Title: The Dock
(English version of “Brygga“)
Wonderful, patient beta-reader for this translation: Mexta
Genre: Original slash fiction
Length: Ca 5000 words, four chapters.
Tags: Voyeurism, drugs, sex, h/c.
Excerpt: “Several times I catch him tracing my gaze. I pull back in a hurry, but forget myself just as fast. My eyes are pulled towards him like he’s magnetic. The way he lies. On his side, with his ass out and up. The curve of his lower back. Damn. I make a heroic effort to concentrate on the screen.”
It pours. I slide on my soles down the muddy track towards the family cabin. My bags of food swing like I’m walking a tightrope. Rain trickles in cold streams down my neck and under my shirt. It’s as dark as only a rainy night in the forest can get. It would be impossible to find my way if I didn’t know the path so well. The bridge at Storelv, the closest village, had water up to the level of the road surface. I have never seen it rise that high before.
Contrasting my relief over a weekend away from the usual grind was my irritation at finding an unfamiliar car parked at the cabin’s private parking spot. We are a large family who use the cabin so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but still.
My annoyance turns to expectation now, as I stumble through the dark, wet to the skin, see light shining through the windows and realize that the cabin is warm and dry.
My feet boom on the wooden porch as I clamber up the stairs; the whole building shakes slightly. The door opens and Haakon stands there with an expression I guess matches the one I had when I saw his car. He’s in his boxers only. I can see he has a fire going in the fireplace. I wave a bag in the direction of the door and greet him, a bit out of breath. He shows me the way with a summer-tinted arm.
“Come in, come in!”
The living room is a welcoming nest. The flames crackle in the fireplace, a pocket book is lying, spine broken, in the seat of a fifties armchair. A bottle of Otard stands on the table and a cognac glass besides it. The bottle is not yet opened. I can relate so well to his long face when he saw me. Despite being exact opposite types, we have obviously had the same plan for the weekend.
Haakon is married to Unni, my wife’s younger sister. Kaia and I are well-educated and fairly liberal. They are bourgeois in the word’s worst sense. We don’t socialize, naturally. I have never exchanged more words with him than absolutely necessary to get through the various family get-togethers.
Suddenly he seems a bit shy and he harrumphs before he disappears behind the kitchen curtains. He comes back with a whiskey glass. “There was only one cognac glass.” He looks towards the windows. His clothes are hung up to dry outside, on lines under the roofed porch.
“I need to get out of these clothes.” My wet jeans cling to my thighs, but must see themselves defeated eventually. I collect the wet bundle and walk barefooted out on the cold porch, where I hang my clothes next to his. The heat from the fireplace does wonders for my goosebumps afterwards. He has poured himself a drink and holds one out for me, then he disappears into the kitchen again and comes back with cups and a steaming pot of coffee. I dry my hair with a sun-bleached towel.
The cabin is small: one large room divided into a sleeping nook, a living room and a kitchen. The sleeping nook and the kitchen lie back to back, parted by a t-wall, and both are hidden from the living room by curtains. In the back there’s a shed with all kinds of cabin equipment, a freezer and a dry toilet.
The living room window goes from the ceiling to the floor. The porch railing is barely visible against the late evening sky, merging with the rain-whipped sea in the horizon.
“I’ve brought a new whetstone.” I blurt, to get some kind of conversation going.
“The old one split last year. When I get the scythe sharpened I’ll clear up the grass around here a bit.”
“I did a bit of clearing with my hand-held mower earlier today. Before the rain.”
“Oh. I guess I’ll just leave the whetstone here then.”
We drink in silence. When the glasses are empty I remember that I’ve brought my own provisions. I stack the food in the kitchen and bring the Hennessy back in.
“To another cognac lover.” Haakon murmurs benevolently. We toast.
