Me: I’m coming up with worse and worse names.
Leo: And worse and worse story plots.
Austin: Dude, I died in the last chapter!
Me: No, you didn’t. -pushes Austin out before he can say more-
Leo: And more warnings. Warning: Implied torture, blood, and that’s about it. When do we get around to doing it, I wonder?
Me: Right, you, after Austin.
March 27, 2011. Present Time.
The tears dripped from his eyes as Leo plunged through the corridors.
Austin was dead. He could barely accept that. Every cell in his body was protesting against that fact, but the liquid dripping from his slender arms proved it. Austin was dead.
Austin, bright and smiling. It’s great to see you again.
Austin, his face torn between fear and surprise. I’m sorry, Leo, I can’t.
Austin, bleeding and shot. Goodbye, Leo. Lover.
He didn’t even know where he was heading, but Leo managed to find the exit. The bright light outside burned his eyes, but it was deserted. There was not a single person in sight down the alley.
He didn’t even care when he made it to the street, the innocent bystanders screaming at the sight of blood. They didn’t know. They didn’t care. Austin was dead… Austin had died!
Leo heard the commanding voice and knew what people had called him. Police. They would be able to smell the blood from a mile away. Funny, really, how they weren’t there when Austin was killed, but they were here now that he had managed to get out.
He didn’t stop. What was the point? Where was the objective in living now that Austin was gone, fully and completely?
A crowd had formed around him. They passed him without incident, and Leo could hear the police officers fighting their way through. Like he cared.
The familiar voice made him look up.
A young boy of no more than fifteen looked back down at him. The overgrown black hair was pulled back today, and the brown eyes were lined with worry.
Leo threw his head into Jerome’s shoulder, sobbing uncontrollably.
“What’s happened to you?” asked Jerome, seizing Leo’s limp arms. “Why are you covered with blood? Oh no-” Leo heard the police approaching them “-we’d better go. My place isn’t far.”
And with that, Jerome grabbed Leo’s arm and guided him through the ever thickening crowd.
March 27, 2111. Future Time.
Leo knew that they were out of chances when the laser whirred and activated.
“Careful!” he yelled, giving Austin’s arm a powerful jerk and spinning him around. For a brief second, their faces touched, but they were then ripped apart by momentum.
“I said you weren’t going to be able to escape.” Edward walked up to them, dabbing at his face with his sleeve. A long trail of blood remained where he wiped it.
“And I think that I should separate the two of you,” continued Edward, pressing a button in the wall. Another line of lasers, still red, formed between Austin and Leo. Leo reached across and tried to touch Austin, but was burned by the unforgiving buzzing light.
Forced to back away, the two separated, standing in opposite sides of the room. Leo kept looking from Austin and Edward, sorry for everything, and cursing Edward for everything that he had done and was doing.
“What do you want?” demanded Leo. “I’ve already told you everything. What is it, Edward?”
“Tut tut, Leo,” said Edward patiently. “You’re in no position to make demands; after all, you broke your word to help me, remember?”
Leo bit his lip.
“And for you, Austin,” said Edward, turning to face him, “what do you want? You haven’t said much.”
“Let us go.”
“I see. Well, he’d be of little use, wouldn’t he? I could always keep him as a pet,” said Edward thoughtfully.
Austin bared his teeth.
“You still haven’t told me what you want with me yet.”
Edward leaned closer, his thin face even narrower than the spaces between the laser bars. Leo wanted to punch it, and badly, but he knew it would be unwise.
“That’s not much of a way to talk to your master, is it?”
“Shut up,” snapped Leo. “You’re no master of mine.”
“Perhaps we could change that,” said Edward, switching off the laser prison. The red lights disappeared, and Edward stepped forwards. Leo saw a toolbox in his hand.
Edward caught the look and knelt down, opening it. The surgical tools glinted in the dim light.
“Oh, did I mention I forgot to get anaesthetic?”
March 27, 2011. Present Time.
Leo walked out of the shower, rubbing his hair dry with the towel. The shirt Jerome had found for him was slightly big, but the bloodless fabric was comforting.
He spent ten minutes mapping out the entirety of Jerome’s flat, and found him in the corner of the kitchen, probing the cupboard for something.
“What are you doing?”
“Finding food,” grunted Jerome. “I don’t normally eat here, so there isn’t much substance.”
“I’m not hungry.”
“I don’t believe you.”
“I’m not hungry. If you saw what I just saw, you wouldn’t want to eat either.”
Jerome leapt lightly and hit the floor. “Well, what did you see?”
Leo began explaining everything in a low voice. At the point where he reached Austin’s execution, his voice choked and he couldn’t speak any more. Jerome patted him on the back, sending waves of hypersensitivity spreading across Leo’s skin.
What is this feeling? This attachment… this warmth… this strength I get when I see him?
March 27, 2111. Future Time.
“Hurts already?” asked Edward, disappointed. Leo peered up at him with wet eyes.
The surgical knife clattered as it dropped to the ground.
Leo couldn’t think. The pain was too great. Everything was overpowering him. The cut on his stomach wasn’t supposed to be there. This was all too much…
He struggled, but the restraints were too strong. It was ironic, really, how in this technologically advanced age Edward still used leather restraints. Almost amusing, even.
“Ahh, well, you’ll be a good boy from now on, won’t you?”
Leo barely felt Edward’s firm grasp on his hair.
“And you, Austin, you’ll be my pet from now on, won’t you?”
“What did you say?”
Jerome: Oh… hi?