Seventy-Two Hours Ch. 01byLoveBird1929©
A story I've had in my mind for a while now. Shouldn't be more than 3 chapters. Also, this is a little darker in emotions than what I normally write...I think, lol. No sex this chapter. That's to come in chapter 2 which is already 95% complete.
Hope you enjoy! As always, comments and feedback appreciated.
January 15, 2011
Growing up, Justice Jameson had never much cared one way or the other about his birthday. Unlike the hordes of children throughout the country who anticipated the arrival of their special day, sometimes for weeks in advance, Justice had always viewed his birthday as just another day on the calendar. The only real importance he'd ever found in the day was that it signified he'd survived yet another year of the hell that was his life as the unwanted son of a cracked out prostitute and her abusive pimp and, later, as an abused foster child failed by the system put in place to save him.
Thirty years after the day of his birth and Justice's feelings of ambivalence had never faded. The circumstances of his adult life, however, were infinitely different, improved even, over those of his childhood. His mother was long dead, his father jailed for life for killing her, many of Justice's former foster parents personally paid back tenfold for the cruelty he'd suffered at their hands and Justice himself developed from a youth Child Protective Services had labeled as emotionally withdrawn into a man the Detroit Police Department identified as their number one most wanted...yet Justice had never managed to let go of the jadedness instilled in him so long ago.
From nineteen eighty-one to two thousand ten, the fifteenth of January had never been a day of celebration for Justice.
And the fifteenth of January of the year twenty-eleven was shaping up to be no different than the twenty-nine which had preceded it.
Except, for the first time ever, Justice had allowed someone to give him a gift.
Justice knew Axl's "gift" was not a gift at all. Not even if he was two Buds from having an intimate face-to-face encounter with the crapper could he fool himself into thinking it was. Actually, the more Justice thought on it, in his acute state of sobriety, the more convinced he became anything else would've been preferable. Even a fist to the gut.
There were a couple other, less painful, choice ideas for presents his all too active mind was quick to throw out for consideration. The chance to run his fingers through Axl's burnt copper, shaggy, brown-black-and-blond highlighted locks while staring intently into his emerald rimmed, light green orbs and letting his own eyes tell the full story of the wealth of adoration he felt for the slight man. The opportunity to tease Axl's luscious, pink lips with nips and kisses of unrestrained passion.
Axl standing before him. Ready. Willing. Thin, pale, freckled body nude except for the royal blue satin bow tied around a certain organ south of his waist, nestled between the juncture of his thighs. A royal blue satin bow that would be quickly discarded with one swift tug of Justice's teeth. And an organ Justice would then thoroughly enjoy enticing with his mouth to a state of aching stiffness.
Shit, Justice thought harshly to himself. Scrubbing a hand over his face, he turned away from the window and the dying day he'd been blindly staring at. He moved towards the twin bed situated in the center of the Spartan room and plopped down hard on its edge. What the fuck was he thinking? He wasn't gay.
But if he was to be completely honest with himself, Justice had to admit he'd been aware for some time of the sexual craving he harbored for Axl. Over the last couple years of their long friendship, ever since that day, a myriad of stray thoughts betraying the truth of his desires had made themselves known to him. It was just that on this particular evening, stress had caused them all to hammer at the same time at the mental boundaries which normally held them safely in check, demanding freedom.
Whatever. Regardless of the current homosexual train of his thoughts, Justice was not a lover of men. Far from it.
And if anyone ever had their doubts, Justice had irrefutable proof to back up his state of heterosexuality: Lisa Walker...formerly Lisa Walker-Jameson up until approximately one year ago. Lisa was his ex-wife who managed a pretty fucking good impression of an Antarctic ice shard most of the time.
No man alive with even a hint of homosexual or bisexual tendencies would have dated Lisa, much less married the frigid bitch like he had. One glance at her and hidden tendencies no doubt blossomed into full blown actualities. Lisa had probably thus helped tons of men "in the closet" navigate their way to freedom around their mental embargoes of polo shirts, khaki pants and suit jackets.
Hell, even straight men made a point to cut a wide berth around her. Except Justice.
