What colour do you like best to paint with?
This is a difficult one. Apart from River, my art is the most important thing in my life and I get so lost in it that I’m not really thinking about what colours I’m using. I get an idea for a painting and then I just paint it. I don’t plan paintings in advance so I don’t plan colours.
Blue and purple are my favourite colours… well and that really nice shade of green that’s almost blue, and rose pink, and the really deep red that I use to shade red roses, and the green that accents trees in spring, and the yellow that I use for highlighting hair and sometimes on the sun and lots of things that the sun touches in bright paintings.
My paintings are lighter than they used to me, not so dark anyway. River has a lot to do with that, because he makes me feel lighter. But, I think purple and blue are my favourites… kind of… sometimes. I really like painting skies with purple and pink. I like the way that light reflects on the underside of clouds and then kind of bleeds into sky and any water that’s around. It’s nice to use oils and acrylics to paint those pictures because the paints blend really nicely and… Oh. River tells me I’m getting off the point. I do that a lot when I’m talking about my art.
I think the point I’m making is that I can’t choose what colour is my favourite.
What is your favorite scent?
River. He smells so nice all the time. I like it best when he uses the shampoo that smells like apples and it’s all sharp and sweet. It’s nice when all the artificial smells wear off, though, like when he’s sweaty or he hasn’t used products in the shower and I can actually smell the smell of River. My favourite part of him is when I put my nose in… What? Why can’t I talk about that? It is my favourite scent after all. It isn’t as if I’m going to go into details about what I do down there… like when I use my tongue to… Alright, Alright… I’ll leave it there. River, River is my favourite scent.
Apart from that… rain. I really like the fresh smell when it’s raining loads. I like to dance in the rain, but River won’t come out with me most of the time. He says I’m weird but I don’t care. I like being weird if it means I can dance in the rain. So what if it’s cold because then, when I come back in, I have a warm shower and mostly River gets in the shower with me and… Alright… Okay… I don’t know what you’re so worried about anyway. You told me to be honest didn’t you? I am NOT sulking.
How far backward can you bend? (LOL)
All the way. I can put my feet on my head. I used to be able to go back further and put my feet on my shoulders but I haven’t been so flexible since I got hurt. River says that I’m a freak for being able to do what I can with my body, but he should have seen me before. It’s been quite hard getting this much flexibility back and I’m determined to go as far as I can, although River doesn’t like it when I use all my skills because he says it’s too much for him. I tease him all the time for not being adventurous enough. He’ll play sometimes and then I can… Oh, not again! Can I say ANYTHING? And don’t forget who’s supposed to be giving this interview anyway. I don’t see your name on the top of the page.
Early riser or late to bed?
Both. I don’t sleep very much. I suppose it’s because I was always on call with my Masters and I could be woken at any time, so I guess I got used to staying awake just in case. I tend to nap a lot during the day.
What is your favorite place to be touched?
So, am I allowed to answer this one without interruptions. As long as I’m good? Honey, I’m ALWAYS good. Aw, that hurt.
Actually, the place I like to be touched more than anywhere, is on my hair. No one ever used to touch my hair before. They were too busy touching the rest of me. Sometimes, someone would brush my hair, before a show or something, and I have always loved to brush my hair myself but no one touched it just for the sake of it.
One of my first proper memories of River was him brushing and drying my hair. I like it when I cuddle up to him and he strokes my hair. Of course, it’s a lot shorter now, but that doesn’t matter, it’s the top part that feels nicest. Sometimes, he kind of wriggles his fingers in it and makes little circles on my scalp and it makes me shiver and it gets hard… Sigh, I’m going to ignore that… hard to concentrate and not go to sleep. River says I’m like a cat, but I haven’t really seen a cat so I don’t know what they do
Ideal evening; cuddling or sex?
What do you think? I’m not going to say another word because, if I do, River will hit me again.
On the other hand, I do like cuddling. I like to have a shower and put on the big fluffy bathrobe and snuggle up to River on the sofa. We watch films and talk about all sorts of things. Although, thinking about it, we pretty much always end up having sex anyway so, I suppose – both.
Favorite fabric, silk or fleece?
Silk, it’s cool and soft and makes a really nice noise when it moves, kind of a swishing noise. I like to rub my cheek on it and wrap it around me. When I was with my Master I had a robe I used to wear when I was dancing sometimes. It was all swirly colours and made of silk. I loved the way it felt against my body.
On the other hand, fleece is lovely. When I lie on the big white sheep in front of the fire, it feels like I’m sinking right into it and it’s so warm and comfortable. I like to rub my cheek against that too, and to raise my arms over my head and wriggle so it tickles my body.
From the way he’s looking at me, I know River doesn’t want me to mention this but it’s one of my favourite places to have sex. Don’t look like that, I’m not going into details.
