Finally Home

by Korusialhogi


His clothes were being pulled out of wardrobe and then neatly arranged in the suitcase. I could feel the weight of every passing second. Minutes were stretching into infinity, everything around seemed to move slowly. There was a loud bumming in the room. I tore my eyes away from that horrific procession unfolding in front of me. An instant burn stung my eyes at the movement. My gaze froze as I processed the calm determination on his face. The bumming in the room, which he seemed to be oblivious to, was now sounding a lot like a roar of a tidal wave. I was unaware of moving until I felt my muscles straining to their limit under the pull of gravity that somehow became unreasonably unconquerable. My trembling fingers felt rusted as I closed them around a shirt and pulled it out. I was brought out of my trance-like state as he grabbed me by my wrist. That one touch and I had to fight with all my strength in order to not crumble down and beg him to stay.

"Angel, stop!" He freed his captive shirt from my clutches and returned it to its place in the hated suitcase. He made a move to hug me, but I hurriedly scurried away from his range. I would not survive his embrace. I held my gaze to the ground, unwilling to see the kindness in his eyes that was sure to accompany the compassion in his voice. I had shoved my hands into the back pockets of my pants as the only means of stopping myself from throwing my arms around his neck and clinging to him for my life.

He advanced onto me, I retreated without changing my stance. I hit the wall and he closed the distance. The bumming in the room got louder and faster until it turned into a rapid succession of gunfire and I physically felt my hurt lurch into my mouth. He touched me. A feather-light touch to brush away the rebel strand of hair hiding my eyes. The shrill of despair flooded my mind, never leaving my throat. He pulled me into his arms. That place, the safest and the scariest place in whole world. I could feel my body shaking with silent tears. I stuffed my mouth with the crisp material of his shirt in order to stifle the sobs that were threatening to invade the silence of the room.

"Love, it's only for couple of days."

I wanted to tell him that it was forever. I couldn't. He would never understand. He thought he was leaving for only several days, a meager number of hours. I knew better, I knew different. This was just the beginning. 3 days, 72 hours. It was all that it took to destroy a life. Without the constant pressure of his strength, without the security of his possession, without the pull of his passion my rotten nature would surely prevail. It was only a matter of time until I would do something unforgivable.

I clung to him with all my might. Throwing away all the restrain that I still had, I melted against him trying to imprint his scent, the very essence of his into my mind. If this was to be our last night, I wanted to engrave every minute of it into my being.

*****

The night was inevitably ending. The new day was inexorably bleeding in. The plumb-like clouds obstructing the horizon were spelling a promise of blizzard. It was the early hour of the morning that I trailed downstairs. I was being lead down the stairs by the sight from my deepest nightmares - his departing back. At the front door he paused and turned to face me. A gentle smile on his strong features. He leaned to kiss me goodbye. I just shook my head and indicated the door. I would walk him to the car. I didn't want our parting to be in this house, the last vestige of what meant "us".

As soon as he tossed his luggage into the back seat of the car, he turned around and grabbed at me, pulling me into a crushing hug, before I could do anything to stop him.

"Got you." He nuzzled at my hair and traced kisses down my face. His eyes fell to the ground and he jumped away in annoyance. "You are barefoot? On the snow? Ricky what were you thinking?" I was picked off the ground with speed of lightning and lead to the house.

How could I tell him, explain to him that it was a walk of penance for my past and future sins? I squirmed in his arms demanding to be put down. He swatted me with full force and the need to cry became overwhelming. They say unshed tears fill your heart and turn it into a stone. John had managed to melt the solid stone of my tears, to shed what was unshed for all this years, kept safely behind the stony gates of a dead soul.

I managed to kick myself free from his embrace and get down before he could take me inside the house again.

"Ok, I'm guessing there is a reason for all this. Somewhere in that huge brain of yours you have all the dots connected." His voice was raspy from the cold air. He cupped my face with his hand, tenderly sliding it down, until it traced the side of my throat and came to rest against the back of my neck. His thumb parted way with the rest of his fingers to rub behind my ear. He was crutching a bit, so that we were almost on the same height. His dark blue gaze was penetrating my soul. I traced my fingers over his face, just a ghost of a touch.

A sad smile was all that I could offer to this great man. I leaned in to capture his lips in a kiss. The kiss was fragile, like a gentle touch of butterflies' wings.

Our lips parted. He kissed me on the nose.

