"What happened?" All Zane Park could feel was plastic wrap around his arms and waist, binding him to a flag pole in front of Degrassi School. The wind bit his skin like a hungry wolf, the air was too cold to be out in. He leaned his neck to the side and felt his toes wriggle against the cold cement. His shoes were gone. With each movement the plastic wrap that held Zane in place shrieked and moaned. Each attempt at escape made his situation clearer and clearer; he was trapped.
"I can't move."
The sun was slowly setting beneath the horizon, and the air was only getting colder, almost ripping away at him. His body began grow pale as the world slowly turned purple and black. Voices and images spilled onto him like a movie projection. The halls of Degrassi, his locker, his lettermen jacket he had earned from playing football that year. School had already let out, but Zane needed to finish his calculus assignment before he allowed himself to leave. That was a weakness of his, he'd stay late and finish late into the evening, even after Simpson and the other faculty left. He scribbled the last equation down and slammed his text book shut.
"Done." Zane slung his bag over his shoulder and stepped out into the empty hall, pulling his jacket closer to him.
"Well if it isn't the princess."
Zane's chest dove into his stomach, he knew that voice. Zane turned to see Owen and Fitz standing beside each other. Owen was a tall guy, one of the better running backs on the team. Zane still remembered all the jokes Owen told in the locker rooms.
"Where's your boyfriend Park?"
"He's away," Zane sneered, "But I see you've got your right next to you. Be sure to invite me to the wedding."
Owen and Fitz sauntered up to Zane, their shoulders nearly touching each other.
"I think the princess is making fun of us Fitzy."
Fitz grabbed Zane by the jacket and pulled him close. "You know Owen we never did get to welcome Zane to the team did we? And I know Riley would be upset if his boyfriend didn't feel welcomed." Owen slammed Zane against a locker and ripped off his jacket.
"Hey." Zane yelled. Within minutes Zane was on the floor with his shoes within Owen's hands.
The air was only getting colder, and the sun had completely disappeared beneath the horizon. Zane felt his skin grow frigid and he scanned the empty parking lot.
"Help" he shouted, but his voice only echoed down into the emptiness. "Damn it." The sky was beginning to blur, and the wind picked up again messing Zane's hair and making his face feel like class. His body shook against the plastic wrap and his teeth clenched against themselves. He was slowly losing strength.
Do you want to hear a story?
The night was closing in on him.
Once there was a knight who would brave any danger to protect the one he loved. The knight would ride off into battle to protect the kingdom, he would rescue any princess, and fight any dragon. All for the one he loved. He was coming for love.
It too dark now, Zane's eyes blurred and the world of streetlights and empty parking lots morphed into nothingness. He dreamed…
…of a knight to rescue the prisoner.
"Zane…can you…me? Zane?"
He felt the warmth of someone's hands against his cheek. A voice that sounded so comforting, as if it came from a fairy tale. Slowly, his body was loosened; the wrappings around him gave way to the cold air. Was he floating?
Then, his body became protected from the chill by some warm cloth that wrapped itself around him. Strong arms lifted him into the air and then the world turned around him slowly. Lights, winds, empty parking lots, and a soft whisper.
"I've got ya."
Everything had changed. The cold chill was replaced with a warm embrace, the restricting plastic with a protecting cloth. He was being carried by strong arms. Was it a dream?
"Here we are Zane."
Slowly, the darkness gave way to the light of a living room lamp. Zane's head was in a fog but the atmosphere looked so familiar.
And there in front of his stood…
Riley Stavros stood beside him, his face filled with a hardened concern. Riley's shirt stuck close to his chest and he placed his hand on Zane's cheek. "You're alright." Riley shook his head and sighed. "I was afraid you wouldn't wake up."
"No…" Zane slowly made his way to the sitting position but Riley held him down.
"Zane take it easy." Riley's hand shook as he spoke. Had he been this worried?
Zane looked down to his arms and found Riley's jacket wrapped around him. "Riley…did you? Were you-"
"I forgot something in my locker so I had to come back…and then I saw you tied to the pole and…it was so cold I…I freaked." Riley stammered and moved his hands all through the air just to try and get everything he wanted to say out. "I thought you were hurt and I wanted to…to…"
Riley's face burned. "W-well I wouldn't put it like that. Anyway who was it that-"
"Owen and Fitz."
Riley shook his head. "They're dead."
"Don't worry about it man. I'm fine."
Riley looked down to the floor and noticed Zane's feet.
"Zane your shoes."
"Oh…" Zane had completely forgotten about them. "They were stolen from me."
It looked as if Riley was beginning to shake, his face changed from a soothed pink to a hard red. "They left you tied to a pole without shoes? They're dead. Both of them. I-"
"Riley." The jacket fell from Zane's shoulders as he wrapped himself around his love. "I'm fine," Zane smiled and let his hands run down Riley's arms. "And it's because of you." A knight who would brave all odds for the one he loved. "You saved me."
Riley's face turned the color of blood. "W-well anyone would…I mean you wouldn't just leave someone tied to a flag pole at night…especially not someone like you Zane…I mean…" Riley's voice grew softer with each word. "You're like a prince to me."
Zane smiled and pulled his love into the couch.
"Yeah. And you're my knight in shining armor."