Joni stirred awake from his sleep, the light irritating his eyes that were already sensitive because of the hangover, his head was slightly pounding and he felt sweaty, it was too hot, his rear hurt. He sighed and brought his hand to cover his eyes for a moment before carefully lifting it just to confirm what he already knew; last night hadn’t been a dream.
Misha whose back was turned against the offending bright sunlight, still slept soundly next to him. Joni chewed his lip looking at the man who looked so peaceful there, so handsome and… disturbingly cute… a rush of panic swept through him then, what on earth had he been thinking? Apparently not much, he thought as fear started gripping his throat; he didn’t want to wake Misha.
What would Misha even think of him now? He knew he had a boyfriend… A brief rush of remorse, self hatred… Misha knew he had a boyfriend… he had known it last night as well, an inner voice reminded him. Joni kept chewing on his lower lip, confused, the fear inside kept growing…
Was there no way he could stay? He asked himself looking at the man once more, he wanted to stay and at the same time he felt disgusted with himself when he thought about the possibility of telling Misha the truth… what if…he might be disgusted as well… The chance was that… his heart beating madly, this was bad… For a moment he laid still, frozen almost, gazing at the blonde next to him, he brought his hand close to his face, frantic thoughts running through his mind, knowing that he could not have created a greater mess than this…
He’d have to leave and save what still could be saved… Misha didn’t deserve to be dragged into his own mess…Nor would the man want to be dragged there, Joni was quite sure… He felt sudden tears in his eyes, and unable to help himself he leaned closer and planted a trembling kiss on the man’s forehead, who shifted, murmured something in Russian and a moment later smiled in his sleep, not waking. Sighing a bit relieved, Joni carefully and as quickly as possible attempted to leave the bed. He felt dirty, he was dirty, of cum and alcohol, sweat, lube… He grimaced, his heart beat increased, he tried desperately to calm himself but his mind kept nagging at him that if he didn’t get out and hurry there’d be hell to pay!
He’d write a note to Misha, he decided and sneaked closer to the table trying to ignore the pain in his backside, his hands trembled as he reached for paper and pen.
”I’m sorry, it was a mistake, please understand….” He wrote and paused again glancing at Misha, feeling the familiar weight setting on his shoulders, a lump rising in his throat, ”… don’t call me, don’t message me. We can talk later, but let me be the one to contact you. –Joni-” He set the note carefully on the pillow next to Misha, before collecting his boxers from the floor and pulling them on, then the rest of his clothes, deciding to use the nearest bathroom to try and clean himself as well as one could without using the shower; which would cause too much noise.
He sneaked downstairs quietly. A couple was sleeping tangled and half naked on the living room couch – guess it had gone a bit wilder at the end of the evening, he thought to himself, not wanting to wake them.
He called a cab when he got outside, lost in his wildly running thoughts, the panic kept growing when he thought about the possibility of Chris finding out and part of him considered returning to Misha, telling him everything to him ask for help because he didn’t know how to get free from Chris completely… But wouldn’t Misha then think that he was weak and helpless, unable to defend himself?… and it was hardly attractive…
Once seated in the taxi, he rested his head against the window, rubbing his forehead; What would happen if he went home, packed his bags and just left? Could he? He didn’t know, his head was aching and his emotions were a mess.
He took his cellphone, bit his lip; what if he were to call Misha? Say the note was a mistake? That… He quickly stuffed his phone back, no… he couldn’t tell Misha… and Chris might… hurt Misha? He rubbed his stomach feeling slightly nauseous, the cab driver eyed him suspiciously,
”Hey kid, you’re not going to throw up or anything?” The man asked raising his brow as he kept glancing at him through the rearview mirror.
Kid? Joni shot a glare at him then shook his head,
”Don’t worry,” he muttered and let his gaze drift outside.
The man kept driving at times giving him glances, partly suspicious and worried, but he didn’t say anything.
