30. So just

chapter 30

Misha held the phone in his trembling hand and looked helplessly at Joni’s belongings that were spread across the room. Chris had called from an unknown number, Joni was alive. Now Joni’s terrified voice repeated in his mind over and over again. I come home. I love you. Not goodbye. His whole being felt heavy, a weight on his chest that tightened. Chris’s words… It had happened, it had been done. Chris had raped Joni and until they would find them…

Misha dropped the phone. ”Ya… nazad domoy…” Back home. Joni hadn’t given up and he had to focus on that. At the same time, Chris’s words echoed in his consciousness. ”I fucked him, properly and hard…”

Misha got up and shouted, he kicked a chair beside him and pushed it aside. A rage that was hard to control rushed inside him. That helplessness, he couldn’t stand it. Chris was able to do whatever he wanted to Joni, two men with guns… And the authorities still hadn’t been able to track them down, it was too slow.

”Misha, are you okay?” Ivo’s voice asked from the doorway. Misha turned to look at his brother and only then did he wake up from the fog of his rage. And he felt breathless, helpless, weak! – He wasn’t used to those feelings. He was not used to crying in front of others and even now he tried his best to avoid it. However, tears burned in his eyes, it was hard… It was so damn… painful.

”Misha?” Ivo asked again and Misha simply shook his head.

”Hell, I’m not okay! That asshole called… ” Misha started and drew a deep breath trying in vain to control his painful emotions. ”I cannot help! Joni is out there, and I can’t help him! That asshole is raping him and I can’t help it! ” Misha repeated. ”The cops are useless! Hell! Fucking hell!”

Ivo felt almost as helpless, he wanted to comfort Misha, but didn’t know how. What could be said in this situation? He came closer, touching his brother’s shoulder. ”Hey, we’ll get through this.” He spoke. ”Joni will survive, he will.” He wanted desperately to believe it. Misha gritted his teeth and moved further away, swallowing tears that threatened to emerge. He wanted to focus on the anger, had to act.

”I’ll call the cops, maybe they’ll find out the call details.” He decided and took his phone. He didn’t want to think about what Chris had said he had done, yet it haunted his thoughts, trying to push him somewhere deep, to a place he didn’t want to go. The number was probably a prepaid, still, Misha hoped. Maybe somehow, they could figure out where the call had come from?

Ivo sighed; Jami had wondered if he should tell Misha that he knew Aki. However, Ivo didn’t see that it would help. Misha was in a state of mind that looked for culprits and causes for this insanity and might easily find it from Jami when the real culprits weren’t around. Ivo had advised his partner to speak only to the authorities. Misha did not benefit from the information.

Joni wasn’t sure how much time had passed when the steps moved closer, and the door opened. Even though he had been prepared for who might step in, he still felt the pressure of horror as the newcomer was confirmed. Aki.

The man smiled, held the gun in his hand, and stepped in, closing the door behind him. ”Chris decided to give us a moment alone. Maybe then you will learn?”

Joni stood up shakily, he felt anger looming in his cut intertwined with fear. Aki saw it, saw the rage behind Joni’s eyes and found the spectrum of emotions intriguing. He stopped, leaving a small distance between them, and tilted his head. ” I’ve been waiting for this.” He spoke. ”I think you’re the ten I’ve been looking for, but I haven’t quite gotten into yet. And believe me I’ve had plenty of tries.”

Aki approached and at the same time Joni took a few steps back. He didn’t want to believe Chris would allow this; a huge wave of despair swept through him.

”You’ll get caught! The police are already after you! You murdered a man!” Joni exclaimed. Would the authorities find them? – His mind doubted, though he so desperately wanted to believe that they would…At the same time he understood, and the realisation was painful; they wouldn’t come here in time to stop this. No one would come. Joni felt tears rising in his eyes as he began to realize what was ahead and how powerless he was in front of it. Aki smiled.

” I’ve always wanted to know how it feels. To kill another person, I mean and… Do you want to know?”

