Author Topic: Home Truths  (Read 8091 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline Existentially Odd

  • Navigator
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 12603
  • Wanderer
    • View Profile
Home Truths
« on: April 06, 2009, 06:57:11 AM »
(continued from \'Hidden Past, Unknown Future\')

The ride home was silent but fairly comfortable from Kerr\'s perspective.  He was busy wondering where he should start and supposing it should be the beginning - but how was he to politely put that Declan had screwed Ben over and that Kerr still didn\'t know all the details of what went on?  Truthfully, was the only way he could think to go.

When they arrived, they got the computer out of the car and Kerr asked Ben where he wanted to go to talk, not caring if he wanted to be in his bedroom setting up the computer while he sat on the bed and talked, or whether his fledgling would prefer a more tumultuous setting, such as the beach.  The where didn\'t matter, just the what.

Kerr took off his jacket and shoes once they were in the house, dropping them in the front doorway and quietly following Ben to the nominated destination.  He found a seat once they were there and crossed his left leg over his right, playing with the naked foot atop his knee while he still worked to gather his thoughts.

"Let me begin by saying I never found out the full truth about what happened when Declan took you," he prefaced solemnly.  "I only know that it was horrific, that he subjected you to a great deal of mental torture, that he humiliated and trained you to do what he wanted - including having sex with him, on the premise that he would sire you."  He looked at Ben with a deep and honest sorrow in his eyes.

"I never came to take you away - I was too scared of what might happen if I did - so I stood outside his house night after night and watched it for signs of you, hoping there would be a night when he left you alone so that I could make mental contact with you.  It never happened when I was there, though, he rarely left you alone, if ever.  You were his prisoner for over four months."  He waited and watched, wondering if Ben would call a halt here, if this was already too much for him to bear.

Offline Trillian

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11497
    • View Profile
Re: Home Truths
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2009, 07:20:45 AM »
Ben didn\'t want to talk in a house he didn\'t recognise, and the night was as calm as he was, with only the softest breeze.  Usually the cliffhouse attracted the wind, being as high as it was, which meant below there would be almost no wind, he figured, and likely the ocean would be soft and soothing.

Once the boxed computer and the smaller boxes of its attachments (monitor, keyboard, mouse, printer, scanner) were placed gently on the floor inside Ben\'s room, the pair of them went outside and down the narrow stairs cut into the cliffside onto the beach proper.  There was a bench on the private beach where Kerr sat first, getting comfortable as Ben joined him.  Ben was perched forward rather than leaning back, his shoulders hunched a little with his fingers curled around the bench seat edge.

He stared at the ocean while Kerr began to talk, remembering Declan\'s face clearly because it hadn\'t been that long ago to him.  The short platform-boot wearing redhead hadn\'t given him good vibes, despite taking him out of the room to talk him out of fainting (and Ben still couldn\'t figure that one out) before issuing his punishment of cutting into his back.  He still remembered tipping the armchair between them, before being talked into just letting Declan cut him or he would face much worse.  Oh yes, he could imagine that vampire abusing his power over him, keeping him until he got bored with him.  If he\'d never talked about it with Kerr except to be generally vague, the specifics must\'ve been bad.

He nodded for it was his nature to acknowledge the words spoken when there was a pause.  He didn\'t say anything because he wanted Kerr to continue.  Enough had been said about Declan for Ben to understand the nature of it.  Over four months.  Then what?  If Kerr took longer than a minute to continue, Ben would look at him, otherwise the ocean was more appealing to stare at, with its relaxing pattern of white-noise waves.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

  • Navigator
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 12603
  • Wanderer
    • View Profile
Re: Home Truths
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2009, 07:29:50 AM »
When it seemed all was being digested well, Kerr gladly left the subject of Declan behind and moved on.  "Mandy was whipped as her punishment and she had enormous welts on her back from the whip that she needed help with.  I wasn\'t allowed to heal her wounds as it was mostly my punishment to watch her suffer, so I took her to my place for the duration.  She was upset about you and it was very awkward, because I told her how much I cared about both of you... " his voice drifted off and he looked out over the waves also, thinking back.

