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  1. Final teaser! I'm so excited to be bringing this story back tomorrow and exploring more with this couple!


    "It's got to be a name that fits in with us and our names."

    "Yes, but I've got a traditional sounding name and you've got a more interesting name so we can kinda pick anything and it'll work. I am just leaning more towards a name that stands out."

    "Ry, the kid's got two gay parents in the performance industry. They are already going to stand out, I don't think it's going to matter what we name them as long as it's not ostentatious and they can put it on a resume and have people take them seriously. We're not going to be those celebrities that has a kid and names it, like, Lampshade or something."

    "I don't know, Lampshade Sparklewings Reid-Kurtis has a nice ring to it." Ryan jokes.

    "And it's gender neutral." Jasper agrees, managing to keep a straight face until Ryan starts laughing, causing him to burst out too.

    "God, I love you." Ryan grabs Jasper by the waist and pulls him close, kissing him hard.

    6. Baby announcement.jpg

  2. Waking up in a dark room in a stranger's bed, Tyler feels his body tense and his blood run through cold, completely immobilizing him with fear. He blinks a few times, trying to force his eyes to adjust to the darkness that surrounded him as quickly as possible so he could work out where he was, or at least how to escape. He feels his head pounding in time with his heart, the sound of blood rushing through his ears was almost deafening. Realising he was panicking, he tries to control his breathing, taking deep breaths to calm down. He inhales slowly and holds his breath for a moment to try to will himself out of the impending panic, that’s when he hears something that sends his blood cold again. His breath was held, but he could still hear breathing. It was rapid and panicked, just like his. "Hello? Is, is someone there?" Tyler asks gently. "Who are you? How did we get here?" Another boy's voice asks back. "I don't know, where are we?" Tyler tries to move, but his wrists and ankles are restrained to the bed. "We're going to get killed. We're going to get tortured and killed." The other boy's conclusion jumping panic was hard to ignore, but Tyler wasn't going to go down without at least putting up a fight until his last breath. "Can you move or see anything that could help?" Tyler asks, looking around himself but barely able to see more than a few centimeters ahead of himself. "No, I'm tied up!" The other guy was not going to be any use to him in this frantic state. "What's your name?" Tyler asks, trying to be distracting enough to calm him down at least a little. "My name is Wyatt." The shaky voice replies. "You?" "Tyler. Listen, I'm scared too, but we're not alone. No matter what happens. We're in this together, ok? " Tyler closes his eyes. At least in the dark he could sound convincingly sure that they had a chance of surviving this, and no one could see the silent tears running down his face in fear. "I like your thinking. Shows great potential for what I have ahead." Lights come on in the room, revealing a large white room with padded walls. Behind them they hear the sound of a door opening, then footsteps coming closer. Wyatt is in a screaming panic while Tyler is desperately scanning his environment for any useful information he can. There was nothing in reach he could use to defend himself, but there was a row of doors to one side of him, and elevator door to the other side. At least if he got a chance to run, he knew where he'd run to. A masked man steps into his line of sight and lingers on him for so long it makes Tyler squirm. He then turns to Wyatt, looking over him too. Tyler turns his head to see what's going on, Wyatt is thrashing on the bed trying to break free of his restraints while the man just watches him with disgusting interest. "Let me go!" He's screaming to no avail. "You're first." The man replies, kicking the breaks off the bed. "No! Leave him alone! Leave him alone!" Tyler starts shouting, panic rising in him as he listens to the screams and pleads from Wyatt while he's being wheeled away into a room past the lifts. The man scans something at the door to unlock it, then disappears. Tyler takes deep breaths, holding them in and letting them out slowly, doing his best to shut off the tormented screaming coming from behind the door. This wasn't the time to be impractical. He had a window of opportunity now at the expense of his poor co-captor and he didn't want to find out what was happening in that room, first hand. Tyler sits as much as he can in his position and gets a better look at the restraints. He tries to lean down to use his teeth to get out, but he just pulls up short. Before he gets a chance to try anything else he is aware of the silence from the other room, before he hears the creak of a door opening. The man walks back out of the room with a smile on his face as he heads over towards Tyler. "Your turn." He states. "What did you do to him?" Tyler asks nervously but gets no answer. ~ "Hey. Are you ok?" Tyler asks Wyatt as they wait for the man to return for them. "Mm, yeah. I just feel weird. Like I'm not really here." Wyatt replies slowly. The door opens and the man enters the room again. "How's it going?" He asks casually, walking first to Wyatt. "What did you do to me?" Wyatt asks dully. "Compliance." The man answers with a smile, loosening the restraints. "Get up." He orders. Wyatt nervously does as he's told, waiting for more instructions. "Now, if you do as you're told, we won't have any problems." "Yes, sir." Wyatt nods. "Good." The man moves over to Tyler. "And what about you? How are you feeling?" He asks. "What do you want us to do?" Tyler asks calmly. The man undoes Tyler's restraints, too. "Up." The man orders. Tyler gets up, standing by the bed he'd been strapped to and waiting. "How about you? Are you a good listener?" The man asks. Tyler nods but when their captor turns away, he gives Wyatt a wink and mouths, 'get ready to run'. he man turns back to them with a smile, taking a photo of Tyler, then of Wyatt. "So here's what's going to happen. You two are going to tested, the person that proves himself will be given a special task and when it's completed, you'll forget all of this and go back to your normal life. The one that fails, won't have a life. Do you understand?" The man asks. Wyatt gulps and Tyler doesn't do anything. The man walks up close to him with a frown. "Do you understand?" He asks again pointedly. "I understand." "Good..." "That you're a complete fuck-stain." Tyler throws his fist straight up under the man's chin, knocking his mask off. "Run, Wyatt." Tyler shouts as he escapes the room, running for the lifts. He presses the button, then turns around to see where Wyatt was. The door behind him opens and the empty lift offers him freedom. But he would never be able to forgive himself for leaving someone else behind. Quickly he moved to one of the other rooms, hoping he'd at least be able to hide. He finds himself stuck in a small room with just a bed, a side table and a set of drawers. He opens another door to find a toilet and a shower, no escape and nowhere to hide. He backs up as the door is opened and the man walks back in, his mask re-secured on his face. "I see a lot of potential with you, with the help of a higher dose." The man holds up a syringe. "Try me." ~ "How's project seduce the hot guy going?" Wyatt asks as he walks into Tyler's bedroom. "It's taking time." Tyler answers, stuffing his phone under his pillow. "Why?" "Well, for one he'd never kissed anyone before." "So? You're meant to be killing him. You don't actually have to sleep with him first." Wyatt crosses his arms and looks over at Tyler who just smirks back at him. "Yes, but we also weren't told not to." "Slut, no wonder you got picked for this." Wyatt scoffs. "Oh, stop projecting." "Are you into him?" "No." "Then stop playing with your food and just kill him. I don't want to be stuck here longer than I need to. I'm starting to lose my mind." Wyatt sighs. Tyler laughs at the irony of his comment and feels his phone vibrate under his pillow. His mind going back to the person messaging him and how excited he was for Wyatt to leave so he could read and reply and spend the rest of his night talking to him. ~ "I'm not doing this anymore." Tyler states, standing in an empty room. "You don't have a choice." The voice through the speaker replies. "Like hell I don't. If you want him dead, you do it. I'm not a killer and I don't believe he is either." "I don't care what you believe, you do what I have tasked you with, or your family will pay the price." "You expect me to believe you won't assassinate a teenager, but you've got the balls to kill my whole family? Nice try. Face it, your intimidation techniques don't work on me. You don't have it in you. I'm out. This stupid plan of yours, I have no interest in. You've got other options, you don't need me." It was too easy to leave, Tyler had thought. But time had passed and his family was fine. He watched them from a distance, as he did with Zeke. Yes, he knew Wyatt was going to be the back-up plan, so when he saw Wyatt meeting Zeke; he wasn't surprised. Nor did he particularly care. He'd shared enough details about things he and Zeke got up to all the times he was meant to be committing his murder, to know Wyatt wasn't going to do the job without first taking the opportunity to indulge, too. So Tyler took to petty attempts of foiling Wyatt and Zeke's dates instead. Cock-blocking was literally saving Zeke's life, and that concept was hilarious to Tyler. He couldn't deny that part of him was relieved when Zeke pulled up beside him with tickets to sweep him off his feet. He also couldn't deny the danger he was putting himself in by accepting and going on a date, but he considered a very public event would be somewhat safe. So Tyler let his guard down. He had the best night, and he realized just how completely screwed he was when Zeke kissed him fearlessly at the finale. He'd been telling himself the only reason he didn't want to kill Zeke was because Zeke didn't deserve it. But he was stupidly, dangerously invested in him. There was no way they could just have a simple life together. Wyatt would kill them both if he found out, while he was being continually rejected or interrupted when he was with Zeke, that Tyler was secretly seeing him. It was playing with fire, but it just tasted so good that Tyler didn't know how he'd ever be able to give Zeke up. The choice was taken out of his hands when his plan to disappear from Zeke's life turned out to be someone else's plan, too. "Who the hell are you? Let go of me." Tyler tries to fight his way out of his captor's grip on his wrist. He plants his foot and rolls his arm over quickly, grabbing the man's wrist and forcing his hand to flex backwards until it couldn't go any further and he had full control. "Word of advice asshat, don't underestimate me." Tyler warns and moves to see the face of who had grabbed him. He recognized him, the man that drove Zeke around, dropped him off and picked him up and even drove them here tonight. In the moment of confusion, he loosens his grip and the man quickly pulls out a syringe and stabs it into the side of his neck. Instinct kicking in, Tyler leans back like he's about to faint and as Zeke's driver steps back with a satisfied smile on his face, Tyler snaps a head high kick to his face and they both fall to the ground. The torture was relentless. The pain was insufferable and the face of his boss was almost as unforgettable as the voice that he'd heard for years through a speaker system. Other men called him G, but Tyler liked to call him just about any other stream of insults that he possibly could. It'd take cutting out his vocal chords altogether, for him to stop pushing his luck. The moment Tyler had woken up here, he knew he would die on this wall in these chains by this man. All he could do was not let what was happening to him, stop him from being an absolute nightmare victim. He didn't cry, he didn't beg and he didn't care how many cuts and bruises he got in the process. G wasn't going to crack him, not for a second. But when Zeke came to his rescue, the objective changed. It changed for the shortest period of time, to 'maybe we can survive this together', before all of that was crushed. Zeke unconscious in the car, his body pinning down Tyler's legs and trapping him in his place. "Go on, kill me then!" Tyler shouted at G as he wakes up, chained to a chair in G's office. "If I wanted you dead, you'd be dead." G replies, tapping the top of a syringe, very clearly pretending he knew what he was doing. "I'm not killing Zeke, so you might as well." "You know, murder is like sex. The longer it takes, the more satisfying it is to finish." "I'd have appreciated that analogy through the speakers, but now that I know what you look like, I have my doubts that you've ever gotten laid. Or that you have ever lasted long enough to satisfy anyone." "I'm going to set you free. I'm going to kill your family and force you into hiding and hunt you down like the scared child you are inside." "Most people take medication for erection problems, not commit murders." Tyler smirks as he sees G starting to lose it. His victorious and all powerful villain speech failing to impress or instill any kind of fear. ~ Things were like a blur from there, a scattering of genuine trauma blackouts of his family's murder. Then there's Zeke's face, kind and comforting. The alluring gentleness and compassion that came with every word and action. There's all the moments when there was something else there that neither of them knew how to act on. Drawn to each other with a painful amount of confusion that kept building to an explosive amount of frustration. “Wow you sound like a proper doctor.” Tyler comments, having until now been skeptical. Corey laughs and pulls out his ID, unlike Zeke’s his had full name, status of qualification and the registration number. “9 years of study including masters in medicines and mental health. I can show you my certificates if you would like.” Corey offers. “No, it’s fine.” Tyler shakes his head. "Ok, first thing. Are you comfortable here with Zeke?" Corey asks. "Of course." "No concerns?" "No." "He's taking care of you?" "Always." "You don't feel threatened in any way." "No, I love him." Tyler replies then bites his lip, feeling just as uncomfortable as Corey looked, about that statement. "I don't mean it in that way..." "You've been through a lot, you do not have to explain yourself." Corey replies, though he's making a note anyway. "Can we not tell Zeke that I said that?" "I told you, this is completely confidential. Now, medical history..." ~ “Tyler, I hate you. You’re nothing to me. I’m sick of you. You’re so damn needy and pathetic that I can’t stand you, that’s why I started leaving you alone all the time. I hoped you’d leave sooner but you seemed to think that if you stayed I’d fall for you. I like making you think I care about you when really, I don’t. I have been lying to you this whole time, you’re not safe, I’m not who I said I am. You’re just a naive, scared kid that wanted to believe it all so badly. It’s been a game to me, having you here. Playing with your feelings. Game is over now.” Tyler looks at Zeke in disbelief, tears stinging his eyes, though he tries desperately not to show how much it hurt him to hear Zeke talk like that. “Then you won’t care if I die.” Tyler mumbles and drops his suitcase at Zeke’s feet. He turns and runs towards the front of the house, taking Zeke by surprise. He runs straight up to the car waiting for them. "Help me please, he's been holding me hostage. Please, please help me." Tyler begs. "Tyler? Get in quick. We've been looking everywhere for you." ~ "I told you to leave, what the hell were you thinking?” Zeke asks angrily as they drive away from the chaos of the night. “I wanted to help. A thank you would be nice.” Tyler groans. “You put your life at risk against my orders and you want me to thank you for that? You could have died Tyler. Do you understand how stupid that risk was?” Zeke snaps at him. ~ “You made a big mistake trusting me. I played you so well. I had to act so pathetic, so needy. Your saviour complex knows no bounds. The more broken the person, the more superior you feel to them. I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out he was playing you too.” Wyatt states. Tyler feels the attention of everyone in the room shift to him, Zeke looks at him for only a passing moment but Tyler could feel the distrust in his eyes even in just that moment. Though Zeke looked back to the floor as he walks, Corey was now staring quizzically at Tyler and G was glaring from across the room. “I’m...” Tyler gulps and he feels the blood drain from his face, leaving him pale and clammy as he pictures himself being put up in chains and questioned, with Corey using his array of torture equipment on him. If Wyatt managed to convince anyone that Tyler was capable of double crossing them, he didn't trust for a second that he would be able to convince them he wasn't going to tell anyone what he knew. He looks at Zeke for defense but he also knew Zeke's judgement would have no impact on these people. The evidence was right before them, that Zeke could be wrong, that his judgement of character was skewed by his personal feelings. ~ "I still haven't said thank you for saving my life tonight, have I?" Zeke turns his head to look at Tyler, Tyler shakes his head and looks up into Zeke's eyes, waiting for the words. Zeke smiles at him then leans in and kisses him softly on the lips, taking Tyler by complete surprise. "Thank you." Zeke whispers as their lips part. ~ All the arguments and the flirting, the tension and the passion of the last few years, comes alive in his head, lifting Tyler from his seat. With the name lingering on his lips, along with the salty taste of his own tears, he turns around to look out the window and see where Zeke had gotten to. "Zeke." Tyler whispers under his breath as he sees Zeke leant against a tree. Tyler feels like he is floating, being led out the door by pure need to get answers, there was too much unfinished business between them. “Z!” Tyler shouts. Zeke turns around and smiles as he sees Tyler now running towards him like he's afraid that he might somehow disappear if Tyler lets another second pass. Zeke starts walking towards Tyler, his steps getting faster until he finds himself running, too. As soon as he is close enough, Tyler launches himself at Zeke wrapping his arms around him. "Tell me you remember." Zeke pleads as he sets Tyler back on the ground. He didn't see any way Tyler could have come to him like this if he didn't remember, but he needed to hear it himself. "You wiped my memory!" Tyler hits him on the shoulder. "You were out to kill me." “And yet, you came back for me.” Tyler grins and kisses Zeke hard. Zeke’s hands cup Tyler's face and he wipes away the tears as they kiss passionately. Tyler abruptly ends the kiss to ask a question. "G is the one that wants you dead. I know you don't want to believe..." "I know. He's dead. He's extremely dead." Zeke answers. "Tell me you're to thank for that." "I don't even want to talk about the things I did to him when I found out the truth." "So you know everything, about me?" Tyler asks and Zeke simply nods. "Are you mad at me? Because I swear, I didn't know what I was getting into." "No." Zeke shakes his head and leans in to kiss Tyler again, but Tyler pulls away. "I was set out to kill you. You have no problem with that?" "You didn't kill me." "I still might." Tyler says with a cheeky grin. "I'll take my chances." Zeke answers with a smirk. "Living without you would be the death of me, anyway." "What about everyone else? The agency and everything?" "It's all over. G literally blew up the entire building. We have nothing to worry about anymore. Kiss me." Zeke pulls Tyler back in for another heated kiss. Tyler wraps his arms around Zeke's neck and kisses back in a soft, relaxed kiss. For once neither of them had anything to hide or any reason to hold back and god did it feel good for the few moments it lasted before Tyler asks him another question. "So what are you going to do now?" "Well, G spent all of my inheritance on renovating and re-purposing the building my parents owned and ran as a safe house for domestic violence victims. Which, obviously, was greatly insured for damages. So, in a way, he accidentally gave me all my money back by blowing the whole place up. So, I'm about to have a lot of money. I can re-build. I can work a normal job. I can have a normal life." Zeke takes a deep breath and holds Tyler's hand, then looks into his eyes longingly. "And I can tell you, I love you.” Zeke states, letting out his breath with relief at having finally been able to say those words, no longer held back by fear of someone using it against him, or causing Tyler any harm. Finally free. Tyler smiles and kisses Zeke softly, feeling the same amount of freedom that there was nothing to stop them, this time. "No more secrets." Tyler whispers when their lips part. "No secrets." Zeke agrees and holds up the hotel keycard. "I feel like we have a lot of memories to re-live." He winks. "Only if you promise not to get all nervous and make me do all the work this time." Tyler jokes. "Oh my god, am I the ex that never reciprocated?" "The one and only." "I am so sorry. It's amazing you didn't kill me." He laughs, embarrassed. "It's not your fault, I wanted you to die happy." "You're so considerate. Sounds like I have some making up to do, though." Zeke states, slipping a hand in Tyler's back pocket and turning to head down the street towards the hotel. "Promise me you won't wipe my memory this time, Z." "Never again. I promise."
