"Hey, Phil?" I call from the kitchen.
"Where are you?"
"Living room." I snatch my keys from the counter top and walk towards the sound of Phil's voice. I lean in the doorway, smiling fondly at my boyfriend, who is currently hunched over his laptop working on something.
"I'm running to the store to get foodstuff. Want anything?" He doesn't say anything for a second, his eyes hungrily reading something.
"I'm good thanks," he mutters distractedly. I smile at him, taking in the little furrow between his eyebrows and the concentrated way he bites his lip, smiling at the knowledge that he is mine. I flip my keys in my hands, then head towards the door. "Aren't you forgetting something?" Phil calls after me. I peak my head into the doorway.
Phil smiles at me. "A goodbye kiss." The pout on his lips makes it impossible for me to say no. I walk over to him a place a chaste kiss against his lips. When this isn't enough for him, he grabs onto the collar of my shirt and deepens it. "Better," he moans. I sigh against his lips. "Don't leave me for too long," he says, pulling away from me.
"I couldn't even if I wanted to," I reply, pressing a lingering kiss to the top of his head before leaving.
I love London. Don't get me wrong, there's definitely plenty to hate. The prices, for one. And the never ending stream of tourists always serves to get on my nerves.
But there's an energy to the city that is addictive and for that I love it completely. This night is perfect, a bit cold, but ideal for walking in. The streetlights and buildings provide the perfect amount of light for me to see where I'm going and the streets are busy like they always are. I feel this strange camaraderie with my fellow Londoners. Plus, I know that Phil is waiting for me at home which is reason enough to be happy.
I round a corner, hugging the buildings like I usually do in the hopes of avoiding bumping into people, as I always somehow manage to do. I hate having to explain to innocent pedestrians why they've taken an unexpected elbow to the boob. The half-disgusted, half-bitchy look that crosses a person's face after I've accidentally—that being the key word here—bumped into them is my absolute least favorite thing about London.
Without warning, a hand wraps around my bicep and I'm pulled into an alleyway.
"What the—" A hand comes over my mouth, muffling my words.
"You would do best not to make a sound, boy," a distinctly male voice mutters in my ear. I struggle against him, trying to figure out what's happened because I have no fucking idea what's going on.
The man tightens his grip on my arm, bending it at the elbow and wrenching it sharply behind my back. I instinctively bend forward, but his left forearm is pinning me to his chest, rendering me immobile. I feel a wall of muscle pressed against my back, and I know that whoever he is, he's strong. The man pushes me forward and I have no choice but to oblige.
We round a corner and he slams me against the wall, effectively knocking the wind out of me. The scruff of his facial hair is like sandpaper against my cheek as he leans forward to breathe into my ear. I feel his erection against my thigh.
I know what's going to happen.
"Not a sound, boy. Or you will regret it." He replaces his hand with his mouth, pressing his dirty lips against mine. He breaks contact only to pull my shirt from my body, using his hips to pin me in place. I try to struggle but I can't even draw a breath. He uses the cloth as a gag, forcing me to draw in what little breath I can through my nose. The rough of the brick wall behind me cuts into the skin of my back. He starts to work on my belt.
The buildings surrounding us are uninhabited. The alley is long and dark enough that the chances of anyone noticing what's happening are slim to none. Phil won't even begin to worry about me for at least another hour, which is far too late to be of help. I'm completely alone. Which gives me two choices.
Give in. Or fight.
My attacker begins to slide my pants off my hips. It becomes exceedingly more difficult not to notice how hard his fingers are digging into the skin of my thighs. I focus calmly on breathing. Don't let him suspect anything. When his fingers hook into my boxers and I absolutely can't take it for another single second, I swing my left fist at him, catching him in the jaw. He staggers backwards.
I open my mouth to let my shirt fall to the ground then quickly pull up my jeans, fastening them just enough so I'll have use of my legs. He looks up at me, wiping blood from his mouth, and sends a right hook at my eye. I stumble backwards, hitting the back of my head against the brick wall. Almost immediately I feel a warm trickle of blood run down my neck.
I start to sink to the ground, half-dizzy, half hoping that he'll think I've passed out and leave. Instead he straddles my prone body. I groan in pain. There's a shuffle as he slides out of his pants. I am absolutely terrified. My opportunities for escape are slowly slipping through my fingers. I can practically feel time running out.
With the strength of my panic backing me up, I swing my fist at his face. The strength behind the hit forces him to roll off of me.
"You son of a bitch," he growls. I roll quickly to my feet, staggering as the world spins violently around me, then kick him savagely in the balls. He curls into himself. I kick him again, as he grunts in pain. And again. And again. Until he is half conscious and bleeding on the pavement. He looks up at me gasping and coughing and as much as I want to kill him, I can't.
"If you ever touch me, or anyone else, again, I will kill you."
"Is that a threat?" the man asks, laughing. I inventory his face, taking in his most prominent for when I'll have to identify him for the police. As an answer, I kick him once more in the head. He blacks out.
I grab my shirt off the ground and pull it over my head, then fasten the belt of my pants. I stagger towards the light of the streets, scraping the back of my hand against my lips to wipe off the taste of him. But it's still there. Thick and sour and ashy.
I bend at the waist as my body works desperately to purge itself of this man, heaving again and again until there is nothing left in me. I spit onto the asphalt, disgusted with the taste in my mouth and the phantom feeling of his hands on my body.
Shakily I stagger onto the streets, back into the warm glow of the streetlights. Passers-by give me wary glances, like I was the perpetrator here instead of the victim. I pull my phone out of my pocket, taking half a second to marvel that it wasn't destroyed in the struggle, and call the London police.
"Hi. My name is Daniel Howell. I'd like to report an attack…"