Where I stood Part 2


13. Dezember 2010
Le Fortsetzung.
Kapitel 5 bis acht, wobei fünf noch seeeeehr kurz ist, da rein soll noch Izars Angebot, Raphael den Kuss zu schenken.
Falls es Verwirrung gibt wegen der Namen: Izar und Gabriel sind ein und diesselbe Person, ersteres ist der Spitz-, zweiteres der richtige Name des Erzeugers.
Die Geschichte beginnt 2006 und zieht sich bis 2007, Raphael ist in etwa 16.

Und Feedback ist willkommen :)

"I'm beat, I'm torn, shattered and tossed and worn"

Raphael lay on the floor, desperately fighting tears. It wasn't the pain, although there was plenty of that. It wasn't entirely out of fear, either. Not to make a mistake, he had probably never been more afraid in his life, and terror was a feeling he was pretty used to, so it took something to intimidate him. No, it was humiliation that made his eyes sting, lying here trussed up, his blood soaking into the shabby carpet, his wounds burning, and the guys completely ignoring him, one of them using his battered body as a footrest, and watching fucking television.
I'm going to die. They'll finish watching TV, and they'll start again, and on some point, they'll get bored and they'll kill me. The thought was oddly comforting. It would mean an end to the pain, the terror, the degradation. It wasn't so much that they had hurt him, plenty of people did. But they had frightened him more than anything yet had, threatening him with everything they could think of. Raphael felt the tears spill over and run over his face. And now they had made him cry, when so little else would.
Maybe dying wasn't so bad after all.

* * *

"At night I wake up with the sheets soaking wet
and a freight train running through the middle of my head..."

Raphael came out of the darkness, screaming. It took him a full two minutes to realize it was a nightmare he'd been having, that he 'd been asleep. When his screams slowly subsided, he became aware of someone talking to him. A light came on, illuminating a bewildered and concerned Sterling sitting next to him, trying to sooth him with words. Thankfully only with words. The man looked like he wanted to embrace him, hold him. Raphael recoiled from the very thought. At the moment, he couldn't bear it. But Sterling stayed away, and gradually, Raphael's heartbeat and breathing slowed.
After a while, Sterling stood up and made to leave the room.
"No, stay!" Raphael burst out. "Please."
"I'm just getting something to drink. Hush. I'll be back in a minute."
Five minutes later they were sitting side by side, leaning against the headboard. Raphaels hands were wrapped around a cup of tea.
"You really don't mind me staying?" Sterling asked.
"No. I don't want to be alone. I want company. I just don't... want to be... touched."
He looked up, afraid to have offended, but the man surprised him with a lopsided smile.
"So I figured."
"Well, when you first started screaming, I tried to hold you, cause you you were lashing about. Only it made things worse. You went ballistic, and I let go when you hit me."
"Oh no! I hit you? I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to..."
"Shh, it's okay. Of course you didn't mean to, you were having a nightmare. For your information, I don't break that easily. Although I have to say, for someone so scrawny you can pack quite a punch."
"Sorry. It's usually not that bad."
"Have them often?"
Raphael just shrugged. He really didn't want to get into detail on this one. The memory of those nights was too fresh. Some of the wounds weren't even quite healed yet.
"Sorry. I didn't mean to intrude."
"You're not. It's just... I can't talk about it. Not yet." Maybe not ever.
"Hey, that's okay. I can tell you've had some hard times, and most people around here wouldn't want to talk about it."
Raphael looked sideways at Sterling, who smiled.
"Kid, I may be old, but I'm not blind yet. Your scars are kind of hard not to notice. And they don't look the kind you get in accidents, or at least most of them don't. But you keep your stories, that's alright with me. I don't need to know." He was silent for a moment, and then seemed to come to a decision and went on.
"Listen, I know it's probably none of my business, but you seem to have gotten on the wrong side of people lately. I guess in your line of work, that happens sooner or later, at least with looks like yours. Someday, that will go really wrong. You know someone could kill you, right?"
"There's a lot of things out there that could kill me", Raphael replied uneasy. And there were. Cold, hunger, drugs, muggings, they could all end your life. There were too many crazies out there.
"You don't even have a roof over head normally, do you?"
"What's that gotta do with anything?"
"Maybe I'm trying to cut down on the things that could kill you. I can't do anything about the people, but I can do somethings about the cold, and the hunger. So, if you need a place to stay, even just for a night or two, to get out of the cold, or the rain, come here. You can stay, get clean, get fed. I don't want anything out of this."
He held up a hand when Raphael started to interrupt him.
"No, I don't want to hear it. I know you don't believe me. You don't have to. Just keep it in mind. And come around if you need to." He stretched out under the covers again. "That settled, you alright with the lights out? 'cause I really need some sleep."
Raphael nodded and slid down into the sheets. He doubted he could go back to sleep, but there was no need to keep Sterling up.
And no, he didn't believe him. Nobody ever did things for free. They all wanted something out of it. Then again, the most likely price for Sterling was what he was getting anyway. Raphael didn't mind having sex with him, hell, most of the time, he enjoyed it. He woudn't mind doing it more frequently, especially not if he would get a place to stay for it, even only for some nights. Well, he would see.
As it turned out, he could go back to sleep.

