Betad by: Charity
Jean filled his glass; he could feel himself trembling and hoped the other men wouldn’t pay attention to it. He gritted his teeth hearing Michael’s desperate, pained cries from the next room, he wanted nothing more than to escape from them but couldn’t.
Every cry stabbed his insides and made him painfully regretful of that drunken decision to contact Ricky.
The other men in the room were not affected by the cries the same way. There was sickening laughter, sickening glint in their eyes, eager to have their turn. Hungry wolves waiting for their chance to take part in the feast.
Jean had no choice but to sit there, forcing himself to grin and raise his glass when meeting the gazes of the other wolves. He was part of it, he was one of them, reluctant but the one who set this nightmare in motion. He hadn’t thought Ricky would include this many men and he had to admit that the situation wasn’t looking good. At least two men had a gun hanging on their belts.
That disbelieving pained gaze from Michael, when he had realized that he was a part of this, haunted his awareness now. It intervened with the sickening memories of the night that Sebastian met his end. It brought back some of the details he had previously managed to block from his consciousness. This really could be the end for them both.
Eventually, Michael’s cries subsided, and the silence felt equally terrifying. The door to the room opened, and Ricky stood in the doorway in his underwear.
“Jean,” he smiled. ”Your turn.” He said that Jean knew that this was a test and that he was afraid he would fail.
However, he smiled and nodded, emptied his glass, and got up, swallowing thickly. He had to reconnect with his anger and rage. He focused his thoughts on Michael’s betrayal, how he had come and collected his belongings with Sam. He thought about how long they had been flirting behind his back. He had to gather the anger and bitterness to do what Ricky expected him to do. There could be no tenderness nor affection, no remorse to be seen.
Jean stepped into the room. Michael, who had been half over the bed, moved painfully to his knees onto the floor and tried to get up to his feet. The younger man looked back at him, tearful eyes filled with pain, that ached Jean’s heart. His cheek was red, his upper lip cracked, and Jean gritted his teeth forcing the pain and remorse away once more.
“Don’t go anywhere yet,” he spoke in a tight tone, that sounded like a stranger’s voice in his ears.
He came behind Michael, grasped him harshly, and forced him back against the bed. The situation didn’t arouse him, he felt terrible. Ricky was there watching, paying attention to every detail. He had to do this, or all hope would be gone for them both.
Jean silenced his emotions, those that didn’t want to hurt Michael this way in front of Ricky’s watchful eyes. He imagined them alone in that room, tried to push the blame on Michael’s shoulders, he needed that anger. There was no room for tenderness, he reminded himself, not now.
He slapped Michael’s buttocks and the younger man whimpered beneath him. He opened his pants, grinding against the unwilling body to make himself hard. Michael struggled, but his struggle was weak, mostly he just cried. Desperately, exhausted, knowing he was already defeated.
“Why Jean… Why…” The voice was broken. And hearing it pained his insides, Jean couldn’t stand that guilt. For a moment he pressed Michael’s face against the mattress, just to silence him. When he let go, Michael gasped for breath.
“I warned you… you asked for this,” Jean hissed, irritated by the whole situation he found himself in.
He would have protected Michael; everything would have been fine if Michael had not betrayed him with Sam. They could have been happy. Michael had chosen this, not him.
He gathered all the bottled-up anger, focused on it, and managed to block out for a moment the awareness Ricky was standing behind them and looking. Eventually, he rammed inside Michael, the younger man cried out in pain. Jean wouldn’t have wanted to hear his screams. He brought his other hand in front of Michael’s mouth to silence him. He shut his mind, and focused on his anger, moving with it, again and again, until reaching his orgasm.
When he pulled out, the sickening feeling of his crime filled him. Michael was there, sobbing quietly, his abused body shivering in front of him. He could not let sympathy take over. Jean got up and spat on Michael’s back, the young man wouldn’t understand it, but it was merely for Ricky’s sake. The older man needed to be convinced that he had no sympathy, no affection, no regret.
“You brought this on yourself, whore,” he spat the words that sickened him further.
Ricky smiled at him, seeming pleased, he had bought his act, but it didn’t ease how Jean felt.