  3. "How's it going?" "Well, I've spent hours on hold so. Who knows? All the insurance paperwork is being handled by solicitors and they are waiting to hear back from pathology about my DNA results to give me access to the information, and the police are still investigating the cause of the building explosion which needs to be cleared then with the insurance company to see if I can claim anything at all. I feel like I'm just going around and around in circles." Zeke sighs and rest his head on the table, the on-hold music playing in the background. "And how are you holding up?" Corey pulls a chair out and sits down at the table with him. "I don't think I'd have had any sleep if you weren't for sleeping pills and I just feel like I've been living in a haze." Zeke answers. "Is there anything I can do for you?" Corey asks, reaching a hand out and checking on the wound on Zeke's hand that was healing well despite having been delayed for hours before finally getting stitched up. "I'm dying for a coffee." "Well, I think it's about time you got out of the house, so how about we take a walk and get some coffees?" Corey suggests. "I don't know..." "Zeke, you've spent enough time locked indoors. Come on." Corey stands up again and pats Zeke on the shoulder. "It's not doing you any good staying cooped up in my old place." Zeke reluctantly stands up and follows Corey out the door of his house. He couldn't exactly disagree, he'd spent the last week making phone calls and keeping himself inside out of fear. The freedom after so many years in one monotonous routine was quite daunting, and he wasn't sure he was really ready to start living a normal life after everything. He was more than a little traumatized by it all, and a little afraid that he was coping too well with that trauma, though he woke up every night from the same nightmares. There was this agonizing knot in his gut with every nightmare he had, that he now questioned if it was a horrific memory that he'd chosen to forget. Of course, Corey could help him, but he also didn't want to confirm that the things he was seeing in his dreams were real. He'd not had dreams of Tyler, and he wasn't sure if he was glad for that or not. In some ways it was comforting for Tyler to not be tied to any of the horrors playing out nightly in his head, but he couldn't help feeling extremely disappointed that no matter how hard he had tried, he couldn't remember the relationship he'd apparently had with Tyler previously. Corey was very little help with this, as he'd not ever been told who Zeke was dating back then, and he'd not had anything to do with the people G had trained on the basement floor. Still he knew it was possible to get those memories back, because Tyler had somehow managed to do it without even being aware that he was, so it was infuriating that it took all of Zeke's best efforts to get absolutely nowhere with recalling what had happened between them, aside from the tiny slivers that he wasn't even sure where real memories, because he had no records to check them with. The fresh air as he and Corey walk slowly in the warm sunlight, was blissful. Zeke only couldn't wait to have himself sorted, so he might actually be able to enjoy settling into his new life. It was a small town that Corey's place was in. Only a string of shops along a main street, the rest of the town was made up of acres of protected forest land. It was very different to the way Zeke had lived his life and he wasn't sure he'd fit in here at all, but he did like the calm atmosphere in the town. As he and Corey walk they passed a lot of really welcoming and kind people, yet another thing he'd not experienced before. Zeke felt as though he'd left reality and lived a whole fantasy life for so long, that it was difficult to adjust to the real world now. Where people joked about wanting to kill their bosses for not giving them a day off for something. There wasn't a day that passed where Zeke didn't shudder at the random moments where his thoughts landed on repeatedly stomping on G's head for spending over a decade purely focused on draining Zeke of his inheritance and messing with his life just for fun. Truthfully, Zeke wasn't sure how well he would be able to live with what he'd done, let alone what had been done to him over the years. He'd have to get a normal job, but realistically he had no qualifications. He'd have to talk to regular people, but his whole life felt tainted with the darkness of the deceit and lies. Of course, not everyone was going to put him through that again, but he had gotten his judgement so terribly wrong he wasn't sure how he could trust himself enough to trust another person ever again. Corey had started a new life, and was relishing in it. He'd slipped so easily into a job at a local doctor's office that Zeke was fairly sure he had a double life working there all along. For that to be possible, he'd have to have also discovered time travel, Corey was quick to point out. It did little to convince Zeke he hadn't, only made him fear what Corey may secretly be capable of. It was nice to see though, after everything he went through by G's side, playing by his rules just to keep G from hurting people more, for Corey to have such a laid back job at last. Patients visiting with ear infections or for vaccinations or just for a medical certificate for the sick-day they were throwing at work. No more torture, aside from the few times Zeke had to eat his cooking. Zeke didn't let him do much of that because it turns out Corey is terrible at cooking and allergic to every type of food that has flavour. Zeke spent years in Corey's office being cared for, and knew so little about him as a person outside of his office. Zeke did enjoy the safety of being out of his old life, even if he was terrified of how he'd cope with the change. His one goal was to somehow find happiness on the other end of the trauma, so G didn't completely win. Admitting that G was successful was the last thing Zeke would ever do. Corey leads Zeke into a cafe' and takes a seat at the table near the door. The smell of freshly roasted coffee beans was very nearly seducing Zeke into the cafe and the moment he steps inside, he felt like a weight had magically lifted from him. "Aren't you getting a drink?" Zeke asks. His heart and soul wanted him to be at the counter right now. "There's no rush. Sit down." Corey smiles. Zeke sits across the table from him and takes his phone out to check that he's still on hold. The music had become like white noise at this point. He was barely even registering it. “Oh, sorry Dr Anderson.” A familiar voice grabs Zeke's attention, but the ex-agent doesn’t look to see who it was, he was almost sure he was hallucinating. “It’s ok, I'll pull my chair in a bit.” Corey shifts his chair closer to the table as the person walks off towards the counter. Zeke lifts his head slowly and his eyes meet the pleased expression on Corey's face. “Did you know he’d be here?” Zeke asks quietly and sneaks a glance behind himself to see what he hoped wasn't just his imagination playing cruel tricks on him. "Yes." "How?" “Do you really think I’d be careless enough to not keep an eye on him for you?” Corey asks and sits back in his seat contently. “You’ve been tracking him?” “He comes in here every day at around this time, without fail." “Is this why you brought me here?” Zeke asks, though the answer was obvious. "No, they just have life-changing coffee here." Corey answers sarcastically and Zeke shakes his head at him before Corey even gets the next words out. "Go talk to him." “No! I-I wouldn’t even know what to say.” Zeke replies, glancing behind himself at Tyler then forcing himself to look away again before he can get caught obviously staring. "He doesn't know me, does he? He'll just look at me and have no idea who I am." “Well, you could start by giving him back his wallet.” Corey smiles and places a wallet on the table in front of Zeke. “Just tell him he dropped it when he bumped into me.” “Did you steal his wallet?” Zeke asks in complete disbelief. “Yep. I know you suck at small talk so you're welcome, it's an easy way in. Besides, he’s going to need it to pay for the coffee he’s about to order.” Corey shrugs, pushing the wallet across the table towards Zeke. "I don't suck at small talk." "Go on, he’s touching himself up trying to find it." Corey nods towards Tyler. Zeke takes a deep breath, considering his options. "Come on, he's about to order it." Corey insists. "Corey I can't..." "He's ordering." "Corey..." "Trust me. Go." Corey urges. Zeke picks up the wallet and stands up, then slowly walks over to Tyler, feeling his heart pounding in his chest with each step closer. “Sorry, cancel that.” Tyler sighs. “Looking for something?” Zeke asks and holds Tyler’s wallet out. Tyler turns and looks at it then glances at Zeke's face quickly, his eyes holding a confused look for a moment, then he smiles and reaches out for it. “You dropped it on the way in.” Zeke quickly explains as he passes back the wallet. “Oh, thanks Z.” Tyler smiles as he takes the wallet back and turns around to place his order, seemingly unaware of what he'd even said. Zeke stands behind Tyler, completely frozen in shock, then turns slowly and walks back over to the table Corey was sitting at. He sits down and takes a deep breath, then looks up at Corey, who is looking at him, clearly proud of himself. “So, what happened?” He asks with a smirk. "He called me 'Z.'" “I thought he’d make that connection.” “He can’t remember me, I-I wiped his memory. It worked, didn’t it? He can’t remember me. How does he remember me?” Zeke asks, confused as all hell. “You really underestimate how great of a friend I am.” “What did you do?” Zeke asks in a desperate whisper. “It was memory serum I gave him, wasn’t it?” “Yes, but it was just a low dose. As if I’d take all his memories away indefinitely.” Corey rolls his eyes. "I knew you were doing it to keep him safe, so I gave him enough to make sure that he’d forget, but not enough so that he’d never be able to get the memories back. Why do you think I told you to talk to him and give him something good to dream about? I knew you’d at some point mention that nickname and I knew that if he could still picture your face while hearing your voice, he’d connect those things in his dream, your voice, your face, ‘Z’. All he needed was that one key to unlock the memories." "So he remembers everything?" "No, he recognises your face and voice." Corey answers, but Zeke just stares back at him confused. "If you died, Zeke, he’d have never seen you again and therefore his memories wouldn't have been triggered, he would have lived the rest of his life not remembering any of it. None of the horrors he’s been through, none of what he'd lost. But I thought, there’s no point in him living without you if you are alive and can be with him. So, I kept an eye on him and I've been going through the electronic records AKA, this phone." Corey holds up an old looking mobile. "Which I discovered some time ago in G's office and posted to our current residence for safekeeping and, what do you know, there's all your old texts with him. I can bleach my eyes now, because some of the things I've seen." Corey exaggerates a shudder as he scrolls to the start of the text conversation and turns the phone around to show Zeke. 'So why were you in a coffee shop if you don't like coffee?' 'I saw you and you couldn't resist.' 'Well, meeting you was the highlight of my day.' "I figured, a coffee shop was your first meeting. He frequents this place just to buy and inhale the sweet, sweet fumes of long-lost memories that are dormant in his mind, and that with any luck, making him see your face and hear your voice in this setting under these circumstances would be enough to set off his memories once more." Corey grins. “Damn I’m good.” Zeke doesn't speak, he's too busy having his own moment as he feels like he is thinking the texts before he even reads them. “Is it working for you, too? I really hoped. I have no idea what your triggers would be, but I really hoped this would work on both of you. Whatever memory you are having, feel it. Feel it as deeply as you can, make it real. Everyone loses memories, but people don't forget how they felt. So hold on to those feelings and bring them back." Corey instructs excitedly, thrilled at the thought that Zeke might be able to recover what was taken from him, too. "This is going to be weird for both of you, it might not happen fast but he should start remembering. He’s going to be a little scared, and a little confused by it all, but take the time you both need, find your way back to each other." "What if he only remembers as far as being sent to kill me?" "Well he didn't kill you back then, have some faith." Corey says with a smile as he gets up and pats Zeke on the shoulder. "Good luck, oh and. If things go well, I figure you'll want some space to rekindle." He drops a hotel room keycard on the table. A feeling of nervous energy hits Zeke as he picks up the keycard from the table. He can almost smell the musk of the hotel lobby as he pictures himself picking up the keycard from the front desk and walking off towards the lifts with nervous strides. No idea what would happen, but excited for anything. Unlocking the room and stepping inside to see a large bed in a luxury layout. The reality hitting him that he was inviting a guy here, a guy he barely knew but hadn't been able to stop thinking about and had absolutely no idea what do actually do with. The knock on the door and the rush of adrenaline as Zeke had opened it and seen this stranger smiling at him, letting himself into the room and throwing himself down onto the bed, then shooting Zeke a glance and asking what they were going to do. The awkwardness, the embarrassment of him completely fucking it up and not knowing what to do and somehow being rewarded by a kiss that sent him into an internal frenzy as he wanted more than he was ready to do. Then the stress of waiting and waiting for Tyler to reply to his messages after that weird first date. Tyler sits down in the seat Corey had just left and stares at his coffee then lifts it up to his lips and closes his eyes as he breathes in the smell. Zeke hadn't even noticed before now that Tyler had on a few occasions made him a drink, sometimes even made one for himself, but he never actually drank it. All this time, subconsciously, Tyler was associating it with a memory he couldn't place. All this time, he was trying to remember Zeke. As he exhales, Tyler opens his eyes again and stares across the table at Zeke confused. "Are you ok?" Zeke asks as he notices tears welling in Tyler's eyes. "Yeah, I'm fine." Tyler nods. "You're crying." "Am I?" Tyler touches his fingers to his cheek and wipes away the tears, his hands shaking. "Sorry, I'm not usually an emotional person. I just feel weird." Tyler sighs and looks down at his coffee. Zeke remains speechless, not sure what to say or do but full of an overwhelming sense of hope that any moment, Tyler would know who he was. "Uh, having a random break-down to a stranger in a coffee shop. It's a good start to the week." Tyler jokes, trying to break the ice. "My name is Zeke." Zeke tells him, disappointed by the word 'stranger'. "Tyler." "I know. I saw your ID card." Zeke replies, feeling himself like this was Déjà vu. He gets lost for a moment, looking over his shoulder at the counter and feeling like he has actually been here before, the whole atmosphere screamed of reminiscence and it hits Zeke that Corey may have gotten it wrong, that this place wasn't the key to unlocking Tyler's memories of Zeke, it was the other way around. Zeke turns back around to see Tyler smiling at him and wiping away more tears. "Your drink is going to get cold." Zeke comments, wishing he had literally any other thing to talk about, but not wanting to weird Tyler out. "I actually don't drink coffee. Do you want it?" Tyler offers. Thinking of the texts he'd just read, Zeke takes the opportunity to try and prompt Tyler's memories, because just as he suspected, having Tyler look at him like a stranger was like adding insult to the injury that was losing him. "Why are you in a coffee shop, if you don't like coffee?" Zeke asks and Tyler looks at him for what feels like the longest few moments of Zeke's life. He opens his mouth to answer, closes his mouth to reconsider, then finally just lets out a sigh and gives a shrug." "There's just. Something about it. That I can't resist." Tyler states, not once breaking eye contact with Zeke. It was Zeke's turn to be speechless again. "Sounds like someone wants you." Tyler comments before Zeke can think of anything to say. "What?" "Your phone." Tyler nods towards Zeke's phone on the table, from which a voice had replaced the on-hold music. "Are you there?" Zeke quickly grabs his phone. "I'm so sorry, I. I have to take this. I'm. I'll be just outside." Zeke says quickly, picking up his phone and taking it off speaker to answer as he steps outside. In one hand is Tyler's old phone and a hotel keycard, the other hand holds his own phone to his ear. His heart aching as he steps outside the building, trying to pay attention to what he is being told, while his mind is washing with memories of leaving the cafe and watching Tyler disappear from his view, hoping he'd not been given a fake phone number because all he wanted was to see this cute, flirty guy again. The memories of every moment after that, every text that made him nervous to send, to read, to wait for. Every sensation that had been ignited when he'd pressed his lips against Tyler's in the hotel room, and every time he'd managed to do so before their final moment together at the concert. Zeke could remember how ready he was to have a life with Tyler, in that moment. The glowing smile on his face, the lights reflected in his eyes and the joy he knew they were bringing to each other. He'd never known what Tyler's life had been like, but he had been able to tell there was something Tyler was afraid of the moment their lips had parted mere minutes before Tyler disappeared from his life, only to be found tortured and chained up under the shed on the night he chose to lock away all of the beauty in his life, believing Tyler had died because of him. All the excitement of falling for someone, the heartache of letting him go and the unforgivable pain of seeing him suffer. The entire rollercoaster of their lives together, pulsing through his mind all at once. So much he feels like he might just explode, that between his brain and his heart something was bound to give. He paces a few steps away from the cafe' and leans against a tree, hoping that Tyler was remembering too. If he had to live with all the moments replaying in his head, without Tyler in his future, he didn't want a future at all. If he thought he'd fallen for Tyler this time, it had nothing on the depth of the feelings that were rushing back through him now. The love he felt for Tyler had seemed to feel as though it was 'just because', until now. All the blanks were filled in, all the emotions brought back and raw. Finally he understood why he was so drawn to protecting Tyler the second time around, why he had held him at arms length for so long. It all made sense to him at last and now Zeke wished he'd done so much more to G, because the final memory circulating his mind, from the night he rescued Tyler on his first proper mission, is one that makes him sick to his stomach. "It's ok, you're safe now. We're going to take care of you." Zeke assures Tyler as he helps him into the back of G's car. Tyler gives a groan and looks in the drivers' seat, his body stiffening as he sees who is sitting there. "No. No. No." Tyler starts to panic but his body was too weak to move. "You're ok, I'm here, you're ok." Zeke assures him but Tyler turns to him pleadingly. "No, Zeke he's behind all of this. He's the one that abducted me..." Tyler starts crying with fear and trying to get out of the car, but his body was too weak. Just as Zeke turns to look to G for an answer, he feels a dart pierce his skin that forces him to sleep with just the desperate and horrified scream echoing around him of Tyler realizing he was stuck in the car with his attacker. Powerless. Tyler told him. He warned him. And in his grief of being told Tyler was dead, his mind scrambled from the tranquilizer, Zeke had chosen to forget who his enemy really was.