"Come, as you are, as you were, as I want you to be"

"I really thought you knew." Raphael was standing in the doorway, leaning against the jamb. His Sire sat at the kitchen table, silent, not looking at him. Raphael winced.
"Can we talk about this, at least?" he asked, hating his pleading tone but unable to keep it out of his voice. "God, I get now this was a surprise, but are you really so shocked about this?" His voice grew very quiet. "Are you really so disgusted?"
"I'm not disgusted."
Raphael snorted. "You can't even look at me."
Izar lifted his head and met his eyes, and there was an expression on his face his Child couldn't fathom.
"I am not disgusted. At least not with you."
Raphael decided to take the talking as a good sign and came into the room, sitting down opposite from Gabriel.
"With what, then?"
"The implications. With the people out there who would actually pay you for sex. That is sick."
"Tell me about it", Raphael said, a bitter smile on his face. "For the record, not all of them are creeps." Izar raised an eyebrow at that, looking incredulous, but the kid insisted. "They aren't. Okay, yeah, it is kind of twisted, I mean I know what I look like, but honestly, I'm not going to complain about getting money for something I would do anyway."
"You would?"
Raphael had a second to worry about being so honest, but since keeping facts to himself had led to this trouble, it seemed better to get the facts on the table once and for all, and see what came from it. He went on.
"Yeah, I would. I kind of like older men. And hell yeah, I like having sex. I'm a teenager, for fuck's sake. Ain't the moral implications of hustling I'm worried about." He considered. "Are you?"
To his surprise, and relief, Izar smiled.
"Actually, no. Morale is very ambigious concept at the best of times. One man's meat is another man's poison, and all that." He stared into Raphaels green eyes for while. "Guess we all do what we have to to survive."
It wasn't quite absolution, but there seemed to be a chance.
"Can I ask you something?" Izar nodded. "Well, with the places you've met me, and the times of night... and well, you knew I was living pretty much on the streets, right?" Another nod. "So, with all these things... what on earth did you think I was doing for a living?"
Gabriel had the grace to look slightly ashamed.
"I'm afraid I have to admit I didn't think much about it all. Didn't seem to matter much. And as long as you didn't exactly throw it into my face... Serves me right, I guess."
The silence stretched while Raphael tried to work up the courage to ask the next question, though he wasn't at all sure he wanted to know the answer. But he had to.
"Does it change anything?"
"About what?"
"About you wanting to change me. Not that I want to back out, but I guess I could understand if you didn't want a whore for a Child." He tried to keep his voice even, keep out the hurt about to come should Izar confim the last part of his sentence. If he had been looking for a closure, he was going to be dissappointed, though.
"Ask me tomorrow", was all he heard. Back stiff in sheer self-defence, Raphael stood and went to collect his jacket from the hall, trying desperately to contain his hurt long enough to get out. The tears didn't come until he was well on his way to Sterling's hotel. He said on a park bench, letting them flow freely. It was almost funny. It was usually a lot harder to make him cry. And along comes that whitehaired son of a bitch, doing nothing more than dangling the possibility of a something better than his current miserable life in front of his nose, and he had to go and grow attached to him enough that he would actually he give a fuck about the bastard's opinion. Served him right for being trusting.
He suddenly decided that he wasn't in the mood to explain his state to Sterling, no matter how nice the guy usually was about it. He just wasn't ready to admit to that other soft spot of his. There was an seldom used, dilapidated tool shed somewhere in the park behind him, where he had spent nights before. It would serve him well again. And he wasn't softened enough by a few nights in a row in a real bed that he would mind sleeping on bare concrete.
Or so he tried to tell himself.

