Tyler told Melissa about the journey he was going on to see Thomas. He told her a little bit about how he and Thomas had met, but not much. He was a little embarrassed to admit that he was going to meet this guy in person for the first time. He did admit that they had met online, and he did say that they had seen each other before. He was intentionally just a little bit sketchy on the details, not admitting that it was only on their web cameras when and where they had seen each other thus far.
Melissa was very patient with Tyler, and held his hand in both of hers as he told the story. She suspected from the way he told her about his relationship with Thomas that they hadn't yet met in person, but she decided not to verbalize that thought. Instead, she just continued to nod her head as he continued the story and make whatever positive comments she could whenever she was able.
She did finally ask how long he had known Thomas, and he told her that it had been three years - since he was fifteen. It was then that he finally admitted that while they had e-mailed, chatted on MSN Messenger, talked on the phone, and sometimes talked using a web cam and microphone on their computers, they were only now about to meet in person for the first time. "Are you nervous about that?" she asked, even though his demeanor during this part of the conversation made the answer obvious.
"Yeah, sort of," he confessed. It was a little more than sort of, but he was trying to convince himself that everything was going to be alright when he got to Atlanta for the rendezvous. "I'm just worried that maybe he won't be there to meet me, or that maybe he won't like me once we meet in person or something. If that happens I'll really be screwed."
"I don't think you have anything to worry about," she stated as she smiled at Tyler and looked him straight in the eye. "From everything you've told me about him, I think everything is going to work out just fine."
Melissa heard the boarding for her flight being called, so she had to excuse herself. She was affected by the regrets Tyler expressed as she left, and his gentle thanks for listening. She did scribble her e-mail address on a napkin for Tyler before she left, and asked him to let her know how things worked out. As she was getting ready to leave, Tyler stood so they could hug. She squeezed him in a tight embrace and whispered into his ear, "Don't worry, everything will be fine." Then she gave him a quick kiss on the cheek and broke the embrace.
A moment later, she was gone. Tyler sat back down to finish his coffee. They would be calling his flight soon as well. He stuffed the napkin with her e-mail address into his backpack and hoped that her confidence about his meeting with Thomas at the Atlanta airport would prove correct. The sound of a commotion of some sort came from bar next to the Starbucks where Tyler was sitting. There were loud shouts, a lot of cursing and a crash. A moment later, two uniformed officers came running through the terminal headed toward the bar. A couple minutes later Tyler grinned as his saw the belligerent drunk from his first flight being escorted away in handcuffs by the airport police.
'Serves him right,' Tyler thought as he watched the man being taken away. 'Hopefully I won't have an asshole like that next to me on the flight to Atlanta.'
Tyler's sheets were bloody when he woke in the morning. If it weren't obvious enough where the blood had come from, there were traces of semen evident and mixed in with it. When he crawled out of bed, Tyler found that it was quite painful to walk, and he hobbled bowlegged into the bathroom. He turned the water on in the shower as hot as he thought he would be able stand it, then he brushed his teeth and sat down on the toilet. Emptying his bowels was far more painful than he thought it would be, and when he looked down into the bowl, he discovered that he had gushed out enough blood to turn the water bright red.
When he wiped himself, he noticed that the paper was also stained with blood. He pulled a lengthy strip of toilet paper from the roll, folded it over several times and held it beneath him to try to stop the renewed bleeding. He hadn't even noticed it last night, but now he was wondering if he would have to go to the hospital because of whatever damage Drake may have caused him back there. And if he did, what would he tell them? There was no way that he could possibly tell them the truth, but what could he come up with that would sound convincing?
Finally the bleeding stopped. Tyler got up, flushed the toilet and stepped into the steaming shower stall. The mirror over the bathroom counter was already clouded up. Tyler felt a need to wash himself thoroughly. What Drake had done to him last night made him feel so dirty, so violated… He wanted to scrub himself raw, but then, back where it really counted, he already was quite raw. He was also afraid to start the bleeding anew. He didn't have any idea how much blood he might have lost, but he did know he was feeling a bit dizzy and light headed. He did not know however, was that because of blood loss, the brutality of Drake's attack or the fitful night which had afforded him little sleep? He didn't even consider that it could have had anything to do with Ollie's funeral or his using more of the pain killers than he was used to the day before.
