The Sound of Starting Over - 5. Chapter 5*
The party is lit, I love it, the bass is so heavy from the speaks, and there are people everywhere. I look at Liam, who is holding hands with Julie. I look for Chandler, to see if he is going to show up, but of course I don’t see him, actually I haven’t seen him in a few days he wasn’t at school.
I am handed a cup as soon as I walk into the kitchen, and I see the keg. I go to it and pour myself some beer and take a swig before topping it off. I feel the cold liquid run down my throat. It has been a while since I drank, last time was when the party got busted.
“Mind pouring me a cup?” I hear from over my shoulder.
I turn around to find Kelsey smiling at me. “It’s gonna cost ya,” I say smiling, giving her a wink.
The sexual tension between us has been growing all week, and I plan to capitalize on it tonight! I take her cup and fill it. I get a good look at her; she has on some tight jeans and black long sleeve top that just makes her look sexy. “I am glad you made it,” she says, looking me over.
I chose to wear a tank top, my favorite destroyed jeans, and of course, my favorite Hurley hat. Even though it’s cold as fuck out, I always wear this to parties and always get lucky. “I think I’m glad I made it too.” I lean into whispering into her ear.
She leans into me, kissing my cheek, and I hear her giggle. “Let’s go dance.”
“Let’s go, babe,” I whisper back into her ear.
They turned the living room into a dance floor, and the lights are dimmed. Kelsey wastes no time on rubbing against me, so I put my hand on her ass, pulling her closer to me. “Someone is a little bit naughty,” I say, laughing.
“I bet you like every bit of it,” she says, biting her lip.
“You are fucking right, I do,” I say, continuing to dance with her.
I see Liam giving me a disappointed look; I just shrug my shoulders and down my drink. I tell Kelsey I want to get another drink - something a little harder. She offers to get some liquor and I let her. I walk up to Liam, who still has a disappointed look on his face. “You know it’s a party, you are supposed to enjoy yourself.”
“I am doing just fine,” he says, nudging Julie.
I laugh. “Dude have a drink or something. Loosen up. It might just get you laid.”
“I don’t drink, and it looks like you are doing enough of it for both of us. Didn’t Mom tell you not to drink?”
“It’s better to ask forgiveness than permission, but in my case, I won’t be doing either. Helen can’t play the mother card on me and expect me to listen.”
I feel a pair of hands wrapping around my waist. I turn around and find Kelsey with a shot glass and a cup. “Come on, sexy, drink up.”
We move into the kitchen, each of us taking more shots. After about three more, we head back out to the living room to dance some more. I am sweating, and so is Kelsey when she puts her lips on mine. I can taste the alcohol on her tongue; she runs her hand up my shirt. “Let’s go upstairs,” she whispers.
I follow her up the stairs, and into a bedroom. She locks the door behind her and shoves me down onto the bed. She climbs on top of me, pressing her lips to mine, and I am instantly hard. She grabs me a few times, causing me to moan out loud as we kiss. She takes my hat off and starts to pull my shirt up. I raise up to let her. She leans in and kisses my neck. “Fuck, that feels good, babe,” I hiss out.
“Oh Liam, I have been waiting for this for a while,” she says.
I push her off me. “What the fuck?! I am not Liam!” I yell at her. I see her fall to the floor as I get up. I look at her with disgust.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to,” she pleads, getting off the floor, putting her hand on my chest and trying to kiss me.
“Get the fuck off me, you drunk dumbass. You are still pining after Liam, aren’t you?”
“No, I was talking to him before we came up here,” she pleads.
“Don’t fucking lie. You still want him, don’t you?” I clench my fist not believing this bullshit, why the fuck would she want him and not me?
“Yes...” she says in a whisper.
I grab my shirt and hat off the bed. “You are fucking pathetic,” I spit at her and take off out of the room. I guess moving so fast made the effects of the alcohol more apparent. I stumble downstairs, and back into the kitchen. The party is still going strong; the music feels like it’s louder than before.