The inconsolable crying tore his insides, he could no longer look at Michael. The heavy weight of guilt seemed to choke him.
He needed a drink, Ricky said something to him, and Jean forced himself to smile. “Cigarette break,” he said and walked out of the room.
Jean filled his glass with whiskey and dug a cigarette out of his pocket. Soon he heard Michael’s once-soothed cry intensify; the hungry wolves had taken their turn. Jean didn’t want to hear it, he opened the back door to the patio to smoke his tobacco in peace, but he couldn’t escape the sounds, couldn’t escape the cries.
What the hell had he done?
His hand trembled as he smoked, he couldn’t go back inside until it was over and dug out another cigarette.
The back door opened, and Jean turned to look and saw Ricky. The man grinned at him.
”Don’t you want to watch?” He asked. Jean took a sip of his glass, managing to steady his hand, knowing Ricky was still testing him, constantly watching his reactions.
“I’ve seen before when that whore was fucked. My friend had videos. Besides, I already got my fun, now I’m spent, relaxed and tired. ”
Ricky nodded and sat down next to him. ”I may forgive you for taking him, but you understand, Jean, if you stand in my way once more, you’ll pay for it,” Ricky said and smiled as Jean looked at him.
”Don’t worry. I just wanted to show you, that I was annoyed when you no longer needed me. Taking Michael was my revenge for it. You taught me to take revenge.” He said and looked at Ricky tightly in the eye, it was the language Ricky understood, Jean knew it.
The man watched him expressionlessly for a moment until he smiled sickly again. The man didn’t care about anyone but himself, the other people were just pawns to him, entertainment that Ricky used to play with to his liking until he got bored.
”Well played, Jean,” Ricky admitted in an almost admirable tone. “Michael was more than either of us thought it seems. It’s a shame, it has been fun to play with him, I’d love to keep him longer, but it seems to be impossible. I’m sure his boyfriend has already alerted the police, but we should still have a couple of days. ”
Jean was silent. He guessed the end of Ricky’s plan even though the man didn’t reveal it. He more than likely wanted him to be the main suspect in Michael’s disappearance. And he could not survive to reveal the truth. Ricky wanted him to think he was safe, but Jean wasn’t as stupid as Ricky thought.
”They won’t find us here right away,” Jean agreed. He needs those few days to think about options again; he should get a gun.
** ^^ ** ^^ **
Michael didn’t know what time it was. He lay on his stomach on the bed in a dimly lit room, his right hand locked on the headboard. The monsters had left him alone for a moment, but Michael knew they would return, sooner or later.
His body ached, he had vomited and soiled himself, and there was nothing he could do about it. He was utterly humiliated and sobbed quietly, the room smelled of urine, vomiting, and semen, the smell violated his nostrils and made him almost throw up again, but nothing came out anymore.
Eventually, the door to the room opened, light pouring in, invading the darkness.
Michael turned his head exhaustedly and saw Ricky. The man got closer and made a disgusted face at the stench no doubt.
”I think you like to wash,” he noted. ”It looks like we need to change the bedding, too.” He grinned. ”You smell awful.” He added as if Michael didn’t know it.
Ricky opened the handcuffs and lifted him, Michael gasped in pain, his eyesight blurry and his legs almost gave up. Ricky held him and led him to the bathroom.
He pushed Michael into the shower cubicle and Michael had to take support from the wall, he was trembling all over. Ricky undressed and stepped into the shower with him.
”Remember when we used to take a shower together?” Ricky asked, turning him around and pressing against him. At the same time, he opened the shower faucet.
“No more… no more!” Michael cried as he realized the man was going to rape him again.
”Oh Michael, we haven’t even gotten started properly.” He said as he took a showerhead and watered Michael carefully. ”But you have to get washed first.”
He then took the soap and began rubbing it on his battered body. It stung, Michael moaned, felt powerless. When Ricky finally penetrated him, Michael was almost certain he would faint soon. At that moment, he was sure that if he was given a gun, he would have ended his life just to make this pain stop.
