Christopher, Craig & Co.
Part 77: Divulgence.
There was a knock at my bedroom door and Wade’s head appeared around the corner. “Chris, do you have a minute?”
“Of course.” I sat at the foot of the bed and proceeded to pull on a pair of socks.
Wade came all the way into the room and leaned against the wall.
I was bent over to tie my shoe, so I glanced up. “What’s the matter, kiddo?”
“Something happened today.”
I felt that familiar tightening sensation in my chest. I sat up straight and forced myself to speak in an even tone. “What happened?”
“Well, you know I was on campus, right?”
“Yes, you went in to get some work done at the library.”
He nodded vigorously.
“Did you run into somebody at the library?”
Wade’s eyes grew wide. “No. But I did run into somebody. Well, he ran into me.”
I shook my head. “I don’t follow.”
“I was walking from the library over to the parking lot. And this guy was jogging around campus. And he ran into me.”
I lowered my eyebrows. “Literally?”
“Uh-huh. And I picked up my books, but he didn’t get up.”
“He got hurt?”
“He passed out or something.”
I gestured with my hand. “Come here and sit down.”
Wade reluctantly walked in and sat beside me at the foot of the bed. He was making a face.
“There’s more to this, isn’t there?”
He shrugged. “I don’t know.”
I crossed my arms. “Just tell me everything.”
Wade let out a sigh. “He was kind of dazed but he came around. He insisted he didn’t need a doctor, even though I wanted to take him to the campus clinic. So I helped him up, but he winced in pain and fell again. It was kind of funny and we both laughed. So I walked him back to his dorm and he invited me in for a minute.” Wade stopped.
“Either we’re just getting to the good part, or this story didn’t deserve all that build up, Wade.” I was teasing, and he knew it.
“He offered me a protein smoothie, but when he opened the small fridge that was all there was in there. A bunch of smoothies. I don’t think he’s eating anything but those smoothies and going out and running.”
“Anorexic?” I interrupted.
“I don’t know. Anyway, I asked him and he said ‘I can’t. I have to be fit. I’m dedicated. I’m not a quitter.’”
I frowned. “You sound concerned about him.”
Wade shrugged again. “He was kind of nice. And I think he might need help.”
I didn’t doubt Wade’s intuition. I did have reservations about his getting mixed up with this potentially troubled jogger. But Wade was a grown man and I knew I had to encourage him to do what he thought was right. “Okay, so, how do you want to help him?”
Wade swung his leg out and back a couple of times. “I was thinking maybe I could stop back by his room tomorrow and check up on him? Do you think that would be all right?”
“I think that’d be great of you. I’ll tell you what. If you find out he’s really in trouble, let me know and we’ll see what we can do together for him.”
I smiled. “Of course.”
Wade caught my neck in the crook of his elbow. “Thanks, Chris. You’re great!” He let go and headed for the door.
“I have my moments,” I said with a laugh. I stood up and checked my reflection. “What do you think?”
He paused. “You look good. Scott’ll be impressed.” And then he was gone.
I raised my eyebrows at my reflection. Scott wasn’t who I’d dressed for.
I had done my best to improve upon what nature had given me, and was probably overdressed for having company over, but I wanted to look impressive. It was silly and a little vindictive toward Scott, but it wasn’t like I was planning to cheat on him or something. I just wanted to remind him—and myself—that I wasn’t locked into a relationship with a guy who was obviously keeping secrets from me.
I straightened up the den a little bit while I waited. Scott knew just about everything about my past now. And I had to wonder how he could reconcile half of it. Ultimately he was FBI and was supposed to be investigating all of these missing boys. He’d never really come out and said it, but I assumed he was using my knowledge to go after bigger fish.
I heard a car in the drive and I crossed to the foyer, glancing in the mirror. I looked as good as I was going to get.
I opened the door and smiled.
I took in the familiar dark blonde hair, bright blue eyes, button nose, and full lips—which parted in a broad smile.
“Christopher! God, it’s good to see you.”
I grinned as he greeted me with arms wide open. We hugged. “You’re pretty easy on the eyes yourself, Mike. C’mon in.”
Mike strolled into the den. His time in California had apparently agreed with him. He looked tan and fit and healthy. He dragged a hand along the back of the loveseat. “I haven’t been in this room in awhile.”
I smiled at several memories. Mike had spent quite a bit of time hypnotized in this room. He’d been working at Tony’s Pizza when I met him. If he hadn’t delivered dinner that night and seen Craig half-dressed and calling me Master, we might never have become friends. That was actually long before he confessed he found stripping and humiliation erotic. I wasn’t proud of everything I had done with Mike. I had been on a bit of a power trip at times with him. The worst was when Mike thought he was naughty and was forced to taste cum in order to be a good boy again. I shut my eyes to clear that memory. On the upside, he had come to terms with his sexuality and embraced his exhibitionist side. He was excellent at stripping and he enjoyed it. When he was offered the movie deal, I encouraged him to follow his heart and leave for the west coast. And now, here he was, back in my den.
