Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Disclaimer... The following story is a purely fictional account. Any relationship to any real person living or dead is coincidental. The narrative deals with sexual themes and with crucifixion in a non-religious context. It is intended for mature readers who wish to view such material, and for whom it is legal to do so.

Copyright (c) 2008 by POW. For spam prevention, an animal name has been added to the author's e-mail address. Remove the animal name to get the actual address: POWauthor zebra at yahoo dot com. This story may be freely copied and distributed so long as it is copied in its entirety, unchanged, including the author credit information and disclaimer. The author welcomes feedback.


All the way down the stairs, all the way through the basement hallway, the straining in his pants was so strong it was almost painful. He forced himself to keep his hands down at his sides, not wanting to spoil the experience by blowing too soon.

He followed the doctor through the door to the familiar room. Nothing had changed since last time. The same faded yellow-orange curtains covered the two high-set windows, glowing now in the rays of the late afternoon sunlight. The floor and walls were still covered with the same utilitarian brown tile and the same dull white paint. Most importantly, the center of the room was still occupied by the same structure that was always there. He let out a barely-whispered moan at the sight of it.

Forcing himself to take his time, he began removing his clothes, placing each item slowly and deliberately on a small table. Shoes, socks, shirt, pants. Finally his underwear came off and his cock sprang free of its confinement, jutting rock-solid into the air and dripping with anticipation.

The doctor brought two black leather cuffs over and helped him strap them onto his wrists. They were designed for long-term heavy-duty suspension, supporting the wearer's weight by the arms rather than the hands to minimize the risk of injury. More cuffs were buckled into place around his ankles and then he was ready.

He walked over to the wooden beams in the center of the room. One protruded upright from the concrete beneath the floor tiles; the second crossed it at a right angle a bit above head height. The sensation of being so close to the object of his fulfillment was nearly overwhelming, but he fought the feeling down and climbed up onto a metal folding chair, standing with his back to the wood. He took a deep breath, then stretched his arms out to his sides, holding them up against the crossbeam. The motion sent him dangerously close to the point of no return. His cock pulsed with each beat of his heart.

Briskly, the doctor clipped each of his wrist cuffs to metal hooks embedded in the beam, holding his arms in their stretched-out position. He lifted his right leg, bending it at the knee while the doctor clipped it in place against the upright, fighting to hold off the eruption that he knew he would not be able to stall for much longer. He lifted his left leg, allowing the doctor to lock it into place as well and pull away the now-unneeded chair.

As his weight settled down onto his outstretched arms, the explosion building inside him could be put off no longer. His fingers grasped the empty air, the muscles in his thighs and shoulders flexed and strained. He groaned a deep, growling roar. Mere seconds after mounting the cross, his entire body convulsed with ecstasy as jet after jet of hot white semen rocketed out of his cock, each one shooting several feet across the room, hitting the wall and adding fresh spatter marks on top of the dried ones already there.

"It's OK, sweetie, really, it's OK."

But of course it was not OK, not at all. Rob rolled over, turning his face away from Sharon. To her credit, Sharon was astute enough to know when Rob would welcome further talk and when it would be counterproductive. She slipped out of the bed, drew her robe around her shoulders, and padded softly out of the room and down the stairs.

After she was gone, Rob fumbled for the television remote on the nightstand. The room lit up with the blue glow of ESPN, but nothing the talking heads on the screen said registered in his mind.

This was the third time in a row, dammit.

Up until now he could excuse it away. It hadn't happened all that often, and each time he could chalk it up to something - maybe he was too tired, or under too much stress at work, or too sore from playing soccer or basketball. To be brutally honest with himself, once or twice he had even blamed Sharon. Not out loud, of course, but in the privacy of his mind he had convinced himself that she just wasn't that attractive to him anymore, that maybe it was time to move on...

But three times in a row?

As the SportsCenter analysts droned on unheard, Rob was forced to admit that there was a big white elephant sitting in the room. He had ignored it as long as he could but it would not be ignored any longer. Not being one for introspection, Rob was not sure exactly how to go about solving this particular problem, but the distraction of the flickering blue light allowed him to approach the issue sort of sideways, which turned out to be not too uncomfortable.

The worst part was how unfair it was. This sort of thing wasn't supposed to happen to healthy, fit twenty-six-year-olds. It was a problem for old men, men who had already had decades with everything in good working order and now found that their plumbing was slowly breaking down like every other part of their bodies. Heck, when Rob was a teenager, hadn't some grey-haired senator or congressman or whatever practically made a second career out of publicizing his inadequacy all over the media?

