So it has been almost a YEAR since I updated this story. Oh my gosh! I am so sorry my beautiful readers! Time sure does fly by when you're writing on other stories! Lol. The Lady Loves the Dark has been begging me for an update on this one for a very long time, and here it FINALLY is, my dear! ;) Sorry it took me so very long!

Sending a special shout-out to Rambling Robin on this one for helping me with my writer's block and letting me bounce ideas off of her! *Hugs*

I hope you all enjoy! ;)


Author's Note

As of June 15, 2014, I have made a minor change in this story: Cole's age is now 15, going on 16, to better work for the direction of the plot. Sorry if this causes any confusion, and please feel free to PM me if you ever have any questions about my stories! ;)

Thanks! ~Maddam Red


XXXXX

I'm floating in darkness...

I don't know where I am...

Voices drift through my mind, but I can't grasp what they're saying...

...

"5,000...?"

"In cash."

"...I don't know..."

"You've got the cash on you?"

"In the car."

"Who the hell carries five grand around with them!?"

"I'm a runner, it's part of the job."

"Well, then hell yes!"

"Sal! Shut the fuck up! I never said yes!"

"Are you fucking stupid, David!? Five thousand fucking dollars, in our pockets, tonight! That would cover the rest of our debt with Will and leave us both with a grand apiece to do whatever the hell we want with it!"

"And who the fuck said you'd be getting any of the money even if I do say yes!? I'm the one who's been taking care of him for the past two years!"

"I'm the one who convinced you to bring the little shit here in the first place! You wouldn't have even gotten the offer if it wasn't for me! I deserve half!"

"You don't even know him! All you've ever done to him is fuck him up with drugs and try to rape him, you sick fuck!"

"What the hell do you think you've been doing to him since you brought him home with you!? You goddamn hypocrite!"

"Shut your fucking mouth you piece of-"

"Hey! I don't have time for this shit. Do we have a deal or not...?"

"Yes!"

"Sal, fuck off! He's mine!"

"It's five fucking thousand dollars David! He's just a goddamn bratty, street rat you found in the fucking garbage! A hot little hole for you to stick your cock in! That's all the little bitch is good for! He's replaceable!"

"GODDAMMIT SHUT UP SAL! Get the fuck out of here before I bash your fucking skull in! Go!"

"You're making a big fucking mistake if you say no-"

"GO SAL!"

"Fine! Fucking faggot loving bastard..."

*Slam!*

...

"So...?"

"...Fuck... I-I don't know... What do you want with him...? You didn't even fuck him earlier..."

"I'm not into shit like that... Does it matter why I want him...?"

"...It's just... He's... He's a sweet kid... He never deserved this shit..."

"Then why the hell did you bring him here...?"

"...'Cause I'm a fucking idiot... I... I don't want to see him hurt anymore..."

"I'm not planning on hurting him."

"Fuck..." ... *Sigh* ... "Fine. Take him. He's yours."

"Alright. My car's out back. Follow me..."


I'm being carried, held close to a warm body. I'm wrapped in something scratchy and rough...

The murmur of many people surrounds me, some voices are louder than others...

"You already leaving, David? I was hoping we'd get another round with your little cum slut there."

*Laughter*

"Fuck off, Randy."

"Oh, come on, Dave, stay a little while longer. We can pass him around as soon as he wakes up. I've never seen a little whore like him who can take so many cocks at one time..."

"I said fuck off! Move Mike! Get out of my fucking way!"

"Alright, damn... Pushy son-of-bitch..."

...

The humid outside air is suddenly on my face, the sound of crickets is loud in my ears.

"My car's right over here. Go ahead and put him in the back..."

I'm laid down on something. I try to open my eyes, but I can't. Voices are still drifting around in my head, making no sense...

"Fuck yes! So you decided to sell the little bitch after all, huh? Hell yes! Five fucking thousand dollars!"

"God, shut the fuck up, Sal! I thought I told you to get out of here!"

"What? Come on, Dave, chill out. Jesus. You look like someone just ran over your foot. What's gotten into you, huh? It's not like the little fucker meant anything to you anyways. You'll be better off without him taking up all of your fucking time. I swear sometimes you act like you're in love with him or something..."

"Here's the cash. Count it if you want, but it's all there."

