The Swallow Sorrow Doll

DISCLAIMER: This story contains adult content.

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Chapter 1: Atonement

"What you drawing?" the old lady asked.

"It's a swallow sorrow doll."

"A what what doll?"

"Ha...swallow sorrow ma'am. When I was younger, I used to dream that any time I get upset, I would whisper everything to my doll. And it would swallow all my sorrow. And it never got full. It would always eat my pain, digest my despair, and consume all my regrets. It gave me atonement."

The old lady was perplexed, "Little boys don't play with dolls."

True. Maybe that was when I knew I was gay.


My names Tatum St. Clair. A couple years ago no one would have cared. Now my life is defined by a series of very unfortunate events.

How did I come to be in this situation?
How did a poor African get discovered by a beautiful new model scout who was looking for new talent?

How do I end up falling of love with that man?

How do I become of the hottest male rising stars?
How does my relationship with the man who discovered me become prime discussion in the newest tabloids and I become the posterchild for gay relationships?

It all sounded like a male Cinderella story right? Well it seemed like that for a while. Sometimes I even thought it was too good to be true...and it was. Yeah, it definitely was. I believed however the world had balance. The world was just like scales. When one side of the scales got to heavy, something happened. It balanced things back out.

"Just act like you don't see us...we didn't come to stay," he told the elder lady in the diner trying to make light conversation.

We didn't come to stay.

I had gotten so used to him saying it that I didn't bother striking up many conversations.

"He wasn't the model scout with a struggling modeling agency that I had fallen in love with. No...he was his best friend, Caprio. That was beginning of everything. I moved to New York. It was supposed to be the city of dreams and I met him and things started to fall apart. I fell in love with my fiance's best friend. The happy gay couple of the modeling world had been torn apart.

He'd fallen in love with me as well and we were running. Running from something that we hadn't even done. Remember equivalent balance? Well, as I betrayed my fiancÚ, Mauricio with his best friend, I was also betrayed by someone I had considered a friend. Her name was Wednesday.

"You're thinking about things again aren't you?" Caprio asked me.

He had been a model just as I was, but he did more sports ads and commercial things, while I was more on the high fashion end of the industry. His face was defined, stronger then mine. It was much more masculine. It was the face of a genuine handsome man.

"Yeah, I'm thinking about Wednesday...I'm thinking about what her mother..."

Caprio gave me the look and nervously looked around.

No one was watching. The old lady had left the bar. We had enough space and privacy.

"Tatum, it wasn't your fault...none of what happened was your fault."

Caprio always wanted to make me feel better. Strong Caprio. We never had the time to really be in love like we wanted to be...

"The old lady is dead."
"Wednesday set you up. You said so yourself. She wanted to inherit her mother's money before she got well enough to come to her senses and change her will. She had a grudge that you wouldn't join her agency. She killed her mother because you wouldn't sell your beauty to her."


It was my deceiving gift. They all thought I was beautiful for some reason. All of the Americans. Wednesday and Mauricio's bidding war was all over me. I'd gone to save her mother after I found out Wednesday's evil plan. I didn't personally know the old lady, but I knew my morality. I couldn't let her die. She still died. I couldn't save her. Worse thing...I was blamed for it. Like an idiot I even shot Wednesday in the arm myself, topping off the entire assault.

Now I was a fugitive. I was a beautiful fugitive.

"Come back to me," I heard Caprio's voice interfering in my thoughts.

"I'm ok."

"Well finish your coffee. We have to leave. You know we can't stay long," he explained and got up from the table, "We didn't come to stay."
We didn't come to stay.

Running from the law. It was the only thing we knew how to do. Mauricio was financing this crime, secretly. He was sending the money to us at drop points with his closest friends all around the US. What if one of them gave us up? We'd be done for.

Mauricio promised he'd find a way out. He'd find evidence for us not to end up in jail. How could he break Her though. Wednesday. It was near impossible.

2 years we've been running. 24 months of running from something I didn't even do.


The highway seemed we were on seemed to have no end. We were in a desert area now. Everything was so hot in the Honda Accord convertible. I had the top pulled back and still no air was circulating through the car.

"We are running out of money," Caprio stated, "Mauricio is running out..."

He was staring at the road. He didn't look at me how he used to. Before when he stared at me, he stared into me. Now he just leaned back with his wifebeater and the sweat from his muscular frame sticking him to the leather interior. He'd been saying it for a while. This was my first time really, really listening to it.