I grab another shot of whatever I can get my hands on, and I eventually just take the bottle and make my way out the back door. I sit in a chair and sip on the bottle. It burns like hell, but it’s getting the job done. I don’t even care about the cold. I just want to drink.
I want to drink my problems away; that’s what I did back home. They just keep catching up with me, and it sucks. I take another drink and think about Mrs. Heartlane. How she could just let her husband do that to me? I tried calling her after, and she told me not to call anymore. It wasn’t fucking fair!
“Landon, dude, I have been looking for you everywhere,” Liam says.
“You found me, like my past,” I slur.
“Dude, how much have you drunk?” I can tell even in a drunken stupor, that he is uncomfortable with this situation, he looks like he wants to try and talk to me, but I don’t owe him an explanation for shit.
I just grunt and look at the empty bottle next to me. “Go away.”
“We gotta get you up, man, we gotta go,” Liam urges, tugging on my arm
“Back the fuck up off me, Liam, I will knock your ass out!” I bat his hand away. I don’t want to be touched. I don’t want to fucking be here at all.
He laughs. “You can’t even stand up.”
“Fuck you!” I yell and try to get out of the chair and take a swing. I didn’t understand how drunk I was until everything started to spin. Liam catches me.
“Sit the fuck down, Landon,” he tells me.
I see him take his phone out of his pocket and call someone. I swear to god, if it’s Helen, I will break his fucking hand.
Seeing my phone light up, I roll my eyes and let out a sigh. It must be Liam. “Yeah?”
“I need a huge favor.”
“How big?” I ask, setting the book that I was reading to the side.
Liam hesitates before he asks, “Can Landon crash at your place tonight?” I can hear the party in the background. I feel relieved that I didn’t go because it would have been too much for me to handle.
“Are you kidding me? That’s more than a favor, Liam!” I say, getting off my bed, going to my dresser, and pulling out a hoodie. I didn’t realize how chilly it was getting in the apartment
“Please, Chandler, I know this is a huge favor to ask, but Helen will kill me if I bring him home drunk.”
I let out a sigh. “How drunk is he? Like, is he going to be party drunk, or so drunk he just goes to bed?” I ask, trying to get a feel for this situation. I start pacing. I make my way to the living room and it’s just as chilly as my room.
I hear Liam laugh. “He’s barely able to walk.”
I hesitate. “Fine. You have to come to get him first thing, in the morning!”
I hang up the phone and look around my room. It’s spotless, so I’m not worried about that. I make my way to the living room, and make sure it’s presentable. Since I haven’t even been in here today I have no idea what I actually might find. I find a little bit of pot laying on the side table, and I toss it out. My fucking foster parents always leaving this shit around, I am so glad they are gone again this weekend. The only reason I know is that my foster sister came home to change and said not to call them.
I put a sheet on the couch. It’s not in the best condition, but it’ll work for him tonight. I lay out one of my pillows from my bed, along with a blanket. I’m not allowed to turn on the heat when they aren’t home, so I make sure it’s one of the warmer blankets I have.
Before I know it, there is a knock on the door. I go and open it, and Liam is standing there with a smile. I see Landon leaning into him. “Dude, help, he’s not as light as he looks.”
“I heard that,” Landon slurs.
“Unbelievable, he’s still an ass when he’s drunk,” I say, taking his other arm over my shoulder.
“Look who it is! Liam, look, I found Chandler!” he squeezes his arm tight around my neck.
“Yeah, you totally found me,” I say sarcastically, looking over at Liam. He mouths an apology. I mouth back that he really owes me big for this.
“Are we putting him on the couch?” Liam asks.
“Yeah,” I say, and we guide him into the living room. We gently set him on the couch, and he slouches over. I turn back to Liam, and he is snickering. I follow him to the door. “You aren’t staying long.” I lean against the wall. I see the shame wash over his face, and I hate seeing him like that.
“I have Julie waiting in the car for me,” he says, shifting his weight from one foot to the other.