Normally a long, hot shower left him feeling refreshed and invigorated. This wasn't the case today. When Tyler stepped out of the shower and dried off, he still felt drained. He was dreading seeing Drake, but he knew it was inevitable. If it wasn't this morning, it would still happen sometime later today. That much was certain. Tyler dressed in loose fitting clothing this morning. He thought that the tighter jeans he normally wore might chafe and would probably make him feel even worse than he already did, so after pulling on an old, soft pair of boxers, he dug out a pair of sweat pants and a t-shirt.
Tyler noticed the briefs he had been wearing when he went to bed the night before, the ones that had belonged to Ollie. He picked them up and looked them over. They weren't in great shape to begin with, being old and worn, but they had held special significance to Tyler, because they had been Oliver's. Tyler tucked them into the drawer of the nightstand beside his bed. Even though they were shredded and useless now, Tyler wasn't quite ready to dispose of the ripped up cloth.
He stripped the blood stained sheets from his bed and carried them downstairs to put into the washer. He hoped they would come clean, but he didn't have enough experience doing laundry to have any idea if they would or not.
Tyler's gait still gave away the obvious soreness he was feeling when he came downstairs and into the kitchen. Tyler opened the accordion doors to the little closet where the washer and dryer were located, stuffed the sheets into the top of the washing machine, added detergent and started the wash cycle. Drake was putting his breakfast dishes into the dishwasher as Tyler turned to pour himself a cup of coffee. Drake didn't say anything to him until he was picking his keys up from the counter. "I'm running late for work," he stated flatly. "See you up at The Cavern when I get off?"
"I don't know, maybe," Tyler responded noncommittally. He couldn't believe that Drake was acting as if absolutely nothing had happened. Drake hadn't even acknowledged the obvious soreness with which Tyler was walking this morning or the fact that he had to wash his sheets.
"You really ought to wear a thong tonight when you dance," Drake commented as he brushed past Tyler on his way out, giving Tyler's ass a quick feel as he did. "You'll look especially hot."
'Jesus, can he really think nothing at all happened?' Tyler thought. 'It's like he's completely oblivious to the way he attacked me last night.' Tyler was intentionally keeping the term 'rape' out of his mind. Tyler didn't want to add the stigma of being a rape victim to the vulnerability he was already feeling, even if at this point it was only on a subconscious level. Tyler heard Drake close the door behind him, then the gate to the patio squeak as it opened and closed. Then there was the sound of a car door slamming shut and an engine starting. Drake was gone for the day.
Tyler slumped down onto one of the sofas in the living room and grabbed the remote. He turned on the TV and sipped his coffee as he watched the moronic talking heads on the Saturday morning talk show on the local station banter back and forth about nothing.
Tyler felt wetness on his cheek, and wiped away a tear. He hadn't even realized that he was silently crying until just then. He set the coffee down on the table in front of him and picked up his cell phone. Thomas had given him his cell number in case he ever needed to get in touch, but he had refused so far to give Thomas his. He knew Thomas was worried about him, and he was afraid that Thomas might call at an inopportune time, causing Tyler to have to explain things to Drake. Tyler started a text message... 'Thomas, I need some help,' he started to write. But then he started thinking...
'How can I tell him what happened? What will he think of me if I admit what I've been doing?' Tyler knew how Thomas felt about drugs, so he didn't want to tell Thomas about that, but he wasn't sure how he could explain things without admitting to his drug use. 'If I tell Thomas about the drugs, will he abandon me?' Tyler couldn't help but wonder.
He cancelled the message. There were far too many doubts in his mind, and he wasn't sure he could deal with the potential consequences. He wished that Drake had a computer with internet access in the apartment. At least that way he could check his e-mail, or maybe even get Thomas in chat on MSN. 'No,' he thought. 'Chat would be even worse than text...' It would surely come out what he had been doing and what all was going on in his life then.
A couple hours later, Tyler had given up on coffee. He didn't have any pills left, but he needed something, so he went to the cabinet where he knew Drake kept his liquor. He pulled out a bottle of vodka, poured a large shot into a glass and topped it off with orange juice. Tyler lifted the glass and observed it for a moment. The color was only faintly orange - there was a lot of vodka in the glass - more than there was orange juice. 'Maybe this will help,' he thought as he raised the glass to his lips and took a long gulp.
