Love in ChainsbyNephylim©
The boy was numb. There had been pain. In his wrists, his arms, his shoulders, everywhere. He remembered it... but it was gone now, long gone and all that was left was a creeping numbness that was beginning to seep into his head.
It had been easier when he could stand, but his legs had given way some time ago, buckling at the knees, and all of his weight was now hanging from his wrists which were shackled and threaded onto a hook in the ceiling above. At first, the pain had been intense, but now it was gone, it was all gone.
He hadn't cried at the pain. He hadn't made a sound. He'd made a promise to himself that he wouldn't and so far he'd kept it.
It was dark in his world, dark and cold. He was shivering, but didn't feel cold, not anymore. The darkness had been oppressive at first. That was mainly because it came from a silk hood that covered his head and rested on his shoulders, effectively shutting him off from the outside world in a cloying, stifling world of his own. It was hard to breathe, as there were no holes in the cloth and it was tucked into the collar that encircled his neck.
The collar was chafing. Sweat pooled under it and ran down his chest and back. It was partially choking him now that he couldn't hold his head up anymore... maybe that was why the darkness in his head was growing so thick.
He didn't know if his eyes were open or closed. He didn't mind either way, it was an irrelevancy when it was impossible to see anyway. He could hear well enough... or at least he had been able to until... until... The sound of his heart was very loud in his head as was his breathing, which was harsh and rasping. Both were getting slower now, slower and more distant.
At least the pain was gone... well almost. His arms and shoulders were numb but there were still other pains. His back, for example, had lost the initial sharp, stinging pain from the kiss of the lash and had faded to a dull ache, as had his buttocks from the paddling but there was a nagging, insistent pain in his rear end that he really didn't want to think about.
Something was trickling down his back, over his buttocks, down between his legs. It could have been sweat, it could have been blood, it could have been many things. He didn't want to think about that either.
The pounding throb inside his head was drowning out the other sounds, the sounds from the room around him; moans and cries, the slick slapping of flesh on flesh, the harsher slap of wood, metal and leather. Somewhere someone was crying, someone was screaming, someone was begging. There was a smell of sweat and blood which permeated through the silk screen that covered his face and into the darkness that swirled inside him, sucking him down.
It occurred to him that he was going to pass out but, by this point, he didn't really care. Once he'd prayed for it... when they were whipping him, when his arms were screaming, when they... the thought made his buttocks clench and pain shot through his guts, shocking the darkness away. He bit his lip to stifle a moan. A promise was a promise after all.
His body had risen with the pain, unconsciously and painfully and his arms were screaming again, bringing tears to his eyes, which he blinked away impatiently. He was NOT going to cry. With a sickening wrench to his guts and his shoulders his trembling legs gave way again making his body swing slightly and bringing the darkness crowding back into his mind, dulling his thoughts and numbing his body again. Sweet oblivion.
At least they were leaving him alone now. From what he'd seen before they put the mask on, he was getting away lightly. There was a long low moan from somewhere behind him, followed by a series of gasping groans that were accompanied by harsh guttural laughter and a voice urging... 'Harder... harder... harder... he can take it... make him bleed... make him beg.' The voice was gleeful and the boy was glad they weren't talking about him... not anymore.
Trying to swallow was agony, the collar was too tight. It was cutting into him and constricting his throat. He tried anyway and gagged, struggling for a moment, afraid he was going to choke. For a short while his heartbeat speeded up and thudded painfully in his chest and in his head but then it slowed again and he began to sink in earnest. Briefly he struggled against it, afraid, truly afraid that this time he was going to die, but there was no energy left for fighting, nothing he could do but wonder briefly why... why... why?
"Adam! What the fuck did you think you were doing? For the Love of God be careful. Shit! Shit Adam...what have you done?"
The voice stabbed into his battered consciousness, not quite enough to bring him to the surface but enough to bring other things into sharper focus. Like the fact that there were bodies close, the smell of perfume and sweat, the touch of a hand on his back. It hurt, but not much, not enough to shock him back awake. He began to sink again.
"Shut up Miriam. He's alright. He's fine. It was his choice, you know."
"Not this Adam. Fuck what have you done to him?"
"Get the fuck out of here, Miriam. No one invited you to the party."
