tagBDSMMessy Ch. 16

Messy Ch. 16


Author's note: As Messy enters its third and final act, I have a few warnings for the readers.

First, there's not a lot of sexual activity in this chapter. Hardly any, to be perfectly honest. This chapter is almost totally plot-driven. So if you've been reading Messy for specifically that reason, you'll want to skip ahead to one of the next chapters once they're released.

Second, this chapter contains an after-the-fact description of homicide, and the effects of that crime on the accused. I tried to write the description as detachedly as possible, but still needed to convey the ugliness of the act. If you are squeamish or easily bothered, this is your heads-up.


"Dammit, you can't just fire me over an accusation!" I pounded my fist on the admin's desk. "They let me go!"

"You made bail, Mr Galloway," administrator Finch said. "And you're a suspect in three unsolved homicides. I'm sorry, we're not going to have a murder suspect on our staff. Your name is already in the news, the police were looking for you for more than a week."

"I didn't kill those people, they were my friends. And I wasn't hiding or on the run, I was at my parents cabin for winter break, just like every other year I've been here." My aggravation was growing as this HR prick obstinately stonewalled my attempts to explain reason.

"Yes, they were your 'friends,'" Finch said with finger quotes. "The news detailed what kind of friends they were. Some kind of kinky sex dungeon club you run?"

I was so mad I didn't even feel embarrassed at having my private life dragged into the open. "Consenting adults. Its none of your business, or the schools business."

"On the contrary, it is the schools business. All of your students have dropped your classes, Mr. Galloway. ALL of them. I've had parents of the freshman here asking for your termination because they don't want you near their children, much less sleeping with them. Have you been sleeping with any students?"

This guy just kept stoking my rage. "I've NEVER slept with a student of any of my classes," I spat. "I've got a sterling record here, perfect reviews, the only problem I've ever had was that kid who threatened to kill themselves, and you stood behind me then. You traitor."

Finch leaned forward, unperturbed. "Let me make something perfectly clear to you, Mr. Galloway. HR departments exist to protect the business, not the employee, except where those interests align. There is not a single person in this building, your supervisors, your peers, your students, our CUSTOMERS who think it's a good idea to have a person of interest in three homicides and an outed sexual deviant on staff. The angrier you get, the more you prove them right. This is happening."

"Let ME make something perfectly clear to YOU," I said with a mastered calm as I rose and straightened my tie. "I have quote unquote played with women and men. If you fire me over my sexual preferences, my first call will be to my union which I happen to know is extremely liberal in a fairly liberal state. My next call will be to the lawyer they recommend to me. My third call will be to the American Civil Liberties Union. My final calls will be to any news organizations that want to televise the press conference I hold in your lobby as I explain that a tolerant, progressive institution of higher learning fired me for what I do in the privacy of my bedroom. I will make your life so motherfucking difficult that even if I don't win, you're going to wish you'd given me a job sorting paperclips for the next three months. Understand?"

I strode towards the door without waiting for an answer, and my mouth twitched upwards in my first smile of several days when the strained voice behind me said "Wait."

"What happened?" Tori asked as I slumped into the couch beside her. She was sitting in her living room, crushing a pillow into as small a ball as possible, staring hollowly at a TV that wasn't even turned on.

I loosened my tie and shrugged out of my suitcoat. "Unpaid administrative leave for the next semester. It sucks, but it's better than being fired."


We sat there in silence. "Can you...afford...that?" she asked finally.

I sighed, did some brief mental figuring. "This row more than pays for itself. Even with bail, I've got enough in savings to keep going for a while. I'll probably get a part time job or something for a little bit. No big deal."


More silence.

"I'm gonna go next door and get a drink. You want anything?"

"Sure. I guess."

My hand was on the knob when Tori said "Gary?"

I turned. "Yeah?"

She'd lay down, wrapping herself around that crushed pillow, and she looked up at me with scrunched-up, dark eyes. "Do you think she...do you think THEY felt it?"

My throat tightened and I felt hotness around my eyes, pressure building in my chest and sinuses as I was jolted back to awful, dark thoughts of the past days, and the contemplation of what I'd been avoiding even thinking about. "Yeah. They did." I walked back to Tori, knelt by the couch. "I wish I could say no, but...but yeah. They did."