That, in turn, had led to a whole new industry, indeed a whole new name for the problem. Those marketers were clever, all right - "ED" was a nice safe term. A harmless little acronym, sounding like just any other medical condition, glossing over the unpleasant details, kind of like the way the gambling industry had shined up their image by calling their business "gaming". "ED" was easy to talk about, easy to make commercials about, easy for guys like Rob to forget that it's nothing more than a code phrase for what he really suffered from: limp-dick syndrome.

No, don't go there.

He watched the highlights of the Big Ten college men's volleyball championship, a sport that he couldn't possibly care any less about, but which provided the distraction that he needed right now. Images flashed unnoticed across the screen while the announcer's voice droned on unheard.

A thought percolated up from the back of Rob's distracted mind: perhaps there was one hint of hope in what the marketers said. Perhaps the thing to do was explore the possibility that his situation really was what the pharmaceutical industry wanted him to believe it was. Perhaps the problem was nothing more than a medical condition that could be treated with the right drug. He wasn't a big fan of doctors, but if that's all it was, a simple, easily correctible chemical imbalance, then it would be silly to put himself through the anguish of dealing with it as if it were a psychological thing. After all, he went to the doctor for other physical problems, like the time he broke a bone in his toe or the time he needed antibiotics for that cough. It was entirely possible that a bottle of the right pills could make this all go away.

The highlights program had moved on to golf. Tiger sank yet another impossible birdie to earn himself yet another green jacket. Rob flicked the TV off, pulled on some boxer shorts, and headed downstairs. Sharon was curled up on the sofa with a mug of tea and a magazine. Rob cuddled up behind her.

"I'm going to the doctor's. Have him check me out," he said to the back of her head.

Sharon turned around inside his embrace and kissed his cheek.

The aftershocks of the orgasm coursed through him, making his muscles twitch and his breath catch. The last drops of fluid oozed out from the tip of his still achingly-hard dick. He had barely begun to hang and was not yet feeling any discomfort from the position.

He closed his eyes, savoring the pull of his weight on his muscles and exploring the limits of his mobility. Each posture brought a different sensation, and he alternated among them, enjoying each for a while before shifting to another. Up, supporting his weight by his thighs, then down, relaxing his legs and allowing his arms to bear the load. Arching forward, then leaning left or right. Squeezing his legs together or throwing his shoulders back, each movement was like a lover's caress.

Soon enough, what started as a languorous exploration turned into something more frankly erotic, then to full-blown pumping. The stretch in his arms and chest, the pressure in his thighs, the pull of the restraints against his limbs began to build into another wave of impending pleasure. The first drops of sweat began to form around his face as he worked himself toward another explosion.

Then, barely five minutes after the first, a second orgasm enveloped him. More streams of ropy fluid pulsed out of him, this time not quite reaching the wall. Animal noises grunted from his lips - "hunh... hunh... hunhhh..." - while it went on, finally fading away to ragged gasps.

Now, he knew, his crucifixion was beginning for real.

"So," said Dr. Schellinger with just the faintest trace of a German accent, "we have determined the cause of the problem."

The urologist didn't have much of a bedside manner, but that was fine with Rob. He wasn't looking for sympathy, he wanted a solution.

"You will recall from our previous discussions," Dr. Schellinger continued, "that ED can result from three families of causes: physical, neurological, and psychological. Physical problems are anything mechanical that disrupts the normal function, perhaps a chemical imbalance or a constricted blood vessel or a weak muscle. Neurological problems are rooted in the brain and nervous system. And psychological problems are anything mental or emotional in nature. This is an oversimplification, of course, but it will do. We used a computer analogy for comparison, yes? The three families are like the hardware, the operating system, and the software of a computer."

Rob remembered. The computer metaphor made sense to him, although he preferred to think in automotive terms. Taking your body to the doctor should be no different from taking your car to a mechanic, he reasoned. You come in with a problem, the mechanic figures out what's causing it, and you leave with your car in good working order. You don't want the guy at the garage to ask you how you feel about your misfiring spark plug, you just want him to fix it. That was why Dr. Schellinger's no-nonsense approach had seemed just right when Rob had met him at their first consultation.

"Well, the results of your tests are in, and the problem is almost certainly neurological in nature."