Tyler downed that drink in only a few minutes, and then he poured another in about the same proportions. This drink he took with him into the living room. This time he dropped into the easy chair that Drake normally reserved for himself and set the glass down on the coaster next to him on the end table. Tyler had brought the remote control with him, and started flipping through the channels. There wasn't anything on that he found even remotely interesting, so he eventually dropped the remote in his lap. The TV had ended up on Sponge Bob. 'Mindless entertainment,' he thought. 'It'll probably be better than the idiots on the morning show at least.' Tyler picked up the glass and gulped down the majority of its contents in one swig. He didn't even sit it back onto the coaster until he had turned it up again; emptying it completely with just one more gulp.
Tyler didn't even realize he had fallen asleep when he woke up an hour later. It seemed like he had just closed his eyes for a moment. The Cartoon Network was still playing Sponge Bob. He looked over at the empty glass next to him and contemplated making another drink. Then he remembered where Drake kept a stash of pot in one of the kitchen cabinets. He got up and made his way a little unsteadily into the kitchen. He opened the door to the cabinet where he thought he would find the marijuana, but the little box he was used to seeing wasn't there.
Tyler started going through all the other cabinets, above and below the counter, looking for the little wooden box where Drake kept his stash. He couldn't find it. Then he started pulling the drawers open, rifling through them. He was starting to get desperate. He wanted, no - he needed to get high. Finally he saw it. It was lying on the countertop, hidden in plain sight. When he opened the box, Tyler couldn't believe what he saw. Between the bag of pot and the pack of rolling papers, there were three Percoset capsules.
Tyler didn't think that Drake used any sort of pain killers - he certainly didn't think he did, especially the ones that were his drug of choice. But at that moment it didn't matter to him, Tyler's mind was made up. He grabbed the three pills, the baggie of dope and the papers. He carried them with him as he climbed the stairs to his room. "At least I'm able to walk a little more normal now," Tyler said aloud to himself, thankful that some of the pain had now dissipated. He didn't realize that it was only the alcohol he had consumed that was merely masking the pain temporarily.
When Tyler got to his room, he stripped off the sweat pants and t-shirt. Standing only in his boxers, Tyler regarded himself in the mirror. He seemed to have lost some weight, at least that's how it looked to him. He was right. He hadn't been eating all that well, mainly because of the drugs he had been using and those were taking their toll as well. Often as not he had substituted pills and alcohol for food. This had caused him to become thinner, almost to the point of gaunt.
Tyler pulled his dresser drawer open. There were a few sets of thong underwear there, one of them, a bright red one, had been Ollie's. Drake liked to have him and Ollie wear them sometimes during their Friday or Saturday night sessions, and this one had apparently been left behind after one of those. But now Ollie wouldn't be coming any more. Once again, tears began to roll down Tyler's cheeks. Ollie was gone. His memorial service was yesterday. Tyler would never, ever see him again. Oliver, the cute boy who had taken him under his wing, so to speak, that first night he came into The Cavern. The boy who had ultimately become the best friend he had when everyone else seemed to turn against him, and even more importantly, his lover.
'How am I ever going to live without him?' Tyler thought. Oliver had certainly been far more to him than just a partner on the dance floor. Tyler hadn't even known Oliver's last name until the police investigation into his death - the boy who had meant so much to him, and as Tyler thought about him, how little he really knew about him, Tyler became increasingly sad and depressed. He was ashamed that he'd never learned any of the personal details of Ollie's life until after he'd died. In Tyler's mind it was as if he had let Ollie down somehow. Tyler took the bright red thong and tossed it onto his bed.
He wasn't sure if he was going to wear one to The Cavern tonight as Drake had suggested - he wasn't even sure that he really wanted to go tonight, but if it did, he was going to wear the one that had been his boyfriend's. It would be a sort of a tribute to Oliver, if nothing else.
Tyler was walking through the park that afternoon. He had two of the pills and most of the pot that he'd taken from Drake's stash box in the apartment that morning still in his pocket. He passed a couple boys who were sitting on a bench, talking. They looked like the typical jock types from his school, but he didn't recognize them. There were other high schools in the area, so these two probably went to one of them.
