*You show lights that stop me; turn to stone.
You shine it when I'm alone.
-Ellie Goulding (Lights)
Both men had been sentenced to Death Row. They each knew their execution date, and they each knew there was hardly a way out.
Eddie Shears was a serial killer, having killed seven of his boyfriends in three months combined. He was also convicted as a child molester and accused of being a cannibal. However, the part of a cannibal was false, yet the child molester part was unfortunately true.
"Me being called a molester," Eddie had said once in a police interview, "I find it stupid. I'm a child too. Two children doing lewd things together is hardly a new concept."
"You are not a child anymore, Eddie," the police officer responded. "You are a nineteen-year old man."
"I resent that. I'm a teenager and so was the kid. I don't think I was wrong at all."
"By law, if you are eighteen and above, you are considered an adult. Therefore, you molested him."
Eddie was deemed a sociopath – a being hardly human due to the fact he was unable to feel any real emotion; only the false, platonic sensations his conscience conjured up. He was manipulative and unbelievably charming, making young men fall helplessly victim. And because of this, men everywhere started disregarding their sexuality.
"He's a menace, I tell ya!" Eddie's ex had said. "Good thing I got out of that relationship while I could."
"How long were you and Eddie together, Blake?" an interviewer for a big city news center asked.
"Only about two weeks. I found someone more interesting… and a helluva lot safer!"
"More interesting?" The interviewer chuckled. "Eddie looked very interesting to me."
"Oh, you talkin' 'bout the hair? Yeah, it wasn't always the color of a carrot. When I knew him, his hair was just a regular ol' brown!"
Eddie had been criticized countless of times for his outlandish looks and disheveled choices of clothing. One journalist had written: With his hair a bright orange, almost as if the sun was giving birth; his eyes so big and brown, feigning childish innocence; and his clothes that looked as if a pauper had died in them… only the one Eddie Shears could fit that description!
"My style is very unique. So, when I die, bury me with hair dye and your boyfriend's briefs!" Eddie exclaimed before he was forcefully escorted into the courthouse that held his trial.
When his family was interviewed on several occasions, his mother would say, "Eddie was always cruel. It had started when he was six. Eddie would shoot birds in the back of our old house in Arkansas. He wouldn't stop, so we decided it was time to move."
Eddie had been seven years old when the Shears family moved to Chicago. From there, it was believed that he had changed for the better. Although he lacked the ability to do well in school, he was happy. Or, at least, he appeared to be.
"By the time Eddie was in sixth grade it was evident that he was gay. He insisted on wearing skirts to school and also my heels," Eddie's mother continued. "I never let him though and that's when he started reverting back to his old ways.
"At the time, I had been working in a shoe store. It was tiny with very few employees, so I had to work from six to nine every day of the week. However, one day I was sent home early and I came home to find my baby boy in bed with a man half his age." At that moment, Mrs. Shears had choked up. The interview, which had been aired publicly, was silent for several seconds as hearts all around America wept for the woman's misfortune.
Eddie had been twelve when he lost his virginity to a man who had been the janitor at his school. Several times they had fooled around, but never went all the way. However, one day they both decided to skip school and then headed to Eddie's house, where his mother had caught him.
Through the course of six years, Eddie had tons of sex and boyfriends. He had been caught up in the downwards spiral of drugs and alcohol, sneaking out at night to go to gay bars where both items were very abundant. Eddie loved his life. All the things he wanted, he got on a daily basis.
"I was living the life. Men loved me – bought me anything I wanted and fucked me senseless when I wished it. The control I had over them," Eddie had written on a napkin during his first week in prison, "it was amazing. Knowing the fact that a little shake of my tush could get me my deepest desires was empowering."
When asked why he had killed his last seven boyfriends, Eddie appeared nonchalant whilst saying, "They always said they'd die for me. I just wanted to make sure they weren't lying."
He was sentenced to die by the electric chair the first Monday of June.
"So, what're you in for?"
"Hah, who'd ya kill? Ex-wife? Your mother?"
"Someone of great importance."
Hendrix Smith was what you would call a "hitman." People gave him the name, the location, and the picture. He'd hunt his victim down, kill him, and get the money that was promised. And if he didn't get it, there were ways to make a person pay, both in money and blood.
He was smart. He could cover up his crimes spectacularly and make sure there were no witnesses. He could kill quickly, kill cleanly; and he made sure there was never a single hair or smeared fingerprint at the crime scene that appointed him as the suspect.
"Mr. Smith looks normal. He doesn't have any characteristics we would consider physically 'weird'," a psychologist had said about Hendrix. "He's the original tall, dark, and handsome. Immediately, because of this, we think of him as this persona of perfection. And that leads to the theory that a being as beautiful as him could never commit such a heinous crime."
At the age of fifteen, Hendrix had seen his very first psychologist. That was the moment he found out there was something wrong with him. He was prescribed medicine that he never took. He was recommended therapy that he never went to. Hendrix recognized his problems, though; yet, he thought it wasn't that big of a deal as long as it wasn't hurting himself.
