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    Jason MH
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Between the Shadow and the Soul - 17. Third Interlude - I Can Teach You

Chapter focuses on a child predator attempting to manipulate a minor into redirecting his romantic and sexual interests.

April 23, 1999

The Fiend had never before felt such rage, such utterly omnipresent and incredibly manifold anger, a profound wrath the likes of which he never believed himself capable. Emotions, he knew, were the folly of the weak, directionless chemical responses that, unless controlled, served no purpose save to befuddle and bedevil and bewitch, an infliction of the weak. But Richard was strong, thus he smothered his emotions, subjugated them, allowing only the useful to serve his purposes whilst crushing the useless beneath his iron will.

And yet!

Little more than a year prior he had felt untouchable. He had successfully manipulated The Boy's mother into questioning her own intuitive distrust of the doctor. He had successfully manipulated The Boy's father into accepting a seed of trust from which would grow respect and support for The Fiend's presence in The Boy's life. He had successfully—No! That was where he made his mistake, where he let assumption prevail behind the fog of his own unchecked desire.

For two years The Fiend had manipulated The Boy, a slow, creeping, divine series of maneuvers that brought the lad under his influence and, eventually, his control. There the doctor sat, smug in his accomplishments while The Boy played video games with Nate, letting himself assume his way was the only path forward for the then twelve-year-old child. Richard had assumed The Boy's burgeoning sexual appetite and emotional interest had both been directed toward the doctor himself, toward The Fiend.

And yet!

Perhaps distracted by his growing lust for The Boy or perhaps blinded by assumptions of his own noetic superiority, The Fiend had underestimated The Boy's intellectual capacity and therefore had misunderstood The Boy. That had been Richard's failing. For shortly after that birthday party, shortly after his victory over The Boy's parents, The Fiend began noticing something else in Greg, something different, something contradictory to what was expected and something in conflict with the The Fiend's unadulterated want.

Had Richard not set about intensifying his manipulation and seduction of The Boy, he would have missed the indicators that eventually seemed to glare at him with mocking disdain. For the constant presence, the bashful glances, the needful talks and simple touches and subtle flirtations had been, much to The Fiend's chagrin, not indications of his having taken The Boy under his control but instead of The Boy's own attempts to distract himself from what he most desired yet felt he could not have. And even that was an assumption, for Richard could only guess at Greg's reasons.

Emotions! Blasted emotions!

It was so obvious within a few months of The Boy's twelfth birthday that Richard was not receiving undiluted attention and interest from Greg. On the contrary, he was being treated as a tool by Greg, utilized by The Boy for reasons Richard could not fathom save that they revolved around an emotional response Nate was eliciting in him. Was the doctor an object toyed with in hopes of engendering jealousy in Nate? Was The Fiend but a distraction to keep The Boy from focusing on his unwavering love for his best friend? Was Richard nothing more than an available, interested, acceptable runner-up in the quest to win The Boy's heart and, therefore, his body? Was Greg using him as a decoy to ensure others did not comprehend the true target of his desire? Or was it something altogether different? Richard could only guess, for he had learned that Greg was a clever child, an intelligent child, and his ways and motives were shrouded and cloaked and secret.

But his own son! And he had missed it for years before becoming privy to The Boy's best kept secret and, to the Fiend's great surprise, Greg's masterful ability to hide his feelings and deflect curious attention and mask truths under believable affectations.

"He's in love with my son!" Richard growled. "Of all the offenses against what must be, the bastard has been hiding his love in plain sight, using me to keep eyes from realizing the true desires of his heart. Damn him!"

But it was not The Boy whom he wished to damn; it was his own son. The scrawny-bodied, pedestrian-featured, unassuming, mediocre personality-bearing cretin! Had he for a moment thought he could get away with it, The Fiend would murder the fruit of his loins and bury the carcass where no one would ever discover it. Each time he looked at Nate he felt the strongest desire to wrap his strong hands around the skinny boy's throat and squeeze until his limbs stopped flailing and his eyes stopped bulging and his chest stopped heaving. And all because he had misread the clues, assumed control where he had none, and ignored useless emotions to his own detriment.

Emotions! Useless!

The Boy had outwitted him even when Richard felt certain his plan was foolproof. The Boy had demonstrated a level of cleverness and resourcefulness Richard would not have thought possible for one so young. The Boy had defeated his insuperable plan. The Boy had won without recognizing the battle in which he was engaged.

