Eyes Like Winona Ch. 04byCruel2BKind©
*And here is chapter four!
I just want to quickly announce that my nude day submission will be out in just a few short weeks, so keep your eyes peeled for 'The Goats'.
As for the question in the last chapter, I am half finished with my new story, 'File 66: The Aftermath'
Stay tuned ^_^
All characters are 18+*
I felt dead on my feet by the time I got to the county jail. I groaned and sat down on one of the hard waiting chairs just in time to have a guard tell me that I could go into the visiting room.
I had stopped at a CVS on the way to the jail, and picked up green and yellow toner, and a cover-up that matched my skin. After several botched attempts in the bathroom of the CVS, I managed to cover up the hickeys okay. It didn't look as professional as the job Drake had done, but it would have to do.
I sat at one of the metal chairs in the visiting room, and the Toby bounded in, grinning. He had cut his curly brown hair close to his scalp, and shaved off his beard. He looked so different, so professional. I hugged him tight, and I felt something in my chest loosen up. "Hey Toby, how are you?"
"Ugh, surviving. Just one week left, can you believe it?" He flopped down into his chair. I started to apologize about missing his phone call, but he waved it away.
"Ben tells me that you hang out with some friends from your work a lot, and that's great. You work too hard, kiddo. Besides, you were gonna come and see me today!"
I relaxed and dug in my bag. I hadn't managed to get offerings from everyone, but I had gotten some things. He waited on the edge of his seat, trying to peer into my backpack.
"Well, remember that genocide class you took in college? You'd never shut up about it. I saw this book in the thrift store and I thought you'd like it. It's about the holocaust, and it's narrated by Death."
I handed him a slightly battered copy of 'The Book Thief'. He flipped through the cover and grunted. "This sucker won ten awards, I hope it's better than that space-pirate garbage you gave me last time."
He was teasing. He knew I loved sci-fi novels, and I had gotten him a couple of obscure sci-fi titles from the seventies last week. I grinned. "If you keep criticizing me, I'll keep the next one for myself!"
He gave me puppy-dog eyes and I laughed. This just felt so normal... It felt sane. I loved being with Toby, and I couldn't wait until he got out.
"Well, this next book has certainly not won any awards." I gingerly pulled out the next novel. It had a suspicious stain on the cover, and the title was 'School of Cock' It had a picture of three scantily clad women (who didn't look like they had been in high school for a very long time) in tiny skirts hanging on a man wearing a tie and holding a coffee mug.
Toby snatched for it. He smiled, embarrassed and grateful. "Thanks a lot bro... I'm kinda dying for the woman's touch right now. This will do for now, but I can't wait until I get out." He touched his cheek with a grin. "Chicks dig the scar, right?"
I rolled my eyes. I felt bad just thinking about his scar, but I didn't show it. "I wouldn't know. How about you focus on getting a job so we can pay the bills, then you can chase poontang."
He howled with laughter. Still laughing he asked me. "Ooh! Was it a man or a woman at the counter where you bought that book? How did they react?"
I giggled. "A woman, she was old enough to be our grandma!"
It took us a while to recover from laughing. I had to wipe a tear from my eye. I dug in the bag and got him some peach ring gummy candy, which he craved. "Sorry, that's it. But if you want to buy something from the prison store I can spot you a twenty.""
He stopped laughing and his face looked very serious. "I only have a week left, shouldn't that go to Rosa or something?"
I felt very caught. He didn't look suspicious exactly, but he certainly looked thoughtful. Toby was a lot better at keeping track of money then Ben was. He would certainly notice that Mom's old hospital bills were all but paid off. He would notice that both Calvin and Celia and Lisse had new clothes, new shoes. He would notice that we had food in the cupboards, and that the utilities were paid on time. I started to feel this faint wormy feeling of anxiety in the pit of my stomach. If I was lucky, he wouldn't notice for a while, but he would find out eventually. I needed to find an alibi.
I decided then and there that I had to quit. I would still have to work for three more weeks according to Ferdinand's rules, but I couldn't keep bringing in a weeks worth of pay every night.
I shrugged. "Sorry... I just thought you would want to celebrate."
