The familiar, ominous image materializes before him of a narrow track in the woods opening toward him from a convergence of stark, bare-branched trees in the distance with a swirl of choking ground mist. Derek feels his heart racing and the essences inside him rising as, from the far end of the track, where the trees converge, the whirling figures form--white and muscular--and start pounding toward him. The figures solidify, separate, and take on the visage of stallions--magnificent, pure-white beasts--pounding toward him, coming closer and closer. Two of them. As they soar toward him, hooves barely touching the ground, black smudges above the stallions begin to form into riders. The gleam of whirling steel overhead.

The stallions peel off in both directions as they roar past him on either side. His body jerks and lurches from the centrifugal force of their passing, and . . .

. . . his hands clutched to the sides of Michel, saddled on and riding his cock. He arched his back up from the bed and cried out as he ejaculated deep inside the Frenchman’s passage. Michel fell off to the side of Derek, stretched along his body, moved a thigh over Derek’s, and searched for and found Derek’s lips with his.

As they cooled down, Michel whispered, “You cried out at the climax. Something like ‘They’re coming.’ Is that what you exclaimed? What were you thinking? What did you see? You were looking intensely at the ceiling. And I’ve never known you to writhe like that--to come that much--before.”

“Horses. White stallions. They were magnificent and monstrous at the same time. They were going to run me down. The expressions on their face were a mixture of malevolence and sheer terror. And then I came, and they had passed by me.”

“Ah, la petite mort. Oo la la.” Michel smiled, kissed Derek on the lips again, and gave him a smile when he’d pulled away.

“La what?” Derek asked. “It wasn’t funny. It was . . . frightful.” Derek’s irritation showed in his voice.

La petite mort. A little death. In France we equate it with orgasm. As close to a glorious death as one can get, we say. And the white horses. They are associated with death too. You must have had a special ejaculation.”

“Yes, I did,” Derek answered. But his voice was a bit distant. He was thinking of something else, something more sinister in relation to the white horses. He had another idea why they had intruded into this last fuck with Michel.

“Just the horses?” Michel asked. “No riders . . . dressed in black? Swinging swords? That would be a different matter altogether.”

Not wanting to answer or for Michel to see the expression on his face, Derek looked beyond the French doors of his father’s hunting lodge. As if on cue, the figures appeared in the distance, at the opening of the tree line, where the drive from the lodge entered the forest. Two white horses. Stallions. Both with black-clad riders. The two men his father employed to handle worker disputes at his factories.

The hoofbeats of the horses as they raced for the lodge hammered in Derek’s brain. Michel didn’t seem to be able to hear them. But they were so loud in Derek’s head that he couldn’t understand why Michel remained oblivious--still taking and giving pleasure with his hand roaming on Derek’s naked body.

He looked into the handsome face of his French lover in panic. Michel’s return look was only one of satiated lust and complete devotion. To avoid frightening Michel until the very last moment of inevitability, Derek grabbed the sides of the Frenchmen’s curly haired head and pulled their faces together for a passionate, hungry kiss. One last kiss.

The men were at the door in the lodge’s great room beyond, and then forcing their way in, reaching for a now-shocked and struggling Michel.

* * * *

Derek Hoffman first saw Michel Picault standing with one foot on a bench and the other one on a table top in a biergarten at the foot of the cobblestone street from the university that also surrounded the base of the castle. His high tenor was floating out over the chorus that surrounded him in singing the rousing drinking songs of the university. He didn’t appear to have a care in the world, and there didn’t appear to be a reason why he should.

He was a gorgeous young man--just having arrived at the university when Derek was near time of leaving and sinking into the staid, but dull, life of his father’s manufacturing empire. Derek already had been engaged--in absentia, by his father--to the daughter of a rival business prince. Watching the boisterous, full-of-life Michel leading the drinking songs made him reconsider having dutifully fallen into plodding along to the fate his father had carved out for him. Michel was small and slim of stature, all smiles and bravado that belied his small stature, and dark and sultry, a man of the Mediterranean south. He was dressed in silks elegantly enough, if not up to Derek’s father’s standards. That he was not up to Derek’s father’s standards weighed heavily in Derek being drawn to him.