” You’re sick!” Joni exclaimed. Aki didn’t startle, he shook his shoulders indifferently.

” Perhaps.” He admitted and pointed the gun to him. Joni felt disgust run through him, which made his whole being shiver. ”Do you remember when we first met?” Aki asked, but Joni didn’t reply. He remembered, more clearly now after Jyri had told him who Aki was and that they had met. ”I think you remember.” Aki said. ”Even then you fascinated me, but I would have plucked you too early, way too early. This Joni, this is fate. Well, if you believe in that sort of thing. My grandmother always talked about fate and today, I think I believe in it as well.”

Joni shook his head and glanced to the door. Chris allowed this. Chis would let this happen. Joni had no more room to back away. Aki was close and lifted his shirt with the barrel. Joni closed his eyes, he felt dizzy. This didn’t happen, this wasn’t real.

He gritted his teeth and tried to fight back the tears.

” Damn boy,” Aki breathed and lifted the shirt up even more. With his free hand he caressed Joni’s abs. ”You’ve done good work…” Joni held his breath, he could feel the first tears falling, he could hear his own heartbeat.

Aki slid his hand lower to the waist of his pants. ”Beautiful.” The man said. ”Many consider a woman’s body to be more beautiful and it has its sides, I admit. But… a beautifully trained body of a young man… there is something… something a woman’s body cannot compare to… ”

The gun pressed against his stomach, the tears now slowly pouring down from his eyes, it was impossible to hold them. Aki tilted his head. ”And that face…” The man moved his hand and brushed Joni’s cheeks and lips with his fingers. Joni moved his head aside, eyes closed. ”Handsome, vain, rich boy… Do you know how many would be willing to pay just to be able to humiliate and use someone like you?” Aki grabbed his hair roughly. ”Look at me!” Joni opened his eyes reluctantly and Aki smiled.

” I’ll pay you… Just let me go home…” Joni begged, and Aki looked at him as though he was considering it.

”How much?”

”All I got… I can transfer the money to you, whatever, just please, let me go home.”

”I already called your daddy, let’s see if he pays. Two hundred thousand, I think it’s quite reasonable sum. He has four days.”

”How could my father get that sum in that short time?!” Joni asked nervously.

”That’s only a quarter or less of the value of your house.” Aki smiled. ”I think you have property too, but I don’t think there is enough of it for me.” Joni looked at the man in shock. Aki caressed his face with his hand. ”Instead… I could sell you to the highest bidder. A benevolent, beautiful, 21-year-old Nordic model boy… The trouble of kidnapping already taken care of, for a good price I could transport you to the place… What do you think? Those pictures of you have already aroused a lot of interest. We could take more of them.” Aki whispered in his ear and nibbled at his earlobe.

His father’s worries and imagination had often felt ridiculous. ”You’re so over protective, none of my friends have such strict parents!” He had shaken his head after his father had given him strict times when to be home and required him to keep his phone on.

Even this… could his father ever have imagined this? And the fact that Chris had let Aki here, to do this… His breathing was shaky, he looked at the man’s face and Aki smiled as if reading his restless thoughts.

”Believe it or not, I would find a buyer. Easily.”

Joni felt nausea in the bottom of his stomach. The man teased him, that’s all. Stuff like that didn’t happen, not to men, not to him. He shook his head.

”C-Chris won’t allow it,” he said but his voice lacked the certainty he wanted.

”No?” Aki tilted his head. ”You deceived him. The fate of a whore for a whore, right?” Aki smirked maliciously and Joni lowered his gaze. Aki wiped the tears from his face. ”Well, now, don’t fret, you might even enjoy it.” The man spoke with fake comfort in his tone. ”Or you better pray that Daddy pays quickly.” Aki smiled, took a step back and looked at him lustfully.

”You have too many clothes on.” The man stated. ”Undress.” Joni didn’t want to obey. Aki raised a gun at his temple. ”I’m not kidding.” He spoke. ”You don’t want to play roulette with me, do you? Have you ever played Russian roulette?”

