Out Of The Shadows Ch. 02byingarlm©
Thanks for your kind comments on chapter 1.
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I had a few moments when things started to become clearer, but I slipped back into sleep each time. Eventually though I woke properly and started to look around me. My brain seemed fogged and I wondered how much damage the wall had done. At least if I could think like that it was positive. I was in a bed and clearly in hospital, and relief washed through me. I was safe and in the best possible place right now. My head felt heavy and I wondered what was in the IV I could see attached to my hand. I tried to move but it hurt and I grunted.
"Stay still, you're bruised up and it's going to hurt for a while."
It was a familiar voice, and I managed to turn my head to check. Rob was sat beside my bed looking really strange. It was good to see him though, and I hoped that I was drugged up enough not to get aroused.
"I'm sorry," he said.
"For what? Or did you get some punches in that I didn't notice?"
"They were looking for me. It's my fault they came to you."
"Don't be stupid. They didn't know you were there, it was just that I was on call at the station today."
"Still, I feel bad."
"What happened after I passed out? How did I get here?"
"They kept asking you questions for a bit, not realising they'd knocked you out. They wanted to know what had gone on in the station. I'd called for an urgent drive-by and the sirens coming had them running for it, thankfully. Then I got an ambulance for you, in case there were any internal injuries."
"Nope. You're going to be sore but nothing's broken and the worst was you being unconscious. Now you've woken up they'll probably let you out by tomorrow. But there's some other stuff I need to..."
He broke off as a nurse came into the room and smiled at me.
"Good to see you awake young man. I just need to check your vitals. Then you can get back to chatting to your boyfriend."
My what?! As she busied around the bed checking the monitors and IV I stared at Rob. He had the decency to look a little embarrassed as he pressed his fingers to his lips, making sure I didn't ask any questions. I let the nurse check my pupils and pulse and as she left the room I returned my gaze to him, the question obvious from my expression.
"Sorry, that was one of the things I needed to tell you. I couldn't say I was a cop, but I needed a way to make sure they didn't call your family and I could find out what was happening to you, plus stay with you in case anyone came visiting, so I said we were partners. Don't freak, you'll only be in here a night, no-one will know."
"Couldn't you have said you were my brother?"
"We've got different names. Trust me on this, they would have asked loads of questions and made me prove it. This way they're so worried about being accused of discrimination they don't ask."
"Great," I groaned, settling back into my pillows. I made it sound even more pissed off than I had intended. I wasn't happy about this at all. I wasn't out, and the last thing I needed right now was the straight guy I had a crush on pretending to be my boyfriend.
"It's not that bad. If it's any consolation the female nurses have been telling me what great taste I have in men!"
I groaned again. "Surely this is not standard operating procedure. You probably shouldn't have come to me in the first place, let alone be here now pretending to be my boyfriend."
"No. But I got you into this mess so I felt I had to sort it out as best I could. I've always had a bit of a problem with standard procedures, which is why I do this work. It's more flexible and you're on your own so no following orders."
"Basically you don't like rules."
"Got me there. I couldn't do what you do. All rules and regulation and paperwork, no fun. Well, not until today, anyway."
I glared at him. "I'd hardly call getting beaten up fun. Give me a load of Court papers to fill out any day."
He looked ashamed again. "I really am sorry about that."
"By the sounds of things you saved me from completely getting the shit kicked out of me, so stop feeling guilty. If you hadn't been there they'd still have come calling and things could have been a lot worse."
"You're probably right. And I don't want to scare you about it, but you're in danger now. Even if they didn't know I was there, they were probably watching when the ambulance came so they'll have seen me. In the unlikely event they didn't, you've seen two of them now and they don't like loose ends."
"Fuck. What happens now then?"
He was about to answer me when Chief Inspector Smith came in, and he did not look happy with Rob at all.
"The second time today I'm called away from something important to deal with you. I've been filled in on what happened, and there are officers outside now. Plus I've seen the state of your flat. Please tell me they haven't recovered the information you had."
