Rough Boys Ch. 04byroughboy18©
This is a copyrighted work of fiction. All rights reserved.
Sorry, this chapter has no sex. Things will heat up in the next chapter.
Many thanks to Lin, my nit-picky editor :), and nomoretears00 for her valued opinion.
"I need to go home for a while." The big black man's expression was fierce. His body was tense, his movements quick and jerky.
"Abe, what is going on?" Teresa had never seen him so agitated.
"I just need to go check on something."
"Like what—you leave your iron on?"
He smirked at his boss, realizing she was teasing.
"I ... I had kind of a fight with Ty. He's so skittish. I'm afraid he's going to leave. I just need to go talk to him—please!"
"Well, call him!"
"He doesn't have a phone. If I run, I can be home in twenty minutes. I'll be back in an hour."
"All right." Teresa gave in. She had noticed a change in Abe's behavior weeks ago, and after much pestering, she had finally gotten the story of Ty out of him. Abe seemed much happier since he had moved in, but she was still worried about him. He was still emotionally vulnerable, still recovering from the tragic loss of his lover, and the situation hardly seemed stable.
"I'll cover for you. Take two hours, but be back before 9:30."
"Thank you!" Abe called over his shoulder. He was already running out the door.
Nineteen minutes later he burst into his apartment. He knew already that Ty was gone—the door had not been dead-bolted. Sure enough, Ty's keys were on the counter.
Fuck! "Ty!" he screamed as he tore through the apartment. In the bathroom he ripped open the cupboard. All Ty's stuff was gone.
Fuck! Abe's head reeled. He staggered into the living room and collapsed on the couch.
"Ty!" he wailed, "Oh, Ty!"
The pain in his chest was so real, he wondered briefly if he was having a heart attack.
Where would he go? He has no place to go. He'll be on the street somewhere.
Abe ran out the front door, barely pausing to lock it behind him. He would find Ty. Hopefully, soon.
Abe let himself into his apartment and dropped wearily onto the couch. He spotted the pillow Ty had been using, sitting on top of the neatly folded blanket on the end of the couch. He picked up the pillow and held it to his face. It smelled like Ty.
Oh, Ty! He hugged the pillow tightly to his chest and tears began to stream down his cheeks.
It was almost four o'clock in the morning. He had called Teresa and begged off of work. She wasn't happy, but she'd let him go. He had spent the entire day looking for Ty. He'd eaten once—a hot dog from a street vendor. He had run through back alleys calling Ty's name for hours. He wasn't sure that Ty would come even if he heard him. He might even try to hide from him.
He had seen no sign of Ty.
He was exhausted and heartbroken and very worried. He was not going to give up looking though. He had the next day off. He would spend the entire day looking for Ty.
His phone beeped. He quickly pulled it out of his pocket and glanced at it. It was just a message telling him he had voice mail. He had not answered his phone or even listened to his voice mail all day. Teresa had been trying to get in touch with him. He didn't want to be called in to work. He needed to find Ty before he got hurt.
I'll find him, he tried to convince himself.
It was a big city. He could be anywhere.
He fell into an exhausted sleep on the couch with his head on Ty's pillow.
He awoke with a start. Someone was pounding on the front door.
Ty! Hope bloomed in his heart. He sprang to his feet, shedding the remnants of sleep from his mind as he sprinted for the door. Without even looking through the peephole, he yanked it wide open.
Disappointment flooded him, followed by surprise, followed by anxiety.
Standing at his front door were three men. Two were policemen, the other was not. One of the policemen was black and almost as big as he was. He noted that the policemen's uniforms were slightly different, and upon further inspection, he realized that the black guy was from the city and the other was a county sheriff from a neighboring county. The third man, a big white guy, was standing behind the officers glaring at him ferociously.
"Can I help you?"
"I am officer Dunning and this is Deputy Sheriff Leevie. Are you Abraham Williams?"
Abe confirmed he was.
"We would like to ask you some questions. May we come in?"
Abe glanced again at the man in the back who looked like he was about to jump him and slit his throat. His gut clenched. This is about Ty.
"Sure, of course," Abe led the way to the seating area and took a seat on the edge of the couch.
The other men took seats as well. "We've been trying to track you down since yesterday morning."