Joni’s throat tightened, forcing himself to face Aki’s gaze. The words clung to his throat. He did not want to die and at that moment he was in a helpless lower hand.

”Well?” Aki asked again and tilted his head as he loaded the gun.

”No.” Jon managed to say. He closed his eyes, the horror, the fear… it sickened him. His legs were weak, and he leaned against the wall to get support.

”No, what?” Aki smiled.

”I don’t want to play.”

”I guessed so.” Aki nodded and lowered the gun from his temple. ”Strip.” He said more calmly.

Joni’s heart was still beating wildly, and he was crying, feeling angry at the same time. He took off his shirt with trembling hands, avoiding Aki’s gaze.

”Good…” The voice was hoarse, lecherous… ”Beautiful… Take off your pants.”

Joni looked at the door. Chris didn’t come. Chris really let Aki do this? Things like this didn’t really happen, this wasn’t real, surely it had to be a nightmare. Why didn’t he wake up already? ”Strip!” He turned his gaze to Aki standing in front of him holding the gun.

Joni stripped to his underwear, which made the man smile. ”Good… For now, it’s enough… Take that chair and sit down.”

Joni went through the few options he had, wondering how ready Aki would be to shoot him to death before he got what he wanted. Aki wanted a ransom from him, and it wouldn’t work if he was dead. Aki also wanted… Joni swallowed. Aki could shoot so he would survive but be permanently injured and after that…

Joni humbled himself and slowly sat down where Aki wanted him. He wanted to survive, and it was becoming more and more clear that Chris was his only chance, and that chance was shrinking so very thin already. Understanding brought tears back into his eyes.

Aki placed the handcuffs that locked his wrist to the chair. He felt a new wave of anger squeezing his insides, this time the anger was directed at himself. What good was it to endure moments ahead just to survive? What life would it be after all this was done? Did he really put all his hopes on the man who had brought him into this situation? Who had caused this? His thoughts were a mess, running in different directions. His hands were shackled, and Aki circled him slowly like the predator he was, with a satisfied grin glued on his face.

His heart was pounding. The man stopped behind him and brushed his neck, advancing on his shoulders. Aki had lowered his gun and caressed him with both hands. Joni jerked his hands uselessly which made the man laugh. ”This power excites me… This has been my fantasy. And somehow… When you do it for another man… Hm… Somehow, the success and that power is even more delicious. I think if we struggled without a gun, I might even lose to you… Your body excites me, turns me on like no other… ”Aki whispered in his ear while sliding his hands feeling the muscles of his arms … Joni gritted his teeth, Aki wanted him to react, and Joni didn’t want to give him that satisfaction.

” It’s not about getting someone into my home, it’s easy… Those young boys, a man’s beginnings… Those boys carved from the same tree, boys that have too loud a voice, shriek, annoying voice, you know the type? In the eyes of such, I am the man they dream of, I take the reins… Strong, even handsome, determined. Yes, getting sex is easy, from both sexes. At times, however, their whining irritates me so that I bind their mouths. ”Aki took a short pause before continuing. ”You don’t whine… You scream, moan and you roar … It’s fucking exciting… You’re a delicacy not so easily available.”

Joni felt cold, unpleasant shivers run through him. Aki’s hands were on him, his fingers brushing the skin of his nipples. Anger grew, the man pressed his lips to his neck and inhaled deeply. ”I smell Chris on your skin…” Joni closed his eyes, wanting to escape even in his mind. At the same time, that burning sensation in his chest grew. Was he going to give up without a fight? Without even trying to stop this from happening. He could die today or later. He might survive and get home, but would he ever be able to get over it if he hadn’t even tried to fight now? Surrendering with Chris had been calculated in a situation where options were scarce, but by surrendering he had hoped to avoid this, to avoid Aki.

