Chapter 9 (part 2)

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Toyami woke up first but did not want to get up. It was so good for him now – to lie and hug Kai, hearing his even breathing.

Kai woke up and realized that someone was hugging him from behind. He jerked sharply, turned around, saw Toyami’s face, jerked again and, tangled in the blanket, crawled to the side.

“Did we sleep like that all night?” Kai asked in horror.

“Yes,” Toyami continued to lie, only raised his head and leaned on his arm. He was amused by Kai’s face, “You were cold yesterday, I warmed you up, and you fell asleep. What, did I need to wake you up?”

“You could have just left me,” Kai felt very uncomfortable now. Instead of a purely working relationship, it was not clear what was happening between them. But clearly, it was a thing that Kai was trying so hard to avoid.

“Should I leave you to freeze? Don’t worry, I didn’t do anything with you, it’s just warmer for the two of us to sleep.”

Kai had nothing to say. He got up and began to fold the blanket.

“Get up, we need to go,” Kai said, without turning around, going to the car.

***

They quickly reached the fortification of Il-Rashad in daylight. There they were waited for, fed, and when Kai was already preparing to drag after Toyami with an inspection of everything, Toyami, turning to him, said that today he did not need his escort.

This meant that he could go to the room assigned to him to rest. Kai got confused and wandered over to his room. He also remembered that on the way here Toyami had not asked him anything. They just drove in silence, only occasionally exchanging insignificant phrases, and listened to music.

“Has he decided to thank me for the mine?”  thought Kai. It was quite a worthy gift, he appreciated it.

In the room set to him, he spent the rest of the day in bed.

In the evening, rested, he came to the gala dinner.

Toyami was busy talking with the command, which made Kai happy. He could calmly communicate with the officers he knew whom he had met before. They were also happy to see Kai. There was something to remember and talk about.

In order not to interfere with the command, they went into the street. A fire was made there, around which everyone sat down.

They brought a snack, vodka. They recalled the past for a long time and shared the news with each other, then they brought a guitar. Everyone knew how well Kai sang. The guys started asking him to sing. There was nothing to do – he began to sing.

“The pine tree rustles, the pearl river flows,

And along it, the boy and the girl are walking …

They walk, slowing down a little quickstep,

And that guy has tears in his eyes …

I leave, – said the boy to her, –

You just wait, I will definitely return …”

Even in the middle of the song, Kai felt a very intent gaze on him. He looked up from the strings of the guitar and through the flames of the fire, behind the backs of those sitting, he saw Toyami. He was standing and looking at him, frozen.

Kai finished the song and, having made the final chord, gave up the guitar.

Toyami left, he didn’t see him again tonight. Well, he did not sit around the fire for a long time – he would get up early again the next day.

***

The next day they had planned a visit to the firing point on the hill in square 132, and then in the evening to spend the night in a Japanese camp located in that area.

Kai noticed again that Toyami was no longer tormenting him with stupid questions about the upcoming visit.

From the corner of his eye, he was watching Kai. He immediately noticed, even for the first time when he got into his car, how Kai elegantly, without noticing it, put his hands on the steering wheel. His long, thin fingers lay aristocratic on the soft leather of the steering wheel, gently stroked it, as if caressing its surface, and slid in the turn, and then squeezed the steering wheel when accelerating.

Those beautiful hands on the steering wheel – Toyami realized how exciting and erotic it was. He looked and admired such seemingly simple, but at the same time mesmerizing movements – when Kai put his hand on the speed switch, wrapping thin fingers around the lever and making a smooth movement, and then again returned his hand to the leather surface of the steering wheel.

Toyami feasted his eyes on this, feeling aesthetic pleasure and excitement. Kai’s innate aristocracy was discernible even when driving a car.

Then he remembered his voice when Kai sang: velvet, deep, magical.

“You sang very beautifully, you have an amazing voice,” Toyami suddenly spoke up, “you had to choose a career as a singer, not a military man.”

“Nobody gave me a choice,” Kai said suddenly angrily.

“Sorry, I didn’t want to hurt you with anything,” Toyami was upset that his words caused such a negative reaction from Kai. “Can you tell me why you are here?”

