2.You’re still you

Betad by: Charity

A/N: Sorry it took so long! I try to be faster with the next one but I need to work on Silent too, because Michael from silent will play a side role in this 👀


Chapter 2

Eelis looked nervously at the man, who looked back at him and grinned as he stared at his body. ”Look at you, all grown up,” he said. ”You look fucking good.”

Eelis looked away from the other feeling uncomfortable, there was a certain tightness in his throat. The other man glanced towards the door and took a step closer.

His heartbeat was fast, he didn’t get a word out of his mouth. Tero was a year older than him and Eelis remembered, quite embarrassedly, how at some party an eternity ago, he had drunk far too much, and somehow, they had ended up in the bathroom with him, where…

Yes, he had given the older boy a blowjob.

Tero, a sworn heterosexual, played hockey and had dated one obnoxious girl from the same school. The pair had been well suited for each other, to be honest, the guy was pretty obnoxious as well, though hot to be sure.

It had felt like a good idea then, in the drunken state he had been in, he had wanted to prove that… That he was right about the guy, that he wasn’t so straight that he claimed to be. There was more than one occasion that he had caught the older boy staring at him that way.

Eelis didn’t remember so well how they had ended up in the bathroom, but he did remember what they had done there. Tero had gotten his pleasure from it but hadn’t returned it and … well, one could say that it had been the first sign of how fucked up his future sex life would turn out to be.

”This brings back memories, doesn’t it?” Tero asked, most likely referring to the bathroom environment. The man now stood right in front of him, locking his body between himself and the sink and Eelis smelled the beer from his breath. His heart started hammering in his chest as more memories rushed into his consciousness.

After the bathroom incident, there had been occasions that Tero had tried to get him to repeat it. ”Getting blown by a guy doesn’t make a man gay, a mouth is a mouth.” He remembered the idiot saying to him after and narrowed his eyes at him now, breathing tensely.

”Come on, how about it?” Tero murmured about to take his hand and…

There was another rush of unwelcome horrific memories, the stench of alcohol on the other man’s breath, all the times that Chris had cornered him and… Eelis shoved him back harshly.

”Don’t fucking touch me!” He hissed, feeling how his body trembled all over.

Tero gave disbelieving laughter, but the laughter died soon and was replaced with a little uncomfortable and almost embarrassed look.

”I guess the rumors are true then, that your ex…” Tero started, scratching his neck and Eelis gave him a look of utter shame, feeling the rage shift into a panic. At the same moment, the bathroom door opened, and an older man stepped in, looking at them confused for a moment, but Eelis took the opportunity and escaped the room.

He hurried to where Sarah was still sitting and as the woman looked at him, her smile turned to a confused, questioning look. Eelis took his jacket.

”I’m sorry, I have to go,” he said and began hurriedly putting his jacket on while already walking towards the front door, doing his best to stop himself from crying.

He had wanted to escape these rumors; he didn’t want people to know… They were speculations that were much true and that was the big reason he had wanted to get away and change his name. While another part of the people guessed the truth, another small part had gotten their hands on those nude pictures, and it was all too much.

That uneasy feeling spread; it was hard to breathe. Damnit! Not now, not here. Had to get home, to safety, fast.

Sarah had grabbed her jacket and followed her new friend in confusion. ”Elis!” She called and hurried her steps. ”Elis,” she called more softly as she stopped next to the other, who was trembling all over and was having trouble breathing.

Sarah was worried and confused. ”Hey, are you okay?” She asked. Eelis avoided her gaze, still gasping for breath and trying to fight the tears. ”Hi, everything is fine. Let’s take a taxi, I’ll get you home,” Sarah said.

Eelis was embarrassed, the panic attack had time to pass as they waited for a taxi, while Sarah had calmed him down. But even though it was over, Sarah still wanted to take him home and it made him even more embarrassed.

A younger, petite woman would escort him home because he hadn’t been able to pull himself together. It shouldn’t be this way!

