...I had forgotten he had called me that one time, I guess I blocked it out of my memory; it had bothered me so much...
...I wonder why I'm remembering it now...
...Is that who I am...? Is that who I've always been to Damien...?
...Where is he...? I need him...
...It feels like I'm falling...
What is that noise...?
"Patches! Come on girl! Get inside!"
"John go get her, it sounds like she's got something. Remember how she got that rabbit the other night."
Far off voices... Who is that?
Where am I? Where's Damien...?
Oh, my head hurts...
Something cold, wet, and sniffing is nudging my face. Sniffing...?
I want to push it away but I feel like I can't move. I hear crunching sounds coming close to me. The sniffing furry thing is making whining noises. Light passes over my face, shining through my closed lids. I try to turn my head away from the brightness, but it hurts to much.
"Patches! What do you got there...? What is- Holy shit! Janet, it's a kid!"
A man's voice is yelling near me, blasting my ears.
"What!? What are you talking about?"
A woman's voice sounds further away.
"There's a kid out here! Call 9-1-1. It looks like he came down the slope! Patches! Get away from him! Get!"
"Oh my God! Is he hurt!?"
"Yeah, looks like it! Call 9-1-1 honey! Now!"
I wish they weren't so loud, it's hurting my head. At least that sniffing thing is gone now.
Where is Damien...? I need him, I don't feel good.
Everything is fading away...
I hear voices, they're talking right beside me, so loud in my ears...
"And you're sure you've never seen him before?"
"No sir, like I said, we only come up here twice a year, in the summer and for Christmas. The neighbors never stay the same, most of the cabins up here are time shares or rentals. We've only been here for two days, we haven't even seen anyone yet."
"Is he going to be okay, officer?"
"The paramedics think so, he's just banged up pretty bad from the fall; broken arm, broken ribs, possible concussion, cuts and bruises. He should be fine. But he's lucky you found him or he probably would have died from the cold during the night."
"All thanks to Patches, here. We wouldn't have seen him if it wasn't for her."
"Yes sir. You'd be surprised how many dogs save lives on the mountains every year. They're amazing creatures."
"Do you- do you really think he made those scars himself...?"
"I'm not sure, ma'am, but I've seen it before. Self-destructive behavior goes hand-in-hand with cutting; it happens a lot in teens his age. Don't worry about it though, we'll do everything we can to help him."
"And... The collar...?"
"It's no telling, ma'am. You know how kids are with their weird fads nowadays. I'm sure it's just some sort of jewelry to him. But, we'll get this sorted out. We do appreciate your help, though."
"Of course, we're glad we could help."
"I just hope he's okay, the poor dear..."
"He'll be fine, Janet, you heard Officer Evans, just some minor injuries."
"Officer, we're ready."
"Alright, load him up, I'll follow you to the hospital. You two have a Merry Christmas."
"Merry Christmas, officer."
I feel movement and hear rattling, making me feel nauseous. Oh God, I feel like shit. I wish I could open my eyes. Who are all of these people talking? Where am I? Where's Damien...? I need him...
Whatever I'm lying on is suddenly lifted and then brightness shines through my lids. I try to turn my head, but I realize something is around my neck and chin, holding my head in place. I try to lift my arms to pull it off, but my arms are strapped down.
Is this a punishment? What did I do!? I can't remember...
"Looks like he's trying to come to. Go ahead and get his blood pressure; I'll start the IV."
"I can't believe these scars... Why would someone do that to themselves...?"
"Don't question things you'll never understand man. After working on the job for as long as I have, you see a lot of shit that makes no sense, especially when it comes to kids."
"He's got healing bruises all over him, Frank. Think he's a runaway?"
"Probably. Won't know for sure until he wakes up though."
Something is wrapped around my upper arm tightly and starts squeezing it, but not as hard as Damien grabs me, so it doesn't bother me that bad; it's just irritating. The sudden prick on my hand hurts though and I whimper, trying to pull away from the pain.
"It's okay, son. We're just helping you. Relax."
Helping me? Why? Where's Damien!?
I feel dizzy. The men are talking again, I wish they would shut up, they're making no sense. Everything's fading away again, I try to hold on, but I can't.
Damien, I need you...
Beep, beep, beep
Fuck, that noise is annoying. Make it stop. My head is killing me...
I open my eyes slowly and blink up at a white tiled ceiling, lit up by a bright light above my head. Where am I?
