The Duke and the Deadbeat
Gregory L. Norris © 2018
All Rights Reserved
Maroon 5 stud Adam Levine had taken to the stage stripped down to his black boxer briefs, black socks, and smoldering Cheshire Cat’s smile that insured the other side of his bed would never grow cold. The guys in Blink 182 had turned mediocre talent into megasuccess by conveniently forgetting to put on their pants or underwear before streaking out to their instruments, dicks swinging, hairy butts displayed for the crowd to behold. Before them, Green Day’s handsome frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, with his mop of hair bleached blond and dyed neon-green, had strummed his guitar and crooned for the orgasming audience with his lush thatch of pubic curls and limp cock hanging in clear view. After, it was the Scissor Sisters and Queens of the Stone Age letting it all dangle. Once, live on MTV, some hairy Wolverine-looking tool going by the name of Evil Jared Hasselhoff hopped on a crate, whipped out his manhood, and relieved himself on the lead singer of the band Placebo.
Duke Donovan Dalton, the driving force behind the Goth-rock band 3-D, planned to outshine all of them. The Death Heart Tour’s final leg, winding through Austin and concluding in Boston, would be the ultimate musical mind-fuck.
“You can do this,” Duke said, casting a nervous glance into the mirror.
Harley shot him a look from the other side of the room. Duke’s trusted assistant, who also maintained the band’s website and social media pages on FaceSpace, MyBook, and Chatter, always knew when something dangerous was brewing, and what Duke sensed now was no different. What would he Chit about, using that economy of a hundred and forty-four words? Duke looking way too calm. Huge audience, eager to hear the tunes, screaming bloody murder. What if the murder victim’s Duke Dalton? I think he’s contemplating suicide!
Harley knew Duke, had since they were kids touring with their dads. An uncomfortable rush of warmth bloomed in his gut, threatening to crack the calmness staring back from the glass.
“What the fuck’s going on?” Harley demanded. No one else would dare speak to Duke Dalton that way, not the band’s concert promoters, the rock journalists or late-night talking heads. Not even Duke’s dad, Jack Dalton, lead singer in the big hair juggernaut, Stage Fright.
“I don’t know what you mean,” Duke said flatly.
“For starters, you haven’t touched the snack bar.”
Duke swept a glance across the table. There were plenty of bottles looming over a half dozen bowls, each filled with colorful, tempting vice—big red disks, blue ones, green, two shades of brown, yellow.
Duke marched over to the snack bar, grabbed a handful of green, and crunched down.
“Mmm, peanut butter, my favorite,” he said and then popped one of the bottles, washing the candy down with a jolt of lukewarm soda. “There, satisfied?”
Harley watched Duke from the cut of his eye but didn’t answer. The dude was onto him. Oh well, Duke thought. By the end of the show, the whole world would be. And he was okay with that. Better than okay. Every other day, some new scandal and sex tape broke on the news.
At least he wouldn’t bore them.
Shaye Floden, 3-D’s keyboard player, grabbed a handful of red candy. He stood in the middle of the backstage clubhouse and dressing rooms clad only in his underwear, a pair of tight-fitting designer whites stuffed to capacity in the front. Shaye had the second biggest cock in the band, inferior size-wise only to Duke himself, and wasn’t ashamed to let that fact be known.
“You nervous?” Shaye asked, crunching on candy and scratching at the meat of his balls.
“No,” Duke answered.
“Figured you must be, on account of the fact that you look so calm.” Shaye flashed a cocky smile and groped the front of his underwear. “Damn, I can’t wait to fuck something tonight.”
Harley, or the hotties in the makeup team, one of the best in the business… there certainly would be enough holes to plug after the concert. Ladies as well as dudes, depending upon where his tastes went. Shaye’s pale blue eyes drifted toward the little blonde thing waiting to paint his face.
“Okay, who’s ready to turn into a zombie?” she asked.
“I’m coming to get you, Barbara,” Shaye said in a comically sinister voice. He extended his hands. “And I’m so very horny!”
The makeup artist—Duke doubted her name was Barbara—giggled and waved him over to one of the chairs. There, Shaye Floden began his transformation into “Bones.”
Bass player Arif Yusian, better known to 3-D fans as “Scalpel,” entered the room for a drink and a snack. Another makeup artist seized him by the arms.
“Give me five, okay?” Arif said.
“Only if you tell Joe-Kev to hustle his ass in here. We need to start early on him for the full effect.”
Joe-Kev Hallet, who went by the handle “Autopsy,” soon made an appearance. The oldest member of the band at twenty-seven, his body was a canvas of colorful ink. A sleeve of thorns and roses covered one arm from shoulder to elbow. A tiger slinked down the opposing leg, its extended paw reaching across the top of his foot. A small constellation of five-pointed stars appeared to twinkle at his neck.