Derek had dabbled in man love before--usually in small, otherwise hidden rebellions to the demands from his father--as, indeed, had nearly all at the university, where students were expected to unfurl their wings and curiosity for a short time before settling down to responsibility and mind-numbing mediocrity. There was nothing deemed unmanly in letting a man fellate you or even allowing you to pin his buttocks to a mattress in mere mechanical release, all being explained away by a deeper explorations of the meanings and workings of Greek philosophy.

But Michel was like a beckoning flame, a soaring phoenix--almost literally that night, as he rose up from the table top, his voice and beer stein held higher than all the rest--and Derek instantaneously had the desire to rise to the heights with him, if only for one more brief burst into the sun before joining his father’s life and plan for his future existence in the senior Hoffman’s “exciting” ball bearing factory world.

Whatever the appeal of Michel, representing a world that Derek was about to lose forever, he was mercurial, charismatic, attracted to Derek’s blond, muscular good looks, highly experienced in lying under and fellating a man, malleable, and willing. And that night he was drunk when Derek followed behind him as he staggered out of the biergarten, caught up with him as he struggled up the steep and narrow cobblestone street toward the university grounds, pulled him into an alley and up against a stone wall, and fucked him hard and deep.

Michel laughed, spread his arms and pressed them against the slimy and grimy stone wall of the alley, as he jutted his buttocks back, into Derek’s pelvis. There was no struggle. Just burning need and quick acceptance, as Derek unbuckled, first Michel, and then himself. Michel turned his head, his lips finding Derek’s, as he jerked a bit and moaned deeply at the penetration and then full, pumping possession.

For Derek, it was an act of desperation, an attempt to both reject the world he inevitably was sinking into and to steal from Michel and share the blazing light that made the young French student’s seemingly carefree and heinous world so glittering. For Michel, it was just another encounter of being ridden hard with a man’s dick inside him--of being wanted so badly that the man took what Michel was more than willing to give.

So steeped in Michel’s light was Derek that he wanted to prolong the experience as long as possible, and when he asked Michel to come back to his university lodgings with him, Michel readily agreed. Once there, Michel could clearly see that Derek’s lodging circumstances were so much more desirable than Michel’s were and Derek’s attentions were flattering and satisfying enough that Michel remained in Derek’s rooms and in his bed for the rest of the university term.

Derek’s father didn’t learn of Derek’s definite turn toward men--and one man, in particular--until the end of the term, when Derek returned to the fold and moved Michel to the family’s Black Forest hunting lodge. The lodge was in use by his father only during hunting season, so even then Derek’s father only was keyed into the waywardness of the son because of Derek’s unseasonal visits to the forest and his increasingly somewhat rebellious and nonpliable attitudes on the match that had been set up for Derek and on how privileged he was to be entering the world of ball bearings.

In these brief months, Derek couldn’t get enough of the enticing and malleable young man, who met him at the door of the hunting lodge laughing, naked, and in maddening erection even as Derek dismounted from his horse only to be mounting Michel’s ass moments later on the bed, or over the arm of a chair, on the dining table, or on the rug in front of the fireplace. Is was a fairytale life, but like all fairytales, it proved to be mere illusion when confronted with the reality of necessity.

Suspicions raised, researched by the dark-side assistants riding into the forests on their white stallions, and confirmed as worse than anticipated, the father cornered Derek and issued certain demands and conditions.

That Derek caved was evidenced by his actions the day he saw the approaching white stallions both in imagination while Michel was riding his cock on feathered bed and in fact through the French doors of the hunting lodge bed chamber overlooking the drive into the meadow hosting the venue of the illicit assignation.

The beat of the legs of the galloping stallions matched the rushing rise and fall of the luscious small French student’s channel on Derek’s cock, as Derek clutched the young man’s sides and Michel bounced up and down on his German lover’s cock, burying the palms of his hands into Derek’s nipples and moaning the thickness, length, and throbbing of Derek’s staff in his orgiastic death throes, knowing--regretting--that this was the end for them.

Thus, when Michel interpreted the horses of Derek’s imaginations as la petite mort, the figurative death of an explosive orgasms, Derek’s interpretation, punctuated by a flinging wide of the hunting lodge’s doors was much more down to earth and couched in reality.