He vaguely understood the darkness of his mood, was he giving up? He would die and Ricky would continue this, the victim would just change. No… He wanted a gun so he could shoot Ricky. He wanted to kill Ricky, he wanted to cut off the man’s penis and shred it into tiny pieces. Then he would shoot all the rest of the men. He wanted to end this evil. He wanted to survive.
** ^^ ** ^^ ** ^^ **
Sam arrived home, it was close to nine. Michael would be home by half-past ten. He took a quick shower and began preparing the supper he had promised; warm sandwiches — his specialty, simple enough for his skills.
Michael had praised that they were the best warm sandwiches in the world, Sam wasn’t that convinced but at least they were made with love.
His phone rang just as he was preparing them, Sam didn’t answer at first because he felt exhausted and didn’t recognize the number, but the caller was persistent, and eventually, he thought it might be important.
”Samuel Wentworth, I’m so glad I got a hold of you!” A stranger’s voice exclaimed cheerfully on the phone. ”I have something important for you.”
”I don’t want to buy anything, it’s already late,” Sam murmured.
“No, I’m not selling anything. Heavens no, nothing like that!” The man breathed.
“I’m calling for your sister. I am his friend and organizing a party in her honour.” Sam frowned.
”So, what was your name?” Sam asked, thinking the man rude that he hadn’t introduced himself right from the start.
”Trevor Kinley,” The man said cheerfully. Sam didn’t remember hearing his sister ever mention his name. ”I’m her co-worker,” The man explained. That would explain the matter, of course, he didn’t know the names of all his sister’s co-workers.
”What party are you having? Her birthday is already gone.”
“Ah, she’s helped so many. We want to thank her for her brilliant work effort. Listen, does she prefer roses or lilies?”
Sam still felt that something was off, so he kept a pause before replying. “Roses,” he finally said.
“We thought about the food side, could you say…” Sam’s phone knocked, someone tried to call him.
”Sorry, could we talk later? I…”
“I promise this won’t take long! Please, just a couple of minutes of your time! ” The man continued his chatter and Sam couldn’t get a word in. He wouldn’t have wanted to be rude and hang up in the man’s ear.
He listened as the man went on and on about some of his food experiences, how hard it was these days to get properly cooked scallops at a restaurant. The conversation began to go in an increasingly bizarre direction.
”I have to end this call now, I’m sorry!” Sam finally interrupted.
”Well, I’m sorry to have taken your time.” The man said and ended the call. Sam was confused, the man had not left his contact information and the conversation about the party had been forgotten. Michael had meanwhile tried to call, Sam read a text message sent by his boyfriend. What lost child??
Sam felt his heart rate rise, he choose Michael’s number. The phone alarmed for a moment normally until it stopped strangely. His worries grew, something was off, dreadfully off. The call he had just received perhaps related to this. He tried to call Michael again, but the recorded voice of the woman answered, “the number you called cannot be reached.” Sam cursed, worry increasing in his abdomen, he trembled and tried again and again just to get the same message. ”Where are you?” He sighed aloud. What could he do? He had to do something!
Sam rushed into the hallway, grabbing his jacket and keys before leaving the apartment. There were various horrors in his mind about what might have happened. He called Eric, who thankfully answered.
“Sorry I’m calling so late,” Sam began nervously. “I can’t contact Michael; his phone is off… He left work and was coming home. Now I can’t reach him…” Sam continued, looking around outside on the street. Where could he look? ”Have you heard from Jean?”
”When has Michael left work?” Eric asked worriedly.
”At nine. I got a damn weird phone call and Michael had tried to call in the meantime, then he had sent me a message, about some lost child. He wanted to take the child home or something… Fuck! I’m afraid… Could Jean…” Sam walked down the street, looking for a taxi with his gaze, maybe he should have called a taxi? He had never felt so helpless.
“I haven’t seen Jean in several days,” Eric admitted. “He just didn’t want to be in touch with me. But I’ll try to call him, I can even visit his apartment. I’ll call you back, okay?
“Okay,” Sam nodded a little discouraged. He was sure Jean had something to do with it.
”Where are you now?” Eric asked.