But Justice didn't really count. He was a special case: a nasty, obstinate bastard molded such from his adolescent experiences growing up on the east side of Detroit combined with his experiences founding and heading up Los Olvidados, one of Detroit's most feared and deadliest gangs. Justice made it a point to always obtain that which he viewed as unobtainable. No matter its desirableness, or, in the case of his beautiful, educated, glacial ex-wife, lack thereof.
His tenaciousness also underscored the urges he felt towards Axl. Time and again, Justice had fulfilled the role of Axl's protector. It was a role his psyche equated with that of a parent or a lover. The former was the role he'd served in Axl's early, formative years. The latter was a role he'd played, just once, on a grief fueled, explosive day two years ago. That day.
It was an incident Justice had immediately tried his best not to remember.
Since then, Justice had been treated quite often, as before, to all the trials and tribulations that came with protecting his friend. And on that first occasion after their intimacy he'd been forced into a confrontation with a disturbing realization: No matter how much Justice wanted to forget what had happened, it wasn't possible.
Because Justice's feelings towards Axl had undergone a radical, irrevocable change as a result of their actions together. And that was something Justice couldn't ignore. He couldn't overlook the fact that the very instant Axl's body had comforted his by welcoming his sex and his seed just happened to coincide with the very instant Justice had ceased to view Axl as his son, his little brother.
It was also the very instant Justice's mind had deduced Axl was no longer freely entitled to Justice's protective aid in that capacity.
That left only one other alternative in Justice's mind. Lover.
To which Justice's conscience protested.
In response to his confusion, Justice's mind had taken to the relentless, tenacious habit of stockpiling his suppressed, unsatisfied needs and the persistent expressing of them in the release of tantalizing, forbidden images throughout the years. Mostly at inopportune moments. Like now.
Made for an all-out crap situation. And for some very malapropos erections.
Justice absolutely, positively was not a lover of men.
He did, however, love one man.
By nature, Justice was protective and Axl was the only person who had a true need of him in such a capacity. Not that Los Olvidados wasn't full of members younger than Axl's tender twenty who had need of Justice in some way or another. But they were all cut from the same tough cloth as Justice and they looked to him for guidance, not the protection Axl relied so heavily on him to provide. Which meant Axl, thankfully, was the only person Justice had to deal with this tussling of the feelings over.
Even Lisa, his own wife, the very person he'd taken vows to keep safe from harm, had never needed him in such a manner. She'd made it clear often enough throughout their entire five years of marriage that she didn't need him to protect her and never would. And, of all the things he could fault Lisa for, her ability to defend herself had never been among them.
It was pretty much a given that every shrewish harpy was equipped from birth with the means to emasculate a man with the utterance of a single word.
Many months ago, there had been another person who'd truly needed his protection. Gage. His son with Lisa. But Justice had failed Gage. Much as he wanted, he hadn't been able to protect him.
But he couldn't think about Gage. Not right now. This wasn't the time or place. Nor was he ready.
Probably never would be.
Directing his thoughts in another direction, Justice contemplated the list of possible nonsexual birthday gifts he would be open to receiving from Axl in years to come. A simple thank you for the many times he'd extracted Axl's ass from this dilemma or that. Or, a warm, heartfelt, masculine hug in the safe form of slap on the back accompanied by a statement along the lines of, "J, have I ever told you how much I really appreciate all that you've done for me, man?"
A sudden change in the atmosphere jerked Justice clear out of his musings. The currents of charged energy which circulated invisibly through the air were almost imperceptible and, under normal circumstances, he never would have taken note of them. But given where he was, whose lair he was in, Justice did notice the difference because of his vigilance. A vigilance he knew from the moment of arrival it would behoove him to maintain at all times.
He was no longer in the room by himself. After hours of keeping him waiting, his host had apparently decided to come make the welcome wagon rounds.
Knowing if he showed any sort of negative reaction it would be perceived as a weakness to be fully exploited and used, Justice didn't move a muscle. Not even to relax those which had just tautened. By force of will, Justice remained exactly as he'd been, sitting on the side of the bed, feet planted firmly on the ground, ramrod straight back to the door and his host, gaze trained on the floor.