"I think it had already started, even then - my affection for you.  I had Mandy, but you... I had no idea what was happening to you and it... ballooned in my head, causing me to focus on you over her.  She struck up a friendship with Sawyl and he healed her wounds.  She left, telling me that she had to do some thinking about us - given that she\'d told me she was in love with me and I\'d told her she was very special to me... but so were you and I didn\'t feel the same way.  To be honest... I was glad she was healed and that she left, even though I was a bit guilty about it.  It meant I had more time to worry and obsess about you, and hang around Declan\'s house, hoping," he said with a wry laugh, turning his head to smile at Ben, needing to guage how this information had been taken.

Offline Trillian

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11497
    • View Profile
Re: Home Truths
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2009, 08:01:37 AM »
As Ben interpreted, Mandy had professed her love and Kerr hadn\'t returned the sentiment, causing her to be embarrassed and leave to think on the matter.  Likely that had caused them to break up, for if it had been Ben in Mandy\'s position, he would\'ve avoided Kerr like the plague after being so humiliated.  It was scary and adventurous to declare love, and it had gone sour for her.  He felt bad for Mandy then; it hadn\'t been her fault Kerr was distracted, and neither was it Ben\'s.

He remembered being very attracted to Kerr, he still was he felt, for Kerr\'s appearance physically appealed to him, as well as the fact he\'d been given the time of day.  It was just very hard to focus on that with Jack hanging around.  If it had been just he and Ben, he thought they could\'ve dealt with the memory loss a lot better.  To live with a double, who was hanging off Kerr at every opportunity - well, it dampened Ben\'s magnetism to Kerr like a water dampens a fire.  It was practically doused.

He remained silent, letting Kerr tell him more of the story, but he was glad to know about Mandy.  Kerr hadn\'t left her story hanging.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

  • Navigator
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 12603
  • Wanderer
    • View Profile
Re: Home Truths
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2009, 11:26:27 AM »
"While you were locked away and just before Mandy left, there was another complication; I was at Risk one night and picked up a stray.  Literally.  He was a filthy, scruffy wolf Shifter by the name of Tag, who had no home, no food and no money.  He was scrounging at Risk, so I cleaned him up and took him to the Oligarchy for them to deal with him.  As it happened, they gave him to me to look after."
 
The bitter twist to Kerr\'s lips at this stage came from a place that Ben would likely never understand, but he couldn\'t fight it.
 
"He lived with us for a while - slept with me because Sawyl drank from him and terrified him, so I needed to protect him.  His English was pretty terrible, but it was enough for him to eventually follow Mandy\'s scent and seduce her into sleeping with him - he used to bathe her scent off him before he came to bed," he laughed, though there was no humour in teh short bark of noise that came from his lips.
 
"What really made me hate him, though, was the fact that, as soon as you got away from Declan, you came to me.  Tag answered the door, you wanted to know who he was, he told you he was my pet, you assumed I\'d moved on from you, you gave him your key and left.  I didn\'t find out about it until I found the key in his bedside drawer and he remembered you\'d come to the house and left looking unhappy but he thought nothing of it.  It was the same night I found out he was sleeping with Mandy.  I threw him out and started looking for you, but it had been weeks, by then and I couldn\'t find you in a city this large, when you thought I\'d given up hoping for you and so you were trying to move on, in kind."
 
He looked at Ben, the horror of that time - the high emotions, the panic, the longing - echoed in his eyes as he relived them.

Offline Trillian

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11497
    • View Profile
Re: Home Truths
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2009, 11:46:00 AM »
Ben turned to face Kerr when Kerr spoke about looking for Ben in a large city.  There was no blood bond to help him, Ben had been mortal and therefore unconnected to Kerr.  It made sense that once released from Declan he\'d sought out Kerr, it sounded like something he\'d do.  He would\'ve lost his job and home thanks to Declan\'s nabbing of him.  He would\'ve just disappeared one night, with nobody really to miss him.  Kerr would\'ve been his only connection and therefore a person to visit and a place to go.  He struggled with the fact Kerr said he\'d turned his back to that just because Tag had called himself a pet,

Pet...
you would\'ve thought
vampire pet
you would\'ve thought Kerr started drinking from
someone else


but then the realisation dawned on him and he believed.  Yes, that all sounded like him.  He knew himself to know what he would think and feel.  He had no idea about what he\'d been through with Declan, but he would never have given in to the redhead (he thought, incorrectly) and pinned his hopes on release.

