Holding my coffee cup and gently fixing the bedsheets I watch as Zyon curls up with the blanket I covered him in, I had put him to sleep in the bed and covered him with the thick blankets. I had slept on the couch, but when I came in to wake him for today, I found him on the floor with a pillow under his head.
I know it's only because he's grown accustomed to the ground and not that the bed is uncomfortable, he most likely only needed the comfort of the hard floor to relax. He'll slowly learn to be comfortable with the bed, maybe even take comfort under the blankets, but until that happens; I'll have to be patient.
On the bright side, he looks better. The bath last night really helped; his hair is fluffy and soft, his pale skin is clean and paler than I expected, and I managed to scrub him rather well for him squirming and attempting to get out once I started.
It bothers me he's so skinny his bones are visible, it's bad enough to where I wondered how he's even alive. Ribs, spine, collar bones; wrist bones, all sticking out unhealthy like and frail. I have to remind myself to take him to the hospital to get checked either today or tomorrow.
It pains me to wake him, but I told him we'd visit his friend wherever the man works and it might take a few hours to do so. I would like to know more about my new roommate, possible partner, and hopefully sub.
"Zyon..sweetheart? Wake up, please." I call out to him as I place myself feet away as to not startle him by being to close.
He startles anyway. Shooting up with wide eyes and a gasp, head wiping this way and that before he focuses on me, staring for a minute as he recalls what happened. Patiently I wait while sipping my coffee.
"I'm sorry waking you, Honey, but I seem to remember a promise to take you to visit your friend."
Instantly the boy grinning and jumping up onto his knees to scramble to the door of the room, as an excited puppy would do. I can see he's ready to go despite wearing only one of my shirts, that reaches his knees, and a pair of boxers. I'd like to be able to change him, but I have no clothes that would fit him, one more thing we need to do.
"Let's eat first, Zyon." I chuckle when he pouts for merely a second before his eyes go bright and he nods quickly.
He follows me out of the room and into the hall to the kitchen, still on his knees, while I debate on what to make him for breakfast. I have hot chocolate and I could cook some pancakes, he probably hasn't had either of them. I just need to make sure I don't give him too much, maybe two pancakes and half a cup of hot chocolate, I don't want to risk getting him sick.
I'll see what he enjoys, if he dislikes it I'll just whip up something else.
Getting out of the car I can see the excitement on Zyons face, especially since the club is closed in the mornings and no one is out front, but his eyes automatically go to the Alley entrance.
Before I can stop, or even speak to him, he's running in that direction with a happy little sound. I can't be bothered that he still wants to go there, even after being in my house, it was his home for years and the only place that knew. I understand it'd be hard to just up and forget it, I'll be patient, no matter how much I want him in an actual house.
Following his path to the Alley, I realize that during the day it looks worse then I thought, at night I only got bits of light from the flashlight and couldn't see all that well. Now, though, I see that mud and dirt on the ground, pieces of trash people threw, rat shit along the wall and some graffiti.
Zyon is at the very end of the Alley where his little area is, the pillow is gone and the blue tarp is torn down the middle. Probably some other homeless people, who figured it was free game since he was gone. The boy blinks at the sight but then picks the tarp up only for a large rat to squeak up at him.
I quickly, and gently, as possible pick him up by his armpits and place him farther away from the animal. Those things have diseases, I don't trust my boy around them. Zyon gasps as he's picked up, body freezing and tense, but looks at me confused when he's sat down. Obviously wondering why I, the scary man who took him from here, is scared of a little animal.
"It could make you sick, Zyon. Do you understand? It's bad for you." He only blinks at me.
Sighing, I hiss at the rat to scare it away, watching it squeak and run out of the tarp and along to the wall to turn out if the Alley. Zyon turns to watch it pass and I catch his hand waving bye next to his thigh, maybe he made friends with the rats and got used to them.
"How about you take me through a day in your life? Show me what you do every day. Would you like that?" I'm curious how this little boy survived so long.
Zyon blinks blankly then nods quickly, lips twitching into a smile as his eyes go bright.
"Hey! Come back you little brat!!" The food stand host yells as he runs from the KFC, dropping his drink as he sees Zyon stealing two hotdogs.
Zyon goes wide-eyed, obviously shocked he returned so fast, before breaking out into a run. I watch as he runs through the crowd with a hotdog in his mouth and one in his hand, then calmly take my wallet out and gently toss five dollars on the stand. I give the man an apologetic smile, then walk away to search for my little theft.