  4. "Zeke. Thank god. You have to help me." The poor weak man falls into Zeke's arms, using his ex’s arms to find his footing again. Zeke looks at Wyatt. He seemed lifeless, stripped of his confidence and his strength, just utterly, brokenly, terrified. Wyatt was shaking uncontrollably as he tried to stand strong again. "Wyatt, are you hurt?" Zeke asks, quickly looking him up and down, but not seeing any obvious injuries. "No, but he's going to come back, and if he knows you're here, that you know... Zeke, you have to believe me. I didn't know what I was doing." Wyatt breaks down in tears. "He was drugging us constantly so we would believe what he said and wouldn't question our orders. We weren't in control. I never wanted to hurt you, and I never would have. Only when I was influenced and I couldn't fight it. I'm sorry, I wasn't strong enough to fight it." Wyatt tells him, clinging hard to Zeke's arms, clearly afraid. There was no way Zeke wanted to believe this was an act, but he didn't know what was real and what was a lie anymore. "Who is we? Tyler too?" Zeke asks. Wyatt looks up into Zeke's eyes and nods. "Is Tyler here?" "No. He quit. He figured out what was going on and he quit." Wyatt answers, and it takes every bit of his consideration towards Wyatt's clear suffering, for Zeke not to smile at hearing that Tyler was so headstrong that he'd managed to get out of this once before. Again, Zeke can't believe how much everyone underestimated him. "Why didn't you quit?" "Because he was threatening my family. When I tried, he killed my uncle just to keep me in line." Zeke couldn't believe he had been set on a mission against Wyatt, just to keep him scared and trapped. "Who was threatening you, Wyatt? Tell me, I can help you." Zeke looks into his eyes with compassion. "We never saw his face. He spoke to us through speakers. I don't know who he was." Wyatt answers. "Please, I don’t blame you for hating me but please, now that you know the truth, please forgive me! I need you to tell me you forgive me.” Wyatt begs. Zeke opens his mouth to reply, holding Wyatt just a little tighter in his arms. Wyatt looks into Zeke's eyes, searching for forgiveness. Zeke takes a deep breath and closes his eyes, it was a lot to take in all at once and he knew if what Wyatt was saying was true, than of course he deserved forgiveness, but he'd put so much trust in so many people and all had broken it. The moment he closes his eyes deciding to give one more piece of trust away and forgive Wyatt, he hears a loud bang and feels his heart stop. His eyes fly open in shock and he hears a sickening chuckle as blood stains his shirt. Zeke looks at Wyatt in shock as the ex-agent goes completely limp in his arms, a small trickle of blood running from his mouth. Zeke holds Wyatt tighter in his arms, shattered to be holding someone he did care a lot for not that long ago, as they died. “Pity, he really wanted you to forgive him. In fact, he wanted to die knowing that you forgave him. You looked like you were about to too.” G replies. "You're not dead. You knew he was here? G what is going on here?" Zeke's questions come out in a confused rush. "Haven't you worked it out yet? Are you that stupid?" G asks and for the umpteenth time today Zeke's hit with the rush of betrayal. G makes a show of unbuttoning his shirt, under which was a bullet-proof vest. "You know, I really hoped that Tyler would have been the one to do this because I had such high hopes for you getting swept up in a romance and having him be the one to rid you from my life. But this actually feels better. After a decade of watching you make stupid, selfish choices..." Zeke shifts Wyatt's still warm body onto just one arm, swiftly raising the other arm and shooting with precision, the bullet striking G's shoulder and forcing his enemy to drop the gun. G is clearly taken off guard as he stops mid victory speech. He’d assumed Zeke would be distraught and wouldn’t put up any fight after Wyatt was killed in his arms but Zeke appeared to be nothing but enraged. Carefully, Zeke lies Wyatt down on the bed beside where they stood. Even if he was gone, he deserved at least the comfort and respect. “I’ve killed everyone you ever cared about. You can kill me but that won’t bring them back, you’ll never get them back.” G smiles, trying to act like he wasn’t afraid by the cold hatred piercing into him from Zeke's eyes. “You're right, nothing I do to you, will ever make up for the things you’ve done to my family and friends. But that's not going to stop me." Zeke replies, shooting for the other shoulder as G is squatting to pick up his gun. "All I want to know is why didn't you just kill me in the first place. Why go to all of the trouble? Why bring other people into it?" Zeke asks. "You know why I home schooled you? Why I was there for you all those years while your parents were too busy running their companies?" G starts. "Don't you fucking dare tell me you're my dad. This is not a goddamn soap opera." Zeke snaps, while looking at G to find any similarities between them. "If you were, that would have made everything so much easier. I would have gotten the inheritance when your whole family died in a 'tragedy'. As your biological father, it would have been handed to me. But your lucky whore of a mother, was more than happy to dismiss me when she got the paternity results. And wow, aren't you lucky that your parents locked those accounts so you couldn't touch them, because then I needed you alive. I needed your permission for me to access the money." "And you spent it all." Zeke nods, realizing how stupid he'd been. "I set up this place, to find the killer, and their killer signed the checks." "Don't give yourself credit, you didn't have any part in setting this up. This place was here long before you had your emotional plea to me. I just renovated it to suit my own purpose. And figured I could mess with you along the way. The thing about murder, Zeke, is it's a short-lived pleasure. Watching you have every good thing ripped from underneath you, suffer heartbreaks..." G collapses to the floor as Zeke takes out one of his kneecaps with another bullet. "You'll kill me, but it'll never make up for the people that died because of you." G states, trying to hold on to his power. “I win.” "You don't win shit. I want to put a hole in every single bone in your body and watch you live for as long as you can before you bleed to death." Zeke states as he walks over to G, standing above him and trying to decide just how much he could dehumanize himself because he wanted to destroy G. "Oh I do win, I win because I get to die knowing that you've got nothing left to live for. My reward is your misery. Watching you fall for Tyler and lose him once was my reward, watching you do it the second time? That was an honour. In a way, you killed him twice. He's out there living his own life, free of you forever. Lucky bastard." G sighs, seeming to enjoy the pain, welcoming death. It was infuriating to not even have the joy of G's suffering after everything he'd done. "Y-you know." He was starting to get weak already. "T-Tyler was meant to. He was meant to kill you." "Because you were drugging him." Zeke turns back on him, stepping forward and deciding enough minutes had passed for him to be due his next dose of led, to the opposite knee. Completely unable to move, G lies on the floor, finally letting out a pained scream. "But he didn't. Why was that? Why did he disappear on you? Why did he scare you so much that you had to go after him and kill his family just to bring him back into line?" Zeke demands as he crouches beside G and jams the barrel of the gun into the open flesh of his shoulder, causing another agonizing scream. "You underestimated him. And yet, you didn't fucking learn. Is that the real reason you let him train here? Were you hoping to get him back down here to control him again? Or is that why you tortured him for so long? You were hoping he'd just relapse, that you'd crack him and he'd go on a murderous rampage and you could reap the benefits without any responsibility? He's stronger, and he's smarter than you ever gave him credit for." Zeke pulls the gun up and pushes it into the bullet wound in his knee. "You trained him and drugged him and set him up to do your dirty work for you, and instead he fell in love with me, twice." Zeke smiles and with one bullet, he shoots G in the crotch. "It kinda sounds like you're the one that lost." The next bullet in his stomach. "Because all you've proven, is that you're a dickless, gutless, complete and utter failure." The next blast of lead between his ribs so his last breath could be a starved gasp. "Congratulations." He places the gun on G's forehead, ready to end him with a final bullet. "Which eye?" He asks with a smirk, not waiting for an answer, he holds then gun above the left, slowly moving the gun from one to the right and watching G's fear stricken gaze follow the barrel and just as he draws in a breath that sounds final, Zeke stands up and pulls the trigger to end G's worthless life. Zeke exhales heavily, and his hands shake as he steps back from G's body. He drops the gun and backs away until he hits the edge of the bed. He turns around to see the lifeless body of just another victim. Poor Wyatt. Caught up in something he had no control over, and murdered the moment he had hope. “I wish I knew the truth. I wish I could have protected you from this. I hated you, I hated you for betraying me and for breaking my heart when all that time you were suffering, too. And that was all because of me.” Zeke sighs, then lifts Wyatt's now cold hand and touches it to his cheek. “This is my fault. I should have made them wait. If you’d stayed chained to the wall until the drugs wore off. We wouldn’t be here right now. You’d still be alive. You'd be able to hear that I forgive you. And I'd hope to hear you forgive me.” Zeke's voice becomes shaky as he tries not to cry. “I hope you’re at least at peace now. Even after everything that’s happened between us. I hope you could feel how much I still cared about you, in your final moments. And, I forgive you.” The door swings open, and Zeke hears footsteps walking towards him. He doesn’t turn his head to look; there was no fight left in him. He’d done all he had to do, he’d ended G's life. He didn’t care who was right behind him, and whether they had a gun raised to his head or not, all he could think about was the desperation in Wyatt's voice as he begged for forgiveness in his arms. “Zeke? Oh, thank god you’re alive!" Snapped from his self loathing, Zeke turns to face Corey. Just as much anger and frustration filling him. "Oh my god, you killed him." Corey stares at G's body, blood leaking from the many bullet wounds. Zeke pulls the other gun out and paces up to Corey, backing him against the wall with the gun pressed into his cheek. "Tell me everything before I shoot your fucking jaw off. I know you knew more than you said. You always knew more. Did you know about this place?" Zeke demands. "I didn't know about this place. I swear. I followed G down." Corey answers quickly. Zeke lets go of Corey, but keeps his gun pointed at him. "When did you know about Tyler?" "Zeke, I didn't know everything until recently. When I first met him, I realized he was having withdrawals. Not from antidepressants, so I never prescribed him antidepressants. He was coming down with mind alteration medications. He was confused and scared because he had no idea what was going on. Poor kid has been on them for so long he was completely scrambled between reality and what he had been believing was reality." Corey replies with a pitying sigh. "How did you know?" "Flaws in his story and his memory of his health, leading me to suspect there was more going on. I prescribed him a very low dose counter pill just to see if it would help and when it did, it confirmed he had been altered. I didn't know who or why but he was off it, so I knew he was safe. I had no idea G was involved until recently. I swear. I didn't even know he had memories wiped until you guys ran into..." Corey's voice trails off and he looks towards Wyatt on the bed. Zeke steps back, thinking back to how weird Wyatt was towards Tyler the night they had broken into his place on a 'mission'. "He started asking how to tell if memories had been wiped and it clicked. His trauma, his withdrawal symptoms." "The skill in high-pressure situations, his ability to just survive in the most unlikely circumstances. Why no one shot him way back at my place when he just ran to them." Zeke sighs to himself, feeling stupid to have missed it. "The nightmares?" "His brain was so active the entire time I was monitoring him. Most people have only a short period of REM sleep at a predictable time in their sleep cycle, but when I put him in a coma, the activity in his hippocampus was constant. I've never seen such high readings, I'm talking years' worth of memories gone, at least. Then when G was desperate to trigger him enough to prove that Tyler was in the wrong, I started suspecting he knew something he wasn't saying. I have been focusing on G's part in all of this the last few days. The more I looked into it, the more it made sense. All those places you were sent when Tyler was 'missing', looking for all these other guys that you never found? That was G freaking out because he lost Tyler. He knew he was alive somewhere and he was sending you and everyone to regular places from Tyler's past in the hope someone would find him and bring him back to base. Or that he'd attack and you'd kill him out of self-defense. Then you walked in here with him claiming he was under your protection and G was furious because he lost control, he couldn't dose Tyler without anyone finding out about it because a behaviour change would be too obvious for anyone to believe that Tyler was the bad guy so he had to have an excuse to kill him and cover his own tracks before Tyler worked it out and turned him in. 48 hours off the substance and Tyler was neurotic, standoffish and confused but trusting you, he didn't know why but he trusted you on some subconscious level. 72 hours off it and he was really starting to break down. We assumed that was just trauma, but that's exactly why we implant a trauma in someone's memory when we do a wipe, it covers for what the real cause is." Zeke steps away from Corey, frustration causing him to shake all over as he takes it all in. "You bring him back right now. I want to kill him again. I'm not done killing this fucking ASSHOLE! This absolute piece of worthless trash!" Zeke slams his foot again and again into G's skull with unrelenting disgust and hatred. "You fucking lowlife..." Behind him, Corey is gagging at the sight of what's become of his ex-boss's head. "Zeke, stop, please." Corey begs, trying not to look down. "No. This fucker killed my parents for money. All. My. Life. I have wished and hoped and dreamed for the day when I would find the person who killed them, and hear his reason, and I wanted it to mean something. I wanted their deaths to fucking mean something." Flying into a completely overwhelming breakdown, Zeke paces across the room, using his elbow to strike and break a mirror. He takes a shard of glass and makes his way back over to G's body. "Zeke, stop. He's already dead." "Yeah and I wish he wasn't I wish he could be alive while I carve out his organs." Zeke drops to his knees, raising the glass up and jamming it into G's stomach. "Oh, for god's sake." Corey turns away completely. "Fuck you. Fuck you. FUCK YOU!" Zeke continues taking his anger out, stabbing and cutting again and again until he hits something on G's chest that is hard enough to force the glass back up, slicing Zeke's own hand. "FUCK!" Zeke throws the glass to the side and stomps on G's chest, not wanting to leave a single part of him unharmed. He wanted each bone broken, each vein sliced, each cell of his skin bruised. "Idiot." Corey grabs Zeke's wrist to inspect the cut on his hand. "Are you done? That's going to need stitches." He tells him with an unimpressed sigh. "No, actually, I'm not done. This man, all these years. ALL THESE YEARS!" Zeke's eyes fill with vengeful tears. "Can I at least stitch this up and then you can come back and keep turning him into human sludge." Corey gags as he says the words himself. "Jesus Christ, you're a doctor. How are you this bad with blood?" Zeke rolls his eyes at Corey. "Blood isn't my problem, it's when you make a skull flat, that I get a bit." Corey gags again. "Give me your gun." Zeke orders. "How many more bullets does he need?" "It's not for him." Zeke shakes his head and looks from G's body, to Wyatt's, then down at his own blood covered, cable burnt, and glass sliced hands. "I need you to give me your gun, and I need you to leave." Zeke says in a calm tone. "No, I'm not enabling your suicide." "Corey, if you're really my friend..." "I'm not being your friend right now! I'm being your doctor. I get that this is an intense moment and that you're feeling a lot of betrayal, a lot of hurt, but I made a promise to you a long time ago that I would help you through everything. No matter how hard, no matter how hopeless, I promised you I would help and I would always be here for you." Corey tells him, looking pleadingly into Zeke's eyes. "I don't remember that." "You wouldn't it was right before I wiped your memory, the last time you had a breakdown and told me you wanted to die. I promised I'd give you a reason to live when you needed it." "What fucking reason do I have left?" Zeke kicks lazily at G again, just feeling like too many seconds had passed where he'd not attacked him. "You know what, I'm gonna piss on him." Zeke states with a shrug, hands going for his belt. In the moment they are both silent, they become aware of a ticking noise coming from their feet. “Zeke.” Corey says in a panicked tone as he bends down and starts unbuckling the shredded up bullet-proof jacket. Zeke helps him quickly and as soon as it's off, they see a contraption, not strapped to, but imbedded in the skin on G's chest, over his heart with a timer reading 2:31 but ticking down each second. “We need to get out of here.” “Oh fuck him, fuck you all the way to the depths of hell! Fucking take me, I'll tear you apart every day of our afterlives, you pathetic piece of fucking... What the hell is that?” Zeke stops mid rant as a gas starts leaking from the device. “I don’t know, but it can't be good. Run!” Corey grabs Zeke’s wrist, but Zeke hesitates. "He is not worth your death, ok? He wanted you to suffer, so live and show him he failed." Corey orders, looking stressed at the timer on G's chest. "You go." Zeke pulls away from Corey. "Zeke, I'm not leaving without you." "I do not need you to die with me." Zeke turns his back on Corey and watches the timer count down, his heart racing as he watches it hit 2 minutes. It seemed like a long time, a really painfully long time, to stand dramatically above a mutilated body. And as that thought travels through his mind, Zeke turns to Corey who is still standing by him, without a word they both bolt as fast as they can to the lift. Corey hits the top floor button and the doors close, the lift moving painfully slowly as Zeke tries to continue counting down in his head, trying to work out how much time they had left. "Are you ok?" Corey asks. "I'm fine, why?" "You've been shot." Corey steps forward to inspect Zeke's neck. "No, I haven't." Zeke replies. "There's a hole in your neck. You should be dead." Corey blinks, trying to determine whether his eyes were just playing tricks. "Corey, I haven't been shot." Zeke's hands search his neck, suddenly doubting now whether he was alive or not. No bullet wounds. But he does hear a voice, crisp and clear. "Zeke, help me. Don't leave me behind." “Tyler.” Zeke mutters and looks around. “Tyler’s not here, Zeke.” Corey reminds him, his turn to look at Zeke like he was losing his mind. “He must have come back for me.” Zeke looks sadly around the room as soon as the lift doors open, trying to see a glimpse of him. “Zeke, Tyler couldn’t come back! He doesn't remember ever being here. Now come on!” Corey yells and tries to drag Zeke towards the door. “If he’s not here, then why can I hear him crying out for me!?” Zeke shouts, “I won’t leave without him!” “This whole building is going to explode any moment! Tyler is safe, Zeke, you made sure of that! He’s not here, he’s not crying out for you! That gas must be making us hallucinate. You haven't been shot and Tyler’s not here!” Corey assures him, then pulls him towards the door. Accepting that was the most logical explanation, Zeke runs, Corey barely able to keep up with him as they burst out the door. Around the lift was a circle of bodies, and it's the first time since Zeke found the basement that he remembers that the threat was more than one person. They keep running, weaving and jumping over bodies and finally making it to the exit as they feel the ground shake and the shock wave sends them both flying in the air as the building explodes behind them. It takes minutes for the ringing to leave Zeke's ears enough for him to hear Corey's voice. "Are you alive?" Corey asks in a croaky voice, not moving to check. "Yeah." Zeke answers and looks over towards Corey, who was about a metre from him. "Are you?" “I’m alive.” Corey mutters and opens his eyes, turning his head to look back at Zeke. “My whole body just feels bruised.” Zeke sighs in relief and sits up, everything aching. He crawls over to beside Corey, looking at the destroyed building that was charred black and had smoke and flames still coming from it, ash and debris, raining down from the sky above them. “Looks pretty incredible, huh?” Corey says as he lifts himself up to see, his face completely blank of emotion. Corey places a hand on Zeke's shoulder and Zeke silently places his hand on Corey's, relieved that he at least had someone left. "I can’t believe it’s finally all over." "I can't believe you wanted to urinate on a corpse." Corey fakes a smile at Zeke, who just fakes it back. "Reckon there's anything left of him I can piss on? I'll settle for a single finger." "Guess blowing himself up was his last action to ensure that no one would trace the murder back to him. You'd be lucky to find a tooth or a bone that survived that explosion." "Gutless asshole couldn't even be accountable in his death." Zeke lies back down on the ground and stares up into the sky. "Was anyone alive in there? Or did G's men kill everyone?" He asks, finally remembering the storming of armed men that had come in, and all the people he'd trained alongside over the years that would have been in there. "It probably won't surprise you to know, that was staged. Just as he used to drug and control the likes of Tyler and Wyatt, he drugged our own recruits, rubber bullets and following blind orders. The moment you were out of the picture, he shot them all. Thankfully, he was so busy mentally jerking himself off about the whole thing, he didn't actually bother making sure he shot me. He aimed at me and I fell to the floor, but, well, turns out he's a pretty shitty aim." Corey shrugs. "What am I meant to do now?" Zeke asks, the shock of it all setting in. "I've lost everything, I'm jobless, I'm homeless. The last decade of my life has been full of lies." “Well, you haven't lost everything. There’s only one thing left to do now.” Corey shrugs and stands up with a groan at the many parts of him that were in pain. He reaches a hand down to help Zeke up too. “Lets go find Tyler.”
  5. "What’s the occasion?" Ryan asks as Jasper pops a bottle of champagne and pours himself and Ryan a glass.

