notes: This piece of fiction almost literally wrote itself. I remember
carrying bits of paper about with me no matter where I went, as I had
no idea when inspiration would strike. As you read it, you might wonder
what the hell I was thinking, and why Lad sounds like he's developmentally
challenged. *laugh* There is a method behind the madness, though, I assure
you. The work itself is like a 3 part piece of poetry, with each part
complimenting the other. Each sentence, or at times a group of sentences,
is meant to stand on its own, even as it is connected to those around
it. When I read it out in my head, which is something I do to test everything
I have ever written, it's as if there is a full stop after each sentence.
If it appears disjointed, it was meant to be, just as I purposefully kept
the dialogue stilted and short. At times it may even seem that each sentence
is related to those near it by a coincidence of proximity alone. Did my
grand vision come to life? Sometimes I doubt that. If I read it in parts,
I likewise doubt my sanity and my writing ability, both. If I read it
as a whole, I think I must be some sort of genius, if only because the
voice that was in my head, that cried to come out, did. There are a few
parts which jar me no end but which I simply *can't* change because they
were 'meant' to be that way. The ending is much more ambiguous and distant
than I had supposed it would be, but it felt right. If you do not like
this, I will not take it personally. It is rather strange...
I once asked Freeze what his
real name was. He said he didn't know and that Freeze was as good as anything
else. Better, in fact. He then told me to scoot over because I was hogging
the covers and could he please get some rest because I had worn him out.
This was Freeze's idea of a joke. Freeze is as much fun in bed as he is
in life. If anything, he wears me out.
In the beginning I used to wonder how old Freeze was. I had a feeling
that he had been around an awfully long time, but that he was still very
young. Not just because he acted young, which he did to an annoying degree,
but because he was so childlike in some ways, like he was still learning
how he was supposed to get on.
I once asked Freeze, after our first year, why he stuck with me. I didn't
need to tell him how gorgeous he was. He had plenty of others to do that
for him. Truth was, any sane body with any sort of libido would have jumped
at the chance to be with him. And he chose to be with me. He said he stayed
with me because he thought I was awfully cute and would I please stop
asking so many questions because I was taxing his brain. Then he smiled
at me. Rumor is he once started a war with that smile. He has never told
me if it was true or not. I can easily believe that it is. All he has
to do is turn it on me and I turn to jelly.
I still remember the first time I saw Freeze. I couldn't very well forget
it. No one forgets meeting the most important person in their life. And
he is, no doubt about it. He told me so himself. I don't always believe
everything Freeze says, but I figure he is right. Just the way it makes
me feel inside when he gets possessive over me is enough to prove him
right and if he is wrong I really don't want to know about it anyways.
I suppose you could say I was pretty green when I was first met Freeze.
Freeze said I was so green I could've passed for a potted plant if I'd
held the right pose. I told him perhaps he was exaggerating, but my laugh
was aimed at myself because I know that even if I hadn't been that
green, I had certainly looked it. My relationship with Freeze took care
of that in no time. He remade me into his image of the perfect companion.
I didn't mind. I was never sure if he knew that what he supposedly made
me into was what I was already, just slicker and faster and with better
I never know when Freeze is kidding. Even after all this time together
he can throw me for a loop that keeps me dizzy for days. Freeze says it
is because my equilibrium is off and maybe we should get it looked in
to. It used to bother me that I couldn't figure him, but then I noticed
that his brightest smile had become mine. No one else could lay claim
to it. I don't even think he knows. And that smile is enough to forget
that he is such an enigma and just get on and live. That is his motto---"Just
get on and live". At least it is his motto at present. He changes
them without warning, but they are always his interpretation of the universal
truth and he keeps to them all.
I don't know what I had expected to find on Caelum. It wasn't exactly
the place you'd find your future. It was more like the place you went
to lose it. The Superiors were shocked. I guess up until that moment I'd
been perfect Academy material. But then something happened and I realized
that the sort of life the Academy could offer, the sort of life I'd always
said I wanted, would ground me into a cadet who fit nicely into the uniform
but wouldn't have borne any resemblance to me, other than my eyes. My
eyes aren't mine. I was born blind. My eyes are state-of-the-art, although
the fact that they can only be a silvery blue used to make me think they
weren't state-of-the-art enough. So I figured that my eyes would
be the same, no matter what became of me.
When I got to Crux and had just hopped a shuttle to the Academy, I hopped
right off and came to Caelum instead. I still don't know why. Freeze says
it was fate. At the time, I had thought it was one of the stupidest moves
of my life. Worse even than the time I accidentally drove my hovercar
off the Madison Dam. That little manuevre had left me with two broken
legs and a scar across my chest that Freeze says gives me character. This
maneuver left me smack dab in the middle of one of the raunchiest stations
this side of the Hellespont. Of the two, grievous bodily injury is usually
My uniform was so spanking new, a group of spacers who wouldn't have given
me the time of day or, more to the point, would have ground it down my
throat, figured me for a mastermind and dragged me along with them. I
didn't mind. I was actually grateful. Having a drunk, ugly, fucked up
toad draped over you wasn't the best way to spend an evening, but it was
certainly better than getting gang-banged on the main promenade.
