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every day paradise

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The worst thing about the Sandwich Islands is the Americans. They’re everywhere. Running all the churches, the taverns, the general stores, the shuttle routes from island to island. Easy enough to cozen, if needed, but then you have to fucking talk to them, suffer through their shrill proselytizing, and it’s enough to make a man mad.

The second worst thing about the Sandwich Islands is—well. The sand, isn’t it? Not too bad to look at, when you’re just waking up, yawning in the doorway of your lean-to, scratching your balls and looking out at the wide white beach and the perfect blue beyond.

But when you’re being fucked from behind, on all fours, and Hickey thrusts in at an angle that sends a shock of pleasure through you, and your knees give out, and then you’re on your stomach, the thin fabric of your shirttails the only barrier between your hard prick and the rough sand—then, the word “paradise” becomes suddenly very far from your mind.

“Can’t we do this inside,” Tozer grunts, “Christ, Cornelius, we’ve got a mattress, don’t we—“

“Your fault,” says Hickey, “can’t leave you alone. Put on some trousers when you’re hanging up the washing, if you don’t want me deciding right there to have you.”

Tozer’s glad Hickey can’t see his face, is all, because it still makes him go a bit red and fluttery when he talks like that, like Tozer’s some sort of tempting fruit. Soon with that sweet little squeak of his Hickey is spilling inside Tozer, and Tozer knows he can expect Hickey to lay there for a good while, right on top of him, as if to prevent Tozer running away—but where would he go? Why would he go, when this—despite the rough grains working their devilish way into his taint at this very moment—is so horribly, desperately wonderful?

Tozer shoulders Hickey off him, so that he lands on his back in the sand, face up and still a bit sweetly dazed from his climax.

“Oh, Solomon, really, I was going to—“ he groans.

“Never mind what you were going to,” Tozer says. He gets one hand around his own prick and brings himself off across Hickey’s chest, Hickey unable to keep the smile off his face at the sight of the glistening arcs anointing him. He even angles his head up, then, waiting for Tozer to lean down and kiss him, but Tozer has other ideas.

“What was that for?!” Hickey yelps, when Tozer scoops up a handful of sand and drops it right onto Hickey, where it combines with Tozer’s seed to form a disgusting sort of glutinous accretion. “Look what you’ve done, oh, ughhh—!”

“Next time,” Tozer says, jerking his head towards their little home, “inside.”




Inside, later, Tozer is listening to Hickey complain about the local missionary: a Boston man with an upturned nose and a holier-than-thou attitude who regards Hickey and Tozer—rightfully so—as sinners, and is determined to bring them into the fold.

“We threaten his way of life,” says Hickey, “because he knows he has no power over us, not when we refuse to believe in his parables, or recognize his authority whatsoever.”

“Mmhmm.” Tozer’s not as worked up about it as Hickey is but he’s angry all the same, a low-burning irritant at the man's pomposity. Doesn’t mind hearing Hickey go off—he’s handsome when he gets like this—and Hickey doesn’t much mind that Tozer’s only contributions to the discussion are the occasional grunt or hum.

Maybe later they’ll start to make a plan together, figure out a way to bilk the sniveling little bluenose out of some of his land or his livestock. Would be something to do, and he knows they could pull it off. But for now he watches Hickey pop another slice of thick-cut bacon in his mouth, straight off the pan on the stove—before the pan, it was on the table, and before the table, it was on the haunch of the wild boar that Tozer had nabbed in one easy shot as it snuffled through the greenery on a nearby dune.

“You like those,” he comments.

“I do, yeah, why?” Hickey says, through a mouthful.

Tozer shrugs. “You’ve gotten. You know. A bit.” He gestures at his own face, a circling sort of motion.

And it’s true—in the months since they found their way here, surrounded themselves with the undeserved abundance of their exile, Hickey has filled out. The gleaming slenderness borne of privation that Tozer had glimpsed, bent over a table and scored by the lash, is mostly gone: sharp angles softened, cheeks rounded, the windburnt redness of frostbite on his face replaced by a gentle blush of health.

Tozer himself has put on some weight too, but it’s harder to notice, given his larger size, and the fact that it’s mostly gone to his muscles, thanks to the sawing and building and hauling and butchering he’s been doing, getting their home together.