Duke knew the artistry didn’t end there. From their tumbles together in the early days of 3-D, he’d gotten intimate with the skull tattooed on the top of the dude’s shaft. When Joe-Kev’s bone snaked out, thickest in the middle, the skull swelled and stretched with it, flashing a sinister Halloween grin.
Their drummer joined Shaye in the makeup chairs. Arif wandered back in and took his seat. The usual banter filled the air, and a wave of nostalgia embraced Duke. By all outward signs, there had been many blessings associated with being the son of a rock legend. And a legend in his own right, lead singer and stud of a powerhouse coming into its own, this generation’s U2 or Electric Light Orchestra. Bigger blessings, like the fame, the fortune and, yes, all that fucking. But it was this little moment, seeing the guys get painted, that he hoped he remembered best when it was over.
And it would be over after this night.
Regret replaced the brief flicker of happiness.
A hand touched his shoulder. Duke seized in place. Turning, he faced Perry, 3-D’s lead makeup artist.
“Whoa, dude,” Perry said. “Didn’t mean to spook you like that. Forgive the pun, but you look like a fucking ghost.”
“Sorry, nerves,” Duke said.
The other man aimed a thumb toward the lone empty makeup chair. “You ready to become ‘Duke De Morte’?”
“Duke of Death,” Duke sighed, punctuating the statement with a humorless chuckle.
His emerald-colored eyes drifted back toward the guys, each man presently having his face painted into character. The nostalgia was gone completely. More importantly, so was Duke’s sense of regret.
“Not yet, man,” Duke said, clapping a hand on Perry’s arm. “Meet me in my dressing room, would you? And do me a favor. Bring some extra paint with you.”
The gimmick sounded lame on the surface at first but had caught on with the fans, especially the legions jerking off to vampire romance novels. The white faces looked elegant, more so when you factored in the crisp white button-down shirts, thin black ties, black suit coats, and shiny black shoes. Total sharpness—and those white ghost faces sure rocked when you shined a black light on them, picking up the phosphorescence on four handsome 3-D apparitions gyrating on stage.
The ghostly faces of 3-D had become as recognizable in recent years as the symbol for the Artist Formerly Known as Prince and Mick Jagger’s lips.
Perry finished working on Duke’s visage. Duke gazed into the mirror. The work was, as usual, artistry at its purest.
“What do you think?”
Duke studied the perfect glowing white skull painted over his handsome face, his dark hair, a messy but intentional thatch of cowlicks and spikes, his full lips, the lower slightly plumper than its twin on top. Those eyes were so green in the fake skull’s sockets that they glowed preternaturally like a wild nocturnal animal’s reflecting in a car’s headlights.
“I’d fuck me,” Duke said.
“Yeah, you and millions of rock junkies around the globe,” Perry said.
And Perry knew; they’d enjoyed the occasional fuck since the night that first smear of white face paint went on.
To enhance the look, the guys’ suits also reacted to the black light, transforming into an illusion of zombie rags thanks to the invisible chemicals painted onto them by the band’s wardrobe department. At intermission, 3-D did a change into kilts, black and white tartan, thick black wool socks, combat boots, and black tuxedo jackets over white shirts. During that fifteen-minute interlude when the opening act, some dude who’d won Idol two seasons back, entertained the crowd, the white skulls got a solid touchup.
The four men huddled offstage. Autopsy, his face streaked with intricate red strips of flesh on one side, extended his hand, palm side down. Bones clapped his hand over Autopsy’s. Scalpel tossed his mitt onto the pile. The persona known as Duke De Morte hesitated. The other characters, each demanding that their preconcert tradition be maintained, shot him looks.
Duke slammed his hand onto the top of the pile. “3-D on one… two… three—”
The four musicians barked the band’s name and, as one, raised their hands toward the ceiling. The announcer trilled their arrival over the speakers, and the crowd outside, some ten thousand souls deep, collectively screamed. Duke’s cock twitched, a sure sign that he’d gotten hard as he always did whenever the band played to a packed venue. His erections had also become part of the 3-D lore; crotch shots and camera phone video of his tented pants littered the Internet. At last count, according to Harley, there were over fifty thousand amateur websites devoted solely to his dick.
The guys raced onto the scallop-shaped stage ahead of him. More shrieks from their worshippers rose up, and he wondered if the concerts, not the eruption of some volcano, had taken bragging rights to the loudest sound event ever recorded in human history. His ears would ring for days. Duke’s nuts tightened against the root of his cock in anticipation. Once he started singing and sweating, they would loosen and spill down his pant legs, hanging, he sometimes imagined, all the way to his hairy ankles.
