WARNINGS/CONTENT ADVISORY: animal/psychological/sexual/emotional/mental/drug/physical abuse, prostitution, forced male/male relationships, rape, adult/minor relationships, and small amounts of slash. Those last two--when I say 'adult/minor relationships,' I hardly mean consensual.

If you're wary of the slash, don't be. The actual male/male relationships that are between consenting adults have already passed. There isn't any "present time" relationships between those particular characters.


Prologue

His father never touches him in the snowy months. While the rest of the state complains about the wet and ice and snow, Matt is thanking Gods he isn't sure he believes in for making Minnesota so cold.

As he walks home, his face bristling with cold, the spiking snow biting his skin, the old man next door climbs a ladder to his roof to cover the hole he'd burnt out by stove fire that fall with a new tarp. His good eye spins to Matt's direction, but the old man says nothing as Matt continues down the street, towards his own house. On the outside, it looks as much normal as the houses lining the street. Still, armed with seventeen years of knowledge of what can and often does go on inside the four walls, Matt looks upon it as darker. Angrier.

Unwelcoming.

Looks can be very deceiving.

He opens and closes the door carefully and quietly; the years of living under this roof have trained him well. His father's yet-to-be-named dog still yelps and barks as though it smells Matt's scent. "Down, boy," his father says lazily from the other room. "It's only Matt."

Yeah, Matt thinks bitterly as he ignores the hunger pangs in his stomach and treads quietly to his bedroom. It's only me.


1.2.2011