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Chloroform and a Dream

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Alexander took the “closing” shift again on Friday night. Closing, as in, 4 until 11, and then the graveyard shifts would take over. Alexander was fresh out on his own, just moved into his new apartment not even a full two months ago, he just had no car. He worked part time bar, part time stocker at a trading company. He had only been in the country for a near year and a half, and had several friends and a beautiful girlfriend, Eliza. Alexander was good in school, good at work, a loving adoptive dad, and that’s all that mattered in the end.

He was walking home, just like any other night. His completely black uniform finally got a breath when he stepped out into the cool air, finally letting his hair out of its ponytail and did a small shake to let his hair let loose. Alexander smelt like every cologne and perfume you could imagine, and it made him gag when he pulled his sweater on all the way, when he noticed. Someone was walking across the street, which was odd, since it was almost 11:30 at night. Few people would want to walk around where Alexander’s apartment was, it was a pretty shady place. But it was clean, and it was secure; from the inside, anyway. He was considering excusing it as just a passer, since it was a shabby area as said, few people had cars around there.

But it was different. For weeks, no matter where he was. When he left school or work, before he went to bed, he felt watched. Like someone was always watching him, and it was like this for about three months. Not like someone was in the room with him, but watching from a distance. Like that thing, you see out of the corner of your eye but nothing is really there; but this time, maybe there was. But he never saw anyone looking with anything like binoculars or a camera, just with their naked eye. The figure he saw had dark skin and a rather large mane of hair. The closer he got, the more Alexander could make out. A maroon sweater and black jeans, and a face that gave him a sense of déjà vu.

When he finally stopped being zoned in thought, he realized the man was chasing papers that had escaped his grasp, desperately clinging to the ones he caught against his chest, running across and in the street to catch them, and when he appeared to think he gathered everything, shoved past Alexander. But one piece was stuck up against the fence by the wind. Alexander didn’t look back to see how far the other was, but he walked over and picked it up, he felt sicker as he got closer, and turned around on his heels. “Hey- “he spoke loudly, “you forgot this one! -“ he yelled back, and the man, who was not that far, quickly jogged over to him after hesitation. “Thank you- “the dark skinned male said with a thankful sigh. Alexander didn’t finish before a hand clasped the scruff of his neck and trapped his hair, and another muscular hand clasped a cloth around his mouth. Struggling, he kicked his feet when he felt himself being lifted off the concrete, the bony fingers partially pried into his jaw and throat, until everything suddenly became dark, and the spinning in his head stopped, and his muscles relaxed.

Alexander’s eyes barley peaked open, half lidded, the only sight was his hair in his eyes and darkness. He felt dreary in his eyes, a small pulsing throb resided in his temple as he barley lifted his arm to apply pressure to the pain, he felt cold against his back and suddenly bare feet. But that’s when the feeling of dread rubbed off his eyes and removed the hair from his eyes and he actually began to question where he was. He moved his legs to shakily stand up, but he didn’t get very far. Alexander was chained to the floor, a metal brace around his ankle. A room, the walls and floor wood, an empty room with no windows and one door, which was seemingly locked from the outside. Alexander’s work clothes and green hoodie were gone, replaced by a maroon shirt and black, feeling tight sweat pants. His thought process must have lasted awhile, being drugged and confused, but was actually disrupted when footsteps were heard in the hallway.

There was hesitation in them, a singular floorboard could be heard as it sunk beneath the weight of a person, creaking right outside the door. Alexander’s muscles tensed, his hands felt clammy and cold while they clung to himself, but he braced himself to attack if whoever took him got close. Horridly slow, the door opened an inch by inch, the hinges squeaking, until it opened all the way. Sure enough, it was slammed shut tight when his kidnapper took a step in. “I see you’re awake.” The voice was dreadfully similar to someone he had sworn he’d met before, his face was all too familiar. But Alexander wouldn’t remember, he’s heard and seen so many faces between school and two jobs. But then something did click, maybe he couldn’t remember his voice or face because he hadn’t seen him before, only felt him. That feeling knotted in his stomach and his throat, that feeling he had felt that someone had been watching him for weeks, and now it had manifested into a person, it had taken an innocent form that his eyes had been blinded to and now couldn’t look away from.

Alexander’s breath was so paced, it sounded like he was hyperventilating at a slower pace, his core was shaken, he was fucking terrified. He was taller than Lafayette, and just about as built as Hercules, maybe a bit less. He struts over to Alexander, the smaller boy could now make out the facial hair, like Lafayette’s, but his eyes. His eyes were also dark brown as were his friend’s, but these ones were different. Every pair of eyes has a different story, and his were soft looking, but a bit intimidating, and the bags hung dark. Alexander could only watch as he got closer, he couldn’t press into the corner he had hurried into more than he already was. Hugging his knees to his chest, he feared to look up, but he had no choice, needing air, he felt he was going to be sick, silently begging in the back of his head. The taller man reached his hand down to where Alexander was cuddled up, running his long fingers through the other’s hair. “Don’t worry, we’ll go really slow, okay?” his eyes seemed more kind as he leaned down, but Alexander wouldn’t fall for looks, because there had been no kindness showed to him whatsoever. Every part of him was a seething lie.