"Adam... Just get him down."
"He's fine Miriam. I told you..."
The voices faded out.
A strange sensation caught his attention, one he could not at first recognise. It wasn't until his head came to rest on the shoulder of whoever was behind him that he realised it had been moving. He hissed as hands tugged the cloth free of the collar and then his closed eyes were flooded with light. Sucking in a deep breath of clear air he shuddered and gasped, choking again as the collar bit into his throat.
There were voices again but they were just buzzing in his head. He could hear them but not make out what they were saying. Whoever was standing behind him ran their hands down over his buttocks, and he had the feeling that somehow they were hiding the movement. Fingers probed between his butt cheeks and there was a tugging sensation followed by a ripping, tearing pain that made his body convulse and jerk, almost knocking over the person who was holding him and bringing the pain in his arms back to screaming life.
As he spiralled into the darkness he heard someone screaming... 'Get him down. For God's sake Adam, get him down. You're going to kill him."... and then there was nothing.
"Nye... Nye, are you alright? Nye, speak to me. Say something. Nye... Oh fuck Adam, fuck what have you done?"
"Shut UP Miriam. I told you, he's okay."
"How can you say that? He's fucking unconscious, Adam."
"Will someone please get her the FUCK out of here? Who let her in anyway?"
"Lay a hand on me and I'll have the police here faster than you can say 'fuckwit'."
The sounds washed over him as the bickering continued. It was entirely external to him, meaningless. The pain was, unfortunately not so meaningless now that it was beginning to make itself felt again.
With some surprise, he realised that he was no longer upright. His arms were no longer stretched over his head and they were no longer bound. The pain was still there though, especially now that the numbness seemed to have gone. It was everywhere, crawling over his back, pounding into his shoulders, slicing through his abdomen, sending thousands of burning hot needles into his arms. Swallowing moans he tried to force his eyes open.
At first the light only added to the pain, stabbing into his eyes and burning his mind with it's intensity after so long in the dark.
A face swam into view. 'Wow', he thought. The face was very beautiful. It was framed by longish black hair and held the most beautiful pair of deep blue eyes, familiar eyes, beloved eyes.
"Adam." The word was strangled by the constriction in his throat and the confusion in his mind and came out as a croak but it got the beautiful man's attention.
"Hey, Nye. You ok babe? Look... I'm sorry. I got carried away. I think maybe I left you up there too long, huh?"
The boy, Nye, couldn't process the information and so he just stared blankly upwards, lost in the beauty, the sense of... rightness.
There are no words I could use to describe how shocked I was when I saw my brother lying naked and unconscious in the arms of that... monster. I'd been shocked enough to find out from his room-mate that he had finally given in and gone to the club with Adam. I knew he hadn't wanted to, but Adam had kept chipping away and there was never any doubt that he would give in...he always did.
When Lee rang me hours later to say he was worried that Nye hadn't got back yet, I started to worry too... but it had still taken me three more hours to get up the courage to go and look for him.
The club was infamous. It was nondescript from the outside, fitting in with the other red brick buildings on the corner of a street that was full of clubs of various kinds... most of which would have, I believe, earned the term 'seedy'. There were strip clubs and pole dancing clubs and then there was 'The Club'.
My heart was pounding when I entered the door. It was filled with people dressed in leather and tattooed skin. They terrified me. Suspended above the booths and dance floors were cages in which young men and women writhed, sometimes alone, sometimes...not.
I went straight to the bar and asked for Adam. Everyone knew Adam and here was no exception, he was the boss after all, the owner. The bored seeming bar tender looked me up and down, gave me a feral grin and told me he'd taken the 'new meat' to the dungeon. I shuddered. 'New meat'? Was that Nye?
I really didn't want to go to the dungeon and I was incredibly naive, after seeing what was upstairs, not to expect what was waiting for me downstairs. I tried not to look at the writhing bodies, the whips, the chains, the... implements. The smell of sweat and blood was overpowering and I was almost sick... but Nye was in there somewhere.
I didn't know where to start. Most of the 'participants' wore hoods or masks of various kinds. It was his paleness that attracted my attention. We're all pale, the whole family, with ash blonde hair and skin that doesn't take kindly to the kiss of the sun. We're all tall, all willowy and all beautiful... it's a curse and none of us suffered more because of it than Nye.
