Rough Boys Ch. 02byroughboy18©
This is a copyrighted work of fiction. All rights reserved.
All characters engaged in sexual acts in this story are at least eighteen years of age.
Many thanks to my talented editor for his tireless support and my beta reader for her inspiration.
Ty stretched slowly, reveling in the feel of the soft bed and the weight of the blankets on his shoulders. His pains were gentle today. As he eased into wakefulness, memories of the night before came back to him.
I'm in Abe's apartment!
He felt safe and warm. He wasn't in a hurry to get out of bed. He breathed in the spicy, slightly musky scent that was on the sheets—they smelled like Abe. He remembered being carried in those strong arms, leaning his head on that huge chest, breathing in Abe's scent. A shiver of goose bumps broke out across his skin.
He snuggled further under the blankets. He didn't think Abe was home; he didn't hear anyone in the little apartment, and Abe had said he was going to work. He went over the details of what had happened the night before, remembering everything Abe said and did. He seemed like such a perfect guy—gentle ... caring ... handsome.
Why am I thinking about him like this?
Somewhat disturbed, he sat up and looked around. The king-sized bed dominated the room. The floor was oak, warmed with a few bright, geometric rugs. In addition to the bookshelves along one wall, there was a desk and a dresser, all black with clean, modern lines. He noted that a tray on the desk held a carafe of coffee, a mug, an orange, and some muffins.
Curious, he got out of bed, happy to note that his foot felt much better. He still couldn't put weight on the sole, but the entire foot was no longer hot and painful. He limped to the desk and poured himself a cup of coffee. When he saw there was a small pitcher of cream and sugar cubes also on the tray, he smiled to himself. Abe is so considerate.
He limped into the bathroom and took care of business. His black eye was still purple, his nose still slightly swollen. He turned his head to the side looking at his nose in profile. It had a distinct bump in the middle of it. He sighed regretfully.
He didn't think he cared so much that his nose was not as attractive as it used to be, but the bump was a visual reminder of what his father had done to him. He wondered if every time he looked in the mirror from now on he'd remember that horrible night.
He finished up in the bathroom and wandered back into the bedroom. The door to the main room was closed. He turned the handle and pulled. The handle turned, but the door didn't open. What the fuck?
He pulled harder. The door yielded a fraction of an inch. Something was preventing the door from opening.
Panic flooded him. Why would he lock me up? Is he planning to hurt me? He pulled on the door with all his might. No matter how hard he pulled, a half-inch was the extent of play in the door. He called for help as loudly as he could for several minutes while he continued to tug at the door in frustration. It was to no avail.
Eventually he started to calm down.
He's probably not going to hurt me. He left me food. Why the hell did he lock me up? His fear shifted to anger.
Just because he helped me out, doesn't give him the right to hold me captive! He seethed and paced, limping back and forth, so worked up that he was oblivious to the pain in his foot.
It finally occurred to him that perhaps Abe was afraid he'd steal him blind by the time he got back from work. Abe wanted to be there when he left to make sure he wasn't carrying off half his stuff. That thought saddened him, although since he'd been clearly living on the streets when Abe found him, he couldn't blame him for not trusting him.
It still doesn't give him the right to lock me up! He clenched his fist and slammed it into the unyielding door. His knuckle split. The heavy door showed no sign of damage.
He began to poke around the bedroom, starting with the closet. Normally he would have respected Abe's privacy and not snooped, but his respect had lessened a notch. Anger gave him the excuse he needed. If he's going to lock me up, I sure as shit am going to find out everything I can about him.
There wasn't much in the closet: clothes and shoes and a few boxes stacked in the back labeled 'Evan'. He had some nice clothes. The closet smelled like him. Ty took a deep breath and sighed.
Moving on into the bedroom, Ty began a methodical sweep through Abe's drawers, feeling mildly guilty. In the back of the top drawer, buried behind some socks, was a framed photograph. Ty pulled it out and examined it.
The picture was of Abe and a young, too-thin, blonde man. They were standing very close to each other, both smiling broadly for the camera. Fuck, he's good-looking, Ty thought as he stared at Abe's smile. The other man was very attractive too, in a delicate sort of way.
Ty put the picture carefully back where he'd found it and closed the drawer. He wondered why Abe kept the picture hidden.