And yet!

He had no intention of allowing sophomoric emotions to cripple his march to victory. Even as The Fiend pondered the mistakes he had made that brought him to this wretched predicament, he planned and plotted, and he set his not inconsiderable intellect upon the path to a solution. And quick enough to temper the ire that saturated his thoughts, the resolution came to him.

He approached Yvonne to speak to her about Greg's feelings for Nate, hoping to persuade her to help him end the potential "in Greg's own best interests." She already knew! That vile, contemptible woman knew before he did. Greg told her when he came out to her. And she approved, delighted in it, supported it and hoped it would either flourish to the betterment of both boys or eventually subside without negatively affecting the unprecedentedly close bond Greg and Nate shared.

The wretched wench! The Fiend had wanted desperately to elicit a negative response to the disclosure, to manipulate The Boy's mother such that she would support Richard's efforts to drive a wedge betwixt the boys so that these misguided feelings might be put to better use as The Fiend saw fit.

Left to rely on his own cleverness to right this dastardly injustice, Richard arrived at an agreeable and even vindictive conclusion that would swing the balance back in his favor while simultaneously wounding The Boy so he would need comfort. Which, of course, The Fiend would be all too happy to provide. And if his plan caused some small measure of anguish for that execrable abomination born of Richard's superior genetics, all the better.

* * * * *

Nate and The Boy had settled before the television to indulge their puerile want for late movies, late chats, late bedtimes. As always happened when Greg spent the weekend with his son, The Fiend indulged his fantasies and allowed his eyes to wander, to caress, to undress, but only when he knew his son would not witness. And as they were wont to do, the boys eventually fell asleep in the living room, a prosaic habit which The Fiend tolerated only for its immediate and eventual benefits.

Having left Nate and The Boy to their evening, Richard had settled in his room, the door open, dressed only in a pair of loose-fitting sweats. His own television showed some mindless entertainment which The Fiend ignored as he listened for the slightest indication of movement from the other end of the house.

Though he would normally put on porn and maybe begin a session of slow masturbation in an effort to catch The Boy's eyes, he had more important matters to which to attend. Physical pleasures could wait, he knew, for it was imperative that he tip the scales in a more satisfactory direction. To do so, he simply needed The Boy to wake and wander to the bathroom or bedroom.

Then it came. A stifled yawn, the shifting of a bedspread carelessly tossed over the back of a couch, the shuffle of feet upon a carpeted floor, the whisper of denim as legs sleepily moved together carrying a young tired body from the living room into the hall.

Not to appear too fanatical, The Fiend slipped from bed silently and made his way to the door, unseen and unheard, waiting. Down the hall the bathroom door closed. So he waited.

When he heard the toilet flush followed by water flowing into the sink, he stepped into the doorway of his room and paused, looking beleaguered and only vaguely aware of his surroundings, a man just wakened and in need of closing his bedroom door so that he might slip into a restful slumber for the night. Hand propped on the door, head hanging, a fake yawn stretching his face, The Fiend waited.

The bathroom door opened quietly and out walked The Boy, rubbing his eyes and yawning, confused at first but soon realizing he should head back to the living room. He would never leave Nate there alone; both would retire to the bedroom or neither would.

Greg glanced up, quick motion at the end of the hall grabbing his attention. Sleepy eyes squinted into the dim light coming from Richard's room. It was just Nate's dad, he saw, obviously just out of bed and trying to shut his door so he could crash.

With a limp wave from an arm too tired to do more, Greg mumbled, "G'night, Richard."

"Greg," The Fiend responded with surprise, though he felt no such thing, then he stifled another fake yawn, mumbling through the end of it, "Hang on a minute."

Greg stopped and turned, still rubbing his eyes, his jaw working at his yawn's leftover tightness. A few blinks later, he stared at Richard and waited. I hope he hurries, he thought. I'm tired and I gotta get back to the living room before Nate wakes up. I don't want him thinking I left him there.

Straightening to his full six feet, his narrow waist and broad chest silhouetted by light from the television behind him, The Fiend "absentmindedly" rubbed a hand up his washboard abs and over his left pec. Dropping his hand lazily and blinking blearily he asked, "You got a minute?"