I put my hand on her shoulder and Tori shrugged it off violently. "DON'T touch me."

I rose and went next door. I looked at the bottle of Chopin in my cabinet. Looked at the bottle of Wild Turkey behind it. If I started drinking I wouldn't stop. The hazy dull feeling of intoxication pulled at me, luring my consciousness away from the sharp, empty gnaw of pain, regret, betrayal, and anger burning in my chest.

But if I got drunk, I wouldn't be able to hold a conversation with Jessie tonight, and I desperately wanted to talk to her. I wanted to hold her too, feel her slight weight on my chest. But I couldn't. Not until this was resolved.

I poured Tori a screwdriver and made a TV dinner, set both in front of the couch where she lay. She didn't even acknowledge my presence, eyes never moving from a fixed point somewhere beyond the room.

Back in my apartment I stared at my phone, flipping aimlessly through webpages, avoiding the morbid curiosity of searching for my own news articles.

Six in the evening ticked by on the clock, and I rose, made myself pasta from a box, looked into the liquor cabinet like it was the Ark of The Covenant, holding the answers to all of my mysteries.


While I ate, I poured all my alcohol down the drain except for Jessie's bourbon and Sienna's gifted vodka. It took a while. After that cathartic act of destruction, I put in a workout downstairs, beating the shit out of the heavy bag, clanking the freeweights up and down on the cold concrete floor, pushing myself harder and harder until my muscles burned with my self-flagellation.

Instead of emptying me of anger, my exertions only increased it.

I showered, tried masturbating. I could get it up, but the water ran cold before my erotic imaginings could bring me release. Dammit. I stared down my reflection in the mirror and didn't recognize the man in the foggy glass. Normally at least somewhat clean-shaven, the beard I had let grow over the winter had muddied the lines of my face. My hair was longer than I usually let it grow too, long enough to be soft instead of bristly. Not quite a mountain man, but ragged.

The haunted look in my eyes didn't help matters.

I sighed and felt my aching shoulders sag.


I cleaned up my appearance with an electric razor followed by a manual blade, and then sat down at my kitchen table to Skype Jessie.

The replacement tablet I'd bought yesterday rang and rang, and eventually the screen flickered and there was Jessie's pale face leaning down to peer into the camera. "Gary?

My heart split in two and re-formed quickly. "Hey."

She was as beautiful as the last time I'd seen her, snoring softly on my chest in Milwaukee, just before sleep had claimed me. Milk white skin, dark hair dyed a light pink, high cheekbones underneath tired, mascara-darkened eyes. But that smile... It pulled back away from her eyeteeth as I remembered, a wide, joyful stretch of the lips that managed to light up those dark eyes.

Her smile went flat when she saw me. "What's wrong?"

I ran a hand over my face. "Why do you ask?"

"Cuz you look totally different. Not just your appearance, you look..."

"What, I can't grow a goatee and go skinhead without you worrying about me?"

Jessie pursed her lips cutely. "It's not that. Something's wrong."

I told her. Told her everything. The car, the sabotage, the home invasion, my fucked up snowmobile. The murders. And the first words out of her mouth when I finished, tears rolling down my face, were "Can I come be with you?"

I wiped my eyes. "I...I don't need a bootycall, Jessie, I need my friends back."

"Is that what I am to you? A bootycall? Just another piece of ass you've tapped?" That girlish voice got some steel behind it. And just a bit of emotion that wasn't anger.

"Obviously not. If you were, I wouldn't be calling you, cuz I can't get in your pants right now."

"Then I want to come be with you. I'm not just three holes and a hot body to you, and you're not just a handsome bod and a big dick to me. I don't care if we have sex or not. I just wanna be there." She was determined. I had to give her that.

"And what about your jobs? You don't make hardly any money as it is."

"I've got time off. I'll use it."



I sighed. "You know how to use a gun? Like really use one? The fuckheads who killed my friends, they ain't been caught yet, else I wouldn't be suspended from my job and a suspect in their murders. I've got reason to believe they'll be looking for me and Tori. Maybe next, maybe later. Can you help me fight them if they show up?"

She looked sheepish. "No."

"Then I want you far away. And safe. Because I want to see you again, and I don't know if I can keep you safe right now."