Beep, beep, beep
I turn my head slowly towards the noise and see machines with digital numbers on them and tubes coming off of bags hanging on a metal pole. Hospital things. I'm in a hospital? What happened? The last thing I remember is being in the basement and... Oh God!
I killed him.
It really happened...
No... Please, no.
I feel tears dripping down my cheeks. I try to lift my left arm to wipe them away, but it feels too heavy. I look down and see that it's wrapped in a green cast, from my wrist to my elbow, hiding the word "Whore".
Damien wouldn't like me hiding the mark, I need to get this off.
I try to reach over with my right arm, but I'm hindered by a tugging feeling. I look over and see tubes and needles in my hand and a blood pressure cuff on my upper arm. This is annoying. I want them off too.
I want out of here. I want Damien.
I yank my arm hard. The needle, held in by tape, makes my hand hurt, but it doesn't come out; I just make the machine move some and a little alarm go off on it. Shit. I try again.
"Honey, don't do that!"
A woman's voice startles me, making me jump, before I can do it a third time. I look over and see an older woman with brown hair coming towards me, frowning.
"The IV has to stay in, hon. If you take it out, we'll just have to put in another one. Okay?"
I stare at her for a moment, but finally nod since she seems to be expecting an answer. She smiles a gentle smile. She comes around the bed and picks up my hand to check on the placement of the needle. Her icy touch feels wrong. That's not Damien's warm touch. I don't want anyone touching me but him.
I jerk my hand out of hers and the needle is yanked out of my skin, making me bleed.
"Sweetheart, it's all right, I'm not going to hurt you. Stacey! I might need some help in here!" She calls out towards the door.
She grabs for my hand again.
"Don't touch me!" I scream.
I don't want to be here. I don't want them touching me. I want Damien.
But I killed him...
Another nurse comes in and calls out the door when she sees the first one struggling with me.
She's trying to grab my hand, but I pull away from her again and again, fighting her the best I can with one arm. Then they're all on me. So many hands that aren't Damien's. All over me. Holding me down. Grabbing me.
"Stop! Get the fuck off!" I scream and thrash. I DON'T want them to touch me!
A man's voice cuts through my screaming and their fussing.
"Give him two milligrams of Ativan, get his arms strapped down."
No! I twist away from their hands and sudden pain shoots through my chest, making me gasp and pause in my fighting. They take that advantage and I feel myself pinned, then a needle sinks into my arm. I scream in anger...
I feel calm within seconds. They position my body to be laying straight again and then my arms are strapped down. Everything seems fuzzy and slowed down. I don't like this. I want Damien...
The women are putting my IV back in and fixing the blankets I messed up on my legs. A man looms in front of my vision, a clipboard clutched in his hand. He smiles kindly.
"Alright son, we don't need you hurting yourself anymore than you already are. You have a few broken ribs and a fractured bone in your left arm. You had a little fall down the mountain last night and hit your head pretty hard. Can you remember that?"
He waits for me to answer. I don't remember, so I answer truthfully and shake my head slowly. He looks a little concerned, but smiles again.
"That's okay, you probably just have a minor concussion, which can make memories distorted or disappear completely. Let's start with some easier questions: can you tell me your name?"
I open my mouth to tell him, but stop.
When I give him my name, I will finally get to go back home to my parents. I'm free. No more pain. No more suffering.
But... If I go home, I'll have to tell them what happened and where I've been and who I've been with...
I killed him. I ruined everything.
The past four years flash back in my mind. Every kiss, every touch, every single time I said those words... I love you Damien.
I don't want anyone to find out what happened, or where I've been, or what I've done. I don't want my parents to know this Alex. I don't want to go home to them. I want to go back to my home. To Damien's. I just want Damien.
After everything he did to me, every horrible, painful thing, I still love him. And he was right. About everything. I can't live without him. A pet can't live without its master...
What have I done...?
Damien... I will always love you.
"Do you know your name, son?" The doctor implores, his voice sounding slightly worried.
I stare up at him and nod slowly.
"My name... is Aaron Drayur."
Alexander Caden Shay died on Christmas Day in that basement with his love, his owner, his master; Alex just couldn't exist without Damien...
Aaron Drayur lives on in both of their memories with scars upon his body representing their love...
His tale continues in the story: Always Yours.
I hope you enjoyed!
Thank you for reading!
And make sure to check out "Always Yours" to see what happens to Alex next. ;)