A Taste of Home Ch. 06byDanae72©
Note: Here is the final (and corrected) chapter to Micah and Simon's story. I have to say, I had a lot of difficulty ending this story. I hope you enjoy this chapter and will let me know what you think. For those of you who have read it before, I have added 2 paragraphs at the end, and added to one of Simon's statements a bit before where I've added the paragraphs.-- Danae
Micah opened his eyes and squinted against the harsh light. The sight of the small room reminded him that he didn't dream being brought to his grandfather's home. He and Pen travelled with their silent guards, the lone driver soon supplemented by three very large men when they reached the private airfield, and helped each other through the ordeal.
Once on the plane, before it took off, one of the guards handed him a phone and spoke for the first and only time. He told him that he could call his mother, the number programmed in and the only one that would work on the phone. His mother cried for a moment, then promised to call Carlie and let her know what happened. At least someone would know what had happened. Carlie would do all in her power, bring every resource of both the FDPA and the NCB, to effect the rescue of Simon, Ryan, and Pen.
Now all Micah had to do was wait for his grandfather to make an appearance and tell him what all this fuss was about.
Micah wasn't afraid for himself. He was terrified that his grandfather wouldn't let the others go. He was terrified that someone would take his mother and sister away from their safe lives and bring them here to keep him in line. He was terrified that whatever plans his grandfather had, they would succeed. But he wasn't afraid for himself.
God, he was such a liar.
"I suppose you're wondering why I went to all the trouble of getting you here, aren't you?"
"I'm here because you had a doctor, or a scientist, develop some formulas that you want to use on me, to further your own goals of destroying daywalkers and turned nightwalkers, and extending your own life into immortality." Micah grinned at the shocked expression on the old man's face.
His grandfather had grown old. The last time Micah saw him, his grandfather had looked older, but not like this. Rather than a man in his early forties, he now had the appearance of someone in his late sixties to early seventies. Still handsome and upright, but with graying hair and wrinkled skin.
"How did you know that? Who told you of my plans?"
Micah waved away those questions as unimportant, and then decided to answer them anyway. If his grandfather knew that whispering to him would reveal his inner thoughts, maybe he would refrain from trying to control him in that way.
"When you tried to control me the last time, I saw into your mind. That's how I learned about the formulas and how you forced Uncle Kylen into attacking Pen. That's also how I found out that you are completely insane." He took a deep breath to keep his voice as calm and steady as he could. "Have you released the others yet?"
"Not yet. I will keep them here one more day, just to be sure. I wouldn't want them to miss all the fun we'll have. At sunset tomorrow, I'll be back to see you, to begin the process. They will witness the beginning of my glory before being taken back where they belong.
"Now, let me tell you about this room. I had it designed to hold even the strongest nightwalker, which you are not. At the moment, only your right ankle tethers you to your bed. The chain will not break and the control panel to release it is located in another room. Should you prove difficult, we will restrain you by your hands, feet and throat to the bed at all times, rather than just during the...injections of the formula. The restraint is for your own protection, Micah, nothing more, so I suggest you comply quickly when we ask you submit yourself."
"Don't you have any love in your heart, Grandfather? I'm your grandson! Why do you want to do this to me, hurt me and my loved ones?"
"I love my life and I love my eldest son Blake. The rest of you are nothing but disappointments. Your father and uncle were weak, while you and your cousin are lovers of men. There is nothing to love there. Until tomorrow, Micah! Rest well."
The door clanged shut and Micah stared at it in frustration. There would be no reasoning with the man. He would go through with his plan unless stopped, but how could they do that? If only he knew what the plan was, maybe he could try and find a way to be more persuasive in his attempts to stop his grandfather. As it was, he was totally in the dark, too afraid to try to find an escape while Simon, Ryan, and Pen were here and in danger. He didn't want anything bad to happen to them because of him.
The threats against his mother and Jenny were less immediate. Carlie knew that they had to be protected. Once the others left here, they would also do all they could.