She was silent for a while, just looking at me, her angrily heavy breathing slowing as she realized I was right.

"Where are you right now?" I asked. "You're not in your apartment."

"Working late," Jessie replied. "Getting this website done for an investor."

"Nice. I've never asked, what is the project you're working on?"

She pursed her lips again, thinking. It was cute. "Think about it like a Roku for not just your TV, but your radio. Imagine plugging a stick into any port on your radio, car or boombox, and getting access to any streaming music you own."

"Damn," I said appreciatively.

"Yeah. And then you pull it out and plug it into a tv, a monitor, any screen, and you can watch all your shows too."

"I want one."

Silence again.

"I miss you," Jessie said finally. "I come home to my fucking freezing apartment and I'm all alone and all I want to do is tell you about my day. And I want to hold you, cuz it kills me to see that you're hurting right now. I hate that I can't do anything for you."

I smiled, my vision blurry with unshed tears. "You are. You don't know how much you are doing for me." I could see tears welling up in her eyes at my words. "Tell me about your day."

We talked for another two hours, until Jessie's yawning and rumbling stomach got in the way of our conversation. "I'll let you go," I told her. "Go home. Eat something. Get some sleep."

"But I want to keep talking to you. I haven't seen you for a month and a half."

"I'll be on the other end of this connection tomorrow night."

She sniffed. "Promise?"

"I promise."

We stared at each other for a while. "I kinda don't want to end this call," Jessie said. "I'm afraid I won't see you again."

I smiled. "You will. Goodnight Jessie."

Her smile climbed her aristocratic cheekbones, disguised the sadness in her eyes. "Goodnight daddy."

I pressed the red "Hang up" button and sat in my dimly lit kitchen for a long time, starting at the tablet propped up on my table.


I returned to Tori's apartment through the attic, moving quietly among the shadowed hulks of bondage equipment. It seemed like a lifetime ago I'd here with Sienna, or Tori, or Nina.


Tori had moved to her bedroom, laying on her side on top of the blanket, staring at the door. "You ok?"

I waited while she lay there, lost in her own world. "You ok?" I asked again.

"No." Tori rolled over to face the wall.

I settled down on the bed, put my arm around around her and drew her close. "Don't fucking touch me!" Tori shouted, thrashing me away, rolling over to drive a punch into my stomach. I staggered off the bed, gasping at the impact.

"Don't touch me!" she shouted. "How many times do I have to fucking tell you!"

I backed up, hands raised. "Ok ok ok! I just thought..."

"Leave me alone! I just need to be alone alright now!"

I had no idea how to deal with an obstinate, hurting woman, especially one who'd been hurt so badly in such a similar way before.

"Ok, ok. I'll leave you alone." I reached around her and grabbed a pillow. "But if you need me, I'll be right here." I dropped the pillow on the floor, turned off the light, and lay down by the bed, adjusting the my position on the floor. "Goodnight, Tori."

The bed rustled and creaked as she rolled over, and then we lay there, separate in the darkness. From the bed I heard muffled sniffling, then sobbing.

My heart broke.

I wanted to hold her. To comfort her. This small, deadly woman who had saved my life multiple times, who had shared her life with me, who had given me so much, who refused any sort of compassion or sharing of strength. She wanted to deal with this alone, even though it was tearing her apart.

The dark offered me no comfort, no solutions, nothing but regret and recrimination and pain.

We hadn't been pulled over for speeding.

We'd been pulled over and arrested for murder.

It was only sitting in a room the color of overcooked broccoli, my hands cuffed before me, with a detective pushing every cruel, emotional button they could think of, that I'd learned the details.

Several days before, between Christmas and New Years, the bodies of Michael, another friend of ours named James, and Nina had been found. James had been machine-gunned in his car on the highway coiling through the center of the city. Michael and Nina, driving behind him, had been pulled from their vehicle. Michael's head had been stomped flat into the cold pavement. And Nina...

Nina had been found several days later, dropped in front of the warehouse where the Halloween Bash had taken place. Shed been raped, though no DNA was found. Her attackers had circumcised her - either before or after, I wasn't told - essentially cutting off her vulva and stitching up the wound. They'd cut the word "whore" into her torso, down between her hacked off breasts, and then pulverized her head with a cinder block.

