Dominance in Despair

Chapter 14


Author's Note: SO! Who enjoyed a three-year cliffhanger?

Long story short, I graduated college and enjoyed time as a legitimate writer, before moving across the country. Now unemployed, I was going through my email when I saw some unread notifications. People were still reading this, still reviewing this, still sending me messages about this little story about intrigue, plots and sex years after I stopped writing it.

So, after a few moments with my good friends boredom and alcohol, I decided "Hey, I've got nothing better to do, and I need the let's update DID.

And so I did.

Paul awoke to a bright light.

"Well, shit," he thought to himself.

With a blink, Paul brought his hand to his face, covering his eyes as they adjusted to the harsh fluorescent glow, the steady beeping of the heart monitor slowly creeping in as his senses reactivated himself one by one.

Paul looked around. He was in a hospital room, that much was certain. Sitting up slowly, he felt the bandages circling his head, covering his forehead, which ached like ... like ...

Like somebody smacked it with a fucking lead pipe.

"That fat sonovabitch," Paul muttered to himself, his memories slowly reconstructing themselves.

He remembered pulling up to Homer's apartment to find Marge's station wagon parked outside. Haze ... details erased by grogginess, pain and blunt force trauma, no doubt. He then remembered approaching Homer's door, a locked door, screams heard on the other side. Slamming the cheap door in, the thought of which made him aware of the dull pain in his shoulder. Finding Homer gripping a bloody pipe, standing over a severely beaten body, a severely savaged smaller one lying on a table nearby...

"Marge...Maggie..." Paul grunted, trying to sit up.

"...Are safe. Hurt...very hurt, but safe."

Paul barely registered the male voice as he turned to face it.

"Howdy-ho, neighborino," Ned Flanders said in a sad tone, sitting across from Paul, a folded bible in his lap, legs crossed in a fashion just feminine enough for Paul to notice such an irrelevant detail. "I brought Lisa up here to see them, she asked me to stay with you while she was visiting them."

Paul grunted. It's the neighbor, the weird one. "Ned...Ned...yeah..." He shook his head. "Sorry, my memory is a little fried..."

"Well I'd say's had to stick a steel plate in your head." Ned taps a spot on his own forehead. "Still...better than what those two are going through."

Paul watched the concerned frown cross Ned's face, glancing at the wall, showing his genuine and heartfelt concern for his neighbors and fellow human beings. A fool, as his brother would call him.

"What happened?"

Ned frowned and crossed his arms. "Now, it's unchristian-like to eavesdrop...but I overheard the doctors talking to the police. Marge, bless her heart, went to Homer hoping he would help find Maggie after she went missing from her Girl Guides meeting...After you got there, locals heard the fighting and called the police...when they got there, they found all three of you unconscious."

Paul grimaced. "And Homer?"

"Gone." Ned shook his head. "The police are looking for him, but no word so boys will give me and the police a ringly-dingly if he shows up at the girls' house, but he may have fled town for all I know."

Finding his wallet on the table next to him, Paul checked it. Apparently Homer left in such a rush, he didn't bother to steal his cash or cards.

"Sorry Paul, I looked in there for your ID when I got here, for the doctors...I didn't find one, but I gave them the name off of your ATM card." Ned looked honestly remorseful.

What a rube.

"...How's Marge?"

Ned's frown only grew deeper, himself looking set to cry like a bitch. "A broken arm...several broken ribs...a lot of internal injuries. She got the beating of her life." The Flanders elder gritted his teeth, allowing him a flash of unholy anger. "She'll be here for awhile, but she'll's better than what that animal gave Maggie."

"Maggie? What did that fat fuck do to fuck with my plans now," Paul thought.

Ned growled, quaking a little in his seat as he gripped the Good Book in his lap. "Maggie's physical injuries will heal...the mental ones will take much longer...what that animal did..." Ned practically spat his words.

"Son of a bitch," Paul thought quietly.

Both men looked up as the door opened with a quiet click.

"Mr.'s Paul?" Lisa's tired, frightened voice croaked from around the corner."

Ned sighed and relaxed. "He's awake, Lisa. Come on in."

Paul sat himself up, putting on a weak smile as Lisa came in, her eyes stained from a lot of crying. Standing at his beside, Lisa looked like she wanted to hug Paul tightly.

As she sat down, Ned spoke with Lisa as to Paul's condition. Sliding into his sheets, Paul relaxed like was falling back asleep, giving his mind a chance to focus, remember details, find his bearings.

Figure out how he was going to get back on track after the colossal fuckup the past 48 hours have been.

First, Marge...she'll be feeling hyperprotective of her daughters more than ever, scared as long as Homer is at large...Paul makes a mental note to find a way to keep him at large as long as possible...that's something he can exploit, her fear can play right into his hands if he plays his cards right. He made the offer...a little earlier than he planned, and she was drunk, however if Marge was going to accept, it would be now.

Then there was that woman at the bar, the one who seemed oddly familiar. She seemed to know more about him than he was comfortable with. That required investigation.

Maggie...Homer crossed a bound that not even he would cross with a girl that age. Too many variables exist, Paul figured. Wait and see...that would be the best strategy in this instance.

As for Lisa...curious, crushing, blooming, scared. Now to separate her from the Bible-thumper...

"Now come on Lisa, let him rest..." Ned's voice grabs his attention through his fake dozing. "A hospital's no place for a girl to spend her 13th birthday."