* * * *

Derek’s eyes misted over as they were prone to do in his last days and the recurring image of the white stallions galloping at him from the convergence line of the narrow forest track was before him again. The image had recurred periodically throughout his long, dull life, at times the only thing that set his heart racing and his emotions jangling on what could have been if he’d made other choices. It had been a comfortable life, and how so he had come to despise that word--Gemütlichkeit--comfort. Smug mediocrity. The goal of his father. The goal he’d let his father impose on him.

And what was the outcome? He had been gemütlich--so comfortable that it had numbed and smothered him. It still was smothering him. He would died of suffocation from it. One thing was clear--he would soon die. His father couldn’t buy his son’s destiny from that, just as his father hadn’t been able to accumulate enough, been dull enough, to build a barrier against his own death.

Derek had to go back fifty years for any sense of when he’d actually been alive, happy, fulfilled. And when he thought on this time--the brief time with Michel--was when the dreams of the white stallions came to him.

The dreams had changed, though. They were becoming more ominous. The expression of the stallions’ faces--their snorted tufts of breath, the foaming at the mouths, the wild, malevolent blazing of their eyes--became more pronounced as they reached him and parted on each side, with each succeeding dream seeming to come closer to him as the brushed by. And over the last year--since he had received a death sentence--the black-clad figures astride the stallions were forming greater substance with each succeeding imagining. The men in black. Swinging shining swords, swishing them ever closer to his head as they roared past him.

With each passing day, he had regretted more the decisions he’d made early in life. That he’d chosen Gemütlichkeit. over Michel. That’s why, as he knew the end was drawing close, he’d drawn away from the life he had so readily allowed himself to be cowed to accept and had moved into the hunting lodge, banning all but the minimum number of day attendants from his presence. Choosing the memories of the closeness of the brief time with Michel over all he had chosen in selling out to his father’s world.

He thought he’d scream if just one more person asked him the going price of a ball bearing. Or he would die. Of course he was dying anyway.

“Michel. Never a word from him ever again. If he had really wanted me, he would . . .”


Derek opens his eyes. A quick roll back to the past. He is on his back on the featherbed in the bedroom of the hunting lodge. Michel, not aged a day, his naked body gloriously the same, is saddled on his cock. He--Derek--is hard as a rock, and throbbing inside the tight, warm passage. He hasn’t been hard for a good ten years. The palms of Michel’s hands are pressed into Derek’s nipples, Michel is rocking his hips forward and back on Derek’s cock, forcing the staff to sink deeper into him.

Derek hears a deep moan. Only in echo does he realize the moan is his.

“Michel! Foul? What do you mean?”

“You know what I mean. You knew than what was happening. You know why I never contacted you again. You knew why those two black-clad men, riding up on their white stallions, meant. We’d just discussed it. They meant death. You knew what they came for; what they would do. You saw the death stallions that day. Whose death did you tell yourself they heralded? Not yours. Not your father’s. You had already sealed my fate when we last made love.”

“No, I never. I--”

“Shush. It’s all right. You have paid for it a thousand times over. You realized the dull life you tossed me away for. But you have suffered enough. You deserve one last orgasm. One last la petite mort.”

“One last--?”

“Shhh. feel my passage make love to your cock. Explode for me--give me your seed one last time. Do you hear them? Turn your head toward the meadow, the forest, where the lane enters the trees.”

Derek moans at the pleasure of the beautiful, ever-young Michel riding his cock, as he turns his eyes to look through the French doors and out into the world. The two white stallions burst forth from the forest opening, and eyes wild, mouths foaming, churning down the drive straight for him. The figures on their back, two men clad in black, swinging broadswords, completely materialized now.

Michel leans over and kisses Derek on the mouth. But, as his body arches up and he rises and falls ever faster on the cock, he pulls a pillow out from underneath Derek’s head, places it over Derek’s face, and presses down.

Even while fighting for breath and knowing he is being suffocated, Derek can still see, in his imagination, the onrushing white stallions, the swinging of the broadswords. They are upon him, charging through the walls of the hunting lodge as if they aren’t even there, swords swishing in the air. Blinding light shines off the descending blades of the swords as Derek ejaculates . . . one . . . last . . . time.

La petite mort.



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