Christopher, Craig & Co.
Part 98: It’s Your Move.
The readout on Wade’s alarm clock showed 2:10pm.
My stomach was growling.
And my back was never going to be right again.
Wade, however, had gotten at least six hours of sleep, and for that I was thankful.
He stirred, then sat up, wiping at his eyes. They were red and swollen. He did his best to smile at me. “You stayed.”
“I said I would.”
“You look tired, Chris.”
“Nothing an IV of coffee won’t help.”
Wade was feeling the back of his head gingerly.
“Tell you what. Let’s both shower and get dressed and meet downstairs for breakfast. I’ll make your favorite.”
Wade smiled again, only this time it reached his eyes.
After a shower, and shave, and application of some serious under-eye cream I at least looked awake. I dressed in a T-shirt from the college, a pair of khakis and my Chucks, and jogged down the stairs to start the coffee maker.
The smell of coffee brewing invigorated me a bit as I set about mixing up batter for Belgian waffles.
Wade wandered into the room in jeans and sneakers and a way too big sweatshirt. His hair was freshly combed.
“Austin left me a bunch of messages.”
“Shoot.” I paused, pouring batter onto the iron. “I never called him and told him you were safe.”
“He sounded really worried for the first couple of messages. Then there was one from this morning. He said Scott called him. He wants to come over and see me.”
“He just wants to see for himself that you’re safe.”
“I look a mess.”
“I can help with that.” I pulled the first waffle off the iron and set it aside on a plate. “Come on upstairs.”
“What about breakfast?”
“It’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon. It can wait a few.”
We trudged down the hall and up the stairs and into my bathroom. I busied myself with a couple of creams, dabbing things under Wade’s eyes. I applied a bit of moisturizer, and finished up with some eye drops.
When I was done I let Wade turn and see his reflection.
I smiled at him in the mirror over his shoulder.
“How’d you learn to do that?”
“This isn’t my first time having to hide a lack of sleep or crying. I can teach you some tricks. But I hope you don’t ever have to use them.”
Wade smiled shyly at me. “I wish I’d had a brother like you when I was growing up.”
I chuckled. “Something tells me I’d have had a lot more grey hair.”
Wade called Austin and told him he could come over in an hour or so while I manned the waffle iron. It was apparent Wade was as ravenous as I was when he asked for a second waffle.
Wade offered to load the dishwasher and it occurred to me I hadn’t checked my messages yet today. I wandered into the den and hit the button on the answering machine. Mike had returned my call.
I woke up my computer and checked my email. There was nothing pressing.
Finally I checked my cell for messages from Scott. No voicemail. There was a text, however. I didn’t recognize the number.
I opened the text.
IT’S YOUR MOVE.
I stared at it stupidly.
Then I dialed the number.
“Hi, you’ve reached Alan. My phone is either off or I can’t answer right now...”
I disconnected and dialed Scott.
“Hi Chris. I wondered if you were up yet.”
“Can you come home?”
Scott sounded worried. “Is something wrong? Is it Wade?”
I tried to figure out a way to explain. My thoughts were coming fast and jumbled. “There’s a text message on my phone from Richard.”
“What does it say?”
“It’s your move.”
“How do you know it’s from Richard?”
“I called the number back. It’s Alan Jacoby’s phone.”
“Aw hell,” Scott muttered. “That makes Craig look guiltier.”
“Scott, I’m positive it was sent by Richard.”
“I believe you. But there’s no way to prove it.”
“Yet. Has there been any sign of Craig?”
“No. What worries me is that he could come after you, Chris.”
That brought me up short. “No.” I shook my head even though he couldn’t see it. “No, Richard isn’t going to come at me directly. He went after Craig. He went after Wade. My biggest fear is that you’re next.” I stopped before adding that I would shoot the bastard before I’d let that happen.
“Chris, just promise you’ll be careful. I’m not sure what I’d do if something happened to you.”
“I promise. But you watch your back too.”
“I always do.”
“Come home soon?”
“As soon as I can. I’ve got tomorrow off. I thought maybe I could move in and we could celebrate our first night living together...”
Something happened and Scott said, “I’ve got to go.”
“Ok. I love you.”
“You too.” He disconnected.
Wade was standing in the doorway. “Chris, you ok?”
“Huh? Oh, yeah. Listen, come into the living room for a minute, will you?”
We seated ourselves on the couch and Wade looked at me with concern. “We never talk in the living room unless it’s serious,” he said.
He was right. “Well, it’s sort of serious. But I hope in a good way.” I studied the toe of my Converse sneaker. “Wade, last night when you were missing I didn’t know what I would do if something happened to you. And then when we found you and you needed to go to the hospital one of the first things they asked was if I was family. I told them I was. But all of this made me realize...I have no say in your medical treatment because we’re not really related.”
Wade was looking me in the eyes and I could see he was trying to follow what I was saying but I wasn’t really making sense.