”By the way, I fucked Jami as well, did you know?” Joni froze and Aki smiled to himself as he noticed it. ”I guess he didn’t, huh? Well, it’s no surprise really, since I don’t think he remembers much about it. Unfortunately, I had to drug him. Before that, though, he talked a lot! I found out you were traveling here with that Russkie of yours, I got your new number and Misha and Ivo’s numbers, ”Aki laughed. ”I guess I almost ruined their relationship at the same time?” The man teased. ”I would rather have taken him awake, wrestled with him properly, and…”

Joni roared in frustration and rage. He jumped abruptly to his feet, holding on to the chair while quickly twisting himself to hit Aki sideways with it. It was reckless, but it had come as a surprise to Aki too, who fell by the force of the hit.

At that moment, Joni didn’t feel any pain, he didn’t think about it, there was no time to think. He did not feel the heaviness of the chair. Aki lay on his back on the ground and groped for his gun. Joni trampled on the man’s hand, momentarily dropping his entire weight on the leg that made the man roar in pain. Without thinking further, Joni kicked the gun farther away. The gun slid on the floor and Joni knew there was no way he could get it as his hand was still locked to the chair that he was carrying on his back which forced him to a stoop position. Maybe the chair could be broken? He tried to hit the chair a few times against the table, frustrated as Aki began to get up to reach for the gun. Joni rushed again towards the man who was prepared this time and dodged at just the right moment, then easily pushed him over.

They were both out of breath. Joni lay sideways on the floor with the chair and could no longer get up. He felt like a turtle that had fallen on his back.

Aki was on his feet, levelling his breath and looking at him. The man smiled. Frustrated, Joni tried to roll himself up again and again to get to his knees, but it just didn’t work. Eventually he gasped in pain and fatigue, saw the gun farther away. ”I’ve never been so turned on.” Aki said and walked calmly towards the gun.

His body ached. Tears flowed down on his cheeks as Joni tried to gather strength to make himself move, to act, to do anything to save himself! Aki came closer. He bowed beside him and opened the handcuffs before moving the chair away.

The hand brushed his naked back tenderly, but Joni knew that the tenderness was just teasing before the violence. He forced himself to straighten on his knees and Aki was there next to him, touching him with softness that didn’t suit him. With a smile that was too gentle to be genuine.

Aki had the gun in his hand and slowly he snapped the handcuff onto his left wrist. ”Did you like the pages I made for you? Think about how your fans would enjoy the pictures of you completely submissive? Like this?”

”Don’t do this…” Joni begged, his voice was hoarse and powerless. He hated to beg and at the same time, even though he knew there would be no help, he knew it was the only thing he could do anymore. He didn’t look at the man but guessed he was smiling.

”What?” Aki asked. ”Touch you? Take pictures of you? Yes, I will do both. Right now, I’m going to fuck you.” Aki dragged him in front of the bed and locked the other end of the cuffs onto the bed post, so that his right hand remained free. Joni was on his knees in front of the bed, swallowing his tears and pride. Aki got up.

”Look here.” The man ordered. Joni turned his gaze reluctantly and the man took a picture. ”Well… you can do better…” Aki said, and Joni hoped he could kill him with his gaze. The man smiled. ”Perfect.” He spoke. ”I could post this on your site.” The man teased and Joni roared in frustration, uselessly trying to pull himself free, causing the bed to jerk on the floor.

Aki grinned. ”Don’t get mad now, this is a sexy picture of you… Could open any kind of doors in the modelling world or… well in some other markets. ”

Joni’s chest tightened. Who knew maybe Aki was so fucked up as to post the pictures? And that thought was crushing, threatening to kill his entire future. He could never burry this… This would never be left behind… And that despair seemed to suffocate him and he humbled himself in front of it. Maybe Chris wanted him to beg?

”Chris!” He shouted. ”Chris, please!”