Tyler ignored the two as he passed them by, aside from just a quick glance as he approached. The two observed him more closely though. Their eyes ran up from the black Converse tennis shoes, up the tight, straight leg black denim jeans that rode low on his hips and hugged his ass, then the black leather jacket he was wearing above the tight, sleeveless t-shirt to his coal black hair that swept across his face.
"Hey!" one of the jocks called after him. "Nice pants! My girlfriend has a pair just like them!"
Tyler turned to look back at the two boys. They said something back and forth to one another that Tyler wasn't able to hear, then it seemed that they were laughing at him and gave each other a high-five. Tyler thought seriously about flipping them off, of even with the effects of the one pain pill he had taken, and the joint he had smoked, Tyler was still in too much pain from Drake's assault the previous night to think that he might be able to outrun them. So he just kept walking, hoping they would ignore him as he was doing to them.
Tyler walked through a playground area where various pieces of equipment had been set up for young kids to play on. He sat for a minute on one of several rocking horses that were mounted on large spring that went down into the ground. He rested his head on his arms, which were in turn resting atop the head of the rocking horse. Tyler closed his eyes, quietly sobbing as he thought about Oliver once again.
Tyler vision seemed slightly cloudy, as if a fog had suddenly rolled in when he spotted two familiar figures cut furtively off the path and into some bushes. It was Jesse and Trevor. Tyler got up from the rocking horse and followed after the two blonde boys. He was curious what they were up to.
There was a small embankment on the other side of the bushes that led down to a small stream. There was no sign of Jesse and Trevor once Tyler had made his way through the bushes. As Tyler looked around, he realized that the only place they could possibly have gone was into the large, circular concrete pipe that the water flowing in the little stream was coming from. Tyler approached the pipe and stepped up into it. The pipe's diameter was about four feet, so he had to bend over as he went into it. The water flowing along the bottom was about a foot wide, so walking bent over like that, and with one foot on either side of the stream was somewhat awkward.
Not far inside, there was a curve, and Tyler heard low voices as he approached. He saw a flicker of light, as if from a lighter, then there was the unmistakable odor of marijuana. Tyler stepped slowly around the curve in the pipe. Jesse and Trevor were seated on one side of the gurgling water, their feet resting on the other. They were leaning back against the round, concrete wall. Jesse was passing a joint over to Trevor. "Hey guys," Tyler spoke up.
Startled, they both looked over at him. Trevor dropped the joint, and it almost rolled into the water before he caught it. "Dude!" Jesse exclaimed. "What the hell are you doing here?"
"Yeah, dude, you scared the shit outta me!" Trevor added.
"I uh, well, I was up in the park and I saw you come down here, so um... Well, I just wanted to see how you were doing. I'm still a little down... Ollie's funeral was yesterday you know, and..." Tyler just let that trail off. He didn't want it to seem like he was trying to make them feel guilty about not being at the service, and was afraid that it was going to come off that way.
They both looked away for a moment, glancing at each other. It was Trevor that looked back to him first and answered. "Sorry we weren't there... It was just, something... Something sorta came up."
"It's okay. Don't worry about it," Tyler said, do the best he could to keep from crying again, now that he was reminded of the turnout for Ollie's funeral service. Then he added, "His mother didn't even show up, so it's no big deal."
That statement did make the two other boys feel even worse about missing the service. They imagined then that Tyler had been standing by the grave completely alone, which he nearly was. "Come on, sit down with us," Jesse said, patting the small space on the concrete between him and Trevor. "Tell us about the service."
Tyler complied. He wasn't able to keep the tears back as he did, and a few moments later he was sobbing into his chest. Jesse put an arm around him, and pulled him into a comforting embrace. Jesse stroked his hair with his other hand, and tried to say something that would be comforting to him. Finally, Tyler managed to stop the tears and sat back up between the other boys, brushing Jesse's arm away as he did.
The joint Trevor and Jesse had been smoking had gone out, but now Trevor relit it, took a deep drag and passed it to Tyler. "Here ya go Ty; looks like you could use some of this."
"Yeah," Jesse chimed in. "Lemme give ya a shotgun." Jesse took the joint from Tyler's fingers, hit it quickly himself, then reversed it and put it back between his lips to blow smoke into Tyler's mouth.