“Toyami, we’ve agreed – we have a working relationship. Let’s stay within this framework, and so everything superfluous has already happened,” Kai remembered spending the night in Toyami’s arms.

“I wonder how this relates to a working relationship?” – for some reason this thought tormented him very much.

“It’s hard to be only in a working relationship, sometimes it’s useful to just talk, maybe it will become easier?” during these days Toyami saw a thing that Kai stubbornly hid inside himself was his buried pain.

“Yes, I’m fine! What makes you think that I have problems?” Kai wound up and now spoke in a hard cold voice, “The only problem is you!” he blurted out and regretted that his temper ran away with him.

“And in what way am I creating a problem for you in your such a serene life?” Toyami also began to speak in a cold dry voice.

“What do you want from me?!”

“Nothing. Don’t get turned on like that. I don’t want anything from you.”

Kai felt like a complete idiot. It was necessary to stay within the framework of the working relationship. And now he moved on to clarify the relationship between them, this was too much!

There could be no relationship between them, and Toyami confirmed this. Kai did not answer, pretending to be full of the road.

Toyami put the hand rested on Kai’s right leg. In a surprise, Kai jerked, his foot flew off the gas pedal. He barely kept the car on the road and grabbed Toyami’s hand with his right hand, trying to pull it off his leg.

“Take away your hand!”

“Look – there is a checkpoint ahead, we have already arrived,” – as if nothing was happening, Toyami said, removing his hand from his leg in front of the checkpoint.

Kai evened his breathing, opened the window, and explained to the sentry at the entrance who they were.

Toyami saw Kai’s face, who was trying to cope with the excitement by explaining something to the sentry.

“Stubborn boy! Got it for your tone. You shouldn’t talk to me like that. I know what changes you.”

They, as always, were already expected, they were warmly welcomed. Toyami almost officially in front of everyone turned to Kai with a request to accompany him during the inspection of the object. Kai realized that Toyami decided to mock him again.

Having finished everything here, they drove towards the Japanese camp, where they had to spend the night. Toyami sat with an indifferent face and smoked out the window. Kai glanced at him nervously and twitched at his every move, remembering his morning action.

Toyami saw this and it amused him.

“Well, Kai is still a child. Such an innocent thing just knocked him out of the rut,” Toyami again squinted his eyes at Kai and reached out to the music switch. Kai winced nervously and jerked.

They arrived at the Japanese camp not late. Here laid tables and a festive dinner were waiting for them. The feast dragged on until late. Kai tried to leave several times, but he was stopped, saying that his presence here in their camp was an honor for them. All the present officers tried to talk to him and, of course, to drink. They drank sake. He drank a little, but constant toasts sounded, and those who wanted to drink with him constantly asked them not to offend and drink to the bottom. As a result, Kai realized that it was time to leave so as not to shamefully pass out at the table.

He was escorted to the tent assigned to him. He went to the bed and, without undressing, fell on it with one desire – to fall instantly into a drunken sleep.

***

How much he slept, he did not know, most likely not for long. He woke up from touching his face, opened his eyes, and saw Toyami’s face above him.

“Not that again!” a moan of despair escaped him.

Kai jerked his hand and realized that both of his hands were raised and handcuffed to the back of an iron army bed.

“What are you doing, absolutely crazy?!” Kai hissed, looking into Toyami’s eyes.

“Hush, don’t make a noise, they can hear everything through the fabric of the tent,” Toyami covered his mouth with his hand, ” or do you want to be seen like this?”

“I do not care! I wonder what you say to that?” Kai shook his head angrily, pushing Toyami’s hand off his lips.

“Here you will not surprise anyone with such a relationship. They will say that we were having fun,” Toyami said with a sly smile.

Kai felt trapped again. The mousetrap slammed shut. If such a relationship was natural for Toyami, then he would not like to be found in such an ambiguous situation.

“Why did I get drunk?!” a late thought of remorse came to him.

Toyami realized that he had driven Kai into a trap. He realized that Kai would not scream. He didn’t want to be seen like this.

Toyami gently ran his hand over his cheek and neck. Then the pads of his fingers touched the thin line of his lips, and he felt the excitement that pierced his body.