He perused the bookshelf, observing that Abe had eclectic taste in books. There was everything from 'The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich', to James Patterson, to 'The Lord of the Rings'. He finished his inspection with the desk, not finding anything of particular interest. He was just about to turn on Abe's laptop on when he heard a door close.
His fear, which had settled, now screamed to the surface.
Abe was much bigger than he was. He had locked him up against his will. He had no idea what the black man's intentions toward him were. His heart pounded frantically. He was at the door in a second, dancing in fearful anticipation as he listened to the sounds of Abe undoing whatever he'd done to block the door shut.
As soon as the door started to move, he slammed it open and pushed past a startled Abe. His only thought was to get out as quickly as possible. He ran out the front door of the apartment, ignoring the protests of his hurt foot. His heart felt like it was going to explode out of his chest.
"Ty! Wait! Stop, please!" Abe followed him.
Abe had been detained at work and had gotten home several hours later than he'd planned. He was caught by surprise when Ty bolted past him. His first impression was, Wow! He's even more gorgeous today than he was last night. His shining hair flowed away from his pale face. His long body was lithe and graceful. His unusual eyes darted around frantically as he raced to the door.
He's terrified! Abe realized and immediately figured out why.
Fuck! I did that to him! I scared him half to death by locking him up. Shit! I'm so stupid! What was I thinking? Remorse flooded Abe, along with fear that Ty was going to disappear instantly from his life—he'd never see the young man again. For some reason that thought devastated him.
He caught up with Ty as he was waiting for the elevator. Ty glanced at the stairwell, as if considering that option, but he stood his ground at the elevator.
"Ty, I'm sorry. Please don't run."
Ty said nothing. He refused to look at Abe.
"Ty! You can't go out without shoes or a coat! There's four inches of snow on the ground!"
The elevator doors opened and Ty jumped in, smashing the button for the lobby. Abe followed him in.
"Ty, what's going on?"
"You fucking locked me up, Asshole! I'm leaving!"
"Oh, God! I'm sorry!" Abe was desperate for Ty's understanding. "It was really stupid of me. I didn't think you'd even wake up before I got back, but I was delayed. I just wanted to make sure I got to see you before you left."
"Well, you've seen me. Good-bye!" The elevator arrived and Ty limped quickly into the lobby. Abe followed.
"Ty! I didn't rescue you from hypothermia to have you go right back out there and commit suicide. You're not even wearing shoes!"
Ty stood for a minute at the double, glass doors, looking out at the snow-covered street. He glanced down at his bare feet and then up at Abe. He was clearly furious.
"Fuck!" He stomped back onto the elevator and punched the button for the twenty-third floor. Abe followed him, wishing he could figure out what to say to calm him down. It wrenched his gut to realize he was the cause of Ty's anguish.
The young man glared at the floor in silence the entire ride up. His body was tense, his fists clenched.
"I'm really sorry Ty. I didn't realize you'd get so upset. I really didn't mean to hurt you."
Ty didn't answer him—didn't even look at him.
"I'm so stupid. Please don't be upset."
At least I got a response.
Ty stormed off the elevator, his sore foot barely apparent. Abe followed him back into his apartment. He had left the front door wide open.
"Where are my clothes?" Ty was tight-lipped and pale.
"Oh shit!" Abe went immediately to the double folding doors and slid them open. "I threw them in the washer last night, but I forgot to put them in the dryer this morning." While he spoke, he hastily pulled Ty's clothes out of the small washer and tossed them into the dryer above it. After turning the dryer on, he turned back around to find Ty glaring at him.
His spirit crumpled. He couldn't stand having people mad at him. He collapsed onto the edge of his large leather chair, putting his head in his hands. He stared at the floor.
"I'm really, really sorry. The last thing I wanted was to hurt you. I just wanted to make sure you were okay before you left. And with the snow and all, I was worried..." He let himself trail off, lost in remorse.
"Fuck you! You locked me up! No one gets to lock me up. Never again! Ever!"
Abe winced. Fuck! He had been locked up before. Of course! Whoever tortured him had probably kept him locked up. No wonder he was so freaked out. Abe felt close to tears. He swallowed and looked up at Ty.