"Uh... Yeah, I suppose," Greg responded. He wasn't sure what Richard wanted. It was awfully late for a chat and he was awfully tired. And he wanted to get back to Nate. But...

"I want to talk to you about something. Come on in here," Richard said, gesturing toward the bedroom behind him.

Greg shuffled forward, an almost imperceptible shrug playing along his shoulders. "Okay," he mumbled.

Once The Boy entered his domain, The Fiend pushed the door shut silently, put a hand on Greg's shoulder and led him into the room. Richard then turned slightly and sat on the edge of the bed. Still feigning lethargy and sleepiness, he patted the blanket beside him and muttered, "Hop up here a second, kiddo."

Feeling more awake due to curiosity and worry, Greg did as asked, spinning around and dropping onto the bed beside Richard.

Sliding close enough to be improper but not enough to loom, The Fiend slid a bare arm around The Boy's shoulders, allowing himself only the blink of an eye to indulge, his hand caressing sensuously across the rumpled shirt as he felt the broad shoulders, the developing musculature, the definition indicative of the splendid physique to come. Even as he snugged Greg against him in a less-than-fatherly way that was still not quite inappropriate, Richard imagined that it would be only another year or two when this fine specimen of young flesh would be ready for his enjoyment. Perhaps a hungry smirk played at his lips, but he subdued it quickly and put on instead the look of concern he needed for this conversation.

"I know you want to get back out there to Nate, so I'll be quick, I promise," Richard said with a disarming grin, one that served only to hide the ravenous maw of a predator.

"Okay," Greg muttered with uncertainty.

Leaning down enough so he could speak in a conspiratorial tone, The Fiend began, "Listen, I think there's something we should talk about. It's kind of serious, kind of important."

Through an inquisitive expression the youngster ducked his head a bit and responded, "Oh. Uh... Okay, Richard. Did I do something wrong?"

Offering a light chuckle while hugging The Boy closer to him in a show of disarming humor, the less-than-good doctor assured him, "No. You did nothing wrong. You're not in any trouble."

A look of relief spread across Greg's features. But the respite he felt was fleeting.

Again speaking in a hushed tone meant to engender trust and comfort whilst also keeping the conversation private from his son's unbelievably sensitive ears, Richard said, "I'd like to talk to you about Nate."

The Boy's shoulders stiffened for only a moment before his young mind instructed his body to relax. But it happened and The Fiend felt it.

"What about him?" Greg asked, his tone neutral.

"Listen," Richard started, "kids your age start feeling things for other people. You kind of explore your emotions as they react to those around you. Maybe you develop a crush, maybe you develop sexual feelings, but eventually you feel something stronger, something powerful, and it can seem like your whole world revolves around that feeling and the person who gives it life."

The Boy's shoulders trembled slightly. The Fiend knew he was striking close to home.

"Okay..." Greg mumbled. He wasn't at all sure where this conversation was going, but if it was about Nate and about strong feelings, he was pretty sure he knew what Richard wanted to talk about. And it scared him, in case he was wrong about being accepted as gay and being in love with Nate.

He'd only told his mom, sharing with her how overwhelming it all was. He'd told her that maybe he'd fallen in love with Nate the moment they met, even though they'd only been ten. He wasn't sure what was too young for love. He only knew he'd been attracted to Nate the moment he met him. He just hadn't known what it was he was feeling, but as he got older it became glaringly obvious he was head-over-heels for his best friend.

It wasn't physical, at least not in the sense of lust as his thirteen-year-old mind understood it. Whatever he'd felt for Nate years ago had grown and flourished and, now at thirteen, it was overwhelming. And though he thought Nate was a pretty cute guy with a nice trim body and a handsome face, and though he loved the contrast of his own fair skin coupled with Nate's dark tone, and though he could get lost in his best friend's dark brown eyes, and though he fantasized about kissing his full lips and running his hands over his close-cropped hair, Greg knew what he felt was a whole lot more than physical attraction. It'd always been more than that, but it'd taken Greg a few years to figure out he was in love with his best friend, attracted to his personality and intellect first, his body second.

"You know as a doctor I have to be pretty observant," The Fiend continued, eliciting a small nod from The Boy. "And I like to think I'm not so old that I don't recognize a first love when I see it."

Greg yanked back and spun his head to stare at Richard's face. "What?" he gasped.

