The Adversary: 2. Part Two



Charles pays me a visit later that afternoon. I have Emilia standing by but for the first time ever in our long acquaintance, it would seem that it is me he has come to visit and not any of the trainees. He looks a little the worse for wear – almost as if he’s been drinking as he’s ushered into my salon. I don’t like alcohol – I never touch the stuff myself. It dulls the senses and turns otherwise interesting, lively people into rambling idiots – or worse, self-pitying, morose bores. Charles can handle his liquor well but even so it’s obvious that he’s in a bad mood. I offer him a cigarette from my silver case, which he takes. I light it for him with a matching silver lighter, and he takes a drag as if he’s a drowning man. I dislike tobacco as well. It fills the body with pollution, just like all those cars outside in the street, spewing their filth into our lungs. It makes me shudder.


“What can I do for you, Charles?” I ask him smoothly. He stares into the fire moodily. His shirt is undone at the collar, and his tie is slightly askew.


“I want to know how you’re progressing with Mulder,” he says bluntly. I raise an eyebrow in surprise.


“I’ve only had him for a couple of days. Progress is…satisfactory.” I incline my head.


“Is he broken yet?” He asks eagerly, and I’m afraid I laugh out loud. He turns his head to stare at me, unblinking, like a snake considering his prey, and my laugh dries in my throat. I must never forget what a very dangerous man he is.


“No, of course not, Charles,” I say in a conciliatory tone. “It can take days or even weeks to break someone – months sometimes, in the case of your delightful assistant for example.”


“Months!” He snaps. “We don’t have months. I don’t think you understand how dangerous this situation is, Laurence.”


“I wasn’t made aware of any danger,” I reply in a soft voice. “What are you referring to, Charles?”


“Mulder is an FBI agent – they’ll pull out all the stops looking for him. You might not have long, leisurely months to spend with him. He’s different – you knew that.”


“Yes I did. All the same I wasn’t made aware of any time limit when you gave him to me. You mentioned he had a week’s vacation…and he wouldn’t be missed until after then.”


“That’s right.”


“And I hardly think that anyone, not even the FBI, will dare to question the Syndicate – I thought you had people in place in high offices to prevent just that.”


“We do,” Charles snaps. “But Mulder has friends, people who won’t take our orders. Agent Scully and Assistant Director Skinner are unlikely to just give up on him, even if ordered by the Director himself.”


“Ah. They’re fond of him.” I can understand that. He’s very easy to be fond of. I frown, a thought occurring to me. “Agent Scully I can understand – she’s his partner and I’ve heard that these police people become very attached to their partners. It’s understandable really, working out in the field in life or death situations must make people become very close. However, Assistant Director Skinner is Mulder’s boss, isn’t he? Explain to me why he would risk his career for his subordinate.”


“I don’t know, but he’s done it before,” Charles replies in an annoyed tone. “When I first met him I thought he was going to be easy to sit on – he’s a bureaucrat, with ambitions to climb the greasy pole. Unfortunately he showed an irritating tendency to want to think for himself.”


“Most regrettable,” I murmur, pouring myself a glass of water and pondering this.


“All this is in the files I gave you.” Charles waves his hand in the direction of my desk, where Mulder’s files are still stacked, unread. I shrug, and take a sip of my drink. I have no intention of explaining the intricacies of my training techniques to this man. “How is he doing?” Charles asks unexpectedly. I raise an eyebrow. “Is he resisting?”


Charles edges forward eagerly, his eyes alight with curiosity. He is not an unattractive man – in his youth I can imagine he was very attractive indeed. He’s very tall, very focused…in fact he reminds me a little of the man I have tied up in the Delivery Room right now. Both committed to their causes, both sharply intelligent, and there is even a certain similarity of looks. How intriguing. I gaze at Charles for a while, wondering what has been unsaid, and then resolve that whether I like it or not, those files might make interesting reading – but for entirely different reasons than he imagines.


“Resisting? Yes, in his own way,” I reply to his question, my mind still worrying away at this new little problem.


“What the hell does that mean?” Charles asks. He isn’t a man who explodes. He just goes very quiet, and even more dangerous, like a snake about to strike its prey.


“It means that he’s different. I knew he would be and he is. His idea of resistance is to try to out-think me, to try not to give too much away.”


“But he tried to escape?” Charles is looking at the bruise on my neck, and that gives me a flood of the most delicious warmth. I press my fingertips gingerly to the surface of the mark, surprised by how much I enjoy displaying it to him.


“Yes, he made a futile little attempt to hold me hostage here. It failed, needless to say.”


“But he did try – he struggled, he kicked, and fought?” Charles’s interest in knowing the details is almost sickening. His eyes are glowing, and he’s utterly captivated by the notion of Fox Mulder resisting his breaking.


“Yes.” I nod pleasantly. It would take too long to explain the intricacies of it all to him. I don’t think he really has the kind of mind that would understand.


“I’d like to see him,” he says, taking the wind out of my sails completely.


“I couldn’t allow that. The breaking process is very finely tuned and balanced. During this time it’s important that I’m his main focus and point of contact – I wouldn’t want him distracted.”


“I don’t want to talk to him,” Charles says impatiently. “I want to see him – just to see him.” He sounds very desperate. I wonder why he wants to see Mulder stretched out, naked, in pain. It’s intriguing.


“Very well. I believe he’s sleeping right now. We’ll go down to the Observation Room and you can look at him.”


Charles nods, and takes another deep drag on his cigarette, as if it’s some kind of lifeline. I get to my feet and call ahead to the Observation Room that they should expect us. Then I open the door and usher Charles through, with a polite, false smile on my face. I’m rendered uneasy by this. It’s unexpected, and even apart from that this is my show. None of the Elite has ever interfered before, although there was that one occasion, when James delivered that young lady he was so enamored of, the one who’d refused his advances. Breaking her was delightful, but his constant need to know when she’d be ready was wearying. I think he was a little disconcerted when he did finally get to enjoy her, by how easily she also went to all the other Syndicate members. That’s the downside of the breaking process, of course. He wanted her to be broken just for him – and I could have done that, but it would have been a misuse of Syndicate facilities. All the trainees are shared – that’s one of the ways of avoiding petty jealousies and squabbles of the kind that can ruin even the most self-disciplined of organizations.


Charles doesn’t say a word during our walk to the basement, but his shoulders are more hunched than usual. I really wish he’d straighten up, and walk tall and proud – I hate slovenliness, and bearing is so important to the impression a person makes. I’ve often had to drum that message home to my newly broken trainees. We reach the Observation Room and I unlock the door – it’s always kept locked, even when it’s occupied. The dutyman inside gets to his feet and stands at attention, and Charles and I take up residence in the two armchairs.


“How is he?” I ask the dutyman. He shrugs.


“Talking to himself mainly, and humming,” he says.


“Oh really? Anything interesting?” I glance through the window but the Delivery Room is in darkness and I can just barely make out the outline of Mulder’s body on the table.


“The humming or the talking?” The dutyman asks nervously. They do so hate riling me up, and they know how very precise I am.


“Either,” I chuckle.


“Well, the talking was mostly something about wanting to sleep. Sounded like he was having an argument with himself about it. The humming was driving me crazy so I’m glad he won the sleep argument,” he grins.


“How amusing,” I glance at Charles and smile.


“I can’t see him,” Charles says in a low, urgent tone. He isn’t like me. He doesn’t understand that it’s more interesting to have a context, which is why I asked the dutyman for an update before viewing Mulder.


“We’ll turn the lights up.”


I reach out and slide a switch on the control panel, and the lights in the Delivery Room brighten. Not too much – I’d prefer not to wake him if he is sleeping, and even beneath the blindfold he might sense a change in the lighting. Finally he’s revealed in all his glory. Charles takes a sharp intake of breath. Mulder is lying where I left him – he has no choice because he’s tied too tightly to move. His open legs are directly in front of us, the flesh of his inner thighs looking particularly raw and red but otherwise he’s fairly unmarked from this angle since he’s lying on his back.


“What’s been done to him?” Charles asks in a low, strangulated tone.


“Well he’s been penetrated of course. Several times. And beaten.”


“On his thighs?” Charles looks a little green around the gills.


“Yes. It’s a very painful area. He’s in considerable pain right now. It’s necessary at the beginning.”


“What else?” Charles asks.


“Nothing else,” I reply in surprise. What on earth was he expecting? “He and I have had some cozy fireside chats though. He’s a very interesting man.”


“What has he told you?” Charles fumbles in his pocket for a cigarette, and I get there first, offering him my little silver case.


“A good deal – but we’ve only just begun. He has a lot more to say.”


“Does he speak of his mother at all?” Charles asks. What an intriguing question. I glance at him, framed as he is in the outline of cigarette smoke.


“Not to any great extent yet. He will. Is there anything in particular I should be asking?” I put my head to one side and consider him. He swallows, and shakes his head.


“No. I just wondered. What about his father?” It was just a little too casual, a little too throwaway, the inflection a little too high. It’s the one question he has wanted to ask since arriving here, and he’s just dropped it in where he thought I wouldn’t notice it, but I always notice. It’s my job.


“No, although I sense something there.” I sit back and watch him expectantly.


“I knew his father. Bill Mulder…” His voice trails off. “A good man. One of our best.”


“Which is why you sent your assistant to kill him,” I smile. He looks at me sharply.


“Oh, Alex told me when he was last here. He told me everything. You did send him for Remedial Treatment after all, and it’s necessary to get them to talk during such sessions to see where their training might have gone wrong. You know that nothing goes beyond these four walls. I’m the soul of discretion.”


“Yes, you are,” he mutters, stubbing out his cigarette as if he wishes the ashtray was my face. “Bill Mulder was having second thoughts. He was becoming a danger to all of us. It was necessary.”


“You don’t have to explain anything to me.” I shrug. “I only concern myself with my recruits and trainees – I leave the important work to people like you, Charles, people who understand and are prepared to make the tough choices and perform the hard tasks so that I don’t have to.”


He gives a slight grunt.


“Did Mulder have an easy relationship with his father?” I ask, offering him another cigarette. He takes it, and lights it. Only an expert would notice the slight shaking of his hand as he looks at the man lying motionless on the table in the next room, like a dead body on a slab, his genitalia and ass so humiliatingly on display. I am an expert.


“No. They weren’t close. I used to visit the family…Bill was besotted with his daughter. She was a real daddy’s girl. Mulder wasn’t exactly…” He shrugs, and his eyes narrow. “I don’t think Bill really knew what to make of his son. His little girl, Samantha, was the spitting image of him; very dark hair, the same shaped face. Mulder, well, he always was different. You’ve spoken to him. You know how he can be.”


“I’m finding him delightful. You know…” I’m taking a wild guess, feeling a spark of excitement running through my veins. “I’m surprised his father didn’t appreciate him. He’s a fine man. You’d think any man would be proud to have such a son.”


There it is. Just a slight tautening of his jaw, and a flick of his finger on the cigarette he is clutching. He makes no reply, but his expression is bleak. Ash builds up on the cigarette as he sits motionless, gazing at the violated young man in the next room. I smile to myself. Oh, how interesting. What kind of man would offer up his own son to this kind of torture? And you have the audacity to ask me how I sleep at night, Charles? I wonder at his motivation. I had already surmised that he had invested a great deal of himself in Mulder’s breaking process. He’s identified himself with his son, and one part of him wishes to be proud of the boy’s defiance. He likes to think that comes from him – that his son has inherited his own strength. Another part of him wants the boy to be broken, and made to show the deference and respect to his father that Charles could never claim by right of birth because, for whatever reason, he could not tell the boy the true nature of his parentage. This way he gets the respect without the paternal obligations that go with it. This is a darker and more complex manifestation of what I call ‘old stag’ syndrome. The young stag has locked horns with his father, and the older combatant refuses to give way. One of them must emerge the victor, and Charles is not a man who likes to lose – even to the extent of offering his boy up to this. Ah, the human heart in all its glorious complexity is a wondrous thing indeed!


Mulder is silent. He might very well be sleeping, or dozing at least – perhaps dreaming of his handsome young lawyer of so many years ago. I must say that whole love affair intrigues me. In particular the difficulty he has in using the memory to masturbate. As he said, the affair was a long time ago, so why should it be so painful in the here and now? I could understand it if the object of his affection was still around, serving as a reminder of what he had once had but which was now forever out of reach…I can understand why that would make it painful…hmm. I can see more work must be done on this topic.


“I want you to speed the process up.” Charles gets to his feet, signaling that the meeting is drawing to an end, and I shadow his movement, rising myself. “I want him broken quickly.” He looks away from the sight in the Delivery Room. I think he might even be a little sickened by what he’s done. He’s like a small boy with an insect that he thought would be fun to kill – only the insect keeps on crawling, refusing to die, and now instead of being intrigued by the process, he just wants it over so that it doesn’t keep reminding him what a bastard he is.


“I can’t.” I shrug. “It takes as long as it takes. I can’t speed it up.”


His face twists angrily, but he does at least accept that I’m telling him the truth. “The other members of the Elite wish to…” He pauses, his Adam’s apple betraying an inner conflict, “they want him brought to our offices to entertain. They want him available. Several of them have expressed an interest – he’s pissed many of them off over the years.”


It’s common practice for a new trainee to be sent over to the Syndicate’s main building for recreational purposes. It’s an important part of their training to be introduced to their duties in such an environment. When the Syndicate is having a big meeting I’ll often send over as many as two dozen. When the talking is over, the Elite like to unwind in a willing mouth, pussy, or ass. There are usually two or three trainees over there at any one time just to be on hand should one of the Elite require some sexual relief. They mainly prefer to visit here of course, where they can be assured good food, a private room, and their pick of the trainees on offer, but I make sure there’s always at least one boy and one girl over at the main building for executive stress relief, day and night. That’s trainees though – not unbroken recruits. The latter can’t be trusted out of my immediate supervision at any point during the breaking process.


“I’ll bring him when he’s broken.”


“They might not be prepared to wait,” Charles says implacably in that slow drawl.


“If I send him before then his responses might be…unpredictable. We might be able to get him to the stage where he at least doesn’t fight, but if he isn’t broken it’s unlikely he’ll collude to the extent of giving pleasure without my presence. He’ll require constant threats and encouragement and I’m the only one he’ll respond to before he’s broken.”


“Then you can bring him,” Charles orders imperiously, a glint of malice in those silvery hazel eyes. He grins, nastily, clearly having got the measure of me, then gestures impatiently to the dutyman to unlock the door, and, with one last glance at his son, sweeps out of the room. I remain behind, watching his back as he goes, my heart plummeting to my shoes.


Damn him! I clench my fists, and feel my chest tighten. It’s all I can do to slump back into the armchair in order to regain my composure. A trip outside…how I hate going outside. I glance at the man sprawled out on the table in the other room. It would seem that the stakes in our little game have been raised, and he doesn’t even realize it. Poor boy. Poor dear boy. If I’m to avoid a trip away from the salon then I must break him and send him alone. If I cannot, then I will have no choice but to accompany him out into the big bad world. How extremely unpleasant for all concerned.


It is impossible for me to take my afternoon nap in the circumstances, and with the game altered thus I decide I might as well pile on some more pressure. It’s a little less calculated than I had hoped for, but he won’t know that. I nod to the dutyman to continue his observation, and unlock the door to the Delivery Room. Mulder must be asleep because he makes no move. I cross over to where he is lying and gaze at him for a while. He looks so very young when he’s asleep. Even bound, his body has a kind of exotic grace. I have more or less dispensed with the cock cage – he shows little sign of becoming aroused without considerable coercion. It’s a problem we’ll work on together, and I’m sure that the cock cage will come in useful again when we release his inhibitions. I unfasten his blindfold but he doesn’t wake. He’s exhausted, poor lamb. Looking at him now, I wonder that I didn’t realize earlier who his father is. He looks very much like Charles. I’m almost certain that he doesn’t know the true nature of his parentage as well, which gives me an important weapon to hold over him and which might well speed the breaking. Damn, but I wanted to go slowly! I wanted to break him with infinite care, and attention. I wanted to give him rest, and time, wanted to savor the full brilliance of his sparkling mind, but now I have been robbed of that. However, there still may be more time than Charles imagines. I cannot believe that this Skinner will really have the audacity to beard the dragon in his own lair, so to speak. Even if he suspects our involvement in Mulder’s abduction, he will be stonewalled at every turn, and fed enough misinformation to keep him searching for months. We’re good at that. No, this unnecessary haste merely boils down to certain members of the Elite being desperate to get their hands on Mulder’s fine ass, and while I can both understand and sympathize with that, they’ll find it a lot more enjoyable to pump into a willing, acquiescent, subdued body than one that is spitting and fighting them all the way – especially when that body belongs to one of their oldest enemies. Short sighted idiots! It will be all the sweeter to drink from a submissive cup and know that a thorn in their side has been well and truly plucked. Well, I will just have to do the best I can.


I stroke Mulder’s face lovingly until he comes to, blearily, and blinks at me.


“Wha…?” He screws up his eyes.


“Time to wake up, dear boy,” I whisper softly.


“You said you’d let me sleep,” he moans accusingly. “You promised. You said you’d let me sleep.”


“And I have. You’ve had three hours. That’s more than enough.” I stroke his face again, my other hand fondling his nipples, watching as the stimulus brings him fully awake.


“Need more,” he mutters petulantly.


“More isn’t on offer.” I fasten his hands to his belt, attach the chain to it, and then release him from the table and drag him to his feet. He’s slow, a dead weight on the end of the chain, and in pain from the chafing of his thighs as he tries to walk. He also has a thick layer of stubble on his chin, which really is most unattractive. He smells a little as well.


“I’m going to give you a choice. A cold hose down here, or a nice warm bath with me – which would you prefer?” I ask him.


“Oh, decisions, decisions,” he says in a mocking tone. “You know what, old man, I think I’ll go for the cold hose down.”


Such delicious defiance! I reach for his whip, and his eyes widen. It’s the work of a few minutes to have him writhing and sobbing on the floor under the lash.


“Let’s try again shall we?” I crouch down beside him, and pick up the chain again. “The cold hose down, or the warm bath? If you choose the former I’ll be extremely rough, if the latter then very gentle. If you choose the latter I’ll also dress your sores, and apply cream. You’ll be allowed a painkiller. If you opt for the cold hose down you will receive none of these. If you choose the bath, I’ll get in with you, naked, and I’ll play with you – you’ll submit with every indication of acquiescence and pleasure. What is your choice?”


“The hose,” he says immediately, his expressive hazel eyes never leaving my face. “I’m not very good at acting. I don’t think I could feign the degree of ‘acquiescence and pleasure’ that you require.”


“You’ll soon learn,” I tell him, bending him roughly over the table, and tying him down where he stands. A cursory examination reveals that he’s healing inside. I unhook the hose and check that the temperature is cold before spraying him with it, dousing his head deliberately in the flow so that he can barely breathe. He’s panting and gasping before I turn the hose on his body, and he makes whimpering noises as I spray the water over his sore flesh. Finally I stick the nozzle into his anus, holding it there, so he cries out and struggles against me. When I finish he tries to squat, but can’t because he’s tied. I leave him shivering and tied over the table, and fetch the pot, guiding him onto it. He’s never seen me watching him urinate and defecate before, and his skin is flushed but he has no choice but to obey the needs of his body. I stand over him the entire time, much to his obvious chagrin.


As soon as he’s done, I praise him for his performance, and pet him briefly as a reward, before I tie him to the bar, and apply shaving foam to his face. I shave him very slowly and carefully, holding his head as I work. He looks at the razor, and I know he’s considering jerking his head and trying to sever an artery on the blade, but he isn’t suicidal just yet; it’s clear from the expression in his eyes that he’s decided to save that thought for another, more desperate time. When he’s been cleanly shaved, I hose him again, front and back, all over his body and face, with the spray set on ‘high’. This hits him hard, and if I hold the hose in the same place for long enough it hurts – especially where he has been whipped. I go slowly, drawing out the agony, and by the time I’ve finished, the shower has taken an hour from beginning to end, and his teeth are chattering, his lips tinged a pale blue. He’s hanging by his wrists from the bar, his legs lifeless.


“Next time, maybe you’ll see the wisdom of choosing the bath,” I tell him harshly, taking a fistful of his hair, drawing his head back and kissing his lips savagely, biting down on the one I opened earlier until I taste blood. I release him with a nonchalant toss of his head and it flops back and then forwards, and hangs down between his shoulders. I circle him, enjoying the view. He’s very pale, and the red marks of the whipping stand out on his back and buttocks, and on the inside of his thighs. Poor dear boy; the bath would have been so much more fun.


I pick up the whip again, and he regards me with wide-eyed apprehension. I smash it against his chest, and he screams, then curses himself for his uninhibited response, and tries to regain his composure. A whipping on wet skin is always particularly painful. I can see that he’s shocked that I’m whipping the front of his body, but there’s no part of him that I won’t whip, as he’ll find out in time.


“You seem angry, Laurence,” he says, in that drawling, almost inflectionless voice. Amazing how like Charles he can be. “Either you must have really been looking forward to that bath or someone else has pissed you off. I don’t think I’ve done anything to make you this angry.”