Several long, uncomfortably tense moments passed before his host deigned to speak. "So you're him. The great and mighty Justice Jameson. The Savior of Innocents."
"The moniker has a certain ring to it," Justice replied, his voice gravelly. His raspiness was a memento from his time spent in foster care and the numerous fists he'd taken in his throat from one of his nicer foster fathers before the man had met with an unfortunate, and fatal, accident instrumented by a preteen Justice. "Maybe you should heed its warning."
"Maybe I should heed its warning? Or is it that maybe you should place less stock in yourself?"
"Well, I can tell you right now that's definitely not going to happen. So let's stick with the first option, shall we."
Throughout the years, Justice had faced a myriad of foes on Axl's behalf. And those foes ran the gamut from the narcotic substance addictions, laughingly unfunny in their extensive variety and wide damage they caused, he'd helped Axl to overcome time after time, to the jealous, possessive lovers he'd sheltered Axl from.
But this new foe he now faced for Axl was wholly unlike any other foe he'd ever confronted before. This new foe was in a league of his own.
The guy wasn't even a guy. He was a demon. A real, live, honest-to-fucking-God, look what someone long ago conjured then lost control of demon.
He was also terrifyingly close to being in complete possession of something Axl couldn't live without. His soul.
And, no, it wasn't a demon has exclusive rights to Axl's soul, but only for X amount of years and to only be used in a pre-agreed upon manner type of situation. It was a by some scary, probably very painful method Axl nor Justice wanted to think about, much less fucking experience, demon is going to suck Axl's soul straight out of his body like he's slurping Coke through a crazy straw to claim absolute rights to and to do with as he so pleases for forever while leaving Axl dead in the process type of situation.
It was a situation Justice had no plans to see culminated. And that was his sole reason for agreeing to act as collateral when Axl had approached him.
Jesus, had it really only been just that morning Axl had appeared at his door, freakishly hulking man in tow, after weeks of ignoring all of Justice's attempts to contact him by phone and dodging Los Olvidados members Justice had sent after him? And had he really shown up babbling some crazy tale of a deal he'd made with a soul collecting demon called by, of all the ironic fucking things, Saint?
Saint's rumbling laughter filled the air, swelling until it occupied every corner of the room with its callous tones of mockery. "And you shouldn't push your luck, Justice. You should be happy as it is that the league of Axl's abusive beaus heed the implicit warning. Especially since they only do so because they don't know any better."
"I take that to mean you think you do."
"I know I do. I have important knowledge, infinite knowledge, that many others lack."
Yeah, damn it, that had really had happened just that very fucking morning.
After first laughing at Axl, thinking his friend's latest binge on insert drug of choice here was making him experience some serious, out-of-the-world hallucinations, Justice had quickly come to several conclusions which bade him to look deeper.
First, he'd realized the hulking man standing sentry by his front door was there to ensure Axl didn't flee, not as his newest boyfriend as Justice had originally assumed. Justice watched the furtive looks Axl shot in the man's direction every two to three seconds and he'd signaled King, his second, with a glance to inconspicuously train a gun on the man when he'd realized Axl was scared shitless of the guy, not enamored.
Axl's clear fear also served as Justice's first inkling that Axl truly believed every word of the unbelievable story he'd spun. Then Justice experienced the epiphany which was the deciding factor in forcing him into a reevaluation of the entire situation.
For the first time, in a very long time, Axl was sober.
Justice couldn't recall the last time his beloved friend had sought him out while not flying high on coke, crack or heroin.
Immediately, he'd dismissed King. Then made Axl recount his wild story. And had attentively listened to every word Axl spoke.
Though he had serious doubts about agreeing to what Axl asked of him, Justice knew he didn't have a choice. He loved Axl and, as Axl's protector, it was his duty to act as the guarantee Saint demanded. In return for Justice's agreement to his terms, agreement to be ushered back to Saint's compound by the hulking henchman for a stay of no less than seventy-two hours, possibly longer, as in never leaving, Saint would allow Axl to stay outside of his lair, unguarded, to carry out the task Saint had given him three days to complete. If Axl was successful in his mission, all of the demon's rights to his soul would revert back to Axl.
