Hurri Cosmo

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Saving Jack - Amber Allure


Excerpt


Jack was dead tired. He had been on the run ever since the night before last, but the whole of yesterday and this night he had been on foot. Not being used to that kind of physical output, he was exhausted. Of course, his state of panic didn't help either. Well, not panic anymore, thankfully. But he was nervous, jumping at every sound he heard which, in and of itself, was exhausting. This 'lonely country road', even at this dark hour in the very early morning, was so loud with night noises Jack wondered how people could possibly sleep.


The left side of his face throbbed. He tenderly touched the heat of the stretched skin, a sure sign it was still puffed-up. Of course, the fact he couldn't see out of his left eye said pretty much the same thing. Trevor had really outdone himself this time. But his abused face wasn't the reason Jack finally left. No, a swollen cheek or black eye was common. Bruises and abrasions were normal, especially when Trevor was drunk and pissed. And Trevor being drunk or drunk and pissed was always a toss of the dice. Jack gave up a long time ago trying to discern how to tell in those first few crucial moments when Trevor stumbled in the door after being 'out with the boys'. There never was an obvious sign but sometimes "reasons" came out later, like some asshole had called him a fag or some "cunt" had laughed at him. Maybe he lost at pool to a "fucking shark" or the bartender shorted him his change. Whatever the reason, it wasn't immediately evident when the man finally showed up. It didn't matter though. Those particular nights were a hell of a lot more frequent than the nights where he would simply collapse on the couch with a bottle and a "thank God you fucking bought beer today" attitude, start surfing channels, and promptly pass out.


Or the nights when he came home horny. Those were the worst.


Yes, bruises were not uncommon.


But there were good times too. There were still times when the Trevor that Jack had fallen in love with would surface--a touch of a hand, a genuine smile, a possessive arm that held him close. It was those times, when Trevor would tell him things would get better, that Jack believed old Trevor still existed. The hell of it was Trevor knew he needed help, knew he needed to get clean.


Just let me get through this month, Jack. Things are crazy at work right now and I just don't have the time to do it yet. Jack, you're my lifeline, you know? Without you I think I would die. He would hold Jack tight, rubbing his back, kissing the top of his head. In fact, if you left me, I would kill myself. Maybe we would have to die together though because, fuck, Jack, I can't live without you.


Looking back now, Jack wondered when Trevor's sweet nothings had turned into veiled threats.


Well, maybe not so veiled.


Two years of his life he had spent descending into this black hole, taking what Trevor dished out. There were times Jack provoked it though, like when he would talk back or make something stupid for dinner or not have that black, skin tight t-shirt washed on tournament night. It had started with yelling and swearing; at some point it had advanced to a slap or two. But just when the fists came into play, Jack honestly had trouble remembering.


And the drinking? Trevor never had control of that. It was the drinking that made the difference. When Trevor got mad sober, Jack had been able to escape by apologizing or talking reason, but a drunk Trevor swung and never asked questions.


However, two nights ago Jack had reason to fear for his life. As fucked up and sad as his life had become, he still didn't want to lose it. They were only supposed to celebrate the arrival of the new guy at work. Everyone was supposed to go. Trevor had already told Jack he would be working late and what Trevor didn't know he couldn't get upset about, right? Who knew the new guy was gay. Who knew he would make a play for Jack? And what the fuck were the odds Trevor would walk in at that moment? Like there was only one fucking bar in all of Black Rapids? One fucking place to play pool? And it wasn't like Jack welcomed the new guy's advances either. It was simply he didn't understand they were advances until he was pinned up against the wall outside the bathroom with the new guy's sloppy wet kisses covering his neck and chest. The idiot had ripped open Jack's shirt too, the buttons flying every which way, all the while laughing like the drunk he was.


It was highly possible in his drunken state the new guy never felt the fury of Trevor's fists as they beat him bloody. He certainly would when he finally sobered up the next morning. But Jack had been nowhere near drunk enough as Trevor hauled him out to the car. The thought that permeated the fog in his brain that night--the one fact that lit the constant darkness--was Trevor was sober. Trevor was acting out in rage but he was totally clear of alcohol. After they arrived home, Jack tried his best to assure Trevor nothing had happened; he had not flirted his way into that mess. He had no idea the guy was even gay. But he realized, looking into those crazy sober eyes that Trevor had crossed over some line in his brain. It was what dropped heavily into Jack's mind as Trevor's already bloody fists started to come at him, especially when Trevor began chanting that Jack was going to die. Trevor said it was over; he was fucking done this time. Trevor was going to make sure no one wanted Jack ever again.


For the first time in his life with Trevor, Jack fought back. He kicked and punched and kneed and bit, pounding Trevor back. How the old jar of pennies Jack had collected over the years ended up in his hand he would never be sure. It wasn't a big jar, but the thing was thick and heavier than shit. Somehow Jack hit Trevor just right because it broke on his head. Trevor hit the floor before most of the pennies did. There was quite a bit of blood too, but Jack had always heard head wounds tended to bleed a lot. Jack's always did. All he knew in that moment was he suddenly had a second chance at life. He had to take it.


He ran into the bedroom, grabbed his backpack, filled it with clothes and few other things, and hurried back out into the living room. If he was actually going to make this work, he would need to take the car, and he had seen Trevor toss the keys on the coffee table when he came at him. He stepped over Trevor, grabbed the keys, and headed for the door, just as he heard movement from behind him. Some numb part of him registered he hadn't committed murder but all he could think was run.


And run he did, thanking whatever deity was looking down on him because Trevor didn't chase him.