Tyler and Jesse put a hand behind each other's head as their faces approached to draw each other in closer, almost as if they were about to kiss. Tyler sucked the sweet smelling smoke into his lungs and held it as long as he could before letting it out. His attention had been focused elsewhere for the last few moments, but now he was aware of Trevor's hand inside his pants. While his concentration had been centered on inhaling the smoke Jesse was blowing into his mouth, Trevor had unfastened his belt and pants. When he looked down, Tyler saw that his pants were now wide open, and Trevor was staring intently at his package, just barely contained in the pouch of the little red thong.
Tyler was confused. He thought that Jesse and Trevor were involved with each other, but now Trevor had made a very blatant move on him, and while Jesse was right here with them. Tyler got another surprise when Jesse's hand rested on his stomach for a moment. First he passed the joint to Trevor, then he slid his hand up Tyler's stomach, pushing his t-shirt up as he did. Tyler's mind reeled... 'What were these guys doing?' he thought.
Tyler's mind seemed to be caught in a whirlwind. The pipe they were sitting in even seemed to be spinning. He heard laughing as he leaned back against the concrete surface. Jesse and Trevor were now both pushing up at his shirt and jacket had vanished. He didn't remember taking it off, so what could have happened to it? Tyler willed himself not to, but even seemingly against his will, his arms rose and allowed his shirt to be pulled up and over his head. What was it these two had in mind to do to him?
Tyler was suddenly jolted awake as he landed on the ground. As he scanned his surroundings, he saw the rocking horse he had been sitting on swaying back and forth above him. His jacket was yanked up over his head, so the world suddenly plunged into darkness. Then he felt a hard kick in his side. The string of the thong underwear was now visible where it rode up above the low cut jeans in the back. "Little faggot!" he heard from somewhere above him. "Look, he's even wearing girl's panties!" Then he felt a hand pulling at the strings that were the back and crotch of the underwear he was wearing, lifting them to pull them into view and put them on display.
Tyler had no idea at all what was going on.
Then another kick landed on his leg. Tyler winced and twisted, turning over, trying to get away. As he did, he briefly pulled his coat down some and was able to see one of the two jock boys who had made comments and cat calls after him earlier. Another kick hit home on his leg, and Tyler curled into a ball trying to keep as much harm as possible from coming to him. He pulled his head down as much as he could into the coat, hoping the leather would help protect him. He knew that he was outmatched, and his only hope right now was to shield himself as much as he could and hope that the attack would end quickly.
Then he heard more voices - they were yelling from a short distance away. Another kick from one of the jocks had caught him in the side of the head, causing Tyler's ears to ring, so he wasn't able to discern exactly what was being said. Whatever it was though, must have scared the two boys who were attacking him as the assault stopped.
A moment later, hands rolled him gently onto his back. "Tyler, are you okay?" he was just barely able to make out over the ringing in his ears. The voice was familiar, but he couldn't quite place it due to his partial loss of hearing at the moment. Tyler opened his eyes, and even though his vision was blurred, he was able to see two faces, each framed by blonde hair above him. Tyler tried to speak, but all he could manage right then was a groan.
It took about ten minutes for Tyler's head to clear. Now he was able to tell that it was Trevor and Jesse who had come to his rescue. Once he was able to sit up, he looked at them. "What happened?" he asked. "Weren't we just smoking together in the drain pipe? How did I get here?"
Trevor and Jesse exchanged glances. Neither had any idea what Tyler was talking about - but they did know exactly what pipe he was talking about. It was a place they used fairly often to get high, and wasn't very far away. Tyler had never been there with them before, so they couldn't understand how he would know about it. "Dude," Trevor spoke up, "we weren't smoking together. We just saw you getting kicked by those two assholes and came to help out."
"But, I followed you into the pipe. You were smoking a joint and started sharing it with me when I got there, and then you both started..." Tyler wasn't making any sense to them, and he did still seem dazed from the beating he'd been taking from the two other boys a few minutes before.
"Dude, none of that happened, you must have been dreaming," Jesse told him. "Are you sure you're okay? Should we get you to a doctor or something?" There was concern evident in his voice.
"No, just take me, um, can you take me home?" Tyler asked.
Neither Trevor nor Jesse knew where Tyler lived, so that wasn't going to happen. But they did share a small apartment not far away, so they took him there. Tyler was still in a bit of a daze when they arrived and deposited their guest on the small, tattered sofa that was the main piece of furniture in the living room. Across from it was a small television that sat atop a couple empty fruit crates.