I unpack my laptop on the coffee table and try to do some overdue work. I forgot to eat before I drove out, so the characters on the screen jump around because the alcohol goes straight to my head. It is impossible to concentrate on the words. I choose instead to lean back and watch the flames dance. He sits closer to the fireplace and sweats in the radiating heat. I’m finally relaxed throughout. The light buzz makes the floor sway lightly beneath my feet.
I finally realize that I’m sitting there with my head bobbing, falling in and out of sleep. He has risen a couple of times to feed the fire. I have just let my thoughts wander.
“I can sleep on top,” I say, and stretch my back.
The sleeping nook is furnished with a giant lower-bunk and a huge top-bunk. It could easily fit five adults. There is also a night stand, a medicine cabinet and a large mirror. Sweet and simple.
The only water tap sits outside the cabin, on the wall. After we’ve brushed our teeth, out on the porch, I wait until he has gone inside before I roll a nightie, using my body to shield it from view through the panoramic window. When I’ve lit it he comes out again. I hide the glowing roll-up halfheartedly in my hand.
He stares at me until I hand it to him. His fingers fumble as he takes it.
“I didn’t know you were a smoker.” I say, seeking eye contact.
He draws deep into his lungs, grimaces and coughs as he lets the smoke out. I laugh.
“Don’t tell Unni.”
“She’s coming here tomorrow.”
“I won’t smoke in front of Unni. I know how she feels about it.”
We share one more. The pot’s faint smell of strawberries is heavenly with the smell of rain-drenched nature. In the distance we can see a bit of clear and starry sky.
“I feel queasy. Will sleep. Now.”
I wait for him to get settled before I follow him.
Dead tired a second ago, wide awake now. It is hot in the top bunk. I can see the outline of him in the mirror on the wall. He snuggles into his sheets like a dog in its basket, then turns to the wall and falls asleep.
I stay awake, staring out of the window, through the mosquito screen. It seems like the rain is quieting down. Entertaining family was not part of my plan. Unni arrives tomorrow. Damn. Been looking forward to a weekend with my own head. Taking morning baths. Prancing around naked, mowing some grass, fighting off gadflies. Finishing my report without interruption.
Haakon moans, still asleep. His butt shines white against the dark sheets, clearly visible in the mirror. He twists; the air is damp.
Blue-balls for days now. I rub my fingers gently over my cock so it lifts into my hand. I concentrate on being quiet while I let the fantasies flow. I come fast, and it is more a relief than actually satisfying. The t-shirt from my bag will have to make do as wipe.
When I open my eyes, I meet his in the mirror. Did I moan, or shout out loud? Fuck. I can’t give a damn at the moment and stretch for my bag, which is hanging from a peg. It is too late to pretend that nothing happened.
Are his eyes following my movements? Couldn’t he at least look away to make this a little easier for me? Is he, could he be, sleeping? Is it possible to stare in your sleep? His eyes are still glittering in the mirror when I lay back down.
Apart from the stare, he hasn’t shown any reaction to the fact that his brother-in-law just jerked off and came, about three feet over his head. I conclude that he must be sleeping still.
A tiny movement in his blanket proves me wrong. The ripple is so small that I think I’m hallucinating at first. Then I’m sure. I can be well-mannered when I want to, so I sigh, quiet my breathing and let my eyelids fall. Almost shut. He can’t possibly see the difference in the darkness. I, on the contrary, can see the movements become more apparent. Haakon is breathing heavily now. I can see from the repressed motion that he is concentrating on making as little noise as possible. He throws away the blanket as he comes and I get a glimpse of his shining cock as the glistening semen spurts over his belly. The moon has broken through the clouds and makes everything stand out in silver relief. He quickly reaches for something white, probably his shirt, bends away from me as he dries off, and pulls up his covers.
The tension makes my body ache when I finally turn over on my side. This time I’m sure he has fallen asleep: he snores with a low nasal sound. A high-pitched giggle makes me jump. I’m the one giggling, my face is stretched into a wide grin and the grimace makes my cheek muscles ache too.