It was hard to believe my friends were dead, and dead at the hands of such ugly violence. I remembered drinking with Michael, Tori coming back from weekends with him covered in bruises and euphoric from the rough sex they'd had.

James had been a computer guy who'd helped me code Selector, and kept our computers running and audio visual equipment connected in exchange for deer meat.

And Nina, I remembered hugging her at the cabin, telling her I'd see her soon. I remembered meals with her, walking in the woods with her, the feel of her body against and around mine, the sound of her voice, her laughs and sounds of pleasure.

I wouldn't see any of them ever again.

The police had found Tori's and my names on their phones and computers, tracked down their friends, and started piecing together the story of our relationships together. From there they'd begin looking for the two of us, hadn't found us, and begun searching our shit. The attic playroom had been found, Tori's online business uncovered and given the sexual violence done to Nina, and the fact that we were all known to each other sexually, the authorities had issued warrants for us.

Fortunately they hadn't splattered our names ALL over the Minnesota news, just in the little township where I lived and worked. I'd started doing my grocery shopping elsewhere so I wouldn't have to interact with people who thought I was a murdering pervert.

Spending a month up north was a shit alibi, and since we hadn't gone shopping during that span of time I had no receipts to verify my location. The fact that we were missing, and in their eyes perverts was enough to make us prime suspects, and we'd been questioned separately right up until the legal limit. Then they'd tossed us in holding cells while they tried to figure out what to do with us.

I took out a lien on the townhouses to get us released on bail. Our stuff had been returned - sans guns for testing - and we'd been allowed to walk free on the promise that we stay in Minnesota and eminently findable.

Tori had come home and curled up on the couch, and I'd gone straight to the technical college where I taught to apprise them of the situation. They were planning on firing me, and it was only my threat of legal action that had convinced them to retain me, though unpaid.

I lay on the hard carpet and gazed up into the darkness. With such an active mind and a hurting heart, sleep was very far away.

I called Sienna the next morning and told her everything that happened. She'd been panicked when we hadn't called her after arriving home, and not being a news junky hasn't seen any of the pieces about the murders.

Half an hour later she was standing in my livingroom demanding to hear the whole story again. I didn't want to think it again, much less explain it, but I forced the words out anyway. When I was done, my former student threw herself at me, a painfully sweet hug that was way more forceful than I thought the pretty blonde was capable of.

"Can I do anything for you?" she asked when we finally released each other. I looked into her eyes, saw a strength and determination there that seemed impossible for someone to have at such a young age.

"Spend time with Tori?" I suggested. "She's damn near catatonic, has been since we got out of the police station."

See winced. "Absolutely."

I puttered around the house for the next few hours, trying to find a reason to do anything besides sleep. My job was gone - at least for a while - so there was no need to start prepping for school next week. I couldn't do anything to prove my innocence. My best friend was an unmoving ball of misery. My computer had been stolen. And I'd more or less given up drinking.

Dammit, I was bored.

I went for a run, chewing up four miles of gray and white slushy streets, lungs heaving in the cold January air as I pushed myself farther and farther than I thought I could go after a month off from running.

Back at the house and I nearly stepped into the shower when I remembered the heavy bag downstairs. Didn't make sense to get all sweaty again later...

Tori and Sienna and I went gun shopping that afternoon. We weren't technically charged with a crime, so it was perfectly legal for us to buy replacements while ours sat in a police evidence lockup awaiting ballistic testing to confirm they hadn't fired the thirty slugs that had been dug out of James.

The promise of buying guns was the only thing that had roused Tori from her stupor, and she morosely wandered up and down the cases requesting one black pistol after another. We were on a bit of a budget - me out of work indefinitely, her out until March when the building season started to pick up - so she replaced her custom Sig with a cheap, used Glock nine, and I figured what the hell, and bought three more. We dumped even more money into a pair of bone stock self-defense ARs, mags, ammo, and accessories for the whole kit, and walked out several thousand dollars lighter but with significantly more peace of mind.

I made dinner in my townhouse, and the three of us sat quietly around the table chewing on food and our own private thoughts. I was trying to reason out the next six moves in my life. Tori just looked sad and depressed. And Sienna looked uncomfortable.

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