“I’m going to Michael’s workplace; I can’t think of anything else. Maybe they have seen something.”
“Yes. Michael will be found, I’m sure,” Eric comforted, and Sam hoped it was true, he didn’t want to think of the other option.
Sam was at Michael’s workplace at ten. He had tried to call his boyfriend several times but the same recorded message kept replying. He stepped in. Jeff, one of Michael’s co-workers, looked at him in confusion. ”Did Michael forget something?” He asked when Sam reached the bar counter.
“He hasn’t come home; I can’t contact him. I’m afraid something has happened. Did you see when Michael left? ”
Jeff looked surprised and worried. “I did, but I thought he was going straight home.
”Did you see any child outside the restaurant?”
Jeff shook his head. Sam cursed.
“Okay, hey, uh, I’m going to look for him now. Call now if Michael happens to come here?”
“Of course, Sam. Please let me know when you find him.”
“I’ll let you know,” Sam promised and walked back out. Eric had sent a message that Jean’s phone was also closed, but he would go and visit the apartment to see if he was home. However, Sam was pretty sure Jean wouldn’t be found there. Despair grew. He thought of nothing else but to go to the police.
Sam arrived at the station and walked straight to the on-duty constable. “I want to report a missing person. I’m really worried, the search should start right away!” He spoke. The man sitting behind the front desk looked at him.
“The name and age of the missing person? When did they go missing?”
“Michael Harris, twenty-two… He’s my partner, Michael left work at nine and since then I haven’t gotten in touch with him, and…” The constable sighed as if bored and interrupted him.
“It’s less than a couple of hours…Look, we don’t have time to solve every relationship argument. He’s a grown-up already and…”
”It’s not about an argument!” Sam snapped agitated. “He’s in danger, I know that! I’m afraid his ex-boyfriend has done something to him. He did not accept their breakup and threatened Michael. He was coming home and when I tried to make a call the call was disconnected before he answered. The phone is now switched off. His ex-boyfriend’s phone can’t be reached either. Our friend is on his way to check on his apartment right now but…” Sam was upset and nervous
”Calm down now,” The man said in a slightly softer tone. “Let me tell you more now. How long has this ex-boyfriend been threatening him? What have the threats been like?”
Sam sighed trying his best to calm himself, but his thoughts run wild and every second of standing still felt wasted. What if Jean had informed Ricky of Michaels’s whereabouts? Why hadn’t he forced Michael to speak to the police when he still had the chance. On the other hand, he hadn’t heard from the detective that he had hired. Surely, he would have been informed if Ricky had left the country?
Sam explained the situation in more detail, between his phone rang; it was Eric who informed him that Jean didn’t seem to be home. The lights were off, and no one answered the door.
The constable checked if Jean had a criminal record but found none. They asked if he had a fresh picture of Michael, but he didn’t have one with him at the time. Sam however realized that this would be the time to speak up about Michael’s past. Tell everything about him and they might take the whole case more seriously.
It worked; he was led into the interrogation room so they could get more privacy. Sam was waiting in the room when the constable made a few phone calls and checked the disappearance register, finding that Michael had once been the subject of an international disappearance report.
It was ten past eleven when the constable returned to him with a printed notice. ”Is this your boyfriend?” He asked and Sam nodded exhaustedly.
“The situation is awkward, I tried to encourage Michael to come to you sooner, but I couldn’t force it. The man who abducted him five years ago may be behind this as well.”
”What’s this man’s name?” He was asked and Sam hesitated only for a moment until deciding it was important to speak out.
“Richard Larkin, he runs a large advertising agency in New York. I think he’s a part of some wider circle… Michael feared that… if he would talk about it then someone from the man’s contacts would hurt his family. Michael lived with him, and the man claimed to others that Michael was his nephew. I know this sounds absurd, and I don’t understand why I didn’t pressure Michael to speak up sooner.”
Eric also later arrived at the station to be questioned about the case after retrieving a fresher picture of Michael. A picture with him and Jean. The matter progressed, the patrols had been notified and Sam could only pray that someone would have seen something. That night, Sam knew he wouldn’t catch any sleep.