"I'm such a fuckhead!" He didn't know what else to say.
Ty looked at Abe's face and saw his own pain reflected in Abe's eyes. Abe was really upset. This calmed him down a little.
"I guess I'll have to wait until my clothes dry." He leaned against the dryer and folded his arms across his chest.
"I was hoping you'd stay a couple days, until your foot gets better and the weather gets warmer. I guess that's out of the question now?"
Ty had hoped to stay a couple of days as well, for the same reasons. He didn't feel threatened by Abe anymore. He could see how remorseful he was, and he had stayed so calm throughout Ty's tirade. Ty had yelled "Fuck you!" at him at least twice and had also called him an asshole. He hadn't shown the least hint of anger.
"No one is ever going to lock me up again! Ever!" Ty repeated.
"I promise I won't lock you up—never, ever!" Abe looked up hopefully.
Ty was torn. He had thought to beg Abe to let him stay. Now, he was pretty sure Abe would say yes, but he wasn't sure he wanted to stay. He didn't know Abe and obviously couldn't trust him. His alternative was grim though. He had no money. It was freezing outside.
Abe's big brown eyes were full of compassion and regret.
"I'll stay if you want me to," Ty finally said quietly, "just for a couple of days ... unless I feel threatened. If I feel threatened, I'll leave immediately."
The black man's smile was genuine. "You're welcome to stay as long as you like. I'll sure try not to do anything that might scare you. I'm really sorry."
Finally starting to relax, Ty limped to the couch. His foot suddenly hurt like hell.
"Better let me look at that foot again," Abe said.
Ty made a face at him.
Julie Iverson swallowed the bile that came up into the back of her throat. She staggered a few steps and collapsed onto the edge of Ty's bed, his soiled comforter still in her hands.
Her mind reeled. Jeanie had told her what Ty had looked like after the beating. She had thought her daughter was exaggerating. She had been in denial, but she could not deny the evidence in her hands. Her son had been brutalized by her husband to the point where he had lost control of his bladder. Her son was no weakling. It would have taken a lot to push him that far, and indeed, the coverlet was well-stained with blood as well.
Guilt and shame overwhelmed her. Why didn't I protect him? My baby!
Tears quickly filled her eyes and overflowed down her face. She was surprised that she still had any tears left, she had cried so much since he had run away. Her boy was gone and she wondered if she'd ever see him again.
She was so angry with her husband, she had barely spoken three words to him since Monday. Her husband had bent over backwards to win her forgiveness, and she had been wavering. But now! She glanced once more at the comforter and her tears flowed faster. How can I possibly forgive him?
The doorbell rang. She wiped her tears away with a tissue as she hurried downstairs.
The woman at the front door was about forty years old with short brown curls and a warm smile. She was wearing a light blue sweater that matched the blue of her eyes. She looked vaguely familiar.
"I'm Linda Billington, Ty's English teacher," she introduced herself. "I hope you don't mind my dropping by like this. I wanted to see if there was any news."
Yes, of course. I met her at the parent-teacher conference.
Julie shook her head sadly, "No, no news. Won't you come in?" She stepped aside to let Linda enter. "I'm sorry about the house," she apologized as she led the way into the living room. "I haven't felt like cleaning lately. Can I get you anything to drink? Coffee? Tea? Water?...Wine?" She laughed rather bitterly. It was eleven o'clock on a Saturday morning.
"No, I'm fine. Is there anything I can do to help?"
"I don't know. We've called all his friends. No one has heard from him—not a phone call or an email. Or at least no one admits to hearing from him. Maybe they're protecting him—protecting him like I didn't. Her voice broke as she went on. "Richard has plastered the town with flyers. He even took a day off of work and went into the city with a stack of them. No one has called. He's just vanished."
Linda patted the other woman's arm sympathetically. "Ty's a smart boy. I'm sure he's doing fine."
"He's smart, but he's not street-smart. I'm so worried about him. With all this wind and snow ... I guess it's good that they haven't found his body yet."
"Sshhh! Don't talk like that! He's probably staying with a friend somewhere. Surely he had a plan when he ran away."
"What makes you so sure he ran away?" The police were treating it as a kidnapping, but Julie knew better. She suspected that Ty's teacher knew as well.
