Title: Pretty
Author:
Bernarde
Rating:
NC-17... my favorite.
Summary:
In an underground society where sex does indeed sell, Mark Calaway stumbles across a tortured young man named Evan. A wicked past has left Evan with no memory and the mind of a child, but something about him captures Mark's attention...

-_Ω_-

Evan dries himself off with a towel and hangs it on the dresser, walking around naked as the day he was born. He digs through his dresser, pulling out a pair of clean gym shorts and a t-shirt. He still refuses to wear anything except either gym shorts or jeans. He says it's because they feel too tight.

He turns, sees me watching him, and smiles.

"You okay?" he asks.

"Yep."

He comes over and cuddles up on me, pushing my back down so I'm laying on the bed instead of sitting on it.

"You're not mad?"

"Why would I be mad, Ev?"

He blushes, "Cause... cause Raven..."

"No, I'm not mad. Did it upset you?" I have to tread carefully here; I'm not sure what's going through my little phoenix's mind.

"It didn't upset me..." His voice has a weird tinge to it which makes me think he's lying.

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah, I think. I just... I don't know, Mark. He just makes me feel strange."

"In a bad way?"

"Well, it's not a good way, but it's not a bad way either. It's like he's... breaking... on the inside." He shrugs. "I don't want to talk about this, Mark." And with that, he snuggles against my chest and goes quiet. I think he wants to go to sleep, which sounds like a good idea to me. It's gotta be past midnight, or later.

I squeeze him and let my eyes shut.

-_Ω_-

The next morning, Christian and Adam are gone. There is a note on the bed that they had been sleeping in, the entire room like they had never been there, every speck of their existence gone.

Jeff found the note when he woke up and handed it to me when I was eating breakfast.

"Mark

I can't thank you enough for what you have done for Christian and me. When we left Cruor, we took all of the money as well. Don't worry about us. We'll send letters to keep you updated - right now we're headed back to our hometown in Canada.

Thank you for giving us a new lease on life.

Adam and Christian"

Evan sniffles against me as I read the letter aloud.

"I miss Christy..." he whimpers.

"They wanted to go home, Ev," Jeff says, folding his arms carefully around Matt's shoulders. As much as I want to comfort them, I need to get going. I really don't want to be late for work.

"I'm leaving, baby," I tell Evan and hug him tightly. He kisses me and squeals. "You be good for Matt and Jeff, okay?"

"I will!" He follows me out to the truck and gives me one last kiss."I'll see you tonight Mark! I love you!"

"I love you too, Evan."

-_Ω_-

Closing the door behind me, and I know something's wrong when I hear Jeff -

"Mark? Mark, is that you?" I cross into the living room, but I can't see him. It sounded like he was in here though...

"Mark, I'm on the floor," his voice is panicked and trembling and as I go around the couch, yeah, there he is. Lying on his belly on the floor, and he's - he's hogtied. A thick leather belt, wrapped twice around his arms. Cuffs on his ankles, hooked to the belt with a locked chain.

I'm on my knees beside him, trying to talk but he's trying to talk too.

"You need to go to the bathroom right now, Raven snapped, Mark I think he hurt Evan."

"What's wrong, what happened, who did this to you?"

We say it in a rush, at the same time. I barely process his words before I'm on my feet, at the bathroom, it's locked and I hear weeping inside. But it doesn't sound like Evan. It sounds like - it sounds like Raven.

I'm thrumming with panic, with fear. I am not walking, I am not breathing, I am nothing right now except terrified.

"Open the door!" I bellow, pounding on the wood. It splinters under my might and I rear backward, unleashing a hellish kick that I never knew I could do. The door slams open, and -

Oh. Oh God.

I don't understand. I... Raven's sitting on the floor, holding Evan in his lap and sobbing. Evan is face-down, not moving. There's blood. Everywhere. On the walls, the tub, the floor, Evan and Raven are in a fucking pool of it.

"Raven," I say, my voice unnervingly calm, "What. Happened."

"I'm so sorry," he looks up at me, his make-up streaked down his face. His hands, face, arms, clothes all streaked with blood. Face swollen and puffy from crying. "I just, I love him so much Mark, and I'll never have him. He's yours. So... so... so..." he dissolves into tears, and I don't realize that I'm moving until I have him pinned to the wall by his throat.

He looks at me, and now his eyes are full of malice.

"If I can't have him, then you can't either! He's mine, Mark! You'll always know that I took him from you!" he screams, the last two words a choke as I press harder. Harder. Harder. His face turns red; he chokes and coughs but doesn't fight me, his arms hanging limply at his sides.

He stops coughing.

He stops choking.

He stops breathing.

I throw him to the floor, out of the bathroom, and kneel to my Evan.