I pause in my next stroke, and give it some consideration. Is that true? Have I allowed Charles to rile me to the extent where I’m no longer thinking, coolly or rationally? No, of course not. I’m a professional, and he’s just one more soul to be broken.


“On the contrary, Mulder. I’m simply applying what it is necessary for you to receive. There’s no emotion involved – if anything I’m a little bored, but it’s in your best interests to experience the lash as frequently as possible, so it’s a tedious little duty that I have no choice but to perform.”


“Oh please, don’t put yourself out on my account,” he says, and I smile, and raise the whip, bringing it down hard across the front of his thighs. His scream is music to my ears.


“Oh, it’s no trouble,” I murmur, soothing him with one hand as I draw back with the other to deliver the next stroke. “No trouble at all.”


It’s a harsh whipping. He refused my request to bathe, but I’m determined to make him subdued, biddable, and quiescent for our tete a tete in the salon. He’s gasping for air by the time I’m done, tears running down his face.


“Oh dear. You’re all sweaty again. Time for another shower I think.” I lift the hose and spray him again until he’s cooled down, and then leave him hanging there. “You’ll be escorted to the salon shortly,” I inform him. “You might like to give some thought to how co-operative you intend to be. If you’re not talkative then I’ll bring you straight back down and whip you again. Think about it. Personally I think you’re in no condition to take another whipping, but it’s entirely your choice.”


“You’re too kind, Laurence. A total gentleman,” he murmurs, his defiance becoming more and more uninhibited as the pain levels increase. This is often the case – at first people think they can hide their stubbornness, but when you take them down to their basic core, it’s clear what is an act, and what is real. He is really digging his heels in – and he’s hanging on to his self-esteem by a thread.


“I am kind, dear boy, very kind, and please do try and remember to call me ‘sir’. It will be so much easier for you if you do.”


The slap of my hand across his jaw is much more intimate than the whip. I enjoy it so much that I slap him again, higher up, across the cheekbone, and his skin reddens most pleasingly, splitting a little under the force of the blow. I draw his sopping, freezing body close, and tenderly kiss the marks I’ve just made, and then I leave him hanging there, and wander along to the kitchens to see what the chef has prepared. All this physical exertion has made me a little peckish.


I retire to my lair with a plate of food, and flick idly through Mulder’s files. I don’t want to know everything, just a few bits and pieces. Charles’s visit has rather intrigued me. I have the dutymen bring Mulder up a couple of hours later. He’s clearly waning – they untie him, remove his blindfold, and drop him in the middle of the room, where he sinks to his knees, unable to stand. One of his eyes is half closed from swelling caused by my blow to his upper cheek – I hadn’t realized I’d hit him so hard but there’s a nasty bruise, and a cut that’s oozing blood. I must say that it gives him a very attractive quality; like a boxer who has been hurt in a fight. I like that look.


“Bruises suit you, Mulder,” I murmur, placing one finger under his chin and lifting his head to view them more clearly. I turn his face to the light and he flinches as I run a finger over the bruise. “See what defiance gets you?” I ask him but he has no response. He’s shivering badly, his body going into shock from cold and the beating. “Where do you want to sit for our chat?” I inquire. “Here, beside me, or in your usual chair.” He looks at me from behind that half closed eye, and then, slowly, with as much dignity as he can muster, he gets up and walks pointedly to the chair.


“I’d rather sit with a boa constrictor,” he says, as if the point needed any further laboring. “Sir.”


I can’t help but laugh out loud. This is a Mulder who is very easy to love. I said that pain peels back the layers, and takes us to our most basic selves. And Mulder, at his most basic, is stubborn, smart, and wildly independent. He’s also self-destructive.


“Please do eat – the food is delicious. The chef has quite excelled himself,” I inform him, nodding at the bowl of soup and slices of bread beside his chair.


“What is this? Lunch? Supper?” he asks. He has no idea what time it is so I could easily lie to him, and I expect I will at some point, but not at this moment in time.


“Supper,” I tell him with a smile.


It’s late in the evening, and it’s been a long, and tiring day, but now that the pressure is on I see no reason to let up on him. I might manage a breakthrough by hounding him for the next few hours. He looks at the soup for a moment, and then slowly lifts the bowl, and sniffs it.


“Leek and potato. Delicious.” I take a spoonful myself, blowing on it to cool it down.


He picks up a slice of bread and dunks it eagerly into the soup, and then eats. He’s clearly made up his mind not to starve himself as promised yesterday. That’s a very wise decision. I do hate it when my recruits opt for hunger strikes. If they’re stubborn enough it can take all the fun out of breaking them as it becomes a race against time whether I break them first or they faint away from malnutrition. Of course once they’re broken they eat, without complaint. I even served up one recruit’s most hated foods every mealtime for a week and ordered her to eat them just to reinforce the message of her breaking. It was a singularly successful strategy. She ate without complaint, and finished everything I gave her, even though she looked a little ill afterwards, and retched once or twice. Mulder eats, and you can almost see the soup visibly restoring his strength. He really is looking battered this evening, and his skin is almost translucently pale. The soup has warmed him a little but he’s still cold. The hairs on his skin are standing upright and he’s covered in goose bumps. If he continues to sit over at the far side of the room then it won’t be long before he starts to shiver, and his teeth start to chatter. That’s all to the good. I’ll have him sitting next to me before too long. I’m looking forward to it.


“So, what do you want to talk about this evening?” I ask him.


“How about sleep?” He offers facetiously. Sometimes I wonder if he’s learned what is and is not appropriate behavior in the salon.


“You can sleep later. Now I want to talk. I was rather hoping for a nice long cozy session.” I snuggle into the recesses of the couch, and watch him.


“I feel as if I’ve been talking for days,” he whispers. “What else is there to say?”


“Oh, a great deal. We’ve hardly begun really.”


“How long have I been here?” The action of eating has opened the little cut on his lip, and a drop of blood drips into his soup. He stares at the tiny red droplet as it mingles with the yellow of the soup and finally dissipates.


“Not as long as you think. Time loses meaning, doesn’t it? I expect it seems like several days to you. Maybe you even think that the week is up, and your friends will be searching for you soon, but I’m afraid there are several days yet before that happens.”


“My friends?” He moistens his lips with his tongue, and then picks up the soup-spoon and stirs his food.


“Yes. You never did answer my question. Who do you want to rescue you? Agent Scully maybe? Or Assistant Director Skinner?” His head jerks up at that last question and I smile, blandly at him. His eyes flash with annoyance as he realizes that he’s given something away – but what?


“Right now I’d settle for the superintendent of my apartment block showing up on a white horse,” he parries. “Anything to get away from you, Laurence.”


“Tell me about your father.” I shoot the question at him and watch his reaction to the unexpected path the conversation has taken.


“What’s to tell? He and I weren’t close.”


“Why is that?”


“I don’t know. He was busy. He had to work. He didn’t have much time for me.” Mulder shrugs, endearingly.


“But he had time for your sister, didn’t he?”


Mulder stiffens, and his face is drawn with pain – emotional this time, not physical.


“She was cute. Everyone had time for Sam.”


“Except you,” I guess, accurately I suspect. He swallows hard, considering his answer, but I’ve touched a nerve.


“I loved her,” he whispers at last. He concentrates on his soup, as if he thinks he’s immune from questioning while he eats. He isn’t.


“Yes but you resented her as well, didn’t you? You couldn’t figure out why your father loved her so much more than he seemed to love you.”


“That’s not true.” His protest sounds false, and hollow.


“No lies in this room please, Mulder, or I’ll draw this meeting to an end, take you back downstairs, and administer the punishment you know you deserve.” He’s silent. “You do know you deserve punishment, don’t you, Mulder?”


“For what?” He mutters sullenly, for all the world like a sulky teenager.


“For so many things, beginning with the fact that you were unkind to your sister.”


“I wasn’t.” He drops his head, and raises a spoonful of soup to his mouth, his fingers trembling.


“Yes you were. You resented your father’s affection for her so you used to snipe at her when nobody was watching. Just little things. A word here or there to dent her confidence, a tug on her braids.”


“We squabbled. We were no different to most brothers and sisters.” He shrugs, but I note that he’s unable to swallow the mouthful of soup pressed to his lips. The spoon just hangs there, quivering in time to his shaking fingers until most of the fluid has dropped back into the bowl.


“But you were unhappy and you teased her more than most brothers would because of that fact,” I tell him, sure of my ground. He rallies, and tries to sit up straight in his chair.


“We were just normal kids. We argued occasionally.” He slurps on his soup, and resumes eating, trying to cover the fact that my questions have unsettled him.


“Your father was a cold man.”


“No.” He gulps the soup down as if he’s desperate to get it into his body before I ask him something else that might distress him.


“Not to your sister, or even your mother, but he was cold to you.”


“NO!” He bangs down his empty bowl with a thud, and the spoon goes flying into the air. We both watch it arc gracefully across the room and land by the fire.


“You tried very hard to impress him. You always got the best grades at school, you studied hard, you were good at sports, but nothing ever made him proud, did it – nothing you did at least.”


A flicker of pain crosses over his face. He’s starting to shiver, as I predicted.


“He didn’t love you, Mulder,” I tell him. It’s very probably the truth. Bill Mulder must have known he was raising Charles’s son – for whatever reason. Samantha was almost certainly his own flesh and blood but my poor dear Fox was not.


“He wasn’t very good at showing his emotions,” Mulder corrects me in an unsteady voice. “Men of his generation – your generation,” he adds pointedly, “generally aren’t very good at that. It doesn’t mean he didn’t love me.”


“Although he had no problem showing his affection for your sister,” I point out.


“She was a girl. It was easier for him,” he mumbles, grasping for straws, and knowing it.


“No, he just didn’t love you,” I correct him.


“Why wouldn’t he?” He asks. “I tried…very hard. Why wouldn’t he love me?”


“I think you know the answer to that, Mulder,” I tell him gently. He looks up at me, with one open hazel eye, and one half closed. He looks like some small woodland creature, shyly peeping out. His whole body seems to have shrunk under this line of questioning.


“No, I don’t. But you clearly think you do,” he whispers.


“Yes, and I suspect you’ve wondered as well. You’re too smart not to have wondered. Did you ever ask your mother?”


“Ask her what?” He snaps, clenching his fists.


“Ah, I see you have. What was her reply? Did she tell you the name of your real father?”


“He was my father. He was the man who brought me up. He took me out in the woods, showed me how to make camp fires.”


“He went through the motions. Maybe he was even fond of you. But you weren’t his son, and he didn’t love you.”


He bows his head, struggling with the tears, and shivering convulsively.


“He was a good man. He tried to love you, but he failed.”


“No.” His voice is a whisper.


“Is that what attracted you to your lawyer? Are you drawn to father figures, Mulder?”


“He wasn’t that much older than me. Not a father figure.”


“Come now. Semantics again. Your lawyer was older than you, and he had a good job. He had the aura of success that surrounded your own father. He was sure of himself, strong, and capable. You’ve told me about large hands, and a broad chest. You were attracted to his strength.”


“Not just that. He was a good person, and he loved me.”


“And that filled a void, didn’t it? He loved you in a way your father didn’t – couldn’t – because he wasn’t really your father.”


He’s trembling at full force now, his whole body shaking.


“You’re cold; come and sit by the fire.” I pat the couch next to me, and he gazes at me warily but his teeth are chattering, and he must know his condition will deteriorate if he doesn’t come close to the fire. “You can’t talk when you’re so cold, and if you can’t talk then we must go back downstairs,” I tell him pointedly. He takes a ragged intake of breath, and weighs it up, agonizingly, in his mind. Finally, he gets up, and takes a step towards me, and then another. He’s slow – his legs are sore, and he’s weak from lack of sleep and food, to say nothing of the trauma his body has undergone these past few days. He staggers to the couch, and perches, gingerly, by the fire, pointedly not touching me.


“You poor unloved boy. What a difficult childhood, growing up in such a house.” I put my hand on his naked shoulder, and rub, tenderly. “How you must have longed for strong arms around you, for the comfort of a father’s love.” He’s staring into the fire, soaking up the warmth, and his body is responding to my touch, the hard, tense muscles loosening as he stops shivering.


“Don’t touch me,” he says in a low, intense tone.


“I’m afraid that if you sit here then you must tolerate me touching you,” I tell him with a little laugh, gently stroking his hair. “Please, by all means return to your armchair if you wish though.”


“I’ll fucking hit you if you touch me,” he snarls.


“Well you could, but then my dutymen would be forced to overpower you, take you downstairs, and beat you senseless. I expect we’d have to penetrate you as well, as part of your punishment.”


He rests his head on his arms, not responding. “Silence isn’t allowed in here,” I remind him softly. “Tell me about your sister.”


“I loved her.” He raises his head and looks at me desperately, as if it’s important that I believe him.


“I’m sure you did.” I fondle his shoulder, tracing the line of a welt down to his waist. He gulps a sharp intake of breath but doesn’t protest. “But maybe you were just the teeniest bit pleased she was taken away from you? Maybe you thought that now your father would have to love you, with your sister out of the way.”


“No.” Almost silent.


“You were 12 years old. It would have been understandable. Was he angry with you that she had been taken? You were supposed to be looking after her I believe?”


“Someone’s been doing his homework,” he sneers, and his eyes flicker to the files on my desk. He has already surmised what they are.


“You make a fascinating study. Quite the most fascinating study we’ve had in here since…” I smile to myself, remembering the joys of breaking Charles’s beautiful green-eyed assistant.


“Since?” Mulder questions.


“Since I broke Alex.” I reach for my glass of water. “He was extremely enjoyable. Up until you he was the high point of my career.”


“Alex.” He repeats the name blankly, and then some kind of recognition enters those hazel eyes. “Alex,” he murmurs again. “You did this to Alex Krycek?”


“You know him of course. He told me about you when he was last here. Yes, I broke him. He was very stubborn and almost distractingly beautiful when he suffered. He didn’t suffer quite as well as you though. You take suffering to sublime heights, dear boy.”


He sits, ruminating on this for a moment, while I place both my hands on his shoulders, and stroke them. He submits to this, so I take it a step further, and pull him back against my chest. His body is still cold, and although he’s stiff, he comes, unresisting. In fact, he surprises me by resting his head against my shoulder, and allowing me to pet him. I kiss the back of his neck.


“There, see, that’s what you wanted. That’s what you needed,” I croon, delighting in this new evidence of trust. He’s quite still beneath my hands.


“Tell me about Alex,” he asks in a low voice. It’s so good having him here like this that I don’t want to disturb him by returning the conversation to his father. I decide to indulge him for a moment or two, to lull him further into a sense of security with me.


“Alex was barely 19 when he was first brought here. He was orphaned when he was 15 and lived rough on the streets for a while. There was nobody to miss him – he was ripe for the plucking.”


“Another virgin?” Mulder whispers.


“Sadly, no. His years on the streets had mainly been spent in prostitution. He was such a spitfire.” I chuckle at the memory.


“Did you enjoy breaking him?” Mulder asks, his head heavy and relaxed on my shoulder.


“Oh yes. I enjoyed it very much,” I whisper, nuzzling his hair. “It took some time, and occasionally he is still returned to me for a little correction, which I’m always happy to give him. He’s another lost soul who hasn’t been loved enough, just like you, Mulder. I was happy to welcome him into my heart, and take care of him. He was looking for a father figure just like you, in a way. A pair of strong arms to comfort, and hold him. Wouldn’t you like to be held, Mulder? To be comforted? I can do that for you. You’re tired, and you ache. I could soothe you. Wouldn’t you like that? Yes?” His eyes are hungry with need, and he struggles with himself for a moment. “There’s no pain here, in my arms. You can rest. Nobody will hurt you. You want peace don’t you, Mulder? You just want to be held, and loved, but you won’t let anybody do that for you. I could do it. Let me take care of you, dear boy. Come into my arms.”


“You won’t hurt me?” He asks in a whisper.


“No, I’ll just hold you, and take care of you, the way your father couldn’t. Come on.” I push him forward and he turns, and then slowly, and very deliberately, lies down, places his head on my lap, and looks up at me with an expression of absolute trust in those hazel eyes. It’s adorable. I wrap my arms around him and hug him close, delighting in the moment. His eyes are also misty with tears. It’s so beautiful I could stay this way forever.


“How long did it take you to break Alex?” He asks.


“A little while,” I admit. “He was a very difficult boy – not in the same way you are. You’re just skittish, and your mind makes too many of your decisions. You should trust your heart more. Alex is the opposite. He roars from emotion to emotion. Your mind needs to be more still. It distracts you from getting what you want, what you need.”


“Which is?” His lips are so beautiful that I have to touch them with my fingers.


“Love. Affection. Now you have no choice but to accept those things. I’ll make you accept them,” I croon.


“After you broke Alex, did you still love him?” He asks, in a dreamy tone.


“Of course. I love every single one of my recruits,” I reply with a smile.


“Where do they go when you’ve broken them?”


“They stay in the lounge for a while, serving clients. As they grow older, if they show initiative, or attract the patronage of one of the Elite, they can actually progress to becoming operatives in their own right. That’s what Alex did.”


“I see. Did you miss him when he was gone?”


“Not really. There are always new recruits to break and train.”


“So the breaking is the only part you really enjoy?”


“It’s my job.”


“Don’t you find their unquestioning love and obedience just a little tiring? Maybe even boring? There must be something so challenging about figuring out someone’s weaknesses, and bending them to your will, but then when that’s done…it’s an anti-climax – kind of like the day after Christmas.”


I look down on him sharply, but he’s still got that faraway look in his eyes as if he isn’t really concentrating. I wonder if there’s more going on here than meets the eye. He’s asking the questions, and I’ve been happy to go along with that for now, since we’re just getting intimate but I think the time has come to break it up a little and return the discussion to him. He distracts me just as I’m thinking this by reaching up and touching my neck, and I’m astonished – I hadn’t expected such an overt display of affection so soon. Usually that only comes after breaking. His fingers find the bruise he gave me yesterday.


“I hurt you. I’m sorry,” he whispers. “Did it feel good though, Laurence? Do you also enjoy being wrapped in a pair of strong arms? Being overpowered, and helpless? You’re always so in control. Wouldn’t it be nice to just let go…or are you too afraid? Too afraid that nobody will love you, or want you – afraid that you can only get what you need by violence, and coercion. Do you know, deep in your heart, that you’re unlovable, Laurence? That only by breaking people can you get any affection, and when you get that affection you know it’s worthless, because it was all of your own making. Is that it, Laurence? Is it? Is that why you have so little interest in your recruits once they’re broken when you profess to love them so much?”


I’m nursing a viper in my lap. He fooled me, lulled me into a false sense of security with his deceitful displays of trust. He’s been lying to me, accepting my caresses but waiting like a fox in the night to steal from me when my back is turned. My fingers close around his neck, and he’s laughing at me, those hazel eyes alight with the power of knowledge.


“You can rape me, Laurence, and you can hurt me, but really you just want me to love you of my own free will and you know I never will. You know this is the only way.”


I place a hand over his mouth where he lies in my lap, shutting out the sound of that spiteful voice speaking such vicious lies. “It’s a pretty mouth, Mulder,” I hiss, one hand holding him down, while I keep the other firmly across his lips. “And I think I know a way to keep it better occupied.”


I’m aroused by the fear I see reflected all too clearly in his good eye. He’s goaded me too much, and he’ll suffer for it in a uniquely appropriate way.


“Take him back down,” I order the dutymen, pushing him off my lap like the dangerous, wild animal he is. He lands awkwardly on the floor, and they grab him, quickly fastening his hands to his side.


“Does the truth hurt, Laurence?” He asks.


“No, but what I’m about to do to you next will,” I promise, and he smiles in triumph as they blindfold him, and drag him away.


I have to stay behind to compose myself. I pour a glass of water and down it in one gulp. Damn, but he’s clever. I knew he was, but I shouldn’t have been seduced by his lies, and taken in by his displays of tamed behavior. He’s as vicious, feral, and unprincipled as his namesake fox, and every bit as cunning. Still, he’s in my power, and I’ll make sure he suffers for his words. That pretty mouth will pay for the lies it just told.




Mulder’s feet barely touched the ground as he was dragged back to his room. He knew, deep inside, that he was about to pay for what he’d said and done, but he didn’t regret it for a second – it felt good knowing that Laurence had a weakness, and he was sure, judging by the other man’s reaction, that he had hit some kind of raw nerve. The difficulty would be in exploiting and exploring that without paying too high a price for the knowledge. Somehow he had a feeling that was going to be a very real difficulty.


When the guards threw him back into his room, they unfastened his hands, only to tie them again immediately – behind his back this time. He was forced down onto his knees, and the manacles were then tied to the wall behind him, leaving Mulder immobile. His knees hurt on the stone surface and he wondered how long he’d be tied in this position. He had lost the ability to follow the track of time, but it felt like an eon, although it was probably only a few hours, maybe even less, before he heard the door opening, and footsteps crossing the room to where he knelt. A finger lifted his bowed head and he looked up into the darkness of his blindfold. He knew it was Laurence though – the other man’s scent was becoming as familiar to him as his own.


