art by Seann McCollumAfter his tour of duty in Afghanistan, Billy believed he had seen everything. Arm yourself, learn to kill efficiently, develop a nose for IEDs impatient under the sand, pick up severed limbs, embrace a fallen comrade, and not much else surprised. It did get to him, though, that dusty landscape like the moon where he had lived to die, if it came to that, and all the troops beat with one heart. Civilians understood nothing; they may as well have been otherworldly creatures with no real substance. Now on furlough, he spent the days fighting boredom ready to crush his mind like a tank over a melon. Booze, sometimes dope, anaesthetized bloody images and fierce yearning.

A stylishly-dressed couple he met in the bar downtown frequented by soldiers on leave and middle-age reservists hankering after the call to airlift them out of tedium were on the prowl for army studs to satisfy their fantasies. If they lusted after a soldier to spice up their stale marriage bed, then he’d oblige. A drill sergeant in his forties, big biceps and vacated eyes, recently divorced, Billy owned a couple where the husband watched, but did not participate unless Billy said so. In the sergeant’s absence, he did not touch his wife without their “bull’s” permission. That was the deal, he told Isaac, his only civilian friend in Montreal. The two were drinking beer in the same bar. Watching Isaac tense up with interest over his stories encouraged him and he wanted to reveal more, just to keep Isaac’s attention focused. The husband obeyed, a matter of honour and trust. Billy’s emails and phone calls kept him in line.

“They call you bull?”

“It’s just for the sex, pure fantasy, helps if you’re built. They like the contrast, rough talk, hard fucking, some manhandling, and you take control. They do what you want. That’s the gig. They get off on soldiers. Nothing goes down without their permission, but play them right and they end up doing what you want. Usually the hubby’s on the small side.”

“You mean his penis?”

“Not necessarily, it helps though if you’re packed, you know what I mean, but general body type. They like their bulls big and strong. Go online, you’ll see websites about married couples, cuckolds and bulls. Training them kills time.”

“Get out of here! Training? Tell me, are the husbands homosexual?”

“Nah, at least they say they aren’t. Some give good blow jobs if you’re into it and order them to, all part of the game, like I said. Obedience is the main rule, about the only rule when you come down to it.”

Isaac clasped his hands tight on the table. Feeling at ease, something he noticed when talking with Isaac, Billy continued the story.

He had taken his usual seat at the bar and ordered his scotch neat and lit a cigarette. A bilingual sign on the entrance advised customers that the ban on smoking would come into effect the following week. Risk your life for your country and you couldn’t even smoke in a tavern when you got home. The bar tender however didn’t say shit. Billy spat in the brass spittoon near his stool and grabbed a handful of peanuts from a red plastic dish.

“They’re salty.”

Expecting this very moment, Billy didn’t smile as he perused the woman’s longish face, pretty green eyes which always made his knees buckle, and the obvious diamond ring. Wearing his khaki-brown, army issue T-shirt, he flexed a bicep. She wanted him to see that she was married. Probably in her mid to late thirties. Not too skinny, he was glad to see. Behind her a slender man stood like a ghost in a well-tailored dark suit, buzz cut hair like a soldier’s, a Van Dyke beard, and ordered drinks.

“What’ll you have, buddy?”

“If you’re buying, scotch, neat.” Billy knew that the suit would be easy to handle and overwhelm.

* * *

In their condo furnished in white and overlooking the St. Lawrence River, Billy fondled Simon’s wife on the cushiony leather sofa. They had a few good laughs the night before and came to an agreement. He had promised to wear his battle fatigues and boots, T-shirt and dog tags for the scene because they particularly aroused both Manon and her husband. Nothing new about the sexual allure of a military uniform. He gripped her firmly on his lap, nuzzling her neck, his hand probing between her legs, admired by Simon who panted and smiled, craving a command. Billy had enjoyed threesomes before, but never when he had to tell the other male what to do, or treat him like an obedient and fawning dog while Billy fucked his wife any way he wanted.

Following Billy’s orders based upon his own preferences expressed over drinks at the bar, Simon fell to his hands and knees. Billy attached a choke collar and leash around the cuckold’s neck, yanked the chain and led him around the room on the shiny black wooden floor like a pet. Manon curled up in the corner of the couch sipping a martini, her nakedness shimmering in the subdued yellow light of the lamp. Simon was a divorce lawyer, one of whom was screwing Billy over the settlement with his wife. Strange world, though, his marriage broken by adulteries, and this one based upon the same thing. Go figure.

“Look at her, your wife is mine, isn’t she?”

“Yes, she is.”

“Yes, what?”

“Yes, Sir, she belongs to you, Sir.”

“You don’t touch her, understand, without my permission.”

“No, sir, I won’t sir.”

“If you’re good, bull master might let you eat her pussy after he fucks her. You’d like that, won’t you?”

“Oh, Sir, yes Sir, please, Sir.”

He had logged onto to a couple of websites devoted to the bull/cuckold phenomenon. There he saw ads and pictures and learned about the philosophy, if he could call it that, and acquired insight into attitudes and manner, the right lingo and stance. He laughed over the keyboard at the phoney and pretentious commentary, as if humiliating a husband and fucking his wife constituted a liberating or revolutionary event of historical significance.