The nausea spread when he walked towards the apartment, home; he wondered when it had been the last time he had really considered it home? Home was where you felt comfortable and he most certainly didn’t feel comfortable here, it had to stop, some way… It just had to…
He stood in front of their door, searched for the keys; hands trembling, sweating, the speed of his heart beat uncomfortably fast…humming in his ears… There was a chance to leave… The possibility of continuing life with Chris after what he had done and felt with Misha; it felt… impossible… He didn’t want to be his slave anymore…
Enough… It had to be enough…. He stepped inside, thoughts running wild, fear, determination, desperationn… it all mixed, welling up inside, screaming, he wanted his life back, he needed his life back!
Even the smell of the apartment made him sick, he hadn’t realised it before…
Could he do it? He kicked his shoes off, he needed a shower, a painkiller… Where would he go? He bit his lip, home? No, his dad might… no, he couldn’t tell him, he liked Chris… and if the pictures came out… God how could he ever face his father? And Misha? What if he regretted what they did? And Misha had said he couldn’t date a porn star… did the pictures make him one? Kind of… if they were spread online… they could end up in some cheesy tabloid… one never knew… shit… this wasn’t easy… at all!
He headed to the bedroom, his head aching, thoughts twirling, never ending, what could he do?
He started undressing, Chris would be so pissed off, there was no telling what he would do. God, could he really do it? Just…leave?
”So… Did you have fun?” The voice from behind him made his heart jump to his throat, he shivered, swallowed thickly, his head pounding; it couldn’t be… he couldn’t be there… he couldn’t… Joni didn’t want to turn, but now he could feel the presence he had missed earlier, the scent, the breathing… his hands stilled having only opened his shirt half way, he wasn’t ready for this and he had no idea what he could say… The evidence would be all over him…
He started buttoning his shirt back up,
”You didn’t answer me Joni, did you have fun?” The voice was sickeningly calm, Joni took note and finally turned when the steps drew near.
”W-when did you get home?” He didn’t want to sound nervous, but didn’t manage to hide it either. Chris smiled at him and the smile was disturbingly serene and Joni knew it was just a well created mask.
”Last night,” He answered slowly walking towards him, ”I wanted to surprise you,” he said and tilted his head when Joni backed away from him, ”Yes, you do look surprised at least.” Chris chuckled but it had a dangerous ring to it. ”Where were you Joni?”
”Out…” He replied wondering about his chances of getting out of the room. ”Out with friends…” He added, Chris was getting closer and Joni tried to move past him, but Chris quickly took a hold of his arm to stop him.
”The whole night?” He asked and though his voice was calm the hold of his arm was tight enough to leave a bruise. Joni nodded, couldn’t look him in the eyes, this was going to end badly and he knew it.
”And yet you told me you were home last night when I called you… funny…”
Joni grit his teeth and finally forced himself to look at him.
”And you told me you were in Canada,” he reminded him, getting upset, he was sick of this situation, sick and tired, ”I wanted to see my friends, Chris, I knew you would have said no and I want my life back! I’m tired! Let go of my arm!” He demanded trying to pull himself free.
”We had rules Joni, when are you going to learn?” Chris asked his hold tightening even more; making Joni gasp,
”L-let go, I want… a shower…t-then… we talk.”
”You little whore!” Chris raised his arm and smacked him hard across the face making Joni yelp. ”A shower huh?!” Another slap, ”You were out sharing your ass weren’t you?!”
Joni struggled to get free of his hold but Chris quickly slammed him against the wall. If Joni’s head had been hurting before now it was throbbing twice as much.
”Let me go Chris!” He tried to pull away but Chris had a tight hold of his shoulders.
”You smell of alcohol and sex, I can smell him on you…” Chris hissed, his eyes narrowed and filled with jealous anger. ”Who?!”
Joni grit his teeth, not wanting to answer.
”Answer me: who?!” When Joni still remained quiet, he hit him again. ”That’s how it’s going to be? Take those fucking clothes off…or do I have to do it for you?”
Joni swallowed, staring at him, something inside ready to snap.
”No,” He shook his head, ”no Chris.”
”No?” Chris raised his brow, then finally smiled tightly, ”you dare say no to me?”
Joni stared back at him, his hands flatly against the wall, regretting now that he hadn’t stayed in bed with Misha.
