Mike hoped he wasn't hearing things, but he knew he was. He'd had a fit. Another Goddamned narcoleptic fit that had left him passed out in the middle of some road in Idaho. Some road on which some son of a bitch cowboys had pulled up and taken his bag and his shoes. He remembered hearing them, feeling the tug on his feet.
Then there had been another slowing car, only this time the wheels sounded heavier - like a truck or a rover. Mike had fully expected the owner of this car to finish the job. He had nothing of value left on him, apart from his clothes. Maybe they would be stripped and his body abused. Wouldn't be the first time, and honestly Mikey wouldn't have cared. He was used to his body being used by now. He'd learned to enjoy it, sometimes, when his lovers where gentle. He suspected, though, that anyone picking him up passed out on the side of a road would not be gentle, and they would not pay.
As it was, however, this second person did not mug him. Nor did they rape him. Not yet, anyway. They were half lifting, half dragging him into their vehicle. He felt himself being buckled in, and then there was silence until the closing of a door signified his mysterious rescuer entering the driver's seat. If he had been awake, Mike would have snorted at his own ignorance. Rescuer? He was probably just being driven off to somewhere more comfortable for the driver. A hotel room, maybe.
And yet, here he was. The car had stopped, but the driver had not gotten out. Both his and Mike's seat belts had been undone, but no clothes had been removed.
"Mike? Come on Mikey, please."
Again, that voice. Mike closed his eyes tighter, unconsciously. It sounded worried, that voice, but Mike knew it wasn't. That voice had left him. What was it? Ran head-first into his inheritance? Yeah, that's what Scott had done. He'd left Mike when he needed him most. Left him to make his own way back to Maine on money he didn't have, and when his own heartlessness had been the end of Bob, Scott still hadn't come back. He'd left Mike with no one but the other rent boys for company, with no option but to let himself be taken where he was taken, desperate for anywhere to sleep and anything to eat.
That was how he'd ended up on that Goddamned road in Idaho. Some junkie had picked him up at the village a few miles away (where he had been left in a filthy hotel after another such encounter with a desperate old man), used him, paid a pitiful amount and then thrown him out onto the road. The stress had been too much, and Mike had fitted. Then he was being rescued (rescued, Mike?), and that voice was murmuring, almost pleading with him, to wake up.
Hands were on his shoulders now and were he able to, Mike would have taken a deep breath to prepare himself. This was it, then. He was going to be used before he woke up. He wondered how this stranger knew his name, but he supposed it didn't really matter. He only hoped that they were gentle, and that he would wake up in time to demand his payment.
"C'mon Mikey. Please? It's been too long now. Goddammit. You've never been this bad before."
That was Scott's voice. Mike was sure of it. If was hearing Scott's voice he really must be going mad. Still, it was nice to pretend that Scott cared; that that worry really did tinge his voice, and that his hand really was gripping Mikey's shoulder like that. It was nice to pretend that he hadn't run off to live his fortune. Scott would never come back. Not now. He was still in Maine, to preoccupied to bother with that type. Just like he had told Bob - Scott had rented himself optionally. He'd had money to go back to. He was lucky.
Mike thought that he could feel warm breath on his lips, cooling them in gentle bursts that timed with the rising and falling of the chest hovering just over his own. Was he feeling things now? Shit. He really must be sick this time. His fits never had been this bad before. A memory stirred itself at the back of his mind - a memory that he had tried to lock away when Scott had left. They had been sitting on a road a bit like this one in Idaho, huddled around a fire they'd built on the dirt. Mikey had told Scott that he loved him, that he wanted to be used. He hadn't wanted Scott to pay him. Scott just shook his head, but he had held Mikey close all the same. Mike cried that night, long after Scott was sleeping. It was the first time Mikey cried since his mother left when he was six.
Even if Scott had come to Idaho, had found Mikey and pulled him up into his truck, he wouldn't be kissing him like that. Scott only ever rented himself to men, but he didn't love them. Scott was straight. The soft pressure of lips against lips dispersed, and Mike felt his eyes starting to flicker. He knew it wasn't Scott leaning over him now, but that had been to gentle, too caring and tender to be anyone else. Maybe he'd died out there on the road in Idaho and gone to Heaven. He doubted it. Would rent boys go to Heaven? Still, if this was Heaven and Scott was there kissing him, Mikey didn't want to miss it.
"Mikey? Welcome back."
His vision was blurred, but Mikey could make out the smiling face above him. Scott's smile wasn't happy, it was of relief, and he looked like he'd been crying. I really must be dreaming or something. Mike thought idly, not really caring if that was the case. If he was dreaming, it wouldn't hurt for him to reach up and slide a hand around the back of Scott's neck, curling his fingers into slick brown hair at the nape. He did so, pulling his friend down for a kiss, and felt it when Scott sobbed against him. That was wrong. If he was dreaming, Scott wouldn't cry. Scott would be happy that Mike was kissing him, just like Mike always had dreamed.
"Scott?" He asked tentatively, moving his hand and sitting up as best he could under the weight of the other man. The other man did look exactly like Scott, and he was still crying. He moved away, back into the driver's seat, letting Mikey sit up, and looked out the window. They were still on the road in Idaho, but further along it. Mike didn't recognise the old shack he could see to his right.
"I'm sorry, Mikey." Scott didn't look at Mike when he spoke, and his voice cracked with his words. "I came back for you, but you weren't in Maine anymore, and I had to track you down. They didn't know where you'd gone in that hotel back down the road, and I thought if I just followed the road I'd try the next town. But you where on the road, and they took your bag. I'm sorry"
The explanation was choked and broken, and Mikey was shaking his head. Maybe it really was Scotty who had found him, who had rescued him and who had kissed him. But that wasn't enough. Not anymore. Mike knew he wouldn't be able to cope with being dropped again.
"Why did you come back, Scotty? Why'd you come and pick me up when you got all that money back at home? You want to use me. Is that it? That why you kissed me?"
And Mike turned, crawling to straddle his friend, kissing him fiercely before he could protest. This would hurt later. Mike knew that, but it would be worth it. So what if Scott had only found him because he wanted his services? Mike would take it, and he would treasure it. He had no money, everything had been taken, but he wouldn't make Scott pay. He wanted to be able to pretend this had meant something.
"Mike, don't." Scott turned his head, trying to talk, but Mike just latched his lips onto his friend's exposed neck instead, nipping and lapping with years of experience. "God, Mike. Please st- Oh God."
Mike's hand had slid under expensive jeans and expensive underwear, and was teasing Scott's soft member. "Mike, stop it." Scott muttered again, but his voice was weak, and his request half hearted as a skilled thumb circled his head, causing his dick to stir.
"You want this now, huh?" Mike purred, but he could not stop just a hint of venom lacing his voice. "Decided I'm good enough to be your rent boy now that you're rich?"
"No, Mike. Don't. It's not like that." With some amount of will power, Scott's hand wound down and around Mike's wrist, pulling it gently up and holding it against his chest. "I came back for you, not this."
"For me?" The notion confused Mike, and his voice was small. No-one had ever wanted him before - only his services. Least of all Scott.
"For you." Scott repeated, looping his arms slowly around Mike and pulling him close. "I should never have left you back in Roma. I should never have left at all. I'm so sorry."
"S'all right." Mike mumbled, his face hidden in the nape between Scott's shoulder and neck. It wasn't. Not yet. The wound was still raw, and it was going to take time to heal, but if Scott really had come back for him, Mike thought it might just get better. "I love you." He ventured, his voice even smaller than it had been all that time ago when he had first said those first three words.
"I love you too, Mikey."