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Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Embrace

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is to use a word with the letters “mb” in it in that order. Which had me going: how in the world am I going to find a word to use(okay, there may have been other words in there). So, I went to my handy-dandy dictionary app and started searching. There were a lot more words than I’d figured. So, I chose one and instantly thought of where I’d left off last week’s post with Devil and Hawk’s(though they went by Damon and Gavin back then) history together. So, I’ll pick up with it this week(and it turned out a lot longer than I’d expected. Oops).

Damon wanted to embrace this boy, but he shoved that feeling down as far as it would go. He was still reeling from what Travis had done. His head was ringing from hitting it against that brick wall. But, he wasn’t going to let this boy see that weakness. Trusting Travis had gotten him in this situation in the first place. Blindly trusting someone else wouldn’t get him out of it.

Still he followed him out of the alley. Hawking, Alex had called him. Damon figured that was probably a last name, though. He didn’t ever know the guy’s first name, and he was going along with him without question. His father would call him an idiot if he ended up getting mugged.

It wouldn’t be the first time his dad called him that. Or worse.

“You got a safe place to go once you’re fixed up?”

Damon didn’t know why the man’s voice kept taking him by surprise. Everything about him screamed: “I’m a big, tough guy.” And yet that voice was soft, gentle. It felt like a caress over everything that was still aching in him. It made him ache in a totally different way. But, he knew what would happen if he let that get out of control. His father had made that clear. And it scared him.

He’d thought Travis was worth it, but the other kid had only been using him. This guy probably wasn’t any different, though he hadn’t made a move yet. And that worried him. What did he want anyway?

“I’m not homeless,” he snapped out.

“That’s wasn’t what I asked. Damon, wasn’t it?”

Not what he’d asked. But, he’d asked if he had somewhere to go. No, somewhere safe to go. Like home might not be. And he looked so worried right now, Damon had to wonder if he was asking from experience. Did he save people every weekend? “Yeah,” he said, wanting to wipe that worry from the guy’s face. “And yeah, I can go home. I was grounded, so they’ll yell that I left the house. But, yeah, it’s safe.”

Damon grew more anxious as they approached the store Hawking was taking him to. What if this guy did ask questions instead of just fixing up the cut on his head? He didn’t want to tell anyone what Travis was going to make him do. It hadn’t happened, so it didn’t matter anyway. Even though just the thought made him sick.

But, the old man didn’t ask anything. Only some question to the other kid about books. Books of all things. Then, he walked with hem to the back room, cleaned the cut and put a bandage over it. There’d been more blood than the cut called for. Then, Hawking–Gavin, the old man had called him–walked him out of the store.

“You don’t really have to walk me home. I can get there on my own.”

“I’ll worry if I don’t know for myself you’re safe.”

“You really do think you’re everyone’s savior, don’t you?”

Gavin went silent at that, and Damon wished he hadn’t shoved his foot in it again. He was always doing that. At least he didn’t live far away. Gavin could go once he was back home. He didn’t want Gavin to go.

“Don’t tell them,” he said quickly. “They can know I was in a fight, but don’t tell them the rest. Don’t even tell ’em it was Travis. He’s the reason I was grounded in the first place.” Because his dad had caught them kissing. And his dad was apparently trying to save Damon’s soul from hell.

“I won’t say a word,” Gavin promised. “Tell them whatever you need.”

But, something about him had gone still even though he was still walking right beside Damon. Finally, they reached his house, and Damon’s hands grew wet with sweat as he approached the front door. It opened before he could reach for the handle. His dad’s hand came out wrapped around his arm and jerked him through the door.

“What do you think you’re doing, boy? You weren’t supposed to leave the house.”

“Sorry, Dad,” he said without looking up. “I shouldn’t’ve broken the rules.”

“You’re damn right about that.”

“Sir,” Gavin said, stepping forward, “your son-”

Damon wanted to shake his head at Gavin, tell him to just turn and go. But, he saw the concern in his eyes and knew it wouldn’t matter. “I don’t know who you are, but you don’t need to be here. You don’t need to be twisting my boy’s mind more than it already is.”

I winced at that, one of the accusations he always threw at me. The reason I liked kissing boys as well as girls. Gavin’s eyes came to mine then, and they held another accusation. I’d said I was safe here, and he didn’t believe me now. “It’s fine,” I told him.

“You said you were safe here.”

His dad’s face turned dark at the accusation in his words. “I don’t beat my son, even if he deserves it. Get out of here.”

“There’s more than one kind of harm,” Gavin murmured even as the door swung shut between them.

Dad turned on me then. “What the hell are you telling people, Damon? That I hurt you?”