The cabin smells like childhood: a smell of sweat, old wool and hot rocks that takes me back to summers long gone. The two neighbor kids and I playing doctor at a rock shelf not far away from the cabin, but hidden. I haven’t played doctor since I was six.
I was jacked off by a friend at an after-party once as a teenager, but everyone knew he was pretty wild. Mutual exhibitionism in bunk beds is a new experience for me. One could say Haakon took it nicely. I’m erect again, but feel it’s enough exhibitionism for one night and fall asleep.
The lower bunk is empty when I wake up. I sling a towel around my waist and go out on the porch. I squint. Haakon is nowhere to be seen, so I walk down to the sea for a morning dip.
It is absolutely silent on our little dock. I let the towel fall and dive in. The cold water makes me instantly awake. Dust and grime let go; I break the surface. I swim my usual round and stop on the bathing ladder to wash off before I climb up. When I turn around I see Haakon sitting in our old wooden motor boat.
“I thought our father-in-law was the only one who ever used that boat,” I exclaim embarrassedly, and wonder if studying me in the nude is his new hobby.
“He doesn’t either. The engine’s pistons are stuck. I’m trying to tease it back to the living,” he answers. I see now that he has grease up to his elbows.
“I’ll go put on breakfast.”
The path up to the cabin is just as sun-drenched and dry as I remember it. No traces of yesterday’s waterworks.
Some time during the day his mobile rings. It is Unni. The bridge at Storelv has gone with the flood.
“She says it may take days before they can raise a temporary bridge. The river has to go all down first. I’ve told her we have food and what we need.”
“We’ll set out nets tonight, then we’ll have fresh catch for breakfast tomorrow.”
The evening sun warms my back as I row out towards Flatskjaer. Haakon steadies the boat while I fasten the string to the stones. Then I row out at a 90 degree angle to land. He lets the net go without any hitch. With barely a word, we coordinate our movements so everything runs smoothly, like it was choreographed. When Kaia and I do this, everything hitches, we bicker, stress. The bickering has become a tradition. That is why it is odd that this goes so effortlessly. The warm evening. The unusual silence that makes me feel like I’m watching us from a distance.
We repeat our movements, just as smoothly, from Kjeoya. Haakon lets out the last weight and float with a sigh and a plop. “Nice evening.”
We have a beer and a joint on the porch before mosquitoes and gnats force us inside. He broods over something. It takes several brotherly glasses of cognac and a lot of talking-around-the-subject before he gets to the point. In contrast to his usual minimalist style of conversation it is so obvious something is up that I almost feel sorry for him.
“You. You, there are rumors about you.” He pretends to be more drunk than he is.
“And they don’t know half!” I say encouragingly. He stops and straightens himself to show that he will now talk drunkenly serious with me. He even waves his finger in my face.
“Unni is furious with you. She says Kaia should leave you.”
“Because you sleep around, of course.”
“And why hasn’t she mentioned this to Kaia or me?”
“She doesn’t want to seem like she’s meddling.”
“But she does talk to others about it?”
“Only me. I’m part of the family.”
“Someone has told her.”
“Shut up. It’s not Unni who’s the sinner here.”
“You understood me!” He has forgotten to play drunk now, and is truly excited. I top our glasses.
“Where do you think Kaia is now?”
“Have you met the new female doctor at the health center?”
“The tall dark one?”
“Yes. Trude Moerkved.”
“What does that have to do with Kaia?”
“Kaia and I have what is called an open relationship. We just don’t advertise it. At this moment I’d guess Kaia and Trude are lying tit-to-tit in Trude’s double bed.”
“You’ll have to decide for yourself if Unni can bear to hear it.” I smile. I’d had several ideas as to what he could want to ask about, and this wasn’t the worst. On the contrary, I find this pretty entertaining. There are very few people I have had this discussion with, for the simple reason that they either strongly distance themselves, or ask too many intrusive questions. A few attempts cured me of the urge to confess. It is different with a brother-in-law. Unlike friends one keep around by choice, he and I are brought together by forces we cannot control. I also suspect that his life is pretty square-cut, so I enjoy tilting his world-view a little.
