Christian sighed, looking at his arm. He had suffered a dislocated shoulder. Kevin was still in treatment, for he had suffered severe third degree burns in his legs. Bernard, Cory and Chris were already home, after three days of sleeping and eating at the hospital. The majority of the family members had escaped through the library’s window, after the explosion. The library was one of the few rooms on the first floor that wasn’t affected by the damage. Of all the people Christian and Tyson thought were lost, only Drew and Nora, Shawn’s parents had perished, along with Shawn’s younger brother, Vince.
Christian and Bernard were alone in their room, and Bernard seemed to be admiring his lover. The thought of losing him like he had lost Shawn was terrible.
“How are you doing, honey?” Bernard asked.
“Fine… The doctor says I can take this off today, since it wasn’t such a bad injury.”
“Good, do you want to take it off now?”
“If you help me, yes.” Christian said, smiling.
Bernard sat by his side, and helped him take off the piece that kept his arm against his torso. Chris hugged him tight, and kissed his neck.
“I was so afraid I wouldn’t see you again…” He whispered, while rubbing the older man’s back.
“I know, baby, I know…”
Christian leaned back for a bit, and gazed into Bernard’s eyes, with a tear running down his face.
“Bernard… I can’t, I have to stay with Kevin and my brother… I can’t stay here… Can you take me back to the hospital?”
Christian smiled weakly, and nodded, leaving a note for Cory. The funeral of the deceased family members and the butler had taken place the day before. Christian couldn’t even remember how it was, because of so many services he’d had to attend that same year. Christmas was near, and it would be hard to spend it in a half destroyed house, and with less family members amongst them. As they arrived to the hospital, the snow began to fall. Despite the tragedy, they could already hear Christmas songs being sang out loud by laughing children, while they threw snowballs at each other.
“Anders, you should really get that taken care of…” Miriam said to her brother, as he coughed even harder.
“I am fine…”
“No you are not, that doesn’t seem to be a simple cold… Just come, I’ll take you to the hospital.”
He tried to resist her, but his weakened body wasn’t cooperating with him. After a small struggle, they were off to Haletown Memorial Hospital. Doctor Ryan examined him for a while and looked at him with suspicion.
“I know why you are coughing so badly… Your throat, and probably your lungs, are burnt on the inside… That can happen when you breathe high-temperature smokes, during a fire or an explosion…” Ryan explained. “Is there anything you have to tell me?”
“No, why would you ask?”
“Well, you know the Riveri-Thrust Villa was on fire three days ago… Do you have anything to do with that?”
“No!” Anders said, coughing again.
Ryan nodded, and left of the room. Anders panicked, and also got to the corridor. He phoned his father, but he kept hearing the busy tone. His father was in a meeting. Running through the corridor, with trembling hands, trying to call his father, he didn’t see the familiar young man walking slowly, blowing a steamy cup of coffee, also distracted. They bumped into each other, and the hot drink spilled all over them.
“Hey watch where you-!” Anders started.
He stopped suddenly, when he saw the look on Christian face. Chris was as scared as he was. The other man’s body shivered.
“You…” Christian whispered.
Anders started to run, ignoring all the people telling him to stop. Everything he had done for his father was now catching up with him.
“I’ll get us some coffee.” Christian said gently.
“Thanks, baby.” Bernard replied.
Kevin waited a moment after Chris left the room.
“How is he handling things?” Kevin ask.
“You mean about the fire? He’s glad there were fewer deaths than what he thought there were going to be.”
“No, that I know. I mean about what happened to him this Fall.” He said, in a whispered tone.
“Oh you mean about the rape? He’s still coping with all of it. I guess the mark that night left on him is much deeper than we thought it would be.” The older man said, with his expression growing sadder with each word.
“I can see it’s also affecting you…”
“I wouldn’t have feelings for him if it didn’t, Kevin. It hurts me just as much as it hurts him.”
“He has been through a lot… And to think I was such a jackass, hitting so hard on him because I thought he wanted to replace everyone in my life. But I hope he gets better soon.” Kevin said.
They stood there, silence only being broken by the usual sounds of a hospital. Suddenly, they heard the door opening slowly.
“Bernard, I think you should come with me…” Adriana said, entering the room. Her eyes were the sheer reflection of worry.
“What happened, Adriana?”
“It’s Christian. He collapsed in the middle of the corridor. They suspect he went into shock. I think he remembered something…” She informed.
Bernard felt his heart sinking, as he lifted himself up off the chair, and almost ran out of the room. He quickly asked Adriana where his boyfriend was. She gave him the information, but he didn’t pay attention to her pleadings to keep calm. He entered the room abruptly. Christian had just woken up when this happened. The younger man seemed to forget he had a dislocated shoulder, and threw himself off the bed, jumping farther away from Bernard, which surprised him enough to stop him in his tracks.
“Stay away from me!” Christian yelled, with tears in his eyes. “Stay away from me! I don’t want you near me!”
Bernard stood there, frozen, as Adriana entered the room. She asked her friend to step out of the room, so she could talk to Chris.
“Christian, what’s wrong? Do you know who that was, honey?” She asked, in a soothing tone.
“Anders…” He whispered, covering his face.
“No, that was Bernard, your boyfriend.” She replied.
“Bernard… Oh, God… Bernard… He… I… Doctor, I don’t know what’s wrong with me...”
“Ok, let’s keep calm, and tell me what happened.”
“Tell me what happened that night.”