"Yeah baby?"

Baby...he still used the word. I didn't know why. A part of me felt as though he was hating me with each day that went by. This was all my fault. I couldn't have Caprio hate me.

"I want to give up," I told him.


"I want to turn myself in."

"No," he said aggressively and then turned to look at the road as though we were on some busy highway. Truth was we were in the middle of the no where.


"I said no, what the fuck? Didn't you hear me!" he shouted, loudly, slamming his palm heavy on the steering wheel.

I shut up. I could feel it. Everyday he got more aggressive towards me. He had given it all up to save me and I knew he wanted it back. It wasn't fair.

There was silence for the rest of the while until dark came over. We had run out of gas and ended up at a station. The station looked old as dust. All these rough looking people were standing around, a lot of them drinking and some of them flirting with the local girls who were wearing daisy dukes.

I felt like I was transported in time. It was different from all the other places that we had been. We were in southern Califonia.

"Wait here for me," he said.

"Where are we?"

"Tatum, can you just please do what I say?" Caprio asked me, "For once...please..."

He used to be such a happy person. He always used to joke around. Now that just wasn't the case. He had become aggressive. He'd become...mean...

I watched as he went in the store. He was still beautiful. His strong handsome face and muscular toned body. His wifebeater was so tightly fitting on his body that I could see his abs. I watched him pick up drinks and some liquor. He was drinking again. Alcohol was his weakness. During his drunk spells I would have to drive and he'd just sit in the backseat.

In the distance I could see him using the payphone. He did it often. He never would tell me who he was talking to.

"Hey bato," I hear a man say with the heaviest country ascent that I ever heard.

He walks up to the car with some other guys. I don't believe how quickly they approach the car. Before I know it they are all over me. I could see the man's eyes piercing through me.

They were all Hispanic and most likely Mexican.

The other one, "Hey papi. Look here hommes. Pretty as black boy."

"Um...thanks," I say.

"Ay, he is pretty," another one said, "The homeboys usually not that pretty. Que onda homeboy? Come outside the car and holla at us for a min."

I didn't move, "You can talk to me from in here."

"He think we want the car."

"We don't want the car, let me just get a closer look at you."

I turned to the payphone. Caprio was still using it. I was thinking about calling for him. There were six of these guys. I didn't stand a chance. All their pants were sagging and they were aggressively surrounding the car.

As I hesitated, one of them leaned over and grabbed me.

"Fucking faggot," he said as he pulled me out of the car and started to drag me.

That was when I realized that somehow they had already equated my attractiveness to being gay. For some reason they just assumed I was gay. They were right though.

They were screaming things and all I remember screaming was, "Get the fuck off me. Get the hell off of me!"

One of them punched me square in my face, causing me to stumble over. I fell right into an uppercut and I realized someone was coming up behind me. He began to grind his dick into the back of my jeans.

"You like this, huh, hommes, you probably hard. You want me to fuck you. Ok hommes," he said.

They were saying things in Spanish to one another. I could see a couple of them grabbing onto their crotches. I started to fight back. I wailed heavily but every time I punched, the headlock got tighter and I gave up because it was taking too much energy to breathe let alone continue fighting.

He was struggling to pull my pants down and it wasn't hard. Soon my pants were pulled down to my ankles. I could feel his hard dick against my hole trying to break in. Where the hell was everyone at?
"I haven't had some good ass since I came out the pen," he told me.

Where the hell was justice?

He continued to try to shove it in harder and harder. The pain shot through me. That was when he pulled out and spit. I started to struggle again. I was beginning to lose consciousness! He was trying again to push it in. Now with the spit, it was managing to go in.

God the pain was unbearable!
"What the hell!"

That was when I heard gunshots. The man pulled out and slowly eased out. It was Caprio who had shot the warning shot into the air. His sister had given him a gun when we were back in New York. The headlock the other guy put me in slipped and I pulled out.

I ran back towards the car, struggling to pull my pants up the entire time. Caprio was pointing the gun at them. Some looked afraid, but some looked fearless as Caprio pointed the gun at them.

"Cap...let's go," I shouted.

"Shut up Tatum. What the fuck...what the fuck were you guys trying to do to him!"

I never saw Caprio like he was at this moment. Not even when we had to run away from New York. Not even when he caught me having sex with my fiancÚ. He was never so upset. I could see this fury in his eyes.