“Do you need anything? Are you too hot or too cold?” his hands were calloused but pleasantly gentle, following the strands to the end where he would start stroking him again, earning a well-deserved flinch from his captive. The kidnapper had hushed him softly, “I have something for you” his voice was traced with some sort of accent, maybe southern? It wasn’t broad, but it was there. Alexander, with wide eyes, tried to watch his every move. The man pulled out a small remote, with three buttons, red, blue, and green. “The green one will call me, the blue one makes the room colder, and the red, hotter.” He slowly nudged it to Alexander, a smile creeping up on his lips, staring at his horrified expression with no trace of empathy. Alexander kept his mouth shut, someone had to notice he was gone. Mr. Washington, his teachers, his bosses, his friends. He didn’t have to worry, they would find him, they would save him. He would be okay, he was just fucking speechless, he just wanted to go home. Alexander quickly pulled his feet closer by his ankles when the captor reached for him, making him squeeze his eyes shut in fear, until he heard a clicking sound, and the cold brace was released from his ankle. “There we go, now why don’t we give you a bath?”

Oh, Jesus fucking Christ help him now, he didn’t want to be touched or forced against this stranger’s body, let alone near him in general as he was backed into a fucking corner. Never the less, he was picked up, and cradled by the other as they walked, carried bridal style out the door, seeing concrete floors when they passed rooms, it was dark, all beside a door that appeared to be a few feet away. The man wouldn’t let him walk, he had to be carried, and he only set him down when he was in the room and the door was locked. The room identical to the one he now occupied, except with the simple necessities of a casual bathroom. “Take your clothes off, sweetie” Alexander stopped for a second. No, this man was completely serious for him to strip. Yet, Alexander curled up and sat on the floor, presuming his previous position, trying to identify by any means of his imaginations or memories as to where he was, but there was nothing. With a groan, the man stood up and hoisted the other up by force, stripping the other’s clothes off for him. Alexander covered himself and made his best attempts not to tremble in his arms, but he failed at his own wishes. “Please don’t be difficult, you’re doing so well, normally I have to hit them by now” he picked up the other and placed him in the tub with ease, it was unnerving, his weight was nothing to his attacker.

Alexander curled up, knees to chest, looking up and around the bathroom, anywhere but as the man spoke to him. “And if you continue your good behavior, I’ll give you the choice to either have a bed in your room, or move you to mine” the male said it with a smile, turning on the water “let’s try this again, my name is Thomas Jefferson” he stopped for a moment, footsteps outside the door. Alex couldn’t be hearing things, Thomas was on his knees before him, he wanted to scream. If he was going to risk it, now it would be the time. Though, he decided against this, because if Thomas wasn’t afraid, it was bad news for him. That name; Thomas Jefferson. It just sounded so- familiar, so known to him. But he couldn’t place anything on it. “I know your name, but it’s polite to introduce yourself, anyway.” Alexander would have to remember that. “Honey” Thomas started, definitely southern “I don’t want to hurt you. But I don’t like people who ignore me sweetie, are you going to wash yourself or am I going to have to?” the male towered over him more, getting up on a knee. “The sooner you get out, the sooner you can go see what my friend James just brought in for you.”

“Present?” Alexander finally broke his silence, but it was only a low mutter. “I- I can clean myself- “he stuttered for a second, looking up at Thomas, who was handing him a sponge with a smug smile of victory. “Clean up, and then yes, a present. And if you are really good, I’ll give you some notebook and pens. I know you like writing.” Alexander wouldn’t even bother to question how he knew that, he just self-validated that this- man knew everything about him and probably more than Alexander could process, slowly trying to maintain his focus on washing himself, while managing to clean himself up. “I’ve been watching you for a few weeks now, sweet heart” he replied to Alexander’s thoughts, earning a startled expression from his new-found ‘friend’. “But who wouldn’t” he continues, “you’re just so cute; now, would you like that? Would you like to write?” Thomas sat there and waited for the ‘yes’, and Alexander responded with the exact response, “such a good boy” Thomas praised when he picked the frail boy up and onto his feet, drying him off, and casually yet forcefully dressing him, Alexander’s trembling hands clung onto his shoulders, and now around his neck when he was, again, picked up and carried to his room. The empty room now contained what appeared to be a queen-sized bed, with basic white sheets and pillows, nothing special. A man, dark skin, and dressed in a police uniform, sat on the edge.

There was nothing but confusion and turmoil, what the hell. Alexander’s pulse picked up when Thomas put a loving arm around his shoulders, weighing down on him. “See? Not so bad. This is my friend James, he brought you this so you would be more comfortable. Why don’t you say thank you?” Had Thomas told this officer that he was a friend? A past buddy, a brother? It made Alexander’s knees weak, sinking into Thomas, not wanting to stand up or move. “I’m not saying thank you” he protested hoarsely, his breath was hitching from the fear, his body was fully trembling unwillingly, it only grew worse when he felt a light grip around his throat, pressing tauntingly on his windpipe. “You were behaving so well, are we going to act up now that we have company?” his voice got darker, more serious than it has been. Alex’s body allowed itself to fall back a bit, stumbling into the wall, just barley pushing past Thomas’ shoulder. With the new advantage, Thomas looked pissed, and Alexander’s eyes pleaded for the man to help him, to get off the bed and stand up for him. But it didn’t come, he just got up and left at Thomas’ command, and tightens his grip on his throat and holds him against the wall, the pressure crushing against his windpipe, pushing his head up against the wall. “Behave yourself.” And Alexander did what he taught himself after being left an orphan in the ruthless streets of the Caribbean, and kicked Thomas in the shin. Earning a respected growl, his breath wheezed and hitched when Thomas added pressure and bared his teeth. “Let’s get something straight, I own you now. The police are not coming. You will not be found. You will die here unless I say otherwise. The police have never found anyone I have had, don’t hold your breath.” Dropping Alexander to the ground, catching a quick breath. “Fuck you” the smaller man hissed.

There was a click as the chain was put back around his ankle, and a ruthless grip was around Alexander’s jaw and chin, forcing his head up to meet the man’s eyes. “I’ll be back within two hours, see if you can behave yourself by then.” Dropping his head, the light switched off and the door slammed, leaving Alexander in the pitch black.