tagNonConsent/ReluctanceHeart Like a Lion

Heart Like a Lion


CONTENT WARNING: The following story includes parodic depictions of white supremacist persons, language and political views which may make some readers uncomfortable. Similarities to any actual persons or organizations are, beyond the broadest political concepts, purely coincidental. Depicting these views does not imply endorsing or condoning them in any way, nor does it imply painting all skinheads with a white supremacist brush. This story also contains strong Non-Consent / Reluctance content and depictions of blackmail, questionably-consensual sex and BDSM and various other nasty and reprehensible acts. Depiction of these acts should likewise not be construed as condoning them; no real person should ever be subjected to these kind of acts in the real world. Be warned before you read on. All characters depicted in sexual scenes or referred to in sexual contexts are over the age of 18.


The concrete suburbs of Blossomville were in the doldrums of a Midwest summer's day, the sun looking on down from a cloudless sky with a gaze made up of heat and spite and boredom. The three-storey buildings of the Village Park Apartments hunkered under the solar bombardment like a collection of shabby drunks leaning on one another for support, perhaps reminiscing about long-gone glory days when landlords cared about the little niceties like painting and cleaning and maintenance and building codes.

For the most part the inhabitants were gone to ground indoors, seeking refuge in beer and television and game consoles, in the futile cooling labours of undersized electric fans. Such was true of the local branch of the Slammerskins, whose life here -- a precarious product of the razor-edged balance between the purchasing power of the welfare check and the sweetly numbing temptations of the liquor store down the street -- was bound up on a day like this with the endless viewing of MMA videos, street fights on YouTube and marathon sessions of Hatred on Xbox.

True for most of them, maybe... but not all of them. Enter Cami and Lennie, the resident skinbyrd heart-breakers who'd recently bid the halls of Franklin High a not-so-fond farewell, and had just now given their deadbeat boyfriends in the building behind them an even more resolute "Fuck you, I'm bored as fuck" as they'd been driven to the extremity of coming out in the Apartments' sun-baked courtyard, Pilsners in hand, to seek some other kind of entertainment.

They emerged from the innards of Building Nine with Cami in the lead, walking along whistling a few bars of the old Pressure Point classic that any skin in good standing knew by heart: "See that girl walking down the street, boots and braces, she looks so sweet..." The petite blonde fit the profile to a tee. The immaculate bangs of her Chelsea hairstyle framed a heart-shaped face and blue eyes animated with the kind of confidence that came of never having to wonder whether you were gorgeous. She was dressed about as scantily as the height of 'byrd fashion would allow in concession to the heat: a buttoned-up red-and-white plaid t-shirt, red suspenders holding up the tight denim shorts that stretched across the adorable bubble-butt that was the most remarked-upon feature of her otherwise toned and athletic bod, red knee-high athletic socks and low-top steel-toed Docs with red laces. Colourful tatties wreathed her arms and radiated out from the Celtic cross at her throat. She grinned hard at the world as if determined to out-sun the sun itself with merciless brightness, a beer in one hand and four of its cool, refreshing mates dangling from the other.

As usual, the olive-skinned brunette Lennie was just a step behind, her gait as outwardly confident as her best friend's but her positioning the product of a constant internal war between the urge to move in step and the urge to follow after her golden companion. She was no less gorgeous and petite than Cami was, her Chelsea no less perfectly-styled, but she was cursed with the self-doubt that often afflicted teen girls with curvaceous figures: too conscious of the way her black polo tee stretched so tightly across her high, firm double-D's and the way her denim skirt showed off her equally generous rump, walking briskly in her black and white Samoa trainers as if to deny the seductive sway that came so naturally to her pinup-worthy frame.

She was quieter than Cami to be sure. Sparing with her smiles, accustomed to looking in the mirror and seeing the adorable little gap in her front teeth and the distinctive cleft in her chin as flaws instead of enhancements. Used to being nervous about the mildly Mediterranean cast of her skin which prompted endless "jokes" about being "part eggplant" or a "stealth Spic" from White Power skins like the ones huddled in the apartment upstairs. Even her boyfriend, sometimes. Painfully aware of being singled out even by the fact that she'd actually graduated from Franklin -- and with the best grades her spotty attendance record would allow, no less -- instead of simply dropping out as most of her friends had done. Even her ink was more sparing, a subtle monochromatic half-sleeve on one arm and a dusting of "SFFS" and "SKIN" beneath her knuckles.