“I, actually, trusted you, do you think it’s okay to do this?” said Kai, driving away from himself the thought that from the hands of Toyami, caressing him, he feels so good, they so pleasantly touched his skin.

“How have I betrayed your trust? With this?”

Toyami didn’t let him come to his senses, leaning sharply, pressed his lips to his.

Before Kai even had time to clench his teeth, Toyami’s tongue penetrated him and slowly began to caress.

Kai froze from surprise and from the fact that he felt such a strangely pleasant sensation inside himself.

Toyami continued – he began to bite his lower lip, then again penetrated him with his tongue, but more aggressively, passionately caressing him deeper and more persistently. Then he pulled back sharply.

Kai caught his breath convulsively and looked away.

“Enough, let me go,” Kai’s voice trembled treacherously, the words did not sound convincing, he understood it himself.

Toyami saw it too, saw Kai melt from his kisses. He began to slowly unbutton his jacket when Kai tried to say something. Toyami got ahead of him, pressed his lips to his, then, pulling back a little, whispered:

“Do not be afraid, this is just a caress, I want to give you a little tenderness,” he began to touch his lips to Kai’s cheeks, cheekbones, then, reaching with such light kisses to the ear, whispered into it, “just lie still, have we agreed?”

Kai felt an incomprehensible tremor in his body, he wanted to argue with Toyami, but that began to caress his ear with his hot, wet tongue, bite his lobe, pull his tongue deep, and slowly circle his auricle with it, and Kai choked with a wave of pleasure. Toyami felt this tremor in his body.

Again he fell to Kai’s lips, but now he was kissing slowly, enjoying it, knowing that he would no longer offer resistance.

Then he pulled back, watched Kai gasp for air.

“Well, you stupid – breathe!” Toyami gently ran his hand over Kai’s cheek.

Then he slowly unbuttoned his jacket and opened it. He admired his body. Kai’s thinness did not spoil; a sunken belly, slight muscle relief, a thin waist, smooth skin. Toyami passed his hand, held it on his stomach. Again he bent down and began to cover his body with kisses, slowly, without haste, first the neck, protruding collarbones, then went down to the solar plexus, then to the stomach.

Toyami heard a soft moan, which sent a painful wave of excitement through him. He raised himself, looked at Kai, at his slightly parted lips, and sharply leaned against them. Now he kissed him greedily, not holding back and not pitying him. His hands caressed his body – chest, stomach, waist. He pulled his hand behind his back to hold him close to him, to feel his trembling, his breathlessness, the way he trembled from his touches and kisses.

Then Toyami pulled away, looked at Kai: dimmed eyes, flaming cheeks, slightly swollen lips red from the rush of blood, uneven breathing. Toyami’s head was starting to spin.

“No! Enough. I mustn’t continue! I really don’t want to lose his trust. I don’t want to lose him …”

He unbuckled the handcuffs, continuing to sit next to Kai, turned away from him.

Now it was hard for him to restrain himself, but he knew that he did not want to do to Kai like this – to take advantage of his weakness, his trust in him. If he continues now, he will destroy everything, everything that began to arise between them, the elusive, painfully beautiful. He understood that now he could do whatever he wanted with Kai, but then when Kai realized this, he would lose him forever. He understood that Kai was not ready for more and he could not rush with him, he could not cross the line that Kai was not ready to cross himself. He had to approach it with him, only in this way their relationship would make sense, only in this way something more would arise between them – something that he was so afraid of and so wanted.

But how hard it was to restrain himself, how hard it was not to lose control now and not plunge into the abyss of passion, sweeping away all thoughts and all reality. Until recently, he would have done this, but now something had changed in him, he was becoming different. Now he could not, did not want to exchange the momentary pleasure for the gradual achievement of something that had not yet been in his life.

Was he kidding himself? Maybe there was nothing? Maybe he should now seize the moment, and then just live and remember this incident as a pleasant pastime?