That was when one of the younger ones turned to run, but Caprio let out a shot at the boy. The boy got hit in the arm and I saw the boy fall to the floor, bleeding.

None of his friends even went to hurt him. The boy looked young. He had to be only 14 or 15.

"You don't know who you fucking with hommes," the guy who had tried to rape me had said, "You just don't know..."

"Oh, I don't know. You don't fucking know!" Caprio stated.

He pointed the gun right at him. He walked over to him and put the gun to the guy's temple and had his hand gripping the trigger.

Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!
I hopped out of the car. I couldn't let this happen.

"You know who you fucking with hermano?" the guy's friend said, "That's Jose son. Vega's son. We Mara Salvaturcha. We MS-13!"

"Let him pull! Come on Mr. hardcore," Jose stated.

Caprio didn't even seem to hear the threats of them being members of a dangerous gang. I knew at that point nothing really mattered. He was going to kill him. I just knew he was going to kill him.

That is why I jumped ahead and grabbed him myself. He hadn't lowered the gun though. Caprio was pissed. He was more than upset. He looked like it wouldn't take much at all to just pull that trigger and kill all the rest of them as well.

"Caprio...he's not worth it."
"Tatum, go into the store. Buy yourself something. Don't come back up until I

pull the car out.

"No Caprio..."

"Baby. We already on the run, we got nothing to lose."

"Caprio we didn't do anything though. We are still innocent. You do this and

you have blood on your hands. This won't mean anything to them. They are gangsters. They are probably used to death. This will burn us forever."

"It will burn me to know that I didn't do anything! Look what he was trying to do to you."

"Caprio I'm fine. My skin is tougher then that. Come on."

I grabbed him by the hand and pulled him towards the car. He was reluctant but I could tell he was listening.

"Pussy," Jose mocked him, "Look at these faggots. I'll find you baby. You both

can be my bitches. I'll fuck both your asses."

I finally got Caprio into the car and sped off.

For the longest, he just buried his head in his palms and I could tell he was crying. The gun had shoved into the glove compartment. I let him cry and I was hoping that the nights western wind would dry his tears. It was so damn hot...even at night.

It hadn't been our first encounter running. However, it had been the worst. We both knew that. All this would have to end somehow. All of this running had to end. He was doing this because at a time he loved me or maybe at a time he thought he loved me. However, we didn't have the time to be lovers anymore.


As we went closer and closer to where Caprio wanted us to go, he started to make clear directions and gain composure of his emotions. It wasn't the first time he needed time to cry. Usually he was drunk when he did it. He had been drinking in the passenger seat, but he wasn't drunk. It would take more then a couple shots out of the vodka bottle to make him as drunk as he usually was.

"Make a right," he stated and pointed, "See that black building...yeah...that's where we will be staying tonight."
"Oh my god, there?"

Caprio stopped, "Baby, please, let's just go in. You know it's all we can afford right now. You aren't being escorted to Milan first class anymore."

It wasn't that I was spoiled. It wasn't the case. I had lived life horribly. Still...I could see rats running around even in the darkness.

I couldn't believe it. The place was a dark hole in the wall. The building was falling apart. It was a grimy hotel that seemed to be ready to collapse any minute now. I could see tricks on the corner. They all stared desperately at us as we pulled up.

"Hola papi," they chanted, trying their best to be seductive with their short skirts and laced bras.

Gangsters were around even at this time. Caprio was paying more attention to

them as we got out of the car. I knew he was seeing if he recognized those guys from earlier. We hadn't driven too far past the gas station. However, it seemed like a whole different neighborhood. This crowd was more of a black crowd and I couldn't see anyone that was really Hispanic.

"I can bring the bags in while you pay..." I told him.

"No, I'm not letting you out of my sight again," he said grabbing me by my arm, "Ever..."

I knew not to argue with him when he had that look in his eyes. It was that look that said he wasn't going t change his mind and we'd just get into an argument if he didn't get his way.


The hotel was worse then I imagined. The beds seemed soiled with...something. We had to rip off the sheets and throw on our own. There were condoms and bullet holes everywhere. The paint was peeling and there was a smell of death everywhere.

I waited until Caprio was asleep to go in the bathroom. It was hard to sneak off because even in his sleep, he clutched onto me in this protective manner.

I sat on the disgusting bathroom floor and I began to cry. The walls seemed to be closing in on me.