He had promised himself to be stronger. And at the same time, his self-esteem was eaten that Tero, the arrogant, supposedly straight hockey player he had once sucked off as a teenager, knew the rumors or rather the truth about Chris and him.

Eelis didn’t know what to say to Sarah, so that she wouldn’t consider him completely insane. They were in his apartment and the woman was staring at him anxiously while preparing tea for them.

”Want to tell me what that was all about?” Sarah asked softly.

Eelis sat at the kitchen table and gratefully accepted the cup of tea that she offered. He held it between his hands.

”Panic Attack,” he muttered, still avoiding her gaze.

”Well, that much I understood. I have a friend from Ireland who has suffered from them from time to time,” Sarah smiled and now Eelis looked at her. Sarah was seated at the table opposite him. Eelis spun his spoon in the teacup quietly.

”Well, that tattoo is related to this too,” Eelis admitted, feeling his heartbeat speed up once more. He looked at the blonde across from him who nodded.

”I’m a good listener and, above all, good at keeping secrets,” She smiled encouragingly. That smile relieved the anxiety only slightly and Eelis wondered if he really would tell. -He wanted to leave it behind and be a new person and… damn it!

He was silent, lifted the cup to his lips, drank it slowly, and sighed.

”I was in a really bad relationship. The one before my current ex I mean and…He did this,” Eelis touched the scar hidden under the tattoo, but the skin was different and couldn’t be hidden completely. ”Not only this but also stuff that shows no visible trace… except, well… those panic attacs. Hm…”His heartbeat was already accelerating from this little piece of information alone and he was afraid of another panic attack.

Meanwhile, Sarah now knew that he was gay, simply from that one sentence; He did this”

Not knowing what she would think of it, he kept avoiding her gaze. Joni wouldn’t have cared, he would have admitted the fact proudly, but Eelis lacked his former confidence and the circle of friends to stand behind him.

Sarah was silent at first, agonizingly long it seemed. ”I’m sorry,” she said at last, as gently as possible and carefully she moved her hand across the table to touch his, which at first startled him. He accepted the touch, relieved that she took his revelation without disgust or hate.

”As I said, I’m a good listener. I swear,” Sarah placed her right hand to her chest over her heart,” that anything you tell me won’t leave my lips to outsiders. ”

”I don’t think I’m ready to talk about it more now,” Eelis admitted. ”I wouldn’t want to think about it. I would like to leave it behind, but it is harder than I thought.”

”I understand that. But it often helps when you first go through it with someone. ” Sarah tilted her head. ”I won’t pressure you. I understand that it is difficult at times.” She took a moment to think before continuing.

”One thing I haven’t talked about, or find comfortable talking about,” she took another pause and Eelis looked at her with curiosity and what he hoped were empathy and encouragement. ”I had a relationship with a married man, and I got pregnant. It… Well, the big reason why moving to London got my interest. I didn’t want a baby; I wasn’t ready, and that man was not ready! I had to hide it from my family, I traveled here with my friend last fall and… Well, I didn’t become a mother, as you can see. And I don’t feel guilty about it other than whenever I visit my family. They would have a heart attack if they knew what I did. It is not legal in Ireland. But I don’t like to talk about it, I don’t know how most people think about it, and I don’t know what you think about it either. Well, that’s it, I’ve had an abortion and been a promiscuous, irresponsible woman.”

Eelis looked at Sarah and smiled a little, with sympathy. He was pleased that Sarah had opened up to him and it increased his trust in her.

”I don’t judge you,” he said. ”Of course, I don’t, I am far from perfect.” He added and fell silent for a moment. Sarah had confided in him, but it didn’t feel right to tell his own story now. It sounded so absurd. ’My ex-boyfriend kidnapped me with his crazy friend from prison. He raped and beat me, and finally… ’’ Eelis went through it in his mind and felt nausea in his abdomen and some unexplained feeling, vague pain that was hard to open even for himself…

Chris was dead. The cops had shot him. Everything could have gone differently, if… He leaned on his elbow and covered his face for a moment. Tears burned in the corners of his eyes and he swallowed thickly, he did not want to cry, not now, no more.