Linda decided to be blunt. "I saw him the morning he left. I also saw your husband that afternoon. He may have been able to convince his sheriff buddies otherwise, but I believe your husband beat him up—very badly. And that's what I put in my official report too."
Julie covered her face with her hands and burst into tears again. She was embarrassed and ashamed. "How could I let that happen?" she wailed.
Linda slid her arm around the other woman's thin shoulders.
"I know a good councilor. You should talk to her. She can help you."
"N ... nothing is going to bring him back now!" Julie was distraught.
"He might come back on his own soon, don't you think?
Julie shook her head, her sleek auburn hair swinging about her shoulders. "He's too stubborn. He won't come back. Not as long as Richard's here."
Linda looked at her pointedly for a moment and then fished around in her purse. She handed a business card to the upset woman. "Call Sara. She'll help you get it figured out."
"The email address you have chosen is not available. Please try a different address." Ty made a few more clicks and got a different entry page with a dropdown that gave him a choice of domains. Roughboy18 was accepted with a different dot com address.
He was afraid to use his own email address in case his father figured out some way to track him. His sister had heard his father say, "I'm going to make you into a rough boy" often enough—she would know it was from him before she opened it. His best friend, David, would probably guess as well.
Once his account was set up, he shot quick emails to his sister and David, letting them know he was doing fine. He didn't tell them where he was, just that he was staying with a new friend. He also didn't go into detail about his time on the street; he didn't want them to worry. He asked his sister to pass the information on to their mother and to ask her to please not say anything to their father.
After he was done with his short notes, he felt more settled. It had bothered him knowing that his family and friends were worried about him. Many times during the last few days he had thought about going home. What had stopped him was not his pride so much as fear of his father. He sighed and pushed that thought out of his mind. He had dwelled on it too much already.
Ty relaxed on the couch with his feet up and Abe's laptop on his lap. Abe had set him up with his own login before he left to buy groceries. He had been gone for some time and Ty hoped he'd return soon. He was starving.
It occurred to him that he should be doing research on how to get a new driver's license—preferably one that listed his age as 18 and had a different name—but he drifted instead, randomly clicking on links. He didn't feel like focusing. He'd be at Abe's for several days. He could do research later.
He was just thinking about logging into his favorite multi-player gaming site when he heard the front door being unlocked.
"Hey, Ty! How's it goin'?" Abe unburdened himself onto the kitchen counter. "I got groceries and also bought you a few personal items. I hope you don't mind." Ty had told Abe his backpack had been stolen.
"You didn't need to do that!" he protested as the big man dropped a bag into his lap.
"I wasn't sure what you like ... I mean, like what kind of toothpaste you use and stuff, so you get what I felt like buying. I also got you some underwear and socks. I was tempted to buy you some regular clothes, but I thought you should come with me for that."
"Oh, Abe, you shouldn't have!" Ty said, rummaging around in the bag. Abe had bought him a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, razor, shaving cream, soap, shampoo and conditioner, along with several pairs of underwear and socks. He wasn't really upset. He was actually pleased and grateful, but uncomfortable with Abe spending money on him.
Abe couldn't tell from Ty's expression what he was thinking. "You can't get by without socks and underwear. And you definitely need a toothbrush if you're living with me. I don't like to share."
He was joking, and to his relief, Ty smiled.
"Thank you! That's really nice of you. I don't know how I'll ever be able to repay you."
"You don't worry about that. Just get better."
"I am feeling much better."
"How about some pizza? I'm starving." Abe took a pizza out of one of the grocery bags and turned on the oven.
As they were finishing eating, Abe pondered how to get Ty to talk about what had happened to him.
Who had tortured him? How had he ended up on the street?
He wanted to help him and felt he needed to know more about his situation. He was afraid to broach the subject, however; Ty was skittish. Abe had the feeling that Ty would leave in a heartbeat if he said anything to make him uncomfortable.
"What do you want to be when you grow up?" He asked the question lightly. If he's afraid to talk about his past, we'll start with the future. That's safe, right?
To his dismay, Ty's face reddened and shame flickered in his eyes. Damn!
He thought Ty wasn't going to answer him, but he finally said bitterly, "I wanted to be a computer programmer, but I don't think that's going to happen now."