The dynamics depended upon the couple’s sexual proclivities. In the end they called the shots and determined the scenario. He was supposed to dominate this couple, but only within their parameters, and with their full co-operation and permission. So, who was obeying whom? Of service he knew a lot, for such was the nature of the army. As a sergeant, command and obedience for him was as intimate and automatic as breathing, inextricable from life itself.

“It may start that way,” he told Isaac who kept prodding him for more details, “like they’re in control, but soon it doesn’t matter because they do whatever you want once you get full control and own them. You become their master. This very moment the hubby is staying late at the office because I gave him an order. I’ll flog him if he doesn’t obey. Not everyone’s the same, though. It’s what he wants. His wife’s at home expecting me, always available to me or my friends if I want to share her. Going there after this drink. Come with me.”

Isaac almost choked on the swig of beer.

“I don’t think so.”

“Ok, not now, but maybe one day, man, we’ll see. You want to hear more?”

Since his deployment in Afghanistan had ended last year and he was obliged to take an extended leave: “you deserve and need a rest,” his commanding officer had advised, then ordered, Billy woke up every morning sweating, his mind howling as if nightmares had been chewing bits off and shitting them out. When he stepped outside, he hesitated on the sidewalk, his heart shrivelling, for it seemed that he had stepped into a noxious environment without protective gear. His own wife had betrayed him before his recent tour of duty ended. When he returned to the home he had built with his own hands, she threw him out. The phone calls she had been receiving from one of his bitches on the side didn’t help. It was only a matter of time before her tolerance dribbled away.

He was puzzled as to why it had taken his wife so long to ball another guy. Hell, marriage was for civilians. True, he envied soldiers who remained faithful and loved their wives and did their duty, who returned home with medals on their hearts and honour blazoned on their brains. He would have taken a bullet for any one of them; they were his mates, his buddies, the men who mattered. They had trudged through the valleys of death and most emerged, some bloody, some ripped apart, but triumphant.

His blood boiled and his body ached for the world he had vacated. How those soldiers held on to commitment and fidelity Billy couldn’t figure out. Some prayed. Billy went through expected devotional routines, bowing his head while the chaplain droned on and on. He had scanned the sky over the poppy fields of Afghanistan and saw nothing. In his house he stared out his bedroom window looking up and down a road going nowhere. Deprived of active duty, he pumped iron to stop thinking, but each day was a thorn in his skull. He rented a small apartment, found a job to keep him occupied and distracted, and returned regularly to the bar where he could at least drink and chat with fellow soldiers who had lived the same kind of life. If it weren’t for Isaac’s attachment growing stronger by the month, he’d have eviscerated someone with his army knife before now.

Manon’s eyes glittered like green fire as she received him in the moist and compliant softness of her naked flesh. Billy began fucking with a hard and steady rhythm, covering her mouth with kisses, not thinking of anything and feeling only the insurgence of cock, hot and sweaty skin on skin, the abrasion of military fatigues on his thighs as he thrust. Her willing moans and groans, and the squelching of white leather under their bodies, her active tongue, pushed him into rigorous action.

“Yeah, baby, work my dick.”

As for her husband, Billy had let go of the leash and ordered him to lie down by the side of the couch below the Bull who owned him now. He had christened the submissive cuckold with a new name. That was part of the game, the sergeant was right, and Billy had chosen something sharp and humiliating. The white draperies had been left open so reflections of Montreal’s lights at night spangled the glass. Billy’s mind buzzing deliciously from scotch, on the sixteenth floor he touched neither ground nor sky. In response to a request, he granted Simon permission to caress his military boots for a few minutes.

“Lick them, cuntboy.”

Smiling in his choke collar and murmuring some kind of private language, he cupped and tongued the boots, and then Billy kicked him away. He fought against the urge to stomp the shit out of the lawyer who panted and trembled. Outside clouds spread over the stars like dirty shrouds. He didn’t want to think about the landscape of Kandahar province or cleaning his rifle in the barracks. Manon whimpered. The lawyer waited for his Bull to act.

Pausing, Billy stared at Isaac who lowered his eyes, his body stiff on the brown naugahyde bench as if waiting for permission to move. Four empty bottles of beer between them reflected the dim light of the tavern. Billy needed to smoke, and he needed to say more, so he motioned for Isaac to follow him, and they left together. Yeah, obedience, he repeated, as they walked towards Isaac’s car in a parking lot around the corner. That was the main thing. As natural as a hard cock, it gave purpose, established proper relationships so you knew where you were in a fucking chaotic world where a bullet could explode in your skull as you bought a silk scarf in the marketplace.

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Kenneth Radu's stories have appeared in many online magazines, most recently in the Northville Review. He has published many books (fiction, poetry, and a memoir), the latest being a volume of short stories, Sex in Russia (DC Books). A new collection entitled Earthbound is also forthcoming from DC in the fall of 2012. He lives in Quebec, Canada.

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Seann Patrick McCollum has self-published ten books of poetry, with another two due later this year. As should be apparent, he is slightly obsessive and a control freak but otherwise completely harmless. He stands five foot ten in his socks and is patiently waiting for this whole internet business to blow over. His work can be found at songoferyops.blogspot.com.

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