I knew what the voice was. I walked up to the mirror and looked at my reflection. It was the devil in me. It was my inner self, only it had changed. When I was younger I battled with the fact that I wasn't beautiful. Now the reflection was distorted. The mirror devil of my inner most feelings had a new face. It was different...

"God...not you again," I said.

Truth was I could feel it inside me all along, trying to break out. All my bad feelings were in that reflection. Everything I had struggled so long to control was back again. I could see those bad feelings most clear when I looked in the mirror. The beautiful reflection that was once there was replaced by this ugly thing. Why did people believe I was beautiful when I saw this in the mirror?

"How could you be so useless? You know Caprio is falling out of love with you. He's only doing this because he feels sorry for you. You've become a burden to him."

"Stop...he still loves me."

"You can't lie to yourself. You've seen it for yourself. He gets so angry at you. He looks at you with disgust. You are running from the past, but you are running out of places to go. Soon you'll be cornered and soon he'll hate you more then ever. Congratulations Tatum, you've successfully ruined his life."

"Shut the hell up."

I walk away but I can hear the mirror devil laughing at me. I could hear him snickering as I make my way to the bedroom. He mocked me even as I closed the door to the bathroom so that I wouldn't hear him anymore.

The mirror devil was back.

I went back to the bed and looked down at Caprio. He was the perfect man inside and out. Caprio was mixed to the fullest. That is what I liked about him the most. It was impossible to tell what race he was. He had everything in him. He was part Asian, African American, Italian, Spanish and the majority of him was Native American. He was the future's son. As though I had gone forward in time and found an example of how mankind would look like. He dark tanned skin and the best features from every race. I didn't deserve him.

I lay by his side and held him as though trying to hold on to something I knew was slipping away.

"When we get in here...try not to say anything," Caprio stated.


"Tatum, I'm serious. Not a word."

"I promise."

He nodded and we got out of the car. I hadn't even asked where we were. We were deep in the barrios of Southern California. The people in this neighborhood were obvious Filipino. There was this sense of danger all around us. I watched as Caprio locked up the car and grabbed me by my hand. He pushed me in front of him so that I would walk.

We walked up to a house that was on the corner. It was a one story house with a gate around it and hedges behind the gate. As we walked in, I could see kid toys littering the front porch. Outside, people were every busily running to and fro. Crackheads walked around in the daytime right next to kids. Gangsters patrolled the streets instead of cops, blasting Filipino rap music like it was the most natural thing in the world. It looked like a scene from "Boys in the Hood" or something.

Caprio walked right into the house and signaled for me to stay close to him. As soon as we got into the house, he held me close to him.

"Caprio!" a girl said walking in with a happy smile but as soon as she saw me, her smile immediately disappeared.

"Maya...hear me out."

"You said you were going to lose him. Caprio..."

She didn't even care I was there. She was a beautiful young lady and obviously Filipino. Her long hair went all the way down her back. I saw a little toddler run out. He was running out to greet us, but the woman pulled him back and lifted him in her arms.

"He has no where to go," Caprio petitioned for me.

It was obvious Caprio had meant for us to stay here for a while.

"Absolutely not," she continued, "You bring a fugitive into my home! With my child? No disrespect to him, but he is a wanted criminal!"
"So am I! You think the police don't know I am aiding him?"

"Well I know you," she explained to me, "I won't risk a stranger."
Caprio grabbed her, "Maya. This is our last option. I wouldn't risk know I wouldn't if I had no other option. We are going to keep on the low. We just need to stay here for a little while. I just need a job, get some money. Mauricio will be helping too. Remember Mauricio? He is just a little short right now..."

"Wait," I said.

"Tatum, you said you wouldn't say anything..."

"No, I can't do this anymore," I explained to him, "I am doing too much. I'm not worth all this. I have to hand myself in..."

"No! Tatum, no!" Caprio said grabbing at me, "Stop talking like that. You know what they'll do to you in jail? Tatum? Do you have any idea? You'll be like the 2nd coming of Jesus to those perverts. I'll never let anyone do anything to you! I'll die first."

"Well I'm tired of putting people on the line," I say, "I can't do it anymore. Seriously. You stay here. I won't do it."

I pulled away from him. He was about to reach out for me again, but then I realized that another hand was reaching out for me.

It was Maya's hand.



To be continued...

Please join us at the Yahoo Group...for discussion of the story and to give some feedback about what you think about the story, as well as other stories by this author.