Rob leaned over and picked the usb up out of his bag. "My cover is totally blown, my flat's trashed, and I got my solicitor beaten up, but aside from that it's gone perfectly to plan."
I managed to smile, but the Chief clearly didn't find it funny. "If it weren't for the fact my job right now is to stop you getting hurt, I might be tempted to put a boot up your ass myself. Your orders now are to get to yourself to the safehouse and stay there until we can go through this and see what we can do with it."
"Two problems with that boss."
"Go on," the Chief growled.
"One, I don't think the safehouse is that safe right now, I've got a better plan. Two, I think I should take Alex. He already had one visit from the gang enforcers and he's a witness and a target now."
The Chief looked long and hard at both of us before beckoning to Rob.
I was suddenly left alone with my thoughts, but I couldn't think about anything other than what Rob had said. Not the part about me being a gang target, but that he wanted to take me with him. Okay, so I needed some protection now, but I couldn't be sure that he would be the best one to give it. He was more of a target that I was by a long way, and on top of that, how on earth would I deal with being with him longer term. The irony that I'd wanted just that was not lost on me. Nor was the fact that the idea was worrying me more than having the Merrett gang after me.
Rob came back into the room after a little while, and I tried not to look at him too hard, but I couldn't help noticing now he was stood up just how tight my clothes were on his body. He was just that much broader than me that my baggy clothes hugged his muscles beautifully. Concentrating on the matter at hand seemed the only way to get my mind off that.
He smiled. "As of now you are in my protective custody." For once I didn't like his smile.
"I can't. What about work, my life."
"Work will understand, the Chief will explain to your boss. What else is there? Family? Friends? Girlfriend?"
I almost laughed. Despite having claimed to be my boyfriend he thought I was straight.
"My family aren't round here, I moved to the city for various reasons. And I guess I haven't really made any friends since I've been here, and definitely no girlfriend."
"So there is no problem."
No problem except me being stuck with one of the only men I'd ever met who was able to turn most of me to jelly and one part to near steel.
"Depends what the Chief can work out with the stuff I've been able to get for him. If we can get the leaders in custody then it'll only be a few days."
"And if not?"
"I have no idea. We'll sort something out to get you back if we need to. Say a couple of weeks for starters. We'll need to go to yours and get you some stuff, and then we're off."
"Where are we going?"
"You ask a lot of questions."
"I'm a lawyer, I have to. Besides which, you are turning my life upside down, I think I'm entitled to a few answers."
"Lake District. The bad news is we're going tonight. The sooner we are out of here the better."
I moved and groaned again. It might just be bruising, but I felt like shit and the pain seemed to be everywhere. I had a sore head as well, and I must have glared at Rob at the thought of moving.
"You are kidding. I've got bruises all over and my head is killing me.
"I'm sorry, but we need to get safe as fast as possible."
"I thought there was a police guard out there."
"There is, but the only cop I trust to keep us safe is me."
He glared at me. "I have good reason. Now get your ass out of that bed and get some clothes on."
Pretty much the reverse of what I kept wishing he would say to me. Still, the pain when I moved helped get my mind off any fantasies involving him. I stood really slowly, then realising I was still attached to the drip and the monitors, and removing the pads and then the needle. That stung like hell and made me feel a bit queasy as it came out of my vein. Then I looked around to find my stuff, and didn't.
"Where are my clothes?"
He tore his gaze away from the door for a moment.
"In the locker, down there," he indicated.
My first attempt at bending over made it pretty clear he was going to have to help me. I couldn't do it when my chest and stomach hurt so much. He looked pretty sad about it.
"Sorry, I'll get them. I really do wish I'd been able to stop them hitting you. You have no idea how bad I feel about it."
"You did stop them."
He looked like he was going to argue with that for a moment, but decided against it. My clothes were finally in his hands and he put them on the bed beside me, clearly thinking about something before he grabbed my boxers.
"Guess I'll have to help with this too," he said, bending down to my feet and encouraging me to lift one and then the other.
