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Note: There is a big overlap between the two viewpoints in this chapter. The differences in the two are intentional. I hope this won’t be too confusing or annoying for you.
As always, your comments are most welcome!
Blue huddled in the dark, trying not to shake too much or he would dislodge the blanket. It was too small, but he finally had it arranged to cover most of him, as long as he stayed curled up and stopped shivering it loose. For the thousandth time, Blue wondered what possessed him to come back to the town he grew up in.
He knew, in theory, what the reason was. It was seeing Harley’s sister and the way she obviously loved and cared for her brother. Seeing that, even though it meant he left the place he’d felt the safest since he was fifteen, made him long to at least catch a glimpse of his family. He knew better than to actually make contact with any of his brothers and sisters, but he wanted to see them and know they were doing well.
What a disaster. Blue sniffed and wiped at his nose. It was September now, an eternity since leaving the city and the comfort of Harley’s home. Four very long months. Those months felt even longer, at least the last ten weeks of them, because he was cooped up in this basement. Locked in without seeing the sun. Well, he could get out of the basement and go upstairs, but all the curtains were drawn and he didn’t dare open them. He also had to keep his ears open for when his captor would come home. The one time Thomas caught him, the lesson was painful and Blue learned it well.
His entire body hurt. For two weeks now Blue struggled with a cold. If he tried to stretch out, he couldn’t draw enough air into his lungs, so he stayed sitting up, leaning into the corner to keep upright. He hadn’t even been able to get up the stairs to stretch his legs for three days.
A piercing noise suddenly sounded from upstairs. Blue moaned and pressed both hands tight against his throbbing head. Oh, he hurt so much! The noise stopped quickly, but that was replaced by the sound of two men shouting at each other. One voice definitely belonged to Thomas. The other one, while vaguely familiar to Blue, was a mystery. The words were indistinct, even if they were shouted, but they were definitely angry words. One or the other of the men forgot about the alarm when they came in. Blue was as certain of that as he was that Harley was a nice man.
Harley. Blue wished he could see Harley again. The likelihood of that happening was practically non-existent. He wasn’t stupid, though. The damp conditions in the basement would only make his cold worse. It wouldn’t take long for him to develop pneumonia and he would die.
“I’ll deserve it, too,” he whispered out loud. His voice was scratchy and raw. Even the whisper made his throat burn but he considered it worth it. The more he aggravated it, the worse it would get and it would all be over sooner. “Dad was right, I deserve it all.”
As he drifted off to sleep, Blue thought about the one time he tried using the phone to get help. He dialled the police station here in town and told them he was being held against his will. The guy who answered the phone laughed and told him to stop with the prank calls. When Blue tried to insist, the man’s voice dropped to a harsh whisper. “Hang up now and I won’t tell Thomas you’re out of the basement and using the phone.”
He was stuck here until this Thomas got tired of him, or he died. Somehow, Blue figured the second option was the most likely. If he knew who Thomas was, maybe he could figure out how to get away. For all that Blue lived in this town his whole life, he couldn’t remember ever meeting this Thomas before.
The sounds the argument upstairs grew louder and Blue started from his doze and looked over. He could see a little light and the shadows of the men around the door. All of a sudden, the door crashed open and the stranger wind-milled his arms to keep from tumbling down the stairs. Blue’s attention was riveted and so was the only one who saw something slip from the man’s jacket pocket. It barely missed the stairs and fell into a box filled with old clothes.
“Fucker!” The man was obviously upset as he yelled at Thomas. “Don’t think your little ‘tutorial’ would go undiscovered if something happens to me!”
Blue took a deep breath to ask for some water, but he started coughing instead. When he was under control again, they’d already closed the door. They wouldn’t hear him, even if their argument seemed to be over. Either that or they’d moved far enough away for him not to hear it anymore. Oh well. It was unlikely that they would bring him water even if he did ask for it. They never had before.
He was almost asleep again when a thought occurred to him. A box of old clothes! God he could be so stupid sometimes! If he could drag himself over there, he could pull some of the clothes on and be warm. Even if they were dirty or full of holes, it would be better than sitting here naked with a flimsy, inadequate blanket. Thomas would take them away when poker oyna he came down, but in the meantime Blue would be almost blissfully warm. Maybe he would wait until Thomas came and left again, so he would have them on longer.