Then he was smiling again and I felt better, even though that wormy anxiety stayed at the pit of my stomach, muted. "I'll celebrate when I get out. Things in here are so expensive... They got this little cart that they wheel around to the cells, and did you know that the fuck that pushes the cart charges three fucking dollars for a hershey bar? Highway robbery!"
"Do you think he's skimming?" I asked.
He shrugged. "Everybody skims. The fucker pushing the cart skims, the guards skim, even the suppliers skim. They know that we don't have a lot, but we'll do whatever to have something that doesn't remind us of here."
The smile was slowly disappearing from his face, and I could sense the deep depression and loathing behind his happy face that he had put on for me.
"I gotta get out of here. I'm glad that I only got three years, because if it had been any more, I would have gone crazy or bad. I studied US prisons back when I was still a student. A lot of people who get in for little things become repeat offenders, and now I can see why. Everybody is so fucking corrupt. I'm not just talking about the skimming or the drugs."
I bit my lip. I didn't like to see him like this. He was holding his head in his hands on the steel table. I reached out and touched his arm, surprised at how muscular it was. He had always been tall, but before prison he had been bookish and slim. Now he had a powerful build. "Toby?"
He acted like I hadn't said anything. "You know how everybody jokes about prison rape? 'Don't drop the soap', and shit like that? It's a dozen times worse then anyone knows. It seems like everyone in here turns into a faggot as soon as the lights go out."
I felt sick. Worse than that, I felt ashamed. "I was studying psychology, I know that it's not about sex, it's about power, but for some of them it becomes about sex. They'd rather fuck guys then wait a few years to have real sex. These perverts across from me make me sick. They've only been here for a few months each, not enough to go stir, but they fuck each other every night. They like it, too. The perverts like it!"
He was talking in this low raspy voice, and then he gagged. His arms were clenched up into tight round bulges of muscle. It made him physically sick to think about his cell mates having consensual sex. I took my hand off of his arm. He was so angry.
"Toby?" I whispered, in a small voice.
He took a few deep breaths, and smiled at me, but the smile didn't touch his eyes. The smile went away, but he wasn't clenched up anymore. He was just angry and ashamed at how angry he had gotten.
"I'm sorry. I haven't told you or Ben, 'cuz I didn't want you to worry, or think that... Or think that I was That way." That way. He couldn't even say it. "It's hard sometimes. I feel like you're the only person that I can talk to, and I can only see you once every two weeks if I have good behavior."
I forced myself to smile. "Well, you're going to be out in a week, and then you can talk to me when I'm off work."
The intercomm buzzed. "Five minutes." The guard said.
He ran his fingers through his new short hair. "Do I look presentable? It's going to be a lot harder to find a job with this on my record."
I shrugged. "Try tending bar back with Mr. Reynolds. He had you hired then, and he knows the family, he knows us. He'll understand. You... You can tell Mr. Reynolds why you had to kill him... If you need to."
He reached across and held my wrist. "Listen Neil. I'm never going to tell anyone why I had to kill that bastard if I don't have to. It's just going to make your life harder if people know. People talk shit without worrying about who they hurt."
I wiped my eyes. "I made you tell the police. You didn't even want to tell them, but if you hadn't told them you would have gone to Federal prison, and for a lot longer then three years. Trust me, I can swallow my pride if it gets you a job. Don't try to protect me when you're just hurting yourself."
He sighed. "You're a lot braver than I am, Neil."
The guard was tapping on the window, pointing at the opposite door. He wanted Toby to leave.
We got up and he hugged me tight. "I know that Ben knows, but did you ever tell the little guys?"
I shook my head. "Calvin and Celia were only eight back then, and he was their father. I couldn't tell them. Lisse wasn't even born."
The guard tapped louder and Toby flipped him the bird. He let go and gave me a halfhearted grin. I just felt emotionally drained.
"Seeya in a week." He murmured. He grabbed his candy, his book, and his sexbook. Then he walked back into prison.
"Your brother is coming back next week, right?"
I looked back at Mr. Browning as I tossed a twist of tissue into the waste bin. He didn't usually talk much after our 'arrangement'.
"Yeah, he is." I murmured, walking into the front of the store and taking off the sign on the door.
He got behind the register. "Well, I have a friend who owns a roofing company. He needs laborers, and... And he doesn't have any qualms about hiring felons. I told him about your situation," He saw the look in my eyes and he shook his head. "Not that, not that... Just that you folks could use another working man."