He sensed Sarah’s worried look and finally lowered his hand. Sarah might have said something and Eelis looked at the woman in confusion.

”I hope you don’t consider me crazy right now,” Eelis said quietly. ”There’s just a lot of pain involved in that relationship I mentioned,” he tried to swallow down the heavy weight from his throat. The pressing thought from that nightmare he experienced in that cabin and what would have happened to him if it had been Aki who would have shot Chris instead.

”I saw a former acquaintance in the men’s room, and it reminded me of that. I just want to forget all of it, but I can’t.”

”I understand, and when you’re ready to talk, I’ll be here and listen.” Sarah smiled gently. ”I won’t put more pressure on you.”

”Thank you,” Eelis smiled cautiously back.

When Sarah went home, Eelis was left in his thoughts. He took his phone, thought for a moment, and opened the images he had saved. His chest scratching and his eyes burned from tears he tried to hold back. His finger moved softly on the screen above Misha’s face. The sudden sadness and longing felt overwhelming and for a moment… Eelis switched to the WhatsApp box, opened the chat window, and stared at their latest conversation from late summer.

”I have to be alone, it’s better. I can’t be in a relationship. Sorry.” He had written and he remembered how he had seen Misha write his answer over and over until, after several minutes, Misha had finally sent his answer:

Misha: You don’t have to apologize…

Misha: I don’t understand your decision, but I accept it, I can’t change it. I’ll be here when you’re ready. I love you, always.

Joni felt the familiar tightness in his throat. Even now, he wanted to send a message to Misha, but he didn’t really know what to say, and he was still far too broken.

He hadn’t recovered enough and these panic attacks… What if he got one on campus or at work? That would double the amount of embarrassment he already felt. So, he had to reluctantly admit that he still needed help. 

Sighing, Eelis decided to send a text to that man. ”Could we meet up after all? It’s difficult as you said, but I want to be able to move forward.

The man answered the very next morning. ”I’m free tomorrow if it suits you. We could meet up at Hydepark tomorrow afternoon, next to the Lodge café. I’m that dark-haired little tanned-looking guy in his thirties in a gray woolen coat 🙂

Eelis smiled a little and thought for a moment before answering. ”12.30? I’m a dark-haired and perhaps a little pale 🤔 guy in his twenties. ” He sent a message and soon received a reply. He was a little bothered by the whole thing but decided to do his best not to cancel this time. He wanted to start to feel better and if it went well, get rid of those repetitive nightmares.

** ^^ ** ​​^^ ** ​​^^ **

November was not an ideal time for a holiday in North. It was perhaps the worst of all months and especially this year it was twice as much, but for Misha the time became necessary. He was utterly exhausted.

It was the first time he had traveled to Russia after what had happened. The matter had to be faced; he reasoned. And he had not seen his grandmother face to face, for which he felt pressing guilt over.

Anna had sold the house and moved to the town center to a small flat near her son. It made sense and it felt a little relieving that Grandma was close to her family members now.  Misha wouldn’t have been comfortable returning to the place where that awfulness had taken place.

”You look tired,” Anna took note in a slightly worried but gentle tone as she hugged him. Misha laughed, though the laughter was exhausted and confirmed her statement.

”It’s good to see you,” Misha said. ”I’m sorry I didn’t come earlier,” he apologized.

”Don’t worry about it, you’ve had a hard time. Come on, I prepared supper.” Anna said and Misha couldn’t help but feel the sting of guilt.

”It hasn’t been easy for you either,” Misha said as he followed his grandmother to the kitchen, where the woman instructed him to take a seat. Anna waved her hand lightly, though at the same time her smile was sad.