Tyler lay down along the length of the sofa. He was slowly coming to grips with what had happened to him earlier, but he still didn't understand why he thought he had been in the culvert with Jesse and Trevor while they were so insistent that he hadn't. 'Had that part of the day been only a dream, or some bizarre hallucination?' he wondered silently.
Jesse and Trevor were just as confused. Tyler had never been to their private little smoking spot in the park before, so how did he know about it? They had taken Oliver there once, maybe he had told Tyler about it. That had to be the explanation. There wasn't anything else they could think of.
Jesse and Trevor pulled Tyler's coat and shirt off him once they had gotten him back to their apartment. Jesse went to get a blanket from the bedroom to cover Tyler while Trevor untied and removed Tyler's shoes. Tyler was soon snoring lightly on the sofa. The bruises on his abdomen from the kicks he had taken in the park were already dark black and blue. Tyler looked very peaceful, sleeping there, even though bruises were beginning to appear around his stomach and back. Had they pulled his pants off, they would have seen bruises forming on his legs where he had been kicked as well.
Tyler slept for three hours on the sofa at Jesse and Trevor's apartment. When he finally woke, all he saw of them was the backs of their heads as they sat on the floor and leaned back against the couch watching TV. Tyler struggled to sit up, attracting their attention. "What time is it?" he asked.
Trevor had to get up to his knees and turn to face the kitchen to see a clock. "It's coming up on five," he answered.
"Shit. I have to get out of here and get to The Cavern!" Tyler was panicked. Too much had happened to him over the last few days and he was having a difficult time dealing with it. Jesse put a hand on his chest and pressed him back down onto the sofa. Tyler knew Drake was going to be looking for him there, and he was terribly frightened about losing his place to live.
"You aren't going anywhere," Jesse told Tyler. "After those two guys were waling on you like that you ought to be resting, and you definitely aren't in any shape to be going dancing tonight." They both knew the only reason Tyler went there.
"Dude, you don't understand!" Tyler pleaded. "If I'm not there I might get kicked out. I have to be there, I can't lose my place to live!"
Trevor and Jesse had no idea that Tyler felt he was in so precarious a situation when it came to his place to live. It was a genuine concern to him, but he simply didn't realize that Drake really wanted to keep him there. He was very manipulative and controlling in the way he did it, and it did keep Tyler on edge. Drake had never actually threatened to kick him out, but Tyler was still afraid to piss him off, since that happening was a real possibility in his mind.
Jesse and Trevor finally convinced Tyler that he should go home and rest instead of trying to dance that night if he wasn't going to stay at their place. There was another disagreement when Tyler told them he would go home by himself.
"No, we're gonna go with you to make sure you get there alright," Jesse replied. He glanced over at Trevor, who nodded his support. They were not going to take no for an answer, and Tyler could tell.
It wasn't actually a very long walk from where Jesse and Trevor lived to Drake's apartment. The walk was uncomfortable for Tyler, not only because of last night's injuries which had been inflicted by Drake, but even more so because of the attack by the two jocks in the park that afternoon. When they got to the apartment, Tyler apologized, but told Jesse and Trevor that he would like to, but couldn't really ask them in. "It's the guy I'm staying with," he explained. "He really has this thing about me bringing people over that he doesn't know."
"That's okay dude," Trevor told him.
"Yeah, we're cool with it," Jesse affirmed. "Maybe if you're feeling better we'll see you up at The Cavern tomorrow."
"Yeah, I hope so," Tyler said, giving the boys who had saved him from a beating that afternoon and seen him home a lopsided grin.
Trevor and Jesse left Tyler there, and he let himself into the apartment. He rolled a joint and returned the rest of Drake's pot to the stash box. He popped another of the Percoset capsules and dropped the one remaining into the box before closing it back up and returning the box to where he had found it. Tyler figured Drake wouldn't notice the little bit of marijuana missing from his stash, but there was no way he wasn't going to notice the two missing pills.
Knowing that Drake would be going to The Cavern and expecting to see him there, Tyler called Drake's cell to let him know that he wasn't going to be there. The phone went straight to voice mail, so Drake was probably out in the store and unable to answer it. Tyler left him a message to let him know that he wasn't going to be dancing tonight, but didn't explain why. He ended the message with "See you when you get home."
