Lucian Ch. 10


How to win a fight if all you know is to be charming, sweet and graceful?

The room was large and stately.

It was a drawing room, really, with paneled walls and high, shuttered windows. The scent of polishing wax reminded Lucian of Bobs working hard to clean it.

Maybe the place served as a conference room; or even a boardroom with its huge, shining table and antique chairs under massive chandeliers.

Of course, as a mere student, he’d never been there; he didn’t even know it existed.

But that had changed, hadn’t it?

He liked how nervous Parker was as they walked from the building’s entrance to the room. She babbled all the way, but maybe her distress was just wishful thinking on his behalf.

Her Smile had been admiringly intact at their meeting on the terrace, in front of students and colleagues. But ever since she got the message, Parker must have been living a nightmare — feeling so close to losing control, so suddenly.

Control was like her power suits, wasn’t it? Without it she must feel naked.

Did she fear her job was in his hands?

He’d love to think the woman fawned over him. Groveling might be too strong a word, although he’d love to think that too.

The only one being entirely her petite self was Mamselle in her tasteful little black dress and low patent leather heels. She’d just smiled her subtle little smile at Lucian — there’d been no hugging, no hand shaking. But she’d complimented him on his looks and his success, and had welcomed him back.

Then, halfway the wide corridor, she held him back with her small white hand and whispered a line in a foreign language; not French. Latin, maybe. He asked her what it was, and she just smiled a little bit wider.

“Look it up, chéri,” she said, and smiled.

Fontaine was as elegant as Mamselle, but she’d moved as if having a stick up her immaculate ass. In a way, she was herself too: gracious for grace’s sake.

Ah well, they were maybe a little bit shaken by what he’d sneakily let them know through the soft-spoken lawyers he’d sent ahead, only this morning. Sneaky, maybe, but with style.

It must have been an upsetting message with an awkward timing.

On his way to the conference room, Lucian still could hear the clanging and bustling on the great lawn. He’d seen the big sweaty men there, building a stage with spotlights and sound-equipment. Tables and chairs were there, and the other accoutrements for the annual reunion; or, more accurately, for the annual sponsor-pleasuring, millionaire-sucking orgy, he thought.

It would seem that he was a party poop.

Reaching the stateroom, Lucian wished he’d chosen a warmer outfit; the conditioned air gave him goosebumps. His nipples tightened as they moved against his see-through top. Maybe he should ask this cute, vain junior lawyer for his expensive Italian jacket. It looked wonderfully Milanese, a loose and silky version of casual high fashion — supple and slack, with plunging lapels.

All it took for Lucian to make his point, was to rub his bare arms and smile at the man with begging eyebrows. The jacket’s silk lining felt deliciously soft, still warm from its owner. The shoulders hung a bit, of course, and he had to roll up the sleeves — but it suited him like an open-fronted mini dress.

And, most importantly, it stopped his shivering.

“Well,” Parker said, trying to sound as if she still had the initiative. “Let’s sit down and get this out of the way.”

She waved at the empty chairs and walked to the head of the table herself.

Lucian clacked his tongue, saying “uh-uh” and waving a finger.

“I’m afraid those days are over, Ms. Parker,” he said and walked his tapping heels over to the chair she was about to sit on.

“You sit here, to my right, please, darling,” he went on, smiling at Honor and patting the chair. “And you, please, next to her, gentlemen,” addressing his legal representatives — one a wealthy-looking, middle-aged attorney with gray temples, the other his young, ambitious colleague, now in expensive shirt sleeves.

He’d met them in a few conferences, mostly long distance, and despite their posh mannerisms he had the feeling they would pull it off nicely. And most importantly: with grace.

He looked at Honor, next to him. Then he pulled her face closer and kissed her deeply. They both giggled before he turned back to the confused principal and her colleagues who were still standing. Raising his eyebrows in mock surprise he said:

“Please take a seat, ladies, I understand I ruined your time schedule. Don’t let me squander more of your time on this busy day.”

The women muttered amongst each other. Then Ms. Parker shrugged her impressive shoulders and sat to Lucian’s immediate left, flanked on her left by the doctor and the two teachers.

As the younger lawyer distributed rather hefty piles of paper, Lucian bent over to his former principal.

“How is Coach, by the way?” he asked. “Shouldn’t she be here, you know, to keep me in check?”

Parker Bostancı Grup Escort shook her head.

