708. Dogs of Lust

We slept in, had a late brunch at the little place Ziggy liked, did some shopping, met Bart and Chris for dinner, scrapped plans to go to another live musc show, and ended up at Limelight. Well no, actually, Limelight was just another stop on the way to Jordan’s loft once again, with about a dozen people I didn’t know.

I wasn’t completely sure I wanted to know them, either, after one guy said something about the guitar being passé, calling the electric guitar a quaint relic of the Elvis age. One of the others answered that the reason the electric guitar was so dated was because guitarists had been elevated to godlike status during the prog rock era but the golden calf had been tumbled down by punks who proved any idiot with three chords could play the damn thing and now no one cared about it.

We’d reached the loft by then and I hadn’t had much to drink yet, which was fortunate, because it meant I had the good sense to walk away and look for another conversation instead of getting into it with opinionated, ignorant jerks. Besides, they were shooting their mouths off to try to look good in front of the women and god knows some of the stupidest shit ever can fly at times like that.

“Trav, you’ve been spreading the word?” I asked at one point, when we were standing in the area of the loft that counted as the kitchen. “Drums, horns, auxiliary percussion–?”

“Listen to you,” Jordan said, knocking me on the shoulder with the hand that had a bottle of beer in it. “You sound like a party host worried no one will show up.”

“But what if no one shows up?”

“First of all, it’s not like a terrible gig. Second, I’m sure Carynne would’ve told you if she didn’t have any interest at all.”

“True.” In the interest of being sharp the next day I was drinking water.

“Did you start liking the album yet?”

“It’s grown on me,” I said, which was true. “I think I’ll like my arrangements of the songs even better, though. I mean, I know I will.”

He nodded sympathetically. “How long do you think it’ll take to put this band together?”

“I have no idea.” I waved my hands like that might knock the answers out of the air. “I figure we’ll audition everybody, have to talk about it, have some callbacks maybe, depending on what we’ve heard? I’m trying to keep an open mind. If it’s all over with in a day or two, fine, so we’ll get to rehearsing sooner, and if it takes longer, it takes longer.”

“What’d you do with the arrangements exactly?”

“Oh, none of it’s set in stone yet of course, but they’re going to want dance breaks, instrumental bridges covering changes.” My hands wavered even more. “I mean, you know, like costume changes.”

“God bless you, Daron Marks,” he said then, trying not to laugh, and patting me gently on the shoulder. “There’s no reason to be abashed about costume changes.”

“I know.” I did. Somehow I found it still vaguely discomfiting, though. “It’s just new territory. Takes some getting used to. But yeah. I’ve constructed some possible medleys. That sort of thing.”

He nodded. “You mind if I drop by the rehearsal space some time?”

“Not at all. You know where it is?”

“Yeah.” He set his empty beer bottle in the sink.

“You won’t be too busy?”

“Next week I’m not.” He shrugged. He had put on weight since we had first met three years earlier, when he had been stick thin, now he was chunkier and looked like he might have hit the gym a few times.

I suddenly realized that I was staring at him and he was staring at me in that chemical mutual attraction way.

“Unless you don’t want me to,” he said, and for a second I couldn’t remember he was talking about dropping by rehearsal.

“Maybe wait til the end of next week,” I said, “when maybe we’ll have gotten somewhere.”

“Sure.” He squeezed my arm and then moved off to play party host to someone else and I stood there sucking air in and out of my lungs trying to tamp down the hyperactive sex itch humming in my gut. It didn’t really work, so plan B was find Ziggy, which wasn’t hard to do. He was standing by the door to the bathroom, talking with someone I didn’t know, who he introduced me to smoothly and then just as smoothly told the person to excuse us and pulled me into the bathroom with him.

He shut the wooden door and latched it with the metal latch attached to the frame in the brick, and then he kissed me, or, well, more like…he invited me through a sinuous press of his body against mine and his arms around my neck to put our mouths together, our hips together.

“You want to go home?” he breathed into my ear, “Or you want to get off right here?”

“Both,” I said. “Aren’t you the one who always tells me not to fall into fake either-or situations?”

“True.” His grin was wicked. “What got you so hot?”