Rob felt the hairs stand up on his arms and the back of his neck. He had been hoping that the extensive battery of tests would have turned up something in the physical family, preferably something easily fixable. The idea that something was wrong with his brain was not an appealing one. The doctor continued to speak, though Rob found himself only half paying attention, distracted by a formless worry like a shadow over his shoulder.

"I say 'almost certainly' because very few of the body's systems work in complete isolation. There is almost always some overlap of functionality. But in your case, the anomaly shows clearly on the EEGs."

The doctor swiveled his desktop screen around so Rob could see it. He called up a display of Rob's brain scans. An animated movie began to run, with bright colors lighting up various areas of the image of Rob's brain, flashing from one region to another in mystifying complexity. Rob heard bits and pieces of what the doctor was saying, but lost track of much of the technical jargon.

"... neuropeptide levels ... sexual stimulus ... response curves show supersaturation ... level off ... recurring patterns ... nanotechnology ... restore full function"

That last phrase snapped Rob back to full attention. The flickering lights on the screen had stilled. Rob asked "Full function, you say? I mean... are you sure?"

"Well, one can never be completely certain, of course. But I am confident - very confident - that we can prescribe a course of treatment that will compensate for the overloaded neurons."

Dr. Schellinger leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms behind his head. "There are similar patterns across the spectrum of human senses. If you are exposed to a constant smell, for instance, whether it is the stench of sewage or the perfume your lover wears, then after some ten or fifteen minutes you become used to it and cease to notice it. Your brain becomes accustomed to the smell and ceases to respond to the sensory stimulus. Or if you stare at a waterfall for a few minutes, your brain stops noticing the 'downness' of the motion. Then when you look away, fixed objects like trees or buildings seem to be moving upward, compensating for the overloaded 'down' part of your brain.

"In much the same way, your brain has developed a resistance to sexual stimulation. You neural circuits become too quickly saturated and no longer produce the required response."

He leaned forward now, setting his arms on the desk and looking Rob straight in the eye.

"But the good news is that we can compensate. A few years ago, you would have had no recourse. But today, the science has improved to the point that we can make corrections to the brain at the level of individual neurons. We use molecule-sized machines, billions of them, to gently encourage your neurons into new patterns. Now, of course, we cannot correct the neurons that have become so sensitive to oversaturation. But the brain is a flexible organ - given the proper motivation, it can rewire itself so that neurons that had been underutilized in one section can take over functions for a completely different area.

"This happens all the time in stroke victims. A blocked blood vessel kills off the neurons responsible for the control of the left leg, and yet some weeks later, the patient is walking again because other neurons have taken over for them. Now, we must get your brain to do the same thing, only without the stroke, yes?"

The doctor nodded and winked at his little joke, and Rob smiled and forced out a chuckle.

"So, to business. Because the treatment is still so new, no insurance companies cover it yet, but if you will sign an agreement allowing me to label you as a participant in a research study, we can work out an arrangement that will allow us both to benefit..."

An hour later, driving home, Rob marvelled at his luck. Picking a doctor out from the phone book was always a crapshoot, but he certainly found himself a good one. And the "research study" angle was great - he would get his cure, the doctor would get a paper to publish, and some deep-pocketed philanthropic society somewhere was picking up the tab. It was truly a win-win situation.

If only all of life worked that way.

Fifteen minutes after ascending the cross, he was feeling the strain.

The muscles in his arms and legs were beginning to tire. His chest felt like it was being pulled apart. Breathing took an effort, and the reduced circulation in his hands was starting to cause tingling and numbness.

Nothing he couldn't handle, though. He forced his thigh muscles to contract again through sheer force of will, rising up to relieve the strain in his arms and chest. His dick, which had softened a bit after the second orgasm, began to stir again, and it steadily grew stiffer while he held himself up despite the burning in his legs. When at last he allowed himself to collapse downward, it was fully hard again, pointing about thirty degrees up from horizontal.

He hung by his arms a while, feeling the stretch of the muscles from his chest all the way out to his wrists. His tiring legs needed to rest before he could rely on them again, but the strain in his arms easily morphed into a churning in his balls. He forced himself to endure it past the point where he wanted to try to rise up again. At last, he could hang no longer, and inched his way upward despite the pain in his legs. They lasted only a short while, then he fell back down to hang from his arms again. With each second that passed, with each laborious change in position, the exertion was translated into stimulation until at last, he felt himself slipping over the edge.