"Evan," I whisper, "Evan, please..." His legs are bent oddly, he's not breathing, his pants are torn off and I turn him over -

I can't process this. I see it in flashes. His beautiful lips are split. His nose is crooked like it's... like it's broken. And... and his eyes.

His eyes.

His eyes are gone. They've been... They've been... Raven... he gouged them out. Evan's face is not Evan, this bloodied body can't be my Evan, with no eyes and broken ...

I hold him to me and sob, stroking his hair that's matted with blood and I just cry. Nothing exists, just Evan's lifeless body in my arms and a pain that has reduced me to nothing.

Nothing.

All I can see is Evan's face, hugging me when I left for work this morning. His face, his beautiful face, his angelic voice.

"I'll see you tonight Mark! I love you!"

Gone. My angel is gone.

-_Ω_-

I will never forget that day as long as I live. Evan had gone to take a nap, and it was just me and him. I was just watching TV, mindlessly waiting for Matty to get home. Raven arrived in a flurry of movement, and went to his room. Then he came out and turned the TV off, and looked at me. His face was so calm, but his eyes were wild. He was holding a belt and chains. Before I even knew what was happening, he had hogtied me and left me on the floor. I heard him open the door to Mark and Evan's room, I heard Evan wake up. I heard Evan start screaming.

He raped him, I don't know how many times, and he - Raven - was crying. They both were. I heard the begging, the whimpers, all of it. I heard him smash Evan into the door, I heard his nose break. I could smell the blood.

Evan tried to run, tried to hide in the bathroom, but Raven caught him. He closed the door, locked it. I heard the screaming.

"Raven, please, you're hurting me!"

I heard Evan stop screaming. I heard the little angel die. Then, silence, but not really. Raven's sobs. It felt like an eternity before Mark came home. His footsteps were heavy, I knew it was him. I called to him, told him what happened in the best way I could. He stormed away, and I heard the door bang once. Twice.

I heard Mark take his revenge.

I will never forget the words that poured out of Raven's mouth the entire time he ravaged, demolished, destroyed Evan.

"My little beauty, my love, I love you so much but you can't see that. Raven loves you so much, Evan, but Evan doesn't care - Mark stole you from me, you were mine! If I can't have you, then neither can he! If I can't have you, then neither can he!"

Mark didn't leave the bathroom. I heard him howling like a wounded animal.

Matt came home an hour after Mark, and he took one look at me and called the police. I don't remember what happened after that, I just remember suddenly being in the station. Mark was arrested, and Matt and I went with him. The house was cordoned off. We were all interrogated, for hours and hours. They kept Mark for five days while they investigated. I never left his side, Matt only left to go get food.

Mark only spoke when asked by the police, and it was in a voice I'd never heard him use. A broken, soulless voice.

They would have kept Mark in the station, but Vince found out. He apparently has a lot of clout and he talked the cops into letting Mark go.

When they finally let us out, we stayed at a hotel for a few days and then Glenn and Shannon offered us their home. No one talked, no one spoke, no one said anything. There was a white elephant in that house, and it never stopped following Mark.

Matt and I lived with Mark, in an apartment far away from the trailer. Mark would go to work, he would come home, he would sit on the couch and watch TV and drink case upon case of beer. I don't think he ever spoke again after the funeral.

The funeral. It was closed casket. I can only imagine why, I never saw Evan's body. Glenn, Shannon, Adam, Christian, Hunter, Brian, me and Matt. That was it. Most of us weeping, except for Hunter. I don't really know why he was there, actually. Mark stood by the coffin, tears silently coursing down his face as the pastor spoke. At the end, he put his hands and forehead on the smooth wood, whispering, "I love you Evan, forever."

He never spoke again, he never cried. He lost so much weight. He would eat only when Matt and I made him. He barely existed, a looming shadow that haunted the house. Matt and I would talk to him, include him in our daily endeavors, but nothing got through.

Exactly one year and one day later from the day Raven snapped, I woke up at 6am like I always do and found Mark on the couch, unconscious. The TV was on, playing reruns of Evan's favorite show, the one about meerkats. The day before had gone on like every other. Mark said nothing, did nothing out of the ordinary. But he had moved on from his usual beer to 100 proof gin.

When I saw the empty gin bottles - five of them and one half empty on the stand - I knew. Seeing Mark's blue lips and his unmoving chest only confirmed it.

I got Matt and, once again, he called the police.

Matt never cried about Mark, but I couldn't stop.

"He's with Evan now," Matt would console me, his hand rubbing my back, "They're in a better place now, Jeff. They're in heaven, where they belong. We'll see them again."

The angel and his savior, together forever, the way it should have always been.

-_Fin_-

Note: Well... here it is. Believe it or not, the ending was planned long before the rest of the story, spawned from the song "Pretty" by Korn. It just took me a hell of a long time to get here. Thanks for reading, everyone.