”Who is he?!” Chris demanded, his hand reached to his shirt collar, ”who the fuck is he?!” Again he slammed Joni backwards to threaten the answer out of his lips.
”More of a man than you’ll ever be Chris…” Joni snarled finally and Chris stilled staring at him dangerously,
”Name? I want his fucking name.” Joni smiled slightly, his heart still beating fast and though he knew he would soon suffer he couldn’t control the anger and bitterness that rose from within and finally made him want to say that it was enough, to end it.
”You don’t deserve to know his name Chris…” He spat, his hands clenching into fists at his side. ”I loved every moment of it, he felt good, he was tender and I loved it and I think I finally gained my senses back!” Joni still breathed fast, he simply couldn’t stop himself from speaking out, it was enough, he had enough; living like this was unbearable.
Obviously Chris hadn’t expected him to be so honest, his lip curled, in his eyes glimmered something akin to sadness but the anger was still stronger and he hit him, Joni cried out; of course he had seen it coming but still it managed to surprise him; for a moment his vision darkened, pain flickered on his face, stinging and spreading.
”Senses back? Oh I doubt it, hon, but I can make you regain your senses …” Before Joni could react Chris grasped his arm and twisted it behind his back pulling him close and then dragged him towards the bed.
”What are you doing Chris?!” Joni breathed, alarmed, fearing the worst,
Chris threw him on the bed on his stomach and pulled his pants down before roughly shoving his finger in making Joni cry out; still sore after last night. An eerie silence followed, Chris pulled his finger out slowly, easing his hold. Joni could hear him standing up, he licked his lips, lifted himself up, his breathing shaky, Chris remained silent and Joni’s hands trembled when he pulled his pants back up.
”So you have your proof…” He whispered, ”I was with someone and it was the first time, all those times you accused me Chris…. This was the first time I did it and it doesn’t matter with who, all that matters is that… I’ve made my choice, I don’t want to stay with you… I can’t live like this… I won’t.” The words slipped out, his breathing was still fast and it was too quiet, he turned slowly, but didn’t have time to react when Chris punched him in the stomach, Joni stumbled back gasping for air, losing his balance he fell on the bed. Not giving him time to recover Chris grasped a handful of his hair and pulled him back up, dragging him towards the bathroom.
”You’re going to wash that filth off… then you are going to pack, because we’re taking a trip… just you and I…” Joni gasped, hadn’t he heard what he had just said?
”No!” His voice was hoarse, the pain not leaving, but the shock greater. ”C-chris…listen…” He choked; another slap, his shirt was torn from him; he could hear the fabric tear. Next his pants were pulled back down, a hand going to his throat;
”Kick them off your legs, Joni,” he hissed, and tightened his hold until he listened.
Joni struggled to breathe through his tears and distress, Chris opened the tab, anger shining in his pale blue eyes. ”You wash that filth off, whore…”
”Chris?” He choked out, ”please…” the hold on his neck tightened,
”Wash… I’ll come back…” the hold eased, Joni felt himself trembling, he cried, hand resting on the shower wall, fingertips curling, confusion taking over; Chris hadn’t always been like this… where was the man he knew? Below everything else, somewhere deep had to be the person he had thought to love, someone who he could reason with. Joni wasn’t weak, he didn’t want to be, he had never wanted to be.
He had to get away, he had to leave, no more….
Water poured on him, he shakily reached to wash his backside before reaching to close the tab and take the towel, he licked his lip tasting the blood; it would have to end.
He wrapped the towel around his waist when Chris returned into the room holding a glass of water.
”I won’t go with you, Chris, I want to end this.”
Again Chris smiled coming closer.
”You forget the pictures love…”
”I don’t care… I’m just too sick of this to care anymore… ”
Chris left the glass on top of the washing machine and with one quick movement pushed him against the bathroom wall, his hand going to his throat once more, pining him there with his own weight.