Who is David Willis and how did he affect you?
Apart from River, David is the only man I have ever loved. He was a slave, like me, when we were with my last master. We fell in love but it wasn’t allowed and he… he… well, we didn’t know it wasn’t allowed you see. We’d never been told.
How did he affect me? Well… it’s not easy to talk about but… He was my first love. He was the only thing I can ever remember having loved before River. He opened my heart and, for a long time I couldn’t bear to live in a world that had done something so bad to him. He taught me about true sacrifice, about loving someone so much you’d do anything for them, no matter what it cost.
I think that, without David I would never have left my Master and I would still be there now, not really living, not like this. David make me think, made me feel, made want to break free… to be free to love. In the end it was David who really freed me.
Will you see Robert again? (David's brother)
Of course I will. He’s really nice. I’ve met his dad now, too. It was really hard, in the beginning, to talk about David. The first time we got together and they showed me photographs of him when he was young, I cried a lot and had nightmares about what happened to him. I still have them sometimes, but not so often these days.
He looked so happy in the photographs, as if he didn’t have a care in the world. He still had some of that sweetness when he was with me but he was different, of course, a different person. I wish I’d known him like he was before. I think I would have loved him even more. No… I don’t think it would have been possible to love him more. Sorry River. I know you don’t like it when I talk about being in love with David. No matter what you say, I can see it in your eyes. But I can’t help it. I was in love with him. No, it’s okay River, I’m fine. I can talk about it now, you know that, but it still hurts. It will always hurt.
How do you forgive others for their crimes against you?
I don’t understand what you mean? Oh. Well, I don’t really think about it. I don’t hate them, I never had. Why would I? They’re not part of my life anymore and… well… I don’t really remember the early times, the bad times when they were… you know… training me, and after… Well, sometimes it was hard but…
I don’t know how to explain really. It wasn’t a bad life, you see. I was warm and comfortable and well fed. People were nice to me, on the whole. When I danced I was in another world, a wonderful world where it was only me and the wind and the movement. I loved to use my body to express the way I was feeling and the sense of excitement was the best feeling. It still is when I’m able to dance, although it’s not often these days.
I didn’t know that what I was doing was wrong, not then. When we did shows, I had a really good time, especially when it was just me and David. Our voices went well together and when we… I’m sorry River, but I did… I did have sex with David as part of the show, and I did enjoy it. I’m not ashamed of it, not even now. It was part of my life and it’s a part that’s precious to me because I shared it with David.
Okay, sometimes I didn’t like it when I had to have sex with strangers, because they weren’t always very nice to me, but I don’t hate them, because that’s what I was supposed to do and I guess that’s what they were supposed to do.
I’m not saying that I want to go back to that, but it wasn’t a bad life and so I don’t see there’s anyone
to be angry with, or anything to forgive really.
As for Faith, well… I suppose I might find it hard to forgive him, not because of what he did to me, but because of what he did to River. But he’s gone so there’s no point is there?
I suppose, to be able to say how I forgive I would have to understand it myself and I don’t really… I just do.
What does love mean to you?
River. He is everything to me. He is more important than anyone in the world, even me. I would do anything for him. When I think about him it makes me smile inside, it makes me warm. There is a huge part of me that all wrapped up in River and, if he wasn’t here anymore that part would be a huge hole. I had a hole like that after David died and it didn’t fill up again, until I finally let him go, and he took the emptiness with him.
Love is about sacrifice. It’s about being allowed to be yourself but being part of someone else at the same time. Love is being safe and warm and cared for. Love is about never wanting to have sex with anyone else ever again. No I do NOT keep coming back to sex. No… I don’t think love and sex are the same thing, or even connected at all. I didn’t love any of the men I had sex with when I was a slave and I didn’t love David because we had sex. I was having plenty of that at the time so it wasn’t anything special. Except that it was special because it was with David. I think that’s what love is… something that makes everything special, even things that have always been around, things you haven’t thought twice about before.
Well… let’s face it, I haven’t exactly had a lot of practice with being in love, so it’s the best I can do.
What exactly was your 'job' while you were held in bondage?
I was expected to spend a lot of time taking care of myself – practicing my skills, keeping my body fit, making sure my skin was soft and flawless, taking care of my hair and that kind of things.
I didn’t have any duties around the house at all, although sometimes I’d serve at Master’s dinner parties.
The most important thing I did was the performance. In the beginning it was mostly having sex with people my Masters told me to have sex with, but when they realised what I could really do with my body, they stared to concentrate on the performing.