“That was foolish,” Laurence said in a soft, sibilant whisper. Mulder shuddered. “And more than that it was hurtful. You’ve upset me.”


Mulder gave a short, bitter bark of laughter. “I’m so sorry,” he replied, without remorse.


“You’re not, but you will be.”


Laurence sounded different. The voice was still urbane, but some of the teasing had gone from the tone, to be replaced by a flat, ruthless inflection that made Mulder’s stomach churn.


“I had so hoped not to put you through this, especially at this early stage of our intimacy, but I can see that it’s necessary. It’s a shame, as I had no wish to share you so liberally with others before I got to know you properly myself, but punishment is required – as is a period of reflection. I’ll provide you with both at the same time. First though…” Mulder felt fingers press against his lips, caressing them. “First we must punish this mouth of yours. Who would have thought something so sultry, so sensual, so beautiful, could talk so filthy? We must cleanse it, and fill it more appropriately so you learn what is and is not proper use for such a mouth.”


“If you put your cock in my mouth it’s the last damn thing you’ll do with it. I’ll bite down as hard as I fucking can,” Mulder snapped, jerking his head away from the other man’s hand. Laurence chuckled.


“Ah, Mulder, do you think I’ve never encountered this problem before? I have, many times, and I’ve come up with a very good solution to it. You’ll suck my cock, dear boy, and you’ll suck the cocks of the two dutymen who brought you here. You’ll open your mouth and suck whatever is put in it, because if you don’t you’ll suffer more than you ever thought possible. Let me show you.”


Mulder waited, listening, and he heard the sound of something being pulled over – something on wheels. He shivered, his mind supplying him with unwanted, horrifying suggestions of what it could be. Then he felt fingers on his nipples, squeezing and teasing them into points, followed, almost immediately, by a streak of pain that made him scream out loud.


“Hush, dear boy. Those are just little clips. Admittedly they’re somewhat tight, but we need to be able to get a good current, and a little discomfort is a small price to pay for that,” Laurence said, fingers gently stroking Mulder’s hair.


“C…current?” Mulder felt the beads of sweat break out on his forehead. Both of his nipples had now been encased in what felt like two clothespins, and the pain was agonizing.


“Yes, they’re attached to a little machine I have here, capable of sending anything from a mild electric current to an almost lethal dose. Now hold still, I haven’t finished yet.”


Mulder felt his penis being lifted, and because he anticipated what would happen next before it even occurred, he began screaming. A split second later a clamp was attached to his penis, causing another dizzying wave of pain to sweep through him.


“There, all done. I’m going to give you a demonstration of how it works, and then you can decide whether you want to use those fine white teeth of yours after all.”


Mulder braced himself, trying to prepare for whatever came next, but nothing was any preparation for it when it happened. At first he heard a fizzing sound, and then a shock wave of pure, raw, jagged pain sliced into his right nipple and his cock, making him scream. The sensation stopped in the right nipple, only to transfer to the left.


“Never the two at the same time. We don’t want to shock your heart, do we?” Laurence murmured. “That’s set pretty low. We can go much higher. I’m not sure your cock would survive the highest voltage. Some of the tissue might be irrevocably burned. However, as I’ve said before, your cock, pretty though it is, isn’t actually vital to us. Our clients are generally more interested in where they can place their own cocks, than in pleasuring the recruits. We do have female clients as well, but we’ll train that tongue of yours to be entertaining for them also, in due course. Now, in a minute you’re going to open your mouth, and accept my cock into it. If I feel so much as the tiniest trace of your teeth then I’ll just activate this…” A short, sharp burst of pain invaded Mulder’s genitals, and flicked from nipple to nipple, and he arched his back involuntarily. “If you make a conscious decision to try to maim me then you stand to lose exactly the same as I do. Understood?”


Mulder knelt, panting, trying to think through the pain. In his heart he knew that rebellion was useless. It would only serve to make him feel better for one split second, and then he would be hurt beyond endurance. It wasn’t sensible, but that didn’t make it any easier for him to accept what he had been ordered to do.


“I asked if you understood.”


A crackle was heard, and the electric current passed from the clips attached to his body into his flesh. He licked his lips, still unable to accept his predicament. It was one thing to be invaded against his will, without the ability to stop it, as had been the case during the rapes, but to calmly open his mouth and accept this man’s cock…the idea filled him with revulsion. He had only sucked one man’s cock in his life, and that had been such a beautiful experience for both of them that this travesty of that act made him feel physically sick.


“I’ll take your silence as a yes then,” Laurence said. Mulder heard the sound of a fly being unzipped, and then felt legs against his cheeks. A hand lifted his bowed head again. “Open your mouth,” Laurence commanded. Mulder kept his lips resolutely shut. “I said open.” Another fizz of electricity made him shudder, but still he would not open his mouth. “Your defiance, although misplaced, is very arousing. You’re making me quite hard. I’ll enjoy relieving the ache inside your pretty mouth,” Laurence whispered in his ear. Mulder shivered. He felt something warm and hard nudge against his cheek, and knew it was the other man’s cock. Another second later a buzz of electricity coursed through his body again. This time he knew the current had been adjusted higher, and when it finished he slumped forward, the chains on his wrists biting into his skin where they held him up.


“We can keep going like this for a very long time, but we both know that in the end you’ll open your mouth. You see, I’m a very patient man, Mulder, and I have all the time in the world. You will do as I say.”


“Go to hell,” Mulder ground out, and almost instantaneously the electric current was back. The shock was longer this time, until he felt as if his cock was being burned from the outside in. When it finished, he could no longer hold himself upright. He felt warm hands under his armpits, and he was lifted and maneuvered into an upright position once again.


“Open your mouth,” Laurence said.


“Fuck off.”


He doubled over before the pain hit, unable to even slump onto the floor in his agony because of the tight confinement of the manacles. His nipples felt as if they were on fire, and he couldn’t even touch them, to smooth away the pain. Again he was lifted to a kneeling position. Again the order was given.


“Open your mouth.”


He shook his head mutely, and once again the pain shot through every nerve fiber in his body. He screamed, and twitched in his bonds. Again, with infinite care and patience he was lifted into a kneeling position, and again the command was given. This time he didn’t have the energy to say anything. He just knelt there, mouth firmly closed, his mind hazy with pain. The following shock was longer and more painful than the previous ones, and he spent several minutes screaming before he was lifted once more.


“I told you I’m patient, but for your sake I hope you won’t put yourself through this for much longer. Your nipples must be fried by now.” A light chuckle. “So, will you come to your senses, Mulder, or do we have to keep on doing this all night? I’m happy to do that. It isn’t causing me any pain and your suffering is most diverting. I could sit and watch you scream forever I think – it’s a beautiful sight.”


“Bastard,” Mulder managed to whisper.


“No, I think we established just a little while ago that you are in fact the bastard.” Laurence grabbed a handful of Mulder’s hair and pulled his head back, then traced a line down Mulder’s throat with his finger. “I’ll be kinder though and give you the correct, less colloquial term: illegitimate. That’s you, Mulder. It’s an interesting word. It implies there’s something not proper about your very existence, as if you’re an abomination, an aberration; something that shouldn’t be, something without a place. You’re a boy who should never have been born, a burden on the man who gave you his name, and a silent reproach on the mother who gave birth to you; a living reminder of a mistake, something wrong. You don’t belong here, Mulder. You’re out of time. You greedily took your chance at life, and forced your way into this world, and now you don’t like what you see, and you’re screaming at the injustice of it all. That’s foolish. It’s clear that you’re just getting what you deserve, what lies in wait for those who have no place. You’re dispossessed. Your real father clearly didn’t want you any more than poor Bill Mulder did. Nobody wants you Mulder – nobody except me. Now open your mouth and let me prove that to you. You do still have some worth even if it’s just to provide pleasure to your betters. Open.”


Mulder knew that his captor was saying something so vile and vicious that he should have been able to rationalize it away, but he was too tired, and he hurt too much, and besides there was something about it that struck an indefinable chord somewhere deep inside him. He swallowed hard, and remembered a time when he had lovingly taken another man’s cock into his mouth. It hadn’t been too bad then. Laurence seemed to sense his weakness.


“You know you want to. You know you want to make the pain go away. You want to be good, deep inside. You always wanted to be good, didn’t you? As a boy, trying to please the man you thought was your father, studying so hard, doing your best to make him proud of you. You couldn’t succeed in that, dear boy, but you can succeed in making me proud of you. Your efforts to be good, to be pleasing, won’t be wasted on me. Now open up, just open up. There, go on…you know you want to.”


Mulder felt his lips opening of their own volition. He felt hands stroke the sides of his face, and then his hair was seized, and something hard and greedy was rammed deep into his mouth. He choked, and gagged, but he couldn’t move, or expel the intruder. It tasted of skin, and salt, and smelled of lavender water and something else, something bitter that he couldn’t identify.


“Good boy. Oh this feels so good. These pretty lips were made to suck, dear boy. If you never did anything else in your entire life but make your mouth available for this purpose then that would be enough. It’s beautiful. One thing I want you to remember…I still have my finger on the machine. One scrape of teeth and there will be punishment. Now, I know it’s too much to expect you to pleasure me on our first attempt at this, so I’m just going to take charge.” Mulder felt his hair gripped tighter by that fist, and then the thighs against his face moved, fucking that cock in and out of his mouth at a slow, leisurely pace. “This feels so good,” Laurence crooned.


Mulder wanted to retch, but couldn’t move, couldn’t do anything but accept that cock into his mouth, and suffer it slamming into the back of his throat, over and over again.


“I’m delighted that you’ve chosen to allow me the pleasure of coming in your mouth, dear boy. It’s something I wanted from the moment I set eyes on you, and it’s a dream come true for me to be here now, doing this with you. You’re a very sweet boy to humor me so.”


Mulder closed his eyes and tried to escape, but the pressure in his mouth was too distracting. A series of deep thrusts made him gag, and want to throw up, but that wasn’t an option as the manacles and the hand in his hair kept him firmly anchored where he was. “Nearly there…I told you we’d find a better use for this pretty mouth than telling lies and making people unhappy. Instead you can use it to make me feel good – and also to make the dutymen feel good. When I’m finished I’m going to hand you over to them. You should see them, Mulder. They’re very turned on by what I’m doing to you. One of them has his cock out and is stroking it already, in preparation for his turn. You’re going to love his cock, Mulder. You’re going to love tasting that in your mouth. Oh…!”


Mulder tried to twist his face away, to lean back, but it was too late. He felt warm, salty come spill onto his tongue, and trickle down his throat, and his battered body slumped in defeat. Laurence withdrew his cock from Mulder’s mouth, and Mulder leaned over and retched up the contents of his stomach onto the stone floor.


“Ah, poor boy. Such a rich feast after so many years of abstinence,” Laurence sighed. “You’ll become used to this feasting though, Mulder. We’ll see that you get fed daily from now on. Now on your knees again – the dutyman wants his turn.”


Mulder felt himself being lifted, and then another hard cock was nudged into his mouth.


“NO!” He tried to close his jaws and scraped flesh, and the next thing he knew the intruder had been withdrawn and a shockwave of electricity was sent through his body, convulsing him. He was lifted again, and this time he opened his mouth, and sought the escape he had found whilst being raped the other day.


He was walking in a park with his lover in the summer. They were talking.


“I’m intrigued. Why psychology?” His lover had a way of looking directly at him when asking questions that made Mulder’s heart pound in his chest.


“You think it’s a soft science, like sociology?” Mulder accused.


“I didn’t say that.”


“You didn’t need to. Sometimes I feel like I’m on the witness stand when you ask me questions.”


“Sorry.” His lover raised his hands, his white teeth shining in his tanned face. “Occupational hazard,” he laughed. “Really, I’m just interested. You’re one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, and, well, in my experience the smart people go into the smart professions.”


“Like law?” Mulder asked.


“I suppose.” His lover shrugged. “Or medicine. Where the hell do you think psychology will take you?”


“Does it have to take me anywhere? Can’t I do it for the love of the subject?” Mulder riposted. He loved these question and parry sessions with his lover. Nobody had ever excited him so much on an intellectual level while dazzling him so much on a physical one.


“Of course. I mean I love the law, but what is it you love about psychology?”


“Figuring out what makes people tick doesn’t fascinate you?” Mulder asked. “You’ve cross examined people – you know how interesting it can be figuring out motivation.”


“Agreed, but where does it go from there? What use is it?”


“I’m not sure. Maybe one day I’ll find out…”


Mulder gagged on more semen, and retched again. They allowed him only a few seconds respite before he was lifted back onto his knees, and the pressure of two thighs on the side of his face convinced him of the wisdom of opening up and taking another cock into his mouth. His lips felt stretched, and swollen, and his jaw ached.


“Let’s not talk. Let’s fuck,” he said to his lover.


“What? Here?” The other man looked around the park. It was mid morning and few people were there.


“Motivation – the excitement of discovery makes the moment more erotic and arousing.” Mulder dragged his lover under a tree, and knelt in front of him, opening his fly.


“You’re crazy, you know that?” His lover looked torn between running away and allowing Mulder to suck him. The pleasure of the latter instinct won out. Mulder put his hands on his lover’s firm buttocks and pulled him close, devouring his lover’s beautiful cock. It felt so good. The tip was like velvet, and the shaft hard under soft flesh. Mulder looked up and saw that his lover’s eyes were closed, his mouth curved into a dreamy smile, his hands gently stroking Mulder’s hair. He felt warm fluid trickling down his throat, sweeter than honey.


“Good boy. All done,” Laurence said, breaking into his dream. “But I think you left us again, dear boy. We really will have to work on keeping you here with us. Now, as you’ve shown yourself to be so duplicitous, I’m going to curtail our sessions in the salon until further notice. I don’t want to hear anything else you have to say for now. Instead you can be taken to the Recreation Room for the enjoyment of the dutymen and any clients in the mood for some silent, captive entertainment. And in order to keep today’s events in mind, I’m going to ensure your silence in a special way. Open again.” Mulder smelled rubber, and something hard, thick, and long, was forced into his mouth. As it slid home and straps secured it around the back of his head, Mulder realized it was a gag fashioned with an insert the same shape and size as a cock. He struggled against it, trying to swallow and breathe around the rubbery length.


“It’s easier if you keep calm, and remember to breathe through your nose,” Laurence advised him. Mulder tried to calm down but the gag frightened him. It was so large and unrelenting. He could feel the tip nudging the back of his throat, and he swallowed convulsively around it. Even as he was trying to deal with this new evidence of his captor’s cruelty, he found himself being untied. The clamps were removed from his body, causing a pain as sharp as when they had been applied, and then he was dragged from the room, and along a corridor. Another room was unlocked, and he was taken inside, and bent over some kind of padded beam or seat. He offered no resistance, still trying to breathe around the gag. His knees were being pushed forward and down, and his arms stretched out and forwards. There was a plastic support under his chest. He felt his wrists being strapped into place, and then his ankles were tied. A wide strap was fastened across his torso, and another over his neck. The hands left him, bound and immobile. He wasn’t in an uncomfortable position, but it was deeply humiliating. He was almost sitting, as if on one of those orthopedic chairs, his weight resting on his knees. His upper body was forced forwards, lying at a slightly tilted angle, and his legs were wide apart, leaving his ass open, and exposed to the room. Something cold was fastened around his cock, trapping it.


“Not that I think you’re likely to become aroused, but it’s better to be safe than sorry,” Laurence murmured, fastening the cage tightly, so that his cock couldn’t move. “I wouldn’t want you to come while you’re here. The whole purpose of this room is that you learn that it’s our clients who must enjoy themselves, not you. You don’t matter.” Mulder moaned softly around the gag, and Laurence stroked his hair. “Good boy. I’m hoping that after a little time to cool your heels in here you’ll be much more amenable to our chats in the salon.” Fingers brushed over his face, and lips kissed his forehead. He could make no reply. “Nothing is required of you here, Mulder,” Laurence whispered. “Nothing save your acceptance. Just lie there and receive your visitors.” A sudden realization shot through Mulder, and he struggled hard against his bonds, filled with renewed energy after the trauma of the past few hours. “Hush. It’ll be good for you in the end. You can’t see, and you can’t talk. You can’t move, or respond; you can only lie here and allow your body to be penetrated. You’ll soon grow to look forward to receiving your visitors, as they’ll be the only company you have, the only thing to distract you from your own thoughts. I’m going to be very kind to you and insist that your visitors use lubrication to smooth their way; I do so abhor tearing – it slows down the breaking process, and limits my creativity while we wait for you to heal. Hush now, dear boy. It’s all a learning experience. And when you return to the salon you’ll be so good, so obedient. You’ll have learned to treasure conversation and human interaction, and you won’t be so hateful to me anymore. Hush.”


He heard footsteps, and the sound of a door closing, and he knew that he was alone. He had no idea what kind of room he was in, and it was eerie, being tied, naked, his body exposed in this way. He shivered, still trying not to fight the gag. With this monstrous intrusion in his mouth he couldn’t even hum, and humming had helped provide a rhythm to escape to before. Now he only had his own thoughts. How many days had passed since he had been abducted, he wondered? Would they have started looking for him yet? Another thought was nagging him though – even if he survived this process, and was somehow rescued, would he ever be the same again? After all that had happened to him could he ever be the same? He knew enough about the human mind to understand that in just a short while he had undergone enough trauma to keep him in therapy for a lifetime. If he had imagined he was damaged before, then what was he like now? Mulder was denied even the comfort of deep breathing, unable to do more than inhale slowly through his nose and around the edges of the gag. He had grown used to the many pains in his body, but the ache inside was hurting him more now. Rescue…who do you want to rescue you, Laurence had asked, and he knew. He knew he wanted warmth, strength and the comforting oblivion of his lover’s arms, a lover who had not held him for 18 years. He thought of Scully finding him like this, and had to struggle against the sense of panic that this image engendered. He couldn’t panic. If he panicked he would hyperventilate and then he wouldn’t be able to breathe around this vicious gag. He didn’t want to think about Scully in any case, or her reaction to his current predicament. He cared about her too much to inflict this on her. He didn’t want her to see him like this, didn’t want anyone he loved to see him so degraded, didn’t even want to know the depth of his own very real, very human misery. He hungered for an escape of the mind, and longed, with equal need, for his own oblivion. Not death – he wasn’t ready for that yet, just peace and the touch of loving, careful hands on his body. Just the rest of not being harmed, not experiencing a rush of adrenaline followed by the inevitable draining aftermath of its loss, just the peace of not living in fear of pain, and the sheer relaxation of not having to be on his guard, not having to stay alert, and keep his wits about him in case he missed something that might be his ultimate salvation. He didn’t want to have to watch every word, and think through each guarded sentence, in case he was giving too much away.


A sound behind him broke into his reverie and he tensed as someone came into the room. He waited to hear Laurence’s taunting voice, but whoever it was didn’t speak. Hands caressed his buttocks, and then pulled them apart, and cool lube was spread inside him on the tip of a finger. He realized what was going to happen, and that was when he remembered that even the empty joy of screaming was denied him. He felt the burning pain of a cock demanding entry into his anus, and was alone with the sounds of the faceless man raping him. He could hear the panting timed with each thrust, could feel clammy, sweaty hands pawing his ass, and he could do nothing to stop it, not even voice a protest, or a cry of defiance. It was over almost as swiftly as it had begun and he was reminded of one of those wildlife programs where chimps endlessly mounted each other, satisfying themselves with a brief coupling, and then continued with what they had been doing before as if nothing had happened. Mulder fought to stay rational. He wasn’t the piece of meat Laurence was trying to turn him into. He was more than this. The man came, withdrew, and left. He hadn’t said a word the entire time. Mulder lay, struggling for breath, wondering what kind of man could even be aroused in these circumstances. What kind of a person, coming into this room, would think of rape, rather than rescue? If he had been confronted with the same sight, he knew he would have felt nothing but compassion, and a very real and very human need to help. He would have untied the helpless victim, called paramedics – done something to help as much out of empathy for a fellow human being as anything else. His mind, detaching itself from the horrors being inflicted on his body, found memories of books on the Holocaust that reminded him that human nature was not always compassionate. Perhaps in this place a climate had been created by which this was the norm – it was acceptable behavior. That reminded him of something else, something he’d said to his lover as they had argued, in a playful way, about a case in the papers.


“I can understand him doing this but not her,” his lover was saying, reading out the salient details of a particularly horrific triple murder case, “I mean this guy is clearly a psychopath. He was tearing the wings off flies when he was barely out of diapers, but his girlfriend was just a normal woman. She even seemed kind of nice. Why would she help him do this? Why did she help him lure the victims to their deaths, and even join in the torture?”


“The power of the charismatic personality.” Mulder grinned, looking up from the sports section of the paper. He was sitting on the couch with a plate of toast resting on his lap, dressed in his boxer shorts, still sweaty from a vigorous bout of lovemaking. “You’re so funny. You never understand the darkness of the human soul. You’re so sure of yourself and what you believe, and you think everyone is as sane and rational as you.”