He shook his head. “I didn’t.” He saw his little brother peek his head around the corner and hoped his dad would keep the tongue-lashing to a minimum this time.

He just sighed in disgust. “Go to your room. I don’t want to see your face until your mom has dinner ready.”

***

Damon opened his door at the soft knock. His little brother, Andy, stood there. Damon had only been allowed out of his room the last two days for meals and to use the bathroom. His parents hadn’t even let Andy come in to see him. Nothing like being put in solitary confinement. He was surprised his dad hadn’t boarded the window shut so he couldn’t sneak out.

“What’s up, buddy?” Damon asked. “You shouldn’t be here. Don’t want you to get in trouble.”

“Some guy dropped this off for you,” he said, holding a book out to Damon. “Said it was for you to keep safe.”

There was that word again. Had Gavin brought this to him? But, why? “What did he look like?”

The boy shrugged. “Some old guy. Just said to make sure you got the book.”

It must have been the guy from the bookstore, then, not Gavin. He shouldn’t be so disappointed by that. “Thanks, buddy. You should go, though, before Dad catches you.”

“He shouldn’t get so mad at you.”

Maybe not. “But, he does. It’ll be all right. They’ll get over it soon.” He hoped. He had a little more than two years before he could get out of here. He hoped he didn’t spend the rest of it banished to his room.

Once Andy left, Damon took the book to his bed. He didn’t read, except when he was forced to for school. Even then, he barely skimmed it. But, he ran a hand over the cover of this book. Gavin hadn’t brought it himself, but it had to be from him. “The History of the United States Marine Corps,” he read. Then, he flipped open the cover. A sheet of paper slid out into his lap. He set the book down and picked up the paper. His name was at the top.

Hope you weren’t in too much trouble the other day. You said your place was safe, and I’m holding you to the fact you meant physically. That doesn’t say anything for emotionally. But, I’ll be back on base by the time you see this, so there’s not much I can do to make sure of either. I don’t know when I’ll be back around, but I want you to have my address so you can get in touch if you want. After what we talked about, I thought you’d like the book, too. I hope I’ll hear from you sometime, but if not, keep yourself safe anyway.

Gavin Hawking

Damon stared at the note for a few minutes then slipped it into the top drawer of his desk. He didn’t know what he was going to do, but he hoped this wasn’t the last time he ever heard from Gavin.

Story a Day: Day 29 – Only Hawk

Today’s Story a Day prompt was to torture your protagonist. This may be something I like to do a little too much(Nah!!). This may not be “torture” exactly, at least not the kind most people might think of. But, I bet Devil would definitely consider it so. This is more of the emotional/sexual tension kind of torture, though. So, saying: If you have a problem with two guys being together(nothing more than kissing in this piece), steer clear. Also, you may want to read yesterday’s piece, because it comes right before this.

It didn’t take me very long to catch up to Hawk. But, he refused to respond to any of my attempts to get his attention. So, I was forced to follow behind him, steaming at how easily he could ignore me.

I’d never been able to ignore his presence.

When he took a turn away from the clubhouse, I was surprised, but I followed anyways. We needed to have this out. Maybe we couldn’t go where he wanted us to. I wasn’t willing to lose the family I’d come into over it. But, I wasn’t willing to lose my riding partner, either. I’d known Hawk since before that was the name he went by and before I was Devil, before I was even a Marine. He was more than the guy I went out on patrols with for the club. So much more. Even if I didn’t usually let myself think about that.

And because I didn’t want to think about it, examine it, talk about it, I might be losing the one thing I would allow myself to have with him. It would kill me to lose that, too.

The sky darkened above us, and I looked up from under my helmet. Heavy clouds were rolling in. I flashed my headlight at Hawk, hoping to get his attention finally. His head moved, as if taking in my signal and the clouds above when I pointed up. But, he didn’t stop.

I really didn’t want to be getting wet while on the bike, but the only other option was turning around and abandoning Hawk, which would give him the idea I didn’t think he was worth it.

I couldn’t let him think that.

So, I kept following. Even when the first drops of rain hit the backs of my hands. Hawk didn’t seem to react at all. He had his leather jacket on under his cut already. I hadn’t bothered to grab mine before running out of the house. So, I had no protection save for the long-sleeve shirt I had on. It wouldn’t take long for it to soak through if the rain continued.

Hawk turned down yet another road, and I swore a little. This wasn’t even toward the place he kept away from the clubhouse. Where was he taking me? No, that wasn’t fair. He hadn’t asked me to follow him. This was all my own fault. And it was too late to turn back now.