“Get up! Come on, you disgusting creature, on your feet!”
Blue would have screamed in pain at the sharp blow of a pointed boot connected with his hip, but all he managed was a raspy whimper. Thomas unerringly hit the same exact spot whenever he did this and it was now so tender that even the gentlest touch hurt terribly. The last time he sneaked a look at the spot, it was nearly black in colour.
“I can’t get up. Please, I just can’t. I need water, just a sip or two. I’m sick, so sick. I’m dizzy and can’t move at all. Water please, just a bit of water.”
“He don’t look too good there, Thomas.”
“Thank you for that brilliant observation, Gibs. I’ll just have to get myself dirty and help him up then, won’t I?” Blue squeaked in fear and agony as Thomas reached down and pulled him up by the hair. His hair was shorter than ever, the blue cut out, but Thomas still managed to grab hold. “Tell me, do you still think you like men?”
A deep cough wracked Blue’s body and he couldn’t even summon up the strength to moan at the deep pain in his chest. He tried to turn his head to spit out the phlegm that came up but couldn’t manage it. It seemed to stick in his throat, making him gag and then vomit. He hadn’t eaten in too long for much to come up and his throat and chest burned from the bile.
Thomas cursed and dropped him, waiting until the fit passed before leaning forward and asking the question again. Blue knew what he should answer. He should just say that he didn’t find men attractive at all, that he’d been mistaken about his preferences, and this would all be over. Exactly how it would be over he didn’t know, but at least it would be over. That would be the smart thing to do, but Blue couldn’t gather his thoughts enough to be smart.
“Well, I certainly don’t like you any.”
The blows to Blue’s head and body didn’t really register. As he slipped into darkness, he smiled when he saw Harley waiting for him. Oh, the man was so handsome! Harley took Blue gently in his arms and held him, driving away the memory of pain and cold and fear. This was such a wonderful feeling. Blue barely remembered what it was to feel happy and safe, with no worrying about when Thomas would come down and how badly Thomas would beat him.
Slowly and carefully, Harley helped him lie down on the bed that suddenly appeared. Blue wondered for a moment how Harley got the bed into the small, dank basement, but figured it wasn’t important. What was important was that it was here and it was so very comfortable.
Just when Blue thought he couldn’t feel any better, Harley began to stroke his cheek. The touch was so soft that he barely felt it and turned to push into the gentle hand. Lips pressed to his, tentatively at first and, when the kiss was welcome, more firmly. Blue immediately opened up and invited the tongue to sweep inside. This was his first real kiss, a kiss that was more than just a quick press of two mouths together.
Hot skin pressed to his when Harley joined him on the bed. When had Harley taken his clothes off? Blue was sure that Harley was dressed when he first saw him, and they hadn’t parted since then. It didn’t matter. All that mattered at the moment was feeling all that warmth along his body. With hesitation, since his father and, more recently, Thomas reviled this part of his nature, Blue ran his hand over Harley’s shoulder and down his back. The muscles rippled beneath his fingers, causing his stomach to clench with something he didn’t easily recognize.
Want. Desire. Lust.
How could anyone think this was wrong? Pleasure coursed through his body, racing through his veins and making his blood sing. No, this wasn’t wrong. Nothing had ever been so right before. This was what he was made for, to give and receive this level of sensation.
Doubts began to crowd into his head, cutting through the cotton wrapped around his brain for the past few days. Blue didn’t worry about whether this was right or wrong, never that, but about sharing with this particular man. He moaned from disappointment, even as he pushed against the strong, broad shoulders above him.
“Harley, I’m sorry.”
“What about, Lovely? Talk to me.”
“You’re so beautiful, inside and out, but I’m not. The things I did before you found me were not things good people usually do. Then there’s the fact that I’m so scrawny and bony. I haven’t eaten very much since Thomas took me and nothing at all for nearly a week. You deserve so much better, and I know I don’t deserve you.”
Harley cut him off with a deep kiss. “Hush. You are very beautiful. I might not like what you did before, exchanging blowjobs for services, but it was the situation you were in. If you had enough money, you never would have done that. Would you?”
“No,” Blue admitted. When he would have continued, a single canlı poker oyna finger pressed against his lips.
“As for your body, it is beautiful. You’re a little thin, and I’ll do what I can to fix that when I get you home again, but still beautiful. Let me show you.”