I found out later that the bar we went to was ultra exclusive. It was
only because on the drunk, ugly, fucked up toad and his equally drunk,
ugly, fucked up mates that I got in at all. One look at me in my gleaming
white and the bouncer sized me up as the evening's entertainment. Not
me. That was Freeze's department. He is always the center of attention,
and when he isn't is when you'd better duck.
The bar was a lot fancier that I would've thought, but then at the time
my experience with bars had been limited to underage hangouts on Old Earth.
According to the Superiors, all off-planet bars were little better than
petri dishes. I couldn't deny the scum, but underneath was a classy establishment
that had been irretrievably overrun. So the place had class, of a spacer
sort. You wouldn't have expected Freeze to have chosen any other place.
He has a knack for being in the right place at the right time. Some called
it luck, but I knew better. Freeze has a mind like a computer. It is his
angels face that makes you forget it.
That night was a gathering of sorts. If I'd called it a convention, I'd
probably have gotten killed, but that's what it was. You wouldn't think
smugglers would do that kind of thing, but even scum have business tact.
It was noisier in there that two full squads of my classmates. None of
the noise, however, was mine, which left me free to study them at my leisure.
I'd been introduced as Lad. The one question they'd asked me which I'd
felt capable of answering and they heard it wrong. Somehow it stuck. I
was once asked what my real name was. I smiled and said I didn't know
and Lad was as good as anything else. I guess there are a few people who
still know my name, but I'm not likely to run into them in the circles
I keep now. Freeze says I should kill them if I do. I can't tell if he's
kidding or not.
The minute Freeze came in, he was all I could look at. My present partner
(I'd been passed round the table like a plate of hors'derves) said it'd
be better for me if I put my eyes back in my sockets. I'm glad I didn't.
Freeze says he wouldn't have bothered staying if he hadn't seen my eyes
piercing out of the smoke. He says they'd burned like opals, his favourite
stone. He'd set his sights on stealing them. At least that's what he says.
Sometimes I think he knew I'd be there and that he'd come to find me.
I told him this once. He didn't deny it.
Freeze can start a fight with a flick of a finger. Maybe that's why I
never saw it coming. He walked in and suddenly people were falling like
flies. Anyone foolish enough to take on Freeze was soon put in his place
and was most likely to stay there. Freeze doesn't look like he can take
care of himself. The thought of this makes me laugh. I've never known
anyone so lethal. Freeze says I should stop laughing when people call
him out. He says it ruins the effect.
One minute I was sitting surrounded by live bodies, the next I was totally
alone. The arm that had been slung over my shoulder was still there, minus
its owner. Freeze says he'll never forgive himself for getting blood on
my spotless uniform. Those sorts of stains don't come out. He doesn't
like me to be in white, anyways. He says it makes me look good enough
to eat and doesn't like the competition. He must know that I don't have
eyes for anyone else but him, but he tends to get jealous rather easily.
It saves people's lives when I don't wear white. When I do, the smart
ones find themselves someplace else.
I don't remember what went through my mind when I saw him smiling down
at me. Whatever it was I had been, whatever it is the Superiors had attempted
to make me into, was burned away by the light in his eyes. He'd stretched
out his hand to me and said, "Coming?". I took his hand like
I'd known him my whole life. But then, I had. My life began the first
time I heard his voice. Freeze said I was being melodramatic after I told
him this. On nights when he's feeling really good, he tells this story
to anyone who will listen. So maybe I wasn't so melodramatic after all.
Freeze is the sort of person who can stop traffic. There is no way I can
put down in words what he looks like. Freeze says that's just as well,
since no one has a true description of him. Suffice it to say that he's
the most beautiful person, male or female, you're ever likely to meet.
Freeze laughs at me when I try to compare him to other things. But once
I said his hair was the colour of quicksilver and he didn't laugh, so
I guess I can say that's true.
It is easy enough to describe myself. Freeze says I look like the poster
boy for goodness and, even though I don't always agree with him, I find
this description better than any other I've heard. He says I'm the only
person he's ever found who could be seen with him and not be dubbed a
charity case. I used to think he was flattering me, but now I know he
wasn't. Freeze always speaks the truth, in one way or another. You just
have to find it.