"Hey, it's okay, Greg. Don't freak out on me, kiddo. We're not talking about anything wrong here, okay?"

Settling back into place Greg mumbled, "Okay," but he wasn't at all sure it was okay. He'd worked hard to keep his feelings hidden, even playing a dangerous game with Richard to redirect attention from Nate while trying to elicit jealousy from his best friend, the true target of these potent feelings. And he'd thought he'd been pretty damn smart about it, keeping people in the dark about his feelings for his best friend. At least until he told his Mom, but that was different.

Maybe I haven't been as smart about it as I thought, the boy considered.

Again using a comforting and friendly tone The Fiend explained, "What I was saying is that I'm not so old and blind that I haven't seen the way you look at Nate, especially when you think he's not looking. I've seen the way you look when he disappears around the corner, like your life just ended. I've heard the way you talk to him, intimately and secretly, like there's nobody else in the world who could understand you." Giving Greg another amiable hug Richard added, "There's absolutely nothing wrong with what you're feeling, Greg. It's perfectly natural and normal. And a first love is always the most powerful, the longest lasting, the most meaningful. But it's also the one most fraught with peril."

With a sidelong look at the doctor Greg asked, "What does that mean? Why?"

"You haven't learned to figure out who's an appropriate object of affection and who's not. Well, we never really learn that all too well, but what I'm saying is your first love is the one that sneaks up on you and hits you like a truck and leaves your head spinning because you've never felt anything like it before. But that also means it blinds you to important stuff."

"Like what?"

"In this case?" The Fiend gave a sympathetic frown, as though he expected to cause pain—which was precisely what he intended to do, but The Boy need not know that. Then: "I know you love Nate, Greg. I know it's so strong that you can't fight it—"

"God, Richard, it's like dying every day when he's gone and like being reborn every day when he arrives. When he's around I can barely contain the joy and nervousness, but when he's not around I feel like my heart's being ripped out. Sometimes it's hard to breathe just because he's there and sometimes it's hard to breathe because he's not there. My chest hurts then feels great then hurts then feels great. And I don't even think about sex—" A humored scowl from Richard caused Greg's words to die an early death. He amended, "Okay, I think about it."

"A lot?" The Fiend prompted.

"Yeah," Greg mumbled in an embarrassed tone, then went on, "But what I meant was that with Nate it was always something else first and thoughts of sex came much later. It was always something else. I didn't even know about sex until this thing was already inside me. Now that thoughts of sex are in the mix, it's overwhelming!"

"That's what I'm trying to warn you about, Greg," The Fiend offered with serious worry in his voice. "He'll break your heart."

"What? No... He wouldn't... Do you think...? Why?"

"If you haven't noticed, Nate will do anything you ask even if he knows he shouldn't. If you tell him you love him, he'll feel obligated to try to give you what you want. He'd rather spend the rest of his life miserable with you than be happy without you."

"I don't understand."

"You're the best thing that's ever happened to Nate. He's desperate to keep you in his life. If he thinks being your boyfriend is the only way to accomplish that, he'll do it. But he's not like us, Greg."

"What do you mean he's not like us?"

"Nate has no interest in other guys. He's as straight as a man can be. He'll never love you the way you love him even though he'd act like it to make you happy and keep you in his life. In the end, though, you'll both be miserable until finally it all shatters apart. That's when you'll realize he's been playing a role for you and that what you think you had with him has been nothing but lies. It'll break your heart and it'll destroy your friendship."

"He'd never hurt me," Greg gasped, tears streaking down his cheeks. He'd never before considered what it might be like if Nate hurt him, if something bad happened to their friendship. God, the idea that they might not always be friends hurt as much as his broken leg did when he was eight. Worse even!

"He wouldn't hurt you intentionally," The Fiend said, "at least not at first. He'd try his best to be what you want him to be, and the attempt would make him miserable, and in the end he'd lash out, hurt you purposefully, do everything he could to drive you away so he could live the life he wants, so he could be really happy with a woman. Because that's what he wants, Greg, a woman. He'll never want you the way you want him to want you. It's just not in him to be what you need. He won't understand that kind of love, not one bit, but he'll try because it's you. And in the end he'll hate you."

"Why?" Greg cried out, his chest heaving, his shoulders trembling, his lips twitching with the anguish he was fighting to contain.