It's only been two hours since we started his regular day and he's already stolen three things. First, two pieces of fruit from the farmers market that just came to town, second some bottled water from two women who weren't paying attention, and now the hotdogs.
I know he's stealing for me also, grabbing two of everything and when he gets away, he offers me one. He looks so proud that he's managing to get away with two things and that he's actually attempting to provide me with something, I just can't refuse or correct his snatching behavior. Not yet anyway.
We do this the whole day. Sometimes he'll turn around to lead me back to the Alley, he'll fix up his area and sit in the blanket, watching the sky. He does this until he sees that blue slowly fades as the sun goes down, then he jumps up and runs down the Alley.
He stops instantly, turning around to blink at me, confused. I smile calmly at him as I close the space between us and only when I feet from him, do I speak.
"No more running, okay? Stay with me, I want to be able to see you. If you run, I'll lose you. Where are we going now?"
He slowly nods to show he understands, "Fr-fren."
Grinning at his voice and word, I nod. "Let's go meet your friend then."
Zyon walked next to me the whole walk through the city to where most restaurants are located, he leads me to a high class one named "Crossroads Kitchen". Instead of going through the front door, he takes a sharp turn into another Alley to go around the back.
Upon turning another corner I see the back door, some large trash bins, and a small smoking area for employees. Sitting on the picnic table is a tall man, about my height of 6'5, with white short hair that contrasts against the brown of his beard. He's large, board shoulders and muscle, black slacks are slightly tight on his legs and his white shirt is one shoulder tense away from ripping.
As soon as Zyon seeing the man he grins and runs up to him, quickly hugging the man's waist. The man laughs, deep and rumbling like a bear, patting the smaller boy on the head.
" Hey there, little man. Sorry, I wasn't here last night, Boss had me upfront for a while and I couldn't leave." He has a deep Irish accent, not too strong but definitely noticeable.
Zyon only shakes his head and smiles cutely at him, this only makes him chuckle. "Okay well, I sneaked double of some vegetables and leftovers to make up for yesterday. Make it last till tomorrow, got it?"
The boy promptly nods, patiently waiting as the taller man shifts to grab a container filled with cut-up vegetables and fruit, some wraps, he also places a cup of water on the table. Zyon doesn't wait to plant himself to the ground and use the table seat as a table, digging into the food.
The man snickers slightly, not in a bad way just amused, before noticing me. He seems confused as his brown eyes flick up and down my body, obviously wondering what I'm doing.
I smirk and gesture to Zyon. "I'm with him."
He glances down at Zyon then back to me, eyebrow raised, "Really? Huh. Okay. What's your name? I'm Seàn."
Seàn nods, placing the water in front of Zyon, "Drink."
The boy blinks but complies, picking the glass cup up with both hands and carefully sips from it. Seàn grunts when he glances up to see if he did what asked, the response seems to reassure him to drink more.
"How'd you find him?" Seàn directs the question at me, his gaze set on me now. "I know he moves around a lot and has an Alley, but I didn't think someone would care enough to do whatever you're doing."
I sit on the table on the other side of Zyon, so the boy is in the middle of us, and glance down to make sure he's concentrated on eating. "My club is the building connected to the Alley, customers complained about him. I went to scare him off, it didn't turn out as I thought."
Seàn merely nods, understanding as to why I obviously didn't scare him off. "He's skittish around new people, works himself in a panic. When we met, he couldn't get within twenty feet of me and I had to bribe him with food."
My eyebrows raise at that, evidently, Zyon has severe social anxiety. He probably even has trust issues, I'd be surprised if he didn't but it's a possibility. Again, I wonder what could have happened for him to end up on the streets. He doesn't have any needle marks; so no drugs, no wounds besides a cut or scratch. Maybe family? I'll ask when he trusts me more.
"How did you meet? He mentioned you named him."
"He stuck with that? Huh." Seàn seems surprised, dark eyebrow raised. "Well, I found him trash digging on my break. Came out the door, heard something in the dumpster, thought it was a raccoon, when I kicked it, his head popped up. Scared the shit outta both of us."
He chuckles, shrugging slightly before continuing, "I got him some food. He came back the next night, then the next. He got comfortable with me."
"Why didn't you help him?" I asks, figuring I should considering he acts like he cares yet Zyon was still on the street.
The man narrows his eyes slightly, then growls. "I would've helped him, gave him a shelter, but I can barely support myself and run on two jobs. I can't care for him like he needs. I figured as long as I knew where he was, give him food, he'd be alright."