"... is threat'ning my very life today,
gimme, gimme shelter or I'm gonna fade away."

The Mustang sped along the highway, approaching the city from the north. Izar flicked a gaze towards his Child. Raphael's head was leaning against the window, his eyes closed in exhaustion. Dawn was nearing, and the night had been... eventful. Izar smiled to himself. The kid had done well on his first get-together, all in all. As usual, he hadn't been able to keep his mouth shut, but he had kept his comments on the light side; and while he wasn't very articulate that way, the others had been able to tell that he was at least trying to be polite. The kid sighed and opened his eyes. "We there yet?" Izar winced at the grammar - if you could call it that -, but he was too tired himself to correct him.
"No. I guess we will need another thirty minutes at least, probably forty-five."
"That's gonna be close, right?"
"We will make it, but we will not have time for anything but getting into bed."
"Crap. I could use a shower. And a change of clothes."
"So could I. But I would rather be inside before sunrise and dirty than outside and clean", Izar replied wryly.
"Where we coming into the city?"
"North-east. Why?"
"You take the Jersey 'spressway, we could be in Highbridge a lot sooner than we could be in the Village."
"I live in Highbridge", the kid said slowly, like he was explaining something very obvious. "We could spend the night in my place. That would give us enough time for a shower at least."
"I thought you only had one room?"
Raphael looked at him askance. When he answered, his voice was flat. "That's right. I know it ain't much, but it's enough room for two, at least for one night. If you can stand sharing, that is." There was silence for a minute until Izar realised he had just affronted Raphael. "My apologies. I did not mean offense. I just did not know wether you would want to share."
"Oh." The child pondered that. "Okay. Well then. Summit Avenue."

