This chapter-and this story-has moments that are very ugly, but this story is meant to be a commentary on how a user works. The Hunter of my story-and the Hunters of this world- have no regard for others. The only way they can feel strong and successful is to break others but my Hunter is heading for a fall. My two Johns will find Justice-and revenge-and as for Shawn, you're just going to have to trust me there ;)

Now, it was Shawn's turn to laugh.

"You don't own me. I have left you a hundred times, but you will not let go. You will not accept that I don't want you. You just keep doing everything and anything you can to keep me here. I don't need you but you just keep on needing me."

Hunter's eyes glintered under the onslaught, but his smile remained.

"I don't need you. I use you. Because I can, and because it's easy. You're like an old shirt, wrinkled and damaged, wearing thin from the years. Something you wear because it doesn't matter what happens to it, it's already lost all it's value."

Shawn's shoulders shivered, and he broke contact, lowering his head in silent defeat. For Hunter, it was like blood in the water.

"You are so pious. So long suffering, so in love with your guilt. You leave me, but you come back, not because I make you, but because I am your excuse, your enabler. Without me, you can't be a victim. You can't be "poor Shawn."

He was circling now, his posture tense as his face repeatedly jutted forward in time and emphasis to his words.

"I don't need you, Shawn, because I have something newer-something better at home."


"It's alright now. It's alright."

John could hear, but couldn't understand the soothing words. He wasn't aware of the soft touch of the water, the smell of vomit and soap, or the coolness of the cloth against his forehead.

He was still falling, and now, he was out of reach, turned fully inward, all his resources devoted to answering the single question of why.

He trained every day. He dieted. Every night, John went to work for the company that Hunter would own one day. He worked sick, tired, he worked holidays and when he came home, he gave Hunter everything else that he had.

He had made millions, and given every dime to Hunter. He had done anything, everything but Hunter..

Hunter wanted Shawn. Hunter didn't want him.

Shawn was beautiful and sensual and he wasn't.

He was stupid and useless and ugly.

He convulsed, suddenly, forcefully aware of the cool porcelain, the warm water, the hands gently dousing his body, suddenly ashamed, of his weakness, his idiocy and his ugliness. John rolled away, onto his side, pressing his face into the coolness of tub.

"Son, your shorts are still on. You don't have to hide yourself."

The words were vague, fuzzy, but now, John could hear the intent.

"It's alright."

He was still falling, but his body was easing itself back under the warm water, under the cool cloth and JBL's hand.

He had lost everything, even himself, but now John knew that he wasn't alone.