Now or Never: Escape to FreedombyCE300©
This is a new series I've decided to work on. My stories are sometimes called dark because of my reference to abuse, but the way I look at it is not all stories in life are peaches and cream. Weather a story is bright and happy or dark and sad deserve to be told. I give great thanks to my awesome beta reader/editor Shelly for everything that she has done and taught me. As always this story is completely fiction and any likeness to real events or people are completely coincidental. My stories contain a lot of detail and dialogue so if you're looking for a short to the point story this is not for you. If you looking for a story that contains suspense, drama and adventure than this is for you. So sit back and relax and enjoy the first chapter of, Now or Never: Escape to Freedom.
This story takes place in a small town called Upper Deerfield, located in Southern New Jersey during the springtime of 2011.
Austin opened his eyes, as they started to come into focus the pounding in his head reminded him of what had happened the night before. Once again his boyfriend came home from a night of hard partying and drinking. Austin slowly got out of bed and made his way to the bathroom. When he looked at himself in the mirror he cringed at reflection looking back at him: a busted lip, blackened eye, bloody nose, and a red welt on his left cheek, he felt nothing but shame.
Austin's slim body felt bruised all over, even his golden brown hair seemed to hurt. He hardly recognized himself. The reflection in the mirror was definitely not the face he remembered. He had his mother's looks which cast him as pretty. But his only one of his emerald eyes was visible. Eric had once loved his face, now the sight of him seemed to cause only rage.
This wasn't the first time the dark haired jock had used his bunched muscles to hit him; it had become their near daily ritual. Some days it wasn't bad, but there were days he feared for his life. Eric was the same height as Austin at 6'2 but he had him by fifteen ponds. Austin recalled when those grey eyes looked at him with love, but he quickly dropped his reverie, there was no time to think about that. He had to get Eric's breakfast cooked before he got up or there would be more beatings. He washed his face, went back to the bedroom and changed into what he was expected to wear. He slipped on the tight black and blue stripped trunks, white tank top and black no show socks.
It was Tuesday which meant scrambled eggs with cheese, bacon, fresh orange juice, and coffee with one cream and two sugars. Just as he finished frying the bacon he heard Eric in the bathroom, he knew that he was right on time. He had everything placed out on the table when Eric came out of the bedroom. Austin could see by his expression he was in a foul mood. He began cleaning the pans, hoping to avoid Eric's wrath.
"What the fuck!" Eric yelled. "Where the fuck is the cheese in these eggs!"
"I put the amount you like in there." Austin said as his heart began to race.
"Really? Cause these eggs are fucking dry as hell!"
"I can make you more." Austin said as he opened the refrigerator.
"I don't have fucking time for this bitch!" Eric said as he heaved the plate across the room smashing it and the glass coffee table. Eric stormed across the dining room and backed Austin into a corner.
"You like pissing me off, don't you?" Eric said with a fire in his grey eyes.
"N...no. I swear I put the right amount of cheese in, just like you like it." Austin said as he trembled under the power of his boyfriend.
"I think I have to teach you a lesson again. Get down there and suck my fucking cock and beg for mercy!" Eric said as he pushed Austin down on his knees and shoved his face into his semi erect cock. "Now fucking kiss it and suck it real good. If you do a good enough job I might not beat the shit out of you!"
Austin didn't speak and did what he was told. He knew that Eric like to have his cock played with before he got sucked and he began caressing his hardening rood. He started to kiss and massage causing it to grow and strain hard against his underwear. Eric grew impatient with Austin's ministrations and he pulled his cock out and shoved it down Austin's throat causing him to gag. Tears formed from the violent face fucking he was getting. He tried to catch a breath when Eric pulled out but just as fast as he would pull out he would jam in back down his throat.
Eric's brown hair shadowed his eyes as he peered down on the slighter man. His hidden eyes and goatee made him appear more devil than man. "God you mouth is so fucking hot! That's right, suck my cock bitch; suck it like your life depends on it."
Austin tried to fight the urge, but the reflex to breathe won out and he jerked away. Eric took that as an attempt at defiance and he back handed him across the face sending him to the floor.
"You don't like sucking my cock? That's fine I'll take it out on your ass!"