Christian obeyed his doctor. And started telling how he left the mansion just moments before dinner. It was already dark, and he felt uneasy. A bad feeling kept on creeping through his spine. Despite that, he took a shortcut, through a street with poor lighting, which he usually took to get home faster. Bernard was waiting for him to help with dinner, and he didn’t want to get there late. It would be their first meal as a couple. Suddenly, he felt a pair of hands grabbing him.
“Hello, Christian.” A familiar voice said.
“What do you want?” Christian growled.
“Well, I’m not for sale.” He replied, trying to show he was strong.
But he wasn’t. The other man easily turned him around, and twisted his arm, locking him in place and forcing tears out of his eyes.
“If I don’t have you one way, I’ll have nevertheless. Believe me, you would like it better if you just went along.”
The shadow ripped out his belt, and pulled his pants down, exposing his lower body to the cold air. Christian cried for help, but the attacker covered his victim’s mouth with a cold hand. Christian would never forget that touch. He also wouldn’t forget the piercing pain he felt when the other did what he wanted with Christian.
“And can you remember who that was?” Adriana’s voice asked, bringing Christian back from his memories.
“I couldn’t…” He whispered.
“But can you now?”
“Who was it?”
“Anders Peterson.” He whispered, and began to cry, as the woman held him.
“I think he is ready for you.” Adriana said, inviting Bernard in. “I have to make a call to the police.”
“He remembers who did that to him.” She said, sighing.
Bernard was about to enter, when she grabbed his arm firmly.
“Listen, we have to have a serious talk before you go inside… Do you know why he reacted so instinctively when you entered the room?”
“Because he’s mistaken you with the attacker.”
“What?! Audrey, you don’t seriously think I would do that, do you?!”
“No, I know for a fact it wasn’t you, even before he told me who it was… Bernard, it was your brother.”
“My brother?” Bernard mumbled.
“That… Now everything makes sense… I look like Anders… no wonder he was so uneasy around me…”
“You have to be careful, please, but you should really take him home. He will feel safer there.”
Bernard hang up, placing the phone where it belonged. Adriana had just told him Anders was arrested, and his trial would take place two days from then. He looked around the living room. So many memories of that place… It felt like home to him, even though Christian was the rightful owner to the farmhouse. The Riveri-Thrust family was now staying at Zach and Paige’s farm, while a construction crew repaired the severely damaged villa. The police had investigated, and concluded it had been a gas leak. When the butler went to the basement, so he could take some wine out of the family’s cellar, he turned on the lights, and the spark needed for the explosion made the house blow up. It was really a day of luck for the survivors, since the explosion happened almost directly under the dining room where the majority was standing.
Bernard knocked on the door, and entered. Christian was sitting on the bed, hugging a pillow, and wiping his tears.
“Are you ok, baby?”
“Not at all, Boo…” Chris replied. “I feel so… Disgusted when I was retelling what happened that night, Bernard, I just…”
“Hey, come here. He’s gonna get what he deserves.” Bernard assured, sitting next to Christian, and holding him tightly.
“I am sorry you ended up paying a high price because of all of this…”
“What do you mean, Chris?”
“I mean that because of this we haven’t had sex yet, and I know you want it, and I don’t want you to feel like I see Anders in you just because you are brothers, I-“
“Oh, oh, oh! Stop it right there!” Bernard said, smiling. “You don’t have to worry about it. If I want to make love with you? I want. But I also want it to be something special, and not forced. I’d rather wait a little more time and do things right, than make a mistake that could cost us what we have.”
Christian smiled, and kissed him.
Anders shivered in his cell, as he felt the same cold he always felt when his father was about to enter the room. Sonny Peterson Looked at his son in disgust.
“What have you done, you bastard?” He hissed.
“Father, I am sorry, I don’t know-“
“Exactly! You don’t know a thing! Of all the things you could have done!”
“I lost my mind, I just felt so much lust for him and I… I-“
“You should have killed him after.” Sonny growled.
Anders’s eyes opened wide, as he saw in his father the killer look he had never seen on the 47-year-old man before. Sonny grabbed a key from his pocket, and opened the cell where his son was contained.
“You couldn’t even perform the task I asked you correctly. There were only three deaths in that house, when there should have been twenty!”
“I don’t know how!”
“You don’t say! You don’t know a thing. Now get out! I’m going to take the money I had to spend to post your bail out of your account.”
“There is no proof that you are linked with the fire. All we have to do is find evidence that you weren’t the one that raped Christian.”
“How are we going to do that?”
“We dig on him. If we don’t find any dirt, we throw some in. That’s all you have to know.”
Sonny pushed Anders so he would walk faster. The younger was conflicted. He knew he deserved to be in jail, for all the things he had done. He knew his father should also be watching the Sun setting from behind the bars. On the other hand, he was scared, scared to die, to be hurt. He knew he had to hurt Christian once more so he would escape his fate. But strangely enough, he would rather get himself killed than hurting the Riveri-Thrust heir.
Thank you once more, TalonRider, for editing the chapter. I will be forever in your debt!
So, I am going on vacation tomorrow. I will write the next chapter while I'm there. i am going to stay a weak with my grandparents that live in the city, and then come back Saturday, and will hopefully be able to post the next chapter before I go away again on Sunday, but this time I am going to stay with my grandparents that live in the countryside, 300km (about 190 miles) away from here. I'll stay there for two weeks, and I don't have internet connection there, so, there will probably be a delay.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed it, and if you did, leave a review and/or a like. Cheers! =D