"Fuck yes! Here, give it to me. I'll take it-"

"Wait. I'm-I'm not sure if I wanna do this..."

"WHAT!? David! Are you fucking kidding me!? Look at that fucking stack of bills! Do you know what Will wants to do to us if we don't pay him!? He's going to-"

"Look, I'm not waiting around for you to be wishy-washy. The kid's in my car, the money is in your hand. He's mine now. Got it?"

"Thank you! At least someone is talking sense around-"

*Whack!*

"OW! What the- Why the fuck did you punch me!? I'm on your side here! Fuck! I think you knocked a tooth out!"

"Your fucking mouth is getting on my nerves. Get out of here before I do worse."

"Jesus fucking Christ! Crazy fucker! I'll be by the car, David... Fuck!"

"Take the money. This is a onetime deal..."

"Fuck... I can't believe I let this happen to him..."

"Look, you obviously care about him in some twisted, fucked up way, so let me have him. He'll be better off..."

"... You promise...?"

"Yeah. Now take the money. I'm getting him out of here before anything else can happen to him..."

"... Yeah. Okay..."

"Wait, what's his name?"

"Cole. His name's Cole..."


The sound of a car is loud around me... Where am I...?

It suddenly stops and a door slams...

Now I'm being carried again by strong arms. Everything is happening too fast! My head feels weird. Why can't I open my eyes...?

I don't feel right...

...

"Fuck, kid! Calm down! I've got you! I'm not going to hurt you!"

I push the hands away from me. There are so many hands! They're all over me! They're going to hurt me!

Warmth suddenly envelops me and I struggle harder. Something's not right... I can't feel my body.

"Cole, it's all right... Stop fighting me, sweetheart, I promise I won't hurt you... I've got to get you cleaned up..."

The voice in my head is saying everything's okay, but I know that's not true...

My mind is spiraling out of control and I can't think. I feel too heavy, I'm going to sink. I can't breathe...

...

*Smack!*

Something hits my face and colors burst behind my eyelids.

"Fuck! Breathe, Cole! Come on, baby! Breathe!"

I'm being shaken. I can't open my eyes. I can't move. I can't breathe...

*Smack!*

I gasp for air, sucking painful oxygen into my lungs.

"That's it. Come on, Cole. Breathe, sweetheart..."

I can't open my eyes. I can't move. But I can breathe. That's all I need to do right now...

...

"Cole, stop! Stop!"

The voice is yelling in my head. It's so loud, echoing in my ears.

Fuck!

Needles are poking me all over. I want to rip my skin off!

I can feel the intense pain... But I can't feel my body...

"Shit! Stop!"

I'm being held down now. Strong arms push me hard into the floor. The floor is covered in needles. There are needles everywhere, stabbing me everywhere...

I open my mouth to scream, but I'm suddenly choked. I can't breathe again.

I need to open my eyes, but I can't. I want to get away from the needles, but I can't. I can't see. I can't move. I can't breathe...

David...? Where are you...?

I need you, David...


"Cole..."

A voice calls my name. It sounds like I'm in a long tunnel; my hearing muffled and distorted. He sounds far away.

"Come on..."

Something cold and wet touches my face, making me moan in distress, but then it's gone as quick as it came. I don't feel good...

"That's it, buddy. Come on, wake up for me..."

I struggle to open my eyes, my lids seem to be glued shut. My head is pounding horribly. Everything hurts...

"You need to drink something, Cole. Come on, sweetheart..."

David...? Is that you...?

I can feel that I'm lying in bed, but there's something about it that feels different... It's... Too soft. Too comfortable. I'm so warm...

The cold, wet thing is suddenly back, making me whimper. I try to turn my head, but it's too hard to move...

"I know it's cold... I'm sorry, buddy. But I need you to wake up. Come on, Cole..."

The wetness suddenly slides across my eyes, making me gasp, then my eyelids don't seem as heavy. I try to open them again and this time I can. Soft, yellowish light fills my vision until it slowly ebbs away to reveal a man's face.

His dark blue eyes gaze down at me with worry, but a small smile slowly forms on his lips. He stares at me for a moment before speaking softly in a gentle, soothing voice.

"Hey there."

I blink up at him in confusion. Who is this...? My mind drifts back to the last time I woke up in our bed to have a strange man looming over me, David's friend. I quickly try to scoot away from this new guy, but I can't move. Why can't I move...? I'm scared...

