Part 20

Usual disclaimers apply.  The following contains male-to-male sex.
If you are under age or such reading is illegal in your country,
please go elsewhere. Otherwise, please enjoy.

Comments and Critiques are welcomed at Kindar@wereanimal.net

Denis sat on the terrace of the coffee shop enjoying a coffee. It wasn’t the first day he’d had a coffee here, but it was the first one in a while he was actually enjoying. It finally felt like his life was coming together after…

His mind stopped as the thought occurred to him and he had to force it to continue; force it to think about Steven. His psychologist told him he couldn’t just ignore what had happened. It might feel safe to act like the event didn’t exist, but he couldn’t start healing until he dealt with the emotions he felt because of it.

Like every time Steven popped in his head he was hit with guilt, grief and anger. He closed his eyes and tried not to cry. The emotions were still very strong, but they weren’t debilitating anymore. Three months of therapy was starting to have an effect. He didn’t feel like throwing himself off a building or in front of an incoming car most of the time anymore.

He accepted now that the responsibility for what Steven had done didn’t rest entirely on him. Accepting that hadn’t stopped the anger he felt at having used him and other men like him, but it had helped get his self destructive episodes under control. He also realized now that they hadn’t been about killing himself; not once had he contemplated using silver. He just wanted to suffer like he thought he deserved to.

The wave of emotions passed; he used the napkin to dry his eyes and blow his nose. The waitress stopped cleaning the table next to his and asked him if he was alright. He smiled at her and thanked her for her concern, but he was fine. She brought him more napkins and he went back to enjoying his coffee.

Five minutes later the cup was almost empty when his hand started shaking. It wasn’t strong, but it was noticeable. He made a fist a few time trying to get it to stop. Next his heart started beating faster and his mouth went dry. A moment later he caught the scent and he had to hold on to the table to avoid bolting away.

He slowly turned his head, putting his nose to the wind and he saw him, walking up casually. Their eyes met and Clyde waved at him. Denis was thorn between two instincts. Part of him wanted to run to the man and rip his throat out, the other part wanted to run away as far and as fast as possible. Since he couldn’t decide which to follow he was still there when Clyde pulled a chair and sat in front of him.

“Hi,” Clyde greeted him amicably, “it’s been a while.”

Denis glared at the man, it was too late now to do anything; Clyde would never have come without some sort of protection.  He did everything he could to calm himself but his voice was still almost growling when he said, “not long enough.”

Clyde ordered an espresso and the waitress left, but not before looking from one to the other with worry. “Come on now; is that the way to greet an old friend?”

Denis wrapped his hands around his cup to stop them from shaking; or maybe to prevent them from trying to strangle Clyde. “I think you’re delusional. We’re not friends.”

Clyde shrugged, “ok, maybe not, but we can at least be cordial toward each other.”

Denis snorted, “I don’t make a habit of being nice to my torturers.”

“Hey, I had nothing to do with that.”

“Right, you just brought them what they needed; helped and then stood there and got your jollies watching.”

“If I remember correctly, they weren’t the only ones I helped.”

Denis’ fear and anger slowly ebbed, there was only so long they could be maintained without anything coming of them. “You weren’t doing it for me. You were just trying to leech power; promising me my freedom to get it.”

“If you hadn’t lied to me, I would have freed you.”

“I didn’t lie to you. I told you outright it wouldn’t work. You just decided not to listen.” Clyde’s reply was cut off by the waitress returning with his espresso. “How’s Isaac,” he asked once Clyde paid her and she left.

“Dead,” Clyde answered casually, “he shot himself with his own gun. I’m guessing the bite mark on his shoulder had something to do with it.”

Denis didn’t comment, instead he tried to figure out how he felt about that, and found he didn’t feel anything. Even though Isaac had been the one to do most of the actual torturing, he couldn’t get himself to feel anything for the old man. He’d made Clyde the personification of everything that had happened to him there so he was the only one he had a reaction to. The cloud of fear and anger had sufficiently lifted for him to realize something. “I guess you ended up getting your power after all.”

Clyde smiled and raised his small cup at him, “I guess I did,” he said before taking a small sip.

“How does it feel to be in charge of a bunch of wackos?”

Clyde chuckled, “they’re not crazy,” he thought about it for a moment, “well, not all of them.”

“I must have been lucky to only meet the crazy ones while I was there then.” Denis said flatly.

It took a moment for Clyde to realize he’d been insulted. “I’d watch what I say if I were you,” he said darkly.

“Or what? You’re going to have one of your men shoot me? In broad day light? You’re sounding like a villain from on of those bad Saturday morning cartoons.”

Clyde composed himself before steadying his gaze on Denis. “I’m not the one causing straight men to kill themselves in diners.”

As Clyde said that Denis saw Steven again, standing in the middle of the Diner, the muzzle of his gun under his jaw. When he remembered the gunshot his entire body jerked, causing him to crush the coffee cup he was holding. He forced the wave of grief down and glared at the man. “Don’t even think of bringing him up again.”

“Why not? You don’t want to have to face what you did to him or the others?”

Denis closed his eyes to focus on controlling his anger. “I’m dealing with it,” he said when he was calmer, “I’m seeing a psychologist.”

The news took Clyde by surprise, but he quickly changed his expression to one of disdain. “Oh? And how is that going? He’s fucking your problems away?”

Denis snorted and rolled his eyes at the man. “My psychologist’s a woman. Unlike you I actually try to work through my problems instead of finding shortcuts around them.”

Clyde glared at him, “I don’t care what you think you’re doing. I’m going to see to it that you’re punished for what you did.”

Denis looked at him in surprise, and then started chuckling. “Your timing really sucks, you know that?” he said once he’d calmed down, “If you’d come to me with that just two weeks ago I would have jumped at the chance. I would have let you hurt me to your heart’s content and I would probably have thanked you for it, but I’m over that now.” He stood, “I screwed up big time, but I’m dealing with that. I haven’t figured out how yet, but I’ll make amends.” He looked at Clyde, finding that most of the fear of the man was gone. “You go right ahead and have as much fun with that little sect of yours, but if you ever bother me or mine again I’m going to make really short work of you. Do you understand me?”

Clyde was visibly shaken by the change of attitude in Denis and didn’t say anything. Denis didn’t care he went to the counter to pay for the broken cup and then left the coffee shop, feeling Clyde’s eyes on his back the entire time.

Please send Comments and Critiques to Kindar@wereanimal.net