I relaxed slightly. Mr. Browning had always meant well. If I didn't have to suck his cock every day, he might have been my friend. "He says that he's willing to give your brother a trial. A week without pay, but if he's a good trustworthy worker, then my friend will hire him full-time."
My heart lifted in my chest. I felt lightheaded. Mr. Browning was still talking, but I barely heard him.
"It's hard work, but the pay is good, and--" I hugged him tight and cut him off.
"Thanks Mr. Browning!" I nearly shouted. I quickly released him before anyone saw, but he had a smile on his face.
When I got home, it was a relief to see that everyone was getting along. They had already eaten, and I ate the rest of the fish sticks and oven-fries as everyone got ready to go out. Everyone could fit in Ben's old Rabbit if we squeezed, and we were going to visit my parents.
I sat in the passenger seat and it was a nice feeling to just sit and see the city just go by, instead of having to walk. The last time I had been in a car had been the last time we visited my parents.
I was jolted by the thought that I had been in a car since then. Ferdinand's car.
We reached the graveyard, and the Rabbit didn't die on us. Celia had some flowers that Rosa had given her. Rosa had a garden box, and she cut flowers for us sometimes. The marigolds were wilted, but I was just happy that we had flowers. And Mom had loved yellow flowers, especially daffodils.
I liked it here. The graveyard was right in the center of the city, but it was large enough so that all of the sounds seemed farther away. It was very green, and full of trees and stones and wilting flowers. It was like a peaceful little bubble in the center of the city.
We walked to the double-gravestone that Mom and Dad shared. It was very simple, it just had their names.
Calvin and Celia went forward and put the flowers on the grave, right in the center. I was grateful, we had gone through some trouble (and lots of fighting) in the past when they would try to put flowers only on my mother's grave. They both saved a few.
My throat felt very tight. "Ben?" I whispered. We were outside, but this was just a whispering kind of place. "Can you take them over to his grave?"
Ben put his hand on my shoulder. "Sure Neil." He said quietly. He lead the kids away, and I stayed at my parents' grave, holding Lisse's hand as she played with a flower that Calvin had given her.
"I miss you Mom." I whispered. "I love you." I touched the granite headstone, and it was warm from the sun. I dusted off some of the leaves that had fallen on it from the trees. The trees were yellowish, more discolored towards the top, green towards the bottom. "I miss you too, Dad. I've just had a longer time to cope with you. I hope they have cigars wherever you are."
Lisse accidentally pulled the head off of her flower, and she started to cry. I sat down on the soft grass and scooped her into my lap.
On the other side of the graveyard, I could see Calvin and Celia kneeling down by another grave, with Ben standing several yards away.
I shivered. It was bad enough that my stepfather had a stone in the same place as my real mother and father. I wasn't going to get anywhere near it.
When we got back, it was almost seven. I would have to leave in a few minutes. I was in the bedroom digging around for some of my skimpier clothes. I had gotten more and more paranoid about Ben or one of the others finding out what I did, so I always just put some of my clothes in a bag and changed when I got there.
I was digging around when I heard a soft knock on my door. I jumped, startled. I stuffed the skimpy undershirt and the shorts into the plastic bag and called. "Come in."
Calvin walked in. He had finally shaved off his stupid mohawk and his hair was an all-around crewcut. He looked subdued.
"Why do you and Ben hate my dad?"
There it was, raw and exposed. Hanging in the room like a stench. It was the question that Calvin and Celia had never dared ask.
"I have to go in a bit, I'm going to help Mr. Browning load some groceries."
It was a weak avoidance tactic. Calvin just upped the ante.
"Why did Toby kill him?"
I really didn't want to be here. But Calvin was twelve, and it didn't matter who his father was, he was still my brother. And he deserved to have an idea of what had happened.
I sat down on the bed, fiddling with the straps on the bag.
"Mom married your dad about a year after my dad died." I said quietly. They had known each other before, and I think they were friends even when my dad was alive. Toby never liked him much because he thought that your dad and my mother had cheated on my father."
Calvin sat on the bed next to me. "Do you think they cheated on your dad?"
