A cold winter morning
16th January 1885
This is a lovely journal that I nicked this morning. I left his bed and rifled
through his clothes and belongings, finding a host of interesting things, including
this beautiful leather bound journal.
Of course, looking back at him now and all the sighing and moaning he had been
making last night, it was no wonder that the first pages of this book were filled
with poems of love.
What use have I of dripping words of love? Love is a lie. I ripped them out and
burned them in the grate. He was fast asleep when I left, taking with me the money
he paid me for the use of my body, a nice linen shirt and this journal.
Now Im here, and I think I shall use this journal to tell my story.
Looking back on my life, I feel a pang of regret but also, a sense of deep anger.
I was so close to touching freedom and the comforts of a real life when it was
ripped away from me. I had been a scholarship student at Eton. I was three months
from graduating when I was betrayed.
There was a new student at school, with bright blue eyes and an innocent look.
He intrigued me. I wanted him, of course. And I knew I would have him. It was only
a matter of time. I had all the confidence in the world that he would fall to my
charms like all the others had. There was only one thing standing in the way.
To be sure, I wasnt in love with McCaulay. He was a tasty treat to keep me
warm at night. A lovely boy with sandy blond hair and blue eyes. He was glad to
have my company. After all, who wouldnt? But after a time, he became distant.
His midnight visits to my rooms became less and less frequent, and it bothered
me. I cannot say why now, but I followed him one night.
Imagine my rage when I saw him not heading for my rooms, but for Elijahs.
Yes, the same boy-god with the blue eyes and slight frame, the same boy that I
This was too much to bear. To think that not only had I been cast aside for Elijah,
but that Elijah had cast aside me for McCauley. My anger flared to life and in
a fit of pique, I made a decision that would forever alter the course of my life.
I went to a colleague and obtained a snuff of opium and planted it in Elijahs
rooms. If I couldnt have either of them, I didnt want them to have
happiness. I waited until I knew they were together and I led the Headmaster to
I watched in wicked delight as they both faced the horror of expulsion and outcry
of sin. I watched as Elijah was hauled away, screaming and crying in anger, pointing
at me. I will never forget the hate in his eyes as McCauley wept. I will never
forget the surge of triumph and satisfaction as the Board expelled him.
But little was I to know that McCauley would grow a spine and get his revenge.
He turned on me, and I was powerless to stop the inquiries of the school leaders
as he recruited others to testify against me. To be sure, I had slept with several
students, and quite a few teachers as well. And so McCauley had his revenge, and
I was thrown out of school, three months before graduating.
Having nowhere to go, I enfolded into the London underground, finding my place
on the streets. My cunning and my sheer ability to seduce has led me to the top,
and now I am the leader of this gang. Much to my frustration, it becomes necessary
on occasion to sell my own body. There is a pimp we call Wormtongue who will come
to me with offers, most of which I turn down unless I am desperate for coin.
Over the course of time, Elijah has become the leader of their gang. So once again
my old enemy is a thorn in my side. Of course, I had a hand in putting him there.
Seducing Sean Bean was nothing. A simple trick that even now makes me laugh with
delight. Oh the look on Viggos face when he found out…and the smug
satisfaction that he had lost his lover to me.
Ahh…the little pleasures. I take them where I can get them.
My gang is fiercely loyal to me. It is something I demand. I trust no one, except
Dominic. He is the only one that I have let anywhere near me…the real me.
And that is a danger that even now frightens me. He is the only one who I could
lose it all with. Hes the only one who has ever even caught a glimpse of
me. Not the me that laughs when men use my body, not the me that uses them back.
But the part of me that trusts him.
So now I will use this journal to keep my thoughts and my plans. I will read back
upon it and know why love is a cruel joke.
Who has needs for words of love? Loyalty, friendship, revenge…these things
are real. But love?
Nay. Love is for fools.
Orlando was born on 13th January
1863 to a merchant and his wife in the city of Canterbury. His father was well
known and respected in the city as a fine man. Perfect wife, beautiful son, everything
in its place.
Yet not everything was as perfect at home. His father was a demanding man, expecting
nothing less than perfection from his family, and when it was not forthcoming,
retribution came in the form of a heavy hand. Yet still he hid the bruises and
pretended nothing was wrong, learning very quickly that appearances were everything.
His mother did nothing, ignoring her abusive husband and her son in favor of dainty
cut glass decanter bottles filled with poison.
Their family was wealthy, and Orlandos father had arranged that he would
go to Eton for the completion of his education. At this point, Orlandos entire
focus was on school. To prove to his father that he was not a failure as he was
so often called when the blows rained down on him. At the age of eleven, he left
for Windsor to attend the ancient school, determined to succeed and escape once
and for all the clutches of his overbearing parent.
Eton was a wealth of knowledge, and Orlando was a sponge.
At the age of fifteen met Jonathan, a classmate who would soon become his best
friend. They spent hours together, studying, reading, talking, laughing, and getting
As one year passed into another, Orlando began to feel something more towards his
friend. Jonathan was the first person in his life to love him for who he was and
not demand anything in return. And one day, Orlando discovered that his feelings
of love for his friend went beyond friendship, and that Jonathans simple
beauty was filling his dreams at night, making his body respond in ways that confused
It all came out one day when they were running to escape the shouts of their chemistry
teacher, who had discovered them stealing magnesium powder.
