Bad Trips and Angel Dust Bloody Mary

"You are not missing much if your mother was anything like mine is. She drinks until her mind is drowning in alcohol, and I am always wrong. It is the same, every night. She drinks, then she grows violent. She whips me and beats me until she see fit, claiming I have down something horrible during the day, saying I am the reason her life is so horrible. I've grown partially immune to the pain she inflicts on me. It's but a dull patch in my heart now compared to her sexual abuse."

The two wounded boys laid side by side on the bed in the familiar room. Both stared blankly at the ceiling, deep in thought. Somewhere along their heart felt conversation, Lindsey's hand found its way into Joshua's, and it fitted perfectly. His grip tightened as he went on to describe his mother's sexual abuse.

"It is a sad thing, getting raped by your own mother...every single night of your life. I hate the way she makes me feel after every time we have sex. I am useless. Nobody really wants me, and she is proving it. I am but an article to fill her void and satisfied her sexual desires. What am for? Nobody...nobody in this world needs me. I know this is true." Lindsey's eyes narrowed as he uttered his words, refraining from crying.

"Are you telling me this because you want to tell me, or because you cannot control what comes out of your mouth at the moment?" Joshua asked, turning onto his left side to face Lindsey who remained on his back. Getting no response but the other boy's profile softening, Joshua sighed and apologized. "Well then, I guess as far as parents go, my lack of any is just as bad as the presence of one of yours... Lindsey...?" The black haired boy said the name with a tender voice.

"Hm?" The young Wintercrest sounded, his grey eyes blinking once before glancing over at Joshua.

Fairbanks couldn't help but to stare in wonder at the redhead's profile glowing in the moonlight, green eyes wide in amazement. Noticing Joshua's attentive gaze on him caused Lindsey discomfort as he uneasily shifted onto his right side to face Joshua directly. His grey eyes met Joshua's green eyes, and he raised an eyebrow, demanding that the younger boy carry on with his question. He was beginning to lose patient. "Well? What is it? Don't go calling my name like that and falling silent."

"Your mother... Do you get any sexual pleasure from sleeping with her, even if by force?" Joshua finally asked, finding the courage to do so. Hearing himself present the question out loud, Joshua found it to sound very bizarre of him to even pose such a question. However, before he could take back his question, Lindsey had proceeded to answer.

"To tell the truth..." He began, his grey gaze shifted as did his body. "I found it nearly impossible to resist her abuse. I just kind of wish that I slept with someone I cared about, and that it was by will, not by force." Laying on his back once again, Lindsey let out a soft sigh then continued. "But you know I don't think that could happened, not for me."

Joshua admired the older boy's profile in silence for a brief moment then shook his head, propping himself up on his elbows. "No, I feel the same way. In my line of work, the word love is easily soiled, and I am the culprit for claiming to sell something so priceless. Tell me, Lindsey... Have you ever been in love?"

Lindsey lay silently for a moment, his expression contorting slightly. His grey eyes fluttered close, and his lips pulled into a subtly smile. "With...a girl, you mean?" Opening his eyes, he shifted his grey glance over to Joshua who nodded in reply. Laughing quietly to himself, Lindsey sat up and shook his head, fine strands of red whipping across his face as he did so. Pulling his left knee up to his chest, he rested his left elbow on it, leaning his cheek against his hand. "No, I suppose not."

Braith Remington made his way inside the hotel. Since dropping Joshua off this morning at Emlyn's house, the young duke's been entertaining several young ladies at an exclusive club near by. Running hurriedly through the doorway to catch up with the duke, a young lady in an elegant green dress clung to his arm. The duke looked down at her and smiled like the gentleman he was expected to be. The two talked closely in hushed tones for a while, and then three more ladies entered the hotel. Braith and the young lady in the green chiffon dress greeted them, and they went back to his suite together. As she made her way out of a vacant suite down the hall from the duke's, Emlyn spotted him exiting the elevator with the four young ladies. Frozen in her spot, she gazed absent-mindedly at Braith, still in her maid uniform.

