May This Song Reach You
Warning! There's rape in this chapter, though it's not explicit.
Chapter Five: A Friendly Ghost
The young man with the auburn hair and lidded green eyes drew his tongue over thin, pale lips once before a reassuring smile slid on and off his face in seconds. The disheveled sheets crumpled around his long, gangly legs slipped to the ground as he pulled his weight into a sitting position with strong arms of equal proportions. His thin chest heaved, not from the exertion, but in anticipation of the footsteps approaching the windowless room. The loose clothes adorning his frame now served as an alternative purpose than to lend him a ghostly image.
Spidery fingers pushed loose strands of hair behind his ears as he tilted his head sideways, his eyes fixated on the far wall. "Don't worry. He always starts with me," he said comfortingly. Reid could not see if another smile had crossed his features through the shadows, but all traces of one would have been wiped away the second the door creaked open and soft footsteps entered the room. Possibilities swept through his mind each minute since his arrival, but none were close enough to success to risk. Escaping with a crippled young man of nearly identical height would prove the most difficult task.
"Hi Shea," Wallace smiled as he slid down on the space beside the other man, in all appearances an amiable friend. He slipped an arm around Shea's waist and rested that hand on the hip there. Wallace breathed against the side of his face as he perched his chin on the young man's shoulder. If this had been under normal circumstances, the scene might have appeared endearing. Shea, in an act of pure farce, leaned against his captor's side and allowed himself a movement of the lips that resembled a smile.
"Did you tell him the situation he's being faced with? Did you prepare him enough?" Wallace trailed off as his voice dropped to a mere whisper only Shea could hear. Color rose into the pale man's face and he shied away from Wallace's softly wandering hands with a fair smile plastered on his face. Reid watched as the older man's fingers picked at waistband of the sweats on Shea's hips, an ill wave of dread rolling through his stomach at the advances. Even worse was Shea's forced participation in such acts. He must have done this dozens of times.
Wallace pressed his palm against the other man's shoulder, one arm carefully, almost tenderly lowering him to the pillows. Reid didn't want to witness the sight anymore, but part of Wallace's specific rules that Shea had told him required that he watch. For each time he refused to look the guy would worsen both of their situations without qualms. At least, that had been what Shea indiscriminately told him, his eyes distant as he spoke words he must have said twenty times before.
The auburn hair flared against the white pillows and his green eyes fluttered as Wallace pressed their bodies close, invading his mouth as he positioned himself above the other man. Though it was difficult to see details in the dark, Reid caught the slight movement of the criminal's eyes as he observed both victims through equally distorted lenses. A thin smirk crossed his features as he lifted his lips from Shea's and flicked his tongue at the young man's nose. He liked playing with his victims. He enjoyed the screaming protests behind their eyes and the obvious movements otherwise on the outside.
"I'm always a fair lover, aren't I? You're the only one who gets to choose: hard or gentle?" Wallace gave him a narrow grin that did not reach his eyes. Shea closed his eyes and exhaled a breath that shook Wallace's brown hair. He had told Reid about this as well, about how Wallace pretended that he had a choice and almost never allowed him the option he preferred. Shea had no illusions about the sex anymore; it would happen whether or not he wanted it, no matter how much he played into Wallace's affections for him.
There were those few rare times when Wallace had listened and taken him with the gentleness of a lover treating him to his first experience, Shea had admitted. It was those encounters that he cherished, sick and twisted as it sounded. Wallace, Ethan as Shea called him, had once been his precious friend and in some way still remained an important person to him. There had been a time when they were normal, he promised Reid, a time when Wallace had treated him with nothing but kindness.
"I want you to hold me gently," Shea said in a voice that was obviously far too devious for the truth. Wallace nodded and crashed their lips together again in a violent union, vicious as he nipped and sucked at the other man's exposed skin along his mouth and neck. His hands quickly worked the shirt up to expose Shea's chest and ran them along his thin torso. Neither of them looked as if they ate much, but Shea had explained that as a side effect of the medication. His crippling condition, he reassured Reid, was real.
