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    craftingmom
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All In - 11. Chapter 11

Trigger warning: indications of physical and sexual abuse.

Chapter 11

 

The next few days flowed by much more smoothly than the first four days had. While Devyn certainly wasn't warm and cheerful, he hadn't been outright hostile either. Jason and Devyn had settled into a tentative truce. Jason was happy to just drive the kid to and from his tutors and sit under the shade tree while the kid played with his horse--the view from there was really nice. He overlooked the moments when both Devyn and Michael seemed to disappear inside the barn for a while. And for that the kid had kept his demeanor calm and placid. There hadn't been anymore of the belligerent glares nor had the kid silently told him off again.

They both seemed to be blissfully happy to ignore the other. Devyn complacently did as he was told, and in return, Jason made sure Devyn had the chance to visit the stables as often as possible. To Jason, it was all a win-win situation.

Especially since he got to see more of Lyle.

Jason couldn't help but notice how the man gravitated closer when Jason was around, brushing against him not-so-accidently. Jason felt his pulse pound when Lyle would lean in to talk to him, or rub his hand over the back of his shoulders. Lyle was obviously testing the waters with him, feeling him out, and Jason was quickly reaching the point where he was going to make a fool of himself if neither one of them made a move soon.

 

@@@@

 

As they came in on Friday from the English tutor, Mr. Haskins, and Devyn dutifully handed over the backpack again to the hulk, Jason suddenly wondered exactly when the kid did any of the work that was assigned him if Brad took the backpack every day. Maybe the kid had done it when he'd hidden himself away in his room?

"Hey, don't you have like homework from all these tutors you've been seeing all week?" Jason asked as Devyn headed for the stairs. Devyn paused on the bottom step, glancing at Sam.

"He does it over the weekend," Sam answered for Devyn. I'll bring his backpack back after Brad looks over his assignments."

"I see," Jason said, as Devyn turned to head back upstairs. "Do you want to go on out to the stables? We could take lunch out there with us."

Devyn paused again and shook his head, mouthing, ^Shower, first.^

Jason shook his head at the kid's obsessive compulsion to shower every time they came home from his lessons. It was like the kid was a germaphobe or something. "I don't get why you just don't wait until after you've finished at the barn. You're going to get dirty there anyway."

But Devyn didn't answer him, just headed on up the stairs like he hadn't heard him. Jason shook his head as he headed into the kitchen.

"So, what exactly did you do to the kid?" Chris teased as he came into the kitchen. After a week of watching the changed demeanor in the boy from aggressive to docile, both Trent and Chris were curious.

Jason shrugged and grinned. "Nothing. We just came to an understanding, that's all."

"I see. I noticed that you guys have been spending--"

He stopped abruptly at the appearance of Nelson Rainier, Brad's assistant, who went to the fridge and pulled out a bottle of beer.

"Rough day already?" Trent asked the man.

Nelson took a long swallow of the cold brew. "Yeah, going to be a long afternoon. Brad is not in a good mood," the man said, his eyes casting a long look on Jason.

The stare was so long and uncomfortable that Jason finally squinted at the man and asked, "Did I do something wrong?"

Nelson slowly put his bottle down on the counter. "No, not you."

"Then who? Devyn?"

Nelson glanced at Chris and Trent. "Yeah, Brad isn't pleased with what his tutor had to say. He called before you got back. Apparently Devyn put up a bit of a fuss today."

Jason frowned. "He seemed fine with Devyn when we left. Why didn't he say something to me? Does he need more practice at home or something?"

Nelson smirked. "We'll see. Brad and I will deal with it. Don't worry."

Jason frowned. "Why would you deal with Devyn's tutors?"

Nelson pierced his gaze on Jason. "I deal with everything that Brad has to deal with, even his pain-in-the-ass step-brother."

Jason straightened at the acerbic tone of the assistant. "Devyn's not that bad," he felt like he needed to defend the kid, even though he'd felt the same way a week ago.

Nelson narrowed his dark eyes on Jason. "Really?"

And for some reason, Jason felt like he was about to be squashed like a bug under this man's shoe. Jason swallowed hard but kept his shoulders rigid. No way was he going to let this man intimidate him. He let his amber eyes meet Nelson's head on, even if this man could get him fired.