With one swift motion he grabbed Austin by the shirt and pulled to him to his feet. He turned him around and bent him over the counter.
"You're going to get the fucking of your life!" Eric said as he pulled Austin's trunks down exposing his posterior.
Eric rammed his cock into Austin without any warning. Pain shot though his body like a lightning bolt. He did all he could to relax so the pain wasn't as intense, but it didn't help.
"God your ass is tight! Take my cock you slut! I could fuck you all day long." Eric said as he grabbed a handful of golden brown hair pulling his head back and bit down on his neck causing him more pain.
Austin knew it would be over soon. He closed his eyes and tried to think of anything to take his mind off of Eric's forceful fucking. He didn't have to wait long; he could feel Eric moving more erratic; he knew that the end was near. He was happy when he felt Eric tense up and unload inside of him; it was over, at least for the moment.
"Now go clean yourself up. You look like a fucking mess." Eric said as he pulled his now softening cock out. "You better have this placed cleaned up by the time I get home from work, and I mean everything!"
Fairly certain the urge for violence had ebbed Austin surveyed the damage to their home, "I'm going to need extra money to replace the coffee table. I only have enough for the groceries."
"Here's the bank card. I know exactly how much is in there and you better not spend more than you're supposed to or I'll take it out on your ass." Eric said as he tossed it onto the counter.
Eric left for work and Austin cleaned up the broken glass in the living room. He worked as efficiently as he could. Eric's daily mandates for him occupied most of the hours he was at work, so there was little time for the extra labor. He meticulously rechecked for glass shards, finished the kitchen, got dressed and headed out of the door.
Austin stopped in front of his car and admired her before he got in. It was the one thing in his life that had not changed; he loved his car. It was a 2001 Black Crown Victoria with the police package. To most people it was just another retired police car, but to him it was his baby. She might have been 12 years old but he always found time to wash and wax her, polish the chrome rings around the wheels and she was always running in top shape. The car looked and ran like it had just rolled off of the dealer's lot. When he turned the key and the 4.6L V-8 roared to life it never failed to send a shock wave all the way down to his balls; at least something still did.
As he pulled out of their upscale apartment complex he ran through the check list in his head of everything he had to get done before Eric got home from work. He had to do the grocery shopping, clean the house, do laundry, cook dinner and now he had to buy a new coffee table and have that together all before the day was done. He decided to run to the furniture store and pick up a new coffee before he went to the supermarket. They had a coffee table that was almost a twin to the old one and it didn't cost that much. Grateful he had caught a break Austin hoped it wasn't going to be too much of a bitch putting it together.
Once he got to the supermarket he wasted no time looking around. Eric allowed him to go the store every other Friday from twelve till two; he had two weeks' worth of food to get. He started at one end of the store and worked his way through all of the aisles ending at the frozen foods. He always stopped and looked at the ice cream a favorite treat that was forbidden to him, Eric wanted him to stay trim.
"Hello Austin, how are you?" Mrs. Steinbach asked.
She was his neighbor from across the parking lot.
"Hello Mrs. Steinbach, I'm good. How are you doing today?" Austin asked as he broke his gaze from the frozen delights.
"I'm well, thanks for asking." She said with a smile, but then her smile faded. "Austin, what happened to your beautiful face?"
"Oh, I tripped over the laundry basket last night. Didn't even see it in the dark and went face first into the computer table." He hated lying to her. She was like the neighborhood grandmother.
"Austin, I might be old but I am not senile. You think I don't know what goes on over at your place? I know Eric has a temper."
Austin blanched, she knew? "His temper isn't that bad."
"You forget my grandson works with him over at the prison, and he's told me that Eric brags about the control he has over you. Now I'm not one to put my nose into anyone's business, but when it comes to this I feel that I should. You need to get out and leave him."
Shame flooded Austin, how could Eric brag about the things he did to him? "Mrs. Steinbeck, Eric really isn't that bad of a person." Austin didn't know who he was trying to convince, himself or Mrs. Steinbeck.
Mrs. Steinbach raised a wrinkled hand to his face, but did not touch him. "How often has he hit you? And by the look on your face this isn't the first time he's done this. I've known you boys since you moved into the complex four years ago and it pains me to see this."