I shrugged. "I'm not sure. I was five when my dad died. Ben was eight, and Toby was thirteen. But the point is, that Toby never liked him much."
Calvin's hands curled into fists. "That's why he killed my dad? He didn't like him?" His voice was filled with a tired and weepy anger.
I shook my head. "No."
"Mom had cancer treatments on and off since I was ten, but for a while when I was fourteen and you were eight, she had to go to the hospital and stay there for a long time." I closed my eyes. My voice felt choked.
"Your dad... He hurt me sometimes." No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't tell Calvin the full truth. "And one time, Toby saw him hurting me, and Toby found my father's old gun, and shot him."
I didn't wait for Calvin to answer. I got up and left as fast as I could.
I hated dredging up old memories.
No one was at the steps when I got there, but it was a little early, so that wasn't unusual. Ferdinand was in his normal spot, hiding within a cloud of flavored smoke inside his car. I walked up to the car and the window slid down. Today the flavor was orange.
He handed me my key--room three today--and looked up at me when I lingered. "What is it?"
I took a deep breath. "I want to quit. I'll work the three weeks, but I want to leave."
I expected him to say more, or spout death threats. I was still more than a little afraid of the strange man. But he did nothing of the sort. He shrugged and opened a little notebook.
"That means that you're done with me on October the nineteenth, a Saturday, three weeks from now. Come every night until then."
He started to close the window, but I curled my fingers onto the rim and he stopped. "Yes?" He asked.
My cheeks were flushed, and I felt very afraid to ask it, but I did anyway.
"Um... My brother is getting out of jail on the fifth... Can I please take that night off?"
He raised his eyebrow, licked his thumb and thumbed open the calendar again. "That means you don't get off until the twentieth of October, a Sunday."
I thanked him and walked back to the steps. I always felt afraid when I had to talk to him.
I had changed inside a gas station, and I shivered a little. It was the penultimate day of September, and the fall chill was finally starting to sink in. It was a faint chill, but when I was dressed in a flimsy white strap-undershirt and jeans cutoffs, I could feel it.
I sat on the third step and sighed, waiting. It was darker earlier, and I winced when the streetlight came on.
"Hey, you okay?"
Drake came out of nowhere. He sat on the step above mine, resting his long lanky legs on either side of me. He rested his forearms on my shoulders and leaned to my left so he could look at me. His hair was jelled into spikes today, and seeing his face clear was a bonus.
I just groaned theatrically and he started to massage my shoulders. It felt heavenly as he worked the tension out. I could see Kirk and Jose walking towards us, Kirk a few yards behind Jose.
"I asked Ferdinand if I could quit." I murmured.
Drake stopped for a moment, and then continued the gentle kneading of my taut muscles. "Oh." He seemed truly at a loss for words, and I arched my head backwards so I could see him, albeit upside-down.
When he saw me looking up he smiled. "Well, I'm glad you had a plan. I'm not going to be done with mine for a while yet." He sounded sad, but then Kirk and Jose came and he shut up about it. I wished that Kirk and Jose hadn't come. I just had the feeling that Drake was going to tell me something.
A car came up, and it was one of my regulars. I got up and Drake patted me on the back as I left him.
I leaned through the open car window. "Hey. Looking to experiment?"
He shook his head. He was an older man with a weary lined face and black hair that was almost certainly dyed. "Which room are we in tonight, Ryan?"
"Five, seeya there."
He went off to park and I walked up the steps. Drake gave me a little wave as I went past him.
"Seeya in a bit." I murmured, wondering what he had been about to tell me.
One thing to say about repetition, it made it a lot easier to do things that I would have cringed at a few weeks ago. I was on my knees on the worn carpet, my head between another man's legs and his hands in my hair. My mind was peacefully and thoughtlessly blank as I moved my head up and down. My jaw was a little sore, but I didn't really have a thought going through my head.
My customer groaned and moved his hips slightly, shoving his thick cock against the seal at the back of my throat. He broke past it and I struggled not to gag.
"That boy... The tall one with the dark hair... His he your boyfriend?"
I was so jolted by the panted question that I choked and I had to withdraw and cough. I felt my cheeks flush.
"Sorry." I muttered, getting back to work.
He groaned and tightened his fingers in my hair, pulling at the roots, panting.