“Ahh… how was the party?” I ask, not really caring about the party. I just didn’t want to be left alone with Landon so soon. That and I felt guilty for ditching Liam tonight. He tries his best to keep me in social circles.
“It was interesting. Something happened with Landon and Kels. Next thing I know, I find him outside drunk off his ass.”
“That would explain his state,” I say glancing back towards the living room, not really wanting to deal with this mess.
Liam hugs me. “I really appreciate this man, so fucking much.”
I hug him back. “You owe me for this!” I tell him, smiling.
“Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. Please look out for him,” he says.
“Yeah, man, will do. Now go, it’s getting colder in here with the damn door open,” I tell him.
“Call me if you need anything, Chand.” I don’t know why he always tells me this - he knows I won’t call for anything other than to hang out.
I nod my head, he nods back, and I close the door. I make sure it’s locked, and I hear a thump in the living room. I lean my back against the door and thump my head on it. I cannot believe I am doing this for Liam.
Walking into the living room, I see Landon has fallen, trying to get his shoes off. “Need help?”
“Obviously,” he slurs.
I roll my eyes and bend down to help him take his shoes off. “Come on, get off the floor.”
I help him up and steady him since he is swaying so bad. I can smell the alcohol on him; it’s like he showered in it. He looks at me for a second, and I don’t see the anger or mischievous glare in his eyes. They seem sad, but he looks away from me and takes his shirt off. I step back and he fumbles with his belt and falls forward. I steady him. “Are you gonna help me or just watch me struggle?” he asks.
“What are you doing?”
“Taking my pants off. I am not sleeping in jeans.”
“Well, what do you want me to do?” I ask, not sure.
He looks at me and puts his hands on my shoulders. “Take my pants off. I mean who wouldn’t want to take my pants off.” He smirks
I want to punch him, but I can tell he is really drunk. I move my hands to his belt and undo it. I move to unbutton his pants, and my hand grazes his stomach. I feel the warmth of his flesh. I undo the zipper, push the jeans off his skinny hips, and they just fall straight to the floor since they are so baggy on him. He tries to get his foot out of the pants leg and falls into me. I catch him, his warm body now pressed into me. “Just sit down, and kick them off.”
He flops on the couch, he tries and fails to kick them off so I just pull them all the way off. “You happy now?” I ask.
“Why do you hate me so much?” he asks after a few seconds. I can tell he’s being serious. There is no malice or sarcasm in his voice.
“I don’t hate you,” I tell him.
Landon pulls his legs to his chest, and I can see the vulnerable kid that’s been there all along. “You act like you do.”
“It’s your attitude, man. You act like a dick most of the time.”
“Yeah, fair enough. You always act like you’re on some high horse, though.”
“I’m sorry, just, I am very protective of your family, man. They have been nothing but kind to me. I mean, if you look around, I don’t have much,” I tell him.
He takes in the living room, and I look at him. He looks at the bare room, and I can almost tell what he is thinking - that it’s not very welcoming. The walls are bare, and the thin curtains covering the window aren’t even clean. I feel the shame wash over me; it’s nothing he is used to, but it’s what I live in.
I cannot believe I am sitting here, almost having a heart to heart with Landon… I guess he must be drunk. I wish this was the Landon we all could see. He seems so much more enjoyable to be around.
“Did you hear me?” he asks.
“Sorry, I spaced out,” I say, feeling my cheeks heat up.
“Never mind, it was stupid anyway,” he says, putting his forehead on his knees.
I get off the floor and sit beside him. “No, it’s not stupid, man, just talk to me.”
He looks over at me. “What’s wrong with you? What’s your story?”
“My mom… she was sick, very sick… she murdered my dad and then shot herself in front of me,” I tell him.
“I’m sorry,” he whispers.
We don’t say anything, and I look over and see he’s put his forehead on his knees. I can hear him crying. “Landon, what’s wrong?”
He looks over at me, his eyes rimmed red from crying. “Do you think someone can be too fucked up to save?”
“I don’t think anyone can be too fucked up, I mean, look what I have been through, and I like to think I am a decent person.”
