~Chasing the Wind~

By Rae (I hate the 1, I just wanna be -me- again)

Part One: My Little Runaway

"I will -not- marry you!" Cory tried to pull away again, only to have his arm twisted behind him and Michael's left arm wrap around his chest, pulling him back against the older man and trapping his arm between them.

"But darling, you -will-," Michael corrected smoothly. His right hand loosened around Cory's and he finally let go, only to wrap that arm around him as well. His embrace was firm, keeping Cory trapped, but not painful, like having his arm twisted had been. For all of that he was still uncomfortable though it might have been largely caused by the intimacy of the new position.

"No, I won't," Cory ground out, back stiff and face staring straight ahead. There was no one else in the hallway outside the chapel; no one to save him from his current predicament. *Where's Lor when I need him?*

Michael's hand shifted lower and long fingers splayed against the shirt that covered Cory's torso. "Relax, Corwin. I promise to take good care of you."

Cory practically growled. "I'm not a pet that needs taking care of," he snapped. Michael's laughter didn't make him feel any better, and he rolled his eyes in frustration. On sudden impulse, he let his knees go lax, causing him to slump downwards, supported only by Michael's arms.

"Cory?" Michael's voice seemed confused, possibly concerned if Cory believed the man was capable of such an emotion. *Yeah, worried that I'll die before he can torture me.* He lowered them both until Cory's was resting lightly on the ground, his back supported by Michael's arm. A hand brushed the younger man's face, fingers gentle. "Are you okay?"

Blue eyes shot open as Cory brought his arms up and shoved Michael back forcefully. The man fell down, surprised and at a disadvantage because of his precarious squatting position. Cory was on his feet in a second, taking advantage of his momentary freedom to run as far as he could. The thought that he wouldn't get far was etched in his mind, but it was at least worth a try. Anything was better than willing marrying the man his family had bought for him.

*Why couldn't they just let me be? I would have found someone eventually. They didn't have to sell me to a guy in a -magazine-!*

"Cory!" The blond skidded to a halt and looked down another hall that ran perpendicular to the one he was in. Lor waved at him. "Come on!" Cory shot a look over his shoulder, saw Michael striding-- the man never ran, only strode with purpose-- toward him, and he was off again, this time running toward Lor. The dark-haired teen fell in beside him, keeping pace easily with his longer legs. Together, they pushed out of the entrance doors and into the bright sunlight of Sheol, "I'm blind!" Cory rolled his eyes as Lor paused long enough to cover his eyes and give a mock scream of agony.

"Let's go, stupid!" Cory said, more sharply than he'd intended. If Lor cared, he didn't show it as he straightened up and started down the steps. They were halfway down when the front door slammed open again, this time by someone who seemed to be in a little less of a hurry.

Michael paused at the top of the steps and watched their descent. Cory could practically feel his eyes burning holes into the back of his head and it made him quicken his pace.

As one, Cory and Lor jumped the last two steps, landed easily on the sidewalk, and turned left and right, respectively. Lor turned in time to grab Cory's arm before he'd gotten too far, and he pulled him towards their waiting get-away vehicle: Lor's beat up motorcycle. Despite it's ragtag appearance-- most of the paint was chipped or worn off, and the thing looked like it hadn't seen a mechanic since the '20s-- it was in good condition and it was more than enough for their escape.

They sped off into the day, quickly weaving into the heavy traffic and disappearing around a corner. Neither looked behind them as they neared and reached the city limits and drove past, Lor's bike speeding easily along the well-traveled pavement of Highway 18.

Somewhere far behind the runaways were two parents who were growing increasingly annoyed-- not worried, because they didn't think their son would be so stupid as to run away-- as the wedding was delayed by the announcement that the groom seemed to be having a small emergency. It would be another twenty minutes before the reason for the 'emergency' was given, mainly that the bride had run away with his best friend.

Somewhere far behind the runaways was a very rich, very powerful man who was used to getting what he wanted. A very powerful man who had just been thwarted by two teenagers--late teens still counted as teenagers, even if Cory would be turning twenty in a few months-- on a motorcycle. A very powerful man who was smirking and more amused than angry.

Somewhere far ahead of them waited Trouble with a capital 'T'. Not waiting for them specifically, but waiting…and where two runaways went, Trouble was sure to find them.