I need David.

I look past the man's head and see a wall behind him that I don't recognize: the paint in mine and David's room is white, that paint is blue... Where am I? I look down at the bed I'm in and realize why it feels different: this isn't our bed. I'm propped up on some fluffy pillows, and covered with a yellow comforter. My eyes dart around to take in my surroundings.

I'm in a room that's a lot bigger than our room at home. There's a dresser and a desk on one wall, both made of a light colored wood, across from a wall with two white doors on either end. One door is closed, the other is open and I can see down a hallway that has striped green wallpaper and picture frames on the walls. There's a bookshelf on the wall opposite the bed, near a large window. The window has a bench built into it with a yellow cushion that matches the bedspread I'm covered with. I can see out the window, through the white, transparent curtains hanging in front of it. I see a lot of green grass and trees, and the bright blue sky beyond that. It's morning now. Wasn't it night time the last time I was awake...?

Wait. The last time I was awake...? When was that? What happened? I remember David getting me out of the closet and taking me to Denny's... I remember a drive down a long dirt road... I remember parking in front of a big house and then feeling scared... But that's it. What the hell happened...? Where is David...?

I look back at the man sitting on the bed beside me. He's watching me with a concerned look on his handsome face. His wavy, dark blonde hair is combed back neatly and he's wearing a white t-shirt that reveals tan, muscular arms. His long legs are tucked underneath him and covered in dark blue, plaid pajama pants, and his feet are bare. In his big hand that is resting on his knee, there's a light blue washcloth that looks wet. Who is this...?

I try to ask him, but when I open my mouth no words will come out, only a choked cough. That's when I realize my throat is sore and feels swollen. Fuck, it hurts! Am I sick...?

"You probably won't be able to talk for a few days because of what happened," the man suddenly says quietly.

I stare at him. Won't be able to talk!? Why not!? What happened!?

"Do you remember what happened, Cole...?" He asks, as if reading my mind, tilting his head to the side slightly.

How does he know my name? Does he know David? Where is David!? I really need him... But what happened...? Why can't I remember!?

I try to shake my head, it's really hard to move, but I manage to a little bit. I continue to stare up at this strange man, wondering if he's going to hurt me like that other man did.

"Can you remember when you got here? Anything at all?" He asks softly.

When I got here...? I shake my head again slowly. The last thing I can clearly remember is being in the car with David... How did I end up here?

The man makes a face and frowns, making a small huffing sound out of his nose. He watches me for a few seconds longer before he speaks again.

"So you can't remember anything, huh? It's probably best if you don't..." He mumbles, turning to reach over to the bedside table behind him that matches the other furniture in the room. I watch as he picks up a glass of ice water with a bendy straw sticking out of it and turns back to me. "Here, try to drink some. It'll help your throat feel better," he tells me, holding the straw close to my lips.

I hesitate, afraid of what this man is going to do to me; this water might be drugged... But I'm so thirsty... I lean forward some and take a small sip of cool water. The refreshing liquid feels so good going down my throat, but swallowing hurts and makes a small cough force its way out of my mouth. I suddenly taste blood and I really wish I could remember what happened... Did this man already hurt me...? Is that why I'm feeling this way...?

His frown deepens when I cough and he looks upset. Is he mad at me for something...? If he is, I don't even know what I did...

"I know it hurts, but try to drink some more, buddy. We really gotta get your system flushed out; that was some nasty shit they gave you," he murmurs, gently nudging my lips with the straw again.

I gaze up at him, trying to process his words. I was given something bad? Is that why I feel so terrible? But who gave it to me...? Sal? I bet it was him, that stupid motherfucker... But then why isn't David taking care of me...? Where is he...?

At the man's insistence, I take a few more sips, coughing after each painful swallow, until I can't drink anymore. He finally sets the cup down, letting out a soft sigh; I guess I didn't drink as much as he wanted me to...

He turns back and looks at me, studying my face intently. He doesn't look at me like David does most of the time, or how Sal does every time he comes over, with those hungry looking stares, like they want to eat me. This man looks at me like he's sad, like I disappointed him in some way. It makes me feel nervous...