Finally, Nelson picked up his beer and his gaze broke to eye the other two men in the room. "We'll see."

Jason felt a shiver of relief wash over him as the man stalked from the room.

"What the hell was that?" Jason asked incredulously, sure he had to have imagined the sinister tone the man had taken with him.

Trent turned toward the laundry room, not meeting Jason's gaze. Chris carefully busied himself pulling out ingredients for dinner.

"Hey, guys, come on. You didn't find that at all weird?" Jason tried to coax out a response from the two suddenly busy men.

Chris sighed and slowly put down the potatoes that he had pulled out. "Look, Jason," he said, casting a wary glance towards the exit that Nelson had disappeared through. "We work for Brad, and in turn, Nelson. We've learned to mind our own business and do our jobs; it's why we are still here."

Jason cocked his head curiously at the odd words. "Is there something going on I should know about?"

Chris glanced nervously at Trent hovering in the laundry room door. "We don't know anything for sure."

"But you suspect something's wrong," Jason deduced, his brows furrowing. "What is it? Is he bribing inspectors or something?"

He heard Trent scoff from the doorway.

So, no, Jason concluded, not bribing inspectors. It had to have something to do with his business, right? Then it suddenly dawned on him. Something Brad already knew a lot about--but he wouldn't , would he? "Drugs? Fuck, is he dealing drugs again?"

Chris cast his gaze uneasily to the exit and then back to the counter as Trent disappeared completely into the laundry room now.

"We don't know that," Chris said softly, barely a whisper. "And quite honestly, I don't want to know."

"It wouldn't fucking surprise me," Jason growled under his breath, not sure why he hadn't thought that before. Brad had made good money in school dealing, why should that have changed?

"Just do your job, Jace," Chris warned. "Don't ask questions, and don't get involved."

"Why don't you just leave then, if it bothers you?"

Chris was ashen and looked like he wasn't going to answer. But the man finally sighed, "Because if I leave, if I say anything, Brad will have my parole revoked. I'll be back in prison for ten years. Trent too."

Jason's brows shot up in shock. He'd known from Lyle that Brad had saved the men from long prison terms, but he didn't realize that he was holding their freedom over their heads like that.

"He may not wholly trust us with everything he's up to, but Trent and I are like pocket Aces, with Lyle making a set--he knows we'll back him up; we have to or lose the whole pot. Sam and Nelson are his pair of kings. The man is holding a full house, and no little deuce is ever going to win against that."

Jason stared at Chris, for a second not totally understanding the analogy. There was a soft noise at the entrance and Devyn walked in, freshly showered and changed. Chris cut his eyes at the boy, then back at Jason with a slight nod.

Deuce? Devyn?

"The question is," Chris leaned closer, "what are you?"

Jason's eyes slid over the slender boy who slipped on to the stool at the kitchen bar. As usual the kid slumped over, looking stiff and tired--and unhappy.

Jason patted Chris on the back. "The wild card," he whispered, eliciting a surprised twitch of a smile from the other man. "I'm the wild card."

 

@@@@

 

Devyn didn't know what to think of the conversation he'd walked into. It sounded like the men were talking about playing poker. He honestly didn't care though. He shifted awkwardly on the stool, one hand cradling his ribs.

Damn they hurt.

Devyn had known better than to fight back. After all these years, he should have better control. But that Haskins guy was the worst one, because he knew he could get away with anything. Brad didn't care most of the time what the contacts did to him, as long as they didn't leave visible marks on his face, neck or arms, and they paid their money. Once or twice a 'tutor' had gotten out of control and Brad had had a hard time explaining Devyn's black eye or some other bruise, so Brad would drop the contact and not deal with him anymore. But Haskins was the supplier, not one of the buyers, so Brad couldn't afford to piss the man off. And Brad got pretty pissed at Devyn when he did.

Today, Devyn had managed to hold himself pretty straight and controlled as he'd left the apartment, and he didn't think that Jason had noticed. He was beginning to like the guy a bit, and he didn't want the man thinking any less of him, knowing what his 'tutors' really did to him. He wasn't sure how long the man would remain clueless, but he'd enjoy not having the look of pity for as long as possible.