Tyler thought that it might help him to feel better if he got into the hot tub to soak for a while, so he went out to the patio to turn up the heating element to a proper temperature and start the jets. He placed the joint he had rolled into an ashtray beside the Jacuzzi. He would smoke it while he relaxed in the water. While the water was warming up, Tyler went upstairs and undressed. He looked at himself in the mirror, observing the bruises on his abdomen and legs. It wasn't very likely that they would fade by tomorrow, and they definitely wouldn't make a great impression for the guys he would be hoping to get tips from. 'Maybe I'll get some sympathy tips anyway,' he thought.
Tyler grabbed a towel from the bathroom, wrapped it around his waist and went back to the patio. The water in the hot tub wasn't quite ready, so Tyler went back inside for a few minutes. He shivered from being out in the cold, winter air wearing nothing but a towel around his waist. Tyler looked down at his chest and saw that his nipples had become quite erect from the cold air. He ran his fingers over them, and they were very sensitive to his touch. He was sure that his genitals were shrunken and drawn up from the cold, so he rubbed his crotch through the towel with his other hand in an attempt to warm them back up.
Tyler sank back into Drake's easy chair once again. 'A few more minutes and the water should be warm enough to get into the tub,' he thought. He drifted off into a light nap, but jerked suddenly awake when his dream took him back to the same drain pipe with Jesse and Trevor he had dreamt of earlier in the day. Something is his subconscious didn't want the dream to go on. At least that was the feeling Tyler had when he snapped up in the chair, fully awake after the dream.
Tyler's heart was racing now. The dream had somehow released a lot of adrenaline into his system, and he knew he needed to relax. He looked over at the grandfather clock Drake had in the living room. He was sure that the water in to hit tub would be perfect by now.
He went back out to the patio, dropped the towel on the chair adjacent to the tub and stepped quickly into the hot water. It was a bit of a shock getting into the hot, bubbling water, but it was also a relief. The jets of water buffeting him were soothing and actually felt quite nice.
Tyler reached over to the towel and dried his hands, then he picked up the joint he had rolled earlier and left in the ashtray. He lit it and toked at it slowly, savoring the flavor of the sensamilla. The pungent aroma seemed to surround him as the fog it induced in his mind increased - strengthened by, or perhaps strengthening the effects of the pill he had taken earlier.
Drake would be home soon; at least he would if he had checked his voice mail. So Tyler snuffed the joint out when he was about halfway done with it. He would save the rest for later. Tyler was lying back in the hot, bubbly water when Drake pushed the patio gate open. Tyler glanced up when he heard the gate's hinges squeal.
Drake surveyed the scene before him. "I got your message. Why is it that you aren't going up to The Cavern to dance tonight? I thought you said you needed the money, and Saturdays are normally the best night for you there."
Tyler stood up in the tub and then stepped up onto the seat so all the bruises were visible to Drake.
Drake let out a soft whistle, then asked, "Whoa, what happened to you?"
Tyler stepped back down into the tub and gently sat back down. "I got jumped by a couple assholes in the park today. Apparently they thought I was gay and didn't approve."
"Why would they..." Drake started to ask, but Tyler cut him off.
"Look, I didn't DO anything. I just walked by and they started saying shit to me. I even ignored them. Then a few minutes later they surprised me, knocked me down and started kicking me!" Tyler shot out defensively. He was sort of pissed that Drake had thought that he had done something - either come on to them or to otherwise provoke the attack. There was also what Drake had done to him last night, and was still acting as if nothing had happened. That probably had Tyler more upset than anything else. That and the fact that he was afraid to say anything to Drake about it - afraid that Drake might put him out on the street into the Canadian winter if he brought it up, and equally afraid that the same thing could happen again if he didn't.
Drake raised his hands, palms up in an apologetic manner. "Hey, sorry," he said. "I didn't mean that I thought you did anything to provoke them."
Tyler shrugged. "So you see why I didn't feel like it then I guess," he stated coolly. He really wanted to go on about what had happened between them last night, but managed to stop.
"I'll go in and fix something for dinner," Drake told him. "Then I'll give you a rub down with some liniment I have later. That might make you feel better."
Tyler managed a slight smile. "Thanks," he said quietly. He wondered what would happen when Drake discovered the missing pills.
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