“I’m not! I have done shit, I have fucked up and fucked up. Over and over again! I am a… a fuck up. That’s why my dad sent me here. She even knows I’m a fuck up and I fucking love her. I loved her!” he says, his voice cracking.
He runs his hands through his hair. “Who is she? Your mom?”
“No, Helen doesn’t get that power over me. Mrs. H…, I loved her. She knew I loved her, and she laughed, called me a silly boy… do you know how that fucking feels?”
I don’t know what to say. I just pull him into a hug, and he cries. “She didn’t love me… she was my first, she taught me everything… why couldn’t she love me?”
I don’t have an answer for him, I just pat his shoulder, I never would have taken Landon for an emotional drunk. He cries for a while, he doesn’t say anything else he just snuggles closer into my side. He finally goes silent, and I realize he’s fallen asleep on me. I try to move out from under him so I can lay him down, and he mumbles, “Don’t leave me….”
“I’m not, I just want to get more blankets. You are freezing,” I tell him.
He doesn’t say anything as I pull the cover towards him and over him. He looks up at me his eyes still bloodshot, “You aren’t leaving me, alone right?”
“I was going to go lay in my bed,” I tell him.
“Oh….you don’t want to…never mind.” He says, and I can tell he is about to cry.
“What is it?”
He takes a deep breath, “Can I come?”
“To my bed?” I ask unsure.
“I don’t want to be alone.”
For the record, I think this is one of the worst ideas, but I agree and help him into my room, he tries to carry the blankets. He falls into the bed, “roll over you didn’t leave any room for me.”
“Hurry up and undress and get in.” he slurs.
I slide off my jeans but leave my tank top on, I get into the bed under the covers. Landon moves closer to me snuggling into my side. This feels amazing, I just hope he doesn’t lose his shit in the morning when he wakes up.
I wake up and realize Landon isn’t in the bed anymore. Getting up to stretch, I check the living room, and he isn’t there. I see the light on underneath the bathroom door. I walk over and knock on it. “Landon, are you okay?”
The door opens, and he is standing there dripping wet, with his hands covering his crotch. I can’t help but take him in and blush. “Uh… I kind of need a towel.”
I get another look at him. His arms have those natural muscles, and his stomach seems to be defined. “Yeah, um, let me get you one.”
I turn to the closet next to me and grab one for him. Looking back, he’s standing in front of a mirror, and I have a clear view of his butt. It’s so perfectly round and plump. I give him the towel. “I’ll be, um, in my room,” I tell him.
“Thanks for the towel.”
I walk into my room, and I finally let the breath out that I was holding. Holy shit, his ass is so gorgeous. I will never let that sight out of my head. I hear a knock on the door, and he is standing there. Still shirtless, but he’s in his boxers. “How are you feeling?”
“I have a headache, and I feel like I am going to puke again,” he says, looking around my room.
I want to ask him about last night, but I don’t know if I should. He keeps looking around my room and finds my bottles of pills. “What are these?”
“One’s for sleeping, and the others help calm my anxiety,” I tell him.
“You have trouble sleeping?” he looks shocked as he puts the bottles down and continues to look around my bare room.
I nod my head. “Yeah, I have vivid nightmares, and I don’t sleep well because of the whole thing I witnessed.”
“So, who do you live with?” he asks.
“A foster family…,” I tell him, sitting on my bed. I watch as he looks at the books I have on my makeshift shelf; they are the only personal things that I even have.
He looks back into the living room, “Where are they?”
I shrug, “I don’t know. They are hardly ever here, and when they are, I usually stay out of the way.”
“Do Hank and Helen know about the conditions you live in?” he asks. Looking back at me, as if he’s caught me red-handed.
“What do you mean?” I shift uncomfortably on the bed, not liking where this conversation is heading.
He shakes his head, “Don’t play dumb, Chandler, you know what I am talking about. I woke up freezing because the heater isn’t on, there is no food in the fridge, nothing in the cabinets. Your room is as bare as a baby’s bottom. Not to mention the burned spoons that were on the coffee table.”