The rain was coming down harder, pounding against the top of my helmet and soaking right through my shirt and jeans. He turned again, this time down what seemed little more than an overgrown trail. Maybe it had been a driveway once, but it didn’t look like any vehicles had used it in quite some time. There was a barn at the end of it, though. It looked like it was a miracle it was still standing, yet Hawk headed right for it.

I did, too, idiot that I was.

He rode straight into the barn, since the door was hanging open anyway.

I did, too. Sometimes, I thought I would follow him anywhere. Even into Hell. Or an old ramshackle barn.

Hawk was already climbing off his bike when I shut mine down. He took off his helmet, and I caught my breath. No, I couldn’t do this, couldn’t let my thoughts go there. It would only lead to disaster. But, the I couldn’t stop watching the way water streamed down his face. The helmet had kept the top of his head dry, but the rest of his reddish-gold hair was plastered to the sides of his face. I didn’t even know why that snagged my attention so much. I’d seen it before, often due to sweating outside, but for some reason, now I couldn’t move off my bike.

I pulled off my helmet and hung it off the end of the handlebar all without looking away from him. His chest heaved as if he was out of breath from running the distance we’d ridden. Then, he slowly closed his eyes. “Fuck, Damon.”

I’d only heard his voice that rough once before. The only time I’d let things go too far between us. I couldn’t let it happen again. “Hawk, please don’t do this.”

“What?” he asked, slipping off his vest and hanging it from his handlebars only long enough to remove his jacket, then he was wearing the cut again. He brought the jacket over to me. I took it, but didn’t put it on as I did finally climb off my bike. “Find a place out of the rain?” he asked, stepping back again.

“You know what I mean. Don’t find another riding partner. I need you with me when I’m out there, Hawk.”

“You can trust any of the guys to have your back. You don’t need me. I told you what I need from you.”

The one thing I couldn’t give him. “Hawk, I told you-”

“And I’ve told you, they won’t care. They know about me, Damon. Almost every one of them, at least the older members. They don’t care. They aren’t like your parents, they wouldn’t blame your brother’s drug problem on your sexuality. Or eventually his death. That never made much sense to me; blaming you when you were there and when you weren’t.”

It had never made much sense to me, either. But, that was my parents for you. They hadn’t even been there to greet me when I’d been discharged from the Corps and come home the final time. Only Hawk had been. That should have been my first clue.

He took a step toward me, and I tried to step back, but I tripped over something on the floor. Hawk darted forward and caught me before I could hit the ground. I would have thanked him if I hadn’t seen how heated his eyes had gotten. His gaze took in the shirt still plastered to my chest, and I knew where his thoughts were going. The same place I was trying to keep mine from straying to.

“Hawk…” But, I couldn’t find it in me to deny it all again. Would one time really hurt? There was no one else here to see us.

I was sure he was reading my thoughts because his hand slipped from under my arm to the small of my back. I put both hands on his chest, the fingers of one just covering the Lieutenant tab on his vest. “This is probably a mistake,” I told him.

“I don’t care,” he said, his mouth hovering close, so close, to mine. I could feel his breath on my lips as he spoke. “It feels like everything that’s ever taken me away from you was a mistake. This can’t be a worse one than those.”

I closed my eyes and didn’t stop him when his lips pressed to mine. Instead I opened my mouth, let him in, pressed into him. It might be a mistake, but he was right, it wouldn’t be the worst one I’d ever made.

“Your eyes,” he murmured against my lips. “I want to see your eyes when I’m touching you, Damon.” His hand slipped under my shirt, and I shivered at the feel of it against my bare skin.

But, I opened my eyes. And looked right into his eyes, murmuring his name, his real name, “Gavin”, as he pressed into me again. And that was all it took to be lost in him.

SOCS/Story a Day: Day 28 – Pressed

I combined my Stream of Consciousness Saturday and Story a Day prompts again this week(last time for that). For SOCS, it was to use press, either as beginning, end, or on its own. For Story a Day, it was to focus on pacing. I wanted to go for a somewhat quick pace. And when I thought of that, I thought of these two. I’ll likely be continuing this for tomorrow’s Story a Day as well(which is to torture your protagonist, so that should be fun *evil grin*)

I pressed my hand against the wall, knowing I needed to calm down before I turned to him. Hawk was the only one who could ever turn me inside out like this. I always had a quick temper, so everyone tended to piss me off. But, no one pulled it out of me quite as quick as he did.

“I really wish you’d just listen to me.”

“I am listening,” I snapped back, turning to him. “I’m just not likin’ what I hear.” I hated the hurt that flashed through his eyes. But, it was gone almost as quick. Must not have gone that deep then.

