by Jodie Louise
Author's website: http://freespace.virgin.net/jodie.mouse
Disclaimer: Owned by other people.
Author's Notes: Thanks D. Thanks people that liked Flare so much that I had to write a sequel (you know who you are).
Story Notes: Dark, dark, dark, dark. Sexual abuse is involved - be warned.
This story is a sequel to: Flare
By Jodie Louise
It's a nice place - Ray chose it really. I kinda felt I was just along for the ride. There are still boxes everywhere, I mean it's mainly his stuff. There weren't that much space in that room and any of my good things got stolen a long time ago. I jus' got some clothes really. Jus' packed up a large canvas bag and that was it. Out. Gonna miss seeing Elaine all the time - hopefully Vecchio is jus' a good cook as she is 'cos I damn well ain't.
Been here a couple of days - started to feel...comfortable. S'nice.
Too good. I keep wondering what the catch is.
Is he gonna be like Matt and...use me. Like Jonny and just...take.
An' I know - I jus' know Ray's not like that. But I've known too many twisted fucks in my time. Been `round far too long.
Hafta watch my back.
"Vecchio." Welsh says intent on his papers.
"Lieutenant. Just to let you know Kowalski is retiring. He's not gonna be one of my informants anymore."
Welsh looks up from the paperwork on his desk. He raises an eyebrow.
"Shame - he got us some good tip offs. Especially that one about Mace and Red. He don't want to help us anymore?"
"I don't want him to help us. I don't want him getting in trouble."
The Lieutenant wipes his face with a hand. He looks agitated - he's gonna be more agitated if I tell him exactly why I don't want Kowalski helping us...
"He's a felon. A prostitute. Kowalski is a grown man he can look after himself."
"Ray's not doing that stuff anymore - he's got a proper job."
"Ray? You're on first name terms with this guy?" asks Welsh looking up at me.
Welsh leans back into his chair. His eyes narrow. It is almost like he is looking at me for the first time. It feels as if he can see right through me. Welsh keeps clicking his pen with his thumb. Click. Click. Click. Click.
"Okay Vecchio. I'll take him off the list."
"Vecchio. Watch yourself."
I nod and move to the door of the office.
"And Detective? I hear you have just moved into a new apartment. Good luck with the move...and everything."
My back stiffens and I turn to nod at Welsh. I swear I must be going a dark shade of pink. In fact it is a relief to get back into the bullpen and have Huey and Gardino start pulling my leg.
So that's one down. And next... Ma. To explain exactly why I'm moving out and to tell her about Ray.
I'd been dreaming nice things for once. S'it came as a bit of a shock to find myself back in the big bad world. Sitting in my own shit, sick, spunk and gawd knows what else.
Can't remember last time I ate. Was it yesterday, or the day before that? The hours, nights and days melt into one here.
I rub my neck. It is sore from the collar and chain which make me unable to move from this bed. My eyes hurt. My ass hurts. How much longer is he gonna keep me like this? How much longer does he think I need to be punished for.
When I met Matt I thought I was getting away from the head fuck stuff that Jonny used to do.
I was so wrong. S'weird `cos I'm crying. But I don't feel anything. Just hot tracks down my cheeks.
The door opens. I stare but can't see - my eyes are all fucked up and blurred.
I can still hear tho'. I think it would be better to be deaf sometimes.
"He's all yours, Kyle."
Matt's voice. Sounds like he's lending Kyle a record or book. But he's not. He's lending Kyle a person. Lending him me.
I hear a whip crack in the air. I met Kyle before. He likes thick leather whips.
Crack. Crack. Crack. Testing swings in the air.
I brace myself for when the fucker starts using it on me.
Jeez. I can feel the blood warm on my skin.
I get to work and find Wilco waitin' outside the club. He nods when he sees me. I take a long drag on my cigarette and walk up to him.
"What d'you want, Wilco?"
"Gotta job, Kowalski."
Wilco flicks his long dark fringe back with his hand. He's grinning at me.
"Why tell me?"
"Thought you might want in."
"Wilco - I've stopped - I told ya."
"Business guy wants to show his friend a good time. They like a bit of rough."