“I do not, and anyway, you say that as if it’s a bad thing,” his lover bristled.


“No.” Mulder crunched on his toast thoughtfully. “No, it isn’t. In fact it’s a good thing. It’s why you could never be like that woman in the paper – but you’re more unusual than you think, and she’s more common than any of us would like to believe.”


“Explain.” His lover quirked an eyebrow, in his famous impression of the expert lawyer in cross-examination mode. Mulder grinned. He loved him like this!


“Well, let me tell you about an experiment I came across in one of my psychology textbooks.”


His lover sighed, and Mulder’s grin widened. He was always citing experiments at his lover – it was the only way to play the other man at his own game, as he was constantly blathering on about legal precedent and case studies when he had the chance.


“There was an experiment in which students were asked to press a button on a box. When they did, someone in the next room cried out. They were told that this was fine – nothing to worry about, and to just continue. You’d be surprised how few people refused to do so – and how many seemed to actively enjoy pressing the button. Of course there was nobody really being hurt in the next room – it was just an experiment.”


“And your point?”


Mulder grinned. There always had to be a point. “My point is that people like to be given orders. If you tell them it’s okay to do something, no matter how horrible, or how much pain it might be causing someone else, then quite often they’ll do it, as long as you reassure them that it’s okay, and as long as someone authoritative enough gives the order. For the most part people don’t like to think for themselves. Humans like to exist in a hierarchy – and to be told what to do by someone in charge. They don’t like to stand out, or be different, because if you do that then you could be the one they turn on next.”


“A-ha.” His lover mused on this.


“Now, you’re different in that you want to be the one giving the orders rather than following ’em blindly,” Mulder teased.


“And you’re different in that you want to be one of those standing out, even if that means they turn on you next,” his lover pointed out.


“Hmm.” They both considered that thoughtfully for a moment. “Just don’t ever tell them to pick on me when you have all that power you’re aiming for,” Mulder said, quirking up his mouth. His lover’s competitiveness was a joke between them, but the other man was always able to laugh about it.


“Can I pick on you though?” His lover asked, coming over to sit next to him on the couch. He leaned over and reached inside Mulder’s boxer shorts with a raised eyebrow and a knowing smile.


“Anytime you like,” Mulder grinned, giggling as he disappeared under the weight of a solid, attractive body.


Time passed. He slept a little, and endured, as he had no choice, the frequent visitations from faceless men. Not all of them were silent, although he was sure they were supposed to be – that Laurence had ordered it that way. He wasn’t sure which he despised most – those who tiptoed in here, and used him in silence like a piece of meat, or those who needed to talk to him in order to get aroused.


“Ooh, pretty baby, yeah. This is good. Are you enjoying this? Oh yeah, take it, take it. See, it’s big, it’s hard, and it’s all for you. Do you feel that? Hmmm?”


“My girlfriend won’t let me do this…up the ass…it’s always been a fantasy of mine…” That last said almost apologetically. “I wouldn’t get the chance normally, so it’s good you’re here.” Like he was some kind of public service.


Then there were those who were violent, slapping and biting his ass, calling him names. “Motherfucker, whore. I’m going to give it to you good, you brown nosed faggot. I’m going to fuck your ass until you scream, you fucking queer…”


They would have made him laugh if he could. He longed for the gag to be gone, longed to point out to them what twisted, perverted psychos they were, but he had been denied voice, or humanity. He was just a piece of meat. Nameless, his suffering was irrelevant. They had made him the ‘other’ that his lover had predicted all those long years ago, and projected onto him all their insecurities, all their loathing, and all their hatreds. He was nothing.


They untied him at regular intervals, dragged him back to his room, and removed his gag, only to stick a feeding tube down his throat. If they’d given him a moment to speak he would have told them it wasn’t necessary, that he would eat, but maybe this was all part of the punishment for daring to try and get inside Laurence’s head, the way his torturer was attempting to climb into his. After feeding he was tied, with his hands behind his back, and attached to the damn electricity machine that he had grown to fear more than anything else for the way it could reduce him to a quivering mass of agony within seconds. He no longer fought the oral rapes. He just closed his eyes, and disappeared into his dreams. His lips were permanently chapped and sore from both the gag and the fellatio but he had grown too used to pain to care. As they thrust into his mouth the back of his head banged against the wall. Once, twice, over and over again, and he let it happen. Sometimes only the sharpness of pain reminded him that he was still alive, that he hadn’t died and gone to hell. Sometimes Laurence was there, but often he was not. Mulder had the feeling that the other man was ignoring him on purpose, and, much to his surprise, he found that he missed those touches on his hair, the soothing little whispers and gentle caresses. He had always hated them, but they were the only kindness he had been shown in this place. It was the kindness of the one person who was inflicting the most of his pain, but it was all he had, and he hated himself for needing it.


After they were finished with his mouth they always tied him to the post and whipped him. He wasn’t sure if it was a daily event, because he didn’t know what time had passed, but it always happened in this order; first the feeding, then the oral rape, then the beating. As he hung from the post, barely conscious, they gave him his enema, before hosing him down, washing away all the dried semen from his mouth, and ass, and thighs and gagging him again. Then it was back to the Recreation Room, where he was tied in the same position each time, and was visited by a succession of faceless men. He lost count of how many, or how often. Sometimes he was alone in the dark, with his thoughts, for what seemed like a very long time, and he almost feared his own mind during those times. If he was lucky he escaped into exhausted sleep, or the past, but more and more frequently he was not so lucky. Shapeless demons, the leftover bogeymen of a child’s nightmare, haunted his semi-conscious moments instead.


And then, one day, Laurence was back. He smelled the other man’s unmistakable scent as he was untied – that foul combination of lavender and something bitter, and unidentifiable. He was dragged back to his room, and the hated gag was removed from his throat, leaving him, as it always did, with the foul taste of rubber in his mouth. He was fed, orally raped, beaten, given an enema and hosed down as usual, but then, instead of gagging him again, they pushed him down on his knees, and he felt fingers stroking his hair.


“There, my dear boy. Did you miss me?” That urbane, familiar, almost blessed voice asked him.


“Y…yes,” he replied, beyond lies, not used to speaking.


“I knew you would. Now that you’ve seen how cruel I can be you appreciate the kindness I showed you before,” Laurence purred. “You took it for granted then – the cozy fireside chats, the affection, the good food.”


Mulder nodded, because it was true. He tried to form a word but the effort was too great.


“I’ve missed you as well but it doesn’t need to be this way. We can be together, reunited, can’t we?” Gentle lips on his forehead, and tender arms wrapped around his shoulders.


“Please don’t send me back to that room,” he managed to gasp, his mouth feeling strange, the sound of his voice even stranger.


“I’d prefer not to. I’d much prefer to resume our previous discussions, but how can I tell if you’re in the right frame of mind to continue?”


“I’ll try.” Mulder rested his head on a bony shoulder, not caring. He would try because the alternative was the dark insanity of that room…not the grotesquely misnamed ‘Recreation Room’ but the Raping Room, as he had christened it. If he had to go back there he knew that he would lose his mind.


“Well, I’m sure you think you mean that, but I need to have some proof of your intent. Tell you what, why don’t you answer me one tiny question, and if you do that, I’ll know you’re acting in good faith, and I’ll allow you back to the salon. Hmm?”


“Wha…what’s the question?” He asked, his mouth sore, and uncertain. Lips touched his, and a tongue found its way inside. Mulder accepted it, acquiescent and still under fondling, caressing fingers. Then the kiss ended, and a voice spoke into his ear.


“What was the name of your lover?”


Mulder opened his mouth, wordless, and let his misery scream into the world, in a silent miasma of refusal.


“I don’t…” he hung there, his head resting against the other man’s shoulder. He saw a world in which he told this truth and could not live in it, knowing what questions might follow and what part of himself he might give away in just the two small words of a name. “…remember…” he finished, facing the void again. Laurence dropped him abruptly, and he fell to the floor, hitting his head on the stone surface.


“Take him back to the Recreation Room.”


The voices talked to him in the dark now, in that room. They talked to him as unseen hands silently pried his buttocks apart, and countless hard cocks thrust into him. He spoke to his mother at some length – he could see her just over to the left, just past his shoulder. She was always dressed in a plain white blouse, and her hair looked nice, as if she’d just had it done. Sometimes Scully came, but not often, and when she did she always scolded him about something. It was usually something silly, something small, like whether he’d remembered to pick up his suit from the dry cleaner. He liked that. He liked listening to her scolding. Sometimes it was his father, Bill Mulder, the man who had raised him, but Mulder didn’t want to talk to him. He didn’t know what they had to say to each other. How could he face his father knowing the truth anyway? Knowing he wasn’t really his son? Mulder turned his face away when his father visited. Then sometimes it was his lover. His lover always stood just out of sight in the shadows, his face hidden. Sometimes Mulder only knew he was there because he caught a glimpse of his red shirt. He talked to his lover at length but it didn’t go anywhere. Often he ended up shouting but afterwards he couldn’t remember why, and his lover never said much anyway, just listened, and waited, and listened. It was infuriating. No wonder Mulder ended up yelling. He could hear the sound quite clearly in his mind, although he was gagged.


Sometimes Laurence visited him in the Recreation Room now. At least he thought it was Laurence. The man talked to him in Laurence’s voice. No, he knew it was Laurence because the gag was removed, and that never happened with any of the others.


“Why do you protect him, hmm? Why does he matter? He dumped you didn’t he?”




“That isn’t what you said before. You said he abandoned you.”


“He…” The truth, as he had so often found before, was more complicated. Laurence raped him, as they had all raped him. It was familiar, even comforting. Rock, rock; stroke, stroke. It was slow, and he was caressed. Fingers trailing down his back, gentle caresses on his buttocks, little kisses.


“Yes he did. He betrayed you.”


Mulder closed his eyes; saw his lover standing in the hallway, holding a suitcase. “Fox…I’m sorry, but this isn’t working out.” He remembered staring, blankly, as his lover tried to talk to him, but the words, although he could still repeat them verbatim after all these years, had barely made sense to him at the time. “I don’t think either one of us knows what we want. I’m confused – about my career, about you, about everything. I’m moving. I need to find that job you keep telling me is right for me, the one that’s out there somewhere. I need for you to grow up – and no I’m not patronizing you. God knows I’m not doing that.” His lover put his hands on Mulder’s shoulders, and gazed into his eyes. He looked so very sad. “It’s just that you’re so young, and you need to experience a hell of a lot more before you settle down with one person. I’m sorry.”


“He said he was sorry,” Mulder whispered.


“That’s not good enough though is it?” Laurence asked, as he pushed back in. “He abandoned you. I’d never do that, Mulder. I’ll always be here for you. Was he scared? You have to play the right game to succeed in this world, and 18 years ago being a self-confessed homosexual wasn’t a good career move, was it? Your lawyer was ambitious and you were in the way.”


“That wasn’t how it was. We were both scared.”


“I expect it was made clear to him. I expect somebody had words in his ear. I expect he got married. A nice, trophy wife, so he could continue climbing the corporate ladder without them pointing and saying ‘he’s not one of us’. Is that how it was?”




“He was a coward. He sold you, Mulder. He sold your happiness for his own career.”




“Think about it. He’s why you’re here, suffering. He isn’t worth protecting, Mulder.”


“No, no, no,” he spoke the words in time to each thrusting intrusion into his own body, and afterwards the gag was replaced, he was kissed on the forehead, and the other man left. Mulder wanted to cry out after him to come back but he couldn’t because of the gag.


He saw a suitcase in a hallway. Tell the truth, a voice in his head insisted, tell him that you were intending to run out first but he beat you to it, and you never forgave him for that, but he caught a glimpse of his lover’s red shirt just out of sight in the shadows, and he couldn’t.


“It doesn’t matter,” his lover whispered. “Let it go. Let me go. It’s okay. Give it up. Give it up.”


He was sure he was losing his sanity now. He knew he couldn’t endure this much longer. His mind was worn down to nothing and he couldn’t tell the difference between the past and the present any more. It was all just one long, jumbled narrative. Then it was back to his room, the gag was removed, he was force fed, then orally raped, the beating, the enema…it was all so familiar. Finally he was hosed down, and then the gag was pressed against his lips, but not fastened, teasing him, testing him.


“Take him back to the Recreation Room,” Laurence said and he sagged, helpless, knowing he couldn’t take another day in that room. “Unless you’d like to tell me the name of your lover?” Laurence knelt beside him, holding him up. Mulder didn’t have the strength to raise his head. He just wanted to stay here, in these arms, being held. Safe. Warm. Comforted. He knew, with the only small kernel of self-awareness and clarity that was left to him, that if he went back to that room he would lose any chance he had of surviving this process, and defeating his opponent. If he went back he would be lost. He had to stay in this game somehow. That was what he told himself anyway, although he couldn’t be sure if it was just an excuse.


“Walter,” he said, gazing into the darkness of the blindfold. “His name was Walter Skinner.”


There was silence for a long time – so long that he didn’t even know whether he’d said the name or not. Then he was being helped to his feet, and over to the table.


“Give him a hot bath, and some painkillers, see that those welts are treated, and then bring him back to the salon,” Laurence ordered in a low voice, full of triumph. Mulder knew he had done something very good, or very stupid. The only problem was that he wasn’t sure which.




I’m walking on air as I return to the salon. My feet are so light I could dance. These tiny breakthroughs are why I do this job. They make it all worthwhile. It’s so beautiful, like the most perfect song. The problem with the Recreation Room is that it can break some people too far, into insanity, and then it’s impossible to find them again. It renders them more or less useless to work with so I use the Recreation Room sparingly – and I think only Charles’s assistant has spent more time in there than Mulder. It was necessary though – as this breakthrough shows. I did worry about it being too much for him but following my instincts proved right, as always.


He’s an intriguing mix of frailty and strength is my Fox Mulder. He has so many weak, sensitive areas that can be attacked, but he compensates for that by having great mental strength, and an innate dignity that are both very hard to breach. He’s spent his life constructing defense mechanisms against trauma that would have emotionally crippled many of us, and most of these defenses are serving him very well. The Recreation Room was, in many ways, a particular nightmare for him. Not so much because of the sexual exploitation, although I’m sure that distressed him, but because of the silence, the mental isolation, and the inability to use his fine mind to communicate in any way, because he does so love to talk. Being locked inside your own mind is a salutary experience for any of us. You only need to study the effects of prisoners in solitary confinement to understand that. I’m sure that Mulder will be much chastened by his experience, but not by any means broken. One tiny step forward doesn’t mean he’s remotely broken. He isn’t. He’s amenable for now because the Recreation Room was the greatest threat to his well-being, and he took a conscious, calculated decision, weighing the risks and gains, and decided that in this instance volunteering information was the wisest course of action. He also knew that the longer he stayed there the poorer his physical condition would become, and the less resistant he would be to my questioning. He’s buying time, sweet boy, and I’m quite prepared to sell it to him in exchange for what I want.


Which brings me to the topic of Walter Skinner. You know, I had prepared for the possibility that Mulder would lie before finally yielding me the truth. I even had to consider this great revelation for a second before knowing, without any shadow of a doubt, that he was speaking the truth. For a start it had to be a pretty big truth to make him want to hide it so assiduously for so long, and this is definitely a big truth. In addition it would serve no purpose to offer such an outrageous and easily checked lie. No, I’m quite certain he’s telling the truth – and it does explain why Assistant Director Skinner has been prepared to risk his integrity, career prospects, and even his life on occasion in support of his subordinate. I had wondered about that. It also makes sense that he has a mental block about masturbating while fantasizing about Skinner – seeing the man every day at work while sharing a history might make such fantasies more painful than joyful. Knowing that you can’t have what you want so much…well I can understand that kind of pain; it’s exquisite, like no other, uniquely poised between pleasure and agony. No wonder he had such a blockage. Now that we know, we can begin exploring this topic a little more deeply. Walter Skinner…in a way I view him as my rival for Mulder’s affections. This love affair they shared so many years ago, so brief and intense, that burned itself out on the pyre of their youth and confusion; it is integral to his psyche, and it’s going to be very enjoyable using it to break him.


I return to the salon, and sit on the couch with a sigh of pure relaxation. The past few days haven’t been easy for me. At this stage in the breaking process I really do prefer to spend a considerable amount of time with my new recruit and I’ve been denied that. Hopefully we can make up for lost time now. I’m so giddy with triumph that I allow myself the smallest sip of sherry. Just a taste on my lips – what comes next requires a clear head after all.


He’s brought up half an hour later. He certainly smells better, and he’s been shaved, and cleaned up, although, let’s be honest, he still looks a bit of a mess. That’s fine. We can restore his beauty in due course. The dutymen drag him into the middle of the room and let go of him, and he falls, almost comically to the floor, utterly unable to stand. He lies there, quiet and unmoving, his chest rising and falling evenly. I nod to the dutymen to remove his blindfold, and unfasten his hands from his belt. He makes no move throughout, just lies still. He’s blinking, unused to the light, and it’s nice to be able to study him more closely than the dim recesses of the basement rooms allow. He’s not as badly injured as he thinks he is – the whips I use bestow the maximum sensation with the minimum damage. His white flesh is liberally marked with red streaks, but they’ll all fade very swiftly, leaving no trace. His mouth is more seriously hurt – the gag I used is very severe, and the corners of his mouth are swollen and crusted with sores. His lips are chapped and cracked, bleeding a little in places. Otherwise he’s unharmed. His rectum is undoubtedly sore, but it isn’t torn. I make it very clear to all those requesting use of the Recreation Room that they must, under no circumstances, cause damage of any kind to the recruit restrained in there. There are trainees that I’m happy to lend them for that purpose if it’s required. A broken trainee is a much better prospect for such abuse in any case, as their acquiescent natures make them amenable to even quite severe brutality, which has the effect of lessening the possibility of any permanent damage.


Mulder is looking at me. I’ve missed gazing into those beautiful hazel eyes. He really is one of the more captivating men I’ve had in my salon. It’s strange – when I first saw him I didn’t think he was beautiful at all, but his looks have really grown on me.


“You can lie there if you like. Or sit with me. The chair is also an option.” I nod in the direction of his usual armchair. “I have a nice meal to tempt you. After the liquids you’ve been living on recently I’m sure you’re about ready for some real food.” He raises his head and glances at the little table next to his chair. It’s filled with the most delicious smelling food.


“Meatloaf?” he croaks, raising an eyebrow at me. He glances at his plate, which contains the most superior example of this particular dish that he will surely have ever seen. There are three large, succulent slices waiting for him, topped with a thick, bright red ketchup glaze, and surrounded by creamy mashed potatoes, and green beans.


“Followed by chocolate pie for dessert,” I add. “With a coconut piecrust. Your favorites I believe?”


“Yeah. My favorites. You’ve been reading up on me, Larry.”


I freeze as my hand reaches out for my glass of water. His hazel eyes watch my movement.


“You don’t like me calling you Larry?” He asks, in a teasing tone. This is the odd thing about him. Whereas his shortening of my name should be a deliberate challenge to my authority, coming from him it just seems like a friendly tease. There’s no malice in either his eyes or his tone of voice. He isn’t challenging my authority and that’s why it’s so hard to reprimand him.


“I’ve already told you to call me ‘sir’,” I remind him, trying to sound sterner than I actually feel. I’m really a little amused. Here he is, naked, hurt, severely abused, and the first thing he does is tease me. It’s so refreshing, and it’s part of what makes him such fun.


“Nobody calls you Larry? That’s a shame. Larry, Curly and Moe – the Three Stooges.” He glances over at the two dutymen, one of who does actually bear more than a passing resemblance to ‘Curly’. It’s funny. I can’t help laughing out loud. He pushes himself into a sitting position, wincing as he does so. “You look different when you laugh like that, Larry,” he says softly in that hoarse voice, his face just inches away from my knee. “You should laugh more often.”


“And you should have something to eat. I can see that you’re in better spirits now.”


“Painkillers. Never realized what a buzz the little fellas could give you until now. Work like this on an empty stomach maybe?”


He struggles to get up and the blood drains from his head, so he sways, dizzily. Deciding that he doesn’t have either the energy or strength to walk, he crawls instead. I watch, unmoving, enjoying the sight of his long legs and naked ass as he makes the journey. He’s in poor shape, so it takes him a while. I’m delighted by his demeanor though. People react differently after a spell in the Recreation Room. Some are so traumatized that they are silent for days. Others feel the need to talk, and once they begin they can’t stop. Mulder, of course, is different. He seems almost eager to show me that he’s willing to co-operate, but is in no sense cowed or defeated. He’s trying to be the person he’d be if I had just met him in a restaurant for lunch. He’s trying, I realize, to be him. After days of having his sense of self well-nigh obliterated, he’s desperately feigning that everything is fine, everything is okay – he’s still him. And he’s putting on this show as much for himself as for me. He so needs to know that he’s a real person, not just a body to be abused and raped by faceless men. It’s a good strategy, and it shows some measure of his mental strength that he’s able to present such a convincing façade. In the midst of what he sees as depravity and deprivation, he’s trying to impose normality. I would expect nothing less of someone with his background and areas of expertise. He’s trying to make me, his captor, see him as someone real, someone human, and someone I might relate to. Clever boy.