Blue gasped when Harley’s mouth pressed against his neck, hot tongue flicking out. From there Harley moved down to his chest, tasting him every few seconds. Whispered words of admiration and praise pressed into Blue’s skin, and he understood them even if they were barely audible.
He cried out in surprise when Harley sucked at his nipple. That felt…he didn’t know men could be so sensitive in their nipples. In his limited experience, he thought only women were made to feel pleasure from that kind of intimate caress. His breath came in panting gasps, but it had nothing to do with stress or fear.
When Harley finished with his sensitive nubs, after an eternity that didn’t last nearly long enough, he licked down the center of Blue’s chest to his navel. Everything Harley did pushed Blue into a higher state of arousal. Just when Blue was sure that Harley was going to touch his hard prick, Harley diverted, his mouth to Blue’s thighs and his hands around to hold Blue’s ass.
“God, please, Harley. Please, please, please!”
“Oh my lovely, I can’t. You’ve never been made love to and I can only do to you what you already know, either from someone else or what you’ve done to yourself.”
Blue frowned and looked into Harley’s pale blue eyes. “I don’t understand. I’ve never kissed anyone. Nobody’s ever touched my nipples or licked my skin either.”
“Those things are easy to imagine,” Harley answered, leaning down for a deep, drugging kiss. “Your mind won’t let me touch your cock, even now when you seem to really want it. Have you ever touched yourself, Blue?”
“I-I’ve wanted to, since I met you, but not before. When those men beat me, one of them hit me, um, there. The studs from the belt caused some damage and I don’t often get hard, even if I want to.” Red stained Blue’s cheeks as realization struck. “That’s why you won’t touch me. Because I’ve been damaged and I’m not worth it.”
“No, Lovely, no. That isn’t it at all. I don’t care about…”
Blue pushed away the weight that suddenly crushed the air from his chest. “It’s all right, I understand, I really do. Let me go and leave me alone.”
“We’ll talk when we’re together again. I can’t address these issues as a figment of your imagination.” Blue looked at the other man, perplexed at the words. He couldn’t fathom what Harley meant. “You’re alone and sick, Blue, and you’re imagining me. You have to get to the clothes you saw before and put some on. Then you have to call me. Call me so I know to come and get you. Promise me.”
He was dreaming? That couldn’t be right
The memories of Thomas and being sick crashed back over him and he opened his eyes on a gasp, which made him cough again. In the light of the small lamp across the basement, he saw that the mess he coughed up was dark. Blood? It wasn’t light enough to be sure. It was likely, though.
Compelled by Harley’s, the dream Harley’s, suggestion, Blue struggled into a seated position. Moving was almost too painful and he cried. His bones hurt and his chest felt like it was full of murky water. New bruises and cuts adorned his body from the latest beating. I should have just told Thomas what he wanted to hear, Blue thought glumly to himself.
He knew why he didn’t, but every time it became harder to remember why. It was because even if he did lie about his sexual preferences, Thomas wouldn’t let him go. How could he? Blue would identify him and report his behaviour. Therefore, one way or the other, Thomas would end up killing him. It might be quicker if Blue did what Thomas wanted, but he would still be dead.
Maybe that was for the best. His entire life, he was a disappointment. To his parents, to his brothers and sisters, and to everyone he’d encountered after leaving. No. He couldn’t think like that. Even if Thomas killed him, or if what he now suspected was pneumonia killed him, Blue had to try and get away.
Blue gathered his determination around him and crawled, inch by slow inch, towards the stairs and the box of clothes tucked around the side. His entire body trembled with pain and fatigue by the time he reached it. A quick glance up showed that it was dark upstairs. Not a bit of light showed through the cracks around the door. If not for the little lamp Thomas left on downstairs, it would be pitch black.
The first thing he pulled out of the box was a short-sleeved shirt and he struggled into it. More shirts came out and Blue despaired of finding anything else. Finally a pair of pants, too big but warm, came to hand. As he reached back inside, hoping to find a sweater or something with long sleeves, his fingertips brushed against something hard. Blue almost pushed it aside, until his curiosity go the better of him.
A cell phone.
The memory of Harley’s instructions, internet casino to get the clothes and then call him, floated into his head. Gently he laid the phone down beside him and returned to the box. First things first, he thought. A nice, thick sweater or jacket to get warm and then he could think about making a call. Blue found both down at the very bottom of the box and blissfully put them on.