In here in here quick!• Orlando had hauled Jonathan into the library
only seconds before the enraged professor turned the corner. Jonathan was gasping
and out of breath and held tight against Orlando as the man ran past, still shouting
their names. Orlando turned and laughed and grinned down at Jonathan, who was only
a few inches shorter than him.
Blue eyes locked to his and in that moment, Orlando forgot everything. Those eyes
were filled with so much admiration and awe and love. It was nothing at all to
lean down and kiss his friend softly on the lips.
And then it was nothing at all to wrap his arms around Jonathan and pull him into
the shadows. He finally let go of all he had held on to, feeling his fear slide
away as Jonathan didnt pull back in shock or horror, but instead returned
his kiss with a heat that seared straight into Orlandos heart.
Those next few weeks were the happiest of his entire life. Nights filled with the
simple joy of discovery and love, and days filled with amused, blush filled glances
during boring lectures.
But it was not to last. He had missed the tiny subtle hints and he ignored the
coughing in the middle of the night. He denied the blood on the pillowcase in the
morning and the cool shivers when he held him. Jonathan had never been a strong
boy. He was slim and pale and was ill quite often. Orlando was in denial about
Jonathans consumption, and he paid dearly for it.
Please come with me to the tree tonight.• Orlando begged. Its
warm and the stars are out.•
And Jonathan couldnt say no. And they went, and they made love under the
over hanging blackthorn tree. They fell asleep there, and during the night, the
cold came and seeped into Jonathan, though he did his best to hide it. Orlando
awoke and felt the chill, and looked down to see Jonathans face was pale
with effort and his breathing was labored. No matter what Orlando did, he could
not stop the cold. He carried Jonathan the entire way home, and watched helplessly
as the nursing staff tried to save him.
And in the bitter early hours of the morning, he watched in terror as his best
friend, his lover, the only person in his life who truly loved him, slipped into
the darkness, never to return.
He watched as they mourned Jonathan. He watched as they covered the box with earth.
He watched the only part of himself that was able to love was buried under layers
and layers and layers of dark, rich soil. And he shed the last tears that he would
He pushed away everything he felt and delved into his schoolwork. He listened and
learned all he could, including the art of hiding. He learned how to listen without
being heard, how to speak without giving away too much. He learned to pay attention
to what shimmered under the surface. He learned to cut himself away from people
who would make him feel.
The only pleasure he allowed himself was the comfort of sex. And this he did in
excess. He shut himself off and used his body to bring him pleasure. It was a tool
to be used, cut off from his heart and his mind.
There were many boys at Eton to chose from, some beautiful, some not. Some who
pleased him and some who scorned him. The latter often found themselves running
from Eton with their tails tucked between their legs. Orlando stopped at nothing
to have it all, even if it meant treachery.
There was one young man that Orlando had met, however, that intrigued him. A boy
whose eyes and body reminded him of Jonathan…beautiful and ethereal. He
was the son of an Earl, and his name was Elijah Wood. He much desired this man,
though he refused to delve into the reasons why. He used every moment that they
were together to show his interest, but Elijah ignored him. It enraged him. So
Orlando watched, and he waited in the shadows, waiting for the moment where he
would deftly change Elijahs mind. The prospect of it was tempting, and Orlando
did not question his motives. He knew it was only a matter of a time.
In the Spring of 1881, he met McCauley. McCauley was enamored of Orlando at first,
spending nearly every waking moment of his time in Orlandos rooms, begging
for just a touch or a glance. Orlando thought this was amusing at first, but he
soon became weary of it. McCauley wanted more from him than Orlando could give.
He wanted love and Orlando had no love to give him. He scorned and teased the boy,
sensing weakness within him.
You are a fool if you love me, McCauley.•
Yet all the while he sneered in contempt at the young man, the one tiny seed inside
his heart spoke louder than it had in over a year.
He could love you, if you let him.
But Orlando would not make that mistake again. He had turned his fear to rage and
shouted at the boy, screaming for him to get out and never come back. And his heart
was twisting and aching the whole time.
McCauley did leave. And to Orlandos shock, he didnt return. Days passed
and McCauley refused to look at him. Whole nights went by and he was alone. On
the fourth night, he was seething with rage at being denied, and he crept down
to McCauleys room. He was rounding the corner when McCauley came out, and
he pressed himself against the wall, following him silently. McCauley stopped outside
of Elijahs door, and Orlando watched in horror and rage as Elijah opened
the door, pulling McCauley inside and slamming it shut.
He walked, quiet as a cat to the door and listened while his former lover and Elijah
keened and cried out. With every sound, Orlandos heart hardened a little
more. With every gasp and cry, his rage grew.
Spurned by the one person who professed to love him? Pushed aside in favor of blue
eyes and pale skin…cast away like a forgotten toy?
Orlando shook with rage, and he hated the other voice that reverberated in his
Elijah chose McCauley over you.
He pushed away from the door, forming a plan in his mind that would alter the course
of his life forever. A scheme that would turn his world on its ear and rip
away the last shred of himself that cared.