"Go ahead inside, I won't be long." Braith said, handing the first young lady the key card. She took it and opened the door, permitting the other three ladies entry, and closing the door after herself.

"Well, fancy meeting you again... My dear Emlyn." The blonde royal greeted curtly, sweeping a shallow bow at the maid.

"Your royal highness..." Emlyn muttered beneath her breath, indignantly. "What business do you have with that young man? He is not a marionette you can play with by pulling strings, Duke Remington."

"Emlyn, Emlyn, Emlyn..." Braith repeated the name with a tenderly mocking voice. "It was just a one night favour, you see. I used him to dirty my reputation, and in return, I save his life. We are quite even now, even if it seems like exploitation at first." His naturally coloured lips pulled into a scheming smirk as he lifted her chin softly with his delicate fingers.

Emlyn's artificial aquamarine gaze upturned and sternly met the duke's sharp hazel eyes. Without saying anything, Braith Remington's lips closed in on her and kissed her in a familiar way. He embraced her for a moment, then pulled back to find her blinking blankly at him. Startle by her lack of a reaction, Braith let go of her, and embarrassed, he looked away.

"Because I am the forgotten daughter of the late Earl of Winchester, you've abandoned me. You severed our friendship, along with any other possible ties, saying that we have nothing left. So be it, Duke Remington. Your kiss means nothing to me anymore, and god knows how many other wo--- people you've bestowed your poisonous kiss upon since then." Emlyn reminded quietly as if not to be heard while she began to make her leave.

It was sometime after Emlyn made her leave that Braith came to realize she was gone and decided to go after her. Dashing down the hall and making a sharp turn, he finally caught up with her in front of the elevators. Making an abrupt advancement toward her, the duke roughly grabbed her by the wrist and pulled her back.

The Wintercrest lady squirmed and violently resisted as the duke held her down against the wall. Her eyes grew wide with bewilderment as she kicked and shrieked, eventually bursting into tears. She held her face in her small hands as her body shook violently, trying to control her sobbing. And while she held her face, Braith held on to her, pulling her away from the wall and against his chest.

"Emlyn, I... I apologize. I did not mean to hurt you, even if by a little." The duke whispered softly, stroking her wavy red locks.

Emlyn shook her head, though unable to say anything; she continued to sob, covering her face so that eye contact would be impossible. The sleeves of her white cotton blouse fell back on her arm, revealing various bruises, especially on her wrists. They were clearly finger marks, as though someone had fastened their hands around her wrists roughly in order to hold them down. Then there were cuts running in every direction down her left arm, leaving ugly red scabs behind.

Braith's hazel eyes widened at the sigh of Emlyn's mutilated arms. "What...happened to you before this?" He demanded, thought not getting anything but Emlyn's shaking body and muffled sobs as a reply, Braith raised his voice. Though the gesture was purely unconscious and habitual, it caused Emlyn to shake her head and cry harder. The duke's silvery platinum brows furrowed, frustrated at himself for making the situation worse with his impatience. He let out a sigh and his sharp hazel eyes softened. "Emlyn... What happened to you?" He repeated the question, this time with a gentle voice marked with traces of sincere concern for the older girl's wellbeing.

"I..." Emlyn sniffed, her voice faltering to an almost inaudible hiccup. "I can't say... But I don't need consolation from you!" She cried out hysterically. The prideful redhead attempted to break away from the duke's hold and run off again, however the blonde royal firmly kept his hold on her, careful as not to hurt her any further. "Let me go!" Emlyn demanded, struggling wildly for her freedom. Digging her seashell colored nails into the duke's hands, she took it to her mouth and viciously bit into it, hoping that he would let go of her due to the pain and perhaps shock.

To her surprise, Braith simply refused, ignoring the fact that she had broken through his skin, and his hand was starting to bleed. "Request denied." He replied calmly, spinning Emlyn around to face him. "Emlyn, please... Why not tell me? I assure you that---"

"Assure me that what? That you'll be there for me? That you'll protect me? What?! Braith? What can you assure me? That you'll love me forever and never leave my side again? Is that it? Is that what you assure me? You assured me that once before, and it meant nothing! I hate and your empty promises! I hate all of you!" She screamed, looking up at Braith with teary red eyes.