“I was sitting with you this morning watching you sleep and, well, I’ve thought about this many times and I even looked into what’s involved, but I could never find the right time or the right way to broach the subject.”
Wade reached out and put his hand on my forearm. “Chris, what are you trying to tell me?”
I took a deep breath. “I’d like to adopt you.”
Wade looked genuinely surprised. “I’m over 18.”
“In NY as long as you consent I can adopt you. I already talked to my lawyer. There’s a bit more to it, but it’s doable.”
“I wouldn’t have to call you dad would I?” Wade said with a nervous laugh.
I flinched. “No. In fact, please don’t call me dad. Ever. In the eyes of the law you’d be my son. But I was kind of thinking we could be more like officially brothers.”
Wade nodded slowly. “Would I change my name?”
“That’s up to you. You don’t have to.”
“Wade Boldt,” he said aloud.
I grinned. “You don’t have to change your name. You don’t have to say yes to the adoption idea. Honestly I never brought it up because I didn’t know how you’d feel about it. Full disclosure—in the event something happened to me I’ve already set it up so you’d be well taken care of. But—”
“What does that mean?” Wade interjected.
“My estate and my will are on file with my lawyer.”
Wade was frowning. “If you adopt me it won’t change our relationship, will it?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, you’re not like a dad to me now...”
“Oh. No. You’d live here like you do now. And I’d still worry about you and meddle in your life a bit... But you’re an adult, Wade.” Well, almost, I thought.
“Wade Boldt,” Wade repeated.
“Wade Boldt,” I echoed.
The doorbell rang.
“That must be Austin!” Wade scrambled toward the door. I heard him say, “Oh,” with disappointment.
I joined Wade in the foyer and saw Mike Taylor.
“I hope this isn’t a bad time,” Mike said. “I didn’t hear back from you and I’ve been going a little crazy trying to stay off the internet.”
I smiled. “Come on in, Mike. I have something for you that I think will help with this whole website debacle.”
He stepped in and kicked off his sneakers automatically. “I was so glad when I got your message, Christopher.”
A car pulled into the driveway and Austin stepped out of it. Wade lingered in the doorway as I followed Mike into the den.
“I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you, Mike. We had some excitement here last night.”
“I’ll say!” Austin said in the doorway. He had Wade’s neck in the crook of his elbow.
Wade was smiling.
I introduced Mike and Austin. “You two have something in common—you both stumbled across the same website.”
Austin grinned. “You know I haven’t been to the site since I’ve been listening to that mp3 you gave me.”
“MP3?” Mike repeated.
“Yes, I have one here for you that I want you to listen to. If it has the desired effect then just like Austin you should listen morning and night for a few days. Then we’ll do a couple of sessions and you should be free of Masteredslave.com’s influence.”
Mike was beaming. “Christopher, you’re the best.”
I got Mike set up on the couch with headphones and joined Austin and Wade in the kitchen.
“...so glad you’re all right.” Austin was saying.
“How would you two like to double with Scott and me for dinner tonight? My treat.”
Wade’s smile broadened.
“That’d be awesome...if it’s no trouble.” Austin tried to downplay his excitement.
I had an agenda. I wanted to keep an eye on Wade. I wanted to make sure Austin was responding well to the hypnosis. And I wanted to get to know Wade’s apparently potential new boyfriend.
“I’m thinking casual instead of fancy. How about the new barbecue place that just opened?”
“I heard it’s good,” Austin said. “A couple of girls I know went to check the place out. They said the bartenders are all hot too.”
The front door opened and Scott’s voice called, “Chris?”
I met him in the foyer. “Mike’s under hypnosis. Can you keep it down?”
Something was off about his expression. He held up a disk. “I think you need to see this.”
“What is it?”
“It’s a copy. The original is wrapped in plastic right now. I should have turned it in already but I just wasn’t sure how that would affect you.”
“Me? What’s on the disk?”
“Chris, it’s a DVD of—”
Mike pulled the headphones off and looked up. “What happened?”
I tore my attention away from Scott. “You tell me. Do you want to check out Masteredslave.com?”
“Not at all. Christopher, you’re amazing!”
After handing Mike a cd with the file on it and reminding him to listen morning and night for the next several days I gave him the bum’s rush out the door, telling him to call tomorrow.
I took the disk from Scott and crossed to the DVD player.
Scott stepped between me and the television. “Chris, wait. I really think you should sit down and prepare yourself...”
I reached past him and popped the disk in the player. “What’s the big deal?”
“I think you need to know what the video is of before...”
My stomach lurched at the picture on screen.
A boy. Naked. Painfully thin. Bruised. Wearing only a collar and a pair of socks.
It was me.
To be continued in Part 99...
Christopher, Craig & Co.
Part 99: Some Memories Just Won’t Die.
The picture faded in.