“Ask me again later,” I said, while his hand snaked inside my jeans and worked me to steel hardness.

He knew me well enough to know how much pressure to use, how fast to move, once I’d shoved my jeans down, so that I was already somewhat close by the time he took me in his mouth. When I was in his hand I felt like he was in control, and when I was in his mouth I felt like he ceded that control. He put his hands on my hips but let me dictate the depth and speed of my thrusts. I fucked his mouth slowly at first, enjoying the sight of red cock between black lips, but my interest quickly moved from sight to sensation as the aching need to empty my balls began to peak.

He swallowed and then licked his lips proudly, his lipstick nothing more now than a debauched streak on his cheek and chin. I kissed the taste of my flesh and wax when I put my mouth against his.

“You?” was about as eloquent as I could be.

“When we get home,” he said into my ear, then bit my ear.

So we went home. Saying our goodbyes took a little time, plus the ride back to the apartment, and I don’t know how long it took exactly but it was long enough that I was quickly recharged once our clothes were on the floor and we were on the bed.

Ziggy sometimes gets chatty during sex. He wanted me to do him first and I was happy to oblige, but while in the midst of the deed he said, “I feel like I really…deserve this.”

“Hm?” I was concentrating on keeping one of his legs bent at the proper angle to make him purr and couldn’t figure out what he meant. “Deserve it? Do you mean…as a punishment or as a reward?”

“Both of us do. Our just due. We’ve worked hard for this.”

“Ah. Uh huh.” Ziggy gets chatty, while I get non-verbal. I tried to make sure I used some words. “I agree.”

Fortunately that was all I really needed to say. We’d worked hard to get to that point.

But the truly hard work was about to begin.

(Guess what, folks… I think that was the end of Book Nine! Next chapter, starting with the auditions, opens Book Ten! If you’ve made it this far, you’ve now read 964,024 words of DGC, not counting bonus scenes or extras! At this rate, we will hit 1 million words in the next 3-4 months, and when Book 10 is done, DGC will equal the length of the Harry Potter books. Thanks for coming on the ride with me! -ctan)

Olimometer 2.52
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  • s says:

    So we’re shooting for twice the length of Harry Potter, right? RIGHT???? Maybe 3x? Don’t make me beg…

    • ctan says:

      We’re not shooting for any length in particular. I’ve always said we’ll know when we get to the end. This ain’t it yet, obviously!

  • Wh4tisit says:

    Wow, that long! It’s amazing to think how long must I have been reading along, and how much the story still holds the interest and all without the recourse of magic! 🙂 Congratulations and thank you so much!

  • chris says:

    If you stop writing this story before I die of old age I will never forgive you….

    • sanders says:

      Forget forgiveness, I intend to haunt her for all eternity should the need arise.

      • s says:

        We could kidnap her and force her to continue writing. Right? That seems like a normal response, right?

        I seriously can’t handle the thought of it all being over in 3-4 months…

        • Bill Heath says:

          It will not be over until Daron stops using ctan to channel himself. That could happen tomorrow, that could happen ten or twenty years from now. Ctan doesn’t know when it’s going to occur.

          Late last week Kyle Randolph appeared in mny mind fully formed and started telling his story. I’ve written 33K words in five days without thinking. In reality, I haven’t written a word; I’m just typing.

          This is the first time anything like this has happened to me. Too bad for Kyle, he got me instead of ctan. This is really weird.

          • s says:

            I would feel more confident about that if she hadn’t said before that her goal was for the story to be as long as Harry Potter. It. Can’t. End.

        • ctan says:

          Wait, who said 3-4 months? Ziggy’s tour won’t even have started by then, at the rate we’re going. Daron still has to finish the second leg of Nomad’s tour, too, remember. And there’s a lot of plot we haven’t even gotten to.

          • s says:

            I’ve had that interview with lena in the back of my mind for months, the one where you talked about DGC being 75% done and the length of HP a goal. So I read your note and did the Chicken Little “the sky is falling” bit. I’ll rein in the panic…

            I’m so not equipped to handle the end of this story. And so happy I don’t have to yet!!!

            • ctan says:

              *pets* Yeah, catching JK Rowling is a goal but not an end goal.