His movements are quite pitiful really. He tries to climb his way into the chair but his muscles aren’t working, so he slumps, defeated, in front of it, and, disguising this failure as if he had never intended to sit in it anyway, he decides not to risk another humiliating attempt so he stays on the floor instead, his back leaning against the chair. From there, he helps himself to the food on his plate. It’s agonizing to watch. It takes him a few minutes to cut into each slice of meatloaf, and every mouthful is grindingly slow. He chews thoughtfully, and I wonder if he even tastes the food. It could well be that he’s eating merely because he knows he needs to get some of his strength back. It’s such a shame because the meal really is delicious. Meatloaf is, unfortunately, the kind of fare that I remember all too well from my childhood, but thankfully the chef has managed to turn Mulder’s somewhat geeky, homely favorite foodstuff into his usual tour de force of culinary delight.


“So,” Mulder says conversationally, glancing at me as if we are old friends catching up on gossip. “Whaddya want to talk about, Larry? You wanna talk about Walter?”


I smile indulgently. He’s so sweet. Pretending that his revelation wasn’t won from him by dint of his own sweat, pain and tears in order to negate his sense of failure at having given in to me. His voice is very husky, and he forms his words with care, his lips and tongue clearly still tender after the gagging.


“Do you?” I inquire politely.


“Aw Christ, Larry, you’re sounding like a therapist now,” he says, his hazel eyes shining a little too brightly. He’s almost certainly running a fever.


“I’ll admit that your little revelation took me by surprise.” I smile at him tenderly.


“Didn’t expect that one, huh?” He grins, as if pleased to have been able to shock me.


“Not at all. It must have been hard for you – working with Mr. Skinner after your former liaison. How did you both react?”


He munches for a long time, pretending it is the chewing that is taking all the time, and not his own careful, considered response to the question.


“Wasn’t easy,” he concedes at last. “But it had been 13 years – I hadn’t seen him in all that time. Not once. I knew there was an AD called Walter Skinner at the Bureau but you know it just never sank in that it might be him. I don’t know why – too weird I suppose. After the life I’ve led you’d think I would be used to weird.” He shrugs, and then grimaces in pain as that movement hurts.


“Are you sure you didn’t know he was there?” I ask quietly, stirring my cup of tea.


“What do you mean?” He takes another nonchalant bite of his food.


“I mean that you had been urging him to find a new job and he left looking for one. You knew he’d gone to DC. Maybe you even considered following him. Maybe you’d heard through the grapevine that he’d gone into the Bureau. Maybe it even influenced your own decision to join.”


“No. I didn’t know,” he says, very quickly. “I didn’t know it was him. I didn’t know he was there. Even when I heard his name I didn’t piece it together. It wasn’t until I saw him from a distance in the hallway…and even then, you know, I wasn’t sure. He’d changed quite a bit.”


“I’m not saying it was a conscious decision.” I smile at him blandly. “But he denied you closure didn’t he? You needed that. I think you did know he was there, even though you didn’t seek him out. I think you were just waiting for the moment when you’d see him again.”


“No. I didn’t know,” he says softly.


“And what did happen when you met him again?”


“It was…strange.” He has a faraway expression in those unnaturally bright eyes. Shame though it is, I think I’ll have to draw this particular conversation to an end fairly soon or risk making his fever worse. “We were assigned to him all of a sudden, out of nowhere. I was called to his office, and…when I saw him there was this moment when the whole world stood still. He looked at me, and I looked at him. There was somebody else there though, that cigarette smoking bastard of a boss of yours, so we couldn’t say anything. I’m not sure he would have said anything anyway. He’d changed quite a bit. He was heavier, and, Christ, he was practically bald!”


“And you found him just as attractive as you had 13 years before, maybe even more so,” I predict.


“Yes. I did.” He shrugs.


“Age, power, his own authority over you. All of these things you found attractive.”


“Maybe. Also just because it was him. He was still there behind those dark eyes,” he murmurs, “only he didn’t want me to see. He just shook my hand, and gestured me to a chair, where he proceeded to try and kick me off a case.”


“And you showed him that you didn’t give a damn about his authority, that you remembered him stark naked and lying in your arms, by telling him as politely as possible where to stick it,” I laugh.


“Yes. Something like that.” He shifts uncomfortably, worried by the amount I am able to surmise. “He called me Fox. That really riled me up. Nobody calls me Fox except people I’m intimate with. My family, and lovers. He called me Fox in front of someone. He didn’t have the right to call me that any more. I reacted badly – he must have seen in my eyes what I was thinking. He didn’t call me Fox again.”


“And you never talked about it.” Two dysfunctional men. Hopeless! It’s really quite amusing.


“No. He wanted to on one occasion. Cornered me in my office one day, but I made it clear that it was in the past, that I didn’t even want to think about it, and he left it there. We could have been two different people.” He shrugs, a rather sweet, lost, endearing gesture. He’s fading fast, poor lamb. This bravura performance he’s putting on really has taken its toll on him. He has, after all, just endured days of silence, of beatings, and of forced penetration. He’s shell shocked, running on empty.


“I found out later that he was married. He’d been married for years – got married less than a year after we split up. Not a happy marriage I don’t think.” He shrugs again, and gazes at his food as if its no more appetizing than sawdust. “I met her. She was nice. She told me…she told me that he talked about me a lot.” He bows his head. “Christ that nearly undid me. You see, it wasn’t all his fault… There’s other stuff… I…” He raises his head again, but he’s too far gone to complete whatever it is he was about to say. He goes out like a lamp, all his energy draining from his body, and his hand drops, lifelessly to his side.


“You’re very tired, Mulder,” I whisper.


“Yes.” His body has started to shake.


“You need rest, don’t you?”


“Yes.” Alarm creeps into those expressive hazel eyes. “Don’t take me back downstairs. Please, I’ll try and talk. I’ll try and keep going. I don’t want…”


“It’s all right. I wasn’t going to suggest it. You need a proper night’s sleep in a proper bed. You can sleep with me if you like, in my bed. Would you like that?”


“Would you tie me?” He asks.


“No.” I shake my head, smiling at him. “You can sleep for as long as you like. I won’t wake you. You won’t be beaten. All I ask is that you are respectful, and obedient.”


He nods, beyond coherent thought at this stage, and I get up, and go over to him. He’s far too weak to hurt me so I crouch in front of him, and help him to his feet. He’s like a dead weight, but I love holding him, my hands circling his beautiful, precious body. I sling one of his arms around my neck, and half-walk, half-carry him into the next room. He’s too tall for me to pick up bodily, which I’d like to do, and I’m far too old to manage it, unfortunately, but he is able to stagger the few steps from my salon into the bedroom I use for show. I sit him on the huge, king-sized bed, and roll him under the sheets. His eyes close the minute his head hits the pillow.


“Sweet dreams, dear boy.” I sit on the bed next to him, and stroke his hair, watching him sleep. It isn’t night – it’s actually around noon – so there’s no question of me sleeping with him. It’s dangerous apart from anything else. If he woke up while I was sleeping he might attack me. I position the dutymen outside the door, and then return to the bed to watch over him. I love the little mole on the side of his face, and the way his dark lashes frame his cheeks. I love those sensual lips and make a mental note to allow them to heal before gagging him again. Unable to resist, I turn the temperature up to ensure he’s comfortable, and then strip back the blankets and gaze at his naked body. He is such a feast, and I love him like this, untied and unwary. He’s so out of it that he doesn’t even wake when I run my fingers over his skin. I love the softness of his inner thighs, and the warm glow of his welted buttocks. Such a pleasing juxtaposition of sensation. I dip my head and nuzzle at his nipples, kissing each one gently, and then lick a line up to his jaw. My sleeping boy. My poor, dear, sleeping boy. What a treasure he is proving to be.


He still hasn’t woken up 12 hours later when I go to bed. I position a dutyman in the room to watch him, and retire to my own Spartan bedroom along the hallway. When I wake the next morning, he’s still asleep, but he needs the rest so I don’t begrudge him. I sit at the desk in my bedroom, working my way through the bills and correspondence. I’m so involved in it that it takes me quite by surprise when a drawling voice breaks through my reverie.


“You working, Larry? You look strange – I somehow never imagined you as a paper-pusher.” I glance up and see his eyes fixed on me from across the room. I wonder how long he has been watching me.


“Oh, my dear boy, you’d be surprised how much paperwork is involved in running this place. There are always goods to order, and bills to be paid.”


“Goods huh?” He grins, and sits up, resting his head on his hand as he gazes at me. “Don’t tell me there’s a place where you can buy some of this stuff – that electricity machine for example. There’s a place that makes them, Larry?”


An interesting strategy. Rendering the objects of fear less terrifying, more familiar by pondering the mundanity of where and how they might be purchased.


“How are you feeling?” I cut him off abruptly.


“Stiff,” he replies.


“That’s understandable. Would you like a hot bath followed by a nice long massage?”


He eyes me warily. “A bath? Alone?” he asks.


“Of course not.” I get up, cross the room, and draw back the curtain in an alcove to reveal the large Jacuzzi. “We’ll bathe together,” I tell him. He considers it for a moment. “I’m sure you feel dirty – all those men thrusting into you. You must want to wash the smell of them from your skin. It’s hard to feel really clean, isn’t it?”


“If I refuse, do I get sent back to my room? Or…that other place?” He knows the Recreation Room has a name but clearly can’t bring himself to say it out loud. I just shrug, and smile, somewhat maddeningly I’ll admit. Let his own mind supply the details of what will happen if he refuses! Actually, if he does I’ll simply take him to the salon to feed him, and talk some more, but he doesn’t know that. He weighs it up, licking his lips anxiously.


“All right,” he says at last, clearly not willing to risk being sent back downstairs.


“Good boy.”


I fill the bath, and then summon one of the dutymen into the room. It won’t be necessary to always have attendance when he’s broken, but for now, he could still turn on me when I least expect it. I undress and slip into the bath, and then beckon him over. He hesitates, but finally comes, eyes down. There’s even some shame in those pretty eyes, as if he knows he’s selling out but he’s quite wrong.


“Why the downcast look?” He slips into the bath beside me, and refuses to meet my eye.


“Just thinking how easy it is for you to order me to do this,” he mutters. “Is this what you mean by breaking someone, Larry?” His hazel eyes look up, and meet mine, mute with his own despair.


“Good god, no!” I laugh. “I agree that anyone seeing you now might imagine you’re broken. You’re following my orders, and being very agreeable. Come here.” I snap my fingers and he struggles with himself again, glances at me, then over to the dutyman, and then, finally, comes. I wrap my arms around him and bury my nose in his slightly wet hair. “It’s certainly easy enough to train you, like a dog, so that you avoid the consequences of bad behavior, and are acquiescent to my commands,” I tell him, and he stiffens. “However that isn’t breaking. After a few days of normality in your own apartment, you’d be just as difficult as you were to begin with. Only by breaking you will I ensure that you’ll do as you’re told, even when I am nowhere near. It’s such a long, beautiful process.” He shivers, and I take a large, yellow sponge, soak it in water, and then squeeze the contents over his lovely, long limbed body, delighting in the way the water splashes over that white flesh. “Hold still, dear boy. I want to fondle.”


I soap him all over, and then wash him with the sponge, lingering over his cock, and the crease between his buttocks. He swallows hard, and fights with every last vestige of his self control not to lose it, and hit out at me. He knows that he’s not in any physical condition to endure the Recreation Room right now. Even another beating isn’t wise in his condition.


“Don’t worry about it,” I tell him, nibbling at his earlobe. “You’ll do fine when the times comes. You’ll break, as they all do. I promise you.” He shivers again.


“And if I don’t?” He asks, his voice barely more than a whisper.


“But you will,” I reassure him. “It might be a long, painful process, but you will.”


“I don’t think you can do anything worse to me than you already have and I’m not broken yet,” he says. I love that he can talk so honestly and openly about this subject. Very few of my recruits have been able to do this. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had this particular discussion with any of them.


“Oh, my dear boy, there are many ways to break a person. We’ll find yours, don’t you worry.” I run my fingers over his chest, and tweak a nipple playfully.


“Please. Don’t,” he says, and I can’t tell if he’s referring to the breaking or my fondling.


“I have to.” I fasten my arms tighter around him, the contact with his lovely body and trembling uncertainty making my cock hard. “You’ll be such a pleasure when you’re broken. You’ll be so loving, so obedient. There won’t be any hesitation or doubts. You’ll be full of certainties, and so responsive.”


“I’ll be whatever you want, just please don’t whip me again, or send me to that room.”


“Ah, if only I could make that promise.” I kiss his neck, lingering, sucking at the skin, and he splashes a little in the water. “But you see there will be times when you need to be whipped, Mulder, even when you’re broken, and it’s my duty to make sure that you receive what you deserve.”


“You talked about deserving before. You said I deserved punishment,” he says, in a faltering tone. “Why did you say that, Larry?”


“Because you do.” I squeeze him again. “You’re very lovely, Mulder, but you’re also very mixed up. We have to straighten you out, punish all your willful disobedience out of you. It isn’t cruelty on my part – I’m doing this entirely for your own benefit.”


“Yeah. Right.” He hunches uncomfortably and I chuckle.


“You’ll see. Now, you’re making me very aroused. Can I enter you here and now or must I tie you first? It’s all the same to me. Just let me know.”


He turns in my arms, a startled look on his face.


“I don’t want it,” he says.


“I know, but it’s going to happen. Now, can I rely on you to hold still, or must I tie you? If you force me to tie you then I’ll beat you as well.”


He considers it, glancing at his chafed wrists, and then shrugs.


“No, that’s not good enough. I must have an answer. I can tie you, beat you and penetrate you, or you can agree to me making love to you by your own consent – untied. What is the answer?”


He clenches his fists. He’s afraid of another beating, and rightly so, but he hates the idea of allowing me to do this to him without struggling.


“All right,” he says at last.


“Ask me then.” I fondle the side of his face, smiling at him. “Ask me properly. Ask me to make love to you. Not rape, Mulder. This isn’t rape. This will be making love, with your full consent.”


“But if I don’t you’ll tie me, beat me, and do it anyway,” he protests.


I laugh. “That’s right.”


He really wants to fight me at this moment in time, but experience has taught him the futility of protest, and a kind of resigned hopelessness creeps into his eyes.


“Please make love to me then,” he whispers, his voice slightly choked, those beautiful hazel eyes large and tragic.


“Dear boy! I can’t tell you how long I’ve waited to hear you say those words!” I exclaim, full of joy. “How would you like to be taken? From behind? Or looking into my eyes?” Making him collude in his own penetration is, admittedly, a little cruel, but it’s really so enjoyable, and psychologically it’s quite devastating.


“Whatever you want.” He shrugs.


“No, my dear boy – what do you want? I want everything to be perfect for you during our first proper bout of love making.”


His hands are clenched into tight fists. If I push him any more he’ll snap and then I’ll have to whip him, which will be a pity as I’m looking forward to this.


“Not from behind,” he grinds out. Ah, no. That’s too reminiscent of the Recreation Room.


“Lie on your back then, on the side of the Jacuzzi.” The bath is sunken, so I position him with his back on the floor, his legs wide open, trailing into the warm water, before I rise up on my knees on the ledge near the side of the Jacuzzi, and work his ass open. He’s very tender here, which is hardly surprising. I reach for lubricant from the side of the bath, and rub some inside him, before anointing my own, eager cock. He is swallowing convulsively, his legs twitching, and I know he wants to get up and run away. I pat his thighs, soothing him as if he is an excitable thoroughbred stallion.


“There, there. Hold still.” His eyes widen as I enter between his buttocks, and he bucks, his muscles clenching against me. I hold my position, and calm him again. “You’ll have to learn to take this, dear boy. If we are to introduce you to our clients then we must make sure that you are open and willing. You’ll also find it much less painful if you open up voluntarily. The muscles take less bludgeoning that way. There, relax.” His eyes are full of hurt and disgust. I smile, and pat his thighs gently. “You’ll learn. You’ve already learned a great deal, and I’ll be beside you all the way, taking care of you, and guiding you into your new life. All you have to do is let go of the last one and accept that this is what you are now. It’s that simple.”


“I don’t think I’ll ever accept this,” he hisses.


“You will.” I grab his buttocks, and begin thrusting into him, quite easily. This is nice. I like looking at him as I make love to him. His eyes register mute rebellion, but that’s irrelevant. One day they’ll look at me with love, and need. In time. I take the sex nice and slow. It’s very leisurely, and I can actually see him switching off. I slap his face lightly. “Keep in the moment, Mulder. We must work on keeping you with whoever you’re servicing. They might have special needs and you won’t be able to see to those needs if you’re off in some fantasy of your own.”


We really do have to break through his tendency to escape into his own thoughts during these sessions. He must understand what is being done to him in order to progress, and learn. Certainly at the moment he’s a hopeless lay. Very beautiful and arousing of course, but he’s just a lump of flesh, and his dislike and distaste for the proceedings are very evident in his eyes. Somebody else might find such expressions a turn off. Not me, of course, but our clients would have every right to complain about such sullen disgust.


“Tell me what you’re thinking when I’m inside you,” I prompt.


“That it hurts. That I hate you,” he replies, honestly enough.


“That’s fine. I’m sure it does hurt. I’ll apply some cream later if you’re good.”


“Don’t you care that I hate you?” He asks.


“No. It’s only temporary. You’ll come to love me in time.”


“You can’t make someone love you.”


“Oh, but of course you can. I have. On many occasions.”


“It isn’t love, Larry,” he insists. “It’s fear.”


“Hush or I’ll have to punish you.”


I speed up my thrusts, grabbing his buttocks in both hands and he cries out in pain just as I cry out with pleasure in my climax. I lean over him, claiming a kiss, and he stares back full of exhausted loathing. I withdraw, and he slides back into the bath to wash himself, which is a mite insulting to me, but I let it pass on this occasion. It’s only the first time he’s consented to sex, after all. We have a long way to go yet, and there’s plenty of time to teach him a few social niceties.


He’s tired again. I’ve seen this before. The stress just wears them out. One minute they’re fine, and the next they droop. I help him over to the bed, and then anoint my hands with oil, before beginning to work gently on all his kinks. He’s too demoralized to protest, and his muscles soon relax under my expert ministrations. He’s stiff and sore in many places, and it takes quite some time to loosen him up, but I’m finally done.


“I’m sure you’d like something to eat now,” I tell him. He merely snorts, and buries his head in the pillow.


“I can’t move, Larry,” he says.


“Sir.” I slap his buttocks lightly, and he rolls over to look at me with those clear hazel eyes. Ah, it’s a shame to always keep these expressive orbs covered. In fact it’s a shame that he has to be blindfolded at all.


“What’s wrong with Larry?” he asks, gazing up at me with those limpid eyes. “Hasn’t anybody ever called you Larry?”


“Thankfully no,” I lie.


“Not even as a kid?” I stiffen and get up. He really can be most disconcerting. “I can’t imagine you as a kid,” he says. “Was this what you wanted to be when you grew up, Larry? Did you ever think you’d end up doing this for a living?”


“Think? No. Fantasize…yes.” I smile at him, maliciously, and his eyes widen.


“Christ, Larry. What the hell happened to you as a kid if you were thinking of raping and torturing people at a young age?”


“Mulder, your whip may be downstairs but it would take one of my dutymen only a few minutes to retrieve it. Do you want that?” I ask him. He purses his lips thoughtfully.


“You know I don’t, Larry. I really don’t want that and I’m sorry if I upset you. I just like it when I can talk to you, properly, like we are doing now. You talk of making love, of being intimate. Isn’t this what lovers do? Don’t they talk about their lives?”


Damn. It really would be so easy to talk to him. It’s true that my intimacies have always been a little…one sided.


“On the subject of names, why don’t you like Fox?” I ask, a blatant deflection. It’s his turn to laugh now.


“Who would like it?” He grins. “Christ, Larry, you have no idea what it’s like being forced to go around with such a name. It’s like a millstone around my neck.”


“And such a pretty neck it is. Such an interesting name. Such a cunning young fox cub.” I trace a finger over his neck, and stroke under his chin, as if caressing a cat.


“I bet the other kids called you Larry when you were young,” he says. “Kids just do, don’t they? When I was a kid I prayed for a name you could shorten – it just made you sound like one of the gang. There was nothing you could do with Fox. Larry isn’t such a bad name though, is it? You must have been a cute kid. I bet your friends called you Larry.”


“I didn’t have any friends.” I can feel my jaw tightening. Nobody has called me Larry for over forty years. Larry is the name of a boy I left behind a long time ago. Just the sound of that name reminds me of the bigger boys closing in, and surrounding me. I’m too small and skinny to fight the older boys in the home, and I’m a frequent target for their bullying. Maybe there’s something about me that makes them hate me so. They’re standing over me, chanting my name, crowding me, jostling me, slapping, kicking, biting…


“Larry?” He’s looking at me, seemingly concerned, but behind the concern I can see something else, something speculative. I can see that shining mind of his making intuitive leaps.