It’s nice—means they’ve done well by themselves, doesn’t it, and Tozer likes to see Hickey comfortable, likes the way Hickey feels against him, likes the solid proof of all the work he’s put in to feed and shelter the both of them. Means they’re further away from the expedition than ever, the harshness of it erased not only in memory but in body.

He sees immediately that he’s stepped in it. Hickey’s come over all stiff, mouth turned to a tight line. “Well. Maybe a change in diet is in order, then,” Hickey says coldly.

“Don’t want you to change anything,” says Tozer, “sorry, shouldn’t have said it—”

“But you did,” said Hickey. He throws the remainder of his portion down on the table, and makes for the door.

“No, no. Come here, Cornelius—come here.” He crosses the room and catches Hickey from behind before he’s through the door, trapping him in a tight embrace. Hickey twitches unhappily for a moment in Tozer’s arms, struggling to get free, but finally settles, slumping forward and letting his head hang down. “Bastard,” he mutters.

“You’ve got to get out more, is all,” Tozer says, leaning down into Hickey’s ear. “Come with me on some hunting trips. Help carry lumber. Stop lazing about in here, running your mouth about what you’ll do when you get your hands on that pastor, and actually start planning—stirring up his servants, and all that.”

“And that’ll slim me down, will it?” Hickey grumbles.

“I dunno. Maybe. But I told you, doesn’t matter, I don’t want you to. You’re fine. You’re lovely.”

Hickey twists around to look up at him, a devious leer visible under his fringe of light lashes. “Prove it.”

No sand to worry about, here on their fine mattress, stolen right off the dock before it could get delivered to some sprawling plantation house up in the interior; Tozer lies back and takes out his prick, working it lazily while Hickey goes to the basin for a quick scrub—always so clean and considerate, him.

Then he’s back, and without preamble he lowers himself over Tozer’s mouth, and Tozer starts in on him, letting out low, pleased hums as he circles with his tongue that welcoming ring of warmth.

Wasn’t easy, getting Hickey to agree to this, the first time they tried, and he’s never exactly said he likes it, but of course he does, he absolutely loves it, Tozer can tell. Otherwise he wouldn’t be gasping out quick high breaths as Tozer pushes past his rim, diving deep into him; otherwise he wouldn’t be shaking slightly with pleasure, thighs flexing round Tozer’s head as he squirms.

Tozer’s hands come round to palm at Hickey’s arse, the ridges of his lashing scars softened and stretched by time and good living, and Hickey puts his on top, fine fingers interlacing with Tozer’s rough ones.

When eventually Hickey pulls off and wiggles his way down Tozer’s body, Tozer misses the taste of him, but only for a moment before all goes white-hot as Hickey slides neatly onto Sol’s prick and begins to ride him.

Sol can’t help but start to move, hips jerking up in animal eagerness, but Hickey hisses, “None of that,” and presses a hand down to Tozer’s chest, nails digging ever-so-slightly in at Tozer’s nipple and making him shiver.

Tozer knows better, he does, he knows how Hickey wants him, knows when they do this he’d better be still and steady and with his eyes wide open, paying close attention. So he watches Hickey fuck himself on his prick—eyes tracking in turn the ugly tattoo on his chest Hickey had gotten on his chest in Honolulu the very first week of their new life; the even uglier one on his stomach he’d gotten when they’d arrived in Lahaina; the bob of his slender jutting prick and its orange-furred base; the worst of all his tattoos on his arm, an abominable warped copy of the ones the workers on the plantation wore, done by a drunken American at a tavern table. Tozer loves it all, can admit that to himself now, after a long time of pretending otherwise—loves how Hickey looks, loves the feel of him, loves letting him do what he likes, choose the wise way forward for the both of them.

When Tozer feels he’s close he lets out a hoarse whisper of “Cornelius—” and Hickey goes for his own prick, tugging himself off so that as soon as Tozer reaches his crisis, he is following right behind.

And then, this time, Tozer goes and lets Hickey do what he wants, which is, naturally, to drape himself over top of Tozer and doze off there for just a moment, using Tozer’s broad chest as a pillow.

Tozer strokes Hickey’s back absent-mindedly; the bare expanse of it soon probably to be marked with unruly images in black and blue ink, but for now just smooth and tanned, and no ribs to be seen anymore.