After a minute he sighs again and reaches out for me. I flinch slightly, but my body barely moves, I almost feel like I'm paralyzed. I prepare myself for the pain that his big hand will cause since I can't get away from him, but he doesn't touch me. Instead he just gently readjusts the covers on my bare chest, covering me up a little bit more. He's being sort of nice... I wonder why though... Who is he...?

He shifts in the bed beside me, leaning against the pillows behind him to get more comfortable, still facing me. The movement makes me feel the soft sheets rubbing against my skin and I realize that I'm naked underneath the covers.

He must have fucked me while I was asleep... Which means he isn't nice at all... But how did I not wake up? And why was I asleep in the first place!? I'm so fucking confused!

The man is watching my face again, his eyes serious.

"I'm assuming you're wondering where you are and who I am..." He says, a faint trace of a smile sliding across his lips as he speaks. "My name is Nathan Richards and you're in one of the spare bedrooms in my house," he informs me.

Nathan Richards...? I search my brain for that name, trying to remember if he's one of David's friends, but nothing comes to my mind, which doesn't surprise me; I'm usually high as a kite when his friends come over and he always sends me to bed early so I won't get in the way. But this man doesn't really look like he would be David's friend. David's friends are... Weird. They're all kind of gross and creep me out... But this guy seems... Different.

"I know you can't remember what happened, and it's probably good that you don't, but some bad stuff happened to you last night..." Nathan continues quietly, a sad look filling his eyes.

His words send a rush of panic through me. Bad stuff...? What!? Why!? How!? Where was I!? Where was David!? Why didn't he do anything to stop it from happening!? And what the hell happened!?

A small noise of distress leaves my throat and I squirm under the blankets without even meaning to, his statement bothering me so much. Nathan reaches out a hand and gently touches my chest through the covers, keeping me still.

"It's okay, Cole. You're safe now," he tells me softly, shushing me as if I were a little baby.

I'm safe...? With him? With a complete stranger!? No! I need David! I'm safe with David! Not with someone I don't even know!

I stare up at him with wide eyes and attempt to talk again to ask my many questions, but pain shoots through my throat and makes me gag as soon as I try. I suddenly start to vomit, choking as the hot bile floods my mouth. Nathan moves fast and quickly lifts me up to sit straighter, while also putting a small bucket in front of me, just before the disgusting puke leaves my mouth.

I throw up for several minutes and Nathan's hand slowly strokes my back in a soothing gesture, which actually feels really good. When I finally finish, I lift my head to look down into the bucket I was leaning over-

Oh my God...

There's so much blood... And... White stuff...? I stare at the disgusting mix, the smell coming up strong to make me nauseous all over again. Fuck... I know that smell all too well. And I've seen that white stuff in my puke many times before in my life... That's cum... A lot of cum... A lot of blood and cum... What the hell happened to me...?

"Shit..." I hear Nathan hiss, and he quickly pulls the bucket away from me so I can't look at it anymore and sets it on the floor beside the bed.

He gently pushes me back to lay on the pillows again, a worried look on his face as he gazes down at me. He searches my eyes for a moment, then grabs the washcloth from before and carefully wipes my mouth, making a red stain form on the blue material.

"You still with me, Cole?" He asks, gently patting my cheek some, that worried look still darkening his eyes.

I turn my head away from his touch as much as I can, and see out of the corner of my eye that he looks somewhat relieved. He watches me for a moment longer with a frown on his face, as I stare at the ceiling, then he suddenly snaps his fingers in front of my eyes, making me jump.

"Damn, kid, you can go a long time without blinking... I thought I had lost you again," he mumbles, running a hand over his face and sighing.

Lost me again...? What does he mean by that? I turn my head back to look at him and I wonder why he looks so worried. Is he worried about me...? But why would he be...? I don't even know him...

"Can you try to drink something again?" He asks, reaching back over for the glass of water and bringing it close to my face once more. "We've got to get fluids in you one way or another and I'd much rather do it through your mouth, than your vein," he says, pressing the straw to my lips.

I look up at Nathan's worried eyes, wondering what he's saying, his words make no sense to me... But I take a sip like he wants me to, just to get the nasty taste of vomit off my tongue. The cool water fills my mouth, rinsing away the sharp tang of blood, but as soon as I try to swallow I realize I can't. It's like my throat is completely swollen shut now. I make a weird choking noise and the liquid tries to go up my nose, so I have no other choice than to spit it out.