"Nah. I told ya."
"How long you think you gonna keep off the streets? It's not gonna last with this guy."
I hit Wilco square in the mouth. It feels good.
"Fuck ya, Wilco. Jus' go. An' I don't wanna see ya round here again."
Wilco touches his split lip and blood comes away.
"Fuck you, Kowalski."
He turns and leaves.
I am sitting in the apartment in the dark. I am crying.
I don't know what to think. I didn't know what Ma would say when I told her - but I didn't expect her to say that stuff...
I had to tell her about me and Ray. I didn't want her to find out from someone else. I thought it would be better this way...I was wrong, so wrong.
I love my family. I love them. But Ma has told me she don't want to see me again. She don't want me around the children. She thinks I might corrupt them or something. Jesus. Jesus. I was never particularly into being Catholic or anything - I didn't think she was. I was wrong - I was so wrong.
I thought she'd get it, after all she is my mother and they are supposed to understand stuff like that.
But she don't.
I'm not sure she ever will. And it's weird. `Cos I've always had a family and now they don't want to know me. I'm just a queer, a faggot...they don't even see me anymore. They just see this guy who's into other guys - they don't see me.
I may like other guys - I may like Ray but it is not the only thing about me. I am more than just a faggot...but they just can't see...
Weird. Like the old Ray Vecchio has gone to be replaced by a completely new Ray Vecchio who is queerness squared or something. I am no longer the man of the house. I no longer am a Vecchio. Why does my identity change just `cos I like men? Why does it change people's views of me completely?
I let myself into the apartment, it is dark, pitch black. I can hear sobbing. I turn on the hall light and see Ray sitting on the couch tears down his face.
I run my hand through my hair. Not sure howta handle this. I throw my jacket on to a chair and sit next to Ray, pull him close to me, his head against my chest. Stroke his head - feel the small spikes of fuzz beneath my fingers.
He looks straight up at me: "I told Ma."
"Yeah? She not take it very well?"
Ray's whole body begins to shake. I pull him closer, kiss his head. I feel like saying a lotta stuff - calling Ma Vecchio all sorts of nasty names. `Cos it hurts seeing Ray like this...
"She said I'm gonna...burn in hell."
I snort. Fucking twisted Catholic -- an' he's not crying 'cos he believes her - he don't. He's crying 'cos he has been rejected by his family. Ray's family is important to him. I never understood that but then my Dad beat me - wanted to make me a man - and my Mom just watched. And my brutha...well I'm just not gonna go there.
"Shush. Babe. I love ya. Ya love me. Fuck them." I say.
And we're kissing, all tongues. It's fantastic.
"You make me feel so good, so good." Ray whispers as he gets some air.
An' we kiss some more. Then he pulls back. His eyes wet with tears.
"You never tell me about your family."
"Nah. Nuthin' much to say."
I can tell from the way he is looking at me that Ray does not believe me.
"Was what happened so bad?"
Soft green eyes questioning.
"Vecchio. Drop. It."
Sometimes I still got nightmares `bout my old life. S'funny that giving out blow jobs and selling your ass was a better life than the one I had before that. At least I had some control over things - I had no control when I was at my parent's. My father beat me, my brutha...
Vecchio smoothes my cheek all concerned.
"What were you thinking about?" he asks.
"Don't matter." I say reaching for my cigarettes.
My hands are shaking as I light one. Jonny. He may be my brutha but if I ever see that sick fuck again I'll kill him. The bastard.
I put a hand up to my face and feel the wetness there.
And it is the first time I've cried `bout what Jonny did. Never cried at the time. Took so much and then packed my bags and left. I was 17. Nuthin' to stay for. No reason. By then I'd stopped feeling anyway. The beatings from my Dad started it. Jonny's twisted games saw to the rest.
Ray has me in his arms. He is rocking me like I'm a kid. S'funny that I was doing the same to him only moments ago.
When I shoulda been finishing High School I was learning to suck cock. I stopped being a kid a long time before. And when I lived on the streets I found people who were less kind than Jonny. But somehow that weren't as bad `cos they were strangers. They took without asking an' it didn't seem as bad as having your brutha take without asking. Then I met Matt and before I knew it I was learning how to spread myself for another man for a place to sleep and food to eat. At least it helped the memories of what Jonny did fade. Replaced by those of a new sick fucker.