“Don’t call me that.”


And yet, when he uses that name it doesn’t sound like a taunt. It sounds almost…intimate. I slip my finger between his dry, cut lips, to shut him up, watching his reaction. He accepts the finger, even makes a play of sucking on it, but his heart clearly isn’t in it and there’s something else in those expressive hazel eyes. Something I’ve never seen in any of my recruits before, something that takes me a few seconds to recognize – pity. I pull my finger out, angrily, and slap him hard across the jaw.


“Larry,” he says, in a choking tone, grabbing my hand as I go to backhand him the other way. “Larry, I’m sorry. I want to be everything you want me to be, I really do. It’s just…” His eyes are full of darkness. “I don’t think I can. You see, I think I was broken once before, when they took my sister. I don’t think it can happen again. I think once it’s happened then that’s it. I think I saw all the darkness then. I looked into the night and saw the worst happening. Isn’t that what you’re selling here, Larry? Everybody’s fears about what they can take? I don’t mean to be difficult, but I found a kind of insane sanity after Sam left. It’s why they all call me ‘spooky’ – and it’s why it doesn’t matter that they do. It’s why none of it ever matters, not even what you’ve done to me. I’ve already been there. I’ve seen it, Larry. I’m not saying I’m impervious, or that it doesn’t hurt, I’m just saying that I don’t think you’ll be able to break me and that scares me, because if you can’t break me I think you’ll end up killing me trying to, and I don’t want that, Larry, and I don’t think you want it either.”
It’s a speech from the heart and he means every word. I sit down on the bed next to him, and take his head in my hands, looking down on that beautiful, suffering face.


“I have to break you, darling,” I tell him urgently. “You must see that, surely? I have to break you.”


“Why? Can’t I be the one who got away?” He reaches up to place his own shaking hands over mine.


“No. I need this. I need you…to make it all worthwhile, to give it all a purpose. I need…”


“Satisfaction? The knowledge that you’re the best? The gratitude of your masters? You have all that. You don’t need me as well.”


“Yes I do. You’ll be my greatest achievement in an illustrious career, my finest hour. The culmination of my life’s work.” And maybe he’ll be enough. Maybe, in him, I’ll finally find someone who is enough for me, someone who doesn’t fill me with the profound sense of emptiness that all the others eventually came to do. I need to have him while I’m still at the height of my powers, before they inevitably start to fade. I need to find out.


“Let me go, Larry. Just let me go,” he urges softly. “Please. It can be our secret. You’ll be the stronger man for not going through with it.”


“But I have to go through with it,” I whisper, caressing his face lovingly. “I have to break you, my dear boy, because you’re the ultimate challenge. I’ve read your file, I know all about you. I know you’ve studied in the most prestigious universities in the world, and passed all your exams with the highest grades. More than that, I’ve heard about you from so many sources. You wouldn’t believe the number of clients who’ve come to my salon wanting release after some run in or other with you. If I can break you, it’ll be such a triumph, it’ll prove that I’m not…” Damn him for being able to lure me into a conversation like this. I pull back.


“Not what? Not getting old?” Ah, dear boy. He’s close…but he doesn’t quite understand. Nobody does, for I certainly haven’t told anyone. He is gazing at me so intently…it’s beautiful, like drowning. “Not losing your touch?” He presses, continuing with his theme. “What do I represent to you, Larry?”


“Privilege, dear one.” Looking into his eyes is like looking into the mirror of my own self-destruction. “You had everything I never had. I was also clever, but I didn’t have the advantages you did. I didn’t have your beauty, or your money, or your opportunities. I had to make it on my own, which is how I ended up here. Yes, I may be… growing old but I’ll go out with the knowledge that there was nobody I couldn’t break, you included. Dutyman,” I turn, to speak over my shoulder, and the dutyman snaps to attention. “Send someone to fetch Mulder’s whip,” I order and Mulder stiffens under me. The dutyman gives the command to his colleague in the other room, and then returns. “I’m going to break you piece by piece,” I whisper softly, holding Mulder down, and gazing into his eyes. “It’s going to hurt but it’s going to be so good. The idea of you, kneeling broken by my side, is so intoxicating.”


“Because I’m some kind of authority figure to you?” He asks, puzzled. “Because I work for the government? Is that it? But that just makes me a symbol – and you can’t break a symbol, Larry.”


“No, but I can break flesh and blood, and that’s also what you are.”


“There’s something else. Something personal. Who else are you breaking when you break me, Larry? My father? My real father?”


“Do you know who he is?” My fingers fasten around his throat, and tighten. “Do you have any idea who he is, Mulder?”


“Yes. Yes I do. I think I know who he is. He’s the man you work for, your boss. That cigarette smoking son of a bitch.”


“You poor creature. You don’t even know his name. You don’t even know your own father’s name.” I sit back and look at him, lying beneath me, lost and alone in the world, just as I once was. “That almost makes you an orphan. How does that feel? How does it feel to be cast out, unwanted by your father? Unloved? How does that feel?”


“You tell me.” He’s watchful, finding clues I really didn’t think I’d given away. Oh, I was right. I have met my match. He’s with me, every step of the way, and it’s exciting, and invigorating. Maybe Charles isn’t the only one suffering from ‘old stag’ syndrome. Maybe I needed this challenge on a deeper level than I realized. I look down on him and see a beautiful wild fox twisting under my taming hand, and now is the time to deliver a mortal blow to him, my enemy, my lover, my adversary. Careful, Laurence, in case he bites.


“Your father ordered you to be brought here, and given to me,” I tell him, and he crumples in front of me. “It’s true. Charles wanted you brought here, and broken. His own son, his own flesh and blood, and he wanted this done to you.” He writhes, and tries to escape, but he’s too weak and I have him pinned, like the dangerous animal he is. “He’s even seen you while you’ve been here. Did you know that? He came to visit a few days after you arrived. He asked to see you. You were lying in your room, and I brought him to watch. He asked what I’d done to you, and I told him. He enjoyed hearing about it I think. Your own father cares so little about your suffering that he watched you being penetrated and tortured without lifting a finger to help. How does that feel, Mulder?”


He’s very still, his face white and pinched. “I wouldn’t expect anything else from him,” he says in a thin, lost voice.


“Ah, but you might have hoped. No wonder your lawyer’s strong arms were so appealing. Is he who you’d like to rescue you, Mulder? Your Walter Skinner? Do you still love him?”


He makes no reply, just turns his face to the wall, away from my gaze. The dutyman comes back in, and hands me the whip. I run it over Mulder’s naked body, and then press the leather under his neck, forcing his chin up.


“An answer please, Mulder. Do you want him to rescue you? Not Scully, not your strange geeky friends, not anybody else but him. He rejected you, just as your real father did, but you still want him to rescue you. How pathetic.”


He submits to being rolled onto his stomach, and doesn’t even move as the whip flails down on his unprotected body. He just lies there, mutely, his eyes closed, and takes every stroke. I don’t whip him for long because he’s not in any physical condition to take it, and when I’m finished I pull him up and drag him bodily over to the mirror. I stand behind him, propping him up, and he gazes, wide-eyed and horrified, at his reflection.


“This is you, dear boy. This is Fox Mulder.” I turn him slightly, so that he can see the long, red welts on his back and buttocks. “Not the agent, clad in his expensive suit, being offered the protection his status and ID gives him. This is you. Fox Mulder. This is what is underneath. He’s an outcast, from his family, and from society. Nobody cares about him. The one person he loved didn’t want him. Nobody else wants him except me. I’ll take care of him. I’m all he’s got. Do you hear me, dear boy? I’m all you’ve got.”


He is slumped back against me, trembling, as he surveys his whipped, naked, degraded body in the mirror, taking in the cracked lips, the open sores, and the welts that liberally adorn his pale skin. “You never answered my question,” I purr in his ear. “Do you still love him? Your Walter Skinner? Is he still there in your heart, even after all these years?”


He looks at himself in the mirror, and then his eyes shift, and alight on me. “Yes,” he says, miserably.


“It’s all right.” I put my arms around him, and hug him close. “Don’t worry. I’ll help you with that. I’ll erase him and put myself in his place, and then you’ll be happier. You can have someone who wants you, someone who won’t let you down. Doesn’t that sound good? Hmm?” He closes his eyes, and then opens them again, and gazes into the mirror as if he doesn’t recognize himself.


“Yes,” he whispers.


“Good boy.” I kiss his neck, one eye on the mirror to make sure he’s watching me do it. “Good, good boy. There, just let it go. You can do that. Come on.” I take his hand and lead him towards the door.


“Where are we going?” He asks, panic in his voice.


“Just into the other room, dear boy,” I soothe, squeezing his hand reassuringly. “Just into the other room for a bite to eat.”




The armchair at the far end of the salon was so familiar that for a moment Mulder hesitated, trying to perform some kind of reality check. He knew that floral patterned chair like the back of his own hand, better maybe for it was becoming clear to him that he didn’t know himself as well as he thought he did. He sat in the chair, and it settled around him like an old friend. He had become used to this as well, this feel of slightly scratchy upholstery against naked flesh. When had that happened, and how? When had it come to feel normal to be sitting without clothes in this parlor? There were no windows in the room. He hadn’t seen the sun or the outside world since he had been abducted. How many days had passed, he wondered? Had it been weeks even? It felt like a lifetime. He couldn’t imagine his old life now; going to work, coming home, eating pizza on his couch while watching some dreadful old sci-fi movie on TV. He dimly remembered being able to come and go as he pleased, being strong, independent, and agile, and not feeling pain, and hunger, and sheer, wretched misery all the time, but it seemed so long ago. Being tied, being told when to eat and when to perform the most basic of bodily functions; that was what his soul struggled against, even more than the abuse. It robbed him of himself, of his ability to run his own life, as all this relentless questioning was robbing him of his individuality. He felt as if he was putting himself on a platter, and offering it up to his captor piece by piece.


There was a plate of sandwiches on the table beside his chair. He looked at them, disinterested in them as food, but aware that he had to eat in order to stay alert. His captor had followed him into the room, and he sat in his usual place, on the couch in front of the fire, blocking any heat from reaching Mulder. The other man was wearing a long, silk robe, covered in dark brown amoebic swirls. It was open a little at the neck, revealing a scrawny neck, and again at the leg, showing two pale, stick-like limbs. This was the body that had raped him. This was the body that he had been held against, and caressed by. Mulder’s hand, containing a sandwich, stopped on its way to his mouth, and, without warning, he found himself retching, his body convulsing but bringing up nothing.


“My poor boy. What was that about?” He felt Laurence’s long, thin, perpetually cold fingers on his naked shoulder, stroking him as he retched pointlessly and pathetically towards the carpet. A cup of water was pressed to his lips and he swallowed, gratefully. An image of a cock in his mouth, and semen running down his throat rose unbidden into his mind, and he retched again. It wasn’t a response he could help. He fought it, but the bile burned in his throat.


“My poor darling boy.” Laurence crouched in front of him, his hands on Mulder’s shoulders, and kissed his forehead between convulsions. “Never mind. I’m here. There, there.” Skeletal fingers brushed sweat-soaked hair off his face. Mulder thought of those fingers inside his body, thought of them caressing his nipples and stroking his thighs as this man raped him. He could feel the hard surface of the Jacuzzi under his buttocks, and the gentle warmth of the water swirling around his ankles as this man had thrust into him, with his own collusion. Making love he called it. Making love…


“Stop it now,” Laurence ordered, as another wave of nausea convulsed the agent. Mulder gave a choking laugh.


“How?” He asked. “You can make me do many things, Larry, but you can’t command the natural functions of my body.”


“But of course I can.” Laurence smiled. “Do you want me to fetch your whip and prove it to you?”


They stared at each other, faces so close as to be almost touching. Mulder swallowed his bile with a great effort of will, and forced himself to sit up straight, to present an illusion of dignity to his captor.


“No,” he whispered.


“Good boy.” Laurence kneaded his cold fingers into Mulder’s flesh, and Mulder closed his eyes, fighting the nausea, because if he didn’t fight it he would be whipped again and he couldn’t take any more pain. Pain, or rather avoiding it, obsessed him. It was all he thought about. The memory of his reflection in the mirror caused him to fight another shuddering, stomach-churning bout of nausea. He had barely recognized the man he had seen standing there. His skin was paler than he could ever remember seeing it before, his eyes stark, staring at him as if he was a stranger. His body was covered in marks that changed daily, creating a new network of blemishes that he couldn’t keep track of. This body, once so familiar and unchanging, had become alien to him. He had become the ‘other’ now, and he was no longer sure who he was. Maybe Laurence had been right. Stripped of his suit, and his badge, of the paraphernalia and trappings of his everyday persona, this was what he was underneath, and it was an ugly sight. He had always had a certain self-belief, which he knew sometimes came over to other people as arrogance, although that wasn’t how he felt, or what he intended. His job had set him aside from others, created a feeling that he was different, maybe even special in some way. Now though, he knew he was not. Underneath he was weak, and all too human. He was nothing special. He would sell himself for food, for comfort, and for relief from pain as fast as any other man.


Laurence got up, and went to sit beside the fire again while Mulder tried to concentrate, and to breathe. In this game of wits, he had so few weapons. He had to somehow manage to stay alert.


“Did you like sleeping in my bed, Mulder?” Laurence asked.


“It’s better than being tied,” Mulder replied, with a shrug.


“You can sleep in comfort, untied, more often, if you learn to co-operate.” Laurence smiled at him. Mulder had an image of an almost hairless pigeon-chest and sunken ribs, leaning over him as a blunt cock invaded his body. He saw old flesh sagging on sharp bones, scrawny, almost wasted, and, strangely, paler than his own shocked skin.


“You should sit out more, in the sun,” Mulder said, surprising himself. Laurence frowned. “You’re too pale.” Mulder remembered visiting his grandmother in a nursing home shortly before she’d died. She had been a tiny, frail old lady, and he had been just a boy. She smelled of urine, rose water, and something he could only define as the absence of sunlight. She had already relinquished her claim on this world. She had spent her last few days muttering to herself where she lay in her bed, meaningless words. Her mind had already passed over and was waiting for her ailing body to catch up. “Isn’t there a garden here?” Mulder asked, just trying to talk. If he talked he wouldn’t be sent back downstairs, and if he talked he wouldn’t have to think. After what had just happened in the bedroom, Mulder really didn’t want to think.


“Fishing for details?” Laurence asked, his eyes twinkling incongruously.


“Just wondering. Don’t you ever go outside? My grandmother had skin like yours – she was too ill to go out for years, and her skin was pale and gossamer thin.”


“Your grandmother – did she love you?” Laurence asked.


“I barely knew her. She was old and lived a long way away. I was just a child.” Mulder shrugged.


“That’s a shame. Grandparents can be such a blessing when parents lead busy lives,” Laurence murmured, taking a sip of his tea.


Mulder stole a glance at his tormentor. He had just little glimpses of an overall picture, and he knew that if he were well, and if this were an X File, he would be putting these pieces together better than he was doing right now. It was hard when he hurt so much though, when his emotions were so involved, and his body was red raw from abuse. He had learned some things about his captor but they were merely parts of a whole, pieces in the jigsaw. Laurence was probably either an orphan, or had been abandoned by his parents, and had almost certainly spent some of his early years in a children’s home. Maybe he had been looked after by a beloved grandparent in the absence of his parents, and had only had to go into the home when he or she had died. It was just guesswork, and yet Mulder had an intuition that he was close to the truth. His intuition rarely let him down. Sometimes he felt a kind of empathy for people he had profiled, or was investigating. It wasn’t sympathy, for their crimes often revolted him, but he had a knack of somehow understanding the way their minds worked, and of leaping towards a hypothesis that he couldn’t explain, but he just felt. His skills had made him a maverick in an institution more used to knocking on doors, asking questions, and following a procedure intended for less gifted agents. Gifted. He didn’t feel very gifted right now. His mind felt as slow and leaden as his body. He felt tired, old, and useless.


“Tell me about Walter Skinner,” his captor said, as if sensing his weakness.


Mulder laughed. “I’ve told you. It was a long time ago. It only lasted for a few months. It’s over.”


“But not in your heart. Not inside you. Why do you think that is? I’m surprised. He abandoned you. He walked out on you.”


“That wasn’t it…not entirely.” Mulder closed his eyes, fighting the pain of remembering.


“Ah, what was it then? Entirely,” Laurence demanded, for it was a demand, despite the urbanity of the request.


“I was the one who pushed him away, long before he walked out. He knew what he wanted, but I didn’t. He was older, and he was prepared to risk everything for me, but I got scared. Being homosexual wasn’t how I viewed myself.” Mulder hesitated, trying to remember the way he had felt back then. It had been so long ago, but the emotions were still clear to him, stupid and misguided though they were. “I didn’t like being labeled. I still don’t. I got scared. We had long conversations about it, but they ended in arguments. He was the one with the big career, and he was prepared to risk everything to be with me, but I didn’t want him to do that. I was young. I didn’t want to have the responsibility for having screwed up his life. I behaved badly, got skittish I guess. The problem was that it was too intense for both of us. Neither of us had really been in love before. We were both freaked by it. I wasn’t used to being loved…I pushed him away. He didn’t walk out on me, I had already packed my own bag – he just had the guts to end it first.”


“And by doing so he remains the perfect lover in your mind. Your relationship ended when it was at its most intense. You can’t move on from it,” Laurence murmured, thoughtfully.


Mulder finished the sandwich he was chewing, and nodded. He didn’t mind talking if it spared him the solitude of that room, and the pain that came with it…He thought he feared the solitude almost more than the pain right now. There was so much he didn’t want to think about after his last conversation with Laurence. He would prefer to think about his troubled history with Skinner than remember what he had learned about his own parentage.


“That must have made working with him hard,” Laurence commented.


Mulder shrugged. “At first maybe. He was torn between protecting me and showing me that our long-dead relationship didn’t mean a fuck to him. He used to pull the Big Bad Boss routine on me in the beginning – jerk off assignments, punishment details…and I kind of forced him into it. We were still playing out where we were when our relationship ended. I reverted to brat mode, and he compensated by showing me he wasn’t going to be fucked around with in the office the way I’d fucked him around 13 years before. The affection was still there though, underneath it all. He looked out for me…and I…I just wanted him to notice me,” Mulder muttered. It sounded pathetic, even to his own ears. If he’d wanted Skinner, why hadn’t he just said or done something – anything – to begin it all again? Was he really such a coward? “As the years passed we kind of colluded in pretending it had never happened, or if it had, that it didn’t matter. We were both beyond it.”


“But you weren’t,” Laurence observed.


“Apparently not.” Mulder shrugged.


“Would you like to be?”


That question took Mulder by surprise. He looked at his captor, puzzled, trying to understand. Laurence had a thoughtful expression on his face.


“I could do that for you,” he said, and it sounded like being seduced by the devil. “I could take away the pain, and the need. I could take Walter Skinner out of your heart. Would you like that?”


“No.” Mulder moistened his lips with his tongue, nervously.


“Ah, you’re afraid. It would, of course, be painful, but I could still do it.” Laurence took a bite out of his cookie, caught the resulting crumbs neatly in his hand, and deposited them in his saucer. Mulder noted that not one single crumb fell on the floor.


“No,” Mulder repeated quietly, suddenly both very scared and very sure.


“A pity.” Laurence shrugged. “I had hoped we could do this with your permission, but we will be doing it anyway. You see, my dear boy, we can’t form new allegiances while you still hang on to old ones. We need to purge your affection for the past, and create new affiliations.”


“No.” It was almost a whisper now. Mulder didn’t think he could live without the pain of a love he had carried, half-buried inside, for so many years. He was too used to the comforting ache of it, and more than that, he didn’t know what he would be without it. It was part of him. It defined him. It held him together. If Laurence started re-writing parts of his psyche, changing his emotions and memories on such a radical scale, then he would cease to be Mulder, and become someone else. He felt himself start to shiver, partly with cold, and partly with fear, and wrapped his arms around his body for comfort as much as for warmth.


“Poor boy. You could come and sit with me,” Laurence offered. Mulder shuddered, which increased the trembling in his limbs.


“I don’t think so,” he hissed.


“Ah, you’re remembering the last time. Well, I thought that all happened far too soon and of course it’s obvious that on that occasion you came to me because you had an ulterior motive. When you next come, you’ll do so freely, of your own volition, and then we can begin to make some progress. Dutyman!” Laurence snapped his fingers at one of the two men stationed by the door, and Mulder looked up, his eyes fearful.


“Please. I’m still talking. We’re talking. I’m co-operating,” he said, glancing nervously at the dutyman who was crossing the room towards him.


“Oh, my darling boy, of course you aren’t!” Laurence exclaimed. “You refused my little suggestion three times, and then decided not to sit with me. I hardly think that constitutes co-operation – do you?”


“Don’t take me back down there.” Mulder found that his throat had gone dry, and his stomach had contracted so sharply that he almost vomited up the contents of the meal he had just eaten.