Nathan is suddenly holding the washrag underneath my chin, catching the red tinted water so it won't pour all over me, as if he knew I wouldn't be able to swallow it down.

"Shit..." He sighs, setting the bloody washcloth on the bedside table. "Can't swallow at all now, huh?" He asks, turning back to me with a small flashlight in his hand. "Can you open your mouth for me?" He asks, holding the light up.

I hesitate, but then do as I'm told, wondering why my jaw feels so sore. Nathan shines the light down my throat and his frown deepens.

"Fuck... Fucking bastards..." He mutters, setting the flashlight back on the table. He turns back and sighs softly. "Looks like we're gonna have to go with the IV, kiddo. I'll be right back," he tells me, uncurling his long legs and standing up to walk out of the room.

I watch him go, wondering what the hell he's going to get. An IV...? I know I've heard that term before, but I can't remember what it means... Is it something to hurt me with...?

Nathan returns a moment later carrying a blue duffle bag that he sets on the bed, before sitting back down beside me.

"I've always kept this stuff lying around in case of an emergency, but I never thought I would actually be needing it one day," he murmurs as he digs through the bag and begins pulling out long thin tubes and plastic packages.

I watch warily as he starts to open the plastic and put the items together, hooking them to each other with quick, skilled hands. He pulls out a bag of water and hooks one end of the tube to it, before looking up at the wall above my head with a frown. He reaches up and takes a picture frame off of a nail and then hangs the bag on the nail instead. He reaches into the duffle bag one more time and pulls out a first aid kit, pops open the lid, and grabs some alcohol wipes, gauze, and tape. Then he finally looks back at me.

"I haven't done this in a few years, so I might be a little rusty; you'll have to forgive me," he says with a wry smile, reaching out to carefully grab my arm in his big hand.

I still feel like I can't move, my body feels stiff and unresponsive, so I can't pull away from him even though I really want to. But his hands stay gentle as he touches me; it doesn't seem like he's going to hurt me...

"I used to be a paramedic before I became a runner," he murmurs, rubbing his thumb over the bend of my arm where dozens of track marks dot my pale skin. He sighs softly and tears open an alcohol wipe packet with his teeth, then pulls it out and rubs it across the veins on my arm, right below the bend. "I have seen a lot of shit in my day, but I have to admit you are at the top of my list of people I never wanted to have to see..."

I wonder what he means by that, but I don't have long to worry about his confusing words because I see the needle he picks up off the bed. My body and mind seem to perk up at the sight and I wonder what he's going to give me; I hope it will make me feel better, I hate this funny numbness that's making me feel so weird. It doesn't look like any syringe David has ever used though, I wonder if it's something I've never had; I hope it doesn't make me feel worse...

Nathan pauses what he's doing and I look away from the pretty needle to look at his face. His eyes are focused on my eyes and look angry. I shrink away from him as much as I can, fearful that I somehow made him mad. What did I do...? He blows out a loud sigh and moves his hand to hold my arm at a better angle.

"I'm not giving you a drug, Cole... This is just an IV, so we can get some fluids in you and flush out that shit you were given," he says softly, his voice not sounding angry at all, almost sounding sad instead.

No drug...? Well, then why is he planning on poking me with a needle? He must be lying... People lie when they want to do something to you, but don't want you to freak out about it; I learned that living with David and being around his friends. But I don't freak out about drugs now; I used to, but not anymore.

Nathan carefully pushes the needle into my skin and I barely feel the prick; he's a lot gentler than David is when he sticks me with needles. I wait to feel the drug flowing into my body, but nothing happens, and then Nathan is pulling the needle out and hooking up the tiny, clear tubes to the thing still stuck in my arm. This is weird...

When he's finished hooking everything up, he tapes the plastic pieces down to my skin so that they can't move, then starts messing with parts of the IV further up. I glance at the bag above my head and watch as it slowly drips-drips into a bigger tube that is connected to the tiny tubes leading to my arm. This is really weird...

"There, that should do it," he says, checking my arm once more and running a gentle finger over my transparent skin where I can see the outline of a very small tube in my vein. "Fuck, you are tiny..." He mumbles with a frown, before starting to clean up his mess of plastic wrappers.