Jeez. Where did it all go? My life?
I let it all go - I let all the shit out. My whole body is shaking. Ray smoothes my back, my shoulders, my chest. Whispers that things will be alright, tells me I don't hafta be scared no more. Kisses me. Small kisses.
Survived so long. Jus' that tho' - jus' surviving. When I'm with Ray I feel human. He makes me feel loved rather than being another hole, another mouth, to fuck.
An' I gotta thank him for that...but I don't know how to...I ain't never had anyone love me like he does.
So I burrow into him and think that things might - just might - work out. We'll be two fuck-ups crying in each other's arms lying on the couch.
Jonny had a look in his eye tonight. Mom and Dad were out and when Jonny got that look in his eye I knew what was coming.
We were sitting in front of the TV watching a game. Having a couple of beers.
An' he starts touching my knee. Rubbing my thigh. This is how it always starts. Don't fight him anymore. Found that if I jus' give in to him everything is easier.
The same sorta easier as when I let Dad hit me and not hit him back or shout.
Jonny's breath is on me - warm smells of beer - and his tongue is in my mouth. Pushing in and out, in and out.
Hands are pulling at the zipper on my jeans. I let him turn me over onto my belly. I let him pull my jeans and boxers down. I let him fuck my ass even though it hurts an' I can feel it ripping inside.
I let him do all of this stuff `cos I'm scared. Scared.
I am lying awake in bed listening to my lover keep saying this guy's name. Ray keeps twisting and turning - pulling the covers around.
I don't know what this guy did to him but it must've been pretty bad. `Cos Ray keeps shaking and moaning. He is scared of this guy - I can smell the fear on him. And I don't like it.
So I touch him, pull Ray close to me and stroke his hair. My lover is sobbing. I decide to try and wake him up. I touch him, shake him.
"Ray? Ray?" I ask.
"NO. Fucking NO."
A broken off scream. Then he is awake blinking at me.
"Jeez. Ya scared me, Vecchio."
"You were having a nightmare."
I pull him closer to me, hugging him.
Ray's body freezes beneath me. Rigid. Like a board. He pushes me away.
"Don't wanna talk `bout it."
He will not look at me. In the darkness I can see him picking at the blanket on the bed. His body is full of tension, muscles tight.
"He hurt you, didn't he? You're scared of him."
"Don't wanna talk `bout it." he says wrapping himself in a blanket and leaving the room.
And I don't know what to do. So I follow him on to the couch, joining him under the blanket. We watch trashy TV - I say `we' but neither of us are. Ray is staring at the wall smoking cigarette after cigarette. I'm watching him out of the corner of my eye. I want to find out who this Jonny guy is fucking kill him.
"What d'you think, Benny?"
"He won't tell you?"
I shake my head. We are in the Riv - I am driving Fraser to the consulate.
"Elaine might know, she seems to know Ray quite well." he says scratching his eyebrow, "But Ray, if Ray really doesn't want you to know may be you shouldn't go behind his back. You should wait until he is ready to tell you himself."
"Can't do that...he's not gonna tell me. I've got to find out who this Jonny bastard is."
Ben turns around and looks at me. He nods.
"Very well, Ray. I know where Elaine works, she told me the other evening."
I turn and look at him.
"I could kiss you, Benny."
He turns bright pink.
I can see Elaine putting video cases on the shelf from outside the shop. A plump middle-aged man sits behind the counter.
I go in and tap Elaine on the shoulder. She turns, looks startled and then recognises me.
"You're Ray's boyfriend - the other Ray."
"'Bout time he moved out of that dump of a room in my block. Is he okay?"
"Yeah. Can I ask you something?"
Elaine looks puzzled but nods.
"Did he ever mention a Jonny?"
She turns her back to me and I can tell she don't want to answer the question.
"Look Elaine - this isn't some jealously thing - I just...need to know."
She speaks slowly, like she's been thinking about what to say.
"I think his brother was called Jonny. Ray never really talked `bout his family. Got the idea he didn`t get along with them."