"Do you think he likes it?" Wallace said aloud. Reid winced; he didn't want to answer, but Shea had explained this trap in their previous conversation. Some thought he was addressing Shea only, but that proved a fatal mistake. The auburn haired man let slip a small, tight moan that might or might not have been fake.
"He might, even if he's straight," Shea whispered. "How couldn't he?"
"He…he looks like he does," Reid forced himself to say, hoping it was efficient. As was the case in these uncertain situations, it was safer to play along with the fantasy and wait for back up. To ensure survival of the agent and victim was the first priority.
Wallace seemed satisfied with the answers and continued his ministrations, gradually growing in intensity until he had Shea writhing beneath him. Reid wasn't sure if it was from pain or pleasure anymore, but he had seen Wallace open a few cuts along the other man's shoulders and neck as he bit him. Eventually he worked his way to the bottom where he paused for a moment. He slid the sweats off Shea's limp legs and carefully, with the extreme tenderness of a caretaker, turned him over onto his stomach. Shea helped him the best he could with his arms, but winced as he tried to move one leg over the other.
He had explained that Wallace never gave him his painkillers before these acts if he intended to be rough. The medicine numbed more than just his lower half, so even Shea himself didn't prefer taking them if he was having a good day. Now the man seemed embarrassed to have almost his entire body laid bare for their witness to see and buried his face against the pillow, careful not to appear as if he dreaded the hands manipulating his remaining clothes behind him.
Wallace gripped the already bruised hips below him and Reid clearly saw the white scars along the length of the man's legs and winced. Shea squeezed the sheets between his fists and locked his shoulders, trying with all his strength to support some of his weight with his forearms as Wallace lifted his hips off the bed. The strain on his leg muscles and lower back was excruciating when they were stressed like that, he explained to Reid. He bore it with all he had and played into the act as he moaned and whispered things only lovers would say.
"You're too good for me," Wallace whispered fondly as he pressed against the other man's bare skin. Both were heaving from exertion for different reasons, but at that moment Reid truly felt as if he were intruding and witnessing something sinful he ought not to ever know about. When he absolutely couldn't bear the sight anymore he glanced away or focused only on one point of the picture, such as Shea's clenched fists or pale, spidery scars. Still, there was no way to ignore the entire picture.
He had been gagged until now, otherwise he would have tried to talk Wallace out of it, collateral damage or not. All he could hope for now was for someone to have noticed his disappearance and begin hunting down any of the three suspects. Just hearing the criminal's groans and his victim's short, gasping moans and the act itself was enough torture without having to watch it. Wallace didn't have a strong, burly build, but Shea still seemed infinitely frailer beneath him. He kept his victims bound and Shea was immobile already, so that was how he controlled them.
"Ethan…I…I…uh…" He wanted to squeeze his eyes shut, but all he saw were the tears in Shea's green eyes and the redness of his lips. No matter the consequences, Reid completely turned away as Wallace was about to finish, his thrusts rapid and brutal. He thought he ought to give Shea as much dignity as he could in the most embarrassing moments of his rape, because Wallace wasn't even satisfied with his own pleasure. The sounds of the two across the room were loud as Reid closed his eyes to the ceiling and ran through a few passages to a book he hadn't read in a month or so in his mind.
When they had finished, Wallace rearranged Shea to the other man's liking and laid the sheets over him with kind hands and a soft, tired smile, as if he had done everything right. He paid Reid little attention as he took their clothes away for cleaning and left the room. The suddenness of his departure surprised Reid, but he took advantage of the opportunity and rushed off the bed the best he could with bound limbs. His hands tore the gag away and he ungracefully wriggled his way over to the other side of the room until he could pull himself to his knees and lean over the side of the bed.
Shea blinked away the remaining tears and brought out shaky hands to untie the bindings on Reid's wrists. He gave the agent a fatigued, watery smile and snuggled deeper into the blankets when he had worked the knots free. Reid fretted when he was free, but Shea shook his head and breathed a few soft sighs, his auburn hair sticking to his forehead with sweat. His bruised lips moved a few times, but he seemed unready to speak just yet.