Micah hoped he would be able to see them before they left. He wanted to look into Simon's beautiful brown eyes one more time. He wanted to see Simon's love and hold it tight in his heart. He wanted one more kiss, one more touch, so he was able to stand strong against whatever his grandfather threw at him.
The past twenty-four hours had been long and endless, and yet Micah wished they would not be over. He heard the lock on the door click open and sat up straight on the bed, straining his ears for any clue about what was to happen next. His grandfather's voice was immediately recognizable. The other voice was also familiar. Micah frowned as he realized that the voice sounded like his own father's voice. Not quite the same, but very close.
"Let's see which of those two is closest to my grandson. I cannot threaten Penlan, if things fail with Micah, I might have to make use of him, and for that, I'll need him intact. Wait two minutes, then open the drapes so they can see each other."
Micah rose to his feet when his grandfather stepped inside. The other man remained outside, out of Micah's view. It had to be Blake and Micah wished he could see the man. Instead, he locked eyes with Johan, careful to keep any expression except confidence from showing. Thoughts and plans swirled through his mind; none of them right without more information.
"Grandfather," he said, keeping his voice even and flat. If he hoped to win anything, he needed to stress their relationship.
"Each of your friends, and your cousin, will be allowed one minute to see you. Afterwards, they will remain in an adjoining room until you've received the first injection. If you fight or resist receiving said injection in any way, one of them will not be leaving these premises. Is that clear?"
Although he tried to get information on what the injection would do, what his grandfather hoped to accomplish, he received no clue. Movement at the edge of his vision made Micah turn his head and he saw the three men who had become so important to him.
Pen, as familiar as his own reflection, stood between Simon and Ryan. He stood straight and tall, so brave, yet his green eyes revealed his worry and fear. Ryan looked at him intently, trying to see any obvious injuries and silently telling him that they would find a way to come back for him as soon as possible. Micah offered a small smile of reassurance, to tell the man he trusted him.
Last of all, he looked at Simon. Handsome, strong Simon, who held his heart and soul. Micah wanted to cry at the amount of love he could see in those brown eyes, so much more than he'd dreamed possible for himself. It was the same kind of love he'd often seen in his parents when he was a boy. Coupled with that love was anguish at their separation, at the knowledge that he could not simply sweep in and take Micah away.
A large man moved close to the trio and indicated one of them follow. Micah barely noticed that Pen answered the summons. He knew this must be the mysterious Blake, but to Micah, he looked like nothing more than a larger version of his father, Ghislain. The hair was slightly darker, the nose larger and hooked, but the rest was the same. His breath caught in his throat. This was another uncle, there could be no doubt about that.
In the moments before Pen came into the room, Micah returned his gaze to Simon. With stunning clarity, Micah knew that no matter what happened, even if they were reunited, things would never be the same. It might be his hands that touched Simon's body, but they would not register the same sensations. It might be his mouth that kissed Simon, but the taste would be different. His eyes could see the future in that endless second, and he knew that, while his love would not fade or disappear, he would never again know the taste of home on his tongue.
"Micah? How are you doing? We'll find a way to get you back, I swear it."
Micah turned and hugged Pen, holding on tightly and whispering his words. They were barely loud enough for Pen to hear, but Micah knew that not even the keenest nightwalker ears would distinguish them.
"I know you will do your best. I have to treat both Ryan and Simon the same, kiss them the same way. Is that all right with you? I would not kiss either of them, but...I'm not strong enough to let him go without a kiss." He waited to feel the nod against his shoulder. "Let them know what I have to do. I love you, Pen."
The stab of sadness and loneliness that went through his heart worried him. How much worse would it be when he watched the man he loved turn around and walk out the door? He couldn't show his weakness or Simon might do something to endanger them all. Of course, he couldn't act as though he didn't care either.
Micah watched as Pen reappeared at the window and embraced each of the men. He knew they received his words as they nodded and met his eyes. Next to come see him was Ryan, walking swiftly into the room to gather him in a tight hug. Their kiss was deep and long, almost certain to fool those watching that there was a deep attachment between them. It was a nice enough kiss, Micah supposed, but it didn't touch his heart. He did feel a wave of heat, but that was to be expected. Ryan was a very handsome man, after all.