When Freeze had asked me my name, I'd told him it was Lad. I honestly
didn't remember at the time. Eventually I did remember, but I never told
Freeze. I knew he wouldn't want to know. Freeze liked my name. And so
did I. It was unnerving to be so comfortable as someone who hadn't existed
more than a few minutes ago. It made me feel giddy. I smiled at him. "I'm
Freeze," he'd said. It was then that I fell in love with him. Freeze
doesn't like to use the word 'love'. He says it's never had a place in
his life, that he'd never loved anybody and never would. You would think
I'd be hurt by this, but I know how Freeze clings to me when he sleeps,
like he'd rather die than let go of me. So even if he won't say it, I
know he loves me. I knew it the moment he told me his name. I've never
told him this. He likes to think of himself as unconquered.
Freeze had his own ship. I thought this was very impressive. On Earth
I hadn't owned anything. Even my eyes weren't mine. He owns them now.
Freeze says I shouldn't say things like that, that I'm a free man. I nod
my head and smile, but I know. I belong to him. He knows it, too, but
he doesn't talk about it. He watches me with that smile that's mine---he
doesn't even know he's doing it. I've sold myself for a smile. Not a bad
way to go.
Freeze hadn't lived that long without knowing not to push his luck. We
hightailed it off Caelum so quickly I didn't know what most of it looked
like until much later. You wouldn't think any sort of death, no matter
how violent, would be any big deal on Caelum, and you'd be right. But
by the time we'd left the bar, Freeze and I and the bartender were just
about the only ones standing. Things like that aren't good for business.
I never quite understand why he hasn't been banned from spaceports altogether.
Maybe it's his beautiful face that keeps him in everyone's good graces.
There's no denying that where Freeze is, there is action. That seems to
be enough for people to want him around. I guess I can understand. I know
perfectly well what a horror Freeze can be, but I'd never be without him.
You'd have to kill me first.
The first thing he'd done after he'd set the autopilot was take my uniform
off. He said it was because he couldn't stand the sight of blood. This
was before I knew about his sense of humour. The feel of his hands on
my body was like nothing I'd ever felt. I still can't do it justice. Of
course, I hadn't known much about sex then. I had only been 16. Now that
I've had more experience, I know that Freeze is something special. I've
only slept with a handful of other people. Freeze let me do it. He never
said it hurt him, but I saw it in his smile. I haven't been with anyone
else since. It wasn't much to give up. Freeze says my body is an exquisite
violin that only he knows how to play. He must be right. When I come,
I swear I can hear music.
Freeze once told me that I'm his good luck charm. I can't see it. He has
always led a charmed life. There's still alot I don't know about him,
but I know at least this much is true. There's nothing that he couldn't
have if he really wanted it. The fact that he thinks his life is better
with me than without me makes me feel bubbly inside. Freeze can always
tell when I'm happy. He says that when I'm happy my eyes glow. I have
no way to know if he can really do this, but when I get bubbly inside
he'll stop whatever it is he's doing and take me to bed. He says he can
feel the bubbles under my skin. I once joked that he was addicted to me.
The look in his eyes told me I was probably right.
Life with Freeze is never boring. The second night after he'd conjured
me out of thin air, he took me with him to a gallery opening and had introduced
me to scads of people. I know now that these people are big business,
the bucks behind the wheels on which the galaxy revolves. But I hadn't
known this then. Freeze says it was better that way. He says I charmed
their socks off. I can't say that I didn't. Even after all I've been through,
I haven't lost that look of innocence. Freeze says I should call my innocent
looks one of my most important assets. I can't really say I've ever used
them consciously, but Freeze says I'm an artist with them and, since he
knows more about this sort of thing, I believe him.
When we'd left the party, it had been plus two necklaces, seven bracelets,
13 rings and a pair of diamond earrings. He hadn't planned on taking anything.
I said they must have just slipped into his pockets and he agreed. He
put the diamond earrings on me. I wear them whenever we go to an opening.
Freeze says he isn't sentimental, but whenever he sees them on me he can't
help but kiss me. Sometimes I think it's a wonder we ever get out of bed.
I've never seen Freeze the way that everyone else does. I took this for
granted. From the first moment he spoke to me, he was my everything. Whatever
soul it is I have, I have from him. To others, he is many things, but
only what he wants them to see. I didn't know that what I saw in him was
something only I could see until I'd watched them watching him. It was
only then I realized they had no clue what they were dealing with. Freeze
says it's a good thing I love him or I could destroy him. I try not to
think about this too hard. It makes my head hurt.
The Academy had come after me, of course. It seems I was a valuable commodity.
Or maybe they just wanted my eyes back. Whatever the reason, Freeze wasn't
about to give me up. This was before I knew what effect I had on him.
I'd thought he would consider me more trouble than I was worth. Freeze
had laughed and said I was worth it, whatever the price. The Academy had
sent ten of its finest to bring me back. Freeze had killed them all.