”You don’t know what you’re talking about,” He whispered, ”here, this will help,” Chris forced his mouth open and pushed in a pill that Joni hadn’t seen him holding, his sweaty hand went to his mouth as the other one released his throat to pinch his nose. Joni tried desperately to free himself, but it was no use. ”Just swallow it down, it’s just one of your pills Joni. Swallow and you can breathe and I will check it so don’t try to trick me.”
Fear of something worse made him swallow the pill down, gasping for breath when the hold loosened. Chris forced him to open his mouth checking that he had indeed swallowed what had been given.
”Here’s some water,” Chris gave the glass to him after that and Joni took it knowing there was some time before the drowsy feeling would take control.
”Why are you doing this?” He asked quietly, ”What is wrong with you?”
”Drink it up, then we can pack for you, we’re going to a cabin, to work things out.” Chris was surprisingly calm and Joni didn’t like it, part of him had a sneaking suspicion why he wanted to take him to a cabin and it was not for a calm chat…
He tasted the water, watching Chris carefully before quickly throwing the water on his face and then jumped out of the bathroom, the glass breaking on the bathroom floor with a loud crack. Chris cursed and ran after him; Joni was trying to close the bedroom door in front of him but Chris pushed back, his strength winning over.
”Stay back!” Joni screamed backing away, Chris’s features had darkened and he approached.
”You haven’t learned a thing…” He hissed before grabbing him and smacking him against the wall again, ”You’re mine, I fucking own you…and you’ll fucking learn it!” Joni kicked his shin hard then to free himself,
”I don’t want to, you crazy asshole!” He made a desperate attempt to get to the door, feeling his body growing tired; the sleeping drug starting to affect him. Chris knocked him to the floor on his stomach and straddled him there, holding his arms down.
”You calm down now…” He hissed in his ear easily overpowering his struggles, smothering his cries and then he just waited. Joni’s breathing evened and his struggling eased, he was feeling quite drowsy. Chris’ weight moved from on top of him.
”You’re calm now?” It wasn’t really a question. ”You need to dress,” He walked to the closets and threw some clothes at him, ”put those on.” Joni struggled to sit watching as Chris was packing his things; stuffing random pieces of clothes into a backpack, this was fucked up… Chris was… he was insane… he wasn’t listening… he wasn’t… his eyelids felt so heavy, he couldn’t help the escaping yawn, he needed help… needed… someone…
”Joni, put those fucking clothes on, we’re going…”
If they stayed home would someone eventually come over? Joni thought lazily, still sitting on the floor the damp towel around his waist, he felt so damn sleepy… ”Yo… are you listening?” The voice had an edgy ring to it. Chris knelt next to him and shook him slightly, ”You can sleep in the car, not yet…” He pulled the t-shirt on him, dressing him like a child receiving only weak protest… if they stayed home, someone would come over… the thought kept repeating itself in his mind, but he just felt so tired…too damn tired.
Misha stretched his arms and reached out but didn’t find what he was looking for and opened his eyes; the sheets were cold next to him, well not cold but lacking the warmth that should be there… He blinked and then frowned, carefully scanning the room before he saw the note on the pillow close to him. He reached for it and read it, his eyes narrowing; a mistake? Hell no! He sat up annoyed; damn brat… sneaking away like this…leaving this stupid note… Damn him…
He groaned getting up, feeling upset… He had been supposed to talk with Joni and not have sex with him, but what was done was done and he couldn’t deny he had enjoyed every minute of it. But now the bed was empty and cold and though he was annoyed to find it so, he knew he shouldn’t be too surprised.
Again his eyes scanned through the note before squeezing it inside his palm refusing to believe Joni really meant that it was a mistake, bad timing yes, a mistake in timing but other than that…
He felt tempted to call the brat and demand answers, he ran his fingers through his hair, he was rarely rejected and now he didn’t want to accept it. He pulled his boxers on before heading to the bathroom going over the previous night in his mind; Joni had acted differently… yes they had both been drunk but was there something more? He tried to remember every detail, every word…
He stood under the warm spray of water…Joni talking outside to his phone seeming annoyed… then in his room the playfulness in his manners, the odd questions about porn and then finally… He had asked him not to let go…There, he remembered it clearly now… why would he have asked that if he didn’t mean it?