As he strained his legs upward yet again, a third orgasm racked his body. It felt at least as powerful as the first two but only a few small spurts came shooting out from his cock. The shock waves went on for a long while and when eventually they faded, he felt the first pangs of wanting to get down. He knew from experience, though, that if he gave into that desire now, he would regret it before too long. He resolved to power past the feeling, working his muscles against the unyielding cross in pursuit of his next climax.

"What the hell have you done to me?" Rob demanded as he stormed into Dr. Schellinger's office.

The doctor was unperturbed. "Calm down, Rob, please, calm down," he said. "Let us discuss this rationally. I'm certain we can resolve any issues you have. Please, sit down."

Rob sat, seething. The doctor capped his pen and set it gently into a cup, then carefully arranged the papers he had been working on into a neat pile on the corner of his desk, unhurriedly straightening the edges before finally turning to address Rob. "Now, tell me," he asked, "what is it that has alarmed you?"

Rob's words came out in a tumbling rush. "I waited, like you said. No sex for two weeks, I didn't even jerk off all that time."

"Yes, to allow time for the rewiring to take place. Go on."

"And now, this morning, I woke up with a hard-on. It was early, I didn't have to get up for work for another half hour, and the two weeks was up, so I thought I'd take care of it. You know, make sure the treatment had worked."


"And nothing! I rubbed my dick the way I always do when I jerk off, and I felt nothing! Nothing at all! It was like I was stroking a block of wood instead of my dick. I couldn't get off, and worse, the damn thing softened up right as I was going at it! I had to give up 'cause I couldn't get it to stiffen up again. I even pulled out one of my magazines, and for all the good it did me, I might as well have bought it for the articles. Doc, you told me you were going to cure me. But this is worse than before!"

Dr. Schellinger sat for a moment, then said "Rob, I'd like you to try something for me. Would you please?"

Rob rolled his eyes, but said "Sure. What?"

The doctor picked up his pen again, then flipped over one of the pieces of paper from the corner of his desk and drew a quick shape on it. He held it up for Rob to see. It looked like a capital T, though the upright line extended a bit above the horizontal stroke.

"What do you feel as you look at this?"

"Nothing," said Rob, though his eyes darted off to one side as he spoke.

"All right. Now, would you please stand up and hold your arms straight out to the sides."

Rob did. "Now what?" he asked.

"Just hold the position for a minute or so," Dr. Schellinger replied. He stood up from his chair, walked around the desk, and stood in front of Rob. Wordlessly, the two men faced each other as the seconds ticked by. After a short time, the doctor looked down. An unmistakable bulge was growing from Rob's groin, tenting out the front of his pants. The doctor looked up into Rob's eyes, and Rob broke away, pulling his arms down and turning his rapidly reddening face to the side.

"One more test, please. Would you go to that door frame? Reach up and grasp the top of the frame, then lift your legs and support your weight with your arms. Keep your arms straight, please, don't curl them as if you were doing chin-ups."

Rob hesitated, then did as he was asked. This time, the reaction was immediate. As soon as his feet left the floor, he closed his eyes and let out a low moan.

"Yes, I think that settles it. The treatment has worked exactly as intended."

Rob dropped back down to the floor and faced the doctor, bending a bit at the waist in an attempt to hide the visible evidence of his arousal.

"I don't understand," Rob said. "What's going on?"

"Follow me, please. I will show you."

He led Rob to the back of the building, down a staircase, through a narrow hallway and into a basement room. The room was bare except for a single structure, one that caused Rob's knees to buckle the moment he saw it.

Orgasm number four took significantly longer to achieve.

He was tiring now. Pain filled his awareness, radiating out from every overstrained muscle in his body. The constant effort was exhausting him, and his muscles were rapidly nearing their failure point.

He still felt every bit of pain, of course, but his rewired brain also interpreted the sensations as pleasure. Agony and ecstasy competed for dominance in his perception. Sometimes the pain was nearly overwhelming and several times he almost told the doctor he was ready to get down. But with a little concentration, he could shift his focus to the pleasure, and then he was nowhere near ready to end the session.

Sweat was dripping off his body, into his eyes and down his chest and back. The room was silent except for the rasp of his breath, the soft creak of the leather as he moved, the tiny clicks and pops that his joints made as they moved under the strain. Very rarely, a grunt or groan would issue from his mouth, but most of his effort was spent in simply enduring.