Halfway across the basement, Blue paused and blinked. Everything seemed to waver and tilt. The spot where his blanket waited for him first became larger than life then retreated until it seemed to be a mile away. Panting through his mouth for a bit, eyes closed, helped a little, although it felt like his entire body was spinning. Blue only opened his eyes to a slit when he felt able to move again, but he changed direction to settle directly beneath the window. His corner looked filthy and he couldn’t make himself go there to rest.
“I have to call Harley. Harley asked me to call him when I got dressed. Th-the number is…is… Oh fuck, I know the number.” Blue remembered memorizing the number, even though he didn’t intend to dial it at the time. “Damn, Harley, help me.”
In his mind’s eye, Blue imagined the moment when Harley wrote the number on a sheet of paper and stuck it to the front of the refrigerator. A little bit of concentration was all it took for those numbers to nearly glow. New shivers and shakes almost caused Blue to fumble and drop the phone.
Two rings, then three rings, sounded in Blue’s ear and he wondered it Harley would even answer the phone. Maybe it was the middle of the night and his friend was asleep. Harley slept deeply and it probably wouldn’t wake him up. Did Blue dare keep the phone nearby and try again later? If he kept the phone, Thomas might find it when he came down.
Blue started to hang up when he heard a voice at the other end. “Hello? Who is this?”
“Harley, it’s Blue. You told me to get some clothes and call you so I did, but it was so hard.” Blue mixed up his dream with reality, too relieved to care much that he wasn’t making sense. A sob broke free, and he coughed deep and long, his chest seemingly filled with stabbing knives.
“Blue? Tell me where you are, you sound terrible.”
“I’m still down in the basement. Thomas won’t let me go, you know. I can’t get up the stairs anymore, but I found the clothes like you told me.” There was something important Blue needed to say and his increasing incoherence made it difficult to think. “I wanted to see my family. I didn’t let them see me, though, because Dad doesn’t want that. Thomas wants me to tell a lie and I can’t do that. I might die from being sick, but I won’t let him kill me by telling a lie.”
Blue let himself slide down to the floor, his head almost missing the arm that wasn’t holding the phone. Harley’s voice floated around him, and he fought to focus. “Can you tell me exactly where? Can you call the police?”
“I don’t know, just the basement. Near the Welcome sign, I think. I called the police already. The man there told me if I stopped using the phone, he wouldn’t tell Thomas I was out of the basement. The alarms on the door hurt my head, Harley. I hurt everywhere. I think I’ll take a nap now.”
“No! Blue, please, stay with me. What town are you in? I don’t think you ever told me where you came from.” Harley sounded so worried that Blue wanted to do all he could to make things better.
“Loughton Springs. Our farm is to the north of town, on Parker Range, to the right of the highway. I don’t think I can go to work today. I’m very sick you know and I’m dying, too. It’s not so bad, this dying thing. I just wish it didn’t hurt so much. I love you, Harley. You’re the only friend I have.”
It felt so wonderful to say those words, especially since he meant them. Blue couldn’t hear the words Harley spoke anymore, but whenever there was a pause in the voice coming through the phone, he repeated them. I love you. I love you. I love you.
Harley slowly blinked his eyes and squinted at the alarm clock. It was just past midnight. He sighed as he remembered the dream that woke him up a scant two hours after falling asleep. It started out with the promise of being a nice erotic fantasy, featuring Blue as all his fantasies did lately, but it quickly turned a bit strange.
In the dream, Blue stood before him, bathed in deep shadows and weaving slightly on his feet. Harley smiled and gathered the smaller body close to his, holding on gently in case he frightened the young man. It was wonderful when Blue melted against him with a sigh. Harley frowned at the way those ribs seemed even more pronounced than the first time the two met.
The trembling continued and so Harley helped Blue onto the bed to rest comfortably and began touching him. He brushed the backs of his fingers against the soft cheek, feeling how the growth of beard was silky rather than scratchy as his own usually was. Blue pushed into the touch, sighing softly once again, so responsive to the slightest bit of affection. Harley couldn’t resist leaning in for a kiss, just a touch at first to give Blue a chance to back off, and then deeper. His cock started to swell when Blue opened up and allowed Harley’s tongue inside.
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