It was at moments like this, though, dragged in the undertow of Cami's killer looks and indestructible self-assurance, that she felt the strongest. The two of them had made a good team, Lennie thought as she took a sip of Pil and watched her bestie sauntering on ahead. Through years of high-school delinquency after they'd moved out from under the parental yoke as soon as they could legally manage it, they'd lived free if not exactly easy, playing yin and yang in each others' worlds: Cami prone to rushing in where angels feared to tread, Lennie more likely to think things through and see consequences.

To a point, anyway she reminded herself ruefully, thinking back on Eddy, the rapidly fattening lunk she was supposedly "dating" and who'd been too drunk for the past month to even contemplate getting it up. As they struck out into the Apartments' central courtyard, Lennie could feel weeks' worth of accumulated boredom and frustration -- both sexual and existential -- boiling inside her, and found herself hoping that Cami's redoubtable talent for getting the pair of them into some flavour of trouble would bear fruit today. She sorely needed the excitement.

Admittedly the courtyard wasn't promising as a source of amusement in itself, abandoned and barren as it was, its smattering of shade trees struggling to live up to their name under the pall of some wasting disease that left their bark scabrous and their leaves prematurely age-spotted. But it was far from the main attraction. That role was reserved for the sound wafting over the buldings opposite, originating in the parking lot beyond: the music that had tempted them out into the sun in the first place.

Inside, it had been the hint of a beat and a scattering of melodies and steel drums right on the edge of hearing, the whispered promise of something unexpected on a bleak Tuesday afternoon. Now it resolved itself into the unmistakable lazy strains of reggae, someone blasting Bob Marley on a car stereo of no inconsiderable power. Cami cocked her head as she heard it, her grin hitting a brighter wattage than before.

"How 'bout that, Lennie?" she said. "I do believe I hear the sound of hippie fuckheads. Shall we?"

This of course meant "Shall we fuck with them?" and was the kind of pronouncement Lennie had learned to be cautious about. It often preceded fistfights and muggings and other such shenanigans... but sometimes caution won out and sometimes it didn't. Today, the spiteful heat of the day stifled any reservations and she found herself just smiling back.

"Lead on, MacDuff," Lennie said. "Sounds like fun."

As they strode across the courtyard and into the welcome shade between buildings at its far end, Lennie's ears picked up the clamour of a gathering. A pretty large one. She wondered what it could be... but none of her wondering prepared her for the sight that greeted them as they negotiated the narrow path of flagstones that guided them to the northern limit of the Village Park Apartments and brought them out to the wide expanse of the parking lot beyond.

There they found at least fifty people, all of them on bikes, milling together in that parking lot. And in what had to count as the more unusual of sights in suburban Minnesota that she could recall, they were all naked. Or at least topless, Lennie amended to herself as she gazed open-mouthed at the spectacle. The parking lot was chock-full of guys and girls cruising around casually on the sun-baked pavement in nothing but sunscreen, sneakers and an assortment of panties and bikini briefs. More than half of them were people she recognized, alumni of Franklin; not necessarily the creme-de-la-creme of the popular set, but all kids who'd been at a good deal less misfit than Cami and Lennie had been, the kind who rocked white-girl dreads or punk hairstyles or -- on the guys -- long, flowing rocker-locks and a variety of faux-punk hipster 'dos. Some of them were older, college guys and girls sporting the same fashions in undress with an order of magnitude more confidence, the guys uniformly skinny in an admittedly sexy rocker-dude way and some of the girls showing off variously elaborate masterworks of tatties or body paint or both on their firm, lithe bodies.

The mood in the lot was jubilant. Only a very slight note of discord and tension betrayed itself in the nearest riders at the sight of two skinbyrds -- persona non grata in a setting like this -- appearing out of nowhere to take long swallows of lager and gawp at the display of naked flesh on offer. Cami cranked up that tension a bit and set it rippling outward as she gave out a bawdy whoop, drained her brew in a single, massively aggressive pull and tossed the can in the "hippies'" general direction while flipping them all an eloquent finger. Lennie couldn't help but laugh.