"Did you find me at Risk?" he guessed, for it made sense to him, with nothing other than his car to live in, that he would\'ve plunged onward to be sired.  He would\'ve tried again to find someone open to siring him.  If it hadn\'t been for Declan being the Oligarch of Vampires, he would\'ve thought to approach them for permission first (as the rules had been revealed to him during the trial).  Because there was him as his tormentor, Ben would\'ve needed to find a potential sire first, to stand by his side and stop him from being taken again (not that Declan would likely have use for a prisoner he\'d already released once, but if what Kerr had been implying was even half true, the guy would\'ve got a kick out of toying with Ben).
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

  • Navigator
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 12603
  • Wanderer
    • View Profile
Re: Home Truths
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2009, 04:37:39 PM »
"Sadly, no," Kerr said quietly, looking forlornly at Ben - despite the ironic little smile he couldn\'t help maintaining.  "The next time I saw you was at the Oligarchy chambers again.  I\'d managed to miss you at Risk, somehow, and didn\'t see you for a very long time.  I was frantic, looking for you and needing to find you; I suspected everyone of knowing where you were and hiding you from me - everyone except Tag, of course, whom I believed perfectly innocent... I was in a dark, desperate place and my lowest point came when I... I had sex with Sawyl, just so he could be distracted long enough for me to properly search his mind and be sure he hadn\'t done anything to you," he admitted with a few gulps.

Although the words were difficult to say, they had to come out, for they laid the groundwork of all that followed, and much was explained by that one act.  He\'d never been proud of it, though, had known it was wrong to do no matter what the reasoning behind it, and was braced for Ben\'s renewed disgust now.  It was likely to be the first of many such outbreaks.

Offline Trillian

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11497
    • View Profile
Re: Home Truths
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2009, 08:41:37 PM »
Ben blinked a long, slow blink upon hearing the last confession and shook his head.  Though the movement was slight it was likely very obvious to a sire who was carefully watching his reaction.  The last time Ben remembered seeing Sawyl was when he\'d dressed up in his little boy in overalls outfit.  It was messed up.

He couldn\'t stop the expression of disgust that made its way on his face.  He could feel it growing there, his lip curling, his teeth gritting, his eyebrows dancing between a frown and horror.

Sawyl is not a little kid

Centuries old, yes.  The mind of an adult, yes.  A long term relationship between him and Kerr, yes.  He should\'ve looked like an old man.  Yes.

But he fucking well looks like a little kid.

"I can\'t listen to any more," Ben said, sounding a lot calmer than he felt.  He wanted to remain seated as he was, he really did, but he couldn\'t.  He got up and walked further up the beach, away from Kerr.  There was only so much of a distance he could go before the beach ended between tide and cliff-face, but he wanted to be away from Kerr.  He was hugging himself, like he could warm himself up with body heat he no longer had.

How did we end up together?
How did I look past that
What brought us together?
So far it\'s a tragic story
Ben, did you really expect anything different?
Your life has always been a tragedy
I don\'t want to be a victim
Oh, but you are, you are, you\'re one right now


He huffed, unsure about how he was supposed to get over this, how he was supposed to move on.  He was fluctuating between extremes; he had to leave Kerr because of Jack, he had to stay and see this through, he shouldn\'t seek out the past, he should face his past.  Now he had Kerr admitting that he\'d had sex with someone to search his mind in case Sawyl knew about Ben\'s whereabouts?  It sounded naive and farfetched.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

  • Navigator
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 12603
  • Wanderer
    • View Profile
Re: Home Truths
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2009, 09:07:49 PM »
"You were the same the first time you found out," Kerr told the ocean resignedly, staring out at it dreamily, wishing he didn\'t have to bear these blows twice.  What had he ever done in his lifetime to deserve such pain that he should have to bear it not once, but twice?

"You thought I was making excuses.  I tell you what sort of place I was in, though... and how desperate I was.  To find you."  At the last, he turned his stare to Ben again, and there was a lot more heat in it this time; a bit of resentment, a lot of defiance and even more hurt.  This all hurt.  Again.

His lips twisted as he regarded Ben sadly and a wave of helplessness came over him that was so strong, he couldn\'t help but blurt out his next words.  "You got over it, after a while.  After all the est of the shit we went through.  But that won\'t happen again, will it?  It\'s never going to be that way again and... you\'ll never feel for me again what you once felt, will you?" he asked, and was unsurprised to feel the extra coldness of tears trailing down his cheeks.