Abe was still wearing his scrubs from the day before. They were rumpled and dirty. "I've been out. What's this about?"
Did something happen to Ty? Abe was going out of his mind, but trying very hard to appear calm.
The deputy sheriff produced a photo and handed it to him, saying, "Do you know Ty Iverson?"
He glanced down at the photo. That would be Ty's senior portrait. What a beautiful picture! A lump rose in the back of Abe's throat.
"Yes, I know him. Did something happen to him?"
"We were hoping you could tell us."
The big white man jumped to his feet. "Tell us where he is, you fucker!"
"Richard! Calm down," the deputy sheriff said.
Goose bumps broke out across Abe's skin. "I wish I knew," he said. His emotions were an odd mix of relief because they weren't here to tell him something bad had happened to Ty, and fury at the man who was surely Ty's father.
"But you've seen him recently?" officer Dunning prompted.
"Yes," Abe said cautiously. He wanted to cooperate, but he was getting a bad feeling. "Yesterday." How did they link me with Ty?
Ty's father paced back and forth like a caged lion, almost growling.
"Where did you see him?" Officer Dunning asked calmly.
"Here. He's been staying with me." Abe wasn't going to lie to them and knew that would be the next question they asked anyway.
"I knew it!" Richard Iverson's face was livid. "You kidnapped him!"
Abe shrank back. Ty's Dad looked ready to attack.
"Arrest him!" the enraged white man screamed at the city cop. He looked barely in control of himself. Abe shifted, putting some of his weight on his feet so he could jump up if need be.
"Richard, calm down," the deputy sheriff said again.
"I didn't kidnap him!" Abe protested, turning toward Officer Dunning. "I just let him stay here. He had no place to stay."
"I could arrest you for kidnapping," Officer Dunning said, still calm. "He's a minor."
"A minor? Really?" Abe pretended to be shocked. "How old is he? He told me he was eighteen."
"You couldn't have believed him!" Ty's Dad shouted.
"He doesn't look eighteen," the deputy sheriff pointed out.
"No, he doesn't, but he acts at least eighteen. He said he was eighteen."
"Suppose you start at the beginning. Tell us when and how you met him." Officer Dunning was still very calm.
"Arrest him!" Ty's Dad was practically dancing with fury. "He should be interrogated down at the station! He kidnapped my son! What the hell did you do to him, you fucking faggot?"
Abe's temper suddenly flared. "I think a better question is what the hell you did to him!"
He jumped to his feet as Ty's dad flew at him.
Mr. Iverson seemed to change his mind at the last minute as Abe loomed over him.
Both policemen were on their feet now as well.
"Calm down, both of you!" Officer Dunning ordered.
Abe looked at Dunning. "Can I talk to you in private?" he asked, casting a sideways glance toward Iverson.
"I think that might be best," Dunning agreed.
Abe led the way into the bedroom and closed the door behind them.
He spoke softly but urgently. "Look, when I found him the kid was in bad shape...."
"Are you gay?" Dunning interrupted.
"What the hell does that have to do with anything?"
"The deputy is under the impression that Ty ran off with his gay lover. That would be you."
Abe looked at him incredulously. "Ty's not gay!" At least, not that he knows.
Dunning raised an eyebrow at him.
"Look! He left home because that bastard had been torturing him. I mean, literally torturing! When I found him, his hands had burns all over them, he had bloody welts on his back and butt, he had a broken nose and a black eye..." He took a deep breath. "I'm an ICU nurse. I know what I'm talking about. His father is one sadistic son-of-a-bitch! He whipped him on the bottom of his fucking foot, for God's sake!"
Dunning's jaw tightened. "He told you his father tortured him?"
"No, he didn't want to talk about it."
"So, it could have been someone else?"
Abe shrugged. "Someone he randomly met on the street? I guess, but it doesn't seem likely. What day did he leave home?"
"He disappeared on March 21st."
"I found him in the early hours of the morning on March 26th—the night of that bad snow storm—he might have frozen to death if I hadn't taken him home."
"You should have called the police."
"Maybe. He didn't want me to call the police and I was mostly concerned with getting him warmed up right away. We were around the corner from my apartment. In any case, his injuries were five or six days old—so pretty much right around the time he left home. No wonder he didn't want me to call the police. He knew you'd hand him right back over to that monster."