He felt somewhat restless, it spread through him, an uneasy feeling…. Which should he believe? The careful plea made to him last night or the cold words written on the note left next to him?
He was more sure than ever that he had a rightful cause to worry about Joni.
He left the shower, marched to his room and got dressed looking at the empty bed, frowning. He had let him go once already… Weren’t these games enough? If anything, he owed Joni to at least check and make sure he was alright. He wondered if he should respect that wish not to call him? …No… He would go over to that apartment and just ask him, they had danced around the subject for too long and after last night… He remembered Joni snuggling closer, ”don’t let me go…” The whisper rang in his ears and he knew he coudln’t let it go until he had checked.
He took his wallet and cellphone rushing downstairs going towards the hall just in time to see Ivo saying goodbye to the last of his party guests. Ivo grinned at him,
”I noticed that you and Joni disappeared quite early,” He said watching him as he closed the front door behind the couple who had just left. Misha glared at him, putting his shoes on.
”I slept with him, happy?” Misha muttered and his brother’s grin spread wider.
”Finally!” He sighed, Misha reached for the door,
”Wait, where are you off to?” Ivo frowned.
”To ask the brat a few questions… see you later.” He said simply and left the house, not having the time to listen to his brother’s stupid comments.
It was a little after 12pm when he got to the apartment building that Joni had showed him earlier. He wasn’t sure what he was going to say exactly, but he was sure that the words would come to him upon seeing Joni. He scanned through the board with the last names of the inhabitants; two Lehto’s, one on the 5th floor and one on the third, but he didn’t have to guess which was the right one; on third floor lived ”Lehto and Hanratty”… Hanratty made him think of a rat and the thought made him smirk, yes Joni should leave that rat….
He climbed the stairs up to the third floor and stood by the door; Hanratty… He wasn’t sure why it amused him so? Weird…. He shook his head before ringing the doorbell and waited. Silence, he frowned and rang again, getting impatient, if Joni wasn’t home, where had he gone to? Or was he this stubborn? He took his phone and realised then he didn’t even have Joni’s number….So he called Dima.
”Hey can you text Joni’s phone number to me?”
”Uh… what?” Dima sounded sleepy.
”Yeah, Joni’s number, text it, I need to call him.”
”uh oh… O-okay…. So Joni’s number?” Misha rolled his eyes and sighed.
”Yes, Joni’s number, the brat’s number okay? We can talk about it later, alright.”
”Um, sure, I’ll send it in a minute….” Dima still sounded quite surprised.
”Good, thanks, bye then.” Misha clicked his cellphone shut and waited, rang the door bell again, then knocked, he could be hiding? Hoping he’d just leave or something silly… His phone peeped soon after and he flicked the message open, chose the number and called; the phone was turned off and Misha almost growled.
”Joni, if you’re in there open the door we need to talk!” He kicked the door once, frustrated.
Then the door next to it creaked open, a young woman in her early twenties stepped outside and smiled at him, giving him a curious look.
”Um, they’re not home,” She said then, still smiling softly.
”Oh?” Misha raised his brow,
”Yeah they left…hm…half an hour ago or so….”
Half an hour? They? Wasn’t this rat supposed to be in Canada? Misha wondered.
”You saw them leave?” Misha asked.
”Hm, more like heard them…” She answered, smiling little shyly, ”They tend to be noisy neighbours,” and to this she rolled her eyes slightly.
”Yeah… yelling and stuff, kinda annoying…” Another shy smile, ”well, I have to get going… I hope’ll you find your friend…”
Misha watched her go; kinda annoying?! God, what was wrong with people? If they could hear the fighting why had’t anyone reacted to it? Before he could ask more she had already disappeared to the elevator.
They were arguing…and they had left… Misha started to feel more and more worried, his stomach tightened; he needed to find Joni but he had no idea where to start looking. He cursed himself then, why hadn’t he taken action sooner when he had suspected something? Well he refused to believe that it was too late now. Perhaps Dima also had the bastard’s number?
Web published: May 5th, 2009.
My Secret Shore