“Well I must of course. Not to the Recreation Room – well at least not unless you misbehave very badly indeed. No, just back to your room. It’s been lovely spending time with you up here, but you’re making me weary now. You’re such a stubborn boy. I want you to be much more biddable. Do you think you could manage that next time you return to the salon? Hmm?”


“If you send me back there I’ll fucking kill you.” Mulder couldn’t stop himself. He was beyond pretense, beyond anything but raw honesty. His fear of pain was making him mad. Pain had always made him angry, whether it was emotional or physical. He had been furious with Walter for years, furious with his mother – even furious with Samantha sometimes. When he was hurt, he needed to fight back, to show defiance. He knew it wasn’t wise, knew that he might suffer for another outburst, but desperation made him throw caution to the winds.


“Kill me?” Laurence raised an eyebrow. His perfectly lacquered hair didn’t move as he shook his head, his tongue making a ‘tutting’ sound as he did so. “Nonsense, darling boy. You can’t kill me. I know so many of your secrets. It would be like killing a part of yourself.”


“You’re deluded. Completely crazy. Is this your strategy? If you tell a lie often enough, and with enough conviction, that it’ll become the truth? Like the so-called ‘intimacy’? The ‘love-making’? They’re just euphemisms for rape and you know it – or do you believe it inside that cold, embittered heart?”


One of the dutymen’s strong hands descended on Mulder’s shoulders while the other dutyman started fastening his wrists to his belt.


“What the fuck happened to you, Larry?” Mulder yelled as they tied him down, while he struggled with every ounce of his fading strength to delay the inevitable. “Did your parents abandon you? Is that why you can wield that ice pick of a mind of yours with such efficiency against people like me, and Krycek? You said he was an orphan – is that why you enjoyed breaking him so much? Did he remind you of yourself? Do I remind you of yourself? Can you climb inside my pain so efficiently because it’s your own? Huh?”


There was no reply. Laurence merely got to his feet, and brushed non-existent crumbs from his robe. There was no expression in his violet eyes as he gestured with his head in the direction of the door.


“Tie him with maximum discomfort and reduce the temperature in his room. A little harsh bondage in a freezing room might cool him down.”


Mulder howled in anguish as the blindfold was slipped over his eyes again, depriving him of that most basic of his senses. He wasn’t going to go back down there. He couldn’t.


“I’ll fucking kill you one day,” he swore.


“No, my dear boy, you won’t,” Laurence replied, in a soft, knowing tone. “You can’t.” A hand molded itself around one of his buttocks, and squeezed, in a patronizing, dismissive gesture, and then he was hauled away.


They tied him so tight that he could barely breathe. They pushed his legs backwards, over his chest, and tied them down over his shoulders, then they tied his arms over the back of his knees, each of them pulled in the opposite direction, half out of their sockets. He felt like a chicken trussed up in a shop window, his ass exposed to the world, his body tied with harsh, cutting ropes.


“You can’t leave me like this!” he cried from between his legs. “Can’t…breathe…” He heard footsteps returning to his side, and thought, with relief, that they would loosen the bonds, but instead he heard the sound of the hose and a moment later he was sprayed with icy cold water. He was both unable to breathe in the stream of the jet, and unable to move away from it, and the water made the rope contract even tighter around his body, digging into his flesh painfully. Finally the onslaught stopped, and the footsteps went away, leaving him reeling and gasping for air. His muscles had been stretched and contorted to such an extent that they cramped, and the resulting pain gave him the merciful oblivion of unconsciousness.


He came to with a start, wondered for a moment where he was, and why he hurt so much, and then remembered, giving a low cry of abject despair. He was still blindfolded, and he panicked, fighting his bonds. The claustrophobia of the unbearably tight binding made him choke incoherently. It hurt to struggle, but staying still hurt just as much. His muscles screamed their protest, making it impossible to think of anything except pain and discomfort. He was freezing. His entire body felt blue with cold and poor circulation as a result of the tight ropes that were cutting into his flesh. They couldn’t leave him like this. He’d die. Calming himself, he reasoned that they had to be watching him. The mirror…they were watching him through that. They wouldn’t let him die, but they’d let him suffer.


Mulder tried to relax and switch off, but it was so hard when he hurt so much, and he didn’t want to be alone with his thoughts, because then he might remember the one thing he was trying so hard not to think about. Not to think. NOT to think…He hummed as loudly as he could, and tried to escape into the past, but the pain in his muscles and the freezing cold kept him firmly locked in the present. He heard a faint hum of machinery, and realized, without surprise, that air conditioning was keeping him so cold.


“Fucking bastard,” he yelled, fighting his bonds again, pointlessly, he knew, but his defiance was all he had that was making him human right now, trussed as he was like an animal on a slab. Lying here, on display…through the mirror…NOT thinking about that…through the mirror…a face that had a name, a hated enemy who had become flesh and blood…not thinking…Charles…a name…after all these years the monster had a name…and the monster/father had been here, watching…Charles. Father. Daddy. Charles. In his mind’s eye he saw the man behind the mirror, shrouded by a cloud of cigarette smoke, watching him as he lay here, being broken apart piece by piece. Had Laurence been telling the truth, or had it just been a lie calculated to cause maximum damage to his psyche? In his pain and loneliness, Mulder saw a stark truth that he would have gone to the ends of the earth to avoid, a truth that he had known in his heart for a very long time; his greatest enemy was a part of himself, his own flesh and blood.


Mirrors reflected back only what was truly there. He saw himself, standing in Laurence’s bedroom, gazing into his captor’s mirror, and in that sunken, ravaged visage he saw traces of a man he loathed. His father. Himself. How much was he his father’s son? What exactly was the nature of his genetic inheritance? His body convulsed again, a silent, confined spasm, but this time with grief, as he recalled Laurence’s words. His father had sent him here. His own father had arranged his current agony. What kind of a man could do that to anyone – but especially to his own son? When he thought of the years he’d spent trying to win the love of the wrong man he ached from the inside out. He had never stood a chance. No matter what he did or said, Bill Mulder wouldn’t have loved him, because he wasn’t his. And Samantha…Samantha had been taken because she was Bill Mulder’s daughter, and he had been allowed to stay because he was Charles’s son…and Charles had already given up one child – Jeffrey. Biology had spared Mulder then, just as biology was condemning him now. As his father had lost one son, so he was now trying to mold the other into a worthy successor. Mulder finally understood that there was more at stake here than he had even begun to comprehend. This wasn’t just about breaking a recalcitrant enemy. This was about so much more than merely that; his father wanted a worthy heir to his evil conspiracy, and would clearly stop at nothing to get one.


Mulder’s own thoughts tortured him as much as the ropes biting into his skin. He longed for the comfort of oblivion, and would have sold his soul for release, or unconsciousness, but neither came. There was just him, in the dark, in the freezing cold, struggling to breathe, his body tied in an impossible muddle of ropes and flesh, his muscles screaming to be cut loose. He had hit a wall somewhere in his mind, and he couldn’t get beyond it. He tried humming, tried escaping into the past, back to the bookstore and one summer a long time ago when he had been happy, but those memories were just out of his reach. He could sense his lover standing in the dark, just barely, imperceptibly there.


“I deserve this,” he whispered. “I’m sorry.” The darkness lightened a little, and he felt his lover move closer, listening intently. “I’ve been angry with you for years but it wasn’t all your fault. A lot of it was mine. I didn’t trust you to be around forever so I pushed you away. I’m sorry.”


“Doesn’t matter.” His lover’s voice was low, soft and gentle. He moved into Mulder’s field of vision and Mulder could have wept. His lover was dizzyingly young. Unchanged. Red shirt, black jeans, dark, curly hair. “Forgot you had hair. You could be two different people. Then and now,” Mulder commented. “Sometimes forget you even are the same person. Him, and you. I wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t behaved like a jerk back then, if we’d stayed together. Do you think it would have lasted?”


“You were just a kid. You needed to grow up.” His lover was standing right next to him now. He was exactly as Mulder remembered him. Same solemn dark eyes, this time not hidden behind the wirerims. “Forgot you didn’t wear your glasses back then. Didn’t need them.” Mulder smiled.


“No, I did need them. I was just being vain.” His lover grinned. Straight, white, impossibly perfect teeth behind sensuous, inviting lips. “Too many years poring over legal texts day and night – ruined my eyesight.”


“I’m sorry,” Mulder said again. “I screwed everything up. I don’t know why. I was so stupid. If it means anything, I always regretted it.”


“I was as much to blame. We were both too stupid to talk about it. Too macho to admit we were in love.” His lover shrugged, in that self-deprecating way Mulder had almost forgotten.


“You’ve changed,” he murmured. “Now, you’re still driven, but less…restless. You weren’t sure of yourself then. Where you were going, what you wanted to do with your life. You had so much less certainty…but more energy. That famous Walter iron determination was there though. I guess you’re thinking I’ve changed too, huh?”


His lover just smiled, and caressed the side of Mulder’s face with blunt, tanned fingers. Mulder turned his cheek towards his lover, and drifted off in a haze of comfort.


“Larry says I should be punished and he’s right. I deserve this. Not just for you, but for all of it. Always fucking with people’s lives. Started when I was born. Before I was born maybe. Larry might be right about that as well. I wasn’t supposed to be born. Maybe Mom married Dad because she was pregnant and had to marry someone, and my real father wouldn’t accept his responsibilities. Maybe I screwed up her life just by coming into existence. Different times, different attitudes. Mom and Dad were never happy…wasn’t surprised when they divorced…just surprised they stayed together so long. Always arguing.” His lover didn’t say anything, just watched, thoughtfully, still stroking Mulder’s face. “No wonder Dad…Bill Mulder…Dad…no wonder he and I never really connected. I screwed up his life too. And Samantha. He must have hated me for being the one they left behind. They took his own flesh and blood and left him with the son-who-wasn’t. My fault. My real father wants an heir in his own image. This was always my birthright…what I’m due…what I deserve. Fucked up so many lives. Men have died because of me…good men, just trying to help. First informant…I liked him. I wonder if he knew I wasn’t Bill Mulder’s son? Then Scully…Christ, she got cancer because of me. Don’t know how she can stand to look at me. Her brother said it straight, and he was right. Told me what a fucking bastard I am. One sister dead…another one dying. He was so fucking right. Screwed up his whole family. And you know, I knew how he felt. I also lost a sister. I knew how he fucking felt.” His voice rose an octave, and he could feel the panic rising inside.


“Hey, it’s okay. Take it easy. I’m here.” His lover flashed that familiar, knockout smile.


“You don’t smile any more,” Mulder murmured. “Did I take that away from you? I’d love to see you smile again. I remember it…used to give me a hard-on when you smiled at me sometimes. Just a smile…killer smile.”


There was silence for a long time, and he thought maybe his lover had gone, but when he looked, he found he was still there, maybe a little faded around the edges, but still there.


“Did you love your wife?” Mulder asked, but the apparition just stood there, not speaking. “I was jealous as hell when I found out about her. Were you too scared to tell me? Then when I met her, I liked her. When she said you talked about me…made me feel warm inside. Stupid, crazy hope. You’re not really here are you?”


“Ssh. It’s okay.”


“Am I dying? I want to die.”


“You’re not dying.”


“I deserve to die.”


“No. You don’t deserve any of this.”


“Do you still love me?”


“Of course.”


His lover’s warm lips touched his forehead, and Mulder turned his face to receive a kiss on his mouth. His lover bent close, and he was so near that Mulder could smell him. Closer, closer…big strong arms, red shirt…dark hair…almost there…Mulder gave a scream of pure pain as his lover was ripped away, winking out of existence in the blink of an eye, as rough hands brought him back to reality. His bonds were cut, and his legs wrenched back down so brutally and swiftly that he passed out from the pain as blood flowed back into the cramped muscles.


He was dragged to the salon, unable to walk, drifting in and out of consciousness the whole time, and then he was dumped on a carpet, and his blindfold was removed. He lay, huddled where he had fallen, his muscles too traumatized to move.


“Ah, the prodigal returns – well rested I hope?” Laurence’s voice. Cultured, urbane, and utterly cruel.


“Fuck off.”


“Ah, not very co-operative I see. That’s a shame. I had hoped you’d be talkative.”


“I’m not fucking co-operating any more. Just kill me. I don’t care.” Mulder buried his head in his arms, feeling a new resolution inside. He wasn’t going to let this bastard tunnel into his mind any more. He’d rather die. He had stopped thinking about survival mechanisms and just wanted it to end.


“Well we won’t kill you of course. That isn’t in my plans at all,” Laurence said. “Sit up.”




“There’s food.”


“Didn’t you hear me, old man? I don’t fucking care. I want to die.”


“Unfortunately that isn’t an option. Sit up.”


Mulder moved his head. He could feel the fire on his arm, warming his cold flesh. He gazed at his arm, dappled in the dancing shadows from the fire, and wondered at the simplicity and comfort of warmth. He was so cold, but moving closer to the fire meant moving close to Laurence, and as far as Mulder was concerned that wasn’t an option. Laurence was sitting in his usual place, on the couch in front of the fire. On the small table beside him were two plates, two cups, and two helpings of food. Mulder glanced over at his armchair, and saw that there was no food on the table next to it. The only food was beside Laurence. “You can sit with me, in the warmth, and eat, and talk, or you can go back downstairs. What is your choice?” Laurence asked.


“I told you. I don’t fucking care.” Mulder didn’t move.


“Ah, you’re so full of your own suffering. It’s a pitiful sight. I’m disappointed in you, Mulder. You’re behaving in such a commonplace way. I had expected more. Giving up…it’s so ordinary.”


“Sorry for not being entertaining. Sorry for not behaving like some fucking performing monkey,” Mulder growled.


“Well at least we’re getting to see the real Mulder. He’s a bit pathetic isn’t he?” Laurence’s voice was hard, and mocking. “Mulder, I’m going to give you a choice. My dutymen are looking bored and in need of some R&R. You can stay with me, or you can go with them. What’s it to be?”


Mulder licked his lips. He glanced over to the dutymen who were exchanging looks, eyes alight at the prospect of imminent amusement. His resolve wavered for a second, and then returned, stronger than ever.


“Listen to me, old man. I don’t care what you do to me. I’m out of the game.”


“But of course you aren’t.” Laurence smiled, a vicious, deadly smile. “You’re just trying a new strategy, and regrettably you will learn the hard way that it won’t work.”


Mulder laughed out loud. “It isn’t a fucking strategy, you scrawny, ugly bastard. Kill me. Hurt me. Do what the fuck you want with me, but I’m not playing any more. Got that?”


“Ah, you really do want to hang on to your young lawyer don’t you?” Laurence said, surprising Mulder by this change of tactics. “How sweet.” His tormentor stood up, and adjusted his pants so that the creases hung in neat folds down the center. He came over to Mulder, his shiny shoes stopping by Mulder’s cheek, and then knelt. He grabbed a handful of Mulder’s hair, and pulled his head back, his cold fingers holding Mulder in a vise-like grip.


“Let me put you straight on a few facts, Mulder,” Laurence said, in a voice Mulder had never heard before, a voice that was cold, flat, and ruthless, stripped of its usual teasing banter. “You and he were just two promiscuous young men having a roll in the hay for a few months one summer a long time ago. It wasn’t a great love affair, it was just sex. Fucking. He dumped you. That’s all it was.” He pushed Mulder’s head back, and then let it drop, as if even touching Mulder disgusted him. “What a loser you are. Building up your pathetic rutting into some kind of emotional tour de force. He probably forgot all about you within hours of walking out. Three or four months – that’s all you had. He was with his wife for years. You were just his last piece of ass before he decided to go straight. It wasn’t a big deal for him. It was just a sordid, squalid, cheap screw. Get over it.”


Mulder swallowed hard and gazed, unblinking, at his tormentor. “Fuck off and die, Larry,” he ground out.


Laurence ran a hand over his hair, as if checking to see if his sudden movement had dislodged a strand from the stiff, lacquered mass. He glanced over to his dutymen, and smiled.


“He’s all yours,” he said.


Mulder was picked up bodily, and dragged towards the door.


“Oh, you might need this.” Laurence stopped them, holding out the long, flat whip that Mulder recognized as his own. The thin leather was already worn down in places. Mulder wondered how long he had been here, shuddering as the whip changed hands, and then his blindfold was back in place and he was being propelled bodily out into the corridor. Struggling was pointless. His muscles were hardly responding to his commands in any case. He was taken down flights of stairs, but instead of going in the direction he had become accustomed to, the dutymen took a left instead, along another carpeted hallway, and then into a room he knew he’d never been in before. The floor was concrete, and cold under his feet. He was pushed down onto his knees, and then the blindfold was removed. He was kneeling in the center of a large room. There was a pool table in the corner, a TV screen to one side, and a small galley kitchen at the far end. Four men were seated around a large table off to the side, with cards in their hands. The two dutymen who had brought him down were standing over him, smug smiles on their faces.


“The boss says we can play,” one of them said, and the others grinned and put their cards down, surveying Mulder with some interest.


“Is this the little shit who nearly blinded Mark?” One of them asked, getting up.


“Yeah. I think he needs to learn some manners, don’t you?”


“You don’t need to do this,” Mulder said softly, wondering if it was even worth trying to reason with them.


“Oh yeah. I think we do. The boss doesn’t let us play on our own very often. We have some special games we save for in here,” a stocky, dark haired dutyman said, with a lingering leer. “Move the table, Rick. Let’s party.”


Mulder swallowed hard. His resolve to die seemed like the idiotic posturing of a lunatic now. Death would be welcome, but death wasn’t on offer, and never had been. He forced his muscles to work, got shakily to his feet, and backed away from the men who were crowding towards him.


“Look, I’m an FBI agent. When they find me…”


“Nobody’s going to find you,” one of the dutymen laughed. “Now, let me explain the game to you. See that door over there?” He pointed. Mulder glanced at the door through which he had been brought in. “It’s not locked. If you can get there, and get out, then you win and you can go back to your room. Understand?”


Mulder moistened his lips and nodded, nervously.


“Okay, but in order to make it a bit more fun we’re going to blindfold you. Now, we’re all going to stand very still. But if you come within arm’s reach on your way to the door, then you’re fair game.”


“Sounds like the odds are stacked against me then,” Mulder said, glancing around at the 6 men in the room. “I don’t stand a fucking chance.”


“Oh a fucking chance is exactly what you stand,” one of the dutymen said, to ribald laughter from the others. Mulder stood still as his blindfold was replaced, and he was turned around and around, to disorient him, so that he no longer even knew where the door was. He had told Laurence he wasn’t going to play and he meant it. If they were going to rape him then they’d do it anyway. He wasn’t putting on any kind of show for them. He stood still, refusing to move.


The first sting of the whip on his shoulder took him by surprise, and he moved, involuntarily, a step to the right. He felt the brush of fingertips on his arm, and jumped back, quickly, the other way, then stopped again. The whip lashed across his buttocks, and he tried to hold position, but another stinging blow shattered his resolve and he hopped forwards, away from the strokes…and straight into a pair of outstretched arms. “He’s mine!” someone growled triumphantly, and he found himself pushed onto his knees, his legs being kicked apart. Someone held his arms so he couldn’t move, and then his ass cheeks were being pried apart. He heard someone spit, and then wet fingers were pushed into his ass. They were quickly replaced by a hard cock. He felt warm breath on his neck, and struggled pointlessly against his captors, but he couldn’t escape, and he was raped hard and fast, until his captor was done, and then he was dropped to the floor, the semen dripping down his thighs. He knelt, panting and gasping for air, and was kicked in the ribs.


“Up. Time to run again,” a voice said. Mulder didn’t know which one of them was speaking and he didn’t care. They were all the same. He didn’t move, and the whip crashed down on his back, making him grunt in pain.


“I said, up!” the dutyman snarled, grabbing a fistful of Mulder’s hair and forcing him onto his unsteady feet.


Mulder made one futile, desperate attempt to run for where he thought the door was. He made it as far as a wall, and his fingers scrabbled for the door, when he blundered once more into grasping hands. He fought this time, fought with all his energy and what was left of his strength, biting, and kicking and scratching, but they overpowered him, as he had always known they would, and this time, when they finally had him pinned down, they took their turns in his ass, each ceding his place to the next when they were done. What hurt more than the rapes was how slowly and carefully they went about their brutality. Obviously they had orders not to damage him too much, and the fact that they could be so calculating while inflicting such degradation upon him made him choke with his own despair.


When they finally finished with him, he just lay there. Nothing made him move – not the whip, or the numerous kicks he received. He just curled his body into a tight ball and welcomed the pain, hoping he could somehow goad them into giving him the death that was proving so elusive.


“Do it…kill me,” he instructed them through gritted teeth. “Come on, you spineless bastards – what’s the matter, is one defenseless man too hard for you to kill? Do it!”


He felt his grip on consciousness fading again, welcoming it, but the kicks, and the whipping stopped abruptly, and he screamed out loud at being robbed of his oblivion.


“The boss would have our hides if we killed you,” a voice said in his ear. “Shame. Still, there’s one last bit of fun we can have with you.”