Austin shook his head slowly. Someone remembered who he was four years ago. She was standing in front of him and she knew he had been worthy of something other than contempt once upon a time. For the first time in years he did not feel insignificant, he had an ally.
Austin shook his head, "It's not that easy for me to leave. He controls my every move, plus I wouldn't even know where to go."
"I know you said you have grandparents down in Florida, why don't you head down there?"
"I don't have money for that kind of trip. He knows how much I use because every time the card is used he gets an alert on his phone from the bank."
"I had a feeling that was the case. Here I want you to take this." She said as she handed him a sealed envelope.
"What's this for?" Austin asked as he looked at the envelope.
"It's your way out of here. But don't open it now wait till the time is right." Mrs. Steinbach said with a smile.
"Okay. I better get going I have a lot I still have to do today." Austin said as he stuffed the envelope in his back pocket.
He noted the time as he made his to the check-out line, it was already passed 2pm and he only had five hours to get home, put away everything, cook and have the place cleaned. He struggled with the imaginings of his punishment if he did not complete his tasks, and then silently laughed at himself. Hadn't he been talking about his need to run from Eric not five minutes ago? Austin couldn't keep him out of his mind for five minutes, how was he supposed to have a life without him?
After he put the last of the bags in the trunk he checked his phone to make sure that Eric hadn't sent him a text telling him to pick anything else up. Seeing nothing he sent up thanks for average miracles. The afternoon was a mad rush getting everything done in what little time he had left. He finished screwing in the last screw on the new coffee table, glanced at the clock and did a quick calculation. Eric would be home in less than 45 minutes that gave him enough time to check on the lasagna and take a quick 15 minute shower. Once out of the shower Austin quickly put on the outfit that Eric loved the most, which was a pair of black basketball shorts and a grey Old Navy t-shirt. Just as the buzzer on the oven went off he heard Eric's car pulling into the driveway. He prayed that he didn't have a bad day at work and be in a foul mood. As he heard the key enter the lock he held his breath and waited to see if Eric was pissed or not. Thankfully Eric must have had a good day.
"Hey babe, how was your day?" Austin asked as he handed Eric a beer.
"Long. Had another guy start a fight and had to take him to segregation." Eric said as he opened the beer.
"I'm sorry to hear that. Did you have to take him down or did another officer?" Austin asked as he pulled the lasagna out of the oven.
"I did since I was the closest to him." Eric said as he took another sip.
"I made your favorite dish, lasagna with meat sauce and Chianti." Austin said as he placed it on the table. "Come on and eat babe, and later I'll rub your feet." Austin was elated Eric's aggression had been absorbed by the prisoner. An unwanted image popped into his head of Eric wrestling with a faceless man. A voice that popped up less and less in his head asked Austin whether Eric got hard while tackling a prisoner like it did when his boyfriend manhandled him? Austin shook his head and decided to do all he could to keep Eric in a good mood.
Sadly Eric's moods were fickle and it didn't stay pleasant for long. Eric's cell phone went off at seven in the morning, it was his supervisor. His boyfriend's tone let Austin know it wasn't good.
"Is everything okay?" Austin asked as he sat up in bed.
"No. Those motherfuckers told me that I have to be in early and I have to work a double shift." Eric said as he stormed out of bed and into the bathroom.
"Do you want me to make you something to eat before you go?" Austin got out of bed and started to put on some clothes.
"Fuck that. I don't have time for that. I'll just throw some breakfast sandwiches in the microwave."
Austin's heart fell out of his chest. He forgot to pick them up yesterday at the store when he was talking to Mrs. Steinbach. He prayed to god that there might still be some left in the freezer, he ran over to check but he knew there weren't any. Eric was already pissed and this was just going to make matters worse.
"Um, babe we're out of the breakfast sandwiches. Can you stop and pick up something on your way?"
"What the fuck do you mean we're out? You were supposed to pick some up when you went shopping yesterday! What the fuck did you spend that money on!" Eric said as he emerged from the bedroom fully dressed.
"I...I thought I picked them up but I guess I forgot."
"Well you thought wrong!" Eric said as he backhanded Austin across the face sending him flying into the stove. He hit his head hard enough to knock him out.