    "Well, I'm either celebrating, or making a drinking game out of every time I've been referred to as 'controversial'." Jasper answers with a smirk.

    "What have you done now?"

    "I’ve finally made it. I’m finally a proper 21st century celebrity." Jasper grins as he hands Ryan his phone. Ryan reads the headline and gives an amused smile, shaking his head.

    “Honestly, I’m surprised it’s taken you this long to get cancelled and for once I can’t actually think of one good reason,” He states.

    “It’s not a good reason.” Jasper rolls his eyes and takes a seat on Ryan’s lap, tapping his glass and saying ‘cheers’ before taking a sip and giving a satisfied sigh.

    “Why do I have to get dragged into it?"

    "Because apparently you should be rein me in, that's your job as husband, right?" Jasper gives another sigh, a pleased look on his face, not seeming to care at all about the fact his career was apparently over.

    "But that would be a full-time job. I wouldn't even have time for hobbies if I had to keep your smartass mouth from saying the wrong thing all the time. Isn't that Leo's job?" Ryan jokes.

    "Yeah, this is what happens when he takes time off for 'personal problems'. I am his personal problem."

    "We really just can't leave you alone for a moment, can we? So go on then, what are you cancelled for?" Ryan asks.

    7. Cancelled.jpg

    1. chris191070


      Another fascinating snippet, so is this really the end of Jasper's career, or just more trash talking by the media.