Shaking her head she looked down, taking her contact lens case out of her apron's pocket. Taking out her aquamarine contacts, she placed each one inside their designated chamber, screwed the top back on, and slipped the cased back into her pocket. Her natural grey eyed gaze firmly fell back upon Braith, who has been watching her patiently the whole time. "Braith... Why did you kiss me earlier?" Her voice was now calm and soft, though it held a subtle tone of weakness, as were her eyes, which had been wild a moment before.

The duke started blankly at her, still slightly shocked from her earlier outburst. He opened his mouth to speak, but he closed it again and looked away.

"Was spite me? You have always been an immature child at heart, Emlyn suggested.

"No, not at all, Emlyn. You see... I..." Braith stuttered then hesitated to gather his thoughts. "I..."

"Wanted to test me? To confuse me?" Emlyn suggested again.

"Missed the way you used to kiss me, Emlyn, my fair lady Winchester." The duke corrected, getting down on one knee. Gently taking her left hand into both of his, he bestowed a soft kiss on the back of her hand then pressed her wrist gently against his lips.

"Duke Remington, I---" The young lady in the green dress called from the other end of the hall then fell silent. Turning to the other three ladies, she smiled. "I think we best be on our way. Maybe another night."

Emlyn's grey eyes sparkled with tears, and her face was flushed as she gazed down at Braith on his knee. "Duke Remington, why do you say such things? Why do you do this to me...?" She asked, gaze shifting.

"Because it is true, my lady," Braith answered without looking up at her. "And I have kissed no other lady since you."

"But you have been kissed, haven't you?" Emlyn asked, certain of the answer she was going to receive. "Last night... Braith..." She began, getting on her knees and wrapping her arms around him. Her lips moved as she whispered something into his ear and his eyes widened.

"Why didn't you tell me this?" Braith wondered, stifling his anger. "Was it because you did not think I was trust worthy? Or maybe because..."

"No, Braith." Emlyn objected, shaking her head. Letting go of him, she slouched, hands grasping the hem of her dress. "Because I wanted to stay calm like it never happened. Because I didn't want you to think any less of me. And the thought of having lost it to a stranger by force..." Her voice began to trail off.

"Is that why you cried earlier when I grasped your wrist? Is that what the bruises were?"

Emlyn nodded slowly, staring at her hands. Letting out a sigh, Braith gathered her into his arms, uncertain what else he could do to make matters better. Now that the arrogant young duke understood their circumstances, he realized why Emlyn had lashed out at him earlier, and why she ignored him this morning.

"Come, Emlyn... We have been out here for sometime now, let's go inside, shall we?" Braith helped her up. With one arm around her shoulder, he led her back to his room, which was now vacant. "Make yourself comfortable, my dear." He led her to the bed and sat her down next to him.

"I really shouldn't..." Emlyn insisted, getting up.

"Please. Stay with me tonight. I swear you are perfectly safe here, my lady Winchester." The duke insisted, taking hold of her hand.

Glancing back at him, her grey eyes were calm and she was completely composed. "I'm going to use the shower... I feel dirty..." Emlyn muttered to herself as she turned for the shower. "Oh, and one more thing, Braith!" She snapped, spinning back.

"Yes?" The duke gazed at her with his full attention.

"I really hate you, Your Royal Highness." And after all, how could she not?

"Emlyn's really late tonight. What's up with that?" Lindsey noted, glancing over at the clock. It was already close to one in the morning, and Emlyn's shift ended three hours ago.

"It's not even night anymore, Lindsey. I wonder if she's okay?" Joshua said, sitting up in bed next to Lindsey.

"I hope so... Over time, maybe?"

"I would like to hope that's all it is... Especially because the incident last night." Joshua replied thoughtfully then smiled. "Do you want to stay up waiting for her?" He asked, his green eyes sparkling with a sudden flash of excitement as he subtly leaned over Lindsey's body.