It was only after Hendrix had been incarcerated that he was explained to be a psychopath – a highly intelligent, organized being incapable of feeling any true human sentiment. A being antisocial, manipulative and charming. And because of this, the job as a hitman suited him perfectly.
"The President, huh?"
"I was only following orders."
"I can sympathize, somewhat. I'm in here for murder too."
"Is that right?"
"Yeah. Only I killed my boyfriends which, compared to you, seems kind of lousy."
"Does it bother you?"
"Nothing bothers me."
"Not gonna lie – that's pretty hot."
"How many did you kill?"
"How long did it take you to do that?"
"I think somewhere around three months."
"So, you're a serial killer?"
"That's what the government labels me as, anyway."
"What's your name?"
"You're awful curious. Plan on assassinating me?"
"Not unless I get paid to do so."
"Hah! Funny. You a hitman or something?"
"A hitman, yes. You're avoiding the question."
"Good memory. They call me Eddie. What about you, sweets?"
"Eddie? Eddie Shears?"
"That's the name on the birth certificate."
"I've seen you on the news. Your hair was orange then."
"Yeah, well… I told the guards I'd blow them if they allowed me to dye my hair and at least pluck my eyebrows."
"Did they allow it?"
"I guess. Anyway, you're the one avoiding the question, now. What's your name?"
"Got a last name there, Hendrix?"
"Hendrix Smith… Nice name. Wanna know somethin'?"
"You turn me on."
The minute the bullet went through the President's head, Hendrix felt as if the world had shifted beneath his feet.
He prided himself on how courageous he was. Nothing could shake him – he was an impenetrable force out to do other people's biddings.
Yet, he knew that this time was different. Perhaps it was because he was rushing to do the job or the fact that the security in the White House was unbelievably hard to get passed. Either one didn't matter – Hendrix was done for.
He was set to die by the firing squad the last day of May.
"Can I tell you something, Hendrix?"
Eddie sat up and ducked his head below the bunk, seeing the apathetic expression of Hendrix and inwardly wondering if he really was as careless as his face portrayed.
"I don't want you to die tomorrow," Eddie confessed. "Is that weird?"
Hendrix stared at the brown-haired boy with blank eyes. His gaze was piercing; it was burning. Then, "Are you in love with me?"
Eddie looked away for a moment, pondering whether or not he was in love with Hendrix. Usually, he fell in love with a man's body, but he and the hitman hadn't slept together. Yet, he did enjoy spending time with him. Just hearing his voice could fill Eddie with something pleasurable.
"I dunno…" He looked back down. "But I know you're an okay guy. Okay guys shouldn't die."
"You're an okay guy, too," Hendrix said, scratching his groin and causing Eddie to become momentarily distracted. "Even if you are gay."
Eddie snapped his head up and readjusted his focus on Hendrix's eyes. "I thought you said that didn't matter."
"Then why are you bringing it up again?"
"'Cos I like seeing you get flustered." Hendrix outstretched his hand and with his finger drew in the air where Eddie's face was looking down at him. "You have worry lines."
Scowling, Eddie threw a pillow at his teaser. "Shut your mouth or I'm gonna rape you."
"I'd kill you before you could even hop onto my lap." Hendrix looked serious; however, there was a hint of playfulness skirting along the undertone of his voice.
"I'll rip your heart out and then fuck you." Eddie smirked. "You'd like it even if you were dead."
"If I'm dead, I can't get it up. I see no validation in your argument."
Eddie hadn't thought about that. He felt incredibly foolish, a feeling he knew all-too well. Hendrix liked making his junior feel inferior. Yet, just because he was smart didn't give him the right to act like a jerk.
"Whatever," Eddie said, crawling out of view. He hoped that bastard would die a painful death.
There was silence that had settled over them and Eddie was beginning to fall asleep. However, a deep voice brought him back with the words, "Get down here."
"Huh?" Eddie mumbled, unsure if he had heard correctly. He sat up, rubbing his eyes that were heavy with the much-wanted sleep.
"Get down here," Hendrix rectified louder.
Feeling anger dip into his chest, Eddie looked over the top bunk. "Why should I? So, you can make me feel like an even bigger idiot?"
Hendrix blinked, still retaining his vacant face. Then, with a slick movement of the mouth, he shut his eyes and muttered, "So I can sleep."
There was another silence for a while, both men breathing evenly with thoughts twirling around their minds. Then, Eddie's head disappeared, but reappeared again when he jumped from his bed to the floor, blankets wrapped around his small frame.
He crawled on top of Hendrix, both hands to the sides the hitman's head. They stared at each other for a while, before Eddie callously dropped his body onto Hendrix's.
"Ouch," the latter breathed.
"That's what you get," Eddie huffed, burying his face into Hendrix's shirt. He took note of the musky smell enveloping them and the hardness of the chest underneath the younger man's; and because of this, heat spread throughout Eddie's body.
Hendrix didn't notice though and absently rubbed Eddie's back. They stayed like that for a while until Hendrix leaned his head down and whispered into the sociopath's ear, "Your words won't get out of my head."
Eddie shivered at the heated breath brushing along the shell of his ear. "What words?"