  6. As the lift goes down, Zeke closes his eyes and tries desperately to recall the night he'd had wiped. If Tyler had been able to remember things after a wipe, then Zeke was determined he could too. He needed to know whether G was telling the truth about their past. Part of him hoped it wasn't true, because the torture and devastation of losing him a second time right when hope was that close, would be too much. Then again, if they did have a past, that would explain why Zeke had felt so invested from the start. Why the moment he saw Tyler, he had needed to keep him safe. It'd also explain why he felt such a strong pull towards him, even when he knew how inappropriate it was to have a relationship with someone he was protecting. Memories were gone, but the feelings were still there. It also made sense why Zeke had such a moment of Deja Vu when he'd gone back to the shed to find Tyler after Tyler's failed first mission. Why he'd not been able to stop thinking about that night since. If what G said was true, then perhaps that was a trigger for his memories too. So he forces himself into that moment. To remember the fear he'd felt, to remember searching the shed and finding the secret tunnel through to the torture room. And opening the door. Zeke enters the room, his eyes immediately landing on someone that destroys his heart. The last time he'd seen Tyler was at the concert. They had kissed in public. It was a huge moment and then Tyler had said he needed to go to the toilet and Zeke hadn't seen him again. He figured maybe he was ghosted, that maybe the last chance attempt to win Tyler back had failed and Tyler just wasn't interested. He never imagined this. Tyler in chains, hopelessly waiting for death, the relieved smile on his face as Zeke approaches the devastating reality of what he had been warned against. He'd been reckless, thinking he could just have a normal life outside of this depressing job. That he could have just a little piece of happiness in his life. How stupid, and Tyler was paying the price for that stupidity. Sitting in Corey's office, tears flooding his eyes as he hears Corey explaining to him that the person he'd rescued was in hospital, that he is going to make a full recovery but that his memories will have to be erased. "It's for the best Zeke, I know this sucks but the trauma he's been put through is just too much." Corey sits before a teenage Zeke, who was pale and covered in the blood of the guy he loved. "Corey, please! Please make me forget him too. I can't. I can't live with this." Zeke screams through heartbroken tears. "I think that is what is best. But you have to be sure..." "I'm sure. I am sure that I do not want to wake up every day, knowing that he got hurt just to get to me. I'm never going to forgive myself." "Ok. But Zeke, there is something important you need to remember..." The lift shudders as it hits the bottom floor, and Zeke's eyes open. Vigilance kicking in. “Tyler is safe.” He whispers to himself, then opens his eyes and focuses on the door as it opens. Zeke holds his gun up. Though the danger seemed to have just arrived upstairs, he wasn't completely sure he was safe here, either. If it was true that Corey was behind this, then there could be ambushes anywhere. At the very least, having been seen entering the lift, they would surely be following him down in no time. In fact, the moment the lift doors close, he hears it ascending to collect his executioners. Zeke assesses the surrounding danger, hallways empty, no noise from any rooms, so he assumes he's got a few minutes to stop the lift but he's not sure how. He wedges his fingers between the doors and with all his strength; he manages to separate them, though barely enough to achieve anything. With the lift shaft open however, Zeke could hear some of the chaos unfolding upstairs, to his surprise there's no more gunshots, and he gets an eerie feeling that in just minutes of storming the base, anyone who could have been on his side, had been killed. This was just like Tyler had warned, that with all the weapons up on top, they would stand no chance if someone were to break in. Then Zeke notices something else. The lift shaft didn't end at this floor. This may have been the bottom level, but there was something further down, how far down, he couldn't tell because it was pitch black, but with G's final words in his head, Zeke knew he had to get down there somehow. Tucking his gun away, Zeke continues trying to open the doors until it's at least enough to squeeze himself through. Just in time too, because the lift is coming back down. With all but one foot through the doors, Zeke sets his eyes on the cable in the middle of the shaft. This could end badly if he didn't reach it, but the possibility of death had never stopped him following a trail before, and if he didn't take this chance he would end up dead in a few moments, anyway. He had nothing to do but take a leap of faith and hope to be rewarded with some much needed answers. So he pushes off his back foot and throws his arms out, hoping for dear life to catch something. The burning of his palms being ripped open as he's struggling to get a good grip of the cable is a side effect of his victory. As he gets his legs wrapped around the cable at last, his feet reach the ground. Zeke looks up and can see the lift stopped a few feet above him, letting the enemy out at his floor. He didn't feel too safe. Surely they would work out he wasn't down there and come looking to see if he had found out about this place. Zeke's only hope was that Corey would at least face him. He wanted to ask why; he wanted to get an explanation, and he wanted to at least get the chance to aim a bullet at his head for all his lies. Ignoring the agony in his hands, Zeke gets started on forcing his way through the lift doors of this new floor. He couldn't believe he'd been living above here for most of his life, and yet, not known of its existence. To think he was on day one of taking over running the agency, and it had started with mutiny and discovering a whole other floor of the building. Again, he only gets the door open enough to squeeze himself through and the moment he steps foot in the room, lights automatically come on. Blindingly white tiled floors and padded white walls, in a seemingly mirroring set up to the top floor. There was the weapons room, the office and the training room. The only difference was a row of other rooms beside the lifts. Curious as he was about what was in these other rooms, his priority was having a fighting chance at survival, starting with the weapons room. He marches over to it with so much adrenaline, but when he swipes his ID card, it doesn't unlock the door. Barely surprised but frustrated none the less, he continues next to what was the office. Assuming that he may find a card that would get him access. Afterall, if there was one thing Corey always had, it was a way to unlock anything safely in an emergency. In a way, this room though secret, was in an even more vulnerable space than any other, if he'd been discovered and all the agents had stormed down here at once, Zeke wasn't willing to believe Corey would rely on only one method of getting him into all his weapons. The door to the office was locked, but being glass, that wasn't an issue. Zeke uses the handle of his gun to break his way in. For a moment he worries that the shattering of glass may alert the enemy upstairs. He looks up at the ceiling, noticing it too was covered in sound proof padding. How Corey did all of this unnoticed was a question for another time. Zeke enters the office, going straight to the desk to search for a card that he could use. In a drawer, there's a folder marked 'Financial Records'. He'd almost not care only when he throws it on the desk. Some of the paperwork slides out, revealing his parents' names at the top of the account record. Zeke opens the folder curiously, and his eyes scan over the document. 'Dear Trustee, we regret to inform you that the account is being closed due to insufficient funds.' Zeke reads down the withdrawal record which reaches a balance of 0.00. This was his entire inheritance, drained. Zeke folds up the record and stuffs it in his pocket, if he by some miracle, survived this, he'd have to work out what to do about the money he had never had a chance to touch. Zeke returns the folder to the drawer and continues his search, looking for more than an ID now, he wanted all the information he could about what was going on, and he wanted it now. Sure, he'd regret it when a lift full of armed men finally come down, but for now he was more interested in a document that seems to outline and confirm what G had told him about his and Tyler's previous encounters. 'Successful first encounter.' with a date from 3 years ago, beside it. A few days later, 'correspondence achieved.' A week later, 'Room 703 booked, clean-up crew on standby.' The number was familiar to Zeke, and when he closes his eyes and thinks really hard about it, he can see the number in a text. Zeke sends a text with the room number to Tyler, sitting back on the bed and wondering what the hell he was thinking. Would Tyler even turn up? He hoped so, because he'd not been able to get the thought out of his mind, that he might have just met the man of his dreams. And his first attempt to show Tyler that he could be smooth too, was to invite this guy to a hotel room. There's a knock on the door and Zeke's heart races as he reaches the door, opening it and seeing Tyler smile at him. Nervous messy kisses, shaky wandering hands unsurely exploring. Zeke opens his eyes before he gets distracted, as nice as it was, this was not the time for such memories to be unlocked. 'Mission unsuccessful. Commencing back-up plan.' Was listed hours later on the same date. Then there's months, 6 months before the next entry. - 'Betrayal traced, Tyler to be eliminated, mission compromised'. Zeke steps back, trying to process what this meant. Tyler had been involved for years. Not only that, he had betrayed someone? Another month. 'Baited mission, unsuccessful. Tyler showing higher levels of skill than expected. Commence re-training.' For a moment this statement makes Zeke smile, the thought of him being an endlessly unexpected challenge to whoever was behind this operation was a satisfying thought, though he is soon caught up in the words 'commence re-training. Up until now it seemed like the document was following Zeke and that Tyler had betrayed him, but now he was being re-trained for being persistent? 'Tyler missing.' The next statement felt too real and Zeke couldn't help but think about what might have happened with him, Zeke had last seen Tyler unconscious in Corey's office, and knowing what he knew now, he couldn't be sure that Tyler was safe at all. Corey could have done anything, and Zeke had basically given him the right, given him the opportunity. If Tyler died, how would Zeke know? He'd not intended on ever seeing him again and he'd certainly not have asked. For all he knew, Tyler never made it out of Corey's office alive. For all he knew, it wasn't a memory serum he injected, he could have unknowingly murdered Tyler himself. Zeke shakes away the unhelpful thoughts and tries to concentrate. Regardless of what happened to Tyler, he couldn't do anything about it right now. 'Back-up plan successfully underway.' 'Back-up plan failing.' 'Tyler's family found.' And finally, the last entry on the list, the date Zeke found Tyler in a house of massacred loved ones. 'Threat eliminated.' He wished there was another explanation, but the timeline in front of him was connecting the dots that his memory couldn't. Assuming the first encounter was when he and Tyler met, the contact between them, the hotel room, the disappearance, Zeke didn't know what happened but it seemed to fill in the blanks for him, that Tyler was being investigated as a threat. Just when Zeke is busy questioning whether it was Tyler that had been playing him all along, secretly so manipulative that Zeke had just turned a blind eye to every piece of evidence that would support that conclusion, he finds an ID card and flips it over to see the face from his memories, a young Tyler, smiling back at him through the card. He was working here? Against Zeke? Disgusted and infuriated by how deep this betrayal ran, Zeke is right back into thinking about revenge for all of this. He takes the card and goes straight to the weapons room, ready to bring hell upon anyone and everyone that played a part in this. Corey had always been frighteningly detached, but Zeke could never have imagined he was doing all this behind his back. He had plenty of opportunities himself, but his desperation to cover his own back by never being seen as the bad guy, it all made sense. He'd set up a trap and play the good guy while seeing everyone else take the fall for him. Even G, who had tried to warn him, tried to get Tyler away and tried to find out what his truth was. For all the hate Zeke had wasted on G, the one person doing right by him, he seemed to have been made a fool of by those he was defending. Corey and Tyler. It was horrifyingly well played, for Corey to get away with everything, but it was his turn to face what he'd done. Zeke swipes the card at the door for the weapons room and hears the click of the lock, welcoming him in to choose his revenge weapon. Fueled by his emotions, Zeke pushes open the door and steps inside to find there was less in here than he expected. A small cabinet on one wall filled with handguns and silencers, on another wall there's a glass cabinet with unmarked medications, likely to be poisons. These weren't weapons to fight a war, these were weapons to take someone down in close contact. This was personal. Zeke would like to think he could have the satisfaction of shoving all these medications down Corey's throat, but he instead just collects two guns. If Corey came down here alone, he wouldn't need more than a few rounds to empty into his deceitful head anyway. Continuing to try and understand this place and what it was for, he goes into what upstairs was a gym and combat training room. It was set up much the same, just with less equipment. They weren't training an army, they were training individuals. This leads to Zeke exploring the rooms which he assumed were either for storage or offices. He's more surprised than he should be, given everything else he's seen, that these rooms are in fact, abandoned bedrooms. The first three have nothing in them, then fourth one however, looked like it'd been completely ransacked. There were clothes all over the floor, the bedsheet thrown off the bed. Every drawer open and searched through, though Zeke takes his chances to snoop regardless, hoping to find something of use to him. What he finds is such a huge clue to him, but so inconsequential that it was no wonder it hadn't been taken from the scene. The Obsolete concert ticket. This was Tyler's room. This, only a floor under Zeke, was where Tyler was residing 3 years ago? It hurts to think about and for a moment Zeke almost forgets what had led him here until a thud from the next room grabs his attention and makes his blood run cold. G had told him that someone was here. “It’s time.” Zeke whispers to himself as he walks out of the room and approaches the next door, gun raised and ready. It didn’t matter to him anymore. Whether he lived or died made no difference now that he knew his life over the last few years had been a manipulated lie. Half of him was dreading finding Tyler in the room and the other half of him hoping he'd be in here and could explain what the hell was going on. He'd left Corey in charge of relocating him, and it made the most sense for him to be down here, that if he were alive, Corey wouldn't have wanted him far away. Zeke slowly turns the handle on the door and opens it, walking in gun first and his heart racing. There's no one in the room, though it didn't look absent. The bed appeared to be recently slept in, at least. Perhaps this was Corey's room. Zeke had never actually questioned where Corey slept. He was always just grateful that Corey was awake to fix him up every time he had wounds or a mental break-down that needed to be dealt with. He questions for a second whether he imagined the noise from in here, then he walks further into the room. His intention, like with the other rooms, was to look through the drawers and see if there was any evidence of who lived here, or whether it was abandoned. But he doesn't need to. It's just as he reaches the drawers that a door behind him opens and he whirls around, ready to shoot. Looking back at him terrified and weak, is Wyatt.
  7. They are written, not edited and ready to post, I am posting every few days now though. Just need to have the time to make sure I am happy with them, so the ending doesn't feel rushed.
  8. "Do you know what safe house I'll be at?" Tyler asks as he stares at himself in the mirror, wondering what will be left of him when this is all done. If he'll feel differently about things he enjoyed that had nothing to do with Zeke. Whether he'd have a full-blown crisis and dye his hair, change his sense of fashion and become some unrecognizable version of himself. He'd been full of questions, taking this quite well considering his initial objection. Zeke was torn on how to feel about it himself. Tyler was being rational, getting information about it and what to expect for his 'refreshed' life, so Zeke couldn't exactly be anything but rational in his responses too. Still, he was resenting that every passing moment was wasted on talking about the inevitable and not enjoying what they had left. "Do I at least get to pick my own tragic backstory?" "How could you possibly come up with something worse than reality?" Zeke mutters pessimistically. "Well, it's got to explain all the injuries. Maybe I was this homeless drug addict that got into a fight and is ready to turn his life around." Tyler offers. "Your mind genuinely concerns me sometimes." "What? That's got a positive twist to it. When I make it, I'll feel like I've really achieved something." "You've gone through every possible emotional response to this, in the last hour alone." Zeke sighs. He didn't blame him or have anything else to add, more he'd just been thinking out loud. Tyler sighs and gives a shrug. "Honestly, at this point. You do just have to roll with it. I get that there's no way around this, and I respect your reason for wanting to do things this way. I'm just nervous that I'll change completely and behave like someone else. Oh my god, what if this turns me straight!?" Tyler asks with a laugh. "That's. That's absolutely not how any of this works." Zeke couldn't help but laugh too at the ridiculous suggestion. "Thank god for that. That would be the most 'if I can't have you, then no guy can' move though." Tyler's eyes set on Zeke as he takes in his smile, it was somehow more gorgeous than he'd ever noticed before. "I'm trying to give you the life you deserve, not rob you of it." Zeke's eyes meet Tyler's, which had filled with tears. "Tyler..." Zeke's face falls solemn again. "I know it'll end up being one of those things I forget, but at risk of me waking up and feeling like a different person, and not caring about this..." Tyler chews his lip, considering whether this was completely stupid. "Can you be my first, you know." Tyler asks nervously. "You're covered in injuries..." "So be gentle." "You don't want to have that be something you forget." "Actually I heard the first is usually something you want to forget." Tyler tries to play it down then gives a sigh. "I might not remember, but that doesn't mean it will be any less meaningful. I just want for the first person it happens with, to be a good person who cares about me and respects me. How likely am I to find that? To not end up with someone I resent giving myself to? I don't know who I'll be tomorrow, but I know who I am now and I know who cares about me and respects me." Tyler explains, he strongly assumed Zeke would reject him and he might even end up relieved, because he'd have preferred it just happen naturally in the heat of the moment, than be something discussed before a final goodbye. Zeke doesn't reply for a long time and the room settles into uncomfortable and tense silence as Tyler watches Zeke's expressions while he seems to play through pro's and cons. "It can't just be that. You have to be ready. Emotionally, physically. Not just because you feel like it's your one chance." Zeke finally replies and Tyler takes a deep breath, considering it himself, his turn to think it all the way through in every direction he could. "I want this." He finally concludes, with a deep exhale. "Are you sure?" Zeke asks, walking over to Tyler and looking into his eyes, his hands holding Tyler's hips. "It just feels right." Tyler nods. "Ok." Denying how he felt for Tyler, was a lot more difficult when Tyler's hands were nervously resting on Zeke's shoulders. His face flushed a shy pink and his breathing shaky. If his lips had the power to cure an injury, there wouldn't be a single mark left on Tyler's body because Zeke had given an apologetic kiss to each one. He wanted Tyler to feel nothing but worshipped in this moment. There was every chance that he'd meet someone new and fall in love and have a perfectly good relationship after all of this, but at the thought of Tyler just flirting his way home with someone, Zeke wanted to ensure that he was treated properly and with every ounce of affection and love as he deserved this time at least. Love. The word was trapped behind Zeke's lips and if there was one thing he wouldn't dare do, it was letting that word out. This was already too telling. "You can still change your mind." Zeke whispers, not wanting Tyler to feel any less in control just because he was in a vulnerable position. "So can you, you can just keep me locked up down here and tell everyone you sent me away." Tyler smiles, Zeke smiles back and kisses Tyler's cheek, then the nape of neck. "Are you feeling ok, nothing is hurting?" Zeke asks, looking into Tyler's eyes to make sure Tyler isn't lying when he gives a gentle 'no'. "Promise you'll tell me if you want me to stop at any point or if anything is hurting." Zeke moves a little, and Tyler's breath hitches as he anticipates what is about to happen. "Relax." Zeke takes one of Tyler's hands and holds it tight. "I'm ready." Tyler assures him, holding his breath and waiting. As soon as he feels pressure against him, he closes his eyes and slowly breathes out as the pressure fills him. Zeke kisses him softly on the lips, then kisses his frown. "You ok?" He asks. Tyler tilts his head, and a hand reaches behind Zeke's neck, bringing him down for a deeply passionate kiss. As they kiss, Tyler rolls his hips slowly, showing Zeke he's comfortable and ready for him to move. Zeke's fingers glide delicately down Tyler's body to his thigh and he's overcome with just how sweet Tyler's little gasps and soft exhales are as Zeke gently eases Tyler into the rhythm. Tyler's hand loosens it's grip of Zeke's as he calms into the new feeling and soon his breaths are turning to quiet moans which damn near drive Zeke insane as he is trying to resist the urge that was surging through him to speed up. "Faster." Tyler breathes. Zeke picks up his pace, relieved. There's an occasional gasp or frown that shows discomfort, and each time Zeke slows to check that Tyler is still ok, which Tyler is quick to assure that he is. Zeke couldn't help feeling so glad that he wouldn't have to forget this, because he was going through a whole lot of emotions right now. Part of him thinking this beautiful guy deserved to leave all of this behind him, another caught up in trying to work out a way to keep Tyler safe while he investigated his own organization. An organization he brought Tyler to for protection. Tyler gives a gasp as Zeke's frustrations in his head, come through distractedly in his actions. "Sorry." It must have felt right for Tyler, because he was so comfortable beneath him, not holding back on expressing himself and moving along with Zeke. It was bliss to be able to enjoy this together, and it was reassuring to see Tyler letting himself get lost in the moment and loving every second. Zeke had been a little worried Tyler would insist on this then seem forced or pressured, but he didn't seem to want to stop. The world could have been ending around them and Tyler was fairly sure he wouldn't notice because all he could feel was the absolute ecstasy he was writhing in. All too soon Tyler finds himself clinging to Zeke once more, one hand on his shoulder and the other on his thigh, keeping him close, nails digging in and making Zeke hiss before Tyler's hands let go of him for just a moment, one grabbing at his arm now while the other disappeared between their bodies, shamelessly losing himself in the need for release. "Don't stop. Don't stop. Don't stop." Tyler begs as his body shudders, he didn't care if he was done, this wasn't done. He didn't want this to ever be done. He wanted Zeke to use him, to feel as good as he'd just made Tyler feel and that's exactly what happens only a few moments later, with Zeke's head falling to place messy, hot kisses all over Tyler's neck, his thrusts slowing to a stop before he gives a reluctant sigh and falls breathlessly beside Tyler. They seemed to breathe in sync now, coming down from their respective highs. Zeke lays an arm across Tyler's chest, feeling how fast his heart was racing. "You ok?" Zeke asks, watching the pensive way Tyler was staring up at the ceiling. "Yeah. You?" Tyler looks back at Zeke and for a moment everything feels so serious, too serious for this soon after such an intensely intimate moment. Tyler is the first to start laughing, causing Zeke to laugh too at how out of place that felt after what they had just done. As if embarrassed by himself now, Tyler pulls the sheets up over himself and Zeke then starts laughing again. "Now what?" Zeke smiles, watching Tyler trying to regain composure. "I just... imagined me waking up tomorrow, trying to work out what's happened and who I am, and I've got all these injuries, but none of them seem to be linked to why I'm limping. It's not funny. But it also really is." Tyler keeps laughing, tears filling his eyes too though as the realization that he truly didn't want to forget that now that it'd happened, gets the better of him. "Did I hurt you?" Zeke asks, propping himself up on his elbow and looking over Tyler, worried. "No." Tyler shakes his head, crying now. Zeke moves closer and cuddles up to Tyler. "Who do I have to kill, so that I don't have to lose you?" Tyler asks, every bit of him prepared to go on a homicidal riot to spend the rest of his life in Zeke's arms. "God, if I knew..." Zeke's words trail off, he felt the same, he felt almost sorry for the person who would have to pay for all he was saying goodbye to. For the first time, he was genuinely afraid of what he'd do when he finally got to face the person who had taken everyone he loved from him, be it his parents, or his lover. As soon as Tyler was safe, as soon as Zeke had a name with no doubt beside it, there would be hell to pay. Tyler sits on the bed in Corey's room looking at his hands and sitting in silence, trying not to make a noise as he cries. He'd been trying to be brave about this, and he wasn't quite ready to accept they were truly going through with this. Every time things had seemed hopeless, they had found a way around it. They had taken a risk and made it work, why couldn't this time be the same? Why was this so final? Zeke sits beside him with a needle in his hand. “I really don’t want to do this.” Tyler tells Zeke as he tries to hold himself together. “Z...” “I don’t want to do this to you either.” Zeke gulps back his own tears, he was quickly crumbling, holding the needle that was about to take Tyler’s memories away from him and listening to Tyler beg him not to. He felt like he was holding a needle that would be the death of Tyler, and in some ways it was. It was the death of this version of himself. The death of who he'd become while Zeke had known him, from the broken, scared guy, to the badass that evaded death and beat the odds stacked against him. “Is there any chance it won’t work?” Tyler asks, and lets out a loud sob as Zeke shakes his head. “So it’s really happening? I’m really about to lose you.” Tyler’s tears were falling rapidly now. Zeke hugs Tyler tight and tries desperately not to break the syringe in his hands, mentally reminding himself this was what was best for Tyler, that this was necessary. “Make sure you come and find me when this is all over. I’m sure I’ll fall in love with you again if you give me the chance.” Tyler tries to smile at Zeke but fails miserably. Zeke just looks away, a tear running down his cheek. tyler last shred of hope slipping away at the sight of Zeke's tears. “Why not?” “It’d hurt too much to have you look right through me.” “I love you. Remember that. One of us has to.” Tyler states with a pained sigh. Zeke couldn’t take it anymore. He kisses Tyler hard, as passionately as he possibly could. Ignoring their tears, they savour what would be their last kiss, a kiss Tyler would never remember and one Zeke would never forget. Zeke could feel that Tyler was distracted enough that Zeke could insert the needle into Tyler's thigh. Shocked, Tyler breaks the kiss, but Zeke collects his lips again as he empties the serum into Tyler's muscle. Once the syringe was empty, Zeke pulls it out and throws it across the room, holding Tyler tight as they kiss. Tyler’s lips suddenly stop kissing back, and Zeke feels Tyler’s body become limp in his arms. Zeke carefully lowers him against the bed and looks at his peaceful face. He lifts a hand and strokes Tyler’s cheek, wiping away the tears before letting his own flow. “I'm so sorry I couldn’t keep you safe with me.” Zeke whispers and kisses Tyler’s lips again, then stands up weakly and takes a few deep breaths, willing himself to walk away, there was nothing else he could do now, it was too late to change his mind. Either way, Tyler wouldn't know him when he woke up. He retrieves the syringe from the floor and puts it back on the desk, then walks over to the door and opens it to see Corey waiting outside for him. “You can take him now.” Zeke tells him, then looks up at the ceiling to keep his eyes from welling with tears. “Have you talked to him since you gave him the needle?” “I said goodbye.” “Go back in and talk to him. There's a few minutes where he'll be able to hear you and fold away some things into his dreams, just because he has to forget, doesn't mean nothing can stay in his subconscious.” Corey gives him a sympathetic smile. “There is something I should tell him.” Zeke replies, walking into the room again. He closes the door and looks at Tyler, passed out on the bed. “Corey tells me I should talk to you, give you something good to dream about. You’re forgetting me as I speak but I’ll never forget you.” Zeke takes a deep breath and goes back over to the bed and looking down at Tyler. His heart filling with regret and rage at what he'd been forced to do. “I don’t know what to tell you, but Corey thinks I should talk to you. He reckons you'll be able to dream some of these things. I hope you dream of yourself standing up to people and proving them wrong about you. I hope you continue to do that with whatever you end up doing in the future. Don't ever let anyone tell you what you're capable of.” Zeke pauses. "I'm torn about whether I'll see you again, you did ask and I said no because you’ll look straight into my eyes and ask me who I am. I think that’d break my heart, what’s left of it, anyway. But I miss your voice already, I'm going to miss you calling me 'Z'. God." Zeke shakes his head and looks away from him as he finds the strength to say what he's been putting off. "When I got back, one thing I really wanted to do was tell you I'm falling in love with you. I figured it wasn't worth saying, considering it wouldn't change this, but...” Zeke sighs. “I tried not to, but I did fall for you Tyler.” He finally admits then with his heart well and truly breaking apart, he pulls himself away from Tyler and goes to the door. “Did you give him some good things to dream about?” Corey asks. “Please take him away now. I’m just torturing myself having him still here.” Zeke shakes his head and walks off, not looking back. He didn't have it in him to drag this out any longer now. It was done, time to let go and accept it. "What are you doing here?" Zeke asks as he approaches his room, only to find G standing out the front. "I've been needing to talk to you about Tyler, it's important..." G answers. "With respect G, I'm not in the mood." Zeke replies, opening his door and walking into his room, shutting the door immediately behind himself and locking it. Whatever it was, it'd have to wait. He had an important meeting with an emotional breakdown that he'd been refusing to face for over a decade, that had finally received the final nail in the coffin. Sinking into the bed, Zeke lets himself mourn all the things in his life that he'd just tried to push through. Years of trauma, of disappointments and frustration, and losing every good thing that he ever came in contact with. It was miserable to be defeated, to constantly feel like he was never doing enough, and he dreaded the thought of being trapped any longer. Now was the hard part, keeping his enemies close, and trying to work out who it was for that matter. More importantly, getting conclusive evidence before it came back on him. But all of that, was tomorrow's problem. Because today had been more than enough. Zeke finds the iPad Tyler had been given. Knowing he'd have to clear everything in it, but wanting to enjoy an adventure into what Tyler was getting up to when he wasn't around, Zeke allows himself to go through it. There's the stupid list of questions from the conversation Zeke avoided like it would be the end of the world. Nudes that Zeke couldn't even open now because it felt wrong to look at naked photos of someone who didn't know he existed, anymore. A whole fanboy-ish folder of songs, music videos, and photos of the boy band he'd mentioned a few times. One single video on there that was titled 'The concert with the kiss' that Zeke is interested enough to open and is surprised to find he recognizes that band after all, in fact he couldn't remember where he'd seen this but he was fairly sure he had seen it at some point. It was weird that Tyler hadn't downloaded any other videos except that one, especially because all of the photos he had were of one of the members that wasn't the main focus of the video. Continuing to snoop, he finds an internet history that went from 'porn', to 'shirtless photos of Blake' to 'local murders' to 'how do you know if someone likes you' and back to 'porn'. Apparently he'd been very bored in all the time he was left alone down here. Remembering only hours ago when Tyler had been unraveling in his bed, Zeke couldn't help wishing he'd not held back on his feelings for so long, there could have been so much more between them. Then again, this would hurt so much more too. He clears everything to factory settings, feeling in a way like this was the second time he'd erased Tyler and wishing he could clear himself to factory settings too, live on without having the remember what he'd lost. Today, it was back to life as usual, to showing his face and playing the perfect boss. He'd demanded a complete shutdown of all operations within the company, preparing to reset things when he was ready. Everyone was contained, waiting for orders and unknowingly under investigation. He had his suspicions, of course, but he'd given himself a week between Tyler leaving and him starting to seriously look into people who worked for him. He didn't want his emotions to cloud his judgement and for him to overlook anything. "G. How's your face?" Zeke asks from the other side of the desk, as usual. Finally, the roles reversed as G takes a seat opposite him. "I'm not complaining, I deserved it, and worse. I heard you sent Tyler away. I'm really sorry." Zeke stares at him, surprised he had that audacity to bring this us. "I'm sure you are." "It's got to be hard, saying goodbye, again." G states casually. "What do you mean, again?" "Tyler. This isn't the first time you two have been through this." G tilts his head as he regards Zeke. "Did Corey not tell you? I thought he would have. Tyler's dreams were a result of triggered memories. Memories with you from when you two first met a few years ago." "We met when his parents died." Zeke corrects. "Why do you think you begged Corey to wipe your memories the night of your first proper mission?" "No, because that person, they died..." "Who told you that?" G asks with a pitying expression. "Zeke. Come on, use your head. Of course, after the trauma of that night, he had to have his memory of you wiped too, he was messed up. The story about his ex killing himself, did you ever ask what his name was? You know that the most successful memory wipes are accompanied with a devastating reason why someone may choose to shut out memories. He was told about his ex, and never questioned it. You were told the victim from the shed died and you didn't question it. I guess you could say, it worked perfectly for you two. I don't know what triggered Tyler, but I'm sure if Corey had told you, there would have been a way..." "No." Zeke shakes his head, not wanting to believe that he could have been that close and yet not realized the truth staring him in the face. "I knew you were seeing someone. I just didn't know who, until I went through your file in Corey's office. Corey knew, Zeke. I thought at the very least, he would have told you before you chose to have Tyler's memory wiped. Especially because from the EEG, it seemed that Tyler was having frequent memory relapses. With a single memory wipe, it's possible to recover what's lost, but with two, well he barely remembers what he's forgotten this time." G sighs, and before Zeke can fully take in what he's hearing, a gunshot rings out in the building. G flinches and gets up from his seat, pulling a gun from his pocket. Another shot rings out and a moment later, a group of people in full body armour come out of the weapons room. "Holy shit." "Zeke, do you have any weapons on you?" G asks, ducking out of view of the windows. Zeke checks his gun. The barrel contained only 3 bullets, nowhere near enough for this fight and he allows himself only a moment to resent that he'd somehow gotten this so wrong, that he'd doubted an outside threat enough to not start with ensuring everyone was secure inside. "Zeke, we need to get downstairs." G orders. "Why? There's nothing downstairs." "Well, I don't like our chances up here. At least downstairs we will have locked rooms and can buy ourselves time to come up with something. We have to move fast are you ready to run." G asks. Zeke looks out the door towards the lifts and gulps, he'd never make it there alive, but with 3 bullets, he wouldn't make it out alive up here either. "Are you coming?" Zeke asks. "I've been taking care of you for so long, as if I'd abandoned you now. You really don't trust me? I've got your back, Zeke. Now RUN!" G orders and opens the door. Zeke takes a deep breath and gives G a nervous, trusting nod before he legs it out the door. G, right behind him. Gunshots ring out, some in Zeke's direction, others from G. Bodies hit the floor as Zeke gets to the lifts, pressing the button. He turns to see Corey exiting his office, holding a gun. Corey's eyes fall on Zeke and G, and to Zeke's horror, he aims their way. "Get in." Zeke shouts as the lift doors open and just as G is about to reach it too a bullet hits him in the back, then another and another. "Th-there's another room. Find him. Before it's too..." G coughs and with the life leaving his eyes and the doors closing between them, Zeke stumbles back in the lift, bracing himself against the shock that was taking over his body. Corey had betrayed him. The last person Zeke was willing to truly believe could turn on him, and G had met his fate protecting Zeke. Just like he always promised he would. Zeke had been wrong. Completely alone, shots ringing out on the floor above him, no power over what is coming for him and an empty, shattered sense of dread and anguish plaguing him, he descends down to nothing.
  9. Me: -reading your comments, knowing what is about to go down-
  10. “God no. I’m so deprived of adult interaction. As much as I love this kid, I miss just being me. I miss having hobbies that I have time for, I miss planning shows and being flirty in interviews. I even miss the scandals and the drama of the media. I know it probably sounds dumb, but that was stuff that was fun and made me feel good. I want to get some of that back, you know.” Jasper sighs as he stirs his tea.

