Foot fetish … or just a damn good story?
SPARRING WITH SHADOWS is the second Gaslight Mystery…a continuing novel of outer mystery and inner discovery.
Something about Simon Hart’s new PI partner Michael McCree—not to mention his secret vocation—invites trouble. Simon finds himself sparring with shadows: in the hidden bedrooms of a roaring twenties gay bar…as a chained wall decoration in the flat of a thief and sexual deviant…as the quarry in a deadly confrontation in an exhibitionist’s bed…and in a sewer tunnel beneath the streets of a 1923 city somewhere in Ireland.
Above all, Simon is sparring with the shadow of his own secret urges. Michael will not allow him to turn away from a kind of private investigation he has not even dreamed of, until now.
Follow a fastidious, surly investigator and his randy yet secretive partner through the very cracks in a city of gaslights and vintage motorcars, into a hidden homosexual culture, as both men find themselves sparring with shadows.
SWS finds Simon anguished about the loss of his former business partner and the recent loss of his virginity to heavy-handed Michael. But, like life itself, the novel has its laugh-out-loud moments.
What follows is one of the book’s comedic scenes.
In this bit, the ever-horny Michael has manipulated the other man into slowly removing his socks, then bringing down his trousers as he massages his feet and thighs. As long as Simon continues stripping and rubbing him, Michael will continue his intriguing story.
And when Simon hesitates, so does Michael’s tale.
Simon rested one hand on Michael’s ankle and traced his index finger up to where the garter caught the top of the sock. He slowly opened the clasp on each side and rolled the sock to his ankle. Inch by inch, he pulled it off, then placed it on the carpet.
He saw one side of Michael’s mouth twitch a small fraction and his remaining stocking-clad foot wagged also. Simon sighed again and gradually removed the other sock. He unclasped one garter, then the next, and set them next to the abandoned stockings.
“Ah, Simon, me poor feet hurt. Would ye mind?”
Simon bent over the large feet, actually well shaped with slender, high arches. He noticed the nails were neatly square-cut, as manicured as his own. He began to stroke the right foot, bringing his thumb up under the insole and kneading the meat under the big toe. His ministrations were met with moans Simon would describe as almost lustful—as redolent of pleasure as though he were stroking the man’s groin instead of his foot.
He was astonished to find that his own groin felt bathed in heat, responding to every touch of his fingers on the ball of Michael’s foot and then on the toe itself. He felt a rising pain in his chest, then realized he’d forgotten to breathe.
Sighing, he released the right foot and grasped the other. With sure, steady strokes, he applied the same pressure, imagining how these same movements would feel if Michael were returning the gesture, knowing the entire process was probably rather pleasurable.
As Simon massaged, Michael began to speak.
“I was able to follow the very scent of the man, Simon. Ah, yes, right there. I found he keeps a second flat-within-a-flat, almost. One lair only scant minutes from the other. No one would ever suspect he hadn’t set his feet miles away from his former apartment. Damn cheeky. Brilliant.”
Simon forgot to rub, and Michael forgot to speak.
Trying not to show his amusement or his arousal, Simon ducked his head and continued to stroke his friend’s feet, his ankles, and even a little higher onto his calves.
Michael picked up the narrative.
“He owns something of great value, I believe. Higher, please, Simon. Ah, yes… He keeps it for wealth, of course, but me gut tells me it holds some kind of religious significance. That is how we shall trace him. Tomorrow, early, we shall go back and pick up the trail.”
Simon was slowly massaging Michael’s calf muscles and drawing his trouser legs higher. Michael had drawn his knees up in the large ottoman, and his butt had sunk lower in the chair.
“If me trousers were lowered, ye could reach me thighs. Will ye, love? Just for a few minutes, just the muscles, while I relax.”
By now, Simon’s breath had begun to be labored, and his heartbeat had increased until he thought his entire face and neck were red with the blood rushing there. For a fact, his own groin had blossomed to a frightening degree. How had this charlatan manipulated him again into a scene of such intimacy?
Even while silently cursing him, Simon carefully opened the top button on Michael’s fly. He saw that the trousers the man wore—his own goddamn britches—held a brick, that Michael wore a huge erection. Steadily, he continued to undo every mother-of-pearl button. And then he stopped. His fingers were trembling so much he was afraid he’d slip and graze the man’s shaft or testicles.
Simon thought it could have been a question, or a quiet plea. He rolled Michael’s trousers off his hips—again, inch by inch—while the man tried to continue his story.
“The most important fact is that this man is smart . . . Criminey, Simon, I love that . . . I had to take a trip to a certain, um, haberdashery to alert me people. That place of business is now shut down. Ah, God, Simon, don’t stop, lad.”
Simon had taken one of Michael’s upper legs between his outstretched hands and was kneading, rubbing and massaging it. He deliberately allowed his fingers to graze the cobwebbed testicles as he worked his hands higher. Michael’s buttocks were raised several inches from the seat of the chair, and Simon began to feel a certain power, a kind of mastery over his much larger companion. Michael’s breath was a rasp, his legs were shaking, and Simon was hardly breathing.
By the time Simon began on the other leg, Michael had reared himself up enough to seize his shoulders.
“Ye’ve sapped me strength, Simon. I cannot move. God, finish me, let me die on the battlefield.”
Thinking of Hussars and plunging stallions, Simon knelt between massive thighs while Michael’s strong hands grasped his shoulders. He’d already set his mouth over this monstrous phallus twice, and both times he’d been shaken to the core. Looking at it now, trellised with purple veins, moving of its own accord, he wondered again how this vital part of Michael had ever entered his own arse without splitting him.
Without meaning to look in his face, Simon’s eyes grazed the pale ivory silk shirt Michael was wearing, saw the striped, wide suspenders awry on his arms, the half-knotted gold scarf on his neck. The sight fired him in some deep place. It was like spreading satin on a bed of rocks to touch this muscular man swathed in Simon’s own soft clothing. His hands seemed to take on an energy all their own as he began to soothe Michael’s long, warm phallus, at the same time that he finally looked into his face.
Michael was gazing at him with an expression that sent a jolt to his gut and a hot flare up his rectum. His eyes seemed to consume him. His mouth looked almost soft in surrender. Simon thought that if the man said anything at all right now, he might jump up and run from the room, barricade himself behind his bedroom door. But Michael merely held his own eyes with a kind of haunting appeal.
He watched Michael’s face as his own fingers began a slow dance on his rigid flesh. He saw Michael shut his eyes and heard him whisper, a choke that sent another flame to his groin, “Love me, Simon.”
And he did. With palms and fingers and tongue and mouth, Simon sank into a rapturous dance that held all the longing and passion he’d ever in his life felt for another human being. He knew that Michael was a man of huge capacity who would accept even the roughest kind of sex play. Incapable of that, he merely licked and stroked, sucked and feasted until the monster erupted, and Michael’s voice was a roar of release. He tasted the tart pungency of his seed, and he swallowed it.
While Michael stroked his hair, he rested his head on the flat stomach, still kneeling, as if in obeisance to the god of all cocks.
~The Gaslight Mysteries
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