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Venus in Denim by dee
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"I don't understand why you married her in the first place," Viggo had said. Sean didn't bother to explain.

Later, while Viggo was still fishing but they had given up, Karl stared at the horizon and said: "You enter something new with so much hope; it's all on the line."

While Viggo was active in his observing, being what he saw, Karl just watched. He look over to Sean and shrugged. Laughed and said: "Fucked if I know."

Sean stood in his hall with door open and lights off, and the machine said: "The divorce is finalised."

Sean called Karl.

Karl was a native, and knew a nameless, faceless, tasteless place. A bleached blonde with a cheeky smile poured cheap beer. They sat at the bar, eating peanuts, watching the rugby on TV.

"It happens," Karl said.

"It seems to happen a lot," Sean replied. "Too much."

"Don't say it," Karl warned. "You don't mean it."

While Karl went for a piss, Sean ordered the last round. The waitress winked at him. "You boys don't deserve to be drowning your sorrows."

She wasn't beautiful, but she had energy, hips swinging under jeans. Sean smiled back. "Just my sorrows. Just mine."

After the pub closed, Karl went for chips while Sean loitered outside, smoking under the streetlight.

"Vinegar or chicken salt?" Karl called through the plastic-stripped doorway.


"Man after my own heart."

The barmaid came across the street on clicking heels, in jeans and denim jacket. She slowed beside him, waved a thin, hand-rolled cigarette. "Got a light?"

Sean shielded the flame with a hand as she leaned close. With her first puff, sweet smoke hit his face.

"Got a ride home?" he asked.

She passed him the joint. "Bring your friend."

He inhaled. Her eyes glinted.

"Karl," Sean called.

They didn't talk on the way. She had condoms in the entrance hall; Sean wondered how often she did this. He fucked her on all fours in the living room while she blew Karl, Sean watching the back of her bobbing head.

Later, she pushed Karl flat on his back on the threadbare carpet and straddled him. Sean slumped against the sofa and watched her move above him, like a goddess rising. They were mere mortals. In fact, Sean thought, Karl could have been anyone.

She lit a cigarette - a normal one - with a sloppy smile. "Thanks, boys."

They left.

The night was cold and the radio was loud. When Karl killed the engine outside Sean's place, the silence made pinpricks. Sean could still feel the beat of the music against his temples, making his extremeties buzz.

It was funny, he thought, tapping his fingers against his jittering knee. He'd always thought, when he'd thought, that it would be someone... well, someone like Viggo. Inexplicably obvious, utterly understandable. But here he sat in the car beside Karl, with energy he couldn't purge. Not alone.

"Come in," Sean said.

"Are you sure?" Karl asked, even as he wrenched the handbrake on.

With the door closed and the lights on, Sean let Karl back him against the wall. His breath staggered. He'd thought it would be Viggo, but it wasn't. Karl's hands on his shoulders, mouth hovering over his. "Are you -?"

Sean shut him up. He was sure. Sure about hands not lazy and certain but wilfull, not-quite, just there... God! Wrapped around his cock slick, quick and gasping.

And why had he ever thought otherwise than this, here? Not in the entrance hall, in the living room, but in his bedroom. In his bed. Not anyone, just Karl, Karl, all Karl.