It was not true, it was not like that, and he knew it. It was different with Kai. He didn’t want to have this piece of pleasure when his goal was to get everything. Yes, he wanted to get all of Kai, he wanted him to love him, he wanted to get his heart, his soul. He wanted to conquer him, such a rebellious, headstrong, stubborn person. He wanted to defeat him so that Kai surrendered, admitted himself defeated in this war of theirs. He confessed to the guy, and most importantly, to himself, that he so wanted to reject, pretending that he did not feel it. He wanted the complete surrender of Kai, so that the guy realized the futility of his attempts to deny the obvious – and then the man would accept him, who had lost everything in which he so believed and wanted to continue to believe. Toyami wanted to know that Kai was defeated in this battle, moreover, defeated in a battle with himself. Toyami wanted to see him, lost, confused, defeated. Then the man would accept him and open a new world for him, give him the support, reliance for the path further. He will give Kai his feeling, which the man was ready to give Kai and only him. And for this Toyami would wait, here time did not matter – the true feeling is priceless, for true feeling time does not exist …

Kai slowly began to come to consciousness. He understood that he was lost in space, time, everything was erased, dissolved …

Then the clarity of consciousness returned to him. He realized that he was lying on the bed with his jacket unbuttoned, and Toyami was sitting next to him. Kai jerked sharply, but a strange weakness prevented him from getting up, he fell back on the bed.

Toyami turned around and wanted to help him up.

“Go away,” Kai’s voice sounded dry and colorless.

Toyami stood up and, without turning around, walked out of his tent.

Kai curled up on the bed, for some reason he began to shake, he convulsively pulled the covers over himself.

“Why is he doing this to me?! What for?”

Kai realized that he was now under complete control of Toyami.

“Still one kiss, and I would have ceased to remember myself. Why is this happening to me? What is wrong with me?”

He remembered Arshad.

“No, it was not so with Arshad!”

Here he felt everything differently. And that scared him.

The sweet wave of excitement was gone, leaving the devastation and painful sensation of what had happened. Kai lost his head only from one touch of this man, his kiss, the hand with which he ran over him. He felt disgusted with himself because he was unable to control himself, his emotions, his body.

Kai realized that he was now in full power and if he wanted to go for more, everything would have happened.

“Why did Toyami stop?”

Though it didn’t matter, it was important for him now that, as it turned out, he did not know himself, that he was so weak and so susceptible to such caress.

“But I don’t want that! It’s not my fault that this is happening to me!”

All these thoughts were confused in his head. He was disgusted with himself, with what had happened, and with the fact that he could not figure out what was happening. He lost control of himself, his feelings, his sensations. His inner world collapsed, and the illusion of calmness with which he had lived disappeared, and he, like a drowning man, grabbed at straws, trying to escape and not get into this whirlpool, into which he was drawn by something arising, such a new and unknown, in his life …

He was lying for a long time, trying to calm the trembling inside, then forgot himself in disturbing sleep.

***

In the morning they drove in the direction of the last garrison, from where Toyami had to be picked up by his people, and Kai alone would go back, though not along this route, but on a straight line, along the main route.

Each of them pretended that nothing had happened. They drove for a long time in silence. The first to break the silence was Toyami.

“Yesterday between us …”

“Stop! No need to continue!” Kai said sharply, realizing that he didn’t want to listen to what Toyami would say.

“Yesterday between us,” Toyami continued insistently.

“Enough! I don’t want to hear it!” Kai angrily clasped his hands on the steering wheel.

“Why?” this behavior of Kai was beginning to infuriate Toyami, “after all, I’m not the first man who kisses you! Isn’t that so? Why, then, are you posing as a touchy virgin?” Now Toyami was angry with Kai.

“Stop it! It doesn’t concern you at all!”

“What does not concern?” Toyami was infuriated by Kai’s behavior, he felt that Kai had already learned the sweetness of male kisses, so why was he behaving this way now? Toyami couldn’t understand it! “You’ve already been with a man, you know what it is, your body spoke for you yesterday! Was it Arshad? Am I right?”

Kai hit the brake pedal sharply. The car skidded slightly on the dusty road, then stopped. The dust raised by such a stop began to slowly settle onto the hood.