He fills our glasses again. This time I light the joint indoors.
“Unni would freak if she saw us now.”
“They are very different for sisters.”
“Yes.” A long and awkward silence follows.
“Why are you here? Why aren’t you with…”
“It’s been a while since I had a relationship like that. The rumors you are referring to must be quite old.”
“I haven’t been able to talk to you before, not like this. Unlike Unni I feel that one should discuss issues like these with the persons concerned, but you and I have only met across family dinner-tables. I kind of see grand uncles and aunts choking on their tarts if I mentioned something.”
We drink on in silence. It’s getting late and bedtime is hanging over us. I guess his thoughts are circling the same orbit as mine.
Eventually it is me who rises to fetch my toothbrush. I walk into him at the curtains on my way back, and we both jump from the sudden contact. He follows me outside, and we brush and admire the night sky.
Tucked in, we get stuck in a dimly lit staring contest. I refuse to start anything and so does he. I finally fall asleep and dream of running horses.
We take a morning dip before we row out to fetch the nets. They come up carrying two small pollocks and a cod, plus a few small rays and jellyfish. The fish fillets sizzle enticingly in the pan and taste even better.
After breakfast I call the road management information line and then my workplace to tell them I’m taking two day’s worth of flexible hours. I sit down with my laptop in the shade of the porch. Haakon wanders off to continue tinkering on the boat. “It isn’t stuck, it has only been left too long without oil. I’m starting with a thorough cleanup and fresh grease, and then we’ll see.”
I get my reports done and continue with a few not-so-urgent projects. Cold fish-fillet sandwiches taste wonderful in the afternoon breeze. Haakon has been gone for hours. I follow his tracks down towards the sea. An evening dip will feel great in any case.
At the bottom of the rocky stairs, I almost step on him.
He has tried to hoist himself up by the railing, but has only managed a few steps. He looks close to fainting. A gigantic scrape shows on his buttocks. His plastic slippers lie flung below the stairs, and it is obvious where he has slipped. Greasy prints from the dock to the third step tell their tale.
“I tried to call, but I have a hell of a headache. I see stars every time I raise my voice,” he wheezes.
I pull him up in a fireman’s grip and manage to haul him back to the cabin. He moans with each step that makes his legs dangle.
He has to wait by the bed as I lay a doubled sheet on top of his mattress. “Firstly we save the bedsheets, secondly it will be easier to remove if the wound gets stuck to the sheets during the night.” I wink encouragingly at him and lend him an arm so he can settle down carefully on his side. I fetch a painkiller from the medicine cabinet and go out for water. I also put the kettle on: for coffee and for water to rinse out pebbles and rusty grease from his scrape.
He is sweating, and accepts the glass of cold water I give him with a relieved sigh. “One more painkiller, please.” I agree; it looks bad. His leg is swollen and the huge gash is shiny with fluid, but not really bleeding.
“Let me see your head.” I adjust the bedside lamp to get a better look. The lump on the back of his head is impressive, but it seems like his buttocks have taken the worst blow.
“Do you feel sick, like vomiting?”
“Yes. I think I might have gotten a slight concussion.”
“Let’s sit up for a while.” The water boils and I pour a bowl and mix in a tablespoon of soft soap for disinfectant. The tiny nightstand can just hold the bowl, cloth, tweezers and disinfectant salve. His shorts are cut off. My headlamp gets new batteries.
“I’ll start when you feel the painkillers kick in.”
“Go ahead. I’ve lain in the sun too long and it’s really starting to ache.”