"What are you so excited for, jerk?" The redhead muttered, glancing to the side in order to avoid eye contact. "We've been already awake, stupid. It would be dumb to sleep now and have to wake up again anyway." Crossing his arms over his chest, Lindsey looked away, hoping that he was not completely transparent to the younger boy.

Joshua, having caught glimpse of the other boy's cheek growing gradually darker, smiled faintly to himself, turning away as well. "Hey... Lindsey?" He started shyly, as if a young girl talking to her first crush for the first time.

"Did you sleep with him...?" Lindsey asked abruptly after secretly summoning up the courage to do so. Without looking over at Joshua, he presented his question, feeling his heart sink painfully as he did.

"Wh-what? Sleep with who?" Joshua asked, startled. His green eyes blinked blankly in the darkness, and his head tilted to the side as he tried his best to recall who the young Wintercrest boy was referring to. Seeing his grey eyes narrow with impatience under the pale moonlight, Joshua gulped. "Oh... You mean..."

"Yes! I mean him! Stupid Duke Remington!" Lindsey snapped, obviously jealous of the young royal. "So did you or did you not sleep with him?" He demanded, hovering over Joshua like a hawk over its prey, watching as the younger boy swallowed nervously. Inwardly, the redhead was laughing at Joshua while scorning his new "lover."

"That...that...I can't say...I..." Fairbanks stuttered with uncertainty as he backed away slowly, almost falling off the bed. His heart pounded nervously and his mind grew gradually heavier with guilt. Quickly, he began to break into cold sweat when he found himself to be the target of Lindsey's intense stare.

"You can't say what? That you did sleep with him? That you enjoyed it very much? That you are falling in love with a stranger? All after just one night together?" Lindsey persisted, pressing toward the younger boy until he fell backwards on the bed. With grey eyes silently crying out in desperation, Lindsey gazed down to meet Joshua squarely in the eyes. So far, all of his presumptions were based on his own feelings for the boy. He was the one who was in love with a stranger. He was the one who wanted to sleep with Joshua. He is the one who would enjoy it most of all. The thought of being in love with the younger boy suddenly scared him, and he grew uncertain as to why he felt the way he felt, especially toward another male. It seem like madness to him at the very moment, and he grew frustrated with himself for not being able to control his emotions.

Speechless, Joshua simply gazed back at Lindsey, mouth slightly gaped open. While it was true that he had slept with Braith the night before, and it was also true that he had been the one to ask for it, Joshua's heart had not consider falling in love with the duke. The duke was very beautiful, yes. However, the idea of falling in love with anyone seems so far off to him, one who had never received such tenderness. It would be nice, Joshua thought, to be able to fall in love. Letting out a soft sigh, Joshua sprung up, and on a whim, pressed his lips against Lindsey's. His green eyes fluttered closed for a brief moment before he caught himself. Immediately retreating, he apologized.

Bringing a hand to his lips, Lindsey traced it lightly, dumbstruck. "Is this your way of apologizing? I don't understand... Why do you keep doing this to me?! Answer me, you jerk!" The older boy shouted, grey eyes growing fierce with rage. Grabbing Joshua by the collar, he pushed the younger boy onto his back. "You are a cruel person! You have no idea, do you? You just run off in the middle of the night, and now this? Make up your mind, you damn fickle! Who the devil do you really want? Does he even love you like I do?!" Gasping, Lindsey clasped his hands over his mouth as if to prevent additional words from slipping out.

"What?" Joshua asked in disbelief. "Like you do? Do you mean to say..." Hearing Lindsey's indirect confession caused the guilt that was tormenting him to triple, and his heart ached sharply with confusion. "That you are in love with me, Lindsey?"

"I never said that!" The young Wintercrest boy quickly retorted. "I... really hate you! I said it before! I really, really hate you! I want you to die!" But Lindsey knew that the only reason he hated Joshua was because he was in love with him, and the only reason he wished death upon the younger boy was because it hurts him so badly not being properly acknowledged. After all, what is love without pain? Joshua understood, giving his approval with a gentle smile, and held onto Lindsey.