* * *

"Honestly?" Izar asked Raphael when they pulled into the parking lot. He nodded towards the neon sign that proclaimed "Hotel Paradise". The place wasn't the worst Izar had seen, not by a long shot, but it was pretty rundown, and any hostel in this part of the city with such a name was a joke. Raphael just grinned and shrugged.
He led his Sire round the back, unlocking a door at the end of a few stairs leading down. They went down a corridor that seemed to be the service part. Taking in the surroundings, Izar reconsidered. While the exterior of the hotel was seedy, the interior seemed to be maintained fairly well. The kid unlocked another door halfway down the corridor. "Welcome to my humble abode", he said sarcastically, letting Izar go first, who took a good look around. The room fortunately didn't have a window, but it really wasn't large. On the left side of the door there were a couple of brackets set into the wall serving as a coat rack as well as holding Raphaels skateboard, a pair of rollerblades, the protectors and a hockey stick. Next to that, along the left wall, was a book case overflowing with comics and paperbacks, most of them stripped of their covers. The remaining space on that side was occupied by a narrow bed. To the right there was dresser and a couch. Straight ahead, a small desk sat against the wall, a banged-up laptop and more books sitting on it. The bed wasn't made, there were more stacks of books scattered on every surface, and the folding box serving as a hamper behind the door was overflowing. But that was all there was in terms of chaos. Reasonably neat for a teenager. And a lot cleaner that one would have expected.
"And it's safe?" he asked.
"Pretty much. This door and the one leading outside are solid and have good locks, and no one has access to the whole corridor but Sterling and me."
"That is the owner?"
"Yup. He's got a key to this room, but he don't come unasked." Raphael passed him. "I'll show you the shower in a moment, and I guess I can dig up some clothes that would fit you." He wasn't that much shorter than his Sire, after all. He took the bedding and sheets of the bed and threw them on the couch. Izar frowned. "What are you doing?" Raphael glanced up, looking slightly offended. "There's no way I'm gonna make you sleep in my used sheets", he explained, dignified. Well, who would have thought. Sometimes, the youngster surprised him. "Come on, shower's next door." He went out, and made a detour to the room opposite his own, coming back with with a stack of towels. The room next door was a tiny but complete bathroom, with cracked tiles and gloomy neon lights. Raphael left, and Izar peeled his soiled clothes off. He wasn't sure they were salvagable. The dirt wasn't the problem, but there were bloodstains on them as well, and since he couldn't get them cleaned before tomorrow, they were probably beyond repair. Well, hell.
Ten minutes later, he emerged, clean and relaxed. He dried himself off, used a second towel for his hair and his tail, wrapped it around his waist and went back to Raphaels room. He felt a lot better. Amazing what hot water and soap could do.
His Child had been busy. He had organized a second set of bedding and sheets, and made up the bed. He handed him a plain black T-shirt and a pair of drawstring pants. "Here, that should do until tomorrow." Izar pulled them on and found they fit. While Raphael took his turn showering, Izar had a second look around, which mostly consisted of examining the contents of the bookshelf. He knew Raphael liked to read, odd as that seemed, but he was still surprised by the sheer number of books. There was nothing really in the sense of high literature, but apart from that, they had a wide range in themes. It was quite clear, however, that the kid's favourites were horror and crime. He took a really long time showering, and there was still a bit time until sunrise, so Izar pulled a book from the shelf and settled on the bed to read.
After almost half an hour, dawn already underway, Raphael came back, like Izar before with a towel round his waist, locking the door behind him. Yawning, he pulled some clothes from the dresser and put them on, his back to his Sire. Izar watched, taking in the scars covering the back of the child's torso, arms and legs. He had glimpsed them before, but never from this near. He had gotten the impression that Raphael didn't have a problem with nudity in itself, quite the contrary, but that he didn't like exposing his scars. Small wonder. There an awful lot of them, and by their shape and position, you could tell most of them had originated in violence. He probably wouldn't have undressed in front of him if it hadn't been for the small space. Or maybe he was already so tired that he hadn't noticed. Izar made sure his gaze was his book again when Raphael turned. He slouched to the couch, collapsed onto it and curled up on his side. He wouldn't have fitted outstretched. "Bed long enough for you?" he asked sleepily. Izar, who felt the pull of sleep getting stronger as well, put the book on the desk and stretched out under the sheets. "Yes. Quite. Unlike yours."
Raphael smiled. "I'm good."
"I bet, considering the time you spent in the shower.You probably used up all the hot water." He was answered by a snort. "Did not. Took me so long to throw our clothes into the washer." He yawned again."The laundry room is in another corridor." Another surprise. The kid was really quite considerate. He wanted to thank him, but Raphael had already fallen asleep. Izar turned off the light and followed suit.

* * *

The light from the desk lamp flooded the small room when Izar opended his eyes the next evening. It took him a split second to remember he'd spent the night at Raphael's den. The kid had obviously just turned on the light, he was still standing in front of the desk, wearing boxers and a T-shirt. "Hey", he rasped in the way of greeting.
"And a good evening to you, too", Izar replied, smiling. A morning person, his Child was not. Or evening person, actually. Barefoot, Raphael padded towards the door and unlocked it.
"Where are you going?"
"Check on our clothes. Chuck them into the dryer." He opened the door. "Well hey. That's nice." He bent down and came back into the room, carrying a stack of neatly folded clothes that had been sitting on the floor just outside the door. "Surprise!" he said and handed Izar half of the stack. They were his own clothes. Clean and dry.
"How the hell...?"
"Sterling, I guess. Man keeps odd hours. Probably saw them sitting in the washer this morning and dried them. Like I said, he's the only who comes into this corridor."
"But how did he know they were yours to begin with?"
Raphael shrugged. "He knows my stuff. And there's probably no one else in the whole friggin' hotel who would wash that early."
"Not that I'm complaining, mind." Izar unfolded the clothes and was surprised to see that the stains had disappeared completely. He pulled them on and was enveloped by the smell of laundry detergent and softener. There was something to be said for modern domestic appliances. "Give my thanks to your Sterling, would you?"
Raphael grinned. "He ain't mine. But yeah, I will. So, what now? I would invite you for breakfast, but I'm kinda short on supplies." His grin widened.
Izar declined. "I need to get home, anyway. This detour really messed up my schedule for today." He inclined his head towards his child.
"Thank you for sharing your haven with me", he said formally.
Raphael waved it away. "No problemo. I've been in your house often enough. I'll let you out."
Which he did, not bothering to dress any further.
Oben Unten