An hour later when Austin started come to the familiar pounding in his head was present, but as he started to regain focus he noticed that he was completely naked and not in the kitchen. When he tried to move he found that his hands and feet where tied to a chair. This was the extreme punishment Eric resorted to when he really was pissed off. Eric knew that Austin was claustrophobic and it would take Austin days to get over being locked in the utility closet.
Austin sat in the dark, attempting to control his breathing when it dawned on him that Eric was working a double shift; he would not be getting home until almost seven in the morning. The thought of him being trapped in the closet all day and night triggered a panic attack that was compounded by his being tied. Sweat rolled off of his thin body as waves of nausea crashed over him. Franticly he fought against the rope but the knots would not budge. He shook the chair violently, his body straining for freedom, then he felt something sharp; it was the new limb trimmer for their patio garden. Operating on instinct he twisted closer to the instrument. He slowly started to move his hands up and down the sharp blade all the time his heart was pounding in his ears. It only took him a few minutes to cut through and free his hands. Once his hands were free he untied his feet and bolted from the closet.
Shaking, covered in sweat, in a ball on the floor he knew he had no choice but to run. When Eric got home and saw that he was out he couldn't imagine the rage he would face. He knew it was now or never.
A million things ran through his head as he made his way to the bedroom. Where was he going to go, how was he going to pay his way to get to where ever that was? Then he remembered the envelope Mrs. Steinbach had given him. He reached between the mattress and the box spring and pulled it out, he had planned on giving it back, but now he was all the more grateful for it. Inside were ten brand new $100 bills. A destination came to him, Clearwater Florida. He knew that his only chance was to make his way down to his grandparents but he had no address. He decided he would journey to Clearwater and figure the rest out there.
He swiftly packed what little things he had, mostly clothes. Everything else belonged to Eric and he didn't want anything to remind him of that sadist. As he was putting the last of his clothes in his suitcase he heard a loud crack of thunder that shook the entire apartment. Austin was a bundle of phobias and fears, most of them rooted in the car accident that nearly took his life. But he knew with a clear-eyed certainty that if he did not get away from Eric tonight, he would have a new damage, physically and emotionally. His fear of driving in the rain could not be allowed to stop him. He laid the house key on the table that sat by the door and left the torturers' den that for four years had been his home. He quickly made his way to the car, it started to rain harder and the wind picked up. He backed his car out of the driveway and he saw that Mrs. Steinbach was standing on her front stoop. He decided that the least he could do was thank her for helping him escape. He jumped out of the car and ran up to her and wrapped his arms around her.
"I promise you, I'll pay you back and then some." He said
"It's a gift. Someone gave me the same a lifetime ago. It was meant for you to keep, pass it on when you can." She said as she gave him a kiss on the cheek. "Be careful out there and don't let anyone hurt you. Now you better get going. This storm is only going to get worse and it's a big one. It stretches all the way down to the Carolinas."
"I'll never forget what you've done for me. I'll write you when I get to Florida." Austin promised as he dashed back to his car.
As he pulled out of the complex he started to feel like he was making a huge mistake but he knew it would be a bigger mistake if he turned around and went back. It was slow going on his way to the highway since he was taking the back roads. He didn't want any of Eric's friends to see him and tip him off that he was on the run. Normally it only took ten minutes to get to the highway but with taking back roads and the storm it took him almost half an hour, finally he made it to Rt. 55. It was somewhat smooth sailing until he got to the Walt Whitman Bridge. Traffic was backed up for about a half a mile due to the restricted speed limit of 25mph on the bridge. Austin had to face another one of his fears; bridges. He started to cross the bridge and could feel it bouncing in the high winds. 'Now or never', he kept repeating over and over until he was on the other side. He had no clear idea where he was going, but he knew I-95 went down into Florida and that was his best bet.
He got on I-95 south and turned on one of his favorite radio stations to help pass the time. He knew that it was going to take at least twelve hours to make it to South Carolina and another three hours to get to Clearwater. It was now around ten and he figured he wouldn't be getting to Florida until around mid-night if he could make it straight through. As he crossed into Virginia the storm started to lighten up and the rain wasn't blasting on the windshield so hard. With each passing mile he got more and more relaxed knowing that he was leaving a horrible past behind him.