              I sometimes feel like this story is a love affair that I can’t tell how long it’ll last, but as long as the relationship feels good I don’t worry. 🙂

  • G says:

    These are real people who have somehow wormed their way into my heart. They aren’t going anywhere. Yeah, I said it.

  • Lenalena says:

    Nooooo! No foreshadowing! I am not ready to leave lalaland!

    • ctan says:

      We’re not close to leaving yet. You know we’ve got a lot of plot ahead of us. South America, the second leg of the Nomad tour, many many other unresolved issues (lawsuits, Colin, whether the balance with Ziggy will last, etc etc etc…), Ziggy’s likely US and European tours, and if I say any more *then* I will be getting into foreshadowing.

  • Jude says:

    CONGRATS on another book well done! 🙂 Also looking forward to you topping 1M words. Gonna throw a party for it?

    • ctan says:

      I should, shouldn’t I? or something. We’ve been hitting a lot of milestones lately. 10,000th comment is coming up, we blew past 700th chapter (pffft what’s another 100 chapters …) — I should probably do one for 1000th chapter?

  • Bill Heath says:

    Ziggy, we’ve reached the end of Book Nine. I think it’s time we talked about irony.

    You poisoned the well in your relationship with Daron by trying to take away his creative and artistic control. That took years to detoxify. Then you outmanipulated Mills for a lot of money and your own career with, doubtless, your control over it. Sure, Daron’s baby was now dead, but that wasn’t your problem.

    Today you are Mills’ marionette. He pulls all the strings. You don’t get to write the music, write the songs, pick the musicians or even decide what songs will be in the recording. The next step is lip-synching, of course. That will last until Mills finds a new, maybe even sexier and better-looking, manufactured talent to take your place.

    You have a chance with the upcoming tour to regain some measure of control and self-respect. The only person capable of working with you to make that happen is Daron.

    Irony, indeed.

    • s says:

      Somehow I doubt any of that escapes Ziggy. And I think Ziggy’s right. He and Daron have worked hard to get where they are and have a real chance to be together. I’m excited for book ten, I just really want a book twenty also!

      • Bill Heath says:

        It may not have escaped Ziggy, but it’s pretty deeply compartmentalized. In India Ziggy may have worked on his ego, but he forgot his hubris. Not quite the same thing, hubris caused his second fuck-over of Daron.

        Yes, they’ve worked hard. At this point I see one thing that can turn hard work into a relationship with a chance for success.

        Ziggy needs to tell Daron, “I don’t deserve your help and we both know why. I am full of love for you, but otherwise empty. I have no control of my music and I’m Mills’ trained dog act. I need you to collaborate with me to restore my music. That’s the part of me, and of my love for you, that is missing.

        “You have every right to turn your back on me. I put myself in this situation, not you. In fact, I have hurt you worse than any other person in my life. I love you, and you love me. Please help me to make that love complete by restoring one of its most important elements, our collaboration as full partners going forward.”

        Ziggy thinks he has come clean with Daron, in part because he’s no longer lying to him. But he continues to lie to Daron by lying to himself. Ziggy and music is all Daron wants. Until Ziggy can say the same, without adding any provisions or exceptions (yes, totally un-Ziggy behavior) I see a recurring state of angst separated by periods of delusion.

    • chris says:

      I believe I felt Ziggy bare his teeth.

  • WhiskeyShipwreck says:

    Holy fuck. I just spent the last 8 days reading through all of this, start to finish. This was an emotional roller coaster I was not at all prepared to board, but I am hooked, even if I’m also a bit wrecked.
    I got the first e book for free from some Amazon promo, and I couldn’t stop reading, so I bought the other 7 in rapid succession. I was ecstatic when I discovered there was content beyond the 8th book available online, and now I’m trying to figure out how much bonus material I’ve missed and how to go about getting access to it.
    I need to come up for air though, since I’ve kinda missed out on the real world for over a week. I mean, I went to work and the gym and all that regular stuff, but that was just filler that happened between pages.

    • Amber says:

      Welcome to Daron’s world.

    • Amber says:

      If you are willing to join Patreon and donate at least one dollar a week you will get all of the bonus content plus free ebooks as they come out. Click on the Patreon logo in the right hand column to go check out the Patreon page for DGC.