This would hopefully be the last time I would ever want to be in pain, because that was all that could distract me from the fact that his hands were sliding my boxers up my legs. Thank god he left the final adjustments to me, because my cock was certainly not at rest even with the pain I was feeling. At least it wasn't in full blown boner mode. I took another deep breath as he did the same with my jeans, praying that I wouldn't get any harder. I didn't dare look at him bent down in front of me. I guess it was also a good thing that hospital gowns did not cling.
"Zip yourself up while I do your socks and shoes," came his next instruction.
I'd never fumbled so much trying to get myself tucked in and my jeans zipped and buttoned. Him down at my feet did not help the situation at all. I didn't even get chance to relax then because he started to lift my gown off me. I felt suddenly very shy, wishing he didn't have to see me like this. I always thought of my body as scrawny, although I did make the effort to do some exercise so there was some definition, but compared to what he must look like without his top on I was a total weed. Still, I reassured myself that he was not interested in me like that so it shouldn't matter.
He went slowly, clearly worried about causing me any more pain than necessary. Once I was stood without my top on his eyes seemed to go wide. I had the feeling like I was being inspected and I felt really uncomfortable about it. I must have been projecting my own issues, because his eyes roving over my chest and down my stomach looked almost as though he was checking me out. The moment was only broken when the door to the room swung open and Rob turned fast, putting his body between mine and the interloper, and only relaxing when he saw it was the nurse from earlier.
She started laughing. "I guess that explains why he flatlined. It might have been better to ask us to disconnect the machines. Are you leaving."
Rob didn't give me chance to reply. "Alex wants to discharge himself. I'll look after him."
The nurse looked to me for confirmation and I nodded, but it didn't seem good enough for her. "If you wouldn't mind leaving me my patient for just a couple of minutes, I'll make sure he's good to go."
Rob didn't look happy about it, but he did leave the room. The nurse checked my hand where the IV had come out and my pupils again, before looking at me cautiously.
"Are you sure you want to leave? You're safe here."
"I know, but I don't like hospitals." A lie, but she didn't need to know what was really going on, even if I had been allowed to tell her.
"Look, if I'm wrong, please don't be offended, but you might like to take this."
I glanced down at the card she pressed into my hand and started laughing.
"I appreciate your concern, but I really don't need this," I replied, handing it back to her.
When she left again I managed to stop my giggles, but only until I saw Rob rushing back in. He looked puzzled.
"What's so funny?"
"The nurse just tried to give me the number for the domestic abuse helpline!" I said through my laughter, which only got worse when I saw Rob's expression change to offended.
"Do I look like I beat my boyfriend?"
I shrugged. "I don't think you can tell by looking. I guess it was understandable she thought that might be what happened."
"Great. We've been a pretend couple for about three hours and already I'm suspected of hitting you. And I had to explain to my boss that I really wasn't shagging my solicitor. I guess it's only fair that I get into trouble for that lie."
I wanted to ask why the Chief would even have questioned him about it, but I didn't dare. He was staring at me again with that strange look in his eye and I was feeling uneasy until he spoke.
"Those bruises are going to be nasty. I didn't realise how many times they hit you. Let's get you dressed and then we're going."
I was disappointed that he'd only been checking out the bruising. For a moment or two it had seemed like something different, but I was just hoping for things I would never have. At least I'd had a chance to help him along the way, and even if I'd never be able to tell people much of this story, getting beaten up and taken into protective custody might make a cool story one of these days. Provided we lived to tell the tale.
I managed to stay calm through the rest of him dressing me, and even when I had to lean on him for support as I walked the pain helped keep my dick under control. I was really glad when we got settled in his car, although I did suck in a deep breath when he leaned right across my body to get my seatbelt and plug it in. Thankfully he put it down to the bruising and only checked if I was okay.
We pulled up at my house after only about 10 minutes. I was nervous about going in, seeing as I'd only recently left it unconscious on a stretcher.
"Is this safe?" I asked.
"There's police officers still here looking for forensics, check if they can pin down the guys that did it. I know who they were, but DNA would be really handy. Somehow I doubt they left any, they're professionals."
