Fluttering consciousness breaks through his thoughts. Darkness. No, shadows. His perception begins to widen slowly. Can’t move. Scream. No sound. Pain. Someone’s hands. Voices muffled. Need to scream. Why won’t my voice work? Legs moved. Pressure. Stretching. Someone inside. Another’s hands. More pain. Door closes. Silence.
A tear escapes from his eyes. Eternity stretches by in its infinite slowness. Fingers begin to move. Bound. He moves his head. Pulling his eyebrows in, he glares at the offending object forcing his eyes to focus. Pulling his hands up, he uses his teeth to loosen the knot. Hands finally free, he lifts the object. Is that…his tie? He tosses it in disgust. He pushes himself up. Pain. Tries to stand. His feet betray him. Fingers brush against a cool surface. Phone.
Opening the screen, he tries to speak. Nothing. Pressing the message app, the first message opens up. Victor. That’s right. He put his number in my phone before I left the banquet. He focuses on what to say.
H el p me
Yuuri? What’s wrong? Where are you?
Yuuri. That’s my name. Where? Looking around for some clue, he spotted the hotel phone. Pulling it down, he read the numbers on the ID.
On my way!
“Chris! He’s here! Yuuri, what…oh, my god! Yuuri, I’m here.”
Yuuri stared up into cerulean blue eyes. How are eyes such a pure color of blue? Surrounded by silvery wings? Like…like an angel. Yuuri opens his mouth to speak. Nothing comes out. Reaching for his hands, he squeezes. Holding those blue eyes, he implores. Can you hear me? Help. I need help.
“I’ve called the police, Victor. They are on their way with an ambulance. They said to stay put. Hotel is sending security to guard the room.”
“I’ll call Yakov. Yuuri, this is Chris. I need my hand but he’ll hold yours until I can take it back. Okay?”
Chris. I remember him now. Green eyes looked down at him next to blue. He held onto the other’s hand. “It’s going to be okay,” Chris murmured in a soothing voice. “We’re getting help. Just hold on.” He did. Tightly to his hand. Voice in the background. Victor. Yuuri turned his head to watch him. Urgent voice.
“Yakov! You have to find Celestino. His skater has been attacked.” Pause. “Room 703. Police has been called.” Another pause. “Chris is with me.” Lengthy pause. “Yes, well, let’s get him safe then we’ll worry about damage control.” “Agreed.”
Victor disconnected and returned to his side. “Your coach is on his way.” Yuuri released Chris’s hand and reached for Victor’s holding it tight. “Don’t worry. I’m staying right here. I won’t leave you.”
Brown eyes filled with fear held onto blue protective eyes. Even as others entered the space, he didn’t turn. He allowed Chris to deal with the others.
The police dropped down next to him. Someone spoke in Russian, voice soothing but Yuuri couldn’t comprehend the words. He held Victor’s eyes and Victor translated. “They are telling you that an ambulance is on its way up. They want to know if you knew your attacker.”
Yuuri slowly shook his head as the words seeped in. Victor asked the next question. “Could you recognize them?” Again Yuuri shook his head. Victor looked up and said something in Russian to the officer. Then a gurney entered the scene and paramedics tried to get Victor to move aside. A guttural whine escaped Yuuri’s lips. Victor’s eyes widened at the pain he heard in that sound and he strengthened his grasp on the brunette’s hands. “You’re going to have to work around me,” he stated firmly repeating in Russian for the benefit of the workers.
Another commotion and the two coaches entered the room. “Who are you?” one of the officers demanded. The coaches identified themselves. Celestino went immediately to Yuuri’s side.
“Yuuri. We’ve got you. It’s going to be okay.” The Italian man’s breath caught when the skater shook his head almost imperceptibly and a tear slipped from the corner.
“He hasn’t spoken since we arrived. We’ve only had gestures,” Victor explained to the coach. Turning to Yuuri, he responded, “I have to relinquish you to your coach.” The younger man’s hand tightened around his. “I want to stay with you, Yuuri, but I can’t make the necessary decisions for you. Your coach will have to ride in the ambulance.” Yuuri still held tight. Reaching out his other hand, he smoothed the brunette’s hair. “Do you trust me?” The boy nodded. “I’ll follow in a taxi once I finish with the police. Okay?” Brown eyes held his for a long time before he finally nodded and let go. The paramedics began negotiating the stretcher out of the room and towards the elevator. Celestino followed.
Yakov placed a hand on Victor’s shoulder. He had just finished answering a grueling number of questions by the police. Yakov translated for Chris to another police officer. They were waiting for Chris’s coach before they called a cab. “I’ll go with you to the hospital.”
“Thank you, Yakov. I shouldn’t have let him go up to his room alone. I should’ve made sure he was safe.”
“Vitya, this is not your fault.”
“I feel like I have some of the blame.”
He felt an arm slip around him and turned to see Chris. “If that’s the case, then we both should shoulder that blame, Victor. But Yuuri slipped away from us. Otherwise, we would have escorted him to his room.”
Victor dropped his head against his friend’s shoulder. Another man entered the room and Chris waved his coach over. He quickly discussed what took place that night. The coach turned to Yakov to discuss damage control. Finally with a game plan in place, Yakov guided Victor from the room and to the elevator. Chris looked torn but finally relinquished the task of attending Yuuri to his friend. “Text me or call me with any news. Let me know if you need any help.”
“Of course,” Victor responded.
Yakov already had a cab waiting and soon they were on the way to the hospital. Once they arrived, they quickly found Celestino. “Yuuri is being examined right now. They said something about a rape kit. I-I’ve always trained male skaters. I’ve never had to deal with…” His voice faded as he covered his face with his hands. Yakov took over comforting the other coach, distracting him with the damage control plan. Victor watched the door to the exam room.
The door open and the doctor began talking with Celestino. Victor listened in and waited for the words allowing him to go to the other man. Finally, the doctor permitted two visitors. Yakov stated quietly he’d remain outside even as Victor was half way through the door.
Yuuri was dressed in a cloth hospital gown and looked small as he stared up at the ceiling. His eyes flickered when he turned to see Victor’s approach. When Victor stepped into his reach, the hands reached out to grab his. “I’m here,” Victor reassured, smoothing his hair back. The brown eyes held his. No words found their way to the surface but he held Victor’s eyes willing him to understand.
Celestino slipped around to the other side and placed a reassuring hand on Yuuri’s shoulder. “I’ve rearranged our flights, Yuuri. We’ve been upgraded to first class to give you more space.” Celestino met Victor’s gaze. This was one of the details Yakov had worked out with him. Victor had stated that if money was a problem, he’d cover the costs. Yuuri flicked his eyes to Celestino and finally acknowledged him with a nod.
“You have my number, Yuuri. Contact me any time, day or night. If I don’t respond right away, I will as soon as I leave the ice,” Victor’s words washed over him and settled onto the younger skater. Yuuri lifted his free hand uncertainly and tentatively touched Victor’s face. Shit! When did I start crying? He felt the other man’s hand smooth away his tears. This was fucking backwards. He should be reassuring the other man.
Finally, the release papers were brought forward and signed. The kit would be handed over to the police and any other results would be sent to Yuuri’s physician in the states. Both Victor and Celestino escorted the young man out and Yakov already had a cab waiting. He climbed into the front seat allowing the other two to settle in on either side of Yuuri in the back. As the cab pulled away, Victor looked out the window towards the break of day, silver winter clouds filling the horizon. Gray. Very appropriate for the stormy emotions each passenger held at bay.