Offline Trillian

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11497
    • View Profile
Re: Home Truths
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2009, 09:47:08 PM »
At the question, it struck a chord that resonated so deeply in Ben that he spun around and stormed back.

"I don\'t even know how I feel about myself, how am I supposed to know how I feel about you?" Ben shot back with sincerity.  "There\'s this Jack guy who looks like me and talks like me and every chance he gets he\'s all over you.  Why are you pining for what we had when you have it with him?" Ben motioned with his arms, gesturing towards the house but because it was so high up his arm movements didn\'t look much like anything except flinging wildly.  "It hasn\'t even been a week, Kerr, how does someone love someone in a week?  How can you ask me about how I feel when I\'ve barely known you for two?  I\'m sorry this happened to you, I\'m sorry this happened to me, but I\'m only in a bad place because you\'re putting me here."

He snapped his mouth shut then, for too much had come out.  It was Kerr making everything confusing, it was Kerr blurring the lines between history and present.  Maybe Ben was better off leaving the city altogether, starting fresh, as a fledgling, getting away from everyone who thought they knew him, getting away from the Oligarchy, Declan, Kerr and Jack.  It sounded like a pipe dream, but he knew it could be a reality.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

  • Navigator
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 12603
  • Wanderer
    • View Profile
Re: Home Truths
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2009, 10:06:10 PM »
"No, no," Kerr argued - not angrily, but more in the manner of someone who is afraid and worried about being misconstrued, his hands describing eloquent and appealing shapes in the air, "I don\'t  mean it - well, okay, no, I see where you\'re... I," he gave up the argument before it had really begun, though, his shoulders slumping and his gaze dropping to the leg he was still fiddling with.

"You\'re right.  I don\'t expect you to love me, though.  I just... wondered if you even liked me still... and that sounds really juvenile," he scoffed at himself, shaking his head and feeling embarrassed now.  "I\'m not chasing you because I have anything with him.  He\'s not you, you\'re completely different people and the only thing about you that he has are your memories and your looks.  He\'s not you and never will be."  The more he said, the quieter his voice got; more wistful, even.

"I barely like the guy... though I feel kind of responsible for him.  I suppose it\'s what you feel for me," he guessed, looking up at Ben with the same wry, resigned look upon his face.

Offline Trillian

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11497
    • View Profile
Re: Home Truths
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2009, 10:22:07 PM »
Ben was mute after his outburst, feeling suddenly childish and exaggerated.  Why had he blown his top like that?  It was just another example of the ridiculous situation he was in.  He was acting out of his normal range of behaviours, so couldn\'t Kerr see that?

He sat heavily on the bench beside Kerr and was silent for a long moment before he finally sighed and leant back, his hands falling limply between his legs.

"Tell me the rest," he said.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

  • Navigator
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 12603
  • Wanderer
    • View Profile
Re: Home Truths
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2009, 12:53:33 AM »
Kerr looked suspiciously at Ben for a few moments, many arguments arising in his head, the urge to call it quits for the night strong.  Oddly, the desire to back out of this conversation had a lot to do with his own humiliation that he\'d not only prostrated himself at Ben\'s feet, but also sold Jack down the river to get there.

Really, he was sure he liked Jack... and he would learn to like him a hell of a lot more, if Ben could never see his way clear to liking him again.

secrets, secrets
in a spider\'s lair
spinning secrets
speak... if you dare

I should really keep my mouth shut more often.

Impulsively, he reached over to where Ben\'s hands were and took the closest in his, attempting to pull it back to sit on his denim-clad thigh.  His expression was sincere and worried as he peered at Ben.  "The rest only gets worse... are you sure you\'re ready for it?"  He searched Ben\'s eyes as he waited for his answer but he knew that he would be pushed on even before the words came; it was there, in the eerie silvery depths for him to plainly see.

What was worse than Ben\'s resolute bracing to hear the rest, though, was seeing what he thought were very likely plans; plans for denial, plans for escape... justifications and ways he would think about whatever he was going to hear, so that it would be bearable.  Reasons for him to push things one way instead of just letting them be.  Ben seemed to be wanting ammunition and it scared the shit out of Kerr to wonder what that ammunition would be used for.