Bob Marley kept on wailing as more and more cyclists trickled into the lot: "Don't you worry... about a thing... every little thing... gonna be alright..." Cami cracked a fresh beer and Lennie tilted hers back for another cool swallow as she revelled in the unexpected people-watching bonanza. She marked how the eyes of more than a few of the guys strayed guiltily over to the gorgeous pair, no doubt wondering what the shapely 'byrds might look like stripped down as bare as the smorgasbord of sexy anarchist-wannabe chicks in attendance. The lefty chicks for their part shot the two friends, and Cami in particular, periodic daggers of undisguised hostility that before long had the lovely blonde laughing at them and flipping them off with gusto.

At first, nobody was willing to outright acknowledge them, but there came a point where a couple of the guys plainly decided that ignoring them wasn't working. It was two of the older guys, with surfer-bronzed skin and wiry frames, sunglasses perched over their lank, greasy hair. Late-era hipster beards in full flourish lent an air of preposterous dignity to their youthful features. As they came gliding over, making their way sedately but purposefully through the crowd from practically the opposite end of the lot -- each of them wielding a friendly up-with-people smile and riding a top-of-the-line BMX bike in light blue and deep purple respectively -- it struck Lennie that they looked enough alike as to almost be brothers.

Not bad-looking, really, she thought, and immediately recognized that thought as weeks' worth of frustrated lust talking -- but that didn't make it go away. Lennie could feel herself flush, her nips stiffening and poking at the fabric of her Polo as she took a long look at what the approaching duo were packing in their banana hammocks. Nothing left to the imagination there: as they drew closer it came clear that both of them were semi-hard, helped along by the profusion of taut young female flesh all around them, and packing the clear promise of moderately-sized but clearly functional masculine equipment. A sudden moist tingle between her thighs told the dark-haired 'byrd just how welcome and long overdue that prospect really was. No, not bad at all. Not at all.

"Hey Len, you seeing what I'm seeing?" Cami whispered to her as she favoured the approaching gents with a good-natured double flip-off.

"Yeah," Lennie said. "Pretty fuckin' sweet, I've got to admit."

"Right you are," said Cami. "Those are the nicest bikes I've seen in a long time. I think I want one."

Momentarily thrown, Lennie tore her eyes away from the approaching crotch-bulges to try to appreciate their method of conveyance. "Oh, uh... yeah," she managed. "Those are pretty nice rides, for sure."

Cami gave her an arch look, her grin suddenly knowing. "But not the rides you were thinking of, huh?" She nudged her with an elbow. "Dirty fuckin' 'byrd. You forgetting about Eddy already?"

"And why the fuck not," Lennie rejoined, a bit testy. She raised a hand, meaning to echo Cami's profane greeting for their approaching guests... but found herself waving at them instead, even smiling back at them. "Eddy already forgot about me for a whole month."

"I think you might've mentioned that once or twice." Cami gave a wry chuckle. "The poor dumb bonehead, you're just too much woman for him."

"Nah, he just needed a bit more time to spend with his best friend Jack," said Lennie, hearing the touch of bitterness in her voice. "I can't compete with the prestige of the Daniels name, you know how it is."

"Okay yeah, Miss Smarty-Braces, I got you." The bearded welcoming committee was almost on them now, and Cami was speaking rapidly, sotto voce: "Tell you what, we can both get what we want. Have a little fun and ride away with those bikes when we're done. You in?"

"You're a psych-o-o-o," Lennie sing-songed back under her breath. The customary code for of course I'm in.

"You know it, kid, just do your sweet thing and I'll take care of the rest," Cami agreed merrily, then piped up in her loudest, brassiest voice as the guys braked to a halt in front of them: "Hey there, boys! So is it laundry day for all you hippies or what the fuck?"


The All-American Mall was without a doubt the single largest structure in Blossomville: an immense temple to the battered but still-thriving religion of American consumerism, its profusion of shops and restaurants and theme-parks attracting custom from the Twin Cities up north, from across the state and even from across the nation. Even in the middle of the week it thronged with summer tourists, all of them wandering through the immense and brightly-burnished maze of shops with a kind of placid, vaguely-disoriented wonder, as if awaiting the revelation of that different and special Thing this mall would have that others didn't.