Aki was by his side. ”Do you think Chris is interested anymore?” The man pressed him against the bed which felt strangely soft under him. The sounds seemed to come from somewhere far away and he felt unreal. Aki’s hot breath on his skin, the man ripped his underwear down harshly. Joni closed his eyes, squeezing them tightly. It would happen… It would happen… the rustle of clothes, the buckling of a belt buckle. Aki gasped in his ear and Joni heard himself crying again for Chris’s help.

His mouth was dry. Chris slowly raised his head and felt his head aching. It was difficult to understand the situation at first. On the table in front of him was an almost empty bottle of whiskey and a glass. The bumps from a distance seemed to cause a greater pain to his head. Vague shout. Repeating bumps. Chris growled in dissatisfaction until he began to perceive the situation and remember what had happened.

He heard his name be called, at first it was quiet, muted almost and he wasn’t entirely sure if he heard it correctly. ”Chris, please!” It was definitely clearer. Joni’s voice, filled with anguish and terror. This was followed by Aki’s laughter,

He cursed, got up a little unbalanced.

He had known that it was a mistake to include Aki! His heart rate picked up, Chris didn’t like the situation and realized that he was afraid of what Aki was doing to Joni. Aki had been waiting for him to fall asleep knowing he wouldn’t have accepted this.

Emotions arose that had been under all that anger, subjugated by jealousy. Those feelings that had wanted to be good and affectionate. Those who would have preferred to be a hero rather than the villain he had become. Chris checked that he had a gun and he hurried to the room.

”What do you think you’re doing?” Chris asked intently when he saw the situation. Aki was on Joni, Joni was against the bed, naked, his left wrist shackled to the bed rail. The whole situation looked so much uglier now that it was seen from the outside instead of being the one doing it. Chris didn’t feel that what he had done to Joni himself was anything like this. He aimed the gun at the other man. ”Up!” He commanded.

Aki looked at him with some contempt until he smiled diagonally. ”Drop your gun and join the company.” He spoke. ”This is the revenge you so desperately wanted when we were in prison. Revenge on the traitor.”

”I didn’t accept this; I didn’t accept your solo!” Chris growled. ”Up!” He commanded again.

Joni’s heart pounded. The unpleasant heat of Aki’s body parted a little from him.

The hand that had held his right arm against the bed at the same time released its grip. Joni shivered from cold, he was trembling. He turned his head carefully. Chris stood in the doorway of the room holding a gun aimed at Aki. ”Don’t be ridiculous. What did you imagine happening here? Of course, I want my part in the action. Put down your gun, Chris.”

The air felt suffocating, the tension seemed to float heavy in the air and Joni heard his every breath. Chris hadn’t accepted this, Aki had lied. But why had Chris only come now? … Because he had been drinking too much. A voice whispered in his mind. Aki had taken the opportunity.

The two men were silent, staring at each other. Joni straightened carefully. Glancing at his side carefully he saw Aki’s hand resting on the handle of his weapon, ready to pull it out. One of them would die. Joni found himself thinking and he barely dared to breathe. It shouldn’t be Chris. Then hope would be lost. Game would be over for him as well. Aki would carry out his threat, nothing would stop the man.

He prayed in his mind that Chris would shoot, he prayed that the man would not be too drunk to hit. At that moment, the fervour with which he hoped Aki’s death was startling. At another moment, that fervour would have felt wrong. Now, now Joni knew how much was at stake. His life as much as Chris’.

Aki’s attention was entirely on Chris and Joni guessed that the man could pull out the gun at any moment and the fact was, that despite the current set-up, Aki would more likely hit Chris than the other way around.

”Well?” Aki asked. ”I’m going to fuck your whore. Are you joining me or are you going to shoot me?” The man asked and seemed far too smug and confident about his position. Joni had a bad idea. Chris growled in rage. Joni heard the man pulling the trigger and it hit empty, Aki laughed. ”Do you think I would have been so stupid as to have left bets on your gun when you went out? However, I wanted to give you a chance. Too bad you disappointed me.”