I was seated on a high-backed chair wearing only a pair of white crew socks and a thick leather collar. My arms were behind the chair and my feet were planted firmly on the floor. I was struggling, but I couldn’t seem to move much on the chair.
As the camera zoomed in it became apparent there were no visible bonds holding me.
A man wearing a hood and low slung jeans walked into frame. He reached out and tweaked my nipple.
My head rolled back on my neck.
He ran a fingertip lightly over my shoulder and my body spasmed.
He traced my ear with his finger and my cock jerked wildly.
Suddenly I stood, turned around, and braced my arms on the seat of the chair, my naked ass on display. The camera zoomed in again and as it zoomed back out the hooded man slid his erect cock inside me.
I shuddered and spasmed and jerked as he thrust in and out of me. He reached down and grabbed my hair roughly jerking my head back.
He fucked me hard then threw me to the floor.
There was no sound accompanying the video, but I would have bet a steady stream of epithets and insults were being hurled at me.
I stood transfixed by the images on screen. Dully I thought I should stop the video. I should break the disk. But I couldn’t seem to move.
Scott had already seen it.
My face burned with humiliation.
I watched as twenty year old me crawled on hands and knees to the cameraman. In close-up I watched as I began to suck the cameraman’s cock. Then a hand hauled off and slapped my face so hard it knocked me to the floor.
I remembered the way my cheeks would sting or my ears would ring from being knocked around. I remembered learning how to tell if I had a concussion or if the missing time and memories were due to trance. I remembered being enslaved to Richard King.
I felt tears welling in my eyes. Still I couldn’t seem to move the few feet to the TV to stop the images that were playing.
I didn’t remember this particular day. But I remembered all too well whose booted foot was now kicking me in the ribs. Whose hand grabbed my hair and yanked me back onto my knees. Whose cock was now fucking my face.
I was dimly aware as Wade brushed past me and ejected the DVD.
He stood in front of the TV looking appalled.
I couldn’t seem to speak. The blood rushing in my ears was making it hard to hear anything. Memories I didn’t allow myself to think about were flashing through my mind. Meeting Richard. Richard training me. Richard loaning me out to his friends. Richard controlling me. Richard threatening me. Richard locking me in a closet.
I felt arms around me before I realized they belonged to Scott.
And then I snapped out of my stupor.
Scott pulled me tighter into an embrace and squeezed me.
I saw Austin slip noiselessly out of the room.
Tears burned my eyes but I blinked them back. I felt angry. I felt hurt. I felt embarrassed. I felt used. But more than any other emotion in that moment I felt rage.
I took several deep breaths to try to calm myself. I was infuriated at what was on the tape and humiliated that Scott and Wade had now seen it.
Richard had gone too far.
“I hate him so much,” I seethed.
“Chris, it was in the door at my apartment. I stopped there on my way here to pick up a few things. It was in an envelope addressed to me.” Scott paused. “I didn’t know what it was so I watched it on my laptop. It goes on for about twenty minutes...”
“Twenty minutes?” I repeated.
“What else is on there?”
Scott glanced at Wade who hadn’t moved or said anything yet. “I’m not sure we should have this discussion right now.”
I squinched my eyes shut. The images I had seen kept replaying in my head and no matter how hard I shut my eyes I couldn’t seem to make them stop.
Wade blinked several times then took my hand in his and led me to the sofa. Scott remained standing.
Wade’s voice was barely a whisper. “Richard did to you what Donald did to me.”
I nodded slowly.
Wade pulled me into a hug. I could feel his heart racing.
Something clicked in my brain. Suddenly this wasn’t about me at all.
“You remember what Donald did to you. All of it.” It wasn’t a question.
Wade avoided my eyes. “It’s been coming back in bits and pieces. Dreams sometimes. Sometimes something on TV or I hear a song. Last night being so scared of Craig I think—” He stopped. “It doesn’t all make sense in my head yet.”
“I’m sorry,” I said.
“It’s not your fault.”
I looked up at Scott. “What else is on the video?”
Scott seated himself on the edge of my usual chair. “It’s hard to tell exactly if you’re hypnotized or drugged since there’s no sound.”
That wasn’t an answer to my question. “It’s a safe bet I was in trance. I don’t remember that day. I’m not sure who that was in the hood.”
“It wasn’t Richard?”
I shook my head. “Richard was holding the camera.”
Scott closed his eyes for a moment.
“That explains some of it.”
“What else is on there?”
He frowned. “A very violent sexual encounter.”
I wrapped my arms around myself. I had no doubt there was much more to it than that. I was going to have to force myself to watch. Later. Alone. “I’d give anything if you hadn’t seen that tape, Scott.”
Scott’s hands were balled into fists. “It’s a good thing I saw it. Richard has to pay for what he’s done.”
“He’ll pay,” I vowed. But I was certain Scott and I were not contemplating the same type of justice.