    “Ok, next time Ryan has a night off, you leave him at home to play house and I’m taking you to a party.”

    “Yeah, but when he has a night off, I should spend that time with him. It feels like I haven’t seen my own husband in months.”  

    "A whole night? Doing what?"

    "You heard me say it's been months, right?"

    "Yeah, so it'll take 5 minutes then you'll be arguing about dinner and dishes, watching TV and going to bed at 8pm like the old married couple you are."

    “That is so depressingly true. Oh my god, see what I mean? I’ve become boring. Save me Leo, I’m turning so domestic. This is supposed to be my prime! I’m a fucking internationally recognized celebrity and I’m just sitting at home scrolling TikTok and drinking tea on a Saturday night!” Jasper looks down at his pyjamas like he’s disgusted in himself. “I need to get out. I’m going for a shower. You find me a babysitter and a social event, now. This drought ends tonight!” Jasper delegates, getting up from the couch, finishing off his tea then heading off to the bathroom, ready to transform himself from a lonely stay at-home parent, back to a scandalous pop star with the night at his disposal.

    5. Text scandal.jpg

    1. chris191070


      Trouble in paradise it seems or just the media gossiping.

    2. Littlelovestories


      Pft, the media has never been known to gossip about people. ;) 

  11. The warmth of a body against his, the rise and fall of his head against a chest and the gently stroke of fingertips up his back brings Tyler out of the first peaceful sleep he's had in weeks. He opens his eyes slowly to meet the sweet, fond smile on Zeke's lips. “Good morning.” Zeke says softly. “Morning.” Tyler mumbles and lies his head back against Zeke’s chest. He wanted to keep resting. He had no idea how long he'd been sleeping for, but he needed more sleep. No more torture, please. Tell me they’ve found Zeke, and I’m free to go now. Tyler thinks to himself, enjoying the feeling of fingers playing with his hair as he relaxes, allowing himself to drift back into his... Tyler’s eyes open quickly and he looks up at Zeke who smiles at him. “Z!” Tyler gasps, he couldn't quite believe this was real and expected at any moment he'd be torn back to reality. "Tyler." Zeke smirks. "Am I awake?" Tyler asks, though he doesn't wait for an answer. By this point he was fairly sure he'd be able to tell the difference between Zeke's lips against his in a dream, and what that felt like in reality so he shifts his body completely on top of Zeke's, crushing their lips together in a needy, desperate kiss. Zeke complies, his hand slipping behind Tyler’s neck and holding him tenderly as he enjoys the taste of Tyler's lips again at last. It was certainly not a dream, dreams didn't kiss back like this. It was hard to tell who was leading, who needed it more and they both allow themselves to get swept up in the kiss. One of Zeke's hands was still caressing Tyler's neck, the other running down his back until he feels a graze mark and breaks the kiss, remembering just how many injuries Tyler was sporting. Ignorant to his own state, Tyler quickly collects his lips again, suffocating Zeke under his passionate kiss. Zeke smiles against his lips but moves his hand from behind Tyler's neck, to his cheek as he breaks the kiss again. "Ok, ok. I missed you too, but calm down before one of us gets hurt." Zeke laughs as Tyler starts grinding against him. Tyler stops and looks into Zeke's eyes, a thousand questions racing through his mind, as he's suddenly aware of the pain in his body. Tyler reaches behind himself and tries to touch his back, but Zeke grabs his wrist to stop him. “What happened to you?” Tyler asks and eyes Zeke, only now taking note of just how perfectly fine he was in comparison. He'd expected that Zeke would have been somewhere being tortured, too. He never hoped Zeke was being hurt somewhere, but he did hope he was at least missing for good reason. "I'm so sorry about what they did to you. I should have known better." Zeke sighs and strokes the confused line on Tyler's brow. “I’m so glad you’re back. I don’t know how much longer I was going to last up there.” Tears fill Tyler's eyes, thankful and relieved to have the safety of Zeke being home. Though it finally allows him to face the true trauma of what he'd gone through and how afraid he'd been. He didn't have to hold it together or act strong, he got to just lie against Zeke and feel the protection of his body. “How did I even get down here?" Tyler asks, resting his head against Zeke's shoulder again, both of Zeke's arms delicately wrapped around him. “I found you." "Oh, no. I can't believe you saw me like that. I would have been a disgusting mess." Tyler states, embarrassed. Zeke lifts Tyler's chin and looks deeply into his eyes. "It wasn't you I was disgusted with, only seeing what they had done to you." Zeke answers with a gentle smile. "You must be hungry. You haven't eaten in a few days. What can I get you?" Zeke asks. "Nothing. I'm fine." Tyler moves off Zeke and goes to get up from the bed. "No, you stay there." Zeke orders. "Let me take care of you today." "Thank you." Tyler sighs, pulling the blankets up over himself, covering his body as though it would make a difference to what Zeke had already seen of him. Zeke fakes a smile at him, heading into the kitchen to get himself a coffee. "Are you going to be comfortable with Corey coming and assessing you now that you're awake?" Zeke asks as he returns in the doorway and leans against it with his arms crossed. Tyler hesitates, not sure how to answer, he was not sure he could go from all the horror of the black room, to just relaxing and allowing Corey to go back to being just the doctor. “I’m not going to be mad at you if you say you don’t forgive him. I’m yet to forgive him for what he did to you too, I don’t expect you to.” "I don't feel like forgiving anyone right now, I don't think I'll forgive G ever." “Corey tells me you got yourself beaten up because you kept insulting him.” Zeke smiles. "I meant every word. I don't regret a single thing I said to that asshole. I don't even want see his face ever again." "But then how will you admire my fist work?" Zeke gives a cheeky smile, pleased with himself. “You hit him?” Tyler asks, his mood lightening at the thought. “He did a lot worse to you. All I did to G was give him a blooded nose and make him crawl out of here on his hands and knees. It was more consideration than he deserved but I'm trying not to burn that bridge too early." Zeke sighs. "Ok, that I would have paid to see." Tyler laughs. Zeke is relieved to see Tyler smiling, though it's short lived. "I don't want to see Corey. Can't you do it? You said you'd take care of me today." Tyler asks with a purposeful pout. “I don't see why not." Zeke smiles as he walks over to the bed with his fresh cup of coffee. He stares at Tyler like he's trying to memorize every detail of his face, then takes out his pager, sending a message to Corey asking for the supplies he'd need. Tyler's eyes fall on the scar on Zeke's neck and he moves closer, running his finger over the scar. "What happened to the tracker?" He asks. Zeke sighs and places his hand over Tyler's. "I got impulsively tired of being tracked and I removed it myself." "Were you just out there hoping to die? Because removing your tracker would mean that no one here could find you if something bad happened. I thought it was just as much a safety thing as it was a form of communication and..." "Ownership?" Zeke looks beside himself at Tyler again. "I told you before I left, I am over this whole lifestyle. I wanted to feel freedom and I did, at your detriment." His eyes again watch Tyler with curious sadness. "It's not your fault that G is too stubborn to listen to logic." "I left you here. That was my fault. I am so sorry that I was away for so long." "Are we going to talk about what happened and why you were away for so long?" Tyler asks. "Do you want to talk about being tortured?" Zeke asks. He and Tyler just look at each other, neither wanting to speak at all, such was the constant issue between them. "Not exactly. Although, I did have a dream that we were hooking up in a hotel room. We can talk about that." Tyler suggests, wanting to focus on something positive. "Chained up and tortured and you're dreaming about us making out?" Zeke laughs at the thought. "I didn't say 'making out' I said 'hooking up' there's a difference." Tyler corrects him with a wink. Zeke opens his mouth, about to reply, though he's not sure what he is going to say, when there's a knock at the door. "That will be Corey. I'll be right back." Zeke gets up from the bed and goes to the door. There's a brief conversation before Zeke returns with the medical trolley. A folder on the side of the trolley has Tyler's name on it along with a list of questions that Zeke quickly gets into. The questions start with the expected questions about Tyler's physical health, pain and symptoms he might be experiencing. Then the questions get darker, moving into his mental and emotional health after the trauma of the last few weeks. Though Tyler's answers for the most part came across as though he was unphased about the whole ordeal, putting it behind him and focusing on the relief of Zeke's safety, Zeke didn't truly believe Tyler could just switch off like that. Still, he doesn't press the questions further, not wanting to cause more stress and pain considering if anything, these questions only served as an insight into how he managed trauma. No one could believably go from begging for death to completely fine, but all too soon it wouldn't really matter. Finally, Zeke puts the folder down and starts setting up a dressing pack, following a step by step instruction list Corey had also given him while Tyler watches him. Tending to Tyler's wounds, was therapeutic for Zeke, who got to feel like he was righting a wrong. It was his fault that this had been done to Tyler, so he was glad to be part of the healing process. He could hate himself for each bruise, each needle mark and each scar, while affectionately cleansing each one. "So, other than the dreams about us hooking up, have you still been having nightmares?" Zeke asks as he ever so delicately applies antiseptic to the lacerations on Tyler's upper arms. Tyler frowns as he tries to remember, a rush of anxiety hitting him as he thinks about it. He'd felt so strongly, like he had to tell Zeke about something but upon waking up, he had no recollection of what he'd been dreaming about that frightened him so much. He knew he was scared, he knew something was wrong, but he had no idea what it was. "I don't know. I did still have some nightmares but you know what dreams are like." Tyler shrugs it off. "Yet, you remember the hotel one?" Zeke smirks. "Mm, because that was a good dream. My head's been a mess lately, I don't know what is going on. I also had some weird dream about a coffee shop? I don't know, I've given up trying to understand my thoughts." "Thanks for reminding me I had coffee." Zeke moves around the bed to get his drink while Tyler watches him with a smile. He puts his drink down and returns to the trolley, packing it all up and wheeling it back to the door, where again there is a conversation. Tyler's heart sinks as he waits for Zeke to get back, he couldn't put his finger on what it was, but he could tell there was something Zeke wasn't telling him. As much as he could tell Zeke was caring about him, he also felt reluctance and it sucked. It sucked so much because they had finally gotten past this stage with each other so to be back to shallow communication and avoiding important conversations was such a devastating step back and he didn't want to waste any time in this stage if they could avoid it. "Something seems wrong." He states as soon as Zeke returns to him. He expected Zeke would deflect, give him some bullshit answer about not being able to tell him and that would be the end of the conversation. "You aren't staying here anymore. The situation changed and after what happened, I can't risk anything else being done to you." Zeke admits to Tyler's surprise. Not sure if he's more shocked that Zeke for once just gave him an honest answer right away, or at what that answer was. "Guessing I don't get a choice." Tyler chews his lip and looks up at the ceiling for a few long moments, then closes his eyes and sighs, the gravity of the information crushing him. "When?" He asks, defeated. "Well, your wounds need to be checked out and given the all clear from Corey first..." "I don't suppose I'll be granted the trust to leave with my memory." Tyler turns and looks pleadingly into Zeke's eyes, leaving Zeke to be the one forced to look away this time. "Great. Should have stayed away a little longer and just let G kill me then." He scoffs. "Tyler, if there was another way I could be sure..." "Don't bother. It doesn't matter. Get it over with, if you have to wipe my memory then hurry up and do it. I don't want to waste any time making memories I won't keep, anyway." Tyler states as he gets up from the bed, almost falling immediately as his weak legs can't support his weight after weeks of not having to. "Please don't be like this. We knew from the start that it would end like this." "Did we?" Tyler turns on him with frustration and sadness in his eyes. "I have had no choice in any part of any of this whole ordeal. All of this has been your choice and your plans, and I've just had to go with it. Screw the dreams I've been having, this is the real fucking nightmare and I cannot wait to forget it and you, so go and get Corey." Tyler shouts, understandably shattered by the news. He wanted to be angry but his tears betray him and show the pain he's truly feeling at the thought. Zeke walks over to him, wrapping his arms around Tyler and hugging him tight, ignoring Tyler's hopeless attempt to shrug him off before he gives in and clenches a fistful of Zeke's shirt. He'd just gotten him back, and now he'd have to forget Zeke even existed. "I am so sorry. I really am. This is not what I had hoped for but it's not safe for you here." "You said it wasn't safe for me out there either! That's why I'm here in the first place." Tyler argues. "I know. But then I left you here and you got hurt..." "Hurt, yeah, but not dead. Out there the threat was death." Tyler looks into Zeke's eyes, trying to understand what had happened to change so much, then a horrible feeling sets in. The silence, the way Zeke looks back at him like he doesn't need to give him an answer. "Ok you're scaring me. Is the threat not out there?" "I don't want to say too much and risk being right. But there's just too much that doesn't add up, and everything does lead me right back here. I just have to play my cards right to find out the truth without anyone here finding out I'm looking into them. I don't know how long it will take me and I'm not going to be able to focus, if you're here because the last thing I want is for me to slip up and for you to suffer because of it. I need to know that if something goes wrong and I'm not able to protect you, you're not going to be the victim of more of this suspicion and questioning." Zeke explains. Tyler stares at him absolutely stunned over what he was hearing. "Zeke, if you're going to wipe my memory, then you might as well tell me what you know." Tyler suggests, lowering his voice as though he thinks someone could be listening in. "They tortured you when it was clear you knew nothing. If they had even the slightest reason to doubt, I don't want to even think about what might happen to you. Please, I know I've said this a thousand times, but, trust me. This is for your own good." Zeke expected an argument or some kind of push back, but instead Tyler just sighs and leans into Zeke again, resting his head on Zeke's shoulder and cherishing the feeling of Zeke's strong arms around him. "I realize it doesn't change the outcome, but do you really wish there was another way?" Tyler asks after a long silence. "I really don't want to say goodbye to you, but I can live with it, more than I could live with you dying." "Why?" Tyler stares into Zeke's eyes, seeing the hesitation in them. "Come on, this it your one chance to say it." Tyler shrugs and waits but still, Zeke doesn't speak. Tyler sighs and steps back out of Zeke's arms. "For what it's worth, I don't want you to do it because before you disappeared, I felt like we finally got somewhere. You stopped being afraid of feeling something for someone, and I feel like I only got to see that side of you for such a short amount of time. You had the sexy, mysterious thing going for you and that was all well and good, but when you kissed me and didn't care, that was the guy I've been dreaming about. I wanted to spend more time actually knowing you as a person, not just this emotionless machine on an endless mission to prove himself to someone. That's why I don't want to say goodbye, that's my excuse." Tyler tells him bluntly, wishing he could inspire Zeke to just tell him how he really felt. Zeke was struggling to look at him now, Tyler shakes his head, disappointed by the lack of response. It really felt like they were back to where they started, with Zeke keeping him at distance. "Can we spend more time together? Or does this have to happen right away?" Tyler asks. "Like I said, Corey has to give the all clear on the wounds." Zeke turns away from Tyler. "Well, he's not going to clear this one." Tyler states and Zeke turns back to find Tyler starting to rip the scab off one of the scars on his arm. Tyler's turn to be back to his old bad habits. "Don't do that, you psycho!" Zeke rushes to grab his wrist and pull his hand away before he can re-open the healing wound. "I don't want to go!" Tyler snaps. "Fuck, you take things to the extreme. Has anyone ever told you that? It's not like this is the end of you, you're getting a refresh. Start all over again. You know how many people dream of that? To just take away all the worst parts of their life and start over? You get that, and you get to do that right at the start of the best years of your life. You can go to college, you could get a career, you can hook-up with people in hotel rooms instead of just dreaming about it while you're stuck here. You get to start all over again and do whatever you want with your life. Why would you want to stay here a minute longer than you need to? I sure as hell wouldn't." "Weren't you listening, what I want is you. I may be able to accept that I can't have this forever, but to forget completely? That's so unfair!" "We were never a thing and you shouldn't have gotten attached to me." "You know I see right through your jerky comments, right? You've tried that on me before, try to make me choose the option you think is better for me, by making yourself seem like the wrong choice. I know you're the wrong fucking choice. You don't have to convince me. But to say we were never a thing? Sorry, who are you trying to convince? We might not have ever put a label on it, but I literally woke up with you in my bed caressing me, that's not not a thing. That's very much a thing." Tyler argues, not about to take this lightly. He'd go down kicking and screaming. He'd suffered a lot, yes. But he'd grown, he'd found strength in himself he didn't know he was capable of, and he'd not intended on complicating any of this with feelings but he couldn't deny what had been building between them. "Me! That's who I am trying to convince! Ok? I shouldn't have gotten attached. I shouldn't have let this happen. It's like you said, I stopped being afraid of feeling something for someone and look what it got me." Zeke gestures at Tyler. "You're the lucky one, you get to be the one that forgets!" He snaps, and Tyler softens his own mood straight away. Feeling pity, he places a hand on Zeke's cheek and gazes into his lonely eyes, feeling awful as it occurs to him how much this would hurt Zeke too, and that Zeke had lost more than a few people he'd cared about in his life. Without another word from either of them, Tyler presses his lips gently to Zeke's. Part of him expected Zeke would break it, part of him expected he would be the one to pull back. But with all that they were about to lose, neither of them wanted to let this moment end. Zeke's arms circle around Tyler, holding him protectively close. His tongue sweeps Tyler's lips and Tyler lets him deepen the kiss, getting lost in the feeling while he could. The desperation flowing between them as they wished for more time, painfully aware that each second was fading before them. When their lips finally part, they don't move, just lean into each other's embrace, wanting to cherish that they at least had this, even if Tyler would soon be forced to forget and Zeke would have to spend the rest of his life aching at the thought of all Tyler went through because of him, and how even the good times between them were tainted with heartache and devastation.
  12. “Where are you?” Ryan asks as he walks into the bedroom. The bathroom door opens and a leg in black fishnets curls around the doorframe seductively. “Oh, dear god no.” Ryan laughs. 