    • s says:

      Welcome! It’s a crazy ride for sure!

      The way it works around here is we get to read the story of free, but we can donate toward an extra chapter (or join Patreon as Amber said). You may have noticed the counter bar that tracks how much we’ve donated (I’m not sure if that works on the mobile version or if you have to be on desktop version. There are several things that are different about mobile version.) Anyway, we reach $100 donated, we get a Saturday post. The Saturday post is just the next chapter in the story, but we get it on Saturday instead of Tuesday.

      There are also 10 (I think) adults only bonuses, 2 of which are accessible with just a password here on the site. The others you can get from ctan with a donation and by stating that you are indeed over 18 and want the bonus posts.

      In addition to that, there are numerous fanworks posts, liner notes, bonus scenes from Colin, Bart, Ziggy, Jonathan. Check out the Categories tab on the right side of the screen on desktop version and you can find all of those.

      I would also highly recommend rereading the entire story online because, like this, there are tons of comments (in fact we are about to or may have already hit 10,000 comments) and they really add to the story. Feel free to interact with us and Daron and ctan and occasionally Ziggy. It makes the experience so much better! Enjoy!

    • ctan says:

      Wooo !! Welcome to the ride! And sorry for the delay in my reply — I’m usually much faster to answer comments but I’ve been at a conference and the wifi doesn’t work in all the parts of this hotel. I’m on the road almost as much as Daron sometimes…

      Looks like Amber and Stef have caught you up on most of the stuff to know about the site. If you leave a comment for Daron, he’ll answer it. If you leave a comment for Ziggy… sometimes he drifts by to answer, too.

  • Kimberly VanOver says:

    Thank you CTan for all your hard work. It is greatly appreciated.

  • Amber says:

    I just realized I’ve finally caught up again. Now I have to go back to waiting for the next post. I’m definitely not prepared for this to be over anytime soon. I agree that I’d be willing to follow Daron all the way through retirement. Thank you ctan for giving us this world.

    • Amber says:

      Also, congratulations on finishing book 9!

    • Bill Heath says:

      After three complete re-reads I’ve decided that I need to experience the community, and read new posts the day they appear.

      If we raise ten million dollars for you, ctan, will you do daily posts? I have a great plan. First, steal one ski mask …

      • ctan says:

        I doubt I can get all the way up to daily posts on a sustained basis, but there were once or twice in 2010 and 2011 where we did every other day or every day for a month for special occasions. Ziggy’s Diary was posted every day, wasn’t it? I’d love to get to 3x a week regularly, though.

  • Maelia says:

    I did thank you for the volume 9 ebook sent as a Kickstarter reward, right? At least, I know I told you on Twitter that I loved it just as much as the previous volumes, so you know I received and read it.

    It was great to see Daron playing music with Bart and Chris again, and of course just as great to see things go well between him and Ziggy (although with those two it’s hard not to wonder all the time when the next disaster will strike).

    Now I’m looking forward to reading about the auditions for Ziggy’s tour, but I’ll wait for the next e-book (I really prefer to read in bed, at least ten chapters in a row, than on my computer, one chapter at a time).

    How close are you to 1 million words now? Anyway, congratulations for writing so much and keeping your readers interested for so long. And it looks like it could go on for an at least equally long time without anyone getting tired of reading about our favorite fictional musicians (who seem so real it feels strange to call them fictional).

    • ctan says:

      I just did the math and guess what? We passed a million words several weeks ago! Current word count stands at 1,026,149. So we’ve still got 58,021 to go to equal the length of the Harry Potter series. That’s the length of a short novel (like a Harlequin romance) or about half the length of one of my Hachette trade paperback romances.

      We’ll see how long it takes to come to the end of Book 10! I think at least 10 weeks, but possibly 20. And in 20 weeks we’ll be pretty close to the “Potter Index.”

      Thanks for coming on the roller coaster ride!

      • Maelia says:

        Congratulations on passing the million words. 🙂

        It would be nice if you reached the “Potter Index” at the end of volume 10.

        As for the roller coaster ride, it’s a pleasure. 🙂

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