“Yes, the first was Arshad – did you want to hear that?!” Kai turned to Toyami, then, looking into his eyes, slowly said, “I was in his captivity. Do you know what captivity is? I was completely in his power,” then, after a pause, he added, “that was a long time ago. That’s how we met.”

Kai leaned back in the driver’s seat and closed his eyes, it seemed that these words had drained his spiritual strength and now he was sitting empty.

“But you haven’t slept with Arshad. Why?”

“He wants my consent, he wants to get it for love …” Kai paused, continuing to sit with his eyes closed.

“I understand him,” Toyami said in a strange voice.

These words revived Kai as he glanced at Toyami’s cold face. Then he took out his cigarettes, nervously took out one. Toyami raised his lighter. Kai lit a cigarette.

Toyami watched him silently.

After finishing his cigarette, Kai put his hand on the gear change. Toyami put his hand on Kai’s one.

“Maybe we can have lunch together in Kamrat? I have not yet thanked you for saving. And Kodji would be glad, he wants to see you,” Toyami’s voice sounded even and calm.

“Toyami, I don’t want to meet you anymore,” Kai said in a calm, colorless voice.

Toyami removed his hand from Kai’s one.

“You’re just afraid of yourself! You are afraid to admit to yourself that you like it. Is it so? And how long will you cowardly hide from yourself?”

“It doesn’t concern you. I do not want to continue the conversation on this topic. We will remain within the framework of the business relationship.”

Kai pulled away slowly, gradually picking up speed.

“Do you want to solve everything so easily? Do you think by saying this, you can just stay in the business relationship?” Toyami was furious with Kai’s decision, “You know, if you are used to crossing everything out like that, then I’m not ready. I saw how good you were with me yesterday.”

“Shut up!” Kai interrupted him.

“What? Have I hurt you? Yes, you felt good yesterday! And I want to continue to do this with you! And believe me, I always get what I want.”

The rest of the road they drove in silence; each was immersed in his own thoughts.

***

After Toyami returned to his home, a week passed.

He dined at the Riviera Plaza Hotel in Kamrat with Kodji, who had just returned from Japan and was waiting for a story from his friend about the latest events in his life.

“You were together for a week, and you don’t even tell me anything? What new things have you learned about him?” Kodji asked for more coffee and now with graceful fingers, which held a thin spoon, he was stirring sugar in it.

“You know, Kai is so amazing, every time I learn something new about him. After all, this cannot be? But I am surprised every time. You see, this has never happened to me before – he constantly surprises me,” Toyami poured water into a glass and, watching it play in the sun, took a sip, “although I’ve already told you that,” Toyami smiled.

“And what did he so amazed you with this time?” Kodji also noted this feature in Kai.

“He sings amazingly,” seeing the doubt on Kodji’s face, he continued, “you know I have perfect hearing. I can tell you that he has perfect performance, not a note of falsehood, but what a voice! You need to hear it – velvet, deep, and he perfectly owns it, takes any height,” having sipped more water, Toyami added, ” he played the guitar just amazingly. I was immediately struck by his thin fingers, like a musician, and, you see, I was not mistaken. I wonder if he plays other musical instruments?”

“I think he will amaze you with many more,” Kodji looked at the coffee in the cup, “and what was he singing?”

“He sang in Russian, but it was very beautiful,” Toyami put a glass of water on the table, once again admired the sparks of light that it reflects, “I want to hear him singing again.”

Looking at Toyami’s pensive face, Kodji said:

“What else was interesting during your trip?”

“There was more,” Toyami’s face darkened, “but it doesn’t matter.”

Toyami remembered the mine but decided not to upset his friend with this story, knowing how much Kodji worried about him.

“Toyami, what are you saying? Tell me, or I’ll be offended!”

Kodji sensed from Toyami’s tone that something had happened on their trip.

Toyami realized that it was too late to hide it from his friend, and said:

“I stepped on a mine,” seeing how Kodji turned pale, continued, “I walked to the car and did not notice, I only heard a click. I knew what this click meant. At that moment, I realized that this was the end, but I was not scared, I looked at Kai and was happy that I saw him in the last moments …”

Toyami took out a cigarette and struck it with a lighter. Kodji was silent, realizing that these were difficult memories for his friend.