Something had to be done! Aki picked up the gun and at the same time Joni roared suddenly and as load as he could to make the man’s concentration slip. Joni took the risk and grabbed the man’s hand that held the gun and pointed it sideways from Chris, so the shot passed. ”Do something!” He shouted and Chris somehow managed to wake from his shock. By the time Aki struck Joni’s face with his free hand to get his grip loosen on his hand, Chris had already come close and hit him with the back of his gun.

Aki exclaimed loudly and cursed. Joni felt a blur in his eyes. Everything happened quickly. He heard Chris hit Aki again. Knock against the floor when the gun dropped. Joni held his right hand on his cheek which Aki had hit. He saw through the haze as Chris grabbed the gun.

”Chris, I wasn’t serious…” He heard Aki say. Chris didn’t answer. The first shot. Its bang was left ringing in his ears. Aki roared and moaned in pain; he was on his knees on the floor. The gunpowder hovered in the air. Joni saw Aki trying in vain to stop the leak in his stomach that quickly stained his shirt. Chris’s expression was cold as he fired the gun again. This time the bullet hit Aki’s chest, the man fell to the floor and the smash that his body made when hitting the floor seemed to echo in the room. Joni closed his eyes. The last sickening sounds from Aki’s lips before deathly silence settled in the room for a moment.

Aki was dead. And Joni felt… He felt unreal. He opened his eyes to see if he had just imagined everything. Aki’s body lay on the wooden floor and blood flowed from open wounds between the floorboards. He could hear his heartbeat in his ears. Everything could have ended differently. Everything could have ended up really much worse. It was hard to breathe, he was crying and laughing at the same time even though there was nothing funny in the situation. And he didn’t really know if he was more horrified, upset, or even relieved, perhaps all of it?

Chris looked at his accomplice’s body on the floor, the gun still feeling hot in his hand. He felt strangely sober now, though he still had to be drunk, surely it couldn’t just disappear. Chris swallowed, securing the gun before putting it on his belt. He was a murderer — the thought hit his conscious. He did not repent Aki’s death; he regretted the events that had led to this. He regretted his own stupidity and the fact that he had let Aki influence him. He regretted that he had allowed Aki to participate despite all his doubts. This was final and couldn’t be fixed. Before long, the cops would find them, and it would be foolish to imagine anything else.

Chris felt his heart pound. He didn’t know how to proceed, and he felt nervous as the reality began to dawn more and more clearly. The options that had been narrow in the begin with were even more so now. Chris glanced at Joni, who was sitting on the floor and seemed more or less in a state shock.

What had he done? Why hadn’t he listened to his instinct that hesitated to include Aki?

Chris took the blanket off the bed and dropped it on Joni’s shoulders. For a moment, Joni looked up at him. Those eyes… He remembered the happy days of the beginning when he had just stared at Joni’s face, drowned himself in the warmth of his eyes, and wanted to cling to the feeling of happiness that had always been shaky in his life. He had wanted to own Joni completely, without giving a piece to others. He was so afraid of losing that happiness again that….

Chris swallowed, now that gaze that had been so open, mischievous, and full of life before, now… Now he saw pain, fear, and shock written in those eyes he loved. And he, he had brought that fear.

Chris wanted to be able to fix it. If Joni still cared… Hadn’t Joni just saved his life? Maybe… Maybe they could just hide though? And he could be gentler? He could heal and leave the violence behind. They would be together, hiding from the world. If there was even a small chance? Because that other option…was death… he would no longer go to jail. That much was for certain.

”I’ll look for the key.” Chris said quietly and swallowed as he walked over to the corpse. His hands trembled as he examined Aki’s pockets. Had to calm down, everything would be sorted out somehow, there had to be a place to hide? And they could be with Joni, just the two of them… Maybe with time all this could be forgotten? Finding the key to the handcuffs, Chris glanced at Joni, who stared at the body almost expressionless and pale. He would be gentler… He would show Joni that he could be a better man again, better than he had been. He wasn’t ready to give up, not yet.


A/N: Who’s relieved that Aki’s dead?

Chapter 31



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