"I'm okay. It-it even felt kind of good at the end, so don't worry about me."
Reid shook his head. It wasn't okay at all. They both tried to offer each other reassuring smiles, but failed in the process. Reid inhaled a deep breath. He didn't want to do this so soon after that assault, but he didn't know how much time they would have together and he needed this information if he was to escape this intact. "Can I ask you a few questions?
"When did he start…hurting you?"
Shea remained in a deep, contemplative silence as images from a time long past flooded his private vision. The memories caused him profound pain, but he eventually answered. "He wasn't always like this. He started as my friend, later as my protector when our parents died, and then we went from brothers to lovers. I guess that's where the line began to blur. He used to be so…sweet. Sometimes he still is sweet and I end up letting him do what he wants because I loved that boy so much. For a long time in the beginning, he had been afraid to even touch me."
"Why had he been afraid?"
"S-someone almost…when we were…when I got these scars, someone almost raped me." A bitter, pained expression plagued Shea's face as he curled in on himself. Reid wanted to tell him to stop, but knew he couldn't. "They might have been joking, but we were only kids back then. We couldn't tell if it was just a cruel joke on top of everything else that happened that night. He – Ethan – almost didn't save me that night. They made him choose between his sister's life and my…my…virginity.
"I guess that's why he does this to me. I made him choose. I made him so guilty that he saved me instead. Even though he always says he loves me since then, I don't think he was ever being really honest with himself or me. If I hadn't screamed and cried so much, he would have been able to save his sister. He just kept on pushing for more and more until I said 'no'! But by then he wouldn't stop."
"What happened?" Shea seemed confused by the question. "What happened to make him so angry all of a sudden? This started two years ago, right?"
Shea was surprised that Reid knew the exact date their relationship had become abusive and violent. He nodded. "We found one of the guys who killed our parents. He was the one who threatened me and who killed his sister. The court let him free, though. We just found him in Boston one day by chance. Ethan was so hurt and angry and the next thing I knew I had a guy bound and gagged in our apartment one afternoon.
"To tell the truth, I wanted revenge, too. Because of those guys I can't ever walk again and the only person who's stuck with me and my disability all these years is a guy who hates me for being a coward. I was okay with it – scaring the guy a bit, watching as Ethan hurt him. We played at having rough sex for him, but I didn't think Ethan would actually do it…and I didn't think he'd end up dead. Still, it hadn't really…scared me. I said, 'Okay, we have a dead guy in our place. Now what do we do?'
"I freaked out the next time it happened, and the next, and after the fifth I realized that it wasn't going away," Shea said in a muffled voice obscured by the sheets. Reid caught a glimpse of his eyes, which were no longer teary and had a distant film cast over them. He didn't sound guilty, but his actions drew him farther and farther away from Reid. "I didn't want him to do it anymore, but he couldn't hear me. But he was my lover. We had committed that first murder together, so I never did anything about it. I don't regret that.
"Besides, if I hadn't made him chose me that night, he wouldn't have been so miserable taking care of a crippled boy. After the fifth he told me all of that. I think I had known it, somewhere inside. I hadn't wanted to admit it, true."
"It isn't your fault. You were a child. He chose to kidnap that man and all the men after him."
"I still love him." Shea's voice quivered, but he seemed to be forcing back sobs. "He's a great and wonderful person. He's still my lover and I'd do it all again to be with him."
Reid stored the information away for future reference. If any of those points struck even a tiny chord in Wallace's heart, it would give Reid enough leg room to break apart his composure or so he hoped. If what Shea said held true, the man had to have some ounce of love left within him for his lover.
"You should go to sleep. He'll probably be back tomorrow."
"Hey…is he really trying to ask doctors about your legs or is that just a cover?" Reid inquired as he untied his ankles and walked back to the other bed. Shea had explained to him the layout of the apartment earlier and he saw no point in trying to escape now.
"No, he really is trying. It's why he's been getting angrier and angrier."
"History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again." (Maya Angelou)
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