“Kai neutralized it. He sat at my feet and dug it out with his hands. I saw that his fingers were already torn apart with blood on the stones. Then he unrolled something in it for a long time. And that’s all. I am alive, as you can see, or rather, we are alive. After all, he risked for me.”

Kodji also nervously lit a cigarette upon hearing this. He knew perfectly well that there was very little chance of neutralizing such a mine after having stepped on it.

“He risked for you – do you understand that?”

“I think he would have done it for anyone, but I owe him my life.”

Toyami paused, once again remembering what had happened, Kodji also did not say anything. He was happy that everything worked out, his best friend was alive and was here with him now.

“Let’s not talk about sad things anymore,” Kodji again became the same as usual – positively attuned to life, “was there anything between you during this time? Come on, don’t hide from me, I can see by you that something has happened!”

“Yes, we slept,” seeing the surprise on Kodji’s face, Toyami smiled, “in the truest sense of the word. It turns out that Kai does not tolerate the cold very well. You see, he surprised me again. We had to spend the night in the mountains. There was little gas in the car, you couldn’t make a fire. Actually, it was not cold, but his hands were cold, and he sat in two blankets and chattered his teeth. I hugged him, he warmed up and fell asleep.

“Nice, very nice,” Kodji said with a sly smile.

“You should have seen his face when he woke up and realized that he was sleeping with me.”

“You probably scared him again,” Koji said jokingly, “Was there anything else interesting?” he felt that this was not all.

“Yes, then, the next day. I allowed myself a little. You know, I’ve decided, if I don’t take advantage of the moment, then I’ll regret it. It was in our camp, he had to drink amiably with everyone. By nightfall, from sake and fatigue, he was a little drunk, but he went to his room. There I overtook him,” seeing the burning eyes of Kodji, explained, “there was nothing, only kisses. I don’t want to rush, why. He’s so wild, you can see it yourself.”

“Yes,” Kodji smiled, remembering Kai’s frightened eyes at their invitation to dine together.

Toyami, after a little thought, continued:

“But I felt that he was already with a man. His body knows male affection, he could not hide it from me, or rather, restrain himself,” Toyami raised a glass of water to his lips and drank a sip to suppress the wave of excitement from the recollection.

“Is that Arshad?” Kodji asked directly.

“Yes. Arshad. Kai was captured by him.”

“But, I understand, Arshad did not use his opportunities?”

“No.”

“Why?” Kodji looked at Toyami, intrigued.

“He wants to get it for love.”

“Well, then I understand him,” Kodji said pointedly, remembering Kai’s glowing green eyes.

Toyami looked at him intently, then looked away.

“I understand that too,” Toyami remembered Kai’s eyes, clouded by languid passion. A warm wave ran through his body, he took a breath, “Kai, I want you to tell me – yes!” thought Toyami.

Toyami once again nervously sucked in air through his nostrils.

Kodji sipped his coffee and looked at Toyami.

“It seems to me that Arshad did not give up trying to achieve this.”

“I know it.”

“Aren’t you afraid of such competition? Indeed, unlike you, Kai has known Arshad for a long time and many things connect them.”

Toyami did not answer, realizing that there was some truth in Kodji’s words. He thought a lot about it. Probably, he already regretted that he had not dared to do more. The realization that Kai could be with someone else began to eat away at his mind from the inside. He drove away these thoughts, but Arshad, with his black burning eyes, looking at Kai, more and more often began to appear in his mind’s eye. Now the picture of their relationship became clear to him. He understood Arshad – he, as a hunter, decided to play with his victim, having released it from the trap himself, but clearly realizing that it would not run away from him anywhere. The way he looked at Kai gave Toyami every reason to believe that Arshad was confident in his victory and that this was his prey. Arshad enjoyed this game, he was in no hurry and at the same time did not let go of what belonged to him.

Realizing all this, Toyami came to his own plan of action, which he decided to implement. He was also a hunter and would not let go of his prey, and even more so, would not give it to another.

He didn’t tell Kodji about how they had an argument during parting with Kai and that he had his plan of action for Kai. He knew that Kodji clearly would not approve of this plan.

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