He wrapped his arms around his knees, steeling himself for what would come next, but nothing prepared him for the reality of it. He felt warmth trickling down his back, and at first thought it was his own blood, but then he realized they were urinating on him. A cry rose and died in his throat. He had reached the end. Surrounded by a howling mob, being pissed on as if he was nothing, not human, not a man at all, but something to be attacked, raped and humiliated. He was the ‘other’, a scapegoat, and focus for hatred. It had a curious sense of inevitability to it. Mulder closed his eyes, and wept silently and dryly behind his blindfold.


“You were right about human nature,” his lover said, crouching beside him, his red shirt the only part of him Mulder could see. “I was wrong. I do think everybody is like me – that they must know, intellectually, the consequences of their own actions and take responsibility for them. I see things in the black and white of justice, and the letter of the law. You see something deeper…you understand the whys and wherefores, the motivation of evil.”


“Lord of the Flies,” Mulder replied, with a twisted grin. “There’s a kid in that book…Simon…the other kids killed him for being different. I read that book as a child, and I guess, ever since then…I’ve always been waiting for them to come for me.”


“Being different isn’t a crime. One of the things I love about you is that you are different,” his lover murmured softly, lovingly, in his ear. “The law protects your right to be as you are. I protect it. I’ll protect you.”


“Yes, I know. But you aren’t here,” Mulder reminded him.


He lost track of the time. He knew that he was taken back to his room, and tied, still reeking of urine. Later, a long time later, he was hosed down with cold water, and walked back up to the salon, where he was dumped, once again, on the floor, and his blindfold was whisked away from him, leaving him to face a light he could hardly endure.


“Oh dear,” Laurence said, sounding for all the world as if there had been a minor mishap with his laundry. “Oh dear, dear, dear. What a sight. Do you still think, my darling boy, that it’s better to defy me than to obey me?”


“You’ll hurt me either way,” Mulder muttered, wondering if this was even real. He wasn’t sure he could tell what was real and what wasn’t any more.


“Well that’s true, but if it’s me, then you know that there won’t be any kind of mindless brutality, and that’s a comfort isn’t it? You know that I’ll take care of you, and help you bear what must be. You know you have someone to confide in, someone who’ll listen, and someone who loves you. You’d rather be with me than with them, I think. Yes?”


Mulder swallowed hard. He could smell something delicious and his stomach contracted, rumbling loudly, his mouth watering involuntarily.


“It’s a casserole. You must be hungry. It’s been a long time since you ate. Now, just answer my question and then you can have all the food, and drink, and warmth that you want. You prefer being with me, don’t you?”


Mulder saw his lover bending over him, helping him to sit. “It’s all right,” his lover said, holding Mulder’s face in both his hands, and looking into his eyes.


“You’d rather be with me than anybody else in the world right now. You’d rather be with me than with the dutymen, or Doctor Scully…or Walter Skinner.”


Mulder shivered. He was cold, and he needed to rest. If only he could get warm. He remembered Laurence’s bed with a horrified shudder of longing.


“Just one word. You’d rather be with me, wouldn’t you, Mulder?” Laurence pressed.


Mulder looked up, torn between his lover and the man who was sitting on the couch, in front of the warm, glowing fire.


“I don’t mind.” His lover smiled. “It’s okay, Fox.”


“Yes,” Mulder whispered. “I’d rather be with you.”


Laurence clapped his hands delightedly, his face suddenly becoming quite animated.


“I knew it! How kind of you to say so, my dear. You look terrible – come to me and I’ll make it all better.”


“Go,” his lover whispered, “into the warmth. You need the warmth, Fox.”


“If you’re sure?” He buried his face in his lover’s red shirt, and his lover patted him on the back, urging him to accept Laurence’s offer.


“I’m sure.” His lover’s smile was blindingly bright, his teeth shining white in his tanned face. “Go.”


Mulder found himself crawling across the floor towards those outstretched arms. This man was the only one talking to him as if he was human, despite all that the scrawny old bastard did, and all that he ordered. This man was the only one who offered any kind of comfort and he despised himself for taking it, but he couldn’t bear to go back to the torture right now. He needed respite. He was selling his soul to save his body, the way he had earlier sold his body to save his soul, but he had no choice. “Don’t worry. It’s all right,” his lover said reassuringly. “Just do it. Don’t think about it.” Mulder slumped by the fire, his shoulder resting against Laurence’s knee.


“Come up here.” Laurence helped him stand, and then thin hands grasped Mulder’s arms, holding him up with more strength than Mulder would have guessed existed within that emaciated frame. Laurence guided him to sit on the couch, in front of the fire, in the warmth.


“Did they hurt you so very much? My poor boy. What did they do to you?” Laurence’s eyes were shining a deep, compassionate violet. He ran a bony finger over Mulder’s shoulder and Mulder fought the need inside that wanted comfort instead of degradation and pain. He wanted to be loved, and taken care of, and Laurence was the only one offering that right now. It would be so easy to relax, to just sink into welcoming arms…any arms. If he closed his eyes, he could imagine they were his lover’s arms…yes, and maybe his lover would come to him again, and talk to him, and he could forget he was here, trapped in this sick nightmare.


“You want to come closer, don’t you?” Laurence said softly. “You want to be held, don’t you, my dear boy?” Cool, thin fingers caressed his hair. It really would be so easy.


“Do it,” his lover whispered. “It’s okay, Fox.”


Mulder felt himself leaning back, further, and further, until his shoulders were resting against Laurence’s thin chest. There was a moment of stillness before he heard the other man give a heartfelt sigh and then two bony arms were wrapped around his body. Mulder stiffened, and then, despising himself for it, relaxed into the embrace, and allowed Laurence to hold him tight, closing his eyes so he didn’t have to see what he had been brought to. “Was it terrible? You’re bruised here and there…” Fingers probed the purple marks on his ribs and thighs. “I don’t like to see you so demoralized. What happened to my bright, sparkling boy, hmm?”


“I thought you wanted me docile. Obedient. Not bright,” Mulder muttered, confused.


“Oh but you’re so much fun when you’re sparring with me. Back and forth, a verbal game of wits. I like that so much more than the surly, truculent boy we saw here earlier. Wanting to die indeed, when there’s so much to live for!” Laurence sounded outraged. Mulder moved his head so that it rested on the other man’s shoulder. Laurence stroked his chest slowly, gently, with infinite care.


“My poor boy,” he repeated, kissing Mulder’s hair. “Kicked, whipped, degraded, and yet still so beautiful inside. So clever, and shining. I love that about you, Mulder. Now, tell me what you love about me,” he requested.


Mulder shifted, his eyes still closed, his mind whirring in protest at this bizarre request.


“Come on, tell me,” Laurence urged, squeezing his fingers lovingly over one of Mulder’s nipples. “I don’t want to have to send you back downstairs. You’re really in no condition to take much more. So just tell me what you love about me, and then we can feed you, and bathe you, and rest you.”


“I can’t think of anything,” Mulder whispered.


“Oh come now. Of course you can.” Laurence’s arms, which had been so inviting and comforting, now seemed like a steel-jawed trap. “Tell me,” Laurence whispered. “Tell me what you love about me.”


“You…” Mulder shuddered. There was nothing about this man that didn’t fill him with revulsion.


“Hmmm?” Laurence asked. “Why can’t you speak, Mulder?”


Mulder stared into space. His lover was very near, so near as to be almost touching him. He could smell the other man, could feel the brush of his red cotton shirt against his arm.


“What is it? What do you see?” Laurence nuzzled at his ear.


“Walter,” Mulder whispered.


“Here? Now? With us?” Laurence asked.




“Oh dear. How unfortunate. Of course you can’t talk of love to me when he’s here.”


Mulder felt himself being pushed away, and he fell to the floor. He was too tired now, and too close to the end of his endurance to even put out a hand to break his fall.


“Take him back to his room,” Laurence ordered. Mulder heard whimpering, and realized, in surprise, that the sound was coming from his own throat. “It’s all right. I’m coming with you, dear boy,” Laurence said, kneeling beside him, and stroking him gently. “I’m going to send Walter away, so that you can concentrate on me. It’ll only hurt a little, and then he’ll be gone and you’ll be free. Hush, it’s okay…there, we’re going to carry you back.”


Mulder felt himself lifted into someone’s arms, and he lay there, not even caring when the blindfold was replaced over his eyes. He thought maybe it was Walter carrying him – he thought he could see a red shirt – and then he was being placed carefully on his table, face up.


“Poor boy. So many welts and bruises. This really has to stop.” His captor ran a gentle finger over his ribs. “Okay, my darling. I know you want to sleep, and eat, and be warm, and I’ll let you do that just as soon as I take care of this troublesome ghost from your past. Now, be very still, I’m just going to tie you…”


Mulder felt his legs being pulled wide open, and he moaned in distress as he was fastened into the position he had been in when he had first woken up.


“Hush. I know this is difficult for you. The delivery position is always the worst. There…now your arms.” His arms were pulled half out of their sockets, and fastened to the bar above.


“No…you can’t…I can’t…” Mulder wept, beyond being able to endure any more pain. “I want to go back to your room. I want…”


“I know, and we can do that soon, but first we have this little problem to take care of, don’t we? Your troublesome lawyer has been insinuating himself between us since you arrived. You need to remember that it’s his fault you’re here at all.”


“His fault?” Mulder blinked behind the blindfold, trying to rationalize that.


“Of course. He’s the reason you’re suffering so much now. If he hadn’t rejected you in the first place then you wouldn’t need me, but now that you do need me you know I won’t shirk away from my responsibilities. I’ll love you, because he didn’t love you enough. Now, hold still. This will be cold.” A shrill scream escaped from Mulder’s lips as something hard and freezing was pushed into his anus.


“No! Please! No!” He begged, half out of his mind with pain, and fear. The intruder was about the same size as a penis, but it was as cold and hard as pure steel.


“Hush, I know it’s cold. I’ve been keeping it in the fridge, waiting for you. Now, just open up. I need to push a little further…there.” Mulder cried out loud as that icy metal was inserted deep into his rectum. “I know you’d rather it was my warm cock, caressing you, and making love to you, but that will come later. This is necessary for now. Just feel the coldness for a moment, and remember that this is your lawyer’s fault. He’s to blame. He came between us, and now you’re suffering because of that. If you can just let him go, it would make it so much easier.”


“I don’t know how,” Mulder protested. His body became used to the freezing invader, and his internal muscles started to relax.


“It’s easy.” Gentle fingers stroked his nipples. “Now, what I’m going to do is just cause you some discomfort here, on these lovely nubs of flesh,” Laurence said gently. “I know it’s hard to take, but when I’m through you’ll be much happier, and we won’t have to worry about Walter any more.”


“Please…don’t…please…” Mulder braced himself, and a few seconds later he felt an atrocious pain blaze through his chest as his nipples were caught between cold, hard, squeezing metal clamps.


“These have been chilled as well. There…I know they’re very painful, but we do need to purge you of your lawyer, and I did say it wouldn’t be easy. Hush…there…now…I want you to listen to me very carefully, Mulder.”


“I am…please let me go. I am listening…” he choked incoherently. The cold of the metal and the heat of his own agony combined to make him almost delirious with pain.


“All right. This can be over any time you say. The clamps really aren’t at their maximum. They’re adjustable, so they can cause a lot more pain than they are at the moment. Let me show you.”


Mulder felt fingers on his breast, and then the pain in his right nipple exploded as the clamp was tightened. He opened his mouth and screamed for what seemed like hours.


“It’s okay, my darling, I’m here.” He felt Laurence kiss his forehead, soothing and comforting. “It’s not right that you should suffer like this when it’s his fault. He should be here, shouldn’t he, instead of you?” Laurence said, still stroking.


“No…” Mulder gasped. A sharp pain jackknifed through his left nipple, and he writhed within his bonds, screaming out loud once more, over and over again.


“Of course he should,” Laurence murmured, when his screams eventually died away. “He’s a big, strong man. He could take this. Would you rather we let you go, and brought him here instead?” Laurence asked. “We could. We know where he lives. I’d enjoy overseeing the delivery of your Walter Skinner. He’s so big, and strong, isn’t he? All that power and authority…those men are the most fun. Watching someone self-assured come crashing down. I’d enjoy that. Can you see him; naked, degraded, penetrated, and beaten…can you see him like that, Mulder?”


“No.” Mulder squeezed his eyes tightly shut but the image stayed. He saw Walter lying on this slab, his red shirt being unbuttoned by Laurence’s cold, thin fingers. “NO!” He cried.


“Someone else then? How about your dear Doctor Scully?”


“No!” Mulder whispered, horrified. He couldn’t bear that. The idea of Scully, so much smaller, so petite, lying here…naked…being alternately fawned over and hurt by this man made him feel physically ill, and he began to retch.


“My experience doesn’t begin and end with men, Mulder,” Laurence said, turning Mulder’s face to one side so that he could retch again. “I’ve broken women. Would you like to know the difference between men and women? I’ve made quite a study of it over the years. It’s interesting, because men fight from the very beginning. The first wall is always the hardest with men, and it always takes the most effort to bring that down. However, when that’s done…”


Cool fingers trailed over his chest, and he stiffened, awaiting some further pain, but none was forthcoming.


“When that’s done they’re relatively malleable. They invest so much of their energy in that initial struggle that once you’ve broken through that first wall they’re spent. They give up all the rest of their secrets without much trouble after that. Women are different. They give away bits and pieces of themselves easily, under the slightest duress. They have less pride invested in defending the outer walls of their defenses. Sometimes it seems almost ridiculously easy, and one can even be lulled into a false sense of security that you’ve won…That’s because women keep their secrets close to their hearts. They’ll give away everything but the very center, and then you just come up against a brick wall. That’s when the real work begins.”


Mulder screamed as the pressure on his nipples increased a fraction, cutting deep into the tortured nubs of flesh.


“Now, where you’re interesting,” Laurence continued, “is that you have elements of both. You don’t conform to the usual patterns. Many men start off fighting, and then are broken when they are defeated. You, on the other hand…you started off by giving things away…and then you stopped, and began fighting…your strategy veers, from the male, to the female, combined with something else, something uniquely Mulder. I’ve never tried to break anyone like you before, Mulder, and it’s exhilarating. Now, let me show you what this can do.”


Mulder felt hands on his anus, and then a strange sensation inside his rectum, pushing and stretching him from the inside out. “What I’m doing, is turning a screw on the speculum,” Laurence told him conversationally. “It’s opening inside you, my boy. It opens very wide indeed, but I do hope we don’t have to extend it to its maximum capacity before you reach enlightenment.”


“Enlightenment?” Mulder blinked, the sweat pouring down his face. He felt the cold instrument inside his ass open a notch further, and gasped as his muscles protested against the movement.


“Enlightenment,” Laurence purred, running one cold finger down Mulder’s cheek, and caressing his lips. “You see, there’s no need for you to be suffering when you could just ask me to transfer my attentions to someone else instead. All you have to do is nominate someone to receive all this suffering instead of you. I’m giving you two choices – the beautiful Doctor Scully, your partner, your best friend, the woman who always looks out for you, and backs you up, or Walter Skinner, the man who rejected you. Which one will you choose, Mulder? I must say I really do like the idea of undressing Doctor Scully. She’s a beautiful woman. I’d like to slide inside her warm pussy, and enjoy her delicious tight ass. Would you like me to do this to her instead of you? It could be arranged. Just say the word, Mulder.”


“NO!” Mulder screamed, fighting his bonds, too far out of his mind with pain to think clearly.


“Walter Skinner then? I can just see him, lying here. He’s a big man, so we’d have to work on him for quite some time before we saw any effect I think. I expect we’d go through several whips just getting him to the stage where he’d be receptive. I’d have to make sure I had extra dutymen standing by in case he tried to struggle. We could easily pin him down between us though. I do love watching big men succumb. It’s so satisfying. I’d love to see what I could do with your Walter. Now, just say the word, Mulder, and your pain will stop. It’s you or him. We can stop hurting you, and I can send out some of Charles’s men to fetch him instead. You could watch me work on him if you liked. Would you like that? We could break him together. I’d enjoy that. Then you could have him back…and he’d be exactly what you wanted. He’d be anything you wanted in fact. Once he’s broken, you’d never need to worry about him running out on you again. Do you like that idea? Walter, here on this table… I could make that happen. All you have to do is ask. It’s him or you, Mulder. What’s your decision?”


“No.” Mulder looked around blindly, searching for a glimpse of his lover’s red shirt, needing guidance, or permission, or just to look into his lover’s dark eyes and draw strength from him, but a new wave of pain tore through his nipples, preventing him from being able to see clearly. “No,” he repeated, trying not to think about Walter lying here, screaming under the lash, being repeatedly raped.


“What a pity.” The metal device in his ass suddenly opened further, making him cry out loud.


“I can’t take any more…” he protested, imagining his ass splitting open, and rupturing.


“Nonsense, you can certainly take more. You’ll have to take more if you won’t allow anyone else to take your place,” Laurence purred in his ear. He felt fingers on his nipples, and then another sharp pain as the clamps squeezed his flesh even more viciously between their cold, biting talons.


“It can stop so easily. It’s all in your hands,” Laurence murmured, as he trailed a finger along Mulder’s chest, and down over his thighs, and then turned the ratchet another notch on the device lodged up Mulder’s ass.


“Please no!” Mulder cried. It hurt so much he was out of his mind with pain. It was so cold, and big, it felt as if it was devouring him from the inside out.


“Do you want it stop?” Laurence demanded.


“Yes! Please!” Mulder begged.


“Then you know what to say,” Laurence replied, in an icy tone.


Mulder gazed into the darkness of his own soul, and hung there. He couldn’t take any more. He needed respite. It was all just words. Words didn’t matter. Words couldn’t hurt anyone.


“He ran out on you. He’s a coward. He didn’t even have the guts to tell you he was married,” Laurence said softly into his ear. “Why shouldn’t he suffer for what he did? Why should you be the one suffering?”


Mulder felt a surge of the most excruciating pain in his ass, and chest, and then a white light flashed before his eyes, blinding him, and leaving him screaming out loud. He didn’t know what he was saying, just that he was repeating it over and over again.


“What was that, dear boy? I can’t understand what you’re saying.” He felt Laurence’s breath on his face. “Say it again so I can hear. Speak slowly, and clearly…go on. I’m listening.”


Another wave of pain in his chest left him almost speechless.


“There, there. Is that hurting? Poor boy. These poor nipples are so red, and sore.” Fingers trailed over his chest, and then, savagely, twisted the clamps on his nipples, causing him to cry out over and over again, lost in the sound of his own screams. “Poor darling boy. It’s so painful, isn’t it? Hold still, let me turn the screw again. We’re nearly at maximum now, my darling. Any more and these poor nipples will start to bleed. You must be in such pain.”


“Please…no more…” he managed to gasp, but the relentless fingers on his chest turned the screw on one of the clamps another notch and he almost passed out from the pain. The convulsions of his body within his bonds pushed the cold, hard metal up his ass even deeper into his rectum, stretching his internal muscles beyond endurance.


“Now the other clamp, and then we can return to your ass. I think the speculum can be opened considerably more. It’s a strange sensation, isn’t it?” Laurence asked, conversationally. “Such a build up of pressure. Now, my darling, one more clamp to adjust…” The already excruciating pain in his chest increased exponentially and Mulder screamed into a pit of black despair. He couldn’t take any more of this. He couldn’t…he couldn’t… He opened his mouth, and moistened his lips, scared now not of what he was going to say, but that he might not have a voice left to say it with. When he started to speak he didn’t even recognize the sound.


“Do it to Walter,” he croaked. “Do it to him. Hurt him instead. Do it to Walter.”


There was silence, and then he was being enveloped in loving arms. “Good boy. I’m so proud of you. There, see, it wasn’t so hard. Hush, while the dutymen untie you. Hush…everything is going to be fine now. You’ll see. There’s going to be so much love now. Just for you, all for my brave boy. Hold on, my darling, hold on.”


There was all kinds of pain as the devices in and on his body were removed, but then it was gone, and he was being wrapped in a blanket, and someone was carrying him up a flight of stairs. He was laid on the couch by the fire in the salon, and his blindfold was removed.


“Good boy,” Laurence said, opening the door to the adjacent room.


“Don’t leave me!” The words left his lips before he could stop them. Laurence paused in mid-step, and smiled, a tender smile.


“It’s all right. I won’t be long. I’m just going to fill the bath with nice, warm water, and then we can make you more comfortable.” He disappeared into the room next door, and Mulder slumped back on the couch, unable to move a muscle.


“I’m sorry,” he whispered to nobody. He gazed around blindly, searching for his lover’s red shirt. “I’m sorry,” he said again, longing for absolution. “I didn’t mean it.” But that was a lie. He knew that when he had said it he had meant it. He waited for his lover to come. He had always come before, with little words of encouragement, helping Mulder to bear the pain. Mulder desperately searched the darkness of his own subconscious for a glimpse of that red shirt, or a sign of that killer smile, but found nothing. “I’m sorry,” he said again, abjectly, but it didn’t change anything.


His lover was gone.





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