I stare at my arm as the liquid slowly flows into my veins and I wonder what this is supposed to do for me. David never used IVs to get stuff out of my system, he just made me wait until it was gone. Sometimes he had to tie me to the bed so I wouldn't hurt myself... I didn't like those times... Where is he...?

I look back up at Nathan as he sits back down on the bed. We stare at each other for a few brief seconds before he speaks.

"It'll probably be a couple hours before you start to feel better. I don't know what the hell those pricks gave you, but you're lucky it didn't kill you... You were out of your mind, fighting me and trying to rip your skin off half the time, then not breathing the rest... Fuck. You should really be in a hospital right now..." He mutters, running his hands through his hair and leaning against the pillows again.

Hospital!? I shake my head the best I can. Hospitals are bad. David always says they should be your last option; you should only go to a hospital if you're almost dead. And you definitely never go if you've got drugs in your system, that's a big N-O.

Nathan raises an eyebrow at me.

"No, huh? You don't like hospitals?" He asks, leaning his head on his hand where it's propped up on the pillows, an amused look in his eyes.

I shake my head again, frowning; I really wish I could talk... I have a bad feeling about what happened to make my throat hurt so bad...

Nathan watches me for a few more seconds, studying my face intently.

"I'm gonna take a wild guess and assume that fucker David told you to stay away from hospitals; he seemed like the paranoid type," he mumbles.

Wait, what...?

I stare up at Nathan, slowly processing his words. He just called David a "fucker", and not in the joking way that David and Sal call each other... Which means he doesn't like David... What the hell am I doing here...? Did this guy... Kidnap me...?

Nathan is watching me again, his studious eyes seeming to take in every inch of my skin. His intense gaze is unnerving and I wish he would stop looking at me like that... I wish I could talk and ask him why the hell I'm here with him... And I wish more than anything that David was here... I really need him...

"I wish you could talk to me right now..." Nathan suddenly says softly, reaching over to readjust the covers on my chest again, as if he needs something to do with his hands. "As soon as you can tell me where your parents are I'm going to get you back home where you belong..."

WHAT!?

His words make intense panic rush through my body and gives me enough adrenaline to move. I push away from him, shaking my head so hard it's making my skull pound.

He's bringing me back to Dad!? Why!? Did Dad hire this guy to get me back!? It's been two years! Why would he be looking for me now!? And why would this guy need me to tell him where Dad is if he was hired by him!? No! No, no, no! This doesn't make any sense! This can't be happening! This is a nightmare!

"Cole! Hey! Calm down!" Nathan says loudly, reaching out for me.

I slap at his hands and continue to move away from him, ignoring the dull ache I feel thrumming through my body; I have to get out of here, I hope my fucking legs will support me enough so I can run.

I suddenly start to fall off the edge of the bed, letting out a strangled squeak of surprise as I feel myself begin to topple backwards; fuck, I didn't realize how close I was... But Nathan's huge hands are quickly wrapped around my thin arms and he's pulling me back to the center of the mattress. I struggle in his hold, but he easily pins me to the bed. If I could scream right now I would be screaming bloody murder, but all I can do is try to fight him.

"Cole! Stop!" He orders, giving me a little shake.

I feel like I've heard him say that to me before, but I'm not sure why... I keep straining against his strong grip, but my energy doesn't last long, and soon I'm just lying underneath him, panting softly from my exertion. Fuck, how am I going to get out of here...?

"Shit..." He sighs, slowly releasing me, as if he's afraid I'm going to start thrashing again. He sits back on his heels and stares down at me in concern, running a hand through his glossy hair to push it out of his face. "Fuck, kid... What the hell was that all about...?" He asks softly.

I glare at him, wondering how the hell he got me away from David without me remembering anything and without David trying to stop him. I'm never far from his side... Nathan must have tricked him somehow... I have to get out of here. I can't go back to Dad...

Nathan watches me for a moment, his brow creased in distress, seeming to be thinking.

"Was-was that from me mentioning your parents...?" He asks quietly, that worried look crossing his eyes again.

I tense and look away from the bastard, just the mention of my father making me feel terrified. I feel stupid tears press against the backs of my eyes and I bite my lip hard to stop myself from crying. I hate my father so much... I never want to see him again... I will not go back... I hear Nathan sigh loudly and move off the bed.

"Fuck... I'm an idiot..." He grumbles, standing up and walking over to look out the window. He stands there for a long time with his hands on his hips before he turns back to look at me.