Steeling himself, Duke pursued. Fuck Vesuvius, the voice in his head decided. The roar that rose up as he trotted toward his Fender guitar was powerful enough to crack the fabric of time and space, to send planets spinning out of orbit and whole constellations of stars crashing into one another.
His cock pulsed.
The audience went insane.
That kind of power, Duke already knew, was dangerous. It could create the universe. But it could also destroy it.
They opened with “Guillotine Romance,” their anthem from the teen slasher flick, Spinal Column, a gore-fest about the vengeful skeleton of a high school newspaper reporter murdered by fellow students he’d dug up serious dirt on. Their cover of Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” followed, in which hot female werewolf dancers gyrated and slithered to the smoky, liquid melody. From there, it was a catalog of their greatest hits.
“Do what?” asked Perry.
“You heard me,” Duke said. “And be quick about it. We’re back on in less than twelve minutes.”
Duke’s cock was still hard. Not merely stiff, but dripping precome like a leaky faucet. Perry lowered between Duke’s spread legs.
“I’ll need to clean this off first,” he said, licking at Duke’s gummed-over slit.
Perry then sucked the head and several inches of shaft between his lips. He tickled Duke’s sweating balls. It took everything Duke had to separate from Perry’s sucking mouth.
“No, I can’t bust right now, and if you keep that up—”
“Yeah, I can see that,” Perry said, licking his lips. “Okay, let’s do this.”
Perry applied the white paint with his fingers, and Duke shuddered, aware of every stroke.
The band returned to the stage dressed in their kilts to a crowd growing hoarser but no less enthusiastic. The regular stage lights followed them through live versions of “Daily Grays,” “The Antique Bronze Horse,” “Modern Orpheus,” and “Violence For Fun and Profit.” Then the band launched into its top ten hit, “Surreal Lullaby,” which transitioned into a smooth, jazzy take on “Europa.”
Shaye abandoned the keyboard for the sax for this particular offering. The lights changed; the eerie luminescence lit their faces. Duke Dalton made his move to center stage, dropped the guitar, and lifted his kilt.
His cock, hard and coated in white paint, snapped up, glowing magnificently. Air, hot with the breaths of devoted fans gusted over Duke’s balls, tickling them like a knowledgeable lover’s caresses. Legs spread, one arm cast behind his lower back, Duke began to masturbate.
“Go big or go home,” he said aloud.
The roar of the crowd swallowed his voice.
Half closing his eyes, spurred on by the frenzied shrieks of his legions of fans who’d quickly caught on to what they were witnessing, Duke choked up on the base of his cock and glided his fingers upward, to just beneath the head. Back down and then up again, he settled into a steady rhythm and dreamed.
Dreamed about Harley’s kisses, scattered over his balls and the underside of his shaft, on the tour bus, between one city or another. The road drummed beneath the bus’s wheels in his memory. Shaye sleeping in the bed directly across from them, completely oblivious, snoring away, a hand tucked into his underwear and his cock struggling against its imprisonment.
He thought about Joe-Kev and the hunger that had led them to cross the line between bandmates and friends and into the very gray territory of fuck buddies, while backstage after their first gig in LA when they were the opening band, not the star attraction. Duke had never licked a man’s ass before. Joe-Kev’s was hairy and its sweaty tang had lain heavily on his tongue, disgusting him for all of maybe two seconds. Then he’d feasted upon it, a starving man, and licking ass had become the main course at every sexual buffet since.
There’d been so many moments of great sex, all over the world. But there’d never been love.
He didn’t even love the music anymore, if he ever had, which was the true problem and the reason he did it.
Duke unwound his arm behind his back and gripped his balls, an action that made his toes curl in his boots. He couldn’t remember them ever feeling this full, this loose. The notion of escape had freed them beyond their usual bloated state. His cock, too, pulsed with frightening energy. The flashes of camera phones and the telltale sparkles of video applications ignited in the space between his half-open eyelids. Before sunrise, he would be the top entertainment story across the globe, his jerk off routine plastered everywhere you looked on the web.
It would be the end of his career but the start of his life.
That thought pushed Duke over the precipice. Right as the regular lights came on and the spotlights zeroed in on him, Duke released his balls, gave his dick a final double-handed stroke, and pumped six steady shots of his junk into the front row.
Freedom, he thought, shaking the dregs out of his dick.
Only those members of the crowd who weren’t scrambling to catch some of his seed were on their feet applauding, and Duke worried that he’d created a bigger monster on his back instead of an exit strategy.