I used to do a show mostly every night. Sometimes it was just dancing and sometimes singing too. With my last Master I used to go out to other places to perform and lots of people would come to watch. I liked that, it made me proud. I liked it best when my Master told me how much respect and honour I brought him. He’d take me to his private rooms and sometimes we wouldn’t even have sex; he’d just pet me and let me fall asleep on the cushions or even in his bed sometime. It was lovely to wake up in a proper bed with a warm body and someone’s arms around me. It’s lovelier now it’s River, of course.
What happens at the church that causes such a turnaround in your attitude?
I think that, until then, without realising it, I was feeling guilty about everything that happened. Then, in the church, especially when I was talking to Robert, I realised that, if I didn’t go on, if I didn’t get strong and make a good life, I would be throwing everything he did for me back in his face.
The guilt kind of… well it didn’t go away but it stopped being the most important thing, the thing that makes it hurt most when I think about David. After that, it was easier to think about him and it was easier to want to live. Of course, having River there with me was a huge thing too. He had gone to so much trouble to find Robert, and to arrange the meeting and the painting and everything, I realised that I was being really selfish and I needed to snap out of it and start living in the present and not the past.
It was just a shock that jolted me out of my self-pity I guess.
WOW, is it done? I feels like I’ve been talking about myself for ages. Not that it’s a problem but I figure everyone must be bored by now. Thanks for listening to me rambling. I’m tired now. I still get tired a lot. I’ll probably sleep in the car when River takes me home. Maybe I’ll take a nap on the fleece.
Enigma by Nephylim
Can love ever be forbidden? Can the strongest of all human emotions be denied because someone tells you it cannot be?
When Silver made his decision he very nearly paid with his life. Now River is faced with his choice believing that it is only his career at stake. However, when Silver’s past catches up with him River finds that there is more at stake than he could ever have imagined.
River wants to be a nurse. He is working towards the fulfilment of his dream by working as a carer is a Care House. Residents come and go and River learns to keep a professional face no matter how difficult the resident might be. Then Silver arrives and turns his world around.
After six months in a coma following an apparent attempt on his life, Silver is locked inside his own mind, interacting with the outside world on only a very basic level. Right from the beginning River struggles to keep his feelings for the beautiful and enigmatic, Silver on a professional footing.
As Silver slowly opens up it becomes more and more difficult for River to look on him with purely professional eyes. As their love grows River becomes more and more suspicious that Silver’s mental health probelems may arise from a past more horrific than anyone had previously imagined and when that past explosively catches up with them he is caught in a nightmare that threatens not only to destroy but to end both of their lives.
Escaping from an impossible situation thanks to River’s quick thinking and a professionalism he thought he had lost, they think they have finally laid the past to rest and can face a future where they can openly declare their love and live a live free from fear.
But the past is not going to let them go that easily and once again catches up with them. With danger facing them down the barrel of a gun River, once again, saves them with explosive and tragic consequences.
Still the past will not leave them alone and, as Silver slowly grows more and more distant and their love seems doomed River makes a final attempt to lay the past to rest once and for all.
Will Silver be able to finally break away from his past and make a future with River? That depends on a priest, a painting and a long walk through a churchyard.
Feeling more confident and realising that I have to ‘project a confident and professional air to reassure the resident and help to ease them into the new surrounding and routine that mark their transition from the institutional environment and the radically different routine and environment of a residential setting’, I compose myself. Yeah, I know, I’m a geek with a photographic memory, although knowing the rules doesn’t necessarily mean I always follow them.
“Silver,” I say softly as I shake him gently by the shoulder. I wonder how many times he has heard a smirk in the voice that calls him by name. I know that I have, often enough.
With a sigh the figure in the bed turns over, flinging out an arm with a soft moan. I freeze. Fucking hell... I mean what the fuck.... fucking HELL.
He is nothing like I had expected, not that I had really been expecting anything but; with a name like Silver I had kind of expected him to be fair; ash blonde or something. But he isn’t. He’s dark, very dark. His hair is jet black and long, and even tangled and dry as it is; it makes me want to run my fingers through it. I can imagine myself gently tugging out the knots and running conditioner down the length of it, strand by strand. It would be soft and silky and...
Shit! And that’s just his hair. The things I wouldn’t want to do with those lips. Fuck. Never in my wildest dreams had I ever imagined... Gods he is beautiful; not just cute like Max, not handsome or pretty or any of the other words used to describe how someone looks; he isn’t even drop dead gorgeous: he is beautiful, simple as. Lying there with his hair all over the place, his long coal black lashes trembling on his milk white cheeks, one arm thrown out revealing the creamy skin and well defined muscles of his bare shoulders and chest he is a fucking angel... a real, living, breathing, flesh and blood angel.