“You are so hostile, honey,” she said in a low voice. “It doesn’t become you. Was all this necessary? We invited you as our guest of honor. Today was meant for celebration; to let you know how proud we are of your wonderful achievements. And how grateful we are to be part of your success.”

He covered her hand with his, and smiled.

“A part?” he asked. “Oh surely, a 60 percent part, to be precise, isn’t it?” He kept his voice down as he went on. “40 percent for the next four years? Please believe me, I know exactly why you are so proud of me. And of Andrea Pecci and Bobbi Sheering, and all the other girls you sent onto the catwalks and in front of the cameras with a strangling contract.

“I bet you are also proud of the beauticians that work in your sweatshop-salons. How’s Makenzie, by the way? And what about the musicians, the singers and the dancers; the acrobats and the stupid little whores who’re no good for anything else anyway?

“Are you proud of Drew, doing pole-tricks in Vegas, and Charlie, sweet little Charlie who is where now? Abu Dhabi or Riyadh, sucking off Arabs and sending you checks? Or did she make it in the porn industry like so many others?”

He saw a blush rise from Parker’s blouse. Could it really be that she was blinking down tears?

“You are so wrong, Lucian,” she said. “We saved you; we did everything for you; why do you hurt us so much?”

He looked at her for a while. Then he sat straight.

“I’m a sissy,” he said. “You made me one, and you know sissies can’t hurt anybody — you took care of that. All we can do is stop you from hurting us.”

Without knowing he had raised his voice, leaving his gracious, breezy Norton’s volume. It caused the table to fall silent, all eyes turning in his direction.

Raising his hand, he smiled apologetically.

“I’m sorry,” he said, touching Parker’s hand. “I was mean and I hate being mean; it makes people ugly. Can’t have ugliness at Norton’s, can we? So… where are your lawyers, by the way?”

Which, of course, was a mean question.

He knew they hadn’t had a chance to warn their legal counsel, as he only let them know his true plans by this morning, when his own lawyers arrived.

“They’re on their way,” Parker murmured, her painted lips a narrow line.

“Well,” Lucian said out loud, turning to the assembled group. “Sorry again, but let’s not waste more time. Mr. eh…Cranston? Please.”

The older lawyer, who’d donned all the expensive paraphernalia of his trade, down to the striped suit, coughed and built a steeple of his long-fingered hands — taking care that his brilliantly white cuffs peeped out of his sleeves just far enough to show off his antique cufflinks with the family seal.

“We are here,” he said in a rich, well-trained baritone, “at the request of a consortium led by Mr. Lucian Gaines, henceforth known as the Third Gender Association, TGA for short. Other members of this consortium wish to remain anonymous until further notice.”

Lucian knew that today would be the finish of a long uphill struggle. The words the lawyer spoke were, let’s say, the opening salvo of the final battle, if one wished to use martial metaphors like that.

He felt how Honor’s plump little hand covered his on the polished table, five pink fingernails spread out like a bracelet. He turned to her, smiling.

Her eyes shone with — well, pride, he guessed.

Pouting his lips, he kissed the air, and she chuckled.

Dragging his attention back to the droning voice, he carefully watched Dr. Kurtz. Maybe he’d been too young and too stupid to see how unhappy she was. Tired, yes, she’d always looked tired, but underneath her puffy, crinkled face he now saw something else. And the reason he saw it now, was that he’d seen a tiredness like hers before, almost a year ago, in Paris.

He’d been there to model in a Dior fashion show and doing a shoot for Elle magazine. The latter had left him exhausted in a dressing room at the back of a photo studio — sipping Spanish Cava. Honor would meet her there after she’d done all the paperwork at the magazine’s headquarters.

He looked forward to a relaxing night in their hotel bed, and the prospect of a day of shopping together, tomorrow.

Leaning back in a rattan chair, he stretched his tired legs, wriggling his toes out of a high-heeled hoof that went with the silver gown he still wore. It had been too much in too short a time; Honor had known that, of course, and had scolded him when he’d accepted the commission anyway.

“Always listen to Honor,” he murmured, chuckling as he took a sip.

They’d been together for a year by then, traveling from one city to another, one hotel room to another. He knew he’d never have been where he was without her.

His thoughts got interrupted by a creaking door, followed by the distant click-clack of stiletto heels. He leaned forward in his chair Bostancı Manken Escort to look from his dressing room into the studio.

Was it Honor, he wondered.

