Preyuna rolled over on her side and opened her eyes.
Mark Caten was already gone.
What will it be like when he is finally dead?
How will I feel?
I will feel happy and relieved.
She got out of bed and headed straight to the bathroom to take a shower.
I won’t miss him.
I will never miss him.
I will return to my kingdom, back to my beloved harem.
She turned the faucet until the water was at just the right temperature.
I will never give him another thought. He will be nothing but the remnant of a nightmare.
She removed her clothes and stepped into the shower.
I will be with my Nayla.
I will be home.
The water ran down her long red and silver hair.
But after everything that Caten has put me through, everything I’ve experienced here, will I really be home? Can I go home again?
Can I be the Preyuna I was before?
Will it all come back to me when I go home?
She closed her eyes and turned to face the falling water.
Will some strange part of me yearn for what I left behind here?
Will I miss his abuse?
Will anything less than hurt feel lackluster?
Will I miss him?
I need to know.
She opened her eyes.
When Isellta wakes. If he wakes, I will find out. If he can cooperate and do what he’s supposed to do, I will find out if gentleness and tenderness is still good enough for me.
If he doesn’t die.
She shampooed her hair.
I hope Isellta doesn’t die.
Hank stared at a fleck on the floor.
I want to die.
I want to just stop existing.
I want to disappear.
“Are you listening to me?”
“Then, look at me. Darn you, boy! Look at me.”
Hank slowly raised his gaze. The anger on his father’s face killed him. “I’m sorry. I. I don’t know. I.” He swallowed hard. “It was just this one time. I never—“
“But you’re the one who instigated it. That’s what his teacher said.”
Hank lowered his gaze. “It was just a kiss. We didn’t do anything.”
“A kiss is bad enough. It’s humiliating. You aren’t supposed to be like this. You’re my son. Not some celebrity’s illegitimate kid in queerville Hollywood.”
Hank closed his eyes.
I want to run away.
I want to get out of this conversation.
I don’t want to be here anymore.
I just want him to stop.
“Don’t you ever do that again. Straighten yourself up, boy.”
I couldn’t help it.
The way he looked at me.
The way I felt.
How good it felt to finally kiss him. It felt like…a relief.
I can’t tell him that.
I can never tell him that.
“I’m sorry, Dad.”
Hank hugged Dave a little closer.
I wish he could have met you. He never would have approved of us. I know that. But I wish he could have seen how happy you make me. I wish I hadn’t pushed him away.
Dave shifted in his embrace.
I wish I could have told him “I love you” one last time.
Dave opened his eyes. “mmm.”
“hey.” He yawned. “Ohh! It’s so good to be back in our own bed again.”
“Do you think we left Jay a little too quickly?”
Dave looked surprised by the question. “No. Why?”
“I dunno. I just feel like we should have stayed just a little longer for—” Hank gasped as Dave traced the lines of the scar on his hip.
“mmm. Haaaaank? Can we just stay here? Do we have to get up at all?”
“And what? Claim that we both slept in?”
Hank laughed. “If we had a different boss, I’d say yes. But—-”
“Caten is Caten.”
Dave sighed. “Then, I guess we should get up.”
Hank kissed his head. “Mmm.”
“Do you really think Doll Face is going to die?”
He let go of Dave and sat up. “I don’t know. But it sure doesn’t look good, does it?”