"Be good!" I offered him no parting words. Words were tools, weapons invented by men. Nothing from that assortment of coarse sounds would ever convert the universe I wanted to reveal to him.

He ran to the car without even noticing the invisible string of my soul still being attached to his own. With every step of the growing distance between us, the fabric of my soul shrank further.

After a while of staring into the horizon that swallowed his car, I returned into the house. It was a new day in the jungle. The law of wild was very simple - the weak, the sick and wounded were killed off. I shook myself and held my head high. No time to lick my wounds. I will guard the secret with vehemence. When the bloodthirsty tiger will roar all the jungle will come to a halt with feared realization that the fierce beast was on a hunt. And while the jungle will trembled and cheer the bloody scene unfolding in front of them, that small creature, hiding deep within the beast, once awakened by my beautiful and fearsome archangel, will slowly die without being mourned.

*****

The hours passed, day and night taking their turns in a maddening monotony. Nothing could ever indicate the tedium of passing time batter than the ticking of the watch. Its annoying cooing was the only sound filling my nights.

The constant pressure of headache was another faithful companion. We were old acquaintances. Day or night, the migraines were the rare certainties of my life. Johnny's commending power kept them at bay, but now without him around the headaches were back with rekindled passion of an old lover.

He called, of course he did. I avoided his phone calls as much as I could. I was busy, too busy. Only I never told him I was busy with tearing my soul apart. The phone was ringing again. I refused to answer. Its shrill was an unwelcomed disturbance in the overall daze of the house.

The answering machine clicked and then the room was flooded by Michel's voice. "Rick, pick the phone, damn it! I know you are home. I left you dozen of massages on your voicemail and with Lane, I know she told you I called. Come on son, answer me. I know you, you are going to do something stupid that you will regret bitterly!"

I snatched the hated object and threw it against the wall. How's that for stupid daddy dearest? Why couldn't he just stick to his family and forget about the disappointment of the bastard son, who was obviously going to do something stupid, because there was no other course of action for a lowbred like me. The undamaged phone from downstairs sang impatiently. I ran downstairs, tore my coat from the hook and ran outside.

*****

The beat of music vibrated in sync with my throbbing headache. I swept the surroundings with a look. Several of the women caught my eye, but I wasn't into that kind of mood. I reassessed the men. Sorry excuses of men, all of them. I could see right through their carefully chosen attire and practiced stances and gests, I could even bet on their exact choice of words at any given second. "Looking for a party, beautiful?" I turned to measure the owner of the voice. The smell of too much booze assaulted my senses. Nothing special, but at least he was almost the right height and built. I could wipe the floor with an idiot like this and he was standing there like he was controlling something in this pathetic parody of interaction.

I looked him over once more and made a decision. With a slight nod I motioned for him to follow me to the bathroom.

As soon as we reached the bathroom and the door closed behind us, he threw me against the wall and started to cover my face with sloppy kisses, practically chewing on my lips. I turned my face away and guided his hand between my lags. He smiled at me trying to look confident.

"I bet you look real pretty on your knees" he leered at me. I felt disgust hit me like a wave. I pushed him away with force.

"You are not man enough to put me on my knees." The ice in my tone was as sharp as a glasscutter. It never bothered me before, being fucked by idiots I mean. Johnny had changed that. I was leaving when he grabbed me by my hair.

"You little bitch, you think you can walk away?" He tried to pull me against him. I reached behind me and grabbed his arm with both my hands. In one rapid motion I twisted his wrist, ducked under his arm and locked it against his back. One powerful shove and I had him against the wall.

"I know it's an effort for you, but do me a favor and think. I look the way I do and I'm obviously not in the habit of keeping my mouth shut, yet somehow I made it to 30 something years. Now, you'd think even someone as stupid as you could have figured out that it could only be due to some serious ass- kicking skills on my part." With a one last shove against his back I let him go and rapidly left the bathroom.

*****

As I made home, the house greeted me with even less warmth then earlier that evening. My feet felt like it was casted in concrete as I straggled up the stairs.

I stared at my image in the mirror, my puffed lips an affront to Johnny's ghostly presence in the room. I still reeked of that idiot. I slowly stripped down till I was completely undressed. I gathered all the clothes into a bundle and took it to the trash. With regret I realized I couldn't do the same thing with my body.

The scolding hot shower was the only cleansing I could provide for my body and conscience.

I put on Johnny's clothes the ones he wore in the house just before leaving. It still held his scent. I was almost lost in the large sweater and that was just fine by me. I did not want to be found.