“You’ve never much liked what I had to say. Can’t take anything that upsets the balance of your world, can you?”

That dig went deep, and a little too close to the heart of the matter. “That’s not it,” I insisted, even if I didn’t believe it. “But, it wouldn’t be right.” I couldn’t lose my place here, and I was so afraid that’s what would happen if this went any farther. Hawk said it wouldn’t matter, but what they said and what they did could be completely different things. Not that I had any proof for that.

He moved closer, his expression open, vulnerable. Why did he have to look at me like that? He knew what it did to me. “You want it back.”

I didn’t have to ask what it was. “No.”

“You only get scared liked this when there’s something you really want almost within your reach.”

“No,” I said again, but my voice slipped a little. It felt like he was circling me, like his namesake getting ready to dive for the kill. My breath came a little faster, waiting for him to strike. “I don’t want this.”

He pulled back sharply, but I could see his feathers were ruffled. Like he’d heard “I don’t want you.” That wasn’t true. It never would be. But, I couldn’t have him.

“You don’t want to want this,” he corrected.

I couldn’t argue with that, so I didn’t say a word. To me, they were one and the same. He took two more steps away from me. “You know I’ll never push you. But, if you ever realize you do want it, come and find me. Until then, I think it’s better if we get different riding partners.”

The claws that had dug into my chest earlier, gripped tight now. He couldn’t really mean that. We’d always ridden together. “Hawk, no.”

“Yeah, Devil,” he said, taking out his keys without looking at me. “That’s the way it’s gotta be. Find me when that changes.”

I watched him walk away then pressed my head against the wall, curses falling from my lips. Why did everything feel just beyond the tips of my fingers around him. Damn it. No. I wasn’t going to let him do this. I snatched up my keys and headed out the door. But, I could already hear the rumble of his bike heading away.

Well, I’d just have to catch him then.

 

WeWriWa: ‘A Long Time’

Back for another edition of Weekend Writing Warriors and still sharing from Dance with the Devil. By the time this one is up, I’ll be off on our first motorcycle ride of the season. Looking forward to it. Anyway, on to the next 10 lines of Devil.

After what had happened to Trace on his last patrol, I couldn’t blame them for keeping a tight rein on our patrol times. It still sucked donkey ass, though.

Hawk’s bike idled behind me, and that had the back of my neck prickling. I shouldn’t feel that way, shouldn’t let him get to me. I’d known him a long time. And I’d always been able to feel when his eyes were on me.

Like they were now.

I shifted on my seat, keeping my gaze focused on the light, waiting for it to turn green. I ignored the buzzing phone in my pocket and everything but that light. If only the electricity I could feel from Hawk could be as easily tuned out.

So, just what is between these two? And, yes, Devil has some colorful sayings. Which is why I’m enjoying writing him so much. I wrote another piece earlier today, that will take place sometime later in this story. Also, if you want to read the first story in this series, Chapter 2 of Into the Sun is up on Wattpad now.

SOCS/Story a Day: Day 7 – “It’s Apparent”

It’s time for another Stream of Consciousness Saturday. It’s also Day 7 of Story a Day, so I decided to combine them. Today’s prompt for SOCS was “apparent/a parent” and the prompt for Story a Day was to write a dialogue-only story. This takes place between Devil and Hawk somewhere in the future of Dance with the Devil.

“It’s apparent you don’t know how to listen.”

“I just-”

“You just did the exact opposite of what you were told. You’ve been making a habit of that lately, Devil.”

“Shove it, Hawk. You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Get back here. And I do know. I’ve known you a long time. Longer than any of them. Better than any of them.”

“Don’t. Just don’t, Hawk.”

“I didn’t anything. I was just sayin'”

“Well, stop saying. Those days are over. I thought you were supposed to be out here lecturing me.”

“I am, but maybe it’s not what I want to be doing.”

“I told you-”

“Yeah, I know. You don’t do that anymore. And it’s not what I meant. Just saying I don’t completely disagree with you. But, we were told to keep our distance. Which means you don’t go up and confront one of them. You keep walking right on the edge, and you’re going to end up falling over one of these days.”

“Thought you said you’d always catch me.”

“I’d do just that if you weren’t always running from me.”

“I…you know what? It doesn’t matter. They kicking me?”

“No. You keep pushing, and that’s what will happen, though. Just…let up a bit, will you?”

“Yeah, sure. Whatever.”

“Guess that has to be good enough. Come on, let’s go inside.”

So, just what is between these two? And what brought this argument about? Will they resolve it?

You can find my other Story a Day pieces here. And if you come back to the blog later today, there’ll be another snippet from Devil’s story.

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