Prior to his rewiring, he had never really thought about the mechanics of crucifixion. He had always assumed that there was not much to it: a man was fixed to a cross much the same way as a butterfly was pinned to a display board. He knew now that the reality was a very different thing. His body may look still, but in truth he was constantly in motion. It was only because his range of movement was so limited that he appeared to be hardly moving at all. For all the lack of visible results, his body was actually undergoing an effort that pushed him to his limit of endurance.

At last he felt himself nearing the edge. His cock was barely up past horizontal - the blood that would have fueled an erection was needed elsewhere in his body. Still, the sensation of approaching climax was undeniable. He stretched and strained, urging himself onward. He shook his head, flicking beads of sweat off his nose and chin. He struggled upward once more on his drained legs. They collapsed out from under him only a few seconds later, but the effort had been enough.

Before, whenever he came several times in a row, the later ones were always less intense than the first one. Now, though, the opposite was true. The first orgasm was just a prelude, an appetizer before the main course, and then each successive one was stronger and lasted longer than the one before. This fourth one, when it arrived, just went on and on, leaving him light-headed and dizzy in its grip. Waves of pleasure coursed through him; his cock throbbed with painfully hard pulses, though only a few thin watery drops dribbled out of it. For all its lack of visible results, the orgasm was his most powerfully intense yet, and it went on for what felt like hours.

Afterward, back upstairs in the doctor's office, Rob wasn't quite sure what to say.

Part of him was furious, of course. All he wanted was a normal sex life, and there was no way his current condition could be described as "normal". Having sex with Sharon was out of the question. Even masturbating had become impossible. The furious part of Rob was ready to insist that the doctor put his brain back the way it was, immediately, and he would just deal with the occasional episodes of impotence. Better that than to live as the freak that Dr. Schellinger had made him into.

On the other hand, what he had just experienced downstairs had been by far the best, most satisfying, most thoroughly mind-blowing sexual encounter of his entire life.

Dr. Schellinger broke the silence.

"You will find, I think, that your response to stimuli is much stronger than it used to be. Which stimuli that you respond to, of course, are different now.

"For example, in the past, you would see the curve of a woman's breast or the sway of her hips as she walked, and a part of your brain would register that stimulus and produce a response. Now, you will find the same response is generated by the sight of a T-shaped utility pole or even a split-rail fence. You used to rub your penis a certain way to get a response; now rubbing your penis is no more inherently pleasurable than rubbing your elbow. To get the response you desire, you now must stretch your arms out to your sides or support your weight from them.

"The change was an unavoidable consequence of the procedure. Unlike in a stroke patient, where we try to restore damaged neural circuits, you already had a stimulus-response system in place for sexual expression. It worked, but poorly, and it was steadily deteriorating.

"Trying to strengthen these already-overloaded circuits might have worked, but only for a short time, perhaps a year or two. Then you would have found the problem would recur. Repeating the treatment would have had steadily less success. No, better to start from scratch, using neural systems previously unrelated to sexual function and reassigning them to a new purpose.

"Of course, it is impossible to solve the problem forever. Your brain, for whatever reason, shows a tendency to develop this saturated state. In time, you will probably begin to experience the condition again, though I would guess you have fifteen or twenty years before that happens."

There was a long silence while Rob digested Dr. Schellinger's words. Eventually, the doctor spoke again.

"In case you are wondering, it would be possible to restore your brain to nearly its previous state. You would once again respond to conventional sexual stimuli, subject to the limits of your saturated neurons. However, if you choose to do this, it would invalidate the terms of our agreement as to the research study. You would become liable for all costs incurred to date, which run upwards of $150,000. Plus the cost of the reversal treatment."

Rob chose to ignore the thinly-veiled threat. He sat and thought a good while longer. Finally he said "Fifteen or twenty years, you say?"

The doctor nodded.

"Fifteen or twenty years of good sex... well, great sex, really... but only if I get it by hanging from a cross. How exactly am I supposed to get laid, then?"

"Well, you can find your outlets for sexual expression wherever you wish, of course," the doctor said. "Although I understand that your requirements for a partner are now somewhat unconventional and that this might complicate your search. If it helps you, you are welcome to use the facilities downstairs whenever you'd like." He glanced at Rob out of the corner of his eye, then looked down to study something invisible on the nail of his thumb.