He swallowed, gnawing on his tongue stud for a while longer and, before he\'d even properly decided that he would, he continued his story, heading into the heart of Hell.

"Alright.  Well, the next time I saw you was when I went to the Oligarchy to tell them I\'d sent Tag packing.  You were there with the vampire you\'d chosen to sire you.  His name is Arles," he explained sombrely, inadvertently using the present tense as he continued to look into Ben\'s eyes.

"You\'d met him at Risk, asked him to sire you, had gone to live with him.  I\'m not sure if you were lovers or not at that stage; I think you were.  Anyway, the night you and Arles came to the Oligarchy to get permission for your siring, I was there just before you and Halen asked me to stay for some reason.  He reunited us.  I made it clear that things between Tag and I had been platonic and you saw where the mix-up had occurred.  You were given a letter proclaiming you could choose any sire you wantd; two nights later, you came to the mansion.  At the memory of the reunion, Kerr couldn\'t help but smile and give Ben\'s hand a squeeze.  His accent thickened suddenly, as the reverence of the memory affected his emotions.

"Oh, it was grand.  We lay on my bed and held each other and you got me to admit that I loved you and wanted to sire you but I couldn\'t do it, because of Sawyl and the twins.  I didn\'t want you infect by them.  You understood but you were determined to have me be your sire so you came up with a compromise; I share the siring with Arles.  That night, we went back to arles\' beach house and we two sired you, in Arles\' bed."  Finally, his quiet words fell to a whisper and then petered out altogether as he revealed the biggest secret he\'d concealed from Ben since his re-emergence almost a week before.  He had two sires... and one of them he had absolutely no clue about whatsoever.

Offline Trillian

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11497
    • View Profile
Re: Home Truths
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2009, 08:14:47 AM »
Ben\'s mouth fell open and he stared at Kerr in frowning surprise.  He\'d heard the name Arles out of Ichabod\'s mouth not long ago, but had thought he was connected to Ichabod or Kerr somehow, not to him.  Now he was being told he had a blood bond with a complete stranger, someone who Kerr had thought it best to not reveal to him until now.

Ben took his hand back from Kerr and stared ahead at the ocean in order to digest this new piece of information.  When he\'d been at the hotel in the desert, he\'d discovered that he was vampire.  Kerr had admitted he was Ben\'s sire.  Had there ever been a clue that there was another sire?  He thought hard but he couldn\'t remember anything about that night apart from staring at himself in the mirror and being angry at Kerr for telling him things he didn\'t understand.  Kerr could\'ve told him then, he didn\'t remember.

"I don\'t feel a blood bond with anyone else," he said cautiously, opening up his senses and only getting Kerr\'s vibes - mind, he was sitting right beside him.  Shouldn\'t he have a connection to his other sire though, no matter where he was, no matter how faint?  What had happened?  Was Kerr going to tell him Arles had been destroyed?  This was a vampire who\'d sired him, who Kerr was stating Ben had slept with, who wasn\'t around anymore.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

  • Navigator
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 12603
  • Wanderer
    • View Profile
Re: Home Truths
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2009, 11:29:42 AM »
"You felt guilty about Arles.  I was too stupid to simply agree to sire you alone like we both wanted, so we convinced Arles to include me.  He did it, for you.  Afterwards, you lived with Arles but, although he\'s older than me, he wasn\'t well-trained, so you came to me for training.  Of course, before that happened, Sawyl flew into a rage over me siring you, attacked Arles and you in your home and then tried to kill me with an axe.  The twins saved me," he said, sounding serious but fairly irreverant (considering the news he\'d just imparted), since it had all happened so long ago.
 
"When you came to visit me... we grew closer.  You felt worse and worse about Arles but you didn\'t end it.  When we... when everything was resolved, though, and we were finally together, you and I... worked Arles out of you, as much as possible.  You and I regularly drank from one another, especially while one of us was feeding on a mortal and that, combined with Arles eventually getting the hint and moving away, has dulled your connection to him.  His older blood made you stronger, though," Kerr finished, sounding proud of this fact - because he was.  They\'d taken the best of Arles and though Kerr believed Ben had never properly resolved things with his other sire - or even told him goodbye properly - they were grateful for all that he\'d done.