Officer Dunning was making notes.
"That fucker'll kill him if you send him home," Abe said vehemently.
"We have to find him first."
"Well, I'm afraid I can't help you there." Abe sighed. "He took off yesterday with all his stuff. I don't know where he went and I don't think he's coming back."
"Okay. I'd like to get a full statement from you. I'm not going to arrest you for kidnapping, although I think you certainly could have used better judgment."
Wally, the security guard, stared at the kid sleeping on the couch. He'd seen that kid around a lot the last couple of days. He was obviously homeless. He knew the look: skinny, scared, filthy. This kid seemed cleaner than most, but still homeless.
He had been reading books and using the computers mostly. There was nothing he could do about that. It was a public library, and homeless people were members of the public. He wasn't supposed to let them sleep on the couches though. The couches were for reading.
He walked up to the kid to wake him and paused. The kid looked dead tired ... and really young.
Aw hell! Let him sleep!
He walked away quickly before anyone noticed he wasn't doing his job.
There is more than one way to skin a cat! Richard Iverson smiled in triumph.
"Can you meet me for an online chat tomorrow at 4pm?" he typed. "I'll be waiting for you. I miss you. –Jeanie"
Iverson hit the send button. It took only a few minutes for a reply to come back. He's there now! If I wasn't two hours away, I could go down to the library and snag him now!
Jeanie had continued to get emails from Ty, even after he had moved out of Abe's house. Iverson had had the sheriff's department trace the Mac addresses. They were sometimes different, but they were all machines in the main branch of the public library in the city.
Tomorrow at four he would have him!
Jeanie was five minutes late. Something niggled at the back of Ty's mind. She had been a little weird during their last couple of conversations. He hadn't really thought about it, but his subconscious mind had been churning away on it. Now it was tugging on his sleeve, making him feel inexplicably nervous.
He was on the second floor of the library. He usually worked on a computer in the back, but they were all full today. Instead he was on one of the ones close to the balcony that overlooked the first floor.
He glanced around and froze. The hair on the back of his neck stood on end.
There, on the first floor, searching with a purpose, was his father!
Just then his father looked up and met his eye.
Fuck! Ty leapt to his feet, quickly stashing his water bottle and zipping up his backpack. His heart immediately went into overdrive, pounding a mile a minute. Another quick glance showed his father taking the stairs two at time. He was coming fast!
Ty raced toward the nearest exit, a set of back stairs.
Wally was busy reading the paper. He wasn't supposed to be reading the paper, so he wasn't sitting down to do it. He was standing near the back of the second floor, idly leafing through a paper on one of the tables. Ty flashed by him.
"Hey!" he yelled, suddenly aware that something was happening that required his attention. Where the hell is that kid going? Did he just steal something? He took off after the kid.
As the youth pushed open the door leading down the back steps, he looked back over his shoulder. His face was stark with terror. But he wasn't looking at Wally, he was looking at someone behind Wally. That's when Wally became aware of a set of heavy footsteps pounding up behind him.
The kid disappeared through the doorway. Wally skidded to a stop in front of the door and turned to face whoever was chasing the kid.
A large man came barreling toward him. He looked furious.
"Out of my way!" he demanded, slowing as he came up on the closed door and Wally.
"Why are you chasing that kid?" Wally demanded, standing his ground. He was in charge here. This was his territory. The man's glare could have melted steel. Wally started having second thoughts.
"Get the fuck out of my way!" the man growled. He slammed into Wally, knocking him to the ground.
Wally gasped, more in shock than pain. No one fucks with me on my shift! He was instantly furious. The big man looked ready to tear that poor kid to shreds. It didn't matter what the kid had stolen—he didn't deserve that.
The man was pushing through the door and Wally launched himself toward him, grabbing one of this feet. The man went down with a great crash.
Wally kept a death grip on the man's foot.
"Let me go, you idiot! He's getting away!" The man kicked hard with other foot, landing a bruising blow on Wally's hand. It was enough for Wally to lose his hold.
The man scrambled to his feet and careened down the stairs.
Wally jumped up, rubbing his hand. Damn! That hurts! Just as he was reaching for his walkie-talkie, the alarm went off. The kid must have gone out the emergency exit.