"We'll watch over your family, Micah," Ryan whispered, speaking those words that would comfort Micah the most.
They hugged again, forehead to forehead. The pain in Micah's heart increased as he watched Ryan leave. He chided himself to be strong. He couldn't collapse or cry when Simon came and went. His grandfather must have no clue of the depths of his love, if he didn't already know.
Finally, Simon strode into the room and his eyes burned. This kiss, carefully gauged to be as close to Ryan's as possible, was enough to weaken his knees. Micah dug his fingers into Simon's shoulders to keep upright and calm. A thousand words passed between them as they stared at each other, all of them locked up tight so they wouldn't betray themselves. His heart ached and his soul cried out, but only his eyes revealed that truth. His face remained clear and calm.
"I'll be back soon. You'll hardly have time to miss us."
"I know," Micah answered, his voice breaking in spite of everything. "Take care until we're all together again."
He couldn't bear the sight of Simon walking out of his room, his cell, and so he turned his back on it, looking instead to the window. Pen placed his hand on the glass, tears falling freely now. None of them knew what would happen. Even if they returned an hour after their release, Micah would still have received that first injection and they didn't know what the effects would be.
Two men entered his room, he could hear the different footsteps, and he reluctantly turned his attention in their direction. His grandfather and a doctor. The doctor wore a surgical hat and mask, hiding most of his features, although what he did see revealed an older gentleman. Johan indicated the bed. Micah quivered in fear, eyes darting to the partly open doorway. Unfortunately, the threat against his friends defeated him. There was no escape.
The moment he was on the bed, his grandfather pushed him down and attached restraints to both wrists and his free ankle. The bounds were tightened, so he could only move them an inch or so. Micah could see Simon, Pen, and Ryan clearly from his position and closed his eyes against the sight. He didn't want to see their reactions to his predicament.
"As soon as the good doctor here gives you the injection, Blake will escort your friends from the premises. Disgusting, all of you. Men were made to love women, my boy, not other men. To think you came from my blood."
The prick of the needle passed relatively unnoticed, but the liquid forced into his veins did not. He could not describe the pain if asked. It felt like a thousand knives entered his bloodstream and mutilated him from the inside out. Clamping his lips together, Micah fought to keep quiet, desperate not to do anything to worry the audience. It was useless. By the time the sensation reached his shoulder, his mouth opened on a scream that echoed around the small room. Blood gushed from his mouth, from where he bit his tongue while fighting to keep quiet.
When the agony reached his heart, body arching as much as possible off the bed, Micah wished for death to claim him. Even as he screamed, he begged for someone to come and kill him. Darkness smothered him, taking away his senses, and still the pain filled him. It became his only reality, his private hell.
Trees passed by outside the windows of the car, yet Simon didn't see them. Nor did he absorb the quiet conversation between his two companions in the back seat. All he could think about was his last sight of the man he loved, screaming in pain. He tried to bring back memories of Micah teasing and in the throes of passion, but those images failed to materialize. The best he could manage were those blue eyes filled with tears of fear and sadness.
A quick glance at his watch when the car slowed and pulled into a service station showed the man had driven them an hour away. The first twenty minutes they were blindfolded, so they could not see. Still, he had taken note of every turn, every curve, in the hopes that they would prove useful later. Ryan had likely done the same.
The guard in the passenger seat left the car and moved to the back door. Clearly, this was as far as they planned on taking them. The driver, a man that Pen said was nearly the spitting image of his father, turned to them and whispered quickly. "Micah is not in danger, not mortal danger. Pen, in your pocket you will find a map and instructions. It is all I can do. All I will do to help. Now go."
Simon slid out behind his two companions and watched in silence as the car drove off. When it was back on the road, he strode off towards the back of the station, needing to be by himself for a moment. He had to be alone for a minute, just a minute to get himself back under control.