My feet dragged me across the floor, feeling sick to my stomach. I was sure it was him, even though I couldn't see his face. Seeing the curling tattoo that caressed his hip and licked at the silvery hair at the base of his flaccid penis was merely confirmation, but as soon as I saw it I flipped and started freaking out.
Even so, I wasn't as shocked then as I was after they'd taken him down and removed the hood. He was naked, apart from a thick, studded leather collar around his neck and similar cuffs on his wrists and ankles, which had been linked with silver chains. The chains were gone now but he still seemed bound.
He was unconscious and bleeding and that monster Adam was kneeling on the floor holding him in his arms, as if he cared. Nye's beautiful, pale blonde hair was darkened by sweat and blood and plastered to his head and shoulders. He'd always been slender but he'd lost weight since I last saw him and he looked like a wraith, a living wraith... and only barely so.
I couldn't believe that Adam was being so calm, so blasé about the whole thing. He had a huge grin on his face and the circle of gawping freaks, most of whom had removed their hoods to better enjoy the drama, looked hungry and feral. At least someone had turned the lights on; the red tinted gloom I'd walked into had given the place the feel of the deepest circles of hell... I suppose that was the intention.
Relief flooded me when Nye opened his eyes, but it was short lived because he didn't seem to have any idea where he was. He'd always been a bit heavy on the eye make up and it had run, making it look as if he was weeping black blood. Above this, the clear emerald green of his eyes was diminished by the enormously dilated pupils. He was all black and white and red.
Adam smiled at him, with a parody of concern on his face and I wanted to hit him, to pound on his face until it wasn't beautiful anymore. His eyes flicked up at me and he grinned, almost as if he'd read my mind. He knew I wouldn't try anything. Not that I was afraid of him, oh no, not anymore, not of any of them; the protectiveness I felt about my brother went far deeper than fear ever could - but I knew that if I tried to hurt him then I would hurt Nye and he looked as if he really couldn't take being hurt anymore.
Nye shuddered and his body started to shake. He raised one arm, as if it was almost too heavy for him to lift, and draped it over Adam's shoulder, turning in his arms to bury his face in his chest. Adam tightened his hold, pulling him in to his body.
The sight of my baby brother in Adam's arms sickened me. Oh, not because I had any problem with the fact that Nye was gay, that was something I'd always known. It was as much a part of him as the colour of his eyes, or the sound of his voice. No, it was partly because of the fact that I hated Adam so much, that I could see the monster he truly was even if my brother was not able to; and partly because then I could clearly see his back... the angry wheals and long ragged slashes, oozing blood.
"Nye." I couldn't keep silent any longer and I crouched down, touching his shoulder gently. Adam tightened his hold possessively and Nye couldn't have pulled away if he'd wanted to.
Forcing myself to keep my voice calm and the accusation out of it, I looked Adam directly in the eyes. "He's freezing Adam. Can't we at least get him somewhere warm and private?"
"Stop babying him, Miriam. He's not a child anymore. Are you Nye?"
Adam relaxed his hold enough to allow my brother to half turn and look up at me. "Miriam?"
"Tell your sister you're alright, babe. Tell her you don't need her mothering and that I'm taking care of you just fine."
"I..." He still looked less than half conscious, his eyes wide and dazed. He looked from me to Adam, deeply confused, not knowing what was expected of him.
"Tell her, Nye." There was a note in his voice that chilled me, but Nye didn't seem to notice.
"Tell her you're fine with me and she should go."
"I... I'm not sure..." He shuddered again, his jaw clenching. I knew he was in pain and refusing to admit it. He was stubborn. He'd always been stubborn; stubborn and proud.
"Nye." He looked at me again, slightly less dazed, but more confused. "You're cold darling, very cold. Don't you want to get out of here, to get warm?"
He looked around and his eyes widened again; he shuddered, seeming to come to himself, to realise where he was and the condition he was in.
He jerked out of Adam's arms, sitting up too suddenly, and immediately slumped back over Adam's knees barely conscious again.
"Adam, stop being so stubborn and think of Nye. You're supposed to love him, remember?"