Standing on the third level concourse outside a Dunken Donutz, leaning on a rail and nursing a large double-sweet double-cream in a paper cup, Sonny James tried not to let the disdain he felt for all of this show. After all here he was: a skinny, too-tall black guy whose artfully piled dreads and horn-rimmed specs combined with his t-shirt and rolled-up dungarees and canvas sneakers to announce him as part of the post-Willamsburg hipster tribe -- a piece of East Coast fashion being blown through town like a tumbleweed -- and he'd be the first to admit it didn't get much more superficial than that.

Still, Sonny couldn't help thinking. At least that tribe has some charm to go with the bullshit. It was hard to see that quality in the vista of tackiness in front of him, and he would have normally preferred just about any other spot on the planet to this one.

Except that this one was the price of admission for seeing his brother.

"Sonny." The booming basso-profundo voice of Marcus -- a voice he would have known anywhere even after all this time -- hailed him in sour tones from behind, almost as if just thinking about the big man had summoned him up. Grimacing, taking a fortifying swallow of his coffee, Sonny turned around to greet his brother for the first time in fifteen years.

The elder James brother was the polar opposite of Sonny in just about every way. Hulking and brawny, his hair cut severely short and silvered at the temples, he was dressed in an imposing black Security uniform that looked almost authentically Cop. Certainly everything about his bearing announced that he thought of himself that way... indeed, maybe as even more than a cop. As he looked Sonny over, unsmiling, his eyes bespoke a complete process of arraignment, trial and sentencing on charges of Being a Freak; they almost shone with the zeal of passing judgment, all appeals to be rejected, as though Marcus James was a courthouse all on his own.

How it must rankle him to be just a mall cop to the rest of Creation, thought Sonny sadly... and a bit spitefully. But he held back the obvious jibe in favour of raising his coffee in a cheers and saying: "Hey, bro. Looking good."

"'Bro.'" Marcus advanced on him with a meticulous clockwork stride. His voice was hard as he came level at the railing, looking out on the concourse like Mansa Musa surveying his domain. "'Looking good.' After all this time, that's what you have to say."

"Thought it was a good place to start, anyway." Sonny leaned back against the railing, aiming for a companionable air. "Besides, I meant it. You're in great shape, you practically haven't aged a day since the last time I saw you."

"Of course I'm in great shape," Marcus said disdainfully. "I have to be. Just like you have to be... for different reasons obviously." His teeth clenched around that last phrase, his jaw working as if cutting up a piece of particularly slimy and distasteful gristle. Finally he went on: "Now are we going to talk cleanses next, or something? This flattery might work with your cronies out on the Coast, but it doesn't fly with me."

"I can see that old killer charm's intact too. Good for you." Sonny shook his head ruefully, picked a different tack for small talk: "Fine, no flattery, let's keep it functional. They still have you doing the same gig, here?"

"No. I am not doing the same 'gig.'" Marcus' tone was no warmer. "Not for some years now. Which you'd know if you stayed in touch."

As it happens, I do know, Sonny thought but didn't say. That's why I'm here. But all he said was: "My loss, I'm sure. Promotion?"

"Different branch of service," said Marcus. "If you're actually curious, I joined the Rapid Action Mall Security team in ought-nine. I've been commanding since last year." His eyes were scanning the crowd below as he talked, fervid in their unrelenting search for evildoers. "We can walk and talk, I suppose. The envelope's downstairs in my office, I'm assuming you want to get this over with as quickly as I do."

"And how." Sonny said it with more feeling that anything else he'd spoken yet.

The words Rapid Action Mall Security curdled in his guts as he followed Marcus' lead through the noonday crowd that parted before his severe visage like the Red Sea before Moses; only the All-American Mall had the gall, of any such facility in the country, to have pretensions about maintaining its own miniature SWAT team. The RAMS squad, whose insignia -- an Ares-zodiac Ram -- he could now see blazoned on his brother's left soldier, was that team. Reputedly a dumping ground for overzealous head-cases the mall authority couldn't, for whatever reasons of politics and optics, bring itself to outright fire... and Marcus spoke with such pride about "commanding" it.

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byCyranoJ© 27 comments/ 133125 views/ 35 favorites

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