“They don’t know,” I say, wishing I would have said no to him coming over. I mentally cuss myself out. How the fuck did I not see the spoons on the table?
“Why not? They obviously love you like you are their own child,” he says, walking to my closet and looking in it.
“Tell me who Mrs. H. is.” I counter. That stops him dead in his tracks, and he turns to face me. He looks like a little kid that has just gotten in trouble.
I can see the color drain from his face. “She… she was my neighbor.”
I get up. “Landon, how old were you when you had sex with her?”
“Thirteen,” he whispers
“She was your first?” I ask.
He nods his head. I put a hand on his shoulder, and he shrugs it off. “Yeah… she’s thirty-four.”
“Landon, you know what she did was wrong, right?”
“Chandler just shut up. You don’t know anything about what I’ve done. Let’s just agree to keep what we know about each other a secret,” he says, with the coldness seeping back into his voice, and the hardness coming back into his eyes.
“Fine but answer me this. How many other women abused you?” I ask, putting my hand on his shoulder to show that I don’t mean any harm to him.
I can see I hit a nerve with him. “Two others besides her.” He shrugs my handoff.
“They made you have sex with them?”
“It wasn’t abuse, it was just sex,” he says, getting defensive, and walks out of my room and back into the living room. I follow him, and I see him pick up the burned spoons and shake his head.
I don’t let him change the subject. I think this is something he needs to talk about. “No, Landon, that’s sexual abuse!”
“Really, you want to talk about abuse? What the fuck is this?” he says, lifting my shirt up to reveal the black and purple bruise, and he touches it.
I wince and yank my shirt back down. “I ran into the counter,” I tell him and back away.
“Liar, you’re too tall the counter would hit you in the hip,” he says with confidence as if he knows he is right. “I saw the bruises this morning when I woke up, I bet there are more on your back."
“I don’t know what you are talking about, Landon,” I say, taking a few more steps away from him.
He laughs. “Why do you deal with it?” He points back to the spoons, and gestures to the blank room.
I clench my fists. “Because, if I say anything, the state will yank me away from here. That means they yank me away from the only people who accept me like I am a part of their family.”
“So, you deal with the abuse to be close to Liam and the family?” he looks like he is confused.
“It’s complicated.” I pace the living room, not wanting to look him in the eye because I don’t want to be having this conversation.
“Helen isn’t the saint you think she is - she abandoned me. I haven’t heard from her in years. She’s not the mother of the century.”
“Landon, you aren’t the son of the year, either. Look, why don’t you give her a damn chance, man?” I ask, looking back at him. I know I am challenging him to open up more.
“She doesn’t have the right to ask for that chance. Why don’t you tell her you’re gay?” he smiles and moves closer to me.
I freeze, and I just look at him. I feel my anxiety kick in, “I’m… I’m… not.”
“Right, and I am a fucking saint.” He laughs, but I can see concern wash over his face, “Are you okay?
I don’t say anything. I start to feel dizzy, so I sit down on the couch, and Landon just continues to look at me. “Please… don’t say anything,” my voice cracks.
“Looks like we both have secrets,” he says, running his hands through his hair.
“Yeah, but I don’t trust you!” I say, finally finding my voice, and trying to keep the panic attack off.
He laughs. “I don’t know why you don’t trust me.”
“because trusting you would be like trusting the devil?” I say, looking him in the eyes.
“I don’t care that your gay… it’s none of my fucking business.”
I don’t get to reply because there is a knock on the door. “You need to get dressed.”
I go and answer the door, it’s Liam. I open the door and let him in. “What’s up, man? How was last night?” He looks at me, “are you okay you are really pale.”
“It was good. You are here early.”
“Yeah, Hank is supposed to take Drunky the Bear to the coffee shop, so I came to get him. You are coming over today?”
“Yeah, man, let me just grab some stuff.”
I hope you all enjoyed this chapter! Thanks to the wonderful Rusty, couldnt do it with out this guy! Thank you all for the continued support!
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