He lies with his back towards me and the bed’s edge. I seat myself next to his legs and get to it. He growls and gnashes his teeth, but doesn’t move as I extract pebbles and scrape out dirt from the wound. Thin scabs have already formed here and there, so I try to be quick as I rip them off. Eventually the damned thing looks about clean and I rinse thoroughly with soap-water. He is freezing cold by now and shivers as the water dribbles towards his butt-crack. I help him pull the blankets tightly around himself. Only his ass sticks out as I eventually smooth on the thick antiseptic salve and fix gauze to his skin with medical tape. His goosebumps bristle softly against my fingers.
I adjust my seat beside him on the bed and continue to read my crime novel, and he falls asleep after yet another painkiller. Every half hour I wake him enough to hear: “Mmh? Wha..OW! Fuck!” His concussion seems to be under control. No ominous changes to his color or pupil size. I stay awake with coffee and spliffs on the porch. At two o’clock I’m finished with the book, and it’s at least six hours since Haakon fell. I crawl up to my own bunk and don’t give a damn about brushing my teeth.
“I thought you’d never wake! Can you get me a bucket and then a glass of water? Fast?”
He gets his bucket and I hear him pee violently as I go outside for water from the tap.
“I’m sorry,” he says about the piss-bucket when I come back.
“No problem. How do you feel?”
“Very stiff and sore, but feeling better.”
“How’s the leg?”
He pulls the blanket gently aside. The leg doesn’t look too swollen. The gauze is stained from fluids seeping through during the night, but at least it’s dry now. Between his thighs his genitals are resting, softly relaxed, against their cushion of bright curls. He has no noticeable tan-line even though he is fairly tanned. Does he usually walk nude in his garden at home?
“It’s probably wise to take it easy today, so your leg doesn’t swell up again.”
“It can get a bit hot in here.”
“Wait a minute.”
I manage to extract the couch from the living room and out to the porch. Its cushions are of the solid horsehair kind and don’t bounce well at all – should be perfect.
We stumble sideways through the doors. I fetch a blanket and pillow, and empty the bucket on the compost heap.
“I have to sleep in there as well.”
“I mean, sorry for all the trouble, really, not just the bucket. I hadn’t planned for you to take care of me like a baby.”
I install myself in a deckchair with laptop in lap. Haakon has called home. Now he’s snoozing and cooling his buttocks against the breeze. I don’t get much work done.
Several times I catch him tracing my gaze. I pull back in a hurry, but forget myself just as fast. My eyes are pulled towards him like he’s magnetic. The way he lies. On his side, with his ass out and up. The curve of his lower back. Damn. I make a heroic effort to concentrate on the screen.
“This whole open marriage thing…”
I jump in my chair. I should have been prepared for this. I look up from the screen again and meet his eyes. Is this a pick-up line or am I just paranoid?
“Well, you do understand that I wonder, don’t you?”
“It is a little private.”
“But that’s the point of it. That it is not private. How do you relax when you know where your wife is?”
“I relax just fine, and wish her only well.”
“Do you love her?”
“But why are you doing this then? If you love her and she loves you?”
“We’ve had this understanding since we first started out together. We both had some experiences that made this kind of agreement a natural thing for us. We trust each other fully and know who we are married to. We just have a few friendships that get a little more intimate than friendships usually get. Anything more you want to ask me?”
If this is a pick-up, he couldn’t have chosen a better setting. His round ass, coquettishly pointing up. Innocently in need of care. Or is it really pain that makes him lie like that? Is it even possible to think about sex when you have a flesh-wound the size of a ranch steak? I can’t decide. Which makes me decline the invitation that may, or may not, be there.
“Of course. But I can still think for myself. I understand that it’s too private.”
I feel my brows narrow as I turn my nose back at the screen. His eyes are still on me.
“Could you get me some more water and a painkiller? Please?”
He even sounds like a girlfriend. I obediently fetch. His fingers touch mine as he receives the glass.
I tidy up the fish nets we have used, and continue to sort out the mess of old fishing equipment that has gathered in the shed over the years. I need some time alone.