Gods damn them; they knew. The bastards knew the effect he would have on me and all the giggling and snickering now make sense. Shit, I am practically creaming my pants just looking at him. I shake my head and laugh at myself. Get a grip, River. Just keep your mind above your waist and remember that this is a resident, a patient, a sick person who needs you to be strictly professional and... Ah fuck, why did he have to stir right at this moment? Why did he have to let out that cute little sigh that parts his lips and makes me want to... to... Shit!!!!
Moving his head from side to side drowsily on the pillow, Silver gives a sleepy little grunty moan thing and yawns showing absolutely perfect white teeth... of course, although I notice that there is a gap right at the back on the bottom. I don’t know why but that makes me smile; somehow, something that mars that perfection, even to such a slight degree, is a huge relief.
Just when I am managing to get myself under control and have a goofy smile on my face, Silver opens his eyes. If I had thought that Silver with his eyes closed was beautiful, Silver with his eyes open is... unreal. At least now I understand why he is called Silver. His eyes are grey, a strange pale silvery grey with an almost metallic sheen, like mercury. For a full minute I just stare at him and he stares back. There is no curiosity in his eyes, no fear, no challenge; no anything. I have never seen eyes that are so blank.
Quite suddenly it occurs to me that I am staring and really not being very professional at all. I force myself to smile, a tight professional smile and not the goofy grin that is threatening to break out at any moment.
“Hello Silver, my name is River, did you sleep well?”
The silver grey eyes regard me steadily but there is no indication that he has even heard me let alone understood me. I broaden my smile and try again.
“It’s morning, Silver, time to get up. Do you need me to help you with that?”
At last there is a reaction, just a tiny shake of the head. The silver eyes flicker and with a sigh he throws back the quilt and I am blinded. At least I wish I had gone blind because if I had I wouldn’t have been staring at that body with quite so much raw hunger. Fuck he is beautiful all over.
Turning away I walk to the chest of drawers, hoping that he had brought some clothes with him. The first drawer contains pyjamas and I wonder why the hell they hadn’t put any on him last night, although a moment’s reflection supplies the answer: bastard.
Trying to keep my face turned and my eyes well above the waist I hand Silver the pyjamas.
“Can you put these on?”
Without making a sound he takes the clothes from my hands and slips them on. I have to watch, I just can’t help it. I don’t know what kind of condition he was in before whatever happened, happened, or when he woke up out of the coma but those physiotherapists have sure done one amazing job over the past six months. He is slender, even thin, but so well defined that, even through the cotton pyjamas it is possible to see that he is toned to perfection, every muscle group well defined.
Shit, he’s fucking perfect in every way. And when he starts to walk...
My great grandmother used to be a dancer, way back in the twenties. She was something of a celebrity back then, and I can remember my grandfather talking about her with fierce pride on his face. When he was a child he used to go to the theatre to watch her practice and perform and he would say that even when she was not on the stage, even when she was just walking down the street, across a room, getting on a train; she was always dancing. He used to say she ‘walked lightly on the earth’. I have always remembered that phrase - walked lightly on the earth - and I thought I knew what he meant... until now.
Damn those physiotherapists have done a good job, a great job, there isn’t so much as a hint of a limp and he stands very erect with his head up and... walks lightly on the earth. It’s hard to describe, but he flows, hardly making a sound, so lightly that it makes you feel that he wouldn’t make a footprint in snow.
He pauses in the doorway, waiting. I am staring again. “Do you dance Silver?” The words just slip out. I forget that he doesn’t know, that he doesn’t want to know; it’s just that the way he walks makes me think so much of my great grandmother that I am suddenly sure that he must be a dancer too.
I was born into a poor mining family in the
Until I was 16, the toilet was at the bottom of the garden and the bath hung on
the wall. Our refrigerator was a stone slab in the pantry and there was a black
lead fireplace in the kitchen. They look lovely in a museum but aren’t so much
fun to clean. South
I’ve always been a storyteller. As a child, I’d make up stories for my nieces, nephews and cousin and we’d explore the imaginary worlds I created, in play.
Later in life, I became the storyteller for a re enactment group who travelled widely, giving a taste of life in the Iron Age. As well as having an opportunity to run around hitting people with a sword, I had an opportunity to tell stories of all kinds, sometimes of my own making, to all kinds of people. The criticism was sometimes harsh, especially from the children, but the reward enormous.
It was here I began to appreciate the power of stories and the primal need to hear them. In ancient times, the wandering bard was the only source of news, and the storyteller the heart of the village, keeping the lore and the magic alive. Although much of the magic has been lost, the stories still provide a link to the part of us that still wants to believe that it’s still there, somewhere.
In present times, I live in a terraced house in the valleys with my son and my two cats. My daughter has deserted me for the big city, but we’re still close. The part of me that needs to earn money is a lawyer, but the deepest, and most important part of me is a storyteller and artist, and always will be.