    “Come on babe~ we’re gonna paint the town~ Jasper steps into the doorway, placing his hands on his hips and showing that he’s completely naked, other than the fishnets and garter. The whole look completely throwing Ryan. “And all that jazz~” Jasper says with dramatic jazz hands as he makes his way to Ryan. “I’m gonna rouge my knees and roll my stockings down~” Jasper places his hands on Ryan’s chest and slides down until he’s on his knees with his hands holding the top of Ryan’s pants. "And all that jazz~"

    “This is not, at all, what I expected to come home to. Where in hell did you get a garter from and why? I mean I know why, but... Why?” Ryan is trying to stifle a confused laugh. Jasper stands up and turns around to check himself out in the mirror, giving Ryan a spectacular view, too. 

    “I’m not sure it’s my thing, but I’m being an enthusiastic supporter of your career. Also, I’ve been binging Drag Race since I’m the stay at home dad right now.” Jasper chews his lip thoughtfully and turns back to Ryan, who is just eyeing him with an amused and affectionate smile. “And maybe I’m feeling a little insecure since we’ve been too busy for intimacy and you’re off with these sexy dancers all the time and you’re coming home to me, low effort and smelling like baby. I felt like the relationship might benefit from a bold move.” Jasper adds.

    "I don't think you can call yourself insecure when you're wearing nothing but fishnets." Ryan replies, standing up and plucking at the garter strap. "You are ridiculous, and I love you. I sincerely hope you do this for every musical I get cast in."

    "Challenge accepted." 

    4. Ryan's casting.jpg

    1. chris191070


      Oh, this sounds brilliant. I can't wait for the new story.

  13. Zeke leans against the lift and presses the button for the floor his room was on, he’d been dreaming of his bed and finally he could lie in it once more. The whole trip home, he'd considered just going to his own room to clean up and sleep and then going to Tyler in the morning, but as much as he wanted sleep, he also wanted more than anything to just see Tyler again. He expected of course, that Tyler would be excited and happy to see him back, he’d probably throw himself at Zeke and hug him, talking about how much he’d missed him and ask what happened, possibly be mad that Zeke was gone so long. In fact he'd likely lead with being mad. Zeke closes his eyes and thinks about how much he missed the way Tyler's lips felt against his, the way he called him ‘Z’. Even missed the moody questioning sessions. Being away from Tyler for so long had made Zeke fall even deeper for him and he wanted nothing more than to waste time showing him this. The lift doors open and Zeke walks out almost like a zombie over to his own room, needing at least a shower and to refresh before going to Tyler. Surely he'd be forgiven for that much. He knew Tyler would want to know as soon as he was back, but it was the middle of the night and an extra half hour wouldn't kill him. With any luck, he'd be asleep, anyway. It was blissful to stand under the warm jets of water and wash away the last few weeks. As he showers, he grazes his fingers over the scar from the tracking device. The wound was almost completely healed. It'd been a weird fortnight, one that had not ended with a final battle, but with a complete failure to find any evidence to point him toward any enemy. It was a failure that Zeke was in some ways relieved by, yet in other ways it felt like he'd been on a track, that never actually existed. There was no way everything was just going to end quietly, so for him to be out, practically making himself a sitting duck for an attack, and not see a single hint that he was in danger of being attacked or even followed, was so anti-climactic given his life for the last 15 years had been solely about something that amounted to nothing. Still, he was ready to leave this all behind and run away for a normal life. He couldn't wait to make the escape plan with Tyler. With that thought in mind, he turns off the shower and dries himself, gets dressed and eagerly heads out to Tyler's room. There were no signs at all that they would be in danger out in the real world, so Zeke was ready to take the leap. The whole time he'd been out, not letting anyone track him, he'd been seeing where he and Tyler could go, organizing transport and accommodation. Zeke had scoped out a town only a few hours away that seemed small and peaceful, a nice place to settle in for a normal life. All he had to do was find an excuse now for himself and Tyler to go out on their own, so they could disappear and become just another couple of mysteriously lost agents, able to live free of this world. Letting himself into Tyler's room, Zeke is immediately filled with a sense of emptiness rather than the relief he'd been expecting. Regardless, Zeke heads straight towards Tyler's bed. Ignorantly optimistic that the room smelt stale because Tyler had kept himself locked in here. "Tyler." Zeke whispers. He leans down, lowering his hands slowly, expecting at any moment to feel Tyler’s body curled up under the blankets, but instead he only feels the cold, empty mattress. Zeke frowns and moves his hands across the bed, as if unable to believe Tyler really wasn't there. Zeke flicks on the lights and angrily storms into the kitchen, only to find there's mold growing on the few plates left in the sink. Tyler hadn't been in here at least for a week by the state of the place. He dreads the thought that it could have even been longer. "Fuck. Fuck. Fuck." Zeke runs his fingers through his hair, dreading what he was about to have to face if his worst suspicions were correct. He hits the button in the lift for the main floor, betrayal and disgust pulsing through him. His face completely emotionless as he tries not to pre-emptively rage at what he is expecting to find. The moment the doors open, Zeke strides to the black room, daring Tyler to be in here, daring G to have put him there. He takes a deep breath as he opens the door slowly, hoping to find no one inside, but the moment he flicks the light on his body goes cold and for a moment he feels as though he's re-living his first mission. Finding a helpless, bruised and scarred body in chains. "Oh god Tyler, I'm so sorry. I am so, so sorry. You're going to be ok, I promise. I promise I am getting you out of here and you will be ok. I shouldn't have let this happen." Zeke rushes to Tyler's unconscious body, shackled to a bed. Zeke stares at the stitched wounds on Tyler's arms,his pale, starved appearance and the fury builds within him. Anger at Corey who had promised to watch out for Tyler in his absence, anger at G for using the opportunity where Zeke wasn't here to stop him doing this, and of course, infuriated in himself for not being here to stop all this from happening. Thankfully, he knew the code to unlock the shackles, Corey had insisted that everyone needed to know in case of emergencies. Zeke tries to wake Tyler, but gets no response, not even a grunt, even when he is physically lifting him to carry him back down to the safety of his own room. It was like lifting a completely dead weight and his lack of responsiveness was terrifying to Zeke. He could hear Tyler breathing in a regular pattern, so he was obviously alive, but then Zeke didn't understand why he wasn't waking up. He's relieved as hell to not run into Corey or G on his way back to the room, because he wanted both his hands free to deal with them. He'd need to put Tyler somewhere safe and think about what he wanted to say and do to both of them because impulsively his heart was screaming to put them both to sleep, permanently. Zeke heads straight into the bathroom, placing Tyler in the bathtub and sinking down defeated beside him. This whole situation was tearing him apart inside. His thoughts were racing, and he couldn't bring himself to even look at Tyler. He'd known there were risks, but he'd truly believed that Tyler would have been safe here and he couldn't forgive his own naivety. From the start he'd been making promises he couldn't keep with Tyler. He had wanted so badly to protect him and keep him safe, but he was powerless to uphold them. As long as Tyler knew him, he'd never be safe, and that fantasy was agony to let go after foolishly convincing himself that he could get them both out of here and somehow live a life together free of all of this. The reality was an innocent person, tortured and left helplessly waiting to be rescued. Zeke wouldn't let Tyler be in danger again because of his connection to this horrible lifestyle. As the bath fills with warm water that Zeke hopes subconsciously comforts Tyler by encompassing him, Zeke grabs an emergency phone and calls Corey. “Hello?” Corey sounds confused as he answers. “My room. Right now. Bring your medical kit.” “Zeke?” Corey's voice comes across as reluctant and relieved all at once. “Come alone. Don’t say anything to G.” Zeke demands then hangs up and continues to just sit by the bath, avoiding looking at the still motionless victim in it while he waits for Corey. His concern now on how well he could restrain himself, because he needed Tyler to have the proper medical attention that only Corey was qualified to give, but he also wanted to strangle him. There was this part of him that believed in Corey's rationality, that this would have been carefully considered, and that Corey would not have allowed this if there wasn't a good enough reason. But a whole lot more of him simply doubted who he could trust, because he couldn't imagine a good enough reason for what had been done to Tyler and that was only what he could physically see. He was sure there were plenty of things he'd suffered that just hadn't left any physical scars. His biggest fear was losing Tyler too, since the last time he'd pulled someone out of danger like this, he'd been too late and their injuries had reportedly been fatal. “Zeke?” Corey calls out from Zeke’s bedroom. “In the bathroom.” Zeke answers completely monotone, in his head he was going through all the possibilities of what had happened in his absence, who he should blame and what to do. Right now, Zeke was twice as much of a threat than G could ever be, and Corey seemed to be thinking that himself as he nervously approaches the bathroom. “Zeke, I…” Corey opens his mouth to give an explanation the moment he sees Tyler in the bathtub. "I'm not ready to hear it. Shut up and fix this." Zeke refuses to look at Corey too. "Get a towel for me, I'll need a hand moving him to the bed." Corey does as he's told, holding a towel to wrap around Tyler the moment Zeke lifts him from the bath. Zeke carries his body to the bed and lies him down carefully, then starts delicately drying around all the visible wounds. Horrified as he's now able to see the amount of needle marks that had been inflicted too. "Truth serum I'm guessing." Zeke states and the hesitation from Corey sickens him. “Go and get G.” Zeke orders. Medical care would have to happen alongside whatever he would do when he heard from G's own mouth what the hell had happened. Nothing could take away the feeling of dread that was lingering inside him. He'd not felt this kind of hopelessness since the day his whole world turned to this nightmare and it was giving him an instant headache. It's only a few minutes before Corey returns with G, though it feels easily like hours have passed of sitting in agonizing silence by Tyler's side with a slew of questions mixed in with so much anger at the answers he expected would follow. “Zeke. Where the hell have you been?” G demands as though he had any right to be the one asking literally anything. Much like Corey, the moment G sees Tyler, he feels the need to start explaining his actions. "We..." “I will explain everything when I’m ready. First things first. Who the fuck did this?” Zeke snaps and points at Tyler. “Zeke, we didn’t know what happened to you and…” G starts again. “No, you don’t understand. I’m being very patient here, this is me. At my wit's end, zero fucks left to give, and you’re lucky I’m willing to let you explain yourself. Truth is, I know why you did it. I know why you thought Tyler could give you some answers, and I know why you took him up there. I understand using some truth serums on him and I understand you questioning him. What I don’t understand, is how there are so many needle marks. I don’t understand why he is bruised. I don’t understand why he’s just skin and bones and I don’t understand why I’m able to unchain him, bring him down here, bathe him for five minutes then dry and dress him without him waking up. I don’t understand why he is this exhausted and this injured and I don’t understand why he was restrained to a medical bed when I found him because if you wanted to question him over me you would have gotten the answer that he had no fucking clue where I was the first time you asked. If you pumped him with truth serum like I know you do during interrogations, then he would have told you that he didn’t know a thing about my disappearance and that, THAT! Should have been the end of it.” Zeke says, somehow maintaining a civil tone. His calmness was terrifying to G and Corey, who both stand back trying to work out how to justify themselves. “Zeke…” G starts, but Zeke shuts him up with a glare. G glances at Corey nervously, wondering if Corey was going to step in and try to explain the situation. “Did you use the truth serum on him?” “We…” G begins. “It's a yes or no question, I'm not asking for an excuse!” Zeke snaps. “Yes.” Corey answers for G. “And what exactly did he say when you asked him about me?” Zeke asks, looking at Corey for the answer. “He said he knew nothing, that you told him nothing.” “When was that?” Zeke asks. G looks down at his feet and Corey looks at G. He didn’t want to be the one to answer Zeke, because he felt like the person who admitted to it, was the one Zeke would explode on. “HOW LONG HAS HE BEEN CHAINED UP AND TORTURED, AFTER HE MADE IT CLEAR HE WAS NOT A SUSPECT!?” Zeke yells at G. “TELL ME!” He shouts. G gulps and takes a big breath, then looks up at Zeke. “Two weeks.” “Two weeks?” Zeke asks, being terrifyingly calm again as he takes a slight step back from them. “Yes.” “You chained Tyler up, and questioned him, tortured him, beat him, starved him, stabbed needles into him and treated him like this for two. Whole. Weeks?” Zeke asks, still not even raising his voice. “Yes.” “How long has he been non-responsive?" Zeke asks. "Only a day, I put him to sleep. It's an induced coma, I can wake him up whenever, I just thought it'd be best to give everyone a break from the situation before things got any worse." Corey answers, being sure to leave the blame entirely on G. "Did you use the truth serum on the first day?" Zeke crosses his arms, turning to G. “Yes. Well, technically Corey did…” “You’re the one who gives the orders and asks the questions.” Zeke interrupts and steps forward. G takes a half step back in fear. “Did you ask him if he knew anything about me, when you used the truth serum on the first day of the interrogation?” Zeke asks. “Yes.” “And, what did he say?” Zeke asks. "You have to understand..." G starts. "You know what I understand, I understand that the moment you saw an opportunity to torture him, you took it. You've had a problem with Tyler since the moment I brought him here so don't pretend this has anything to do with anything other than your own personal issue. Now answer my fucking question. What did he say when you used the truth serum, the first time?" Zeke clenches his fists, trying his hardest to keep himself from exploding before he got his answers. “That he didn’t know.” “That’s what I thought.” Zeke replies with a grin, then draws his fist back and slams it into G’s cheek, sending him to the floor with a crack. Zeke then turns to Corey and smiles at him. It was his turn. “Corey, what was the one thing I asked you to do before I left?” Zeke asks cheerfully. “Look after Tyler for you.” Corey replies, surrendering to his fate. “That’s exactly right.” Zeke rewards Corey’s correct answer by punching him in the gut so he joins G on the floor. Zeke crouches on the floor in front of G, who was holding his nose, a trail of blood dribbling down his face. For a moment Zeke just stares like he's trying to think of what to say, then he stands up and walks over to the door, opening it. “G, please kindly remain on your hands and knees and crawl out of my room. It's the dignity you deserve after what you've done to Tyler.” He orders. "You're not even going to tell him? Gutless asshole." G glares at Corey who is still trying to get his breath back after having it knocked from him. "Tell me what?" Zeke finally asks, though he had no intention of listening and doubted anything that was said now, would change how he felt about what they had done. "Tyler is a danger to you." G states, getting up to his feet. "Your evidence?" Zeke crosses his arms and walks over to stand in front of G again. G turns to Corey for back-up. "We don't have any." Corey states, throwing G right under the bus. Without even a moment of hesitation, Zeke sweeps G's legs out from under him, forcing him down again. Zeke towers over him, not getting to his level this time, he wanted G to understand that he'd lost all of Zeke's respect. "G, I asked for your help when I was a child. I have been telling you that I do not need or want your help anymore, but words seem to not be getting through your arrogant head. I. Don't. Need. Your. Protection. It's time I let you go." Zeke states. Though he was trying to maintain a strong and threatening demeanour, it filled him with guilt that he had to fire someone that had been his only family for so long. G doesn't speak, simply shakes his head and stays sitting on the floor. "Now, crawl the fuck out of here." Zeke moves out of G's way, going back to the door and opening it for him again. G crawls past him on his hands and knees like he'd been ordered, no argument this time, he looked completely defeated. As soon as he's out the door, Zeke slams it shut behind him. He turns around and leans his back against the door, covering his face with his hands and groaning into them. This night just kept going. After taking a moment to cool off, Zeke moves over and crouches in front of Corey. “I’m not sorry for hitting you.” He sighs. “I deserve worse.” Corey replies, hanging his head in shame. “I’m guessing you tried to talk G out of it and tried to reason with him and the rest was just you following orders for the sake of not letting G be the one shoving needles into Tyler, because he doesn’t know how to safely do it, tell me I’m right.” Zeke pleads, he couldn't handle more disappointment tonight. This had already well and truly gone to shit. His head was throbbing and each time he closed his eyes he could see himself heading into the shed, trying to find the victim to save. Memories he'd wished he'd never have to see again, surfacing at the trauma of finding Tyler tonight. “I tried my best. Trust me, Zeke, torturing Tyler was torture for me too. Especially when I was alone with Tyler listening to him plead for me to overdose him on something fatal. You know I came into this wanting to help and heal. I didn't want any part in what G was ordering me to do. Tyler kept antagonizing G and G wouldn't listen to me so the coma was the safest option, to buy him some time for you to get home. Things got out of hand and I'm so sorry I let you down. I really understand if you don’t trust me anymore.” Corey tells him apologetically. Zeke stands up and puts a hand out to help Corey back up to his feet. Corey nervously takes Zeke’s hand and stands up. “Like I said, I understand why you guys questioned him. I don’t understand why it went for so long and why Tyler is so badly hurt, but I do understand your part. I don't believe for a second that Tyler would still be breathing if you weren't somewhat in control of the situation. Now you can patch him up.” Zeke orders and walks over to the bed, lying down beside Tyler and stroking his face. "Zeke, what are you wanting to do about Tyler. I don't think he should stay here, and I know that's the last thing you want to hear." Corey states hesitant but needing to be honest. "I know. There's only one thing I can do now, and he'll hate me for it." Zeke sighs.
  14. "Sorry I haven't visited in a while. I've been sending you texts a lot, but I've only just gotten back from tour. It went well, you would have loved it. I hope you were watching." Jasper sits down in the cemetery and leans his head against the gravestone with a lump building in his throat. "I miss you on the good days, but I miss you so much more on the bad ones. Sometimes I don't want to be reasonable and logical, sometimes I just want to lose it at people. I'm trying so hard to not get in my head about this, but Ryan..." Jasper pauses and shakes his head. "I walked out on him, I know I have to go back and talk, but I'm so hurt and angry and I just wish you were here because everything is really full on right now and I'm not coping." He sighs and closes his eyes. "Everything sucks right now."

