Patrick’s sluggish climb up the stairs gave him time to taste his lip after coming in contact with Adam’s cheek. His body reacted from his fall from the tree soreness in his shoulder, legs, and right hip. Even though there was grass below, the impact on the frigid ground sent waves of aches throughout his slim body.
He remembered when his back pressed against Adam’s firm torso when he saved him from getting hit by a car; he felt no pain then. Patrick wanted to be handled by Adam again. So he found a reason. A thank you kiss on the cheek to the man that came to his rescue. In any normal flirting moment, Patrick never had to work hard in getting any man into bed with him.
But this wasn’t normal. He had to man up to his problems and not wait for someone to solve them for him as his father has done before. If what happened at the graveyard been a joke, then whatever Gavin had over his head ends tonight. He licked his dry lips as he entered the dark apartment. He switched on a light and the hundred-watt bulb lit up the quiet, empty hallway. The floors were hardwood. The room to the left steered him to the living room that showcased furniture from the sixties, a vending machine with retro candy. The TV mounted on the wall was the only modern device in the room. In the kitchen retro appliances from the fifties including the sink and cabinets that Gavin never used except for the frigid. He told Patrick they were for show only.
In the fridge, leftovers from restaurants sat alongside bottles of expensive beer and wine. Patrick hated Gavin’s preference in beer and preferred wine himself, which Gavin loathed. To keep the peace, he purchased name brand drinks for them.
Patrick removed a bottle of red wine popping the cork. He didn’t want to drink from the mug Gavin always gave him. Instead, he drank from the bottle, swallowing the sweet, red grape until he needed to catch his breath. He carried the bottle out another exit through the kitchen that led back to the hallway and headed for the guest bedroom.
The door had a metal radioactive sign, warning to stay away. Patrick entered the vacant room except for an unmade full-size bed with a small, unfinished table beside it. He sat the chilled wine on the table and turned to a small closet. He opened the door, inside was bare, except for three wire hangers. Without care, he removed them from the bar tossing them on the unmade mattress behind him. He grasped the bar flinching from a sharp pain from his hand.
Patrick stared at dried blood and a small cut in the middle of his palm. forgetting he had injured it when trying to climb hell’s gate to escape the killer. He remembered seeing bandage in the bathroom cabinet connected to Gavin’s bedroom, but that will have to wait for now.
With both hands, but not adding any pressure to his injured one, Patrick pulled the bar apart revealing rolled photographs tucked inside. He placed them under his chin as he reconnected the bar keeping a tight grip of the photos as he returned the hangers, shutting the closet door he snatched up the wine bottle and left the room.
Back in the kitchen, Patrick grabbed a box of matches, off a small shelf above the empty sink, and a metal colander. Patrick tossed the photos (he didn’t bother to look at) into the colander. With a strike of a match, he kindled the edges of the pictures first and watched as the fire spread. Sure that every inch of images turned to ash before dousing them with water and rinsing them down the garbage disposal. He flipped the switch and listened until the blades did their job. Swallowing more of the red liquid before turning off the water, leaving the colander and walking out of the kitchen.
When he reached Gavin’s bedroom door he hesitated. His hand hovered over the handle as he closed his eyes to his fears.
‘Come on Patrick, do it fast. Get it over with,’ he said to himself. He grabbed the knob and opened the door. The dark room played tricks with Patrick’s eyes. Patrick thought he saw a body lying on the bed. He rose the bottle to his lips and took one last long swallow before setting it on the dresser. He reached for the light switch on the wall beside him and flicked it up, but nothing happened. Patrick ignored the lack of light and entered the room moving towards the bed. “The cops were right. It was a joke,” he thought as he made out the person was lying on their stomach.
“Gavin,” he said remembering everything that Gavin’s done to him and now finding out it was a cruel joke. His thrill turned into anger as he rushed to the sleeping man, climbing on the bed and shaking him to wake up. “Get up you bastard! What makes you think what you did was funny?”
But Gavin didn’t move. The dead silence surrounds Patrick as fear gripped him again.
“Gavin, wake up! Please tell me this was a joke and just say you’re sorry,” he sobbed pulling the sheet away and finding it wasn’t a joke.
Gavin laid on his stomach, stiff, naked and motionless. Patrick saw the wound in his back, minus the knife, but no blood. Gavin’s head and neck rest crooked.
Patrick’s body shook with fear as he sat frozen on the bed. The silence got interrupted by a cell phone ringing. Patrick recognized the sound. He looked near Gavin’s lifeless hand to see the cell which rested face down, and light flashing. The cell was his because he picked the ring tone for Gavin in the beginning of their relationship when Gavin pretended to enjoy his cosplaying. Or at least Patrick thought he did. Patrick never got around to changing it when everything turned to crap. He reached for it and turned it over. Pikachu, a popular card game, and anime character stared back at him with rosy cheeks and his one paw in the air. He knew the caller as he pressed the green phone handle on the screen and raised it to his ear.
“It’s done. Now you and I can be together,” said a raspy voice.
Patrick lowered the phone still looking at his dead friend. Then noticed the light getting brighter. Patrick looked back towards the connected bathroom and watched the harlequin stepped into the room. His ghostly mask displayed with a calm expression and a single tear stationed under one hollowed eye.
Patrick gathered his senses as he scrambled off the bed trying to exit the room. But the Harlequin had other ideas as he grabbed hold of Patrick’s right arm and yanked him back. Patrick flinched from the pain in his shoulder when his leg’s kicked out from under him forcing him back onto the bed pressing his face against the mattress. The figure fell on top of him, and Patrick got a sample of how strong he was.
The Harlequin grasped Patrick’s wrists and forced them behind his back pinning them with his brawny chest. Unable to move his arms Patrick called for help but that didn’t bother his attacker as he unbuttons Patrick’s pants. Patrick realized he was going to get raped.
“No—please,” he begged with his chest constricting from the pressure of his attacker pushing against his back and pressing him against the mattress. “Not here—not next to him!” Even with the sobs in his voice, the Harlequin ignored him as he forced Patrick’s jeans and underwear past his hips exposing him.
Patrick thrashed around trying to free at least one of his arms to defend himself. But that only sent sharp pain through his shoulders. Their bodies rocked the mattress causing Gavin’s body to move. Patrick kept calling for help as the man’s hand struggle to undo his buttons. Now Patrick was sure it was a man feeling his erection against his thigh.
“Stop,” he said. “What was the point?” Patrick thought. “No one will hear.” He closed his eyes and waited for him to get it over with when a sudden crash came from the bathroom.