I hadn’t talked to Vincent all day. Markus offered to have a talk with him. I wasn’t exactly okay with it, but when I took the time to think about it, I doubt I’d be able to have that talk myself. The idea of telling anyone what happened to me terrifies me… and it brings up bad memories. I didn’t think I could get through the entire thing without having violent flashbacks.
“Roy?” Vincent’s voice made me jump. I wasn’t expecting him to be here so soon after seeing Markus.
“I’m in the bunk room. I shouted to him. The station was big, but it echoed well enough to be able to hear each other when it was quiet enough. A handful of the guys were out on a call, the rest were all doing other things around the station that needed to get done.
“Awe, did your boyfriend come to see you?” Daniel tease. I had half a mind to deck him in the face. I’m still annoyed with him for talking about shit he doesn’t really know anything about.
“He is not my boyfriend. Fuck off Dan.” I said in a deeper than necessary tone as I rolled my eyes.
“Oh I get it, ‘I am man, hear me roar!’, enough said.” Daniel teased again. Dan’s shit was starting to really get under my skin.
“I am going to beat your ass if you don’t knock it off.”
Before Daniel could reply again, Vincent came in the room. It was clear he knew everything now, because he had that ‘I pity you’ look in his eyes when he looked at me.
“Do not look at me like that. I don’t need your pity.” I scowled. I hated feeling like I was a pitiable person just because of the things I’ve been through.
“What on earth is there to pity you for?” Daniel snorted.
“You wanna go to my place and have this conversation in private?” Vincent asked calmly, ignoring Daniel.
“Awe come on, do be like that sweetheart.” Daniel whined, moving closer to Vincent. I stepped between him and Vincent to stop him from whatever he thought he was going to do.
“Daniel. Learn to read the room already.” I glared at him.
“God I can’t wait ‘til your PMS is over. You’re such a bitch these days.” Daniel rolled his eyes.
“I’m only acting accordingly, Dan. When stop intentionally fucking with me, I’ll stop being a dick. Give it a rest already.” I retorted.
I grabbed a bag I had packed up earlier, and left with Vincent. I had planned to go back to my apartment to pack up my things, because I knew that leaving that place would be my first step toward helping me move on, even without having anyone tell me that. I hadn’t actually found anywhere to move to yet, but that didn’t have to stop me from packing up the things I wanted to keep from my place. It’s been years since what happened, it’s time for me to get my shit together and be a better man. One that can be worthy of Vincent.
“Can we go to my place instead?” I asked as we got into Vincent’s car.
“Uh… Yeah sure. If that’s what you want.” He answered timidly.
Most of the drive was in silence. I guessed Vincent was forming his words. Trying to figure out how to talk to me now that Markus told him everything. I didn’t even know what to say now that he knew what had happened to me, and what I was like in the past. Granted, Markus could only tell him his side of things, because I haven’t told even him the entire encounter of that night… I never wanted anyone to know I was too weak to protect myself, even if it happened when I was younger.
“You know that man has a current partner, right?” Vincent whispered. Shock filled me. How could anyone let him get away with what he does… Then I remembered the fact that I let him get away with it. I did nothing to retaliate after he hurt me.
“I didn’t. I haven’t kept tabs on him for fear of being reminded…” I said in a soft voice.
“His partner filed charges for domestic abuse and assault. That kid is so young, and he already looks like he’s given up on life. But he’s trying.” Vincent told me. I could feel Vincent staring at me from the driver’s seat, “The police are arresting him tonight.”
A strange feeling in my chest made goose bumps cover every inch of my skin. I couldn’t tell if it was relief that that man would finally be behind bars, or if it was fear for that kid for when that man inevitably gets out. Maybe a little bit of both. My body started to involuntarily shake, and I had these cold chills run down my spine. Vincent grabbed my hand, since that’s all he could offer right now. But when we did finally pull into the driveway to my apartment house, Vincent got out of the car, came to my side to open the door, sat in my lap, and just hugged me like that. At first I felt awkward, because we could have just gotten out of the car, and gone inside, but when I finally relaxed, I wrapped my arms around his waist and squeezed him tight. I buried my face in his shoulder, and let his soft scent fill my nose, relaxing more into his hug.
“Roy, I don’t pity you. I just want to be there for you now. I want to be the guy you trust, and I want to be the person you can move on with.” He said in a gentle, muffled voice. I let one hand travel up his back until I felt his hair. My fingers twined into his hair as I held him close to me. I felt a warmth in my chest that made every muscle in my body loosen.
“I… I want you to be that person too, Vincent.” I finally responded.
“That’s good to hear.” He pushed up just enough to be able to plant his lips right on mine.
The kiss started off as just sweet, and soft, but it very quickly turned into a deeper, more passionate one. I let him lead this kiss, because it felt better to be in his care, than it did to be the one in charge. His tongue tentatively explored my mouth, like it was our first kiss. He tasted of the sweet and spicy mix of Markus’s favorite drink, a Chili Cinnamon Bourbon Hot Toddy. I’ve never been a fan of cinnamon, but it tasted so good on his tongue. A soft knock on the window made both of us jump.
“Excuse me for interrupting, gents, but would you mind taking that inside?” An older, kind looking woman asked nicely.
“I’m so sorry!” Vincent said, rushing to get out of the car as he hid his face shyly from the woman.
“Oh don’t be sorry. It’s sweet to see a young couple so in love that they don’t even care who sees.” She gave a naughty smile. Vincent’s cheeks were flushed bright red, and I’m sure mine were too.
“I’m sorry we were inconsiderate of the location.” I said, getting out of the car myself now.
“Oh, you’re the young man who lives here, aren’t you? It’s been so long since I’ve seen you back here.” She asked.