Dani took a long drag off his cigarette, savoring the flavor. The afternoon sun felt good on his shoulders. There was finally some warmth to it. In fact, it was almost too hot. His hair, which always grew a warm caramel color in the winter, would lighten to a sun-kissed blonde in a few weeks if the weather stayed nice.
He shook his bangs out of his eyes. It was past time for a haircut. Damn! There's always something else to suck my money away. I need a job so bad!
His view out the back of his tiny apartment was of a narrow alley and the tall brick buildings lining it. He had a second floor unit and was lucky to have gotten one whose window opened onto the fire escape. It wasn't a porch, but he used it as one. It was a place to step out for a smoke and take in the day. This time of day was the best. The sun was at the perfect angle to slant between the buildings and bathe his little piece of real estate in warmth.
His attention was caught by a youth who raced around the corner of the alley. His huge eyes were wide, and his face held such a look of desperation that Dani's heart leapt immediately into his throat. The auburn-haired youth jumped into a doorway and doubled over. Dani could hear his great gasps for air from where he stood. The kid had been running hard.
Who the hell's chasing him? And why?
The youth had been catching his breath only a few seconds when Dani heard the sound of sirens. The youth's head jerked up. He looked around wildly, clearly frantic. His face looked familiar. Something inside Dani twisted with sympathy.
It was not Dani's nature to interfere in other people's business, but he knew the expression on the youth's face would haunt him for days if he didn't help him. He could not simply stand by and watch him get caught by whoever terrified him so. He made a quick decision followed by instant action.
"Hey, you can hide up here!" As he called to the youth, he unlatched the ladder to the fire escape. It descended with a loud clang.
The youth looked up at him in surprise. When he saw the ladder descending, he did not hesitate. By the time the ladder was fully extended he was already climbing it.
Ty barely glanced at the blonde who was helping him. He pushed past him and dove through the open window onto a carpeted floor. There he stayed on his hands and knees, sucking air into his lungs. He could feel his heart pounding in his chest.
"Jesus Christ!" he wheezed, starting to realize that he might be safe. He took a few more great gulps of air. "Thank you!" He turned to look at his rescuer who was climbing in the window.
The blonde looked about his age, small, but well built with a handsome face and striking gray-blue eyes. He turned to look back out the window as the wail of sirens seemed to surround them.
Ty's relief was short-lived. There's so many of them! Will they look for me here? What if he turns me in?
"Are those cops after you?" Dani asked. He was already having second thoughts. Am I harboring a criminal?
"Maybe." The kid was starting to recover his breath. He looked up at Dani with huge green eyes. "Probably."
"What'd you do?"
Dani looked at him skeptically. "I don't believe that," he said bluntly.
The kid's eyes widened. He had the kind of beauty that made people stop what they were doing and stare. Dani had seen him before, he was sure of it.
"I ... " He paused as if weighing what to say. "I'm a runaway."
Suddenly Dani remembered. This was the boy from the flyer—the one with the homophobic father. But that didn't mean he wasn't a criminal.
"I don't think the cops usually chase runaways with sirens blaring."
Ty felt his face grow red although it had already been hot with exertion. He hated admitting to his dysfunctional relationship with his father, but the blonde deserved an explanation.
"My father is chasing me. I'm not sure when the cops got involved—maybe it's because I tripped the alarm at the library when I ran out the emergency exit."
Dani remembered the look of sheer terror on the kid's face when he had entered the alley. He is terrified of his father! he realized with shock. Dani had not known his own father and had always been bitter about that, but to be afraid of your father.... That's messed up!
"My name's Dani," he said, extending his hand with a smile.
"Ty." The youth's smile was hesitant.
"That's right ... Ty," Dani said, remembering details of the poster.
"I saw your poster."
"Poster?" Ty's face paled.
"Well, it was a flyer really. It had your picture on it and a description of you and a phone number to call."
"Holy shit! Maybe I need to get further away! Maybe I need to disguise myself!" Ty was panicked.
"Calm down. I haven't seen any of them around town. I heard that Tommy followed your Dad around and took them all down."
"Yeah. You know Tommy? Tall, black femme—hangs out at the bus station?
"Yes, I've met Tommy." Ty calmed down slightly. "He met my Dad? He took the flyers down?"