"I didn't even think about that..." He mumbles, moving closer to the bed. "Were you... Were you with that David guy willingly...?" He asks quietly, a look of disbelief on his face.

I gaze up at him in utter confusion and nod slowly. Of course I was with him willingly, why would he even think that I wasn't...!?

"Holy shit..." Nathan mutters, running a hand over his forehead and turning away to walk back over to the window.

I watch him as he stares out the glass and I wonder what's wrong with him, he's acting surprised that I live with David. Why though? Did he think that David took me or something...? Is that what Dad thinks? That I was kidnapped...? I really wish I could talk! I would tell this guy how very wrong he is...

Nathan sighs again and turns back to look at me, running a hand through his hair.

"It didn't even cross my mind that you were living with that bastard... Why would you stay with someone who hurts you like that, huh? Were you treated that badly at home? Were you abused or something? Are you a runaway...?" He asks in a jumble of questions, seeming really upset.

What the fuck is he talking about...?

I just stare at him, not even sure what to say or how he expects me to say it. He sighs again and shakes his head.

"Shit... I wish they hadn't fucked your throat up so you could talk to me... Jesus... What the hell am I going to do with you...?" He mutters, pressing his lips together and turning back to the window yet again.

What is he talking about!? He's not making any sense! I want to scream at him! I want to get out of here! I want David!

Nathan is silent for a long time, continuing to stare out the gossamer curtains. I lay quietly and watch him, but then I start to slowly become aware of my body. The effects of the drug must be wearing off some because the dull ache I was feeling earlier is becoming more intense and morphing into sharper, individual pains. God, I hate pain...

My panic and struggling against Nathan left me uncovered, and I look down at my naked body, taking in my appearance for the first time. Holy shit... I'm covered in bruises of all different shapes and sizes, my pale skin littered with contusions. I look like I got ran over by a truck... Or like my father got ahold of me... What the fuck happened to me last night!?

A whimper slips past my lips from the sight of my damaged body and I close my eyes tight, turning my head into the pillow as the tears I was holding back drip down my cheeks. Who did this to me...? Was it Nathan? And if it was, why? What did I do to him to deserve this...?

"Cole, are you hurting?" His voice is suddenly close to my side, making me jump.

I look up at him leaning over me, that look of concern back on his face, making him seem like he actually cares about my wellbeing. He's a liar. A liar who is planning on bringing me back to my abusive, hateful father who will surely kill me once I'm back in his hands...

"Here, let's get you covered back up..." Nathan says quietly, beginning to grab me to move me under the blankets.

I summon all of the strength I have left and slap his hands away, while trying to scoot away from him at the same time. I don't want him to touch me!

He looks a little surprised by my actions, but thankfully he doesn't look angry; he could easily hurt me right now, I'm so vulnerable and weak... He makes a face and sighs softly, slowly lowering himself to sit on the edge of the bed.

"Cole, I'm not going to hurt you... I don't want you to be afraid of me; I brought you here to help you, not scare you..." He says quietly.

I stare up at him confusion. Help me...? How!? What is he talking about!?

"Fuck... This would be a lot easier if you remembered what happened... But I'm glad you don't..." He mutters, running a hand through his hair again. "Look, Cole. I brought you here last night to protect you. When I mentioned your parents a few minutes ago, I was under the impression that you were with that David guy by force; it never even occurred to me that you were with him by choice... If you don't want to go back to your family, I'm not going to bring you there... I don't want you to be scared. All I want you to do right now is rest and heal... You were hurt really bad last night..." He finishes softly.

I gaze up at him. Wait, so, he's not bringing me to Dad...? He brought me here to protect me? But... How was I in danger to begin with...? Where was David? Why wasn't he protecting me...? Why does it even matter to Nathan that I'm with David by choice? I'm so confused...

I suddenly burst into tears, unable to stop myself because I'm so overwhelmed with confusing information and questions that I can't ask. Nothing is making any sense right now! And I don't feel good! I'm hurting and scared and I need David... I need him so bad...

Nathan hesitantly reaches out for me again, but I don't slap his hands away this time. He readjusts my body and pulls the covers back over me, being gentle and careful so that he doesn't hurt me. Who is this guy!? Why is he being so nice to me? And why the hell is he taking care of me like this? I don't get it... I don't understand...