Adam's eyes narrowed and he gave me a look which hinted that retribution would be swift and final. I smiled and shrugged, like I cared if he threatened me, as long as he took care of Nye.
"Of course. It's not as if I wasn't going to anyway. I just didn't want to embarrass Nye in front of our friends, who will now think he is tied to his sister's apron strings."
Adam didn't so much climb to his feet as unfold upwards, dragging Nye up with him. He couldn't stand and, after a few minutes trying to get him to support his own weight, Adam gave a sigh of irritation and swept him up in his arms. He gave me a look of pure venom and hissed.
"Go upstairs and get a drink. Clearly, you can't trust me to take care of this so I'll bring him up when he's dressed. You'd better get a stiff one in for me too, you owe me."
"I owe you nothing, Adam and neither does my brother."
I wasn't happy about Adam taking Nye off again but the realities of where I was and what had happened were beginning to dawn on me and I took a look around and decided that, as intimidating as the bar was, it was nothing compared to that hellish place. I didn't feel safe and I didn't want to be there a moment longer.
I was sorely tempted to knock back a strong shot of something extremely alcoholic, but I had no desire to have to walk out of that district, given that it was, by now almost six and the traditional transition time of day life to night life would be beginning very soon. I shuddered at the thought of encountering those who frequented these parts at night, the ones who came here during the day were bad enough.
Therefore, I ordered a red wine to steady my nerves and then begrudgingly ordered two double brandies. Nye would need one and, if I didn't get Adam one too he would only take Nye's from him.
As I waited, I thought back over the last six months and shuddered at the thought of how much my brother had changed. He really did have terrible taste in men... and this time he'd surpassed himself.
Nye had never been what one might call lucky in love. He'd never made a mistake as bad as this though. I'd never liked Adam, not from the first moment I met him. He made me uneasy, although at the time I didn't know why. He was older, a lot older, but it wasn't that, it was the way he looked at me, the way he looked at Nye, as if he was a possession. There'd never been love in his eyes, only, sometimes a parody of it that fooled Nye but not me, never me.
Slowly, over the past six months Adam had drawn Nye away from his family and friends. No one saw him anymore, not even Lee, his room mate. He was hardly ever home; staying over with Adam more and more frequently. And he was changing.
Nye had never been particularly gregarious but he'd always been surrounded by friends and family. He was a happy boy, spending a lot of his time in a world of his own it was true, but it was a happy world, at least it had been. He was a talented writer who could reduce people to tears of joy or sorrow within half a page, could make you think deeply of matters never before thought of. He could play emotions like a musician plays his instrument, plucking the heart strings then soothing them to pluck them again in a different chord.
He was at university now, finishing his final year... or at least he had been. From what I could gather he hadn't been near the place in weeks and was in danger of failing what had looked as if it was going to be a first class degree. Everyone was worried about him, everyone had tried to talk to him, but it was all to no avail. It was as if Adam had cast a spell over him and he listened to no one but him now.
I'd been at my wits end for some time, almost from the very first time I heard Adam's name. It was killing me to watch the bright flame that had been my brother dwindling and growing dark. He'd been so strong, so full of life. He was a fighter, a campaigner, a fearless warrior for justice. And now...
I sighed and twirled my glass between my fingers, waiting.
I waited for almost half an hour and was fighting the urge to storm back down and drag him out by force, if I had to. And then I saw them. They emerged from the dark passage that housed the stairs down to the 'dungeon'. I was glad that, at least they'd got dressed. They walked close together and, as they drew near I could see that Adam had his arm around Nye's waist. Whether it was to support him or convey a message I didn't know, although I guessed it was both.
They threaded their way through the crowds and tables, pausing now and again to speak to someone or other. I noticed that it was always Adam who did the talking. Occasionally Nye smiled briefly and added a word or two, before lifting his head again to stare vacantly into the distance.
Every eye in the room was on them as they moved. They made a striking pair. Both of them were tall, slender and graceful, Adam as dark as Nye was fair and they were both beautiful, but in very different ways. Adam was sophisticated, slick, dressed in designer labels from head to foot and, at least on the surface was the epitome of the successful business man. His skin was always tanned, no matter what time of the year and the words best used to describe him would have been 'well groomed', except to me... to me the word was sleazy.