”I’ll be fine,” she assured, and Misha looked at her thoughtfully as she served the food. ”How is Joni?” Anna asked in a gentle tone and Misha shrugged.

”Still in London, he studies and got a job there too I heard. He changed his name.” Misha smiled absently and lifted his fork in his mouth, chewing and swallowing before speaking. ”He thinks that it’s best that we…” His voice trailed off and he took a new forkful. It was painful to be apart like this.

”Poor boy, he must be confused…” Anna sighed. ”It was such a terrible thing.”

Misha nodded and continued to eat quietly. ”I haven’t given up,” he said then. ”I’ll give him time and space, but I haven’t given up, I’ll wait.” He said then and his grandmother smiled. She reached over the table to touch her grandson’s hand, squeezing it gently.

”He will recover,” Anna assured. ”It’s good to hear you haven’t given up. He is a sweet young man, and I am sure with time he reaches out to you. You are good together.”

Anna had knitted mittens for Joni, she handed them to Misha after they ate. ”I was wondering if you could give them to him. Maybe you’ll see him at Christmas? ” Anna thought. ”Of course, I knitted for all three of you, too.” Misha looked at the mittens in his hands and smiled a little wistfully.

”These are great, I think he would like them. I just don’t know if he’ll agree to see me.”

”Why in the world wouldn’t he agree?” Anna wondered and Misha shrugged.

”He just has that kind of stage now. He thinks it’s the best for me.”

”Well, then all you have to do is prove him he’s wrong.” Anna nodded and patted Misha’s hand. ”Deliver them to him for Christmas, one way or another. Maybe next time, maybe in the summer he would come here with you?”

Misha settled with being quiet and smiling at his grandmother. To be honest, he wondered if Joni would ever be ready to return to Russia, he might associate what happened too strongly here. And even though he hadn’t given up on Joni, it was sometimes hard to keep up the faith that they’d one day be reunited.

Dima had told of his visit to Joni …or Eelis, -Misha couldn’t get used to the name. However, his brother had to admit to him that Joni still seemed stubborn to hold on to the belief that they were better off apart like this. They hadn’t even communicated since late summer.

That night, after much thought, Misha opened their latest chat window on WhatsApp and stared at it. The feeling of longing was intense. He started writing a message, deleted and rewrote, deleted and decided to sleep overnight.

The next day, when the thought refused to leave him alone, he decided to send a message. ”Are you coming home for Christmas?” It seemed innocent enough.

But as the day went on and Joni didn’t answer, Misha started to get annoyed. The irritation alternately turned into a fear that something had happened, then resolved to pain that Joni had just simply and stubbornly decided he would no longer want to have anything to do with him anymore, and it… The thought hurt him like hell.

Therefore, the house party organized by Pavel for the same evening came at a perfect time.

Misha was going to drink his heartache into oblivion!

Pavel had finally managed to move to his own, albeit very close to his parents. Pavel and his other friends thought Misha could need a fun evening, with lots of vodka shots and chilling with friends.

Misha met Galina at first and they went out to eat, the woman noticed how set he was to get wasted that evening and was a little worried about it. But Misha didn’t want to talk, he wanted to be able to have fun and most of all, forget!

Stanislav, this girlfriend Tatiana, Peter, Dina, Natasha, Ksenya, a few others, the same ones who had been there when Joni and he… Misha did not want to think.

And the others looked at him at first, in an awkward manner. They knew he had parted ways with Joni, they knew what had happened. What could one even say to that? Even Misha didn’t know.

He did his best to be as relaxed, and carefree as possible, he didn’t want to start talking about it or Joni, not now.

So he set into a role, was the first to suggest a game of poker, and poured vodka down his throat

Some agreed to the game enthusiastically, while a small group of women formed their own conversation croup.

Misha couldn’t help but overhear the whispers. He heard Dina whispering about that hot model boy and went to refill his glass. He was noticing how the women were eyeing him with pity it seemed, and it annoyed him. So, he kept pouring himself more to drink and minutes later laughed out loud with the other men at some silly joke Peter had told them.