Why does it have to be this way? he thought. Why does it have to be so hard? Why does it have to hurt so much? Why is love such a vicious thing?

"He'll hate you because you took away his chance at happiness simply by loving him, which he'll try to return. He'll hate you because he sacrificed so much trying to be what you want him to be. He'll hate you because he'll see you as selfish. He'll hate you because you didn't walk away when you could have. He'll hate you because it'll destroy the friendship he cherishes most.

"Yes," The Fiend said apologetically, again hugging Greg's weeping form close, "he'll hate you in the end simply because you loved him."

"So what do I do? I can't stand feeling this way. It's too much. He's all I ever think about."

The Boy's tears flowed freely, staining his cheeks with lamentation and wetting his shirt with anguish. The Fiend relished it, thrived on it, wished for more so long as it drove a wedge between his son and They Boy, so long as it destroyed The Boy's hope for meaningful love with Nate and pushed him back toward The Fiend, toward the man who would have him no matter what.

Being in love with his son failed to worry The Fiend. It was the emotional bond that might interfere with his conquest of The Boy that worried him. Richard was not adverse to taking by force that which he wanted, but he would only use subtle force until he had engendered in his prey desire too potent to resist. If he had to do battle with The Boy's first love, he would most assuredly never get him to willingly submit his body, or at least to submit his body without violence. And The Fiend preferred to avoid violence as bruising the forbidden fruit made it less palatable.

"You have to learn how to hide those feelings from yourself, how to deny them so you stop feeling them and seeing them and thinking about them."

"How?" Greg sounded desperate, and that's exactly what he was. He'd never been more desperate in his life. He couldn't lose Nate. He just couldn't. And if sacrificing this wonderful and terrible thing called love would save his friendship and keep Nate from hating him, he'd do it, he'd suffer the pain and the loss, he'd give up what he wanted most in life, he'd try to find some new happiness. But he couldn't lose Nate, he couldn't make Nate hate him.

Hiding his triumphant smirk The Fiend replied, "I can teach you. It's a form of self-deception that's sometimes used in trauma cases to escape the pain and bad memories."

"Sounds like brainwashing," Greg sniffled.

"In a sense it is, only it's you brainwashing yourself. You decide what you want the world to be like and you convince yourself that's the way it is. You deny what you think and feel until it's hidden so deep you can't see it anymore."

"Like a mental blind spot?"

"Yes. Exactly. A blind spot is an apt description."

"And you can help me do that? Build a mental blind spot? You can help me hide my love for Nate so deep it won't affect me? You can help me save my friendship with him and keep him from hating me?"

"Of course. It takes time, though, Greg. It's not a quick fix. But with enough practice and effort, you'll be surprised at how soon you can set those feelings aside so you can move on."

"How come you know how to do that?"

"What, help people get rid of the part of their life they don't want to remember?"


"In my practice I sometimes have to treat kids who've been through some kind of trauma, maybe like a car accident where they've lost their parents or an illness that leaves them crippled or an assault that leaves them scarred both inside and out. Part of treating them physically means being attuned to their mental wellbeing as well."

"So you help them get rid of the bad stuff in their heads?"

"In a sense. And it's not so much getting rid of it as learning to hide it from themselves, learning to use self-deception to remove the sting from those constant mental pains."

"I just..."


"I just wish things were different. He's all I think about. I've never wanted something so much in my life. I'm tied in knots all the time, I can't stand to be away from him, I'm desperate to hear his voice and see his face and feel his touch. I don't know how I could ever find someone else who makes me feel that way."

Gently wiping away some of Greg's endless tears, wishing he could taste them for the triumph they were, Richard told The Boy, "Once you've built your blind spot, I think you'll start to notice there are other options."

"Like what?"

"Like other people who feel the same for you, other people who can give you what you're looking for, other people who want to take care of you and make you feel good and be for you what Nate can never be. And maybe you'll even notice that someone's been trying to catch your eye for years, someone close, someone who can give you as much of Nate as you can get without having the real thing."

"Someone like you?"

"Yeah, maybe someone like me."

Greg didn't know if he could ever feel that way about Richard, feel the same depth and potency and purity of love that he felt for Nate. But he didn't need to fall in love with Richard; he just needed the doctor to distract him while he learned to build his blind spot, learned to hide his love for Nate in a place where it could never hurt his best friend or do harm to their friendship.