He could feel their eyes on him but they gave him his privacy. Leaning his head against the brick wall, Simon let his tears fall. All he could think of was the time he'd wasted when they were first together, afraid because Micah was a man, unable to deal with his feelings. In just a few words, Micah laid to rest his fears of letting his parents down. Why had he never considered different ways of providing grandchildren for his parents? Now it all seemed so clear. Too late. He'd wasted so much time when they could have loved each other, built memories and the beginnings of a life together.
Taking several deep breaths, Simon dashed away all trace of tears from his face. His eyes were probably red and swollen, but he didn't care. There would be time later to indulge his emotions. Right now, he needed to concentrate all his energy on getting back to Micah and releasing him from the grips of that madman, who just happened to be Micah and Pen's grandfather.
Ryan was nowhere in sight when Simon walked back to Pen, who looked so much like Micah that it made Simon's heart squeeze painfully. He wordlessly took the information the blond man left for them in Pen's pocket and looked it over. There was a detailed map with directions traced on it, to show the fastest way to the estate. Another route, traced in a different color, showed a more circuitous approach, which promised to allow them access with less chance of being noticed.
The other piece of paper gave them several security codes for different points of access. A circle showed them the location Micah's room. At the bottom, a personal message was scrawled. It told them that Johan Taylor wanted to make Micah human, and then turn him back into a nightwalker. They would repeat the process several times. Johan believed this would give him extended life.
"We have to get back there now. Has Ryan gone to call in a request for a car?"
"He went to call the agency. As much as I want to go right back, and Ryan does to, we need backup. We need to come up with a plan."
"That will take too long," he muttered, raking a hand through his hair. He knew very well how the NCB operated. First, there would be a debriefing at the agency, where assignments were distributed. Then they needed to travel to a nearby area that was still out of the way. Finally, plans and options would be discussed ad nauseum. At best, the entire thing would take days. "I can't leave him there any longer than absolutely necessary."
"Good news. Mrs. Taylor's phone call to Carlie got things started immediately. NCB and FDPA agents are already in the air. Headquarters are sending our coordinates and rerouting them as we speak. They will meet us here, along with Canadian counterparts, in about three hours. I promise you, Simon, if I think things are moving too slowly, we will leave them here and go on our own."
Ryan knew as well as he did how things would proceed and didn't intend on letting anyone extend Micah's stay. They might be in for an official reprimand for going off on their own, but neither man cared very much.
Pen took Simon's hand in his own and smiled. "Let's give ourselves a deadline. If they don't begin by a certain time, then we simply slip away. We need to be on the same page now, so they don't see us whispering in corners, which would tip our hand. The two of you can make whatever preparations are necessary for us to be ready at a moment's notice."
It was fully dark by then and the three men walked a short ways down the road, where a small diner lay. The food was good and they were almost alone, giving them the time and privacy to decide what to do and when. Pen received some tasks to complete once they had access to a car. Since he wasn't with either agency, he wouldn't be included in the meetings and would be able to move about more freely than the rest.
When their plans were finished, Simon sat and stared out the window. He ached to hold Micah in his arms. It didn't seem possible that only two days before they were in his bed, proclaiming their love to one another. Earlier he wished to be able to remember Micah in happier times, rather than in pain, but the happy memories were just as painful. He hoped that whatever Johan Taylor did, it would not be enough to destroy the beautiful young man who'd turned his life upside-down in the best way possible.
Making a sudden decision, he excused himself and made his way to the payphone at the back of the diner. Telling his parents about Micah over the phone wasn't the best way, but he needed them to know now, in case...His mind refused to finish the thought. Simon needed them to know what was happening, so they could support him. Deep down, in spite of years of fearing what they would do, Simon was certain that his mother and father would understand and accept. Micah deserved to have his family on his side.
An anguished scream echoed once again in the small, locked room. This time it had nothing to do with an injection or the pain that followed it. Micah woke and after looking at the clock, realized he'd been unconscious for nearly twelve hours. With careful movements, since all of his muscles were sore, he staggered to his feet, surprised to find that he was completely free of the restraints.