Technical Difficulties Episode 15byLucyH©
Previously in Technical Difficulties
Having been recently turned into a vampire for no obvious reason, Zach is staying with Ryan while he figures out how to manage in this new undead life. They've just yesterday made the happy discovery that they're highly sexually compatible, in a sadomasochistic sort of way, and they'd like to spend a few days in bed together, but stuff keeps getting in the way.
First, Ryan's stepmother, Jamila, and young stepbrother, Jerry, showed up, fleeing from Ryan's violent alcoholic father who also happens to be a cult leader. It's awkward having family for houseguests when you have a vampire in your bed who you want to have noisy sex with. Jerry has made worrying remarks about storehouses on the cult's property, holding mysterious contents for just in case the government shows up, and Ryan would like to find out what's going on. There's also been trouble with Zach's parents, who he lived with up until he got turned into a vampire. They had reported him as a missing person, and were upset when they found Zach and he wouldn't go home with them. He told them he was gay as an explanation, and although that was easier than explaining vampirism, it still didn't go over well, and it was still hard.
Jamila shifted around on Ryan's basement couch, exhausted but unable to sleep. There was no way to get comfortable when her bones and muscles ached so badly. The blue-green numbers on the DVD player's clock were a blur to her dry, weary eyes, and the stitches on the back of her head itched. She wondered if it would be better to die and not have to feel so awful anymore. Guilt, self-loathing, and fear gnawed at her guts relentlessly.
She poked at the gigantic painful pimple on her forehead just below the hair line. Stress and sleepless nights always turned her into a horrid zit monster. Jamila rose and crept up the stairs to go pop the zit in the bathroom. She peeked over her shoulder to make sure that Jerry was still sleeping before she cracked open the basement door and headed out into the hall.
A sliver of light leaked out around Ryan's closed bedroom door. That was surprising, since he'd said he was going to bed half an hour ago. She tiptoed down the hall, heading for the bathroom door, which was right beside the bedroom. Curiosity got the better of her when she he heard voices coming from the bedroom. She paused just outside the bathroom, and barely breathed as she strained to hear what they were talking about.
"I'm serious. It won't kill us to wait another day," Ryan's friend, Zach said, though his words came out tarnished by regret.
"And I'm serious about doing it now. You don't have to breathe, do you? Like, at all?" Ryan argued.
"No. I checked."
"If I put tape over your mouth and nose, then, you won't be able to make noise, and we won't bother them."
"You're demented - you know that?"
Ryan purred, "You say the sweetest things, my dear." A drawer opened and closed, followed by the distinct sound of tape peeling off the roll.
"Wait, what about other noise?"
"Don't worry. I promise to keep it down."
Jamila backed away from the door, and fled back down the hall in horror. It had seemed like an epiphany when she decided that her husband wasn't even making sense, but apparently she was just too stupid to understand the word of God. Her husband had spoken the literal truth when he said that demons walked the earth disguised as men. And she'd called him a liar and run off to sleep under the same roof with hell spawn! She'd left her own child in the care of a wicked man and the demon he consorted with. If she'd had more faith, and if she'd been stronger, she would have stayed where she belonged - where God wanted her. She needed to get back there. Good thing she hadn't told Ryan any of the details he'd been prying about earlier in the evening.
On the way down the basement stairs, she flicked the light on.
Jerry raised his head and squinted. "Mom?"
"Shh, honey." She tiptoed down the stairs, over to his side. "We need to be quiet. Get up and put your shoes on, please."
"Why?" Jerry pulled the covers over his head and curled up in a ball.
"Because we need to go somewhere else. It's not safe here."
"Brother Ryan is a bad man. C'mon, let's move." Jamila tugged at Jerry's blanket. Her heart pounded.
Jerry scrunched up tighter and hung onto his blanket with determination. "Why-yyyy? What are you talking about?"
"Jerry, move. Now. We don't have time for this."
"I don't want to."
Jamila scooped Jerry up, blanket and all, and carried him up the stairs. Thankfully, he must have been shocked enough to stop whining. She grabbed their coats on the way out the door, but didn't stop to put them on. They needed to put some miles between them and that house before they stopped to deal with anything as trivial as buttons and zippers.
When it became obvious that Ryan wouldn't take no for an answer -- at least not the lackluster no that he was giving -- Zach perched on the edge of the bed with his hands in his lap and let Ryan stick duct tape over half his face. He still wondered whether this was a good idea, because he felt too horrible about the conversation with his parents to feel sexy. All he really wanted Ryan to do at that moment was hurt him enough that he couldn't think about anything else. The way that Ryan caressed his face as he smoothed out the tape and ran a hand up Zach's thigh suggested that he felt differently. Oh well. Ryan featured in all of Zach's rape fantasies. If he still wasn't in the mood when Ryan decided he wanted to fuck, and Ryan did it anyway, Zach figured he would enjoy it later as a memory.
Once Zach's breath was cut off, Ryan asked him to try making noise. A series of short, soft grunts was the most he could manage. Ryan stepped back to admire his tape job. He didn't look like a man who was going to be careful and quiet; he was transfigured by the wildness inside him. The uncertainty and caution that had tempered his thoughts the night before had melted away.
Zach looked into Ryan's darkened eyes and felt like the floor had vanished and he was falling. He realized that he'd missed that look almost as much as he'd missed the torture that inevitably followed. Zach moved his hands behind him, opening himself up to his lover.
Hurried footsteps coming up the basement stairs made Ryan turn his head to look at the door. They listened. The front door opened and closed, and then Jamila's car pulled out of the driveway. Zach's shoulders slumped, and he would have sighed or groaned had that been an option. Not again! How many times was Jamila going to inadvertently interrupt them?
Ryan shrugged it off this time, though. "I'll ask about it later." He scooped Zach up in his arms, and tossed him down in the middle of the bed.
Zach bounced, and the room spun around him until Ryan pinned him to the bed with a knee in the middle of his chest.
"Give me your hands," Ryan said.
Zach obeyed. Ryan jerked Zach's wrists into a more convenient position, and bound him with a gratuitous amount of tape, winding it almost up to his elbows. How strange it seemed that all they had going twenty four hours ago was ulterior motives and a bit of rope.
Ryan slid his hand under Zach's head and leaned down to kiss him through the silver gray mask of duct tape. He closed his eyes, and as a result, he was taken entirely by surprise a moment later when Ryan's hand slammed into his face. There was a flash of light and a jolt of pain as the bridge of his nose went crunch. His eyes popped open and he stared up at Ryan in shock. Blood from the wound pooled behind the duct tape and ran into his throat and lungs. He tried to swallow, and his reflexes said he should cough, but he couldn't do either. Ryan held Zach's hands away from his face so he couldn't tear at the tape.
Zach was too overwhelmed to notice that Ryan had knocked the angst out of him with a single hit.
Sudden, unprovoked impulses to break Zach's nose were nothing new; Ryan had been repressing them for years. When he was alone, he'd fantasized about letting go and punching Zach, then pinning him to a wall and kissing his face in spite of his struggling and cursing. He'd never considered really doing it, of course. Now that Zach was a vampire who healed so fast that a dark purple hickey vanished in under an hour, though, and he'd given Ryan blanket permission to do as he pleased, the impulse encountered no resistance on its way to becoming action.
The heel of his hand hit bone and cartilage with a satisfying crack, and Zach struggled against him. Ryan's mind soared on an updraft of exhilaration.