Rob stared at him intently. "I guessed that you might make that offer. And let me ask you to confirm another guess of mine: your own neural wiring just happens to be such that you get off by watching guys hang from crosses."

The doctor looked up into Rob's eyes, then smiled a knowing smile and inclined his head.

"Of course," Rob said. "Well, doctor, let me make you a proposal of my own. You say you've given me fifteen years - I'll offer you ten. For the next ten years, I'll come by here and hang from your cross whenever I feel the urge to. You can help out, you can watch me, do whatever it is that gets you off while I'm here. But ten years from now, you rewire me back to normal. By then, my 'neural circuits' should have had plenty of rest. Ten years ought to be plenty of time for overstimulated neurons to rest and recover, wouldn't you think?"

"The possibility is not unlikely..." the doctor allowed.

Rob continued. "As I think about it, I'm not at a point in my life where I really need a woman in it. I've got a career, friends to hang out with... if I'm honest with myself, the only reason I had a girlfriend was to have a steady supply of sex. But a girlfriend takes work, you know? Dinners at expensive restaurants, presents and flowers all the time, and lately she's been hinting at marriage and kids! I'm not ready for that. And if you're going to be taking care of me sex-wise, well, I just don't need the hassle.

"But ten years from now I'll be thirty-six. By then maybe I'll be ready for the whole marriage-and-family thing. And that's when you're going to rewire me back to normal. At no cost to me. Because I'm sure you wouldn't want word of the nature of your research to leak out before you're ready to publish, right? Especially since some of your methods seem... oh, how to put this? Not quite entirely aboveboard?"

Dr. Schellinger rose from his chair and offered his hand. As they shook he said, "You are a pleasure to do business with, Rob. Ten years it is. I'll draw up an addendum to our agreement and have it ready for you to sign whenever you next decide to visit. Which, for both of our enjoyment, I hope you will do soon."

The desire to get down was overwhelming. The only thing that kept him holding out was the knowledge that if he could manage to reach a fifth orgasm, the result would be worth every bit of the pain and sweat that it cost him to get there.

He glanced over to where the doctor was sitting. He hadn't been paying attention, but it was obvious that the doctor had shot at least one load of his own, probably more. He was staring up at Rob, clearly lost in rapturous examination of his sweat-sheened body, captivated by the quivering and straining of his exhausted muscles.

Rob hadn't worked up a way to bring up the topic yet, but one of these days he would have to ask Dr. Schellinger for more details about his own sexual wiring. It was, after all pretty unusual to have such an erotic interest in crucifixion. What, exactly, did get the doctor off? Was his neurology nature's handiwork, or had he perhaps tried his treatment on his own brain? Did he ever use the cross himself? How many other willing victims like Rob did he have? Were there ever any unwilling victims? So far, the cross had always been available whenever Rob had wanted it, but that was no guarantee that it would remain so. Given the nature of Dr. Schellinger's tastes, Rob could easily imagine him having half a dozen men on hand, each eager to climb up and ride the wood. Perhaps a day would come when the doctor would need two crosses in this basement room, positioned so that their occupants faced each other, each straining and struggling in his own agony and ecstasy, spraying each other instead of the walls with their loads, all while the doctor looked on.

The thought didn't really bother him. He had realized since the rewiring that he could no longer truly call himself straight since he was no longer physically attracted to women. With that realization he also lost any aversion he had had to gay sex. The idea just didn't bother him the way it used to. Of course, he himself was no more gay than he was straight. He, and any others Dr. Schellinger may have made, were in some other category entirely, at least until the ten years were up and he went back to being "normal", a prospect that became less and less appealing with each session in the basement room. Sex with Sharon had never been like this.

His leg muscles refused to work any more. He tried to force himself upward, but his legs just couldn't do it. Still, it was in the trying that he got the physical result he was looking for. His breath burned in his chest as he slowly, slowly, inched his way toward his reward. He wondered, as he forced his spent muscles through yet another strained effort, whether he would ever have the stamina to reach number six. More often than not he quit after four.

Today, though, he could already feel number five approaching. It was coming at a crawlingly slow pace, but when it finally arrived, it promised to be even more breathtaking than the one before, burning itself across his brain for a timeless infinity. When it finally ebbed away, it would leave him completely and utterly drained, unable to endure a moment longer on the cross. He figured this would probably have to be his last climax of the day - there was no way he would have the stamina to continue on to a sixth.

But then again, he thought as he inched his body closer to the brink, maybe, just maybe, he would.

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