Stanislav looked at him and grinned a little, his gaze was suggestive and interested. Misha swept his mouth and looked back at the other man defiantly. It was November and he had had sex with Joni last time, just before …The memory tore his insides. He wanted to forget.

”Misha, perhaps you should ease down your drinking?” Galina said at one point, eyeing him with worry. Misha gave her a hurtful glare.

”I can take care of myself, thank you very much!” He replied, more rudely than he had intended, but didn’t stay to correct it and instead defiantly refilled his glass.

Finally, it was he who suggested that they should go to a bar. And again, others agreed to his suggestion eagerly while only Galina kept eyeing him with concern. – She didn’t need to, he was fine, just had fun and drank himself into happy oblivion, at least that was the intention.

At the bar, Stanislav wanted to offer him a drink and they sat side by side, confusingly close to each other. Stanislav’s girlfriend sat a little further away, but Misha noticed the subtle but curious looks that she gave in their direction.

Misha felt weird, at the thought that Stanislav… Well, the other man had seemed interested in both him and Joni, but Misha had gotten the impression that Joni in particular… But now, he looked drunkenly as Stanislav’s hand landed on his thigh under the table and it made him shiver. Misha swallowed, stared confusedly at the other’s face and Stanislav smiled as he lifted the glass to his lips.

”Do you want to see my truck?” Stanislav asked and Misha blinked. Stanislav’s hand moved slightly upwards towards his groin and Misha felt his body react to the touch this intimate he had longed for.

”Your truck?” – Is that what Stanislav called it? His drunken brains thought amused, though the other part understood, understood very well, and became interested. He was drunk and wanted to forget… If he could just forget between everything and remember how sometimes, years ago he had felt  desire for the man sitting next to him and who was now suggesting…

”It’s parked pretty close,” Stanislav grinned and Misha raised his brow in amusement. The other hand was still on his thigh, thoughts of Joni threatening to surface, it hurt and he wanted to get rid of that pain. Stanislav offered him a way, his heart rate picked up and he looked at the hand on his thigh with interest. What if Joni just never wanted him again? Misha’s drunken mind pondered the suggestion, his hand lifting the glass to his lips, wanting to just get drunker and forget.

He turned his head, Galina looked at him and Misha saw that annoying concern on the woman’s face. He glanced at Stanislav’s girlfriend, who was chatting with other women and laughing lightly. His condition was… he was just so damn confused and broken and just wanted… wanted… Stanislav squeezed his thigh suggestively.

”Let’s go,” Misha found himself answering. As they got up, Galina wondered where they were going.

”We’re going for a walk,” Misha replied, emptying his glass. Stanislav did the same.

”Misha?” Galina sighed, but they were already heading out. Stanislav’s girlfriend had also noticed their departure, but had only offered a peculiar smile at them, – damn weird. -Misha thought.

They walked quietly ahead. Misha felt Stanislav’s occasional gaze, and finally, the other man offered him a sip of his pocket flash, Misha gratefully took a sip. The truck park was indeed quite close, they had walked less than a mile, Misha thought, and on the other hand, the walk had appropriately cleared his head. To the extent that he wondered what the hell was he doing, but not enough to turn back.

They stood in front of the truck. ”Here it is, do you want to come inside?” Stanislav asked casually, though they both knew why they were there.

Misha took a new sip from the flask he was still holding. He looked at another man who had one time long ago been the subject of his wet dreams, but it was before… Before Joni.

Misha would have liked to see Joni’s face instead of Stanislav’s and the pain of longing tore his insides, he wanted to be rid of the constant pain he carried in his heart.

He took another sip before wordlessly handing the bottle to Stanislav. They looked at one another, they both knew why they were there. Misha pressed closer, pushing the other against the truck before bringing his hungry lips to his. The night around them was quiet, with no other in sight.