"Nah. He don't seem to like speaking about stuff like that."
Dark eyes glance up - concerned.
"Is there some sorta trouble?" Elaine asks.
"Don't know. Hey - come `round one night when Ray's off."
She smiles: "Okay."
I kiss Elaine on the cheek.
"If Ray's in trouble I'd like to help."
I nod and leave the shop. My brain kicks in. His brother. His brother...and I am adding two and two together and coming up with five but this time I think five is right.
Goddamnit - why couldn't he tell me?
I am in love with a man I know next to nothing about. All I know is what's on his file. Soliciting. Possession. Soliciting. It doesn't tell me anything about him - and I want to know everything. I want to know what this Jonny fuckwit did.
I want Ray to be happy.
I don't even know if he's happy with me. He loves me, I can tell by the way he looks at me, but that don't mean he's happy.
I saw some guy that looked like him today.
I see Matt, I see Jonny, I see the fat guy that ripped my ass up and didn't pay me. Ghosts. Shadows of people. An' every time I went with a punter I could see Jonny's face. The sick thing is I hated it an' loved it.
He said I was not innocent and he was right. I wanted it. Must've. Spent the next twenty years on the streets selling my mouth an' my ass. Why would I've done that if I hadn't enjoyed being his whore? Then being Matt's whore? Every time I think I'm over it I get the nightmares again. They come back. When I think I'm happy, when I think I'm safe they come back.
Must think of Ray. Must think of him. He loves me.
I hate Jonny for fucking me up so bad.
Jonny used to say he loved me. When he came inside me he'd tell me that he loved me. An' I loved him. I loved him. But he hurt me too. An' he used to say "Ya always hurt the one you love". I knew that was bullshit. Ya don't need to hurt the one ya love. But I still let him do that stuff. If I let him how can I be a victim?
I let the fat guy fuck me. He ripped my ass up so bad I could hardly walk for a week. He never paid me - but I let him fuck me. I don't think that makes me a victim. How can it?
An' what good am I gonna be to Vecchio - huh? Wilco's right. How long is he gonna wanna be with a retired whore?
I drink more vodka. Good, fine Polish stuff.
Don't give a shit `bout my family - they fucked me over too many times - but one thing I did learn is that Polish vodka is the best. An' I've had best part of a bottle.
Can't stand this sitting here with this stuff goin' thru my head. S'too much.
But the room is spinning. An' I feel like I'm floating.
I feel like I need to speak to Ma, but I'm not her favourite person at the moment. I don't know what to do. I think she'd know.
I could ask Fraser.
I don't think that's a good idea. I think I might get some kind of animal story or something.
Perhaps I should just wait until Ray tells me.
Perhaps I should bring it up.
But then how do you drop "I know your brother sexually abused you" into a conversation? It's harder than dropping "I am gay" in a conversation with Ma, and that was difficult enough.
I shake my head. I've been sitting at my desk in the bullpen re-reading the same file for god knows how long. I look at the clock. It's four thirty. I take my jacket and slip out hoping Welsh don't notice.
I get into the apartment. He doesn't answer me. Looks like he's asleep on the couch, only when I get closer I realise he's hardly breathing. And then I see the empty bottles - vodka and painkillers.
"Don't do this to me."
I kiss his forehead.
"I have no-one now. Just you."
At moments like that you go on some strange kind of autopilot. I find myself on the `phone calling for paramedics. I am in the ambulance holding Ray's hand. I am in the waiting room `cos they won't let me near him while they're doing their stuff. I phone Benny and he arrives, sits with me stetson in hand. Silence.
"Benny. I know who Jonny is and I know what he did. But I don't know why Ray did this. And I want him to be okay."
Benny holds my hand. His skin is warm.
"I'm gonna tell him I know."
Benny nods. Neither of us say anything else. Neither of us know what to say.
I can't find the words to describe how I am feeling. I'm crying. Men are not supposed to cry. And Benny is rubbing my neck, pulling me to his chest. And I cry some more `cos I want Ray to be doing this and he may never do this again.
I may never touch him again.
End Fragment by Jodie Louise: email@example.com
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