Sooner or later, he knew Jason would look at him differently, with disgust, pity, and maybe even a little sadness. But just like all of the others, he wouldn't do anything. He couldn't do anything. Brad made sure of that. Someone would get threatened or hurt, if Brad even thought that someone might threaten his control.

After lunch, he followed Jason out to the stable, and he felt his heart lifting in the freedom of the open air. His body guard patted him on the back, and Devyn held in his gasp of breath as pain radiated down his spine.

Jason just smiled at him and headed toward Lyle who was in the training ring working with Maverick, Brad's stallion. Devyn watched the man lean on the fence and watch Lyle with an easy grin. It was the same look that Devyn usually gave Michael. Devyn blushed as he walked into the barn.

He didn't see Michael immediately, and he frowned, feeling his heart drop. He desperately needed the other teen right now, to help him wash away the sleezy feeling of the grubby drug dealer. He sighed as he made his way through the barn, stopping to pet Serenity for a moment, before heading to the opposite end. He peeked out the other end of the barn, wondering if Michael was out there.

Devyn saw the teen's red Jeep, but no Michael. He frowned. Maybe Lyle had sent him on an errand with one of the other vehicles.

"Gotcha!"

Devyn gasped in shock and pain as he was whirled around and enveloped in a pair of strong arms. Fortunately, his agony at the sharp movement was hidden by his look of surprise. He grasped Michael's jaw in his hands and quickly pulled the taller boy in for a deep kiss, hoping to mask his pain from the other teen.

Michael moaned as Devyn drove his tongue into the hot cavern of his boyfriend's mouth. Michael braced his hand on the wall next to Devyn's head, panting as they pulled apart.

"God, I missed you," Michael said, "even though I just saw you yesterday. But those two weeks when you didn't come, nearly killed me."

'I'm sorry,' Devyn signed, collapsing against the wall.

"Don't be," Michael said. "I know it's not your fault. I know now that your stupid step-brother's guard didn't let you out of the house. I'm just glad your new bodyguard is pretty cool."

Devyn cast a glance down the long length of the barn to where Jason Yates was leaning on the fence of the training ring. Lyle was now leaning into his shoulder, their heads ducked closely together, as they watched Brad's horse rip some grass from the ground.

'Me too,' Devyn signed.

Michael grinned mischievously as he leaned in, nuzzling Devyn's neck. Devyn couldn't stop himself from dropping his head to the side, offering the tantalizing boy better access. He sighed heavily, breathing in the smell of Michael--his softly spicy cologne mixed with his salty sweat. He allowed the scent to wash over him, to calm him, to free him of the strong pungent odor of Haskins.

He was drifting along on the haze of euphoria as the warm lips trailed down his neck and over his collarbone, careful not to leave marks that his step-brother might notice. His hands slid up the inside of Michael's shirt, feathering over the hard abs and up the tight ribs to the taut little nubs aching for attention.

"Shit," Michael gasped against his shoulder, abruptly falling against Devyn as he nearly collapsed at the sensation.

Devyn gasped pain, throwing his head back abruptly, causing it to make a loud crack on the wooden wall as the other boy's weight sent daggers of pain through his ribs.

Michael jumped back, seeing the look of agony on his boyfriend's face. Shocked, he watched Devyn cradle his ribs as he sagged against the wall.

"Dev!" Michael choked, "What's wrong?!"

Devyn braced one hand on the wall, trying to draw himself back up straight. 'Nothing,' he signed.

"Bullshit," Michael snapped, reaching for Devyn's arm trying to move it away from his side.

But Devyn just stubbornly shook his head, trying to avoid Michael's prying eyes.

"Let me see," Michael demanded.

'I'm fine,' Devyn signed sharply, but Michael had a strong hold on his wrist and was prying it away from where he was protecting his ribs.

Michael slammed Devyn's wrist up against the wall with one hand and yanked up the t-shirt with the other.

"Oh, shit," Michael breathed.

Devyn sagged against the wall, breathless with the struggle to keep his boyfriend from seeing his bruises. He felt tears starting to prick at the corners of his eyes.

