
He heard heavy breathing.
“What else do you want me to do with my dick?” he asked Lars.
“Shove it down my throat,” Lars whispered quickly. “Choke me with it.”
“I’ll shove it so deep, you’ll have balls smacking your chin.”
“Yeah,” Lars gasped.
“You’ll be fighting for air.”
“Your throat will be full of dick. You won’t be able to feel anything but dick.”
Lars whimpered, “Please….”
“I’d fuck your mouth till I couldn’t take it anymore, and then I’d shoot my massive load down your throat.”
“Oh fuck. Fuck. Fuuuhck.” James slowed his rhythm to listen. Wondering, was it over, over there?
Lars groaned, softly.
“You okay over there?”
“Yeah. Yeah, I’m fine.” More panting.
James continued stroking his own cock, slowly. Waiting.
“Fuck. I could roll over and go to sleep now.”
“Fuck you, you could.”
“Is something the matter, James?”
“How is it it was my cock shoved down your throat, and you’re the one who came?”
“Are you still stroking yourself?”
He heard a sigh in his ear—more wistful than weary, and Lars said, kind of off the cuff, “I’d suck your dick.”
“I’m not sure I actually want to hear about that.”
“You were just telling me about that not two fucking minutes ago.”
“You sounded like you actually meant it just now. That kind of has the opposite effect.”
“I wonder what it tastes like. I mean, haven’t you ever been curious?”
“If you were here right now, I’d lick your cock, just to see what it tastes like. Aren’t you at least curious what it would be like for me to tongue your cock?”
“I don’t know. It sounds kind of gay to me.”
“And this isn’t, talking about choking me with your cock while we jerk off on the phone—this isn’t kind of gay to you?”
“Why are you trying to ruin it for me?” But his hand had sped up.
“I wish I were down the fucking hall from you, because I’d march over there right now and show you ‘kind of fucking gay.’”
“Yeah? You and whose army?” Pump, pump.
“I don’t need anyone’s fucking army. All I need is five minutes alone with your cock.”
“Yeah? What would you do with it if you got it?”
“Seriously,” James huffed, lifting head a little to watch his hand work his cock.
“I’d get on my knees.”
Closing his eyes, James pressed his head back against the pillow.
“I’d run my hands up your thighs, up your abdomen, and then back down, digging in my fingernails, leaving red trails in your skin.”
Pump, pump, pump.
“I’d close both my hands around your balls and the base of your cock and point it right at my mouth.”
“And then I’d lick the head of your cock with just the tip of my tongue, slowly, tasting it, working my way around it till I was swirling my tongue around the frenum, and you were standing there, aching for me to plunge my mouth around it—but I wouldn’t be in any fucking hurry. I’d lick my way up the underside of your shaft, biting lightly, trying to put my mouth around your dick from underneath. I’d rub it against my cheek and lips before popping just the head into my mouth, where I could tongue it some more, flicking the tip of my tongue over your slit, just flicking and flicking till you couldn’t help but moan in your need for me to take more in.”
Don’t pay attention, he started telling himself. Tune the words out. He was close, but he didn’t want to go off yet. He wanted to hold out.
“And then I’d lick all the way down the underside of your cock again until I reached your balls, and I’d start lapping on them—”
Tuneitout tuneitout tuneitout.
“—and then I’d suck one slowly into my mouth, where I could really work it with my tongue—”
Think about logistics for christ’s sake!
“—and then I’d stretch my mouth wider so I could pull the other one in and cradle both of your balls in my mouth—”
“—sucking and licking, and—”
“—squeezing your cock with my—”
Biting his lip to keep from saying or revealing anything more, James rolled over onto his side, onto the phone, his hips bucking against his hand. He shot streams of come across the luxury bedding. “Unh,” he said. “Hnh.” And then he lay catching his breath, his dick still clasped in one hand. He could just hear the faraway sound of Lars chattering on, half beneath his shoulder. After a few more gasps, he rolled onto his back and fumbled with his clean hand for the phone.
“Hey,” he said in the phone, a little winded.
When he heard nothing back, he said, “Lars?”
He held the phone above his face. Shit. Lars’s next call must have come. “Fuck it.” He tossed the phone aside. He needed to clean up—a full-on shower wouldn’t be out of the question—and then rustle up something to eat. And then—he needed not think about this afternoon, ever again.
If he could help it.
He lay on the bed with an arm thrown over his face for a good ten minutes or so, not thinking about the phone call.