Maybe it was wrong to think in terms of using Richard's obvious interest for personal gain, but Greg couldn't lose Nate, he just couldn't, and he was willing to do almost anything to keep that from happening.

Thank you for your comments and feedback and continued readership! I'm overwhelmed by the response this story has garnered.

Copyright © 2018 Jason MH; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Wow, so now we know that the blind spot didn't appear passively, it was purposely created by Greg under Richard's manipulation.

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The pieces of the puzzle slowly drop into place...


I'm looking forward to Greg's next session with Uncle Farid.


Great chapter interlude, Jason!


I'm still missing Keigan, though :unsure2:

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@Sweetlion: Yes, unfortunately Richard's impact on Greg and Nate (and therefore the story) is more heinous and widespread than just the assault, although that was tragic enough. This interlude doesn't conclude Richard's manipulation of the boys. There are at least two more interludes, although the last one is the feel-good part of those flashbacks. (Try imagining a feel-good scene with Richard...)


I say "at least two more interludes" because I removed one thinking it unnecessary, but now I'm vacillating between leaving it out and including it. I'll make a final decision about that when I reach the appropriate part of the story. (It's the interlude that focuses on Greg waking up in the hospital.)


@Marty: Don't fret, my friend. Keigan didn't have a role to play in the last few chapters, but he's back in Chapter 19. His part in this tale is still as important as ever (being the third vertex of the romance triangle that has Greg at its center). And to titillate your interest in his character, he and Greg have a scene a few chapters after that in which they'll "see" more of each other than they have thus far. But let me muddy the waters of salacious expectation by pointing out that things in this tale don't always unfold according to ordinary expectations.


Oh, I'm sure some will be happy to know Teresa's back in Chapter 18 and she's still a force of nature!


Also in the next chapter: Greg tells Kyle what happened to him on his fifteenth birthday, so you'll finally hear his side of the story. It's not a pleasant tale, although I've worked hard to (hopefully) avoid sharing something offensive.


And thank you for your comments! Although I can't respond to all of them (part and parcel of living and working on a ranch where livestock come before writing), I'm always thrilled and enlightened by what people have to say. The conjecture is entertaining and thought-provoking. Though I write for the sake of writing and never have written for an audience, I'm thankful this tale is already complete because sometimes you folks make guesses or voice opinions that easily could have swayed the direction of the story because it's stuff I never considered.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Jason MH said:

[...] I'm thankful this tale is already complete because sometimes you folks make guesses or voice opinions that easily could have swayed the direction of the story because it's stuff I never considered.


And that's the last thing I'd ever want to do! It's your story (and the characters'). What keeps me reading is wanting to now what's going to happen {and why, maybe). :) 

Edited by Marty
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Posted (edited)

“You have to learn how to hide those feelings from yourself, how to deny them so you stop feeling them and seeing them and thinking about them."


So Dick taught Greg how create his blind spot.

What a vile, disgusting, psychotic creature.

His predilection is bad enough, It was loathsome to think of him having a child only so he could use him as bait and I get that what he did with Greg is what he did with all his victims-manipulate their thoughts and feelings to attain his own ends, regardless of the psychological damage left in its wake, but to view the deliberate blueprint of harm carried out and to witness his enjoyment in doing this, that this is as stimulating to him as the physical copulation he eventually strives for, is chilling.

I really, really want bad things to happen to him.

If he is now dead, I hope he truly suffered before. I hope his ego was bruised and stripped from him and that he was intellectually crippled.

The only true justice would be that he be dehumanized at his basest level, that what he did (to innocence!!) was done to him.

I do appreciate and respect the insight you provide us into this criminal mind;  I guess it’s indicative of a job well done how unpalatable my reaction to Dick and his views are.

Edited by FanLit
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59 minutes ago, Bagnios said:

I wonder what sort of brainwashing The Fiend did on Nate.


I think Nate may have explained at least part of that in the joint therapy session...

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Excellent chapter! Richard is a very manipulative psychopath who is responsible for creating the emotional abuse which created the self imposed blind spot. There’s a special place in Hell reserved for people like this. The pieces of this very complex story are beginning to make more sense with each new chapter. I’m definitely looking forward to the next chapter! 😃❤️

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The more that is revealed about Richard, the more I would like to give him a massage. With a piece of 1/2" steel rebar.

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