He felt Michael's calloused fingers slide softly against his darkly, mottled skin. "W-who did this?" Michael whispered.

Devyn just kept shaking his head, as if that would make it all go away, as if Brad didn't use him like a pack mule, as if Haskins and the others didn't pay Brad to beat and rape him, as if Michael would never find out about any of it. God, he was so stupid to think that he could have Michael and manage to keep everything to himself, hidden away as he used to.

"Who?" Michael's voice hardened as his eyes glared down at Devyn.

Devyn couldn't stand the look of anger in Michael's face and turned, trying to hide from the accusations there.

"Your step-brother? Did he fucking do this?"

Devyn shook his head fervently, feeling like he was nearing a breaking point. 'Stop it! I just fell!' he signed.

"You don't expect me to fucking believe that, do you?" Michael nearly snarled.

^Fuck!^ Devyn cried out silently as he tried to take a breath and pain shot through his side again. But the burst of adrenaline-filled pain gave him the energy to shove Michael away and dart out of his grasp.

"Devyn!" Michael shouted after him.

Copyright © 2014 craftingmom; All Rights Reserved.
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I scent the tempting aroma of shit hitting fire :) I wonder what the wild card is going to do. I have a feeling that once Jason knows the truth he's going to wind up being a match for Brad. I hope so, for Devyn's sake. I feel that a very bad time indeed is coming up for Devyn as Brad expresses his displeasure for upsetting his 'teacher'

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On 11/10/2014 03:01 AM, loveseeker said:
Hi. I'm actually a reade from AFF.
I'm glad you are enjoying it. I do actually post a couple chapters ahead here because the reviewers are so awesome and sometimes I modify a chapter slightly. AFF also has the old version of the Tears of the Neko, whereas the new version is posted here (if that story interests you too).
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On 11/09/2014 05:28 PM, Houdinii said:
Gah, these chapters are too short for me to get my "All In" fix... Great chapter! I'm hooked.
Hehe, I'm so glad you are enjoying it!
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On 11/09/2014 09:32 AM, Nephylim said:
I scent the tempting aroma of shit hitting fire :) I wonder what the wild card is going to do. I have a feeling that once Jason knows the truth he's going to wind up being a match for Brad. I hope so, for Devyn's sake. I feel that a very bad time indeed is coming up for Devyn as Brad expresses his displeasure for upsetting his 'teacher'
Things are definitely going to be picking up from here...well, maybe not for Devyn, but for the story plot anyway. :)
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step-brother "Brad" appears to be an entity most deserving of a 12-gauge enema... and he's not the only one either.

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All kinds of happenings in this chapter. Poor Devyn. I can understand not wanting the pitying looks, but nobody deserves what Brad is making him withstand for drugs, money, or anything else. I'm wondering what Jason's reaction is going ot be when he finds out.

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On 11/10/2014 05:29 AM, kagenokami said:
step-brother "Brad" appears to be an entity most deserving of a 12-gauge enema... and he's not the only one either.
hehe... very, um, descriptive, assessment. :) Thanks for reviewing!
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I know once Jason knows the truth he'll stick up for Devyn. But Devyn is so afraid Brad will kill or seriously wound anyone that gets in his way, including family and friends of bodyguards and other household employees. Brad has Chris, Trent, Lyle, and Sam under his watchful eye.

 

I wonder if Nelson is going to say anything to Brad about how Jason had acted. Nelson also seems a force to be reckoned with also. :(

 

Ok, on to chapter twelve! :)

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On 11/20/2014 06:02 PM, Headstall said:
I can't help hoping that Brad gets trampled by his horse...
Yes, reviewers have had many interesting fates for Brad! It does take Jason a while to really 'get it', but he will. The whole story takes place over about a week and a half--so while it seems that it takes Jason forever to figure things out, it's not really that long, especially when you think of how long Devyn has been suffering under Brad. It takes Jason a bit to get the idea that his friend could be such a horrible person because, really, do any of us want to believe someone we know could be that bad? I know it's a hard, emotional read. (If you feel it's too hard to read, I can send you a synopsis of each of the next chapters, so you know how it goes without reading about Devyn's torment).

Thanks so much for the reviews!

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