Stanislav gasped, responding to the kiss eagerly. His hands wrapped behind his back, traveling to his buttocks and gave an eager squeeze.

”Let’s go in before anyone sees,” Stanislav gasped as they broke away from the kiss. Misha nodded, it had been too long and he was drunk. His lust could be denied when satisfaction was offered like this, even though some part of him was aware that he wasn’t like this and that…

Stanislav opened the door from the driver’s side, they got in and crouched somewhat awkwardly on the narrow bed behind the benches. Stanislav leaned on the kiss, while his hands roamed Misha’s body eagerly, soon moving to the front of his pants.

Misha sighed into a kiss, his body reacting, the blood traveling down with force. It was all too long ago… Wet, drunken kisses, Misha’s hands fumbled with Stanislav’s slender body, which… Thoughts of Joni pushed into his mind… He closed his eyes… They lay down and Stanislav opened his pants impatiently. His hand had sunk into his boxers, a delightful sigh escaping his lips.

”You’re huge,” Stanislav muttered, breaking away from the kiss, clearly wanting to look closer.

And Misha… He looked at the dark-haired head in the twilight of the night that was bent over him. The other man was examining his erection with eager hands and he remembered… The time in his room when Joni had been kneeling in front of him. Joni’s hand had measured his length, with curiosity, and awe in those amber-brown eyes, the most beautiful eyes Misha had ever seen, his parted lips… 

”It’s big…oh…” His voice, their first time and times since, when they loved and were one and… Those memories stung his eyes, he didn’t need them now, tried to push them aside. He surrendered to the pleasure, silencing the pain and longing under it. Never realizing it was still there, he was there in his mind along when it was in fact someone else pleasuring him.

And when it was over, satisfaction received, the reality felt cruel. His mind cleared slightly from the alcohol he had consumed.

But since that satisfaction had been given to him, he couldn’t let Stanislav without his and offered it to him too, in the end, it didn’t even take too much effort…

Misha couldn’t help but wonder if this was Stanislav’s first experience with other man or had there been more in his past. At the same time, he felt guilty for both Stanislav’s girlfriend and Joni, even though they were no longer together, he had to remind himself. Tatiana on the other hand…

After they had tidied up their clothes and gotten dressed, a hand landed on his shoulder and Stanislav offered him another drink from the flask.

”Don’t look so guilty,” Stanislav said. ”There was nothing wrong with what we did,” he said and Misha finally faced the other. ”It felt fucking amazing.”

”What about Tatiana?” Misha couldn’t help but ask, taking a sip and offering it back to the other.

”She doesn’t mind, she knows… We have an open relationship.” Stanislav grinned at Misha’s surprised look. ”She would be interested in watching… We thought you weren’t ready for that, at least not yet.” And again Stanislav offered him a drink which Misha accepted gratefully to solve his confused mind.

”Have you been with a man before?” He asked.

”Oral sex yes. These truck gigs can sometimes be long. ” Stanislav laughed. ”You have the biggest cock I’ve ever seen. It’s magnificent,” he praised and Misha smiled.

”Thank you,” he said and started towards the cockpit.

”If you have some funny guilt on Joni’s behalf, you shouldn’t,” Stanislav said. ”You’re not together now.”

”Hmh…” Misha nodded in thought, longing returned with force.

”Hey… doesn’t mean you can’t be in the future!” Stanislav clapped his shoulder. ”And before that… I can help make you feel better…” Stanislav raised his eyebrows suggestively, in a way that made Misha laugh momentarily. ”I’d love to do it, anytime!”

”Thank you, Stan,” Misha muttered and looked at the other man, smiling slightly. Still, he felt rather miserable. Damn, he missed that brat…

On his way to Galina, where he had agreed to go for the night, Misha then finally looked at the phone, two new messages had arrived on WhatsApp, one from Galina wondering where he had gone and another from… Joni!

ⒸKolgrim

Chapter 3

A/N: Please consider leaving a reaction or comment below  🥺

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