I have never killed anyone. Which is odd seeing as it is what I was trained
to do. Freeze says it's part of my charm. Freeze does enough killing for
two. He has no sense of compassion for his fellow man, but he never kills
unless he has to. This is not a fault or a grace. It is just how he is.
With Freeze, that's usually all the explanation you're likely to find.
I've noticed that this explanation is not enough for most people. But
it is enough for me. I have never needed anything from Freeze but his
presence. Freeze says I am too possessive, but I've noticed that he won't
let me out of his sight. This is not a fault or a grace. It is just how
Freeze has many enemies. He is proud of this. He says he wants everyone
he meets to love him or fear him or hate him. Freeze himself does not
love or fear or hate anyone but me. He loves me because I can see him
for what he is. He fears me because he needs me. And he hates me because
he knows that if ever I leave him he will lose the will to live. Freeze
has not told me this, but I know it to be true. I can read it in his eyes.
I have only seen Freeze angry once. When it became obvious that I was
not one of his disposable boy toys, one of his enemies tried to have me
killed. The wound I got from the assassin's knife didn't leave a scar,
although he came close to completing his job. Freeze hired the best physicians
money could buy and still I almost died. Freeze sat by my side every second
until the danger had passed. He said I looked at him with tears in my
eyes and asked me later why I had cried. I told him I had cried because
I thought I was dying and I did not want him to hate me. Freeze did not
know I knew how he felt about me. Perhaps he did not know himself. I have
not spoken of it since and neither has he. But something big had happened.
Freeze tracked down the man who hired the assassin and killed him. He
killed his wife and his daughter. He killed his servants. He blew up his
house and his ship. When he was done, there was nothing to show that the
man had ever existed except a pile of rubble. No one has tried to kill
me again. They must have known that if ever they succeeded, Freeze would
self-destruct and take half the galaxy with him. Freeze is a very dangerous
man. He told me so himself. And I believe him.
It doesn't seem odd to me that Freeze should love me and, although he
does not use the words, I know he does. This is not vanity on my part.
It is only that I cannot conceive of him not loving me. Freeze does not
find it odd, either. He says that he knew he'd find me someday. It was
only a matter of time. I once asked him if I'd kept to his schedule. He
says I was two days late, but he doesn't hold it against me.
When I was first with Freeze, I was nobody. The superiors had tried to
make me a carbon copy and, at least in some respects, they'd succeeded.
That was their goal and, later, the Academy's. Cadets were interchangeable.
Like computer parts. Freeze says I was never nobody. That first night
he saw me, he said, he'd never seen anyone more somebody. He said I stopped
him dead in his tracks. This makes me smile. Even after all this time,
it makes me happy to know how I get to him. Part of this is pride. I am
proud to have succeeded where so many others had failed. If it was the
only thing I had done right in my life, it would have been enough.
It is Freeze who has made me what I am today. At first, I had thought
I would end up like him, but I was wrong. Freeze says one of him is enough
and that there was never enough me. I even work on my own now, when the
mood strikes me. Freeze lets me handle the quiet jobs. When Freeze takes
a job, things tend to get noisy.
When people say I'm as good as he is, I know they do not know him very
well. Nobody's better than Freeze. But second to him, I am the best. This
is not vanity on my part. Freeze says it always pays to tell the truth
since, no matter how long you do, people never expect it. When Freeze
tells me this, I believe him. I know what I can do and I do it well. Now
I agree with Freeze. I am somebody.
I like to watch Freeze. No one moves like he does, Sometimes I think he
could do anything with his body. Sometimes I have to touch him to make
sure he's real. Freeze says this is very sweet and could I please move
my hands lower. I do not always do what Freeze tells me, but when he tells
me this I do not have a choice. Freeze has a body like hard velvet. Someone
once said he walked like a jaguar. I have never seen a jaguar, but from
what I know, this seems an apt description. Freeze says I remind him of
a tomcat. I have not asked him what he meant.
I once asked Freeze what he had been like before me. Freeze asked me where
I had got my misinformation from and said that he hadn't been anything.
I don't know why I ask Freeze these things. Freeze says I have a need
to be acknowledged for every time he gives me one of his ambiguous replies
he feels a need to touch me. I tell him he is overestimating himself,
but then I shiver as his fingers trace the planes of my face and I know
he is right.
Whatever I can say about Freeze, I can also say about myself. Sometimes
when I see our reflection in a mirror or window or a pool of rose water,
I can hardly tell us apart, although we look nothing alike. I don't know
what it is about us that makes me say this. Freeze says I overanalyze
and that I should just get on and live. He has kept this motto longer
than the others. It fits him. Living is what he does best. Sometimes I
let myself think how much I need him and my heart skips a beat. Freeze
will look at me with his burning eyes and I know, then, that his heart
has skipped a beat, too.