Then he heard a cough and felt a cold sensation touching his neck. He knew that cough; he knew it well.

“Where are you, Lucian?” a woman said, her voice echoing in the huge studio’s space.

A lump in his throat prevented him from answering.

A low male voice rumbled; one of the assistants, he guessed — Jean Claude, sweet, nerdy guy.

“Je cherche Lucian Gaines.” His mother’s voice rang with the impatience he knew. “I’m looking for Lucian Gaines.”

A new rumble answered her.

“Mais je suis sa mère!” the voice went on, belligerent now. “I’m his mother; take me to him.”

“Mr. Gaines?”

The older lawyer’s voice woke him from his memories. He automatically smiled and excused himself.

“Sorry, I was… But anyway, thanks for your introduction, Mr. ehm…” He turned to Parker. “Are there any questions? I’m sure there must be.”

He felt Honor’s hand tug at his. She shook her head, giggling.

“What?” he mimed.

She shrugged; it made her breasts wobble a bit.

“Never mind,” she said, winking.

“If you’d care to at least show a bit of attention,” Parker said, “you know, this is about my life’s work, so yes, of course we have questions.”

He hated her pedantic voice and her patronizing demeanor. The old Parker’s trying to get back, he thought.

Smiling, he turned to her.

“I’m afraid you are mistaken, Ms. Parker,” he said, keeping his voice low and sweet, just as Ms. Fontaine had taught him. “Here and now I am the one who does as he pleases. And, right now, it pleases me to tell you to shut up.”

He rose, pushing back the ancient chair.

“This meeting is suspended for an hour. I need to see people I like.”

With Honor in tow he left the room and a bunch of shocked people. The borrowed jacket slid off the chair’s seat, ending on the wooden floor.


Honor brought him to the room Norton’s had prepared for them. It wasn’t unlike the one he’d lived in before; just a bit bigger.

Cursing under his breath, he fell on the bed, rubbing his temples.

Honor knelt beside him, making the mattress move. She brought her face to his, blowing a curl of stray hair away. Then she kissed his brow, while her hand caressed his chest under the wispy top.

“Don’t let them get at you, love,” she whispered, letting her soft lips travel down his nose until she found his mouth.

He took her face in both hands and rose until he sat.

“It wasn’t them,” he said.

She studied his eyes.

“The bitch,” she said, allowing a hiss into her voice. “The fucking bitch again.”

He smiled weakly.

“It’s all right,” he said. “Nothing a shower can’t fix.”

Honor covered his hands with hers and leant in to kiss him.

“Let me know if you need me,” she whispered.

He kissed her back.


Feeling the steaming water splatter on his back and shoulders was heaven. Showers and baths always relaxed him best — massaging the stress and the knots out of his muscles, and out of his mind.

After the Paris memory struck him, he couldn’t just have sat and stayed with the droning lawyers and the hostile teachers — it was too awful and guild-inducing. All he could do was flee and find this shower to be on his own, and try to flush the venom out of his system — again.

It was the memory of his mother visiting him at a photo studio in Paris, a year ago.

When he heard her voice, after — what? — three years, every trace of painfully conquered self-confidence slipped away, leaving a hole as big as his chest.

He should’ve run. Fled. Gotten away.

But he froze in his chair, and the opportunity was lost.

“Here you are, darling.”

He could only stare, his mouth moving without a sound. Time came to a shrieking halt before taking a U-turn and roaring back to days long gone.

She looked different.

Of course, she would, after three years; but how could she look… younger, and so impossibly perfect? It had to be her; he heard her voice, didn’t he?

He knew only one person who said ‘darling’ like that.

And yet, it was eerie. The pale skin of her face shone with tightness. There wasn’t a wrinkle, not even around her eyes. She looked… waxen, like a doll.

And her nose was… different. It was tiny and narrow. Her lips seemed fuller, and her chest… Her blouse was a creamy silk, exposing a cleavage that had never been there. High and round tits pushed themselves up from her bra.

‘Plastic’ was the word insinuating itself. She’d been lifted and nipped and tucked and pumped.

His mother was gone, and she’d sent this ghostly pale mannequin instead.

It coughed in its fist.

“You look gorgeous,” the mother-doll said in a hoarse voice. “I saw you in Vogue, and in that beautiful Chanel commercial. I hardly recognized you Bostancı Masöz Escort — my son, so gorgeous. I’m so proud of you, darling. Please, why don’t you hold me?”