He looked at me nervously. "Whatever needs doing."
I took a deep breath, even though it hurt. "Can we agree not to talk about what they might have been doing here? Because I have a feeling I don't want to know."
He nodded and looked relieved, which only made matters worse. He thought they were here to kill me, I knew that, and if he hadn't been here that might well have happened. He'd probably saved my life and he still felt guilty about not doing more. If I hadn't already been tripping over myself because of him I'd certainly have started now. As it was I didn't want to examine how far my feelings were going and I was going to keep thinking of this as an unrequited crush.
I'd never packed faster, keen to get out of there. Rob was in the bathroom while I busied myself getting a few changes of clothing and some toiletries. I'd have liked to have a shower but he said we didn't have time and we'd sort that out later. I guessed I could last a bit longer, it was just the idea of those guys having their hands on me that made me want to get clean, and I thought some warm water would help with the soreness. I'd finished before he came out and I wondered what he was doing in there, trying not to let my mind wander too much.
When he finally reappeared my mouth dropped open in shock. It was fairly dark in the room because he'd not wanted us to put all the lights on and make it obvious where we were. In the half light I was having flashbacks to the club on Friday night. I might be putting two and two together and making five, but I didn't think so. He had changed his clothes and put on a long dark wig and looked just like the guy who had walked past me as I slunk into the shadows, even down to the tight clothes. These ones, unlike mine, just hugged him perfectly, creating a mouthwatering and cock-hardening picture.
He just stood looking at me for a moment. "Do I look that bad? The wig helps me look a bit different."
I managed to recover somehow. "No, not bad, it was just a surprise."
"Come on then."
He walked past me and I stumbled round and grabbed my bag, following the 'other' man that had sent my lust into overdrive this weekend down the hall. His hair swayed just like I remembered and if I hadn't known otherwise I would have assumed it was real. It also created a lovely pointer towards his waist and ass. Life really couldn't be this wonderful and cruel at the same moment. My mind started to race. I knew he'd been to a club, he'd told the Chief that he'd wanted a reminder of his normal life. He'd thought nothing of pretending he was my boyfriend, and apparently his boss thought the lie might be real. He was gay!
I almost skipped down the hall and out the house back to the car. I probably would have done if it hadn't been for a house full of cops, my bruises, and my hard dick. Also, now I had that realisation, as much as it made me happy, I didn't know what to do about it. I wouldn't dare come on to him, I was too shy to do that and there was a strong chance I was not his type. I couldn't even tell him I could be his alibi without making it very clear I'd noticed him and he'd know why. Shit.
At least I had time to work things out. Not only was I stuck with him for the foreseeable future, alone, but he was responsible for keeping me safe, which meant keeping a close eye on me. Perhaps I would be brave enough to see if I could get a reaction from him. Ideas of 'perfectly innocent' things I could do that might get a man hot and horny started to form in my mind, and I had to mask my devious smile when he looked across at me.
"What's with you? You seem far too happy given what's going on."
"I know it's weird, but this is kind of exciting. You said it yourself, my life is all rules and paperwork, and this is so far from that it's almost like some cool film."
His look said he thought I was crazy, but he didn't comment on it.
"Right, we're off. You can sleep if you want, I'll wake you up when we get somewhere."
I let the seat back a bit so I could get comfy. As excited and happy as I was right now I was still exhausted. It had been a very long and unusual day, and the purr of the engine and soft music soon lulled me to sleep.
* * * * * *
I woke two hours later and it was dark. Rob was shaking my arm gently to get me to come to.
"Wake up sleepyhead. I'm too knackered to drive any further, and we're a safe enough distance to stop. Let's grab our stuff and head inside."
I looked up to where he indicated and realised we were at a service station with a small hotel. Probably cheap and basic but it would have beds, and I could do with a proper lie down. The car seat had seemed comfortable enough but as I stretched out I felt all sorts of twinges that were nothing to do with my bruises. I wondered for a brief moment whether Rob was trying to make my life hell, because if not he was doing a very good job without effort.