And both Axl and Justice would walk free.
Justice had readily consented. Even knowing his own soul would be forfeit if Axl failed in his task and failed to return to accept his fate.
Because without his consent, Saint wouldn't even have given Axl a fighting chance.
"Is that so," Justice replied, voice carefully modulated to reflect a boredom he didn't feel.
"I know the truth, Justice."
"Care to enlighten me. I always find a certain degree of amusement in entertaining the opinions others have drawn of me. They're usually erroneous, but, hey, that's what makes them so damn comical."
"The truth is, Justice, is that you're no savior. That may be how you fancy yourself, how The Forgotten, very quaint by the way, how Axl and how his sleazy boyfriends all see you, but it's not what you really are."
As Saint made his way fully into the room, Justice tracked his every move by the sound of his footfalls. Swift steps soon brought the very tips of a pair of black boots to just within Justice's line of sight and he could feel the silent challenge Saint issued. A dare for Justice to raise his eyes and to meet Saint's stare head on.
Never one to back down, Justice obliged.
Huge black boots. Tight black leather pants. Tighter black wife beater. Dark mocha brown skin. Merciless ochre eyes. Shaved bald head.
The demon was tall, approximately the same height as Justice himself, maybe a fraction taller at about six foot three or so. And the obscene tightness of his outfit highlighted his monstrously muscled physique so he probably possessed a similar strength. Not encouraging when Justice wanted nothing more than to rip the demon to shreds for threatening Axl.
Very discouraging when Justice acknowledged all he had to fall back on for extra strength was his fierce righteousness wherever Axl was concerned. Saint probably had the power of all of hell to back him.
Justice strongly suspected the visage of the thirty something man he looked at was not Saint's true countenance, but rather the countenance of another indebted soul who'd failed in his task and had subsequently had his dues called in. And he had to give it to the demon. It was an excellent choice.
Saint exuded dangerousness in his current form. Especially with the raised, scarred flesh which started at his right temple and stretched down his face and neck to disappear briefly under the thin band of his tank only to make a reappearance as it trailed down the full length of his right arm.
Strangely, the disfigurement wasn't off putting. On the contrary, it was magnetic with its intricate pattern of many swirls. And, if Justice didn't know better, he'd swear the swirls were moving, constantly shifting in place. Which was just crazy.
Or, maybe it wasn't, considering what Saint was.
A loop piercing decorated the right corner of his bottom lip, a curved barbell ran across the bridge of his nose, two straight barbells adorned his left eyebrow and each of his ears contained a multitude of piercings. The right which included the stretching of the lobe around a hollowed, silver, circular disk. Justice was fairly certain if he was looking at a face which had previously belonged to another, all of the "extras" had been added after the soul sucking had been completed.
Excellent choice, indeed. The dude was fucking scary.
And this was the future which possibly awaited Axl. No way in hell was Justice letting that happen.
"Finished with your gawking yet?" The words were laced with the same chilly amusement present in Saint's dark eyes. "Enjoying the view?"
Saint chuckled. "I won't take insult with your disgust as I didn't think you would nor do I care if you don't. But back to what I was saying," he said, deep, booming bass frostily cold. "We both know you're no savior, don't we. If that were truly the case, you wouldn't be sitting here right now."
Beating back the sickening guilt dredged up by Saint's words, Justice said, "I'm here because there's only one innocent I'm concerned with saving."
"Innocent. A very unorthodox word when applied to our dear Axl, don't you think? But what I really want to know, Justice, is if you know the true cost of you being here right now. Do you? You being here gives Axl the opportunity to collect and deliver to me the truly innocent souls of five virgins in order to save his own soul. His own damned soul lost by his own damn stupidity. But once I have those virginal souls have you any clue what I'm going to do with them?"
Justice knew, God did he know, but Axl's soul and life were at stake here. And no matter what happened, and to whom, Justice had to do what he could to save Axl. He couldn't fail him.