I knew things will end here. The second he announced he needed to go away on a business trip, I knew this would inevitably happen. I always managed to break things. I always sullied whatever was good, whatever was pure.

I kneeled by our bed, not wanting to taint it. Our bed, I knew it won't be ours for much longer. Johnny did not share. He made it clear on more than one occasion. He didn't suffer even light flirting. This? He will throw me out on spot.

The night stretched infinitely. A parade of never-ending dark hours sipping in to my soul and asserting their icy hold on me.

*****

The crack of the door startled me out of my numbness. He was here? "Rick!" I more felt than heard him rush towards me. He picked me up from where I was seated on the floor and swirled me around. I refused to meet his eyes. He would know, he would see right through me, as always.

He shook me "Look at me! What is this? I had to change my flight and take a midnight plane. You didn't answer my calls, you refused Michaels' calls, hell even my mom called you - to no avail! Rick, look at me!" The sting to my thigh was biting, but less so than the command in his voice. I still refused to obey him. I couldn't. I knew this was over anyway, but I couldn't bring myself to acknowledge it.

"Kneel, boy, now!" He roared and I dropped to my knees without even meaning to do so. I hated this once, now my heart was aching from the realization that this was probably the last time I was at his feet. My eyes stung, but the tears wouldn't fall. They were frozen into a lump stuck in my throat.

"Talk! Explain why you thought it was acceptable to cut short my calls or to not answer them at all, boy." He took off his coat and threw it onto the nearby chair. "What the hell is wrong with the heating system? It's freezing in here." I remained silent, how could I have made him understand that there was no point in keeping the heating system on, the house would have been freezing in his absence anyways. "Boy, start talking, now!" The warning in his voice was clear. This couldn't go any longer. I forced myself to stand up, though my soul was scratching my insides to stay put, to prostrate myself at his feet and beg for his forgiveness, hoping against hope that he might grant it to me.

Instead I looked at him, concealing my bleeding soul behind determination "I'm not your boy, not anymore."

Like a lightening he fisted my hair and yanked me closer to his face. "At this point, it's not your decision to make." His growl almost crumbled my resolve, but I shook it off and met his eyes steadfastly. "What did you do, fool boy?" It was asked so kindly and so knowingly. The walls fell, as they always did when faced with his fierceness. The siege was over, even before it started. I couldn't hold his gaze anymore. He forced my head up and dropped a gentle kiss on my trembling lips. "Am I kissing you over another's kisses?" There was resignation in his voice and I burst in tears. His fingers unclenched and I was free from his hold, a sensation more terrifying then jumping from a plane. I abandoned all dignity and pretense and dropped back to my knees.

"He didn't...I ...couldn't..." I choked on words. What was there to say? What could have made it all right? I spit on his face and nothing could fix what I did. He sighed and crouched down in front of me. His warm hand cupped my face and my sobs intensified.

"This is my fault, isn't it? I backed down on my promise. I promised to never give you this chance and I didn't hold to that promise." I doubled over and collapsed in a crumbled heap onto his lap. "Don't worry; I will not make that mistake again." The resolve in his voice gave me hope. I dared to look at him. He indicated with his chin the bed. I knew what was expected of me. The relief washed over me. I was still his. His to punish, his to own.

I easily discarded the too loose clothing and laid face down on the bed. The first sting of the belt was a blessing. The pain liberating, reaffirming the order of things, reassuring. With every new strike the coldness retreated, the blazing pain of my body drowning the emptiness and the pain in my soul. As the red bled into my thighs, the wounds oozing blood in my soul healed. He didn't stop until my screams got hoarse and my throat felt burnt. From my waist down, I was in searing pain, but my mind was clearer than it had been the past 3 days. He was more than determined to hold us together and to shield us against all, even my own foolishness.

He bent over me, the rough fabric of his pants burning my scorched skin. "Mine! Never forget it. I'm prepared to believe that this was just a self-destructing error in judgment. Don't expect me to accept this kind of behavior in the future. I will beat any foolish idea like this out of your head to make sure you will have no opportunity to take a wrong step." I was an exhausted wreck. A mass of clay for him to model according to his will. My breath hitched as I heard him pull down his zipper. He kicked at my feet and knelt down behind me. Just a spat and a thrust. Dry friction tore my insides and I screamed into the bedding. His! Only his.

I was home again, finally home.

~ Korusialhogi

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