It is getting late and the sun doesn’t warm us any more. The air has gotten damp and it makes bare skin suddenly feel cold.
“Shall I help you get inside?”
“No, I think I can walk myself now. Can you go first, please?”
Through the window I see him walk stiffly to the end of the porch and pee over the railing. He stays after washing off and stretches himself carefully for a while before he comes in to me.
I pull out ingredients for a late meal. He eats it standing up. “I think I’ll go straight to bed. Worn out by a whole day lying down.” He smiles at me and looks truly tired.
It is not late, so I stay in the living room and turn on the little old camping TV. It hasn’t been long before I hear him call: “Excuse me? I need some help in here.”
I lift the bedroom curtain and look questioningly at him.
“My leg is too stiff for me to change the gauze myself. I’m sorry to ask it.”
“Stuff like this happens. Just a pleasure to help my kin.” The word “kin” sounds really off, and I realize it the moment it hangs in the air. He reacts too, and stares at me for a moment.
“Lean over, I’ll go warm some water.”
When I return, he has adjusted the sheets and laid himself down facing the wall, with his butt-cheeks towards me. I am again struck by how remarkably naked he is. The gauze is glued stuck to his skin, and I put on a warm and wet cloth to soften it enough to get it loose.
“How does it feel now?”
“Stiff, but it doesn’t pound any more. I think I can walk with a bit more ease tomorrow.”
The gauze peels slowly off the edges of the wound. It doesn’t look too bad.
“No inflammation. I’ll just wash it lightly. Maybe it will be better if you go to sleep without having it wrapped. Just let it dry thoroughly before you pull your covers over it. If you want to read, I can get your book for you. What are you reading again?” I chatter to distract him as I remove the gauze completely and start washing gently. He grinds his teeth again.
The washing is soon over and I pull out the antiseptic salve. Slowly, carefully, I spread it out with a fingertip. I see goosebumps rise along his thigh. I rub gently, caressing. He draws a deep breath as I pull my finger along the inside of his buttock. I stop.
“Guess it’s okay now.”
I gather bowl and cloth strips. He thanks me when I return with his book, but doesn’t meet my eyes.
By the telly, back in the living room, my thoughts wander. When the late news is finished I go out to brush. Linger on the porch. Wish I had decided to fuck him into the mattress instead of considering Unni’s reaction and possible consequences.
The bedroom is dark. My eyes adjust slowly as I undress. As I stretch to climb onto the top bunk, a hand shoots out of the darkness of the lower bunk and touches my thigh. I freeze. The hand glides up my thigh. Along the inside of it. I grab it before it reaches my scrotum.
“Think of Unni.”
“Forget Unni. Unni has her own secrets to worry about.”
The hand moves again.
“That is just the kind of knowledge I do not want.”
“Don’t worry about it. It’ll stay between us.”
“I am one hundred percent honest with Kaia.”
“Wait till she asks then.”
My cock is aligned to my stomach by now. He grabs it and pulls me in. Towards his lips.
At the moment I come, Unni comes too. Thundering up the stairs to the cabin. He swallows; I pull a bathrobe on and go to meet her in the living room.
“How is Haakon doing?”
“Just fine, considering.”
I wonder if she can smell us. It doesn’t look like it. All-male sex smells different from heterosexual sex.
“He’s in there.”
“They put up a makeshift bridge tonight. I’ll stay the night, and then we can all get back home tomorrow.”
She disappears behind the curtain.
We have all gone to bed. I have made a veritable performance of falling to sleep.
Haakon whispers, lips to Unni’s ear, but still audible: “I want your ass.”
“No. Not now,” she hisses.
“I’m sure it’ll help me recover faster.”
“We are not alone.”
“He sleeps like a rock.”
“I can suck you off, but you must promise me to be quiet.”
She drops down under the blankets. I meet his eyes in the mirror. He smiles as I pull off my blanket to let him see what I am doing.