She came a few steps closer on her patent leather Louboutins. Weren’t they the ones she’d worn when she took him to Norton’s? The ones that swung through the light like a hypnotizer’s pendulum? Of course not.

But the memory jolted him into action.

He rose from his chair; not to meet her, but to get away. She was already on him, though, closing her arms around his body. He felt the alien globes press into him. Her ghostly face was only inches away; he smelled acid tobacco through her perfume.

“Please, mother, I…” he said, having no idea what to say.

He grabbed her shoulders and held her at arm’s length, not trying to see her fake tits — or the new high cheekbones.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered with a cough, her lips trembling. “Oh Lucian, please forgive me. I am so sorry.”

The words were exactly like her: the studied drama, the overdone pathos. But her face no longer supplied the required expressions; no humility, no regret — no puppy eyes, no desperate eyebrows.

Her face was a waxen mask — and her eyes were dead.

He yielded two more steps ­– his bare soles pressing against the cold floor, feeling as numb as his mind. He knew he should be mad, insulted by her cheap apologies, but there was nothing — no feelings at all.

Shouldn’t there be feelings?

He’d admired this woman, adored her. She’d shaped his youth, even when she was never there — or was it because she was away so much? A distant, superior being she’d been, an idol for her fragile little, lonely girly son. She was his secret ideal that became the more desirable with every sneer of his father, or every bloody nose inflicted by his bullies.

But she was still she, remember? The bitch, the cruel bitch. She’d sold him without a blink of her once beautiful eyes; she’d betrayed him with a flourish of her expensive pen.

She’d left him.

Yes, but he’d become what he was because of her, hadn’t he? What would he have been now if she hadn’t left him at Norton’s? Parker and Kurtz said that she must love him; that she saved him from his cruel, crazy father, and risked her own future to give him this chance.

Did she? But she’d lied to him.

She’d allowed those women to cut his body and change it with pills and injections; preparing him for men to be fucked and humiliated.

And now she was here, standing before him; and yet she wasn’t. She was a perfect stranger with the voice of his mother, more distant than ever.

And she said she was sorry. Why?

Why be sorry if you think you did the right thing, out of love? He remembered the last time he heard from her — the already open letter filled with words that were scratched out, blotted with — what — tears? Wine?

“I’m SO sorry!!!” had been the only readable part.

Why was she here, and why now? To tell him she was sorry? Another lie, no doubt. She lied so much, so easy. He felt a tear on his cheek, and it made him furious.

“Why are you here?” he asked, his voice thick.

His mother’s dark eyes went wide.

“Why?” she whispered, her hand clawing in front of her, theatrically, as if reaching for something to hold onto; but her robot face had no expression. “To… to see you, of course. Does a mother have to have a reason?”

In most lives, it happens maybe once or twice that insanity feels more attractive than keeping your wits about you. In Lucian’s bizarre life there’d been a lot of such moments, but this one still stole the show.

His mother’s wish was so absurd, and yet such a travesty of his deepest longings, that he could only respond by laughing, crying and screaming all at once.

He grabbed her shoulders again, pushed his face into hers and screamed at the top of his lungs. Whore, he screamed, he guessed, and monster, and bitch, of course, and whore again, by lack of better. But it didn’t matter which words he chose, they were all just cannon fodder for his exploding insanity.

When all his energy was spilled, he sagged against her, sobbing.

“I’m… I’m sorry,” his mother whispered.

The words woke him from his stupor. He rose and looked down on her, studying her phony face.

“No,” he said, his voice calm again. “No mother, you know that is a lie, and you don’t come here after three years to just lie to me. You are here because you want something from me. You look desperate and you need me. Is it money?”

She stared at him, trying to look offended.

“I… I love you,” she murmured.

Lucian shook his head, making his curls fly.

“No, oh no, no, no,” he said, suddenly smiling a demon’s smile while shaking a finger. “No, mother dear. You know that I know that can’t be true. You know why? Because you don’t know what love ísss!”

He emphasized the last word with a hiss.

The woman just stared at him, her puffed and painted lips trembling.

“I am ill, Lucian,” she then said. “I am dying.” And she bent over, coughing into her perfectly manicured fist.

Back in the shower, Lucian screamed. He arched back, allowing the scalding water to gush over his face, praying it would wash away his pain and guilt and sorrow, together with his tears.