    "You sound like you could use a drink." Jasper opens his eyes to see a man holding out a beer to him. "Go on, be my kind gesture of the day." The man insists.

    "Thanks." Jasper accepts the bottle.

    3. Sobriety.png

    1. chris191070


      Interesting clip of the new Jasper and Ryan story.

  15. Tyler sits on the huge bed in the luxurious hotel room, watching Zeke nervously flick though channels on the TV. He'd barely looked at or spoken to Tyler since he'd gotten here, despite being the one that had organized and invited him out here. "Z?" Tyler sighs. "Sorry, I'm not good at this." Zeke immediately apologizes, turning to Tyler with the most kind and innocent sorry expression that Tyler had ever seen. "Relax, dates are meant to be fun." Tyler smiles and moves closer to try and help Zeke get comfortable. "I've just never been on one. Or been with anyone." Zeke tells him. "Clearly." Tyler laughs sweetly. "Because this is the least normal date I've ever been on. Why are we here? Not out at a movie or something? I mean what kind of teen books a 5 star hotel for a first date?" Tyler asks, moving behind Zeke and massaging his shoulders. "What are you so worried about?" He asks, feeling the tension in his shoulders. "I just, haven't met someone that..." Zeke pauses. "That...?" Tyler asks. "I like." Zeke admits, it sends a warmth all through Tyler's body. Mission seduce Zeke and make him vulnerable had worked easier than he expected. The problem was he didn't want to hurt him now. "Have I said something wrong?" Zeke asks, noticing the silence behind him. He hadn't, he'd said the right thing, it was the feeling it gave Tyler that was wrong. It felt very wrong and all of a sudden Tyler feels this panic rising in him that he couldn't see this through, that he was failing. "No." Tyler gets off the bed and starts putting his shoes on. "Sorry. I like you too Zeke, but I get this feeling that you're not really ready for this." Tyler bullshits up an excuse to leave. "No wait, please." Zeke gets up from the bed too, following Tyler to the door and catching his arm, Tyler turns back to Zeke, making the mistake of looking into his eyes where he feels himself internally struggling between his orders and desires. "I'm just, not really, out. That's why I wanted to meet here. I'm sorry it's not a proper date, I really wanted to get to know you because I haven't been able to stop thinking about you since the coffee shop. I was really hoping to kiss you, but I'm not ready for people to know about me. I didn't mean to make things so weird." Zeke explains himself as he steps in closer to Tyler, his eyes shifting nervously from his lips to Tyler's eyes then with all the fake confidence in the world, Zeke goes for it. Planting the briefest kiss on Tyler's lips that was so full of nerves that it made them both laugh. Tyler squeezes his hand and shakes his head while the two laugh about the awkwardness of the moment. "Ok. Lets pretend that didn't happen." Tyler suggests as he stops laughing and looks at Zeke's lips. "Relax, breathe and just go with what feels natural." Tyler leans in and lets his lips softly brush Zeke's, before tenderly kissing him. "See, not so scary." Tyler whispers. Zeke smiles and this time he is the one taking the lead again with small sweet kisses that Tyler gets lost in. Forgetting what he'd come here for and just falling into the pattern with Zeke's lips. "Can we start this date again?" Zeke asks in a whisper. Tyler laughs, feeling himself being challenged through what he wanted and what he was meant to be doing. Zeke wasn't who he thought he'd be and Tyler couldn't, in good conscious, follow his orders, until he knew for sure whether Zeke deserved his fate. "Tyler? Tyler? Wakey-wakey?" "Wakey-wakey." Tyler opens his eyes to G clicking his fingers in his face. Tyler groans, missing his dream already. " Come on, get with it." G orders. "Fuck you." Tyler mumbles, squeezing his eyes shut and trying to go back to a hotel bed with a gentle teen Zeke being nervous about kissing him. What he wouldn't give for that to be reality and all of this to be the nightmare. "I'm getting really sick of this." G groans. "Yeah? You try being the one chained to a wall for a week and questioned over and over again about the same shit." Tyler retorts frustrated and tired, so ready to push his luck and have G put him out of his misery in an impulsive explosion of rage. "What's the reading say?" G turns his attention to Corey who was standing beside Tyler with the EEG machine, reading the screen. "Just, activity in the hippocampus, again." Corey states sounding bored. "And that means he's just dreaming?" G snaps, frustrated by his lack of understanding. "Regular, normal, dreams. I told you. He doesn't know anything. He's just dreaming, the first reading must have been a machine fault." Corey sighs and starts taking off all the wires he'd covered Tyler's head in. All these weird dreams were killing Tyler, he'd really enjoyed the thought of seducing Zeke in a coffee shop, of shy kisses in a hotel room, and wished it was real. Every part of him wanted to go back to sleep and continue the fantasy of just meeting Zeke in a normal world. He wanted to know what his mind could create for them as just regular people. He was thankful the nightmares had stopped, but wished these sweet dreams weren't his mind trying to fill a space that was empty with Zeke still being MIA. "Or, he was having memories replaying in his head then, but he's not now. We'll keep monitoring to be sure. If there's any chance he knows more than what he's saying, I'll continue. I'm not about to let Zeke down just because, for a few days, this complete traitor is having 'normal dreams'. We saw the same with Wyatt." G states as if Corey needed reminding. For Tyler though, this was the first time he was hearing what all the suspicion was coming down to. His imagination, his subconscious. He was on trail for something his brain was doing when he wasn't even awake. “Where’s Zeke?” G asks, walking closer to Tyler. “I don’t know!” Tyler grimaces. “Can you get the light out of my face, please?” “Why should we?” G asks. “Is it annoying you?” “Yes.” “Good. Then maybe you’ll comply.” G sounds victorious. “Now I’ll ask you once again and I want you to think hard about your answer because I am being very fair here, but if you won’t tell me, I’ll dose you with a harsher serum. Where. Is. Zeke?” He demands. “I. Don’t. Know! I wish I fucking knew. Do you think I'm enjoying this? I'm not. If I knew where he was, I would tell you. Above all else, because I care about him and hope to god he's alive and safe out there. I want him back here just as much as you do.” Tyler wasn’t sure how much longer he could handle this. He needed Zeke to be found, or to return and get him out of this situation. "Because you have feelings for him? That's why you keep muttering his name in your sleep." G sips at his coffee and exhales with a frustrated huff right in Tyler's face. "I've already answered that." "But each time, your answer is different. You say you have feelings for him, you say you like him, you say you don't understand how you feel, you say you think you're falling in love with him. Why do the feelings keep changing? Is it because you're dreaming about him? Are you falling in love with a fantasy you're making up in your head?" G asks. Tyler feels himself deflate at the suggestion. He didn't know anymore. Every dream of Zeke seemed to strengthen how he felt, and yet at the same time he knew they were nothing more than his mind playing tricks. He just wanted the real Zeke home, he wanted his comfort right now, he wanted to be rescued from this hell and if he couldn't be, then he wanted to let it consume him and finally have peace from the awful last few months he'd been forced to endure since being pulled into this dark and dreary world of misery and murders. “I told you he didn’t know anything.” Corey sighs. “He is the closest chance we have to finding out what’s happened to Zeke, so we’re going to question him like any other traitor. He’ll talk. Eventually.” G replies. “The truth serum has never failed before. If he says he doesn’t know then he can't be lying about it.” Corey insists. “Do you know what’s happened to Zeke?” G asks, not giving up. “I swear, I don’t know.” Tyler answers. “Fine. Keep lying to me then, we’ll see how long you can do this for.” G shrugs. “Leave the light on him. He’ll crack eventually.” He walks back over to Corey. “You’re afraid of me! You’re scared of me! You’re such an idiot G, you’ve never liked me being here and I don’t know why but you’re a complete moron if you think chaining me up and hurting me is going to get you answers. If you were any kind of decent agent, you’d be smart enough to know I’m not a threat, but you’re too stupid to work that out, aren’t you!?” G smacks his fist against Tyler’s cheek in response. “G!” Corey shouts and races over to him. He looks at Tyler, who's spitting blood from his mouth. “What are you doing?” Corey asks “Give him a dose of burning serum.” G demands and walks out of the way of the light so it again forced Tyler to squeeze his eyes shut to avoid the blinding brightness. “The truth serum works, whatever he’s telling you is the truth.” Corey argues. “Including him calling me an idiot, a complete moron and stupid?” G snaps. Corey looks at Tyler and tries to hold back a smile as he sees one creep across Tyler’s face. “I literally cannot lie, idiot!” Tyler calls out then spits more blood and sucks on his bleeding lip. G turns around and storms over to Tyler but Corey intervenes. “G stop!” He orders. “I will not be insulted by this kid!” G shouts in Corey’s face. “He’s an idiot for provoking you, but if Tyler is telling the truth, then you are attacking an innocent man. What happened to innocent until proven guilty?” Corey asks. “I’m not buying his act. You might, Zeke might, but I’m not! We've seen enough to know that there is something else going on. If he isn't working with them, then why is it when he ran at the group at Zeke's house, no one shot him? Why is it when he was out there alone being 'hunted down' no one found him? How do we even know he didn't kill his own parents, to set Zeke up? Replicate his trauma and use that to gain Zeke's pity and empathy? I'm telling you now, Tyler is a trap. A well planned one, but certainly a trap and Zeke fell for it.” G replies and pulls himself out of Corey’s grip, then walks back over to the table near the door. “Which one is the burning serum?” He asks. “Keep your mouth shut and don’t provoke him.” Corey whispers to Tyler. "Why not? I know I'm not getting out of this alive unless Zeke comes back. Whatever this paranoid fucking moron, thinks I'm guilty of, he's made up his mind." Tyler scoffs. His only hope was death now, as far as he was concerned, and he'd be dammed if he wasn't going to his grave leaving behind a slew of insults. He was powerless and the only way he could fight back was with his words now. "Ok, you both need to take a break from this." Corey stands in front of Tyler as G steps forward with a raised fist again. "Let's take a break. Cool off, re-evaluate. Nothing good is ever achieved when you're acting out of anger." Corey suggests he was beyond sick of having to patch up the cuts and tend to the bruises G was leaving on Tyler and was already stressed enough about what Zeke's reaction would be to all of this. It wouldn't be pretty as it was, but if Tyler pushed G into doing much more damage, everyone would be safer with Zeke not returning. “Two hours?” G asks. “Two hours until what?” Corey sighs. “Until we come back and try again.” “G, I'm worried about his deterioration. I really don't think we should be continuing anything at this point. Besides, we know he's been telling the truth. He doesn't know anything..." "I'm starting to think I've got the wrong traitor up in chains." G turns on Corey with an aggressive glare as if warning him not to keep siding with Tyler, for fear of ending up being the next one questioned. "I'm doing my job. And no offence, G, but I'm much more afraid of what Zeke is going to do when he gets back, than what you might think of me. You can't really believe he's somehow keeping shit from you, look at him." As Corey brings G's attention back to Tyler, he notices the weak and fragile appearance of the starved, dehydrated, bruised and bloodied young 'traitor' who was hanging in the chains so defeated that he'd clearly been broken a number of times over. If there was anything he knew, he would have said it by now. "I'll decide what I'm doing with him before we come back. You will come with me. I'm not having you around him without my supervision." G crosses his arms and waits for Corey to reluctantly walk out the door, before he leaves Tyler again to the darkness he was so use to by now. "A limousine pulls up beside Tyler and the window winds down to reveal Zeke. "Are you avoiding me?" "Are you stalking me?" Tyler asks back, looking around suspiciously. "A little. So, are you avoiding me?" "Look, it's not about you. I just don't really think we're going to work. I'm not the 'hook-up in a hotel room' type and you're not out so lets just not." Tyler keeps walking and the limo creeps along beside him. "I'm sorry that you feel that way. I was hoping to take you out on a proper date though." Zeke sighs. Tyler rolls his eyes and shakes his head. "I've got two tickets to The Obsolete tonight, but it's 100% a date. I'm not just going to take me because you're cute and I'm falling for you." Tyler pauses and turns to Zeke, seeing the sweet smile on his face, and almost as importantly, the tickets in his hand. "See, I might be a bit unsure, but I do listen to you. Your favourite band, right?" "That show sold out as soon as it was announced, you couldn't have bought those tickets for me." Tyler argues, stepping forward to see if they were real. "I pulled some strings." Zeke shrugs and lets Tyler inspect the tickets. He knew this was a bad idea, but for once he wanted to be an impulsive teenager and just go out and enjoy himself. "See now this is a real date." Tyler grins as he and Zeke stand front and centre to a stage. "I've never been to a concert before." Zeke nods, smiling at the stage too, excited for the show ahead. "Just so you know, I'm not going to care about your existence until after the show." Tyler warns, fairly sure he'd make it up to him after the show though. As the lights go out, he screams, letting his inner fanboy shine. Zeke getting him tickets and taking him to his favourite band was such a boyfriend move, the line had become blurred between what was a tactical 'date' to understand him more, and a date just for the sake of having an excuse to spend time with Zeke. He knew they were both playing with fire here, and that he needed to find a way to disappear from Zeke's life before things got complicated and anyone got hurt. Tonight had to be the absolute last time they were together. As the show comes to a dramatic and confusing end, with lights, music and every mic being cut on and off during the last song, a bold coming out song no less, two of the members lock lips and the audience erupts into supportive screams. "Tyler." Zeke gently turns Tyler's face to look at him, then he kisses him hard. Not a single fuck given for who was seeing them share this kiss too, inspired by the couple on stage. For a moment Tyler feels an overwhelming amount of respect for Zeke, making this move in public. But soon a feeling of guilt floods him. Tyler wanted out, he wanted out of everything. His feelings had absolutely compromised the job and he knew he couldn't see this through. With Zeke's lips pressed against his, he starts feeling a burning sensation coming up inside him, only this time it's getting stronger, to the point of actual pain that forces Tyler to step back. Tyler's eyes open as the pain increases through his body, feeling as though every vein was on fire. “Fuck! M-make it st-stop!” Tyler screams in pain, his body writhing in a hopeless attempt to escape his suffering. “Not so brave this time, are you? Wanna insult me now?” G asks tauntingly. “Th-this is barbaric!” Tyler screams, tears were streaming down his face and his fingers were twitching and stiffening, as were his toes. The pain was intense and there was nothing for him to do other than wait for the effect to wear off, though every second was passing too slowly.. “MAKE IT STOP!” Tyler screams in absolute agony. "G, what the hell have you done?" Corey asks as he races into the room and over to Tyler immediately. "I stood by Zeke's side through everything, I'm not about to let him get destroyed by his own foolishness." G snaps as he throws down an empty syringe. "Just a little dose of the burning serum to remind him who not to mess with." “I’M SORRY! I’M S-SO SORRY! PLEASE J-JUST MAKE IT STOP!” Tyler pleads. Corey turns his back to Tyler so he didn’t have to see the hopeless and desperate struggle to try to relieve the torment he was in. “G, it sickens me that you’re standing there watching him mercilessly. Zeke trusts him, and I’m not comfortable doing this to him anymore. We do not have enough evidence to be doing this. Tyler has lied to my face before, I know when he’s lying and I can tell you, he hasn’t lied to you about what he knows. He knows less than we do about what’s happening to Zeke.” Corey shakes his head and looks at his watch. “It’s almost done, Tyler.” He sighs and hangs his head as he hears Tyler’s painful cries come to a stop. The only sound left was sobbing and whimpering of someone taken past the point of what he could handle. “He’s gotta know something.” G mutters, disappointed that he was still getting nowhere. “Why can’t you just accept that he doesn’t?!” Corey asks, beyond infuriated at the thought that he was going to have to try and defend to Zeke, how G had been able to use a serum on Tyler and why Corey hadn't made sure that G couldn't access them. This would come back on him, even if he didn't want any part in what they had been doing to Tyler. He'd promised he would keep him safe in Zeke's absence, and he'd failed. He'd let him down and he would suffer the consequences of that. "Zeke has put his trust in the wrong people before, forgive me for not trusting someone just because he does. I have been responsible for taking care of Zeke for over a decade. My priority is him, not whoever the hell he is with." G argues. "I know. And I want to help Zeke too, but this is just going to piss him off. He's not going to thank us, even if it turns out Tyler is lying about something." Corey shouts momentarily stunned by what had just been unfolding in front of him. Tyler slumped in the chains now, begging for death quietly. "What are you doing?" G asks as Corey prepares a syringe. "Showing mercy. Until Zeke returns or such time as we have adequate reason to continue this questioning, I'm letting him rest." Corey walks over to Tyler. "I'm going to put you to sleep, ok? This will let your body recover and keep you safe. Are you happy for me to do this?" Corey asks and as soon as he gets the weak 'yes' he injects the syringe and watches Tyler's body become limp as he falls unconscious. "Was that one of your nightmares?" Corey asks quietly as Tyler sits bolt upright, sweating and gasping for breath. "Yes." Tyler grabs at his throat. "Can you tell me what it was about?" Corey sits on the bed beside him. "I was a trap. I was a trap and Zeke fell for it." Tyler answers shakily. "Tyler, can I give you a sleeping serum, so I can monitor you for a few days and see what's going on? I'm really worried about this." Corey informs him gently. "Why, what's so weird about my nightmares?" "The part of your brain that was active, was not the part responsible for imagination, it was the part responsible for memories..."
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