"'I don't want you to die tomorrow'."
As soon as Hendrix leaned back, Eddie leaned up. "Really?" The psychopath nodded. This caused the younger man to smile, the newly arrived teasing mood ready to come out. "Are you in love with me, Hendrix?"
When he said those words, he had forgotten that Hendrix was straight. He felt heat pool in his cheeks and the beginning of a, "Just kidding" breach his lips, but he never got to voice it.
"Doubt it," Hendrix said, continuing to rub Eddie's back. "I'm a psychopath. I don't feel real emotions." He looked at the smaller man, who had already been staring. "You shouldn't either."
"Just because I'm a sociopath doesn't mean that I am some sort of emotionless robot. I've killed my boyfriends, I know, but I did it out of love. Honest!" Somehow, it felt like Eddie was trying to prove himself. The determined, yet also very pitiful look on his face told Hendrix that.
"Eddie, we're crazy, lunatic murderers. We can't feel things as superfluous as emotions, let alone love. That's why we were able to keep killing." He caressed Eddie's head, feeling the soft texture of his hair. "But don't worry about it. I'm with you."
Was this supposed to be comforting? Eddie only felt the need to prove his case more, the finality in Hendrix's conclusion fueling that desire.
"Hendrix," Eddie said, propping himself up and staring into blue irises, "I know you feel things. You must be scared to die." He paused. "I'm scared to die."
"Death happens. I've seen it enough to understand that it's not that big of a deal."
"Hendrix!" Eddie whined, feeling the heavy frustration weigh upon his body. "I know that when you leave me tomorrow I will cry. I will cry and moan and flip shit because I know what's gonna happen in that room when you're all alone. You're going to die. And once you die, I will never be able to touch you or talk to you or look at you again." He squeezed a fistful of Hendrix's shirt. "Now, if all that'll happen, how can you tell me that I won't feel anything?"
There wasn't a word that came out of any of their mouths for a while. The only sounds were an annoying drip coming from the sink and the snoring of the inmates outside of their cell.
Feeling as though he would burst from the anxiety, Eddie scrunched up his nose and let his shaggy hair fall to where it covered his face.
Eddie's sobs shook Hendrix's body; and the hitman found he could not tear his eyes from the boy's weeping form.
"Don't leave me tomorrow," Eddie pleaded through heavy sobs. "I'll do anything. As long as you stay with me, I'll do anything."
"Hmm," Hendrix hummed. The sound of it had quieted Eddie, causing him to look at the psychopath in confusion.
"Eddie," Hendrix said lowly, his eyes strangely bright in the darkness of the room. "I won't die tomorrow."
"Yes." His mind seemed to be far off, a distant look on his face. "Can I ask you something?" Eddie blinked, his face still red and tear-streaked. But, nonetheless, he nodded. "If I were to try and escape, would you follow me?"
Even though the words were small and very quiet, Eddie felt like they were being screamed at him. "What?" he hissed. "What are you talking about?"
"Answer the question, Eddie."
"I'm no stranger to insane plans, but trying to escape the night before your death date… What are you thinking, Hendrix?"
"Eddie…" Hendrix said calmly, reaching up and grasping the other man's chin. His blue orbs stared calmly into Eddie's brown ones; and this seemed to stop the boy for a moment. "Eddie, just answer me."
Hendrix was never one to spontaneously decide things. It wasn't in his rationale; he was just too proper and organized. However, Eddie didn't understand why when he saw those eyes – thoseeyes, goddamn it! – that he started to think maybe they could do it. They could escape, no problem. Yet, incredulity still dropped itself upon the young man.
"Hendrix," Eddie said, grabbing the other man's face as well, "you don't understand the repercussions. We can't do this. We can't–"
"Shut up," Hendrix said softly, his tone gently reprimanding, "we can do this. Don't think about it, Eddie. If you start thinking about it, you'll very well think yourself out of it." He examined the boy, eyes twinkling playfully. "What are you now – normal?"
This, surprisingly, made Eddie laugh. And with that laugh, brought a warm, weighted feeling gently pressing into his chest. And maybe – just maybe – Eddie shouldn't worry about it. This was Hendrix Smith we were talking about. He'd take care of everything.
Eddie looked at Hendrix briefly, seeing the look of determination marking his usually apathetic face. It was quite the scene due to the fact that the man never seemed to be excited for anything. But now… now it was different. There was an opportunity to stay with Hendrix (possibly forever) and that made Eddie wonder why he was second-guessing himself.
This was the moment that Hendrix found out that his companion could be easily swayed, something a sociopath was used to in the terms of power or lust; however, the question of what caused him to sway still lay unanswered.
"Alright," Eddie agreed, swallowing the huge lump of saliva in his throat. "I'll… I'll leave with you."
Later that night, two prisoners had escaped. One was the infamous boyfriend killer Eddie Shears; the other was hitman Hendrix Smith whom the President of the United States had died by.
All local residents nearby were advised to stay indoors with windows and doors locked.
A/N: Review? A summer project. Trust me, it'll get much better.
*Recommended song for this chapter.