“Why don’t you have a seat? Can I offer you anything? A drink? Coffee?”
Mike shook his head, seating himself.
I slipped into my chair. “I was really glad to hear from you, Mike. But I’m surprised you’re back in town again. Your messages led me to believe you wanted to talk to me about something important.”
Mike rubbed his hands together. He leaned forward on the couch and laughed nervously. “I feel like every time I need help I show up at your door.”
“That’s what friends are for,” I said, cringing at the cliché of it all.
“It’s kind of embarrassing,” he began.
“Don’t be embarrassed. There’s nothing you could say that would make me think less of you.” I smiled.
“You think that little of me already, huh?” he kidded with a broad smile.
I laughed. “I have low standards. What’s up? Does it have to do with the movies?”
He caught my eye and shook his head. “Not really.”
I crossed my legs. “You’ve got my attention, Mike.”
“I can’t really even explain it. I mean, it sounds so crazy.”
I waited. He was going to have to work up to telling me whatever was on his mind. I could hypnotize him and ask, but I would much rather let him reach a comfort level on his own. The silence stretched on a bit.
“The company that produces and distributes the videos I’ve been in has a website.”
I leaned back in my chair. This might be interesting.
“And there’s all these links on it. And, you know, I surfed a lot of them. But one of them—” He stopped.
“Tell me, Mike. Whatever it is, you know you can tell me.”
He nodded. “It’s like I have to go to that site more and more. It started out fun. I used to check it out and I’d feel good afterward. But it’s like a compulsion now. And it scares me. And random guys instant message me and before I know it all sorts of time has passed and I’m really horny and I don’t know why I’m talking to these guys and stroking myself on camera.”
“You’re losing time?” I asked calmly.
He nodded. “All of a sudden it’s an hour later. And I won’t remember taking off my underwear or something.”
I uncrossed my legs and moved to the edge of the chair. “Can you show me the link?”
I got up and crossed the room to my desk. I had a sneaking suspicion I knew exactly what was going on here. There had been websites and mailing lists like this on the internet before. “What’s the address?”
Mike followed me to the desk. “Go to RoyaltyFilms.com. On the links page it’s called MasteredSlave.”
I chewed on my lip as I followed the directions he was giving. MasteredSlave? I had a bad feeling about this.
An error message popped up. “When’s the last time you were on the site?” I asked.
“This morning. Why?” He looked at my screen.
I glanced at him. This morning? “The site seems to be down.”
“Sometimes that happens.”
“So can you tell me anything about the site?”
“Not really. It’s just a site. I usually look at it and beat off.”
I frowned. “That’s not much to go on, Mike.”
“I’m sorry. There’s flashing text and some animations.”
“I’ll have to check later when the site is back up.” I added the link to my favorites.
“You look like you know something, Christopher.”
“I—um—have some suspicions.” That sounded noncommittal enough.
“What does that mean?”
“I’m not sure I should say until I see the site.”
Mike nodded. “Fair enough.” He glanced at his watch. You want to get an early dinner?”
I groaned. “I’d love to, but I have plans already.”
“How about tomorrow night? I can check out the site by then and maybe we can figure out what’s going on with you.”
Mike smiled. “That’d be great, Christopher. I’d owe you big.”
I shook my head. “Call me tomorrow and we’ll finalize the plans, okay?”
I held up a finger. “But don’t you go to that site again.”
Mike grimaced. “I’ll try.”
“You can do it. I have faith in you.”
He smiled. “I’ll call you tomorrow.”
I walked him out and shut the door. I wandered back to the computer and checked a few more of the links on RoyaltyFilms.com. They were all harmless—mostly porn pic and story sites, a couple of matchmaking services, and MasteredSlave, which didn’t seem to be working today.
If I was right, Mike wasn’t the only guy who was feeling compelled to view the site.
I sighed. I hoped I was wrong.
My phone sang with Scott’s ring. I flipped it open. “Happiness House.”
“Chris, I’m going to be late tonight. Maybe you should have dinner without me.”
“You’re canceling on me?”
“I can’t help it.”
“Mm-hm.” I could have been out dining with gay porn star Mike Tool. Instead I was apparently going to be eating alone.
“It’s work, Chris.”
It’s always something, I thought. Roseanne Roseannadanna would be proud. “No worries,” I said coolly.
“I can’t do this now,” Scott said quietly.
“I know we didn’t finish our conversation this morning. Just be fair, Chris. This is work. I’ll make it up to you.”
I sighed. “Are you coming over at all tonight?”
“I shouldn’t be too late.”
“Did something happen?”
“This is between us. That dead body in the alley? The John Doe? You were right to worry. It was someone we know.”
I did a mental checklist. Wade had been here with me earlier, and he had been in touch with Andrew. Mike was accounted for, Craig was under surveillance, and Scott was investigating. It had to be one of the guys. I felt a lump in my throat. “Who was it?”