"I'll be right back," he tells me quietly, leaving my side and walking out of the room.

I stare up at the ceiling, trying to stop my frantic, jumbled thoughts, and struggling to stop becoming more aware of my body. Nathan is right: I'm hurt really bad... But if he didn't do it, who did...? Do I even want to know...?

I hear him walk back in a few seconds later, the sound of his bare feet padding across the wooden floor making me turn my head to look at him. He crawls back onto the bed, holding something in his hand. I look down at it and see that it's a syringe and I can't stop myself from feeling excited from the sight; drugs usually feel good- it's what comes after that's usually bad. But I don't care about the "after" part right now, I just want the "feel good" part to make my body feel better; I'm starting to hurt so much...

"This is some Toradol, it helps with pain. Are you okay with me giving it to you?" He asks softly, showing me the shot.

His question catches me by surprise and I stare up at the man in slight shock. I've never been asked if I was okay with being given a drug... David usually just does it, he doesn't ask questions; but I trust him, so that's okay. It sort of feels nice to be asked permission before I'm given something though... And actually being told what it is instead of not knowing is nice too... But I don't care what this drug is, as long as it takes away the pain, I want it.

I quickly nod and hold out my arm to Nathan expectantly. His mouth quirks to the side slightly and I can't tell if it's from my action or his thoughts, but he slowly shakes his head.

"This goes in your hip. Is it still okay if I give to you that way?" He asks.

I nod and shrug at the same time, not caring at all really. Yeah it hurts more getting a needle shoved in other parts of your body instead of your arm, but it's no big deal; David has stuck me all over the place- especially when he's trying to surprise me with it.

Nathan nods and pulls the covers down, revealing my damaged body once again. Fuck, I look terrible... He helps me roll over, his hands being extremely gentle, but I still wince as his fingers touch my hip. I glance down and see an impossibly large amount of fingerprint bruises decorating my waist and hip bones. Oh God... Was I... Was I raped...? That would explain the horrible pains I'm starting to feel in my lower back, abdomen, and ass...

I quickly look away from the contusions and glance at Nathan, who's watching my face with a grimace on his. He sighs again and looks down at my bruised butt.

"This might burn a little," he says softly, wiping an alcohol wipe across my skin that I didn't notice he had.

I look away and stare at the wall, waiting for the sting. I wince when he sinks the needle into my muscle, and whimper a little when he presses the plunger, but it's really not as bad as some shots that I've had before.

"I'm sorry..." Nathan murmurs, staying surprisingly gentle while he gives me the drug.

I glance back up at his face again when he finishes and puts a bandaid on the tiny prick. He gives me a tight smile and sets the syringe on the bedside table, before helping me roll back over to my back and then covering me up. He leans back against the pillows beside me like he did before and watches me for a few seconds before speaking.

"It will take a few minutes to kick in... Hopefully it will make you a little drowsy and let you sleep comfortably. That's the best thing for you right now: sleep and rest," he tells me.

I gaze up at him, still wondering who this guy is and why he's helping me like this... But, it kind of feels good to know that I at least have someone taking care of me while I'm hurt; even if it's not David... I really wish I could ask Nathan where he is though... I miss him...

After a few minutes, my body starts to tremble under the covers and I start feeling cold for some reason. I begin to wonder if maybe Nathan tricked me and he gave me something to hurt me more instead of help me, but then my body begins to relax and thankfully starts to sort of go numb. But the shivering doesn't stop, it gets even worse to the point that my teeth are chattering. Fuck I'm freezing!

Nathan shifts beside me on the bed, moving a little closer, concern creasing his brow once again, and without thinking, I snuggle up to his warm body, needing the warmth and desperately craving some physical contact. I feel him stiffen slightly, but then he relaxes and carefully wraps his arm around my shoulders in a comforting gesture. I guess he isn't going to hurt me after all... Maybe he's telling the truth when he says that he's trying to help me... I just really wish I knew where David is...

I begin to feel sleepy within moments and I start to drift off. I find myself thinking about how nice it feels being close to Nathan, it feels different than when I'm snuggled up to David, but it still feels really nice; almost wonderful... I love this... Wait, what am I thinking...? I love David, not this guy... Where is he...?

I need David so bad...

He's my everything...


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