“I am. I stay at the fire station most of the time… I uh… I’m actually moving out soon. I don’t have good memories here, and I want to leave this place behind.” I told her, though I didn’t need to divulge any of that to her.
“Oh that’s too bad. I’m sorry to hear that. I hope your next home will bring you more happiness then. I’ll let you two go, so I don’t further interrupt anything.” Her smile turned into a more sweet one as she walked away from us.
“Oh my god, that was so embarrassing! How can you be so calm?” Vincent covered his face with his hands, I laughed.
“It’s not like we were having sex in broad day light in your car. We were only making out, and it’s already dark out anyway.” I pulled him into my arms again. “Let’s go inside now.”
“You said you’re moving… Where to?” Vincent asked as he followed me into the house.
“Don’t know yet. All I know is that if I want to live a happy life with you in it, I need to leave all this behind. Living in this place… not moving on… I’ll never be able to be happy. I mean after it happened… I stayed with Markus for months, until he found himself a new partner. I left to make his partner feel more comfortable, and when I came back here… I slept on the couch in the living room. I couldn’t sleep in that bed anymore. So when I finally started working as a fulltime fire fighter, I basically moved into the bunk at the station. At least there I had a bed. I only went home when Chief made me, and again, stayed on my couch. I was grateful when Dom had his own place and let me stay with him while we were partners.” I started rambling on. It somehow felt so much easier to talk to Vincent now. It was nice feeling like I didn’t have so huge secret weighing down on my chest.
When I had finished talking, we were standing in the living room, aimlessly looking around. This place that used to be my home, didn’t feel like a home should. It felt cold, and lonely. It felt like this was a glorified, and expensive, storage place for my things. Pictures of my parents and I, pictures of me with my friends, keep sakes, and random nick knacks, all of it was covered in several months’ worth of dust. The door to the bedroom I refused to enter had be closed for years. I haven’t been in that room since Markus helped clean it up. I didn’t care what was lost in that room, there wasn’t a single thing from there that I wanted to risk losing my sanity over in order to get it out of that room.
“Why exactly are we here?” Vincent asked, staring at me as I took in the room around me.
“I wanted to pack up a few important things before I sold this place.” I said monotonously.
I began by finding myself a box to put all my things in. I grabbed all the pictures I wanted, and the few keepsakes I had that had sentimental meaning for me, but ultimately I decided that starting over was the way to go. So the rest of this stuff could just stay or go where. The box wasn’t huge, but even so, there were so few things I wanted to keep that the box was still mostly empty.
“That’s all you want?” Vincent asked.
“I can get all this stuff fresh. Stuff that doesn’t have traumatic memories superglued to it.” I answered.
“What about in that room?” Vincent asked, pointing to the bedroom.
My eyes glanced quickly back at the door, then away. “I don’t need anything in there. It can all burn for all I care.” I said, shifting awkwardly away from the door as if it had moved into my space even though it hadn’t moved at all.
“Oh… Is that…?” Vincent seemed like he wanted to ask more, but I guessed he thought it wasn’t a good idea.
“Yes.” I answered shortly.
“May I?” He asked, I looked at him, he was looking at the door with a curious look. I had no idea what he could get by seeing the room where I was brutally beaten to near death.
“I won’t go in there with you. And I’d prefer if you kept the door closed so I don’t have to see it while you’re in there.” I answered.
Vincent mindless walked toward the door without responding to me in the slightest. When his hand reached toward the knob, I turned away. I went to the kitchen to see what all was in there that I might have forgotten about. I didn’t care about the dishes. But when I looked at the fridge, I saw magnets I’d completely forgotten I had. There was a picture turned into a magnet of my parents when they were young. It showed how perfectly happy they were together. Of course I grabbed that. There were a few other things pinned to the fridge that I grabbed, nothing super important, but it was still things I figured I’d want to see occasionally.
“I hate being here so much.” I whispered to myself.
“Then let’s leave.” Vincent said, making me jump since I hadn’t heard him leave the room. “Have you grabbed everything you want?”
“Yeah. I’d rather hire a service to get rid of the rest of this stuff.” I turned to face him and saw the grim look on his face. “Are you okay?”
“Markus painted a vague yet somehow still clear picture of what he saw in that room. I can’t imagine what he must have truly felt seeing you the way he did… and knowing the space, seeing it… Somehow made it worse.” He admitted.
“Why did you want to see it then?” I asked him, pulling him closer to me.
“I just wanted to see a part of your past… I didn’t want to wedge myself into anything I wasn’t welcome into, but I just wanted to know everything about you, even the bad things.” He explained. I didn’t understand, but if that’s what he thought would make him feel like he was more mine…
I nodded, not in understanding, but in acceptance of the reasoning. We left the house. I closed the door, and hoped I’d never see this place again. I’d have to find someone to help me clean out the place before I could break the renters contract. As long as I didn’t have to anything in person here, I didn’t care what happened.
“Do you want to stay with me tonight? I mean it’s already late anyway. Plus I think it’s better that you not be alone after coming here.” Vincent asked, though it seemed less like he was asking and more like he was telling me. This place was the last place I had a dom, and it was extremely traumatizing, so I wasn’t prepared to handle and commands from anyone full time – despite what happened last night. I hated that I couldn’t be a better sub for Vincent, and I hated that Charles was the one who made me feel that way to begin with.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean for that to sound anything like a command, I was genuinely asking, not telling you to stay with me.” Vincent said, as if he’d read my mind.
I gave an uneasy smile, “Sure, I’d be okay with that.”
Vincent stuck his hand out to me, so I grabbed it, and he lead the way back to his car.